June 19/USA LED COALITION SHOOTS DOWN SYRIAN MIG IN RUSSIAN AIRSPACE/RUSSIA EXTREMELY ANGRY AND ISSUES STATEMENT THAT IT WILL SHOOT DOWN ANY PLANE OVER ITS AIRSPACE: USA RESPONDS LIKEWISE/CANADA MAY BE STUCK WITH HUGE PHANTOM CHINESE COLLATERAL IN THEIR PURCHASE OF VANCOUVER HOMES OVER THESE FEW YRS/MORE ON THE TRUMP AFFAIR WITH RUSSIA/

GOLD: $1244.20  DOWN $9.80

Silver: $16.48  DOWN 15  cent(s)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1244.20

silver: $16.53

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: $1261.77 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  $1252.70

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $9.07

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1260.02

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1251.80

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$8.22

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1251.10

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1251.60

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1255.40

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1254.50 

For comex gold:

JUNE/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH:  45 NOTICE(S) FOR 4500  OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 2589 FOR 258,900 OZ    (8.0528 TONNES)

For silver:

For silver:

JUNE 3 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR

15,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 914 for 4,570,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

END

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 13th consecutive trading day. We certainly have a determined entity trying to get its hands on whatever silver is available.

It now seems that we are going to have a repeat as to the continual whacking of gold and silver by the crooks.

Here is something interesting on our last 3 huge waterfalls in gold
On Dec 15 2016, gold finished at its nadir at $1125.60.  The comex OI on that day:  402,111 contracts. The OI on silver:  164,500.
On March 9 2017: gold finished its nadir fall to $1200.00. The comex OI on that day: 427,627.  The comex OI:  191,422
On April 18/2017 gold finished at its nadir: $1226.90.  the comex OI on that day: 474,257.  silver comex OI 227,755
today:  gold at $1244.00 so far/comex gold OI 453,021/silver comex OI 197,800 (approx)
it seems that we are having in gold higher lows and close to higher lows on the OI.
In silver, the comex OI is all over the board.

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 ONLY 452  contract(s) DOWN to 197,854 WITH THE FALL IN PRICE OF SILVER THAT TOOK PLACE WITH FRIDAY’S TRADING (DOWN 5 CENT(S). In ounces, the OI is still represented by just UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  .989 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 141% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 3 NOTICE(S) FOR 15,000  OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the total comex gold FELL BY A HUGE  6,587 contracts DESPITE THE RISE IN PRICE OF GOLD   ($1.80 with FRIDAY’S TRADING). The total gold OI stands at 453,021 contracts.

we had 45 notice(s) filed upon for 4500 oz of gold.

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

GLD:

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

Inventory rests tonight: 853.68 tonnes

.

SLV

Today: no changes  in silver inventory at the SLV

THE SLV Inventory rests at: 336.200 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 A TINY 452 contracts DOWN TO 197,854 (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 5 CENTS).We LOST a few of our paper players BUT our  core players remain firm and determined.

(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 SUNDAY night/MONDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 21.21 POINTS OR 0.68%   / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 299.08 POINTS OR 1.14% The Nikkei closed UP 124.48 POINTS OR 0.62%/Australia’s all ordinaires  CLOSED UP 0.47%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN at 6.8167/Oil UP to 44.85 dollars per barrel for WTI and 47.52 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED IN THE GREEN,,      ..Offshore yuan trades  6.8205 yuan to the dollar vs 6.8167 for onshore yuan. NOW  THE OFFSHORE IS WEAKER TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN  WEAKER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS A LOT WEAKER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE WEAKER DOLLAR. 

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

i)NORTH KOREA

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

c) REPORT ON CHINA

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

i)Trump cannot win on this one with the passing of the senate bill to punish Russia with more sanctions..a must read./

( zerohedge)

ii)The conservatives in the UK are planning out oust Theresa May especially if she backs off on a “hard Brexit”

( zero hedge)

( zerohedge)

iv)And in Paris;

(zerohedge)

v)Looks like they made a lot of progress on  Day 1 of BREXIT talks

(courtesy zero hedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

 i)Afghanistan

The USA should get our of this quagmire!
( zero hedge)

ii)IRAN/SYRIA

The situation inside Syria has just escalated with Iran launching missile strikes from inside Iran.

( zero hedge)

iii)OH OH/this does not look good:  The uSA led coalition team down a Syrian Warplane

Cannot wait until we see Russia’s response!

( zero hedge)

iv)RUSSIA/USA:

RUSSIA’S RESPONSE!
Great reason for gold being down this morning/
( zerohedge)

( zero hedge)

v  b) USA RESPONSE TO RUSSIA

This ought to be good for a 10 dollar drop in gold!

(courtesy zero hedge)

vi)ISRAEL/SYRIA

The Wall Street Journal now reports that Israel is arming rebel groups in the Golan and it is allied with Saudi Arabia since 2013. Syria has become quite a proxy war.

(courtesy zero hedge)

vii)IRAN/SAUDI ARABIA

Boy this is escalating fast.  The Iranians sent 3 boats with the intention of blowing of the huge off shore Marjan oil fields. One boat with 3 Iranian National Guards have been caught and are now being interrogated.  The two two boats escaped. Iran wishes to retaliate against the Saudi’s involvement in last week’s suicide bombing in Tehran.

(courtesy zero hedge)

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

 CANADA/CHINA

China’s “ghost collateral” has traveled across the globe and has big Vancouver Canada in a big way: they are beginning to suggest that this is going to be a big crisis for Canadian banks

( zero hedge)

7. OIL ISSUES

8. EMERGING MARKET

9.   PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)the advance in all cryptocurrencies seems to suggest that the one major alternative to paper currencies, gold and silver is manipulated

Meet Litecoin.
(zerohedge)
ii)Hugo Salinas Price explains why Bitcoin is not money

 ( Hugo Salinas Price/GATA)

iii)James Grant comments on the James Ledbetter book and the importance of a gold standard

( James Grant/Ledbetter/GATA)

iv)A gold rush is coming to Nova Scotia

( Tutton/Canadian Press)

v)Von Greyerz suggests that when governments are ready they will smash cryptos by making money laundering charges  or whatever agianst it which will cause these to collapse

( Kingworldnews/Eric King/Von Greyerz/)

10. USA Stories

( zero hedge)

ii)A terrific commentary from David Stockman as he explains why the “Deep State” want to remove Trump:

( David Stockman/Ron Paul Institute)

( zero hedge)

iv) Sunday afternoon:

We learn from ABC from anonymous sources that Mueller has “not yet” decided to investigate Trump

this is totally nuts..

( zero hedge)

v)Kushner is said that he is considering shaking up his legal team removing Jamie Gorelock for her conflict as she and Mueller were partners at a Washington DC law firm.

this is getting quite out of hand..

( zero hedge)

vi)Illinois state officials are now sounding the alarm bell!
( zero hedge)

vii)The Cab industry in Chicago is near collapse due to UBER

( Jeff Schuhrke/In These Times))

viii)The big insurer in New Mexico , New Mexico Health Connections is seeking a huge 80% premium hike for 2018.  Over the past 4 yrs, they have had a 100% increase. So in the last 5 yrs:  the hike will be around 250% from 2013 to 2018:
( zerohedge)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest FELL BY A HUGE 6,587 CONTRACTS DOWN to an OI level of 453,021 DESPITE THE RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($1.80 with FRIDAY’S trading). An open interest of around 390,000 to 400,000 is core and nothing will move these guys from their contracts.

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 LOSS OF 337 contract(s)FALLING TO  867.  We had 336 notices filed yesterday so we LOST 1  contract(s) or an additional 100 oz will NOT  stand for delivery in this very active delivery month of June AND  1 CONTRACT(S) 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 AT THE COMEX ARE SO FAR REFUSING THAT FIAT BONUS (OVER 11 TONNES STANDING)

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 GAINED 174 contracts to stand at 2054 contracts. The next big active month is August and here the OI LOST 7,167 contracts DOWN to 323,568,  as the bankers trying to keep this month down to manageable size.

We had 45 notice(s) filed upon today for 4500 oz

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And now for the wild silver comex results.  Total silver OI FELL BY ONLY 452 contracts FROM 202,393 DOWN TO 197,854 WITH FRIDAY’S 5 CENT LOSS. OUR BANKER FRIENDS ARE DESPERATELY TRYING TO COVER THEIR SHORTS IN SILVER BUT AS YOU CAN SEE  THEY HAVE NOT BEEN AS SUCCESSFUL AS THEY WOULD HAVE LIKED.
We are in the NON active delivery month is JUNE  Here the open interest LOST 10 contract(s) FALLING TO 8 contracts. We had 10 notices served upon yesterday so we  GAINED 0 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL  NIL 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.

The next big active month will be July and here the OI LOST 2,784 contracts DOWN to 87,007 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 7 contracts to stand at 81.  The next big active delivery month for silver will be September and here the OI already jumped by another 2606 contracts up to 70,304.

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

 Monday, June 20.2016:  90,784 contracts were still outstanding vs 87,007 contracts June 19.2017

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  (4,595,000 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.

As for the July contracts:

Initial amount that stood for silver for the July 2016 contract:  14.785 million  oz

Final standing:  12.370 million with the difference being EFP’s taking delivery in London.

We had 3 notice(s) filed for 15,000 oz for the June 2017 contract

VOLUMES: for the gold comex

Today the estimated volume was 139,332 contracts which is  poor

Yesterday’s confirmed volume was 266,134 contracts  which is EXCELLENT

volumes on gold are STILL HIGHER THAN NORMAL!

INITIAL standings for JUNE
 June 19/2017.
Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz   nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz  
 7808.90 oz
246 kilobars
Scotia
Manfra
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz nil  oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz 
 nil
No of oz served (contracts) today
 
45 notice(s)
4500 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
822 contracts
82,100 oz
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
2589 notices
258900 oz
8.0528 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   298,742.1 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: 7844.600 oz
(244 kilobars)
ii) Out of Manfra: 64.30 oz
(2 kilobars)
total customer withdrawal: 7,908.900  oz
 we had 0 adjustment(s):
 strange:  again no incoming gold into the gold comex only an exit of 7844.600 oz and that entry is kilobars
For JUNE:

Today, 0 notice(s) were issued from JPMorgan dealer account and 0 notices were issued from their client or customer account. The total of all issuance by all participants equates to 45  contract(s)  of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 26 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 (2589) x 100 oz or 258,900 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of JUNE (867 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (45) x 100 oz per contract equals 341,100  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 (2589) x 100 oz  or ounces + {(866)OI for the front month  minus the number of  notices served upon today (45) x 100 oz which equals 341,100 oz standing in this  active delivery month of JUNE  (10.609 tonnes)
.
WE LOST 1 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 100 OZ WILL NOT STAND AT THE COMEX AND 1 CONTRACT WAS GIVEN AN 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. YOU CAN NOW SEE WHY THE COT REPORTS ARE DISTORTED DUE TO THE ISSUANCE OF THESE EFP CONTRACTS 
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Total dealer inventory 889,847.333 or 27.67 tonnes DEALER RAPIDLY LOSING GOLD
Total gold inventory (dealer and customer) = 8,621,702.094 or 268.17 tonnes 
 
Over a year ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today the total inventory rests at 268.17 tonnes for a  loss of 35  tonnes over that period.  Since August 8/2016 we have lost 86 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 10 MONTHS  85 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.
end
And now for silver
AND NOW THE June DELIVERY MONTH
 
June INITIAL standings
 June 19 2017
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory  nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
 906,595.648  oz
Brinks
CNT
Delaware
Scotia
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
NIL oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory 
 1,259,438.200 oz
JPMorgan
No of oz served today (contracts)
 3 CONTRACT(S)
(15,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
5 contracts
( 25,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 914 contracts (4,570,000 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 3,642,415.1 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 4 customer withdrawal(s):
i) Out of Brinks: 158,848.440 oz
ii) Out of CNT: 25,039.738 oz
iii) Out of Delaware:  1098.34 oz
iv) Out of Scotia: 781,609.040 oz
TOTAL CUSTOMER WITHDRAWALS: 906,595.648  oz
 We had 1 Customer deposit(s):
i) Into JPMorgan:  1,259,438.200 oz
***deposits into JPMorgan have now resumed again
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: 628,668.300 oz
 
 we had 0 adjustment(s)
The total number of notices filed today for the JUNE. contract month is represented by 3 contract(s) for 15,000 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 914 x 5,000 oz  = 4,570,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of JUNE (8) and the number of notices served upon today (3) x 5000 oz equals the number of ounces standing
 

 

.
 
Thus the initial standings for silver for the JUNE contract month:  914 (notices served so far)x 5000 oz  + OI for front month of JUNE.(8 ) -number of notices served upon today (3)x 5000 oz  equals  4,595,000 oz  of silver standing for the JUNE contract month.
 
We gained 0 contracts or an additional 0 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. THIS IS THE 13TH CONSECUTIVE TRADING DAY THAT WE EITHER GAINED NOR DID WE LOSE ANY SILVER CONTRACTS THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE.
 
 
Volumes: for silver comex
Today the estimated volume was 44.887 which is goof
Yesterday’s  confirmed volume was 90,659 contracts which is GIGANTIC
YESTERDAY’S ESTIMATED VOLUME OF 90,659 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 553 MILLION OZ OF SILVER OR 65% 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:   205.718 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 6.8 percent to NAV usa funds and Negative 7.3% to NAV for Cdn funds!!!! 
Percentage of fund in gold 62.3%
Percentage of fund in silver:37.6%
cash .+0.1%( June 19/2017) 
 
2. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): STOCK   NAV  FALLS TO -.03% (june 19/2017) 
3. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV FALLS to -0.48% to NAV  (June 19/2017 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back  into NEGATIVE territory at -0.03 /Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.48%/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 19/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 853.68 TONNES

June 16/no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 853.68 tonnes

June 15/ a monstrous “paper” withdrawal of 13.32 tonnes/Inventory rests at 853.68 tonnes

June 14./NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 867.00 TONNES

June 13. No change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 867.00 tonnes

June 12/No change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 867.00 tonnes

June 9/no change in inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 867.00 tonnes

June 8/AN ADDITION OF 3.07 TONNES OF GOLD ADDED TO THE GLD/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

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June 19 /2017/ Inventory rests tonight at 853.68 tonnes
*IN LAST 175 TRADING DAYS: 93.45 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 117 TRADING DAYS: A NET  33.98 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO GLD INVENTORY.
*FROM FEB 1/2017: A NET  47.32 TONNES HAVE BEEN ADDED.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

June 19/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 336.200 MILLION OZ

June 16/no changes in inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 336.200 million oz

June 15/ a massive “paper withdrawal” of 3.405 million oz of silver/Inventory rests at 336.200 million oz/

June 14/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 339.605 MILLION OZ/

June 13/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 339.605 million oz

June 12/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 339.605 million oz/

June 9/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 339.605 million oz/

June 8/NO CHANGE IN SILVER 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

June 19.2017: Inventory 336.200  million oz
end
We are going to provide GOFO rates  (gold) each day and shortly silver
courtesy of Bron Suchecki of Monetary Metals
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

GOFO

6 month: 1.21%  (yesterday 1.30%)

12 month:  1.41% (yesterday 1.45%)

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 MONDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

Billi

end

the advance in all cryptocurrencies seems to suggest that the one major alternative to paper currencies, gold and silver is manipulated

Meet Litecoin.
(zerohedge)

Litecoin Explodes Higher After Flood Of Chinese, Korean Buying In Search Of Latest Cryptobubble

While Bitcoin and Ethereum appear stuck in sideways limbo action after last week’s “crash” from which they both rebounded promptly, other altcoins are gaining a lot of interest, mostly from Asian buyers in desperate need of a new bubble to chase higher. And Litecoin (which was recently added to Coinbase) is the cryptocurrency which has fallen squarely in their sights, having soared nearly 50% in the past 24 hours to over $48…

… approaching its all time highs.

Having missed out on much of the surge in Bitcoin and Ethereum in recent weeks, Litecoin is, if only for the time being, the primary focus of cyrpto traders. With over $1 billion trading volume in 24-hours, Litecoin has become the latest darling of Chinese and Korean momentum chasers. A quick look at the source of activity reveals that over 50% of the volume is out of China and Korea.

However, as the Merkel points out, the bigger question is why this price increase is happening right now. One possible explanation points to concerns about the upcoming hurdle event for Bitcoin, where a looming chain split on August 1st has some people concerned. It is possible a chain split could hurt Bitcoin’s market position and another cryptocurrency may overtake it, especially with the market share of Ethereum soaring and poised to overtake Bitcoin (at the current pace of growh) in months.

It could also merely be another false breakout: there have been several LTC price rises over the past few months which never lasted long, even as BTC and ETH continued to soar. That said, the Litecoin community is delighted by today’s price increase. Things have been looking better for Litecoin, ever since it enabled Segregated Witness and Charlie Lee left Coinbase to focus on the digital silver. To be sure, with a market cap of “only” $2.5 billion (4th behind BTC, ETH and Ripple), the altcoin has a long way to go before catching up with Bitcoin at just under $44 billion.

A quick primer on Litcoin: launched in 2011, Litecoin was one of the first altcoins to gain significant traction. As opposed to some newer altcoins like Ethereum, Ripple and Monero, Litecoin is a straight fork of Bitcoin’s codebase but with a different mining algorithm and some changed parameters, such as faster confirmation times. This similarity to Bitcoin does mean that Litecoin suffers from similar weaknesses as Bitcoin, like transaction malleability.

Ultimately, allegations that the move is merely another bubble forming (it is, but so is virtually every other asset class) or that LTC, like BTC and ETH, is merely rising due a result of the latest and greatest ponzi scheme will emerge. They may be right, but now that Asian buyers – whose remarkable resilience is well known to both Beijing and the PBOC – are involved, it is impossible to predict just how high this particular “bubble” will grow before bursting.

END

Hugo Salinas Price explains why Bitcoin is not money

(courtesy Hugo Salinas Price/GATA)

Hugo Salinas Price: Bitcoin is as much dream money as all fiat currencies

Section:

This Insubstantial Pageant Faded. …

By Hugo Salinas Price, President
Mexican Civic Association for Silver
Friday, June 16, 2017

We are living in a dream world.

All so-called money in the world is dream money that consists of digits issued by central banks; the so-called “reserves” of these central banks consist of digits issued by a small group of official digit-issuers, the central banks of the United States, the euro area, England, Japan, Switzerland, and, recently, of China.

Now a select group of digit-issuers that are not central banks have come into the dream-money world. T the principal one is the group of so-called “miners” that produce the bitcoin by solving complex mathematical problems. One day this feature will be the object of derision at the immense folly of mankind.

The bitcoin is being promoted by somewhat deceptive advertising. There are pictures of a bitcoin on the Internet, and the pictures show a coin that looks like a gold coin. But the bitcoin is only a digit in computers; a physical bitcoin does not exist. McDonald’s sells hamburgers illustrated in mouth-watering pictures of the Big Mac. But what if their hamburgers really had no meat at all?

When the creator of the bitcoin — and who it was remains a mystery — presented the world with his creation, he (or she) claimed it was “money.” Sooner or later many were saying the same thing. One dog barks, and all dogs bark with it. …

… For the remainder of the commentary:

http://plata.com.mx/Mplata/articulos/articlesFilt.asp?fiidarticulo=309

END

James Grant comments on the James Ledbetter book and the importance of a gold standard

(courtesy James Grant/Ledbetter/GATA)

James Grant reviews James Ledbetter’s ‘One Nation Under Gold’ for the WSJ

Section:

Goodbye, Yellow Brick RoadBy James Grant
The Wall Street Journal
Saturday, June 17, 2017https://www.wsj.com/articles/goodbye-yellow-brick-road-1497643771It’s no work at all to make modern money. Since the start of the 2008 financial crisis, the world’s central bankers have materialized the equivalent of $12.25 trillion. Just tap, tap, tap on a computer keypad.”One Nation Under Gold” is a brief against the kind of money you have to dig out of the ground. And you do have to dig. The value of all the gold that’s ever been mined (and which mostly still exists in the form of baubles, coins and ingots), according to the World Gold Council, is a mere $7.4 trillion.Gold anchored the various metallic monetary systems that existed from the 18th century to 1971. They were imperfect, all right, just as James Ledbetter bends over backward to demonstrate. The question is whether the gold standard was any more imperfect than the system in place today.That system features monetary oversight by former university economics faculty—the Ph.D. standard, let’s call it. The ex-professors buy bonds with money they whistle into existence (“quantitative easing”), tinker with interest rates, and give speeches about their intentions to buy bonds and tinker with interest rates (“forward guidance”).You wonder how the Ph.D. standard came to eclipse a system whose very name, “gold standard,” is a byword for excellence. Addressing a national television audience on Sunday evening, Aug. 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon announced the temporary suspension of the dollar’s convertibility into gold. No more would foreign governments enjoy the right to trade in their greenbacks for bullion at the then standard rate of $35 to the ounce. (Americans had long since relinquished that right; indeed, as Nixon spoke, they could not legally own gold.) Roughly a half-century later, the temporary suspension is beginning to look permanent.Up until the Nixon edict, paper money, under the law, was a kind of derivative. It derived its value from the metal into which it was convertible. Today’s dollar is inconvertible. To be sure, you can exchange Federal Reserve notes for gold coins or bitcoins to your heart’s desire, but the rate of exchange is whatever the market will bear. Under a gold standard, fixedness was the great monetary virtue. Nowadays, adaptability is the beau ideal. As George Gilder observes, money has been transformed from a measuring rod into a magic wand. Anyway, the Hamiltons or Lincolns or Grants in your wallet owe their value to the government’s fiat, not to its gold.Mr. Ledbetter’s book is a chronicle of the American people’s fascination with gold. He is mystified and bemused by it. He rolls his eyes at the gold rushes and the gold-centered orthodoxies of yesteryear. Whatever were our forebears thinking?His well-spun narrative spans the better part of four centuries. He takes us from gold mining in North Carolina during the administration of John Adams to the Founders’ monetary protocols, which defined the dollar as a weight of gold or silver; from the California Gold Rush to the late-19th-century politics of inflation, featuring William Jennings Bryan and his unsuccessful campaign to inflate the gold dollar by substituting abundant silver; from the formation of the Federal Reserve in 1913—the dollar was still as good as gold—to the shockingly improvisational dollar policies of the New Deal. One fine day, Mr. Ledbetter relates, FDR raised the gold price by 21 cents because it seemed to the president that three times seven was a lucky number.Next comes the patchwork gold regime of the 1950s and 1960s, the system known by the place at which it was conceived, Bretton Woods (N.H.). No more was gold the gyroscope, or flywheel, of the international monetary system, as Lewis E. Lehrman has written. Now the metal sat inert in vaults. Central banks might demand the right to convert their dollars into gold, and vice versa, but few exercised the option.Mr. Ledbetter breaks some historical news by uncovering the existence of Operation Goldfinger, a secret government project in the time of Lyndon Johnson to extract gold from “seawater, meteorites, even plants.” By the late 1960s, America’s foreign liabilities were growing much faster than the gold available to satisfy them. For better or worse, the run on finite American gold continued, and Nixon cut the cord.On, now, to the great inflation of the 1970s, along with the rise of the goldbugs, the cranks (Mr. Ledbetter’s interpretation) or visionaries (as others might style them) who predicted the collapse of the dollar and the rise of double-digit inflation in the Jimmy Carter years. In the mid-1970s, as Mr. Ledbetter recounts, the long fight to restore the right of American citizens to own gold—a right that FDR’s administration had extinguished in 1933—was finally won. The author concludes his story with a survey of the contemporary rear-guard movement to expose the failings of today’s monetary nostrums and reinstitute a gold dollar.As if to clinch the case against gold — and, necessarily, the case for the modern-day status quo — Mr. Ledbetter writes: “Of forty economists teaching at America’s most prestigious universities — including many who’ve advised or worked in Republican administrations — exactly zero responded favorably to a gold-standard question asked in 2012.” Perhaps so, but “zero” or thereabouts likewise describes the number of established economists who in 2005, ’06 and ’07 anticipated the coming of the biggest financial event of their professional lives. The economists mean no harm. But if, in unison, they arrive at the conclusion that tomorrow is Monday, a prudent person would check the calendar.Mr. Ledbetter makes a great deal of today’s gold-standard advocates, more, I think, than those lonely idealists would claim for themselves (or ourselves, as I am one of them). The price of gold peaked as long ago as 2011 (at $1,900, versus $1,250 today), while so-called crypto-currencies like bitcoin have emerged as the favorite alternative to government-issued money. It’s not so obvious that, as Mr. Ledbetter puts it, “we cannot get enough of the metal.” On the contrary, to judge by ultra-low interest rates and sky-high stock prices, we cannot—for now—get enough of our celebrity central bankers.What was the gold standard, exactly — this thing that the professors dismiss so airily today? A self-respecting member of the community of gold-standard nations defined its money as a weight of bullion. It allowed gold to enter and leave the country freely. It exchanged bank notes to gold, and vice versa, at a fixed and inviolable rate. The people, not the authorities, decided which form of money was best.The gold standard was a hard task master, all right. You couldn’t devalue your way out of trouble. You couldn’t run up a big domestic budget deficit. The central bank of a gold-standard country (if there was a central bank) was charged with preserving the convertibility of the currency and, in a pinch, serving as lender of last resort to needy commercial banks. Growth, employment and price stability took their own course. And if, in a financial panic or a business-cycle downturn, gold fled the country, it was the duty of the central bank to establish a rate of interest that called the metal home. In the throes of a crisis, interest rates would likely go up, not down.The modern sensibility quakes at the rigor of such a system. Our forebears embraced it. Countries observed the gold standard because it was progressive, effective, civilized. It anchored prices over the long term (with many a bump in the short term). It promoted balance in international accounts and discipline in domestic ones. Great thinkers — Adam Smith, David Ricardo and, yes, John Maynard Keynes himself in the wake of World War I — extolled it.The chronic problem in gold-standard days was the one that continues to bedevil us moderns: how to maintain a stable currency when lenders and borrowers run amok. President James Buchanan, Lincoln’s immediate predecessor, addressed the question in his first State of the Union address in the wake of the Panic of 1857. The story of American finance, he contended, was the story of paper credit subverting sound money: “At successive intervals the best and most enterprising men have been tempted to their ruin by excessive bank loans of mere paper credit.” A not-so-distinguished president, Buchanan made the monetary point that Mr. Ledbetter skirts: Excessive lending and borrowing subvert the stability of money. It’s the cause of panics under monetary systems both metallic and paper. Which is to say that we earthlings will never achieve financial perfection. It seems that the trouble (or, at least, one trouble) with money is credit and that the trouble with credit is people.The gold standard, perhaps above all, was a political institution. It flourished in the age of classical liberalism. It was the financial counterpart to the philosophy of limited government. The Ph.D. standard is likewise a political institution. It is the financial counterpart to the philosophy of statism. The policy that some banks are too big to fail — that they must be treated almost as wards of the state to prevent their failure — is a hallmark of the modern age. The policy — indeed, the law — that the stockholders of a bank are themselves responsible for the solvency of the institution in which they hold a fractional interest was a hallmark of the gold-standard era.Mr. Ledbetter is on a mission to set the historical record straight and head off an unprogressive movement away from paper money. He writes: “To avoid gold’s false paths, we need to argue with the past, to test the assumptions that are too often and too casually passed uncritically.”

I expect that before very long we will be arguing with our immediate past—demanding to know why the public debt has doubled since 2007, second-guessing our collective belief in the mazy doctrines of “quantitative easing” and “forward guidance,” and tuning in to watch congressional hearings into the causes of some future stock-market crash. Mr. Ledbetter has told some good stories. He hasn’t made his case.

—–

Mr. Grant is the editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer.

END

A gold rush is coming to Nova Scotia

(courtesy Tutton/Canadian Press)

New Nova Scotia gold rush: Miners seek riches in flecks of precious metal

Section:

By Michael Tutton
Canadian Press via CBC News, Toronto
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Amid the dull claystone of a tube-shaped sample of rock, the gleaming, pulse-quickening swirl of gold is unmistakable.

“It’s quite a special specimen of gold. It’s by far the best visible section of gold we’ve ever intersected,” said Tim Bourque, a geologist with Atlantic Gold Corp., cradling the metre-long sample in his arms.

The rock was gathered last fall at the firm’s Fifteen Mile Lake property, one of four deposits it owns in Nova Scotia’s old gold districts. The company hopes to eventually employ 350 people over at these sites.

The discovery of the precious metal in such unremarkable hunks of stone is helping to revive a dormant industry — and Bourque hopes it will keep the company’s Moose River Consolidated Project flourishing after its initial Touquoy mine starts up here in September.

The company said Touquoy will stamp out 87,000 ounces of gold in its first year — each ounce currently worth over US$1,200 — an indication of the potential riches that have drawn Atlantic Gold and other miners to the interior of the province’s Eastern Shore region. …

… For the remainder of the report:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/gold-mining-moose-river-mines-…

END

Von Greyerz suggests that when governments are ready they will smash cryptos by making money laundering charges  or whatever agianst it which will cause these to collapse

(courtesy Kingworldnews/Eric King/Von Greyerz/)

Governments will smash cryptos whenever they want, von Greyerz tells KWN

Section:

7p ET Sunday, June 18, 2017Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Swiss gold fund manager Egon von Greyerz today tells King World News that governments will easily smash cryptocurrencies any time they want to and gold and silver eventually will escape price suppression by governments and central banks and begin to reflect the vast inflation of the money supply. As for when, von Greyerz doesn’t say. GATA doesn’t know when either, only that the World Gold Council and the gold and silver mining industry will do nothing to hasten the day. Von Greyerz’s analysis is posted at KWN here:

http://kingworldnews.com/greyerz-governments-now-moving-to-enslave-citiz…

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

END

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

 
 

1 Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/yuan  WEAKER 6.8167(DEVALUATION SOUTHBOUND   /OFFSHORE YUAN MOVES  MUCH WEAKER TO ONSHORE AT   6.8206/ Shanghai bourse CLOSED UP 21.21 POINTS OR 0.47%  / HANG SANG CLOSED UP 299.08 POINTS OR 1.14% 

2. Nikkei closed UP 124.44 POINTS OR 0.62%   /USA: YEN RISES TO 110.98

3. Europe stocks OPENED IN THE GREEN        ( /USA dollar index FALLS TO  97.14/Euro UP to 1.1204

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: RISES TO   +.058%/     !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 110.06/ 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::  44.85 and Brent: 47.52

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 UP for WTI and UP for Brent this morning

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO  +.284%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN  to 1.950%    

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS to  : 5.68???  

3k Gold at $1251.10  silver at:16.66 (8:15 am est)   SILVER BELOW  RESISTANCE AT $18.50 

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 53/100 in  roubles/dollar) 58.16-

3m oil into the 44 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 SMALL SIZED DEVALUATION SOUTHBOUND 

JAPAN ON JAN 29.2016 INITIATES NIRP. THIS MORNING THEY SIGNAL THEY MAY END NIRP. TODAY THE USA/YEN TRADES TO 110.98 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  0.9706 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.0875 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 FALLING to  +0.284%

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 2.146% early this morning. Thirty year rate  at 2.774% /POLICY ERROR)GETTING DANGEROUSLY HIGH

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

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

Global Stocks Jump, Dow Futs At New All Time Highs As Brexit Talks Begin

S&P futures rose 0.3% in subdued trading with Dow Jones futs once again in record territory as European stocks jump 0.6% following Sunday’s landslide victory for Macron’s party in the French parliamentary elections and as Brexit negotiations are set to officially roll out on Monday.

In the latest terrorist incident in London overnight, a man drove a van into pedestrians as people left their mosque following prayers, with UK PM May stating that UK police have confirmed the incident is being treated as a potential terrorist attack. Later updates stated that the one fatality could have been dead before being run-over while 2 others are considered to be seriously injured.

Asian equities opened on the front foot led by a rebound in tech stocks while benchmark sovereign yields and FX remains little changed; kiwi outperforms following solid domestic data; yen slightly lower. Australian bonds modestly softer, T-note futures unchanged with the AUDUSD sliding, but then recouping all losses after Moody’s cut the long-term ratings of Australia’s four major banks, ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac, to Aa3 from Aa2.

In China, the PBOC kept daily CNY fixing little changed and conducted net 110 billion yuan of open market operations, injecting liquidity for a fifth straight day and boosting cash injections in the past two days to the most since January. 7-day repo rate fell 23 basis points. Boosted by the sudden bout of PBOC liquidity generosity, Chinese 10-year sovereign bond yield declined 8 basis points, the most since Dec. 29, to 3.50%, sending the yield to the lowest since early May, however the 1-year yield dropped just 4 basis points to 3.58%, sending the Chinese 1s10s yield curve even more inverted.

Chinese and Hong Kong stocks jumped 0.7% and 1.2% ahead of a decision by index provider MSCI on Tuesday, expected to see it add mainland-listed Chinese stocks to its top share benchmarks for the first time. Chinese data had also helped, with Reuters noting that liquidity conditions appear to have eased and home prices up 10.4% in May from a year ago, although slowing from April’s 10.7% gain.

“Generally, the environment still remains fairly positive for risk appetite,” said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in Singapore.

In Europe, stocks headed for their biggest rise in seven weeks on Monday as investors snapped up slammed retail, tech and automaker stocks and France’s shares and bonds cheered an absolute parliamentary majority for President Emmanuel Macron as the Stoxx Europe 600 gained for a second day. Europe’s retailers also clawed back some ground having been clobbered along with U.S. peers like Wal-Mart and Target on Friday by Amazon’s $13.7 billion deal to buy upscale grocer Whole Foods Market. The CAC 40 jumped after President Emmanuel Macron’s government claimed a historic majority in France’s legislature, although marred by a record low turnout, which perhaps is why the German-French spread moved just fractionally on monday.

“We expect the Macron reforms to transform France like the Thatcher reforms had cured the erstwhile sick man of Europe, the United Kingdom, some 35 years ago,” said Berenberg European economist Holger Schmieding. “And like the ‘Agenda 2010’ reforms had turned Germany from one of the weakest into one of the strongest economies in Europe almost 15 years ago.”

As Bloomberg notes, investors are once again in risk-on mode as the week begins, even as a cloud of uncertainty swirls around both U.K. leadership and the outlook for Brexit negotiations.

“Risk assets around the world are rallying again as the ‘carry party’ resumes,” Societe Generale SA strategist Kit Juckes wrote in a client note. Fed Chair Janet Yellen “did nothing to persuade the market” to take its hawkish outlook for the path of interest rates seriously, he said.

Sterling rose with cable just above $1.28 ahead of the formal start of negotiations on Britain’s planned exit from the European Union, expected to generate plenty of headlines for the currency in the weeks ahead. Brexit Secretary David Davis starts negotiations in Brussels on Monday, which will be followed by a Brussels summit on Thursday and Friday where Prime Minister Theresa May will meet – but not negotiate with – fellow European Union leaders.

Davis’s agreement to Monday’s agenda led some EU officials to believe that May’s government may at last be coming around to Brussels’ view of how negotiations should be run. May’s own political survival is in doubt after she lost her parliamentary majority in an election this month.

On the topic of Brexit negotiations, which officially kick off today, SocGen’s Juckes said “we expect nothing because the UK position is as clear as mud’ beyond growing signs that the UK wants free trade without being part of the customs union or conceding grounds on borer controls. Sterling’s probably range-bound. Any rally triggered by ‘soft Brexit’ hopes is probably temporary.”

With no macro data on today’s calendar, the market will await comments by New York Fed President William Dudley when he speaks at a business roundtable in New York state.

“In the wake of Friday’s weak U.S. data, Dudley could provide insight into whether the Fed is still poised to continue normalizing monetary policy,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief forex strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

The euro was steady as talks begin on the U.K.’s split from the European Union, while the British pound strengthened after dropping early in the session.

In commodities, oil futures lingered near six-week lows over concerns about a supply glut amid faltering demand. WTI slipped 0.35% to $44.58 a barrel, while Brent dropped 0.3% to $47.21. Iron ore rallied 2.8% after snapping a three-week losing streak.  Gold touched a 3-1/2-week low earlier in the session and was trading down slightly at $1,250 an ounce.

In rates, two-year gilts underperform the rest of the curve after the Sunday Times reported the BOE is considering ending its term funding scheme; euro-area periphery bonds outperform core peers. The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 2.15 percent.

Bulletin headline Summary from RanSquawk

  • European equities enter the North American open in positive territory, continuing from Asia, buoyed by Macron’s convincing parliamentary election victory.
  • A quiet morning in FX land, with all focus on GBP, GBP/USD has pivoted around the 1.28 handle, as participants await the Brexit negotiations.
  • Looking ahead, the highlight will be the fallout of day one of Brexit Negotiations, with Barnier and Davis set to brief the press at 17:00BST

Global Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.3% to 2,437.75
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.7% to 391.35
  • MXAP up 0.6% to 155.18
  • MXAPJ up 0.7% to 505.44
  • Nikkei up 0.6% to 20,067.75
  • Topix up 0.6% to 1,606.07
  • Hang Seng Index up 1.2% to 25,924.55
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.7% to 3,144.37
  • Sensex up 0.8% to 31,303.70
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 5,805.17
  • Kospi up 0.4% to 2,370.90
  • German 10Y yield rose 0.2 bps to 0.278%
  • Euro down 0.04% to 1.1193 per US$
  • Brent Futures down 0.4% to $47.17/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 1.9 bps to 1.695%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 2.5 bps to 1.431%
  • Brent Futures down 0.4% to $47.17/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,250.84
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.01% to 97.18

Key Overnight Headlines

  • London police say one dead, eight injured after van hits pedestrians
  • BOE said to consider ending the Term Funding Scheme at a meeting this week
  • Macron’s party secures French parliamentary majority, turnout plummets
  • Trump isn’t under investigation for obstruction of justice, his lawyer says
  • RBA’s Lowe repeats growth likely a bit stronger over next couple of years
  • Japan May trade balance -203.4 billion yen vs +43.3 billion estimate
  • Oil Declines as U.S. Adds Yet More Rigs in Oversupplied Market
  • Amazon Said to Plan Cuts to Shed Whole Foods’ Pricey Image
  • Basic Energy Said to Be in Talks to Merge With Rival Key Energy
  • Boeing Takes Aim at Airbus Single-Aisle Edge With Stretched 737
  • GE Won’t Participate on New Boeing If Three Engine Providers
  • JD Takes $17.6b of Orders During ‘618’ Online Shopping Gala
  • Ocado Jumps as Amazon Deal Seen Positive by Credit Suisse
  • Clovis to Seek Broader Label as Ovarian Cancer Study Meets Goals
  • Myriad Genetics, Foundation Medicine May Fall on Clovis Plans
  • Pentagon Sees Saving $2b From 445-Jet Contract for F-35 Fighter

In Asia, equity markets began the week on the front-foot with all major indices in the green, as participants eyed the political landscape in Europe including the start of Brexit negotiations today and after French President Macron’s party and its allies won a clear majority in the 2nd round parliamentary elections. Nikkei 225 (+0.62%) gained as JPY softened across the board, while ASX 200 (+0.54%) was led higher by outperformance in utilities and financials. Elsewhere, Shanghai Comp. (+0.7%) and Hang Seng (+1.1%) are also upbeat following a firm liquidity operation by the PBoC, while the region also awaits MSCI’s verdict tomorrow on whether to add China A-shares to its Emerging Markets Index in the nation’s 4th attempt for inclusion. Finally, 10yr JGBs were subdued alongside gains in riskier assets and after the BoJ’s Rinban announcement, in which it refrained from JGB purchases and instead concentrated on treasury bills.

Top Asian News

  • Hong Kong Wants to Win the Next Alibaba With Exchange Revamp
  • China’s Home Prices Increase in Fewer Cities as Curbs Bite
  • Japan’s Recovery Creates Room for Bolder Reforms, IMF Says
  • Aussie Extends Drop After Moody’s Cuts Ratings on Nation’s Banks
  • CRCC May Eye Up to $2b From Shanghai, Hong Kong Share Sales: IFR
  • Why the Qatar Crisis Defies Rapid Resolution: QuickTake Q&A
  • Taiwan Watchdog Fines SinoPac, Ousts Chairman for Lax Oversight
  • In Prohibition Pakistan, Brewery Plans Soft Drink Switch
  • Abe’s Popularity Slides as Mounting Japan Scandals Take Toll
  • Toshiba Finalizing Chip Sale to Group With Bain: Nikkan Kogyo

In Europe, equities likewise have kicked-off the week on the front foot, with all major European bourses firmly in the green (Eurostoxx 600 +0.6%) in a continuation of the positive sentiment seen during Asia-Pac trade. The CAC 40 (+1 %) is trading broadly in-line with the market as Macron’s victory in the French parliamentary elections was largely priced in given the results seen in the first round. In terms of sector performance, gains have been relatively broad-based with modest underperformance for RWE following a broker downgrade while Ocado (+6.5%) trade higher in the wake of Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods. In fixed income markets, prices have largely been swayed by the upside in equities as paper trades lower this morning (albeit modestly so) in what will be a quieter week with regards to sovereign supply (Belgium comes to market today with 3 OLO offerings). Peripheral yields are marginally lower this morning with Greek paper also taking a bit of a breather after the nation managed to strike a deal with creditors last week.

Top European News

  • Macron Under Pressure to Deliver as Turnout Plummets in France
  • Brexit Talks Begin With May Under Pressure to Get Soft Split
  • London Home Sellers Cut Price for Second Time in Three Months
  • ECB’s Smets Says Start of Brexit Negotiations a ‘Sad Day’
  • ECB’s Smets Says Inflation Expectations Must Be Solidly Anchored
  • Buyers Line Up as Europe’s Biggest Debt Collector Divests Units
  • Kazakhstan Says Eni-Shell Venture Offers Settlement to End Spat
  • Astra, Tesaro May Move on Clovis Oncology’s Ovarian Cancer Data
  • U.K.’s Johnson: ‘Realistic Prospect’ of Brexit Deal With EU
  • SNCF Mandates Lazard to Sell Ermewa, Les Echos Says

In currencies, GBP will be a focus throughout the session as today sees the beginning of negotiations between EU’s Barnier and Brexit Secretary Davis. That said, GBP remains firmer against the greenback and back above 1.2800 even despite weekend reports of a potential attack on May’s leadership which could further add to the political uncertainty gripping the nation. Elsewhere, the broader risk sentiment has supported the USD with USD/JPY gaining traction in early trade. However, some remain cynical about how much room there is to the upside with hearty offers at 111.50. Finally, AUD saw some selling pressure this morning amid news that Moody’s has downgraded the nation’s big four banks.

In commodities, this morning has been a quieter one for the commodity complex with energy prices stuck in a tight range amid light newsflow, other than reports that oil output has been increasing at Libya’s Sharara oil-field. In metals, copper eked mild gains overnight amid the positive risk sentiment in Asia, although upside was limited alongside subdued trade across the complex, while the risk sentiment has acted as a downward force for gold prices. There were new details released by Jodi about Saudi Arabian oil data as follows:

  • Crude exports fell by 0.226min BPD M/M to 7.006min BPD in April
  • Crude Stocks fell 3.927min BBLS TO 263.927min BBLS in April
  • Domestic refinery crude throughput rose 0.390min BPD to 2.651 min BPD in April
  • Crude output rose by 0.046min BPD M/M to 9.946min BPD in April

Looking at the day ahead, there are no data releases scheduled in the US, although we have two Fed speakers: at 8am, Fed’s Dudley holds a business rountable in Plattsburgh, NY; while later at 7pm Fed’s Evans speaks in New York.

* * *

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Politics remains a hotbed of activity at the moment. There may only be around 20 miles between France and the UK but the fascinating thing about these two very different countries at the moment is that while the French seem to be rejecting socialism in their droves the momentum in the UK seems to be leading the country in the opposite direction. While Macron talks of sweeping labour market reform, the buoyant UK opposition (ahead in the polls now) talk of renationalisation, higher taxes and higher spending.

As expected Macron’s En Marche party swept the board in the second round of the parliamentary election yesterday winning 350 out of 577 seats – perhaps slightly short of expectations but still a commanding victory. The record low turnout (estimated at 44%) will also be a disappointment and already Melonchon has suggested that this doesn’t give Macron legitimacy to tear up worker’s rights. Indeed Melenchon said that “this bloated majority in the National Assembly does not in our eyes have the legitimacy to perpetrate the anticipated social coup, the destruction of all public social order by the repeal of the labour law”. Elsewhere the ruling Socialist party fell from 280 to an estimated 45 seats though and were firmly defeated. It’s easy to forget that it was only 14 months ago that the En Marche party was formed and how remarkable it is that they’ve come from nowhere to secure such a victory and banish the two main parties. Europe is going through a buoyant patch economically at the moment which is taking the edge off populism but under the surface huge political change is still occurring.

Meanwhile in the UK politics is as decisive as at any point I can remember with Brexit, the recent elections and the tragic fire last week in a tower block in London creating anger, resentment, activism and at times scenes descending into what seems like mob behaviour. The overnight breaking news of another vehicle striking into pedestrians in North London is sadly another talking point. When the opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn suggests that empty privately owned houses in the region of the Grenfell Tower fire should be subject to requisition orders to house the homeless and that a YouGov poll suggests that 59% of the population agrees with the idea in theory then you can see that a political tide is turning.

Added to this, PM May has had such a difficult 10 days that opinion polls now give the Labour Party (led by a socialist core) a lead in the polls (recent Survation poll being evidence) a couple of months after being 20% behind and written off by many and expected to see one of the worst election results by an opposition party in history. For now PM May stumbles on without an official political understanding with the DUP as yet and only 2 days before the Queen’s Speech where she will lay out the Government’s legislative agenda for the next Parliamentary session (now lasting 2 years). On the same day there seems to  be momentum building for a “day of rage” against the Government with marches and protests planned. Those on the left of the political spectrum have really been emboldened over the last few weeks. Wednesday could be an interesting day in the UK. As we’ve been saying a lot over the last year we think the Brexit and Trump vote will be seen in years to come as an inflexion point across the world where Governments had to spend more to appease the bottom half of the population on the income scale or risk getting voted out. The recent political developments in the UK make me more convinced of this. Europe is not immune from this but as discussed above populism is seeing a slight retracement as growth edges towards the upper end of the post financial crisis range. If and when growth fades Europe will again likely face these issues.

Staying with the UK today sees Brexit negotiations officially begin. Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond suggested yesterday in a TV interview that a gentle departure from the EU should be targeted. The Chancellor indicated that “transactional structures” would be needed to help smooth the process and that “we need to get there via a slope, not via a cliff edge” – suggesting a softer tone in negotiations. In contrast to the PM, Hammond also rejected the mantra “no deal is better than a bad deal”. Hammond also said that his position was one of a “jobs first” Brexit which is also a slight shift in tone compared to the PM. Separately, Hammond said that the UK government had “heard a message last week in the general election” and that ways to soften austerity were being looked at with voters seemingly growing “weary” of it. Hammond did however also say that he will still look to balance the budget by the middle of the next decade and that the UK had to “live within our means”. It’s worth noting that Hammond is due to deliver his Mansion House speech tomorrow after it was delayed from last week.

Away from politics, the big story in markets on Friday and over the weekend was that of Amazon’s $14bn bid for Whole Foods. The headlines sparked ripple effects of selling through the retail sector on Friday with investors quick to dump shares over fears of a potential huge new entrant in the market, potential further disruption and more fears of narrower margins. Bricks and mortar food retailers like Wal-Mart (-4.65%) and Kroger (-9.24%) were hit but it didn’t stop there with other general US bricks and mortar retailers under pressure. Costco (-7.19%), Walgreens Boots (-4.99%), CVS (-3.78%) and Target (-5.14%) all stood out. It was a similar story in CDS with spreads for the likes of Nordstrom (+6bps), Target (+4bps) and Wal-Mart (+3bps) all wider. Europe wasn’t immune with Tesco (-4.92%), Sainsbury (-3.85%) and Carrefour (-3.22%) also seeing big moves lower. Since the bid was made there have been plenty of articles over the weekend questioning whether this is deflationary for food prices and as such overall inflation. So it’s sure to be a talking point for a while.

While the retail sector did its best to drag markets down on Friday the S&P 500 actually managed to eke out a small +0.03% gain by the end of play after steadily rising into the close. A decent day for the energy sector had a lot to do with that after Oil (+0.63%) pared some of last week’s heavy fall. The Nasdaq (-0.22%) did however close in the red for the fifth time in the last six sessions. Prior to this the Stoxx 600 (+0.66%) had actually put up its best day since May 4th supported in part by the positive progress made in Greece to some degree.

This morning in Asia it’s been a fairly positive start to the week for risk. In equity markets the Nikkei (+0.60%), Hang Seng (+0.87%), Shanghai Comp (+0.33%), Kospi (+0.41%) and ASX (+0.20%) appear to all be feeding off the positive momentum into the Wall Street close on Friday. US equity index futures are also up +0.20%. It’s worth adding that there are some eyes already looking ahead to tomorrow’s decision from the MSCI as to whether or not China’s domestic A-shares will be included in its globally tracked EM index. The MSCI has previously delayed the decision over concerns about regulation worries and accessibility. Staying with China, house prices data out this morning revealed that new home prices rose in 56 of the 70 cities tracked by the government, down slightly from 58 in April. Meanwhile in Japan this morning our economists noted that customs trade stats for May confirmed stagnant international trade growth with a seasonally +0.9% mom rise in export volumes, a +0.4% mom rise in import volumes, flat growth in export value and +0.3% mom rise in import value.

Other markets were relatively quiet on Friday. Treasuries were a bit stronger at the margin (10y -1.2bps to 2.152%) and the USD softer (-0.28%) following some soft US data and dovish Fedspeak. In terms of the former both housing starts (-5.5% mom vs. +4.1% expected) and building permits (-4.9% mom vs. +1.7%) declined unexpectedly in May while the labour markets conditions index also rose a little less than expected (+2.3 vs. +3.0 expected). The flash June University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading was also a little disappointing after falling 2.6pts to 94.5 and the lowest since November. Both current conditions and expectations weakened although inflation expectations 1-year ahead did hold steady at 2.6% while 5-10 year expectations actually rose two-tenths to 2.6%. It’s worth noting that the Atlanta Fed’s Q2 GDPNow forecast is down to 2.9% (a 0.3% downward revision versus Wednesday) and at the lowest so far.

Meanwhile the Fedspeak consisted of comments from Kashkari and Kaplan. The former (who dissented last week) reiterated his view that the Fed should not have hiked rates last week given recent inflation data, preferring instead to wait and see if the data is transitory or not. The latter meanwhile told reporters that before he is comfortable taking the next step in tightening, “I’m going to want to see more evidence that we’re making progress in reaching our 2% inflation objective”.

In terms of the data in Europe on Friday, the only release of note was the confirmation of the final inflation readings for the Euro area in May. Headline CPI was unrevised at -0.1% mom which has in turn confirmed an annual reading of +1.4% yoy and down from +1.9% in April. The more significant core reading was confirmed at +0.9% yoy which compares to +1.2% the month prior.

To the week ahead now. It’s a quiet start to the week today with no data of note in either Europe of the US. It’s not looking likely to be much busier on Tuesday with only Germany PPI and the US current account balance in Q1 due. On Wednesday the early focus will be on the UK with May public sector net borrowing data due out. In the US we’ll get existing home sales for May. The calendar finally picks up a bit on Thursday. In France we’ll receive June confidence indicators while in the UK we’ll get CBI total orders data for June. In the US on Thursday the data includes initial jobless claims, Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing index, FHFA house price index and the conference board’s leading index. The busiest day for data looks set to be Friday. In Asia we’ll receive the flash June manufacturing PMI for Japan while in Europe we’ll get the flash PMIs for the Euro area, Germany and France. Also due out is the final revisions to Q1 GDP in France. Over in the US on Friday we’ll also receive the flash PMIs along with May new home sales.

Away from the data there are a bunch of Fedspeakers scheduled over the week including Dudley (Monday), Evans, Fischer, Rosengren and Kaplan (Tuesday), Powell (Thursday) and Mester, Bullard and Powell (Friday). Away from that we’ll receive BoJ minutes from the April meeting on Wednesday while the BoJ’s Kuroda (Wednesday) and Iwata (Thursday) are also due to speak. Also of note is the Queen’s speech scheduled for Wednesday which officially marks the state opening of the new parliamentary session in the UK. EU leaders are also due to gather for a 2-day meeting beginning Thursday to discuss the relocation of European agencies after Brexit.

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late SUNDAY night/MONDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 21.21 POINTS OR 0.68%   / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 299.08 POINTS OR 1.14% The Nikkei closed UP 124.48 POINTS OR 0.62%/Australia’s all ordinaires  CLOSED UP 0.47%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN at 6.8167/Oil UP to 44.85 dollars per barrel for WTI and 47.52 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED IN THE GREEN,,      ..Offshore yuan trades  6.8205 yuan to the dollar vs 6.8167 for onshore yuan. NOW  THE OFFSHORE IS WEAKER TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN  WEAKER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS A LOT WEAKER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE WEAKER DOLLAR. 

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

NORTH KOREA

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

c) REPORT ON CHINA

END

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

Trump cannot win on this one with the passing of the senate bill to punish Russia with more sanctions..a must read./

(courtesy zerohedge)

“Awful Lot Of Progress” Made On First Day Of Brexit Talk As EU, UK Agree On Priorities, Timetable

The first day of official Brexit talks is over, and according to statements it appears to have been a useful session, even though the real work is only just starting. The highlights from Reuters:

  • UK SOURCE SAYS GENERAL MOOD IN FIRST DAY OF BREXIT TALKS WAS “INCREDIBLY POSITIVE”, MADE “AWFUL LOT OF PROGRESS” ON MANY AREAS
  • UK SOURCE SAYS BOTH SIDES AGREED THE CLOCK WAS TICKING ON BREXIT AND NEED TO PUSH ON WAS IN BOTH SIDES’ INTERESTS
  • UK SOURCE SAYS BRITAIN STOOD BY DEMAND THAT TALKS ON FUTURE RELATIONSHIP RUN IN PARALLEL WITH TALKS ON BRITAIN’S WITHDRAWAL FROM EU
  • BARNIER SAYS MEETING WITH DAVIS WAS IMPORTANT OPENING SESSION
  • BARNIER SAYS CLOCK IS TICKING FOR BREXIT DEAL
  • BARNIER SAYS WE MUST ENSURE BREXIT COMES IN ORDERLY MANNER
  • BARNIER SAYS PROTECTION OF IRISH GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT AND MAINTAINING COMMON TRAVEL AREA MOST IMPORTANT OF IRISH BREXIT ISSUES
  • BARNIER SAYS NEXT PHASE OF TALKS WILL BE ON FUTURE PARTNERSHIP

Among other things, the EU and UK have agreed on provisional dates for Brexit talks among the three negotiating groups, which are July 17, Sept 18 and Oct. 19, and will include talks on financial settlement and citizens’ rights.

Reuters also notes that Britain has demanded for talks on the future relationship should run parallel with Brexit talks.

As noted earlier, here is a “simplified” summary of the ongoing EU-UK negotiations:

end

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

Afghanistan

 The USA should get our of this quagmire! Another USA soldier wounded by an “insider” attack at an Afghan base
(courtesy zero hedge)

US Soldiers Wounded In Latest “Insider” Attack At Afghan Base

Several US soldiers were wounded on Saturday after being shot by an Afghan soldier at a base in northern Afghanistan on Saturday, the third “insider” attack on US troops stationed in the country this year, and the second on one week. Initially conflicting reports emerged about the number of casualties in the attack, with Afghan officials telling Reuters that four US troops had been killed; that number has since been revised.

Here’s Reuters:

A spokesman for the U.S. military command in Kabul denied earlier comments by an Afghan official that Americans had been killed, but confirmed that an unspecified number of soldiers had been wounded at Camp Shaheen, the headquarters of the Afghan army’s 209th Corps in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

At least one Afghan soldier was killed and another wounded, the U.S. official said. Abdul Qahar Araam, spokesman for the Afghan army’s 209th Corps, had announced that an Afghan soldier shot and killed four U.S. troops inside the base.

The German military heads the multinational advising mission based in Mazar-i-Sharif. A spokeswoman for the German forces at the joint mission command in Potsdam said “according to what we know right now, no Germans were affected”.

On June 11, three U.S. soldiers were killed and a fourth wounded when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them at a base in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.

As of yet, no group has taken credit for Saturday’s attack. The Taliban took credit for a similar attack that unfolded a week ago in Eastern Afghanistan that left three US troops dead and one wounded.

Following last week’s attack, Vice President Mike Pence, speaking in Wisconsin on Saturday, offered his condolences to the victims’ relatives.

“On my way here I was informed that U.S. service members were killed and wounded in an attack in Afghanistan,” Pence said. “The president and I have been briefed; the details of this attack will be forthcoming. But suffice it to say, when heroes fall, Americans grieve. And our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these American heroes.”

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump announced that he would delegate near-total authority to the Pentagon to determine troop levels in the country. Yesterday, the Pentagon announced it would send 4,000 additional American forces to Afghanistan to support existing forces, and in hopes of “breaking a stalemate in a war that has now been passed on to a third U.S. President.” The deployment will be the largest of American manpower under Donald Trump’s young presidency.

As we cautioned, “Trump, who barely spoke about Afghanistan as a candidate or president, concentrating instead on crushing the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, may be underestimating the potential risk he faces by sending more troops in harms way.” Today’s latest attack is a harbinger of what Trump faces as he sends even more troops into Afghanistan.

end

IRAN/SYRIA

The situation inside Syria has just escalated with Iran launching missile strikes from inside Iran.

(courtesy zero hedge)

Iran Launches Missile Strikes Against “Terror Bases” In Eastern Syria

In a major escalation of the Syrian proxy war, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it launched multiple missile strikes from IRGC missile bases in provinces of Kermanshah & Kordestan, targeting “terror bases” in Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria in retaliation for ISIS-claimed attacks in Tehran.

has launched missiles from bases in provinces of Kermanshah & Kordestan, targeting terrorists in of .

Footage of the moment the IRGC fired the missiles is shown below:

Footage of the moment ‘s IRGC fires missiles targeting terrorists in of .

Another footage of the moment when ‘s IRGC fires missiles targeting terrorists in of .

The launch takes place just a couple of hours after Iran’s Supreme leader said “they cannot slap us in the face. We will slap them in the face… Iran has stood firm & strong.”

As reporter Anshel Pfeffer observes, this is a “major development” and constitutes the “first operational use of mid-range missiles by Iran since war with Iraq.”

Major development. First operational use of mid-range missiles by Iran since war with Iraq. https://twitter.com/AbasAslani/status/876512229008584704 

According to the AP, the “Guard’s website as well as the Tasnim semi-official news agency, reported the strikes Sunday on Deir el-Zour, Syria. The Guard’s website said it launched surface-to-surface medium-range missiles targeting the area.  It did not immediately offer other specifics, other than to say the missiles were launched from Iran.”

“The spilling of any pure blood will not go unanswered,” the Revolutionary Guards said in a statement, according to Tasnim, which adds that the IRGC announced that a high number of terrorists have been killed by the missile attack.

Such an attack is rare in Syria’s long-running civil war, in which Iran is backing embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The attack is reportedly in response to the previously reported attack in which five ISIS-linked terrorist stormed Iran’s parliament and a shrine to revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini this month, killing at least 17 people and wounding more than 50. Iran blamed Saudi Arabia for the attack, claiming its support for ISIS terrorist had made it possible.

The launch takes place just hours after Iran held a joint naval drill with Chinese warship in the Straits of Hormuz, as reported previously.

U.S-Led Coalition Shoots Down Syrian Warplane

The US-led, so-called anti-terrorist, coalition has reportedly shot down a Syrian government forces aircraft. Reuters reports the Syrian Arab Army announced that the aircraft was brought down in the southern Raqqa countryside, while it was engaging a fleeing ISIS convoy. The pilot remains missing.

SyAAF Su-22 was lost in area while striking positions

Statement issued by the Syrian General Command of the Army and Armed Forces

The International Alliance (IAAF) this afternoon called for the targeting of one of our fighter jets in the Rusafa area in the southern Rifqa district while carrying out a combat mission against an organization calling on the terrorist in the area, which led to the plane crash and the loss of the pilot.

This blatant attack confirms beyond doubt the reality of the US position supporting terrorism, which aims to try to influence the ability of the Syrian Arab army the only effective force with its allies that exercise their legitimate right to fight terrorism throughout the territory of the homeland, especially as this attack comes at a time that achieves In which the Syrian Arab Army and its allies made clear progress in fighting the organization calling on the terrorist who is being defeated in the Syrian desert on more than one direction.

It also affirms the existing coordination between the United States of America and the organization of the terrorist advocate, and exposes the malicious intentions of the United States of America in the management and investment of terrorism to achieve its objectives in passing the American Zionist project in the region.

The General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces, warning of the serious consequences of this blatant attack on counterterrorism efforts, affirms that such attacks will not discourage them from their determination and determination to continue the war against the terrorist organizations and groups associated with them and restore security and stability to all the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Damascus, 18 June 2017
General Command of the Army and Armed Forces

Freelance Journalist Alaa Ebrahim reports the aircraft was engaging a fleeing ISIS convoy

army: -led coalition shoots down1of our fighter jets that was engaging a fleeing convey in Rusafah 30km southeast of Araqqa

Which comes just days after US military reported watched as ISIS escaped from Raqqa.

RUSSIA/USA:
RUSSIA’S RESPONSE!
Great reason for gold being down this morning/
(courtesy zerohedge)

Russia Slams US Downing Of Syrian Jet As “Act Of Aggression” And “Support For Terrorists”

Russia slammed yesterday’s downing of a Syrian fighter jet by the US-led alliance – the first such escalation since the start of the conflict in 2011 – which CENTCOM said was “in defense of partners from the Syrian Democratic Forces”, with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov saying on Monday the attack was an “act of aggression” and assistance for terrorists that the US is fighting against.

What is it then, if not an act of aggression, an act directly in breach of international law,” Ryabkov told journalists in Moscow, quoted by Russia’s RIA news agency.

“If you want, it’s actually help for the terrorists the US is fighting, declaring that they are conducting a counterterrorism policy,” the deputy foreign minister added.

Ryabkov said he believed the strike “should be first of all regarded as the continuation of the US agenda of neglecting the norms of international law. Regardless of who has power in Washington, people there are used to the fact that there are circumstances allowing them to arrogantly look down on – and in some situations, to openly ignore – the basics of international relations.”

As reported on Sunday, a Syrian SU-22 warplane was shot down by a US F/A-18E Super Hornet on Sunday while it was on a mission in the countryside around Raqqa. Damascus stated that the plane was carrying out routine operations against ISIS terrorists when it was downed.

A statement by the Syrian Army released on Syrian state television said the plane crashed and the pilot was missing. The army statement said it took place on Sunday afternoon near a village called Rasafah. The “flagrant attack was an attempt to undermine the efforts of the army as the only effective force capable with its allies … in fighting terrorism across its territory,” the Syrian army said.

“This comes at a time when the Syrian army and its allies were making clear advances in fighting the Daesh (Islamic State) terrorist group,” it added.

The U.S. Central Command later issued a statement saying the Syrian plane was downed “in collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces,” identified as fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Tabqah. Washington says that the Syrian warplane “dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah” – which may or may not include members of various al-Qaeda spin off groups, and was shot down in accordance with “rules of engagement” of Coalition partnered forces.

Before it downed the plane, the US said it had “contacted its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established “de-confliction line” to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing.”

Below is the full statement that CENTCOM issued justifying the escalation.

(courtesy zero hedge)

Russia Halts Cooperation With US In Syria, Will “Intercept Any Aircraft” In Russian Areas Of Operation

Shortly after Russia’s deputy foreign minister slammed the US downing of a Syrian Su-22 jet as an “act of aggression” and “support for terrorists”, Russia announced that starting June 19 it was halting all interactions with the US under the framework on the “memorandum of incident prevention in Syrian skies”, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday, thereby assuring the probability of even more deadly escalations between Russia and the US-led coalition.

In retaliation, the ministry warned that Russian missile defense will intercept any aircraft in the area of operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria,

“In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying ojects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets,” the Russian Defense Ministry announced, quoted by Sputnik.

Contrary to the earlier statement by the US according to which, it “contacted its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established “de-confliction line” to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing”, Russia claims the US-led coalition command didn’t use the deconfliction channel with Russia to avoid an incident during an operation in Raqqa:

“Russian Aerospace Forces’ jets were conducting operations in Syrian airspace that time. However, the command of the coalition forces didn’t use the existing channel between the air command of the Qatari airbase al Udeid and the [Russian] Hmeymim airbase to avoid incidents over Syria.”

The Russian ministry also “demands a thorough investigation by the US command with the provision of its results and measures taken.”

“We consider such actions of the US command as an intentional violation of its obligations in the framework of the memo on avoiding incidents and the safety of aviation flights during operations in Syria signed on October 20, 2015.”

A bilateral memorandum of understanding was signed between the United States and Russia signed in October 2015 to ensure the safety of flights during combat missions over Syria.

On June 18, the Syrian army said that the US-led coalition had brought down its aircraft in southern Raqqa countryside when it was fulfilling its mission against Daesh. Later, the coalition confirmed the attack saying that it shot down the Syrian government forces’ Su-22 aircraft as it had allegedly been bombing in an area where US-backed rebel forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), were stationed, south of Tabqa in the Raqqa province. The US-led coalition called its attack on the Syrian army’s jet “collective self-defense,” adding that it contacted the Russian military to de-escalate the situation after the incident.

end

USA RESPONSE TO RUSSIA

This ought to be good for a 10 dollar drop in gold!

(courtesy zero hedge)

Pentagon Responds: “US Pilots Will Defend Themselves If Attacked By Russians”

One wouldn’t know it by looking at the market, but the biggest developing story today was Russia’s threat to intercept any aircraft – including US – flying in the area of operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria, and “be followed as targets” after yesterday’s downing by a US F-18 of a Syrian Su-22 fighter jet. Moments ago the US responded to this unmistakable deterioration in relations between the two nations, when a Pentagon spokesman said U.S. pilots over Syria will defend themselves if attacked by Russians.

“We are aware of the Russian statements,” Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday morning quoted by WashEx. “We do not seek conflict with any party in Syria other than ISIS, but we will not hesitate to defend ourselves or our partners if threatened,” Davis said, seemingly unaware that shooting down a sovereign nation’s plane above its own territory is exactly what “seeking a conflict” looks like. In a follow up statement this afternoon, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the US will “retain the right of self-defense in Syria.”

Separately, Col. Ryan Dillon, chief U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said “coalition aircraft continue to conduct operations throughout Syria, targeting ISIS forces and providing air support for coalition partner forces on the ground.”

Unlike Davis, Dillon appeared to indicate the U.S. will avoid the parts of Syria where Russia said U.S. planes would be tracked as potential targets or providing additional airpower to counter threats.

“As a result of recent encounters involving pro-Syrian regime and Russian forces, we have taken prudent measures to reposition aircraft over Syria so as to continue targeting ISIS forces while ensuring the safety of our aircrews given known threats in the battlespace,” Dillon said. He added that coalition aircraft will continue operations against Islamic State targets “while ensuring the safety of our aircrew given known threats in the battlespace,” he said.

“I’m sure that because of this neither the U.S. nor anyone else will take any actions to threaten our aircraft,” he said, according to state-owned RIA Novosti news agency. “That’s why there’s no threat of direct confrontation between Russia and American aircraft.”

Earlier, the Russian defense ministry called the US attack on a Syrian jet “a cynical violation of Syria’s sovereignty” and said Russia was halting so-called deconfliction coordination with the U.S. aimed at averting air incidents.

Menawhile, Russia doubled down after Viktor Ozerov, the Russian parliament’s, defense committee’s chairman, said U.S.-led aircraft in Syria may face “destruction” if they threaten the lives of Russian pilot. While Russia hopes it won’t have to take such action, “we won’t allow anyone to do what happened to the Syrian plane to our pilots,” he said.

Frants Klintsevich, deputy head of the defense committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said the the Defense Ministry’s response doesn’t mean there’ll be war with the U.S., though it’s a “pretty serious” signal that Russia won’t accept acts of aggression against Syria.

On the other hand, “lawmakers have no influence” on the Kremlin’s policy toward Syria and “all Russian actions, not rhetoric, show that Putin is trying now to avoid escalation with the West,” said Ruslan Pukhov, head of the Center of Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow. To be sure, Russia previously vowed to halt deconfliction coordination in April, after the U.S. bombed a Syrian airbase in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Assad’s forces. But the U.S.-Russian communications to avoid clashes in the skies over Syria resumed after only a few days.

Whether relations between the US and Russia normalize in the coming days, however, suddenly the Middle-east is a far more dangerous place even without this latest escalation, following not only the Qatar crisis, but the just reported alleged terrorist attempt by Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on an offshore Saudi oil field. As such, avoiding the spark that launches the next conflict is becoming increasingly more difficult.

ISRAEL/SYRIA

The Wall Street Journal now reports that Israel is arming rebel groups in the Golan and it is allied with Saudi Arabia since 2013. Syria has become quite a proxy war.

(courtesy zero hedge)

Israel Has Been Secretly Funding Syrian Rebels For Years

Earlier, when discussing why the Syrian “rebels” fighting Assad are in “turmoil”, we said that as a result of the ongoing Qatar crisis the various Saudi and Qatari supply chains supporting the rebels, both in terms of weapons and funding, had dried up due to the Qatar conflict. “Together with Turkey and the United States, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been major sponsors of the insurgency, arming an array of groups that have been fighting to topple Syria’s Iran-backed president.”

We concluded that “the rebellion against Assad now seems moot, which is why the most likely outcome is a continued phase-out of support for forces fighting the Syria government until eventually the situation reverts back to its pre-2011 “status quo.”

That, however, may have been premature as it was missing a key piece of data, one which was just revealed by the WSJ and which many had suspected. According to the Journal, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been alligned from the onset of the Syrian conflict, “with Israel supplying Syrian rebels near its border with cash as well as food, fuel and medical supplies for years, a secret engagement in the enemy country’s civil war aimed at carving out a buffer zone populated by friendly forces.”

The Israeli army is in regular communication with rebel groups and its assistance includes undisclosed payments to commanders that help pay salaries of fighters and buy ammunition and weapons, according to interviews with about half a dozen Syrian fighters. Israel has established a military unit that oversees the support in Syria—a country that it has been in a state of war with for decades—and set aside a specific budget for the aid, said one person familiar with the Israeli operation.

This news comes as a major surprise because while it was well known that Israel has provided medical help for Syrian civilians and fighters inside its own borders in the past, with the IDF retaliating to occasional stray rockets in the restive border region with reprisals, it was previously thought that the Israeli authorities largely stay out of the complicated six-year-old conflict next door.

That now appears to have been dead wrong. “Israel stood by our side in a heroic way,” said Moatasem al-Golani, spokesman for the rebel group Fursan al-Joulan, or Knights of the Golan. “We wouldn’t have survived without Israel’s assistance.”

Al-Joulan is the main rebel group coordinating with Israel, according to fighters. It told the WSJ that Israel’s support began as early as 2013 under former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, with the goal of creating a ‘buffer zone’ free of radical militants such as Isis and Iranian-allied forces along Israel’s border. A special Israeli army unit was created to oversee the costly aid operation, the WSJ reported, which gives Fursan al-Joulan – Knights of the Golan – an estimated $5,000 (£3,900) a month. The group of around 400 fighters receives no direct support from Western rebel backers, and is not affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, the official rebel umbrella organisation.

Additionally, the Jounral reports that Israel may be funding up to four other rebel groups which have Western backing. The groups use the cash to pay fighters and buy ammunition.

The alliance reportedly began after wounded Fursan al-Joulan fighters made their way to the border and begged Israeli soldiers for medical assistance.

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office did not respond to the Journal’s requests for comment, the Israel Defence Forces said in a statement that it is “committed to securing the borders of Israel and preventing the establishment of terror cells and hostile forces… in addition to providing humanitarian aid to the Syrians living in the area.”

Israel and Syria have technically been in a state of warfare for decades. Syria controls around one third of the Golan Heights border, and Israel occupies the rest.


Israel has been providing Syrian rebels with cash and supplies in a secret
engagement to carve out a friendly buffer zone
.

In recent years, Israeli air strikes in Syrian territory have aimed to prevent weapons smuggling to Iranian-allied Hezbollah, which fights alongside the Assad government. Hezbollah, like Iran, is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.

Ironically, while Assad has in the past claimed – correctly it now turns out – that Israel supports rebel groups which his government refers to as terrorists, elements of the opposition have accused Israel of helping to keep the regime in power. The biggest irony, of course, is that virtually for the entire duration of the Syrian conflict, Israel and Saudi Arabia were aligned on the same side against the Assad regime; it also means that one can now also add Israel to the ungodly proxy war in Syria alongside Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the US, Europe and most Arab states across from Iran, Turkey, Russia and, increasingly, China.

Today’s revelation may also explain why ISIS has rarely if ever launched attacks against Israeli citizens or on Israel territory.

end

IRAN/SAUDI ARABIA

Boy this is escalating fast.  The Iranians sent 3 boats with the intention of blowing of the huge off shore Marjan oil fields. One boat with 3 Iranian National Guards have been caught and are now being interrogated.  The two two boats escaped. Iran wishes to retaliate against the Saudi’s involvement in last week’s suicide bombing in Tehran.

(courtesy zero hedge)

Saudis Foil Iranian Terror Attack On Major Offshore Oil Field

Tyler Durden's picture

The situation in the Middle East is furiously escalating with each passing day.

While today’s news of Israeli financial support for Syrian insurgents came out of left field, our earlier assessment following the report of “turmoiling” Syrian rebels in the aftermath of the Qatar crisis still stands, namely that “the next major regional conflict appears set to be between Saudi Arabia and Iran. All it needs is a catalyst.”

That catalyst nearly presented itself overnight, when the Saudi information ministry said the Saudi Royal Navy foiled an attempted terrorist attack on a major offshore oilfield in the Arabian Gulf on June 16, when it captured three members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps from a boat as it approached the kingdom’s offshore Marjan oilfield. The Saudi Center for International Communications added that the boat carried explosives, and the Iranians aboard “intended to carry out terrorist act in Saudi territorial waters.”

Quoting an “official source”, the Saudi SPA news agency said that just after midnight on June 16, 2017, three boats bearing flags in white and red flags rushed to the Marjan offshore oil field off the Eastern Province. The navy fired warning shots but were these were ignored by the assault boats. It said one of the boats was subsequently seized and found to be “carrying weapons for a sabotage target.” The other two boats escaped.

“This was one of three vessels which were intercepted by Saudi forces. It was captured with the three men on board, the other two escaped,” a statement from the ministry’s center for international communications said.

“The three captured members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are now being questioned by Saudi authorities,” it said, citing a Saudi official and added that the vessel was carrying explosives and intended to conduct a “terrorist act” in Saudi territorial waters.

The Saudi Press Agency also reported that the Saudi Navy fired warning shots at the two boats that managed to escape.

According to Reuters, on Saturday Iran’s Tasnim news agency said that Saudi border guards had opened fire on an Iranian fishing boat in the Gulf on Friday, killing a fisherman. It said the boat was one of two Iranian boats fishing in the Gulf that had been pushed off course by waves.

The alleged attempt to carry out a terrorist attack on Saudi oil facilities takes place as tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have steadily deteriorated, and follow a pari of suicide bombings and shootings in Tehran killed which killed 17 people in Tehran in the first week of June. Iran repeated accusations that Saudi Arabia funds Sunni Islamist militants, including Islamic State.

It the Saudi account of events is accurate, and if Iran is indeed preparing to take out Saudi oil infrastructure in retaliation or otherwise, the simmering cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran is about to get very hot.

end

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

China’s “ghost collateral” has traveled across the globe and has big Vancouver Canada in a big way: they are beginning to suggest that this is going to be a big crisis for Canadian banks

(courtesy zero hedge)

China’s “Ghost Collateral” Arrives In Canada, “Heralding A Crisis”

Two weeks ago, a key China-linked concern that made headlines back in 2013 and 2014 reemerged after an extensive analysis by Reuters reporter Engen Tham found that China’s “ghost collateral” problem, or collateral that was either rehypothecated between two or more loans, or simply did not exist, had not only not gone away but was still as prevalent as ever if not worse.

The report, a continuation of extensive reporting conducted on this site, said that 60% of all loans issued in China’s system are backed by property, and that China’s property values are “wildly misleading, which is part of the reason that China’s credit rating was recently downgraded.” Reuters reported that Chinese lenders are prone to fraud with loan officers turning a blind eye to the quality of collateral and knowingly accepting dubious and even fraudulent documents.

Now, in a follow up by the Vancouver Sun’s Sam Cooper, the real estate reporter explains that China’s “ghost collateral” problem has jumped across the Pacific and is threatening the Canadian banking system.

As Cooper notes, “as a result of the flood of money pouring from Mainland China into Vancouver real estate in recent years, some financial experts say they believe Canadian banks are directly exposed to shadow lending in China and the risks of so-called “ghost collateral”, collateral that may not exist or is used continuously to secure loans for multiple borrowers.”

And the stunner: “Postmedia confirmed that Canadian banks are allowed by the federal regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, to accept collateral from China to secure real estate mortgages in B.C.

“OSFI does not dictate what type of collateral (federally regulated banks) can accept,” spokeswoman Annik Faucher said. “Whether the borrower is foreign or domestic, OSFI (allows) financial institutions to compete effectively and take reasonable risks.”

The underlying reason for Canada’s growing, if paradoxical, exposure to Chinese collateral is due to an explosion of Canada’s shadow banking system. An investigation by Cooper found “massive and risky home loans are increasing in number across Metro Vancouver, while mortgage fraud cases are also on the rise, connected to the growth of so-called “shadow banking.” This is similar, if smaller in scale, to the gargantuan $8.5 trillion shadow banking market in China, where “shadow” lenders and creditors bypass conventional banks to provide and obtain funding, often at far higher terms than prevailing rates, an increasingly dangerous proposition at a time when Chinese interest rates, especially on the short-end, are suddenly spiking.

The Vancouver Sun adds that as a result of tighter federal lending rules, borrowers trying to buy million-dollar-plus properties in Vancouver’s market “are increasingly taking out dangerous loans from shadow bankers in a fast-growing and poorly regulated financial market.

The trend of increasingly risky loans underlying Metro Vancouver’s high home prices is illustrated by Bank of Canada figures that show the rapid growth since 2014 of large mortgages made to people with relatively low incomes.

Cooper adds that there is also evidence of growing links between shadow banks and traditional banks, according to the Bank of Canada’s June 2017 report, as people borrow large amounts from shadow lenders to use as down payments in order to qualify for lower-interest loans from federally regulated banks.

According to a December 2016 Bank of Canada report, shadow lenders now account for $1.1 trillion in debt — about half as much as the traditional banking sector — and that over the past decade “these new players have become more important and have changed the face of the Canadian mortgage market … (as) tightening bank regulation can lead to migration of activity from the traditional banking sector to the shadow banking sector.”

Just like in China, Canada’s shadow lenders are non-bank lenders that boost the supply of credit in Canada’s financial system without facing bank regulation or oversight. “Critics say shadow banking is vulnerable to loose lending standards, mortgage fraud, money laundering, and collateral that is overly leveraged (also called re-hypothecated) — meaning debt backed by property assets is used over and over again by related lenders to issue more home loans, in ever riskier chains of debt.

Among the various shadow lender groups identified by Postmedia include mortgage investment corporations, hedge funds, and private lenders such as realtors, crowdfunding companies, real estate lawyers and mortgage brokers. In other words, virtually anyone who is sitting on cash and want to generate a higher return than offered by the bank, is looking for a way to make this capital available to Canadian home buyers, in the process sending local real estate prices even higher and making Canada’s housing bubble even more acute.

Some examples.

As Cooper explains, shadow lending can be as simple as a mortgage loan provided by one person to another in need of financing, or as Byzantine as the complex processes through which credit is created and exchanged and repackaged between various lenders to fund mortgages.

For example, the director of a Surrey lumber and real estate investment company explained to Postmedia that his group’s business model consists of pooling the real estate assets of an extended group of family and shareholders, and using these homes as collateral to borrow money from financial institutions. The borrowed capital is then issued in mortgages to home buyers that can’t obtain financing from chartered banks.

In another example researched by Postmedia, lending documents show that controversial “crowdfunding” developers are using single-family homes owned by investors in Vancouver to secure loans from subprime lenders that are active in B.C. in order to fund condo developments in Vancouver and Burnaby.

Quoted by Cooper, Hilliard MacBeth, an Alberta-based author and wealth manager, said that the Bank of Canada loan risk statistics and the related growth of shadow banking in Vancouver and Toronto “heralds a crisis.”

“These properties in Vancouver are so expensive that you need people either laundering money or loan fraud or people borrowing such large amounts of money that should never be allowed, in order to keep it going,” MacBeth said. “If everyone is reporting their incomes honestly in Vancouver, there is no way that housing prices can stay where they are.” And yet, as we showed in early June, the world’s biggest real estate bubble, Vancouver home prices, just hit new all time highs despite last year’s 15% property tax targeting foreign buyers, an attempt to rein in the market.

One of the side-effects of exploding shadow banking is a spike in mortgage fraud. Postmedia’s review of enforcement hearings by British Columbia’s regulator, Financial Institutions Commission, shows an increase in the number of alleged mortgage fraud cases in B.C., mostly linked to private mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers.

“We have experienced an increase in mortgage broker complaints in the last few years,” Chris Carter, acting registrar of mortgage brokers, confirmed. “About a third of our investigations relate to application fraud.”

Meanwhile, the abundance of easy “shadow” credit means that as real estate prices have exploded, even the Bank of Canada has been warning of two key risks in Canada’s housing market.

The first is that property prices and household debt have reached such extremes in Vancouver and Toronto, that “just about anything” could trigger a correction, Poloz said last week. Highly indebted borrowers could be forced to sell in a correction, the Bank of Canada says, leading to further selling, tighter lending, and a potential domino effect on banks and shadow banks.

The other elevated risk is the potential for a shock from China’s volatile economy. China has its own shadow banking problems, the Bank of Canada says.

This is where the China connection emerges: in China, “linkages between the banking and shadow banking systems are also becoming more complex and opaque, increasing the underlying credit risk,” the Bank of Canada’s December 2016 risk report says. “The experience of the 2007-09 global financial crisis showed that financial stability can be threatened by vulnerabilities originating in the shadow banking sector.”

As noted above, due to influx of money pouring from China into Vancouver real estate in recent years in an attempt to evade exposure to the local banking system, and bypass China’s capital controls, Canadian banks have become directly exposed to shadow lending in China and the risks of so-called “ghost collateral.”

Cooper quoted a U.S. hedge fund manager who said that “we all know that the ghost collateral is a huge deal, and we all know that the shadow banking and other Chinese influence in Vancouver is profound. The issue is that the ghost collateral ends up re-hypothecated and laundered. So by the time it shows up in Vancouver, it will likely just look like a rich Chinese cash buyer with a suitcase of money.“

The question, of course, is what “collateral” was used to create this suitcase of money, and whether it even exists.

Cooper then shows how high risk loans in Metro Vancouver have spread in recent years, as shown in Bank of Canada maps that show where new ‘high-ratio’ loans – those where the buyer makes less than a 20% down payment on a home purchase and borrows the rest — have been issued.

If the value of the loan is 450% of annual income or more, the borrower is considered particularly vulnerable. The Bank of Canada will not reveal the number of high-ratio loans issued in Metro Vancouver, but says they are concerned with the rapid growth in these loans. In 2014, across Metro Vancouver, 31 per cent of new high-ratio mortgages were at least 450 per cent of the borrower’s income. In the second half of 2015, this figure rose to 37 per cent. By late 2016, it was 39 per cent.

Confirming the dramatic impact of shadow loans on the Vancouver market, the Bank of Canada has said that under the new tighter federal rules, roughly 43% of the high-ratio loans issued in Vancouver between September 2015 and September 2016 would have been rejected. This means either that an increasing portion of buyers in Metro Vancouver will be unable to get loans in the future or that the shadow lenders will fill the void.

For now, courtesy of the nearly $20 trillion in excess liquidity created by central banks, it’s the latter however that may soon chance as central banks start to contract their balance sheets.

To be sure, the warnings are there. Ben Rabidoux, a Canadian real-estate analyst and Zero Hedge contributor, has said that his research with on-the-ground mortgage brokers suggests that loan fraud is a systemic concern in Ontario and B.C.

“The shadow market is absolutely booming,” Rabidoux said. “Of course B.C. has a mortgage fraud problem, but you won’t really see it until there is a problem with collateral in the system.”

For now, most Chinese collateral problems as we explained recently, have been swept under the rug with the express blessings of Beijing, which is desperate to prevent the re-emergence of fears about the domestic financial system and avoid further capital outflows.

What is one possible catalyst that may expose that China’s “collateral emperor” is not only naked but a ghost? Global, coordinated central bank tightening of liquidity, i.e., the Fed’s balance sheet unwind followed by the ECB and BOJ. At that moment, China’s “ghost collateral” problems will come back with a vengeance, only this time they will also have a direct – and dire – impact on Canada’s economy, unless urgent measures are taken by local regulators and government, both of which however realize that any aggressive attempts to rein in Canada’s breathtaking home price appreciation could lead to an even more acute financial crisis. As a result, regulators, banks and officials will likely remain paralyzed even as Canada’s “shadow market” grows and until something finally snaps, by which point it will be too late to prevent the “crisis.”

7. OIL ISSUES

8. EMERGING MARKET

.

end

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

Euro/USA   1.1204 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 AGAIN/EUROPE BOURSES ALL IN THE GREEN 

USA/JAPAN YEN 110.98 UP 0.184(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 1.2792 UP .0021 (Brexit  March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED

THERESA MAY FORMS A NEW GOVERNMENT

USA/CAN 1.3227 up .0017 (CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA)

Early THIS MONDAY morning in Europe, the Euro ROSE by 15 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level  RISING to 1.1164; 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 21.21 POINTS OR 0.68%     / Hang Sang  CLOSED UP 299.08 POINTS OR 1.14% /AUSTRALIA  CLOSED UP 0.47% / EUROPEAN BOURSES OPENED ALL IN THE GREEN 

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

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

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

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

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

The NIKKEI: this MONDAY morning CLOSED UP 124.48 POINTS OR 0.62%

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

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED UP 299.08 POINTS OR 1.14%  / SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 21.21 POINTS OR 0.68%   /Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 0.47% /Nikkei (Japan)CLOSED UP 124.48 POINTS OR 0.62%    / INDIA’S SENSEX IN THE GREEN

Gold very early morning trading: 1251.10

silver:$16.67

Early MONDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.146% !!! DOWN 1 IN POINTS from FRIDAY night in basis points and it is trading JUST BELOW resistance at 2.27-2.32%.

 The 30 yr bond yield  2.774, UP 0  IN BASIS POINTS  from FRIDAY night.

USA dollar index early MONDAY morning: 97.14 DOWN 2  CENT(S) from THURSDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers MONDAY MORNING

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And now your closing MONDAY NUMBERS

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 2.873%  DOWN 4 in basis point(s) yield from FRIDAY 

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.055%  DOWN 1/10  in   basis point yield from FRIDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.448%  DOWN 1 IN basis point yield from FRIDAY (this is totally nuts!!/

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.954 DOWN 3   POINTS  in basis point yield from FRIDAY 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 47 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: +.281% UP 1/2 IN  BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY

END

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IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR MONDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1152 DOWN .0044 (Euro DOWN 44 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 111.180 UP  0.687 (Yen DOWN 69 basis points/ 

Great Britain/USA 1.2730 DOWN 41 ( POUND DOWN 41 basis points) 

USA/Canada 1.3218 UP .0008 (Canadian dollar DOWN 8 basis points AS OIL FELL TO $44.43

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This afternoon, the Euro was DOWN by 44 basis points to trade at 1.1152

The Yen FELL to 111.18 for a LOSS of 69  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 41  basis points, trading at 1.2730/ 

The Canadian dollar FELL by 8 basis points to 1.3218,  WITH WTI OIL FALLING TO :  $44.43

The USA/Yuan closed at 6.8195/
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.056% UP 1/10 IN  BASIS POINTS / yield/ 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 3 IN basis points from FRIDAY at 2.183% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic  USA 30 yr bond yield: 2.784  UP 1/3  in basis points on the day /

Your closing USA dollar index, 97.50  UP 34 CENT(S)  ON THE DAY/1.00 PM 

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

London:  CLOSED UP 79.50 POINTS OR 1.08%
German Dax :CLOSED UP 136.32 POINTS OR 1.07%
Paris Cac  CLOSED UP 47.41 POINTS OR 0.90% 
Spain IBEX CLOSED  UP  81.50 POINTS OR 0.83%

Italian MIB: CLOSED  UP 73.52 POINTS/OR 0.35%

The Dow closed UP 144.71 OR 0.68%

NASDAQ WAS closed UP 87.25 POINTS OR 1.42%  4.00 PM EST
WTI Oil price;  44.43 at 1:00 pm; 

Brent Oil: 47.10 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS:  58.39 DOWN 76/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES T0  +0.281%  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:$44.70

BRENT: $46.84

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.187%  (ANYTHING HIGHER THAN 2.70% BLOWS UP THE GLOBE)

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 2.784%

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1150 DOWN .0045

USA/JAPANESE YEN:111.56  UP 0.770

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 97.53  UP 37  cent(s) ( HUGE resistance at 101.80 broken TO THE DOWNSIDE)

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.2737 : DOWN 35 POINTS FROM last NIGHT  

Canadian dollar: 1.3218 UP 08  BASIS pts 

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +0.281%

END

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

Dudley Double-Speak & China Cash Send Stocks To Record Highs As Global Economic Hope Crashes

 

“This is madness… this is the new normal…”

Let’s start with this… The data-independent central bank balance sheet and the farce of global equity market strength... Global economic data has not been this disappointing in 15 months – no wonder global stocks are at record highs…

This is the most violent plunge in global economic hope since 2012… and fastest rise in the world’s central bank balance sheet since 2011 (up 12% in the last six months)

And this makes all the sense in the fucking world…Pumping up the global central bank balance sheet just pumps up the multiple expansion – perfect

But all major US equity indices closed green today… with Nasdaq the big winner today – this is the best day for the Nasdaq since November 7th

Helped by a collapse in VIX to 10.01…(but note that Nasdaq Futures cannot get above the highs from last Wednesday… and flash crash ledge)

But Nasdaq remains red since Pre-FANG crash…

While FANG Stocks are all the rage, Bloomberg’s David Wilson and Citi’s Tobias Levkovich have introduced a more ‘real’ sounding stock-acronym – FANTASIA (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Tesla, Alphabet, SalesForce, Intel, and Apple), which has retraced 50% of its recent dive

But FANGs faded after the opening ramp…

And in case you were gonna just shrug that off – how do you think this ends?

: Tech sector weight in PowerShares Low Volatility Portfolio ETF now at record levels @WSJ

As WSJ notes...”one client of his had about 40% of his net worth in Apple, directly and across various funds, but he refused to diversify because of his experience with high returns, low volatility and his assumption Apple’s rise would continue.  “

And on another note of fantasy, while corporate bond prices remain ‘high’, appetite for corporate debt belies signs of fear seeping into the high-yield market

As Bloomberg not yes, total open interest in put options for the largest junk ETF has hit a record of almost two million contracts.

“With the decline in crude this year, we are starting to see energy high-yield spreads rise,” writes Pravit Chintawongvanich, head of derivatives strategy at Macro Risk Advisors. “HYG’s weighted average spread, meanwhile, has been flat this year.”

Fed’s Dudley sparked selling in Treasuries early on… but note the dramatic bear flattening…

For the first time since Dec 2007 (when the last US recession started), the spread between 30Y and 5Y Treasuries dropped below 100bps… even as Fed’s Dudley went full hawk proclaiming that halting the tightening cycle now would imperil the economy… oh and a flattening yield curve is not a negative signal for the US economy!

US 2s30s also tumbled…

The Dollar rallied notably today after Dudley’s hawkish comments…

The dollar strength sparked selling in crude and PMs but copper ramained bid…

Gold broke below its 200-day moving-average and crude tumbled to cycle lows…

Finally, we wonder if any of this silliness as due to the biggest liquidity injection since January overnight in China?

(courtesy zero hedge)

(courtesy zero hedge)

 Sunday afternoon:

We learn from ABC from anonymous sources that Mueller has “not yet” decided to investigate Trump

this is totally nuts..

(courtesy zero hedge)

Mueller Has “Not Yet” Decided Whether To Investigate Trump: ABC

In the biggest political story of the past week, one which was timed to coincide with Donald Trump’s Birthday, the WaPo reported citing anonymous sources, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating President Trump for possible obstruction of justice. Just a few hours later on Thursday night, the DOJ’s Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the Russia probe due to Jeff Sessions recusal, released a stunning announcement which urged Americans to be “skeptical about anonymous allegations” in the media, which many interpreted as being issued in response to the WaPo report.

“Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated. Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.

Then on Sunday, the plot thickened further when according to ABC, special counsel Robert Mueller has not yet decided whether to investigate President Trump as part of the Russia probe, suggesting the WaPo report that a probe had already started was inaccurate.

“Now, my sources are telling me he’s begun some preliminary planning,” Pierre Thomas, the ABC News senior justice correspondent, said of Mueller on ABC’s “This Week” although he too, like the WaPo, was referring to anonymous sources, so who knows who is telling the truth.

Plans to talk to some people in the administration. But he’s not yet made that momentous decision to go for a full-scale investigation.”

.@PierreTABC: Mueller has preliminary plans to speak to people in admin, but no decision yet for “full scale” investigation of Pres. Trump.

On Friday, Trump responded to the Washington Post story by tweeting: “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.” But also on Sunday Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow insisted the president was not literally confirming the investigation but was just referring to the story.

“Let me be clear: the president is not under investigation as James Comey stated in his testimony, that the president was not the target of investigation on three different occasions,” Sekulow said Sunday. “The president is not a subject or target of an investigation.”

“Now Mueller faces a huge decision,” Thomas told “This Week” host Martha Raddatz. “Does he believe the president, who says there’s no wrongdoing here, or does he go after the president in the way James Comey wants him to do?”

And so, yet another blockbuster media report has been cast into doubt as a result of more “he said, he said” innuendo, which will be resolved only if Mueller steps up and discloses on the record whether he is indeed investiating Trump for obstruction, or any other reason. That however is unlikely to happen, and so the daily ping-ponging media innuendos will continue indefinitely.

end

Kushner is said that he is considering shaking up his legal team removing Jamie Gorelock for her conflict as she and Mueller were partners at a Washington DC law firm.

this is getting quite out of hand..

(courtesy zero hedge)

Kushner Said To Consider Shake Up Of His Legal Team

After the Washington Post twice reported that Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son in law and a senior adviser to the president, is facing scrutiny from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Kushner is reportedly considering a shakeup of his legal team due to a potential conflict between one of his attorneys, Jamie S. Gorelick, and Mueller, as the New York Times reports. Before Mueller was appointed to the special counsel role he and Gorelick were both partners at the DC-based law firm WilmerHale.

Following Mueller’s appointment, Gorelick says she advised Kushner to consult with other representation. However, conflicts like this aren’t unusual in Washington legal circles, and have in other instances been absolved with a written acknowledgment from the client.

But there might be another, more pressing, reason that Kushner is searching for alternatives to Gorelick. Several sources told the NYT that Trump has expressed his displeasure with Gorelick, which stems from her relationship with Mueller, whom the president has accused of organizing “the single greatest witch hunt in American history.”

Though if Kushner is truly in the market for new representation, he should probably pick an attorney sooner rather than later, because as more members of the Trump administration decide to lawyer up, the pool of top Washington talent available is bound to shrink.

“The outreach has come as a number of White House officials have mulled whether to hire personal lawyers. An aide to Vice President Mie Pence said Thursday that Mr. Pence had retained Richard Cullen. Other White House Officials are also considering hiring lawyers, and on Friday, the president added a well-known litigator, John M, Dowd, to his legal team.”

Congressional and FBI investigators are examining Kushner’s meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Lavrov, as well as his meeting with Sergey Gorkov, the head of Russia’s state-owned Vnesheconombank, the country’s state-owned development bank, according to NYT. Specifically, investigators are interested in whether Kushner tried to arrange a secret back-channel with Moscow following Trump’s upset victory in the Nov. 8 US election. Though as the White House – and even WaPo – have said, such diplomatic encounters aren’t uncommon for officials working on an administration’s transition team, and they’re certainly not illegal.

The NYT’s sources say that Kushner could keep Gorelick on, while also hiring an experienced trial lawyer to compensate for some of her weaknesses. The paper says that Kushner is in discussions with Abbe D Lowell, who famously represented superlobbyist Jack Abramoff during his 2005 influence-peddling scandal.

“In contrast, people within Mr. Kushner’s circle recently reached out to some courtroom litigators about possibly joining his legal team. Among the lawyers contacted, one person said, was Abbe D. Lowell, a prominent trial lawyer whose previous clients include Jack Abramoff, the powerful Republican lobbyist, in a corruption scandal that shook Washington in 2005.”

“Mr. Lowell declined to comment.”

Kushner’s search for a trial lawyer also raises an important question: Will more senior members of the Trump administration be called to testify in the Congressional probe, possibly even Kushner himself? After the recent testimony from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, it’s looking increasingly likely.

end

Illinois state officials are now sounding the alarm bell!
(courtesy zero hedge)

We will see you Tuesday night

have a great weekend

Harvey.

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