July 21/GOLD BREAKS ABOVE THE 1240-1250 RESISTANCE TO CLOSE AT $1254.75/SILVER UP 11 CENTS AT $16.49/THE BIG 3 GERMAN AUTOMAKERS CAUGHT IN ANTI TRUST ACTIONS;BIG FINES WILL BE COMING SHORTLY/TRUMP CHANGES PERSONNEL BIG TIME LAST NIGHT/

GOLD: $1254.75  UP $8.75

Silver: $16.49  UP 11  cent(s)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1255.10

silver: $16.54

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: $1253.46 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  $1245.60

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $7.86

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1254.85

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1246.45

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$8.40

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1247.35

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1247.65 

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1248.55

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1250.00  ???

For comex gold:

JULY/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH:  0 NOTICE(S) FOR NIL  OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 149 FOR 14900 OZ    (.4634 TONNES)

For silver:

JULY

 54 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR

270,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 3010 for 15,050,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

end

 

Gold advanced above its resistance level of $1240 to $1250.00. Silver broke above its resistance level of $16.40.

 

In other news, Trump replaces major personnel as the nation proceeds on a witch hunt to force him to resign.

 

In European news, Germany’s big 3 auto makers were caught again in anti trust behaviour and you can bet the farm that they will pay hefty fines.

 

 

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest FELL BY 1473 contract(s) DOWN to 206,371 DESPITE THE  RISE IN PRICE THAT SILVER TOOK WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING (UP 5 CENT(S).TODAY WE HAD SPEC SHORTS AND BANKERS  WORKING IN CONCERT TRYING TO COVER THEIR SHORTS.  THE BANKERS ARE STILL HAVING AN AWFUL TIME TRYING TO SHAKE THE SILVER LEAVES FROM THE SILVER TREE. 

 In ounces, the OI is still represented by just OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  1.031 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 147% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 54 NOTICE(S) FOR 270,000  OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the total comex gold FELL BY  79 CONTRACTS DESPITE THE RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD  ($3.50 with YESTERDAY’S TRADING). The total gold OI stands at 481,177 contracts. THE BANKERS ARE STILL LOATHE TO SUPPLY THE GOLD PAPER AND WISH TO COVER MORE OF THEIR SHORTS. SOME NEWBIE SPEC LONGS CONTINUE TO ENTER THE GOLD COMEX ARENA AGAIN.  THE PLETHORA OF DATA RELEASED LAST FRIDAY SHOWING RETAIL SPENDING BASICALLY COLLAPSING ALONG WITH SMALLER INFLATION NUMBERS MUST BE SCARING OUR BANKERS TO DEATH.

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

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

GLD:

Today no changes in gold inventory

Inventory rests tonight: 816.13 tonnes

for 6 consecutive days, gold rises appreciably and yet gold inventory drops at the GLD

(In the last 6 trading days gold rises $36.45 and yet GLD inventory collapses by 16.26 tonnes????)

GLD IS A MASSIVE FRAUD/INVENTORY SHOULD BE RISING NOT FALLING.

.

SLV

Today: : WE HAD NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY TONIGHT DESPITE SILVER BEING UP AGAIN BY 5 CENTS

INVENTORY RESTS AT 347.121 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 1473 contracts  DOWN TO 206.371 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787), DESPITE THE   RISE IN PRICE FOR SILVER WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING  (UP 5 CENTS ). JUDGING FROM WHAT HAPPENED IN GOLD, OUR BANKERS DID  SUCCEEDED IN A SMALL WAY IN  COVERING SOME OF THEIR SHORTS .  MOST OF THE SPEC LONGS BASICALLY STOOD STOIC.  SOME SPEC LONGS ENTERED THE ARENA TAKING ON THE BANKERS AS IT SEEMS THAT THE SHORTS (BOTH NEWBIE SPECS AND BANKERS) ARE TRAPPED AND CANNOT GET OUT OF THEIR MESS.

(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

)Late THURSDAY night/FRIDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 6.88 POINTS OR 0.421%   / /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 34.12 POINTS OR 0.13% The Nikkei closed DOWN 44.84 POINTS OR .22%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.46%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.7695/Oil DOWN to 46.67 dollars per barrel for WTI and 48.84 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED IN THE RED,, Offshore yuan trades  6.7595 yuan to the dollar vs 6.7695 for onshore yuan. NOW THE OFFSHORE IS STRONGER  TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN  STRONGER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS MUCH  STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE WEAKER DOLLAR. CHINA IS VERY HAPPY TODAY 

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

i)NORTH KOREA

 USA now urges all American tourists to depart North Korea immediately as it bans all future tourists from visiting this country( zero hedge)

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

c) REPORT ON CHINA

A very important story.  Rare earths which are used in the defense industry as well as mobile phones are dominated by the Chinese with 90% of the market. It is difficult to mine and yields are tiny.  After 2012, China lowered the price on these rare earths which basically shut out everybody else from the market.  Now China is raising the prices as they cite environmental concerns.  However the uSA is concerned that China will not supply

an important story..

( zero hedge)

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

( zero hedge)

i)GREECE
Anarchists raid the Central Bank of Greece but no damage
ii)GERMANY

oH oh!! THIS WILL NOT GO OVER WELL!! GERMAN AUTHORITIES STUMBLE ON DOCUMENTS OF AN AUTO CARTEL WITH SECRET MEETING AND THE PLANNING OF THE EMISSION SCANDAL. NO WONDER ALL 3 HAD THE SAME TECHNOLOGY HOW TO RIG THE EMISSIONS.  THIS IS WILL RESULT IN MORE FINES FOR THE BIG 3 GERMAN AUTO MAKERS.

( zero hedge)

A judge states that the German court system  will collapse with the hundred of thousands of appeals filed:

(courtesy zero hedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

i)RUSSIA/USA
Lavrov laughs at the Western media.  The media are now stating that Trump met Putin three times. An absolute joke
( zero hedge)
ii)Turkey/Syria
we have civil war breaking out between two rival jihadist forces in Idlib province in Syria.  It seems that the Turkish backed Ahar al Saham is losing, so Turkey now wishes to send in more forces in the north part of Syria. Turkey will probably wait for the nod from Russia to advance.
(courtesy zero hedge)

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

7. OIL ISSUES

OPEC is now exceeding 33 million barrels per day this month and thus breaking its promise of a cut in supply

This is forcing the WTI price to head toward the 45 dollar market

( zero hedge)

8. EMERGING MARKET

VENEZUELA

We discussed earlier in the week, that the USA was planning sanctions against Venezuela. One of the sanctions may be the halting of oil imports from that country

( Irina Slav/OilPrice.com)

9.   PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)Join many visitors at the important New Orleans Investment Conference
(  Brine Lundin/GATA)

ii)Markets are begging the Fed to leave them alone as markets itself will behave properly without their interference.If Kevin Warsh, advisor to Trump, becomes the Fed head honcho he will be less likely to respond to small changes in inflation and other “noisy” indicator

(courtesy, Greg Ip/Chris Powell)

iii)Russia adds 9.33 tonnes to its official reserves
( Lawrie Williams/Sharp’sPixley)

10. USA Stories

i)The correct formula for M2 is the one used by the Mises Institute.  Here the M2 is falling badly which indicates that the economy in the USA is heading for a big recession

( Ryan McMaken/Mises Institute)

ii)A terrific commentary showing the top 20 underfunded corporate pensions and how this will lead to trouble down the road;

( zero hedge)

iii) a  Trump changes in personnel:

  Trump shakes up his legal time after revelation that Mueller is going after Trump’s operations.  Kasowitz and Carrallo are out and they are being replaced by Ty Cobb, Jay Sekulow and John Dowd.  What is interesting is that Trump is looking into how to pardon his key staff members targeted by the FBI including pardoning himself

iiib) Second: Spicer replaced by Scaramucci. Melissa McCarthy is now out of a job impersonating Spicer on Saturday night live!

(courtesy zerohedge)
iii c) Third:
Third: Steve Bannon in “self imposed exile” after disputes with Trump’s inner circle”
( zero hedge)

 

( zero hedge)

iv)Trump goes on the offensive as it begins to investigate Mueller’s team for conflicts

( zero hedge)

v)Mueller seems not at all concerned with Trump as he asks the White House to preserve all records on Jr’s meeting with the Russian lawyer. When Hillary was asked to do the same thing, she did a ‘bleachbit'( zerohedge)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest FELL BY 79 CONTRACTS DOWN to an OI level of 481,177 WITH THE  RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($3.50 with YESTERDAY’S trading).  Today we had new speculators enter the long side of gold comex casino with the bankers supplying the necessary paper.  The bankers could not cover any of their gold shorts  along with newbie spec shorts.

We are now in the contract month of JULY and it is one of the POORER delivery months  of the year. .

The non active July contract GAINED 4 contract(s) to stand at 16 contracts. We had only 0 notices filed YESTERDAY morning, so we GAINED 4 contracts or an additional 400 oz will stand in this non active month of July.  Thus 0 EFP notice(s) was given which gives the long holder a fiat bonus plus a futures contract for delivery and most likely these are London based forwards.  The contracts are private so we do not get to see all the particulars. The next big active month is August and here the OI LOST 11,528 contracts DOWN to 182,192, as this month winds down prior to first day notice.  The next non active contract month is September and here they GAINED another 55 contracts to stand at 903. The next active delivery month is October and here we gained 784 contracts up to 24,936.  October is the poorest of the active gold delivery months as most players move right to December.

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

For those keeping score: in the upcoming front delivery month of August:

On July 21.2016:  open interest for the front month: 273,673 contracts compared to July 21.2017:   180,687.

However last yr at this time we had a record OI in gold at 655,000 contract for the entire complex.

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And now for the wild silver comex results.  Total silver OI FELL BY 1473 contracts FROM 208,594 DOWN TO 206,371 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S   5 CENT GAIN (AND DESPITE CONSTANT TORMENT THESE PAST FEW WEEKS). 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. THE SPECULATORS WERE ALSO TRYING TO COVER THEIR SHORTS ALONG WITH THE BANKERS AND THIS PROPELLED SILVER’S SLIGHT GAIN IN PRICE AGAIN. THE COMMERCIALS AGAIN  SUPPLIED THE NECESSARY NEW SHORT PAPER TO NEWBIE SPEC LONGS BUT COVERED MORE THAN THEY SUPPLIED. THE BANKERS WERE TOTALLY SHOCKED WITH THE DATA RELEASED LAST FRIDAY (RETAIL SALES/SPENDING/SMALL INFLATION) WHICH HAS PROPELLED OUR PRECIOUS METAL PRICES NORTHBOUND..

We are now in the next big active month will be July and here the OI GAINED 8 contracts RISING AT 171. We had 34 notices served  yesterday so we gained 42 notices or an additional  210,000 oz will stand at the comex, and 0 EFP contracts were issued which entitles them to receive a fiat bonus and a future delivery contract (which no doubt is a London based forward).

The month of August, a non active month GAINED 13 contracts to stand at 442.  The next big active delivery month for silver will be September and here the OI GAINED ANOTHER 332 contracts UP to 153,345.

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 JULY 2016:  12.370 million with the difference being EFP’s taking delivery in London.  Thus we have an increasing amount of silver standing in comparison to what happened a year ago

amt standing tonight: 15.630 million oz.

We had 54 notice(s) filed for 270,000 oz for the June 2017 contract

VOLUMES: for the gold comex

Today the estimated volume was 135,139 contracts which is fair/

Yesterday’s confirmed volume was 319,941 contracts  which is excellent

volumes on gold are STILL HIGHER THAN NORMAL!

Initial standings for JULY

 July 21/2017.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz   nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz  
nil oz
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz NIL  oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz 
nil oz
No of oz served (contracts) today
 
0 notice(s)
NIL OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
12 contracts
1600 oz
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
149 notices
14900 oz
.4150 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   136,361.4 oz
Today we HAD  0 kilobar transaction(s)/ 
We had 0 deposit into the dealer:
total dealer deposits: N/A oz
We had N/A dealer withdrawals:
total dealer withdrawals:  0 oz
we had no dealer deposits:
total dealer deposits:  nil oz
we had 0  customer deposit(s):
total customer deposits; nil  oz
We had 0 customer withdrawal(s)
total customer withdrawals; nil oz
 we had 1 adjustment(s)
i) Out of Brinks: 104.02 oz was adjusted out of the dealer and this landed into the customer account of Brinks
 
For JULY:

Today, 0 notice(s) were issued from JPMorgan dealer account and 0 notices were issued from their client or customer account. The total of all issuance by all participants equates to 0  contract(s)  of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 0 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 JULY. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (149) x 100 oz or 14,900 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of JUNE (16 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (0) x 100 oz per contract equals 16,500  oz, the number of ounces standing in this NON active month of JULY.
 
Thus the INITIAL standings for gold for the JULY contract month:
No of notices served so far (149) x 100 oz  or ounces + {(16)OI for the front month  minus the number of  notices served upon today (0) x 100 oz which equals 16,500 oz standing in this  active delivery month of JULY  (0.5132 tonnes)
We GAINED 4 contracts or AN ADDITIONAL 400 oz will stand and 0 EFP contract(s) was issued as described as above.
.
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Total dealer inventory 695,420.097 or 21.63 tonnes  (dealer gold continues to disappear)
Total gold inventory (dealer and customer) = 8,414,462.135 or 261.73 tonnes 
 
Over a year ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today the total inventory rests at 261.73 tonnes for a  loss of 41  tonnes over that period.  Since August 8/2016 we have lost 92 tonnes leaving the comex. However I am including kilobar transactions and they are very suspect at best.
TWO THINGS ARE CLEAR:
1.NO GOLD IS COMING INTO THE COMEX
2. THE COMEX IS LOSING ITS GOLD
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 11 MONTHS  86 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.
end
And now for silver
AND NOW THE June DELIVERY MONTH
 
JULY INITIAL standings
 July 21 2017
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory  nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
170,737,651 oz
BRINKS
CNT
DELAWARE
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil  oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory 
304,656.324 oz
CNT
DELAWARE
No of oz served today (contracts)
54 CONTRACT(S)
(270,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
117 contracts
( 585,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 3010 contracts (15,050,000 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 1,505,700.8 oz
today, we had  0 deposit(s) into the dealer account:
total dealer deposit: nil   oz
we had 0 dealer withdrawals:
total dealer withdrawals: NIL oz
we had 3 customer withdrawal(s):
i) out of Brinks:  1000.000 oz ??? how could this be possible??
ii) out of CNT: 168,738.551 oz
iii) out of Delaware: 999.100 oz
TOTAL CUSTOMER WITHDRAWALS:   170,737.651 oz
We had 2 Customer deposit(s):
i) Into CNT:  299,713.536 oz
ii) Into Delaware: 4942.788 oz
***deposits into JPMorgan have now stops 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: 340,656.324 oz
 
 we had 0 adjustment(s)
The total number of notices filed today for the JULY. contract month is represented by 54 contract(s) for 270,000 oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in JULY., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 3010 x 5,000 oz  = 15,050,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of JULY (171) and the number of notices served upon today (54) x 5000 oz equals the number of ounces standing
 

 

.
 
Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the JULY contract month:  3010 (notices served so far)x 5000 oz  + OI for front month of JULY.(171 ) -number of notices served upon today (54)x 5000 oz  equals  15,630,000 oz  of silver standing for the JULY contract month.
We gained ANOTHER 42 contracts for an additional 210,000 oz  that will stand at the comex and 0 EFP’s were issued. THE DELIVERY CYCLE IN JULY IS BEHAVING EXACTLY LIKE THE PREVIOUS MONTHS OF MAY, AND JUNE AS THE AMOUNT STANDING INCREASES EVERY SINGLE DAY AS IT ALSO SURPASSES WHAT WAS STANDING FOR METAL ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH (12.115 MILLION OZ)
 
 
 
 
Volumes: for silver comex
Today the estimated volume was 28,890 which is fair
YESTERDAY’s  confirmed volume was 88,736 contracts which is  HUGE
YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 88,736 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 443 MILLION OZ OF SILVER OR 63% 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:  38.423 million (close to record low inventory  
Total number of dealer and customer silver:   213.444 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 6.9 percent to NAV usa funds and Negative 6.9% to NAV for Cdn funds!!!! 
Percentage of fund in gold 62.7%
Percentage of fund in silver:37.2%
cash .+0.1%( July 21/2017) 
2. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): STOCK   NAV FALLS TO +0.41% (July 21/2017) 
3. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -0.68% to NAV  (July 21/2017 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back  into POSITIVE territory at +0.41/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.68%/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

July 21/with gold up $8.75 again, we had no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 816.13 tonnes

July 20/WITH GOLD UP AGAIN TODAY ($3.50) WE HAD NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 816.13 TONNES

jULY 19/STRANGE!! AGAIN WITH GOLD UP $0.50 WE HAD ANOTHER HUGE 5.32 TONNES WITHDRAWAL FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 816.13 TONNES  THIS GOLD IS HEADING TO SHANGHAI

July 18/STRANGE AGAIN/WITH GOLD UP $7.50 WE HAD ANOTHER HUGE 5.62 TONNES WITHDRAWAL FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 821.45 TONNES

July 17/strange again! with gold up $4.20 we had another huge withdrawal of 1.77 tonnes/inventory rests at 827.07 tonnes

July 14/strange@!!with gold up $12.00 today, we had a huge withdrawal of 3.55 tonnes/inventory rests at 828.84 tonnes

July 13/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 832.39 tonnes

JULY 12/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 832.39 tonnes

July 11/strange!@! we had a big withdrawal of 2.96 tonnes despite gold’s advance today/inventory rests tonight at 832.39 tonnes

July 10/no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 835.35 tonnes

July 7/a massive withdrawal of 5.32 tonnes of paper gold were removed and this was used in the attack today/inventory rests at 835.35 tonnes

July 6/no changes in tonnage at the GLD/Inventory rests at 840.67 tonnes

July 5/A MASSIVE 5.62 TONNES OF GOLD LEFT THE GLD AND NO DOUBT WAS USED IN THE RAID THIS MORNING/INVENTORY REST

July 3/ A MASSIVE 7.37 TONNES OF GOLD LEAVE THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 846.29 TONNES

June 30/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 853.66 tonnes

June 29/no change in inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 853.66 tonnes

June 28/no change in inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 853.66 tonnes

June 27.2017/a deposit of 2.64 tonnes into the GLD/inventory rests at 853.66 tonnes

June 26/a withdrawal of 2.66 tonnes from the GLD and this gold no doubt was part of the raid/Inventory rests at 851.02

June 23/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 853.68 tonnes

June 22/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 853.68 tonnes

June 21/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 853.68 tonnes

June 20/no  change in gold inventory at the GLD//Inventory rests at 853.68 tonnes

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

 

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July 21 /2017/ Inventory rests tonight at 816.13 tonnes
*IN LAST 194 TRADING DAYS: 131.00 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 134 TRADING DAYS: A NET  3.57 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN WITHDRAWN FROM  GLD INVENTORY.
*FROM FEB 1/2017: A NET  9.52 TONNES HAVE BEEN ADDED.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

July 21/STRANGE! WITH SILVER UP AGAIN TODAY (11 CENTS), NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV

July 20/STRANGE! WITH SILVER UP AGAIN TODAY, THE SLV INVENTORY LOWERS BY 945,000 OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 347.121 MILLION OZ/

July 19/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 348.066 MILLION OZ

July 18/a huge 946,000 oz withdrawal from the SLV despite silver’s 16 cent gain!

Inventory rests at 348.066 million oz

July 17/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 349.012 million oz

July 14/no change in silver inventory/inventory rests at 349.012 million oz/

July 13/no change in silver inventory/inventory at the SLV rests at 349.012 million oz/

JULY 12/another massive 1.986 million oz of silver added into the SLV/inventory rests at 349.012 million oz/the last 3 days saw 7.281 million oz added into the SV

July 11/ANOTHER MASSIVE INCREASE OF 2.364 MILLION OZ into the SLV inventory/inventory rests at 347.026 million oz

July 10/ A HUGE INCREASE OF 2.931 MILLION OZ OF SILVER DESPITE THE EARLY HIT ON SILVER THIS MORNING/INVENTORY RESTS AT 344.662 MILLION OZ.

July 7/Strange: no change in inventory (compare that with gold) Inventory rests at 341.731 million oz

July 6/ANOTHER MASSIVE DEPOSIT OF 2.126 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 341.731 MILLION OZ.

July 5/STRANGE! NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 339.605 MILLION OZ

July 3/strange! with the huge whacking of silver we got an increase of 379,000 oz into inventory.

June 30/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 339.226 million oz

June 29/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 339.226 million oz/

June 28/ a small withdrawal of 662,000 oz form the SLV/Inventory rests at 339.226 million oz/

June 27/no change in the silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 339.888 million oz/

June 26/no change in the silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 339.888 million oz/

June 23/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 339.888 million oz

June 22/ a big change; a huge deposit of 2.175 million oz into the SLV/Inventory rests at 339.888 million oz

June 21/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 337.713 million oz

June 20/a deposit of 1.513 million oz/inventory rests at 337.713 million oz/.

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/

 

July 21.2017:
 Inventory 347.121  million oz
end
  • 6 Month MM GOFO

    Indicative gold forward offer rate for a 6 month duration

    + 1.19%
  • 12 Month MM GOFO
    + 1.45%
  • 30 day trend

end

Here is a review of the 3 latest comex waterfall (whacks) on gold and silver not including the current one we are undergoing.  I have taken the nadir of the gold price before it started to rise again and compared it to OI in both gold and silver with the OPEN INTEREST.  The OI readings are the following day but we are always one day behind so this compares exactly to the nadir price.
First waterfall ended Oct 6 2016/ Nadir price of gold at that date Oct 6 2016 : $1254.70 / OI for gold Oct 7/2016: 511,340//OI for silver/Oct 7.2016: 194,811
Second waterfall ended Dec 15.2016:Nadir Price of gold Dec 15.2016:      $1128.20              //OI for gold Dec 16/2016 401,798// OI for silver: Dec 16/16 161,570
Third waterfall ended May 10/2017: Nadir Price of gold May 10 2016:   $1220.95              //  OI for gold May 11: 425,252//  OI for silver May 11/17: 199,826
and for comparison while we are undergoing another waterfall these past several weeks
 Today’s price of gold $1251.00                                                                                                    OI for gold today: 481,177//Oi for silver  206,371
The first waterfall corresponds to a silver price of $17.30 on Oct 6
The second waterfall corresponds to a silver price of $15.90 on Dec 15
The third waterfall corresponds to a silver price of $17.37 on May 10
and today:  silver price of $16.45
Since the bottom of the second waterfall the price of gold at its nadir is about the same ($1220 and $1226), but the OI for gold is much higher along with silver OI also much higher. (425,252 and 481,177 OI for gold) accompanying  199,826 and 206,371 for silver)
It seems the data suggests power manipulation to control the price through paper!

END

 

Today we receive the COT report.  You will recall that during the last two reports the commercials massively covered a huge number of shorts as they went net long.  The large specs went net short during the past two weeks.

 

let us see what today brings:

Gold COT Report – Futures
Large Speculators Commercial Total
Long Short Spreading Long Short Long Short
217,232 157,094 69,714 153,064 226,699 440,010 453,507
Change from Prior Reporting Period
-405 -283 4,955 5,246 4,965 9,796 9,637
Traders
161 105 93 55 53 258 216
 
Small Speculators  
Long Short Open Interest  
44,194 30,697 484,204  
-1,261 -1,102 8,535  
non reportable positions Change from the previous reporting period
COT Gold Report – Positions as of Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Our large speculators

those large specs that have been long in gold pitched a tiny 405 contracts from their long side

those large specs that have been short in gold covered a tiny 283 contracts from their short side.

Large specs go net short by only 122 contracts

Our commercials

those commercials who have been long in gold added another 5246 contracts to their long side

those commercials who have been short in gold added 4965 contracts to their short side.

commercials go net long by 281 contracts

Our small specs:

those small specs that have been long in gold pitched 1261 contracts from their long side

those small specs that have been short in gold covered 1102 contracts from their short side.

Conclusions:

first of all, specs going net short has stopped

second: commercials seem to be trapped.

 

Silver CO

Silver COT Report: Futures
Large Speculators Commercial
Long Short Spreading Long Short
90,776 81,400 24,987 66,398 88,312
-398 4,231 1,080 881 -1,772
Traders
105 65 46 41 33
Small Speculators Open Interest Total
Long Short 209,689 Long Short
27,528 14,990 182,161 194,699
534 -1,442 2,097 1,563 3,539
non reportable positions Positions as of: 165 126
Tuesday, July 18, 2017   © Sil

 

 

Our large speculators

those large specs who have been long in silver pitched a tiny 398 contracts from their long side

those large specs that have been short in silver added a large 4331 contracts to their short side

large specs go net short again by 4629 contracts

Our commercials

those commercials that have been long in silver added 881 contracts from their long side

those commercials that have been short in silver covered 1772 contracts from their short side.

 

commercials go net long by: 2653 contracts

Our small specs:

those small specs who have been long in silver added 534 contracts to their long side

those small specs who have been short in silver covered 1442 contracts from their short side.

Conclusions:

specs still going net short for the week with the commercials going net long again.very bullish.

 

 

 

 

Major gold/silver trading/commentaries for FRIDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

Gold Hedges Against Currency Devaluation and Cost Of Fuel, Food, Beer and Housing

– Gold hedge against currency devaluation – cost of fuel, food, housing
– True inflation figures reflect impact on household spending
– Household items climbed by average 964%
– Pint of beer sees biggest increase in basket of goods – rise of 2464%
– Bread rises 836%, butter by 1023% and fuel (diesel) up by 1375%
– Gold rises 2672% and hold’s its value over 40 years
– Savings eaten away by money creation and negative interest rates
– Further evidence of gold’s role as inflation hedge and safe haven

Editor: Mark O’Byrne

Gold hedges against rising cost of living

Remember when you were taught about the inflation of the Weimar Republic in Germany at school? More recently I was taught about the inflation of Zimbabwe. In both instances we were given examples of how much the staple food of people cost – the humble loaf of bread.

We were all supposed to be horrified and thank our lucky stars we didn’t live in such times. We thanked God that those days were gone and long in the past, never to be seen again.

Obviously we are not unfortunate enough to live in a country where the price of bread changes from us walking into the bakery to paying for the loaf. Nor do we have to carry huge wads of bank notes around in bricks as we saw in Zimbabwe.

Worthless 1 Trillion Zimbabwe Dollar Note (Wikimedia Commons)

But, there has still been a whopping devaluation in the pound, the dollar and all major fiat currencies – as much as  of over 90% devaluation in some in the last forty or so years. Food items have increased on average by 964% in the UK.

A form of hyperinflation is has happened globally but just over a much longer time period.

Back in 2014 we wrote about the impact of inflation on household spending and the cost of living due to the devaluation of the pound since 1973. Needless to say three years on that the impact of inflation is even greater and the pound worth even less – especially after sterling’s sharp fall after Brexit.

Today a British Pound from 1973 is worth just eight pence. When we first reported on this issue in 2014 the value of a 1973 pound was worth nine pence. In contrast, since 1973, one ounce of gold has climbed by a whopping 2,673%. Today, the £100 of 1973 is worth just £9.01, compared to £9.48 in 2014.

These numbers show just how much damage has been done to the British pound and therefore the value of our medium of exchange and savings.

They also show how well you would have been protected by investing in gold. Had you done so you would have enjoyed the benefits of this time tested hedge against the long term ravages of inflation.

Cost of household goods rises by average of 964%

The £9.01 today wouldn’t get you too far given the prices found in the July 2017 RPI and CPI price list.

The price list also shows how many producers have been forced to lower prices thanks to supermarkets’ buying and pricing power. Bread and milk are just two key items which have been forced down in price since 2014.  Despite this, their prices remain highly inflated since 1973.

pint of a beer has felt the biggest surge of the food and drink items we selected, it has shot up by 2,464.3% from 14p to £3.59 per pint.

A sliced loaf of white bread has come down from £1.30 to £1.03 since 2014, but it is still up a huge 836% since 1973. The processed, mass produced bread of today is unlikely to be of the quality of the bread of then.

The butter your parents might have once slathered onto your morning toast might just have to be lightly dabbed on, given it costs nearly 11 times more than it did in 44 years ago. A 250 gramme slab of butter went from 13p to £1.46 or over 1000%.

Perhaps your fancy crepes for breakfast instead of toast. A dozen eggs are now 5 times what they once were, setting you back £2.02 when they once would have been a bargain at 33p. The flour to help you make those crepes has climbed almost as much in price, by 446% to 82p for 1.5kg.

That morning coffee you love so much? 100g of its instant form costs nearly 10 times more from 28p to £2.95. And the milk to make it a latte costs over 6 times more, climbing from 6p to 43p. Don’t forget the sugar, a kilo bag of sugar will now set you back now costs 68p, up from 11p – up over 500%.

Apples cost have climbed in price by 621%, from 28p per kilo to £2.02 per kilo. Other vegetables have also increased. Carrots – those magic vegetables to help you see in the dark will now cost you nearly 8 times what they would have in 1973. A kilo bag of carrots now costs 91p, up from 11p or a rise of 723%.

Sadly after beer and butter, the items which have climbed the most in this list of household essentials are not food and drink items. Instead, they’re the items which keep us safe and warm, and help us keep earning an increasingly valueless wage – home prices and fuel.

Diesel costs nearly 14 times more, from 8p in 1973 to to £1.18 in July this year. If you have even glanced at house prices recently then you won’t be surprised to hear they are practically unaffordable or that the price of the average detached house went from £16,980 to £345,833. The family home now costs nearly 2,000% more than in 1973.

Of course, what has beaten all of these in a climb in price? An ounce of gold, which has gone from £34 to £1051, an increase of over 2,600%.

What about from 50 years ago?

We have been going through a spate of changes here in the UK, of new paper notes some of which haven’t been changed (in design) since the 1950s. But, their spending power certainly has.

One of these is the fiver. Interestingly it was once standard to be able to get a £5 note from a cash machine. I don’t recall this (I was born in the 1980s) and when I was at university there was one cash machine which was almost a novelty because it did dispense of the notes. When the financial crisis hit banks and ATM companies decided to start reissuing £5 notes in order to ‘help people with their budgeting.’

Equivalent spending power 2017 (Source CityAM)

Why had the fiver stopped being issued in ATMs? Because the £5 had become small change. When you look at the figures in terms of what the £5 of today would have bought you back in 1957 then you really do get a good look at the damage that has been done to the British pound’s spending power.

Our American subscribers and clients will relate to this as the $5 note (USD) today does not buy what it bought 20, 30 or 40 years ago.

Households and savers hit from all angles

Every month we hear about where inflation is. Headlines are always screaming about whether or not inflation has hit the Bank of England MPC’s target. Rarely do we here about the ongoing damage being done to the value of the pound over a long term period.

On an annual basis we are not suffering as much today as perhaps we would have been in the 1970s to early 80s. My grandfather retired in the 1970s, he died just last year. The first few years of his retirement were fraught with inflation as the average rate was around 13%.

Annual Inflation Rate & Multiplier (1970 -1980)
Source Stephen Morley.org

Of course, a retirement as long as my grandfather’s will be near unimaginable for generations since. This is partly do with lifestyle choices but also thanks to the fact that we can no longer afford to save enough in order to enjoy such a break. Many retire in the hope that their pension pots and savings will grow thanks to interest rates. As we know from the last ten years, this just isn’t possible anymore.

As we wrote back in 2014, ‘If retail prices were to rise by 2.8% annually – in line with government targets – the value of money would decline by a further 67% over the next 40 years.’

‘If inflation follows this pattern, consumers would need £311 in 2053 to have the same spending power as an individual with £100 today – or more than £3 million to enjoy the equivalent lifestyle of a millionaire today.’

This isn’t just a problem for those who have retired. It is a daily problem for British households. Recently we wrote about shrinkflation and the impact it is having on British households. But even where size of common household items remains constant, consumers are seeing a huge fall in the amount they get for their money and what they are earning.

There are very few households in the UK at present who are not feeling badly hit from all angles. From the increased rise in the cost of living to their wages which are not keeping up with inflation. Even those who can afford to save are suffering thanks to the devaluation of the pound, low interest rates and the threat of negative rates.

Conclusion – what’s the real story?

Laughingly the Bank of England’s website reads ‘Price stability is defined by the Government’s inflation target of 2%’. In other words, climbing prices and a falling purchasing power of the sovereign currency is considered to be price stability.

Tell that to parents who are struggling to clothe, feed, transport, educate and look after the health care needs of their children. They might welcome a little bit of mild deflation. Especially those struggling to rent basic housing or buy a home.

The study which originally inspired us to look at this situation in more details was carried out by Lloyds, who at the time stated that ‘in 40 years, an individual would need £3 million to enjoy the same lifestyle as a millionaire today.’

To that we say, it’s a lot more simple than worrying about accumulating £3 million in the right time period in order to be able to retire comfortably or very comfortably.

Instead, look at the table again and realise what has held its value and protected people’s purchasing power – gold.

As it has throughout recorded history, gold has acted as hedge against inflation and a financial insurance against irresponsible and reckless governments and central banks. No matter what level of currency devaluation your country has seen, one ounce of gold is one ounce of gold, is recognised and liquid everywhere and has remained a store of value globally.

Gold is flat this year after falling 40% in recent years. However, it rose 8% last year but it is has performed very well over the long term – a 10, 20, 30 and 40 year time period.

Long term the value of your cash savings and deposits is being eaten away – especially in an era of zero percent and negative interest rates.  Gold might continue to be unappreciated by the majority but a quick glance at these charts and all can see the protection it offers savers a

Related Content
Gold Hedges Against Surge In Cost Of Bread, Eggs, Beer and Fuel

News and Commentary

Gold steady, on track for second straight weekly gain (Reuters.com)

Gold at 3-week high as ECB comments lift euro, dollar falls (Reuters.com)

Gold Prices Boosted By Fresh Dollar Slide (EconomicCalendar.com)

Dollar Stays Weak on U.S. Politics; Aussie Falls (Bloomberg.com)

Gold marks longest win streak in 2 months as U.S. dollar sinks (MarketWatch.com)

Source: BMG

Three things I wish I’d understood about money a long time ago (StansBerryChurcHouse.com)

The NEXT Credit Crisis Has Already Started (BonnerAndPartners.com)

Southern Europe’s Next Tipping Point – Italy (ZeroHedge.com)

Real Reason Stocks Are Setting Records? (DailyReckoning.com)

Video: Qatar Doha Bank Says Central Bank Has Enough Cash, Gold (Bloomberg.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

21 Jul: USD 1,247.25, GBP 958.89 & EUR 1,071.39 per ounce
20 Jul: USD 1,236.55, GBP 953.63 & EUR 1,075.06 per ounce
19 Jul: USD 1,239.85, GBP 950.84 & EUR 1,074.83 per ounce
18 Jul: USD 1,237.10, GBP 949.47 & EUR 1,071.82 per ounce
17 Jul: USD 1,229.85, GBP 940.71 & EUR 1,074.03 per ounce
14 Jul: USD 1,218.95, GBP 940.54 & EUR 1,067.92 per ounce
13 Jul: USD 1,221.40, GBP 944.51 & EUR 1,071.05 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

21 Jul: USD 16.43, GBP 12.63 & EUR 14.11 per ounce
20 Jul: USD 16.18, GBP 12.50 & EUR 14.07 per ounce
19 Jul: USD 16.23, GBP 12.44 & EUR 14.08 per ounce
18 Jul: USD 16.17, GBP 12.41 & EUR 13.99 per ounce
17 Jul: USD 16.07, GBP 12.30 & EUR 14.02 per ounce
14 Jul: USD 15.71, GBP 12.11 & EUR 13.76 per ounce
13 Jul: USD 15.95, GBP 12.34 & EUR 14.00 per ounce


Recent Market Updates

– Millennials Can Punt On Bitcoin, Own Gold and Silver For Long Term
– “Time To Position In Gold Is Right Now” says Jim Rickards
– Bloomberg Silver Price Survey – Median 12 Month Forecast Of $20
– “Bigger Systemic Risk” Now Than 2008 – Bank of England
– “Financial Crisis” Coming By End Of 2018 – Prepare Urgently
– Video – “Gold Should Probably Be $5000” – CME Chairman
– India Gold Imports Surge To 5 Year High – 220 Tons In May Alone
– “Silver’s Plunge Is Nearing Completion”
– China, Russia Alliance Deepens Against American Overstretch
– Silver Prices Bounce Higher After Futures Manipulated 7% Lower In Minute
– Precious Metals Are “Best Defence” Against Bail-ins In Economic Crisis
– Buy Gold Near $1,200 “As Insurance” – UBS Wealth
– UK House Prices ‘On Brink’ Of Massive 40% Collapse

 END
Join many visitors at the important New Orleans Investment Conference
(courtesy  Brine Lundin/GATA)

You can’t lose if you join GATA at the New Orleans Investment Conference

 Section: 

8:50p ET Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

You’re being robbed — as part of the greatest financial crime in U.S. history.

The worst part: You and your family will be the victims.

The good part: There is a way to protect yourself. And I can guarantee that it will also deliver you a four-for-one profit.

You know all about this scandal.

You’re only too aware that your family’s financial well-being was mortgaged away when the Fed created oceans of debt and money, and then sent the newly created dollars to Wall Street to prop up stocks and bonds.

 The result: A stock market exceeding all historical bounds of valuation, and debt loads reaching to the sky…And the absolute inevitability that the dollar (and every other fiat currency) will be trashed to wash away the value of those debts.

That means gold, silver, and mining stocks are going to soar.

In fact, they have already come off the bear market bottom. A new bull market is just now gaining steam.

Which means one more thing:

You need to be at this year’s New Orleans Investment Conference.

The dollar is going to be depreciated. It has to — it’s a matter of simple math.

That means gold has to rise significantly. Add in all the geopolitical crises brewing — from North Korea to terrorist attacks to a flurry of investigations in Washington and more — and we’ve never faced such a combination of risk and opportunity.

So my message is simple: You can’t afford to miss this year’s New Orleans Investment Conference.

You see, we’re gathering an amazing faculty — dozens of today’s leading experts in geopolitics, economics, and every investment sector — to give you insights unavailable anywhere else.

That includes conservative firebrand Tucker Carlson, Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator Charles Krauthammer, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” author Robert Kiyosaki. …

Political muckracker Jonah Goldberg, Trump economic adviser Judy Shelton, international entrepreneur Simon Black, wealth and ivelihood preservationists Chris Martenson and Adam Taggart, influential market economist Peter Boockvar. …

Plus the latest predictions and picks from Dennis Gartman, Peter Schiff, Doug Casey, Rick Rule, Nick Hodge, Robert Prechter. …

… And the world’s leading authorities on gold, silver, mining stocks, and every investment sector, including Adrian Day, Brent Cook, The Real Estate Guys, Byron King, Mark Skousen, Eric Coffin, Gwen Preston, Louis James, Nick Giambruno, Lindsay Hall, Omar Ayales, Thom Calandra, GATA’s Chris Powell and Bill Murphy, and more.

When times are scary as they are now, when gold, silver, and mining stocks are beginning a new bull market, as they are now, the best place to be is the New Orleans Investment Conference.

More than four decades of history have proven this, time and time again.

It’s where the top metals and mining stock experts and most successful investors gather every year.

It’s where the most powerful investment strategies are detailed.

It’s where the hottest new opportunities are unveiled.

The results speak for themselves: The stock picks given out at the New Orleans Conference often multiply five, 10, even 20 or more times over after the event.

How reliable and profitable are these results?

Enough so that I can guarantee that you’ll quadruple your investment in the event or get your entire registration fee back.

The only way you can lose is to not attend.

And there are plenty of reasons to come:

With our amazing agenda this year, coupled with the remarkable turn the markets have made in our favor, you’re going to learn more, profit more, and just have more fun than you could anywhere else.

Don’t cheat yourself. Click on this link —

http://neworleansconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/NOIC2017_powe…

— to learn why this year’s New Orleans Conference is going to be the event of the decade.

Best wishes,

Brien Lundin, President and CEO
New Orleans Investment Conference

 

 

END

 

Markets are begging the Fed to leave them alone as markets itself will behave properly without their interference.

If Kevin Warsh, advisor to Trump, becomes the Fed head honcho he will be less likely to respond to small changes in inflation and other “noisy” indicator

(courtesy, Greg Ip/Chris Powell)

 

Greg Ip: Markets urge Fed to leave them alone

 Section: 

By Greg Ig
Dow Jones Newswires
via Fox Business, New York
Wednesday, July 18, 2017

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/07/19/markets-to-fed-please-leav…

Bond yields around the world have surged since the European Central Bank hinted last month that its bond buying was coming to an end, a replay of the “taper tantrum” in 2013 when the Federal Reserve caught markets off guard with similar plans.

Both episodes are fodder for a view widespread in markets, that bonds long ago ceased to be an independent reflection of economic fundamentals and are now just a giant bet on what central banks do with their securities portfolios. According to this view, quantitative easing (QE), as this bond buying is known, zero to negative interest rates and detailed guidance on future monetary policy amount to market manipulation on a grand scale. Whatever the theoretical benefit to the economy, such manipulation muffles market signals, misallocates capital, and creates excesses that can come undone violently.

This critique has been around for years, but it stands to gain in prominence because it’s shared by some of the people who may one day run the Federal Reserve. Janet Yellen’s term as chairwoman expires next February and if President Donald Trump doesn’t reappoint her, there’s a good chance her successor will come from the financial industry. A banker or trader would not necessarily prefer higher or lower interest rates than an economist, but would be much less trusting of economic models and unwilling to deploy the exotic tools the Fed has used since 2009.The Fed has been led by economists almost continuously since 1970. Its last two chairmen, Ben Bernanke and Ms. Yellen, are prominent academic macroeconomists. Their economic training underpinned their use of QE, zero rates and forward guidance as a way of stimulating demand, getting unemployment down and holding inflation at its 2% target.

Economists have broadly praised these tools for helping bring the economy back from the brink of depression in 2008 to today’s low unemployment and inflation. On Wall Street, though, opinion has been much more ambivalent. This divide was highlighted by the 2013 taper tantrum, which Mr. Bernanke later blamed on traders’ “unreasonable and entirely inconsistent” belief that QE would go on forever. Traders, by contrast, say the Fed didn’t appreciate how QE had forced so many investors into the same trade, who all headed for the door at the first sign of a shift.

“Central bankers do not trust financial markets,” says James Bianco, who runs a Chicago-based financial markets advisory firm, recently wrote to clients that they can fix every problem in the economy “except when those cretins in the financial markets go off half-cocked.”

Indeed, many on Wall Street think central bankers have an exaggerated sense of their power. Last year just before being named Mr. Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said the Fed was undercut by forces beyond U.S. borders: “They’re constrained by the rest of the world and … the strength or weakness of your domestic currency.” Mr. Cohn, who will lead the search for Ms. Yellen’s successor, is widely considered a candidate.

Randall Quarles, a private-equity executive nominated as the Fed vice chairman for regulation, last year claimed that ” Years of near-zero interest rates have led to a rise in speculative positions across a wide range of asset classes, as all financial institutions find themselves under intense pressure to seek adequate returns.”

Kevin Warsh, a former investment banker who served with Mr. Bernanke on the Fed until 2011 and now serves on an outside advisory council to Mr. Trump, is also considered a potential Fed chairman. Mr. Warsh, a scholar at the conservative Hoover Institution, has criticized the Fed for changing course too often in response to noisy economic data and swings in asset prices, for believing it can manage interest rates and the dollar precisely enough to precisely target inflation, unemployment and economic growth and for treating markets “as a beast to be tamed, a cub to be coddled, or a market to be manipulated.”

A Fed under Mr. Warsh would presumably change course less often in response to new data or market movements, nor mind that inflation is a bit below 2% as it is now, and deeply reluctant to engage in QE or cut interest rates to zero.

Yet are these realistic prescriptions? Donald Kohn, who was Fed vice chairman under Mr. Bernanke, says the Fed needs to operate through markets to achieve its goals of low unemployment and stable inflation and thus it will always have to care about stocks, bonds, and the dollar, which in turn will be driven in part by actual and expected Fed policy. “It was true when rates were 5%, and when they were 0.125%.” Nor can the Fed simply ignore short-term data because it’s noisy because, he says, it may also contain a signal. Nor should the Fed forswear tools like QE which may be necessary if, in the future, interest rates hit zero again.

And it’s hard to argue with results: Unemployment is back to pre-recession levels, and if unconventional monetary policy isn’t the main reason why, it has hardly generated the calamities many critics predicted. Inflation did not skyrocket, no new financial crisis has come along, the dollar has not collapsed. Nor are Ms. Yellen and her colleagues oblivious to the distortions the Fed’s huge balance sheet may cause. It’s one reason they seem determined to start shrinking it in coming months. Every economist at the Fed learns a healthy respect for markets. Any financial pro who succeeds Ms. Yellen should have a corresponding appreciation for economics.

 end
Russia adds 9.33 tonnes to its official reserves
(courtesy Lawrie Williams/Sharp’sPixley)

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: Russian central bank still adding to its gold reservesUnlike the other big central bank buyer of gold, China, Russia is continuing to add to its gold reserves and reporting its increases. China has not reported any reserve increases since last October, but the general belief is that it is almost certainly adding to its gold reserves big time regardless and only reporting its increases when it deems it opportune to do so. Certainly known gold flows into the country, together with its own gold output as comfortably the world’s No. 1 gold producer, suggests this as China’s estimated gold consumption probably only accounts for around half of that being absorbed by the country on an annual basis, and this disregards any gold being imported from unknown sources that may not find its way into official data.

In June Russia added a further 300,000 ounces (9.33 tonnes) of gold to its reserves according to the regular monthly statement of its gold holdings by the Russian Central Bank. This brings its current total holdings to some 1,716 tonnes – still the world’s sixth largest national holding as reported to the IMF – and continuing to close the gap with the official Chinese figure of 1,842.6 tonnes. The June additions are much smaller than those reported for May (700,000 ounces or 21.8 tonnes), but more than the 6.2 tonnes it added in April. Russian gold reserve additions do fluctuate on a month by month basis, but recently it has been adding to its gold reserves at around 200 tonnes annually. For H1 2017 the total to date is 100.9 tonnes so the nation is right on track to add a similar 200 tonne amount to its official gold reserves in the current year.

As we noted here a month ago, China has a track record of non-reporting of its reserve increases. Thus, as noted above, we don’t believe the Asian giant has ceased adding to its gold reserves at all and is holding these additions in accounts which it is not reporting until such a time it may feel politically, or financially, advantageous to do so. It has done this in the past only reporting big increases in its reported reserves at five or six year intervals. We suspect it has not yet reached its ultimate gold reserve target and one theory is that it considers it advantageous to continue the pretence that it has ceased buying gold as a device to keep the gold price suppressed in order to continue to adding to reserves at lower prices. We see as significant the fact that it only reported monthly additions to reserves in a 17 month runup period to the yuan (renminbi) being accepted as an integral part of the IMF’s Special Drawing Right (SDR) basket of key currencies (which also includes the US dollar, the Euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound sterling) which was finally confirmed in October last year. Ever since then, China has been reporting zero increases in its reserves on a monthly basis. We don’t think this is coincidental.

We noted also a day or so ago that Australia, the world’s second largest gold producer (just ahead of Russia itself in third place) has been sharply increasing its gold exports to mainland China and Hong Kong with a big new record Q1 figure (See: World No. 2 producer Q1 gold exports to China huge new record). Both China and Russia appear to see value in building up their gold reserves as a key element in cementing their respective positions in the global financial hierarchy.

https://www.sharpspixley.com/articles/lawrie- williams-russian-centra
l-bank-still-adding-to-its-gold- reserves_269864.html

-END-


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

 
 

1 Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/yuan  STRONGER 6.7695(REVALUATION NORTHBOUND   /OFFSHORE YUAN MOVES STRONGER TO ONSHORE AT   6.7595/ Shanghai bourse CLOSED DOWN 6.88 POINTS OR 0.21%  / HANG SANG CLOSED DOWN 34.12 POINTS OR 0.13% 

2. Nikkei closed DOWN 44.84 POINTS OR .22%    /USA: YEN FALLS TO 111.44

3. Europe stocks OPENED IN THE RED        ( /USA dollar index FALLS TO  94.14/Euro UP to 1.1643

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS  TO  +.067%/ GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION    !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 114.34/ 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::  46.67 and Brent: 48.84

3f Gold UP/Yen UP

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

Japan to buy 100% of all new Japanese debt and by 2018 they will have 25% of all Japanese debt. Fifty percent of Japanese budget financed with debt.

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO  +.497%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN  to 2.075%    

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS to  : 5.271???  

3k Gold at $1247.60  silver at:16.42 (8:15 am est)   SILVER BELOW  RESISTANCE AT $18.50 

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 7/100 in  roubles/dollar) 58.97-

3m oil into the 46 dollar handle for WTI and 48 handle for Brent/

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

JAPAN ON JAN 29.2016 INITIATES NIRP. THIS MORNING THEY SIGNAL THEY MAY END NIRP. TODAY THE USA/YEN TRADES TO 111.49 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  0.9499 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1062 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  +0.497%

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 2.2393% early this morning. Thirty year rate  at 2.8087% /POLICY ERROR)GETTING DANGEROUSLY HIGH

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

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

Euro Surges To 2-Year High In “Bipolar” Draghi Reaction; Futures Flat

The euro’s surge to an almost two-year high put a cap on the global market rally in Friday’s quiet session, with most major exchanges consolidating after a second strong week of gains. The MSCI Asia-Pacific index declined for first time in ten days while the European Stoxx 600 index was fractionally in the green as were US equity futures ahead of earnings reports from General Electric, Honeywell, Schlumberger and others. Oil gained with Brent flirting with $50, zinc rallied along with most base metals. European stocks are little changed, while Asian stocks decline with Tokyo shares falling for first time in three days.

Also overnight, AUD traders were caught wrongfooted for the second time in one week after the Aussie fell sharply following an unexpectedly dovish speech from RBA Deputy Governor Debelle, who said there’s no significance in the board’s neutral rate discussion, which earlier this week sent the Aussie surging. “No significance should be read into the fact the neutral rate was discussed at this particular meeting,” Debelle said in text of speech. “Most meetings, the board allocates some time to discussing a policy-relevant issue in more detail, and on this occasion it was the neutral rate.” In addition to the drop in AUDUSD, Australian sovereign yields all dropped 5-7 basis points in bull steepening move; three-year yield drops as much as nine basis points to 2.00% – the steepest decline since March on a closing basis. Kiwi rallied to highest since September 2016 on Finance Minister Joyce comments; yen little changed. S&P futures near unchanged. WTI crude holds near $47; Dalian iron ore falls 0.7%.

But most of the attention was on the EUR in the aftermath of Thursday’s paradoxical Draghi press conference, which led to a “bipolar” market reaction, seen as dovish by rates while hawkish by FX.

Summarizing the market reaction, Yann Quelenn, a market strategist at Swissquote Bank said,“Draghi tried to talk the Euro down, even going so far as to suggest that ECB’s quantitative easing could be increased and prolonged. But the currency markets were not buying Draghi’s line, and neither are we. Available bonds are too scarce, and turn to a taper is too clear to disguise.”

As a result, bonds jumped even as the euro headed for its strongest level against the dollar in almost two years on bets the European Central Bank will start tapering its stimulus program despite Draghi’s sounding particularly dovish, with the greenback already under pressure from U.S. political developments. Yields on Italian bonds dropped…

… while the EUR surged to the highest since August of 2015, and is up 11% for 2017…

… while the US dollar dropped to the lowest since August amid growing political concerns after reports that U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller expanded his investigation of Trump less than a day after the president told the New York Times that any digging into his finances would cross a red line.

“Everything speaks in favor of further EUR appreciation — increasing portfolio inflows, changing monetary policy, improved political risks,” according to Peter Kinsella, a London-based senior foreign-exchange and rates strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “It’s an armor-plated rally and it won’t stop”

Euro zone stock markets were modestly lower on the day, as some analysts against expressing concerns a stronger euro may do more to undermine growth going forward.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe was steady after rising for a 10th straight session on Thursday, its longest such streak since February 2015. It has advanced around 3 percent in the latest rally. In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, which has gained about 5 percent in the past two weeks, eased 0.2 percent, dragged down by a fall in material and financial shares. Japan’s Nikkei dropped 0.2 percent.

“We can be pretty sure that when Draghi sat down for his press conference yesterday the last thing he expected to see was the euro hit its highest level in over two years and for equity markets to slide back,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson. “The strength of the euro does appear to be acting as a bit of a headwind for European stocks as they look to close the week sharply lower, in contrast to the performance of UK and US stocks this week.”

As of 6:10am ET, S&P500 futures were little-changed close to a record-high level as investors looked forward to a Federal Reserve meeting and manufacturing data next week.  E-mini contracts were almost flat at 2,472.25 after the cash index ended Thursday within one point of its record-high close. Nasdaq 100 futures were also little-changed as the benchmark index climbed to all-time intraday highs for the second consecutive day. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average also held steady on Friday.  European stocks are little changed, while Asian stocks decline with Tokyo shares falling for first time in three days.

In currencies, the Bloomberg Dollar Index was down 0.1 percent, in line for a weekly loss of 0.8 percent, at 10:41 a.m. in London, as the greenback weakened against most of its G-10 peers. The yen was up 0.2 percent at 111.71 per dollar. The euro climbed 0.1 percent to $1.1642 after reaching a 23-month high earlier in the session. The common currency has gained 1.6 percent this week, its second straight five-day advance.

In commodities, oil headed for a second weekly increase as U.S. crude inventories continued to shrink. West Texas Intermediate was 0.4 percent higher at $47.09 a barrel. Copper advanced 1.3 percent to $6,033 a ton, a four month high, leading a rally in industrial metals. Gold was poised for its first back-to-back weekly advance since June 2. Bullion for immediate delivery added 0.2 percent to $1,247.25 an ounce.

In rates, the yield on U.S. 10-year Treasuries fell two basis points to 2.24 percent. Benchmark yields in Germany dropped three basis points to 0.5 percent, down nine points this week. Yields in France dipped three basis points.

Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk and Bloomberg

  • RBA speakers temper AUD appreciation
  • EU equities trade subdued following yesterday’s volatility
  • Germany and Turkey traded barbs over democratic values as relations between the NATO allies slumped to their lowest ebb of the postwar period.
  • The International Monetary Fund agreed to a new conditional bailout for Greece, ending two years of speculation on whether it would join in another rescue and giving the seal of approval demanded by many of the country’s euro-area creditors.
  • As Parliament breaks for the summer, Prime Minister Theresa May needs to come up with answers to the political drama unfolding at home and threatening her Brexit strategy as investors predict more trouble on the horizon for a country once seen as the stable counterpoint to European turmoil.
  • Looking ahead, highlights include Canadian CPI

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures rise 0.2% to 2475.20
  • STOXX Europe 600 unchanged at 384.07
  • MXAP down 0.2% to 159.13
  • MXAPJ down 0.2% to 524.46
  • Nikkei down 0.2% to 20,099.75
  • Topix down 0.2% to 1,629.99
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.1% to 26,706.09
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.2% to 3,237.98
  • Sensex up 0.04% to 31,918.38
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.7% to 5,722.84
  • Kospi up 0.3% to 2,450.06
  • EUR/USD: +0.1% to 1.1641
  • USD/JPY: -0.2% at 111.71
  • GBP/USD: +0.3% to 1.3005
  • German 10Y yield fell 2.3 bps to 0.507%
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 7.8 bps to 1.821%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 4.4 bps to 1.441%
  • Brent Futures up 0.7% to $49.62/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,247.58
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.2% to 94.17

Top Overnight News

  • Trump Inquires About Power to Pardon; Aussie Tumbles After RBA Comments; Power Struggle at Guggenheim
  • Trump Removal of Mueller Likely Would Trigger Justice Purge
  • Ten of the nation’s biggest lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. together made $30 billion last quarter, just a few hundred million short of the record in the second quarter of 2007
  • Mario Draghi said policy makers are still waiting for inflation to catch up with the economic recovery as they put off discussions on winding back stimulus until after the summer
  • President Donald Trump’s interview with the New York Times on stirred speculation he may consider firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller for investigating Trump’s business dealings as part of the Russia probe
  • The International Monetary Fund agreed to a new conditional bailout for Greece, ending two years of speculation on whether it would join in another rescue and giving the seal of approval demanded by many of the country’s euro-area creditors
  • OPEC and Russia’s plan to clear the global oil glut hasn’t worked as they hoped, but there’s little expectation the world’s largest producers will act more aggressively when they meet this weekend
  • Investors may turn to equity at the expense of debt given he rolling five-year return on global stocks has outpaced government debt over the past three months as weighted by the standard deviation of gains
  • ACS Studies Counterbid to Atlantia’s $19 Billion Abertis Offer
  • Paysafe Gets 590p/Share Takeover Proposal from CVC, Blackstone
  • Microsoft Regains Turnaround Momentum on Strong Cloud Growth
  • EBay Rattles Investor Faith With Slow Merchandise Growth
  • Visa’s Kelly Extends First-Year Win Streak as Outlook Raised
  • Zinc’s Rally Set to Endure as Top Producer Predicts $3,000
  • Google Says Russia Leads in State Requests to Remove Content
  • Exxon to Challenge Treasury Finding It Violated Russia Sanctions
  • Credit Suisse’s Once-Mighty Stocks Unit Withers Under Thiam
  • Delta Wins Lease Deal for Air Terminal at New York’s LaGuardia

Asia equity markets traded marginally in the red, following the lacklustre close on Wall St. amid a slew of earnings releases which were ultimately mixed. ASX 200 underperformed, led by the soft resources, metals and energy sectors, whilst Nikkei 225 also traded in the red to conform to the tone in the region, as JPY’s indecision during the session offered no direction for the currency. Elsewhere, Shanghai Comp. and Hang Seng both traded subdued, with the PBoC’s increased open market operations of CNY 140bln failing to lift the Chinese bourses. Finally, 10yr JGBs trade marginally higher amid the cautiousness in the region, with the curve steepening as the super-long end underperforms. Participants also await the auction for 10yr, 20yr and 30yr government paper.

Top Asian News

  • HNA Group’s Dealings With U.S. Travel Startup to Be Probed
  • OZ Minerals Says CFO Luke Anderson to Leave Co. in September
  • Bank Indonesia Says Rate Review Delayed by Swearing-in Ceremony
  • RBA’s Aussie Dollar Rollercoaster Shows Dilemma for Global Peers
  • Reliance to Give One Free Share for Each Held After 8-Year Gap
  • Huhtamaki Shares Fall as Indian Tax Reform Hits Demand
  • China Artificial Intelligence Bid Seeks $59 Billion Industry
  • AAC Drops Most in 7 Years as Jefferies Cites Revenue Warning

European equity markets trade mixed amid currency influence. Subdued trade has been evident, following yesterday’s ECB press conference, with EU bourses trading range bound for the morning. The FTSE out-performs as it benefits from the weaker GBP. Telecoms out-perform as earnings continue to dictate the state of play, following a strong report from T-Mobile US being followed by a beat for Vodafone. Fixed Income markets have been led by bunds, with the latest ECB survey being responsible for a second round of bidding in German paper. The survey cut the inflation forecast by 0.10% for 2017 — 2019, with the statement stating that risks are still tilted to the downside.

Top European News

  • U.K. Government Borrowing Jumps as Inflation Boosts Debt Costs
  • Landis+Gyr Trades Below Offer in Largest Swiss IPO Since 2006
  • European Banks’ 2Q Likely to Be Better Than U.S. Peers: HSBC
  • SKF CEO Says Electric Cars May Hurt Part of Bearing Business
  • ECB: Professional Forecasters Cut Inflation Outlook Through 2019
  • Siemens Slams Brakes on Russia After Turbines Spotted in Crimea
  • Hochtief Slumps as ACS Mulling Abertis Bid Lowers Buyout Chance
  • Swatch’s Strong Forecast Bolsters Decision to Keep Workers

In currencies, RBA Deputy Governor Debelle stated no automatic reason to conform to recent hikes abroad. New Zealand Finance Minister Joyce stated NZ firms are coping well with NZD at current levels, added NZD reflects strong NZ economy. FX markets have slowed this morning, as FX traders seem non-excitant following yesterday’s volatility. The price action largely came overnight from the antipodeans. Comments from New Zealand’s Finance Minister Joyce stated that NZ firms are coping well with NZD at current levels further adding that a strong NZD reflects strong NZ economy and he is unperturbed by NZD strength. NZD/AUD broke through 0.94 as bulls arrived, consolidating just below at 0.9390, a firm break of this level could see a test of 0.9480. Further, Aussie weakness aided the NZD/AUD push, as RBA Deputy Governor Debelle stated that there is no automatic reason to conform to recent hikes abroad.

In commodities, precious metals have continued their bullish grind, spurred by the Trump reports yesterday. Gold looks toward 1250.00, as July’s recovery continues. Oil continues to struggle to find any real direction, however, WTI’s July 43.65 upward trendline continues to provide support, WTI bulls would need to see a firm break of 48.50 to indicate a change in momentum

No economic data is scheduled in the US.

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Good practise today for the arrival of the twins as a late night work dinner coupled with waking 45 minutes before my already early alarm has left me feeling decidedly sleep deprived. It was an interesting macro dinner with 26 clients and DB representatives including our own CEO. The consensus from clients seemed to be that the carry trade would survive the summer but with question marks about what happens once both the ECB and the Fed start their imminent balance sheet changes. There was plenty of optimism on Europe with the Euro seen as likely to appreciate further with perhaps that appreciation eventually being the  risk to growth. On the other hand there was plenty of negativity on the UK with Brexit seen as a potential disaster for the economy, Gilts and Sterling. I’m not quite so sure on the Brexit impact but there is certainly huge execution risk. Curveballs that could derail the short-term carry party were that Mr Trump might decide to turn to the delicate geo-political issues (e.g. North Korea) to divert attention away from the legislative challenges and also that the upcoming debt ceiling deadline around October could be really interesting. The latter being another test of Mr Trump’s relationship with Congress. Finally on the dinner, one client remarked that this was the first of such gatherings in a long time where nobody had really mentioned buying very historically cheap volatility. That he thought might be a sign that now might be the time.

So an interesting night and given that it occurred on an important Draghi day it was interesting that there wasn’t much discussion on what he said at his press conference. All the talk yesterday leading into the event was on whether or not we would get an affirmation of the hawkish signals made in Sintra last month. In the end it felt like Draghi was checking in for his summer holiday, not pulling back from the Sintra sentiments but also not wanting to rock the boat with new info and risk being called back from hols to deal with a disturbed market in illiquid conditions. In fairness it wasn’t a completely damp squib and we  thought our European chief economist Mark Wall summed it up nicely with a “two steps forward, one step back” conclusion. Mark noted a few dovish elements from the meeting including the unchanged language on inflation in the press statement, the fact that the committees have not yet been tasked with studying the policy options, the use of Praet’s more cautious “patience” watchword, the technical reinterpretation of the word “reflation” he used in Sintra, and once again the confidence in the flexibility of the asset purchase programme which in Mark’s mind is a hint that if it needs to continue it can.

On the other hand, Draghi appeared fairly undeterred by the post-Sintra tightening of markets which seemed to give the green light for the Euro to surge another 1% yesterday and break-through 1.160 for the first time since August 2015. Govies chopped around but the range for core markets wasn’t particularly ground breaking. 10y Bunds traded as high at 0.557% and as low as 0.520% in a short space of time before eventually finishing near the bottom of that range and 1.2bps lower on the day. French and Dutch 10y bonds were also 2.6bps and 1.4bps lower. There was a decent rally for the periphery however with yields in Italy and Spain 8.4bps and 9.6bps lower, respectively. It was notable that the move for latter now means that the Spain-Germany 10y spread is at the narrowest since 2015.

So where does that leave the ECB? With the council deliberately avoiding setting expectations for the timing of a policy decision, Mark believes that this reduces the probability of a decision as soon as September. December might however also be considered too late and so in Mark’s view an announcement on October 26th now feels most likely with committees tasked on September 7th. The onus now will be on the inflation data in the coming months. Financial conditions and of course economic growth shouldn’t be underestimated either. Next month’s Jackson Hole speech will benefit from another month of inflation data and is likely to be the next big event for markets.

That rally for the Euro appeared to weigh on equity bourses in Europe with the Stoxx 600 eventually closing -0.38%. Across the pond the S&P 500 slipped into the red in the first hour of trading after US special counsel Robert Mueller announced that he was examining a broad range of financial transactions involving President Trump. That story broke one day after Trump told the NY Times that any investigations around his personal finances would be crossing a red line. Markets recovered however and the S&P 500 (-0.02%) eventually ended little changed. The Dollar index ended the session down -0.50% while Gold was +0.26%.

This morning in Asia it’s been a fairly quiet end to the week although the tone is slightly risk off. The Nikkei (-0.25%), Hang Seng (-0.24%), Shanghai Comp (-0.11%) and ASX (-0.40%) have all slipped into the red. Commodities are broadly unchanged along with the USD.

Jumping to the latest on Brexit, this morning the Guardian are reporting that the UK cabinet will agree to the free movement of EU citizens for up to 4 years as part of a transitional deal. The article suggests that a consensus in the cabinet has been secured, with the news likely to help the softer-Brexit camp. One to watch today potentially.

Yesterday’s economic data was a bit of a sideshow but for completeness, in the UK, June retail sales (ex-auto fuel) was slightly higher than expectations (+0.9% mom vs. +0.5% expected). Over in the US initial jobless claims fell 15k to 233k last week, lower than expectations of 245k while the Philadelphia Fed’s headline manufacturing index fell 8.1pts to a still solid 19.5 in July, albeit a bit below market expectations (23.0), with many of the key component indices also weaker (including shipments and new orders index).

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, this morning our European equity strategy team have published a first take on Q2 earnings season. DB’s Wolf von Rotberg highlights that so far Q2 is off to a weak start: with around 20% of Stoxx 600 companies having reported, only 47% of companies have beaten on EPS, down from the stellar 63% in Q1 and below the historical average of 53%. Most of the reports so far are from non-euro earners – and with the euro up 4% during Q2, FX pressures are likely to keep the Q2 beat ratio subdued once the euro earners start reporting. FX strength is also leaving its mark on the full-yearconsensus earnings expectations, with Euro area earnings revisions having turned sharply negative over the past two weeks. The team see downside risk to their expectation of 10% EPS growth this year, given our FX strategists’ recent 14% upward revision to their year-end projection for the EUR trade-weighted index (every 10% rise in the EUR TWI lowers EPS by 5%).

Looking at what is a very quiet day ahead now. In the UK, public sector net borrowing data for June is due. Across the Atlantic, there are no prints due in the US, however Canada will release data on June CPI (Bloomberg est: 1.1% yoy) which could worth a watch given the recent focus on global inflation. Away from the data, US earnings seasons remains a focus, with General Electric, Honeywell International, Colgate-Palmolive and Fifth Third Bancorp schedule to report.

 END

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late THURSDAY night/FRIDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 6.88 POINTS OR 0.421%   / /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 34.12 POINTS OR 0.13% The Nikkei closed DOWN 44.84 POINTS OR .22%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.46%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.7695/Oil DOWN to 46.67 dollars per barrel for WTI and 48.84 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED IN THE RED,, Offshore yuan trades  6.7595 yuan to the dollar vs 6.7695 for onshore yuan. NOW THE OFFSHORE IS STRONGER  TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN  STRONGER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS MUCH  STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE WEAKER DOLLAR. CHINA IS VERY HAPPY TODAY 

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

NORTH KOREA

USA now urges all American tourists to depart North Korea immediately as it bans all future tourists from visiting this country

(courtesy zero hedge)

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

end

c) REPORT ON CHINA

A very important story.  Rare earths which are used in the defense industry as well as mobile phones are dominated by the Chinese with 90% of the market. It is difficult to mine and yields are tiny.  After 2012, China lowered the price on these rare earths which basically shut out everybody else from the market.  Now China is raising the prices as they cite environmental concerns.  However the uSA is concerned that China will not supply

an important story..

(courtesy zero hedge)

 

Rare Earth Mania And China/US Trade Spat 2.0?

We doubt that many have heard of it, or know what it’s used for, but the price of Praseodymium-Neodymium (sold in oxide form) has been on a tear, up 43% ytd.


Neodymium and Praseodymium, collectively known as NdPr, are two of the family of seventeen rare earth elements (REEs). The price of several other REEs, like Terbium – Ticker SHRATBOX (really) and also used in very powerful permanent magnets – have been rising too (up 36% ytd).

Unfortunately for the rest of the world, especially the US, China has a monopoly on the rare earths market with 85-90% of global production.

REEs are strategically important due to their (small but critical) applications in products used for the defense and technology sectors – including today’s mainstay of human existence, the mobile phone. China’s dominance arose from undercutting almost every other mining and processing player in the decades prior to its WTO entry.

The current story behind the higher prices is that China is getting serious (again) about the environmental impact of REE mining, and is making renewed efforts to curb significant levels of illegal production. On Monday, managing director of Australian-based rare earth producer, Lynas Corp (who just happened to note how her company is “highly leveraged to any increase in price for NdPr”) commented.

“Demand has always been strong, growth for the magnetic materials will increase as there is greater adoption, particularly for electric vehicles…(and) wind turbines. The second thing, however is that the Chinese central government has been very active over the last six months in ensuring that a lot of what had been announced recently, has actually been enforced on the ground…they have inspected a lot of plants to ensure that they have proper documentation for their raw materials and that has helped to eliminate illegal supply.”

(4Q17 conference call here)

The environmental impact in China is certainly horrendous (see BBC report, “The dystopian lake filled by the world’s tech lust” here).  Sometimes described as “hell on earth” or “the worst place on earth”, this is one view of the Baotou toxic lake, 20 minutes from Inner Mongolia’s largest city with 2.5 million inhabitants.

Okay but…

Obviously, the most important issue these days is what does it all mean for equity prices? Higher rare earth prices are beginning to have an impact. This is the chart for the industry behemoth, China Northern Rare Earth Group.

Closer to home, the price of the VanEck Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF has also been moving higher, even though some of holdings are plays on non-REE strategic metals, like moly and titanium.

With a market cap of $62m and small/mid cap constituents, things could get interesting if REE prices enter a sustained bull phase.

Adding insult to injury for its strategic interests, the last remaining rare earth mine in the United States, Mountain Pass in California, has recently been sold to a consortium including Shenghe Resources Holding, which has alleged ties to the Chinese Government. 

Two days ago, Michael Silver, CEO of advanced materials manufacturer, American Elements Corp., met with Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, at the White House.  In “This CEO Wants Trump to Nationalize the Only Rare-Earth Mine in America”, Bloomberg reported.

“The mine should be converted to a national laboratory ‘dedicated to rebuilding America’s rare-earth mining industry so the world knows it is safe to build high-tech manufacturing plants in the U.S.,’ Silver said…he’s proposing the U.S. government apply the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment and acquire Mountain Pass by eminent domain.”

If anybody’s thinking that surging rare earth prices, China/US tensions and soul-searching about how the US could have let China dominate the global supply of such critical materials, sounds familiar… they’d be correct. It feels a bit like 2010 when there was a sudden mania followed by a  collapse in rare earth stock prices. Below is the Lynas Corp chart during 2010-12.

In the end, China backed down on substantial cuts to export quotas, which it had justified on environmental grounds. In part, this was due to WTO intervention at the behest of western countries led by the US.

The NdPr price peaked in Summer 2011 and never really recovered (chart below). Some analysts speculated whether the resolution of the rare earths dispute, peak in the gold price and the beginning of the ramp in Chinese gold imports through Hong Kong were linked. There was no evidence to support the assertion.

This time around, we have no idea whether the situation in rare earths will come close to the fun that was had in 2011, however, we remain mindful of the quote attributed to Deng Xiaoping that: “There is oil in the Middle East, but there is rare earth in China.”

end

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

GREECE
Anarchists raid the Central Bank of Greece but no damage
(courtesy zero hedge)

Anarchists Raid Bank Of Greece In Downtown Athens

Security measures in the building of the Bank of Greece in downtown Athens are not as good as they should be.

As KeepTalkingGreece reports, a crowd of anarchists from the well-known group Ruvikonas entered the Bank of Greece on Wednesday afternoon.

Some 20 people entered the Bank of Greece from a side entrance at 1:40 pm, threw leaflets and fled.

The Bank personnel tried to hide under the desks and behind counters, media reported.

Some of the leaflets read:

“Bank of Greece is the doorman of the Memoranda”

Police squads arrived at the Bank, detained several people in the surrounding area. The detainees are – or meanwhile were – to be set free as they are not in connection with the raid.

END

 

GERMANY

oH oh!! THIS WILL NOT GO OVER WELL!! GERMAN AUTHORITIES STUMBLE ON DOCUMENTS OF AN AUTO CARTEL WITH SECRET MEETING AND THE PLANNING OF THE EMISSION SCANDAL. NO WONDER ALL 3 HAD THE SAME TECHNOLOGY HOW TO RIG THE EMISSIONS.  THIS IS WILL RESULT IN MORE FINES FOR THE BIG 3 GERMAN AUTO MAKERS.

(courtesy zero hedge)

German Automakers Tumble Following “Bombshell” Cartel Allegations, Dax Slides

For more than 20 years, the German auto industry has been operating like a cartel, according to a new “bombshell” report, which has sent the shares of Germany’s biggest automakers reeling.

Spiegel is reporting that the big three German car companies – Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW – have been holding secret “working groups” since the 1990s, where they would discuss, production costs, suppliers, strategy and – importantly – emissions purification. The meetings were initially reported to regulators by Volkswagen in a filing with German competition authorities. The magazine described the meetings as “one of the biggest cartel cases in German economic history.”

It was at these meetings that the companies agreed on the appropriate gas purification standards for their diesel vehicles, thus laying the groundwork for the diesel scandal that has resulted in massive fines for these companies both in Germany and the US. The working groups also selected suppliers, helping to set costs for vehicle components. The ongoing discussions allegedly involved more than 200 employees in 60 working groups in areas including auto development, gasoline and diesel motors, brakes and transmissions.  Talks may have also involved the size of tanks for AdBlue fluid for diesel autos, according to Bloomberg.

The allegations are guaranteed to result in more fines for the automakers, which were just beginning to move on from the diesel emission scandal that rocked the industry.

“These allegations look very serious and would mean more than 20 years of potential collusion,” said Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler told Bloomberg. “There seems to be a never-ending story of bad news about the industry’s bad behavior.”

As Bloomberg explains, European carmakers are shoring up diesel as they need it to bridge the gap between tightening rules for greenhouse-gas emissions as they invest in ramping up electric-car plans.
The Spiegel report followed announcements by Audi and Mercedes this week that they’re recalling diesel vehicles to update pollution-control software amid probes by environmental authorities into potential emissions violations.

German authorities first became aware of the problem when they raided Volkswagen’s offices last year, searching for evidence that the company sought to rig steel prices. Instead, it found evidence of collusion between German automakers. Two weeks later, VW submitted a voluntary admission to antitrust authorities, as did Daimler in hopes of minimizing penalties.

Following the report, which assures billions more in settlement costs and litigiation fees are coming, the shares of Germany’s Big-3 have all tumbled on the news:

… dragging the Dax to session lows, which is starting to affect US stocks.

 

A judge states that the German court system  will collapse with the hundred of thousands of appeals filed:

(courtesy zero hedge)

“Everything Will Collapse” German Judge Warns As Refugees Flood System With Appeals

Tyler Durden's picture

Hundreds of thousands of migrants who’ve appealed decisions by Germany’s immigration courts have brought the country’s legal system to the brink of collapse, a German judge warned on Friday.

More than 1.3 million migrants have arrived in Germany since the beginning of 2015. Since then, the sheer number of cases filed has overwhelmed the civil courts of the country, said Robert Seegmuller, chairman of the Association of German Administrative Law Judges, speaking to the publishing house Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.

“The situation is dramatic for administrative courts,”Seegmuller told RND. “We are now completely stretched to our limits.”

Seegmuller had been complaining since spring about the number of lawsuits being filed against the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Thousands of applicants have challenged decisions delivered on their cases by the office, including deportation orders back to potentially unsafe countries such as Afghanistan. RND estimates there are approximately 250,000 asylum-related cases waiting to be brought before the courts.

“The administrative court system cannot endure such a figure in the long run. At some point, everything will collapse,” Seegmüller warned. “Things may go well for a while, but not permanently.”

Just like in the US, where illegal immigrants have plotted to launch mass appeals to slow down the immigration process, the German legal system is struggling with a shortage of judges and other personnel, the judge added.

In recent months, Germany’s migrant situation, which had been pushed off the front pages after the late 2015 and early 2016 turmoil, one again reemerged drmatically, following reports that a group of right-wing German soldiers allegedly plotted the assassinations of left-wing politicians, intending to blame the crimes on migrants. One suspect had obtained a second identity as a Syrian refugee, leading to a review of some 100,000 asylum decisions, which in turn has throttled the German immigration system, nearly bringing it to a standstill, and created an even greater backlog of admissions.

 

5. RUSSIA AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

 RUSSIA/USA
Lavrov laughs at the Western media.  The media are now stating that Trump met Putin three times. An absolute joke
(courtesy zero hedge)

Lavrov Scoffs At Western Media: “Trump-Putin May Have Met Multiple Times… In The Bathroom”

Headlines ripped across social media – ‘the Russians admit that Trump and Putin may have met more than 3 times’ – sparking an instant ‘I told you so’ from the ‘left’ proving the conspiracy of collusion is correct. However, we note that the source of this new story, Russian Foreign Minister Sergie Lavrov, compared these conversations to “children mingling at a kindergarten,” making fun of an NBC reporter, adding “maybe they met in the toilet?”

“When you are bought by your parents to a kindergarten do you mix with the people who are waiting in the same room to start going to a classroom?

 

I remember when I was in that position I did spend five or ten minutes in the kindergarten before they brought us to the classroom.”

As a reminder, while the White House didn’t use this analogy to explain press reports of a second, undisclosed Trump-Putin conversation at the G20 meeting in early July, it fits.

“There was no ‘second meeting’ between President Trump and President Putin, just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner.  

 

The insinuation that the White House has tried to ‘hide’ a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd,” a White House Official said.

And now it seems Lavrov is piling on to Western media’s constant efforts to paint the relationship one way, adding:

“They might have met even much more than just three times,”

 

After the dinner was over…I was not there…President Trump apparently went to pick up his wife and spent some minutes with President Putin…so what?” Lavrov said.

end
Turkey/Syria
we have civil war breaking out between two rival jihadist forces in Idlib province in Syria.  It seems that the Turkish backed Ahar al Saham is losing, so Turkey now wishes to send in more forces in the north part of Syria. Turkey will probably wait for the nod from Russia to advance.
(courtesy zero hedge)

Turkey Poised To Invade Syria’s Idlib Province As Inter-Jihadist Violence Rages

Two Salafi-jihadi factions in Syria’s Idlib province have been engaged in a brutal inter-“rebel” (or rather inter-jihadist) war this week, prompting Turkey to prepare a potential invasion to protect its favored factions on the ground. On Thursday, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS/Al-Qaeda) continued to capture towns in Idlib’s countryside from rival Ahrar al-Sham and Turkish backed FSA groups after an uneasy truce between the rebel factions quickly collapsed days prior, causing the weaker Ahrar al-Sham to call in Turkish support.

Multiple reports coming out of the region indicate that Turkey has been transferring hundreds of jihadists from its former Euphrates Shield forces in northern Aleppo province (the Turkish occupied “Jarabulus pocket”) to Turkey’s Hatay border region, where they began entering Idlib through the Ahrar controlled Bab al-Hawa crossing. However, in the early morning hours of Friday HTS reportedly captured part of the Bab al-Hawa crossing in a significant blow that could trigger a bigger Turkish response. A larger force may be awaiting word from Ankara for a full scale invasion involving Turkish Army troops which might come at any moment.

All negotiation failed to-date (doesn’t man there is no way 2regain it) where Fua and Kfarya siege was also sollecitate as bargain exchange+

What is most important here: in , decision 2eliminate has been agreed by most external players. Infighting in  is part of it

What is certain is that things are about to get even bloodier, and either Turkey will occupy yet more Syrian land, or the Syrian Army will eventually move in to mop up Idlib once the warring groups have depleted and utterly exhausted each other. The latter scenario is a likely possibility given increased Russian leverage over Turkish actions: Turkey would have to seek a nod from Moscow before occupying Idlib overtly. So far, Turkey’s proxy forces are being swallowed up by the more formidable HTS.


Ahrar al-Sham tank/ via jihadi social media.

Dozens of militants from both factions have been killed across the rebel controlled Idlib province in a week that’s seen dramatic shifts in the geopolitical landscape over Syria, including sudden news of the White House’s ending the CIA weapons program, as well as Turkey’s leaking of US forward operating base locations in northern Syria through its state-run news channel, further escalating tensions between Turkey and the US.

On Wednesday Al-Masdar News reported the extent of initial fighting, which even involved tanks and other major weapons systems:

Full-scale war has broken out between a number of major Idlib-based militant factions. Opposition media is indicating that the forces involved are seizing entire townships from each other throughout Idlib and Hama, even going so far as to use heavy weapons (i.e. tanks) to do so.

…Ahrar Al-Sham is currently storming HTS bases at the town of Harem in northern Idlib. The two groups are also exchanging fire in the town of Salqin where both have bases. The engagement has thus far left 16 people dead, most of which are Ahrar al-Sham fighters.

Video: Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Clashes With Ahrar al-Sham In Idlib Province/Source: SouthFront

Idlib’s in-fighting can be seen as a mini civil war for leadership and land among terrorist factions. Some reports link the cause of this week’s major escalation to a dispute over the presence of FSA and more “nationalist” flags being flown by Ahrar-aligned groups. Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which opposes FSA leaning groups, is essentially the current iteration of al-Nusra Front (now calling itself Fateh Al Sham), which is a coalition led by al-Qaeda’s main off-shoot in Syria. While ISIS has been the focus of international headlines over the past years, Nusra has been no less barbaric in unleashing terrorism on civilians, and like ISIS it seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate.

Nusra’s ideology is indistinguishable from that of ISIS, and the two were the same organization as they fought as one in Northern and Eastern Syria throughout much of 2013. More recently Nusra has made multiple attempts to rebrand itself in the hopes of attracting more external support. But rival Ahrar al-Sham has had more success in this area as it’s been a favored so-called “moderate” opposition group of choice among prominent think tanks such as The Brookings Institution (which has a location in Qatar) – this in spite of being more accurately called the “Syrian Taliban” by some prominent experts for its brutal sharia style rule.

Shockingly, the group landed an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2015, and made a direct appeal to the American public, defending itself as “moderate” and not “extremist”. Even now, Syrian opposition media and friendly political and media allies in the West are championing the cause of Ahrar al-Sham, continuing to claim it represents the true spirit of the “revolution”.


Map source: Andrew Illingworth, Oz Analysis

But Ahrar al-Sham also has organizational roots in al-Qaeda, though external patrons – especially Qatar and Turkey – have long seen the group as a viable partner on the ground. Even the US has at times entered into a de facto relationship with both groups now vying for control of Idlib: in 2015 both Nusra and Ahrar were key leading factions of the umbrella organization “Army of Conquest” which captured Idlib City from the Syrian government in March 2015. As was widely reported at the time, US intelligence officers assisted the al-Qaeda stacked Army of Conquest from a US-Turkish led “operations room” in southern Turkey.

This week it was revealed that Trump made the decision earlier this month to shut down the years-long CIA covert program to aid rebel groups in Syria, while the Pentagon continues to support the Kurdish-led SDF as it fights in Raqqa and elsewhere. Various media pundits have immediately begun blaming the renewed Idlib chaos on Trump’s closure of the CIA program. The Daily Beast’s Roy Gutman (who actually believes Assad created ISIS) laments:

As moderate rebel groups in Syria tried to digest the news that the U.S. will soon cease all covert support for them—a sudden revelation they learned from press reports—northern Syria descended into further chaos.

 

…Now the very existence of moderate local forces backed by the U.S. hangs in the balance.

And more absurdly the usual neocons are using this as an opportunity to call for revived CIA intervention a mere two days after the covert program’s termination was announced: David Ignatius, quickly out with a teary-eyed post mortem on the CIA’s Syria campaign (which he gleefully boasts in its heyday “may have killed or wounded 100,000 Syrian soldiers and their allies”), writes:

Contrast the sad demise of the CIA’s anti-Assad program in western Syria with the rampaging campaign against the Islamic State in the east. What’s the difference? In the east, motivated, well-organized Syrian fighters are backed by U.S. warriors on the ground and planes in the sky. In this game, halfway is not the place to be.

Take your pick: Syrian al-Qaeda (HTS) or Syrian Taliban (Ahrar al-Sham)? As the jihadists of Idlib continue kill each other off the weeping and gnashing of teeth in Washington is sure to intensify.

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

7. OIL ISSUES

OPEC is now exceeding 33 million barrels per day this month and thus breaking its promise of a cut in supply

This is forcing the WTI price to head toward the 45 dollar market

(courtesy zero hedge)

8. EMERGING MARKET

VENEZUELA

We discussed earlier in the week, that the USA was planning sanctions against Venezuela. One of the sanctions may be the halting of oil imports from that country

(courtesy Irina Slav/OilPrice.com)

U.S. May Halt Oil Imports From Venezuela

Authored by Irina Slav via OilPrice.com,

The Trump administration is mulling over sanctions against senior Venezuelan government officials, and additional measures could include sanctions against the country’s oil industry, such as halting imports into the U.S., according to senior Washington officials who spoke to media.

The goal of the sanctions is to prevent the Nicolas Maduro government from having things its way at a July 30 election for a Constituent Assembly that, the U.S. administration believes, would serve to cement Maduro’s power and turn Venezuela into a “full dictatorship.”

The Constitutional Assembly vote was proposed by the government as a means of tackling the political crisis that Venezuela slid into last year, after the election of a new parliament where the opposition had a majority that put it at odds with the government. A Constituent Assembly can rewrite the country’s constitution, and many observers see the move as an attempt to strengthen the current regime’s hold on power.

After months of often violent protests, the opposition has now called a 24-hour national strike after conducting an unofficial referendum that, Al Jazeera reports, suggested overwhelming opposition to the idea of voting for a Constituent Assembly and equally overwhelming support for transparent parliamentary elections.

Russian Sputnik quoted Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada as saying Venezuela will reconsider its relations with the U.S. should Washington go ahead with the sanctions, which, for the time being, seem to target two senior government officials: Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez and the second most senior figure in the ruling Socialist Party, Diosdado Cabello. The allegations against them are for rights violations.

Venezuela is the third-largest oil exporter to the US, with the daily rate of imports for the week to July 7 at 823,000 barrels, according to the EIA, about 30,000 bpd less than Saudi Arabia’s daily exports to the U.S.

In 2016, Venezuelan imports accounted for 9.5 percent of total U.S. crude imports.

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

Euro/USA   1.1643 UP .0015/REACTING TO  + huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:/TRUMP HEALTH CARE DEFEAT//ITALIAN REFERENDUM DEFEAT/AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/ /USA FALLING INTEREST RATES AGAIN/EUROPE BOURSES ALL IN THE RED

USA/JAPAN YEN 111.48 DOWN 0.399(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/LABOUR PARTY LOSES IN LOCAL ELECTIONS

GBP/USA 1.3008 UP .0043 (Brexit  March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED

THERESA MAY FORMS A NEW GOVERNMENT/STARTS BREXIT TALKS

USA/CAN 1.2594 DOWN .0003 (CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA)

Early THIS FRIDAY morning in Europe, the Euro ROSE by 15 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level  RISING to 1.1643; Europe is still reacting to Gr Britain HARD BREXIT,deflation, announcements of massive stimulation (QE), a proxy middle east war, and the ramifications of a default at the Austrian Hypo bank, an imminent default of Greece, Glencore, Nysmark and the Ukraine, along with rising peripheral bond yield further stimulation as the EU is moving more into NIRP, and now the Italian referendum defeat AND NOW THE ECB TAPERING OF ITS PURCHASES/ THE USA’S NON tightening by FAILING TO RAISE THEIR INTEREST RATE AND NOW THE HUGE PROBLEMS FACING TOO BIG TO FAIL DEUTSCHE BANK + THE ELECTION OF TRUMP IN THE USA+ TRUMP HEALTH CARE BILL DEFEAT AND MONTE DEI PASCHI NATIONALIZATION / Last night the Shanghai composite CLOSED  DOWN 6.88 POINTS OR 0.21%     / Hang Sang  CLOSED DOWN 34.12 POINTS OR 0.13% /AUSTRALIA  CLOSED UP 0.46% / EUROPEAN BOURSES OPENED  IN THE RED 

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

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

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

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

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

The NIKKEI: this FRIDAY morning CLOSED DOWN 44.84 POINTS OR .22%

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

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 34.12 POINTS OR 0.13%  / SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 6.88 POINTS OR 0.21%   /Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 0.46% /Nikkei (Japan)CLOSED DOWN 44.84  POINTS OR .22%    / INDIA’S SENSEX IN THE GREEN

Gold very early morning trading: 1248.25

silver:$16.40

Early FRIDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.2393% !!! DOWN 2 IN POINTS from THURSDAY night in basis points and it is trading JUST BELOW resistance at 2.27-2.32%.

 The 30 yr bond yield  2.8087, DOWN 2  IN BASIS POINTS  from THURSDAY night.

USA dollar index early FRIDAY morning: 94.14 DOWN 16  CENT(S) from WEDNESDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers  FRIDAY MORNING

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And now your closing FRIDAY NUMBERS

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 2.908%  DOWN 10 in basis point(s) yield from THURSDAY 

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.067%  DOWN 1   in   basis point yield from THURSDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.451% DOWN 3   IN basis point yield from THURSDAY 

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.072 DOWN 4 POINTS  in basis point yield from THURSDAY 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 62 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: +.506% DOWN 2 IN  BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY

END

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IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR FRIDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1659 UP .01031 (Euro UP 31 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 111.15 DOWN  0.738(Yen UP 74 basis points/ 

Great Britain/USA 1.2972 UP  0.0008( POUND UP 8

basis points) 

USA/Canada 1.2552 DOWN .0048 (Canadian dollar UP 48 basis points AS OIL FE;; TO $45.97

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

This afternoon, the Euro was UP  by 31 basis points to trade at 1.1659

The Yen ROSE to 111.15 for a GAIN of 24  Basis points as NIRP is STILL a big failure for the Japanese central bank/HELICOPTER MONEY IS NOW DELAYED/BANK OF JAPAN NOW WORRIED AS AS THEY ARE RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY AS BOND YIELDS RISE  /OPERATION REVERSE TWIST ANNOUNCED SEPT 21.2016

The POUND ROSE BY 8  basis points, trading at 1.2972/ 

The Canadian dollar ROSE by 48 basis points to 1.2552,  WITH WTI OIL FALLING TO :  $45.97

The USA/Yuan closed at 6.7667/
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.067%  DOWN 1  IN  BASIS POINTS / yield/ 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield DOWN 1/2 IN basis points from THURSDAY at 2.234% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic  USA 30 yr bond yield: 2.8026  DOWN 1 in basis points on the day /

Your closing USA dollar index, 94.02  DOWN 29 CENT(S)  ON THE DAY/1.00 PM 

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

London:  CLOSED DOWN 34.96 POINTS OR 0.13%
German Dax :CLOSED DOWN 207.19 POINTS OR 1.66%
Paris Cac  CLOSED DOWN 81.56 POINTS OR 1.57% 
Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 138.20 POINTS OR 1.31%

Italian MIB: CLOSED  DOWN 236.47 POINTS/OR 1.10%

The Dow closed DOWN 31.71 OR 0.15%

NASDAQ WAS closed down 2.25  POINTS OR 0.04%  4.00 PM EST
WTI Oil price;  45.97 at 1:00 pm; 

Brent Oil: 48.13 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS:  59.24 UP 34/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE LOWER BY 34 BASIS PTS)

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD FALLS TO  +0.506%  FOR THE 10 YR BOND  4.PM EST EST

END

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

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

WTI CRUDE OIL PRICE 5:00 PM:$45.69

BRENT: $47.97

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.2358%  (ANYTHING HIGHER THAN 2.70% BLOWS UP THE GLOBE)

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 2.8079%

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1664 UP .0035

USA/JAPANESE YEN:111.13  DOWN  0.758

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 93.95  DOWN 36  cent(s) 

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.2992 : UP 28 POINTS FROM LAST NIGHT  

Canadian dollar: 1.2538 up 59 BASIS pts 

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +0.506%

END

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

Traders ‘Stunned’ As Nasdaq Fails To Rise, Debt-Ceiling Despair Inverts Yield Curve

As Stocks soared…

And today…

 

The day started off badly with — European stocks fell to the lowest level in 10 days as concern about potential antitrust collusion sent carmakers toward the worst decline in more than a year. Euro Stoxx 600 has now erased all the gains from the French Election euphoria…

 

Nasdaq failed to achieve its 11th day in a row of gains as early European weakness was just too much for the machines to overcome… though they tried… (11 days would have been the longest winning streak since July 2009) Dow ended the week red, Trannies worst week since Brexit

LPL’s Ryan Detrick notes that the Nasdaq has been up for 10 consecutive sessions for the first time since Feb ’15. Since 1980, this has happened 21 other times, and the next month on average for Nasdaq was +2.6%, higher 16 of those 21 times overall.

VIX was clubbed to new lows in an effort to pump up stocks and go for the 11th daily win… but failed… VIX closed at 9.31!! That is the lowest weekly VIX close in history

 

Utes were the week’s best-performing sector (not exactly growthy) and financials worst…

 

FANG Stocks are up 11 days in a row and had their best week since Oct 2016 (thanks to NFLX) and the best 2-week gains (11%!) since July 2015

 

Bonds and Stocks recoupled this week…

 

As a reminder this has been an epic short-squeeze – the last time shorts were this low was at the peak for the S&P in Q2007…

 

Treasury yields tumbled this week… first weekly close lower in yields in the last 4 (2nd biggest weekly yield decline in 4 months)

 

With 10Y back below 2.25% back to pre-Fed-rate-hike levels…

 

The yield curve flattened dramatically this week – 2s10s down 9bps – biggest drop since the first week of 2017

 

Debt Ceiling concerns are really beginning to accelerate in short-term debt markets…

h/t @macropabst

 

The Dollar Index was crushed this week, down 1% for the second week in a row to its lowest since May 2016.

 

The Euro was the week’s best performer among the majors (nearing 1.17 – highest weekly close since Jan 2015)…Cable was weakest this week.

 

We note that in general it is tracking last year’s post-Dec-rate-hike trajectory…

The problem is – there is no Trump Effect to levitate the dollar in H2 this time. The Dollar is on target for the 6th monthly drop in the last 7.

Gold is up 6 days in a row (9 of the last 10), breaking above its 50-, 100-, and 200-day moving-averages…

This is gold’s best week in 3 months…

 

WTI Crude closed the week back at a $45 handle (down for the 7th week in the last 9)… as OPEC supply is projected to hit 2017 highs

 

Bitcoin soared 25% this week – its biggest rise since Brexit…

 

Finally, there’s this…

Have a great weekend ‘Murica!

end

 

The correct formula for M2 is the one used by the Mises Institute.  Here the M2 is falling badly which indicates that the economy in the USA is heading for a big recession

(courtesy Ryan McMaken/Mises Institute)

Money Supply Growth Tumbles To Lowest Since Lehman

Authored by Ryan McMaken via TheMises Institute,

 

Growth in the supply of US dollars fell again in May, this time to a 105-month low of 5.4 percent. The last time the money supply grew at a smaller rate was during September 2008 — at a rate of 5.2 percent.

The money-supply metric used here — an “Austrian money supply” measure — is the metric developed by Murray Rothbard and Joseph Salerno, and is designed to provide a better measure than M2. The Mises Institute now offers regular updates on this metric and its growth.

The “Austrian” measure of the money supply differs from M2 in that it includes treasury deposits at the Fed (and excludes short time deposits, traveler’s checks, and retail money funds). 

M2 growth also slowed in May, falling to 5.6 percent, a 20-month low.

ms1.png

Money supply growth can often be a helpful measure of economic activity. During periods of economic boom, money supply tends to grow quickly as banks make more loans. Recessions, on the other hand, tend to be preceded by periods of falling money-supply growth.

Thanks to the intervention of central banks, of course, money supply growth in recent decades has never gone into negative territory.

Nevertheless, as we can see in the graph, significant dips in growth rates show up in years prior to a economic bust or financial crisis. 

For insights into what’s affecting money supply growth, we can look at loan activity, such as the Federal Reserve’s measure of industrial and commercial loans.

In this case, we find that the growth rate in loans has fallen to a 74-month low, dropping to 1.9 percent. Loan growth has not been this weak since April of 2011, in the wake of the last financial crisis. 

loans.png

We find similar trends in real estate loans and in consumer loans, although not to the same extent.

realestate_loans.PNG
consumer_loans.PNG

The current subdued rates of growth in the money supply suggests an economy in which lenders are holding back somewhat on making new loans, which itself suggests a lack of reliable borrowers due to a lackluster overall economy.

This assessment, of course, is reinforced by the Federal Reserve’s clear reluctance to wind down it’s huge portfolio, and to end its ongoing policy of low-interest rates — concerned that any additional tightening might lead to a recession.

end

 

A terrific commentary showing the top 20 underfunded corporate pensions and how this will lead to trouble down the road;

(courtesy zero hedge)

Sometimes you just have to laugh…

 

Source: Townhall.com

end

 

 

First

 

Trump Legal Shake Up: Kasowitz Out As Personal Attorney, Corrallo Resigns

There’s been a shakeup in President Trump’s legal team. According to CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett, Marc Kasowitz is out as Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, while Kasowitz’s spokesman, Mark Corallo – who has had a rocky relationship with Trump in the past – has resigned.

News: Marc Kasowitz out as @POTUS attorney – legal team now Cobb, Sekulow & Dowd. Sounds like a law firm but is not. Corrallo has resigned.

While Kasowitz had represented Trump since the early 2000s, and led his defense in the Trump University fraud case, the prominent lawyer recently made negative headlines when he sent threatening emails to a retired public relations professional who had said Kasowitz should resign. In his first response, Kasowitz wrote “F*** you,” according to ProPublica. Kasowitz wrote a number of emails after that, including one that said, “And you don’t know me, but I will know you How dare you send me an email like that I’m on you now You are f****** with me now Let’s see who you are Watch your back, b****.”

Corallo is a longtime GOP operative who worked for the House committee that investigated President Clinton in the 1990s before going to the Justice Department under former Attorney General John Ashcroft, according to Politico. Politico reports Corallo had been handling the White House’s defense in the Russia investigation.  In a bizarre incident, last month The New York Times reported that Corallo had previously used Twitter to criticize the president and his administration.

“Hey Mr. President, where’s all the ‘winning?’” Corallo tweeted last month, a reference to former President Bill Clinton. He also used Twitter to criticize Trump’s reliance on son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, calling Kushner part of the “swamp” Trump promised to drain. Corallo’s message also split from that of many other Trump allies, who were critical of Mueller. What may have sealed Corallo’s fate is that days before he accepted the role as Kasowitz’s spokesman, he praised Mueller for his integrity and honor.

On Friday morning, Corallo, confirmed he has resigned in an emailed statement, while giving no other details about his departure.

After the shake up Trump’s legal team will be composed of Ty Cobb, Jay Sekulow and John Dowd, CBS reports. Cobb joined the president’s legal team earlier this week.

That team has been pushing back against Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, trying to keep it from expanding into the business dealings of Trump and his family, Garrett reports. The president’s legal team is trying to keep the special counsel focused, to the extent it can, on the Russia angle. In an interview The New York Times published Wednesday, Trump called the special counsel’s investigation a “violation,” saying it crossed a red line.

With multiple and overlapping probes from the special counsel’s office to the Capitol, some investigators are also looking into purchases of units in Trump properties. Mr. Trump told the Times “it’s possible there’s a condo or something,” but said he doesn’t make any money off Russia. CBS News also reported that Mueller is investigating the business dealings of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager. The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan had been looking into Manafort, according to a source, but now that probe has been turned over to Mueller’s investigators.

Separately, on Thursday night, the WaPo reported citing “people familiar with situation” that Trump has asked advisers about the power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. The newspaper added that Trump’s lawyers are looking at ways to limit or undercut Mueller’s investigation by alleging conflicts of interest.

Second: Spicer replaced by Scaramucci. Melissa McCarthy is now out of a job impersonating Spicer on Saturday night live!
(courtesy zerohedge)

Spicer Resigns As White House Press Secretary, Replaced By Anthony Scaramucci

It’s official: moments ago the much anticipated departure of (now former) White House press secretary and communications director, Sean Spicer took place, when according to the NYT, Spicer resigned on Friday morning, “telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.” 

Mr. Trump offered Mr. Scaramucci the job at 10 a.m. The president requested that Mr. Spicer stay on, but Mr. Spicer told Mr. Trump that he believed the appointment was a major mistake, according to person with direct knowledge of the exchange.

News of Spicer’s resignation was promptly greeted with trolling by many…

R.I.P. Sean Spicer as White House Press Secretary, 2017 – 2017

… including Maxine Waters:

Congratulations Sean Spicer. You’ve got more guts than Jeff Sessions!

To all those who bought the “No” contract: congratulations: it’s payout time:

Meanwhile, as noted above, Trump appointed former SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci as White House Communications Director.

JUST IN: President Trump has offered Anthony Scaramucci the job of White House Communications Dir.; Scaramucci has accepted. – @JTSantucci

Scaramucci has been a vocal supporter of the president, having served in a top financial advisory role on Trump’s campaign. He has been an ardent defender of the president in television interviews.

.@DonaldJTrumpJr is a virtuous and honorable man. Virtue means the courage to act with integrity. Don does that everyday. 

He was also the subject of the recent hit piece from CNN that the network was forced to retract and apologize to him for, a piece that inaccurately accused him of being under multiple investigations—he is not under any—for “meetings” that never happened with Russian bankers. Three senior CNN editorial officials resigned over the story, amounting to what is still developing into one of the biggest scandals in journalistic history.

While news of Scaramucci’s appointment first broke on Thursday night, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus tried to scuttle the appointment of Scaramucci due to a reported long-running feud with him, according to Breitbart, which adds that Steve Bannon, the ex-Executive Chairman of Breitbart News now the White House chief strategist, also objected to the Scaramucci appointment.

Bannon and Priebus have an alliance inside the White House where they are frequently at loggerheads with the “West Wing Democrats” like National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, Jared Kusher, Ivanka Trump, and others.

Those opposed to the Scaramucci appointment did not succeed.

Reince and Bannon fought hard to stop Scaramucci going in. But the President made up his own mind.

Scaramucci is a done deal, I’m told. Bannon lost.

end
Third: Steve Bannon in “self imposed exile” after disputes with Trump’s inner circle”
(courtesy zero hedge)

Steve Bannon In “Self-Imposed Exile” After Disputes With Trump’s Inner Circle

Back in February when Time Magazine ran a cover dubbing Steve Bannon “The Great Manipulator,” we wondered whether there was any truth to the assertion or if it was just a clever attempt to sow discord in the White House.  Here’s what we said previously in a post entitled “Is Steve Bannon ‘The Great Manipulator’ Or Is It All Just More ‘Fake News’“.

Various mainstream media outlets would like for you to believe there is discord in the White House between President Trump and Steve Bannon.  The typical narrative goes something like this:  Steve Bannon is “The Great Manipulator” (as Time Magazine described him) pulling all the strings from behind the scenes and Trump, the perpetual narcissist, is growing weary of competing for the spotlight.

 

The question is whether any of it is true or if this is just more “fake news” from a mainstream media intent upon doing anything possible to sow the White House discord they so desperately seek?

 

Of course, if the media were actively looking to leverage a “character flaw” of a President they see as intent upon always capturing the spotlight, putting staff members on the cover of prominent national magazine covers would be a great way to execute that plan.

Bannon

 

Of course, if sowing discord was the intent then it just may have worked.  As Politico points out today, following alleged disputes between Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner and others within Trump’s inner circle, Bannon has apparently resorted to living his daily life in “self-imposed exile” in the White House.

Steve Bannon has largely disappeared from the White House’s most sensitive policy debates — a dramatic about-face for an operative once characterized as the most powerful man in Washington.

 

Bannon, chastened by internal rivalries and by President Donald Trump’s growing suspicion that he is looking out for his own interests, is in a self-imposed exile,having chosen to step back from Trump’s inner circle for the sake of self-preservation, according to several White House advisers who spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering a colleague.

 

He was absent from Trump’s recent trips to Europe for the G-20 summit and from his visit with French president Emmanuel Macron. Bannon’s non-attendance is all the more noteworthy given his interest in European history and politics, particularly his antipathy to the European Union.

As Politico notes, whereas Bannon was, not long ago, a near-constant presence in the Oval Office — often seen standing over Trump’s shoulder or sitting in on calls with world leaders — he now spends hours camped out at the conference table in the office of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, reading the news or working on his phone.

Steve Bannon

 

Meanwhile, it’s apparently not just the Oval Office where Bannon’s presence has been limited as he’s pretty much removed himself from all policy discussions as well.

For Bannon, reduced visibility has brought reduced influence. On trade, his protectionist views are well known; though he initially joined a series of White House meetings begun in the spring to resolve disagreements between advisers with disparate views on the subject, from free traders like economic adviser Gary Cohn to protectionists like National Trade Council director Peter Navarro, he has not shown up at one in six weeks.

 

Nor did Bannon attend a major policy meeting on Tuesday on trade policy towards China, even though he is known to favor tough economic measures towards Beijing. He did, however, have time for a meeting with former Trump campaign aides David Bossie and Corey Lewandowski that focused on political issues, including how to woo back Republican senators who had abandoned Trump on health care.

 

Bannon has not been entirely absent from the West Wing’s heftiest policy discussions. On Monday, he attended a meeting of the NSC’s Principals Committee, which includes top officials from throughout the government, according to a senior White House aide. Though the president removed Bannon from the NSC in April, the aide estimated that Bannon has been at approximately 20 percent of the Principals Committee meetings since then. Bannon has reportedly dueled with McMaster over troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria, in each case warning against deeper U.S. involvement.

 

“He follows everything closely. He knows what’s going on. I don’t know if he has a feeling that strategically it’s better if his hands aren’t directly on things, but he’s definitely in the fold on the legislative agenda,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump political adviser.

Of course, following controversies surrounding everyone from Bannon to Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer, there have been never-ending media reports of late suggesting that a shakeup of the White House staff is inevitable at some point in the not so distant future…a shakeup which Politico thinks could come next month…

But he now plays a surprisingly minor role in key administration policy debates. White House aides speculate about whether Bannon is trying to protect his job amidst long-running talk of a White House staff purge. Several West Wing advisers said they expect Trump to decide once and for all on a White House shakeup during his planned vacation next month, when he is expected to consult with friends beyond the Beltway. “If there is a big staff shakeup, it will be in August,” said a senior White House aide. “My guess is that Bannon probably sees that and doesn’t want to be in the press.”

…mission accomplished?

end

Trump goes on the offensive as it begins to investigate Mueller’s team for conflicts
(courtesy zero hedge)

Harvey.

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