July 28/Gold rises by $9.30/silver up by 11 cents due to 1. lousy GDP report. 2. wage inflation non existent/3. Failure of the Senate to pass the skinny Health care bill. 4/ the Senate passes the bill for more sanctions against Russia upon which Russia already retaliated and Europe to follow/5. North Korea launched another ICBM which could hit NY and Boston; and with that gold went up less than 10 dollars/GLD LOSES 3.54 TONNES/SLV LOSES 1.115 MILLION OZ/USA and Canadian embassies recall all employees stationed in Venezuela as they expect trouble on Sunday/and much more….

GOLD: $1269.60  UP $9.30

Silver: $16.70  UP 11 cent(s)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1269.60

silver: $16.76

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: $1265.79 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  $1259.55

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $6.24

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1266.28

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1259.70

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$6.58

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1259.60

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1260.45 

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1264.90

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1265.05 

For comex gold:

JULY/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH:  1 NOTICE(S) FOR 100  OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 176 FOR 17600 OZ    (.5474 TONNES)

For silver:

JULY

 5 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR

25,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 3287 for 16,435,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 WE HAVE NOW ENTERED OPTIONS EXPIRY WEEK:

LONDON BASED OPTIONS EXPIRY: JULY 31.2017 AT 11AM OR SO.

(OTC/LBMA CONTRACTS)

On yesterday’s commentary I thought we were going to have a raid today. I noticed that the gold/silver equity shares sold off badly yesterday and that is a sure sign that an attack will occur. Probably our crooks were blindsided today with the failure of the Republicans to pass the healthcare bill as well as lousy GDP report, the all important wage inflation is non existent and the passing of new sanctions against Russia. And then we can couple all of this with the new launching of a ICBM that could hit New York and Boston…and yet with all of that news, the gain in gold was less than 10 dollars and silver, 11 cents. However today again, the gold/silver equity shares fell off badly on closing and we have only Monday morning for options expiry. There has never been any time during any options expiry that the crooks have not generated a raid. So if they fail to raid on Monday, they are losing control as demand is far outstripping supply in our precious metals.

 

 

end

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest surprisingly FELL BY 1145 contracts from 207,699 DOWN TO 206,554 DESPITE THE RISE IN PRICE THAT SILVER TOOK WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING (UP 13 CENT(S). YESTERDAY AGAIN THE COMMERCIALS TRIED IN VAIN TO COVER BUT TO NO AVAIL AS THEY WERE ONLY ABLE TO COVER A FEW CONTRACTS DESPITE THE HIGHER PRICE. EVEN WITH THE HELP OF OPTIONS EXPIRY THEY COULD NOT GET THE SILVER LONGS TO LEAVE THE SILVER TREE. THE SPECS SHORTS ALSO DESPERATELY TRIED TO COVER THEIR SHORTFALL. THE RESULT SHORT COVERING WITH A HIGHER PRICE 

 In ounces, the OI is still represented by just OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  1.032 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 147% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 5 NOTICE(S) FOR 25,000  OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the total comex gold CONTINUED TO LIQUIDATE AS IT FELL BY A WHOPPING 17,960 CONTRACTS DESPITE THE HUGE RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD  ($10.45 with YESTERDAY’S TRADING). The total gold OI stands at 432,361 contracts. The liquidation in the front month has now resumed where we left off on Wednesday as spec longs liquidated their comex contracts FOR EFP CONTRACTS which gives them a fiat bonus plus a future delivery product which most likely is a London based forward. The huge liquidation at the gold comex negated any attempt for a gold/silver raid today

we had 1 notice(s) filed upon for 100 oz of gold.

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

GLD:

Today, a huge change in gold inventory/another withdrawal of 3.54 tonnes of gold with gold up $9.15

Inventory rests tonight: 791.88 tonnes

IN THE LAST 11 DAYS: GLD SHEDS 45.62 TONNES YET GOLD IS HIGHER BY $51.15 . GO FIGURE!! GLD IS A MASSIVE FRAUD AT LEAST THEY ARE DOING THEIR CRIMINAL DEED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT FOR ALL OF US TO SEE!!

 

SLV

Today: : WE HAD A HUGE CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY TONIGHT: A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.115 MILLION OZ DESPITE SILVER BEING UP 11 CENTS TODAY

INVENTORY RESTS AT 343.812 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 1145 contracts from 207,699 DOWN TO 206,554 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787). THE FALL IN OPEN INTEREST WAS ACCOMPANIED BY  THE RISE IN SILVER PRICE  IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING  (UP 13 CENTS ). NO DOUBT WE WITNESSED MORE SPEC LONGS ENTER THE ARENA WITH THE MAJORITY OF THE  SPEC LONGS BASICALLY REMAINING STOIC. THE SPEC LONGS SEEM TO BE TAKING ON THE BANKERS. THE SPEC SHORTS ARE DESPERATE TO COVER THEIR SHORTFALL BUT THEY ARE COMING IN CONTACT WITH NEW HUGE NEW SPEC LONGS AND THAT DROVE THE PRICE HIGHER . THE BANKERS HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO COVER SOME OF THEIR MASSIVE  SHORT PAPER DESPITE THE HIGHER PRICE OF SILVER. 

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

 

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY:  Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

  i)Late THURSDAY night/FRIDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 3.46 POINTS OR 0.11%   / /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 151.78 POINTS OR 0.56% The Nikkei closed DOWN 119.80 POINTS OR .60%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 1.32%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN at 6.7428/Oil UP to 49.07 dollars per barrel for WTI and 51.66 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED IN THE RED , Offshore yuan trades  6.7444 yuan to the dollar vs 6.7428 for onshore yuan. NOW THE OFFSHORE IS WEAKER  TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN  WEAKER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS MUCH WEAKER 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

Surprisingly gold rises when this news came out:  North Korea fies another missile

( zero hedge)

ii)The latest data seems to suggest that the North Korean ICBM could reach Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and maybe New York and Boston

(courtesy zero hedge)

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

c) REPORT ON CHINA

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

Germany wanted migrants into the country and this is what they get:

( zero hedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

 

That did not take long: Russia retaliates against USA sanctions by 1.cutting the diplomatic staff of USA diplomats in Russia to 455/the rest will be sent home

2.seizing a dacha compound used as a retreat

3.seizing a warehouse used by diplomats as a retreat

now we await the European response who will get the brunt of the attack.

 

(zerohedge)

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

Not good:  Nuclear power Pakistan plunges into political turmoil after its Prime Minister is removed after their Supreme Court ruled he engaged in corruption.  He bought London properties with “corrupted” money

( zero hedge)

7. OIL ISSUES

i)As promised we should start to see oil prices rise as the shale boys cut their production in the uSA

( zero hedge)

ii)Rig counts only rise by 2.  The shale boys have already reached peak shale and with cap ex falling, we should see oil production drop and then in 2018 oil will rise in price

( zero hedge)

8. EMERGING MARKET

Both Canada and USA embassy families have been ordered out of Venezuela ahead of the new “constitutional” reform bill which will be voted on Sunday.  This will give our bus driver Maduro new powers and ending democracy

Everybody expects a bloody showdown

( zerohedge)

9.   PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)Interesting:  Bullion star’s Ronan Manly charts gold demand is huge around the world except for GLD..I wonder why?

( Ronan Manly/Bullionstar)

 

ii)Despite options expiry on Monday, gold and silver were bid well after a huge GDP disappointment

 

( zerohedge)

iii)Julian Phillips is in my camp with respect to the GLD inventory falling.  The gold is heading to Shanghai via Switzerland

( Julian Phillips/Bullionvault)

iv) Bill Holter interview by SGT

v)Lawrie Williams on the same topic as above but he just doesn’t get it. GLD is a fraud and is a vehicle to supply gold to China…period..

 

shorting of GLD must be outlawed by the crooks will not do this.  Thus a short can borrow 100,000 shares or so and then tender those shares for gold.  The physical gold is then shipped to Shanghai to continue the game for China.

 

the shorter is obligated to return the shares but there is less gold per outstanding shares..

my bet: once GLD gets to 700 tonnes, the supply to China will stop for one simple reason:  at that point, there will be no physical gold inside the GLD vehicle.

 

(courtesy Lawrie Williams/Lawrie on gold

10. USA Stories

i)The GDP figures released this morning sent gold and silver northbound: 2nd quarter GDP revised down to 2.6%.  First quarter GDP revised southbound to 1.2% and the all important core PCE which is Janet’s favourite for measuring wage and other inflation tumbles from 1.8% down to only.9%
( zero hedge)
ii)The following is a biggy: the employment cost index slumped to just .5% growth in 2nd quarter (Q/Q) and this wage growth is the slowest and weakest in two years.  To the Fed, they need wage growth to follow inflation.  If this does not happen then stagflation and all other bad things happen to an economy.  Gold/silver love the report!
( zero hedge)

iii)Soft data University of Michigan Consumer Confidence tumbles to its lowest level before the election as now Trumphoria sinks( zero hedge)

( zero hedge)

v Early Friday morning

Even the “skinny” Obamacare repeal fails as 3 Senators (John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins) reject the latest version.  This will hurt the Republicans in the next election.
Republicans have yet to agree on anything.  Now we await the debt ceiling debate and that will be a dandy
( zero hedge)

v)More background on the Awan brothers and strange by Trump has not commented on the story.  Also strange that the mainstream media will not talk about it

( zero hedge)

vi)the gauntlet against the Democrats i.e. Comey, Lynch and Clinton has been thrown:

a very big story!!
(courtesy zerohedge)

vii)My goodness: what entertainment. This is far better than the chariot races in Roman times for our entertainment dollar.Anthony Scaramucci’s wife files for divorce because of his blind political ambition and love for Trump.  She is anti trump.

folks..it doesn’t get any better.

( zero hedge)

( Michael Snyder/EconomicCollapseblog)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest FELL BY A MONSTROUS 17.06- CONTRACTS DOWN to an OI level of 432,361 DESPITE THE  RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($10.45 with YESTERDAY’S trading). The liquidation in the total gold comex CONTINUES AS PROMISED. The comex gold longs relinquished their comex contracts for 15,964 EFP’s which entitles the holder to a fiat bonus plus a future deliverable product but on an other exchange, most likely London’s gold forward market  (LBMA).  The liquidation negated any attempt of a gold/silver raid at the comex today (along with news of the failure to pass a health care bill, and a lousy GDP report)

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 LOST 4 contract(s) to stand at 1 contracts. We had only 4 notices filed YESTERDAY morning, so we GAINED 0 contracts or an additional 0 oz will stand in this non active month of July.  Thus 0 EFP notice(s) were given for July 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 42,065 contracts DOWN to 33,181, as this month winds down prior to first day notice, Monday July 31.  The next non active contract month is September and here they GAINED 371 contract to stand at 1430. The next active delivery month is October and here we gained 3268 contracts up to 41,320.  October is the poorest of the active gold delivery months as most players move right to December.

We had 1 notice(s) filed upon today for 100 oz

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

On July 28.2017:  open interest for the front month: 33,181 contracts compared to July 28.2016:   42,275.

 

LAST YEAR WE HAD A MONSTROUS 44.7 TONNES OF GOLD INITIALLY.  BY THE CONCLUSION OF THE AUGUST CONTRACT MONTH 44.358 TONNES STOOD FOR DELIVERY.

THERE ARE 1 MORE READING DAY(S) BEFORE FIRST DAY NOTICE, MONDAY JULY 31.2017

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And now for the wild silver comex results.  Total silver OI FELL BY 1145 contracts FROM 207,699 DOWN TO 206,554 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S  13 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 SHORT SPECULATORS WERE ALSO TRYING TO COVER THEIR SHORTS ALONG WITH THE BANKERS BUT TO NO AVAIL. THE BANKERS WERE FORCED TO COVER A TINY AMOUNT OF THEIR MASSIVE SHORTFALL DESPITE THE HIGHER PRICE OF SILVER. HOWEVER THAT DID NOT STOP SOMEBODY JUMPING QUEUE AGAIN SEEKING PHYSICAL SILVER.  (SEE BELOW)

We are now in the next big active month silver contract month of July and here the OI LOST 107 contracts FALLING TO 5. We had 112 notices served  yesterday so we gained 5 CONTRACTS or an additional  25,000 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 and  no doubt is a London based forward.

The month of August, a non active month LOST 58 contracts to stand at 394.  The next big active delivery month for silver will be September and here the OI LOST ANOTHER 2642 contracts DOWN to 143,455.

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: 16.425 million oz.

We had 5 notice(s) filed for 25,000 oz for the June 2017 contract

VOLUMES: for the gold comex

Today the estimated volume was 312,280 contracts which is excellent/

Yesterday’s confirmed volume was 402,367 contracts  which is HUGE

volumes on gold are STILL HIGHER THAN NORMAL!

FINAL standings for JULY

 July 28/2017.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz   nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz  
28,935.000 oz
900  KILOBARS
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz NIL  oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz 
nil
No of oz served (contracts) today
 
1 notice(s)
100 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
0 contracts
0 oz
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
176 notices
17600 oz
.5474 tonnes
Total accumulative withdrawals  of gold from the Dealers inventory this month   NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month   178,962.5 oz
Today we HAD  1 kilobar transaction(s)/ 
We had 0 deposit into the dealer:
total dealer deposits: nil oz
We had nil 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 1 customer withdrawal(s)
i) Out of Scotia:  28,935.000 oz
900 kilobars
total customer withdrawals; 28,935.00 oz
 we had 1 adjustment(s)
 i) Out of Delaware:  992.585 oz was adjusted out of the customer and this landed into the dealer account of Delaware
 
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 1  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 (176) x 100 oz or 17,600 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of JUNE (1 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (1) x 100 oz per contract equals 17,600  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 (176) x 100 oz  or ounces + {(1)OI for the front month  minus the number of  notices served upon today (1) x 100 oz which equals 17,600 oz standing in this  active delivery month of JULY  (0.5474 tonnes)
We GAINED 0 contracts or AN ADDITIONAL 0 oz will stand and 0 EFP contract(s) was issued as described as above.
.
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Total dealer inventory 696,412.682 or 21.66 tonnes  (dealer gold continues to disappear)
Total gold inventory (dealer and customer) = 8,662.844.684 or 269.95 tonnes 
 
Over a year ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today the total inventory rests at 269.95 tonnes for a  loss of 33  tonnes over that period.  Since August 8/2016 we have lost 84 tonnes leaving the comex. However I am including kilobar transactions and they are very suspect at best.
I have a sneaky feeling that these withdrawals of gold in kilobars are being used in the hypothecating process  and are being used in the raiding of gold!

The gold comex is an absolute fraud.  The use of kilobars and exact weights makes the data totally absurd and fraudulent! To me, the only thing that makes sense is the fact that “kilobars: are entries of hypothecated gold sent to other jurisdictions so that they will not be short with their underwritten derivatives in that jurisdiction.  This would be similar to the rehypothecated gold used by Jon Corzine at MF Global.
 
IN THE LAST 11 MONTHS  84 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.
end
And now for silver
AND NOW THE June DELIVERY MONTH
 
JULY final standings
 July 28 2017
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory  nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
290,664.620 oz
Scotia
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil  oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory 
 nil
oz
No of oz served today (contracts)
5 CONTRACT(S)
(25,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
0 contracts
( NIL oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 3287 contracts (16,435,000 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 4,001,565.6 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 1 customer withdrawal(s):
i) Out of Scotia:  290,664.620 oz
TOTAL CUSTOMER WITHDRAWALS:   290,664.620 oz
We had 0 Customer deposit(s):
***deposits into JPMorgan have stopped  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: nil oz
 
 we had 0 adjustment(s)
The total number of notices filed today for the JULY. contract month is represented by 5 contract(s) for 25,000 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 3287 x 5,000 oz  = 16,435,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of JULY (5) and the number of notices served upon today (5) x 5000 oz equals the number of ounces standing
 

 

.
 
Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the JULY contract month:  3287 (notices served so far)x 5000 oz  + OI for front month of JULY.(5 ) -number of notices served upon today (5)x 5000 oz  equals  16,435,000 oz  of silver standing for the JULY contract month.
We gained ANOTHER 5 contracts for an additional 25,000 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 50,164 which is GOOD
YESTERDAY’s  confirmed volume was 76,883 contracts which is EXCELLENT
YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 76,883 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 384 MILLION OZ OF SILVER OR 55% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER EX CHINA EX RUSSIA). IN OUR HEARINGS THE COMMISSIONERS STRESSED THAT THE OPEN INTEREST SHOULD BE AROUND 3% OF THE MARKET.
 
Total dealer silver:  38.438 million (close to record low inventory  
Total number of dealer and customer silver:   213.912 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 6.6 percent to NAV usa funds and Negative 6.5% to NAV for Cdn funds!!!! 
Percentage of fund in gold 62.8%
Percentage of fund in silver:37.1%
cash .+0.1%( July 27/2017) 
2. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): STOCK   NAV FALLS TO +0.10% (July 27/2017) 
3. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -0.57% to NAV  (July 27/2017 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back  into POSITIVE territory at +0.10/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.57%/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 28/ANOTHER MASSIVE WITHDRAWAL OF 3.54 TONNES OF GOLD WITH GOLD UP $9.15/INVENTORY RESTS AT 791.88 TONNES

July 27/LATE LAST NIGHT, A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 5.03 TONNES WITH GOLD UP $10.45 ON THE DAY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 795.42 TONNES

July 26/NO CHANGE IN GLD INVENTORY WITH GOLD DOWN $2.55/INVENTORY RESTS AT 800.45 TONNES

July 25/A MASSIVE 9.17 TONNES OF GOLD WITHDRAWN FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 800.45 TONNES

July 24/A massive 9.62 tonnes withdrawal and yet the price remains constant (down only 25 cents)..inventory drops to 809.62 tonnes

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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
July 28 /2017/ Inventory rests tonight at 791.88 tonnes
*IN LAST 199 TRADING DAYS: 158.36 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 140 TRADING DAYS: A NET  30.93 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN WITHDRAWN FROM  GLD INVENTORY.
*FROM FEB 1/2017: A NET  17.74 TONNES HAVE BEEN WITHDRAWN.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

July 28/ A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 1.15 MILLION OZ OF SILVER LEAVES THE SLV DESPITE SILVER BEING UP 11 CENTS TODAY/INVENTORY RESTS AT  342.677 MILLION OZ

July 27/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 343.812 MILLION OZ WITH SILVER UP 13 CENTS TODAY.

July 26/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 343.812 MILLION OZ

July 25/A MASSIVE 3.309 MILLION OZ OF INVENTORY WITHDRAWN FROM THE SLV DESPITE SILVER’S 10 CENT RISE TODAY.

July 24/no change in silver inventory despite its 4 cent drop/inventory remains at 347.121 million oz

July 21/STRANGE! WITH SILVER UP AGAIN TODAY (11 CENTS), NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/inventory 347.121 million oz/

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 28.2017:
 Inventory 342.677  million oz
end
  • 6 Month MM GOFO

    Indicative gold forward offer rate for a 6 month duration

    + 1.23%
  • 12 Month MM GOFO
    + 1.43%
  • 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 $1266.34                                                                                                    OI for gold today: 432,361//Oi for silver  206,554
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 $16.67
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 432,361 OI for gold) accompanying  199,826 and 206,554 for silver)
It seems the data suggests power manipulation to control the price through paper!

END

At 3:30 pm we receive the COT report and that is up to this past Tuesday

 

COT Gold, Silver and US Dollar Index Report – July 28, 2017
 — Published: Friday, 28 July 2017 | Print  | Comment – New!

Gold COT Report – Futures
Large Speculators Commercial Total
Long Short Spreading Long Short Long Short
220,299 129,468 51,215 148,926 252,269 420,440 432,952
Change from Prior Reporting Period
3,067 -27,626 -18,499 -4,138 25,570 -19,570 -20,555
Traders
148 99 89 55 54 243 210
 
Small Speculators  
Long Short Open Interest  
43,387 30,875 463,827  
-807 178 -20,377  
non reportable positions Change from the previous reporting period
COT Gold Report – Positions as of Tuesday, July 25, 2017

 

Our large speculators

those large specs that have been long in gold added 3067 contracts to their long side

those large specs that have been short in gold covered a huge 27,626 contracts from their short side

Our commercials

those commercials that have been long in gold pitched 4138 contracts from their long side

those commercials that have been short in gold added a whopping 25,570 contracts to their short side.  i.e. they supplied the paper

Our small specs:

those small specs that have been long in gold pitched a tiny 807 contracts from their long side

those small specs that have been short in gold added a tiny 178 contracts.

 

Conclusions; EFP’s did not commence in earnest until Wednesday so the specs on the next report should see a massive decline in OI with a corresponding huge drop in short positions by the banks. There is nothing else to read from this report due to those EFP’s. However if you are keeping score the commercials go net short by 29,708 contracts  (very bearish). The specs go net long by 30,694

 

And now the COT for silver;

Silver COT Report – Futures
Large Speculators Commercial Total
Long Short Spreading Long Short Long Short
90,865 71,448 26,925 63,775 93,307 181,565 191,680
89 -9,952 1,938 -2,623 4,995 -596 -3,019
Traders
104 61 49 36 38 158 132
Small Speculators  
Long Short Open Interest  
24,782 14,667 206,347  
-2,746 -323 -3,342  
non reportable positions Change from the previous reporting period
COT Silver Report – Positions as of Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Our large speculators

Those large speculators that have been long in silver only added 89 contracts to their long side??

those large specs that have been short in silver decided to cover in a hurry by 9952 contracts.

large specs go net long by 10,000 contracts

 

Our commercials

those commercials who have been long in silver pitched 2623 contracts from their long side

those commercials that have been short in silver added 4995 contracts to their short side.

commercials go net short by only 7618 contracts

Our small specs:

those small specs that have been long in silver pitched 2646 contracts from their long side

those small specs that have been short in silver added 323 contracts to their short side.

Conclusions:

the large specs realized that they have been doped and they are tried to get out of their shorts.

 

the commercials could not get out at all and instead they added 7618 contracts to their short side. Silver is becoming a powder keg!!

 

 

 

Major gold/silver trading/commentaries for FRIDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

This Is Why Shrinkflation Is Making You Poor

– Shrinkflation has hit 2,500 products in five years
– Not just chocolate bars that are shrinking
– Toilet rolls, coffee, fruit juice and many other goods
– Effects of shrinkflation been seen for “good number of years” – Consumer Association of Ireland
– Shrinkflation is stealth inflation, form of financial fraud
– Punishes vulnerable working and middle classes
– Gold is hedge against inflation and shrinkflation


Editor: Mark O’Byrne

“…Oompa Loompa doo-pa-dee doo…I’ve got another puzzle for you…”

…so sing the Oompa Loompas in Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They sing this after each revolting child suffers a mishap during their visit to his glorious production plant. One child’s mishap results in him being shrunk down to a tiny miniature version, in perfect proportion to his full-size self.

This might have given confectioners and manufacturers an idea. Over 2,500 products have fallen victim to shrinkflation. A phenomenon whereby a product’s price either increases or remains the same whilst the size and or quality is reduced.

Currencies have been and are being debased in recent years and now goods and products are being reduced in size and debased.

It seems that despite a massive global financial crisis, rising debt levels, increasing inflation, especially in rents and mortgages, and a decline in real household income there is virtually nothing that will make people realise how vulnerable and fraudulent the current financial system is.

But shrinkflation and chocolate bars might be the catalysts required to get people to wake up. Us Irish are a nation of sweet-tooths and chocolate lovers. When they feel short-changed in the confectionary department, hell hath no fury like a sugar-addict scorned.

To make matters worse, the phenomenon has now gone past chocolate bars and includes a whole variety of household items from fruit juice to toilet paper.

As a result, shrinkflation is now official and not just your greedy brain telling you there used to be more chocolate in that Toblerone.

Of course, we knew it was a real thing as we’ve been warning about the pernicious effects of shrinkflation. But the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) has declared it’s real so that means it really is and now people are beginning to become concerned and rightly so.

The Consumer Association of Ireland told the Irish Examiner that it has noticed the effects of shrinkflation for “a good number of years”.

Dermott Jewell, Policy and Council Advisor said

“The suggestions that this is done in this way to help the consumer is unacceptable …  That it is solely down to increased costs of ingredients is misleading…The consumer focuses upon price and ingredients — quantity has been well down their list of ‘need to watch’ factors — and manufacturers know and have taken advantage of this.”

What has been ‘shrinkflated’?

Info and data courtesy of BBC

McVitie’s packet of dark chocolate digestive biscuits have shrunk from 332g to 300g, a 10% reduction. According to Which? Tesco sold the biscuits for £1.59 before they shrank and even increased to £1.69 afterwards. Now the 300g packet is currently being sold for £1.50 in Tesco’s website – a 6% reduction in price for a product that is 10% smaller.

Tropicana reduced the size of its carton of Creations Pure Premium Orange & Raspberry juice from one litre to 850ml. It is now available on Asda’s website for a slightly cheaper price of £2.30 – a price reduction of 7%, even as the quantity was reduced by 15%.

A packet of Percol Fairtrade Guatemala Coffee has shrunk in size from 227g to 200g, a reduction of 12%. This coffee was £3.90 in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose before the reduction, and £3.65 and £3.75 respectively after, according to Which?

The tube of Sensodyne Total Care Extra Fresh toothpaste decreased in size from 100ml to 75ml, a 25% reduction, Which? found during its research. Tesco had the product on sale for £2.40, reduced from £3.60, before it shrank to its present size. After the reduction it was priced at £3.49.

Which? found that a standard Andrex four-pack toilet roll had been cut down from 240 to 221 sheets, a reduction of 8%. Yet the retail price had remained around £2.

‘Helping customers’

When questioned about the fact that packets of Maltesers have shrunk from 121g to 103g, a reduction of 15%, Mars explained that it was a way of helping consumers to afford the product.

Surely the first way to help consumers would be to lower prices?

When Toblerone’s manufacturers, Mondelez, were forced to explain the change in the shape of the bars they explained raw materials had increased in price. The size of the bars had decreased by 12%. Neither sugar or cocoa have increased that much in price, with both falling in recent months.

Other manufacturers have laid blame at Brexit’s door. Not so fast says the ONS, “Our analysis doesn’t show a noticeable change following the referendum that would point to a Brexit effect.”

So it’s not Brexit and it’s not raw material inputs. So what is it? Profit seeking, in stealth mode.

Acceptable fraud

Shrinkflation is profit seeking in stealth mode. If a manufacturer put up the price of your 100g chocolate bar you would clearly notice, as you look at the price first. But by maintaining the price and decreasing the size you are less likely to notice.

This plays on your trust in manufacturers and is very akin to fraud.

Shrinking the size of goods is just a stealthier way to increase profits than say raise prices.

During recessionary times consumers are far more sensitive to price, they will seek out alternatives to your product. Perhaps they will choose a supermarket’s own-brand toilet role rather than yours.

So brands compete by reducing size and maintaining price, in order to avoid this scenario.

In their book ‘Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception’, the Nobel Prize winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Silver argue that companies exploit human weaknesses because the market makes them do it. If they do not exploit consumers then competitors will and they will be at a significant disadvantage.

This is something that is carefully thought about. Advisors and consultants are brought into help manufacturers consider this very thing.

James Brown, a partner at the firm Simon-Kucher, which advises companies on pricing strategies, told the Guardian that the the downsizing made sense.

“You don’t say: ‘I want to consume 120g of chocolate.’ We say: ‘I want a chocolate bar that costs 75p or less’…“Shrinkflation is actually quite a successful tactic because a lot of shoppers are more sensitive to a price change than to a weight change.”

Avoiding inflation figures and therefore the truth

We have been aware about shrinkflation for many years. I first became aware of it when I was a student and used to study price labels a bit obsessively (were they pricing weight, sheets, number of cans? Was the 3 for 2 really that good a deal?).

I remember noticing over a four year period the changing weight of tinned tomatoes. Yet, we were repeatedly told that inflation wasn’t a problem.

This is because shrinkflation isn’t on the radar of inflation calculators. Inflation is still our favoured friend when it comes to assessing the health of the economy. This has many problems in itself but shrinkflation is on a whole other level as it can avoid impacting inflation figures altogether.

The ONS claims that ‘within the “food and non-alcoholic beverages” category, shrinkflation had no noticeable effect. This could be because the number of shrinking pack sizes is relatively small.’

It did have some impact on the price of “sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate and confectionery” which have increased by 1.22%. But they say that in the overall inflation figures, shrinkflation does not really feature as ‘food and drink was a relatively small part of the basket of goods and services that is tracked to gauge overall changes in the cost of living.’

I don’t know about you, but most people I speak to (especially those with families) do not feel that food and drink are a relatively small part of their cost of living.

Add items such as toilet paper (basic essentials) then you basically have a government body that is no longer interested in recording how much damage is being caused by profit-seeking manufacturers.

This does not bode well for households who are suffering from the effects of inflation (whether blatant or stealth). Earlier this week we outlined how over 41% of full-time workers are unable to survive without some form of credit and that average household debt is now at over 135% of household income.

Those families who are expecting the central bank and government to step in and enact measures that will relieve the daily burden of shrinkflation and other side-effects of inflation will be waiting for some time.

Unfortunately, the authorities do not appear to be taking the data seriously, or have the will to take on powerful multinational corporations.

In the meantime, this is another way that working and middle class families get poorer.

An ironic situation

It could be the case that the shrinkflation fraud is tolerated because  the UK and the western world does need to stop eating so much sugar and unhealthy processed foods. Childhood obesity has been called a national emergency by the UK government, whilst a 2014 WHO study found that 28.1% of British adults were clinically obese and 62% overweight. We are at the top of the obesity league of Europe (woo, #winning).

The UK cannot afford for its citizens to be so unhealthy. A 2015 report by the Commons Health Select Committee concluded that treating obesity related medical conditions costs the NHS £5 billion a year with a wider cost of £27 billion to the economy.

So, in short, the government is almost incentivised to keep this rouse going. They know that household incomes are not increasing, so people cannot afford to buy much more food in order to compensate for shrinkflation. Perhaps, they see this as the unforeseen solution to a growing crisis?

The food industry has even been congratulated on this blatant fraud.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, told the Telegraph, “We know obesity is linked to a range of health and social issues, from diabetes to poor self-esteem, that are harming children and families…We welcome actions by the food and drink industry that help them to have a healthier diet.”

Why not reduce the size of the product and the price? What if these actions help make families poorer by basically misleading them?

Conclusion

Shrinkflation is a symptom of an economy in recession and a compliant media and government. It is exacerbated by low growth rates in income, a rising cost of living and falling values in our increasingly devalued currencies.

Shrinkflation is ultimately all about manipulation. Manufacturers are manipulating the needs and desires of consumers. Whilst the ONS might declare that the phenomenon of shrinkflation has not had an impact on inflation figures, we believe it is likely having a bigger impact than is admitted.

Shrinflation is a hidden form of inflation and is detrimental to the health of UK households.

We see manipulation in every corner of the economy, whether we are talking about the surge in household and corporate debt, the underhand implementation of negative interest rates, inflationary monetary policy and the devaluation of currencies.

This is about manipulation and ultimately the reduction of our living standards and our wealth.

The fact that prices and money can be so easily and legally manipulated suggests that savers need to not be totally reliant on the government to protect their savings and lifestyle.

There are limited ways to protect yourself from this. One of them is by investing in physical gold and silver which is allocated and segregated in your name. Gold has proven itself to be a hedge against inflation and wealth destruction.

We turn to the wisdom of Willy Wonka for our concluding thoughts.

‘There’s plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket, there’s only five of them in the whole world, and that’s all there’s ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?’


Related Content
Why Surging UK Household Debt Will Cause The Next Crisis

Shrinkflation – Real Inflation Much Higher Than Reported

News and Commentary

Gold falls from six-week high as dollar rebounds (Reuters.com)

Gold scores highest finish in six weeks (MarketWatch.com)

Physical gold demand rises in first half – GFMS (Reuters.com)

Gold consolidates and holds up well (BullionDesk.com)

‘Bong King’ Gundlach shorts S&P 500, eyeing gold (CNBC.com)

Gold in Euros – 10 Years

What happens to markets if President Trump gets impeached? (MoneyWeek.com)

Next global downturn will be ‘onerous’, warns Standard Life economist (CityAM.com)

The buy-to-let stampede begins: ‘How best to sell my 37 properties?’ (Telegraph.co.uk)

Investors Intelligence Issues “New Major Warning” For Stocks (ZeroHedge.com)

Are you guilty of “neighbourhood” bias? (StansBerryChurcHouse.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

28 Jul: USD 1,259.60, GBP 961.96 & EUR 1,075.45 per ounce
27 Jul: USD 1,262.05, GBP 960.29 & EUR 1,076.53 per ounce
26 Jul: USD 1,245.40, GBP 956.72 & EUR 1,071.29 per ounce
25 Jul: USD 1,252.00, GBP 960.78 & EUR 1,074.59 per ounce
24 Jul: USD 1,255.85, GBP 962.99 & EUR 1,077.64 per ounce
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

Silver Prices (LBMA)

28 Jul: USD 16.56, GBP 12.66 & EUR 14.15 per ounce
27 Jul: USD 16.79, GBP 12.77 & EUR 14.34 per ounce
26 Jul: USD 16.37, GBP 12.54 & EUR 14.06 per ounce
25 Jul: USD 16.31, GBP 12.52 & EUR 14.00 per ounce
24 Jul: USD 16.50, GBP 12.66 & EUR 14.17 per ounce
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


Recent Market Updates

– Gold A Good Store Of Value – Protect From $217 Trillion Global Debt Bubble
– Why Surging UK Household Debt Will Cause The Next Crisis
– Gold Seasonal Sweet Spot – August and September – Coming
– Commercial Property Market In Dublin Is Inflated and May Burst Again
– Gold Hedges Against Currency Devaluation and Cost Of Fuel, Food, Beer and Housing
– 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”

END

 

Interesting:  Bullion star’s Ronan Manly charts gold demand is huge around the world except for GLD..I wonder why?

 

(courtesy Ronan Manly/Bullionstar)

 

Bullion Star’s gold market charts for July

 Section: 

1p ET Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Gold market charts for July have been posted by Bullion Star and they show demand strong around the world except for the exchange-traded fund GLD, which perhaps is being shorted to help supply metal elsewhere. Bullion Star’s charts are here:

https://www.bullionstar.com/blogs/gold-market-charts/gold-market-charts-…

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

END

Please watch, this great interview of Bill Holter by Sean of SGT
Attachments area

Preview YouTube video TRUTH BOMBS ARE DEVASTATING THE DEEP STATE — BILL HOLTER

TRUTH BOMBS ARE DEVASTATING THE DEEP STATE — BILL HOLTER
end

 

 

Despite options expiry on Monday, gold and silver were bid well after a huge GDP disappointment

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

Bonds & Bullion Bid After GDP Disappoints

A miss for Q2 GDP and slowing growth in employment costs has taken the edge of the ‘reflation’ trade and lower the boom on The Fed’s hoped-for rate-hike trajectory. While stocks are ignoring all the mayhem…

 

The dollar has tumbled to new multi-year lows…

 

And gold and bonds are rallying notably…

 

 

end

 

Julian Phillips is in my camp with respect to the GLD inventory falling.  The gold is heading to Shanghai via Switzerland

(courtesy Julian Phillips/Bullionvault)

 

*Julian Phillips…

PRICE DRIVERS

On what is usually the busiest day of the week, with two days of no markets at the weekend, the gold price has held the $1,260 level. Will it rise from here? We will have to wait and see.

As you have seen, the selloff of over 71 tonnes of gold recently from the SPDR gold ETF, while the gold price was rising was a failed exercise, as it did not lower the gold price. Indeed we are certain that the gold sold is now on its way to Shanghai via Switzerland. It is in the nature of U.S. investors to ‘buy on the rise’, so we are watching to see if the U.S. bears attack again, or has their ammunition been spent and they are turning long of physical gold. We do expect their actions now to have a direct bearing on the gold price. If they attack we expect to see a pattern similar to the last few weeks seen in gold. If they are ongoing buyers we expect the gold price to rise accordingly.

With all the chatter about the timing of rate hikes or trimming the Fed’s Balance Sheet, one very, very important factor is being overlooked in the U.S. If inflation continues at lower or lowering levels and the recovery stalls followed by a downturn, the Fed has almost no more tools with which to combat the falls. As it is rates continue to be so low that any lowering will have little to no impact [unless they go negative] on stimulating the U.S. economy. Likewise, trimming the Fed’s Balance Sheet, we feel, will have little to no impact on the U.S. financial world. If they go that road and there is a downturn in the U.S. further stimulation is likely to crack confidence in the dollar, something that the Fed cannot afford! Certainly little could be more positive for the gold price. Despite their positive demeanor, Fed officials must be very disturbed by the downturn in inflation.

Gold ETFs –Technically the gold price showed it has surmounted resistance and is now sitting on that, which is now support. Without knowing the individual customers, it would seem that a fund committed itself to the gold price falling back from $1,260 below $1,250, but the Technical picture is now failing, as Asian demand continues to lift western gold market prices higher.

 

end

 

Lawrie Williams on the same topic as above but he just doesn’t get it. GLD is a fraud and is a vehicle to supply gold to China…period..

 

shorting of GLD must be outlawed by the crooks will not do this.  Thus a short can borrow 100,000 shares or so and then tender those shares for gold.  The physical gold is then shipped to Shanghai to continue the game for China.

 

the shorter is obligated to return the shares but there is less gold per outstanding shares..

my bet: once GLD gets to 700 tonnes, the supply to China will stop for one simple reason:  at that point, there will be no physical gold inside the GLD vehicle.

 

(courtesy Lawrie Williams/Lawrie on gold

 

Gold’s resilience remarkable as GLD holding falls further

How much further can SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), the world’s largest gold ETF, continue to bleed gold without adversely affecting the metal price?  It has shed a hair over 75 tonnes since its 2017 peak some 6 weeks ago, 61.8 tonnes in the past month alone and over 162 tonnes in the past year.  It is now at a level not seen since March 2016 when its holdings were rising sharply, yet the gold price over the past week or so has been trending upwards.  This is a huge contradiction in the yellow metal’s normal price movement.  We are either heading for a very sharp price reversal – or if the current price level around $1,260 holds – a very significant turning point leading to significant gains if the current falls in the GLD holding are reversed.

What makes the GLD performance even more anomalous is that the other large U.S. gold ETF – the much smaller iShares Gold Trust (IAU) – has actually added around 2.5 tonnes of gold over the past month while GLD has been moving sharply in the other direction.  Year to date IAU has added 14.7 tonnes to its gold holdings, which stand at 210.87 tonnes, while the GLD holding, currently 791.88 tonnes, has dropped by a little over 30 tonnes over the same period.  The performance differences are hard to explain given they are both serving the same investor market.

Yesterday in an article on the www.sharpspixley.com website we included the following quote from Ted Butler in trying to explain the big fall in the GLD gold holdings “”The most plausible and, in fact, only explanation I can come up with is that some large entity is converting shares into physical metal for the purpose of preventing share ownership from rising to or above reporting levels. When a big shareholder converts shares of SLV or GLD into metal, the shares no longer exist and, therefore, don’t need to be reported to any regulator. Likewise, direct physical ownership of silver or gold needn’t be reported to anyone no matter how large the position may grow. (This is another major factor behind why JPMorgan decided to buy physical silver). Again, a large entity amassing a large physical position in silver or gold on the sly is not bearish for price.” (See: GLD bleeds 71.58 tonnes of gold in just over a month).

What else could be behind the fall in GLD gold?  We have also noted on the Sharps Pixley website that the major Swiss gold refiners, which dominate the global remelting and re-refining market are, anecdotally, struggling to source enough physical gold to meet demand as gold out of them continues to flow very heavily to Asia and the Middle East – SeeJune Swiss gold exports: 90% moving east).  They have to be sourcing their gold from somewhere and they exported some 162 tonnes of gold in June alone – 90% to Asia and the Middle East.  Now maybe there are enough ‘friendly’ holders of GLD gold shares to lean on to supply them with bullion when physical gold is in short supply. The UK was the biggest source of Swiss imported gold in May, although was superseded as the biggest exporter of gold to Switzerland in June by the USA, but most GLD gold is vaulted in London.  Perhaps we will see the UK as being again the biggest exporter of gold to Switzerland this month which is when most of the GLD falls have occurred when the next Swiss announcement comes out in late August?  Certainly bullion coming out of the world’s biggest gold ETF could well be a principal source for all this gold heading East.


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  WEAKER 6.7428(DEVALUATION SOUTHBOUND   /OFFSHORE YUAN MOVES WEAKER TO ONSHORE AT   6.7444/ Shanghai bourse CLOSED DOWN 3.46 POINTS OR 0.11%  / HANG SANG CLOSED DOWN 151.78 POINTS OR 0.56% 

2. Nikkei closed DOWN 119.80 POINTS OR .60%    /USA: YEN RISES TO 111.20

3. Europe stocks OPENED IN THE  RED      ( /USA dollar index FALLS TO  93.74/Euro UP to 1.1713

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: RISES  TO  +.076%/ 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::  49.07 and Brent: 51.66

3f Gold DOWN/Yen DOWN

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund RISES TO  +.582%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP  to 2.155%    

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES to  : 5.358???  

3k Gold at $1258.50  silver at:16.55 (8:15 am est)   SILVER BELOW  RESISTANCE AT $18.50 

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 7/100 in  roubles/dollar) 59.45-

3m oil into the 49 dollar handle for WTI and 51 handle for Brent/

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

JAPAN ON JAN 29.2016 INITIATES NIRP. THIS MORNING THEY SIGNAL THEY MAY END NIRP. TODAY THE USA/YEN TRADES TO 111.20 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  0.9695 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1357 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 RISING to  +0.582%

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 2.326% early this morning. Thirty year rate  at 2.9319% /POLICY ERROR)GETTING DANGEROUSLY HIGH

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

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

Global Markets, Futures Slide Spooked By Poor Amazon Earnings, US Politics

S&P futures have tracked both European and Asian markets lower, which were dragged down by the big EPS miss and guidance cut reported by Amazon on Thursday. Meanwhile, the pounding of the dollar has resumed with the euro and sterling strengthening against the dollar due to renewed political concerns after this morning’s stunning failure by the Senate GOP to pass a “skinny” Obamacare repeal after John McCain sided with democrats.

AMZN was down 3% after missing on the bottom line, reporting slowing AWS profits, and forecasting Q3 operating income which may be a loss: “It has been a pretty good season for earnings and this is the first big company that has sown a few doubts on that, and it also raises question on where the broader tech sector is headed from here,” said Investec economist Victoria Clarke.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan fell 0.8%, with Samsung Electronics, Asia’s largest company by market cap, tumbling 3.5%.

The dollar headed for a weekly decline against most of its major peers amid the Federal Reserve’s dovish tone, with traders looking at today’s first look at Q2 GDP as the next driver for the currency. Treasuries were flat on the day and set for their first weekly decline in three weeks.

In Asia, a selloff in tech stocks prompted by Amazon’s results sent benchmark indexes tumbling from Sydney to Hong Kong.  The slide in global tech shares also spread to Europe on heightened concerns about corporate earnings as equity markets opened lower, with technology sector particularly heavy as it catches up with Nasdaq weakness yesterday. French CAC underperforms after earnings misses from L’Oreal (-1.9%) and Renault (-5.7%). Europe’s tech index fell 1.4 percent in early trading on Friday, the region’s worst-performing sector.

“In terms of one story shaping sentiment it is quite remarkable, but markets are also a bit nervous ahead of U.S. GDP numbers due out today,” said Investec’s Clarke. “The trigger was Amazon but developments overnight on U.S. healthcare has not helped sentiment.”

German bunds extend a selloff as the country’s CPI came in at 1.7%, hotter than the 1.5% expected, confirming the upside risks signaled by strong regional numbers; peripheral European bonds and other core fixed-income markets moved lower in tandem.

In economic data out of Europe this morning, German Q2 GDP joined inflation in printing higher than the 1.5%, coming at 1.7%, and above Q1’s 1.6%. Spanish GDP printed at +0.9%qoq in the second quarter of 2017, in line with consensus expectations, posting the best reading since 2015. Meanwhile, French GDP grew by +0.5%qoq in Q2. This was also in line with consensus. The GDP growth reflected a large positive contribution from external net trade (+0.8pp), driven by a rebound in exports (+3.1%qoq) after a decline of 0.7% in Q1. Imports were slightly up on the quarter (+0.2%qoq). Changes in inventories contributed negatively with 0.6pp, reversing the positive contribution in Q1 (+0.7pp), whereas domestic demand (excl. inventories) contributed +0.4pp, similar to the previous quarter.

The Swiss franc plunged for a fourth day versus the euro, reaching its weakest level since 2015, just shy of 1.14, following numerous stop hits and position unwinds as well as concerns about upcoming tapering by the ECB. The pair spiked as daily fix requirements in Tokyo triggered large stops, traders quoted by Bloomberg said. The CitiFX eTrading team noted that overnight in Asia, “USDCHF saw 6x and EURCHF seeing 11x its average interest over the session so far. The market seems to have been spooked by the unexpected moves in CHF as well with liquidity density lower across the board.”

SEK jumped after Swedish GDP beat estimates by 0.8ppt.

The GBP was moved around by FT reports that the UK Chancellor Hammond seeks an “off the shelf” Brexit transition. Citi’s take: “The government appears to be shifting towards effectively extending EU membership by adopting a “Norway-plus” model (membership of the European Economic Area plus customs union). While this would be the most benign outcome for the economy short of staying in the EU, there are reasons to remain cautious, in our view.”

The dollar was pressured ahead of U.S. growth data while Treasuries were flat.

Oil prices held near eight-week highs hit on Thursday after key OPEC members pledged to reduce exports and the U.S. government reported a sharp decline in crude inventories. Brent crude futures were at $51.52 per barrel, up slightly in European trading and close to highs of $51.64 hit on Thursday.

Today’s economic data include the closely watched first estimate of 2Q GDP, UMichigan consumer sentiment, while among the more notable earnings releases include Exxon, Chevron, Merck & Co, AbbVie. U.S.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.4% to 2,462.50
  • Nasdaq futures down 0.9% to 5858
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 1% to 378.53
  • MXAP down 0.7% to 159.29
  • MXAPJ down 1.1% to 525.32
  • Nikkei down 0.6% to 19,959.84
  • Topix down 0.4% to 1,621.22
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.6% to 26,979.39
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.1% to 3,253.24
  • Sensex down 0.5% to 32,220.77
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.4% to 5,702.82
  • Kospi down 1.7% to 2,400.99
  • German 10Y yield rose 2.4 bps to 0.56%
  • Euro up 0.2% to 1.1705 per US$
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 3.4 bps to 1.802%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 3.4 bps to 1.541%
  • Brent Futures up 0.4% to $51.68/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.03% to $1,259.51
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.1% to 93.75

Top Overnight News

  • The Swiss franc’s slide extended on bets that a tapering announcement by the ECB later this year will spur more selling of the haven currency
  • The German and French economies showed signs of renewed impetus in the second quarter, underpinning the growth momentum the European Central Bank is banking on to boost inflation
  • Sweden’s economy grew at a considerably faster pace last quarter than predicted by analysts, adding pressure on the central bank to focus on the timing of an exit from years of extreme monetary stimulus
  • A months-long effort by Senate Republicans to pass health legislation collapsed early Friday after GOP Senator John McCain joined two of his colleagues to block a stripped-down Obamacare repeal bill
  • Russia Orders U.S. to Reduce Diplomatic Staff in Russia
  • Jeffrey Immelt, the outgoing chief executive officer at General Electric Co., is on a narrowing list of candidates to take over as head of Uber Technologies Inc.
  • Amazon.com Inc. reminded investors that luring shoppers away from stores and dominating the cloud-computing industry isn’t cheap
  • BNP Paribas SA is showing it’s still possible to build a big investment bank franchise from Europe
  • Trudeau Officials Are Said to Fear Impact of Speedy Hikes
  • Citigroup Adds Wilson as Head of Electronic, Algorithmic Trading
  • U.S. Safety Regulators Expand Probe of Exhaust in Ford SUVs
  • Electronic Arts CEO Says VR Will Take 2 Years to Reach Masses
  • Amgen’s Repatha sBLA Gets Priority FDA Review for Heart Attacks
  • Boeing To Lay Off 220 Puget Sound Workers
  • Expedia Invests $350m in Indonesia’s Traveloka
  • UBS Shares Drop Most Since January as Capital Ratio Declines
  • Thiam ‘Feeling Good’ as Credit Suisse Overhaul Gains Traction
  • Komatsu Joins Rivals to Flag China Rebound as Profit Doubles

Asia equity markets traded negative across the board following the indecisive tone on Wall St. where tech stocks underperformed as the Nasdaq Comp pulled back from record levels, while data releases also proved to be uninspiring. ASX 200, was the laggard amid broad-based weakness and profit taking in commodity stocks, while Nikkei 225, was pressured by a firmer JPY, with weaker than expected Retail Sales and mostly inline inflation data also keeping sentiment tame. Furthermore, Toshiba shares fell off a cliff with losses of over 10% amid several negative news reports for the Co. Shanghai Comp. and Hang Seng also conformed to the downbeat tone in the region, although downside in the mainland was stemmed after another respectable liquidity operation by the PBoC. 10yr JGBs failed to benefit from the risk averse tone and the BoJ’s Rinban announcement for over JPY ltln of government debt, as demand remained subdued following weakness in USTs amid heavy corporate supply. PBoC injected CNY 100bln in 7-day reverse repos and CNY 40bln in 14-day reverse repos, for a weekly net injection of CNY 280b1n vs. Prey. CNY 510bln injection last week.

BOJ Summary of Opinions from July 19th-20th stated year on year change in CPI is likely to increase gradually towards 2% with the inflation target likely to be reached by around fiscal 2019. Furthermore, there was an opinion that the range of the target level of 10yr JGB yields should not be interpreted too strictly, while there was an opinion that it is appropriate to set the new target of JGB purchases at a yearly pace of roughly JPY 45TN and then reduce the pace of purchases in an orderly and incremental manner.  Japanese National CPI (Jun) Y/Y 0.4% vs. Exp. 0.4% (Prey. 0.4%). Japanese National CPI Ex-Fresh Food (Jun) Y/Y 0.4% vs. Exp. 0.4% (Prey. 0.4%)

Top Asian News

  • Pakistan Court Orders Prime Minister to Resign Due to Corruption
  • Japanese CPI Stalls at 0.4 Percent Even as Job Market Tightens
  • Instagram Posts Will Soon Help Sniff Out Tax Fraud in India
  • Taiwan Economy Grows Less Than Forecast on Weak Domestic Demand
  • Amazon’s ‘Prime Now’ Service Stalls Upon Entry in Singapore
  • HSBC Sees PBOC Boosting Market Rates, Bond Yields Rising to 4%
  • Pakistan Court Orders Sharif Disqualification on Graft Charges

European equity markets continue to be led by earnings, and have opened lower, not helped by the lagging tech sector in the US. Sector specific, telecoms lag, as heavyweight BT’s poor report has weighed. Europe does trade fairly subdued as a whole however, with much focus on the German CPI data.

Top European News

  • Renault Shares Tumble as Company Sees Price Pressures Rising
  • BNP Shows Europe Can Still Build Investment-Bank Champions
  • Santander Starts to Steady Popular Unit as Profit Increases
  • SEB Expects More Hawkish Riksbank Following Strong Swedish GDP
  • German Court Revokes Decision to Halt Opal Gas Capacity Auctions
  • Diesel Battle Moves to German Court as Porsche Recalls Cayenne
  • Sweden’s Economy Soared in Second Quarter, Trouncing Estimates
  • Merkel Bloc Support at Highest in Nearly Two Years in Poll
  • Sweden Prel. 2Q GDP Grew Quarterly 1.7% vs Est. Growth 0.9%

In currencies, the EUR has seen some buying as the German regionals filter out, with the M/M figures across the board being revised higher. Elsewhere, FX volatility remains fairly quiet as a volatile week comes to a close. UK Finance Minister Hammond was reported in the FT through the European morning, expressing his optimism toward migration and trade between the UK and EU. Markets were unreactive to the Minister’s comments; however, GBP/USD continues to see some marginal recovery, aided by the recent dampening in the greenback. The pair trades largely in tandem with EUR/USD currently, with a similar 4h trendline keeping the pair ahead of 1.3050.

In commodities, oil markets have seen a bullish week and have not looked back since the rejection of the USD 42.00/bbl

Looking at the day ahead today, it’s a busy end to the week in the US as we will open with the advance Q2 GDP report (2.7% annualized QoQ expected; 1.4% previous), along with the Q2 Personal consumption numbers (+2.8% expected; Core PCE +0.7% QoQ expected). Later in the day we will also get the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for July with no revisions expected (93.1 expected).

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Revisions: GDP data from 2014-16; reference year remains 2009
    • GDP Annualized QoQ, est. 2.7%, prior 1.4%
    • Personal Consumption, est. 2.8%, prior 1.1%
    • GDP Price Index, est. 1.3%, prior 1.9%
    • Core PCE QoQ, est. 0.7%, prior 2.0%
  • 8:30am: Employment Cost Index, est. 0.6%, prior 0.8%
  • 10am: U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 93.1, prior 93.1; Current Conditions, prior 113.2; Expectations, prior 80.2

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Markets had a messy hour or so last night as well. Before this it was looking like another day of ultra low vol and the 11th day in a row with the VIX below 10. However a sudden US lunchtime spike higher in the VIX (from 9.16 to 11.46 in not much more than an hour) and a fall in US equities – especially the NASDAQ that went from record intra-day highs and up +0.5% to down -1.5% 90 minutes later – broke the calm. In a very low vol world this felt a bit like a flash crash but the reality is that in more normal markets we probably wouldn’t be making too big a deal about it. Some blamed a broker note suggesting the end of the low vol environment was nigh but there was nothing concrete causing the sell-off.

In fact, markets slowly recovered into the close with the VIX touching 10 again before closing at 10.11. Meanwhile the NASDAQ ‘only’ closed down -0.63%, with the S&P 500 rallying 0.5% from the lows to close -0.10%. Meanwhile the Dow shrugged off the early afternoon slump to close at the days high and a new record (+0.39%), helped by strong results from Verizon (+7%). The tech stocks continued to attract attention after the bell with Amazon’s results disappointing (-3%), but Intel beating and up ~3%. NASDAQ futures are down -0.6% this morning. Earlier European markets were mixed, the Stoxx 600 fell 0.1%, with gains in the telco (+1.3%) and real estate sector broadly offset by losses in health care (-1.2%) and utilities. Across the region, the DAX (-0.8%), FTSE 100 (-0.1%) and CAC (-0.1%) all softened, but the Italian FTSE MIB was up slightly (+0.3%).

After that brief excitement, it could be a relatively interesting end to the week with the highlights being German and French flash CPI figures this morning and US Q2 GDP this afternoon. Any inflation data is being scrutinised for price pressure clues (or lack of them) at the moment and US growth is always interesting (Bloomberg consensus at 2.7% for Q2).

Talking of inflation, overnight we’ve seen Japan release their latest monthly figures with June nationwide CPI +0.4% YoY (May: +0.4%), core CPI excluding fresh food was +0.4% (+0.4%), BoJ’s core CPI excluding fresh food and energy was 0.0% (0.0%), and core-core CPI excluding food and energy was -0.2% (-0.2%). The report was broadly in-line with consensus but one that still leaves the BoJ well below their target. This morning in Asia, markets took cues from the US mini-sell-off, with bourses all softening, the Nikkei (-0.4%), Kospi (-1.3%), Hang Seng (-0.6%) and the Shanghai Comp down -0.1%.

Away from the markets, there was more voting drama in the attempt to repeal Obamacare. Five Senate Republicans said they would only vote for the skinny repeal of Obamacare if they got assurance that passage would only be a stepping stone to a conference committee to come up with a fuller repeal and replacement. Later on, House speaker Ryan provided such assurance. That said, forward plans remains uncertain, with the likely outcome featuring various amendment votes.

Elsewhere, Republican leaders said that due to unknowns associated with the border adjusted tax (BAT), it will NOT be part of negotiations on how to overhaul the US tax code. This clarification does raise the issue of how the Republicans will find other sources of revenue, as White House speaker Ryan’s BAT concept was expected to raise $1trn of tax revenue over a decade.

Talking of politics, the Brexit negotiations appear to be facing communication issues, EU Brexit negotiator Barnier told EU ambassadors that he doesn’t expect enough progress will be made by October to allow for the start of talks on the future relationship with the UK. Conversely, UK responded by saying it was confident it would make enough progress by October.

Back to yesterday, in Europe the STOXX 600 index dipped slightly lower by -0.1% but still remains marginally up on the week (+0.6% WTD). Key regional indices also posted losses with the DAX (-0.8%), FTSE (-0.1%) and CAC (-0.1%) all down on the day.

At the other end of the risk spectrum we saw some divergence in yield moves between Europe and the US with the former playing catch-up with the Fed inspired Treasury rally from the night before. Interestingly even with the sharp lunchtime falls in US equities Treasuries continued to retrace the post Fed moves to end the day +1bps (2yr) and +3bps (10 yr) higher. Yields have dipped a bps overnight again though. German Bund yields earlier dropped across all maturities (2Y -1bp; 10Y -3bps) with Gilts (2Y -3bps; 10Y -3bps), OATs (2Y -2bps; 10Y -1bp) and BTPs (10Y -3bps) also seeing falling yields.

Over in FX markets we saw the US dollar index rise (+0.3%) to erase nearly all of the previous day’s losses. Both the Euro (-0.5%) and Sterling (-0.4%) fell on the back of dollar gains. Over in commodities we saw nearly all segments trade higher yesterday. The energy sector continues to perform well across the board with oil trading higher again (WTI +0.8%), and is now up every day this week so far with gains of over +7% WTD. Precious metals (Gold +0.9%; Silver +1.0%) and industrial metals (Copper +1.7%; Aluminium +0.6%) ticked up on the day as well, as did the broader agricultural commodity complex (Corn +0.9%; Wheat +0.7%).

Yesterday was fairly quiet in terms of data out of Europe. We opened with the German GfK Consumer Confidence indicator for August which marginally beat expectations at 10.8 (vs. 10.6 expected; 10.6 previous), and later on saw Euro area M3 money supply for June grow in line with expectations at 5.0% YoY (5.0% previous). In the US, it was a busy day with most interest on the June durable goods orders report. Headline orders were better than expected at 6.5% mom (vs. 3.9% expected; -0.1% previous), mainly due to a material lift in the orders for aircraft and parts. Excluding transportation items, orders rose just 0.2% mom (vs. 0.4% expected), but the softer result was made more palatable as the prior month’s data was revised up to 0.6% (from 0.3%). In other news, Wholesale inventories beat expectations, up 0.6% mom in June (vs. 0.3% expected; 0.4% previous), as did retail inventories. The Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index also moved back above zero to 0.13 in June, signalling that growth is slightly above trend. Initial jobless claims stood at 244k last week, so that the four-week average remained at 244k.

Looking at the day ahead today, in Europe we will open with the Q2 GDP reading for France (+1.6% YoY expected; 1.1% previous). Following that we will get flash July CPI readings for France (+0.8% YoY / -0.4% mom expected) and Germany (+1.4% YoY / +0.3% mom expected). Euro area economic confidence (110.8 expected), business climate (1.14 expected), industrial confidence (4.4 expected) and services confidence (13.4) indicators for July are also due, along with the final reading for the July consumer confidence indicator where no revisions are expected (-1.7 expected). It’s a busy end to the week in the US as we will open with the advance Q2 GDP report (2.7% annualized QoQ expected; 1.4% previous), along with the Q2 Personal consumption numbers (+2.8% expected; Core PCE +0.7% QoQ expected). Later in the day we will also get the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for July with no revisions expected (93.1 expected).

Away from economic data we will see earnings season continue tomorrow as American Airlines, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Merck are due to report in the US tomorrow. In Europe we have BNP and UBS reporting as well.

 END

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late THURSDAY night/FRIDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 3.46 POINTS OR 0.11%   / /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 151.78 POINTS OR 0.56% The Nikkei closed DOWN 119.80 POINTS OR .60%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 1.32%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN at 6.7428/Oil UP to 49.07 dollars per barrel for WTI and 51.66 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED IN THE RED , Offshore yuan trades  6.7444 yuan to the dollar vs 6.7428 for onshore yuan. NOW THE OFFSHORE IS WEAKER  TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN  WEAKER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS MUCH WEAKER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE WEAKER DOLLAR. CHINA IS VERY HAPPY TODAY 

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

NORTH KOREA/

Surprisingly gold rises when this news came out:  North Korea fies another missile

(courtesy zero hedge)/  two reports

North Korea Fires ICBM Missile; Flies 45 Minutes, Lands In Japan Waters

Perhaps sensing that Trump is rather vulnerable right now, and confirming reports from two days ago that an ICBM launch is imminent, moments ago Japan’s NHK reported that North Korea has fired “what appears to be a missile”, which Kyodo has since classified as an ICBM, which landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. The Pentagon, as reported by Fox news, confirms that NORTH KOREA has indeed launched a ballistic missile, and is assessing the results.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says on comments carried on TV that North Korea has again launched a missile, which may have landed in the waters of Japan’s exclusive economic zoneconfirming an earlier report by NHK which said the missile may have landed in the waters near Japan, citing Japan Coast Guard. NHK adds that Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga to give briefly shortly.

Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says that the missile flew for about 45 minutes before landing in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

According to VoA, atatement from the Dept of Defense is expected soon on the latest DPRK missile launch.

As Citi writes, the current confused US and China policy on North Korea is doing little to stem these tests. On Wednesday we reported that NKorea was preparing for another launch. Meanwhile the Washington Post reported earlier this week that NK will likely be able to produce a nuclear-capable warhead by 2018 – a full two years ahead of schedule.

USDKRW has moved by 25bps so far on this news.

end

 

The latest data seems to suggest that the North Korean ICBM could reach Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and maybe New York and Boston(courtesy zero hedge)

Latest North Korean ICBM Can Reach Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago

While North Korea has fired numerous test missiles (mostly intermediate-range) in the past, and as such today’s launch was largely seen as merely the latest political “dare” to Trump by a seemingly oblivious Kim John-Un, there was one notable difference in the launch post-mortem: according to press and Pentagon reports, the maximum altitude attained by the ICBM was 3,700 km (2,300 miles) with a flight time of about 47 minutes. This is material because according to All Things Nuclear, based on the latest information, today’s missile test by North Korea could easily reach not only the US West Coast, but also a number of major US cities.

As reported earlier, North Korea launched its missile on a very highly lofted trajectory, which allowed the missile to fall in the Sea of Japan rather than overflying Japan. It appears the ground range of the test was around 1,000 km (600 miles), which put it in or close to Japanese territorial waters.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

This is the place where North Korea launched its latest missile (left) and the Japanese island closest to its landing spot (right)

According to physicist and co-director of the UCS Global Security Program, David Wright, if those numbers are correct, then the missile flown on a standard trajectory would have a range 10,400 km (6,500 miles), not taking into account the Earth’s rotation. Adding the rotation of the Earth increases the range of missiles fired eastward, depending on their direction. Calculating the range of the missile in the direction of some major US cities gives the approximate results in Table 1.

Table 1 shows that Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago appear to be well within range of this missile, and that Boston and New York may be just within range. Washington, D.C. may be just out of range.

Wright caveats his calculations saying that “it is important to keep in mind that we do not know the mass of the payload the missile carried on this test. If it was lighter than the actual warhead the missile would carry, the ranges would be shorter than those estimated above.”

While the above calculation has yet to be confirmed by third parties, the US is not taking any chances. According to Reuters, top U.S. and South Korean military officials “discussed military options after North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday.”

Marine General Joseph Dunford was joined by the Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, when they called General Lee Sun-jin, chairman of the South Korean Joint Chief of Staff. “During the call Dunford and Harris expressed the ironclad commitment to the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance. The three leaders also discussed military response options,” said Captain Greg Hicks, a spokesman for Dunford.

In light of North Korea’s reportedly expanded offensive capabilities, now that the US has an justification to launch a preemptive “defensive” attack on Pyongyang, a US military operation in North Korea now appears to be only a matter of time.

end

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

end

c) REPORT ON CHINA

end

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

Germany wanted migrants into the country and this is what they get:

courtesy zero hedge)

Machete-Yielding Man Screams “Allahu Akbar” As He Kills One, Injures Several In Hamburg Supermarket

A machete-wielding man shouting Allahu Akbar has killed one and injured several others after going on the rampage through a German supermarket this afternoon according to German news agency dpa and the Hamburg police. The attack happened on the corner of Fuhlsbüttler and Hermann-Kauffmann streets in the north of the city, police said. People were warned to stay away from the area. Witnesses said the attack happened at a branch of Edeka, Germany’s largest supermarket chain.

: Ein Täter hat mehrere Personen in einem Supermarkt angegriffen & verletzt. Eine Person verstorben. Tatverdächtiger festgenommen.

As Focus adds, an unknown attacker indiscriminately attacked customers in a supermarket branch in the Hamburg district of Barmbek with a knife and killed a man. After the attack, the perpetrator escaped. Witnesses followed him and informed the police. The officers were then able to arrest the man in the vicinity of the crime scene.

 Täter hat mehrere Personen in einem Supermarkt angegriffen & verletzt. Ein Toter. Verdächtiger festgenommen. @FeuerwehrHH

Bild newspaper published a photo of a man purported to be the attacker covered in blood. It said police were looking for a second man. The newspaper said the attacker began wildly striking at shoppers before being stopped by police.

According to Bild, the man shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he launched the attack. A witness told the newspaper: ‘The man has suddenly struck out on customers, there was one dead and several injured.’

The Hamburg police has confirmed the attack on Twitter. There were no details behind the attack motive.

: Ein Täter hat mehrere Personen in einem Supermarkt angegriffen & verletzt. Eine Person verstorben. Tatverdächtiger festgenommen. pic.twitter.com/TPKtqmjamp

Zum Motiv und der Anzahl der Verletzten liegen noch keine validen Infos vor. Wir werden hier weiter informieren.

Local media also reports that a terror alarm had been triggered. The police also added that ‘initial reports about robbery as a possible motive so far have not been confirmed.’

Germany remains on high alert following a series of terror attacks in the country last year.

end

5. RUSSIA AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

That did not take long: Russia retaliates against USA sanctions by 1.cutting the diplomatic staff of USA diplomats in Russia to 455/the rest will be sent home

2.seizing a dacha compound used as a retreat

3.seizing a warehouse used by diplomats as a retreat

now we await the European response who will get the brunt of the attack.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Russia Retaliates: Orders U.S. To Cut Diplomatic Staff, Seizes Two Compounds

Just hours after the Senate overwhelmingly voted to enforce further sanctions against (mostly) Russia, North Korea and Iran, while binding Trump from undoing any measures against Moscow without Congressional approval, in the process infuriating not only the Kremlin but America’s European allies, with Brussels warning repeatedly it will have no choice but to respond in kind, on Friday morning Russia’s Foreign Ministry ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic staff to 455 by Sept. 1 and said it was seizing a dacha compound used as a retreat as well as a warehouse used by US diplomats in retaliation for new U.S. sanctions against Moscow.

The move is “linked to the passing of the new law on sanctions,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells reporters on conference call, explaining that Russia acted before law signed by President Donald Trump because the form of legislation unlikely to change.

“The Russian side is suspending the use of all storage facilities on Dorozhnaya Street in Moscow, and a cottage in Serebryaniy Bor by the US Embassy in Russia as of August 1,” the ministry said in a statement.

Moscow also said that the number of US diplomatic service staff in Russia should be reduced to equal the number of Russian diplomats in the US by September 1. “This means that the total number of personnel involved in the American diplomatic and consular institutions in the Russian Federation is reduced to 455.”

Shortly after the statement, Interfax reported, citing an unidentified person that hundreds, not dozens, of U.S. diplomatic and technical staff will have to leave Russia as part of retaliation

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved the move, according to his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.


U.S. embassy in Moscow, Russia

The foreign ministry also said that Russia is also prepared to resort to additional retaliatory measures in case of new moves by Washington to reduce its diplomatic corps.

“In the case of new unilateral actions of the US authorities to reduce the number of our diplomats in the US, it will be followed by a tit-for-tat response,” the Foreign Ministry stated. “We reserve the right on other mutual measures, which can affect US interests.”

Two weeks ago, on July 14, Moscow warned that it was running out of patience in light of the stalemate that followed the closure of two Russian diplomatic compounds in the US, and mentioned possible retaliatory measures including the expulsion of diplomats. “We have something to retaliate with: the personnel of the US embassy in Moscow greatly exceeds the number of our embassy staff in Washington,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated.

Russia’s retaliation, outlined in a statement from the Foreign Ministry, came a day after the U.S. Senate voted to slap new sanctions on Russia, putting President Donald Trump in a tough position by forcing him to take a hard line on Moscow, angering both Russia and the EU, or veto the legislation and anger his own Republican Party.

Russia’s initial tit-for-tat response comes after Russian diplomatic property was confiscated by the Obama administration in 2016, in response to alleged Russian meddling in the US election. The US also expelled 35 Russian diplomats and denied Russian diplomatic staff access to the New York and Maryland compounds.

END

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

Not good:  Nuclear power Pakistan plunges into political turmoil after its Prime Minister is removed after their Supreme Court ruled he engaged in corruption.  He bought London properties with “corrupted” money

(courtesy zero hedge)

Pakistan Plunges Into Political Turmoil After Prime Minister Ousted For Corruption

Pakistan plunged into political turmoil when its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned shortly after the Supreme Court ousted him from office on Friday following an investigation into allegations of corruption centering on undeclared offshore assets.  As Reuters notes, The court disqualified Sharif for not being “honest”, a requirement for lawmakers under Pakistan’s constitution, something the US sorely needs to amend as well. The court also ordered a corruption trial against Mr. Sharif, whose family is accused of amassing wealth through corrupt means and purchasing expensive overseas properties with that money.

The case against Mr. Sharif centers on four upscale apartments in London, which the opposition party alleges were bought with money made from corruption. Details of the property, held in the name of Mr. Sharif’s children, were disclosed in the huge leak of documents from the Panamanian law firm Mosack Fonseca last year, known as the “Panama Papers”, detailing the undisclosed offshore holdings of people around the world. The Prime Minister said the apartments belonged to his children, not him, and were acquired as part of a settlement of an old family business deal with a Qatari prince.

Nawaz becomes the second casualty of the “Panama Papers” after the Iceland prime minister resigned in April of 2016 under similar circumstances.

A statement from Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N party said he had stepped down as prime minister immediately following the verdict but added that “constitutional and legal requirements for a fair trial were trampled over.” His party is now expected to name a new prime minister. As the WSJ adds, “aides to Mr. Sharif, who has denied the accusations and said he has done nothing improper, warned that stability and democracy in the nuclear-armed nation are threatened by political turmoil. Pakistan has been ruled for nearly half its existence by the military, while civilian governments have usually not completed their terms. Elections are due next year.”

“This is a time when creating any kind of destabilization in Pakistan would be inviting trouble for ourselves. History will judge us over how we handled this phase,” said Ahsan Iqbal, minister for planning, on the eve of the court decision.

The ouster of Sharif, 67, who has now served as premier on three separate occasions, raises questions about Pakistan’s fragile democracy. An interesting fact is that no prime minister has completed a full term in power since independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

According to Reuters, the court verdict marks a major political victory for opposition leader Imran Khan, a former cricket star who last year threatened mass street protests unless Sharif’s wealth was investigated. Khan had pounced on the leaking of the Panama Papers, which revealed Sharif’s family had bought posh London apartments through offshore companies.

“Today the people of Pakistan got real justice, a new chapter has begun,” Jehangir Khan Tareen, a member of Khan’s opposition PTI party, said outside the court.

Ironically, Khan himself is also under Supreme Court investigation on allegations he failed to declare sources of income, a charge he denies.

Pakistan is crucial to US strategic interests in the region, and to ending the war in neighboring Afghanistan. The Trump administration’s review of Afghanistan policy is expected to see a role for Pakistan in bringing peace there, but Islamabad’s attention looks set to be sapped instead by a prolonged political crisis, the WSJ adds. The government of Mr. Sharif’s party, which has a majority in Parliament, can continue despite the court verdict.

* * *

The Supreme Court verdict was under close watch: hundreds of police and paramilitary troops were deployed to guard the Supreme Court complex Friday before the highly anticipated verdict in the case, which has been the top political issue in Pakistan since last year.

Pakistan’s constitution says its lawmakers have to be “honest” and “trustworthy.” That test was a central issue before the Supreme Court.

 

According to the opposition party led by Imran Khan, which brought the case against Mr. Sharif, holding politicians accountable, including for their personal wealth, would strengthen democracy in Pakistan and end its slimy traditional politics. Earlier this month, an investigation ordered by the court found that Mr. Sharif and his children weren’t “able to justify assets and the means of income.” The probe also alleged that the family had provided fraudulent documents to the court.

 

Last week, Mr. Sharif had denounced the findings of that investigation as slander. “This isn’t accountability, this is exploitation. I can guarantee no one in Pakistan is going to accept such accountability,” Mr. Sharif said in a speech.

Sharif claims that under his government Pakistan had stabilized, with a pickup in economic growth, the building of infrastructure and a reduction in terrorism. However, Pakistan hasn’t been able to break out of its perennial cycle of tension between civilian administrations and the military, experts quoted by the WSJ. Over the past decade, the Supreme Court has at times taken an activist role, a stance revived by the current case against the prime minister.

* * *

Finally, here are some analyst reactions to Pakistan’s political overhaul:

Aberdeen Asset Managment (Edwin Gutierrez, London-based head of EM sovereign debt)

  • “Today’s development breeds political uncertainty and only adds to the reasons we haven’t liked the Pakistan story”
  • “The deteriorating BOP is one of our bigger concerns. There’s already been fiscal slippage because of the lack of IMF extension”
  • Gutierrez doesn’t own any bonds in Pakistan

Asia Frontier Capital (Ruchir Desai, senior investment analyst in Hong Kong)

  • This is a near term negative
  • Stock market sentiment will remain subdued in the short term and the currency could come under pressure
  • The longer term impact would depend on how strongly PML-N goes into next elections in 2018 as well as the outcome of elections
  • This is more or less in the price – the stock market is down ~15% from peak and is trading at a discount to most regional markets

Ashmore Group (Jan Dehn, London-based head of research)

  • “Well-informed investors will look upon this as a buying opportunity”
  • “Impact on the bond and currency markets will be lower than for stocks”

Exotix Capital (Hasnain Malik, global head of equities research in Dubai)

  • “Despite all of the negative reactions to this case, we see this as, on balance, a positive”
  • “We do not view the Prime Minister and his family as central to the improvements in security nor to the implementation of key initiatives such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor”
  • “Likelihood of a hung Parliament and coalition government after next year’s election now increases”
end

7. OIL ISSUES

As promised we should start to see oil prices rise as the shale boys cut their production in the uSA

(courtesy zero hedge)

WTI Surges Towards $50 – Breaks Above Key Technical Level

Ahead of today’s rig count data, WTI (and Brent) Crude is extending its short-squeeze gains after the bullish inventory data trend was confirmed (shrugging off the surge in production). Signals from an increaisng number of firms that they are cutting capex (and this drilling) has helped send WTI and Brent back above their 200-day moving-averages.

Halliburton, promising to be disciplined in adding more fracking gear to the oilfields, says U.S. explorers are “tapping the brakes” on drilling as the price of oil struggles to breach $50 a barrel.

 

Brent’s front-month has pushed into backwardation and the medium-term WTI curve the same…suggesting producers are actively hedging next year’s supply at these new high prices…

 

The recent strength has pushed WTI back above its 200-day moving-average…

Support or Resistance? We suspect the 1pmET rig count data will decide the rest of the day.

end

Rig counts only rise by 2.  The shale boys have already reached peak shale and with cap ex falling, we should see oil production drop and then in 2018 oil will rise in price

(courtesy zero hedge)

Rig Count Rises By Just 2 As Goldman Expects Oil Market To Rebalance By Early 2018

With WTI heading for its best week since 2016, demand and inventory data is trumping production for now and today’s Baker Hughes rig count data did nothing to change that as, following last week’s 1 rig drop, producers only added 2 oil rigs in the last week to 766.

  • *U.S. GAS RIG COUNT UP 6 TO 192 , BAKER HUGHES SAYS :BHGE US
  • *U.S. OIL RIG COUNT UP 2 TO 766 , BAKER HUGHES SAYS :BHGE US

Judging by the lagged correlation to WTI, rig counts are stalling as expected…

 

US (Lower 48) crude production continues to rise with lagged rig count data…topping 9mm barrels last week for the first time since July 2015…

 

WTI, Brent poised for largest weekly gains in 7 months amid indications that market is rebalancing…

“There’s less crude oil,” Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA, says. “That’s all there is to it”

And as OilPrice.com’s Tsvetana Paraskova notesGoldman Sachs said on Thursday that it was “cautiously optimistic” on oil prices as recent data show that the rebalancing of the oil market is speeding up and if the drawdown trends are sustained, stockpiles will normalize by early 2018.

“While OPEC’s production path remains uncertain, recent fundamental oil data have come in even better than we had expected,” Goldman said in a note, as quoted by CNBC.

 

“If sustained, these trends would help achieve the normalization in inventories by early next year,” the investment bank added.

Over the past month, oil prices have rebounded thanks to robust demand, strong draws in U.S. inventories, and drops in U.S. rig counts, Goldman said. Oil prices have risen above the investment bank’s price projection for September 2017 of US$50 per barrel of Brent, Goldman Sachs said.

The EIA reported this week another hefty decline in U.S. commercial crude oil inventories for the week ending July 21. The EIA said crude oil inventories diminished by 7.2 million barrels, to 483.4 million barrels. The EIA had reported strong inventory draws in the last three weeks as well. Meanwhile, the number of active oil rigs in the United States fell last week by 1 rig —its second loss in four weeks.

According to Goldman estimates, data from the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Singapore point to a total inventory drop of 83 million barrels since March. In addition, demand in the U.S., India, and China is strong, and Goldman expects it to stay strong through the end of this year, leading to sustained draws in the third quarter.

According to Goldman, this would tighten the physical oil market and flip the market structure to backwardation this year.

However, the bank is still “cautious” on prices because the inventory decline needs to show it will be sustained.

As a reminder, earlier this month, Goldman Sachs said that oil prices could soon fall below US$40 if there wasn’t a sustained drawdown in U.S. crude inventories and rig counts, or without any bold “shock and awe” action from OPEC. The oil market is searching for a new equilibrium, Goldman said back then, adding that it was still too early to tell whether the most recent inventory reductions in the U.S. are an anomaly or if they signal the start of something more durable.

8. EMERGING MARKET

Both Canada and USA embassy families have been ordered out of Venezuela ahead of the new “constitutional” reform bill which will be voted on Sunday.  This will give our bus driver Maduro new powers and ending democracy

Everybody expects a bloody showdown

(courtesy zerohedge)

US Orders Venezuela Embassy Families Out As Crisis “Showdown” Arrives

On Thursday, the U.S. government ordered family members of employees at its embassy in Venezuela to leave as the nation’s political crisis deepened ahead of a controversial vote critics contend will end democracy in the oil-rich country. Similarly, Canada warned its nationals against non-essential travel to Venezuela and urged citizens already there to leave. As well as ordering relatives to leave, the U.S. State Department on Thursday also authorized the voluntary departure of any U.S. government employee at its compound-like hilltop embassy in Caracas, where hyperinflation is about to hit 1,000%.

Meanwhile, as France 24 notes, Venezuela careened towards a “showdown” on its streets Friday between anti-government protesters and security forces, raising international alarm at worsening deadly unrest. The opposition called fresh nationwide demonstrations to defy a new government ban on rallies ahead of a controversial vote Sunday to elect a body to rewrite the constitution.

As protests mount, culminating with a two-day general strike that ended on Thuesday, violence has continued to rage on the street, with Reuters reporting that another seven people were killed during the latest opposition-led strike against President Nicolas Maduro’s planned election for a powerful new Constituent Assembly on Sunday. Four months of protests against unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro have already claimed 112 lives, according to prosecutors.

The state prosecutor’s office said four people died on Thursday amid the unrest: A 49-year-old man in Carabobo state, a 23 year-old in Lara state, a 29 year-old in Anzoategui state and a 16-year old in the middle class Caracas area of El Paraiso. A 23-year-old man and a 30-year-old man were also killed in western Merida state and a 16-year-old boy was killed in the poor Caracas neighborhood of Petare during clashes on Wednesday. This week’s death toll topped last week’s one-day strike, when five people were killed.

On Friday, Maduro’s critics plan to pile more pressure on the unpopular socialist leader by holding roadblocks across the nation dubbed “The Takeover of Venezuela”. “We’re going to keep fighting, we’re not leaving the streets,” said opposition lawmaker Jorge Millan.

Tensions have been heightened by a decree from Maduro banning protests and warning that anyone who marches against the “Constituent Assembly” risks up to 10 years in prison. The opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable, shot back with a tweet saying “the regime declared we can’t demonstrate… We will respond with the TAKING OF VENEZUELA.”

It called mass protests for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “The whole country must tell the world this Constituent Assembly has no legitimacy,” opposition lawmaker Freddy Guevara said at a press conference

Maduro countered by urging the opposition to “abandon the road to insurrection.” He urged immediate dialogue, but signaled he was not backing down. Any talks, he said, should happen “before the election and installation of the Constituent Assembly.”

In recent months, Venezuela’s opposition, which controls the National Assembly, has urged civil disobedience against what it terms Maduro’s dictatorship. It is pushing on with its own strategy of trying to force Maduro from power through early elections. Approximately 70% of Venezuelans oppose plans for the constituent assembly, according to polling firm Datanalisis.

Skirmishes in the street between supporters of the opposition and the Maduro government have become commonplace. Volleys of tear gas, rubber bullets and homemade bombs arced through the air in the capital during the strike. Barricades made from debris littered the eastern part of the city, with signs reading “No more dictatorships!”

“Where does Maduro want to take the country? To a social explosion?” asked Henrique Capriles, an opposition leader.

* * *

Meanwhile, President Trump has warned his administration could impose economic sanctions on Venezuela if Maduro goes ahead with the vote to create the legislative superbody.  The Constituent Assembly would have power to rewrite the constitution and shut down the existing opposition-led legislature, which the opposition maintains would cement dictatorship in Venezuela.

Many streets remained barricaded and deserted on Thursday during a second day of a nationwide work stoppage. Plenty of rural areas and working-class urban neighborhoods were bustling, however, and the strike appeared less massively supported than a one-day shutdown last week. As Reuters adds, with Venezuela already brimming with shuttered stores and factories, amid a blistering four-year recession, the effectiveness of any strike can be hard to gauge. Many Venezuelans live hand-to-mouth and say they must keep working.

In Barinas, home state of former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, only about a third of businesses were closed according to a Reuters witness, as opposed to the opposition’s formal estimate of 90 percent participation nationally.

 

“I am opposed to the government and I agree we must do everything we can to get out of this mess, but I depend on my work. If I don’t work, my family does not eat,” said Ramon Alvarez, a 45-year-old barber at his shop in Barinas.

There has been widespread international condemnation of Maduro’s Constituent Assembly plan, which however have achieved nothing so far. The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions against 13 current and former officials for corruption, undermining democracy, and participating in repression.

Adding to Venezuela’s troubles, and international isolation, Colombian airline Avianca suddenly stopped operations in the country on Thursday due to “operational and security limitations”.  US airline Delta is also expected to suspend services from September. The company declined to comment on the move.

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

Euro/USA   1.1713 UP .0024/REACTING TO  + huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:/TRUMP HEALTH CARE DEFEAT//ITALIAN REFERENDUM DEFEAT/AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/ /USA RISING INTEREST RATES AGAIN/EUROPE BOURSES ALL IN THE RED 

USA/JAPAN YEN 111.20 UP 0.110(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 1.3091 UP .0015 (Brexit  March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED

THERESA MAY FORMS A NEW GOVERNMENT/STARTS BREXIT TALKS

USA/CAN 1.2539 DOWN .0000 (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 24 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level  RISING to 1.1713; 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 3.46 POINTS OR 0.11%     / Hang Sang  CLOSED DOWN 151.78 POINTS OR 0.56% /AUSTRALIA  CLOSED DOWN 1.32% / 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 119.80 POINTS OR .60%

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

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 151.78 POINTS OR 0.56%  / SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 3.46 POINTS OR 0.11%   /Australia BOURSE CLOSED DOWN 1.32% /Nikkei (Japan)CLOSED DOWN 119.80  POINTS OR .60%    / INDIA’S SENSEX IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1258.80

silver:$16.55

Early FRIDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.326% !!!  UP 1  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  2.9319, UP 2  IN BASIS POINTS  from THURSDAY night.

USA dollar index early FRIDAY morning: 93.74 DOWN 13  CENT(S) from THURSDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers  FRIDAY MORNING

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And now your closing FRIDAY NUMBERS

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 2.926% DOWN 3 in basis point(s) yield from THURSDAY 

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.076%  UP  3/10   in   basis point yield from THURSDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.525% UP 2   IN basis point yield from THURSDAY 

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.122 UP 3 POINTS  in basis point yield from THURSDAY 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 60 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: +.542% UP 1  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 1.1747 UP .0057 (Euro UP 57 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 110.86 DOWN  0.239(Yen UP 24 basis points/ 

Great Britain/USA 1.3122 UP  0.0046( POUND UP 46

basis points) 

USA/Canada 1.2435 DOWN .0194 (Canadian dollar UP 104 basis points AS OIL ROSE TO $49.71

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This afternoon, the Euro was UP  by 57 basis points to trade at 1.1747

The Yen ROSE to 110.86 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 46  basis points, trading at 1.3122/ 

The Canadian dollar ROSE by 104 basis points to 1.2435,  WITH WTI OIL RISING TO :  $49.71

The USA/Yuan closed at 6.7369/
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.076%  UP  3/10 IN  BASIS POINTS / yield/ 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield DOWN  3  IN basis points from THURSDAY at 2.296% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic  USA 30 yr bond yield: 2.903  DOWN 4 in basis points on the day /

Your closing USA dollar index, 93.38  DOWN 48 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 74.64 POINTS OR 0.64%
German Dax :CLOSED DOWN 49.34 POINTS OR 0.40%
Paris Cac  CLOSED DOWN 55.56 POINTS OR 1.07% 
Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 67.20 POINTS OR 0.63%

Italian MIB: CLOSED  DOWN 204.36 POINTS/OR 0.94%

The Dow closed UP 33.76 OR 0.15%

NASDAQ WAS closed DOWN 7.51  POINTS OR 0.12%  4.00 PM EST
WTI Oil price;  49.71 at 1:00 pm; 

Brent Oil: 52.41 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS:  59.48 DOWN 5/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE HIGHER BY 5 BASIS PTS)

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES TO  +0.542%  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:$49.77

BRENT: $52.54

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.289%  (ANYTHING HIGHER THAN 2.70% BLOWS UP THE GLOBE)

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 2.893%

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1754 UP .0065

USA/JAPANESE YEN:110.65  DOWN  0.443

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 93.31  DOWN 55  cent(s) 

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.3143 : UP 68 POINTS FROM LAST NIGHT  

Canadian dollar: 1.2429 UP 109 BASIS pts 

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +0.542%

END

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

Turmoil In Tech, Trannies, & Tobacco As Dollar Dumps To 2-Year Lows On Dismal Data

 

Some folks’ stocks turmoiled but the message is clear…

 

Mixed bag on the week with Trannies tumbling most since Brexit, Dow outperforming on earnings beats, and tech weighing on Nasdaq and S&P…

 

Today’s goal was to get the S&P green on the week and the instrument of choice was monkeyhammering the VIX again…BUT it failed!

 

Retailers and Energy stocks were best on the week and Utes worst…

 

Despite equity gains today, protection remained bid as VIX had its biggest weekly gain in 2 months…

 

Tobacco stocks got smoked…

 

FANG Stocks had their first down week in the last 4…

 

Jeff Bezos had an eventful week…

 

Treasuries ended the week higher (despite weak data, a dovish Fed) as we suspect the yuge ATT issuance and Risk-Parity deleveraging had an impact…

 

However, 30Y rallied back lower in yield today after GDP’s miss…

 

The Dollar Index tumbled back towards the post-Fed lows today after bouncing yesterday… This was the lowest weekly close for the dollar since May 2015

 

WTI had its best week since the first week of Dec 2016, soaring almost 9% on the week…ending the week above its 200DMA just shy of $50…

 

Gold rose for the 3rd straight week –  breaking through its 50-, 100-, and 200-DMA and back to pre-Fed Rate-Hike levels…

 

Once again ‘hard’ data is plumbing new lows as ‘soft’ survey data limps higher on a magic carpet ride of hope…

 

This is probably nothing…

 

Finally, this… blow-off top next week?

END
The GDP figures released this morning sent gold and silver northbound: 2nd quarter GDP revised down to 2.6%.  First quarter GDP revised southbound to 1.2% and the all important core PCE which is Janet’s favourite for measuring wage and other inflation tumbles from 1.8% down to only.9%
(courtesy zero hedge)

Q2 GDP Misses, Q3 2016 – Q1 2017 All Revised Lower, Core PCE Tumbles

In the latest double negative whammy for the economy, not only did Q2 GDP print fractionally less than expected, at 2.6% vs consensus expectations of 2.7%, but Q1 GDP of 1.4% was also revised slightly lower, from 1.4% to 1.2%, while the Fed’s favorite inflationary metric, core PCE, tumbled from a downward revised 1.8% to 0.9%.

The BEA also released its annual update of GDP figures using “newly available and revised source data” for the 2014 – 2016 period. From the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2017, real GDP increased at an annual average rate of 2.1 percent, the same as previously estimated.

Of note: GDP prints starting in Q3 2016 and through Q1 2017 were all revised lowerOne amusing finding here is that following the revisions, Q3 2014 GDP is now said to have been 5.2%, while that abysmal Q1 2015 GDP print which was blamed on the weather is now 3.2%.

As part of the revision, Personal consumption got a boost last quarter, when it was revised to 1.9%, while the Q2 number was a solid 2.8%. The GDP price index rose 1% in 2Q after rising 2.0% prior quarter.

The closely watched by the Fed core PCE q/q rose 0.9% in 2Q after rising 1.8% prior quarter, suggesting lower for longer will persist indefinitely.

The second?quarter increase in real GDP reflected increases in both consumer spending on goods and services as well as increases in business investment, exports, and federal government spending. The increase in consumer spending was led by increases in housing and utilities, health care, and recreational goods and vehicles. The increase in business investment reflected increases in all three components: structures, equipment, and intellectual property products.

Offsetting these increases in real GDP were declines in housing investment, inventory investment, and state and local government spending.

Specifically, final sales to private domestic purchasers q/q rose 2.7% in 2Q after rising 3.1% prior quarter. Nonresidential fixed investment, or spending on equipment, structures and intellectual property rose 5.2% in 2Q after rising 7.2% prior quarter.

Real disposable personal income—personal income adjusted for taxes and inflation—increased 3.2% in the second quarter after increasing 2.8% in the first quarter. Personal saving as a percent of disposable personal income was 3.8% in the second quarter, compared with 3.9% in the first quarter.

Looking at the revisions, Renaissance Macro’s Neil Dutta said that inventories have shaved an average of 31 basis points off growth in the past eight quarters, compared with an average gain of 2bps per quarter over the past 20 years.

 The following is a biggy: the employment cost index slumped to just .5% growth in 2nd quarter (Q/Q) and this wage growth is the slowest and weakest in two years.  To the Fed, they need wage growth to follow inflation.  If this does not happen then stagflation and all other bad things happen to an economy.  Gold/silver love the report!
(courtesy zero hedge)

Dollar Index Slumps As Wage Growth Slows To Weakest In 2 Years

After an exuberant Q1, which prompted extrapolators to confirm this is the big turnaround, escape velocity looms, and supposedly tight labor markets are finally doing what ‘Phillips’ said they should… Q2 has dashed economists’ hopes of nirvana with the Employment Cost Index slumping to just 0.5% growth QoQ in Q2 – the weakest since Q2 2015.

Today’s Q2 print came out at 0.5%, lower than the market consensus of 0.6% – this is a bigger drop from the 0.8% in Q1.

 

This does not suggest an environment in which The Fed should be ‘normalizing rates’ and it appears the dollar index agrees…

(courtesy zero hedge)

UMich Consumer Confidence Tumbles To Lowest Since Before Election As Trumphoria Fades

Despite a rebound in business survey hope, a number of consumer confidence measures have been tracking lower in recent months as Trumphoria fades. July’s final UMich consumer confidence data confirms this trend printing at 93.4 – the lowest since Oct 2016. While current conditions rose to the highest since July 2005, the biggest driver of the overall decline was a tumble in the ‘expectations’ index.

Although a slight improvement on the early month preliminary print, the trend remains lower…

 

The partisan divide over confidence remains extreme…but the partisan gap has narrowed in recent weeks, mostly due to Republicans tempering their optimism. The recent declines among Republicans were somewhat predictable, but the continuation of extreme pessimism among Democrats is more surprising; although, a partisan pessimism is easier to maintain when personal finances are at the highest levels recorded since 2000. Overall, the data continue to indicate a gain of 2.4% in personal consumption in 2017.

 

Moreover, UMich notes that while current conditions were judged strictly on the performance of the economy, expectations continue to be significantly influenced by partisanship: the difference on the Expectations Index between Democrats and Republicans was 45 Index-points (63.7 versus 108.7); among self-identified Independents, in contrast, the Expectations Index was exactly equal to the weighted difference between the partisan extremes (80.5).

Partisan perceptions of recent economic developments have lessened, although the change was mainly due to less extreme Republican views.

Overall, fewer consumers anticipated an improved economy in the year ahead, falling to 28% from 42% three months ago.

Long term prospects for the economy were still dominated by partisanship, as 70% of Republicans expect a continuous expansion and 66% of Democrats expect a renewed downturn sometime in the next five years. Unemployment, a top concern of consumers, was expected to fall from its current low level by 52% of Republicans, and to increase by 43% of Democrats.

The only partisan consensus was by the three-quarters of consumers that expected interest rates to increase.

(courtesy zero hedge)

Senate Overwhelmingly Votes For New Russia Sanctions, Now It’s Up To Trump

Two days after the House passed bipartisan legislation in a 419-3 vote codifying and imposing further sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea and preventing the president from acting unilaterally to remove certain sanctions on Russia, moments ago the Senate also overwhelmingly approved the measure in a 98-2 vote.  Only Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting no. The bill will now head to the White House where it will be either signed into law by the president or vetoed, setting up a potential showdown with the White House over Russia. The move marks congressional Republicans’ first rebuke of Trump’s foreign policy, where the administration’s warmer stance toward Russia has drawn heavy skepticism from both parties.

The three countries named in the bill are accused of violating “the international order” by Senator Bob Menendez, the former chairman of the foreign relations committee.

Under the bill, existing sanctions on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine and interference in the 2016 election would be codified into law. New sanctions would go into effect against Iran for its ballistic missile development, while North Korea’s shipping industry and people who use slave labor would be targeted amid the isolated nation’s efforts to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

While a full breakdown of the key details in the legislation is provided at the bottom of this post, in a nutshell the sanctions target Russian gas and pipeline developments by codifying six of Barack Obama’s executive orders implementing sanctions on Russia for its alleged interference in the US elections.

John McCain lauded the bipartisan process that supported the bill: “We will not tolerate attacks on our democracy!” the Senator, who chairs the armed services committee, said from the Senate floor. “That’s what this bill is all about.”

The Senate passage now sends the sanctions bill to Trump’s desk, although lawmakers expressed mixed expectations on whether the president would sign it into law. In recent days, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered mixed messages in recent days.  On Sunday, Sanders told ABC’s “This Week” that the administration supports the bill. But on Monday, she told reporters on Air Force One that Trump is “going to study that legislation” before making a final decision.

* * *

Should Trump sign the bill into law, a prompt Russian response is imminent. On Thursday, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported that Russia is planning “symmetrical” response to earlier U.S. actions, including expelling diplomats and seizing U.S. Embassy properties, if and when Trump signs the new sanctions legislation.

It noted that Russia may take the Serebryany Bor vacation complex, and send home 35 diplomats, the same number as the Russian diplomats who were expelled by Barack Obama late in December. Komersant added that Russia may also limit maximum number of U.S. diplomatic personnel, which currently exceeds Russian staff in U.S.

Also on Thursday, Vladimir Putin said that Russia would be forced to retaliate if Washington pressed ahead with what he called illegal new sanctions against Moscow, describing U.S. conduct towards his country as boorish and unreasonable.

“As you know, we are exercising restraint and patience, but at some moment we’ll have to retaliate. It’s impossible to endlessly tolerate this boorishness towards our country,” Putin told a joint news conference during a press conference in Findland.

“When will our response follow? What will it be? That will depend on the final version of the draft law which is now being debated in the U.S. Senate.”

Putin also spoke about an ongoing diplomatic row between Moscow and Washington which erupted last December when then U.S. President Barack Obama ordered the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the United States and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats.

“This goes beyond all reasonable bounds,” said Putin. “And now these sanctions – they are also absolutely unlawful from the point of view of international law.” Calling the proposed sanctions “extremely cynical,” Putin said the demarche looked like an attempt by Washington to use its “geopolitical advantages … to safeguard its economic interests at the expense of its allies”.

* * *

But while Russia’s adverse reaction is to be expected, it is the EU’s response that will be closely watched.

According to an internal memo leaked to the FT earlier in the week, Brussles said it should act “within days” if new sanctions the US plans to impose on Russia prove to be damaging to Europe’s trade ties with Moscow. Retaliatory measures may include limiting US jurisdiction over EU companies. The memo, reported by the Financial Times and Politico, has emerged amid mounting European opposition to a US bill seeking to hit Russia with a new round of sanctions.

Morning London, while you were sleeping this was our most read story http://on.ft.com/2tsZBtu 

Photo published for EU ready to retaliate against US sanctions on Russia

EU ready to retaliate against US sanctions on Russia

Brussels fears effort to punish Moscow’s election meddling will hurt energy companies

ft.com

The document said European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker was particularly concerned the sanctions would neglect the interests of European companies. Juncker said Brussels “should stand ready to act within days” if sanctions on Russia are “adopted without EU concerns being taken into account,” according to the Financial Times.

The EU memo also warns that “the measures could impact a potentially large number of European companies doing legitimate business under EU measures with Russian entities in the railways, financial, shipping or mining sectors, among others.”

The freshly leaked memo suggests that the EU is seeking “a public declaration” from the Trump administration that it will not apply the new sanctions in a way that targets European interests.  Other options on the table include triggering the ‘Blocking Statute,’ an EU regulation that limits the enforcement of extraterritorial US laws in Europe. A number of “WTO-compliant retaliatory measures” are also being considered, according to the memo.

Over the weekend, we reported that Brussles expressed its concerns over the sanctions bill, when the European Commission said in a statement that “the Russia/Iran sanctions bill is driven primarily by domestic considerations,” adding that it “could have unintended consequences, not only when it comes to Transatlantic/G7 unity, but also on EU economic and energy security interests.”

And so, trapped between looking like a Russian crony on one hand if he refuses to sign the bill, and inflaming relations with not only Moscow but also Europe if he does sign, it will be up to Trump to determine if the feud with Russia escalates even more and involves European nations who are far closer to Russia in socio-economic terms than they would like to admit. 

* * *

Finally, courtesy of Goldman, here are the main details of the legislation:

Here are the main details of the draft legislation:

  • Codifies existing US sanctions on Russia and requires Congressional review before they are lifted.
  • Reduces from 30 days to 14 days the maximum allowed maturity for new debt and new extensions of credit to the state controlled financial institutions targeted under the sectoral sanctions.
  • Reduces from 90 days to 60 days the maximum allowed maturity for new debt and new extensions of credit to sectoral sanctions targets in the energy sector, although this largely only brings US sanctions in line with existing EU sanctions, which already impose a 30-day maximum for most energy companies.
  • Expands the existing Executive Order authorising sectoral sanctions to include additional sectors of the Russian economy: railways and metals and mining.
  • Requires sanctions on any person found to have invested $10 million or more, or facilitated such an investment, in the privatisation of Russian state-owned assets if they have “actual knowledge” that the privatisation “unjustly benefits” Russian government officials or their close associates or family members.
  • Authorises (but does not require) sanctions “in coordination with allies” on any person found to have knowingly made an investment of $1 million or more (or $5 million or more in any 12-month period), or knowingly provided goods or services of the same value, for construction, modernisation, or repair of Russia’s energy export pipelines.
  • Orders the treasury, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of State, to prepare detailed reports within the next 180 days:
    • on Russia’s oligarchs and parastatal companies including individual oligarchs’ closeness to the Russian state, their involvement in corrupt activities and the potential impact of expanding sanctions with respect to Russian oligarchs, Russian state-owned enterprises, and Russian parastatal entities, including impacts on the entities themselves and on the economy of the Russian Federation, as well as the exposure of key US economic sectors to these entities.
    • on the impact of debt- and equity-related sanctions being extended to include sovereign debt and the full range of derivative products.
Early Friday morning
Even the “skinny” Obamacare repeal fails as 3 Senators (John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins) reject the latest version.  This will hurt the Republicans in the next election.
Republicans have yet to agree on anything.  Now we await the debt ceiling debate and that will be a dandy
(courtesy zero hedge)

John McCain Kills Obamacare Repeal With Single Decisive Vote

In the end it was not meant to be: Senate Republicans failed, by a single vote, to pass a month-long effort to pass Republican healthcare legislation culminating with a vote on a “skinny” bill to repeal Obamacare thanks to a single decisive vote by Donald Trump’s nemesis, John McCain.

In a devastating blow to President Trump and his healthcare agenda, Senate Republicans voted 49 to 51 to pass a slimmed down bill put forward as a last gasp effort to overhaul the US healthcare system, leaving the fate of Obamacare in the hands of Democrats and the general public.

Voting shortly after midnight, John McCain – who returned to the Senate on Tuesday after undergoing emergency surgery related to brain cancer – joined known repeal holdouts, GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) in opposing Health Care Freedom Act, HR 1628, the pared-down measure that would have repealed key parts of ObamaCare. Ironically, McCain cast the “no” vote two days after a dramatic return to the Senate floor during which he called on his colleagues to work together on major issues such as healthcare reform, which has long been a Senate tradition until the upsurge of partisanship in recent years.

McCain’s vote stunned many Republicans including Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.), who said he thought the Arizona Republican was in favor of the legislation. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told reporters, “I’m shocked at this.”

Vice President Pence was spotted lobbying McCain on the Senate floor shortly before the crucial vote. He also worked on Collins while other GOP leaders focused on Murkowski.

But those efforts fell short, as in the end it was personal for McCain, who emerged this year as one of President Trump’s most outspoken critics in Congress and the late-night healthcare vote cements his status as a maverick, a role he relished earlier in his career when President George W. Bush occupied the White House.

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said McCain was wrestling with the decision all day but in the end would not budge. “He had made up his mind and I’m not sure there was much that could have been done about it,” he said.

McCain declined to “go through my thought process” when reporters asked him about his vote. Moments later, when asked why he voted no, McCain responded “Because I thought it was the right vote.”

* * *

Earlier in the night, the CBO announced that the bare-bones healthcare proposal, dubbed the “skinny” repeal because it left untouched big sections of ObamaCare, would have resulted in 16 more million people being without insurance in a decade, while boosting premiums by 20%.

“This is clearly a disappointing moment,” said a visibly choked up Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, who pulled the health plan after the failed vote. McConnell appeared almost distraught after McCain’s surprise vote and seemed close to choking up on the floor after falling short of his promise to repeal ObamaCare. “I regret that our efforts were simply not enough this time. Now, I imagine many of our colleagues on the other side are celebrating. Probably pretty happy about all this. But the American people are hurting, and they need relief.”

“It’s time to move on,” McConnell added in remarks on Senate floor, adding that President Trump, VP Mike Pence “couldn’t have been more helpful” in effort. The majority leader said that he now he wants to hear what Democrats’ plans are “and we’ll see what the American people think about their ideas”

The failure came despite President Donald Trump’s repeated attempts to pressure his congressional counterparts into action. Some Republicans, however, pointed a finger of blame at the White House for showing insufficient leadership and limited interest in the details. Shortly after the vote, Trump condemned the three republicans who voted against the bill as “letting the American people down.”

3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!

Republicans had hoped to send the eight-page Health Care Freedom Act back to the House, where Speaker Paul Ryan had reportedly told senators he will have the House go to conference for further modification, instead of immediately passing the repeal as-is when it arrived back in his chamber of the legislature. But Ryan’s pledge was no guarantee that such a step would succeed in substantially altering the nature of the bill, which could still have ultimately proceeded to Mr Trump’s desk to be signed into law without any changes were it approved by enough Republicans in the House. As we noted on Thursday evening, McCain had voiced concerns over this possibility earlier in the evening.

The failed vote leaves Republicans facing a potential backlash from parts of their voter base, who have been told by lawmakers in four consecutive election cycles since 2010 that they were determined to abolish Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms. As the FT notes, Republican leaders now have the options of seeking to resurrect their plans or making a fresh start by trying modify Obamacare in collaboration with Democrats, who have acknowledged its imperfections but insist on defending its core features.

 END
More background on the Awan brothers and strange by Trump has not commented on the story.  Also strange that the mainstream media will not talk about it
(courtesy zero hedge)

Why Hasn’t Trump Said More About The Awan Brothers?

We have covered the saga of the Awan brothers debacle extensively over the last few months but recent developments have escalated the situation dramatically. This has led us and many more to ask why Trump (or his advocates) has not pivoted to this narrative.

Free Market Shooter blog’s Duane Norman dives in…

Some background from early February:

While most know about the Yemen raid, most do not know about the dismissal of the three Awan brothers, Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan. On February 2nd, they were abruptly removed from their positions of managing information technology for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Though they were initially suspected merely of stealing equipment, a connection with the previously-hacked computers of Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) revealed something far more sinister:

Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.

However, there have been a number of developments since then, especially in the past few days. Imran Awan was arrested at Washington-Dulles International Airport trying to leave the US, but only after he transferred approximately $300,000 to Pakistan, and crushed hard drives from his former residence were turned over to authorities: 

Feds/USCP bust Hse IT staffer Imran Awan & charge him with multiple counts of bank fraud as part of Hse IT procurement scandal

Feds/USCP picked up Imran Awan at Dulles Aiport last night as he was “trying to leave the country.” Has been arraigned. Surrendered passport

 

FBI agents seized smashed computer hard drives from the home of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s information technology (IT) administrator, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.

 

Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s top information technology (IT) aide was arrested Monday attempting to board a flight to Pakistan after wiring $283,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union to that country.

 

He attempted to leave the country hours after The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group revealed that he is the target of an FBI investigation, and the FBI apprehended him at the airport.

 

Credit union officials permitted the wire to go through, and his wife has already fled the country to Pakistan, after police confronted her at the airport and found $12,000 in cash hidden in her suitcase but did not stop her from boarding, court documents show.

 

“On January 18, 2017 at 12:09 pm, an international wire transfer request form was submitted [at the Congressional Federal Credit Union] at the Longworth House Office Building in the District of Columbia, in the amount of $283,000.00, to two individuals in Faisalabad, Pakistan,” according to an affidavit obtained by TheDCNF.

And while it is to be expected that mainstream media is all but ignoring the Awan story…

As of Thursday morning, both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have yet to report on the growing scandal surrounding several IT staffers employed by House Democrats, including Wasserman Schultz’s top IT aide, Imran Awan.

 

Other establishment media outlets are similarly refusing to tell the public about the growing scandal. MSNBC has given zero on-air coverage to the scandal. ABC News and NBC News’ national broadcasts have similarly given zero coverage to the scandal. CNN’s only on-air coverage of the scandal so far was a brief mention during the 6 a.m. ET hour Thursday.

it is more surprising to see President Trump staying relatively silent on the whole affair. In fact, his only “commentary” on the matter has been a retweet from today of a Townhall.com article covering mainstream media downplaying the whole incident:

ABC, NBC, And CBS Pretty Much Bury IT Scandal Engulfing Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Office http://trib.al/2EHYgzz 

Photo published for ABC, NBC, And CBS Pretty Much Bury IT Scandal Engulfing Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Office

ABC, NBC, And CBS Pretty Much Bury IT Scandal Engulfing Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Office

37 seconds from CBS

townhall.com

So, why hasn’t Trump called out the story of the Awan brothers? Up until his retweet this morning, I considered the (highly unlikely) possibility that he was merely unaware of the incident… but his retweet has clarified that he is indeed well aware of it.

This leads me to believe there are several possible reasons why Trump hasn’t discussed it more:

  1. Since it is an ongoing investigation, Trump could be waiting until all the facts are uncovered and/or charges are filed before saying anything publicly
  2. Trump could be playing politics with the situation, and waiting for the right moment to discuss it and call out the mainstream media for ignoring it
  3. He is deliberately ignoring the story, because he knows it is just a big “nothing burger” (as President, he would have access to far more information concerning what is really there and what is not)
  4. Some combination of 1) and 2)

Of all these possibilities, 3) is the most unlikely; seeing as how Imran Awan sent $300,000 to Pakistan and tried to flee the country almost immediately after smashed hard drives were recovered from his former residence, Trump must know he is hiding something significant. 2) alone seems unlikely as well; if something was there, you would think Trump would jump on reminding the mainstream media about it at every possible opportunity.

The most logical conclusion is that Trump knows that the investigation is ongoing, thus he is keeping quiet so the investigators can do their job and learn as much about the Awan brothers as possible. However, it is worth acknowledging that the Trump administration could spur the investigation into high gear, and press significant charges in short order.

Regardless, Trump has (finally) acknowledged the scandal publicly, via his retweet, so you would think that we will hear something sooner or later from Trump about this. As Zerohedge has articulated, the media response would certainly be different if the shoe was on the other foot:

Of course, if Republicans and/or members of the Trump administration hired foreign-born IT specialists who were suspected of committing a laundry list of federal crimes and then smashed a bunch of hard drives just before skipping town…we’re sure the media would still gloss right over it in much the same way they’re doing for the the Democrats in this instance.

So, unless the highly unlikely is true, and this is a big “nothing burger” of a story… sooner or later, you should expect Trump to jump on it. Because there is far too much smoke coming from the Awan brothers for there not to be some significant fire behind it.

 end
the gauntlet against the Democrats i.e. Comey, Lynch and Clinton has been thrown:
a very big story!!
(courtesy zerohedge)

Gauntlet Thrown: House Judiciary Demands Special Counsel To Investigate Comey, Lynch, And Clinton

Roughly a month ago, we noted that Republicans might be well served to stop sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for the next Russia ‘bombshell’ to drop and actually go on the offensive against an ‘investigation’ that has obviously morphed into mass hysteria courtesy of free-flowing leaks from a conflicted “intelligence community” intent upon bringing down a presidency rather than finding out the truth.  Here’s what we said:

Of courseuntil someone within the Trump administration or Republican Party smartens up and calls for the appointment of a ‘Special Counsel’ to look into Hillary’s email scandal, something that should have been done long ago, and not for retaliatory reasons but simply due to Comey’s and AG Lynch’s blatant mishandling of the investigation (a point which Deputy AG Rosenstein obviously agreed with), the Democrats have no reason to calm their mass hysteria.  Then, and only then, do we suspect that Hillary might just be able to ‘convince’ her party to exercise some form of reasonable judgement.

Well, it seems that some folks on the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), seem to agree.  As such, 20 Republican Representatives have sent a letter to Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein demanding the appointment of a Second Special Counsel to look into a laundry list of potential scandals surrounding Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Loretta Lynch and many others from the Obama administration.

We are writing to you to request assistance in restoring public confidence in our nation’s justice systemand its investigators, specifically the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). While we presume that the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence has been subsumed into Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, we are not confident that other matters related to the 2016 election and aftermath are similarly under investigation by Special Counsel Mueller. The unbalanced, uncertain, and seemingly unlimited focus of the special counsel’s investigation has led many of our constituents to see a dual standard of justice that benefits only the powerful and politically well-connectedFor this reason, we call on you to appoint a second special counsel to investigate a plethora of matters connected to the 2016 election and its aftermath, including actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

 

Many Democrats and members of the Washington media previously called for a “special prosecutor” to investigate Russian influence on the election and connections with the Trump campaign. Not surprisingly, once you actually made the decision to appoint a special counsel, the calls for further investigations by congressional committees continuedfocused on allegations that have heretofore produced no evidence of criminality, despite the fact that over a year has passed since the opening of the original FBI investigation. Political gamesmanship continues to saturate anything and everything associated with reactions to President Trump’s executive decisions, and reveals the hypocrisy of those who refuse to allow the Special Counsel’s investigation to proceed without undue political influence. It is an unfortunate state of affairs.

Among other things, the letter specifically highlights the inappropriate handling of the Clinton investigation by James Comey and efforts on the part of Loretta Lynch to obstruct justice in order to assist a political ally.

Your stated rationale for recommending Director Comey’s termination as FBI Director was his mishandling of former Secretary Clinton’s email investigation and associated public disclosures concerning the investigation’s findings. We believe this was the correct decision. It is clear that Director Comey contributed to the politicization of the FBI’s investigations by issuing his public statement, nominating himself as judge and jury, rather than permitting career DOJ prosecutors to make the final decision. But many other questions remain unanswered, due to Mr. Comey’s premature and inappropriate decision, as well as the Obama Justice Department’s refusal to respond to legitimate Congressional oversight. Last week, the Republican Members of this Committee sent a letter to the Justice Department, asking for responses to those unanswered inquiries. These questions cannot, for history’s sake and for the preservation of an impartial system of justice, be allowed to die on the vine.

 

As we referenced above, Democrats and the mainstream media called for a special counsel to be appointed to investigate any Russian influence on President Trump’s campaign. Their pleas were answered, but there are many questions that may be outside the scope of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. This was clear following Mr. Comey’s recent testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017, which ignited renewed scrutiny of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and the actions she took to mislead the public concerning the investigation into the Clinton email investigation. Last year, this Committee inquired repeatedly about the circumstances surrounding that and other matters, but our inquiries were largely ignored.

 

During his testimony, Mr. Comey referenced a meeting on the Phoenix airport tarmac between Ms. Lynch and former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Comey raised concerns about Ms. Lynch’s conduct, and questioned her independence, stating:

 

At one point, the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me. That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude, ‘I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly.

And here is the full list of things the “Second Special Counsel” would be instructed to investigate:

1.  Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch directing Mr. Comey to mislead the American people on the nature of the Clinton investigation;

 

2.  The shadow cast over our system of justice concerning Secretary Clinton and her involvement in mishandling classified information;

 

3.  FBI and DOJ’s investigative decisions related to former Secretary Clinton’s email investigation, including the propriety and consequence of immunity deals given to potential Clinton co-conspirators Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, John Bentel and possibly others;

 

4.  The apparent failure of DOJ to empanel a grand jury to investigate allegations of mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton and her associates;

 

5.  The Department of State and its employees’ involvement in determining which communications of Secretary Clinton’s and her associates to turn over for public scrutiny;

 

6.  WikiLeaks disclosures concerning the Clinton Foundation and its potentially unlawful international dealings;

 

7.  Connections between the Clinton campaign, or the Clinton Foundation, and foreign entities, including those from Russia and Ukraine;

 

8.  Mr. Comey’s knowledge of the purchase of Uranium One by the company Rosatom, whether the approval of the sale was connected to any donations made to the Clinton Foundation, and what role Secretary Clinton played in the approval of that sale that had national security ramifications;

 

9.  Disclosures arising from unlawful access to the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) computer systems, including inappropriate collusion between the DNC and the Clinton campaign to undermine Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign;

 

10.  Post-election accusations by the President that he was wiretapped by the previous Administration, and whether Mr. Comey and Ms. Lynch had any knowledge of efforts made by any federal agency to unlawfully monitor communications of then-candidate Trump or his associates;

 

11.  Selected leaks of classified information related to the unmasking of U.S. person identities incidentally collected upon by the intelligence community, including an assessment of whether anyone in the Obama Administration, including Mr. Comey, Ms. Lynch, Ms. Susan Rice, Ms. Samantha Power, or others, had any knowledge about the “unmasking” of individuals on then candidate-Trump’s campaign team, transition team, or both;

 

12.  Admitted leaks by Mr. Comey to Columbia University law professor, Daniel Richman, regarding conversations between Mr. Comey and President Trump, how the leaked information was purposefully released to lead to the appointment of a special counsel, and whether any classified information was included in the now infamous “Comey memos”;

 

13.  Mr. Comey’s and the FBI’s apparent reliance on “Fusion GPS” in its investigation of the Trump campaign, including the company’s creation of a “dossier” of information about Mr. Trump, that dossier’s commission and dissemination in the months before and after the 2016 election, whether the FBI paid anyone connected to the dossier, and the intelligence sources of Fusion GPS or any person or company working for Fusion GPS and its affiliates; and

 

14.  Any and all potential leaks originated by Mr. Comey and provide to author Michael Schmidt dating back to 1993.

Seems the gauntlet has officially been thrown down…what say you Mr. Sessions?

 

The full letter can be reviewed here:

end

these are the crooks that the regulators protect.

These bastards (Wells Fargo) charged for insurance on cars that they did not need. Then the did not tell the customer and when they missed one payment, they foreclosed

 

should put them all in jail

(courtesy zero hedge/New York Times/Gretchen Morgens0n)

 

“This Is A Full-Blown Scandal: It’s Unbelievable, Outrageous” – Comptroller Demands Heads Roll At Wells

Wells Fargo is in boiling hot water. Again.

One day after the NYT reported the latest major scandal involving Warren Buffett’s favorite bank, in which the bank was busted less than a year after its miss-selling fraud cost the former CEO his job, revealing that the bank charged some 800,000 customers for auto insurance they did not need (with some still paying for it), the demands for resignation have arrived.

In a statement from NYC Comtroller Scott Stringer, he demands that Wells Fargo must immediately “jump-start” necessary board change by replacing Chairman Stephen Sanger with a new independent chairperson following the latest “mismanagement” revelations.

In surprisingly harsh words, Stringer does not hold anything back against the worst performing bank stock today (WFC -2.8%):

This is a full-blown scandal — again. It’s unbelievable, outrageous, sad, and yet quintessential Wells Fargo. This isn’t just a corporate debacle. It’s caused real human harm. It’s reflective of a system that Americans feel is rigged against the little guy, and sadly symbolic of a culture that puts short-term profits ahead of creating sustainable value for shareowners. Everyday families have suffered and tens of millions of hard-earned dollars were stripped from unsuspecting Americans, many of whom are struggling just to get by. In the end, shareowners ultimately suffer the long-term consequences.

He also demands that the Wells board must immediately disclose the circumstances to investors; “we need to know what the board knew and when it knew it and how executives are being held accountable”

“We need accountability and we need it now. Investors have long said this board needs to change, and these new revelations only reinforce that urgency. Wells Fargo must immediately jump start this process by replacing Chairman Stephen Sanger with a new independent chairperson. Investors, as well as consumers and everyday Americans, have waited too long for accountability. This board needs to be overhauled — now.

 

“The Wells Fargo board must also immediately disclose to investors the circumstances of this new scandal. We need to know what the board knew and when it knewd it and how executives are being held accountable. While we appreciate that these findings emanated from a report the company itself launched, full transparency and accountability are non-negotiable.”

Meanwhile, realizing that the second round of Congressional hearings are imminent, the bank promptly pulled off the best apology it could: Wells Fargo began examining the way its auto lending unit enrolled borrowers into insurance policies a year ago, but did not plan to disclose problems it uncovered until it was ready to issue reimbursements to affected customers, its head of consumer lending told Reuters on Friday.

In an interview, Franklin Codel said the business started noticing elevated customer complaint volumes in July 2016. It quickly suspended its auto collateral protection insurance (CPI) program and escalated issues to senior management, the board and regulators, he said.

 

The problem with disclosing to the marketplace today or several months ago is customers start calling and asking when they’re going to get their money,” he said.

But of course, why would Wells lie about something which reads like clear fraud, especially when one reads it in the NYT and not in a press release? As for customers asking for money, the total amount demanded – and paid out – is about to get much higher.

Finally, we wonder if and when Warren Buffett, whose choice it was to keep the current board after last year’s scandal, will have something to say about this latest fraud at America’s largest mortgage lender.

end

(from Boing/Boing)

No depth this bank will stoop to ….

http://boingboing.net/2017/07/28/john-stumpf-car-thief.html

 

 

Wells Fargo also defrauded 800,000 car loan customers and stole 25,000 cars

Wells Fargo didn’t just steal millions from its customers with crooked overdraft fees, didn’t just create 2,000,000 fraudulent accounts and threaten to blackball employees who tried to stop the frauds; didn’t just defraud broke mortgage borrowers by the bushel-load — they also defrauded 800,000 customers with car loans, forcing 274,000 of them into deliquency and “wrongfully repossessing” (that is, stealing) 25,000 of their cars.

For borrowers, delinquencies arose quickly because of the way the bank charged for the insurance. Say, for example, that a customer agreed to a monthly payment of $275 in principal and interest on her car loan, and arranged for the amount to be deducted from her bank account automatically. If she were not advised about the insurance and it increased her monthly payment to, say, $325, her account could become overdrawn as soon as Wells Fargo added the coverage.

The report tried to determine how many Wells Fargo customers were hurt and how much they should be compensated. It estimated that the bank owed $73 million to wronged customers.

State insurance regulations required Wells Fargo to notify customers of the insurance before it was imposed. But the bank did not always do so, the report said. And almost 100,000 of the policies violated the disclosure requirements of five states — Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee and Washington.

Wells Fargo Forced Unwanted Auto Insurance on Borrowers [Gretchen Morgenson/New York Times]

end

 

My goodness: what entertainment. This is far better than the chariot races in Roman times for our entertainment dollar.

 

Anthony Scaramucci’s wife files for divorce because of his blind political ambition and love for Trump.  She is anti trump.

folks..it doesn’t get any better.

(courtesy zero hedge)

 

Anthony Scaramucci’s Wife Has Filed For Divorce

Having broken up with “fucking paranoid” Priebus and “cocksucker” Bannon yesterday in an expletive-filled rant to a New Yorker mag reporter, the newly-appointed White House communications director – and alleged all round hatchet boy – has an even bigger relationship problem.

As PageSix reports, the political ambitious former FOFer has been been dumped by his blonde wife because of his “naked political ambition,” according to multiple sources. Deidre Ball, who worked as a vice president in investor relations for SkyBridge Capital, the firm he founded in 2005 and sold to ascend to the White House, has filed for divorce from “The Mooch” after three years of marriage after getting fed up with his ruthless quest to get close to President Trump, whom she despises.

One source told Page Six, “Deidre has left him and has filed for divorce.

She liked the nice Wall Street life and their home on Long Island, not the insane world of D.C.

 

She is tired of his naked ambition, which is so enormous that it left her at her wits’ end.

 

She has left him even though they have two children together.”

Scaramucci and Ball, 38, began dating in 2011 and are believed to have married in 2014. This was his second marriage and Ball was noticeably not present at his recent SALT conference in mid-May. She went by the Twitter handle @MrsAScaramucci but is said to have deleted her account after her husband was appointed as White House Communications Director.

A second source close to Scaramucci – who has alternately not been wearing his wedding ring, or has been sporting it on his right hand – said the former couple had fought over his loyalty to Trump. The source said,

Deidre is not a fan of Trump, and she hasn’t exactly been on board and supportive of Anthony and his push to get back into the White House.”

* * *

University of Buffalo graduate Ball donated $5,400 to the congressional campaign of anti-Trump Democrat Kathleen Rice in 2015. But she also donated $10,800 to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s presidential campaign and $2,700 to Jeb Bush’s campaign the same year.

So with everyone around the Mooch cutting off the erratic communications director, how long until the only person that matters, Trump himself, follows suit?

 

(courtesy Michael Snyder/EconomicCollapseblog)

Total Government And Personal Debt In The U.S. Has Hit 41 Trillion Dollars ($329,961.34 Per Household)

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world.  In 1980, total government and personal debt in the United States was just over the 3 trillion dollar mark, but today it has surpassed 41 trillion dollars.  That means that it has increased by almost 14 times since Ronald Reagan was first elected president.  I am searching for words to describe how completely and utterly insane this is, but I am coming up empty.  We are slowly but surely committing national suicide, and yet most Americans don’t even understand what is happening.

According to 720 Global, total government debt plus total personal debt in the United States was just over 3 trillion dollars in 1980.  That broke down to $38,552 per household, and that figure represented 79 percent of median household income at the time.

Today, total government debt plus total personal debt in the United States has blown past the 41 trillion dollar mark.  When you break that down, it comes to $329,961.34 per household, and that figure represents 584 percent of median household income.

If anyone can make a good argument that we are not in very serious debt trouble, I would love to hear it.

And remember, the figures above don’t even include corporate debt.  They only include government debt on the federal, state and local levels, and all forms of personal debt.

So do you have $329,961.34 ready to pay your share of the debt that we have accumulated?

Nobody that I know could write that kind of a check.  The truth is that as a nation we are flat broke.  The only way that the game can keep going is for all of us to borrow increasingly larger sums of money, but of course that is not sustainable by any definition.

Eventually we are going to slam into a wall and the game will be over.

One of my pet peeves is the national debt Our politicians spend money in some of the most ridiculous ways imaginable, and yet no matter how much we complain about it nothing ever seems to change.

For example, the U.S. military actually spends 42 million dollars a year on Viagra.

Yes, you read that correctly.

42 million of your tax dollars are being spent on Viagra every year.

And overall spending on “erectile dysfunction medicines” each year comes to a grand total of 84 million dollars

According to data from the Defense Health Agency, DoD actually spent $41.6 million on Viagra — and $84.24 million total on erectile dysfunction prescriptions — last year.

 

And since 2011, the tab for drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra totals $294 million — the equivalent of nearly four U.S. Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Is this really where our spending on “national defense” should be going?  We are nearly 20 trillion dollars in debt, and yet we continue to spend money like there is no tomorrow.  For much more on the exploding size of our national debt and the very serious implications that this has for our future, please see my previous article entitled “Would You Like To Steal 128 Million Dollars?”

I didn’t think that our debt bubble could ever possibly get this big, but I didn’t think that our stock market bubble could ever possibly get quite get this large either.  For a few moments, I would like for you to consider a list of facts about this stock market bubble that was recently published by Zero Hedge

  • The S&P 500 Cyclically Adjusted Price to Earnings (CAPE) valuation has only been greater on one occasion, the late 1990s. It is currently on par with levels preceding the Great Depression.
  • CAPE valuation, when adjusted for the prevailing economic growth trend, is more overvalued than during the late 1920’s and the late 1990’s. (LINK)
  • S&P 500 Price to Sales Ratio is at an all-time high
  • Total domestic corporate profits (w/o IVA/CCAdj) have grown at an annualized rate of .097% over the last five years. Prior to this period and since 2000, five year annualized profit growth was 7.95%. (note- period included two recessions) (LINK)
  • Over the last ten years, S&P 500 corporations have returned more money to shareholders via share buybacks and dividends than they have earned.
  • The top 200 S&P 500 companies have pension shortfalls totaling $382 billion and corporations like GE spent more on share buybacks ($45b) than the size of their entire pension shortfall ($31b) which ranks as the largest in the S&P 500. (LINK)
  • Using data back to 1987, the yield to maturity on high-yield (non-investment grade) debt is in the 3rd percentile. Per Prudential as cited in the Wall Street Journal, yields on high-yield debt, adjusted for defaults, are now lower than those of investment grade bonds. Currently, the yield on the Barclays High Yield Index is below the expected default rate.
  • Implied equity and U.S. Treasury volatility has been trading at the lowest levels in over 30 years, highlighting historic investor complacency. (LINK)

Our financial markets are far more primed for a crash than they were in 2008.

The only times in our entire history that are even comparable are the late 1920s just before the infamous crash of 1929 and the late 1990s just before the dotcom bubble burst.

A whole lot of people out there seem to be entirely convinced that things will somehow be different this time.  They seem to believe that the laws of economics no longer apply and that we will never pay a significant price for decades of exceedingly foolish decisions.

Overall, the world is now 217 trillion dollars in debt.  Earlier this year, Bill Gross raised eyebrows when he said that “our highly levered financial system is like a truckload of nitro glycerin on a bumpy road”, and I very much agree with him.

There is no way that this is going to end well.  Yes, central bank manipulation may be enough to keep the party going for a little while longer, but eventually the whole thing is going to come crashing down in a disaster of unprecedented magnitude.

end

 

John Rubino…..

 

A good glimpse into how the White house major staff members are blowing each other up

 

(courtesy John Rubino/Dollar collapse)

Ah, To Be A Fly On The Wall At The Next White House Staff Meeting

JULY 28, 2017

Just when you thought US politics couldn’t get any darker – what with the president openly musing about firing the attorney general who is investigating the president’s campaign – in comes new communications director Anthony Scaramucci, with a, ahem, unique critique of his new coworkers:

 

Scaramucci calls Priebus a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’

(Fox News) – Anthony Scaramucci’s shocking, on- the-record tirade has blown the cover off long-simmering tensions between two of President Trump’s key men, prompting one White House worker to express safety concerns and triggering a countdown to the exit of either Scaramucci or his target, Trump Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Scaramucci, the newly minted White House communications director, set off a firestorm with a rambling rant loaded with expletives and threats that The New Yorker published. The coarse language directed at Priebus and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, as well as blanket threats to fire people, left some inside the White House shaken.

“This is getting out of hand,” a White House staffer told Fox News. “I am honestly concerned for my safety in the office tomorrow. This type of behavior is unbelievable. Working in the White House, and something like that is said … it’s a disgrace.”

Former Republican National Committee boss Priebus was left seemingly even more isolated in the aftermath. Scaramucci all but accused Priebus of media leaks, a recurring problem that has vexed the Trump administration. Other RNC colleagues brought into the administration have been nudged out of the West Wing, and Scaramucci’s hiring came with the rider that he reports directly to Trump – not Priebus.

Priebus has not reacted publicly to the broadside from his West Wing adversary, but it is hard to imagine the two co-existing in the administration after the public eruption of animosity. Scaramucci said after his tirade but before it was made public that any chance their relationship could be repaired was in the hands of the president.

“Reince is a (expletive) paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” he told the New Yorker about the White House chief of staff.

Scaramucci also took a shot at Bannon.

“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own (expletive),” Scaramucci said. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the (expletive) strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country.”

At some point, these guys will find themselves sitting around the same conference table. If video of that meeting ever leaks it will break the Internet.

But why bother with tawdry political theater on a finance blog? Because you’d think the markets would be petrified by the prospect of a government paralyzed by this kind of infighting. Instead, stocks are at record levels and bonds are holding up nicely. What gives?

The Fed, that’s what. Under today’s New Age monetary regime, bad news anywhere is good news for financial asset prices because the world’s central banks, led by the Fed but abetted by the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan, stand ready to throw trillions of new dollars, euros and yen at whatever threatens to go wrong out there. And they’ll do it sooner rather than later. As ECB chair Mario Draghi put it recently they’re in “reactive” mode and won’t hesitate to hit “send” with cash infusions whenever the markets event hint at a downturn.

So buy the dip and relax.

This is of course a recipe for disaster. But if you’re managing money and are being judged by quarterly results you don’t have the luxury of thinking long-term. The rest of us, though, should definitely be planning for the day the music ends and the big banks, index funds and hedgies try to leave the dance floor en masse.

https://dollarcollapse.com/politics-2/fly-wall-next- white-house-staff-meeting

-END-

Let us wrap up the week with this offering from Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog

 

McCain Kills Skinny, Congress Curtails President, Sessions Drama

By Greg Hunter On July 28, 2017 In Weekly News Wrap-Ups

The Senate and House have just passed a veto-proof bill that will increase Russian sanctions. The Russians vow to retaliate, but that is not the big story. This new sanctions bill looks to curtail the power of Donald Trump to lift these sanctions and take away any and all discretion when it comes to Russian sanctions. Is this going to turn into a Constitutional crisis and a “Separation of Powers” fight between the White House and Congress?

Will President Trump get rid of Attorney General Jeff Sessions? Trump is still upset that Sessions took himself out of the fight when he recused himself from the so-called Russian collusion investigation. Now, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is hiring Trump hating Democrats and is far from investigating Russian collusion. Mueller is turning the investigation to Trump and is going back 10 years when Trump was a private citizen. There is huge conflict of interest with Mueller, and no one at the Justice Department has the power or the will to put the brakes on what Trump calls a “witch hunt.”

Even though the stock market has been hitting one all- time high after another, it does not mean everyone thinks the economy is healthy. Many top money managers are increasing their warnings that something is seriously wrong, and the stock and bond markets could be in for a very big fall.

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

(There is much more in the video newscast.)

Video Link

http://usawatchdog.com/congress-curtails-president- sessions-drama-economic-update/

After the Wrap-Up:

The guest for the “Early Sunday Release” is money manager and analyst Michael Pento. He thinks fall of 2017 is going to be a very dangerous time for investors. Hear his five reason why.

-END

WELL THAT ABOUT DOES IT FOR TONIGHT

I GUESS YOU WILL SPEND THE ENTIRE WEEKEND READING THE STUFF

I WILL PROVIDE TO THOSE THAT WHAT TO SEE THE PRELIMINARY OI FOR MONDAY AND THE NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED FOR GOLD /// i WILL PLACE THEM BETWEEN THE XXX’S TOMORROW MORNING AND GIVE A TINY COMMENT ON THAT.

 

XXXXX-

SATURDAY JULY 29

PRELIMINARY DATA FOR MONDAY:

GOLD: TOTAL OI 440,904

OI FOR AUGUST 8306 CONTRACTS OR 830600 OZ

THUS INITIAL GOLD OZ STANDING IS 830,600 OZ OR 26.575 TONNES

FIRST DAY DELIVERY NOTICE IN GOLD: 1637 CONTACTS

SILVER:

OI ROSE BY 590 CONTRACTS UP TO 207,144 CONTRACTS

AMT STANDING: 393 CONTRACTS X 5000 OZ = 1,965,000 OZ

FIRST DAY NOTICE IN SILVER: 233 CONTRACTS FOR 1,165,000 OZ

 

 

 

 

 

XXXXXXX

Harvey.

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