Sept 20/Bankers set up another gold and silver raid on the clowns FOMC balance runof/Yield curve flattens with the FOMC announcement indicating Fed failing policy/Devastation in both Mexico and Puerto Rico/Spanish officials arrest Catalan officials ahead of the independence vote/Venezuela in technical default as it misses Sept 15 payment: they now have 30 days grace period/Another private Russian bank fails due to bank run and the Bank of Russia bails out the bank//

GOLD: $1312.75 UP   $5.25

Silver: $17.29  UP 5 CENT(S)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1300.00

silver: $17.15

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: $1316.24 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  $1312.70

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $3.54

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1318.43

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1313.85

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$4.58

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1314.90

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1315.20

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1311.30

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 1311.80

For comex gold:

SEPTEMBER/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR SEPT CONTRACT MONTH: 0 NOTICE(S) FOR  nil  OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 54 FOR 5400 OZ  (0.1679 TONNES)

For silver:

SEPTEMBER

 71 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR

355,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 5,881 for 29,405,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

end

Another planned raid by the crooks to coincide with the release of the FOMC balance sheet run off. The Fed did not anticipate that the yield curve would flatten:  the banks wanted the yield curve to rise as we go out in time: the opposite happened.  Generally this is very bad for banks as they need to borrow short term low and lend long time.  Today the two and five yr yields rose but the 10 yr and especially the 30 yr fell in yield. The press are stating that the Fed has made a policy error.

Let us have a look at the data for today

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In silver, the total open interest FELL SLIGHTLY BY 465 contracts from  193,459 DOWN TO 192,994 WITH THE SMALL RISE IN PRICE THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING (UP 10 CENTS ). FINALLY YESTERDAY WE SAW THE CONSTANT TORMENT SUBSIDE AS SILVER EKED OUT A SMALL GAIN. LONGS REMAIN RESOLUTE NOT TO PART WITH ANY THEIR SILVER LEAVES FROM THE SILVER TREE. OUR BANKER FRIENDS COULD NOT COVER ANY OF THEIR SILVER SHORTS. 

RESULT: A SMALL FALL IN OI COMEX  DESPITE THE 10 CENT PRICE RISE. BANKERS FAILED IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO CAUSE SILVER LEAVES (oi) TO FALL.

 In ounces, the OI is still represented by just UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  0.9660 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 138% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 71 NOTICE(S) FOR 355,000  OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest FELL BY A TINY 915 CONTRACTS DESPITE THE TINY RISE  in price of gold ($0.15 GAIN WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING).  The new OI for the gold complex rests at 570,096. AFTER 7 CONSECUTIVE TRADING DAYS WE HAD A REPRIEVE FROM CONSTANT TORMENT. OUR BANKER FRIENDS DECIDED TO LET GOLD/SILVER RISE AND THEN WAIT FOR ANOTHER ATTACK LIKE THIS AFTERNOON’S  FOMC BALANCE SHEET RUNOFF 

Result: A SMALL DECREASE IN OI WITH THE  TINY RISE IN PRICE IN GOLD ($0.15). BANKERS RETREAT TO HIGHER GROUND LETTING GOLD/SILVER RISE.  THEY WERE WAITING IN THE WINGS TO ATTACK ON THE FOMC BALANCE SHEET RUN OFF. 

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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

GLD:

Tonight , we had no change in gold inventory:

 

Inventory rests tonight: 846.03 tonnes

 

SLV

Today: no changes in inventory.

INVENTORY RESTS AT 324.915 MILLION OZ

end

.

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver FELL BY A TINY 465 contracts from 193,459  DOWN TO 192,994 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) DESPITE YESTERDAY’S 10 CENT GAIN IN TRADING.AFTER 7 CONSECUTIVE TRADING DAYS OF TORMENT, OUR BANKERS REMOVED THEIR FOOT FROM THE THROAT OF BOTH GOLD AND SILVER. THEY ARE LETTING OUR PRECIOUS METALS SEEK HIGHER GROUND BEFORE THEY ATTACK AGAIN.  THEY DID NOT WAIT LONG: THEY ATTACKED ON RELEASE OF FOMC BALANCE SHEET REDUCTION.

 

RESULT:  A TINY FALL IN OI  AT THE COMEX  DESPITE THE GAIN IN PRICE OF 10 CENTS IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING. BANKERS RETREAT FOR HIGHER GROUND WAITING IN THE WINGS TO ATTACK TO FOMC ANNOUNCEMENT.

(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 TUESDAY night/WEDNESDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 9.15 POINTS OR 0.27%   / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 76.39 POINTS OR 0.27%/ The Nikkei closed UP 11.08 POINTS OR 0.05%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.05%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed WELL UP at 6.5750/Oil UP to 50.08 dollars per barrel for WTI and 55.77 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED MIXED LEANING TO RED . Offshore yuan trades  6.5755 yuan to the dollar vs 6.5750 for onshore yuan. NOW THE OFFSHORE MOVED A LITTLE WEAKER  TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN MUCH STRONGER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS A MUCH STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE WEAKER DOLLAR. CHINA IS  HAPPY TODAY

 

 

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

i)North Korea

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

c) REPORT ON CHINA

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

i)Germany

Not good:  the far right AfD party is in the 3rd place and it looks like they will become the official opposition.  There are many in the party that have NAZI tendencies and the party wants government to tone down remembrance of the holocaust. I guess it is too painful for them to listen what their forefathers did during the war. The strength of the party is anti immigration as they see the huge rise in Muslim migrants destroying their strong economy.

( Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk)

ii)Spain/Catalonia

So much for democracy:  Spanish police arrest top Catalan officials ahead of referendum on independence

( zero hedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

i)Iran/Russia/USA

This will complicate things:  Trump has decided that he has made up his mind what to do with Iran.  The problem is that Russia will support Iran and protect this country if Trump resumes sanctions..basically the USA is in a mess

(courtesy zero hedge)

ii)Russia/B and N Bank/ Central Bank of Russia

Two weeks ago we had a bank run into one of Russia’s largest private bank: Otkritie. Today another bank run into an another private bank B and N controlled by Gutseriev, an oligarch who controls electronics firms, real estate and energy.  In both cases the central bank of Russia has bailed out these private banks.
(courtesy zerohedge)

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

 

i)LAST NIGHT/MEXICO

4 million citizens are without power after their earthquake. The death toll is now 248

( zerohedge)

ii)THIS MORNING:  shear devastation/death toll still mounting

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

7. OIL ISSUES

8. EMERGING MARKET

VENEZUELA

So far the Sept 15 interest payment has not been received by the trustee.  We are now in the 30 day grace period.  If payment does not occur in the next 30 days, then Venezuela will be declared bankrupt and the fun begins:

e.g Russia has as collateral 49.9% of USA based CITGO shares.  Does Russia take control over these downstream assets??

 

( zero hedge)

9.   PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)Here is a list of all of the mining operations inside China.  Total mining per year is down to 456 tonnes from 465 tonnes.  They also state that they have 11,000 tonnes of gold in the ground.  Remember that most of these mines are state owned and that they mine at a loss just to get the gold out of the ground.

 

( Ronan Manly/Bullionstar)

ii)Bill Holter is correct on his analysis on cryptocurrencies and how governments will initially support them only to outlaw them as they compete with their fiat domain.

 

( Bill Holter/Holter Sinclair collaboration)

10. USA Stories

i Early trading on NY:

a good harbinger of potential huge black swan events:  Apply suffers from:

  1. connectivity issues
  2. dismal pre orders
  3. weak reviews

( zero hedge)

ib) FOMC commentary

ic)Poor Janet who surprisingly holds a PhD in Economics does not fully understand inflation and why the USA is not undergoing inflation in wages of which she needs

(zerohedge)

 

here is her correct answer:

( zerohedge)

 

i d)  Hey Janet:  the economy is just rolling along with vigour as Ford idles a huge 5 North American plants in the wake of slumping car sales/no hurricane jump in sales to replace damaged cars??

 

( Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk)

ii)Hurricane Maria whacks Puerto Rico and damages are estimated to be in the neighborhood of 30 billion dollars. It looks like Maria will miss the USA coast.

 

( zero hedge)

iii)It looks like the Graham Cassidy new Obamacare replacement is close to being dead.  If they do not agree on any repeal they will need 60 votes which will be impossible in the senate. As the 2018 yr approaches Obamacare death spiral is in full force as cost to employers per employee skyrockets to costs greater than buying a new car

( zero hedge)

iii b Trump continues tweeting on the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill  of Obamacare.  They have no support from the democrats so they need all the Republicans to repeal.  It will be close

( zero hedge)

iv)Existing home sales slump to one year lows basically because there is not enough homes entering the market tumbling 1.7% month/month. These are closings and before Harvey hit so you cannot blame the hurricane

 

( zerohedge)

v)Paul Manafort now calls on the Dept of Justice to release all of his intercepted phone calls and demands an investigation into the leaks Surprisingly, Jeff Sessions is twiddling his thumbs in inactivity

( zero hedge)

vi)Finally we get mainstream media reporting on the truth:  The Wall Street Journal is now demanding to how how the FBI meddled in the 2016 elections:  How they paid for a faulty dossier on Trump!!  and did the FBI get a FISA warrant using the faulty dossier…  and who ordered the wiretapping on Manafort and who leaks what…

very important..

 

( WallStreet Journal Editorial Board/)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest FELL BY A SMALLISH 915 CONTRACTS UP to an OI level of 570,096 WITH THE TINY RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD  ($0.15 GAIN IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING). AFTER 7 DAYS OF TORMENT, OUR BANKER FRIENDS REMOVED THEIR FOOT FROM THE THROAT OF OUR TWO PRECIOUS METALS LETTING THEM SEEK HIGHER GROUND.  THEY WILL ATTACK ONCE OPTIONS EXPIRY BEGINS IN EARNEST NEXT WEEK.

Result: a  SMALL SIZED open interest DECREASE WITH THE FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD TO THE TUNE OF $0.15. BANKERS RETREAT FOR HIGHER GROUND LETTING GOLD RISE. 

The new non active September contract month saw it’s OI FELL BY 10 contracts DOWN to 708.   We had 0 notices filed UPON YESTERDAY so we LOST 10 contracts or an additional 1000 oz will not stand A.  We had 10 EFP’s WERE ISSUED which entitles them to a fiat bonus plus a deliverable contract on a different exchange and most likely that would be London.  These are private deals so we do not get to see the makeup of these deals only the number of EFP’s issued.

The next active contract month is Oct and here we saw a LOSS of 992 contracts DOWN to 34,421.

The November contract saw A GAIN OF 1 contract UP to 481.

The very big active December contract month saw it’s OI LOSS OF 501 contracts DOWN to 447,995.

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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
And now for the wild silver comex results.  Total silver OI FELL BY A TINY 465 CONTRACTS FROM 193,459 DOWN TO 192,994 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S  10 CENT GAIN IN PRICE. WE HAVE HAD  CONSTANT TORMENT FROM THE BANKERS THIS PAST WEEK BUT STILL OUR LONGS REMAIN RESOLUTE DETERMINED TO TAKE ON OUR BANKERS AS NO SILVER LEAVES AGAIN FELL FROM THE SILVER TREE. OUR BANKER FRIENDS HAVE DECIDED TO RETREAT FOR HIGHER GROUND AS THEY PLANNED ANOTHER ATTACK SURROUNDING FOMC ANNOUNCEMENT OF  BALANCE SHEET REDUCTION.  WE AGAIN WITNESS THE AMOUNT STANDING FOR SILVER DELIVERY INCREASE AND THIS TIME BY A WHOPPING 325,000 OZ.  WE HAVE BEEN WITNESSING THIS PHENOMENA FOR THE PAST 5 MONTHS.  (SEE BELOW). BANKERS ORCHESTRATE ANOTHER RAID YESTERDAY, TRYING TO FORCE SILVER LEAVES TO FALL FROM THE SILVER TREE.
RESULT:  A SMALL DECREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX  DESPITE A 10 CENT GAIN IN PRICE. DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL SILVER RISES AGAIN AS THE AMOUNT STANDING INCREASES FOR THE SEPT CONTRACT MONTH BY A GOOD SIZED 325,000 OZ. THE BANKERS THIS TIME HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO SUPPLY THE NECESSARY SHORT PAPER AS THEY COULD NOT CAUSE ANY SILVER LEAVES (OI) TO FALL!!. THE BANKERS SEEM TRAPPED AS YESTERDAY’S RAID FAILED IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO COVER SOME OF THEIR HUGE PAPER SHORTS.

We are now in the active contract month of September (and the last active month until December). Today we witness Sept. OI LOSS OF 68 contacts DOWN to 418. We had 133 notices filed yesterday, so we again gained 65 contracts or an additional 325,000 oz will stand for delivery. This phenomenon has been happening in silver for the past 5 months whereby the amount standing increases on each and every delivery day.  This queue jumping highlights the huge demand for silver that we have been witnessing around the globe. The next non active contract month for silver after September is October and here the OI GAINED 42 contacts UP TO 1026. November saw a LOSS of 2 contract(s) and thus FALLING TO  62. After November, the NEXT big active contract month is December and here the OI LOST 717  contracts DOWN to 155,867 contracts.

We had 71 notice(s) filed for  355,000 oz for the SEPT. 2017 contract

VOLUMES: for the gold comex

ESTIMATED VOLUME TODAY: 242,693 CONTRACTS WHICH IS VERY GOOD

YESTERDAY’S confirmed volume was 284,364 which is VERY GOOD

volumes on gold are STILL HIGHER THAN NORMAL!

INITIAL standings for SEPTEMBER

 Sept.20/2017.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz   nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz  
19,673.033 oz
(DELAWARE
SCOTIA, BRINKS)
INCL. 51 KILOBARS
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz    nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz 
 3201.54 oz
SCOTIA
No of oz served (contracts) today
 
0 notice(s)
NIL OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
708 contracts
(70,800 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
54 notices
5400 oz
0.1679 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   39,820.7  oz
Today we HAD  2 kilobar transaction(s)/ 
total dealer deposits: nil oz
We had nil dealer withdrawals:
total dealer withdrawals:  0 oz
we had 1 customer deposit(s):
 i) Into Scotia:  3201.54 oz
total customer deposits; 3201.54  oz
We had 3 customer withdrawal(s)
 (i) out of Delaware:  835.900 oz (26 kilobars)
ii) Out of Scotia: 803.75 oz  (25 kilobars)
iii) Out of Brinks: 18,033.38 oz
total customer withdrawals; 19,673.033 oz
 we had 0 adjustment(s)
For SEPT:

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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To calculate the initial total number of gold ounces standing for the SEPTEMBER. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (54) x 100 oz or 5400 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of SEPT. (708 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (0) x 100 oz per contract equals 76,200  oz, the number of ounces standing in this active month of SEPT.
 
Thus the INITIAL standings for gold for the SEPTEMBER contract month:
No of notices served so far (54) x 100 oz  or ounces + {(708)OI for the front month  minus the number of  notices served upon today (0) x 100 oz which equals 76,200 oz standing in this  active delivery month of SEPTEMBER  (2.370 tonnes)
We LOST 10 contracts OR AN ADDITIONAL 1000 OZ WILL NOT STAND FOR GOLD and 10 EFP’s were issued for September which gives the long holder a fiat bonus plus a deliverable product on another exchange and that most likely will be London.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Total dealer inventory 713,322.712 or 22.187 tonnes  (dealer gold continues to disappear)
Total gold inventory (dealer and customer) = 8,669,497.854 or 269.65 tonnes 
 
Over a year ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today the total inventory rests at 269.65 tonnes for a  loss of 33  tonnes over that period.  Since August 8/2016 we have lost 34 tonnes leaving the comex. However I am including kilobar transactions and they are very suspect at best.
I have a sneaky feeling that these withdrawals of gold in kilobars are being used in the hypothecating process  and are being used in the raiding of gold!

The gold comex is an absolute fraud.  The use of kilobars and exact weights makes the data totally absurd and fraudulent! To me, the only thing that makes sense is the fact that “kilobars: are entries of hypothecated gold sent to other jurisdictions so that they will not be short with their underwritten derivatives in that jurisdiction.  This would be similar to the rehypothecated gold used by Jon Corzine at MF Global.
 
IN THE LAST 13 MONTHS  84 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.
end
And now for silver
AND NOW THE AUGUST DELIVERY MONTH
September initial standings
 Sept 20  2017
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory  nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
 503,166.19 oz
Scotia
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
 nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory 
 11,868.316 oz
Delaware
No of oz served today (contracts)
71 CONTRACT(S)
(355,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
347 contracts
(1,735,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 5881 contracts (29,405,000 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 5,107,034.8 oz
today, we had  0 deposit(s) into the dealer account:
total dealer deposit: nil   oz
we had 0 dealer withdrawals:
total dealer withdrawals: nil oz
we had 1 customer withdrawal(s):
i) out of Scotia: 503,166.19 oz
TOTAL CUSTOMER WITHDRAWALS: 503,166.19  oz
We had 1 Customer deposit(s):
 i) Into Delaware:  11,868.316 oz
***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: 11,868.316  oz
 
 we had 1 adjustment(s) and it was a dilly:
Out of the CNT  6,248,437.492 was transferred out of the dealer and into the customer account of CNT
The total number of notices filed today for the SEPTEMBER. contract month is represented by 71 contract(s) for 355,000 oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in SEPTEMBER., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 5881 x 5,000 oz  = 29,405,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of SEPT (418) and the number of notices served upon today (71) x 5000 oz equals the number of ounces standing.
 

 

.
 
Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the SEPTEMBER contract month:  5881 (notices served so far)x 5000 oz  + OI for front month of SEPTEMBER(418 ) -number of notices served upon today (71)x 5000 oz  equals  31,240,000 oz  of silver standing for the SEPTEMBER contract month. This is excellent for this active delivery month. Silver is being constantly demanded at the silver comex and we witness again the amount of silver demanded daily increase right from the get go. (ON AUGUST 31 (FIRST DATE NOTICE) WE HAD 20.15 MILLION OZ STAND. THUS IN THE FIRST 19 DAYS OF SEPTEMBER, WE HAVE HAD A HUGE INCREASE OF  11.2 MILLION OZ STAND FOR DELIVERY AS DEALERS JUMP QUEUE TRYING TO FIND THE NECESSARY SILVER TO SUPPLY TO OUR LONGS.)
 
WE HAD AN INCREASE OF 65 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 325,000 OZ OF SILVER WILL STAND FOR DELIVERY IN THIS ACTIVE CONTRACT MONTH OF SEPTEMBER. THIS HAS BEEN THE 5th CONSECUTIVE MONTH THAT WE HAVE WITNESSED EITHER AN INCREASE (95% OF THE TIME) OR STANDING PAT (THE OTHER 5%).  WE HAVE NOT HAD A DECREASE IN STANDING I.E. AS THEY DELIVERY MONTH PROCEEDS NOBODY WISHES AN EFP PRODUCT IN EXCHANGE FOR A DEPARTING LONG.SOMEBODY BIG WANTS SILVER IN A VERY BIG WAY.
Last yr on the first day notice for the Sept silver 2016 contract we had 17.070 million oz stand for delivery.
By month end:  16.075 million oz/
 
Volumes: for silver comex
ESTIMATED VOLUME TODAY: 56,626 CONTRACTS
WHICH IS HUGE
YESTERDAY’s  confirmed volume was 71,114 contracts which is EXCELLENT
YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 71,114 CONTRACTS WHICH EQUATES TO 355 MILLION OZ OF SILVER OR 51% 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:  37.809 million (close to record low inventory  
Total number of dealer and customer silver:   218.110 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 8.0 percent to NAV usa funds and Negative 7,6% to NAV for Cdn funds!!!! 
Percentage of fund in gold 62.5%
Percentage of fund in silver:37.5%
cash .+0.0%( Sept 20/2017) 
2. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): STOCK   NAV FALLS TO -1.640% (Sept 20/2017) 
3. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV FALLS TO -0.66% to NAV  (Sept 20/2017 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back  into NEGATIVE territory at -0.66%/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -1.640%/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

Sept 20/no change in gold inventory tonight/inventory rests at 846.03 tonnes

Sept 19/another deposit of 2.07 tonnes of gold into the GLD/inventory rests at 846.03 tonnes

Sept 18/a huge 5.32 tonnes of gold deposit into the GLD despite gold’s whack today/inventory rests at 843.96 tonnes

Sept 15./strange!!no change in GLD after the whacking of gold/inventory remains at 838.64 tonnes

Sept 14./no changes at the GLD/inventory rests at 838.64 tonnes

Sept 13/late last night a huge 4.14 tonnes of gold was added to the GLD inventory/inventory rests at 838.64 tonnes.

Sept 12/as of 5: 40 pm est, no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 834.50 tonnes

Sept 11/Today we had a rather large 2.37 tonnes of gold removed from the GLD/Inventory rests at 834.50 tonnes

Sept 8/we had a tiny withdrawal of .34 tonnes and probably that would be to pay for fees like insurance etc.

Inventory rests at 836.87 tonnes

Sept 7./no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 837.21 tonnes

SEPT 6/WE HAD ANOTHER DEPOSIT OF 5.91 TONNES INTO THE GLD/IN THE LAST TWO DAYS: 20.69 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 837.21 TONES

Sept 5/we had a huge deposit of 14.78 tonnes into the GLD/Inventory rests at 831.21 tonnes

Sept 1/ no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 816.43 tonnes

AUGUST 31/no change in gold inventory at the GLD. Inventory rests at 816.43 tonnes

August 30/another deposit of 2.07 tonnes into the GLD inventory/inventory rests at 816.43 tonnes

August 29/a huge deposit of 9.16 tonnes of probable paper gold/inventory rests at 814.36 tonnes

AUGUST 28/a huge deposit f 5.91 tonnes of gold into GLD inventory/inventory rests at 805.20 tonnes

AUGUST 25/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 799.29 TONNES

AUGUST 24/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 799.29 tonnes

August 23/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 799.29 tonnes

August 22/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 799.29 tonnes/

AUGUST 21/this is good!! a huge deposit of gold into the GLD to the tune of 3.85 tonnes/Inventory rests at 799.29 tonnes

August 18/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 795.44 TONNES

August 17/late last night, a deposit of 4.43 tonnes of gold at the GLD/inventory rests at 795.44 tonnes/the bleeding of gold has stopped.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sept 20 /2017/ Inventory rests tonight at 846.03 tonnes
*IN LAST 235 TRADING DAYS: 95.07 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 170 TRADING DAYS: A NET  62.36 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO  GLD INVENTORY.
*FROM FEB 1/2017: A NET  30.97 TONNES HAVE BEEN ADDED.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

Sept 20/no changes in silver inventory/Inventory remains at 324.915 million oz

Sept 19/strange!! another withdrawal of 1.134 million oz despite the rise in silver/inventory rests at 324.915 million oz

Sept 18/a withdrawal of 1.039 million oz from the SLV/Inventory rests at 326.049 million oz

Sept 15./no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 327.088 million oz/

Sept 14/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 327.088 million oz/

Sept 13/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 327.088 million oz/

Sept 12.2017/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 327.088 million oz/

Sept 11.2017: no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 327.088 million oz/

Sept 8/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 327.088 million oz/

Sept 7/STRANGE!! WITH DEMAND FOR SILVER HUGE WE HAD ANOTHER 945,000 OZ WITHDRAWN. NO DOUBT THAT THIS IS CRIMINAL ACTIVITY AS SILVER IS WITHDRAWN AND USED TO CONTAIN THE RISE IN PRICE/INVENTORY RESTS AT 327.088 MILLION OZ/

SEPT 6/STRANGE WITH A HUGE DEMAND FOR SILVER THROUGHOUT THE WORLD THESE DOORKNOBS WITHDRAW A HUGE 3.148 MILLION OZ OF SILVER FROM THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 328.033 MILLION OZ

Sept 5/2017: no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 331.178 million oz/

Sept 1/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 331.178 MILLION OZ

AUGUST 31/STRANGE!! a huge withdrawal of 2.019 million oz with silver up today./INVENTORY RESTS AT 331.178 MILLION OZ

August 30/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 333.178 million oz

August 29/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 333.178 MILLION OZ

AUGUST 28/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 333.178 million oz/

AUGUST 25/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 333.178 MILLION OZ

AUGUST 24/A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 1.229 MILLION OZ FROM THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 333.178 MILLION OZ

August 23/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 334.407 million oz

August 22/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 334.407 million oz.

AUGUST 21/no change in silver inventory/inventory rests at 334.407 million oz/

August 18/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY REST AT 334.407 MILLION OZ

August 17/A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.418 MILLION OZ LEAVES THE VAULTS OF THE SLV (WITH SILVER UP 25 CENTS YESTERDAY?)/INVENTORY RESTS AT 334.407 MILLION OZ

Sept 20.2017:

Inventory 324.915  million oz
end
  • 6 Month MM GOFO

    Indicative gold forward offer rate for a 6 month duration

    + 1.34%
  • 12 Month MM GOFO
    + 1.56%
  • 30 day trend

end

Major gold/silver trading/commentaries for WEDNESDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

“This Is Where The Next Financial Crisis Will Come From” – Deutsche Bank

By Mark O’Byrne September 20, 2017 0 Comments

By Zero Hedge

In an extensive, must-read report published on Monday by Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid, the credit strategist unveiled an extensive analysis of the “Next Financial Crisis”, and specifically what may cause it, when it may happen, and how the world could respond assuming it still has means to counteract the next economic and financial crash.

In our first take on the report yesterday, we showed one key aspect of the “crash” calculus: between bonds and stocks, global asset prices are the most elevated they have ever been.

With that baseline in mind, what happens next should be obvious: unless one assumes that the laws of economics and finance are irreparably broken, a deep recession and a market crash are inevitable, especially after the third biggest and second longest central bank-sponsored bull market in history.

But what will cause it, and when will it happen?

Needless to say, these are the questions that everyone in capital markets today wants answered. And while nobody can claim to know the right answer, here are some excerpts from what DB’s Jim Reid, one of the best strategists on Wall Street, thinks will take place.

Below we present the key excerpts from his must read report;

* * *

We think that the post Bretton Woods (1971-) global financial system remains vulnerable to financial crises. A simple internet search of financial crises through history (Figure 1, LHS chart) confirms that the frequency has increased over this period. Examples include the UK secondary banking crisis (1975), the two Oil shocks (1970s), numerous EM defaults (mid-1980s), US Savings and Loans mass failures (late 80s/early 90s), various Nordic financial crises (late 80s), Japanese stock bubble bursting (1990-), various ERM shocks/devaluations (1992), the Mexican Tequila crisis (1994), the Asian crisis (1997), the Russian & LTCM crisis (1998), the Dot.com crash (2000), the various accounting scandals (02/03), the GFC (08/09) and the Euro Sovereign crisis (10-12).

A more quantitative search backs this up (Figure 1, RH chart). We show the number of DM countries (%) in our sample back to 1800 experiencing one of the following on a YoY basis; -15% Equities, -10% FX, -10% Bond move, a sovereign default, or +10% inflation. This is our crisis/shock indicator. 0% equals no country with one of these conditions met, 100% equals all in our sample with one being met.

It would therefore take a huge leap of faith to say that crises won’t continue to be a regular feature of the current financial system that has been in place since the early 1970s. The near exponential growth of finance and its liberalisation since this point has encouraged this trend.

Indeed as we’ll show in this report there are a number of areas of the global financial system that look at extreme levels. This includes valuations in many asset classes, the incredibly unique size of central bank balance sheets, debt levels, multi-century all-time lows in interest rates and even the level of potentially game changing populist political support around the globe. If there is a crisis relatively soon (within the next 2-3 years), it would be hard to look at these variables and say that there was no way of spotting them.

Having said that, crises tend to have a large element of unpredictability. If they didn’t then surely more would predict their imminent arrival. So while we highlight a lot of the main global vulnerabilities in this report, history would tell us that there is still a chance that when the next crisis comes its origin will take us by surprise to a certain degree. As will its timing. In the remainder of this executive summary we highlight the conditions that have encouraged crises through history and the main areas of worry as to why we may be vulnerable for another financial crisis relatively soon.

Periods with a higher number of crises/shocks coincide with higher levels of debt….

…and with it higher budget deficits. G7 Government Debt was only previously higher with impact of WWII and before the early 1970s, persistent budget deficits only really existed in war time. Now a permanent feature.

We think the final break with precious metal currency systems from the early 1970s (after centuries of adhering to such regimes) and to a fiat currency world has encouraged budget deficits, rising debts, huge credit creation, ultra loose monetary policy, global build-up of imbalances, financial deregulation and more unstable markets.

The various breaks with gold based currencies over the last century or so has correlated well with our financial shocks/crises indicator. It shows that you are more likely to see crises/shocks when we break from hard currency systems.

Some of the devaluation to Gold has been mindboggling over the last 100 years…

end

 

Here is a list of all of the mining operations inside China.  Total mining per year is down to 456 tonnes from 465 tonnes.  They also state that they have 11,000 tonnes of gold in the ground.  Remember that most of these mines are state owned and that they mine at a loss just to get the gold out of the ground.

 

(courtesy Ronan Manly/Bullionstar)

Bullion Star details Chinese gold mining as a source of gold supply

 Section: 

10:05p ET Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Bullion Star tonight provides a detailed summary of gold production in China, the world’s leading gold producer, detailing the country’s in-ground reserves and its major gold mining companies. The summary is headlined “Ghinese Gold Mining as a Source of Gold Supply” and it’s posted at Bullion Star here:

https://www.bullionstar.com/gold-university/chinese-gold-mining-as-a-sou…

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

END

 

Bill Holter is correct on his analysis on cryptocurrencies and how governments will initially support them only to outlaw them as they compete with their fiat domain.

 

(courtesy Bill Holter/Holter Sinclair collaboration)

Cryptocurrencies And Avoiding The “Poof Moment”…

Posted  at 2:17 PM (CST) by & filed under Bill Holter.

I have been asked my opinion regarding cryptocurrencies. Let’s start by saying I have no doubt within only a short time, “crypto currencies” will be issued and embraced by central banks. This is not to say I am endorsing Bitcoin, Ethereum or any other digital currency. It is even possible that not a single existing crypto will exist when central banks finally make their leap.

issuing and embracing cryptos make total sense from the standpoint of central banks for several reasons. First, what crypto bulls consider as “privacy” today, central banks will see as “total knowledge” if they are the issuer. This will mean total knowledge of all transactions which also means a near impossibility of any tax evasion even down to the lemonade stand (assuming you have your lemonade permit!). Also, if central banks issue the crypto currency…you can pretty well bet they will also have a back door …that allows them to either freeze or even empty “your vault” of digital coins…whenever or for whatever they choose.

Whether we are headed toward a one world currency or several currency blocks (this is more likely), digital money is coming if the central banks have anything to say about it. As I mentioned above, I highly doubt central banks will want “competition” to their currencies so some sort of legislation (either by individual sovereigns or collectively on a global basis) can be expected as an attack on existing “private” cryptos. In my mind, there does exist the possibility that an existing currency (or a very small handful of current cryptos) is used as the “platform” for central banks but I would not place my hope on this. I also would not want to bet “which one” or ones will be chosen if this is the case?

In my opinion, the volatility of digital currencies while wicked and speculative (upward so far?) is not the real danger, and the ride is not for the faint of heart. The real dangers are several and basically involve a “poof” moment that does not exist with gold or silver. When I say “poof”, I am talking about “poof, it’s gone!”. Do not say this is impossible because it is not.

I would ask, what if we experience an EMP and the grid goes down? No electricity, no computer. Yes you can go to another area or country but good luck getting there. Another argument you hear for digital currencies is “they are not hackable”…to which I must call utter bullshit because EVERYTHING including the NSA is hackable! Even the modern car you drive is hackable and can be overridden with a joystick today. We see it all the time, this entity or that entity gets hacked. We have even heard of people’s cell phones being hacked and digital currencies stolen that way. One must also worry about the exchange(s) being hacked, we have already seen this where coins just disappeared. I just recently read this article for more potential pitfalls or arguments. Suffice it to say, in the case of Bitcoin, no one even knows who its creator Satoshi is, how does anyone know he did not install a backdoor when he launched it? It does make sense that the programmer has a back door doesn’t it? Maybe he was an “honorable” programmer? Are all the others the same? We do not exactly live in an “honorable world” no matter how badly you’d like to believe it…

To finish, maybe I am old school but I see a vast difference between digital currencies and precious metals. Most important of all, precious metals cannot “disappear” overnight if you have them stored properly. Can they be made “illegal”. Yes governments can try this but how do you make silver illegal with all of its medicinal, solar, industrial and technological uses? Can jewelry be made illegal? An EMP will not destroy the value of metal. Neither will a fire or flood. They can be taken from you at gunpoint which is why you should have metal stored in several places. Metal will work for barter in the situation of a full out meltdown of financial markets. Will your local farmer trade his eggs, beef, extra tools or diesel fuel for Bitcoin? Probably not. Will he trade for metal? I think so. Then I would ask, if you want to “trade” your digital currency when financial institutions are closed …”how do you get paid” if financial transaction are frozen? The same can be said of metals but I am pretty sure a guy with two motorcycles might trade one for 100 ounces of silver …(or less?) …I’m not so sure he’d accept a digital currency?

I could go on and on with examples but I am of the school that “possession is 9/10ths of the law”. In the case of outright anarchy, (which we very well may be facing) “possession” itself may become the law? If you take nothing away from this article other than just one concept, please understand that metals cannot experience a “poof” moment where you go from wealth to nothing in an instant. We face a credit meltdown dead ahead where return “OF YOUR CAPITAL” will trump return ON your capital. Gold and silver are money, not credit, they may very well be your ONLY capital before this “credit episode” is all over?

The entire world faces a “poof moment” because nearly everything either is itself credit or relies on freely flowing credit for its value. Gold and silver rely on nothing because they “are” money. They do not rely on credit nor are they the liability of anyone or any nation. They do not rely on an internet (which governments do have the ability to shut down) or computers. They do not rely on a user name or password either. Nor do they rely on the simple and basic technology of electricity. They can’t even be hacked (unless you use a hatchet to make change?). Call me old fashioned but subjecting yourself to a poof moment makes no sense at all when it is the coming poof moment you see coming …and are trying to protect yourself from!

Standing watch,

Bill Holter

 

end



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

 
 i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/yuan MUCH STRONGER AT 6.5750 (DEVALUATION SOUTHBOUND   /OFFSHORE YUAN MOVES SLIGHTLY WEAKER TO ONSHORE AT   6.5755/ Shanghai bourse CLOSED up 9.15 POINTS OR 0.27%  / HANG SANG CLOSED up 76.39 POINTS OR 0.27% 

2. Nikkei closed UP 11.08 POINTS OR 0.05%    /USA: YEN FALLS TO 111.26

3. Europe stocks OPENED MOSTLY MIXED TO RED     ( /USA dollar index FALLS TO  91.69 /Euro UP to 1.2004

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS  TO  -+.029%/ GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION    !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 110.43/ 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::  50,08 and Brent: 55.77

3f Gold UP/Yen UP

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO  +.435%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN  to 2.041%    

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES TO  : 5.555???  

3k Gold at $1314.50  silver at:17.36 (8:15 am est)   SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50 

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 26/100 in  roubles/dollar) 57.85-

3m oil into the 50 dollar handle for WTI and 55 handle for Brent/

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

JAPAN ON JAN 29.2016 INITIATES NIRP. THIS MORNING THEY SIGNAL THEY MAY END NIRP. TODAY THE USA/YEN TRADES TO 111.26 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  0.9609 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1535 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year FALLING to  +0.431%

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 2.224% early this morning. Thirty year rate  at 2.7987% /POLICY ERROR)GETTING DANGEROUSLY HIGH

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

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

Global Markets, US Futures Barely Move With All Eyes On The Fed

The day has finally arrived: today the Fed will officially announce the start of its balance sheet shrinkage (full preview here) while keeping rates unchanged, perhaps hiking again in December (market odds at 56%), while revising its economic projections and “dots”, most likely in a lower direction.

And while we wait for the announcement and press conference after 2pm, US index futures – as well as European and Asian equities – are little changed, signaling a pause for Wall Street’s three major benchmark indexes after they hit new all-time highs ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement due today. They probably will not be changed after 2:30 pm, however, especially if Yellen surprises on the hawkish side. Don’t look at the dollar for clues though: The DXY fell less than 0.1% against a basket of major currencies and was down against the euro, the yen and sterling. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell a second day, with the U.S. currency confined to a narrow trading range, as Treasury yields edged lower; broad lack of directional catalyst seen over the session as traders awaited the FOMC decision.

“If we move closer to a U.S. rate hike, that should come along with a bit more dollar strength and euro weakness which would harden the ECB’s exit case and be a headwind for government bonds,” said Commerzbank strategist Rainer Guntermann.

Ahead of the Fed, Europe’s Stoxx Europe 600 Index was mixed alongside S&P 500 futures and a fractionally higher session for Asian equities. The dollar slipped, the euro and yen gained and the British pound jumped as data showed U.K. retail sales rose more than forecast in August. Spanish assets showed resilience even as the government stepped up its crackdown on an illegal separatist referendum planned for the Catalonia region. The Mexican peso swung after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck. Benchmark crude rose but struggled to break $50 a barrel. US Treasuries halted a three-day decline awaiting the Fed’s interest-rate projections. New Zealand’s dollar led gains versus the greenback after an election poll showed the ruling National Party ahead, while the pound advanced after U.K. retail-sales data beat forecasts.

Financial markets remain largely calm – even after President Donald Trump used a UN speech to threaten to annihilate North Korea – as all eyes turn to Wednesday’s Fed decision. Expectations are high that the central bank of the world’s biggest economy will unveil plans to start shrinking its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, while any clues on the chances of a rate increase this year could tip the balance – market expectations of another hike in 2017 are at about 50 percent.

Asian stocks swung between gains and losses as investors awaited the Fed. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 percent to 164.44 even as most shares declined, after earlier falling by the same magnitude; the gauge closed Tuesday at its highest level since December 2007. The Topix index ended the session in Tokyo almost flat at the highest since August 2015. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 and the Kospi index in Seoul closed slightly lower. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong swung between gains and losses with the Shanghai Composite Index, before both advanced.  Telecommunications and energy stocks advanced, while utilities and consumer shares slipped. SoftBank Group Corp. was the biggest boost the gauge while Sony Corp. was among the biggest drags after Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded the stock, saying earnings may plateau in fiscal 2019. Japanese shares fluctuated in a narrow range throughout Wednesday’s session as investors awaited the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting. The benchmark Topix index ended little changed, with about five shares declining for every four that rose. Nintendo Co. and telecommunications companies provided the most support, while chemicals and pharmaceutical shares were the biggest drags. The yen strengthened slightly against the dollar following a three-day. 1.2 percent drop

The Asia benchmark has risen about 22 percent this year, outstripping the S&P 500 Index’s 12 percent advance to a record, as investors looked past tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Further gains may lie ahead because the Fed is expected to leave rates unchanged and may use “slightly dovish” language when announcing its decision later Wednesday in Washington, said James Soutter, a fund manager at K2 Asset Management in Melbourne. “Lower for longer rates probably means the U.S. dollar remains weak,”  Soutter said in an email. That’s “a positive for Asian stocks.”

Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar surged after a poll put the ruling National Party back in the lead ahead of the main opposition Labour Party ahead of this weekend’s election. And the fixing of the yuan remained in focus as investors try to gauge where the People’s Bank of China wants the currency. In a notable move in Chinese rates, the local 5Year bond yield had its biggest move since March.

What has changed? China 5 yr makes biggest jump since March

Similarly, European equities are little changed for a second day, unwilling to make major moves ahead of any potential Fed surprises: the Stoxx Europe 600 Index was unchanged. Zara owner Inditex SA was among the worst performers after posting first-half earnings that missed analysts’ forecasts, while Kingfisher Plc was the best gainer after reporting France retail profit for the first half that beat the average analyst estimate.

In rates, the yield on 10-year Treasuries declined two basis points to 2.22 percent, the largest drop in almost two weeks. Germany’s 10-year yield fell two basis points to 0.44 percent, the biggest drop in almost two weeks. Britain’s 10-year yield declined less than one basis point to 1.327 percent.

In commodities, gold advanced 0.3 percent to $1,315.36 an ounce. Oil prices rose after Iraq’s oil minister said Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries producers and others were considering extending a supply cut and after data showed U.S. crude stocks were lower than expected.

Aside from the Fed, economic data include mortgage applications and existing home sales. General Mills is reporting earnings

Bulletin Headline Summary From RanSquawk

  • GBP & NZD see initial bids following Retail Sales and Election Polls
  • UK PM May intends to make a EUR 20bln Brexit payment offer to the EU, according to the FT
  • Looking ahead, highlights include DoEs and the FOMC announcement & press conference

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures little changed at 2,505.10
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.03% to 382.25
  • MSCI Asia up 0.2% to 164.48
  • MSCI Asia ex Japan up 0.2% to 544.19
  • Nikkei up 0.05% to 20,310.46
  • Topix unchanged at 1,667.92
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 28,127.80
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.3% to 3,366.00
  • Sensex up 0.03% to 32,413.08
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.08% to 5,709.09
  • Kospi down 0.2% to 2,412.20
  • Brent futures up 0.9% to $55.61/bbl
  • German 10Y yield fell 1.0 bps to 0.442%
  • Euro up 0.1% to $1.2011
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 2.4 bps to 1.756%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.0 bps to 1.546%
  • Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,313.11
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.1% to 91.68

Top Overnight News from BBG

  • Investors looking to own exposure on the euro need to pay the stiffest premium since December 2016 when it comes to a Federal policy decision
  • Even as the Fed will likely hold rates today, futures suggest another Fed hike could happen this year
  • Oil rises on signs the pace of U.S. stockpile gains is slowing as refiners resume operations after Hurricane Harvey, boosting crude demand
  • At least 248 people were confirmed dead after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck near Mexico City
  • Bitcoin is looking increasingly likely to splinter off again in
    November, creating a third version of the world’s largest cryptocurrency
  • Hurricane Maria was on course to hit Puerto Rico just two weeks after Irma caused as much as $1 billion in damages
  • Impact of pound fall on goods inflation may have peaked, BOE says in quarterly agents’ summary of business conditions
  • Capital Four, which is the largest European high-yield bond fund, is now cutting down on risk as higher interest rates loom on the horizon
  • Merkel pact with SPD still looks most likely after Germany votes
  • Abe said to delay fiscal 2020 primary balance target: Nikkei
  • U.K. retail sales rise 1% m/m in Aug. vs est. +0.2%
  • Japan Aug. exports rise 18.1% y/y; est. +14.3%
  • Bain Is Said to Plan Toshiba Deal Close Despite Legal Threat
  • Thyssenkrupp and Tata to Create Europe’s No. 2 Steelmaker
  • Maersk Sells Tankers Unit for $1.17 Billion to Holding Company
  • After Reaping 40% in Turkey, Traders Eye 2017’s Worst Stocks
  • Noble Group CDS Ruling Puts Payouts in Doubt in Market Feud
  • OPEC Has Success at Last, But Oil Revival May Be Short-Lived

Asia markets saw an indecisive trading day amid a cautious tone ahead of today’s FOMC announcement. The looming risk event initially sapped the momentum from another record close on Wall St. and kept bourses in Australia and Japan subdued, while Chinese markets also conformed to the tentativeness after a significantly weakened liquidity operation by the PBoC. However, sentiment then gradually improved throughout the session which helped Nikkei 225 (Unch), Hang Seng (+0.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) pare losses, although gains were only superficial as focus remained on the FOMC and ASX 200 (-0.1%) continued to lag amid weakness across its major industries. 10yr JGBs were flat with participants sidelined amid an enhanced liquidity auction in which the b/c fell from previous, while the BoJ also kick starts its latest 2-day policy meeting where it is widely anticipated to refrain from any policy tweaks. PBoC injected CNY 20bln via 7-day reverse repos and CNY 10bln via 28-day reverse repos. PBoC set CNY mid-point at 6.5670 (Prev. 6.5530) Japanese Trade Balance Total Yen (Aug) 113.6B vs. Exp. 104.4B (Prev. 418.8B).

Top Asian News

  • China Is Said to Mull Relaxing Foreign EV Maker Restrictions
  • Buffett-Backed BYD Looks Overcharged on China Electric Car Bets
  • Philippine Tax Reform Bill Heads for Senate Plenary Debates
  • Iron Ore Sinks as ‘Peak Steel’ Call, Supply Angst Rattle Market
  • Yuan Fix Back in the Spotlight as Traders Track PBOC Signals
  • Bitcoin’s Likely to Split Again in November as Debate Rages On

European equity markets trade close to flat levels, as much of the anticipation is on the Fed decision and press conference later in the session. Kingfisher is the notable out-performer following their better than expected trading update, while Thyssenkrupp also trade in the green, following agreeing a JV with Tata Steel. Bonos have been surprisingly calm ahead of the Catalonia independence referendum, where we saw earlier reports stating that the Spanish Police have arrested the Catalonian Jr Minister. 10y spreads to Bunds have been tighter by over 10bps to 111.3bps, from a wide of 123bps earlier this month. Much fixed income anticipation was on the new German 30y Bund auction, with a B/C of 1.8 and an average yield of 1.27%. Gilts saw some bearish pressure following the stela Retail Sales report from the UK, falling 30 ticks as a reaction and printing fresh recent lows

Top European News:

  • Banks Are Said to Hire Lazard to Solve Turkey’s Biggest Default
  • Zara Owner’s Profitability Drops to Eight-Year Low on Euro
  • Volkswagen Comeback Pushes Europe Bond Sales Past Trillion Euros
  • U.K. Retail Sales Rise More Than Forecast as Consumers Stir
  • Kingfisher Gains Most Since 2011 in ‘Litmus Test’ for Sector
  • NorteGas Energia May Sell EUR Benchmark 5Y, 10Y Bonds Tomorrow
  • Major Lender Requests Bailout as Russian Banking Woes Spread

In currencies, GBP was the outperformer early in the EU session, evident of the aforementioned strong Retail Sales report from the UK, printing the largest increase since April. Cable was pushed towards the week’s high around the 1.3619 area, finding some resistance around these levels and retracing much of the move, trading back at pre-announced levels. EUR/GBP bears also took advantage of the strong figures, reversing the failed attempt to attack yesterday’s high. The latest New Zealand election poll sparked some early volatility on the futures open, with the seemingly market friendly, National Party regaining ground in the One News Poll (National Party 46% (+6%), vs. Labour 37% (-7%), vs. Green 8% (+1%)). AUD/NZD trades back inside the 2017 range and back below 1.1, a close below 0.9 could see the 1.1 – 1.03 2017 range once again become the trading pattern in the pair. The DXY remains range bound as much focus is on the Fed later in the session

In commodities, oil markets have seen slow trade, with WTI’s attempt of a successful break of yesterday’s high failing, and now consolidating back in the post API range. Elsewhere, Saudi Aramco will be able to release its financial accounts in early 2018 if the government decides where they plan to list the oil giant, according to sources.

Looking at the day ahead, Germany’s August PPI printed at 2.6%, vs 2.5% yoy expected; in the US, data wise there is MBA mortgage applications and existing home sales. Onto other events, the main story is the FOMC rate decision in the US, followed by Yellen’s press conference at 14:30 EDT. Elsewhere, EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier will speak and the OPEC’s panel of technical representatives will meet to discuss production cuts.

US Event Calendar

  • 7am: MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 9.9%
  • 10am: Existing Home Sales, est. 5.45m, prior 5.44m
  • 10am: Existing Home Sales MoM, est. 0.18%, prior -1.3%
  • 2pm: FOMC Rate Decision (Upper Bound), est. 1.25%, prior 1.25%
  • 2pm: FOMC Rate Decision (Lower Bound), est. 1.0%, prior 1.0%

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

I was casually watching CNBC yesterday afternoon, listening on my headphones while doing some work. So generally minding my own business. However I nearly spilt my coffee when the anchor suddenly asked one of the guests whether he thought Jim Reid was “crazy” for the conclusions of his latest report. I suppose they say all publicity is good publicity. One pastime I’m strangely addicted to is occasionally reading the comments section of the more ‘far out there’ financial market blogs whenever they quote one of my pieces. Yesterday was no exception with hundreds of comments from readers at the bottom of one questioning  me (a polite way of putting it), my profession and then discussing numerous random conspiracy theories which in the past have included whether or not man walked on the moon. To be fair, my dearly departed  father was absolutely convinced that man on the moon was a Hollywood stunt. I spent years trying to have a rational conversation with him about it. Alas I never got him to change his mind.

Hollywood are unlikely to make a movie about the last 6 days of trading as the S&P 500 (+0.11%) saw its 6th consecutive session where the intraday range was no larger than 0.35%. This is the first time that this has happened since Bloomberg started collating intra-day data back to April 1982. I suspect with the Fed concluding their FOMC today this run will come to an end.

For those who may have missed it, DB’s Peter Hooper and his team expects the reinvestment tapering to begin on October 1 and that the Committee will also signal, via its economic projections and in Yellen’s commentary during the press conference, that it still anticipates raising rates one more time this year so long as incoming data are supporting its projections for inflation and growth. In their view, the median Fed expectation of three rate hikes next year will likely also remain intact despite downward revisions to individual forecasts.

Staying in the US, Trump’s debut speech at the UN general assembly seemed to have lots of punchy rhetoric but little material policy implications. On North Korea, he said “if US is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will…totally destroy NK” and that “rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime”. On Iran, he said its nuclear program is “an embarrassment to the US” that should be revisited. He also stressed the importance of sovereignty for individual nations, noting “as president of US, I’ll always put America first”. Finally, on the UN, he said the institution was often associated with “bureaucracy and process”, although later noted that he hopes disputes would be resolved via the UN. Notably, other world leaders including Germany’s Merkel, Russia’s Putin, UK’s May and China’s President Xi were absent from  the meeting given their domestic commitments.

Turning to Europe, Reuters reported that the Euro’s strength is causing a rift among ECB policymakers on the timing and approach to the unwinding of QE. Sources told Reuters that Germany is ready to wind down the bond purchase program, while others prefer to reduce the monthly pace of buying, with earlier reports suggesting the scenarios discussed involved reducing the monthly buying to €20bln-€40bln (from €60bln). The split of opinions may mean no definitive end date for QE will be set when officials formally met in October. There was some talk of a delay on the decision until December.

Looking at how markets are kicking off on FOMC day over in Asia, we’ve pared back earlier losses following stronger than expected Japanese August import (15.2% yoy vs. 11.6% expected) and export (18.1% yoy vs. 14.3% expected) figures. As we type, markets are mixed but broadly unchanged, with the Kospi (-0.04%) and ASX 200 (-0.19%) down slightly, while the Nikkei is flattish and the Hang Seng is up 0.23%. Notably, Japan’s Abe is holding a press conference on 25 September, with speculation suggesting that a snap early election will be called. Returning to yesterday, US equities edged up slightly with all three bourses at fresh all-time highs. The S&P and Nasdaq were both up 0.1% and the Dow rose 0.18%. Within the S&P, gains were led by the telco sector (+2.25%), partly buoyed by merger talks between Sprint and T-Mobile. European markets were also higher, but little changed, with the Stoxx 600 (+0.04%) and DAX (+0.02%) broadly flat, while the FTSE 100 advanced (+0.30%) for the second consecutive day.

Core bond yields were also little changed, with Bunds and French OATs 10y yields down slightly (c0.5bp), while 10y Gilts continued to underperform (+2.7bp).

Elsewhere, peripherals have continued to outperform, with Italian and Spanish 10y yields down 2.5bp and 3bp respectively. Over in the US, yields were slightly higher (2Y: +0.5bp; 10Y: +1.6bp) yesterday, but are firmer (-0.7bp) this morning. Turning to currencies, Sterling was range bound intra-day on reports of whether Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will resign or be sacked after his unauthorised Brexit manifesto but closed the day little changed (+0.06% vs. USD). Elsewhere, the US dollar index dipped 0.28% and the EURUSD gained 0.33%. In commodities, WTI oil rose 0.57% and Iron ore fell 4.06% as concerns build that Chinese steel production may be close to a peak. Precious metals have slightly recovered (Gold +0.28%; Silver +0.60%) after two consecutive days of weakness, while industrial metals broadly rose, with Copper (+0.04%), Zinc (+2.23%) and Aluminium (+1.38%) all up modestly.

Away from the markets and back to Brexit. Yesterday was an evolving day on the political front. Initially, the Telegraph reported that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson may quit if PM Theresa May oppose his Brexit demands in her big speech later this week. Perhaps in response to this, Bloomberg reported that PM May has called a special cabinet meeting and avoided answering whether Johnson will resign or not. Then finally, later reports suggest the situation has been defused with Johnson planning to attend her keynote speech at Florence and that PM May plans to pay €20bln divorce payment to the EU to kick start the stalled Brexit talks. We can’t wait to hear what she has to say.

Elsewhere, the FT reported that France’s Emmanuel Macron will outline his proposal for EU reform in a speech on 26 September, potentially including themes such as a separate budget, a finance ministry and an EU monetary fund. This broadly echoes earlier comments made by EC President Juncker in his State of Union address where he called for a tighter EU integration.

Finally, the power of Amazon on traditional bricks and mortar stores has been shown again with Toys R US officially filing for Chapter 11 after c12 years under private equity ownership. Notably, its October 2018 bond now trades at 26c versus 97c at the start of this month. Elsewhere, S&P noted that 24 US retailers have filed for Chapter 11 this year, compared to 18 for all of 2016. So in a low default world the retail sector is certainly bucking the trend.

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, August housing starts were soft, edging down 0.8% mom (vs. 1.7% expected), in part due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey. However, building permits were stronger than expected, rising 5.7% mom (vs. -0.8% expected) and leaves annual growth at 8.3% yoy. The level of permits has now returned to 1.3m, which is in line with this year’s high in January. Moving along, higher fuel prices have helped to drive a 0.6% mom increase in import prices in August (vs. 0.2% expected). Elsewhere, the 2Q current account deficit was -US $123.1bln (vs. -US$116bln expected), equivalent to c2.6% of GDP.

In Germany, the ZEW survey was above market expectations in the lead up to elections. For the current situations component, the reading came in 87.9 (vs. 86.2 expected) and on the expectations component, it was also higher at 17 (vs. 12 expected) – the highest in ten months. In the Eurozone, the ZEW survey on expectations rose to 31.7 (vs. 29.3 previous), while the July construction output came in at 0.2% mom (vs. 0.2% previous).

Looking at the day ahead, Germany’s August PPI will be out early in the morning (0.1% mom, 2.5% yoy expected). In the UK, there is retail sales for August (0.1% mom for core expected). Over in the US, data wise there is MBA mortgage applications and existing home sales. Onto other events, the main story is the FOMC rate decision in the US, followed by Yellen’s press conference at 14:30 EDT. Elsewhere, EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier will speak and the OPEC’s panel of technical representatives will meet to discuss production cuts.

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late TUESDAY night/WEDNESDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 9.15 POINTS OR 0.27%   / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 76.39 POINTS OR 0.27%/ The Nikkei closed UP 11.08 POINTS OR 0.05%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.05%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed WELL UP at 6.5750/Oil UP to 50.08 dollars per barrel for WTI and 55.77 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED MIXED LEANING TO RED . Offshore yuan trades  6.5755 yuan to the dollar vs 6.5750 for onshore yuan. NOW THE OFFSHORE MOVED A LITTLE WEAKER  TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN MUCH STRONGER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS A MUCH STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE WEAKER DOLLAR. CHINA IS  HAPPY TODAY 

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

NORTH KOREA/USA

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

Germany

Not good:  the far right AfD party is in the 3rd place and it looks like they will become the official opposition.  There are many in the party that have NAZI tendencies and the party wants government to tone down remembrance of the holocaust. I guess it is too painful for them to listen what their forefathers did during the war. The strength of the party is anti immigration as they see the huge rise in Muslim migrants destroying their strong economy.

(courtesy Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk)

AfD In 3rd Place In German Election Polls: Unhappy Political Marriages Loom

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

German federal elections are Sunday, September 24. The most likely outcome of the election is another “Grand Coalition” but it will be a much-weakened coalition.  And If that coalition forms again, the rightwing AfD party is poised to become the largest opposition party.

Rightwing Turning Point

The Wall Street Journal reports Nationalist AfD Party Moves Into Third Place in German Election Polls

A last-minute surge in the polls has put a far-right party that wants to dial down German remembrance of the Holocaust within striking distance of becoming the country’s biggest opposition force.

 

The four-year-old Alternative for Germany, or AfD, has moved into third place and double digits in recent polls. If those numbers hold up until the Sept. 24 election and German Chancellor Angela Merkel repeats her current governing coalition with the center-left Social Democrats, the AfD would become the biggest opposition party in parliament.

 

No matter how exactly the results shake out, Sunday’s election seems assured to represent a turning point in postwar German history. Ms. Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats are set to finish first, and she is expected to remain chancellor. But the AfD, polls show, is very likely to become the first far-right party in more than half a century to win seats in parliament.

 

“If the AfD in fact gets into the Bundestag, Nazis will be speaking in the Reichstag [building] for the first time in more than 70 years,” Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel recently told German magazine, Der Spiegel.

 

Political scientists say while the AfD isn’t a neo-Nazi party, it includes a right-wing-radical wing that appears to be strengthening. And without question, the anti-immigrant party breaks taboos in a country that has resisted right-wing populism for decades in the shadow of the Nazi era.

 

In parliament, AfD lawmakers would receive state financing to hire new staff and to set up offices in their districts, increasing the party’s nationwide reach. They would hold key seats on legislative committees, make nationally televised speeches, and be able to send official inquiries to the government, which ministries are required to answer.

 

Polls suggest the AfD draws voters from across the political spectrum who are unhappy with mainstream politics, particularly on immigration. A strong showing by the AfD could complicate things for Ms. Merkel by preventing her from being able to form a governing coalition with just one of two smaller parties, the pro-business Free Democrats or the environmentalist Greens. Instead, she may well need to form an unwieldy three-way coalition including them both—despite their ideological differences—and her conservative bloc. Repeating her current “grand coalition” with the Social Democrats would require her to overcome misgivings in both parties.

Eurointelligence View

For many international observers Germany is the exception: In times of Donald Trump, Brexit and Emmanuel Macron, Germans seem to live on another continent of social peace and political harmony. There is nothing of the desire for renewal witnessed during the French elections, or the desire to distinguish themselves shown by the Brexit vote. There is no major populist insurgency. Controversial subjects of our times like terrorism, refugees, immigration, military engagement, or nationalism, are avoided, observes Jean-Dominique Giuliani, president of the Robert Schuman Foundation.

 

But this peace is superficial, notes Philippe Rocard in Le Monde. There are about 20-30% frustrated voters in Germany, angry about Angela Merkel and her motto “Wir schaffen das” (we can make it) in immigration policy, or her handouts to bailout countries during the eurozone crisis. The three parties that capture the rising protest are the AFD, Die Linke and even the FDP with its radicalised discourse against Greece.

 

The rise of the AfD, which looks like it could become the third strongest party only four years after its foundation, would be a turning point in postwar German history, notes the WSJ. Never since the 1950s has a far-right party cleared the 5% hurdle. According to the recent polls, the AfD could get as many as 89 out of 703 seats. With its xenophobic and nationalistic rhetoric, the party breaks taboos in a country that has resisted right-wing populism for decades. To be fair, these numbers are still small compared to Austria where the Freedom party is polling 25%, or France where Marine Le Pen received 34% in the presidential run-off. But for Germany it is a major shift.

Unhappy Marriages

CDU (36) + FDP (22) would have a total percentage of about 58%. But many in SPD would prefer the SPD to be in opposition. Should that develop, SPD would be the largest opposition party.

If SDP chooses opposition, Merkel could form a majority government via an alliance of CDU (36), the Greens (7), and FDP (9). Currently, that alliance would have a bare majority with 52% of the vote.

Regardless of what happens, Merkel will be in a much-weakened position compared to now.

And other than a miracle CDU/FDP finish that achieves more than 50%, it may take quite some time after the election for the next government to form.

end

Spain/Catalonia

So much for democracy:  Spanish police arrest top Catalan officials ahead of referendum on independence

(courtesy zero hedge)

“We Are In A State Of Siege”: Spanish Police Arrest Top Catalan Officials In Referendum Raids

Spanish police arrested top-ranking Catalan officials including the region’s junior economy minister Josep Maria Jove, as Madrid launched a crackdown on Catalonia over the upcoming Independence referendum Reuters reported. Jove, who is a senior member of the Republican Left of Catalonia political party, was detained following a Wednesday morning raid carried out by Spain’s Civil Guard, which has the authority of both the Interior and the Defence ministries.

At least a dozen high-ranking local officials were arrested, La Vanguardia newspaper said. Among those detained are Josue Sallent Rivas from the Centre of Telecommunications and Information Technology, Xavier Puig Farré from the Office of Social Affairs and Josep Maria Salvat Tenesa from the Ministry of Economics and Finance.

Police, acting under court orders, have stepped up raids on printers, newspaper offices and private delivery companies in recent days in a search for campaign literature, instruction manuals for manning voting stations and ballot boxes.

 

On Tuesday, Spain’s Civil Guard, a national police force, seized more than 45,000 envelopes packed in cardboard boxes that the Catalan government was ready to send to notify people around the region about the referendum.

Catalonia is now in a state of siege ”, Catalonia’s Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Family Dolors Bassa said on Twitter, confirming that the Civil Guard has also entered her department.

I ara,a nostre departament també , acaba d’entrar la Guardia Civil.Estem en un estat de setge ! Vergonyós !@govern .Votarem 

Meanwhile, the fiercely pro-independence leader of the regional government, Carles Puigdemont, has called an emergency meeting of his cabinet for 10:30 CET (8:30 GMT), the sources said.

Police efforts to stop the planned Oct. 1 referendum on splitting from Spain have intensified in recent days as the wealthy northeastern region shows no signs of halting the vote which the central government says is illegal.  Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the offices of the regional government’s economy ministry in the center of Barcelona’s tourist district, chanting “They will not pass” and “We will vote”, a Reuters witness said.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Una hora después de la entrada de la @guardiacivil al departamento de Economía, manifestantes protestan por el registro

That did not stop the Civil Guard from conducting searches of the Catalonian government buildings including the region’s economy, interior, foreign affairs, welfare, telecommunications and tax departments.

“They are attacking the institutions of this country and attacking the citizens. We will not allow it” Oriol Junqueras, the Vice President of the Catalan Government, wrote on Twitter.

Estan atacant les institucions d’aquest país i per tant atacant els ciutadans. No ho permetrem.

On Wednesday, a protest has been staged in front of the Economic Department of the Catalonian Government, according to photos and videos on Twitter. People were reportedly shouting “We want to vote” and “democracy.”

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Más manifestantes en la sede de Economía. “Queremos votar”, “democracia” y “fuera las fuerzas de ocupación”

Earlier in the month, Catalonia’s Parliament passed a bill paving the way for an independence referendum to be held on October 1. However, the Constitutional Court has suspended the vote after the central government challenged its legality. Spain’s central government says the referendum goes against the country’s 1978 constitution which states Spain is indivisible.

Medio centenar de manifestantes se concentran en el dep de economía para protestar contra el registro por el referéndum

As reported previously, the Spanish state prosecutor ordered a criminal investigation of 712 Catalan mayors for co-operating with the process. Catalonia previously held an independence referendum in 2014, which saw 80 percent of voters choose independence. Nevertheless, it was ruled unconstitutional by Madrid.

5. RUSSIA AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

This will complicate things:  Trump has decided that he has made up his mind what to do with Iran.  The problem is that Russia will support Iran and protect this country if Trump resumes sanctions..basically the USA is in a mess

(courtesy zero hedge)

“I Have Decided”: Trump Says He Has Made Decision On Iran Deal

Following his extremely aggressive statements yesterday at The United Nations regarding Iran, President Trump has told reporters this morning that:

“I have decided,” when asked what he’s going to do about Iran deal.

However he refused to say what the decision is, responding“I’ll let you know.”

But judging by his harsh comments yesterday…

The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country, with a rich history and culture, into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos. The longest suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are, in fact, its own people. Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian live, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.

 

This wealth, which rightly belongs to Iran’s people, also goes to shore up bashar Al Assad’s dictatorship, fuel Yemen’s civil war, and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East. We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program.

 

The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it. Believe me.

 

It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction. It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. Above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors. The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most. This is what causes the regime to restrict internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protesters, and imprison political reformers.

It would seem hard for him not to back away from Obama’s deal.

Shortly after Trump’s threats, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Twitter that the accord “is not (re)negotiable. A ‘better’ deal is pure fantasy.”

But perhaps most notable, this ‘decision’ comes hours after Russia branded U.S. President Donald Trump’s hostility toward the Iranian nuclear agreement as “very worrying,” vowing to do everything it can to protect the pact.

“We will defend this document, this consensus, which was met with relief by the entire international community and strengthened both regional and international security,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in New York Tuesday after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

This, if Trump decides to abandon the deal, yet another cold-war front with Russia will be opened, and which would further escalate the already tense geopolitical situation in the middle-east.

Two weeks ago we had a bank run into one of Russia’s largest private bank: Otkritie. Today another bank run into an another private bank B and N controlled by Gutseriev, an oligarch who controls electronics firms, real estate and energy.  In both cases the central bank of Russia has bailed out these private banks.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Russian Depositors On Edge After Second Major Bank Fails In Under A Month

If once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and three times is a full-blown collapse in the financial system, then Russia may be getting close.

Just three weeks after Russia bailed out its largest and very politically connected private bank, Otkritie, after an unexpectedly acute bank run resulted in the bank’s near-collapse, already nervous Russian depositors shifted their attention to another domestic lender, and earlier today Russia’s B&N Bank, the country’s 12th biggest lender by assets, also sought a bailout from the central bank. While it is unclear how much this bailout would cost Russian taxpayers, when the central bank took over Otkritie last month, it said it might need up to $6.9 billion, the biggest ever bailout in the country.

B&N Bank, which is controlled by Russian oligarch Mikhail Gutseriev and was not on the central bank’s list of systemically important lenders, said it had under-estimated the problems within the banks it had bought during an expansion drive. “Our objective is, with the support of the central bank … to conduct an effective financial rehabilitation of the bank,” said Mikail Shishkhanov, who was named as chairman of B&N Bank, whose assets account for 2 percent of the Russian banking system, according to ratings agency Fitch.


Mikhail Gutseriev 

Some background on the now defunct bank: B&N Bank, founded in 1993, is [or rather was] part of a sprawling conglomerate controlled by energy tycoon and billionaire Mikhail Gutseriev – said to be worth over $6 billion – that includes oil firms, a property development portfolio and an electronics retailer.

The bank embarked on an expansion drive after 2010, buying smaller lenders including Moskomprivatbank, Rost Bank, SKA-Bank before completing its biggest deal in 2016, a merger with MDM Bank, one of Russia’s largest lenders.

 

Fitch said last month that the bank was one of a handful of Russian lenders, including Otkritie, that had seen “an outflow of interbank funding” in the first few months of the year.

Gutseriev is perhaps best known in the west for the March 2016 wedding of his son Said, on which he reportedly spent $1 billion and was attended by around 600 guests with Sting, Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias performing.

Luxury cars including Rolls Royces and Bentleys were seen parked outside the venue 

In an amusing U-turn, Shishkhanov, who stepped down as B&N Bank chairman in May this year handing over the role to Gutseriev, who is also his uncle, Shishkhanov said he had decided to take over the role again to work with the central bank, saying in a statement that problems at Rost Bank and MDM Bank “turned out to be much more serious than we had believed” in tough markets

And then there is this amusing anecdote, which suggests that bank frauds in Russia and the US are not that different:

B&N Bank staff declined to comment outside its head office, three kilometres (1.9 miles) from the Kremlin, while a truck belonging to a firm called Shredder Express, which offers mobile document shredding, was parked on a private road in front.

The second consecutive intervention by the Russian central bank has prevented market contagion… for now: on Wednesday the monetary authority confirmed it was in talks with B&N’s owners and would decide on a bailout in the near future. Furthermore, according to market insiders quoted by Reuters, the huge state banks that dominate the sector in Russia are solid, while “the problems which have triggered crises at B&N and previously at Otkritie bank are likely to be contained within a handful of private lenders.”

Unless of course they emerge as systemic: the bigger problem is that just like in China, Russian banks, which were already under stress from an economic slowdown made worse by Western sanctions, have seen bad debts rise over the past three years. Only, unlike China which can create virtually infinite new credit to rollover existing debt plus enjoy the PBOC’s backstops for every risky institution, in Russia quasi-insolvent banks eventually have their equity wiped out following nationalizations.

As Reuters adds, the financial health of some worsened after the central bank forced them to make more rigorous provisions for non-performing loans, while margins have tightened due to lower interest rates.

* * *

According to Alexander Abramov, professor at the Russian Higher School of Economics, this event is not yet a reason for panic, but points to a serious crisis of banking supervision. “If the head of a large bank appeals to the Central Bank and it becomes an official news, this is a serious event,” he pointed out in the first place, in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.

“The reasons that could cause the need for B&N Bank’s sanitation are similar to those factors that led to the reorganization of Otkritie FC Bank. The main reason is the use of credit resources to lend the group’s projects, that is, risky credit policy. High costs of raising funds also could cause troubles,” Alexander Abramov explained.

“The event does not speak about the banking crisis, as it’s only about selective banks. The obligations to depositors will be fulfilled: almost all deposits are insured, and the Central Bank firmly expresses its intention to help. There is another crisis: the stability of the banking system,” the professor at the department of the stock market and investments at the Higher School of Economics concluded.

The news of the bailout did not result in any major market moves: while Russia’s composite financial sector underperformed the broader index of Russian stocks, it was down only 0.9% earlier in the day.  Meanwhile, the Russian rouble firmed, adding 0.4 percent to 57.9 versus the dollar and gaining 0.3 percent to 69.54 against the euro.

According to analysts, the muted response was because the problems are within a small number of mid-sized private banks which are parts of struggling wider business groups, pursued rapid expansion, and lent to high-risk businesses such as real estate.  The central bank also has the resources to step in if the others fail, stopping a wider contagion, they added.

Kirill Lukashuk, senior director at Russian ratings agency ACRA, said that wider risks stemming from B&N Bank’s difficulties depended on the form of central bank bailout.

 

If it is along the same lines as Otkritie rescue, with senior creditors protected and no freeze on deposit withdrawals, “the effect on the market will be extremely limited”.

Perhaps: if the Russian central bank has unlimited funds to keep bailing out the Russian oligarch’s pet banks which they used mostly to launder illicit funds, then sure. Then again, where there are two bank runs in under a month, more are guaranteed, and all that would take to cripple the Russian financial system is a panic at one of the larger domestic banks, rekindling memories of the near collapse Russia experienced in late 2014 when crashing oil prices and a plunging ruble, sent Russian rates as high as 20% and pushed the country to the verge of hyperinflation.

In other words, if the “deep state” really wants to hurt Russia, it knows what to do.

END

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

LAST NIGHT/MEXICO

4 million citizens are without power after their earthquake. The death toll is now 248

(courtesy zerohedge)

At Least 248 Dead, 4 Million Without Power After Powerful Earthquake Rocks Central Mexico

Update 6(6:30 pm ET): More than 3.8 million Mexicans are without power after today’s quake, while the death toll climbs to 79, according to the AP.

Here’s a particularly harrowing video of what looks like an old warehouse collapsing like a house of cards during the earthqake.

BREAKING VIDEO: MEXICO CITY DURING THE POWERFUL EARTHQUAKE MOMENTS AGO.

In another video, viewers can hear alarms ringing out across the city as smoke billows out of buildings.

We recorded this video from inside ! It was intense… Please Watch!! https://youtu.be/Mp48kEU4D30 

Damn man the world is falling apart, today mi city got a worse earthquake than last week, 20+ buildings down and unknown number of peolple pic.twitter.com/8e8JfF7IET

* * *

Update 5 (6 pm ET): The death toll has risen to 61, according to the Associated Press. 

Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez reported on Twitter that at least 42 people had died in his state south of Mexico City. At least 11 others died in Puebla state, according to Francisco Sanchez, spokesman for the state’s Interior Department. There were no immediate official reports of deaths in the capital, but anecdotal reports of deaths in Mexico City had begun to circulate.

One Mexico City resident described her experience to the AP:

Mariana Morales, a 26-year-old nutritionist, 26, was one many who spontaneously participated in rescue efforts.

She wore a paper face mask and her hands were still dusty from having joined a rescue brigade to clear rubble from a building that fell in a cloud of dust before her eyes, about 15 minutes after the quake.

Morales said she was in a taxi when the quake struck, and she out and sat on a sidewalk to try to recover from the scare. Then, just a few yards away, the three-story building collapsed.

END

THIS MORNING:  shear devastation/death toll still mounting

(courtesy zerohedge)

The Morning After: Mexican Earthquake Leaves Over 248 Dead, Millions Without Electricity

Across central Mexico, rescue workers including soldiers and volunteers worked late into the night Tuesday to free the living who were still trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings following Mexico’s deadliest earthquake in more than 30 years.

The death toll from the 7.1 magnitude quake – which bizarrely occurred on the anniversary of a 1985 quake that left 5,000 dead – has climbed to 248, with more than half of those deaths occurring in the Mexican capital city.  It also comes two weeks after another powerful quake left nearly 100 dead in Mexico CityThe quake was unusually close to Mexico City, located just 60 miles south of the capital in Chiautla de Tapia, a small town in neighboring Puebla state, according to Mexico’s seismological service.

More are feared dead, including possibly dozens of teachers and schoolchildren feared buried in the rubble of a Mexico City school, one of hundreds of buildings that was destroyed by the quake, according to Reuters.

Additionally, several buildings collapsed in the chic neighborhoods of Roma and Condesa in central Mexico City, where many foreigners live. In Condesa, rescue workers scrambled to find eight to 10 people believed trapped under the debris of a building that collapsed near Mexico Park, one of the city’s most famous parks. Hundreds of volunteers formed a human chain to help clear rubble and bring food and water to rescue workers.

Mexico was also hit earlier this month by Hurricane Katia, which killed two. Even the Popocatépetl volcano southeast of the city sent a large cloud of ash into the sky on Tuesday. “This is too much. It’s like we’re cursed or something,” said Marcos Santamaría, a 62-year-old retiree.

Philippines and the United Nations have offered to support the recovery effort. At least 30 second-grade students are still missing, along with eight adults.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said in a video message released late Tuesday that the initial focus of rescue efforts must be to find people trapped in wrecked buildings, according to the Associated Press.

“The priority at this moment is to keep rescuing people who are still trapped and to give medical attention to the injured people.”

Pena Nieto added that, as of late Tuesday, 40% of Mexico City and 60% of Morelos state had no electricity.

 cae cúpula en iglesia de San Francisco https://www.pscp.tv/w/bJAG6DFyYWpaUFBQTGxRekx8MU93eFdvTGpZalF4UdMiIXPVoJrJBBzTEejl9ewd_9YsBWMMFXjCRisv28oL 

Periódico e-consulta @e_consulta

#Sismo cae cúpula en iglesia de San Francisco #Puebla

pscp.tv

Dust-covered and exhausted from digging, 30-year-old Carlos Mendoza said two people were pulled alive from the ruins of a collapsed apartment building in the Roma Sur neighborhood during a three-hour period.

“When we saw this, we came to help,” he said, gesturing at the destruction. “This is ugly, very ugly.”

In Condesa, rescue workers scrambled to find eight to 10 people believed trapped under the debris of a building that collapsed near Mexico Park, one of the city’s most famous parks. Hundreds of volunteers formed a human chain to help clear rubble and bring food and water to rescue workers, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Gabriela Magaña, who works in a nearby art gallery, was inside the building when the quake hit. She managed to make it to the street just before it fell.

“I just saw an immense black cloud of dust and heard a big bang. Then I started to hear crying, and the smell of gas was unbearable. It was a nightmare,” she said.

At least 86 dead had been counted in Mexico City and 71 in Morelos state, which is just south of the capital. Another 43 were known dead in Puebla state, where the quake was centered. Twelve deaths were listed in the State of Mexico, which surrounds Mexico City on three sides, four in Guerrero state and one in Oaxaca, according to the official Twitter feed of civil defense agency head Luis Felipe Puente.

Mexico City residents rallied and joined the rescue efforts to free their neighbors following the quake.  Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 sites in the capital alone as high-rises across the city swayed and twisted and hundreds of thousands of people, fearing for their lives, ran into the streets. Buildings also collapsed in Morelos state, including the town hall and local church in Jojutla near the quake’s epicenter. A dozen people died in Jojutla. The quake also ruptured gas mains and sparked fires across the city and other towns in central Mexico as falling rubble and billboards crushed cars.

Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano, visible from the capital on a clear day, had a small eruption. On its slopes, a church in Atzitzihuacan collapsed during mass, killing 15 people, Puebla Governor Jose Antonio Gali said, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Mexico City residents slept in the streets while authorities and volunteers set up tented collection centers to distribute food and water. The city’s metro area has a population of some 20 million. Federal authorities ordered schools in seven states, as well as Mexico City, closed until further notice. Patients were evacuated from many hospitals.

Hours after the quake, residents were still huddled on the streets, too afraid to go back inside. Along the boulevard Paseo de la Reforma, a strong smell of gas caused panic.

President Donald Trump, who had been criticized for taking days to contact Mexican Mr. Peña Nieto after the quake earlier this month, was quick to offer support. “God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you,” Trump tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

END

7. OIL ISSUES

8. EMERGING MARKET

VENEZUELA

So far the Sept 15 interest payment has not been received by the trustee.  We are now in the 30 day grace period.  If payment does not occur in the next 30 days, then Venezuela will be declared bankrupt and the fun begins:

e.g Russia has as collateral 49.9% of USA based CITGO shares.  Does Russia take control over these downstream assets??

 

(courtesy zero hedge)

 

 

Venezuela Bankrupt? Caracas Fails To Make Sept 15 Interest Payment

Exactly one week ago, we wrote that a “Venezuelan default is only a matter of time”.  We said that “while debt servicing has been a government priority, declining external liquidity and a deteriorating domestic situation (three-digit hyperinflation, shortages, and a political crisis between the government and the National Assembly) make it a daunting task. By 2020, the country must repay 30% of the external debt due to expire in the next 23 years.”

Among other things we warned that “default seems inevitable in the medium term due to the prolonged period of low oil prices and increased US sanctions. President Trump’s executive order of August 24, 2017, strengthened sanctions against PDVSA by prohibiting all transactions related to new debt with a maturity greater than 90 days and by forbidding Citgo from repatriating dividends in Venezuela.”

Well, the default may have come in far sooner than even we expected as moments ago Bloomberg reported that according to sources, intermediaries tasked with processing Venezuela’s $185 million interest payment due Sept. 15 haven’t received the cash to do so.

It adds that “several holders of bonds due in 2027 haven’t received a payment”, and that an “official at the public credit office in Caracas declined to comment on whether the funds have been transferred or when investors will receive them.”

Further suggesting that Venezuela may have indeed entered its 30 day grace period, the country’s National Office of Public Credit hasn’t made any public statements about transferring funds for the coupon. In the past, Bloomberg notes that the office has used its Twitter account to alert the market when the bond’s fiscal agent has been paid.

For now the bond market appears to not have noticed with Venezuela bond issues still trading at respectable levels.

That said, since 2009, Venezuela has borrowed at least $60 billion from China (through the Venezuelan-China fund) in exchange for selling oil at a discounted price. Loans were used to pay foreign manufacturers and repay external debt, such as in 2015. This exchange of good practices persisted as long as oil prices were quite high and Venezuela’s political situation was fairly stable. Since 2016, China has made a strategic move to reduce exposure to Venezuela which resulted in the repatriation of Chinese oil engineers (who filled local labour shortages), the end of financial aid, and reduced oil imports.

In this context, it may be unlikely that Venezuela will be able to count on China for repayment of its loans, which as we said last week, increases the probability of sovereign default in the medium term and may have manifested itself in what may be an event of default in just over three weeks if the Sept. 15 coupon payment grace period expires without the country transferring the required funds.

end

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

Euro/USA   1.2004 UP .0012/REACTING TO  + huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:/TRUMP HEALTH CARE DEFEAT//ITALIAN REFERENDUM DEFEAT/AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/ /USA FALLING INTEREST RATES AGAIN/HOUSTON FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES MIXED 

USA/JAPAN YEN 111.26 DOWN 0.325(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/   

GBP/USA 1.3528 UP .0017 (Brexit  March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED

THERESA MAY FORMS A NEW GOVERNMENT/STARTS BREXIT TALKS

USA/CAN 1.2251 DOWN .0040 (CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA)

Early THIS WEDNESDAY morning in Europe, the Euro ROSE by 12 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level  RISING to 1.1990; / Last night the Shanghai composite CLOSED  UP 8.15 POINTS OR 0.27%     / Hang Sang  CLOSED  UP 76.39 POINTS OR 0.27% /AUSTRALIA  CLOSED DOWN 0.05% / EUROPEAN BOURSES OPENED MIXED 

The NIKKEI: this WEDNESDAY morning CLOSED UP 11.08 POINTS OR 0.05%  

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

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED UP 76.39 POINTS OR 0.27%  / SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 9.15 POINTS OR 0.27%   /Australia BOURSE CLOSED DOWN 0.05% /Nikkei (Japan)CLOSED UP 11.08 POINTS OR 0.05%   / INDIA’S SENSEX IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1315.20

silver:$17.37

Early WEDNESDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield:  2.223% !!! DOWN 2   IN POINTS from TUESDAY night in basis points and it is trading JUST BELOW resistance at 2.27-2.32%.

The 30 yr bond yield  2.7987, DOWN 2 IN BASIS POINTS  from TUESDAY night.

USA dollar index early WEDNESDAY morning: 91.69 DOWN 10  CENT(S) from TUESDAY’s close. 

This ends early morning numbers  WEDNESDAY MORNING

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And now your closing WEDNESDAY NUMBERS

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 2.383% DOWN 4  in basis point(s) yield from TUESDAY 

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.029%  DOWN 1  in   basis point yield from TUESDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.582% UP 3  IN basis point yield from TUESDAY 

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.071 UP 3 POINTS  in basis point yield from TUESDAY 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 48 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: +.443% DOWN 1  IN  BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY

END

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IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR WEDNESDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1998 UP .0006 (Euro UP 6 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 111.50 DOWN 0.086(Yen UP 9  basis points/ 

Great Britain/USA 1.3561 UP  0.0047( POUND UP 47 BASIS POINTS)

USA/Canada 1.2260 DOWN .00033(Canadian dollar UP 33 basis points AS OIL ROSE TO $50.41

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This afternoon, the Euro was UP  by 6 basis points to trade at 1.1998

The Yen ROSE to 111.50 for a GAIN of 9  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  

The POUND ROSE BY 47  basis points, trading at 1.3561/ 

The Canadian dollar ROSE by 33 basis points to 1.2260,  WITH WTI OIL RISING TO :  $50.41

The USA/Yuan closed at 6.5749/
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.029%  DOWN 1 IN  BASIS POINTS / yield/ 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 0  IN basis points from TUESDAY at 2.2410% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic  USA 30 yr bond yield: 2.817 UP 0  in basis points on the day /

Your closing USA dollar index, 91.77  DOWN 3 CENT(S)  ON THE DAY/1.00 PM/BREAKS RESISTANCE OF 92.00 

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

London:  CLOSED DOWN  3.30 POINTS OR 0.05%
German Dax :CLOSED UP 7.38 POINTS OR 0.06%
Paris Cac  CLOSED UP 4.22 POINTS OR 0.08% 
Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 86.30 POINTS OR 0.83%

Italian MIB: CLOSED DOWN 69.84 POINTS OR 0.31% 

The Dow closed UP 41.79 OR 0.19%

NASDAQ WAS closed DOWN 5.28  POINTS OR 0.08%  4.00 PM EST

WTI Oil price;  50.41  1:00 pm; 

Brent Oil: 56.18 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS:  57.77 DOWN 34/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE HIGHER BY 34 BASIS PTS)

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD FALLS TO  +0.443%  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:$50.41

BRENT: $56.21

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.267%  (ANYTHING HIGHER THAN 2.70% BLOWS UP THE GLOBE)

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 2.807% (yield curve flattens)

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1900 DOWN .0097

USA/JAPANESE YEN:112.11  up  0.531

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 92.45  UP 66  cent(s)/

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.3495 : DOWN 19 POINTS FROM LAST NIGHT  

Canadian dollar: 1.2328 DOWN 37 BASIS pts 

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +0.443%

END

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

‘Hawkish’ Fed Fail? Yield Curve Flattens Most Since 2016 As Dollar Spikes

 

More dismal housing data, a VIX 9 handle, and bank stocks ripping higher (despite a big flattening in the yield curve) – just another day in Fed-land…

 

Stocks and the long bond unchanged post-Fed, Gold down and dollar up…

 

S&P and Dow ended the day just higher at record highs!!! thanks to post-fed dip-buying panic as Trannies surged…

 

VIX was ‘handled’ back down to a 9 handle (first 9-handle close since July)… of course…look at the panic-bid in stocks as VIX was crushed in the last few minutes (to get S&P green)

 

AAPL was notably hit, now down 5% from when the iPhone 8 was unveiled…

As WSJ notes, Apple acknowledged problems with cellular connectivity in its newest smartwatch, raising questions about the device’s most significant feature days before it goes on sale in stores in the U.S. and other countries. In a statement Wednesday, Apple said the problem connecting to cellular networks occurs when the Apple Watch Series 3—the first watch from Apple to feature an LTE chip for cellular service—joins “unauthenticated Wi-Fi wireless networks without connectivity.” Apple said it is “investigating a fix for a future software release.”

Financials kneejerked higher today again but retailers snd Utes were weak…

 

5Y Yields spiked most on the day (+5bps) but 2Y was the headline grabber, moving to its highest since Dec 2008 (but notably still below The Fed’s 1.50% expectation for Dec…

 

The long-end of the curve rallied on the day as the short-end snapped higher (in yield), crushing the yield curve…

 

but Bank stocks didn’t care about details like that…

This is the biggest flattening of the yield curve since Dec 2016.

Yellen: “rate hikes will be needed to sustain the economic expansion”   (Harvey:  >>???)

So rate cuts now hurt the economy?

5Y Yields are back at the same level as when the JUly FOMC meeting hit..

 

and 30Y Yields ended the day lower…

 

Another signal of Fed Fail is the fact that break evens plunged today…

 

The market still sees a 37% chance that The Fed won’t hike In December…

The Dollar Index spiked on The Fed’s ‘hawkish’ statement, jumping by the most since January… (NOTE – this merely moved the dollar index back to payrolls levels)…

 

Despite the dollar gains, WTI prices held on to gains on the day after DOE data with RBOB fading…

 

 

END

Early trading on NY:

a good harbinger of potential huge black swan events:  Apply suffers from:

  1. connectivity issues
  2. dismal pre orders
  3. weak reviews

(courtesy zero hedge)

Nasdaq Plunges As AAPL Suffers Triple Whammy

Weak reviews for iPhone 8, dismal pre-orders, and connectivity issues for Apple Watch have slammed AAPL shares to their lowest since August 1st earnings.

As Bloomberg notes, in addition to connectivity issues with the new watch, part of today’s weakness in Apple  shares could be related to negative comments at Rosenblatt due to weak iPhone 8 preorders.

Analyst Jun Zhang said their research suggests that iPhone 8 preorders are substantially lower than iPhone 7 and iPhone 6 levels.

“We understand many customers could be waiting for the iPhone X, but we are concerned iPhone 8/8 Plus sell-through could bring some headwinds.”

It has not been pretty as AAPL is now at its lowest since before its earnings spike on Aug 1st.

This has pushed the Nasdaq dramatically lower…

end

 

Fed Announcement: today..the CLOWNS report that there may be one more hike in 2017 and 3 in 2018. ..just read their jibberish!

(FOMC/zero hedge)

Hawkish Fed Likely To Hike In December, Will Start Balance Sheet Unwind In October

Today’s the day. On Nov 25, 2008 The Fed announced it would begin buying assets for its own account to save the world. In Oct 2014, The Fed ended its QE3 buying program but continued to reinvest the proceeds to maintain its $4.4 trillion balance sheet. Today, Janet Yellen announced the balance sheet will be allowed to normalize, with reinvestments slowed/stopped starting in October.

Headlines:

  • *FED: HURRICANES UNLIKELY TO ALTER ECONOMY’S COURSE MEDIUM TERM (Harvey; who is she kidding/where will the money come from to rebuild)
  • *FED: JOB MKT STRENGTHENED, ECONOMIC ACTIVITY RISING MODERATELY (who is she kidding with the two hurricanes and economic activity increased???)
  • *FED KEEPS RATES UNCHANGED, PLANS BALANCE-SHEET RUNOFF IN OCT.
  • *FED FORECASTS STILL SIGNAL ANOTHER 2017 HIKE, 3 MORE IN 2018
  • *FED REPEATS RISKS TO OUTLOOK APPEAR ROUGHLY BALANCED
  • *FED SAYS FOMC VOTE WAS UNANIMOUS
  • *FOUR FED OFFICIALS SEE NO MORE 2017 HIKES, UNCHANGED FROM JUNE ( Eleven Fed officials now see one more hike in 2017 versus just eight in June.
    – market odds only 50%)

The Fed cut long-term rates:

  • *FED ESTIMATE OF LONGER-RUN FUNDS RATE 2.8% VS 3% IN JUNE

Here are the maturing assets that will not be reinvested over the coming months…

So, up to $50bn per month reductions.

Many market participants appears to believe that The Fed has given investors plenty of notice that they would begin to unwind their balance sheet and so the actual event will be like “watching paint dry.” This seems more than a little disingenuous given the great levels of confidence embued into the actual QE process to save the world.

As one wit on Twitter noted, “If I tell you everyday for 6 months that I am going to cut off your head on 9/20… you are prepared, but how will you react on 9/21?”

We shall see.

Since the July FOMC Meeting, gold is the biggest gainer as the dollar loses ground…

*  *  *

Notably the Taylor Rule (and the balance sheet-adjusted version) is implying The Fed should be about as tight as its been in decades…

 

And of course, here is what The Fed is really worrying about – they’ve lost control…

 

December Rate Hike Odds were at 53% heading into the statement…

 

Market liquidity flatlined heading into the FOMC statement…

This might help explains the three-card-monty game The Fed is playing, courtesy of ING, is the definitive “cheat sheat” matrix laying out all possible permutations of what can happen tomorrow, as well as the most likely market reaction.

 

 

end

 

Poor Janet who surprisingly holds a PhD in Economics does not fully understand inflation and why the USA is not undergoing inflation in wages of which she needs:

 

here is her correct answer:

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

Yellen “Does Not Fully Understand Inflation” So Here It Is Explained… In Just One Chart

In what has been the most stunning admission by Janet Yellen so far during her press conference, the Fed Chair said that “we don’t fully understand inflation” and adds that the “shortfall of inflation this year is more of a mystery.” Which is why we would like to do the Fed a favor and “explain” inflation, or the lack thereof as the Fed laments, with just one chart.

To simplify enough that everyone on the FOMC will understand, here it is:

  • Real economic prices: no inflation.
  • Asset prices: rampant, and in some case soaring, inflation.

And just in case there is still confusion, here is Goldman:

The long economic cycle that we have been enjoying is, in part, a reflection of loose monetary conditions and low interest rates. Exhibit 17 is a simple but effective way to demonstrate this effect. Taking data back to 2009, the start of the period of extraordinary monetary policy, we can see a very big difference between ‘prices’ in the real economy – measures of wages, consumer price inflation, house prices, commodities – and asset prices. Also shown here is the long-run average nominal GDP growth and nominal GDP growth over this period for the US and Europe (in red). Financial assets have significantly outstripped both nominal GDP growth and inflation in the real economy, largely as a result of rates staying low.

So, dear Janet, if you are so worried about the shortfall in inflation, maybe take a look at asset prices instead…

end

 

 

If she unwinds..this will happen!!

Watch Live: Janet Yellen Explains How Unwinding The Fed’s Balance Sheet Will Be Like “Watching Paint Dry”

Is ‘the committee to save the world’ about to ‘unsave the world’?Not according to The Fed who see their balance sheet unwind as boring a “watching paint dry.”

Of course, aside from the fact that The Fed has been unable to forecast its way out of a paper bag for decades, more than a few market participants believe otherwise, including BofA who recently warned“the paint may be drying but the wall is about to crumble.”

“If Bonds Are Right, Stocks Will Drop Up To 20%.” This point can be summarized simply as follows: there is $1 trillion in excess TSY supply coming down the line, and either yields will have to jump for the net issuance to be absorbed, or equities will have to plunge 30% for the incremental demand to appear.

 

An unwind of the Fed’s balance sheet also increases UST supply to the public. Ultimately, the Treasury needs to borrow from the public to pay back principal to the Fed resulting in an increase in marketable issuance. We estimate the Treasury’s borrowing needs increase roughly by $1tn over the next five years due to Fed rolloffs. However, not all increases in UST supply are made equal. This will be the first time UST supply is projected to increase when EM reserve growth likely remains benign. Note both the 2003-06 and 2009-13 increase in UST supply were met with the largest increase in Chinese buying of USTs. With this unlikely to repeat, we believe price sensitive buyers need to step up.

 

Our analysis suggests this would necessitate a significant rise in yields or a notable correction in equity markets to trigger the two largest remaining sources (pensions or mutual funds) to step up to meet the demand shortfall. Again, this is a slower moving trigger that tightens financial conditions either by necessitating higher yields or lower equities.

However, we’re sure that Janet Yellen, just months away from leaving the sinking ship, will calm all fears during today’s press conference…

Live Feed:

 

end

 

trading right after Fed announcement: not what the Fed wanted

S&P Loses 2,500, Gold Tests $1300 As Fed Flattens Yield Curve

As Yellen’s press conference began, Gold and stocks legged lower, taking out $1300 and 2500 respectively..

 

As we detailed earlier, the dollar spiked higher and the yield curve spiked lower following The Fed’s hawkish statement. 2Y yields hit their highest since Dec 2008…

 

As December rate hike odds jumped to 63%.. so still not completely buying The Fed’s plan…

 

The dollar spiked…

 

But the yield curve cracked notably flatter… as the long-end was unimpressed.

 

This is not what The Fed, or the banks, were hoping for. How long before bank stocks wake up?

This is the biggest flattening in 5s30s since Dec 2016.

For now, gold is down, the dollar is up…

end

Hurricane Maria whacks Puerto Rico and damages are estimated to be in the neighborhood of 30 billion dollars. It looks like Maria will miss the USA coast.

 

(courtesy zero hedge)

“We’ve Never Seen Anything Like This” – Maria Slams Puerto Rico With 9-Foot Storm Surge, 155Mph Winds

Hurricane Maria made landfall near the city of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, at around 6:15 am Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center, battering the densely populated eastern side of the island with torrential rains and 155 mph gusts as hundreds of thousands of people hunkered down in one of the island’s 500 storm shelters in hopes of riding out the second major hurricane to impact the island within two weeks.

Category 4 Maria slammed the island with winds of 155 mph, just 2 mph short of category 5 status.

The island’s governor has said the hurricane will likely cause “catastrophic” damage to the island’s power grid and infrastructure, much of which has yet to be repaired following Hurricane Irma, which didn’t make landfall in Puerto Rico, but passed close enough to cause $1 billion in damage. As Bloomberg points out, Maria is the fourth major hurricane and 13th storm in the Atlantic this season that’s wreaked havoc from Texas to the Caribbean and left dozens dead.

According to the NHC, the storm made landfall around 6:15 a.m. The NHC has instituted hurricane watches and warnings for many of Puerto Rico’s neighboring islands.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands
* Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques
* Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata
* Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Saba
* St. Maarten
* Dominican Republic west of Puerto Plata to the northern border of
the Dominican Republic and Haiti
* Dominican Republic west of Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* St. Maarten
* St. Martin and St. Barthelemy
* Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Cabo Engano

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello is saying Maria is “potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit” the U.S. territory in a century. Rossello said up to 25 inches of rain could fall in some areas and he urged anyone in a flood-prone, mudslide-prone or coastal area to leave.

 

-force winds occurring in Puerto Rico- ‘s eye should make landfall in the next couple of hours. http://hurricanes.gov 

 

“We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history,” Rossello said. “Although it looks like a direct hit with major damage to Puerto Rico is inevitable, I ask for America’s prayers,” he said. “No matter what happens here in the next 36 hours, Puerto Rico will survive, we will rebuild, we will recover and with your support, we will come out stronger than ever.”

The NHS expects the storm to cross Puerto Rico on Wednesday and then move just north of the coast of the Dominican Republic later in the night and on Thursday. Maria had earlier battered the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean island nation of Dominica on Tuesday, devastating the island, according to the island’s governor, Roosevelt Skerrit.

“It is devastating, indeed, mind boggling,” Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica’s prime minister, said in a statement. The eastern Caribbean nation with a population of 75,000 has “lost all what money can buy and replace,” he said. Skerrit said he was rescued after the roof of his house was torn off by the storm.

At least six people have died on the island of Dominica, according to a spokeswoman for the government in London. “Damage is extensive throughout the island,” she said, “and people are walking the streets in a delirious state of mind.” With all lines of communication down, the government was relying on amateur radio, or ham radio, operators for updates, according to Bloomberg. In addition, at least two have been confirmed dead on the island of Guadalope.

Many Puerto Ricans were busy reinforcing their homes with plywood and other supplies ahead of the anticipated landfall.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZOsv_pgXgL/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=7&wp=658#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A4843.995000000001%7D

Maria could cause $30 billion in damage to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, according to Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler for Enki Research. The island, which filed for bankruptcy in May after years of economic decline while a series of defaults, has been effectively shut out of capital markets, which could slow the recovery process, Bloomberg reports. Its aging government-owned electric utility operates under court protection from creditors and its emergency fund stood at about $32 million before Irma knocked out electricity access for hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans.

It could plunge “their not-all-that-robust electric grid into a pit of despair,” Watson said.

A dangerous storm surge of as much as 9 feet is expected along the coast of Puerto Rico, and according to NHS data, water levels have already risen precariously.

Meanwhile, vacationers and honeymooners visiting the island confronted a troubling reality earlier this week: With flights quickly filling up ahead of the storm, many tourists found themselves stuck on the island, forced to ride out the hurricane in whatever hotel or accomodations they had booked.

Heather Farrell, a visitor to the island, is on her honeymoon with her husband Luke. They were married on September 9. She says that they had tried to cut their trip short when it became apparent that they were in Maria’s firing line.

“We did try to get off, as early as Saturday but all flights were either booked or canceled. We actually are on the ocean — our room faces the ocean. It’s pretty windy but there is no rain. We’ll stay inside for now.”

 

She said that hotel staff had asked that all guests that are staying at the hotel come downstairs early Wednesday morning to a safe room that they have set up for them.

 

“I would rather be home than here but I guess we’re making the best of it,” she said.

 

According to CNN, calls for rescue immediately started pouring in. But first responders weren’t expected to be able to help immediately because they’d been ordered to head indoors when sustained winds reached 50 mph. Thousands of Puerto Ricans did obey calls to seek refuge in emergency shelters. “As of 2:30 a.m. we count 10,059 refugees and 189 pets (in shelters),” the island’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, tweeted.

A las 2:30AM, contamos con 10,059 refugiados y 189 mascotas.

Maria became the first category 4 hurricance to hit the island – which presently has a population of about 3.3 million people – in about 80 years. Conditions were expected to worsen between 8 am and 9 am ET Wednesday, when the storm’s eye wall – typically the part of the storm with the most powerful winds – is expected to reache island’s eastern coast. The Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan – which was still housing Hurricane Irma evacuees from other Caribbean islands – prepared to accept thousands more residents.

Most ppl at Pedrin Zorria shelter will lose their home if  hits. However, mood is light & everyone helps each other here@CNN

The storm is likely to break all previous records, according to CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.

“This could potentially be the strongest hurricane to ever reach the shores of Puerto Rico,” he said from San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital.

 

“A lot of people remember or have heard of the storms that hit in 1928 and 1930. Well, guess what? This could pale those in comparison. … It will go down in the record books.”

According to Bloomberg, most long range models keep Maria away from the US coastline after it passes through the Caribbean and the Bahamas this week, said Shane Mill, a meteorologist at MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “But I am not comfortable saying the entire East Coast is out of the woods yet,” he said.

end

 

Update on Maria:

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

Hurricane Maria Floods San Juan, Knocks Out Power Across Puerto Rico

Even after weakening to a category 4 storm shortly before making landfall along the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria has caused unprecedented devastation to the cash-strapped island, knocking out electricity for all residents. Worse still, the island’s governor has said it could be months before power is restored to all customers, according to the Associated Press.

The strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in nearly 90 years tore off roofs and doors and caused flooding across the island – including in downtown San Juan, including the capital’s Hato Rey financial district. Its 20+ inches of rain, 9 nine-foot storm surge and 155 mph winds hammered the island’s fragile power grid, which had yet to be fully repaired from the damage caused by Hurricane Irma just two weeks ago.

Many of residents had yet to see their power restored after Irma’s assault, and thousands remained in government-run shelters.

 

Rivers overflowed and the winds downed trees and damaged homes and buildings, including several hospitals. The storm was downgraded to a category 3 with 115 mph gusts as it traversed the island, according to Bloomberg.

Maria is expected to linger over the island, carrying life-threatening winds, for between 12 and 24 hours.

Widespread flooding was reported across the island, with dozens of cars half-submerged in some neighborhoods and many streets turned into rivers. People calling local radio stations reported that doors were being torn off their hinges and a water tank flew away.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said more than 11,000 people, and nearly 600 pets, were staying in government-run shelters.
In one neighborhood, nearly 80% of homes were destroyed, according to initial estimates.

Hurricane Maria’s winds rip side off building in San Juan http://youtube.com/watch?v=iJb2sjVq_UQ&feature=youtu.be http://en.mawajez.com/2017/09/20/hurricane-marias-winds-rip-side-off-building-in-san-juan/ 

Photo published for Hurricane Maria’s winds rip side off building in San Juan

Hurricane Maria’s winds rip side off building in San Juan

http://youtu.be/iJb2sjVq_UQ Raw video: Powerful category 4 hurricane slammed into Puerto Rico early Wednesday, blasting the island with gusts nearing

Felix Delgado, mayor of the city of Catano on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, told a local TV station that 80 percent of the homes in a neighborhood known as Juana Matos were destroyed.

El Nuevo Dia newspaper reported that 80 percent of homes in a small fishing community near San Juan were damaged, and that an emergency medical station in the coastal town of Arecibo lost its roof, while communication was severed with several emergency management posts. A hospital and a police station reported broken windows, and a tree fell on an ambulance.

Maria killed at least seven people on the island of Dominica, government officials said, and two people in the French territory of Guadeloupe as it barreled through the Caribbean. It also caused widespread damage on St. Croix, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands. By comparison, Hurricane Irma killed 84 people when it tore through the Caribbean two weeks ago.

Maria dumped as much as 25 inches of rain on the island, the NHC said. Storm surges, when hurricanes push ocean water dangerously over normal levels, could be up to 9 feet. The heavy rainfall could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, it added.

“This a catastrophe we’re going through,” said Madeline Morales, 62, a saleswoman in San Juan who abandoned her coastal home before the storm hit to seek refuge in a hotel on higher ground.

Maria was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico since 1928, when the San Felipe Segundo hurricane hammered the island, leaving about 300 people dead, according to the NWS. Maria has so far killed at least nine people across the Caribbean, including 7 in Dominica and 2 in Guadeloupe.

Before hitting Puerto Rico, Maria ripped off roofs and downed trees as it passed west of St. Croix, home to about half of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ 103,000 residents, as a rare Category 5 storm, the top of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman said that damage from Maria, Harvey and Irma would weigh on US GDP growth during the third quarter, though the effects would quickly dissipate. She expressed her sympathies for the victims, and her sympathies on behalf of the board.

Some 65 to 70 percent of the buildings on St. Croix were damaged by the storm, said Holland Redfield, who served six terms in the U.S. Virgin Islands senate.

Maria may cause $45 billion of damage across the Caribbean, with at least $30 billion of that in Puerto Rico, said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler at Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia. he cost to Puerto Rico could reach at least 10 percent of its gross domestic product, said Joe Myers, founder and president of AccuWeather Inc. in State.

Governor Ricardo Rossello Wednesday asked President Donald Trump to declare Puerto Rico a disaster zone.

end

 

It looks like the Graham Cassidy new Obamacare replacement is close to being dead.  If they do not agree on any repeal they will need 60 votes which will be impossible in the senate. As the 2018 yr approaches Obamacare death spiral is in full force as cost to employers per employee skyrockets to costs greater than buying a new car

 

(courtesy zero hedge)

The Obamacare “Death Spiral”: Health Plans Now Cost Employers More Than A New Car

With the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare replacement now officially dead, it appears Senate Republicans will be unable to pass a repeal-and-replace bill before the Sept. 30 deadline announced by the Senate Parliamentarian arrives – though it’s impossible to rule out another long-shot plan gaining momentum in the coming days.

After the deadline, Senate Republicans would need 60 votes for their repeal-and-replace bill, effectively killing the repeal-and-replace effort, at least for now.

As Republicans struggle to fulfill their campaign promises to the American people, the Wall Street Journal has published a report showing that rising premiums are forcing some small business owners to stop offering benefits, the latest sign that Democrats ignored Republican rhetoric about the bill’s job-killing potential at their own political peril.

As we’ve reported time and time again, the bill has increased cost pressures on businesses, forcing them lay off employees or pare back benefits to stay in business.

According to WSJ, the average cost of health coverage offered by employers pushed toward $19,000 for a family plan this year, while the share of firms providing insurance to workers continued to edge lower, according to a major survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Annual premiums rose 3% to $18,764 for an employer plan in 2017, from $18,142 last year, the same rate of increase as in 2016, according to an annual poll of employers conducted by Kaiser and the Health Research & Educational Trust, a nonprofit affiliated with the American Hospital Association.

Premiums for employers have been climbing for several years, though, as WSJ notes, their rise has been slowed somewhat by a shift toward larger out-of-pocket costs for employees in the form of higher deductibles. That move slowed this year, as deductibles were roughly flat, compared with 2016.

Kaiser foundation officials said it wasn’t clear why the growth in deductibles appeared to pause this year. The average general deductible for single coverage among all workers, including those with no deductible, this year was $1,221 – the same as last year, but up sharply from $802 in 2012. This year, 28% of covered workers were enrolled in high-deductible plans that can be paired with savings accounts that aren’t taxed, compared with 29% last year and 19% five years ago.

Drew Altman, chief executive of the Kaiser foundation, said it was too soon to tell if the growth in deductibles would quickly resume next year, or if employers are reluctant to keep pushing the tactic.

“We’ll have to watch it,” Mr. Altman said. “It’s possible it’s playing itself out or reaching some kind of natural limit.”

Still, the rise of premiums over time has resulted in family health plans that can annually cost more than a new car, though often most of the cost is borne by employers. Employees paid on average $5,714, or 31%, of the premiums, for a family plan in 2017, according to Kaiser.

In what should be interpreted as clear-cut evidence of the bill’s job-killing potential, Gary Claxton, a vice president at the foundation, said that the overall cost of insurance appears to be driving small firms, particularly those with low-wage workers, to stop offering health benefits. Indeed, among small employers that didn’t offer health insurance, 44% said the biggest reason for not providing the benefit was its cost. “It’s harder for them to maintain coverage when it’s so expensive,” Mr. Claxton said.

However, among small employers that didn’t provide health coverage, 16% did give workers some money they could use toward purchasing a plan themselves.

None of this should surprise readers, as we’ve been writing for years that the entire Obamacare system is on the “verge of collapse” as premiums soar, risk pools deteriorate and insurers were pull out of exchanges all around the country leaving many Americans with just a single ‘option’ for health insurance.

Meanwhile, for an individual worker, the average annual cost of employer coverage was $6,690 in the 2017 survey, up 4% from last year, with employees paying 18% of that.

In another troubling trend highlighted by WSJ, the number of employers offering health insurance as a benefit to employees has been declining even as the labor market has purportedly been tightening. This appears to jive with stagnant hourly earnings, which have shown little movement as most of the new jobs being created in the US are low-level, low-skill and low-pay.

The Kaiser survey was conducted between January and June of this year and included 2,137 randomly selected employers that responded to the full telephone survey.

end

 

Existing home sales slump to one year lows basically because there is not enough homes entering the market tumbling 1.7% month/month. These are closings and before Harvey hit so you cannot blame the hurricane

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

 

 

Existing Home Sales Slump To 1-Year Lows, NAR Says “There’s Simply Not Enough Homes For Sale”

After July’s housing sales data horrors, yesterday’s permits rebound prompted some hope (despite last week’s 9.7% collapse in mortgage applications) but August’s existing home sales just crushed that dream, dropping to one-year lows. Following a 1.3% MoM decline in July, August saw existing home sales tumble 1.7% MoM (against expectations of a 0.2% rebound) and up just 0.2% YoY.

This is the 3rd monthly decline in a row…

Dropping SAAR sales to one year lows…

Nevertheless, NAR finds the usual scapegoat: not lack of affordability as a result of record high prices…

The median existing-home price for all housing types in August was $253,500, up 5.6 percent from August 2016 ($240,000). August’s price increase marks the 66th straight month of year-over-year gains.

 

… and wage growth that is less than 50% this increase, but rather Inventory. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the slump in existing sales stretched into August despite what remains a solid level of demand for buying a home.

“Steady employment gains, slowly rising incomes and lower mortgage rates generated sustained buyer interest all summer long, but unfortunately, not more home sales,” he said.

 

“What’s ailing the housing market and continues to weigh on overall sales is the inadequate levels of available inventory and the upward pressure it’s putting on prices in several parts of the country. Sales have been unable to break out because there are simply not enough homes for sale.”

Yun tries to blame Hurricane Harvey

“Some of the South region’s decline in closings can be attributed to the devastation Hurricane Harvey caused to the greater Houston area. Sales will be impacted the rest of the year in Houston, as well as in the most severely affected areas in Florida from Hurricane Irma. However, nearly all of the lost activity will likely show up in 2018.”

But that is wrong since the closings represented in this data occurred before Harvey hit.

In all fairness, later in the release Yun did touch on what is really going on:

“Market conditions continue to be stressful and challenging for both prospective first-time buyers and homeowners looking to trade up,” said Yun. “The ongoing rise in home prices is straining the budgets of some of these would-be buyers, and what is available for sale is moving off the market quickly because supply remains minimal in the lower- and mid-price ranges.”

Some other details:

  • Properties typically stayed on the market for 30 days in August, which is unchanged from July and down from 36 days a year ago. Fifty-one percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month
  • First-time buyers were 31 percent of sales in August, which is down from 33 percent in July and is the lowest share since last August (also 31 percent).
  • All-cash sales were 20 percent of transactions in August, up from 19 percent in July but down from 22 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 15 percent of homes in August, up from 13 percent in July and 12 percent a year ago.

Regional breakdown:

  • August existing-home sales in the Northeast jumped 10.8 percent to an annual rate of 720,000, and are now 1.4 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $289,500, which is 5.6 percent above August 2016.
  • In the Midwest, existing-home sales rose 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.28 million in August, and are now 0.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $200,500, up 5.0 percent from a year ago.
  • Existing-home sales in the South decreased 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 2.15 million in August, and are now 0.9 percent lower than a year ago. The median price in the South was $220,400, up 5.4 percent from a year ago.
  • Existing-home sales in the West fell 4.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.20 million in August, but are still 0.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $374,700, up 7.7 percent from August 2016.

At least expensive homes are selling like hotcakes:

Finally, as we noted previously, for those who need simplicity – here is the performance of US Homebuilder stocks relative to the performance of US housing market data…

So, why bother looking at the housing data at all?

end

 

Hey Janet:  the economy is just rolling along with vigour as Ford idles a huge 5 North American plants in the wake of slumping car sales./no hurricane jump in sales to replace damaged cars??

 

(courtesy Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk)

 

What, No Hurricane Bounce? Ford Idles 5 North American Plants In Wake Of Slumping Car Sales

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

As initially reported by the Census Department, motor vehicle sales were up 1.2% in July following a 0.9% gain in June. At the time, I commented, “This is unbelievably bizarre in the face of actual auto sales reports.”

The Census Bureau revised sales estimates much lower in September as noted in Retail Sales Unexpectedly Decline, Huge Negative Revisions in June and July: Reflections on “Bizarre” Sales Reports.

Today we learn Ford to cut production at five North American vehicle plants due to rising inventory and slumping sales.

Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday it plans to idle five North American vehicle assembly plants for a total of 10 weeks to reduce inventories of slow-selling models.

 

The plants affected include three assembly plants in the United States and two in Mexico, the company said in a statement.

 

The vehicle models include the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ midsize sedans, the Ford Focus compact car, the Lincoln Continental and Ford Mustang, Ford Fiesta and the Ford Transit van.

 

The factories involved employ more than 15,000 people,according to Ford’s website. The company did not say how many of those workers would face temporary layoffs.

Ford Inventory Numbers

  • 111 days’ supply of unsold Mustangs
  • 87 days’ supply of Fusions
  • 103 days’ supply of Transit vans
  • 162 days’ supply of Lincoln Continentals

Automakers aim for 65 to 70 days of inventory of most models.

Note that production cuts are on the way despite the expected bounce in sales due to hurricane damage

 

end

Trump continues tweeting on the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill  of Obamacare.  They have no support from the democrats so they need all the Republicans to repeal.  It will be close

 

(courtesy zero hedge)

Trump Slams Rand Paul As “Negative Force” On Fixing Healthcare; Paul Immediately Responds

Now that hopes for a bipartisan deal to fix Obamacare are dead and the Republicans are pushing on with a last-minute scramble to repeal Obamacare ahead of a Sept. 30 legislative deadline in hopes third time will be the charm, on Wednesday morning just after 8am, President Trump slammed Sen. Rand Paul for being a “negative force” on health care.

Rand Paul is a friend of mine but he is such a negative force when it comes to fixing healthcare. Graham-Cassidy Bill is GREAT! Ends Ocare!” Trump tweeted adding “I hope Republican Senators will vote for Graham-Cassidy and fulfill their promise to Repeal & Replace ObamaCare. Money direct to States!”

Rand Paul is a friend of mine but he is such a negative force when it comes to fixing healthcare. Graham-Cassidy Bill is GREAT! Ends Ocare!

I hope Republican Senators will vote for Graham-Cassidy and fulfill their promise to Repeal & Replace ObamaCare. Money direct to States!

Previously Paul had called the bill from Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy “ObamaCare lite” and said he wouldn’t support it.  The Graham-Cassidy bill seeks to give more power to states by converting money currently spent on ObamaCare’s subsidies and Medicaid expansion into a block grant to states.

Paul wasted no time in responding to Trump’s accusation, and just moments later responded that “#GrahamCassidy is amnesty for Obamacare. It keeps it, it does not repeal it. I will keep working with the President for real repeal.”

 is amnesty for Obamacare. It keeps it, it does not repeal it. I will keep working with the President for real repeal.

According to the Hill, earlier this week, Paul expressed concern that the Republicans’ latest attempt to repeal ObamaCare might pass.

“There’s a big groundswell of people pushing for this,” Paul told Reporters on Monday. “Two weeks ago, I’d have said zero [chance it’ll pass], but now I’m worried.”

He said the bill “does not look, smell or even sound like repeal” and “I’m kind of surprised this has been resurrected because I don’t think it has been fully thought through.” He also said the bill exists “mostly to take money from four Democratic states and redistribute it to Republican states.”

However, just like during the last two failed attempts to repeal Obamacare, it will not be up to Paul but senators John McCain and Lisa Murkowski who will decide the fate of the Republicans latest ObamaCare repeal effort. The two were among the three Republicans, along with Sen. Susan Collins who sunk the last GOP effort to repeal ObamaCare.

With Paul saying he is voting no and Collins thought to be a likely opponent, the bill would need both McCain and Murkowski to vote yes to pass.

* * *

As a reminder, efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare sprung back with considerable momentum on Monday (after two failed attempts) as several lawmakers expressed support for a new repeal and replace bill, spearheaded by Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La. Introduced last week, Graham described the bill as Republicans’ last hope for rolling back President Barack Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act.

“If you believe repealing and replacing Obamacare is a good idea, this is your best and only chance to make it happen,” said Graham last week at a press conference. The bill is also sponsored by Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

With 52 Republican Senators in Congress, the Graham-Cassidy bill can only afford to lose two Republican votes.

* * *

Here, courtesy of ABC, is what to know about the proposal:

The Graham-Cassidy plan

The Graham-Cassidy plan proposes distributing some federal funding currently available under the Affordable Care Act directly to states in the form of block grants. From 2020 to 2026, states would receive a set amount of federal funding to be used at their discretion for health care coverage, but cost-sharing subsidies the federal government pays to insurance companies to lower the cost of some plans on the individual insurance markets and money some states receives to expand their Medicaid rolls would go away.

The 31 states that applied for Medicaid expansion funding under the Affordable Care Act would see that money rolled back and eventually cut off. Graham and Cassidy say their plan would help balance Medicaid funding across the country, but Democrats say states with large Medicaid populations would struggle to provide coverage to their populations. Spending on Medicaid would be done per capita, meaning that less populous states like Maine and Alaska–home to two Senators currently on the fence about the plan–might struggle to foot the bill.

The plan would repeal two key parts of Obamacare, the individual and employer mandates, and states could apply for waives to alter what counts as an “essential health benefit” for insurance companies as they design their plan options. In addition, states could obtain waivers so that insurance companies could charge people with some pre-existing conditions more for some plans in their states. That practice is prohibited under current law. While insurers would likely still have to offer people with pre-existing plans choices, they could potentially limit coverage options as well under the proposed bill.

Graham-Cassidy would also allow people over the age of 30 to buy into catastrophic coverage plans, which have high deductibles but lower premiums and less benefits, as a way to get more healthy people covered. The bill would also allow insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more than younger Americans. Obamacare taxes unpopular with Republicans, like the medical device tax, and tax on health savings accounts would also be repealed.

* * *

When will Congress vote?

McConnell assured Graham and Cassidy a vote would be scheduled with the condition that the Senators drum up the 50 votes needed to pass the bill. Republican leadership is hard at work trying to convince a small–but undecided–group to commit their support to the legislation. McCain has raised procedural concerns over the bill, saying he is hesitant to support any legislation that has not been scrutinized in committee hearings.

“Why did — why did Obamacare fail? Obamacare was rammed through with Democrats’ votes only. Are we going to ram through our proposal with Democrats and the president? That’s not the way to do it,” said McCain on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

McCain is one of a handful of Senators, including Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Shelley Moore Capito, R. W.Va., and Rob Portman, R- Ohio, who have not indicated their support for the bill. Some have appeared to scrap repeal efforts altogether in favor of working towards the small, bipartisan solutions for the individual insurance market that have been introduced in hearings with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has remained strongly opposed to the Graham-Cassidy bill, even calling it “Obamacare-lite.” With one Senator already voting no, Republicans cannot afford to lose more than one more vote. A primary roadblock for Graham and Cassidy has been the Congressional Budget Office, or C.B.O. The C.B.O. announced on Monday that while it plans to offer a “preliminary assessment” of the bill, it will not be able to provide a full score of the bill for “at least a few weeks.” The C.B.O. score indicates how much the legislation will affect the government’s deficit and is needed for the Senate to vote.

Graham pleaded for the C.B.O. to expedite its scoring process so he can present cost estimates to Senate colleagues before Sept. 30. But Democrats say the Senate should not vote on the legislation unless a full–not preliminary–score is released.

* * *

The political battle ahead

Ryan called Graham-Cassidy, “our best, last chance to get repeal and replace” on Monday at an event in Wisconsin. And Republican leaders, sensing an opportunity to knock down key parts of Obamacare, are moving full speed ahead with the bill. Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey endorsed the bill on Monday, adding extra pressure for McCain to support a bill written by one of his closest allies and friends in the Senate. In an interview with ABC News, Collins said she is still undecided. “I’m leaning no certainly, but I am still evaluating the bill and its text. We hadn’t had it for very long and it’s difficult to do without the assistance of the Congressional Budget Office.” Democrats say those cuts to Medicaid are unacceptable, with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Ct., tweeting that Graham-Cassidy “is an intellectual and moral garbage truck fire.”

end

 

 

Paul Manafort now calls on the Dept of Justice to release all of his intercepted phone calls and demands an investigation into the leaks Surprisingly, Jeff Sessions is twiddling his thumbs in inactivity

 

(courtesy zero hedge)

Manafort Calls On DOJ To Release His Intercepted Phone Calls; Demands Investigation Of Leaks

Less than 24 hours after CNN triggered the latest outbreak of ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ by relaying information from anonymous sources that Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manfort has been under surveillance by the FBI since 2014, Manafort has fired back by calling on the Department of Justice to release all transcripts of his tapped phone calls so that the American public “can come to the same conclusion as the DOJ — there is nothing there.”  Per the Daily Caller:

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is calling on the Justice Department to release transcripts of any intercepted communications he may have had with foreigners.

 

Manafort, a longtime Republican political consultant, also called on the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate the leak of details of secret surveillance warrants obtained by U.S. investigators.

 

“Mr. Manafort requests that the Department of Justice release any intercepts involving him and any non-Americans so interested parties can come to the same conclusion as the DOJ — there is nothing there,” Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement.

Manafort’s spokesman goes on to demand that the DOJ launch an immediate investigation into who continues to commit federal felonies with reckless abandon by leaking details of confidential FISA warrants to the media.

Whether or not Manafort committed a crime — and he has not been charged with anything — the leak of information about FISA warrants is a federal crime, Maloni noted in his statement.

 

“If true, it is a felony to reveal the existence of a FISA warrant, regardless of the fact that no charges ever emerged,” Maloni said.

 

Information about FISA warrants is classified and tightly held by government officials and the federal judges that approve them. Unauthorized disclosures of FISA information is also a felony.

 

At a House Intelligence Committee hearing in March, then-FBI Director James Comey testified that the leak of FISA information is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

 

In his statement, Maloni called on the Justice Department’s watchdog to “immediately” open an investigation into the leak and to “examine the motivations behind the previous Administration’s effort to surveil a political opponent.”

Manafort

Of course, this was all triggered by CNN‘s ‘bombshell’ story last night which revealed that Manafort has been under an ongoing wiretap, approved by the FISA courts, going back to 2014 and tied to his consulting arrangements with Ukraine’s former ruling party.

That said, the interesting part of CNN’s story came via the revelation that “surveillance [of Manafort] was discontinued at some point last year for lack of evidence” but was then restarted with a “new FISA warrant that extended at least into early this year”all of which sounds an awful lot like the Obama administration using FISA courts to spy on a political opponent. 

Here are the details as presented by CNN:

US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.

 

The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.

 

Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive.

 

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is leading the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the election, has been provided details of these communications.

 

A secret order authorized by the court that handles the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) began after Manafort became the subject of an FBI investigation that began in 2014. It centered on work done by a group of Washington consulting firms for Ukraine’s former ruling party,the sources told CNN.

 

The surveillance was discontinued at some point last year for lack of evidence, according to one of the sources.

 

The FBI then restarted the surveillance after obtaining a new FISA warrant that extended at least into early this year.

All of which has led many people to question throughout the day whether the Obama administration, as Trump suggested back in March, did intentionally spy on his campaign using FISA warrants.

Certainly these two tweets from CNN’s Jake Tapper would seem to be somewhat contradictory:

Tapper’s initial reaction from March 2017 to Trump’s claim that the Obama administration wiretapped his campaign:

POTUS makes wild accusation w/zero evidence
WH searches for evidence & cant find any
WH tells Congress to find evidence/no further comment

 

Tapper’s follow-up tweet from last night:

US government wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman – CNNPolitics http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/18/politics/paul-manafort-government-wiretapped-fisa-russians/index.html 

Photo published for US government wiretapped Trump campaign chair

US government wiretapped Trump campaign chair

US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN.

cnn.com

end

Finally we get mainstream media reporting on the truth:  The Wall Street Journal is now demanding to how how the FBI meddled in the 2016 elections:  How they paid for a faulty dossier on Trump!!  and did the FBI get a FISA warrant using the faulty dossier…  and who ordered the wiretapping on Manafort and who leaks what…

very important..

 

(courtesy WallStreet Journal Editorial Board/)

“Extraordinary & Worrisome” – Wall Street Journal Demands To Know How FBI ‘Meddled’ In 2016 Elections

Via The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board,

Congress needs to learn how the FBI meddled in the 2016 campaign.

When Donald Trump claimed in March that he’d had his “wires tapped” prior to the election, the press and Obama officials dismissed the accusation as a fantasy. We were among the skeptics, but with former director James Comey’s politicized FBIthe story is getting more complicated.

CNN reported Monday that the FBI obtained a warrant last year to eavesdrop on Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager from May to August in 2016. The story claims the FBI first wiretapped Mr. Manafort in 2014 while investigating his work as a lobbyist for Ukraine’s ruling party. That warrant lapsed, but the FBI convinced the court that administers the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to issue a second order as part of its probe into Russian meddling in the election.

Guess who has lived in a condo in Trump Tower since 2006? Paul Manafort.

The story suggests the monitoring started in the summer or fall, and extended into early this year.

While Mr. Manafort resigned from the campaign in August, he continued to speak with Candidate Trump.

It is thus highly likely that the FBI was listening to the political and election-related conversations of a leading contender for the White House.

That’s extraordinary – and worrisome.

Mr. Comey told Congress in late March that he “had no information that supports those [Trump] tweets.”

 

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was even more specific that “there was no such wiretap activity mounted against—the President-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign.”

 

He denied that any such FISA order existed.

Were they lying?

The warrant’s timing may also shed light on the FBI’s relationship to the infamous “ Steele dossier.” That widely discredited dossier claiming ties between Russians and the Trump campaign was commissioned by left-leaning research firm Fusion GPS and developed by former British spy Christopher Steele—who relied on Russian sources. But the Washington Post and others have reported that Mr. Steele was familiar to the FBI, had reached out to the agency about his work, and had even arranged a deal in 2016 to get paid by the FBI to continue his research.

The FISA court sets a high bar for warrants on U.S. citizens, and presumably even higher for wiretapping a presidential campaign. Did Mr. Comey’s FBI marshal the Steele dossier to persuade the court?

All of this is reason for House and Senate investigators to keep exploring how Mr. Comey’s FBI was investigating both presidential campaigns.

Russian meddling is a threat to democracy but so was the FBI if it relied on Russian disinformation to eavesdrop on a presidential campaign. The Justice Department and FBI have stonewalled Congressional requests for documents and interviews, citing the “integrity” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

But Mr. Mueller is not investigating the FBI, and in any event his ties to the bureau and Mr. Comey make him too conflicted for such a job. Congress is charged with providing oversight of law enforcement and the FISA courts, and it has an obligation to investigate their role in 2016. The intelligence committees have subpoena authority and the ability to hold those who don’t cooperate in contempt.

Mr. Comey investigated both leading presidential campaigns in an election year, playing the role of supposedly impartial legal authority. But his maneuvering to get Mr. Mueller appointed, and his leaks to the press, have shown that Mr. Comey is as political and self-serving as anyone in Washington.

No investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 campaign will be credible or complete without the facts about all Mr. Comey’s wiretaps.

end

Guess who invited Putin to “Pay for Play” event at the Clinton Foundation..you guessed it: Hillary with new found emails

 

(courtesy Mac Slavo/SHFTPlan)

Russian Collusion? New Emails Reveal Hillary Clinton Invited Putin To “Pay For Play” Event

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

In newly released emails which the mainstream media is willfully ignoring, Hillary Clinton invited Russian president Vladimir Putin to a Clinton Foundation event. The Russian collusion between Hillary Clinton is becoming very apparent.

Hillary Clinton likes to talk a tough game about Russian President Vladimir Putin. And she likes to put him on the list of those at fault for her loss in the election last November to Donald Trump. But that didn’t stop her from inviting him and other top Russian officials to a Clinton Foundation gala right after she became Secretary of State.

Clinton Foundation director of foreign policy Amitabh Desai sent dozens of invitations to world leaders including then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and Former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, emails recently obtained by Judicial Watch revealed.

While Democrats blast any Republican who has the nerve to even look Russia’s direction, Hillary and her minions in the Clinton Foundation were begging the Russians to come to an event put on by the “pay for play” organization.

Hillary offered political favors in exchange for money filtered through the Clinton Foundation.

On March 13, 2009, Desai emailed the list of invitations to Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro, who then forwarded the email to top Clinton aide, Jake Sullivan. This happened at approximately the same time that the newly appointed Clinton tried to “reset” U.S. relations with Russia. Yet, Donald Trump has been blasted for trying to do the same thing. The propaganda in the media is becoming clear as they continue to brush this story under the rug too.

Hillary Clinton repeatedly attacked Putin during her 2016 presidential campaign and often tried to link president Donald Trump to the Russian leader. Clinton and her staff, with help from Barack Obama and the media also allegedly concocted the “Russian hacking” narrative within 24-hours of her election defeat, as documented in the Clinton campaign tell-all book, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign:

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up.

 

For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.

Clinton’s public display of contempt for Putin does not match her track record of how she interacted with the Russian leader in the past as controversy swirled following a uranium deal she approved while at the State Department. The deal was quickly followed by a massive donation to her foundation, proving the “pay for play” policy she herself used to become wealthy.

“One year after inviting Putin to the Clinton Foundation event, she approved the sale of 20% of America’s uranium capacity to Russia,”Conservative Review noted.

 

“Shortly thereafter, donors connected to the company that was sold to Russia contributed $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

These newly released emails simply prove what most already knew – Hillary Clinton’s collusion with Russia is far deeper than Donald Trump’s.

end

that about does it for tonight

To all our Jewish friends out there, we wish you a very happy and healthy New Year

I will see you THURSDAY  night

Harvey.

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