Dec 27/Gold up $5.05 rising $1288.00/silver up 17 cents up to $16.71/GOLD EFP’S TRANSFER TO LONDON 2056 CONTRACTS/SILVER TRANSFERS; 840 CONTRACTS/MANHATTAN APARTMENT PRICES CRASHING DUE TO NEW TAX LAW/MORE SWAMP STORIES/

 

GOLD: $1288.00 up $5.05

Silver: $16.71 up 17 cents

Closing access prices:

Gold $1288.50

silver: $16.73

For comex gold:

DECEMBER/

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR DECEMBER CONTRACT: 33 NOTICE(S) FOR 3300 OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 9056 FOR 905,600 OZ (28.30 TONNES),

For silver:

DECEMBER

8 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

40,000 OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 6403 for 32,015,000 oz

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Bitcoin: BID $15,775/OFFER $15,900 up $98 (morning)

BITCOIN : BID $14,994/OFFER $15,099 /DOWN $709 CLOSING

 

end

 JUST TO LET YOU KNOW THAT OTC OPTIONS EXPIRE THIS FRIDAY WHICH ALSO CORRESPONDS TO FIRST DAY NOTICE FOR THE JANUARY CONTRACT FOR BOTH GOLD AND SILVER.  JANUARY IS A POOR DELIVERY MONTH FOR BOTH OF OUR METALS AND JANUARY IS ALSO NON ACTIVE FOR BOTH.

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest SURPRISINGLY FELL BY A CONSIDERABLE 1462 contracts from 201,783 FALLING TO 200,321 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S GOOD 17 CENT RISE IN SILVER PRICING. WE  HAD SOME COMEX LIQUIDATION AND WITHOUT A DOUBT WE MUST HAVE HAD SOME BANK SHORT- COVERING. HOWEVER, WE WERE AGAIN NOTIFIED THAT WE HAD ANOTHER FAIR SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: A RESPECTABLE 840 EFP’S FOR MARCH (AND ZERO FOR DEC AND OTHER MONTHS) AND THUS TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 840 CONTRACTS. HOWEVER THE MOVEMENT ACROSS TO LONDON IS NOT AS SEVERE AS IN GOLD AS THERE SEEMS TO BE A MAJOR PLAYER TAKING ON THE BANKS AT THE COMEX. STILL, WITH THE TRANSFER OF 840 CONTRACTS, WHAT THE CME IS STATING IS THAT THERE IS NO SILVER (OR GOLD) TO BE DELIVERED UPON AT THE COMEX AS THEY MUST EXPORT THEIR OBLIGATION TO LONDON. YESTERDAY WITNESSED 1760 EFP’S FOR SILVER ISSUED. ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE CAN BE A DELAY OF 24 HRS IN THE ISSUING OF EFP’S. I BELIEVE THAT WE MUST HAVE HAD SOME BANKER SHORT COVERING

ACCUMULATION FOR EFP’S/SILVER/ STARTING FROM FIRST DAY NOTICE/FOR MONTH OF DECEMBER:

45,351 CONTRACTS (FOR 18 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 45,351 CONTRACTS OR 226.755 MILLION OZ: AVERAGE PER DAY: 2,550 CONTRACTS OR 12.750 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF THE SIZE OF “PHYSICAL” TRANSFERRED TO LONDON: 222.755 MILLION OZ/700 MILLION OZ (EX CHINA EX RUSSIA) = 31.8% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL SILVER PRODUCTION

RESULT: A CONSIDERABLE SIZED LOSS IN OI COMEX DESPITE THE GOOD 18 CENT RISE IN SILVER PRICE WHICH INDICATES SOME BANKER SHORT-COVERING. WE HAD SOME COMEX SILVER LIQUIDATION . WE ALSO HAD A FAIR SIZED SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 840 CONTRACTS WHICH EXITED OUT OF THE SILVER COMEX AND TRANSFERRED THEIR OI TO LONDON AS FORWARDS: FROM THE CME DATA 840 EFP’S WERE ISSUED TODAY (FOR MARCH EFP’S) FOR A DELIVERABLE CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS. WE REALLY LOST 582 OI CONTRACTS i.e. 840 open interest contracts headed for London (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A DECREASE OF 1462 OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH THE RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER BY 18 CENTS AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $16.54 WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING. YET WE STILL HAVE A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX.

In ounces AT THE COMEX, the OI is still represented by just OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.001 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 143% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT DECEMBER MONTH/ THEY FILED: 8 NOTICE(S) FOR 40,000 OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest ROSE BY A SMALL SIZED 313 CONTRACTS UP TO 456,470 DESPITE THE GOOD SIZED RISE IN PRICE OF GOLD WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING ($7.10). HOWEVER, THE TOTAL NUMBER OF GOLD EFP’S ISSUED YESTERDAY FOR TODAY TOTALED  2056 CONTRACTS OF WHICH THE MONTH OF DECEMBER SAW 0 CONTRACTS AND FEB SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 2056 CONTRACTS. The new OI for the gold complex rests at 456,470. DEMAND FOR GOLD INTENSIFIES GREATLY AS WE CONTINUE TO WITNESS A HUGE NUMBER OF EFP TRANSFERS TOGETHER WITH THE MASSIVE AMOUNT OF GOLD OUNCES STANDING FOR DECEMBER. EVEN THOUGH THE BANKERS ISSUED THESE MONSTROUS EFPS, THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS TO SUPPLY METAL BUT IT TRANSFERS THE RISK TO A LONDON BANKER OBLIGATION AND NOT A NEW YORK COMEX OBLIGATION. LONGS RECEIVE A FIAT BONUS TOGETHER WITH A LONG LONDON FORWARD. THUS, BY THESE ACTIONS, THE BANKERS AT THE COMEX HAVE JUST STATED THAT THEY HAVE NO APPRECIABLE METAL!! THIS IS A MASSIVE FRAUD: THEY CANNOT SUPPLY ANY METAL TO OUR COMEX LONGS BUT THEY ARE QUITE WILLING TO SUPPLY MASSIVE NON BACKED GOLD (AND SILVER) PAPER KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE NO METAL TO SATISFY OUR LONGS. LONDON IS NOW SEVERELY BACKWARD IN BOTH GOLD AND SILVER AND WE ARE WITNESSING DELAYS IN ACTUAL DELIVERIES. IN ESSENCE WE HAVE A GOOD GAIN OF 2369 OI CONTRACTS: 313 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX AND A GOOD SIZED 2056 OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON.

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 9906 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S/ GOLD(EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER STARTING WITH FIRST DAY NOTICE: 203,067 CONTRACTS OR 20.3067 MILLION OZ OR 631.41 TONNES (18 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 11,280 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 1.1271 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE AMOUNT OF “PHYSICAL’ TRANSFERRED: SO FAR 671 TONNES/2200 TONNES ) = 30.50% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF GOLD. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE AND EXPLAINS FULLY THE FRAUD!!

Result: A SMALL SIZED INCREASE IN OI DESPITE THE GOOD SIZED RISE IN PRICE IN GOLD TRADING ON YESTERDAY ($7.10). WE HAD A GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 2056. THERE OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT SEEM TO BE MUCH PHYSICAL GOLD AT THE COMEX AND YET WE REACHED THE HUGE DELIVERY MONTH OF DECEMBER. I GUESS IT EXPLAINS THE HUGE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S…THERE IS HARDLY ANY GOLD PRESENT AT THE GOLD COMEX FOR DELIVERY PURPOSES. IF YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE 2056 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A NET GAIN IN OPEN INTEREST OF 2369 contracts:

2056 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND  313 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (in tonnes, the gain in total oi equates to 11.7 TONNES)

we had: 33 notice(s) filed upon for 3300 oz of gold.

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

GLD:

Today, NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD

 

Inventory rests tonight: 837.50 tonnes.

SLV/

THIS MAKES A LOT OF SENSE: SILVER UP 17 CENTS AGAIN TODAY:

ANOTHER CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 802,000 OZ

INVENTORY RESTS AT 324.710 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 CONSIDERABLE SIZED 1462 contracts from 201,783 DOWN TO 200,321 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) DESPITE THE GOOD SIZED RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER TO THE TUNE OF 17 CENTS ON YESTERDAY . HOWEVER,OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE ANOTHER 840 PRIVATE EFP’S FOR MARCH (WE DO NOT GET A LOOK AT THESE CONTRACTS AS IT IS PRIVATE BUT THE CFTC DOES AUDIT THEM). EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON. WE HAD ZERO COMEX SILVER COMEX LIQUIDATION. BUT, IF WE TAKE THE OI LOSS AT THE COMEX OF 1462 CONTRACTS TO THE 840 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S WE OBTAIN A LOSS OF 582 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS, AS WE MUST HAVE HAD SOME BANKER SHORT COVERING. WE STILL HAVE A HUGE AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES THAT ARE STANDING FOR METAL IN DECEMBER (SEE BELOW). THE NET LOSS TODAY IN OZ: 2.910 MILLION OZ!!!

RESULT: A SMALL SIZED DECREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX DESPITE THE GOOD SIZED RISE OF 18 CENTS IN PRICE (WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING). BUT WE ALSO HAD ANOTHER 840 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON . TOGETHER WITH THE HUGE AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR DECEMBER, DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL SILVER INTENSIFIES

(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

 

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

i)North Korea

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

3 c CHINA

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

7. OIL ISSUES

8. EMERGING MARKET

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

10. USA stories which will influence the price of gold/silver

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest ROSE BY A SMALL 313 CONTRACTS UP to an OI level of 456,470 DESPITE THE GOOD SIZED RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($7.10 GAIN WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING). WE NOT ONLY HAD ZERO COMEX GOLD LIQUIDATION BUT WE ALSO HAVE ANOTHER  GAIN IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST AS WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD COMEX TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS. THE CME REPORTS THAT 0 EFPS WERE ISSUED FOR DECEMBER AND 2036 EFP’S WERE ISSUED FOR FEBRUARY FOR A TOTAL OF 2036 CONTRACTS. THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS ON THESE TRANSFERS.

ON A NET BASIS IN OPEN INTEREST WE GAINED TODAY: 2,369 OI CONTRACTS IN THAT 2036 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE GAINED 313 COMEX CONTRACTS. NET GAIN: 2,369 contracts OR 236,900 OZ OR 7.368 TONNES

Result: AN SMALL SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OPEN INTEREST WITH THE GOOD RISE IN THE PRICE OF YESTERDAY’S GOLD TRADING ($7.10.) WE HAD NO GOLD LIQUIDATION ANYWHERE. TOTAL OPEN INTEREST GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 2369 OI CONTRACTS…

We have now entered the active contract month of DECEMBER. The open interest for the front month of December saw it’s open interest FALL by 26 contracts DOWN to 120. We had 44 notices filed upon yesterday so we GAINED 18 COMEX contracts or an additional 1800 oz will  stand for delivery AT THE COMEX in this active delivery month of December , AS QUEUE JUMPING INTENSIFIES

January saw its open interest LOSE 127 contracts DOWN to 860. FEBRUARY saw a LOSS of 116 contacts DOWN to 331,420

We had 33 notice(s) filed upon today for 3300 oz

PRELIMINARY VOLUME TODAY ESTIMATED; 126,412

FINAL NUMBERS CONFIRMED FOR YESTERDAY: 207,169

comex gold volumes are slowing down

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total silver OI FALL BY A CONSIDERABLE 1462 CONTRACTS FROM 201,783 UP TO 200,321 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S GOOD 18 CENT RISE IN PRICE WHICH SEEMS TO INDICATE WE HAD ANOTHER ROUND OF BANKER SHORT-COVERING.  HOWEVER, WE DID HAVE ANOTHER MEDIUM SIZED 840 EMERGENCY EFP’S FOR MARCH ISSUED BY OUR BANKERS (ZERO FOR DECEMBER) TO COMEX LONGS WHO RECEIVED A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON.THE TOTAL EFP’S ISSUED: 840. IT SURE LOOKS LIKE THE SILVER BOYS HAVE STARTED TO MIGRATE TO LONDON FROM THE START OF DELIVERY MONTH AND CONTINUING RIGHT THROUGH UNTIL FIRST DAY NOTICE JUST LIKE WE ARE WITNESSING TODAY. USUALLY WE NOTED THAT CONTRACTION IN OI OCCURRED ONLY DURING THE LAST WEEK OF AN UPCOMING ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH. THIS PROCESS HAS JUST BEGUN IN EARNEST IN SILVER STARTING IN SEPTEMBER. HOWEVER, IN GOLD, WE HAVE BEEN WITNESSING THIS FOR THE PAST 2 YEARS. WE HAD CONSIDERABLE LONG COMEX SILVER LIQUIDATION AS WELL AS TOTAL SILVER OI LIQUIDATION AS IT SEEMS THAT WE ARE HAVING SOME BANKER SHORT-COVERING. WE ARE ALSO WITNESSING A HUGE AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR COMEX METAL IN DECEMBER AS WELL AS THAT CONTINUAL MIGRATION OF EFPS OVER TO LONDON. ON A PERCENTAGE BASIS THERE ARE MORE EFP’S ISSUED FOR GOLD THAN SILVER AS IT SEEMS THAT A MAJOR PLAYER WISHES TO TAKE ON THE CROOKED COMEX SHORTS. ON A NET BASIS WE LOST 582 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS:

1462 CONTRACTS LOSS AT THE COMEX WITH THE ADDITION OF 840 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET LOSS: 582 CONTRACTS

We are now in the big active delivery month of December and here the OI GAIN by 24 contracts UP to 232. We had 0 notices filed ON YESTERDAY so we GAINED 24 contract or an additional 120,000 oz will  stand in this active COMEX delivery month of December QUEUE jumping intensifies

The January contract month FELL by 687 contracts DOWN to 688. February saw a gain OF 24 OI contract RISING TO 83. The March contract LOST 1023 contracts DOWN to 159,589.

We had 8 notice(s) filed for 40,000 oz for the DECEMBER 2017 contracts

INITIAL standings for DECEMBER

Dec 27/2017.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
N/A oz
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz
nil oz
No of oz served (contracts) today
33 notice(s)
3300 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
87 contracts
(8700 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
9056 notices
905600 oz
28.30 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 xxx oz
I CANNOT RETRIEVE COMEX DATA MOVEMENTS

For DECEMBER:
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 33 contract(s) of which 8 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 1 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account.

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To calculate the INITIAL total number of gold ounces standing for the DECEMBER. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (9056) x 100 oz or 905,600 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of DEC. (120 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (33 x 100 oz per contract) equals 914,300 oz, the number of ounces standing in this active month of DECEMBER

 

Thus the INITIAL standings for gold for the DECEMBER contract month:

No of notices served (9056) x 100 oz or ounces + {(120)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (33) x 100 oz which equals 914,300 oz standing in this active delivery month of DECEMBER (28.402 tonnes). THERE IS 33.29 TONNES OF REGISTERED GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY SO FAR.

WE GAINED 18 COMEX CONTRACTS STANDING OR AN ADDITIONAL 1800 OZ WILL  STAND AT THE COMEX AND QUEUE JUMPING INTENSIFIES

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ON FIRST DAY NOTICE FOR DECEMBER 2016, THE INITIAL GOLD STANDING: 39.038 TONNES STANDING

BY THE END OF THE MONTH: FINAL: 29.791 TONNES STOOD FOR COMEX DELIVERY AS THE REMAINDER HAD TRANSFERRED OVER TO LONDON FORWARDS.

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Total dealer inventory 1,070,309.229 or 33.29 tonnes (dealer gold continues to disappear)
Total gold inventory (dealer and customer) = 9,143,181.135 or 284.39 tonnes

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 14 MONTHS 70 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE DECEMBER DELIVERY MONTH

DECEMBER INITIAL standings

Dec 27/ 2017
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
N/A oz
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil
oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
N/A oz
Scotia
No of oz served today (contracts)
8
CONTRACT(S)
(40,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
224 contract
(1,120,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 6403 contracts

(32,015,000 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

CANNOT RETRIEVE COMEX INVENTORY DATA

The total number of notices filed today for the DECEMBER. contract month is represented by 8 contract(s) FOR 40,000 oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in DECEMBER., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 6403 x 5,000 oz = 32,015,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of DEC. (232) and the number of notices served upon today (8x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the DECEMBER contract month: 6403 (notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of DECEMBER(232) -number of notices served upon today (8)x 5000 oz equals 33,135,000 oz of silver standing for the DECEMBER contract month. This is EXCELLENT for this active delivery month of November.

WE GAINED 24 CONTRACTS OR 120,000 additional OZ THAT WILL STAND AT THE COMEX AND QUEUE JUMPING INTENSIFIES.

ON FIRST DAY NOTICE FOR THE DECEMBER 2016 CONTRACT WE HAD 15.282 MILLION OZ STAND.

THE FINAL STANDING: 19.900 MILLION OZ AS QUEUE JUMPING INTENSIFIED.

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ESTIMATED VOLUME FOR TODAY: 41,446

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR FRIDAY: 55,406 CONTRACTS

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 55046 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 275 MILLION OZ OR 38.2% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER

COMMODITY LAW SUGGESTS THAT OPEN INTEREST SHOULD NOT BE MORE THAN 3% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION. THE CROOKS ARE SUPPLYING MASSIVE PAPER TRYING TO KEEP SILVER IN CHECK.

Total dealer silver: 59.182 million
Total number of dealer and customer silver: 240.232 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 1.3 percent to NAV usa funds and Negative 1.3% to NAV for Cdn funds!!!!
Percentage of fund in gold 63.0%
Percentage of fund in silver:36.7%
cash .+.3%( Dec 27/2017)

2. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV RISES TO -1.03% (Dec 26 /2017)??????????????????????????????
3. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV FALLS TO -0.66% to NAV (Dec 26 /2017 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -1.03%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.66%/Central fund of Canada’s is still in jail but being rescued by Sprott.
Sprott WINS hostile 3.1 billion bid to take over Central Fund of Canada

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD

Dec 27/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/ INVENTORY RESTS AT 837.50 TONNES

Dec 26/no change in gold inventory at the GLD

Dec 22/ A DEPOSIT OF 1.48 TONNES OF GOLD INTO GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 837.50 TONNES

Dec 21′ NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 836.02 TONNES

Dec 20/DESPITE THE GOOD ADVANCE IN PRICE TODAY/THE CROOKS RAIDED THE COOKIE JAR TO THE TUNE OF 1.18 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 836.02 TONNES

Dec 19/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 837.20 TONNES

Dec 18 SHOCKINGLY AFTER TWO GOOD GOLD TRADING DAYS, THE CROOKS RAID THE COOKIE JAR BY THE SUM OF 7.09 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 837.20 TONNES

Dec 15/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY/RESTS AT 844.29 TONNES.

Dec 14/a good sized gain of 1.48 tonnes of gold into the GLD/inventory rests at 844.29 tones

Dec 13/no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 842.81 tonnes

Dec 12/SURPRISINGLY NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 842.81 TONNES

Dec 11/SURPRISINGLY NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD DESPITE THE CONSTANT RAIDS ON GOLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 842.81 TONNES

Dec 8/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 842.81 TONNES

Dec 7/A BIG WITHDRAWAL OF 2.66 TONNES FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 842.81 TONNES

Dec 6/No changes in GOLD inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 845.47 tonnes

Dec 5/A WITHDRAWAL OF 2.64 TONNES FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 845.47 TONNES

Dec 4/A MASSIVE DEPOSIT OF 8.56 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD/THE BLEEDING OF GLD GOLD HAS STOPPED/INVENTORY RESTS TONIGHT AT 848.11 TONNES

Dec 1/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 839.55 TONNES

Nov 30/no change in gold inventory at the GLD. Inventory rests at 839.55 tonnes

Nov 29/a withdrawal of 2.66 tonnes at the GLD/Inventory rests at 839.55 tonnes

NOV 28/ no change in gold inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 842.21 tonnes

Nov 27 Strange!! we gold up by $6.40 today, we had a good sized withdrawal of 1.18 tonnes from the GLD. Here is something that is also strange: we have had exactly 1.18 tonnes of gold withdrawn from the comex on 5 separate occasions in the past 30 days..explanation?

Nov 24/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 843.09 tonnes

Nov 22/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 843.39 tonnes

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Dec 27/2017/ Inventory rests tonight at 837.50 tonnes

*IN LAST 299 TRADING DAYS: 103.45 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 234 TRADING DAYS: A NET 53.83 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO GLD INVENTORY.
*FROM FEB 1/2017: A NET 212.72 TONNES HAVE BEEN ADDED.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

Dec 27/WITH SILVER UP AGAIN BY 17 CENTS, WE LOST ANOTHER 802,000 OZ OF SILVER INVENTORY/WHAT CROOKS/INVENTORY RESTS AT 324.780 MILLION OZ/

Dec 26/no change in silver inventory at the SLV./Inventory rests at 325.582

Dec 21/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 326.227 MILLION OZ/

Dec 20/INVENTORY REMAINS CONSTANT AT 326.337 MILLION OZ (COMPARE WITH GLD)

Dec 19/SILVER INVENTORY REMAINS CONSTANT AT 326.337 MILLION OZ

Dec 18.2017//SILVER INVENTORY CONTINUES TO REMAIN PAT./INVENTORY REMAINS AT 326.337 MILLION OZ/

INVENTORY RESTS AT 326.337 TONNES

Dec 15/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 326.337 MILLION OZ/

Dec 14/a small withdrawal of 377,000 oz and that usually means to pay for fees./inventory rests at 326.337 million oz/

Dec 13/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 326.714 million oz/

Dec 12/WOW!ANOTHER STRANGE ONE: SILVER HAS BEEN DOWN FOR 10 CONSECUTIVE DAYS, YET THE SLV ADDS ANOTHER 1.415 MILLION OZ TO ITS INVENTORY. IN THAT 10 DAY PERIOD, SLV ADDS 9.584 MILLION OZ/

INVENTORY RESTS AT 326.714 MILLION OZ

Dec 11/WOW!! ANOTHER STRANGE ONE: SILVER DESPITE BEING DOWN FOR 9 CONSECUTIVE TRADING DAYS ADDS ANOTHER 944,000 OZ TO ITS INVENTORY. FROM NOV 30 UNTIL TODAY SILVER HAS BEEN DOWN EVERY DAY. HOWEVER THE INVENTORY OF SILVER HAS RISEN 8.169 MILLION OZ.

Dec 8/A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 2.642 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 324.355 MILLION OZ/

Dec 7/strange!! with the continual whacking of silver, no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 321.713

Dec 6/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory remains at 21.713 million oz.

Dec 5/THIS ONE HIT ME LIKE A TON OF BRICKS: SLV ADDS 2.507 MILLION OZ DESPITE THE HUGE DRUBBING SILVER TOOK TODAY. (PRICE DISCOVERY?)

Dec 4/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV

INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.207 MILLION OZ/

Dec 1/VERY STRANGE!! WITH SILVER IN THE DUMPSTER THESE PAST FEW DAYS, SLV ADDS 2.076 MILLION OZ/???

INVENTORY 319.207 MILLION OZ/

Nov 30/no changes in silver inventory despite the huge drop in price/inventory rests at 317.130 million oz

Nov 29/no changes in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 317.130 million oz/strange!! at drop of 32 cents and no change in inventory?

Nov 28/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 317.130 million oz.

Nov 27/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY DESPITE A ZERO GAIN IN PRICE /QUITE OPPOSITE TO GOLD WHICH SAW 1.18 TONNES OF GOLD WITHDRAWN DESPITE A RISE IN PRICE OF $6.40

Nov 24/A WITHDRAWAL OF 944,000 OZ OF SILVER FROM THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 317.130 MILLION OZ

Nov 22/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 318.074 million oz.

Dec 27/2017:

Inventory 324.780 million oz

end

6 Month MM GOFO
Indicative gold forward offer rate for a 6 month duration

+ 2.11%
12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.11%
30 day trend

end

A

Major gold/silver trading /commentaries for WEDNESDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

Gold, Bitcoin and the Blockchain Replaces the Banks – Realists Guide To The Future

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Gold, Bitcoin and the Blockchain Replaces the Banks – Realists Guide To The Future

– Futurist guide to 2028 shows a world of uncertainty and disruption
– One scenario suggests cybersecurity attacks will result in bitcoin and blockchain’s dominance of financial systems
– Cybersecurity threat will still loom large and wreak havoc. Gold, silver and other real assets will benefit.
– Adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain will send gold price soaring
– Use of cryptocurrencies to take advantage of world systems will see investors turn to safe havens such as gold bullion and coins

The media is filled with predictions for 2018. Will Trump survive another year? How will Brexit negotiations play out? Can bitcoin recover from its recent fall? What fake news will create the next disruption to the apparent status quo?

No one knows the answers to any of theses questions. If the past year to eighteen months has taught us anything it is that the polls and predictions are almost a waste of time. Arguably it is better to look further into the future and at a range of scenarios so one can consider the opportunities and threats that may lie ahead.

Bloomberg has done just this, with their ‘Pessimists Guide to 2028‘. In it the authors consider eight scenarios. Each scenario could very easily begin to take place in 2018, but the full impact will play out over the following decade.

The scenarios put forth are:

Scenario 1
Trump wins second term

Scenario 2
Fake news kills Facebook

Scenario 3
Bitcoin replaces the banks

Scenario 4
North Korea launches an attack

Scenario 5
Corbyn makes socialism great again

Scenario 6
Generational Warfare Destroys Europe

Scenario 7
China begins a trade war

Scenario 8
Electric Cars end the oil era

Below we bring you the Scenario 3: Bitcoin replaces the banks

Each scenario is deserving of attention in its own right but it is the third one which we believe is the most pertinent and arguably realistic. This is the assumption that bitcoin will replace the banks and gold will benefit. Arguably gold would benefit as a result of many of the scenarios put forward. But, given the interest in bitcoin this year it is an important reminder that both bitcoin’s growth and weaknesses will see gold and other real assets shine.

2018
A U.S. regional lender announces that its systems have been taken down in a cyberattack and all its deposits have vanished. Regulators around the world reassure account holders that their deposits are safe. Bitcoin jumps to $40,000 as deep fears set in about the safety of the financial system. Gold surges too, but by less.


2021
China’s Alibaba adopts its own cryptocurrency for use inside its vast e-commerce network, establishing the mass-market viability of digital money. Following Venezuela’s lead, Greece and a few African countries adopt bitcoin, which hits $100,000.

2023
Rogue coders inside a regulatory-compliance software company inject a Trojan malware program called Worm Hole into scores of banks around the world. Undetected, it siphons data and cash from accounts in fractional increments.
2026
A 10-year-old schoolgirl in Pittsburgh discovers Worm Hole and exposes it on social media, triggering a run on the global banking system. Shares in Old Wall Street crash as major central banks embrace blockchain technology, bypassing the banks, and issue digital money directly to households.
2028
Many commercial lenders break apart. The global financial system gives way to a fragmented patchwork of digital currencies and payment systems dominated by such players as Alipay and Amazon.com. Bitcoin hits $1 million.

In light of this scenario’s end, Bloomberg offers Nightberg’s advice for the investor:

Vanished bank deposits would likely drive a major disbelief in all things digital, even bitcoin. Owning real physical assets, such as gold, luxury real estate for high net worth individuals, artwork, and safety vault producers in general as individuals seek to store more of their wealth within their private residences. The cyber-insurance sector would benefit as the world would scramble to find a solution to decimated trust in the financial sector. Nightberg macro research.

Bloomberg’s analysis and Nightberg’s conclusion bring up a fear which is not just for the future but is a very real one today: cybersecurity attacks. the scenario begins because of a cybersecurity attack and it this issue is still not resolved ten years into the future.

Cyber attacks are not something which can be overcome by cybersecurity. Like any form of attack there will be new approaches and strategies. The year of 2017 has been a very serious wake-up call as to how cyber power can flip the status quo on its head. Consider the apparent meddling by Russia in Western politics or North Korea’s (occasionally successful) attempts to steal bitcoin.

The invisible threat is very much on our doorstep.

This Christmas weekend HMS St Albans was forced to shadow a Russian warship in the North Sea. According to reports the warship was showing interest in ‘areas of national interest’. What is there apart from oil? The UK’s communication cables.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the chief of the UK’s defence staff, has recently expressed concerns over the security of the cables. Should they be cut (or service disrupted) then the damage would “immediately and potentially catastrophically” hit the economy.

Prepare for uncertainty, not the rise of bitcoin 

This weekend’s posturing by the Russians or Bloomberg’s scenario planning should serve as a timely reminder as to what can and will survive such times. Physical gold cannot be made to disappear at the touch of a few buttons or by the cutting of cables.  Should there be a global cyberattack on the financial system, the primary wealth would no longer be primarily digital (bitcoin, cash, stocks and bonds etc).

Gold and silver allocated and segregated bullion is important because of both its tangible nature and its role as a safe haven in times of geopolitical upset. Bitcoin, or any other cryptocurrency, cannot be considered safe when cyberattacks are a daily reality. They are also new and still untrusted by the majority of the system.

When seeking to diversify your portfolio in order to protect from uncertain scenarios you should consider the risks posed to digital gold providers who do not allow clients to interact and trade on the phone and are solely reliant for pricing and liquidity from online portals and online trading platforms.

Those who have outright legal ownership of physical gold and silver coins and bars outside the banking system will be far better prepared for cybersecurity attacks and uncertain times.

You can read more on the other seven scenarios here. Whilst reading them it is worth reminding oneself of how easily the world can change and how uncertain we are as to whether they may or may not happen.

Related reading

http://www.goldcore.com/ie/gold-blog/cyber-wars-crash-markets-threat-hum…

http://www.goldcore.com/us/gold-blog/cyber-attacks-show-vulnerability-di…

http://www.goldcore.com/us/gold-blog/cyberwar-risk-u-s-navy-victim-hacki…

News and Commentary

Gold eases from 3-week top as dollar holds steady (Reuters.com)

Gold Miners ETFs Set to Bounce Back in 2018 (ETFTrends.com)

Bitcoin $1 million, Amazon $1 trillion: Bold calls of 2017 are worth watching now (MarketWatch.com)

Oil prices slip away from 2015 highs, but market remains tight (Reuters.com)

Apple and its suppliers weigh on Wall Street (Reuters.com)


Source: Bloomberg

First English gold coin worth just a penny will sell for unbelievable amount (Mirror.co.uk)

Sudan sharply devalues its pound against U.S. dollar (Xinhuanet.com)

Israeli regulator seeks to ban cryptocurrency firms from stock exchange (Reuters.com)

Let regions go bankrupt, Chinese central bank official says (Bloomberg.com)

World’s Wealthiest Became $1 Trillion Richer in 2017 (Bloomberg.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

27 Dec: USD 1,285.40, GBP 958.78 & EUR 1,081.54 per ounce
22 Dec: USD 1,268.05, GBP 947.74 & EUR 1,069.85 per ounce
21 Dec: USD 1,265.85, GBP 945.97 & EUR 1,065.09 per ounce
20 Dec: USD 1,265.95, GBP 944.27 & EUR 1,068.21 per ounce
19 Dec: USD 1,263.10, GBP 944.93 & EUR 1,070.10 per ounce
18 Dec: USD 1,258.65, GBP 943.11 & EUR 1,067.71 per ounce
15 Dec: USD 1,257.25, GBP 937.41 & EUR 1,065.52 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

27 Dec: USD 16.50, GBP 12.30 & EUR 13.87 per ounce
22 Dec: USD 16.18, GBP 12.08 & EUR 13.65 per ounce
21 Dec: USD 16.15, GBP 12.08 & EUR 13.61 per ounce
20 Dec: USD 16.19, GBP 12.09 & EUR 13.67 per ounce
19 Dec: USD 16.16, GBP 12.08 & EUR 13.68 per ounce
18 Dec: USD 16.09, GBP 12.04 & EUR 13.64 per ounce
15 Dec: USD 15.99, GBP 11.93 & EUR 13.55 per ounce


Recent Market Updates

– Goldnomics Podcast – Gold, Stocks, Bitcoin in 2018. Everything Bubble Bursts?
– What Peak Gold, Interest Rates And Current Geopolitical Tensions Mean For Gold in 2018
– New Rules For Cross-Border Cash and Gold Bullion Movements
– ‘Gold Strengthens Public Confidence In The Central Bank’ – Bundesbank
– WGC: 2018 Set To Be A Positive Year For Price of Gold and Investors
– Year-end Rate Hike Once Again Proves To Be Launchpad For Gold Price
– UK Stagflation Risk As Inflation Hits 3.1% and House Prices Fall
– Buy Gold, Silver Time After Speculators Reduce Longs and Banks Reduce Shorts
– Bitcoin – Plan Your Exit Strategy Now – Maybe With Gold
– Gold Demand Increases Along with Uncertainty Thanks to Trump, Brexit and North Korea
– UK Pensions Risk – Time to Rebalance and Allocate to Cash and Gold
– Bailins Coming In EU – 114 Italian Banks Have NP Loans Exceeding Tangible Assets
– Silver’s Positive Fundamentals Due To Strong Demand In Key Growth Industries

 

Gold Jumps To Key Technical Level As VIX Collapses

Traders are dumping equity protection and buting chaos protection as VIX tumbles near the year’s lows and Gold jumps back towards its 100-day moving average – and its highest level in a month.

 

Gold is up 9 of the last 10 days, at its highest since early Dec and testing its 100DMA… ($1292)

 

And while Bitcoin has stabilized, the divergence between the alt-currencies is closing…

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/9 AM EST

Global Stocks Rise, Copper Soars In Thin Holiday Volumes

 

European stocks are steady in post-Christmas trading if struggling for traction after a mixed session in Asia, amid trading thinned by a holiday-shortened week and ongoing worries about the tech sector; however a strong rally in commodities – including copper and oil – buoyed expectations for a strong 2018 and helped offset concerns over the technology sector triggered by reports of soft iPhone X demand.

U.S. equity futures nudged higher while the dollar weakened against most G-10 peers as investors await the release of U.S. consumer-confidence data, with much of the spotlight falling on commodity currencies. The OZ dollar holds onto gains as copper surges to a three-year high; oil retreats after reaching the highest close in more than two years following a pipeline explosion in Libya on Tuesday. Treasuries and core European core bond yields are a touch lower.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged lower, with tech stocks hit for the third day amid rumors of weak iPhone demand and leading the decline as chipmakers slumped after analysts lowered iPhone X shipment projections, sending the Nasdaq Composite Index lower overnight. While mining and oil stocks strengthened due to a surge in copper prices to a 3.5 year high (see below), the European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.1% as European tech stocks tumbled on reports that demand for Apple’s iPhone X may be weaker than expected. The equity benchmark index is poised for an annual gain of 8.1%, the best advance in four years. Elsewhere, Volvo rose as China’s Geely bought Cevian’s stake in the truckmaker, making it Volvo AB’s largest stakeholder. IWG surged the most since 2009 after confirming it has received a a non-binding takeover offer from a consortium backed by Brookfield Asset Management and Onex.

In Asia earlier Japanese equity benchmarks posted slight gains, Australian stocks were flat and China’s domestic shares dropped.  Asian shares climbed 0.3% to near a recent one-month high, though it was more of a mixed picture in European stock markets. Shares of China’s new-energy automakers surged after the government announced it will extend purchase-tax exemption for another three years, through Dec. 31, 2020. BYD climbed as much as 5.9% on the mainland to the highest since Nov. 24; Zhongtong Bus & Holding Co. rises by 10% daily limit.

As the chart below shows, the recent dip in Emerging Asian stocks has been largely bought, and the selloff gap has been mostly filled.

In commodities, oil and copper prices rocketed to multi-year highs, pushing the MSCI world equity index 0.1% higher. While oil prices were strengthened largely because of an attack on a crude pipeline in Libya, the surge in copper was particularly eye-catching as the metal is seen as a proxy for global growth. Miners gained as copper climbed to a three-year high after China ordered its top producer to halt output to combat winter pollution.

“The rally in copper supports expectations that 2018 is going to be a strong year for synchronised global growth,” said Greg McKenna, chief strategist at AxiTrader. That, or at least until the artificial production shortage is resolved.

Meanwhile, rising oil prices – WTI hit $60 a barrel for the first time since mid-2015 – boosted currencies that trade in line with commodities prices.

In currencies, the dollar eased against a basket of currencies and fell against the euro on Wednesday in thin holiday trading, while a rally in commodity prices helped push the Canadian and Australian dollars to their highest levels in two months. The EUR/USD made a session high after London came into the market, with the pair remaining above the 21-DMA; the USD/JPY is little changed while USD/JPY cross- currency basis swaps hit widest spread in more than a year. Cable rose to a one-week high amid broad dollar weakness while Aussie extended opening gains buoyed by flows against kiwi, which itself rose on outright short-covering against the U.S. dollar; traders report that ranges extended on thinning year-end liquidity.

As Reuters points out, while world stocks were up on the day, there was still an undercurrent of nervousness in the market which saw some safe haven flows into high-rated euro zone government bonds, pushing their yields a touch lower. “Geo-political risks have notched a little higher, supporting rates markets,” said Mizuho’s head of rates Peter Chatwell, referring in particular to a renewal in tensions around North Korea.

The United States announced sanctions on two North Korean officials behind their country’s ballistic missile program on Tuesday after the U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea last week. “The North Korean statement that U.N. sanctions are an act of war is, as tends to be the case, an exaggeration, but nevertheless the market has no choice but to price it. Some safe haven positioning is a natural reaction,” said Chatwell.

Today investors await the release of U.S. consumer-confidence and pending home sales data.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.07% to 2,689
  • US 10Y yield down 0.1 bp to 2.47%
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.02% to 390.22
  • German 10Y yield fell 1.4 bps to 0.406%
  • Euro up 0.2% to $1.1880
  • Brent Futures down 1% to $66.37/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 0.6 bps to 1.645%
  • Spanish 10Y yield unchanged at 1.473%
  • Brent Futures down 1% to $66.37/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,285.23
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.1% to 93.13
  • MSCI Asia Pacific up 0.3% to 172.69
  • MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan up 0.3% to 562.82
  • Nikkei up 0.08% to 22,911.21
  • Topix up 0.2% to 1,829.79
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.07% to 29,597.66
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.9% to 3,275.78
  • Sensex down 0.3% to 33,905.60
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 unchanged at 6,069.87
  • Kospi up 0.4% to 2,436.67

Overnight Media Digest

  • Copper in London surged to the highest level since 2014 after China ordered its top producer to halt output to combat winter pollution, adding further impetus to a rally that’s been driven by optimism about demand as well as supply disruptions at mines
  • ETFs linked to raw materials attracted about $450 million this month as of Dec. 21, on track for a third straight annual inflow, as investors are betting on synchronized global growth to improve the outlook for commodities from copper to natural gas in 2018
  • Recent economic data offer a “warning for 2018” now that Chinese leaders are less motivated to prop up growth in the wake of their Congress in October, according to the China Beige Book
  • German Social Democratic Party won’t agree to renew coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel unless she backs EU reform, acting Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel quoted as saying in interview with Bild newspaper
  • Spain November seasonally adjusted retail sales rose 2% y/y vs est. +0.8% y/y
  • The United States imposed sanctions Tuesday on two North Korean officials who are considered key to their country’s development of ballistic missiles.
  • A pipeline blast in Libya and a bullish budget forecast in Saudi Arabia boosted crude prices to levels not seen since mid-2015.
  • Recent economic data offer a “warning for 2018” now that Chinese leaders are less motivated to prop up growth in the wake of their Congress in October, according to the China Beige Book.
  • Fitch Downgrades AXA Financial, Inc.; Removes Ratings from Watch
  • Daily Mail & General Trust Cut to Junk by S&P

In Asian markets, Japanese equity benchmarks posted slight gains, Australian stocks were flat and China’s domestic shares dropped.  Asian shares climbed 0.3% to near a recent one-month high, though it was more of a mixed picture in European stock markets. Shares of China’s new-energy automakers surged after the government announced it will extend purchase-tax exemption for another three years, through Dec. 31, 2020. BYD climbed as much as 5.9% on the mainland to the highest since Nov. 24; Zhongtong Bus & Holding Co. rises by 10% daily limit.

Top Asian News

  • Nomura Says Japanese Investors Should Buy Unhedged Dollar Bonds
  • India Is Said to Propose Easing Rules on Debt Default Disclosure
  • China to Discuss Changing Constitution for First Time Since 2004
  • WeWork’s Chinese Rival Nixes ‘UrWork’ Label in Global Makeover
  • Prosecutors Affirm Push for Samsung Heir to Get 12-Year Sentence
  • DBS Hires Andy Yung as Vice President at Loans Team in Hong Kong
  • 1MDB Makes Final Payment to IPIC in $1.2 Billion Settlement

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged lower, with tech stocks hit for the third day amid rumors of weak iPhone demand and leading the decline as chipmakers slumped after analysts lowered iPhone X shipment projections, sending the Nasdaq Composite Index lower overnight. While mining and oil stocks strengthened due to a surge in copper prices to a 3.5 year high (see below), the European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.1% as European tech stocks tumbled on reports that demand for Apple’s iPhone X may be weaker than expected. The equity benchmark index is poised for an annual gain of 8.1%, the best advance in four years. Elsewhere, Volvo rose as China’s Geely bought Cevian’s stake in the truckmaker, making it Volvo AB’s largest stakeholder. IWG surged the most since 2009 after confirming it has received a a non-binding takeover offer from a consortium backed by Brookfield Asset Management and Onex

Top European News

  • IWG Soars After Bid Approach From Canada’s Onex, Brookfield
  • Russia Nuclear Power Output Reaches Post-Soviet Record This Year
  • Bank of Spain Sees Growth Continuing But Losing Intensity
  • Norway Oil Fund Says Taxes Should Be Paid Where Value Generated

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index decreased 0.2 percent to the lowest in almost two weeks, in thin holiday trading, while a rally in commodity prices helped push the Canadian and Australian dollars to their highest levels in two months. The EUR/USD made a session high after London came into the market, with the pair remaining above the 21-DMA and advancing 0.2% to $1.1884, the strongest in almost four week; the USD/JPY is unchanged at 113.25 per dollar, the strongest in more than a week while the USD/JPY cross- currency basis swaps hit widest spread in more than a year. Cable rose to a one-week high amid broad dollar weakness while Aussie extended opening gains buoyed by flows against kiwi, which itself rose on outright short-covering against the U.S. dollar; traders report that ranges extended on thinning year-end liquidity.

In commodities, WTI dropped 0.6% to $59.59 a barrel, the first retreat in more than a week and the biggest dip in two weeks.  Gold increased 0.2% to $1,286.01 an ounce, hitting the highest in more than four weeks with its sixth consecutive advance. LME copper advanced 0.8 percent to $7,185.00 per metric ton, reaching the highest in about four years on its ninth consecutive advance and the biggest gain in a week.

US Event Calendar

  • 10pm: U.S. Conf. Board Consumer Confidence, Dec., est. 128, prior 129.5; Present Situation, Dec., no est., prior 153.9; Expectations, Dec., no est., prior 113.3

 

 

end

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

 

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

NORTH KOREA/

 

Trump and the UN will not like this as Chinese ships have been caught through spy satellites selling oil to North Korea illegally

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

US Spy Satellites Catch Chinese Ships Illegally Selling Oil To North Korea

According to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, U.S. recon satellites have photographed around 30 illegal transactions involving Chinese vessels selling oil to North Korea on the West Sea in October. The images allegedly showed large Chinese and North Korean ships transacting in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea. The satellite pictures even showed the names of the ships.

A government source said, “We need to focus on the fact that the illicit trade started after a UN Security Council resolution in September drastically capped North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products.”  Meanwhile, on paper, China’s trade with North has recently collapsed after U.S. President Donald Trump unleashed a barrage of sanctions in September targeting North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products.

Back in November, the US. Treasury Department sanctioned an additional six North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 of their ships after the satellite pictures surfaced. In the above picture, the North Korean ship named Ryesonggang 1, was easily identified and connected to the illegal sale of oil from China.

According to Chosun Media, “the department noted that the two ships appeared to be illegally trading in oil from ship to ship to bypass sanctions.”

Ship-to-ship trade with North Korea on the high seas is forbidden in UNSC Resolution 2375 adopted in September, but such violations are nearly impossible to detect unless China aggressively cracks down on smuggling.

Last month, the Communist Party spokespeople slammed new US sanctions targeting Chinese traders doing business with North Koreans, calling them “wrong”. At this point, it’s still unknown if the Chinese government is turning a blind eye to the illegal open sea transactions with North Korea, but as of today it seems as a blatant snub to the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, as President Trump and the US celebrate last week’s latest round of new sanctions for North Korea at the UN, the likelihood of illegal smuggling routes between the two countries will surely expand. The question then is with all diplomatic avenues exhausted and China violating a UNSC resolution, what happens next?

end

my goodness.  It has now been discovered that the latest North Korea defector has carried the anthrax antibodies. It is feared that North Korea is trying to develop warheads with the  anthrax on them

(courtesy zerohedge)

Scientists Discovered North Korean Defector Carried Anthrax Antibodies

As we’ve reported here and here, there have been several high-profile defections this year involving Korean soldiers sprinting across the heavily fortified border between the two Koreas – a feat that had not been previously accomplished since 2007. In the first incident, the soldier was shot seven times as he staged a daring escape that ended with him being dragged to safety by American and South Korean forces. That incident was caught on video, which can be viewed below.

In the second incident, a North Korean soldier simply walked across.

Two other soldiers also escaped in incidents that apparently weren’t picked up by the western media.

Now, doctors examining one of the soldiers have reportedly discovered that he possesses antibodies to Anthrax – a potent chemical weapon that was notoriously used in the 2001 Anthrax attacks in the US. According to the New York Post, a South Korean intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity did not say which of the four soldiers who fled the hermit kingdom this year had the antibodies in his system. But the discovery is causing concern in Seoul because, once the bacterium is released, it can kill 80% of those infected within 24 hours unless antibiotics are taken or vaccination is available.

And while the US has stockpiles of the vaccine, South Korea has yet to produce it.

Defense Ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo said an anthrax “vaccine is expected to be developed by the end of 2019,” but likely not before then.

The restive North Korean regime has been suspected of developing biological weapons after publicizing the works of the Pyongyang Biological Technology Research Institute in 2015. The institute is run by the North Korean army.

Pyongyang claimed the facility specializes in pesticide research, but analysts have said its dual-use equipment suggests biological weapons are being manufactured in North Korea.

North Korea’s neighbors fear Pyongyang is conducting illegal biological weapons tests to see if anthrax-laden warheads can be loaded onto its missiles, the Sun of the UK reported. Media reports earlier this year suggested that North Korea had begun to test loading anthrax onto them.

The report said the US is aware of the tests, which are meant to ascertain whether the anthrax bacteria could survive reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere – as we pointed out last week.

Seoul believes North Korea has a chemical weapons stockpile of up to 5,000 tons and can produce biological warfare agents such as anthrax and smallpox. Also last week, the White House pointed to the dangers posed by North Korea in the National Security Strategy released by President Trump.

“North Korea – a country that starves its own people – has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons that could threaten our homeland,” read the report.

“[North Korea is] pursuing chemical and biological weapons which could also be delivered by missile.”

Pyongyang denied the Asahi report through the state media Korean Central News Agency.

“As a state party to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), [North Korea] maintains its consistent stand to oppose development, manufacture, stockpiling and possession of biological weapons,” the KCNA reported.

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

 

c) REPORT ON CHINA

 

It is when the company (NHA) states that one should not panic that is exactly what you must do: panic. NHA has 100 billion of debt in which 25% is due in 2018. NHA owns a lot of Deutsche bank shares.  If DB suffers another meltdown this could cause the meltdown of NHA and lead the  other 3 Chinese conglomerates into a full blown panic

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

To Avoid Liquidation Panic, HNA Assures Deutsche Shareholders It’s A “Long-Term Investor”

The notoriously acquisitive Chinese conglomerate HNA – which recently had a sharp falling out with Beijing resulting in a margin call “shocksave” – is facing a serious cash crunch in 2018 as nearly a quarter of its $100 billion in debt – a large chunk of which was accumulated during a multi-year buying spree that saw it become a major shareholder in Deutsche Bank, Hilton Worldwide and a large portfolio of international holdings – comes due.

But even as the company resorted to loaning out shares and entering into arcane derivative financing agreements to finance its debt-service payments, it is quickly finding that traditional avenues of financing are disappearing or becoming too costly.

Despite being one of China’s largest conglomerates, HNA has been shut out of stock and bond markets as lenders worry about its outsized debt load, forcing the company to pledge some of its core holdings as collateral for short-term loans, as the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.

This has forced the conglomerate to explore other options. To wit, the bank recently pledged some of its Deutsche Bank shares to UBS as collateral for a loan worth roughly $117. It also executed an options strategy known as a collar. This strategy involves purchasing out-of-the-money puts to protect against a large drop in the stock while simultaneously selling out-of-the money calls to offset the cost of the puts.

On Dec. 20, HNA’s unit entered into a new series of collar transactions with Swiss bank UBS Group AG, and pledged its Deutsche Bank shares to UBS in exchange for a total of 2.36 billion euros (US$2.8 billion) in net financing. It also has a margin loan from UBS and ICBC Standard Chartered PLC. In all, the new total amount of financing was about 99 million euros (US$117.6 million) higher than what was disclosed in a similar filing in May.

 

The additional collar financing disclosed this week should help protect HNA’s position in Deutsche Bank shares from margin calls in the future, according to people close to the companies. The new collar financing extends to 2020, longer than before, and gives HNA additional protection against volatility in Deutsche Bank shares, they said.

With memories of last fall’s dramatic plunge in Deutsche Bank shares still fresh – a selloff that was triggered by the DOJ’s decision to slap the already shaky German lender with a $14 billion fine – HNA assured its fellow shareholders that it is a “long-term investor” in Germany’s largest bank.  The comment is, of course, self-serving: Though it has purchased downside protection to protect against a large drop in DB’s shares, a substantial decline in the company’s valuation could be the straw that pushes the conglomerate into bankruptcy, and potentially triggers China’s “Minsky moment.”

For context, HNA owns about $4 billion in DB shares, roughly equivalent to a 10% stake, as shown in the Bloomberg chart below and according to Reuters.

Concerns about HNA’s financial position intensified since it issued a bond last year with less than one year to maturity. The bond carried the extortionately high coupon of 9%, prompting us to wonder if the demise of one of China’s “Big Four” conglomerates might be rapidly approaching.

HNA has borrowed $40 billion since 2015 to finance its world-wide buying spree. But in some cases, it’s already getting buyers remorse. About a month ago, its chief executive acknowledged a shift in strategy, saying HNA was looking to sell assets it deemed noncore. For example, it is exploring a group of foreign commercial properties it owns.

As reported by Reuters, Alexander Schuetz, HNA’s representative on DB’s board, made the comments during an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt. The comments were later picked up by Reuters and Bloomberg. Schultz specifically emphasized that HNA has “no interest in a sale” of its DB holdings.

Schuetz sought to dismiss any lingering speculation that HNA would sell its stake in the German lender, which is just under 10 percent and valued at around 3.3 billion euros ($3.9 billion). “We want to show that this is totally wrong,” he was quoted as saying.

 

HNA’s $50 billion worth of deal-making over the past two years has sparked intense scrutiny of its opaque ownership and use of leverage.

 

In the interview, Schuetz pointed to a new financing structure with derivatives – with a three-year maturity – that insure against a drop in the bank’s share price. “This shows that HNA is focused on the long-term and has no interest in a sale,” Schuetz said.

Late last month, S&P downgraded HNA’s credit rating by one notch from B+ to B, five notches below investment grade as a result of its “aggressive financial policy” and tightening liquidity amid looming debt maturities. Even before that, some of the conglomerate’s largest subsidiaries were issuing bonds with interest rates far higher than their credit ratings would seem to suggest.

To be sure, despite its reassurances, if HNA is still struggling to raise the capital needed to make its $28 billion debt-service payment at the end of June, it’s likely even core assets might be put on the chopping block.

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

 

Argentina

(courtesy zerohedge)

Israel braces for indictments against Netanyahu

(courtesy zerohedge)

Israel Braces For “Earth Shattering” Indictments Against Netanyahu

As Israeli police conclude their corruption investigation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former advisor to the force, Lior Chorev, says the indictments to follow will be “earth-shattering” and will result in early elections – possibly as soon as May 2018, which would end the political career of the longest-serving Israeli leader since founding father David Ben-Gurion.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Chorev, who resigned last month under pressure from Netanyahu’s allies, told The Jerusalem Post “When they [the recommendations] will be announced, they will have information such as the specific charges and a complete list of the people involved,” he said, adding “Netanyahu is not running a campaign for his innocence but a campaign to keep the coalition intact. It is a political campaign, not a legal one, and so far he is succeeding. He is keeping his coalition in one piece despite very complicated investigations.”

The indictment recommendations will bear “a lot of information that we didn’t know – and it will cause an earthquake here.”

While police recommendations in Israel aren’t binding, and prosecutors can choose to proceed with indictments, an official recommendation to indict would turn Israel’s political landscape on its head. Netanyahu has been questioned seven times by investigators in connection with two corruption cases.

In the first, he’s suspected of receiving tens of thousands of dollars worth of cigars and champagne from wealthy friends. In the other case, Netanyahu is accused of offering to pass legislation favorable to a newspaper publisher in exchange for favorable coverage, however the bill never passed. Another case involving bribery related to the purchase of submarines from Germany does not involve Netanyahu, however at least two of his confidants are under investigation for suspicion of wrongdoing.

Israel police claims that Chorev, as an external investigator, wouldn’t have access to information on the Netanyahu investigation:

“In these sensitive subjects, the Israel Police is providing information to the public via official statements that are released in accordance with the attorney-general and the state’s attorney,” the police said. “We are asking the public to focus only on official statement… Not once was the police blamed for leaking information by ‘different entities,’ but what they said was completely false.”

In response to the police wrap-up, Netanyahu’s allies in parliament are pushing through a bill that would forbid police from submitting written recommendations to the state prosecutor’s office on whether to indict a suspect – in what critics are calling a tool to silence investigators and interfere with police work.

“It’s ludicrous legislation because there’s no precedent for legislating those two complementing law enforcement agencies,” said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute research center, referring to police and prosecutors. “There’s no logic to it unless one wants to create some sort of deterrence vis-a-vis the police.” –Bloomberg

Relations between Netanyahu and police have grown sour throughout the investigations, nearly a year after they became public knowledge. As Bloomberg reports, the prime minister and his supporters have accused police of deliberately leaking information about the investigations to Israeli media, claiming he’s the target of an organized campaign by the press and left-wing opponents to unseat him. Thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets in recent weekends, rallying against government corruption and calling on Netanyahu to step down.

Sara Netanyahu

Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, is mired in three legal disputes; two involving the receipt of illegal gifts and favors from businessmen in exchange for advancing their interests. In another case, Mrs. Netanyahu is accused of fraudulently receiving some $100,000 for her participation in a scam to order meals at Israel’s expense without authorization.
According to a Justice Ministry announcement, between 2010 and 2013, Sara Netanyahu colluded with Seidoff “to create a false impression that the prime minister’s official residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem does not employ a cook, despite the fact that throughout the entire period they employed cooks.” This was done, allegedly, to bypass a procedure that forbids ordering meals from restaurants and hiring chefs who cook at the residence when cooks are on hand. –Jewishpress.com

In a third case, 24 year old Shira Raban claims that Netanyahu incessantly insulted her while she worked for a cleaner at their residence for one month. Raban is seeking $64,000 for “verbal abuse and unreasonable requests” by Sara Netanyahu, and says she feared for her safety. Netanyahu allegedly forbade Raban from eating, drinking or resting, and required that she change her clothes dozens of times per day. Raban claims she was also required to wash her hands about 100 times a day with hot water, drying them on a separate towel from the Netanyahu family. 

Several other former employees have claimed mistreatment by Sara Netanyahu, with one caretaker receiving an award of around $43,000 last year for mistreatment.

7. OIL ISSUES

8. EMERGING MARKET

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

DOW: UP 28.09 OR .11%

NASDAQ UP 3.09 OR .04%

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

Yield Curve Collapses To 10 Year Lows, Stocks Stumble Amid “Unprecedented” Bullish Sentiment

Bonds and Bullion are bid and the yield curve crashed as the Santa Claus rally fails to appear for a second day…

 

Gold’s gains are S&P’s losses as the two converge for the month of December…

 

For the second day in a row, stocks went nowhere despite the promise of the Santa Claus rally… (NOTE the somewhat ridicluous instaramp in the last 2 minutes to get stocks green)

 

Futures show the week so far better – Nasdaq (green), Dow (blue), S&P (red) (note AAPL was down again today, testing its 50DMA)…

 

Perhaps it is because, as Kevin Duffy noted earlier, “8 out of 10 of the best sentiment indicators are in the 99th percentile of bullishness over the past ten years (a period of mostly bull market optimism!).  This is unprecedented…”

 

FANG Stocks are down for the 6th day in a row… (the longest losing streak since Nov 4th 2016)

 

Banks have been under pressure this week…

 

VIX jumped somewhat notably today (3rd day up in a row) – NOTE the VIX hammering into the European close and then it snapped…

 

Despite a heavy tail in today’s 5Y auction, yields crashed across the curve and the yield curve flattened dramatically

 

Perhaps a few funds are seeing the ‘value’ in bonds?

 

Notably 10Y yields dropped back below 2.4% (YTD unch)…

 

Which is notable, as Strategas points out, a 12/31 close above 2.44% would be the 3rd year of rising rates in a row – the longest stretch since 1981

 

The yield curve crashed most since Brexit to a new cycle low…(lowest close since Oct 2007)

 

There is some serious problems brewing in Japanese liquidity markets as while Euro- and Sterling cross-currency swaps have bounced back, Yen-USD basis swaps have collapsed to a new cycle low suggesting major USD-funding issues for Japanese entities…

 

 

The Dollar Index slipped lower today…lowest close since Dec 5th

 

WTI was unable to extend yesterday’s gains above $60…

 

Gold and Bitcoin continued to recouple…

 

As Gold surged above its 100DMA for the first time in a month… (NOTE – gold suffered a death cross as the 50DMA crossed below the 200DMA)

 

Meanwhile copper is at near 4 year highs…

 

The question is – why are bond yields collapsing and not playing along…

 

Cryptos had a mixed day with Ripple ramping, but Ether, Bitcoin, and Litecoin all sliding…

Bitcoin futures volume picked up today but remains notably lower than last week…

As a fional notes, CFTC reports that net speculative positioning in CBOE Bitcoin Futs is -1371 contracts, or Short 6,855 Bitcoins… so prepare yourself for a short squeeze.

Bonus Chart: WTF!!

 

 

 

END

Trading today

Yields crashing:

 

usa 10 yr bond yield: 2.416  down 5 full basis points

usa 30 yr bond yield; 2.748 down 8 full basis points

 

German 10 yr bond yield:  .385 down 4 full basis points

Japanese 10 yr bond yield: .o56  steady

 

 

 

The Treasury Yield Curve Is Crashing Most Since Brexit

Remember the post-tax-reform, pre-Christmas spike in yields and the yield curve? Yeah, that’s all over now!!!!

Treasury yields are down 4 days in a row with a major collapse occurring today as the long-end plunges over 8bps – the most in 3 months. The 2s30s yield curve is down over 8bps – the biggest-single-day flattening since Brexit (June 2016)…

This is the biggest 4-day drop in 30Y yields since February.

Notably 10Y yields dropped back below 2.4% (YTD unch)…

The yield curve is crashing…

The biggest 1 day flattenig since Brexit…

 

All of which is fascinating given that net spec positioning is near record long the long-end…

 

end

 

This was an easy one to figure out:  the tax reform bill now passed has caused massive jitters in Manhattan apartment prices as prices fell in the 4th quarter

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

Tax Plan Jitters Cause Sudden Collapse In Manhattan Apartment Prices In 4Q

Apparently the combination of a massive flood of excess supply in the form of new luxury developments and a Trump tax plan that penalizes people living in expensive cities by capping SALT, mortgage interest and property tax deductions was simply too much for the Manhattan real estate market to ignore in 4Q 2017.  After reaching an all-time high of nearly $1.2 million in 2Q 2017 (chart per Douglas Elliman)…

…the Wall Street Journal this morning notes that median Manhattan apartment prices have dropped to $1.08 million in 4Q 2017, down 9.8% compared to the peak set earlier this year.

Not surprisingly, Pamela Liebman, the president of New York real estate broker The Corcoran Group, attributed the pause by Manhattan buyers to the tax bill and said that folks are increasingly convinced that prices peaked in 2017 and may continue to be under pressure.

“We lost a lot of deals in the fourth quarter, while people waited to see the outcome of the tax bill,” she said. “Now that the uncertainty is gone they will be able to make a decision.”

 

She said buyers were active but “focused on value and reasonable pricing.”

 

“The good news is there are a lot of buyers who are ready to purchase next year,” Ms. Liebman said. “Sellers who don’t overshoot the mark should do well.”

Apartment

Of course, the New York real estate market wasn’t universally rosy during the first half of the year as another broker, Donna Olshan, who produces a weekly report on contract signings above $4 million, said there were worrying signs in the luxury market, including an increase in the average time a listing spent on the market of nearly four months, from about 10 months in 2016 to 14 months this year.  As the following chart from Douglas Elliman highlights, luxury prices in Manhattan peaked 2 quarters before overall prices and have been plummeting ever since.

Meanwhile, new development prices have also been on the decline as the market contends with a steady stream of new buildings coming online.

Of course, the fact that Manhattan real estate prices are coming under pressure should come as little surprise as we noted the following interactive maps from ATTOM Data Solutions last week which perfectly illustrated just how concentrated mortgages over $750,000 are in a handful of expensive cities like New York and San Francisco.

Among 2,022 counties included in this analysis and at least 50 home purchase loans so far in 2017, those with the highest share of loan originations above $750,000 were New York County (Manhattan), New York (63.8 percent); San Francisco County, California (58.0 percent); Nantucket County, Massachusetts (57.3 percent); San Mateo County, California (55.2 percent); and Marin County, California (50.o percent). Among those same 2,022 counties, those with the highest number of purchase home loan originations above $750,000 so far in 2017 were Los Angeles County, California (9,197); Santa Clara County, California (5,543); Orange County, California (4,450); Maricopa County, Arizona (3,723); and King County, Washington (3,715).

Meanwhile, the second proposed change in the GOP tax plan involved a cap on the deductibility of property taxes at $10,000.  And, much like the impact of mortgage interest above, the map of who’s most impacted looks eerily similar to the 2016 electoral college map.

The county-level heat map below shows the share of single family homes and condos in each county where the most recent property tax bill available was more than $10,000.

 

Among the 1,731 counties analyzed, those with the highest share of homes with property taxes above $10,000 were Westchester County, New York (73.4 percent); Luna County, New Mexico (68.7 percent); Rockland County, New York (60.0 percent); Mathews County, Virginia (54.4 percent); and New York County (Manhattan), New York (52.5 percent). Among those same counties those with the highest volume of homes with property taxes above $10,000 were Nassau County (Long Island), New York (176,946); Los Angeles County, California (165,078); Suffolk County (Long Island), New York (155,592); Bergen County, New Jersey (126,096); and Harris County (Houston), Texas (125,792).

Conclusion: Low-tax, cheap cost of living states (i.e. “Red States”) are suddenly starting to look a lot more attractive to liberal “millionaire, billionaire, private jet owners” in New York who aren’t so keen on “spreading their wealth around” as their rhetoric would have you believe.

end

 

Soft data consumer confidence falls to 13 month lows. Even the hope category is falling

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

Consumer Confidence Stumbles As ‘Hope’ Plunges To 13-Month Lows

This is the highest level of confidence in the “present situation” since April 2001, but just as we saw in 2000 and 2007, the divergence between current confidence (high) and hope for the future (low) is becoming extreme

The headline Conference Board Consumer Confidence print disappointed (dropping to 122.1 from 129.5, missing expectations of 128.0).

The ‘miss’ was driven by a huge tumble in “Expectations” which dropped from 113.3 to 99.1 – the lowest since Nov 2016.

 

This is one of the widest spreads between current and future expectations in history..

 

 

SWAMP

 

a must read..

Obama and his administration conspires to  allow Hezbollah to sell contraband drugs into the uSA so as to not hurt the Iranian nuclear deal

The Obama-Hezbollah Conspiracy Could Shake The “Deep State” And Latin America

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review,

Politico published an explosive investigative report which alleges that the Obama Administration politically interfered to obstruct a far-reaching criminal justice operation against Hezbollah in order to facilitate the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

The exposé is extensive and covers a wide array of purported activities over a ten-year period all across the US, Latin America, West Africa, Europe, and the Mideast, though the point of this analysis isn’t to summarize what’s contained in the report or to judge its veracity, but to interpret the significance of it being made public at this point in time. The codename given to the investigation into Hezbollah’s global economic network was “Operation Cassandra”, and it alleges to have discovered the mechanics behind the group’s self-sustaining financial ecosystem, some of which supposedly dealt with organized criminal activities such as drug trafficking and money laundering.

Politico’s bombshell wasn’t just the alleged facts that it uncovered, but the claims from some of the operation’s participants that the Obama Administration was undermining their work because it feared that taking action against Hezbollah would endanger Washington’s efforts to clinch the 2015 nuclear deal with the group’s patrons in Tehran. If true, then this would represent a major split within the American “deep state”, or permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies, because it suggests that the State Department and possibly even the CIA were conspiring to subvert the law enforcement duties of the FBI and DEA on behalf of the President.

The implications behind this revelation could be enormous, and at the very least they seem to confirm Republican accusations that the Obama Administration was selling out domestic security interests in order to pursue the risky and now-failed foreign policy gambit of co-opting Iran through a tacit alliance with its ruling “moderate” elites. Seeing as how some of Obama-era “deep state” figures involved in this scandal might still be working with the government, the Trump Administration could use Politico’s report as the pretext for “cleaning house” and removing or professionally neutralizing some of its institutional opponents. It’s speculated that this is what Tillerson has been trying to do for months now, but the latest findings could add a renewed sense of impetus to his efforts.

In addition, apart from the obvious consequences that this revelation could have in further worsening American-Iranian relations and reversing the Obama-era trend towards a rapprochement, there’s another international aspect that needs to be looked at, and that’s the effect that the report will have on the US’ policy towards Latin America.

Politico alleges that “Operation Cassandra” uncovered a diverse criminal network stretching all across the hemisphere, and whether fully true or partially exaggerated, this news could be used to tighten the US’ security arrangements with its regional partners in complementing the theater-wide asymmetrical counteroffensive of “Operation Condor 2.0” that’s been ongoing ever since the 2009 coup against leftist Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.

Relatedly, the allegations of Venezuelan government complicity in Hezbollah’s trans-hemispheric conspiracy could form the basis for new sanctions against the Bolivarian Republic.

All told, this developing scandal might take a while to fully unfold, but it can still be expected to influence the course of the “deep state’s” War on Trump and the US’ policy towards Latin America to one extent or another by the time that it’s all said and done with.

 

END

 

a new executive order issued by Trump is a biggy:  it targets linked individuals, and mostly likely Uranium One

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

New Trump Executive Order Targets Clinton-Linked Individuals, Lobbyists And Perhaps Uranium One

The Trump Administration quietly issued an Executive Order (EO) last Thursday which allows for the freezing of US-housed assets belonging to foreign individuals or entities deemed “serious human rights abusers,” along with government officials and executives of foreign corporations (current or former) found to have engaged in corruption – which includes the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, and corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources. 

Furthermoreanyone in the United States who aids or participates in said corruption or human rights abuses by foreign parties is subject to frozen assets – along with any U.S. corporation who employs foreigners deemed to have engaged in corruption on behalf of the company.

In fact, anyone in the world who has “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material or technological support for, or goods or services” to foreigners targeted by the Executive Order is subject to frozen assets.  

The EO, based on the 2016 Global Human Rights Accountability Act, immediately added 13 foreign individuals to a list of “Specially Designated Nationals” (SDN) maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) – several of whom have ties to the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation, or Clinton associates (details below). Moreover, the Treasury Department sanctioned an additional 39 people,  for a total of 52 under the new order – including the son of Russia’s prosecutor general.

The Order reads: 

I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the prevalence and severity of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, such as those committed or directed by persons listed in the Annex to this order, have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems.

Last Week’s Executive Order could have serious implications for D.C. lobbyists who provide “goods and services” (e.g. lobbying services) to despots, corrupt foreign politicians or foreign organizations engaging in the crimes described in the EO. “Virtually every lobbyist in DC has got to be in a cold sweat over the scope of this EO,” said an attorney consulted in the matter who wishes to remain anonymous.

And because the phrase “person” means “an individual or entity” in the order – any US organization which merely employs a foreigner engaging in the listed offenses is also subject to frozen assets. “Consider, what would happen if Apple, say employed a foreign national who bribed a PRC official for government approvals? How about a hypothetical case of a company like Northrop or Boeing where an employee, or consultant, who is a foreign national bribes a Saudi official to direct government purchases of airplanes and military equipment? At least some or all of their assets could be frozen.”

Now consider that if reports from The Hill are accurate – an FBI mole deep within the Russian uranium industry uncovered evidence that “Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow (the Uranium One approval)” – a deal which would eventually grant the Kremlin control over 20 percent of America’s uranium supply right around the time Bill Clinton also collected $500,000 for a Moscow speech, as detailed by author Peter Schweitzer’s book Clinton Cash and the New York Times in 2015.

The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials. –The Hill

The same FBI informant claims to have video evidence showing Russian agents with briefcases full of bribe money related to the controversial Uranium One deal:

In a report by Tucker Carlson, a former long-time executive of now-defunct D.C. lobbying firm, The Podesta Group – who has been interviewed extensively by FBI special counsel Robert Mueller, claims that Tony Podesta was “basically part of the Clinton Foundation,” frequently meeting with the charity to discuss the Uranium One deal. Meanwhile, Tony’s DNC operative brother John Podesta reportedly recommended that the Podesta Group hire David Adams – Hillary Clinton’s chief adviser at the State Department, giving them a “direct liaison” between the group’s Russian clients and Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

Hypothetically, if the Uranium One deal is deemed corrupt by the Trump administration, and “Russian nuclear officials” indeed routed millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, and Tony Podesta lobbied on behalf of the deal for the Clinton Foundation – it stands to reason that this Executive Order could freeze the US-housed assets of quite a few individuals. Of note, assets can be frozen with no prior warning, as trump has declared a national emergency due to the “scope and gravity” of the threat posed by said individuals.

To simplify this complicated legal document a bit, keep in mind:

Section 1. (a)(i-ii) outlines all foreigners the Executive Order applies to: 

Section 1. (a)(iii) defines U.S. Citizens who have assisted foreigners in any of the crimes described above:


Note: The above section (iii)(A)(3) means any foreign person engaging in “serious human rights abuses” or listed forms of corruption on behalf of a U.S. entityAlso of note – Attorney General Jeff Sessions rolled back a series of Obama-era curbs on civil-asset forfeiture over the summer, strengthening the federal government’s ability to seize cash and property from Americans without criminal charges. That said, this Executive Order only freezes assets, it does not allow the government to take custody of them.

In regards to the 13 listed individuals targeted by this order – several of whom have ties to the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation or Clinton associates – we find the following:

—-

Goulnara Islamovna Karimova, 45, daughter of former Uzbekistan leader Islam Karimov, headed a powerful organized crime syndicate that leveraged state actors to expropriate businesses, monopolize markets, solicit bribes, and administer extortion rackets.

In early 2016, Amsterdam-based telecom giant VimpelCom (now VEON) admitted to a conspiracy in which they paid millions in bribes to Karimova for entry into the Uzbek telecom market. In a series of related cases, the U.S. Justice Department has sought the forfeiture of $850 million in bribe money from various bank accounts across Europe. In July, Uzbek officials arrested Karimova for fraud, money laundering, bribery, and embezzlement and a variety of other claims.

In 2009, a WikiLeaks cable notes that Karimova set her sights on Bill Clinton to gain access to then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

(WikiLeaks, 7/31/2009)

Three years later, Karimova co-sponsored a 2012 Clinton Foundation fundraiser in Monaco. Hillary Clinton’s State Department was asked to weigh in on Bill Clinton’s contacts with Karimova. Pictured below with Bill Clinton at an AIDS charity event in Cannes, France.

Goulnara Karimova and Bill Clinton

Dan Gertler is an Israeli billionaire mining magnate revealed by the Paradise Papers to be chief negotiator between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and his primary business partner – mining company Glencore, founded by Marc Rich – who was pardoned for corruption by Bill Clinton on his last day in office after his wife gave $450,000 to the Clinton Library foundation. 

Glencore immediately cut ties with Gertler following Trump’s Executive Order.

Dan Gertler

In 2001 Gertler gave $20m in cash to DRC President Joseph Kabila to use to buy weapons and fund his war against rebels to consolidate his grip on power. In exchange, Gertler’s company IDI was granted a monopoly on the DRC diamond trade, worth hundreds of millions a year. In 2013, Gertler sold the DRC rights to mine oil for $150 million, a 300x increase on an asset he   purchased from President Kabila 7 years prior for just $500,000.

In 2012, Kabila offered Bill Clinton $650k for a speech in the DRC – for which Clinton sought State Department approval – only to have his speaking agency recommend against the appearance which would require photos with the dictator.

Gertler’s family foundation is also linked to John McCain – sharing a seat on the board of directors of “Operation Smile” with Cindy McCain for a period of time.

Yahya Jammeh is the former President of Gambia who came to power in 1994 and stepped down in 2017. He has a long history of serious human rights abuses and corruption – creating a terror and assassination squad called the Junglers that answered directly to him.

Yahya and Zeinab Jammeh with Barack and Michelle Obama, 2014

Jammeh was installed as President during a 1994 CIA-led coup in Gambia authorized by the Clinton administration, and in 2014, the Obama administration effectively sidelined an attempted coup. Indeed, Jammeh appears to have been a friend to both the Clinton and the Obama Administrations.

Angel Rondon Rijo; Dominican Republic – Sanctioned for funneling a $92 million bribe from Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht to Dominican Republic officials as kickbacks. Odebrecht Donated $50-$100k to the Clinton Foundation.

Benjamin Bol Mel; Sudan – Financial Advisor to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and president of ABMC construction company accused of corruption. Hillary Clinton pushed for a waiver from the Obama Admin on the prohibition of military aid due to the use of child soldiers in South Sudan.

Artem Yuryevich Chayka; Russia – Son of Russia’s Prosecutor General, Yuri Chayka (Chaika) – used father’s connections to win state owned contracts. Curiously, Russian Attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya met with Yuri Chayka before her involvement in the infamous Trump Tower meeting arranged by Fusion GPS associate Rob Goldstone – a meeting many believe was one of several schemes used by the Obama administration to justify wiretapping the Trump campaign. Of note – Donald Trump Jr. reportedly shut down the Trump tower meeting when Natalia Veselnitskaya began discussing lifting sanctions under the Magnitsky act – the very legislation Trump’s Executive Order is now leveraging against Artem Chayka.  

Mukhtar Hamid Shah; Pakistan – surgeon specializing in kidney transplants, believed to be involved in kidnapping, wrongful confinement, and the removal of and tracking in human organs from Pakistani laborers.

The rest of the 13 individuals have engaged in a variety of corruption and human rights abuses ranging from a Serbian arms dealer believed to be linked to a $95 million deal with Yemen, to government officials who ordered journalists murdered, to several instances of serious human rights violations. (h/t @HNIJohnMiller)

One wonders if perhaps the purpose of this Executive Order addressing serious human rights abusers and corruption – a national emergency, was intended to ensure the much talked about swamp renovation comes in ahead of schedule and under budget. We’ll know for sure if Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin starts freezing bank accounts after the holidays.

 

end

I will try and see you TOMORROW night

THROUGHOUT THE HOLIDAYS AND THE FIRST WEEK OF THE NEW YEAR, I WILL BE VERY SPORADIC IN MY COMMENTARIES

I WILL AT LEAST PROVIDE FOR YOU THE COMEX DATA AS I FEEL THAT IS ESSENTIAL

HARVEY

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One comment

  1. Harvey,
    Have you seen this? The LBMA is ceasing the silver fix on Jan 1.

    Thanks for what you do!
    -PJ

    Like

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