Jan 4/GOLD REBOUNDS FROM AN EARLY WHACKING TO RISE $2.50 UP TO $319.50/SILVER ALSO RECOVERS TO REMAIN BASICALLY UNCHANGED/HUGE GOLD EFP TRANSFER BY ALMOST 9,000 CONTRACTS/SILVER EFP’S OVER 3100 CONTRACTS/

 

 

GOLD: $1319.50 up $2.50

Silver: $17.19 down 1 cent

Closing access prices:

Gold $1322.75

silver: $17.23

For comex gold:

JANUARY/

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR JANUARY CONTRACT: 16 NOTICE(S) FOR 1600 OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 238 FOR 23800 OZ (0.7402 TONNES),

For silver:

jANUARY

0 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

nil OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 505 for 2,525,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: BID $14,908/OFFER $15,028 DOWN $167 (morning)

 Bitcoin: BID   14,810/OFFER  $14,928 down  $264(CLOSING)

end

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest SURPRISINGLY FELL BY A SMALL  695 contracts from 192,124 FALLING TO 191,728 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S GOOD 7 CENT RISE IN SILVER PRICING.  WE HAD SMALL  COMEX LIQUIDATION BUT WITHOUT A DOUBT WE WITNESSED ANOTHER MAJOR BANK SHORT- COVERING OPERATION. NOT ONLY THAT , WE WERE AGAIN NOTIFIED THAT WE HAD ANOTHER HUGE SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: A HUGE 3123 EFP’S FOR MARCH (AND ZERO FOR OTHER MONTHS) AND THUS TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 3123 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 3123 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  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 MAJOR BANKER SHORT COVERING AGAIN TODAY.

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

10,316 CONTRACTS (FOR 4 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 10,316 CONTRACTS OR 51.580 MILLION OZ: AVERAGE PER DAY: 2579 CONTRACTS OR 11.988 MILLION OZ/DAY)

RESULT: A SMALL SIZED LOSS IN OI COMEX DESPITE THE STRONG 7 CENT RISE IN SILVER PRICE WHICH USUALLY INDICATES HUGE BANKER SHORT-COVERING. WE ALSO HAD A HUGE SIZED SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 3123 CONTRACTS WHICH EXITED OUT OF THE SILVER COMEX AND TRANSFERRED THEIR OI TO LONDON AS FORWARDS.  FROM THE CME DATA 3123 EFP’S WERE ISSUED FOR TODAY (FOR MARCH EFP’S AND NONE FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS) FOR A DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS. WE REALLY GAINED 2427 OI CONTRACTS i.e. 3123 open interest contracts headed for London (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A DECREASE OF 695 OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH THE RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER BY 7 CENTS AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $17.20 WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING. YET WE STILL HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX.

In ounces AT THE COMEX, the OI is still represented by just UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 0.9585 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 137% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT JANUARY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 0 NOTICE(S) FOR NIL OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest ROSE BY AN HUMONGOUS SIZED 11,441 CONTRACTS UP TO 512,172 WITH THE SMALL RISE IN PRICE OF GOLD WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING ($2.00). IN ANOTHER HUGE DEVELOPMENT, WE RECEIVED THE TOTAL NUMBER OF GOLD EFP’S ISSUED YESTERDAY FOR TODAY AND IT TOTALED A STRONG SIZED  8798 CONTRACTS OF WHICH THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY SAW 8498 CONTRACTS AND APRIL SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 300 CONTRACTS.  The new OI for the gold complex rests at 512,172. DEMAND FOR GOLD INTENSIFIES GREATLY AS WE CONTINUE TO WITNESS A HUGE NUMBER OF EFP TRANSFERS TOGETHER WITH THE MASSIVE INCREASE IN GOLD COMEX OI  TOGETHER WITH  THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF GOLD OUNCES STANDING FOR JANUARY. 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 (BIG RISE IN BOTH GOFO AND SIFO) AND WE ARE WITNESSING DELAYS IN ACTUAL DELIVERIES. IN ESSENCE WE HAVE ANOTHER STRONG GAIN OF 20,239 OI CONTRACTS: 11,441 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX AND A GOOD SIZED 8798 OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON.

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 3168 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S/ GOLD(EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY STARTING WITH FIRST DAY NOTICE: 34,277 CONTRACTS OR 3.4277 MILLION OZ OR 106.72 TONNES (4 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 8,569 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 856,900 OZ/DAY)

Result: A STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN OI WITH THE SMALL SIZED RISE IN PRICE IN GOLD TRADING ON YESTERDAY ($2.00). WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 8798. THERE OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT SEEM TO BE MUCH PHYSICAL GOLD AT THE COMEX AND YET WE ALSO OBSERVED A HUGE DELIVERY MONTH FOR THE 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 8798 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A NET GAIN IN OPEN INTEREST OF 20,239 contracts:

8798 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND  11,441 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (in tonnes, the gain in total oi equates to 62.95 TONNES)

we had: 16 notice(s) filed upon for 1600 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: 836.32 tonnes.

A SLIGHT CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/ A WITHDRAWAL OF 180,000 OZ TO PAY FOR FEES/

INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.449 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 SMALL SIZED 695 contracts from 193,827 DOWN TO 191,728 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) DESPITE THE  RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER TO THE TUNE OF 2 CENTS  YESTERDAY.  WE HAD WITHOUT A DOUBT A MAJOR SHORT COVERING FROM OUR BANKERS AS THEY HAVE CAPITULATED. NOT ONLY THAT BUT OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE ANOTHER 3123 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 NO COMEX SILVER COMEX LIQUIDATION. BUT, IF WE TAKE THE SLIGHT OI LOSS AT THE COMEX OF 695 CONTRACTS TO THE 3123 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S WE OBTAIN A GAIN OF 2427 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS DESPITE THE MAJOR BANKER SHORT COVERING. WE STILL HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES THAT ARE STANDING FOR METAL IN JANUARY (SEE BELOW). THE NET GAIN TODAY IN OZ: 12.135MILLION OZ!!!

RESULT: A SMALL SIZED DECREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX DESPITE THE TINY SIZED RISE OF 2 CENTS IN PRICE (WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING). BUT WE ALSO HAD ANOTHER 3123 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE GOOD  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR JANUARY, DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL SILVER INTENSIFIES AS WE WITNESS MAJOR BANK SHORT COVERING ACCOMPANIED BY INCREASES IN GOFO AND SIFO RATES INDICATING SCARCITY.

(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 STRONG 11,441 CONTRACTS UP to an OI level of 512,172 WITH THE GOOD SIZED RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($2.00 GAIN WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING).  OBVIOUSLY WE HAD ZERO COMEX GOLD LIQUIDATION WITH ANOTHER STRONG GAIN IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST AS WE WITNESSED ANOTHER HUMONGOUS COMEX TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE. THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS. THE CME REPORTS THAT 8498 EFP’S WERE ISSUED FOR FEBRUARY AND 300 EFP’s  FOR APRIL AND 22 FOR OCTOBER:  TOTAL  8798 CONTRACTS. THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS ON THESE TRANSFERS.

ON A NET BASIS IN OPEN INTEREST WE GAINED TODAY: 20,239 OI CONTRACTS IN THAT 8798 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE GAINED 11,441 COMEX CONTRACTS. NET GAIN: 20,239 contracts OR 2,023,900 OZ OR 62.95 TONNES

Result: A STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OPEN INTEREST WITH THE SMALL RISE IN THE PRICE OF YESTERDAY’S GOLD TRADING (2.00.) WE HAD NO GOLD LIQUIDATION ANYWHERE. TOTAL OPEN INTEREST GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 20,239 OI CONTRACTS…

We have now entered the active contract month of JANUARY. The open interest for the front month of JANUARY saw it’s open interest FALL by 46 contracts DOWN to 197.  We had 50 notices served on Friday so we GAINED 4 contracts or 400 additional oz of gold will  stand in this non active month AND AGAIN WE WITNESS QUEUE JUMPING .

FEBRUARY saw a gain of 1436 contacts up to 362,453.  March saw a gain of 13 contracts up to 57.  April saw a GAIN of 805 contracts UP to 41,867. (CORRECTING CME ERROR)

We had 50 notice(s) filed upon today for 5000 oz

PRELIMINARY VOLUME TODAY ESTIMATED; 248,952

FINAL NUMBERS CONFIRMED FOR YESTERDAY: 383,417

comex gold volumes are RISING AGAIN

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total silver OI FELL BY A SMALL 695 CONTRACTS FROM 192,243 DOWN TO 191,727 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S TINY 2 CENT RISE IN PRICE WHICH SEEMS TO INDICATE WE HAD ANOTHER MAJOR ROUND OF BANKER SHORT-COVERING.  NOT ONLY THAT, WE HAD ANOTHER HUMONGOUS SIZED 3123 EMERGENCY EFP’S FOR MARCH ISSUED BY OUR BANKERS (ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS) TO COMEX LONGS WHO RECEIVED A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON: THE TOTAL EFP’S ISSUED: 3123. 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 SMALL LONG COMEX SILVER LIQUIDATION BUT A RISE IN TOTAL SILVER OI AS IT SEEMS THAT WE ARE WITNESSING SOME MAJOR BANKER SHORT-COVERING. WE ARE ALSO WITNESSING A FAIR AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR COMEX METAL IN THIS NON ACTIVE JANUARY 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 GAINED 2427 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS:

695 CONTRACT LOSS AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 3123 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN: 2427 CONTRACTS

We are now in the poor non active delivery month of January and here the OI loss by 180 contracts down to 24.  We had 181 notices served upon yesterday, so we GAINED 1 contract or an additional 5,000 oz will  stand for delivery

 

February saw a GAIN OF 2 OI contracts RISING TO 180. The March contract LOST 1613 contracts DOWN to 149,569.

We had 0 notice(s) filed for NIL oz for the January 2018 contract for silver

INITIAL standings for JANUARY

Jan 4/2018.

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
16 notice(s)
1600 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
181 contracts
(18,100 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
238 notices
23800 oz
0.7402 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 JANUARY:
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 16 contract(s) of which 16 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 0 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account.

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To calculate the INITIAL total number of gold ounces standing for the JANUARY. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (238) x 100 oz or 23800 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of JAN. (197 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (16 x 100 oz per contract) equals 41,900 oz, the number of ounces standing in this active month of JANUARY

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

No of notices served (222 x 100 oz or ounces + {(197)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (50 x 100 oz which equals 41,900 oz standing in this active delivery month of JANUARY (1.303 tonnes). THERE IS 33.29 TONNES OF REGISTERED GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY SO FAR.

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ON FIRST DAY NOTICE FOR JANUARY 2017, THE INITIAL GOLD STANDING: 3.904 TONNES STANDING

BY THE END OF THE MONTH: FINAL: 3.555 TONNES STOOD FOR COMEX DELIVERY AS THE REMAINDER HAD TRANSFERRED OVER TO LONDON FORWARDS.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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 FINAL standings

Jan 4/ 2018
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)
0
CONTRACT(S)
(NIL OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
24 contract
(120,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 505 contracts

(2,525,000 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 JANUARY. contract month is represented by 0 contract(s) FOR NIL oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in JANUARY., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 505 x 5,000 oz = 2,525,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of JAN. (24) and the number of notices served upon today (0 x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the JANUARY contract month: 505(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of JANUARY(24) -number of notices served upon today (0)x 5000 oz equals 2,645,000 oz of silver standing for the JANUARY contract month. This is VERY GOOD for this NONACTIVE delivery month of JANUARY.  WE GAINED 1 CONTRACT OR AN ADDITIONAL 5,000 OZ WILL  STAND 

 

ON FIRST DAY NOTICE FOR THE JANUARY 2017 CONTRACT WE HAD 3,790 MILLION OZ STAND.

THE FINAL STANDING: 3,730 MILLION OZ

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ESTIMATED VOLUME FOR TODAY: 49,601

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR FRIDAY: 96,611 CONTRACTS

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 96,611 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 483 MILLION OZ OR 69.0% 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 2.4 percent to NAV usa funds and Negative 2.2% to NAV for Cdn funds!!!!
Percentage of fund in gold 62.8%
Percentage of fund in silver:37.0%
cash .+.2%( Jan 3/2018)

2. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV RISES TO -0.91% (Jan 3/2018)??????????????????????????????
3. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -0.50% to NAV (Jan 3 /2018 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -0.91%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.50%/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

Jan 4/2018/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 836.32 tonnes

Jan 3/a huge withdrawal of 1.18 tonnes of gold from the GLD/Inventory rests at 836.32 tonnes

Jan 2/2018/no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 837.50 tonnes

Dec 29/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 837.50 TONNES

Dec 28/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 837.50 TONNES

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

 

 

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Jan 4/2018/ Inventory rests tonight at 836.32 tonnes

*IN LAST 304 TRADING DAYS: 104.65 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 239 TRADING DAYS: A NET 52.66 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO GLD INVENTORY.
*FROM FEB 1/2017: A NET 211.754TONNES HAVE BEEN ADDED.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

Jan 4.2018/a slight withdrawal of 180,000 oz and this would be to pay for fees/inventory rests at 320.449 million oz/

Jan 3/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.629 MILLION OZ.

Jan 2/WITH SILVER UP DRAMATICALLY THESE PAST 4 TRADING DAYS, THE FOLLOWING MAKES NO SENSE: WE HAD A WITHDRAWAL OF 2.83 MILLION OZ FROM THE SLV

INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.629 MILLION OZ/

Dec 29/no changes in silver inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 323.459 million oz/

Dec 28/DESPITE THE RISE IN SILVER AGAIN BY 13 CENTS, WE LOST ANOTHER 1,251,000 OZ OF SILVER FROM THE SILVER.

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.

 

 

Jan 3/2017:

Inventory 320.449 million oz

end

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

+ 1.74%
12 Month MM GOFO
+ 1.97%
30 day trend

end

Major gold/silver trading /commentaries for THURSDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

Palladium Prices Surge To New Record High Over $1,100 On Supply Crunch Concerns  January 4– Palladium prices surge to new record high over $1,100/oz today
– Palladium surges past record nominal price seen in 2001 after 55% surge in 2017
– Best-performing precious metal and commodity of 2017 is palladium
– Palladium prices top platinum prices for first time in 16 years

– Strong Chinese car demand and switch from diesel to petrol cars sees demand surge
– Supply crunch as six year supply deficit & 2017 deficit expected to hit 83,000 ounces
– Palladium supply crunch to intensify if world’s leading producer Russia restricts supply and investors diversify into tiny palladium bullion market
Editor: Mark O’Byrne

Palladium prices surged to a new record nominal high today, over $1,100 an ounce on growing concerns of a supply crunch in the very small physical palladium bullion market. It is important to remember this is a nominal record high and adjusted for inflation, palladium prices would have to reach over $1,400 per ounce in order to surpass the 2001 record high.

Nymex palladium futures for March delivery increased by 2.5% to $1,087.35 yesterday after hitting $1,090.45, ‘the highest for a most-active contract in records going back to 1986’ according to Bloomberg.

Palladium prices very strong performance can be attributed to two main, complementary factors: falling supply and increased demand in the automotive industry. It has also benefited from a weak dollar, expectations of future market changes and geopolitical risk and tensions with Russia.

Supply concerns

The palladium market has seen a supply deficit for six of the last seven years. In 2017, the deficit was expected to reach 83,000 ounces.

In contrast, the platinum market has been in over supply, a situation which is expected to continue well into 2020.

According to Nymex tracked warehouse inventories shrank 25% in December. This marked the fourth consecutive annual decline.

The majority of the world’s palladium supply – over 80% by some estimates – are found in just one country, Russia. This in itself could complicate matters when it comes to supply as we have covered in the past.

Russia has restricted supplies of valuable and strategic natural resources, such as natural gas, in the past and geopolitical tensions and resource nationalism could see it do so again. This would lead to much higher prices in a very small, finite physical market that is already in deficit.

Dirty diesel

After years of hearing about the benefits of diesel engines and enjoying tax breaks from governments, motorists are now doing an about-face turn and embracing petrol engines which are now reportedly better. This is in part thanks to palladium which helps to combat emissions from such engines.

Diesel market share in Europe has been under pressure since carmaker Volkswagen admitted in 2015 that it had used illegal software to cheat U.S. emissions tests, slipping below 50 percent the following year for the first time since 2009, as reported by Bloomberg.

Kieron Hodgson, analyst at Panmure Gordon, told the Telegraph that palladium’s recent surge was directly connected to “the demise of the diesel engine and the resurgence of gasoline.” Forecasters expect the number of diesel engines to halve over the next ten years.

Some of the 17-year highs seen in the 2017 palladium price came on the back of expectations that demand in the automotive industry is going to keep climbing.

Much of the demand for cars has come from an uptick in car sales in both the US and especially China. Approximately 78% of palladium supply is used in the automotive sector. Whilst this may seem to be painful news for the likes of platinum (used in diesel cars’ catalytic converters) it at least has the benefit of diversification.

Approximately only 43% of mined platinum is used in catalytic converters, while around 30% goes into jewellery. The balance is split between the likes of electricals and chemicals.

Unsurprisingly, manufacturers are likely to begin seeking alternatives to palladium given the costs and limited supply. This is where platinum may benefit as it can also be used in catalytic converters.

Will the record breaking continue?

2018 may see a calming in the palladium market and a correction could be expected given the scale of price gains in 2017. However, it is not expected to have a dramatic impact on price. Whilst the market may currently seem both overheated and over- speculated the fundamentals that are driving the price are unlikely to change in the next twelve months.

After all, there is little anyone can do to boost supply and demand shows little sign of abating imminently.

When we are told that we should invest in precious metals then we primarily think of gold and silver. The truth is, that we should consider platinum and palladium which are, like silver, industrial commodities and can play a significant and beneficial role in portfolio diversification.

In terms of holding palladium in your portfolio, there is now research showing the diversification benefits of investing in palladium and platinum bullion.

  • Platinum and palladium in the long-run
    Using data from 1914 to 1996 to assess the inflation hedging ability of the white precious metals Taylor (1998) finds that platinum and palladium ‘served as a long-run inflation hedge, while evidence also points towards the short-run hedging abilities of platinum.’
  • Which trading strategy should I use?
    By examining the daily price of silver between January 1968 and March 2016 and the daily price observations of platinum and palladium between April 1990 and March 2016, Almudhaf and Al Kulaib (2016) conclude that a traditional buy-and-hold strategy outperforms an attempted market timing strategy
  • The white precious metals are increasing in importance
    Fernandez (2017) also finds that the rise in importance of the price of white precious metals and consumer confidence and exchange rates in the United States, [is] in line with the rise in importance of white precious metals as an investments asset.’

There is a strong case for having an allocation of some 20% to 30% of an investment or savings portfolio in physical precious metals. The majority of this should be in gold and silver but as we have seen the academic research shows that having smaller allocations – maybe 5% and 5% – to platinum and palladium – will also have diversification benefits.

Investors would be prudent to consider an allocation to all four precious metals, and rebalance when there is outperformance, in order to maximise the safe haven aspect and return of their portfolio.

In order to benefit from the safe haven qualities or precious metals, investors should opt for physical bullion in the form of coins and bars and opt for allocated and segregated storage as provided by GoldCore for gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion.

-END-

 


Your early THURSDAY 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

Stocks Smash Records Around The Globe; Nikkei Has Best Annual Start Since 1996

Another day, another record high in markets around the globe as stocks – contrary to what Jeremy Grantham expects  – have already entered the blow-off top mania phase. U.S. equity index futures rise, following a jump in European and Asian shares, while the Nikkei exploded higher after being held back for the past two days by holidays. Base metals and the euro gain.

European stocks rose the most in over two weeks on an acceleration in risk euphoria and signs the global economic expansion of 2017 remains intact. European bourses (Eurostoxx 50 +0.8%) trade higher across the board with all ten sectors in the green, as builders and automakers lead the advance. Gains are relatively broad-based with the exception of consumer staples which trades relatively flat, financials supported post-FOMC minutes. Today has seen a turn in sentiment for UK retail names with Debenhams (tumbling -17.7%) taking the shine off the sector after a disappointing sales update which saw the Co. cut their guidance.

Confirming Europe’s upward economic momentum, Markit reported the best EU Composite PMI since February 2011, printing at 58.1, above last month’s 58.0 and the expected 58.0. The breakdown as follows:

  • EU Markit Comp Final PMI (Dec) 58.1 vs. Exp. 58.0 (Prev. 58.0), EU Markit Services Final PMI (Dec) 56.6 vs. Exp. 56.5 (Prev. 56.5)
  • German Markit Comp Final PMI (Dec) 58.9 vs. Exp. 58.7 (Prev. 58.7), German Markit Services PMI (Dec) 55.8 vs. Exp. 55.8 (Prev. 55.8)
  • French Markit Comp PMI (Dec) 59.6 vs. Exp. 60.0 (Prev. 60.0), French Markit Services PMI (Dec) 59.1 vs. Exp. 59.4 (Prev. 59.4)
  • Italian Markit/ADACI Services PMI (Dec) 55.4 vs. Exp. 54.7 (Prev. 54.7)
  • Spanish Services PMI (Dec) 54.6 vs. Exp. 54.7 (Prev. 54.4)

Earlier, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index headed for another record close after benchmarks in Tokyo closed at their highest in more than a quarter century, and posting their biggest one-day gains since November 2016. Japanese investors returned to the market after two extra days of holidays for the first time this year, catching up to the rest of the global euphoria with the Nikkei 225 closing up 3.3%, boosted by tech firms and banks, the best annual opening day since 1996 while the Topix index (+2.6%) closed at its best level since 1991 as brokers and oil & coal lead gains in all 33 industry groups.

asd

In macro, the dollar slipped and U.S. Treasuries declined as minutes of last month’s Federal Reserve meeting showed policy makers continue to back a “gradual approach” to raising interest rates.

The USD unwound post FOMC minutes gains and reversed course, with the DXY trading below the 92.00 level with EUR/USD moving higher in the wake of another set of relatively strong PMI figures. The composite PMI rose to its highest level since February 2011 as Germany rose to its highest level in 80 months. AUD/NZD/CAD are all back in the ascendency vs the Greenback, with AUD/USD absorbing at least some 0.7850 offers overnight on the back of China’s services PMI beat and another rise in iron ore prices. The Kiwi has reclaimed the 0.7100 handle having tested, but not clearly breaching key tech DMAs around 0.7105-0.7100 yesterday despite a short dip below the big figure. USD/CAD still drawn to 1.2500 amidst a range up to circa 1.2550, with the Loonie supported by firm crude prices.

Core European bonds pared Wednesday’s gains and the euro advanced toward a three-year high as data showed economic activity in the euro-area accelerated to the fastest pace in almost seven years.  US Treasury yields were supported as traders lifted the odds of a Fed move by end-March, gains were limited as the minutes from the Dec. 12-13 policy meeting still lacked any explicit signal of a move in the first quarter, with some officials reiterating their concern about low inflation. “There was no suggestion that the Fed is beginning to feel concerned over the possibility of falling behind the curve,” said Lee Hardman, a currency analyst at MUFG, in a client note. “There appears to be a high hurdle for the Fed to deliver a faster pace of rate hikes beyond their current plans for three hikes in 2018. As a result, we continue to believe that the U.S. dollar will struggle to reverse last year’s weakening trend.”

Meanwhile, commodities extended a record run of gains as oil climbed from the highest close in three years. As shown in the chart below, commodities are enjoying a record run of gains that straddles the end of 2017 and the start of the new year as crude oil notches multiyear highs and investors bet that booming global manufacturing output will help to sustain rising demand for raw materials.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index, which tracks returns on 22 raw materials, posted an unprecedented 14 days of gains to Wednesday, closing at the highest since February. Bloomberg notes that the index is poised for further gains as metals and oil climb higher, supported by supply disruptions, a weaker dollar and improving demand. Palladium, a metal used in car exhaust systems, is approaching an all-time high.

asd

The Bloomberg Commodity Index has rebounded 12 percent since mid-June. In recent days, the cold snap in the U.S., which helped to boost wheat as well as natural gas, also helping to lift the index. Still, prices remain well below the highs from 2008.

Oil climbed from the highest in three years as optimism on the global economy, cold weather and political unrest bolstered a market that’s finally shaking off a prolonged surplus. Crude is having its best start to a year since 2012, after hitting $62 a barrel in New York. Swollen inventories in the U.S. are declining and could shrink further as winter storms boost demand for heating fuel, while a strong economy underpins consumption. OPEC is continuing its fight against a global glut, while street protests are stoking concern over the stability of the group’s third-biggest producer, Iran.

“The rise in oil prices has mainly been caused by the freezing polar vortex hitting the U.S., firing up heating demand, and spurring concern about a potential impact on oil production and trade,” said Jens Naervig Pedersen, an analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen.

sdf

Copper, a bellwether for global manufacturing, climbed 1 percent after U.S. factory output data on Wednesday beat expectations. China also imposed heavy curbs on scrap imports, leaving buyers there more reliant on mined output, which analysts see tightening in the months ahead.

The commodity rally has ignited shares of producers. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, has risen in London to the highest since 2014. BP Plc, the British oil major, posted the first back-to-back annual gain last year since 2005.

In the weeks ahead, Chinese credit data and central bank policy will be key to determining whether the gains continue, Citigroup’s Layton said. “The only reluctance that people have in terms of getting more bullish on metals and bulks is that China has clearly shifted the tone from growth targets to quality over quantity, and people don’t know what that means yet. Chinese credit numbers are going to be critical to setting the tone for the first half, and I think they’re going to be fine.”

Expected data include jobless claims. Walgreens Boots, Monsanto and Lamb Weston are among companies reporting earnings.

Bulletin headline summary from RanSquawk

  • Eurozone composite PMI hits highest level since February 2011
  • Crude trades in close proximity to multi-year highs amid a draw in API inventories and ongoing Iranian tensions
  • Highlights today include US jobless claims, services PMI and DoE oil inventories

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 2,714.50
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 392.30
  • MSCI Asia Pacific up 1.2% to 178.01
  • MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan up 0.4% to 582.18
  • Nikkei up 3.3% to 23,506.33
  • Topix up 2.6% to 1,863.82
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.6% to 30,736.48
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.5% to 3,385.71
  • Sensex up 0.5% to 33,975.81
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.1% to 6,077.08
  • Kospi down 0.8% to 2,466.46
  • German 10Y yield rose 1.2 bps to 0.454%
  • Euro up 0.2% to $1.2033
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 2.7 bps to 1.798%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 3.1 bps to 1.567%
  • Brent futures little changed at $67.84/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.01% to $1,313.05
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.1% to 92.07

Top Overnight News via BBG

  • Economic output in the euro-area accelerated to the fastest pace in almost seven years as services surged while factories benefited from booming domestic demand and near-record growth in export orders
  • London was the worst-performing home market in the U.K. last year for the first time in more than a decade and may be stuck there
  • Donald Trump’s desire to squeeze Kim Jong Un’s regime risks being undermined by the furtive maneuvers of oil tankers at sea
  • Russia Deputy Foreign Minister: warns U.S. against any intervention in Iran
  • European Dec. Service PMIs: Spain 54.6 vs 54.6 est; Italy 55.4 vs 54.7 est; France 59.1 vs 59.4 est; Germany 55.8 vs 55.8 est; U.K. 54.2 vs 54.0 est.
  • China Dec. Caixin Services PMI: 53.9 vs 51.8 est.
  • South Africa: ANC party to consider removing Zuma as nation’s president m at Jan. 10 meeting of National Executive Committee
  • API inventories according to people familiar w/data: Crude -5.0m; Cushing -2.1m; Gasoline +1.8m; Distillates +4.3m
  • U.S. Data: lockup for today’s weekly unemployment claims data canceled due to weather, will be released via website
  • Massive Winter Storm Threatens New York With Snow and Floods
  • Calpers Seeks Manager for $40 Billion Private Equity Portfolio
  • Intel, Microsoft Deal With Widespread Computer-Chip Weakness
  • Debenhams Profit Warning Clouds U.K. Retailers’ Christmas
  • London House Market Worst in U.K. With Price Decline Last Year
  • Euro-Area Activity Accelerates to Fastest Pace Since Early 2011
  • China Property Bonds Seen Facing Highest Default Risk in ’18

Asian bourses continued their rising streak, with the region trading at around 10yr highs. Japanese investors returned to the market for the first time this year, catch up play has been observed with the Nikkei 225 up 3.3%, while the Topix index (+2.6%) closed at its best level since 1991. ASX 200 (+0.1%) was buoyed by energy names yet again amid the persistent rise in crude. Elsewhere, Chinese markets made marginal gains, Shanghai Comp up a modest 0.33% and Hang Seng 0.57% with sentiment supported by Caixin Services PMI which saw its fastest growth since Aug’14. Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda says will continue patiently with easy monetary policy, adding that the economy is showing steady growth. Chinese released its latest Caixin Services PMI for December, which smashed expectations at 53.9 (vs. Exp. 51.8, Prev. 51.9), its fastest rise since Aug 2014.

Top Asian News

  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Gauge Has Best Start to Year Since 1996
  • Saudi Aramco Is Said to Seek Adviser for Global Gas Deals
  • Reliance Communications Lenders Seen Facing Earnings Hit
  • Axiata Is Said to Consider $500 Million Tower Unit IPO This Year
  • Australian Pot Stocks Soar After Government Relaxes Rules
  • Turkey’s Halkbank Could Suffer From Ex-Banker’s U.S. Conviction

European markets trade higher across the board (Eurostoxx 50 +0.8%) with all ten sectors in the green in the wake of a relatively upbeat Asia-Pac session after Japanese markets returned from their market holiday. Gains are relatively broad-based with the exception of consumer staples which trades relatively flat, financials supported post-FOMC minutes. Today has seen a turn in sentiment for UK retail names with Debenhams (-17.7%) taking the shine off the sector after a disappointing sales update which saw the Co. cut their guidance.

Top European News

  • U.K. Said to Think Barnier Bluffing on No Brexit Deal for Banks
  • Ocado Gains on Renewed M&A Speculation, Rumors of Contract Win
  • Brexit, Prices Cast Shadow Over Buoyant U.K. Services Industry

In FX, the USD has reversed course and the DXY trades below the 92.00 level with EUR/USD moving higher in the wake of another set of relatively strong PMI figures. The composite PMI rose to its highest level since February 2011 as Germany rose to its highest level in 80 months. AUD/NZD/CAD are all back in the ascendency vs the Greenback, with AUD/USD absorbing at least some 0.7850 offers overnight on the back of China’s services PMI beat and another rise in iron ore prices. The Kiwi has reclaimed the 0.7100 handle having tested, but not clearly breaching key tech DMAs around 0.7105-0.7100 yesterday despite a short dip below the big figure. USD/CAD still drawn to 1.2500 amidst a range up to circa 1.2550, with the Loonie supported by firm crude prices GBP is another  gainer vs the USD, as Cable rebounds from sub-1.3500 lows with a modest beat on UK services PMI (54.2 vs. Exp.
54.1) unable to offer much traction in the currency.

In commodities, WTI and Brent crude futures trade in close proximity to recent highs (albeit WTI back below USD 62.00) with oil prices supported by a multitude of factors including last night’s draw in the APIs and ongoing tensions in Iran which has led some to speculate whether the US could remove their waiver of sanctions on Iran (given recent rhetoric from the US). Additionally, Libyan Waha oil output has risen to 272K bpd after pipe repairs. In metals markets, gold has recouped some of yesterday’s post-FOMC minutes inspired losses with prices continuing to track fluctuations in the USD. Elsewhere, Chinese steel rebar futures were seen lower overnight as concerns over weather impacts on production continue to linger. Furthermore, China have vowed to meet targets to cut steel production capacity. Libya Waha oil output rises to 272K bpd after pipe repair. Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have deployed forces to three provinces to put down anti-government unrest after six days of protests.

Looking at the day ahead, we have the final readings for the December services and composite PMIs across Europe and the US. In the UK, the December Nationwide House price index, November mortgage approvals and net consumer credit data will be due. Over in the US, there is the December ADP employment change print (190k expected) along with the weekly initial jobless and continuing claims. Away from the data, the Fed’s Bullard will speak at an economic convention.

US Event Calendar

  • 7:30am: Challenger Job Cuts YoY, prior 30.1%
  • 8:15am: ADP Employment Change, est. 190,000, prior 190,000
  • 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, est. 241,000, prior 245,000
  • 8:30am: Continuing Claims, est. 1.93m, prior 1.94m
  • 9:45am: Markit US Services PMI, est. 52.5, prior 52.4
  • 9:45am: Markit US Composite PMI, prior 53
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, prior 52.4

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

With 2018 four days old I hope you’ve managed to keep to your new year’s resolutions so far. Mine is to drink less caffeine. If truth be told I’ve always drunk too much tea and now the twins are causing me much stress and upheaval my habit has got out of hand. So here we go….. I’m Jim Reid and I’m a tea-oholic! You’ll find me shaking at my desk this morning whilst drinking a decaf tea.

US equities’ new year’s resolution is obviously to continue to go up in 2018 and yesterday saw more fresh records after a blockbuster ISM and Fed minutes that didn’t really rock the boat. Elsewhere a lot of other assets reversed their opening day 2018 move with the dollar climbing, bond yields rallying and European stocks recovering with the weak Euro. To recap, the S&P rose 0.64% to >2,700 with gains led by energy stocks, while the Stoxx also rose (+0.48%) for the first time in four days. Core 10y bond yields fell c2bp (UST -1.6bp; Bunds -2.6bp) and Gilts fell 7.3bp to largely reverse Tuesday’s move. In FX, the USD dollar index gained 0.34% while Euro fell (-0.36%) for the first time in six days. Finally, the VIX dropped 6.35% to 9.15, marginally above its all-time low of 9.14.

On the data front, the December ISM manufacturing PMI was above expectations at 59.7 (vs. 58.2) and the second highest reading in six years. On an annual basis, the strength was also evident with the 2017 average  reading of 57.6 the best in 13 years. In the details, the ISM prices paid jumped to 69 and the gauge of new orders rose to 69.4 – the highest in c14 years.

Turning to the FOMC minutes now. They continue to favour gradual rate hikes but comments on inflation seemed a bit hawkish. On rates, most participants reiterated support for “continuing a gradual approach to raising the target range” (ie: three more hikes in 2018). On the inflation debate, participants noted that “recent readings on monthly inflation had edged up” with “many” participants expecting it to move towards target, although some thought it may stay below target longer than expected and several expressed concerns about inflation expectations. Further, participants discussed several risks that could result in a faster increase in inflation such as higher output, fiscal stimulus or accommodative financial conditions. On the flat yield curve, participants “generally agreed that the current degree of flatness….was not unusual by historical standards”, but several participants thought it required ongoing monitoring. Finally, on tax cuts, many participants expect the reforms to provide a lift to consumer spending and “a modest boost to capital spending”. The Bloomberg implied odds of a rate hike in March increased  c12ppt to 81% yesterday.

This morning, Japan’s final reading of the Nikkei manufacturing PMI was 54 (vs. 53.6 prior month) and to the highest level since early 2014, while China’s December Caixin composite PMI also beat at 53.0 (vs. 51.6 previous). Asian markets are broadly higher as we type. The Nikkei is up 2.87% after trading resumed for 2018 while the Hang Seng (+0.55%) and China’s CSI 300 (+0.51%) are up modestly. The Kospi bucked the trend to be down 0.49%.

With the global PMIs/ISM now complete, we’ve updated our usual YoY equity market performance versus the new data based on a regression between the two series over the last 20 years. At face value Europe looks very cheap with the DAX and CAC 30% and 18% lower than where the manufacturing PMIs suggest they should be given the historic relationship between the two. However if we re-benchmark the relationship and dollar adjust the YoY equity market performance we find that these two markets are 14% cheap and only 1% cheap respectively. Other European markets go from being cheap to more in line or a touch expensive (peripherals). This is obviously due to the very strong YoY performance of the Euro over the last 12 months (+15.5% vs the Dollar) that’s preventing European equities from fully benefiting in local currency terms from the strength in the PMIs. For example the DAX should be up around 43% over the last 12 months given where the PMI is but is only up 12%. However on a dollar adjusted basis the DAX is up 29% over the period.

Given the big currency swings the US market is perhaps a better template for general valuations. The regression suggests the S&P 500 should be up 25% YoY whereas it is now up around 20%. So slightly cheap given the data. If we dollar adjust everything, current equity market performance generally implies European, US, UK and Japanese PMIs in the 57-59 region whereas Germany is currently 63.3 and the US at 59.7. We’ve included both local currency and dollar adjusted numbers. As we always say we use this as a rough guide to valuations and try to concentrate on the general cheapness/expensiveness of global markets rather than individual ones where distortions can occur.

Now briefly recapping other market performance from yesterday. US bourses strengthened to fresh highs, with S&P (+0.64%), Dow (+0.40%) and Nasdaq (+0.84%) all higher. Within the S&P, gains were led by energy and tech stocks, with partial offset from telco names. European markets were all higher, with the DAX up (+0.83%) for the first time in six days. Across the region, the CAC (+0.81%), Spain’s IBEX (+0.37%) and FTSE (+0.30%) also advanced.

Elsewhere, key currencies fell modestly against a stronger Greenback with the Euro and Sterling down 0.36% and 0.54% respectively. In commodities, WTI oil rose 2.09% to $61.63/bbl – the highest in 2.5 years, in part on expectations that the EIA report will continue to show a drop in US crude stockpiles. Precious metals softened c0.3% (Gold -0.33%; Silver -0.31%), while other base metals also weakened c0.5% (copper -0.44%; zinc -0.42%; aluminium -0.60%).

Away from markets and onto selected headlines across Europe now. Ireland has sold the first European sovereign bond issuance for the year, with its €4bn bond sale attracting strong investor demand with bids of around €14bn. Over in Germany, the SPD leader Mr Schultz has met with Ms Merkel yesterday to discuss procedural matters. Post the meeting, both parties noted “trust has grown and we’re starting negotiations optimistically”. Looking ahead, formal exploratory talks are scheduled to begin on 7 January.

Back onto Brexit, the UK’s Trade secretary Liam Fox has confirmed UK’s interest in potentially joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade group post Brexit, noting that “we want to explore all the opportunities” and “we would be foolish not to look at all the potential”. Elsewhere, two unnamed senior UK government officials noted to Bloomberg that UK based banks will continue to operate freely across the EU bloc post Brexit and that EU negotiator Barnier will soften his stance in not including financial services firms in trade deal discussions that are scheduled to start in March.

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, the November construction spending was also above market at 0.8% mom (vs. 0.5% expected). Factoring in the ISM and above, the Atlanta Fed now forecast 4Q GDP to expand at an annualised rate of 3.2% vs. 2.8% previously. Over in Germany, the December unemployment rate was in line at 5.5% and steady on last month’s revised reading. In the UK, the December construction PMI was slightly below at 52.2 (vs. 53 expected).

Looking at the day ahead, we have the final readings for the December services and composite PMIs across Europe and the US. In the UK, the December Nationwide House price index, November mortgage approvals and net consumer credit data will be due. Over in the US, there is the December ADP employment change print (190k expected) along with the weekly initial jobless and continuing claims. Away from the data, the Fed’s Bullard will speak at an economic convention.

 

end

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

NORTH KOREA/

 

I guess communication is a good thing as the USA, and South korea agree not to hold military drills during the Olympics

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

Pyongyang Scores Diplomatic Victory After US & South Korea Agree Not To Hold Military Drills During Olympics

One month ago, in what appeared to be an imminent diplomatic victory for North Korea’s president Kim Jong-Un, we reported  that Kim’s regime may have “successfully bluffed its way into getting the US to stop holding massive army drills with South Korea’s army.” As the FT further noted, South Korea asked the US to “delay” joint military exercises until after the Winter Olympics, in order to lower the chances that North Korea takes provocative actions during the Pyeongchang Games, which Seoul wants to use to showcase the country’s development.

Well, if it was North Korea’s intention to bluff its way into blocking joint military drills off the Korean peninsula, it succeeded because as the WSJ reports, President Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed not to hold springtime military exercises during the Olympics, the South Korean president’s office said Thursday, a move that could cool tensions with North Korea.

The agreement came during a 30-minute phone call between the two presidents, Seoul’s presidential Blue House said in a statement.

As noted last month, Moon had requested the U.S. delay the annual exercises, which Pyongyang has railed against, so they don’t coincide with the Paralympics, which end on Mar. 18. Meanwhile, disagreement has been brewing between Seoul and Washington over how to rein in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons program. The U.S. late Wednesday in Washington requested South Korea arrange the call, an official at the Blue House said, declining to comment further.

The detente took place in the past 48 hours, however, when the Moon administration seized on an opening from North Korea to propose a face-to-face meeting next week to discuss its atomic weapons program and an announcement by Kim that he would consider sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics in the South Korean ski resort of Pyeongchang next month.

“We will closely cooperate with the U.S. in any talks with the North, and strongly believe inter-Korean talks will help create a mood desirable for U.S.-North Korea talks aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear weapons issue,” Moon said in the call, according to the Blue House, which also said that Trump said “the U.S. supports Mr. Moon 100%.

The statement avoids another potentially embarrassing diplomatic fiasco: as the WSJ notes, the talks have emerged as a point of tension. Seoul has tried to dispel rumors that it approached the North without consulting the U.S.

It has also tried to assuage concerns that talks could lead to a cancellation of the springtime military exercises.

“The South Korean government disagrees with the idea of cancelling the military exercises in return for the North halting its nuclear weapons program,” South Korean Foreign Ministry Spokesman Roh Kyu-deok said in a press briefing Thursday. The South also consulted the U.S. through diplomatic channels before proposing talks on Tuesday, he added.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said the South would aim to better relations with the North, while also cooperating with global efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear weapons program.

The South Korean defense ministry in a separate briefing Thursday dismissed reports that the North could be preparing a missile launch, saying the South had not detected any unusual activities hinting a launch was near, declining to comment further.

* * *

Meanwhile, Trump did everything in his power to save face in light of the detente between the two Koreas by trying to take credit for the apparent thawing of diplomatic tensions between the two nations, stating that his “firm and strong” stance has enabled talks.

Trump, who has openly traded insults with Kim and once suggested North Korea’s long-range missile program should be met with “fire and fury,” tweeted on Thursday that his approach to the delicate situation had fostered an environment for talks.

With all of the failed “experts” weighing in, does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn’t firm, strong and willing to commit our total “might” against the North. Fools, but talks are a good thing!

Slamming “failed experts,” Trump asked if the recent communication between North and South Korea would really be happening without his involvement. “Fools, but talks are a good thing,” the US president added.

end

 

 

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

c) REPORT ON CHINA

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

7. OIL ISSUES

 

Oil rises on a bigger than expected crude draw

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

WTI/RBOB Rise After Biggest Crude Draw Since August

WTI/RBOB were sinking into the DOE data, despite API’s solid crude draw data, after tagging $62/$1.81 overnight. Official data confirmed API’s with the seventh straight week of crude builds (biggest crude build since Aug) and gasoline draws but it was distillates’ massive build (most since Dec 2016) that stood out.

A pull-back in prices might be seen if builds in gasoline and distillate inventories are larger than a crude oil decline, according to Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA. Yet, a second weekly drop in U.S. crude production would be “a bullish indicator.”

Bloomberg’s Intelligence Energy Analysts Fernando Valle and Vince Piazza note the potential weather effects…

Although winter usually ushers in a slowdown in demand, refiners are being encouraged to use domestic crude instead of imports tied to the Brent benchmark, whose price remains elevated because of Middle East tensions.

Cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere is having diverging effects on distillates and gasoline. It’s making distillate refining margins larger, putting downward pressure on supplies, while gasoline cracks are likely to narrow as frigid temperatures discourage domestic demand and exports.

API

  • Crude -4.992mm (-5mm exp)
  • Cushing -2.11mm
  • Gasoline +1.87mm (+2mm exp)
  • Distillates +4.272mm (+500k exp) – biggest build since Jun 2017

DOE

  • Crude -7.419mm (-4.7mm exp) – biggest draw since Aug 2017
  • Cushing -2.441mm
  • Gasoline +4.813m(+2mm exp)
  • Distillates +8.899mm (+500k exp) – biggest build since Dec 2016

This is the seventh straight week of crude draws and gasoline builds but it is distillates’ massive 8.9mm builds (the most since Dec 2016) that stands out… As Bloomberg notes, Distillate shipments were the lowest since ports were shut post-Hurricane Harvey in September. That accounts for at least 2.5 million of the distillate stock build.

1

Bloomberg Intelligence Energy Analyst Fernando Valle:

The massive refined product builds of 4.8 and 8.9 million barrels for gasoline and distillate, respectively, will dampen optimism for the 7.4 million barrel crude withdrawal. Implied demand fell significantly, impacted by the holiday season and a large drop in product exports.

Notably Cushing stocks have declined considerably, nearing their 5-year average for the first time since Jan 2015.

Imports to the Midwest hit a record of almost 3 million barrels a day last week. Enbridge’s pipelines are filled to the gills, and the deep discount of heavy Canadian crude has opened the arb for rail shipments.

Total crude inventory is now at its lowest since Oct 2015 (but is still around 28% above the pre-2014 normal average)…

 

1

 

Production fell the prior week for the first time since the hurricanes, but rebounded in the latest week by 28k b/d…

 

1

 

“We may soon see an end to the rally because prices at this level will only make U.S. drillers boost production,” said Will Yun, a commodities analyst at Hyundai Futures Corp.

 

WTI traded above $62 overnight continuing its best start to a year since 2012. This is the highest in three years as optimism on the global economy, cold weather and political unrest bolstered a market that’s finally shaking off a prolonged surplus. But while the overnight session was exciting, WTI/RBOB prices slid lower into the DOE data and the machines seemed unsure which way to run prices after the data…

 

1

“The year has started very, very well for OPEC,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultants Energy Aspects Ltd., said in a Bloomberg television interview.

 

We have been pointing out to you how the new Petro Yuan scheme will shake up the oil futures market as well as gold and the dollar

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

8. EMERGING MARKET

 

Venezuela can only pay for medicine with diamonds and gold

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

 end

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

DOW: UP 152.45 OR .61%

NASDAQ UP 12.38 OR 0.18%

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

Dow Tops 25k As Gold Surges To All-Time Record Win Streak

“Life’s a bit of shit, when you look at it…”

 

The Dow reached 25,000 for the first time today.

 

1

The move from 24,000 on 11/1 was the fastest (in terms of calendar days) ever for a 1000-point move…

1

Source: WSJ

But adjusted for the percentage difference that 1000-point gain is at 24k vs 10k etc, this latest move is the 4th fastest gain ever with the 1999 surge from 10k to 11k (at 0.4% per day) as the most aggressive buying ever…

 

1

Source: WSJ

Perhaps even more shocking is the fact that the in less than a year, The Dow went from 20k to 25k with only 5 stocks responsible for half of those 5000 points.

  • Boeing +898pts
  • UnitedHealth +429pts
  • Caterpillar +407pts
  • 3M +406pts
  • Home Depot +355pts

Nasdaq remains 2018’s biggest winner with Small Caps and The Dow lagging with only a 1.3% gain in 3 days…

 

1

 

Notably, VIX traded with an 8 handle for the 2nd day in a row – this has never, ever in the history of stocks…

 

1

 

Retailers underperformed (hit hard early then ripped back) as Financials were the winners and Utes the losers…

 

1

 

The S&P 1500 Department Stores Index was having its worst day since Oct. 27 before the dip-buyers rescued them too…

1

Macy’s and J.C. Penney, both of which reported positive holiday sales this morning, have erased earlier gains: M is now down as 7.5%, JCP off as much as 8.7%

L Brands and Buckle sink after reporting Dec. comp. sales that missed estimates, dragging down all but one component (Zumiez) of the S&P 1500 Apparel Retail Index (which was down as much as 3%, its worst day since Nov. 14, before the afternoon dip-buyers stepped in)

1

 

HY Bonds ripped back above their 200-day moving average – highest in 2 months…

 

1

 

While stocks just can’t be stopped, nor can the Treasury yield curve… to the downside…

 

1

 

2s10s traded with a 49bps handle for the first time this cycle…

1

 

And 2s30s tumbled to new cycle lows…

1

 

Yesterday’s brief bounce in the dollar is over…

1

 

Commodities are up for the 14th day in a row – a record win streak…

1

 

WTI/RBOB closed higher, bouncing back from early losses…

 

1

 

One more record for the day was in precious metals as gold futures rallied for the 10th straight day – equaling the record win streak of all-time from 7/18/2011 and 9/9/1994… (Gold is up 14 of the 15 days since The Fed hiked rates)

 

1

Will it make 11 tomorrow? It’s payrolls day – which has typically had a negative tone for gold.

 

Crypto was crazy again with Ripple grabbing all the headlines…and then crashing

 

1

 

Bitcoin and Gold have recoupled on a normalized basis…

 

1

 

While all the chatter today was about The Dow, we note that gold is outperforming that index in 2018…

 

1

 

Finally, today’s epic cold sent NYC post NatGas prices to an unprecedented high…

1

 

 

end
Looks like one of our favourite bricks and mortar operations, NY based Macy’s is  again in trouble as they announce another 5,000 of job cuts with the closure of 7 more stores..the stock tumbles badly on the day
(courtesy zerohedge)

Macy’s Announces 5,000 Job Cuts, Closure Of 7 More Stores; Stock Tumbles

The Amazon juggernaut continues to crush brick and mortar retailers.

On Thursday morning, former retail giant Macy’s, announced that was preparing to fire 5,000 job cuts, including closure of seven previously unidentified stores and other cuts at remaining locations, as it seeks stability in a tumultuous climate for “physical retail.” The retailer’s cost reductions come as it announced that its comparable holiday sales rose a modest 1.1% for the Nov/Dec period relative to 2016.

Although the company described its holiday sales as “solid,” the performance trailed fellow department-store chain J.C. Penney, which posted a 3.4% increase Thursday. Macy’s also narrowed its FY 2018 (ending Jan. 2018) year comp. sales view to a decline of 2.4%-2.7% on owned basis, down 2%-2.3% on owned plus licensed basis and total sales down 3.6%-3.9%. This was in line with the latest forecast given in November, which called for sales down 2.2%-3.3% on owned basis, down 2%-3% on owned plus licensed basis and total sales down 3.2%-4.3%.

And while Macy’s continues to struggle with margin compression and inventory (mis)management, clearly the far bigger problem is the secular decline for the company (thank you Amazon) with Macy’s today announcing it was closing 11 stores in FY19 (year ending Jan. 2019), vs the 4 announced previously, part and parcel with the 5,000 laoffs, as well as the company’s intentions to “further streamline some non-store functions.”

 

Macy’s disclosed the following seven locations for shuttering which it had previously not identified for closure:

  • Miami (Downtown), Miami
  • The Oaks, Gainesville, Fla.
  • Novato (Furniture), Novato, Calif.
  • Honey Creek Mall, Terre Haute, Ind.
  • Birchwood Mall, Fort Gratiot Township, Mich.
  • Fountain Place, Cincinnati
  • Burlington Town Center, Burlington, Vt.

The retailer also said Thursday it is moving ahead with four other store closures previously announced:

  • Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills, Calif.
  • Westside Pavilion, Los Angeles
  • Stonestown Galleria, San Francisco
  • Magic Valley Mall, Twin Falls, Idaho

Putting the closures in context, they are are part of a plan announced in August 2016 to shutter 100 stores. Altogether, the company has now revealed 81 of the 100 locations.  Macy’s sees closing an additional 19 stores as leases or operating covenants expire or sale transactions are completed. Including the stores announced today, M has closed 124 stores since 2015.

Macy’s ongoing woes are good news for bargain hunters: the company said that liquidation sales are likely to begin Jan. 8 and continue for eight to 12 weeks.

“Looking ahead to 2018, we are focused on continuous improvement and will take the necessary steps to move faster, execute more effectively and allocate resources to invest in growth,” Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said in a statement.

Macy’s has been struggling with its massive real estate footprint and traditional retail model, as Amazon.com soars and physical competitors such as treasure-hunt retailers T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s offer (better and cheaper) alternatives. Despite the challenges, Macy’s reported strong performances for active apparel, beauty products, shoes, dresses, coats, fine jewelry and some other items.

Ironically, the company also said its digital sales jumped by double digits. The problem is that when compared with Amazon’s own same store sales – all digital of course – it is too little, too late.

* * *

But what is most troubling for Macy’s, is the stock’s reaction to today’s news: whereas in the past, M would jump on any mass layoff and/or closure news, this time it enjoyed a brief kneejerk moment in the green, before tumbling.

asd

end
Even though Manufacturing pMI surged yesterday, today’s service pMI sank to a 6 month low. Generally in the uSA the service sector outdoes the manufacturing sector
(courtesy zerohedge)

Services PMI Sinks To 6-Month Lows As Confidence Tumbles

After Manufacturing’s surgeServices PMI failed to inspire… as business confidence tumbles to 15-month lows, and employment drops to its weakest since June.

December data signalled a solid, but softer expansion in business activity across the US service sector. Moreover, the latest upturn eased to a seven-month low.  The overall rate of activity growth was the weakest since May and below the series trend, an workforce numbers rose at the softest pace since June.

 

1

The final seasonally adjusted IHS Markit U.S. Composite PMI™ Output Index fell to 54.1 in December, down from 54.5 in November. Despite an accelerated upturn in manufacturing output, the composite index signalled softer growth following a slower expansion in service sector business activity.

Commenting on the Composite PMI data, Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit said:

“The final services and manufacturing PMI surveys collectively signalled faster business activity growth than the earlier flash readings, though still indicated a moderation in the pace of expansion to the weakest since June. A welcome improvement in manufacturing output growth was countered by a slowdown in the comparatively larger services economy.

“However, while moderating, the overall rate of expansion remains relatively robust, with the PMIs running at levels consistent with the economy growing at a solid 2-2.5% annualised rate in the fourth quarter.

“Similarly, hiring, while also slowing slightly at the end of the year, continued to run at a pace indicative of non-farm payrolls up by around 195,000 in Decemberas firms boosted capacity in line with rising demand. Price pressures meanwhile moderated but remained elevated by standards seen over the past three years.

“The US economy therefore ends 2017 with an encouraging scoresheet of steady economic growth, solid hiring and firmer inflationary pressures, supporting the view that interest rates will continue to rise in 2018.

A note of caution is sounded by a deterioration in optimism about the outlook in the service sector to the joint-weakest in the past 18 months. However, hopefully news of tax cuts and fiscal stimulus in 2018 will help revive business spirits and drive growth higher.”

end

The east coast of the USA is going to get a doozy of a winter storm:  NY declares a state of emergency as both JFK and LaGuardia close
(courtesy zerohedge)

NY Declares State Of Emergency: JFK, La Guardia Close Due To Huge Winter Storm

Update: The MTA is closing all above ground subway service, Long Island Railroad Service and all Metro-North Service at 4 pm EST.

US railway operator Amtrak is running on a reduced schedule, and interstate buses are also being cancelled, according to the BBC.

The weather pattern has already brought snow to the US South as far down as Florida.

* * *

Flights at JFK airport have been temporarily suspended “due to strong winds and whiteout conditions” caused by Winter Storm Grayson.

 

Due to strong winds and whiteout conditions, flights at JFK have been temporarily suspended. Travelers are urged to contact their airline carriers for updates on resumption of service

 

“Travelers are urged to contact their airline carriers for updates on resumption of service,” the JFK Twitter account advised.

 

JFK

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared an official weather emergency in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County on Thursday as the storm is expected to drop up to a foot of snow on New York City.

All flights out of La Guardia, New York City’s other major airport, were cancelled around midday Thursday in anticipation of the storm.

 

Almost all  airport flights are cancelled today (January 4) due to weather. To determine if your carrier may still operate later this evening or what your flight status will be tomorrow (January 5), please contact them directly.

 

Newark Airport warned flyers to double check on the status of their flights because many had been cancelled.

 

Weather conditions are affecting many flights at . We strongly urge you to check with your carrier on the status of your flights. Thank you.

 

The airline-tracking site FlightAware is reporting more than 3,200 canceled flights within, into, or out of the United States on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

The massive winter storm is sweeping from the Carolinas to Maine, dumping snow along the coast and bringing strong winds.

The governor of Massachusetts is warning of possible prolonged power outages resulting from the strong snowstorm that is pummeling the East Coast, to be followed by more severe cold.

 

JFK

Gov. Charlie Baker said during a morning briefing Thursday that emergency officials are prepared to open shelters in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, where heavy wet snow and howling wind gusts of 60 mph or higher pose the greatest threat of outages.

The strong winds could also make it difficult, if not impossible, for utility crews to use bucket trucks to quickly restore downed power lines.

 

JFKTWO

In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says more than 100 warming centers are open in 34 towns. Malloy says the state has 634 state plow trucks and 250 contractors working to clear the highways.

Already, seventeen cold-related deaths have been reported across the US, according to the Associated Press, as hurricane force winds of up to 60 mph (95km/h) hammered the north-eastern US coastline.

 

JFK

Authorities say two men died during the winter storm Wednesday night when their pickup truck overturned into a creek.

end

 SWAMP
Trump slaps Bannon with a cease and desist order
(courtesy zerohedge)

“Legal Action Is Imminent” : Trump Slaps Bannon With Cease-And-Desist

President Trump’s lawyers slapped former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon with a cease and desist letter Wednesday night demanding he refrain from further disparaging the President and his family, reports ABC News.

sd

In a statement issued today, Trump attorney Charles Harder issued a statement that “legal notice was issued today to Stephen K. Bannon,” adding his actions of communicating with author Michael Wolff regarding an upcoming book give rise to numerous legal claims including defamation by libel and slander, and breach of his written confidentiality and non-disparagement agreement with our clients. Legal action is imminent.

asd

As ABC reports, in the letter to Bannon, Harder, writes,

You [Bannon] have breached the Agreement by, among other things, communicating with author Michael Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company, disclosing Confidential Information to Mr. Wolff, and making disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements to Mr. Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company, knowing that they would be included in Mr. Wolffs book and publicity surrounding the marketing and sale of his book.”

Trump’s legal team is threatening monetary damages, injunctive relief, and “all other remedies available at law and equity,” although no monetary figure is given.

The letter goes on to cite Paragraph 8 of a non-disclosure agreement Trump required all of his staff to sign to refrain from any disparaging comments against the Trump family, campaign, or organization; “Consent to Injunction. A breach of any of your promises or agreements under this agreement will cause the Company, Mr. Trump and each other Trump Person irreparable harm. Accordingly, to the extent permitted by law, and without waiving any other rights or remedies against you at law or in equity, you hereby consent to the entry of any order, without prior notice to you, temporarily or permanently enjoining you from violating any of the terms, covenants, agreements or provisions of this agreement on your part to be performed or observed. Such consent is intended to apply to an injunction of any breach or threatened breach.”

s

Under the “Damages and Other Remedies” section of the agreement Trump’s attorneys cite a section which reads “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, each Trump Person will be entitled to all remedies available at law and equity, including but not limited to monetary damages, in the event of your breach of this agreement. Nothing contained in this agreement will constitute a waiver of any Trump Persons remedies at law or in equity, all of which are expressly reserved.”

Never-Trump neocon Bill Kristol suggested the cease and desist letter is an intimidation tactic to dissuade others from “telling the truth about what happened during the campaign.”

The president of the United States is trying, through the example of the cease and desist letter to Bannon, to intimidate others from telling the truth about what happened during the campaign.

Former Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos said in an Instagram post “Sad to see Trump and Bannon at each others’ throats today. I expect the interviews Michael Wolff did happened a long time ago and are tumbling out in to the press unexpectedly. (It’s worth noting that Wolff has a very long history of being called out by his sources for fabricating quotes, including this book already.),” adding “The statement from the President has left Steve will little choice though. Expect to see Breitbart bigging up Pence in the months to come.”

Excerpts from Wolffs book were published Wednesday in New York Magazine, in which Bannon described a July 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that included Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer as treasonous and unpatriotic. Bannon also said he believed there was zerochance that the president was not aware of the meeting, which contradicts previous White House statements.

Theyre going to crack Don Jr. like an egg on national TV, Bannon reportedly said.

As we reported yesterday, Following Steve Bannon’s earlier remarks from a forthcoming book about “treasonous” meetings at Trump Tower, President Trump lashed out and denounced his former top strategist, saying that he lost his mind after leaving the White House last summer.

d

When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump blasted Bannon in a White House statement. “Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isnt as easy as I make it look.

Perhaps Steve will also learn what it’s like to be considerably less wealthy if Trump follows through on his new legal threats.

end

Then he issues a cease and desist order to the author himself, Wolf:

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Sends C&D To Wolff, Demands Halt To Publication Of Explosive Book About His Presidency

The morning after President Trump’s lawyers slapped former chief strategist and Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon with a cease & desist order for allegedly violating his NDA from his time working for the Trump Organization, the Trump legal offensive is moving to the author himself, Michael Wolff.

As the Washington Post reported, Trump’s legal team is seeking to block “any further publication” of Wolff’s upcoming book, which is already No. 1 on Amazon and is set to be released Jan. 9, over its “reckless disregard for the truth.”

The book has already led Trump to angrily denounce Bannon.

The legal notice — addressed to author Michael Wolff and the president of the book’s publisher — said Trump’s lawyers were pursuing possible charges including libel in connection with the forthcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

The letter by Beverly Hills-based attorney Charles J. Harder demanded the publisher, Henry Holt and Co., “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book,” including excerpts and summaries of the book’s contents, and requests a copy of the book in its entirety as they pursue possible legal action.”

The lawyers also seek a full copy of the book as part of their investigation.

 

Wolff

As reported before, the book, scheduled to publish next week, has sparked a major feud between Trump and Bannon. Several excerpts published Wednesday revealed interviews with Bannon in which he made incendiary comments about Trump and his family.

In one excerpt, Bannon described the 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” He also said there was “zero” chance that the president was not aware of the meeting.

“They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV,” Bannon said. The president has repeatedly denied knowledge of the meeting.

After excerpts from the book were published, Trump issued a blistering statement denouncing Bannon, saying that the former chief strategist has “lost his mind,” and accusing him of “leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was.”

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” Trump said. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”

A long time media reporter for New York Magazine and Vanity Fair, Wolff helped ingratiate himself into the Trump orbit early on, publishing interviews and profiles on Trump campaign figures like Bannon and Kelly Anne Conway. He also helped ingratiate himself with the new administration by defending Trump and criticizing the mainstream press on shows like CNN’s “Reliable Sources” with Brian Stelter.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders spent the bulk of yesterday’s press briefing rebutting details from the excerpts of Wolff’s book that have appeared in the Washington Post and the Guardian.

In a separate story, the Washington Post rounded up some of the challenges to various details of Wolff’s story.

end

It finally looks like the Dept of Justice is taking “a fresh look” at the Hillary email scandal

(courtesy zerohedge)

DOJ “Taking A Fresh Look” At Hillary Email Scandal, Report

A month ago, Trump took a direct shot (one of many, actually) at his own “Justice” Department for not following up on what many in the country believe to be a fraudulent investigation by the FBI that cleared Hillary Clinton of crimes far greater than those which Special Counsel Mueller has alleged against Trump allies like Michael Flynn.

Many people in our Country are asking what the “Justice” Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and “acid washed” 33,000 Emails? No justice!

Alas, according to an exclusive report from the Daily Beast, citing sources close to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Hillary’s email problems may be just getting started as the DOJ has allegedly decided to “take a fresh look” at the FBI’s investigation of her private server.

Justice Department officials are taking a fresh look at Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state, The Daily Beast has learned.

An ally of Attorney General Jeff Sessions who is familiar with the thinking at the Justice Department’s Washington headquarters described it as an effort to gather new details on how Clinton and her aides handled classified material.Officials’ questions include how much classified information was sent over Clinton’s server; who put that information into an unclassified environment, and how; and which investigators knew about these matters and when. The Sessions ally also said officials have questions about immunity agreements that Clinton aides may have made.

Stephen Boyd, who heads the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs, appeared to hint at the department’s interest in Clinton’s emails in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte on Nov. 13. In the letter, Boyd wrote that that Sessions “directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues” the chairman was concerned about. He also wrote that those prosecutors would “make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened,” and that they would sen dthose recommendations directly to the attorney general and his top deputy, Rod Rosenstein.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department refused to confirm or deny the story from the Daily Beast.

Ironically, this new information comes just one day after a mysterious fire broke out at Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, NY…Destroying evidence can be very dangerous perhaps…

: Firefighters responding to a fire at Bill and Hillary Clinton’s house in Chappaqua.

Of course, as we’ve pointed out numerous times over the past year and half, the FBI’s, or more accurately James Comey’s, decision to not proceed with any charges in the Hillary email investigation has confounded many Americans given the FBI’s own documentation of what clearly seems to be intentional criminal activities.  Take for example, the time that Hillary and her staff clearly instructed their IT manager to delete emails despite full knowledge of a subpoena from Congress (see: The “Oh Shit” Moment: Hillary Wiped Her Server With BleachBit Despite Subpoena)…

Then, on March 4, 2015, Hillary received a subpoena from the House for all of her emails on her personal servers.

Hillary FBI BleachBit

Which brings us to the “Oh Shit” moment.

On March 25, 2015, the Undisclosed PRN Staff Member had a “conference call with President Clinton’s staff.”  Apparently, in the days following that call, the Undisclosed PRN Staff Member had an “‘oh shit’ moment” when he realized he had forgotten to wipe the PRN server clean as he had been instructed to do back in December by Cheryl Mills.

Therefore, sometime within the 6 days after a call with “President Clinton’s Staff,” that PRN server was wiped clean using BleachBit despite the subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi received weeks earlier on March 4, 2016.

...not to mention the follow-on crime committed when Paul Combetta at first lied to the FBI about deleting the emails but subsequently “remembered.”  So, what did Combetta get for committing perjury?  Surely, he was rewarded with an indictment…just the same as Michael Flynn, right?  While that might make sense to some folks, unlike Flynn, Combetta received a sweet immunity deal for lying to the FBI instead of an indictment…(see: The “Oh Shit” Guy That Wiped Hillary’s Server With BleachBit Was Just Granted Immunity).

Meanwhile, lets not forget the clear political bias of the FBI, obstruction of justice by Obama’s attorney general, etc…

Of course, the key question is whether this is all just another distraction gimmick being employed by the White House or whether Trump intends to make good on another campaign promise…

Trump:  “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception.”

Clinton: “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.”

Trump: “Because you’d be in jail.”

 end

Trump bans all personal devices from the White House trying to stop all of those massive leaks

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Admin Bans “All Personal Devices” From White House

Having warned in November amid a hosepipe of leaks, that it was possible, The White House is banning its employees from using personal devices while at work in the West Wing, despite concerns among some staffers that they’ll be cut off from children and other relatives trying to reach them.

“The security and integrity of the technology systems at the White House is a top priority for the Trump administration and therefore starting next week the use of all personal devices for both guests and staff will no longer be allowed in the West Wing,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Thursday.

“Staff will be able to conduct business on their government-issued devices and continue working hard on behalf of the American people.”

White House chief of staff John Kelly imposed the ban, citing security concerns. President Donald Trump has repeatedly complained about press leaks since taking office, but aides said the change isn’t connected to concerns about unauthorized disclosures to news organizations.

The change means aides in the Trump administration won’t be permitted to use their personal cellphones on the White House campusBloomberg News reported.

 

1

There are too many devices connected to the White House wireless network, and personal phones aren’t as secure as those issued by the federal government, said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal White House matter.

The phones provided by the White House reportedly don’t allow texting, adding to staffers’ complaints.

end

Is the deep state ready to initiate Plan C:  the murder of Trump?

(courtesy MacSlavo)

The Deep State’s Plan ‘C’ – Murder Donald Trump?

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Longtime Donald Trump advisor and confidante Roger Stone is warning once again about the deep state. This time, he said that the deep state’s “plan C” is to simply murder the president, since plans A and B won’t work out.

 

1

With trust in the mainstream media at an all-time low, the global elitists are on the verge of losing their grip on humanity’s throat. And Roger Stone says emphatically that they plan to go down swinging. According to New American, the Deep State’s “Plan A,” is the imploding “investigation” into alleged “Russian collusion” by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, said Stone. If and when that fails, which Stone suggested was likely and soon, the establishment would move to “Plan B.” In essence, Plan B would involve trying to get a majority of Trump’s cabinet to declare him unfit for office. This would allow Trump to be removed under the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment. This scheme is also going to most likely fail, Stone said. Last but not least, though, Stone warned of “Plan C,” which is killing the president.   

In a wide-ranging interview with The New American magazine at his Florida studio, Stone offered insight into Trump — and into his enemies [the deep state] and their tactics. “It’s easy to forget that the shocking upset that Donald Trump pulled off has never been forgotten or acknowledged by the globalist cabal that has really infected both of our major parties,” he explained.

“I say that as someone who is a sentimental Republican, but a Republican in the mold of Barry Goldwater who wanted government out of the bedroom, out of the boardroom, that believed in peace through strength, not, you know, neocons cruising the globe looking for expensive wars to profiteer in and stick our nose in.” –New American

Roger Stone isn’t the first person to see Trump as a target of the deep state. Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, has said he feels that the deep state isn’t afraid to nuke a city in the United States in order to kill Trump and blame North Korea for the result.

“He’s a shock to the system,” said Stone, a legendary political operative who, in addition to his longtime relationship with Trump, has served as a senior campaign aide to Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Senator Bob Dole, and others. According to Stone, Donald Trump’s election represented the “hostile takeover of the old Republican Party, which we now hope to remake in his image as a party that stands for economic nationalism, that stands for putting American interests ahead of globalist interests, and re-affirms our sovereign rights as Americans.”

“Now, I think the establishment, at this time, when the president has just passed his tax cut, has cut these regulations — so you see a record stock market, you see unemployment at all time lows, you see a booming housing market — it’s easy to misread the deep enmity and hatred that the globalists and the Insiders have for this president, and to underestimate their resolve to remove him.”

Stone believes the Deep State would, in fact, attempt to murder the president when Plan A and B fail, which seems the likely scenario. “Having written books on the Kennedy assassination, having highlighted the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan by people deeply associated with the Bush family, I think the establishment has Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C,” he said. “Plan A is very clearly a take-down by the illegitimate Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed not by Jeff Sessions, not at the direction of the president, but by this fellow Rosenstein, who is a close associate of Mueller and [disgraced former FBI boss James] Comey, and who is a globalist Bush insider, a liberal Republican, who somehow got the number two position in the Trump Justice Department,” Stone warned, saying the establishment was now hoping Trump would fire Mueller to regain the upper hand.

The other thing that is becoming more and more apparent, Stone said, is that “neither Mr. Mueller nor the House nor the Senate Intelligence committees nor the Judiciary committees in those bodies have been able to find any evidence of Russian collusion.”

“Sorry, but Don Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer that provided nothing is perfectly legal and proper,” Stone said. “There’s nothing wrong with it. She produced no evidence, but what we did learn is that she was in the country thanks to the Obama FBI, without a visa, and she was popping up and being photographed at Hillary rallies and in John McCain’s office. She’s a Quisling! It’s a setup! She’s a spy. She delivered nothing. It’s an attempt to entrap Donny Jr. in a meeting that’s perfectly innocuous and perfectly legal.” But the deep state’s Plan B is to invoke the 25th Amendment.

“So we’ll see an uptick in all of this ‘Trump is mentally imbalanced, Trump is insane, Trump must be removed,’” Stone warned. “Now you have to examine the extent to which they can whip up that hysteria as a backdrop because, without that hysteria, such a political move on the president will fail.” And once Plan B fails, the globalists will move on to Plan C, which is simply an assassination. “We know Plan C. We saw it in the case of  President John F. Kennedy, who had crossed the Central Intelligence Agency and the Deep State over both the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs, both, I think, central,” he said.

 end

Trump Jr. And Newt Gingrich Unleash On “Backstabbing, Harassing, Leaking, Lying, Opportunist” Bannon

In the course of less than a day, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon has gone from simply “former Trump strategist” to “radioactive backstabber,” after The Guardian reported that Bannon, in Michael Wolff’s new book “Fire and Fury, called a June 2016 meeting at Trump tower involving Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”

“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

In response, President Trump issued a four-paragraph scorching reply, saying Bannon had “lost his mind.” Donald Trump Jr. also responded, calling his father’s former chief strategist “backstabbing, harassing, leaking, lying & undermining the President,” adding “Steve is not a strategist, he is an opportunist.

Steve had the honor of working in the White House & serving the country. Unfortunately, he squandered that privilege & turned that opportunity into a nightmare of backstabbing, harassing, leaking, lying & undermining the President. Steve is not a strategist, he is an opportunist

asd

Newt Gingrich chimed in on Fox News, telling Neil Cavuto, “I think that Bannon thinks he’s extraordinarily important. But the fact is, Trump had won the nomination without Bannon. Trump would have won the presidency without Bannon. And Trump has governed without Bannon.”

So I think there’s an exaggerated sense of who Steve is. And I think, remember, this is a guy who got fired. So you have a guy who has been fired who is trying to claim a bunch of things, which he apparently did not claim at the time.

And I think you have to just say, you know, it’s noise. It has nothing to do with — the things that matter to America and the things that matter to the American people have no relationship to the kind of noise that we’re going to spend all day today with.

And luckily for the president, he’s really come to distinguish between the things that matter and the things that don’t. The meeting this weekend at Camp David matters with the Republican leadership. Steve Bannon saying a bunch of junk doesn’t really matter in the long run. It will disappear. –Newt Gingrich

 

Trump Jr. also replied to a tweet by conservative pundit Bill Mitchell, which quotes a portion of Bannon’s book, reading:

“On Election Night, when the unexpected trend , Trump might actually win, seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears—and not of joy.”

Trump Jr. responded: “Another good one. Anyone who knows me or follows me knows that’s about as far from something I would say or how I speak as possible… What a joke.”

Another good one. Anyone who knows me or follows me knows that’s about as far from something I would say or how I speak as possible… What a joke.😂https://twitter.com/mitchellvii/status/948653572408963076 

And earlier in the day, Trump Jr. tweeted “Andrew Breitbart would be ashamed of the division and lies Steve Bannon is spreading!,” after tweeting “Wow, just looked at the comments section on Breitbart. Wow. When Bannon has lost Breitbart, he’s left with . . . umm, nothing.” 

 

Andrew Breitbart would be ashamed of the division and lies Steve Bannon is spreading!

Wow, Just looked at the comments section on Breitbart. Wow. When Bannon has lost Breitbart, he’s left with . . . umm, nothing.

Trump Jr. also poked fun at Bannon’s support of Roy Moore, who lost the special election last month to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacant Senate seat.

Several other tweets received Trump Jr. retweets throughout the day, including:

“Mr. Bannon, the WSJ got an advance copy of that book…”

There is no side to choose. There is no dilemma here. @realDonaldTrump and @DonaldJTrumpJr are patriotic class acts who have the best interests of this nation at heart.

Steve Bannon has Steve Bannon’s best interests at heart.

Nothing I despise more than jealous disloyalty.

So, someone tell me how the ejecting of Bannon will hurt the movement?

Pssst.

It won’t hurt the movement no matter what Senator Roy Moore says.

And now, it appears as though Bannon may have lost any hope of cobbling together political capital. As US News reports;

Despite his blatant miscalculation and the animosity he stirred among traditional Republicans, Bannon’s enduring influence was that he purportedly had a direct line to Trump – the White House confirmed they spoke by phone last month – and could help mold the president’s thoughts on policy and political strategy.

Now, that line appears lacerated.

Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look,” Trump said in the statement. “Steve doesn’t represent my base – he’s only in it for himself.”

The extraordinary breakup between the two larger-than-life comrades led to immediate fallout across the Republican Party.GOP leadership rejoiced at Bannon’s fall from grace, with allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reveling in and sharing the president’s takedown.

Bannon’s split from the Trumps puts wealthy GOP donor Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah Mercerin an awkward spot – as the financier have financially supported Breitbart, while also supporting President Trump and his GOP causes. Mercer announced in November that he was selling his stake in his company to his daughters – while at the time, making it clear that while he occasionally discusses politics with Bannon, he’s not always aligned with him.

And as Trump Jr. said earlier today – when Bannon has lost Breitbart, “he’s left with … ummm, nothing.

In September, Bannon appeared on 60 minutes where heb called himself a “street fighter” and declared war on the GOP” for trying to “nullify the election.” Bannon also said that the Trump administration made the “original sin” of embracing the establishment. “I mean, we totally embraced the establishment … Because ya had to staff a government.” 

Bannon also said he was going to be Trump’s “wing man outside for the entire time, to protect [Trump] and to “make sure his enemies know that there’s no free shot on goal.”

Well – it looks like Bannon just took a shot on his own goal, and will be cast into radioactive irrelevancy for time immemorial. 

 

END

We now know that at least one of the 4 Comey memos passed to the New york Times contained the world classified on top

(courtesy zerohedge)

At Least One Of The Four Comey Memos Passed To The New York Times Contained Classified Info

Back in May, the New York Times scored one of their biggest ‘hits’ to date on Trump when they secured 4 memos drafted by James Comey allegedly summarizing direct conversations with the President (we covered it here: Comey’s Revenge: Leaks Memo To NYT Saying Trump Asked Him To End Flynn Investigation).  Among other things, the memos asserted that Trump directly asked Comey to end his investigation of Michael Flynn and to pledge “loyalty” to him.

Of course, as we all know by now, Comey did not pass his memos directly to the New York Times but instead used an intermediary, Columbia University Law School professor Daniel Richman.  Now, Richman told CNN in July that none of the memos he received were marked “classified” but, according to a new letter sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein yesterday by Chuck Grassley, that may not have been entirely accurate.

As Grassley notes, 4 of the 7 Comey memos that he reviewed at the FBI were “marked classified at the “SECRET” or “CONFIDENTIAL” levels.”  Moreover, since Richman received 4 memos, simple mathematical realities would dictate that at least of them contained material that the FBI now considers classified.

My staff has since reviewed these memoranda in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) at the FBI, and I reviewed them in a SCIF at the Office of Senate Security.  The FBI insisted that these reviews take place in a SCIF because the majority of the memos are classified.  Of the seven memos, four are marked classified at the “SECRET” or “CONFIDENTIAL” levels.  Only three did not contain classified information.

According to press reports, Professor Daniel Richman of Columbia Law School stated that Mr. Comey provided him four of the seven memoranda and encouraged him to “detail [Comey’s] memos to the press.” If it’s true that Professor Richman had four of the seven memos, then in light of the fact that four of the seven memos the Committee reviewed are classified, it would appear that at least one memo the former FBI director gave Professor Richman contained classified information.  Professor Richman later read a portion of one of the memos to a New York Times reporter.

Comey

For those who missed it, here  is what Richman told CNN about the classification of the memos he shared with the New York Times:

According to CNN, Daniel Richman, with whom Comey shared at least one memo the contents of which Richman shared with New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt, said President Trump was wrong in accusing Comey of sharing classified information with journalists.

“No memo was given to me that was marked ‘classified,'” Daniel Richman told CNN. “No memo was passed on to the Times.”

Well, not quite: Richman did share the contents of one memo, he said, but “the substance of the memo passed on to the Times was not marked classified and to my knowledge remains unclassified.”

As you may recall, during his June 2017 testimony Comey said he specifically wrote the memos to avoid including classified information to make them “easier to discuss.”

“My thinking was, if I write it in such a way that I don’t include anything that would trigger a classification, that’ll make it easier for us to discuss, within the FBI and the government, and to — to hold on to it in a way that makes it accessible to us,” Comey told senators.

And here, as in the case of Hillary Clinton, is where the problem emerges, because what Comey considered not confidential – just like Clinton – has differed from others’ opinion. In other words, whether he wrote or rewrote the memos to make the leak “easier” – which also begs the question what else was redacted or added to the original content – the confidential information remained…at least in the opinion of someone within the Department of Justice.

Of course, as we all know well by now, mishandling classified information and/or making false statements to the FBI is only a crime if you’re a Republican and/or not part of the Deep State.

* * *

Here is the full Chuck Grassley Letter to Rosenstein:

Dear Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein:

This Committee has previously written to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the memoranda that former Director Comey created purportedly memorializing his interactions with President Trump.[1]  My staff has since reviewed these memoranda in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) at the FBI, and I reviewed them in a SCIF at the Office of Senate Security.  The FBI insisted that these reviews take place in a SCIF because the majority of the memos are classified.  Of the seven memos, four are marked classified at the “SECRET” or “CONFIDENTIAL” levels.  Only three did not contain classified information.  FBI personnel refused to answer factual questions during the document reviews, including questions about the chain of custody of the documents I was reviewing, the date that they were marked classified, and who marked them as classified.

According to press reports, Professor Daniel Richman of Columbia Law School stated that Mr. Comey provided him four of the seven memoranda and encouraged him to “detail [Comey’s] memos to the press.”[2]  If it’s true that Professor Richman had four of the seven memos, then in light of the fact that four of the seven memos the Committee reviewed are classified, it would appear that at least one memo the former FBI director gave Professor Richman contained classified information.[3]  Professor Richman later read a portion of one of the memos to a New York Times reporter.[4]

When the Committee contacted Professor Richman seeking copies of the memos Mr. Comey had provided him, he refused to provide them, did not say how many he had received from Mr. Comey, and refused to say whether he retained copies.[5]  It is unclear whether any of the memos reviewed by the Committee were retrieved from Professor Richman.  The Committee has accordingly not determined which of the seven memos Mr. Comey provided him.  Professor Richman did tell Committee investigators that he was working with the Special Counsel’s Office, and he reportedly told the media that he had turned over to the FBI copies of the memos he’d received from Mr. Comey.[6]  If true, the Justice Department should know which memos were provided and be able to share that information with the Committee.

In order for the Committee to further assess this situation, please respond to the following in writing by no later than January 17, 2018:

  1. Has the Justice Department or FBI in fact determined that any of the memoranda Mr. Comey sent Professor Richman contained classified information?  If so, what steps were taken to retrieve and safeguard the information?
  2. Which of the seven memoranda the FBI made available for the Committee’s review did Mr. Comey give to Professor Richman?
    • When did Mr. Comey give Professor Richman the memoranda?
    • At the time that Professor Richman received the memoranda, were any marked as classified?
    • At the time that Professor Richman received the memoranda, did any contain classified information, regardless of markings?
    • Please explain the method by which Mr. Comey transmitted the memoranda to Professor Richman.  If the transmittal was electronic:
    • Please provide the account information that Mr. Comey and Mr. Richman used.
    • Please describe what steps the FBI has taken to recover all copies of any classified memoranda that might reside on computers, servers, or at other locations.
  3. Have you initiated an investigation into the matter of whether Mr. Comey improperly disclosed classified information by providing these memoranda to Professor Richman?  If so, what is the status of the investigation?  If not, why not?
  4. Has there been any review of whether the disclosure of the memoranda by Mr. Comey was otherwise improper, such as whether it violated his employment agreement or any Department rule or policy?  If so, what is the status of the review?  If not, why not?
  5. When did the FBI mark the four memoranda as classified, and who made the classification decision?
  6. As noted above, it has been reported that Professor Richman returned the memoranda to the FBI.[7]  If so, on what date did this occur?
  7. Did anyone from the FBI or Special Counsel’s Office discuss with Professor Richman this Committee’s request for copies of the memos?  If so, please provide all records related to any such communications.
  8. Does Professor Richman still have possession of any of the memoranda or copies?

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please contact Patrick Davis of my Committee staff at (202) 224-5225 if you have any questions

end

The new tax law is already having a devastating effect on NY apartment sales which have now dropped a huge 25%

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

NYC Apartment Sales Collapse 25% In Q4 As Trump Tax Plan Takes Its Toll

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.  As Douglas Elliman points out in their new Q4 2017 Manhattan Market Report, both prices (-9.4%) and volumes (-25.4%) of New York City apartments collapsed sequentially in Q4 as potential buyers took a pause amid the growing uncertainty.

Sales activity for the Manhattan housing market was at the lowest fourth quarter total in six years. The pace of the fall market noticeably cooled as market participants awaited the housing-related terms of the new federal tax bill. This translated into a decline in year over year closings for the final quarter of the year, although contract volume showed an uptick.

There were 2,514 sales to close in the final quarter of the year, down 12.3% from the prior-year quarter. The decline in sales allowed listing inventory to rise after declining year over year for the past few quarters. There were 5,451 listings at the end of the quarter, up 1.1% from the same period a year ago. As a result, the absorption rate, the number of months to sell all inventory at the current rate of sales slowed, rising to 6.5 months from 5.6 months in the year-ago quarter.

Listing discount, the percentage difference between the list price at the date of sale and the sales price, was 5.4% up nominally from 5.3% in the prior year quarter as sellers continued to travel farther to meet the buyer on price. Buyers continued to hold firm, forcing sellers to meet them on price.

Days on market, the average number of days to sell all apartments that closed during the quarter rose 3.2% to 97 days from 94 days in than the same period last year.

New development active listings and resale listings were up 0.7% and 1.2% respectively over the same period. With the nominal rise in supply, there was also a nominal decline in bidding wars, still accounting for 11.7% of all sales in the quarter, down 0.9% from the same period last year.

NYC

Per the chart below, 4Q closings in Manhattan fell to the lowest level recorded since early 2012/2013.

NYC

Meanwhile, re-sale volumes, down 26.9%…

NYC

…were actually hit harder than new developments which were only down 16.1%.

NYC

Finally, the “Luxury Market” was absolutely obliterated in Q4 with average prices down 21% year-over-year, or roughly $2 million, as closings fell back to levels last recorded in 2011.

NYC

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 fact that Manhattan real estate prices are coming under pressure should come as little surprise as we noted the following interactive map 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).

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

I will try and see you FRIDAY 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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