JAN 29 A/WEDNESDAY IS OPTION’S EXPIRY IN LONDON AND THUS THE REASON FOR BANKER RAID TODAY/GOLD DOWN $11.25 TO $1341.75/SILVER IS DOWN 26 CENTS TO $17.16/GOLD EFP’S ISSUED:4123 CONTRACTS/SILVER EFP’S ISSUED: 2304/CFTC CHARGE 6 TRADERS WITH SPOOFING IN GOLD AND SILVER TRADING/USA 10 YR BOND YIELD CLIMBS ABOVE 2.71%/MCCABE RESIGNS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY/HUGE NUMBER OF SWAMP STORIES TODAY

 

 

GOLD: $1341.75 DOWN $11.25

Silver: $17.16 DOWN 26 cents

Closing access prices:

Gold $1340.20

silver: $17.16

SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1356.69 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1348.90

PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $7.79

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1361.25

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $134.35

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$12.90

SHANGHAI REJECTS NY /LONDON PRICING OF GOLD

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1348.40

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1347.70

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1343.85

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1343.35

For comex gold:

JANUARY/

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR JANUARY CONTRACT: 0 NOTICE(S) FOR 100 OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 696 FOR 69600 OZ (2.1648 TONNES),

For silver:

jANUARY

1 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

5,000 OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 729 for 3,645,000 oz

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Bitcoin: BID $11,057/OFFER $11,155  UP $145 (morning)

Bitcoin: BID/   $11,194/   $11,297 offer UP $284  (CLOSING/5 PM)

end

EXPECT SOME TORMENT IN BOTH GOLD AND SILVER FOR TWO MORE DAYS AS WE HAVE LONDON BASED OPTIONS EXPIRING AT AROUND 11 AM WEDNESDAY.

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest FELL BY A FAIR SIZED 3591 contracts from 204,418 FALLING TO 200,827 WITH FRIDAY’S 21 CENT FALL IN SILVER PRICING.  OBVIOUSLY WE HAD SOME COMEX LIQUIDATION. HOWEVER, WE WERE AGAIN NOTIFIED THAT WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE:  2304 EFP’S FOR MARCH AND AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THUS TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 2304 CONTRACTS. HOWEVER THE MOVEMENT ACROSS TO LONDON IS NOT AS SEVERE AS IN GOLD AS THERE SEEMS TO BE  MAJOR PLAYERS WILLING TO TAKE ON THE BANKS AT THE COMEX. STILL, WITH THE TRANSFER OF 2304 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. ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE CAN BE A DELAY OF 24 HRS IN THE ISSUING OF EFP’S.

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

45,714 CONTRACTS (FOR 20 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 45,714 CONTRACTS OR 228.570 MILLION OZ: AVERAGE PER DAY: 2285 CONTRACTS OR 11.423 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH:  228.6 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 32.7% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION

RESULT: A FAIR SIZED LOSS IN OI COMEX WITH THE 21 CENT FALL IN SILVER PRICE.  WE HOWEVER HAD A GOOD SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 2304 CONTRACTS WHICH EXITED OUT OF THE SILVER COMEX AND TRANSFERRED THEIR OI TO LONDON AS FORWARDS. SPECULATORS CONTINUED THEIR INTEREST IN ATTACKING THE SILVER COMEX FOR PHYSICAL SILVER . FROM THE CME DATA 2304 EFP’S WERE ISSUED FOR TODAY  FOR A DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS. WE REALLY LOST 1287 OI CONTRACTS i.e. 2304 open interest contracts headed for London (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A DECREASE OF 3591  OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH THE FALL IN PRICE OF SILVER OF 21 CENTS AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $17.42 WITH RESPECT TO FRIDAY’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 OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.004 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 143% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT JANUARY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 1 NOTICE(S) FOR 5,000 OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest FELL  BY A LARGE 7895 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 565,240 WITH THE GOOD SIZED FALL IN PRICE OF GOLD WITH FRIDAY’S TRADING ($11.00). IN ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT, WE RECEIVED THE TOTAL NUMBER OF GOLD EFP’S ISSUED FOR MONDAY AND IT TOTALED A SMALLER SIZED  4123 CONTRACTS OF WHICH FEBRUARY SAW 2912 CONTRACTS ISSUED AND  APRIL SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 1211 CONTRACTS.    The new OI for the gold complex rests at 565,240. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THERE WILL BE A DELAY IN THE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S.  THE BANKERS REMOVE LONG POSITIONS OF COMEX GOLD IMMEDIATELY.  THEN THEY ORCHESTRATE THEIR PRIVATE EFP DEAL WITH THE LONGS AND THAT COULD TAKE AN ADDITIONAL 48 HRS SO WE GENERALLY DO NOT GET A MATCH WITH RESPECT TO DEPARTING COMEX LONGS AND NEW EFP LONG TRANSFERS. DUE TO THE DELAY IN THE RELEASE OF YESTERDAY’S DATA YOU CAN BET THE FARM THAT THEY HAVE DELAYED THE RELEASE OF MANY EFPS. 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 COMEX. 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 TODAY WE HAVE A LOSS OF 3772  CONTRACTS: 7895 OI CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND A SMALL SIZED  4123 OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. EXPECT HUGE NUMBERS OF EFP’S TO BE ISSUED AS WE APPROACH FIRST DAY NOTICE IN THE GOLD FEB COMEX CONTRACT, WEDNESDAY JAN 31.2018

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 20,747 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S/ GOLD(EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY STARTING WITH FIRST DAY NOTICE: 197,786 CONTRACTS OR 19.779 MILLION OZ OR 615.20 TONNES (20 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 9,889 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 988,900 OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :   SO FAR THIS MONTH IN 17 TRADING DAYS: IN  TONNES: 615 TONNES

TOTAL ANNUAL GOLD PRODUCTION, 2017, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD EX CHINA EX RUSSIA: 2200 TONNES

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 615/2200 TONNES =  27.95% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN JANUARY ALONE.

Result: A  GOOD SIZED DECREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE FAIR SIZED FALL IN PRICE IN GOLD TRADING ON FRIDAY ($11.00). IT IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THAT MANY OF THE DEPARTED COMEX LONGS ARE WAITING TO RECEIVE A PRIVATE EFP CONTRACT FOR EITHER FEBRUARY OR APRIL AND THESE GUYS ARE STILL NEGOTIATING THEIR DEAL. WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 4123 AS THESE HAVE ALREADY BEEN NEGOTIATED.   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 4123 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A NET LOSS IN OPEN INTEREST OF 3772 contracts ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

4123 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND  7895 CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX. (in tonnes, the LOSS in total oi equates to 11.73 TONNES).

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

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

GLD

With gold down another $11.25, we had a big changes in gold inventory at the GLD/a withdrawal of 1.18 tonnes of gold/

Inventory rests tonight: 848.14 tonnes.

SLV/ 

A NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/ INVENTORY RESTS AT 313.896 MILLION OZ/

end

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver FELL BY A CONSIDERABLE 3591 contracts from 204,418 DOWN TO 200,827 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM  THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) WITH  THE FAIR SIZED LOSS  IN PRICE OF SILVER  (21 CENTS WITH RESPECT TO  YESTERDAY’S TRADING).   OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE ANOTHER GOOD 2245 PRIVATE EFP’S FOR MARCH  (WE DO NOT GET A LOOK AT THESE CONTRACTS AS IT IS PRIVATE BUT THE CFTC DOES AUDIT THEM) AND 0 EFP’S FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS .  EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON. WE HAD ZERO COMEX SILVER COMEX LIQUIDATION. IF WE TAKE THE  OI LOSS AT THE COMEX OF  3591 CONTRACTS TO THE 2304 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S WE OBTAIN A LOSS OF 1287 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  WE STILL HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES THAT ARE STANDING FOR METAL IN JANUARY (SEE BELOW). THE NET GAIN TODAY IN OZ ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 6.435 MILLION OZ!!!

RESULT: A FAIR SIZED DECREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE FAIR SIZED LOSS  OF 13 CENTS IN PRICE (WITH RESPECT TO FRIDAY’S TRADING). BUT WE ALSO HAD ANOTHER STRONG 2304 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

i)Late SUNDAY night/MONDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 35.13 points or 0.99% /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 187.23 pts or 0.56% / The Nikkei closed DOWN 2.54 POINTS OR 0.01%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.37%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN at 6.3319/Oil UP to 65.71 dollars per barrel for WTI and 69.76 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED MIXED TO RED .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.3319. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AGAINST  THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.3407//ONSHORE YUAN MUCH WEALER AGAINST THE DOLLAR/OFF SHORE MUCH WEAKER TO THE DOLLAR/. THE DOLLAR (INDEX) IS  MUCH STRONGER AGAINST ALL MAJOR CURRENCIES. CHINA IS NOT HAPPY TODAY.(WEAKER CURRENCY AND WEAK MARKETS )

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

3 c CHINA

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

The ECB is running out of bonds to purchase, even as they state that QE will end in September.  Now to talk down the Euro, the ECB now says that they will tape the end of QE by a short taper of 3 months.  Boy what heros.

( zerohedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

wow!!  the swamp is getting nasty:  John Kerry was in secret communication with Palestine’s leader.  Kerry suggests that there will be an alternative initiative circumventing Trump.  The plan is that Trump will be removed.

( zerohedge)

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

i)Stocks tumble on news that NAFTA counties, (Canada, USA and Mexico) will not issue a joint statement. Obviously things did not go well with the discussions

( zerohedge)

7. OIL ISSUES

An excellent commentary on how to read the tea leaves with respect to oil

( Kent Moors/OilPrice.com)

8. EMERGING MARKET

i)Venezuela is starving:

( zerohedge)

ii)Cape Town, a beautiful city has been experiencing its worst drought in 100 years.  Today is day zero as citizens line up for their rationed water.  Security forces are guarding water collection points

( zerohedge)

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)This is a surprise:  the CFTC is charging major firms, UBS, HSBC and our good friend Deutsche bank for spoofing and manipulating in the USA futures market.  This is the first time that all 3 agencies have been involved;  Dept of Justice, the FBI and the CFTC.

the fines will be north of 10s of millions of dollars. Except for Deutsche bank this is pocket change and they will continue to do with misdeeds.

( zerohedge)

ii)Saturday:  Cryptos bounce back after the biggest cyber heist in history

( zerohedge)

iii)Japanese police launch a probe into the biggest cryptocurrency heist

( zerohedge)

iv)Interesting: divers find a stash of rare gold coins at the site of the 1838 shipwreck( Price/Charlotte Observer)

v)Maund is a technical analyst and when you have continual manipulation, their observations are worthless

(courtesy Chris Powell/GATA)
vi)This is good for gold/silver pricing but not good for equities as Trump is again reversing his stand on controversial gold mining in Alaska

( zerohedge)

vii)Brandon White, a former member and chief economist at the BIS considers gold the ultimate asset

(courtesy GATA)

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

i)trading on NY this morning:

( zerohedge)

ii)US citizens are just not saving probably because they are living from pay check to pay check.  The saving rate just hit a crisis lows amid soaring credit card dept.

( zerohedge)

iii)After all the other Fed manufacturing indices missed expectations, the Dallas Fed smashed expectations soaring to 33.4.

( zerohedge)

iv)Although the 4th quarter GDP became in below the 3% threshold, the Atlanta Fed has stated that it believes the first quarter GDP will come in at a rosy 4.2%

( zerohedge)

v)SWAMP STORIES

a)GOP congressional investigators have written letters to various people including Hillary Clinton, John Podesta and others forcing them to respond to question on the “dossier”

( zerohedge)

b)The Dept of Justice is withholding over 85% over the Strzok -Page FBI texts

( zerohedge)

c)Trump is ignoring the Dept of Justice (and who can blame him) as he notifies Sessions that he wants the FISA 4 page memo released

( zerohedge)

d)Trey Gowdy yesterday dropped big hints as to what is in the FISA memo: i.e. FBI misuse and Hillary’s relationship to Christopher Steele

( zerohedge)

e)This is a little surprising! McCabe who announced that he will step down in March once he became eligible for his full pension..has stepped down effective immediately.  Either Christopher Wray is cleaning house or the Inspector General’s report is coming out and it will be very damning to him

( zerohedge)

f)The House Committee is expected to vote yes to release the memo this afternoon

( zerohedge)

g)Trump is furious over the Dept of Justice (a member of the Deep State) over their refusal to release the FISA memo to which they are themselves implicated.  However it is not up to the Justice dept but the Intelligence Committee and they will vote on it tonight( zerohedge)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest  FELL BY A CONSIDERABLE 7,895 CONTRACTS DOWN to an OI level of 565,240 WITH THE GOOD SIZED FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($11.00 FALL WITH RESPECT TO FRIDAY’S TRADING).   WE HAD CONSIDERABLE COMEX GOLD LIQUIDATION. HOWEVER THE CME REPORTS THAT  THE BANKERS ISSUED ANOTHER STRONG COMEX TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS. WE HAD A SMALL SIZED 2912 EFP’S ISSUED FOR FEBRUARY  AND 1211 EFP’s  FOR APRIL:  TOTAL  4123 CONTRACTS. THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS ON THESE TRANSFERS. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THERE IS NO DOUBT A HUGE DELAY IN THE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S AND IT PROBABLY TAKES AT LEAST  48 HRS AFTER LONGS GIVE UP THEIR COMEX CONTRACTS FOR THEM TO RECEIVE THEIR EFP’S AS THEY ARE NEGOTIATING THIS CONTRACT WITH THE BANKS FOR A FIAT BONUS PLUS THEIR TRANSFER TO A LONDON FORWARD… THE COMEX IS NOW AN ABSOLUTE FRAUD!!

ON A NET BASIS IN OPEN INTEREST WE LOST TODAY: 3772 OI CONTRACTS IN THAT 4123 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE LOST 7895 COMEX CONTRACTS. NET LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 3772 contracts OR 377200   OZ OR 11.73 TONNES

Result: A  STRONG  DECREASE IN COMEX OPEN INTEREST WITH THE FAIR SIZED LOSS IN FRIDAY’S GOLD TRADING ($11.00.) WE HAD CONSIDERABLE COMEX GOLD LIQUIDATION.  TOTAL OPEN INTEREST LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 3772 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 2 contracts FALLING TO 2.  We had 3 notices served upon yesterday so we GAINED 1  contract or an additional 100 oz of gold will   stand AT THE COMEX in this non active month of January as these guys joined others in obtaining a London based forward contract.

FEBRUARY saw a LOSS of 28,316 contacts DOWN to 77,049.  March saw a GAIN of 320 contracts UP to 2138.  April saw a GAIN of 17,098 contracts UP to 346,600.

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

PRELIMINARY VOLUME TODAY ESTIMATED;   488,317

FINAL NUMBERS CONFIRMED FOR YESTERDAY:  497,150

comex gold volumes are RISING AGAIN

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total silver OI FELL  BY A CONSIDERABLE 3591  CONTRACTS FROM 204,418 DOWN TO 200,827 WITH FRIDAY’S GOOD SIZED 13 CENT LOSS.  WE WERE ALSO INFORMED THAT WE HAD ANOTHER FAIR SIZED 2304 EMERGENCY EFP’S FOR MARCH ISSUED BY OUR BANKERS (WITH 0 EFP CONTRACTS FOR FEBRUARY..AS SOMEBODY WAS IN URGENT NEED OF METAL AND NEEDED TO GO TO LONDON TO GET IT  AND 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: 2304.   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 AS WE HAVE JUST SEEN IN GOLD TODAY. THIS PROCESS HAS JUST BEGUN IN EARNEST IN SILVER STARTING IN SEPTEMBER 2017. HOWEVER, IN GOLD, WE HAVE BEEN WITNESSING THIS FOR THE PAST 2 YEARS. NICK LAIRD WAS KIND ENOUGH TO SUPPLY US THE TOTAL FOR 2017 GOLD EFP’S AND IT WAS 6600 TONNES FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR.  WE HAD  SOME LONG COMEX SILVER LIQUIDATION AND A SMALL SIZED RISE IN TOTAL SILVER OI. 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.  ON A NET BASIS WE LOST 1287 SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS:

3591 CONTRACT LOSS AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 2304 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET LOSS TWO EXCHANGES: 1287 CONTRACTS

We are now in the poor non active delivery month of January and here the OI LOST 1 contract FALLING TO 2.  We had 1 notice served upon yesterday, so we GAINED 0 contract or an additional NIL oz will stand for delivery AT THE COMEX

February saw a LOSS OF 52 OI contracts FALLING TO 148. The March contract LOST 4049 contracts DOWN to 134.341.

We had 1 notice(s) filed for NIL 5,000 for the January 2018 contract for silver

INITIAL standings for JANUARY

Jan 29/2018.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
 22,041,94 oz
HSBC
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz
   nil OZ
No of oz served (contracts) today
1 notice(s)
 100 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
2 contracts
(200 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
696 notices
69600 oz
2,1648 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
we had 0 kilobar transaction/
We had 0 inventory movement at the dealer accounts
total inventory movement into the dealer accounts:  nil oz
we had 1 withdrawals out of the customer account:
 i) Out of HSBC:  22,041.942 oz
total withdrawal: 22,041.942 oz  oz
we had 0 customer deposit
total deposits: nil oz
we had 1 adjustments
 i) out of DELAWARE, 1069.540 oz was removed from the CUSTOMER and this landed into the DEALER account of the Delaware
total registered or dealer gold:  567,868.167 oz or 17.663 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   9,291179.101 oz 288.99 tones

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 0 contract(s) of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 0 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account.

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To calculate the INITIAL total number of gold ounces standing for the JANUARY. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (696) x 100 oz or 69,600 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of JAN. (2 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (0 x 100 oz per contract) equals 69,800 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 (696 x 100 oz or ounces + {(2)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (0 x 100 oz which equals 69,800 oz standing in this active delivery month of JANUARY (2.1710 tonnes). THERE IS 17.629 TONNES OF REGISTERED GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY SO FAR.

WE GAINED 1 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 100 OZ WILL STAND IN THIS NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF JANUARY(CME correction from Friday

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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

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 15 MONTHS 66 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE DECEMBER DELIVERY MONTH

DECEMBER FINAL standings

Jan 29 2018
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
 23,999.713 oz
BRINKS
DELAWARE
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil
oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
 1,193,538.740 OZ
 JPMORGAN RESUMES DEPOSITS
SCOTIA
No of oz served today (contracts)
1
CONTRACT(S)
(5,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
1 contracts
(5,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 728 contracts

(3,640,000 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

we had no inventory movement at the dealer side of things

total inventory movement dealer: nil oz

we had 2 inventory deposits into the customer account

i) JPMORGAN  Deposit:  1,193,538.740  oz

ii) into Scotia: 841,551.600

total inventory deposits: 2,035,090.340 oz

we had 2 withdrawals from the customer account;

i) out of Brinks: 5890.670 oz

ii) Out of Delaware:  18109.043 oz

total withdrawals;  23,999.713 oz

we had 0 adjustment

total dealer silver:  45.461 million

total dealer + customer silver:  248,007 million oz

The total number of notices filed today for the JANUARY. contract month is represented by 1 contract(s) FOR 5,000 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 729 x 5,000 oz = 3,645,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of JAN. (2) and the number of notices served upon today (1 x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the JANUARY contract month: 729(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of JANUARY(2) -number of notices served upon today (1)x 5000 oz equals 3,650,000 oz of silver standing for the JANUARY contract month. This is VERY GOOD for this NONACTIVE delivery month of JANUARY.  WE GAINED 0 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL NIL  OZ WILL  STAND FOR DELIVERY IN THIS NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF JANUARY AS QUEUE JUMPING CONTINUES AS WE PROCEED TO MONTH’S END.

ON FIRST DAY NOTICE FOR THE JANUARY 2017 CONTRACT WE HAD 3.790 MILLION OZ STAND.

THE FINAL STANDING: 3,730 MILLION OZ

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

ESTIMATED VOLUME FOR TODAY: 86,757

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY:  86,005 CONTRACTS

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 86,005 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO  430 MILLION OZ OR 61.4% 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.

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 

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV FALLS TO -2.18% (Jan 246/2018)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV FALLS TO -0.35% to NAV (Jan 26/2018 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -2.25%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.35%/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)

3.SPROTT CEF.A FUND (FORMERLY CENTRAL FUND OF CANADA): NAV FALLS TO 3.42%: NAV 14.08/TRADING 13.60//DISCOUNT 3.42%

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

JAN 29/with gold down $11.25, the GLD shed 1.18 tonnes of gold/inventory rests at 848.14 tonnes

jan 26/2018/no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 849.32 tonnes

jan 25/no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 849.32 tonnes

Jan 24/A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 2.65 TONNES OF GOLD INTO GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 849.32 TONNES

Jan 23/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY DESPITE GOLD’S RISE/INVENTORY RESTS AT 846.67 TONNES

Jan 22/a huge deposit of 5.71 tonnes of gold despite a drop in price/inventory rests at 846.67 tonnes. In 3 trading days, the GLD has added 17.71 tonnes/the bankers are now in trouble!!

Jan 19/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 840.76 tonnes

Jan 18/SHOCKINGLY A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 11.80 TONNES WITH GOLD DOWN ALMOST $12.00/INVENTORY RESTS AT 840.76

Jan 17/no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 828.96 tonnes

Jan 16/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 828.96 TONNES

Jan 12/no changes in inventory at the GLD despite the rise in gold price/inventory rests at 828.96 tonnes

Jan 11/ANOTHER IDENTICAL WITHDRAWAL OF 2.95 TONNES FROM THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 828.96 TONNES

Jan 10/with gold up today, a strange withdrawal of 2.95 tonnes/inventory rests at 831.91 tonnes

Jan 9/no changes in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 834.88 tonnes

Jan 8/with gold falling by a tiny $1.40 and this being after 12 consecutive gains, today they announce another 1.44 tonnes of gold withdrawal from the GLD/

Jan 5/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 836.32 TONNES

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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Jan 29/2018/ Inventory rests tonight at 848.14 tonnes

*IN LAST 316 TRADING DAYS: 93.01 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 250 TRADING DAYS: A NET 64.30 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO GLD INVENTORY.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

Jan 29/no change in inventory/SLV inventory rests at 313.896 million oz/

Jan 26.2018/inventory rests at 313.896  million oz

Jan 25/with silver up today and yesterday, the SLV could only muster a gain of 848,000 oz

Inventory rests at 313.896 oz

jan 24/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY DESPITE THE GOOD ADVANCE IN PRICE/INVENTORY RESTS AT 313.048 MILLION OZ/

Jan 23/ANOTHER HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 1.131 MILLION OZ OF SILVER DESPITE THE TINY LOSS/THE CROOKS ARE USING THE INVENTORY TO RAID ON SILVER.

JAN 22.2018/with silver down by 5 cents/ the crooks at the SLV liquidate 1.321 million oz of silver/inventory rests at 314.179 million oz/

Jan 19/ no changes in silver inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 315.500 million oz/

jan 18/A WITHDRAWAL OF 848,000 OZ OF SILVER FROM THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 315.500 MILLION OZ/

Jan 17/no changes in silver inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 316.348 million oz/

Jan 16/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.348  MILLION OZ

Jan 12/no changes in silver inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 316.348 million oz/

Jan 11/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.348 MILLION OZ/

Jan 10/with silver up again, we had a huge withdrawal of 1.227 million oz from the SLV/inventory rests at 316.348 million oz

Jan 9/a withdrawal of 848,000 oz from the SLV/Inventory rests at 317.575 million oz/

jan 8/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 318.423 million oz/

Jan 5/DESPITE NO CHANGE IN SILVER PRICING, WE HAD A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 2.026 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.423 MILLION OZ.

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/

.

Jan 29/2017:

Inventory 313.896 million oz

end

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

+ 1.74%
12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.11%

end

Major gold/silver trading /commentaries for MONDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

 

Silver Bullion: ‘Once and Future Money’

Profile picture for user GoldCore

Silver Bullion: Once and Future Money

– “Silver is as much a monetary metal as gold” – Rickards
– U.S. following footsteps of Roman Empire which collapsed due to currency debasement (must see table)
– Silver bullion is set to rally due to a combination of supply/demand fundamentals, geopolitical pressures creating safe haven demand, and increasing inflation expectations as confidence in central banking and fiat money erodes

– “Silver is ripe for a major breakout to the upside in 2018″ – analyst Samson Li of Reuters
– Investors can still buy 99.9% pure one ounce silver bullion coins

– “Secular rally in silver bullion is in its early days” and “will be sustained and amplified in the months and years to come”

Editor: Mark O’Byrne

Silver Denarius of Marcus Aurelius via Wikipedia and Silver Eagles (2018) of U.S. Mint

Text by Jim Rickards via Daily Reckoning

The Roman Republic and the later Roman Empire had gold coins called the aureus and solidus, but they also minted a popular silver coin called the denarius. One denarius was the daily wage for unskilled labor and Roman soldiers.

Of course, in the late Empire, the aureus, solidus and denarius were all debased by mixing the gold and silver with base metals. The decline of the Roman Empire went hand in hand with the decline of sound money.

In the early ninth century AD, Charlemagne greatly expanded silver coinage to compensate for a shortage of gold. This was successful in stimulating the economy of the predecessor of the Holy Roman Empire. In a sense, Charlemagne was the inventor of quantitative easing over 1,000 years ago. Silver was his preferred form of money.

Under the U.S. Coinage Act of 1792, both gold and silver coins were legal tender in the U.S. From 1794 to 1935, the U.S. Mint issued “silver dollars” in various designs. These were widely circulated and used as money by everyday Americans. The American dollar was legally defined as one ounce of silver.

The American silver dollar of the late eighteenth century was a copy of the earlier Spanish Real de a ocho minted by the Spanish Empire beginning in the late sixteenth century. The English name for the Spanish coin was the “piece of eight,” (ocho is the Spanish world for “eight”) because the coin could easily be divided into one-eighth pieces.

Until 2001 stock prices on the New York Stock Exchange were quoted in eighths and sixteenths based on the original Spanish silver coin and its one-eight sections.

Currency debasement as seen in falling silver purity of the Antoninianus (Wikipedia)
Click to enlarge. Currency debasement as seen in falling silver purity of the Antoninianus (Wikipedia)

Until 1935 U.S. silver coins were 90% pure silver with 10% copper alloy added for durability. After the U.S. Coinage Act of 1965, the silver content of half-dollars, quarters and dimes was reduced from 90% to 40% due to rising price of silver and hoarding by citizens who prized the valuable silver content of the older coins.

The new law signed by President Johnson in 1965 marked the end of true silver coinage by the U.S. Other legislation in 1968 ended the redeemability of old “silver certificates” (paper Treasury notes) for silver bullion.

Thereafter, U.S. coinage consisted of base metals and paper money that was not convertible into silver; (gold convertibility had already ended in 1933).

Let’s hope that the U.S. is not following in the footsteps of the Roman Empire in terms of a political decline coinciding with the substitution of base metals for true gold and silver coinage.

In 1986, the U.S. reintroduced silver coinage with a .999 pure silver one-ounce coin called the American Silver Eagle. However, this is not legal tender although it does carry a “one dollar” face value. The silver eagle is a bullion coin prized by investors and collectors for its silver content. But it is not money.


Who in their right mind would pay a full ounce of silver for goods or services worth only a buck?

In short, silver is as much a monetary metal as gold, and has just as good a pedigree when it comes to use in coinage. Silver has supported the economies of empires, kingdoms and nation states throughout history.

It should come as no surprise that percentage increases and decreases in silver and gold prices denominated in dollars are closely correlated.

Silver is more volatile than gold and is more difficult to analyze because it has far more industrial applications than gold. Silver is useful in engines, electronics and coatings.

Interestingly, gold is used very little other than as money in bullion form. Gold has some highly specialized uses for coating and ultra-thin wires, but these are a very small part of the gold market.

Both gold and silver are used extensively in jewelry. I consider jewelry to be “wearable wealth” and akin to bullion rather than a separate market segment.

Because silver has more industrial uses than gold, the price can rise or fall based on the business cycle independent of monetary considerations. However, over long periods of time, monetary and bullion aspects tend to dominate industrial uses and silver closely tracks its close cousin gold in dollar terms.

While gold and silver prices have a high correlation, the correlation is not perfect. There are times where gold outperforms silver and vice versa. Right now we are in a sweet spot for silver.

Gold is performing well, and silver is performing even better!

The latest data is telling me that silver prices are set to rally. This conclusion is based in part on a bull market thesis for gold.

Gold staged an historic rally from 1999 to 2011, from about $250 per ounce to $1,900 per ounce, a gain of about 900% in that twelve-year span. Since then, gold prices fell in a 50% retracement (using the 1999 base) and bottomed at around $1,050 per ounce in December 2015.

Secular bull and bear market tops and bottoms are difficult to see in real time, but they become apparent with hindsight. Gold gained over 23% in 2016-2017. From the perspective of early 2018, it is clear than the gold bear market ended over two years ago and a new multi-year secular bull market has begun.

Silver is not only along for the ride, it is showing even better performance than gold, albeit with greater volatility. Both the gold and silver rallies are based on a combination of supply/demand fundamentals, geopolitical pressures creating safe haven demand, and increasing inflation expectations as confidence in central banking and fiat money erodes.


Silver bullion prices in USD 10 years (GoldCore.com)

In addition, silver has an excellent technical set-up right now. Precious metals analyst Samson Li writing in Thomson Reuters on January 2, 2018 offers this insight in the current technical trading position for silver:

Technically, silver is ripe for a major breakout to the upside in 2018. The CFTC figures Managed Money positions show that COMEX silver has been in a net short for three straight weeks since 12th December. This is not unheard of but is relatively rare for silver; the last time COMEX silver was net short was between the end of June and the first week of August 2015. As investment sentiment can swing from one extreme to another, and given silver’s innate volatility, this net short position should point to the possibility of a sharp short-covering rally. Looking back at the corresponding period in 2015, silver price was trading at $15.61/oz on the 7th July, and it was the third consecutive week recording a net short position. Approximately a year later, silver was trading over $20/oz in July 2016… [T]he current poor sentiment does suggest that silver could be one of the better performing precious metals in 2018, barring any crisis that could trump most of the commodities but gold.

The good news is that this secular rally in silver is in its early days. Recent gains will be sustained and amplified in the months and years to come.

Recommended reading

Silver Prices To Surge – JP Morgan Has Acquired A “Massive Quantity of Physical Silver”

Silver Bullion Has Key New Player – China Replaces JP Morgan

Gold and Silver Bullion Are Only “Safe Investments Left” – Stockman

Click to listen on YouTube

News and Commentary

Gold’s path to US$1,400 seen cleared by slumping US dollar, equity fears (TaipeiTimes.com)

ECB executive warns against currency war (Reuters.com)

Coincheck Says It Lost Crypto Coins Valued at About $400 Million (Bloomberg.com)

Bitcoin May Split 50 Times in 2018 as Forking Craze Mounts (Bloomberg.com)

U.S. CFTC to fine UBS, Deutsche Bank, HSBC for spoofing, manipulation: sources (Reuters.com)


Source: BofA via ZeroHedge

BofA Sounds The Alarm: “Biggest Sell Signal In 5 Years Was Just Triggered” (ZeroHedge.com)

A Doomsayer’s Guide to the Dollar and Why It Could Keep Plunging (Bloomberg.com)

Another Positive Year Ahead For Gold, Says The World Gold Council (Forbes.com)

Surprise! While Bitcoin Crashed, Investors Poured Into This Asset (Madison.com)

The Art Museum That Offered Donald Trump a Solid Gold Toilet (VanityFair.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

29 Jan: USD 1,348.40, GBP 955.07 & EUR 1,085.46 per ounce
26 Jan: USD 1,354.35, GBP 950.21 & EUR 1,087.41 per ounce
25 Jan: USD 1,360.25, GBP 954.35 & EUR 1,095.27 per ounce
24 Jan: USD 1,350.50, GBP 957.50 & EUR 1,093.77 per ounce
23 Jan: USD 1,337.10, GBP 959.10 & EUR 1,091.74 per ounce
22 Jan: USD 1,334.15, GBP 959.12 & EUR 1,087.87 per ounce
19 Jan: USD 1,335.80, GBP 960.17 & EUR 1,087.74 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

29 Jan: USD 17.34, GBP 12.33 & EUR 13.99 per ounce
26 Jan: USD 17.40, GBP 12.21 & EUR 13.99 per ounce
25 Jan: USD 17.52, GBP 12.29 & EUR 14.12 per ounce
24 Jan: USD 17.19, GBP 12.16 & EUR 13.93 per ounce
23 Jan: USD 16.98, GBP 12.19 & EUR 13.87 per ounce
22 Jan: USD 17.04, GBP 12.25 & EUR 13.90 per ounce
19 Jan: USD 17.04, GBP 12.27 & EUR 13.89 per ounce

Recent Market Updates

– Davos – My Personal Experience of the $100,000 Event, $60 Burgers, Massive Inequality and the Blockchain Revolution
– Is This The Greatest Stock Market Bubble In History? Goldnomics Podcast
– Cyber War Coming In 2018?
– Government Shutdown Ends – Markets Ignore Looming Debt and Bond Market Threat
– Global Pension Ponzi – Carillion Collapse One Of Many To Come
– The Next Great Bull Market in Gold Has Begun – Rickards
– Gold Bullion May Have Room to Run As Chinese New Year Looms
– Digital Gold Flight To Physical Gold Coins and Bars
– Gold and Silver Bullion Are Only “Safe Investments Left” – Stockman
– Silver Prices To Surge – JP Morgan Has Acquired A “Massive Quantity of Physical Silver”
– London Property Crash Looms As Prices Drop To 2 1/2 Year Low
– Gold Bullion Up 1% In Week, Heads For 5th Weekly Gain As Bonds Sell Off
– Gold Prices Rise To $1,326/oz as China U.S. Treasury Buying Report Creates Volatility

end

This is a surprise:  the CFTC is charging major firms, UBS, HSBC and our good friend Deutsche bank for spoofing and manipulating in the USA futures market.  This is the first time that all 3 agencies have been involved;  Dept of Justice, the FBI and the CFTC.

the fines will be north of 10s of millions of dollars. Except for Deutsche bank this is pocket change and they will continue to do with misdeeds.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Traders Arrested In Futures Spoofing Probe

In a shocking development – shocking because as everyone obviously knows market are never rigged or manipulated – late on Friday Reuters reported that the CFTC was set to announce it has fined European lenders UBS, HSBC and Deutsche Bank millions of dollars each for “spoofing” and manipulation in the U.S. futures market.

The enforcement action by the U.S. derivatives regulator was said to be the result of a multi-agency investigation that also involved the Department of Justice and the FBI – the first of its kind for the CFTC.

Reuters also reported that the fines for UBS and Deutsche Bank would be north of ten million, while the fine for HSBC will be slightly less than that. Spoofing, as a reminder, involves placing bids to buy or offers to sell futures contracts with the intent to cancel them before execution. By creating an illusion of demand, spoofers can influence prices to benefit their market positions. Spoofing is what Navinder Sarao was criminally accused of doing when he singlehandedly launched the May 2010 flash crash, for which he is now imprisoned.

And yes, spoofing is a criminal offense under a provision implemented as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform.

* * *

Following the Reuters report, many asked why Sarao was arrested and jailed, while major banks caught spoofing and manipulating futures will get away with paying a fine that is a tiny fraction of how much they made from rigging markets in the first place.

Well, it appears that someone else is going to jail after all, because as Reuters followed up this morning, US authorities were set to arrest several people on Monday as part of the spoofing and manipulation probe. The individuals who are set to be perp walked, were previously employed as traders by UBS, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, and will be charged as part of the multi-agency probe,

Last August, a U.S. appeals court upheld the conviction of former New Jersey-based high-speed trader Michael Coscia who was the first individual to be criminally prosecuted for spoofing in the US, aside from Sarao of course.

This is the first time the CFTC, DOJ and FBI have worked together to bring both criminal and civil charges against multiple companies and individuals, sources said.

As Reuters adds, “the bank investigations have been going on for more than a year, but the CFTC has pursued the charges against the traders as part of a more recent effort led by the agency’s head of enforcement, James McDonald, to hold individual employees accountable for corporate wrongdoing, two of the sources said.”

McDonald, a former prosecutor in the Southern District of New York who was appointed to the CFTC role in March, has said he aims to achieve that by encouraging companies and staff to report their own wrongdoing and cooperate with investigators in return for more lenient penalties.

Once the names of market riggers are revealed we will promptly follow up, although we are sad to advise readers that the biggest manipulator of all will sadly be spared.

end
Here are the 6 traders who have been arrested for spoofing in the gold market
Our good friend Andre Floton formerly of UBS has been convicted before.  Also note that our good friends over at Deutsche bank who promised not to ever engage in manipulation again, just did so. I would also like to comment on the fact that HFT traders especially guys like Bart Chilton spoof on a regular basis and the crooked CFTC allow them to do so.
(courtesy zerohedge)

These Are The 6 Traders Who Were Just Arrested For Manipulating The Gold Market

On Monday morning we reported that a number of traders – currently or formerly employed by UBS, HSBC and Deutsche Bank (as usual, no JPMorgan US banks were touched) – would be perp-walked and charged in an unprecedented cross-agency crackdown between the CFTC, DOJ and FBI seeking to punish spoofers of futures. This was confirmed moments ago by a CFTC press release which announced criminal and civil enforcement actions against three banks and six individuals involved in commodities fraud and spoofing schemes.

Here is what got far less publicity: it wasn’t just any futures that were spoofed – all the banks and traders busted were charged for spoofing the precious metals market, i.e. gold and silver. We bring this up because there are still the occasional idiots out there who say gold and silver were never manipulated.

The banks in question, and their penalties:

Deutsche Bank will pay a $30 million civil monetary penalty and undertake remedial relief. The Orders finds that “from at least February 2008 and continuing through at least September 2014, DB AG, by and through certain precious metals traders (Traders), engaged in a scheme to manipulate the price of precious metals futures contracts by utilizing a variety of manual spoofing techniques with respect to precious metals futures contracts traded on the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (COMEX), and by trading in a manner to trigger customer stop-loss orders.

UBS will pay a $15 million civil monetary penalty and undertake remedial relief.  The Order finds that from “January 2008 through at least December 2013, UBS, by and through the acts of certain precious metals traders on the spot desk (Traders), attempted to manipulate the price of precious metals futures contracts by utilizing a variety of manual spoofing techniques with respect to precious metals futures contracts traded on the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (COMEX), including gold and silver, and by trading in a manner to trigger customer stop-loss orders.”

HSBC will pay a civil monetary penalty of $1.6 million, and cease and desist from violating the Commodity Exchange Act’s prohibition against spoofing, after an Order found HSBC engaged in numerous acts of “spoofing with respect to certain futures products in gold and other precious metals traded on the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (COMEX). The Order finds that HSBC engaged in this activity through one of its traders based in HSBC’s New York office.”

For those keeping count, this is roughly the 4th time HSBC has been found guilty of manipulating markets after the bank nearly lost its charter and swore it would never manipulate markets again.

* * *

And here are the 6 traders who spoof and otherwise manipulated the precious metals market:

  • Krishna Mohan

The CFTC today announced the filing of a federal court enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against Krishna Mohan of New York City, New York, charging him with spoofing (bidding or offering with the intent to cancel before execution) and engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the E-mini Dow ($5) futures contract market on the Chicago Board of Trade and the E-mini NASDAQ 100 futures contract market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

  • Jitesh Thakkar & Edge Financial Technologies

The CFTC today announced the filing of a federal court enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, charging Jitesh Thakkar of Naperville, Illinois, and his company, Edge Financial Technologies, Inc. (Edge), with aiding and abetting spoofing and a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the E-mini S&P futures contract market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (E-mini S&P).

  • Jiongsheng Zhao

The CFTC today announced the filing of a federal court enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Defendant Jiongsheng Zhao, of Australia, charging him with spoofing and engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the E-mini S&P 500 futures contract market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

  • James Vorley & Cedric Chanu

The CFTC announced the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against James Vorley, a U.K. resident, and Cedric Chanu, a United Arab Emirates resident, charging them with spoofing and engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the precious metals futures markets.

Finally, our old friend, Andre Flotronformerly of UBS, who as we reported on several prior occasions was arrested and charged with gold-rigging after a lengthy career of doing just that at the largest Swiss bank:

The CFTC announced the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut against Andre Flotron, of Switzerland, charging him with engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme and spoofing in the precious metals futures markets on a registered entity.

* * *

Meanwhile, the manipulation by the Fed and spoofing by HFTs of the S&P500 continues apace, and will do so as long as the market keeps levitating because it is only when stocks crash, that the fingerpointing begins.

end

China brought in a huge 21.5 million oz of silver into their country last year.  They also produce around 120 million oz.

(courtesy China/Scrap Register)

China’s Silver imports shoot up in 2017; Gold imports plunge

SHANGHAI (Scrap Register): China’s gold imports fell during last year, but silver imports rose, said Commerzbank in a snippet.

According to customs authorities, silver imports soared by 28% year-on-year to nearly 4,300 tons, achieving a seven-year high.

Last year saw solar-cell production stepped up considerably for the second consecutive year in China, with over 50% more solar panels installed. This resulted in high demand for silver, Commerzbank added.

Analysts cited data from the Hong Kong government showing that China imported only 31.2 net tons of gold from Hong Kong in December, almost 40% less than last year.

“The sharp gold price rises in the second half of the month appear to have deterred Chinese gold buyers,” Commerzbank added.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong data show net gold imports in 2017 fell by 18.5% year-on-year to 628.2 tons, this was the lowest figure in five years.

“Whereas private household gold demand was largely stable, the Chinese central bank bought no gold at all last year,” the bank added.

https://www.scrapregister.com/news/44002/chinas-silver- imports-shoot-up-in-2017-gold-imports-plunge

-END-

Saturday:  Cryptos bounce back after the biggest cyber heist in history
(courtesy zerohedge)

Cryptos Bounce Back After Biggest Cyber-Heist In History

Following the biggest cybertheft in history – $534 million from Japan’s Coincheck – cryptocurrencies are soaring back higher after the exchange confirmed that it will issue full refunds to all of the 260,000 of its users who have become victims of the Friday NEM hack.

As a reminder, the Coincheck exchange  was hacked Friday, Jan. 26, resulting in a massive loss of 523 mln NEM coins, worth approximately $534 mln at that time. During a press release following the hack it has been revealed by the exchange’s representatives that the funds were stored on a single-signature hot wallet, constituting a relatively low-security environment.

But now, as CoinTelegraph reports, the company has now confirmed its intention to refund the stolen money to the affected users. According to the announcement, the refunds will be done using the exchange’s own capital.

The company is still considering the exact timing and methodology for the process. However, it has already announced that the compensation for each NEM coin will be JPY 88.549, which is the weighted average exchange rate during the period from when the trading was halted to the release of the latest announcement.

Coincheck indicated that they are referencing the XEM/JPY exchange rate at Zaif, another Japanese exchange which has the most trading volume for XEM globally.

Furthermore, Coincheck has again confirmed their intention to stay in business, as opposed to declaring bankruptcy, saying:

”Along with our ongoing efforts to file applications to be registered as a Cryptocurrency Exchange Service Provider with Financial Services Agency, we will continue business.”

NEM soared back to recent highs after the headlines hit…

The crypto community has shown support for Coincheck after this action and the development team behind NEM has announced that it is working on an automated system that will track the stolen coins and tag all addresses that receive the “tainted” money. This will allow any cryptocurrency exchange to blacklist the hackers’ accounts, preventing them from ever cashing out their illegally obtained fortune.

The positive sentiment in NEM and the Japanese markets has sparked a rally in the broader crypto markets with Ethereum leading the bounce…

Additionally, this rebound follows a week-long attack from the great-and-good elites in Davos. As CoinTelegraph reports, Full Tilt Capital Partner Anthony Pompliano was scathing in his analysis of the prevailing sentiment floating around in Davos towards Bitcoin.

The former Facebook product and growth manager suggested that statements made by economist Joseph Stiglitz that Bitcoin was still used for shady purposes actually has the opposite effect of driving people away from cryptocurrency adoption.

Joseph Stiglitz, well-known economist, is bragging to the Davos crowd that Bitcoin is used for “secret use cases” & that fiat currency is superior. My theory is that this type of fear-mongering actually drives more adoption of Bitcoin & cryptocurrencies.https://cointelegraph.com/news/regulate-it-out-of-existence-stiglitz-and-swiss-bank-bash-bitcoin-at-davos 

‘Regulate It Out of Existence’: Stiglitz And Swiss Bank Bash Bitcoin At Davos

Two senior economists have objected strongly to Bitcoin versus fiat currency at the 2018 World Economic Forum.

cointelegraph.com

Max Keiser, host of the Keiser Report on RT, also touched on the wave of negativity around Bitcoin in Davos, but said it was too late for big financial industry players to try to stop what he described as a ‘revolution.’

Those at Davos threatened by maybe could have thwarted the revolution 5 yrs ago. But now it’s too late. Go home guys, your time is over. https://twitter.com/sunnystartups/status/956058751085219840 

Renowned American investor Bill Gross suggested that the rise of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency has signaled a move away from centralized institutions governing and controlling money. People seem to be putting their trust in technology over government-run establishments.

Bitcoin’s rise may reflect, for better or worse, a monumental transfer of social trust: away from human institutions backed by government and to systems reliant on well-tested computer code.. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/18/opinion/bitcoin-boom-technology-trust.html 

Twitter users CryptoWilson highlighted more negative sentiment towards cryptocurrency, sharing a video of French President Emmanuel Macron speaking in favor of regulatory crackdowns by the International Monetary Fund on cryptocurrency.

Macron ‘triggered by Bitcoin’ at Davos: “I am in favor of the IMF having full competence over the whole areas that escape regulation: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, shadow banking […] which can trigger crises.” https://twitter.com/bfmbusiness/status/956218338035884034 

end

Japanese police launch a probe into the biggest csryptocurrency heist
(courtesy zerohedge)

Japanese Police Launch Probe Of Biggest Cryptocurrency Heist In History

Japan’s new cryptocurrency regulations were put to the test last week when CoinCheck – a popular, if unlicensed, Tokyo-based crypto-exchange – became the target of “the biggest heist in crypto history.”  As we reported last week, hackers made off with more than 500 million NEM tokens, worth $400 million before news of the hack triggered a 20% devaluation in what was until recently the tenth most popular cryptocurrency. That sum makes it bigger than Mt. Gox at the time of its implosion in February, 2014.

To save face, Japan’s financial regulator said on Monday it would inspect the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges; it also ordered Coincheck to review and repair its security systems, which, as Reuters pointed out, were irresponsibly lacking.


Coincheck executives bowing in apology during a press conference

The exchange apparently hadn’t bothered to implement what’s called multi-signature security – the same flaw that led to the Bitfinex hack about 18 months ago. 

Meanwhile, local media reports cited by Bloomberg say Japan’s Metropolitan Police Department has spoken to employees at Coincheck, has requested full access to the company’s servers, and will be conducting a full investigation. The police will also be analyzing records in Coincheck’s servers to identify the source of the hacking.

Coincheck – which halted withdrawals and trading in all cryptoassets except bitcoin last Friday following the hack, sending the market lower – said it would return 90% of its customers’ assets with internal funds, though it has yet to disclose how or when it will do this.

Japan started requiring exchange operators to register with the government in April 2017, and allowed pre-existing operators like Coincheck to continue ahead of being formally registered. So far, 16 exchanges have been registered by the FSA, Japan’s financial regulator.

Here’s Reuters, on what caused the hack, and what regulators are asking of Coincheck:

The theft highlights the vulnerabilities in trading an asset that global policymakers are struggling to regulate and the broader risks for Japan as it aims to leverage the fintech industry to stimulate economic growth.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) on Monday ordered improvements to operations at Tokyo-based Coincheck, which on Friday suspended trading in all cryptocurrencies except bitcoin after hackers stole 58 billion yen ($534 million) of NEM coins, among the most popular digital currencies in the world.

Coincheck said on Sunday it would return about 90% of losses with internal funds, though it has yet to figure out how or when.

The NEM coins were stored in a “hot wallet” instead of the more secure “cold wallet”,which operates on platforms not directly connected to the internet, Coincheck said. It also does not use an extra layer of security known as a multi-signature system.

Cryptocurencies were slightly lower on Monday as the customers wondered whether they would receive any reimbursement for their stolen funds.  The FSA has given Coincheck roughly two weeks to improve its systems before it must submit a report on its progress:

The FSA said it ordered Coincheck to submit a report on the hack and measures for preventing a recurrence by Feb. 13, and that it will, if necessary, conduct on-site inspections of other cryptocurrency exchanges.

The regulator has yet to confirm whether Coincheck has sufficient funds to make the reimbursements. Hacks like these are particularly stressful for crypto traders because the collapse of Mt. Gox ended several months of torrid gains for bitcoin, sending it into a two-year bear market. And one researcher said the Coincheck hack underscores the need for exchanges to improve their security.

“It’s been long said that cryptocurrencies are a solid system but cryptocurrency exchanges are not,” said Makoto Sakuma, research fellow at NLI Research Institute.

“This incident showed that the problem has not been solved at all. If Coincheck screws up its crisis management, that could deal a blow to the current cryptocurrency fever.”

The Singapore-based NEM Foundation said it had traced the stolen coins, but it’s not clear if they’re contemplating the type of hard fork that Ethereum used to recover stolen coins following the hack of the DAO. That famously split the Ethereum blockchain into Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.

Of course, Coincheck hasn’t been the only high-profile hack since Mt. Gox; Last month, Youbit was hacked by what South Korean intelligence believes were North Korea-linked hackers.

As Reuters reminds us, world leaders meeting in Davos last week issued fresh warnings about the dangers of cryptocurrencies, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin relating Washington’s concern about the money being used for illicit activity. Japan’s top financial diplomat said regulating cryptocurrencies would be on the agenda for the G20 finance chiefs’ meeting in Argentina in March.

* * *

That skepticism has spread to Wall Street banks, which are apparently not emulating Goldman Sachs’s embrace of cryptocurrency trading.

Deutsche Bank AG’s Wealth Management currently does not advise to invest in crypto-currencies, according to Markus Mueller, Global Head of Chief Investment Office, Bloomberg reported. Problematic issues include high volatility, possible price manipulation and data loss or data theft, he told Bloomberg News in an interview.

“We do not recommend that.It’s only for investors who invest speculatively,” he said. “There is a realistic risk of total loss.” According to Mueller, recent price increases reflect a lot of imagination, driven by the current situation in the market. There is hardly any return scope left in other asset classes such as fixed income, he said.

Mueller is not the only person warning against crypto-currencies.

While central bankers in the US have largely played down the risks cryptocurrencies pose to the broader economy, Bank of Spain Governor Luis Maria Linde said they are an asset that carries enormous risks. And Austria’s Financial Planners Association compared bitcoin investments with a “casino visit”.

In order to establish crypto-currencies as some kind of asset class in the future, more regulation, security and transparency, for example via official trading venues, are required, according to Mueller. “Important issues such as liability and documentation are unclear,” he said. “We are still at the very beginning.”

Still, Mueller maintains that blockchain technology – the distributed ledger system upon which cryptocurrencies are built – is still “interesting” and that the bank is still exploring ways to leverage that technology.

END

Interesting: divers find a stash of rare gold coins at the site of the 1838 shipwreck

(courtesy Price/Charlotte Observer)

Divers find stash of rare gold coins at site of 1800s wreck off NC coast

 Section: 

By Mark Price
Charlotte (North Carolina) Observer
Friday, January 26, 2018

A stash of gold coins found Monday is the latest piece of evidence that a shipwreck 40-plus miles off the North Carolina coast is that of the steamship Pulaski, which took half its wealthy passengers to the bottom of the Atlantic in 1838.

Divers found 14 gold coins and 24 silver coins in a spot “no bigger than a cigar box.” All predate the Pulaski’s sinking and include one British coin that experts say could be worth $100,000. Other gold coins in the collection are valued in the $10,000 to $12,000 range, officials said.

James Sinclair, a marine archaeologist involved in project, says finding gold coins proves the team is in the right spot.

“This evidence supports reports that valuables, including gold and silver, were aboard the Pulaski when she sank,” Sinclair said in a statement. …

The disappearance of Pulaski remains one of the nation’s most dramatic and deadly maritime disasters, partly because half on board died, but also because its passengers included some of the most prominent families in the Southeast. …

… For the remainder of the report:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article196911119.html

 END
Maund is a technical analyst and when you have continual manipulation, their observations are worthless
(courtesy Chris Powell/GATA)

Complaints of gold and silver market rigging are more than ‘sour grapes’

 Section: 

8:48p ET Friday, January 26, 2018

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Technical analyst Clive Maund today takes a crack at those who complain about the rigging of the monetary metals markets.

In commentary headlined “Controlled Demolition of the Markets — Dollar, Next Treasuries, Then Stocks — Gold, Silver, and PM Stocks to Soar” —

https://www.clivemaund.com/article.php?id=4517

— Maund asserts: “The extensive talk about manipulation suppressing prices of gold and silver is largely ‘sour grapes’ by those who were too slow-witted to ‘get with the plot’ and jump on the bandwagons that were rolling elsewhere, in biotech, in bitcoin, in the FANGs, in the broad market itself, etc.”

Of course GATA hasn’t been the only one to complain about manipulation of the monetary metals markets. More and more people are complaining about it every day. But GATA has been the only one to complain about and document this manipulation since January 1999, nearly 20 years, through uptrends and downtrends alike for the monetary metals, and giving trading advice and making money have not been the organization’s objectives.

Rather GATA was founded, has been maintained, and has been formally recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a civil rights and educational organization.

So those who would criticize GATA are obliged to examine what it does, not to attribute to the organization what they themselves try to do.

Disparaging complaints of gold and silver market manipulation as “largely ‘sour grapes,'” Maund suggests that there is nothing to them. Yet he does not dispute even one bit of the extensive documentation compiled by GATA here:

http://www.gata.org/taxonomy/term/21

Nor does Maund try to answer the crucial questions GATA long has put to those who sneer at its work without ever really confronting it:

1) Are governments and central banks active in the monetary metals markets or not?

2) Are the documents compiled by GATA from government archives and other official sources asserting such activity genuine or forgeries?

3) If governments and central banks are active in the monetary metals markets, is it just for fun or is it for policy purposes?

4) If such activity by governments and central banks is for policy purposes, do those purposes involve the traditional objectives of defeating an independent world currency that competes with government currencies and interferes with government control of interest rates and, indeed, interferes with control of the entire economy and society itself?

Those questions are fairly put regardless of how pleased or disappointed anyone is by how much money he has made. They are not fairly ignored just to duck a challenge to the technical analysis by which Maund makes a living, as much as all investors in the monetary metals may hope that it’s right this time.

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

END

This is good for gold/silver pricing but not good for equities as Trump is again reversing his stand on controversial gold mining in Alaska

(courtesy zerohedge)

In reversal, EPA deals setback to controversial gold mining proposal in Alaska

 Section: 

By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis
The Washington Post
Friday, January 26, 2018

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced late Friday that he will not scrap the agency’s 2014 determination that a large-scale mining operation could irreparably harm Alaska’s Bristol Bay water­shed.

His decision, which falls short of blocking a proposed gold and copper mine in the region outright, represents a surprising twist in a years-long battle that has pitted a Canadian-owned mining company against commercial fishing operators, native Alaskans and conservationists determined to protect the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

Last spring, shortly after meeting with the top executive from the project’s main backer, Northern Dynasty Minerals, Pruitt directed EPA staff to revisit the Obama-era decision to short-circuit the project using a provision of the Clean Water Act. The 2014 decision came after several years of scientific study during which the EPA determined that the mining operation could cause “significant and irreversible harm” to the area’s fish habitat.

On Friday, after receiving more than a million public comments and consulting with tribal governments and others, the EPA said it will leave the previous administration’s determination in place while it takes additional comments. The announcement said the decision “neither deters nor derails the application process” for the mine. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/in-reversal-epa-d…

END

Brandon White, a former member and chief economist at the BIS considers gold the ultimate asset

(courtesy GATA)

Brandon White: Canada’s bank regulator already considers gold the ultimate asset

 Section: 

4:38p ET Saturday, January 27, 2018

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Bullion dealer BMG Group’s Brandon White reports in his latest edition of “This Week in 3 Minutes” that Canadian banks are already treating monetary gold in their vaults or in trust as a “zero-risk” asset for capital purposes, though gold’s “zero-risk” standard is still being implemented gradually on an international basis.

That is, Canada’s bank regulator now formally considers gold the ultimate financial asset.

This, White notes, may encourage Canada’s financial institutions to hold more real metal.

White’s report and his correspondence on the point with Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions are posted at BMG Group’s internet site here:

http://bmg-group.com/this-week-in-3-minutes/?inf_contact_key=10cd7e5a2ab…

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

END

Interesting exchange between Chris Powell and a GATA supporter:

(courtesy Chris Powell/GATA)

Gold’s revaluation is ‘just a matter of time,’ but then so is everything else

 Section: 

11:34a ET Sunday, January 28, 2018

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Our friend P.C. writes:

“As a long-time GATA follower, I fully subscribe to the understanding that markets generally, and particularly the precious metal markets, are controlled to keep international exchange and trade ‘stable’ and maintain ‘Western’ market wealth. But I have a question you may be able to answer.

“If the major players in the futures and paper markets are able to contain prices with impunity, who is on the buying side who can compete? Why is there such volatility and any upward movement in the gold price at all? The algorithms of the market controllers could simply keep the prices at an arbitrary constant. Or are these same players introducing volatility to simulate reality or shake out long players?

“Is there genuine large long interest that can push the futures market up? I disregard the Asian central bank buying of physical as not yet having impact on the internationally accepted price.

“If there are paper buyers who can match the muscle of the shorts, is this made up of many small unconnected entities or is it a cohesive group? Unless there is such a group, is there any hope of change unless and until the Western financial system is broken? That could be a dystopian outcome.

“I cannot foresee short- or even medium-term capitulation by the shorts, as control is not only the official remit of the manipulators and in their financial interest, but also a one-way alley that cannot be easily reversed out of.

“– P.C.”

* * *

Dear P.C.:

Thanks for your note.

The paper and physical markets are connected, if only thinly. Paper is convertible to metal, if with some difficulty. If there was no connection, the paper markets would have no credibility or relevance.

There is always some offtake from the physical market — ordinary jewelry, coin, and monetary bar demand — just as there is always mine production added to the physical market.

The longstanding challenge for central banks and governments is to discourage interest in gold’s return — silver’s too — as money competing with their own currencies. Hence the ever-increasing issuance of paper claims to metal that doesn’t exist, the fractional-reserve gold and silver banking system. As long as enough investors are content to own metal that is unallocated and only imaginary, metal that is only a claim against a bullion bank or a central bank, central banks and governments can keep real metal’s price under control.

But Asian central bank and investor interest is having an effect on the price, as signified by the premiums being paid in Shanghai over the prices quoted in London and New York. And a couple of times in the past physical demand has overwhelmed the Western central banks and governments that were suppressing the price of gold. That’s why the London Gold Pool was closed abruptly in 1968 —

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Gold_Pool

— and why in 1971 President Nixon repudiated the U.S. dollar’s gold convertibility for foreign central banks:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon_shock

That is, back then the United States was quickly running out of gold to use for dumping in the physical market to keep the gold price down and support the dollar.

Using futures and options — paper gold — since 1974, Western central banks and governments have been able to inject enough volatility in the gold price to scare the retail market out of much metal. The futures market seems to have been created precisely for the purpose of causing price volatility and scaring off ordinary investors:

http://www.gata.org/node/17081

I don’t have much faith that the retail market will ever wise up to the racket and simply buy real metal, remove it from the banking system, and put it away for the long term. Certainly the monetary metals mining industry is too frightened of its governments and banks to protest the price suppression.

But some governments are getting annoyed with U.S. dollar imperialism and are moving away from the dollar and toward gold’s return as the world reserve currency, a more impartial reserve currency. These governments have not shared their timetable with GATA but the movement is clear. Indeed, the United States and other Western countries well may be cooperating with it, if begrudgingly:

http://www.gata.org/node/11373

In any case a debt-based, fiat money system requires regular devaluation of currencies in favor of gold and other hard assets to prevent interest payments from consuming the economy:

http://www.gata.org/node/4843

So as some financial pundits say, it is “just a matter of time” before currencies are devalued against gold again and central banks move the gold price up to a level at which they more easily can sustain another half century of price suppression and control of the currency and bond markets.

But of course as is postulated by the Infinite Monkey Theorem —

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem

— everything is “just a matter of time,” including, for example, Earth’s destruction by an asteroid.

Will the next gold price revaluation happen before the next asteroid arrives? Will it happen even in the lifetime of most current gold investors?

I don’t know. I can only hope that the conclusion of the doomsday cult leader is correct here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hJQ18S6aag&t=1s

That is: “Same time tomorrow. We must get a winner one day.”

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

END




Your early MONDAY 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

 

i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/CLOSED DOWN AT 6.3319 /shanghai bourse CLOSED DOWN AT 35.13 POINTS 0.99% / HANG SANG CLOSED DOWN 187.23 POINTS OR 0.56%
2. Nikkei closed DOWN 2.54 POINTS OR 0.01% /USA: YEN RISES TO 108.80

3. Europe stocks OPENED MIXED TO RED   /USA dollar index RISES TO 89.35/Euro FALLS TO 1.2382

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO . +.089/ GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 108.80/ THIS IS TROUBLESOME AS BANK OF JAPAN IS RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY./JAPAN 10 YR YIELD FINALLY IN THE POSITIVE/BANK OF JAPAN LOSING CONTROL OF THEIR YIELD CURVE AS THEY PURCHASE ALL BONDS TO GET TO ZERO RATE!!

3c Nikkei now JUST BELOW 17,000

3d USA/Yen rate now well below the important 120 barrier this morning

3e WTI:: 65.71  and Brent: 69.76

3f Gold DOWN/Yen DOWN

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund RISES TO +.683%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP to 2.024% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD UP TO 1.421%

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS TO : 3.655?????????????????

3k Gold at $1343.90 silver at:17.30: 7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 23/100 in roubles/dollar) 56.47

3m oil into the 65 dollar handle for WTI and 69 handle for Brent/

3n Higher foreign deposits out of China sees huge risk of outflows and a currency depreciation. This can spell financial disaster for the rest of the world/

JAPAN ON JAN 29.2016 INITIATES NIRP. THIS MORNING THEY SIGNAL THEY MAY END NIRP. TODAY THE USA/YEN TRADES TO 108.80 DESTROYING JAPANESE CITIZENS WITH HIGHER FOOD INFLATION

30 SNB (Swiss National Bank) still intervening again in the markets driving down the SF. It is not working: USA/SF this morning 0.9357 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1586 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year RISING to +0.683%

The bank withdrawals were causing massive hardship to the Greek bank. the Greek referendum voted overwhelming “NO”. Next step for Greece will be the recapitalization of the banks and that will be difficult.

4. USA 10 year treasury bond at 2.716% early this morning (THIS IS DEADLY TO ALL MARKETS). Thirty year rate at 2.956% /

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

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

Treasury Yields Are Blowing Out, Slowing Dollar Plunge

The recent frantic moves in Treasurys and the dollar continued on Monday as we enter what is set to be a juggernaut of a “rollercoaster week“, and while the dollar collapse seems to have slowed for now, this is as a result of an acceleration in the Treasury selloff, with 10Y yields blowing out to 2.72% for the first time since early 2014, and now deep into what Jeff Gundlach called the “danger zone” for equities.

The TSY weakness is also hitting German Bunds, where the 10Y yield rose to 0.682%, the highest since 2015 and rapidly threatening another VaR shock should the selloff accelerate from here.

Also of notable: the German 5-year bond yield rose as much as 4bps from the open to turn positive for the first time since Dec. 2015, rising as high as 0.012% after ECB Governing Council member Klaas Knot over the weekend said there isn’t a single reason to continue with the QE program.

For once, the Greenback is a broad winner, if very modestly, as high/rising US Treasury yields, now at levels last seen in early 2014, are finally offering the USD some support after 7 weeks of losses, while month-end rebalancing is also prompting short covering given buy signals and latest weekly CTFC spec positioning showing another increase in shorts. The DXY looks firmer above the 89.000 level, but really needs to extend recovery gains beyond 89.500 for a more sustained retracement and to prevent bears from further attacks on key supports below 88.500.

“The higher Treasury 10-year yield is spurring dollar-buying,” said Ko Haruki, head of the financial solutions group at CIBC World Markets (Japan) in Tokyo. “The dollar is consolidating with major currencies failing to break Thursday’s highs.”

Meanwhile, the yen fell after Kuroda’s comments on stronger inflation. GBP/USD slid as much as 0.5% to 1.4094 amid media reports that the Conservatives are poised to trigger a vote of no confidence in U.K. PM May.

The Swiss franc fell versus all G-10 peers amid speculation of possible Swiss National Bank intervention first spurred leveraged buying of USD/CHF, before sellers responded and pulled the pair back down; SNB declined to comment on the matter.

The euro weakened as German bonds retreated for a fourth day, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index turned lower after benchmarks were mixed in the Asian session.

After trading mixed early in the session, European tech stocks retraced much of their earlier gains on Monday, as traders cited the previously noted report that Apple has cut production as much as 50% for the iPhone X.  Nikkei Asian Review says Apple has alerted suppliers it has cut its production target for the flagship phone to 20 million units in Q1, from a previous estimate of 40 million envisaged in November. Apple suppliers Dialog Semiconductor DLGS.DE, STMicroelectronics STM.BN, Infineon IFXGn.DE, IQE IQE.L and AMS AMS.S all fade gains shortly after the report, though all five stocks remain up on the day after AMS reported results well ahead of expectations

In terms of sector specifics, material names outperform following price action in the metals complex with Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Glencore, Antofagasta and BHP all near the top of the FSTE 100. Elsewhere, focus has also been on the IT sector with AMS (+20%) and Wirecard (+1.7%) soaring in the wake of earnings. Other notable equity specific newsflow includes Sanofi acquiring Ablynx (+3.5%) for EUR 3.9bln and a double upgrade at BAML for Volkswagen (+1.5%) with BAML commenting on whether the Co. could be a potential break-up candidate.

Earlier, Asia-Pac bourses traded mixed: the ASX 200 (+0.4%) and Nikkei 225 (Unch.) opened positive with Australia buoyed by M&A activity including AWE shares which rose 16% on reports of a bid from Mitsui & Co., while Japan stocks were less decisive with price action dictated by currency moves and the stronger yen killed early upside equity momentum.

Notably, Chinese stocks slumped the most in 2 months as large caps retreated.  Equities in Hong Kong also fell, while the big-cap CSI 300 Index loses 2% as of 2:49pm local time. Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.3% while the Shenzhen Composite Index fell -1.7%. Some Chinese investors are closing their books before Chinese New Year, which means inflows to the stock markets will slow, said Frank Lee, acting chief investment officer for North Asia at DBS Bank (HK) Ltd.

Elsewhere, U.S. oil fell, though it’s at about its strongest level in five months relative to Brent as a weaker dollar and falling stockpiles boosted the American marker. Metals advanced amid optimism over global growth and the impact of the softer greenback, with zinc soaring to the highest level in more than a decade.

Bitcoin climbed, holding its value above $11,000 even after a heist of nearly $500 million in a different digital token spurred calls for more cryptocurrency regulation

Janet Yellen’s final policy meeting as Federal Reserve chair will be the main focus of investor attention in what’s shaping up to be another active week for markets still finding their feet after the recent dollar selloff. There’s a string of fresh economic data due, as well as a State of the Union address from President Donald Trump and earnings releases from the world’s biggest tech companies.

Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk

  • The USD regains some ground against its major counterparts as US 10yr yields break above 2.7%
  • European equities have kicked the week off with little in the way of sustained direction
  • Looking ahead, highlights include US personal consumption and PCE data, NZ trade, ECB’s Coeure

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 2,868.75
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.01% to 400.53
  • MSCI Asia Pacific down 0.08% to 187.07
  • MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan up 0.02% to 613.88
  • Nikkei down 0.01% to 23,629.34
  • Topix up 0.06% to 1,880.45
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.6% to 32,966.89
  • Shanghai Composite down 1% to 3,523.00
  • Sensex up 0.8% to 36,332.10
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 6,075.41
  • Kospi up 0.9% to 2,598.19
  • German 10Y yield rose 5.1 bps to 0.682%
  • Euro down 0.2% to $1.2406
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 4.3 bps to 1.738%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 0.7 bps to 1.402%
  • Brent futures down 0.6% to $70.11/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,348.48
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.2% to 89.23

Top Overnight News

  • Donald Trump’s presidency would “end” if he followed through on efforts to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, said Senator Lindsey Graham
  • Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Hits Early Roadblock Over Funding
  • Massive Cryptocurrency Heist Spurs Calls for More Regulation
  • The European Central Bank has to end its quantitative easing as soon as possible, according to ECB Governing Council member Klaas Knot, who said there’s not a single reason anymore to continue with the program
  • Sanofi Leapfrogs Novo With $4.8 Billion Cash Bid for Ablynx
  • U.S. Is Said to Consider Building 5G Network Amid China Concerns
  • The bumpy journey toward Brexit reaches another fork in the road this week as the upper chamber of the British  parliament plans to rewrite a key piece of Prime Minister Theresa May’s legislation
  • Billionaire Singh Brothers Accused in Suit of Siphoning Cash
  • Germany’s Social Democratic leader said he needs concessions from Chancellor Angela Merkel to sell party members on staying in her government
  • Noble Group Said to Reach In-Principle Deal to Restructure Debt
  • Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea’s Swedish Billionaire Founder, Dies at 91
  • Brexit Woes Mount for May, Fox Says ‘Foolish’ to Challenge Her
  • Europe Closes In on Fresh Trade Deal as Trump Puts Up Barriers
  • Sentiment among London’s Brexit-hit bankers sank to its gloomiest depths since the 2008 financial crisis, a survey showed – a stark contrast to the bullish tone of finance executives gathered last week in Davos, Switzerland
  • Japan’s Vice Minister for International Affairs and currency chief Masatsugu Asakawa says officials are watching foreign-exchange markets closely as volatility has increased

Asia-Pac bourses traded somewhat mixed, as the region failed to maintain the early broad momentum from last Friday’s gains on Wall St. where sentiment was underpinned by earnings and in which all major indices closed at their all-time highs. ASX 200 (+0.4%) and Nikkei 225 (Unch.) opened positive with Australia buoyed by M&A activity including AWE shares which rose 16% on reports of a bid from Mitsui & Co., while Japan stocks were less decisive with price action dictated by currency moves. Both the Hang Seng (-0.6%) and Shanghai Comp. (-1.0%) initially conformed to the gains in which the former continued to post fresh record levels, although the tone later deteriorated amid increases in money market rates after the PBoC skipped open market operations, coupled with underperformance in Shenzhen where Leshi fell limit down for a 4th consecutive day. In addition, Wynn Macau was a notable  underperformer in Hong Kong and slumped around 5% due to allegations of sexual misconduct by Wynn Resorts Chairman, CEO and founder Steve Wynn. Finally, 10yr JGBs are mildly lower as prices fell amid an initial positive risk tone in the region and alongside spill-over selling from their US counterparts, while the BoJ’s Rinban operation was relatively light with the central bank in the market for only JPY 435bln of JGBs. PBoC skipped open market operations for a net daily drain of CNY 140bln.

Top Asian News

•    Moody’s Cautions Vietnam Against Further Monetary Easing
•    Fitch Sells Stake in China Rating Firm Amid Market Opening
•    Alibaba, Foxconn Invest $350 Million in Chinese Car Startup
•    India Does Not Rule Out Fiscal Consolidation Pause This Year
•    China H Share Euphoria Enters New Stage as Laggards Surge

European equities have kicked the week off with little in the way of sustained direction (Eurostoxx 50 flat) after a relatively mixed session during Asia-Pac trade. In terms of sector specifics, material names outperform following price action in the metals complex with Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Glencore, Antofagasta and BHP all near the top of the FSTE 100. Elsewhere, focus has also been on the IT sector with AMS (+20%) and Wirecard (+1.7%) soaring in the wake of earnings. Other notable equity specific newsflow includes Sanofi acquiring Ablynx (+3.5%) for EUR 3.9bln and a double upgrade at BAML for Volkswagen (+1.5%) with BAML commenting on whether the Co. could be a potential break-up candidate.

Top European News

  • Offshore Cash Spike Rattles World’s Biggest Covered-Bond Market
  • Le Pen’s National Front Slips in First Votes of the Macron Era

In currencies, the Greenback is a broad winner (for once), as high/rising US Treasury yields are finally offering the USD some support, while month end rebalancing could also prompt short covering given buy signals and latest weekly CTFC spec positioning showing another increase in shorts. The DXY looks firmer above the 89.000 level, but really needs to extend recovery gains beyond 89.500 for a more sustained retracement and to prevent bears from further attacks on key supports below 88.500.

  • USD/JPY has bounced off 108.50 again, but remains top heavy around 109.00 amidst offers at the big figure and a fib just above (109.07).
  • EUR/USD is straddling 1.2400, but firmly supported above a 1.2344 Fib and via hawkish comments from ECB’s Knot, while Cable has retreated sharply from post-Brexit vote highs (1.4345) to 1.4100 or a few pips under amidst more UK political and EU divorce agreement uncertainty.
  • USD/CAD is back up near 1.2350 after mixed NAFTA noises as some reports suggest progress and others big sticking points.
  • USD/CHF around the middle of a 0.9335-0.9385 range with the SNB declining comment on any intervention
  • AUD/USD and NZD/USD have both backed off from recent 0.8100+ and 0.7400+ peaks on the back of softer metals/commodity prices and cross currency flows (clear rebound over 1.1000 in AUD/NZD).

Very busy week ahead, with US President Trump’s State of the Union address, January’s FOMC meeting and the first NFP release of 2018.

In the commodities complex, WTI crude futures marginally extended above the USD 66.00/bbl level while Brent remains above USD 70bbl. Notable energy newsflow has included comments from the Iranian oil minister who stated that output declined in some oil fields due to lack of resources and added that Iran will seek lower production in coming years if it cannot be fixed. In metals markets, gold trades modestly lower as prices are hampered by the reprieve seen thus far for the USD. Elsewhere, focus has been on Zinc with prices surging to their highest levels in over 10 years amid speculation of contracting global supply. Iranian Oil Minister Zanganeh stated that output declined in some oil fields due to lack of resources and added that Iran will seek lower production in coming years if it cannot be fixed. JP Morgan raised their 2018 WTI forecast by USD 10.70/bbl to USD 65.63/bbl, and Brent forecast by USD 10/bbl to USD 70/bbl citing OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market.

Kicking the week off the big focus today should be in the US with the December PCE core and deflator data due, alongside the personal income and spending data. Also due to be released is the Dallas Fed manufacturing activity index for January while late in the evening we’ll get the December jobless and retail sales data in Japan. Away from this, China’s NPC Standing Committee is due to kick off a two-day meeting in Beijing in which it’s expected that a revision to the constitution will be discussed. EU ministers will also meet in Brussels where they may decide on a new set of directives for Brexit negotiations. Elsewhere, the sixth round of NAFA talks are expected to conclude in Montreal and the ECB’s Coeure and Lautenschlaeger will also speak.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Personal Income, est. 0.3%, prior 0.3%
  • 8:30am: Personal Spending, est. 0.4%, prior 0.6%; Real Personal Spending, est. 0.4%, prior 0.4%
  • 8:30am: PCE Deflator MoM, est. 0.1%, prior 0.2%; YoY, est. 1.7%, prior 1.8%
  • 8:30am: PCE Core MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.1%; PCE Core YoY, est. 1.5%, prior 1.5%
  • 10:30am: Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. 25.4, prior 29.7

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

It’s a potentially electrifying week ahead with a number of the big rolling themes at the moment having fresh data points for us all to pore over. It’s fair to say that inflation is absolute key to macro at the moment and therefore the most watched print of the week will likely be average hourly earnings in Friday’s payroll report. With regards to inflation and wages we also have the US PCE core and the deflator readings today, the US ECI index on Wednesday, the flash January CPI report for the Euro area also on Wednesday with country level reports out in Germany (Tuesday) and France (Wednesday) and US unit labour costs and productivity on Thursday.

In today’s pdf we copy a chart from DB’s Marcus Heider’s inflation weekly from Friday night where he showed that periods of US$ weakness have typically been associated with higher inflation in developed markets over the past twenty years. He also discusses how Oil prices have benefited from news of another (counter-seasonal) weekly decline in US crude inventories and that recent news imply upside risks to oil price forecasts.

Regular readers will know we think that a number of variables are stacking up at the moment towards higher inflation and a combination of these two factors above potentially adds to the story.

Outside of inflation and labour costs, Friday’s payroll report will be a focus (consensus 180k, DB at 210k) as will tomorrow’s first State of the Union address by Mr Trump. It’s not entirely clear yet what he will talk about but expect the recently passed Republican tax reform bill, trade, the state of the US economy and markets, infrastructure proposals and immigration to all potentially play a part. We also have the latest Fed meeting on Wednesday which Mrs Yellen will chair for the last time with Jerome Powell taking over next week. This meeting could be a bit of a non-event with the next rate hike pencilled in for the March meeting (market pricing currently around 95%). DB continue to expect four rate hikes in 2018 (one above that implied by the Fed dot plots). Away from this, Thursday will be a busy day for manufacturing sector data with the final global PMIs due along with the ISM manufacturing in the US. Finally, earnings season will really ramp up this week with 120 S&P 500 companies due to report, including the turn of some of the big tech heavy hitters including Facebook, Microsoft and eBay on Wednesday, and Alphabet, Amazon and Apple on Thursday. Pfizer, McDonald’s (both Tuesday), AT&T, Boeing (both Wednesday), Shell, Alibaba (both Thursday), ExxonMobil and Chevron (both Friday) are amongst other notable companies scheduled to release results. The full week ahead is published at the end.

The week is off to a mixed start in Asia, with the Kospi 0.74% up, the Nikkei is broadly flat while the Hang Seng (-0.16%) and China’s CSI 300 (-1.05%) are down as we type. The YEN jumped 0.76% back on Friday after Governor Kuroda noted that on inflation “…I think we’re finally close to the target”, but over the weekend, the BOJ clarified the Governor did not revise the inflation outlook and his view is in fact no different to the bank’s Outlook for Economy Activities that was released earlier last week. This morning, the YEN is c0.2% weaker. Elsewhere, Bloomberg reported that hackers have stolen $500m of digital tokens from Japanese crytocurrency exchange Coincoin Inc. back on Friday.

In other news over the weekend, the ECB’s Knot noted QE should end as soon as possible as “the program has done what could realistically be expected of it” and there is not a single reason to continue with it. Further, he added there there’s enough proof for the ECB to end the program, which is also the current sentiment in the governing council.

Ahead of tomorrow’s state of the union address, Friday’s Davos speech by Mr Trump gave us some clues as to his current mood. Initially he noted the US would “no longer turn a blind eye” to what he described as unfair trade practices and will “enforce our trade laws and restore integrity to the trading system”. That said, his other remarks seemed a bit less protectionist. He noted the US is “open for business” and that “now is the best time to bring your money….jobs…businesses to America”. Further, he noted that he would always promote “America First”, but he added “America first does not mean America alone. When the US grows so does the world”. Elsewhere, he said “I may terminate NAFTA, I may not”. So lots bubbling along until his big speech.

Now recapping other markets performance from Friday. US equities rose to fresh highs following strong corporate results, including Intel (shares +11%) and Abbvie (+14%). The S&P (+1.18%), Dow (+0.85%) and Nasdaq (+1.28%) were all higher as all sectors within the S&P advanced. European markets were all higher too, with key bourses up 0.3%-0.7% (DAX +0.31%; Stoxx 600 +0.50%; FTSE +0.65%). The VIX fell for the first time in four days to 11.08 (-4.3%).

Over in government bonds, core 10y bond yields were 2-4bp higher with UST up 4.3bp to a fresh 3.5 year high (2.661%), while Bunds and Gilts rose 1.7bp and 3.2bp respectively. In currencies, the US dollar index extended its three year low (-0.36%), while the Euro and Sterling gained 0.25% and 0.13% respectively. WTI oil strengthened further, up 0.96% to $66.14/bbl (+4.5% for the week). Elsewhere, precious metals were slightly higher (Gold +0.06%; Silver +0.63%) and other base metals were mixed but little changed (Copper -0.60%; Aluminium -0.24%; Zinc +0.29%).

Away from the markets and onto some of the Brexit headlines. In Davos, President Trump said he would have taken a “different attitude” to Brexit talks and that “….I’d have taken a tougher stand in getting out”. Back home, the UK opposition Labour Party leader Corbyn reiterated “we’re not asking for a second referendum” on Brexit and that the UK should have a regulatory environment that is “commensurate with the EU, but must also have power to influence EU rules after Brexit. Elsewhere, a Guardian/ICM poll showed 47% of respondents would favour another referendum once the terms of UK’s departure are clear. If excluding those without a view, 58% of respondents would support a second vote on Brexit. There is also lots of press (incl. Bloomberg) here in the U.K. suggesting that PM May is under increasing pressure within her party to exercise control with rival factions repeatedly speaking out with competing Brexit visions. A vote of no confidence and leadership battle is increasingly being discussed, as per Bloomberg.

Over in Germany, Ms Merkel seemed a bit more open to compromise in order to further progress in the coalition talks with the SPD. The CDU state premier KrampKarrenbauer noted that “our scope (to negotiate with the SPD) is very narrow”, but Ms Merkel noted the preliminary agreement with the SPD is an “outline”, which suggests some room for negotiations in order to finalise talks by 4th February.

We wrap up with other data releases from Friday. In the US, the 4Q GDP was below consensus at 2.6% annualised (vs. 3%).Our US economists noted that despite strength in consumer spending, growth in the quarter was impacted by an outsized increase in imports and materially less inventory accumulation than expected. Net exports subtracted -113bp from headline growth while inventories were an additional -67bp drag. They expect the latter will likely reverse, hence they have raised their Q1 real GDP growth forecast to 3.1% (from 2.3% previously).

The 4Q core PCE was in line at 1.9% qoq while personal consumption was slightly above market at 3.8% (vs. 3.7% expected). The December durable goods orders (ex-transportation) was in line at 0.6% mom but the prior month was upwardly revised by 0.4ppt, while core capital goods beat at 0.6% mom (vs. 0.4% expected). Finally, the December advance goods trade balance deficit widened to -$71.6bln (vs. -$68.9bln) and wholesale inventories grew 0.2% mom (vs. 0.4% expected). In the UK, 4Q GDP was above market at 0.5% qoq (vs. 0.4%) and 1.5% yoy (vs. 1.4%). Elsewhere, France’s January consumer confidence was slightly below  expectations 104 (vs. 106) but manufacturing confidence was above at 113 (vs. 112 expected), which is back to November levels that was a c11 year high.

What to look out for on Monday: Kicking the week off the big focus today should be in the US with the December PCE core and deflator data due, alongside the personal income and spending data. Also due to be released is the Dallas Fed manufacturing activity index for January while late in the evening we’ll get the December jobless and retail sales data in Japan. Away from this, China’s NPC Standing Committee is due to kick off a two-day meeting in Beijing in which it’s expected that a revision to the constitution will be discussed. EU ministers will also meet in Brussels where they may decide on a new set of directives for Brexit negotiations. Elsewhere, the sixth round of NAFA talks are expected to conclude in Montreal and the ECB’s Coeure and Lautenschlaeger will also speak.

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late SUNDAY night/MONDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 35.13 points or 0.99% /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 187.23 pts or 0.56% / The Nikkei closed DOWN 2.54 POINTS OR 0.01%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.37%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN at 6.3319/Oil UP to 65.71 dollars per barrel for WTI and 69.76 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED MIXED TO RED .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.3319. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AGAINST  THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.3407//ONSHORE YUAN MUCH WEALER AGAINST THE DOLLAR/OFF SHORE MUCH WEAKER TO THE DOLLAR/. THE DOLLAR (INDEX) IS  MUCH STRONGER AGAINST ALL MAJOR CURRENCIES. CHINA IS NOT HAPPY TODAY.(WEAKER CURRENCY AND WEAK MARKETS )

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

/SOUTH KOREA

 

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

c) REPORT ON CHINA

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

The ECB is running out of bonds to purchase, even as they state that QE will end in September.  Now to talk down the Euro, the ECB now says that they will tape the end of QE by a short taper of 3 months.  Boy what heros.

(courtesy zerohedge)

ECB Officials Said To Assume QE Ends With Short Taper, Euro Slides

While hardly news to those who followed Mario Draghi’s dovish press conference last week, moments ago “ECB officials” were once again on the tape trying to talk down the Euro, after a Bloomberg report that “ECB Officials Are Said to Keep Assumption QE Ends in Short Taper.”

According to Bloomberg, central bank policy makers are sticking to the assumption that their bond-buying program will be wound down over about three months rather than brought to a sudden halt.

Even the more-hawkish members of the Governing Council, who are pushing for policy language that would signal the end of crisis-era stimulus measures, endorse a gradual slowing of asset purchases after the latest extension concludes in September, the officials said, citing informal discussions. They asked not to be identified as the deliberations are confidential, and noted that no decision has been taken.

As Bloomberg adds, “Eight months before the end of the current phase, the latest views suggest a consensus is hardening on the appropriate strategy for concluding the program in an orderly way without roiling markets.”

As a reminder, QE is currently scheduled to conclude in September 2018, which means a 3 month unwind is that QE will end in December 2018. This is in line with market expectations. Of course, the Governing Council reiterated after last week’s policy decision that “the program could be extended again if the inflation outlook is too weak.”

In other words, the ECB is trying to double down on its dovish undertones from last week which were drowned by Mnuchin’s dollar-negative sentiment, and are taking advantage of today’s USD strength to boost the Euro downside.

And so far it is working as the chart below shows.

As for the kneejerk move lower in German yields, it appears to have already been undone as the market realizes this is nothing new to what the ECB already said.

Stocks Tumble On News NAFTA Countries Won’t Issue Joint Statement

With the Montreal round of talks scheduled to end today ending on Monday, there was tentative optimism that North American trade negotiations would progress well. As Canada’s CTV News reported over the weekend, “the single biggest question looming over the current round of NAFTA negotiations was whether the talks might survive the phase where countries started seriously engaging each other on the more bedevilling sticking points.” It added that “Early signs point to: Yes.”

Glimmers of hope have emerged in a round viewed as a litmus test for whether these talks might move beyond an early stage marked by finger-pointing, standoffishness and threats of a U.S. withdrawal, and turn into real back-and-forth, give-and-take bargaining.

Several officials said the nearly completed week-long round in Montreal has been more constructive than gatherings of previous months, with countries diving into conversations about auto rules, dispute resolution, and a five-year review clause.

Negotiators closed a chapter on anti-corruption. They also plan to meet at future rounds in Mexico City and Washington over the next two months. And there’s hope it won’t be quite so hostile this time when the three politicians leading the process meet on Monday.

Unfortunately that optimism quickly fizzled moments ago following a Reuters headline that contrary to expectations, NAFTA countries won’t be issuing a joint statement after the Montreal round of talks ends today, a clear sign that negotiations are hardly progressing in a favorable, cooperative manner:

  • NAFTA COUNTRIES WILL NOT ISSUE A JOINT STATEMENT FOLLOWING MONTREAL ROUND OF TALKS:

Stocks promptly slumped to session lows following the news, with NAFTA currencies getting hit.

7. OIL ISSUES

An excellent commentary on how to read the tea leaves with respect to oil

(courtesy Kent Moors/OilPrice.com)

8. EMERGING MARKET

Venezuela is starving:

(courtesy zerohedge)

 end
Cape Town, a beautiful city has been experiencing its worst drought in 100 years.  Today is day zero as citizens line up for their rationed water.  Security forces are guarding water collection points
(courtesy zerohedge)

Cape Town Prays As “Day Zero” Looms; Security Forces To Guard Water-Collection Points

Cape Town’s main water supply was from the Theewaterskloof dam outside Grabouw…

But amid its worst drought in more than 100 years…

Cape Town’s date with destiny as the world’s first major city to run dry, looms.

With the so-called “Day Zero” less than 3 months awaysecurity forces have been drafted to guard water-collection points and Capetonians have turned to prayer sessions for hope.

Just two weeks ago, Cape Town’s mayor Patricia de Lille‏ tweeted:

“I cannot stress it enough: all residents must save water and use less than 87 liters [19 gallons] per day… We must avoid Day Zero and saving water is the only way we can do this.”

Not missing the opportunity to levy extra taxes on the populace, the city mayor has also impeded a “drought charge” in order to fund new water projects, such as constructing desalination plants.

But today, Cape Town’s leaders have instructed residents to use only 50 liters of water daily from Feb. 1, down from the current 87-liter limit.

We have reached the point of no return,” Patricia de Lille, Cape Town’s mayor, warned this month. With anger in her voice she added: “It is quite unbelievable that a majority of people do not seem to care.”

Security guards made sure people took only an allotted amount (25 liters maximum in one line and 15 liters in another ‘express’ line).

“There are a lot of people who have been in denial and now they suddenly realize this is for real,” said Shirley Curry, who waited to fill a plastic container with spring water from one of several taps outside a South African Breweries facility in the Newlands suburb.

As The FT reports, climatologists say that another year of drought cannot be ruled out.

They add that Cape Town’s stark inequalities have exacerbated the crisis. Vast lawns and swimming pools in mainly white suburbs are draining away efforts to conserve resources, they say.

“This has not been a natural disaster,” says Gina Ziervogel, an associate professor at the University of Cape Town, who has been advising the city. “It is entirely man-made.”

This weekend, Cape Town’s water and sanitation department said it was investigating reports that some retailers might be illegally selling municipal tap water after people were seen lining up with empty bottles at two malls.

Some residents are supplementing water supply by collecting from natural springs in the city.

“This crisis will demand a whole of society approach, where we all pull together to get through this,” the city said in a statement that acknowledged “panic” among residents fretting over the possible difficulties ahead.

‘Day Zero’ is projected to arrive on April 12 but some fear it could come sooner, while others hope it won’t happen if rationing works and rains eventually come.

If ‘Day Zero’ arrives, many people would have to go to collection points for a daily ration of 25 liters.

 end

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

Euro/USA 1.2382 DOWN .0038/ REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ SPAIN VS CATALONIA/REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:/TRUMP HEALTH CARE DEFEAT//ITALIAN REFERENDUM DEFEAT/AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA FALLING INTEREST RATES AGAIN/HOUSTON FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES ALL GREEN 

USA/JAPAN YEN 108.80 UP  0.287 (Abe’s new negative interest rate (NIRP), a total DISASTER/SIGNALS U TURN WITH INCREASED NEGATIVITY IN NIRP/JAPAN OUT OF WEAPONS TO FIGHT ECONOMIC DISASTER/

GBP/USA 1.4066 DOWN .0075 (Brexit March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED

THERESA MAY FORMS A NEW GOVERNMENT/STARTS BREXIT TALKS/MAY IN TROUBLE WITH HER OWN PARTY/

USA/CAN 1.2348 UP .0060 (CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA)

Early THIS MONDAY morning in Europe, the Euro FELL by 38 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level RISING to 1.2334; / Last night the Shanghai composite CLOSED DOWN 35.13 POINTS OR 0.99% / Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 187.23 POINTS OR 0.56% /AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP 0.37% / EUROPEAN BOURSES MOSTLY RED  

The NIKKEI: this MONDAY morning CLOSED DOWN 2.54 POINTS OR 0.01%

Trading from Europe and Asia:
1. Europe stocks OPENED MOSTLY RED

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 187.23 POINTS OR 0.56% / SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 35.13 POINTS OR 0.99% /

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 0.37% /

Nikkei (Japan)CLOSED DOWN 2.54 POINTS OR 0.01%

INDIA’S SENSEX IN THE GREEN

Gold very early morning trading: 1342.80

silver:$17.238

Early MONDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.716% !!! UP 6 IN POINTS from FRIDAY night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%. (POLICY FED ERROR)/ALSO GETTING DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO 2.70%

The 30 yr bond yield 2.959 UP 5 IN BASIS POINTS from FRIDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)

USA dollar index early MONDAY morning: 89.35 UP 28  CENT(S) from FRIDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers MONDAY MORNING

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And now your closing MONDAY NUMBERS \1 PM

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.943% UP 0  in basis point(s) yield from FRIDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.089% UP 1 AND  1/10   in basis points yield from FRIDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.419% UP 1  IN basis point yield from FRIDAY/

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.0027 UP 2  POINTS in basis point yield fromFRIDAY/

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 58 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: +.694%  UP 7 IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY

END

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IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR MONDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.2349 DOWN.0071 (Euro DOWN 71 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 109.08 UP 0.577 Yen DOWN 58 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.4043 DOWN .0098( POUND DOWN 98 BASIS POINTS)

USA/Canada 1.2334 UP  .0049 Canadian dollar DOWN 49 Basis points AS OIL FELL TO $65.24

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This afternoon, the Euro was DOWN 71 to trade at 1.2349

The Yen FELL to 109.88 for a LOSS of 58 Basis points as NIRP is STILL a big failure for the Japanese central bank/HELICOPTER MONEY IS NOW DELAYED/BANK OF JAPAN NOW WORRIED AS AS THEY ARE RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY AS BOND YIELDS RISE

The POUND FELL BY 98 basis points, trading at 1.4043/

The Canadian dollar FELL by 49 basis points to 1.2349/ WITH WTI OIL FALLING TO : $65.24

The USA/Yuan closed AT 6.3405
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.089% UP 1  AND  1/10  BASIS POINTS / yield/
Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 7 IN basis points from FRIDAY at 2.707% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 2.954  UP 4  in basis points on the day /

Your closing USA dollar index, 89.56 UP 49 CENT(S) ON THE DAY/1.00 PM/

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

London: CLOSED UP 5.99 POINTS OR 0.08%
German Dax :CLOSED DOWN 15.69 POINTS OR 0.12%
Paris Cac CLOSED DOWN 7.56 POINTS OR 0.14%
Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 39.80 POINTS OR 0.38%

Italian MIB: CLOSED DOWN 55.44 POINTS OR 0.23%

The Dow closed DOWN 177.23 POINTS OR 0.67%

NASDAQ WAS DOWN 39.27 Points OR 0.52% 4.00 PM EST

WTI Oil price; 65.24 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 69.34 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS: 56.36 UP 12/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE LOWER BY 12 BASIS PTS)

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES TO +.694% FOR THE 10 YR BOND 1.00 PM EST EST

END

This ends the stock indices, oil price, currency crosses and interest rate closes for today 4:30 PM

Closing Price for Oil, 4:30 pm/and 10 year USA interest rate:

WTI CRUDE OIL PRICE 4:30 PM:$65.49

BRENT: $69.41

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.6955%   THE RAPID ASSENT IN YIELD IS VERY DANGEROUS/ANYTHING OVER 2.70% AND THE ENTIRE DERIVATIVES BLOW UP

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 2.944%

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS: 1.2381 DOWN.0040  OR 40 BASIS POINTS

USA/JAPANESE YEN:108.95 UP 0.435/ YEN DOWN 44 BASIS POINTS

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 89.36 UP 29 cent(s)/

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.4075 : down 66 POINTS FROM FRIDAY NIGHT

Canadian dollar: 1.2337 DOWN 49 BASIS pts

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +0.694%

END

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

Bond Bloodbath Sparks Stock Slump As Dollar ‘Dead-Cat’ Bounces

Worst day for stocks and bonds in 6 weeks…

Worst day for S&P in 5 months…

Did bonds just spoil the stock market’s fun?

Ugly overnight in Chinese stocks…

After Friday’s manic melt-up in US equities, Monday was a disappointment with China weakness sending futs lower overnight, the standard cash-opening ramp failed and a weak close… (month-end?)

Not even Trannies managed to cling to gains…

Was That The Plunge Protection Team? Or a well-timed Maxim acquisition headline

VIX spiked early and did not reverse – closing at its highest since August…

Notably, while upside vols were higher today, downside vols jumped more as perhaps the levered long buying panic has shifted to seeking protection…

VIX remains notably divergent…

Energy, Utes, Tech, and Financials took a dive today…

Ugly day for some individual stocks…

WYNN (Steve Wynn sex abuse blowback)

CAT (declining incremental margins)

Airlines saw no bip-buyers…

AAPL (iPhone X order slashed according to Nikkei)

And as AAPL slides, FANGs rally…

Bonds bloodbath’d again today… worldwide.

5Y Bunds saw yield move positive for the first time since Dec 2015 today…

Which helped push 5Y TSY Yields over 2.50% to their highest since April 2010…

The curve steepened on the day but we note the belly underperformed the longest-end…

Also notable is the pattern of post-Asia-close bond-buying returns…

The Dollar rebounded – most since October – briefly but once it tagged Trump’s rescue bid highs, it rolled over for the rest of the day

Cryptos were lower on the day but remain notably higher post-Friday’s close…

The Dollar’s modest gain was enough to spook commodities which were all lower today…

Finally, we noted that investors can now earn 35bps more yield on a 2Y Treasury note than on the S&P’s dividend yield – the most since Aug 2008...

end

trading on NY this morning:

(courtesy zerohedge)

VIX Tops 13 As Stocks, Bonds, Bitcoin Sink

The 10Y Treasury yield is back above 2.70%, VIX is back above 13, stocks are slumping notably, not helped by the demise of CAT and AAPL…

So far , no dip-buyers…

Small Caps have given up Friday’s gains…

AAPL continues its freefall…

And CAT is weighing on The Dow…

The 10Y Treasury yield is back above 2.70%…

The dollar is modestly bid…

And finally, Bitcoin is sinking…

end

US citizens are just not saving probably because they are living from pay check to pay check.  The saving rate just hit a crisis lows amid soaring credit card dept.

(courtesy zerohedge)

US Savings Rate Hits Crisis Lows Amid Soaring Credit Card Debt

Amid soaring credit card use, the tumble in Americans’ savings rate continued in December with a modestly better than expected 0.4% MoM rise in incomes and as expected 0.4% rise in spending (but upward revisions in spending).

For the inflation waters, the Fed’s favorite price indicator, the Core PCE, saw a one-tenth gain to 0.2%, matching consensus, and was up 1.5% Y/Y.

Income is growing at 4.1% YoY – the most since Nov 2015 – but spending continues to outpace that growth.

Income growth is dominated by private worker gains, which are rising at an impressive clip, up 5.2% YoY, the highest since Nov 2015. Meanwhile, government workers arent’ doing too bad either, with average wages and salaries rising 3.1% Y/Y.

What is odd is that despite the rise in incomes, Americans continue to spend more than they make, which means that the US savings rate continues to slid, and is now not only the lowest since the crisisbut is the lowest since September 2005.

Recall the striking Gluskin Sheff chart we presented a month ago, which showed that 13-week annualized credit card balances in the U.S. had gone “completely vertical” in the last few months of 2017. We now know why: American consumer are officially tapped out.

And remember David Rosenberg’s “haunting math” from the GDP number:

“The savings rate fell from 3.3% to 2.6%. If it had stayed the same, real PCE would have been 0.8% (annualized) instead of 3.8% and GDP would have been 0.6% instead of 2.6%.

As of today, that number would be even worse.

end

After all the other Fed manufacturing indices missed expectations, the Dallas Fed smashed expectations soaring to 33.4.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Dallas Fed: “We May Not Like The Division In The Country But Trump’s Policies Are Working”

Following missed expectations at the Philly Fed, Richmond Fed, Empire Fed, and PMIs; The Dallas Fed manufacturing survey smashed expectations – soaring to 33.4, the highest since Nov 2005.

The January print at 33.4 is above the highest analyst’s estimate of 30.1…

Under the covers, things were not quite as exciting with capacity utilization weaker,  weaker, wages weaker, hours worked weaker, and employment weaker.

The index surged on the back of a spike in ‘hope’ as Six months ahead business activity jumped.

Amid near record-low unemployment, respondents noted that:

Labor is still the largest problem facing our business. We are still unable to find candidates who can perform the basic duties of employment. First and foremost, show up to work, and second, on time.

We are experiencing large volume increases and demand for parts sooner than ordered, predominately in the automotive sector but in other markets as well. We are having difficulty finding new employees and are facing full capacity in the first quarter if sales continue at this level.

Also, we are raising existing production employees’ hourly rates and increasing our starting rate in production in an attempt to keep good employees and attract new ones.

Forcing some to admit reality:

We may not like the way things are communicated and the division in the country, but the policies are improving conditions for the workers and employers. We will be putting our tax savings and costs savings from a reduced regulatory environment back into expanding the business and hiring more people. The U.S. is more competitive internationally, but it’s still far from ideal. We increased salaries and bonuses as a way to retain top talent and hire more quality people. I hope we keep reducing burdensome regulations and start reducing waste, debt, corruption, ineffective programs and the overall size of the government.

end

Although the 4th quarter GDP became in below the 3% threshold, the Atlanta Fed has stated that it believes the first quarter GDP will come in at a rosy 4.2%

(courtesy zerohedge)

This Should Make President Trump Happy

After a disappointing Q4 GDP print – failing to breach the Maginot Line of 3% growth that has been ‘promised’ – The Atlanta Fed may have just provided the talking-point-du-jour for President Trump’s administration

Despite consensus GDP growth for Q1 at around 2.5%, The Atlanta Fed’s latest GDPNow forecast for Q1 economic growth has started at an impressive 4.2%…

And while we don’t want to steal the jam from Trump’s donut, we do note that the last three quarters have also see The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model start with a forecast above 4%…

But this time could be different?

end

Illinois:  my goodness!! This state is unveiling a massive 107 $billion bond issue to fund their insolvent pensions.  And that is not enough.

These guys are in serious financial trouble and the have the worst ratings of all 50 states

(courtesy zerohedge)

Illinois Unveils Another Shocker: Sell A Record $107 Billion In Debt To Fund Insolvent Pensions

If there is such a thing as financial hell, it is probably Greece… with Illinois coming in close second.

For those unfamiliar, here’s a quick recap: Illinois (rate just one notch above junk) is drowning under a mountain of debt, unpaid bills and underfunded pension liabilities and it’s largest city, Chicago, is suffering from a staggering outbreak of violent crime not seen since gang wars engulfed major cities from LA to New York in the mid-90’s, while rising taxes have prompted a mass exodus with the state lost 1 resident every 4.3 minutes in 2017.

Here is just a small taste of some of our recent posts on Illinois’ challenges:

Seen in this light, any irrational actions undertaken by the near-insolvent state would almost make sense, if not be expected. Actually make that irrational and utterly bizarre, such as a proposed offering of a mind-blowing $107 billion in debt – a never before attempted amount in the world of munis – to “fund” the state’s insolvent pension system, which would also assure that Illinois would default (even faster) in the very near future.

According to Bloomberg, Illinois lawmakers are so desperate to shore up the state’s massively underfunded retirement system that “they’re willing to entertain an eye-popping wager: Borrowing $107 billion and letting it ride in the financial markets.

If that number sounds oddly large, is because it is: an offering of this size would be by far the biggest debt sale in the history of the municipal market, and amount to roughly 50% more debt than bankrupt Puerto Rico accumulated in the run up to its record-setting insolvency.

Putting the proposed deal in context, Illinois had $26.3 billion of general-obligation bonds as of July and the state sold $750 million of bonds in November to pay down unpaid bills that had accumulated during its two-year budget impasse. The state still has $8 billion of unpaid bills even after that issuance, according to the comptroller’s office.

An Illinois Democrat came up with the perfect soundbite framing this head-scratching proposal:

We’re in a situation in Illinois where our pension debt is just crushing,” Martwick, a Democrat who chairs the committee, said in a telephone interview. “When you have the largest pension debt in the world, you probably ought to be thinking big.”

In other words, with left nothing to lose, Illinois may as well go big. So big, in fact, it’s never been seen before.

What is just as shocking is that not even $107 billion would be enough to fully fund the Illinois pension system, which owes $129 billion after years of failing to make adequate annual contributions.

And since the state’s constitution bans any reduction in worker retirement benefits, the government’s pension costs will continue to rise as it faces pressure to pay down that debt, a squeeze that pushed Illinois’s bond rating to the precipice of junk over the summer when the state avoided a historic downgrade below investment grade with a last minute budget deal.

To be sure, Illinois wouldn’t be the first state to issue debt to shore up its pension system: the state did so again back in 2003, when it issued a record $10 billion of them. New Jersey also tried it with catastrophic consequences, seeing its pension shortfall soar again after the state failed to make adequate payments into the system for years. And then there is Detroit’s now infamous pension-fund borrowing in 2005 and 2006 helped push it into bankruptcy.

Will Illinois gamble with a bond offering that – in one deal – could reprice the entire muni bond market? According to Bloomberg, the state legislature’s personnel and pensions committee plans to meet on January 30 to hear more about a proposal advanced by the State Universities Annuitants Association.

The group wants Illinois to issue the bonds this year to get its retirement system nearly fully funded, on one condition: Illinois will pursue the deal assuming that the state can make more on its investments than it will pay in interest.

Ah yes, ye olde IRR: will it be positive or negative?

Naturally, the association which is advocating the plan says it will save the state $103 billion by 2045. That’s because Illinois’s current debt to its pensions grows at the rate that the retirement system expects to earn on its investments, which may be – shall we say – aggressive, and is much higher than the interest rates governments pay to issue municipal bonds.

There is just one problem: whereas Illinois universities expect total returns to keep rising well in the double-digit category, others, such as GMO, forecast real stock returns of -4.7% annually for the next 7 years, while bonds lose 1% in real terms as Mish notes. Offsetting this is the cost of debt, which for the near-junk bonds will likely come out around 6-7% – unless of course the ECB decides to backstop these too – and Illinois Pensions are looking at annual losses of 8%+ every year for the next 7 years.

On the surface, the plan appears to be sheer mathematical idiocy, guaranteeing that Illinois pensions are depleted even faster, but that never stopped Illinois before.

According to the abovementioned democrat Robert Martwick, “if it makes sense, we’ll do it, and if it doesn’t we won’t.” Of course, he also said that Illinois has to be “thinking big” and there literally hasn’t been a bigger municipal bond sale ever.

As for the rating agencies, they will be thinking just how deep into junk territory to downgrade Illinois. Indeed, as Bloomberg notes, municipal-bond investors would likely frown upon such a massive sale, to say the least.

“Those types of deals are not typically positively received by the rating agencies or investors,” said Eric Friedland, director of municipal research in Jersey City, New Jersey, for Lord Abbett, which holds about $20 billion of municipal debt, including Illinois’s. “That type of issuance could definitely be a credit negative.”

Needless to say, this kind of issuance contemplated by the association would significantly increase the state’s debt burden, and “will not go over well in the bond market,’” said Richard Ciccarone, Chicago-based president of Merritt Research Services LLC, which analysts municipal finance.

“It absolutely increases default risk. There’s no cushion” Ciccarone said.

But that’s not Illinois problem: at this point the state’s default is only a matter of time, and as such it may as well accelerate it if it means a faster transfer of cash from willing idiots debt investors to the state’s retirees. And considering that Illinois’ general obligations were trading back at par just a few months ago after tumbling in late 2016…

df

… the presence of numerous idiots debt investors who are willing to gamble with other people’s money just to beat treasuries is guaranteed.

end

SWAMP STORIES

GOP congressional investigators have written letters to various people including Hillary Clinton, John Podesta and others forcing them to respond to question on the “dossier”

(courtesy zerohedge)

Clinton, Podesta And Others In Senate Crosshairs Over Dossier; Given Two Weeks To Respond

GOP Congressional investigators have written six letters to individuals or entities involved or thought to be involved in the funding, creation or distribution of the salacious and unverified “Trump-Russia dossier” believed to have been inappropriately used by the FBI, DOJ and Obama Administration in an effort to undermine Donald Trump as both a candidate and President of the United States.

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SCS) wrote six Judiciary Committee letters requesting information from: John Podesta, Donna Brazille, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Robbie Mook, the DNC, and Hillary For America Chief Strategist Joel Benenson.


A brief refresher of facts and allegations:

  • The DNC and Hillary Clinton’s PAC was revealed by The Washington Post  to have paid opposition research firm Fusion GPS for the creation of a dossier that would be harmful to then-candidate Donald Trump.
  • Fusion commissioned former UK spy Christopher Steele to assemble the dossier – which is comprised of a series of memos relying largely on Russian government sources to make allegations against Donald Trump and his associates.
  • According to court filings, Fusion also worked with disgraced DOJ official Bruce Ohr, and hired his CIA-linked wife, Nellie Ohr, to assist in the smear campaign against Trump. Bruce Ohr was demoted from his senior DOJ position after it was revealed that he met with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson as well as Christopher Steele – then tried to cover it up.
  • Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, denied under oath to the Senate Intelligence Committee that he knew about the dossier’s funding, while Clinton’s former spokesman, Brian Fallon, told CNN that Hillary likely had no idea who paid for it either.
  • Current and past leaders of the DNC, including Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) also denied knowledge of the document’s funding.
  • Podesta met with Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson the day after the Trump-Russia dossier was published by Buzzfeed News. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee letters read in part:

In October 2017, the Washington Post reported that Hillary for America and the Democratic National Committee had funded, via Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele’s creation of a series of memos relying largely on Russian government sources to make allegations against Donald Trump and his associates. A letter from the law firm Perkins Coie acknowledged that, ” [t]o assist in its representation of the DNC and Hillary for America, Perkins Coie engaged Fusion GPS in April of2016″ and that “the engagement concluded prior to the November 2016 Presidential election

the Committee has been investigating the FBI’ s relationship with Christopher Steele during this time his work was funded by Hillary for America and the DNC. The scope of our review includes the extent to which the FBI may have relied on information relayed by Mr. Steele in seeking judicial authorization for surveillance of individuals associated with Mr. Trump. It also includes whether any applications that may have been made for permission for such surveillance fully and accurately disclosed:

(1) the source of Fusion GPS’s and Mr. Steele’s funding;

(2) the degree to which his claims were or were not verified;

(3) the motivations of Mr. Steele, his clients, and his sources; and

( 4) representations about their contacts with the press.

The letter then goes on to list twelve questions – the last being a request for all communications between a list of 40 individuals or entities – including Christopher Steele, Bruce Ohr, Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe, Glenn Simpson and former CIA Director John Brennan. 

The six recipients of letters have two weeks to comply with the following requests (note; “Hillary for America” is replaced by “the DNC” depending on who the letter is addressed to):

1. Prior to the Washington Post ‘s article in October of 2017, were you anyone else at Hillary for America aware of Mr. Steele’s efforts on behalf of the Clinton campaign to compile and distribute allegations about Mr. Trump and the Russian government? If so, when and how did you first learn of his activities on the campaign’s behalf? Please provide all related documents.

2. Did you or anyone else at Hillary for America receive copies of any of the memoranda comprising Mr. Steele’s dossier prior to its publication by Buzzfeed in January of 2017? If so, how and when? Please provide all related documents.

3. Regardless of whether you or your associates received copies of the actual memoranda, did you or anyone else at Hillary for America otherwise receive information contained in the dossier prior to Buzzfeed publishing the dossier in January of 2017? If so, how and when? Please provide all related documents.

4. Did you or anyone else at Hillary for America receive other memoranda written or forwarded by Mr. Steele regarding Mr. Trump and his associates that were not published as part of the Buzzfeed dossier? If so, how and when? Please provide all related documents.

5. Did you or anyone else at Hillary for America distribute outside of the organization any o f the dossier memoranda, information contained therein, or other information obtained by Mr. Steele? If so, please list who distributed the information, what was distributed, and to whom it was distributed. Please provide all related documents.

6. Did you or anyone else at Hillary for America communicate with any government officials – whether in the executive, legislative or judicial branches – regarding the dossier memoranda, information contained therein, or other information obtained by Mr. Steele? If so, please list the parties involved in the communication, the content of the communication, and the date and means of the communication. Please provide all related documents. References such as “anyone at Hillary for America” include all of Hillary for America’s officers, employees, contractors, subcontractors, advisors, volunteers, and, of course, Secretary Clinton herself. Mr. Podesta January 25, 2018

7. Did you or anyone else at Hillary for America instruct, request, suggest, or imply that any individuals should pass along information to Mr. Steele or his intermediaries? Please provide all related documents.

8. Did you or anyone else at Hillary for America communicate with members of the press regarding the dossier memoranda, information contained therein, or other information obtained by Mr. Steele? If so, please list the parties involved in the communication, the content of the communication, and the date and means of the communication. Please provide all related documents.

9. Did you or anyone else at Hillary for America inform Secretary Clinton of Mr. Steele’s efforts, whether by name or not, or of the allegations he was spreading? If so, who and when? Please provide all related documents.

10. Were you or anyone else at Hillary for America aware of Mr. Steele’s contacts with the FBI or other government agencies prior to the 2016 election? If so, who? When and how did you or they become aware? Please provide all related documents.

11. Did you or anyone else at Hillary for America encourage, whether directly or through intermediaries, Mr. Steele to initiate or continue contacts with the FBI or other government agencies? If so, who and when? Please provide all related documents.

12. For the period from March 2016 through January 2017, please provide all communications to, from, copying, or relating to: Fusion GPS; Bean LLC; Glenn Simpson; Mary Jacoby; Peter Fritsch; Tom Catan; Jason Felch; Neil King; David Michaels; Taylor Sears; Patrick Corcoran; Laura Sego; Jay Bagwell; Erica Castro; Nellie Ohr; Rinat Akhmetshin; Ed Lieberman; Edward Baumgartner; Orbis Business Intelligence Limited; Orbis Business International Limited; Walsingham Training Limited; Walsingham Partners Limited; Christopher Steele; Christopher Burrows; Sir Andrew Wood, Paul Hauser; 4 Oleg Deripaska; Cody Shearer; Sidney Blumenthal; Jon Winer; 5 Kathleen Kavalec; Victoria Nuland; Daniel Jones; 6 Bruce Ohr; Peter Strzok; Andrew McCabe; James Baker; 7 Sally Yates; Loretta Lynch; John Brennan.

Letter to John Podesta (links to all can be found here):

end

The Dept of Justice is withholding over 85% over the Strzok -Page FBI texts

(courtesy zerohedge)

DOJ Withholding Over 85% Of Strzok-Page FBI Texts From Congressional Investigators

Out of 50,000 texts between anti-Trump FBI investigators Peter Strzok and Lisa Page – not including an unknown number of recently found texts, the DOJ has submitted a mere 7,000 to Congressional investigators – just 14%, reports the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York.


Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein

The majority of the withheld messages were deemed “pesonal” or withheld for other reasons, according to York.

Also notable, according to York, is that the 50,000 Strzok-Page texts only include messages sent and received on FBI-issued Samsung phones – despite several text messages which make clear that the two agents also discussed their politically tainted investigations over their personal iPhones using iMessage.

For investigators, those are particularly intriguing texts – what was so sensitive that they couldn’t discuss on their work phones? – but the number of those texts is unknown. And of course, they have not been turned over to Congress. –Washington Examiner

In a January 19 letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd to Congressional investigators, the DOJ said that they would not be providing “purely personal” text messages.

Of the 50k, DOJ has turned over less than 15% to Congress. That’s all Congress is gonna get from the 50k. Majority deemed personal, or withheld for other reasons. 2/3 http://ow.ly/iVX930i2do0 

The department is not providing text messages that were purely personal in nature,” Boyd wrote. “Furthermore, the department has redacted from some work-related text messages portions that were purely personal. The department’s aim in withholding purely personal text messages and redacting personal portions of work-related text messages was primarily to facilitate the committee’s access to potentially relevant text messages without having to cull through large quantities of material unrelated to either the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server or the investigation into Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.”

Lastly, York notes that Boyd says special counsel Robert Mueller made redactions to the texts “in a few instances,” which were “related to the structure, operation, and substance” of the Special Counsel’s investigation because it is ongoing. The DOJ told Congress that they would “work with” them to further describe or even reveal redacted information in a “closed setting.”


Special Counsel Robert Mueller III

As for the formerly missing text messages spanning December 14, 2016 through May 17, 2017, there are several unanswered questions. As The Examiner notes:

The time period involved, Dec. 14, 2016 to May 17, 2017, covered some of the key moments in the FBI’s investigation of the Trump-Russia affair: conversations between Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak; the completion and publication of the intelligence community assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 election; the briefing in which FBI director James Comey told President-elect Donald Trump about the Trump dossier; the president’s inauguration; the nomination and confirmation of new Justice Department leadershipFlynn’s interview with the FBI (conducted by Strzok); Comey’s assurances to Trump that he, Trump, was not under investigation; a variety of revelations, mostly in the Washington Post and New York Times, about various Trump figures under investigation; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia probe; the firing of top Obama Justice Department holdover Sally Yates; Trump’s tweet alleging he was wiretapped; Trump’s firing of Comey; and, finally, the appointment of Mueller.

Alas, it appears that the vast majority of text messages between the anti-Trump FBI investigators will remain in the dark for “personal” or “other reasons,” despite the fact that they may shed further light on the agents’ personalities, motivations, and the extent of their extreme political bias which clearly played a significant role in their investigations.

END

Trump is ignoring the Dept of Justice (and who can blame him) as he notifies Sessions that he wants the FISA 4 page memo released

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Ignores DOJ Warning, Notifies Sessions He Wants FISA Memo Released

President Trump broke with the Department of Justice last week by calling for the release of a four-page “FISA memo” purportedly summarizing widespread surveillance abuses by the FBI, DOJ and Obama Administration, reports the Washington Post.

The President’s desire was relayed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions by White House Chief-of-Staff John Kelly last Wednesday – putting the Trump White House at odds with the DOJ – which said that releasing the classified memo written by congressional republicans “extraordinarily reckless” without allowing the Department of Justice to first review the memo detailing its own criminal malfeasance during and after the 2016 presidential election.

The decision to release the memo ultimately lies with congress.

Somehow WaPo knew that Kelly and Sessions spoke twice last Wednesday – once in person during a “small-group afternoon meeting” and again that night over the phone.

Trump “is inclined to have that released just because it will shed light,” said a senior administration official who was speaking on the condition of anonymity to recount private conversations. “Apparently all the rumors are that it will shed light, it will help the investigators come to a conclusion.”

The memo, written by staffers for House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), was made available for all Congressional House members in mid-January for viewing in a secure room. Lawmakers who have seen the document have called for its release to the general public, as it is said to contain “jaw dropping” revelations of extensive abuse of power and highly illegal collusion between the Obama administration, the FBI, the DOJ and the Clinton Campaign against Donald Trump and his team during and after the 2016 presidential election.

“I have read the memo,” tweeted Rep. Steve King (R-IA), adding “The sickening reality has set in. I no longer hold out hope there is an innocent explanation for the information the public has seen. I have long said it is worse than Watergate. It was #neverTrump & #alwaysHillary. #releasethememo.”

It is so alarming the American people have to see this,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan told Fox News. “It’s troubling. It is shocking,” North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows said. “Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.

Immediately & ALL relevant material sourced in it. Every American needs to know the truth! We wouldn’t be revealing any sources & methods that we shouldn’t; only feds’ reliance on bad sources & methods.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post is spinning Trump’s desire to release the memo as yet another example of the President’s “year-long attempts to shape and influence an investigation that is fundamentally outside his control,” pointing to reports that he wanted to fire special counsel Robert Mueller III last summer (which Trump denies). WaPo also points to Trump’s complaints over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for not properly supervising the Mueller probe, and the President’s alleged comments to former FBI Director James Comey demanding loyalty and asking him to back off the investigation into former National Security advisor Michael Flynn, who was fired for misleading Vice President Mice Pence over his contact with Russians.

In other words, Trump has been resisting an active investigation which has yet to prove any collusion, and which has experienced significant mission creep into the personal finances of the Trump team – and The Washington Post is spinning it as Trump once again interfering with an investigation.

So now the President is calling for the release of the four-page FISA memo, which will reportedly put an end to the Russia investigation while quite possibly setting the stage for the criminal prosecution of those involved in trying to frame Trump.

That said, the Washington Post article appears to be nothing more than an exercise in pearl clutching over Trump’s demands for loyalty – as the paper notes that nothing the President has done is likely to lead to criminal charges.

To prove obstruction of justice, Mueller would have to show that Trump didn’t just act to derail the investigation but did so with a corrupt motive, such as an effort to hide his own misdeeds. Legal experts are divided over whether the Constitution allows for the president to be indicted while in office. As a result, Mueller might seek to outline his findings about Trump’s actions in a written report rather than bring them in court through criminal charges. It would probably fall to Rosenstein to decide whether to submit the report to Congress, which has the power to open impeachment proceedings.

As Trump faced growing questions about everything from his June directive to fire Mueller to his more recent grousing about Rosenstein, the White House was largely silent. In response to several specific queries, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley offered a written statement that addressed few of them. –WaPo

“The president has been clear publicly and privately that he wants absolute transparency throughout this process,” Gidley said in the statement. “Based on numerous news reports, top officials at the FBI have engaged in conduct that shows show bias against President Trump and bias for Hillary Clinton. The president has said repeatedly for months there is no consideration of terminating the special counsel.”

So future leaders of the free world take note; you’re not allowed express dissatisfaction when a federal agency allegedly colludes with the previous administration and an establishment candidate to rob you of an election using unverified evidence from Russian officials; it is also frowned upon to have a problem with a kangaroo-court witch hunt launched to push the invented narrative.

end

Trey Gowdy yesterday dropped big hints as to what is in the FISA memo: i.e. FBI misuse and Hillary’s relationship to Christopher Steele

(courtesy zerohedge)

Gowdy Drops Big Hints About FISA Memo: Dossier Funding, FBI Misuse, And Hillary’s Relationship To Chris Steele

While lawmakers have been incredibly mum over the specifics of a four-page “FISA memo” containing allegations of FBI and DOJ malfeasance against then-candidate Donald Trump and his team, Rep. Trey Gowdy appeared on Fox News Sunday where he dropped the most telling breadcrumbs about the contents of the memo to date.

“If you think your viewers want to know whether or not the dossier was used in court proceedings, whether or not it was vetted before it was used, whether or not it’s ever been vetted — if you are interested in who paid for the dossier, if you are interested in Christopher Steele’s relationship with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, then, yes, you will want the memo to come out,” –Trey Gowdy

Do you want to know that the Democratic National Committee paid for material that was never vetted, that was included in a court proceeding?” Gowdy asked rhetorically.

“Do you want to know whether or not the primary source in these court proceedings had a bias against one candidate? Do you want to know whether or not he said he’d do anything to keep that candidate from becoming president?”

While it’s not clear who the “primary source” is, it’s possible that Gowdy is referring to Christopher Steele, the former MI6 spy who assembled the dossier – or “Senior Russian Officials” which the “Trump-Russia” dossier heavily relied on for information.

a
vanityfair.com

Perhaps the Russians preferred Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Trump, as the former came equipped with a pay-for-play charity that was utilized during the Kremlin’s purchase of Uranium One – giving Russia control over approximately 20% of United States uranium. Bill Clinton, notably, also met with Vladimir Putin at his house the same day he gave a Moscow speech for a cool $500k to an investment bank which then upgraded Uranium One stock.

A close associate of Bill Clinton who was directly involved in the Moscow trip and spoke on condition of anonymity, described to The Hill the circumstances surrounding how Bill Clinton landed a $500,000 speaking gig in Russia and then came up with the list of Russians he wanted to meet.

The documents don’t indicate what decision the State Department finally made. But current and former aides to both Clintons told The Hill on Thursday the request to meet the various Russians came from other people, and the ex-president’s aides and State decided in the end not to hold any of the meetings with the Russians on the list.

Bill Clinton instead got together with Vladimir Putin at the Russian leader’s private homestead.

The friend said Hillary Clinton had just returned in late March 2010 from an official trip to Moscow where she met with both Putin and Medvedev. The president’s speaker’s bureau had just received an offer from Renaissance Capital to pay the former president $500,000 for a single speech in Russia. –The Hill

In comparison to the egregious pay-for-play facility the Clintons offered Russia, the FBI allegedly relied on the unverified 34-page “Trump-Russia” dossier to obtain a FISA surveillance warrant against one-time Trump campaign advisor, Carter Page. Prior to the FISA warrant, GOP Congressional investigators also believe the dossier was used to launch the original investigation into collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign before Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel.

Rep. Gowdy, however, declined to confirm whether the dossier was used to obtain the FISA warrant – noting that it was classified at this point and he’s not allowed to discuss it.

Gowdy also said in the interview that he suggested the memo be reviewed by the FBI and the DOJ prior to its release, however he says that the document contains information already provided by these agencies, noting “There’s nothing in this memo the Department is not already aware of.”

end
This is a little surprising! McCabe who announced that he will step down in March once he became eligible for his full pension..has stepped down effective immediately.  Either Christopher Wray is cleaning house or the Inspector General’s report is coming out and it will be very damning to him
(courtesy zerohedge)

FBI Deputy Director McCabe Has Stepped Down Effective Today

In a move that was widely expected (although not for another month or so), Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down effective Monday, NBC reported.

McCabe, who briefly served as acting director last year after Trump fired Comey, first let it slip to the Washington Post late last year that he would be retiring in the coming months as Congressional Republicans targeted him for criticism surrounding his pro-Clinton bias (McCabe’s wife even secured campaign funding from Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe, something he initially failed to disclose).

BREAKING: Andrew McCabe has stepped down effective today as FBI deputy director, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell @ NBC News

Around the time of the reports of his impending retirement, McCabe had spent several marathon sessions answering questions from Congressional committees behind closed doors.

It was expected that McCabe would hang on until early March, when he would become eligible for his full pension. It’s unclear why he’s choosing to step down early.

McCabe’s accelerated resignation may a sign that Trump appointee Christopher Wray – who succeeded James Comey as FBI Director – is finally cleaning house. 

According to Axios, McCabe may be leaving in anticipation of the release of an inspector general’s report on how the FBI handled the Clinton email investigation.

President Donald Trump refused to acknowledge reporters asking questions about McCabe’s decision during a White House press conference.

Back in December, Trump tweeted that McCabe was “racing the clock to retire with full benefits.”

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!

end
The House Committee is expected to vote yes to release the memo this afteroon
(courtesy zerohedge)

House Committee Expected To Vote ‘Yes’ To #ReleaseTheMemo This Afternoon, Report

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is expected, according to Fox News, to take a vote Monday afternoon on whether to release a classified memo that top congressional Republicans say details government surveillance abuses — and has emerged at the center of a power struggle in Washington.

Those who have seen the document suggest it reveals what role the unverified anti-Trump “dossier” played in the application for a surveillance warrant on at least one President Trump associate.

Fox News reports that the committee, with 13 Republican and nine Democratic members, is expected to vote yes.

While the White House seems to favor the memo’s release, the Justice Department has pushed back hard.

Sources told Fox News’ Catherine Herridge that FBI Director Christopher Wray went to the Capitol on Sunday to view the four-page memo.

According to one source, Wray was asked to point out inaccuracies or other issues with the wording — and said he would need “his people to take a look at it.” The source said the review is ongoing.

But various members on the panel are demanding its release:

South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, who helped write the four-page memo, said Sunday he wants it made public.

“If you … want to know whether or not the dossier was used in court proceedings, whether or not it was vetted before it was used… If you are interested in who paid for the dossier … then, yes, you’ll want the memo to come out,” Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday.”

And House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Sunday on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’.

“Having read this memo, I think it would be appropriate that the public has full view,”

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said last week that committee Democrats will release their own memo, claiming the Republicans’ document “represents another effort to distract from the Russia probe and … seeks to selectively and misleadingly characterize classified information in an effort to protect the president at any cost.”

Fox News also points out that The DOJ has warned that releasing the memo without a proper review would be “reckless.”

If the Committee votes to release the memo, the president would then decide whether he has any objections before release

END

Trump is furious over the Dept of Justice (a member of the Deep State) over their refusal to release the FISA memo to which they are themselves implicated.  However it is not up to the Justice dept but the Intelligence Committee and they will vote on it tonight

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump “Erupted In Anger” Over DOJ Refusal To Release FISA Memo: Report

Over the weekend, and ahead of what may be an imminent release of the notorious FISA memo, we reported that President Trump allegedly broke off with the Department of Justice last week by calling for the release of the four-page “FISA memo” purportedly summarizing widespread surveillance abuses by the FBI, DOJ and Obama Administration.

As the WaPo detailed then, the President’s desire was relayed to AG Jeff Sessions by White House Chief-of-Staff John Kelly last Wednesday – putting the Trump White House at odds with the DOJ – which said that releasing the classified memo written by congressional republicans “extraordinarily reckless” without allowing the Department of Justice to first review the memo detailing its own criminal malfeasance during and after the 2016 presidential election.

And now, we have some additional information on how Trump’s furious disagreement with the DOJ evolved.

According to a Bloomberg report, Trump “erupted in anger” while traveling to Davos on Air Force One when he learned that a top DOJ official – Associate Attorney General Stephen Boyd  – sent a letter, warning that it would be “extraordinarily reckless” to release the classified 4-page FISA memo written by House Republican staffers, and that it would undercut the Russian collusion probe.

For Trump, the letter was “yet another example of the Justice Department undermining him and stymieing Republican efforts to expose what the president sees as the politically motivated agenda behind Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.”

Ultimately, Jeff Sessions’ job may be on the line depending on whether the FISA memo is kept secret:

Trump’s outburst capped a week where Trump and senior White House officials personally reproached Attorney General Jeff Sessions and asked White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to speak to others — episodes that illustrate Trump’s preoccupation with the Justice Department, according to two of the people.

Trump warned Sessions and others they need to excel at their jobs or go down as the worst in history, the two people said.

After Trump’s strong reaction on Air Force One over the Boyd letter, White House officials, including Kelly, sprang into action again, lashing Justice Department officials Thursday over the decision to send the letter, according to the people.

Furthermore, according to Bloomberg while Trump insist he isn’t preparing to fire Wray, Sessions or other senior officials, “the DOJ’s decision to send the Boyd letter to the House Intelligence Committee last week has intensified Trump’s concern that his own department is undercutting him, several people familiar with the matter said.”

The president is frustrated that Justice Department officials keep getting involved in issues related to the probe when they don’t need to, leading him to wonder if anyone was trying to protect people implicated in the Nunes memo, according to one person familiar with the matter.

In a separate striking development, today FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who has been blasted by Trump and other Republicans, stepped down and will be on leave until he retires sometime in the spring, just hours before the FISA memo’s contents may be publicly disclosed.

Republicans had criticized McCabe’s involvement in aspects of the Trump probe and the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices, even though his wife had accepted donations from Democratic political organizations for an unsuccessful election bid in 2015.

Trump’s anger was exacerbated by reports last week that the president had wanted to fire Mueller last June. The New York Times reported Thursday that the pressure to fire Mueller was averted after White House counsel Don McGahn made clear he would resign before carrying out such an order

As reported earlierthe House Intelligence Committee plans to vote Monday evening on whether to release its classified memo, which contains allegations of counterintelligence surveillance abuses against at least one Trump campaign aide. If the panel votes to release it, it would fall to the White House, perhaps with the advice of intelligence agencies, to decide whether some of the contents are too sensitive and need to be redacted.

Three House lawmakers who have read it said the memo claims FBI officials didn’t provide a complete set of facts in requests made to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to obtain a warrant or warrants on Carter Page, a Trump campaign associate.

And the punchline: the memo claims important details were left out that might have kept a judge from issuing a surveillance warrant, or possibly two, targeting Page, according to the lawmakers, who asked for anonymity to describe the sensitive document. Those include its claims that investigators were relying partly on an unverified dossier put together by an opposition research firm that hired a former British spy, Christopher Steele — work that was funded by Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, and Democrats.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and other Republicans have also blasted the FBI over thousands of text messages sent between the two anti-Trump FBI officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who criticized Trump in their exchanges. Some Republicans were angered when the bureau said it had lost some of the texts before the Justice Department’s inspector general announced Thursday that the missing texts had been recovered with forensic tools.

One almost wonders why Trump is so “paranoid” that the deep state is out to get him when – not only do we get we hints of that every single day – but we may be just one memo release away from confirming all of the president’s worst fears.

.

I will  see you TUESDAY night

HARVEY

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