Feb 6/XIX TERMINATION KNOCKS OUT BILLIONS IN INVESTOR DOLLARS/GOLD DOWN $8.50 TO $1334.70 AND THEN ANOTHER 10 DOLLARS IN ACCESS MARKET TRADING/SILVER DOWN 8 CENTS TO $16.63/SWAMP STORIES: WE NOW HAVE A SECOND DOSSIER AND QUITE POSSIBLY A THIRD DOSSIER TRYING TO DESTROY TRUMP/

 

 

GOLD: $1334.70 down $8.50

Silver: $16.62 down 8 cents

Closing access prices:

Gold $1324.75

silver: $16.63

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: $1345.69 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1343.20

PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $2.49

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1345.69

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1344.25

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$1.44

SHANGHAI REJECTS  NY /LONDON PRICING OF GOLD

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1344.65

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1344.25

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1331.40

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1331.10

For comex gold:

FEBRUARY/

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR FEBRUARY CONTRACT: 122 NOTICE(S) FOR 12200 OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR:1302 FOR 130200 OZ (4.049 TONNES),

For silver:

jANUARY

2 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

10,000 OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 126 for 630,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: BID $6300/OFFER $7,370: DOWN $571(morning)

Bitcoin: BID/ $7721/offer $7791: UP $849  (CLOSING/5 PM)

end

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest FELL BY CONSIDERABLE 3086 contracts from 209,256  FALLING TO 206,171 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S TINY 7 CENT FALL IN SILVER PRICING.  WE  HAD CONSIDERABLE COMEX LIQUIDATION. HOWEVER, WE WERE AGAIN NOTIFIED THAT WE HAD ANOTHER HUGE SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE:  2732 EFP’S FOR MARCH AND AND 0 EFP’S FOR MAY AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THUS TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 2732 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 2732 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. THE 2732 CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 13.66 MILLION OZ

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

14,074 CONTRACTS (FOR 5 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 14,074 CONTRACTS OR 70.370 MILLION OZ: AVERAGE PER DAY: 2815 CONTRACTS OR 14.074 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH:  70.37 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 10.00% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION

ACCUMULATION IN YEAR 2018 TO DATE SILVER EFP’S:  305.34 MILLION OZ.

ACCUMULATION FOR JAN 2018: 236.879 MILLION OZ

RESULT: A CONSIDERABLE SIZED LOSS IN OI SILVER COMEX DESPITE THE TINY 7 CENT FALL IN SILVER PRICE.  WE HOWEVER HAD A GOOD SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 2732 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 2732 EFP’S  FOR  MONTHS MARCH AND MAY WERE ISSUED FOR MONDAY  FOR A DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS. WE REALLY LOST A TINY 354 OI CONTRACTS i.e. 2732 open interest contracts headed for London (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A DECREASE OF 3086  OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH THE FALL IN PRICE OF SILVER OF 7 CENTS AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $16.70 WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING. YET WE STILL HAVE A FAIR 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. 1.030 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 148% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT FEBRUARY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 2 NOTICE(S) FOR 10,000 OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest FELL  BY A TINY 2385 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 545,893  WITH THE TINY SIZED RISE IN PRICE OF GOLD WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING ($0.30). IN ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT, WE RECEIVED THE TOTAL NUMBER OF GOLD EFP’S ISSUED FOR TUESDAY AND IT TOTALED A GOOD SIZED  5581 CONTRACTS OF WHICH  APRIL SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 5581 CONTRACTS AND  JUNE SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTRACTS AND THEN ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.    The new OI for the gold complex rests at 545,893. 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. 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 FEBRUARY 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 GAIN OF 2324  CONTRACTS: 2385 OI CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND A STRONG SIZED  5581 OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON.(5581 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 17.36 TONNES)

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 14,200 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S/ GOLD(EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY STARTING WITH FIRST DAY NOTICE: 48,993 CONTRACTS OR 4,899,300  OZ OR 152.38 TONNES (5 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 9799 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 979,900 OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :   SO FAR THIS MONTH IN 4 TRADING DAYS: IN  TONNES: 152.38 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 152.38/2200 x 100% TONNES =  6.90% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN FEBRUARY ALONE.

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2018 TO DATE:  804.69 TONNES

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S FOR JANUARY 2018: 653.22  TONNES

Result: A SURPRISING A FAIR SIZED DECREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX DESPITE THE RISE IN PRICE IN GOLD TRADING YESTERDAY ($0.30). IT IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THAT MANY OF THE DEPARTED COMEX LONGS  RECEIVED THEIR PRIVATE EFP CONTRACT  FOR EITHER  APRIL OR JUNE. WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 5581 AS THESE HAVE ALREADY BEEN NEGOTIATED AND CONFIRMED.   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 5581 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A NET GAIN IN OPEN INTEREST OF 2385 contractON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

5581 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND  2385 CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX. (in tonnes, the GAIN in total oi equates to 7.22 TONNES).

we had: 122 notice(s) filed upon for 12,200 oz of gold.

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

GLD

STRANGE, WITH ALL OF TODAY’S TURMOIL: No change in gold inventory at the GLD/

Inventory rests tonight: 841.35 tonnes.

SLV/

NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/ WITH ALL OF TODAY’S TURMOIL AND WHACKING OF SILVER

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.045 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 3086 contracts from 209,256 DOWN TO 206,170 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER TO THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) WITH  THE SLIGHT FALL  IN PRICE OF SILVER  (7 CENTS WITH RESPECT TO  YESTERDAY’S TRADING).   OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE ANOTHER GOOD 2732 PRIVATE EFP’S FOR MARCH AND 0 EFP CONTRACTS OR MAY  (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  3086 CONTRACTS TO THE 2732 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S WE OBTAIN A TINY LOSS OF 354  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  WE STILL HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES THAT ARE STANDING FOR METAL IN JANUARY (SEE BELOW). THE NET LOSS TODAY IN OZ ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:1.77 MILLION OZ!!!

RESULT: A CONSIDERABLE SIZED DECREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX DESPITE THE TINY SIZED FALL OF 7 CENTS IN PRICE (WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING). BUT WE ALSO HAD ANOTHER GOOD 2732 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE GOOD  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR FEBRUARY, 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 MONDAY night/TUESDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 116.8 points or 3.35% /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 1,649.80 or 5.12% / The Nikkei closed DOWN 1071,84 POINTS OR 4.73%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 3.23%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.2740/Oil DOWN to 63.57 dollars per barrel for WTI and 66.69 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED DEEPLY IN THE RED .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.2740. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AGAINST  THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.2879//ONSHORE YUAN A LOT STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR/OFF SHORE A LOT STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR/. THE DOLLAR (INDEX) IS  MUCH STRONGER AGAINST ALL MAJOR CURRENCIES EXCEPT THE YUAN. CHINA IS NOT  TOO  HAPPY TODAY.(STRONGER CURRENCY BUT WEAK MARKETS THROUGHOUT THE GLOBE )

 

 

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

 i)North Korea

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

3 c CHINA

Asian stocks last night, a sea of red

 

( zerohedge)

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

i)Both the ECB and the White House concerned with yesterday market crash

( zerohedge)

ii)An excellent commentary on the state of affairs inside Germany. Yesterday we brought you Mish Shedlock’s take and it parallels Luongos.  If there is no coalition, that should be the top in the price of the Euro

 

(courtesy Tom Luongo)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

7. OIL ISSUES

Oil and gasoline rise after a bigger than expected crude draw

 

( zerohedge)

8. EMERGING MARKET

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)Despite the fall in Bitcoin, we have been witnessing a huge increase pf Bitcoin ATM”s

( zerohedge)

ii)Mike Kosares on the roll of gold with the dollar in free fall

( Mike Kosares/GATA)

iii)This will be the death knell of cryptocurrencies as the CFTC are demanding more oversight

( Reuters/GATA)

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

i)LAST NIGHT/EVENING TRADING

I will try and keep this simple:  XIV is the “short” vehicle for volatility.  In other words traders who think that everything is normal short the VIX  ( = XIV) as they believe the market is complacent. However the shear panic of the losses yesterday caused severe panic as they tried to get out of their losing XIV trades.  In an unbelievable event, the vehicle disintegrated by a monstrous 90% causing heart failure for our shorts and a massive increase of ambulance visits to their local hospitals.  Any drop of greater than 80% causes a “termination event”

( zerohedge)

ii)Last night:  the big bank in trouble as they were long volatility:
Not sure if the entire 550 million loss is the bank itself or its client
( zerohedge)

iii)And true to form, Credit Suisse terminates its XIV contract

( zerohedge)

iv)Early this morning:  6 am

trading halted due to termination event
( zerohedge)

v)7:30 AM THIS MORNING:

The volatility index surges above 50 indicating trouble for the markets today.

(zerohedge)

vi)My goodness:  this was a huge deficit recorded in the USA trade balance of -53.1 billion dollars The imbalance was both with China and Europe and it worsened from last month. For the year the trade imbalance was 566 billion dollars or an increase of $61.2 billion dollars.  This will cause a further revision in G4 GDP was at last reporting was a gain of only 2.5%

( zerohedge)

vii)Troubles for Newsweek continues as they fire their top editors and many of their staffers are told to pack up and head home

( zerohedge)

 

viii)Trump creates a national vetting centre to allow for the free flow of information on immigrants wishing to enter the USA

( zerohedge)

viii b)   Trump ready to shutdown government as he threatens Schumer over immigration laws( zerohedge)

viii  b)Job openings continue to decline and that confirms a labour market slowdown(courtesy zerohedge)

ix)SWAMP STORIES

The House intelligence committee votes to release the Democratic response to the Nunes memo. It has been leaked that there is nothing in the democratic memo.

( zerohedge)

x)Senator Grassley releases a second dossier underwritten by Cody Shearer, a Clinton hatchet man.  This dossier was fed to Obama State Department  and then onto Christopher Steel and this made its rounds back to the FISA court.  This false document had similar false narrative on Russian collusion. Also in this report, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch reports that there was a third dossier bandied about originated in the State dept under John Kerry and this 3rd dossier also contained many false and fallacious statements
( zerohedge)
x)  part B

Nunes: a clear link has formed between the Democrats and Russia and how they tried to influence the election of 2016. Here zero hedge also discusses the origins of the second dossier from the Obama State dept. under John Kerry and how the dossier got to Steele who then used to spy on the Trump team through the FISA warrants

(courtesy zerohedge)

x) Part C

Steele fails to show up in a London court appearance after the USA senate under Grassley gave a criminal referral’
( zerohedge)

xi)Trump lawyer have advised Trump not to be interviewed by Mueller. Lawyer Ty Cobb explains that Mueller will not risk a showdown in the Supreme Court

( zerohedge)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest  SURPRISINGLY FELL BY 2385 CONTRACTS DOWN to an OI level 545,893  DESPITE THE TINY SIZED FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($0.30 LOSS WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING).   WE HAD SOME 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 GOOD SIZED 5581 EFP’S ISSUED FOR APRIL  AND 0 EFP’s  FOR JUNE AND ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:  TOTAL  5581 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 GAINED TODAY: 3,196 OI CONTRACTS IN THAT 5581 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE LOST 2385 COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 3196 contracts OR 319600  OZ OR 9.94 TONNES,

Result: A  GOOD SIZED DECREASE IN COMEX OPEN INTEREST DESPITE THE  TINY LOSS IN YESTERDAY’S GOLD TRADING ($0.30.) WE HAD SOME COMEX GOLD LIQUIDATION.  TOTAL OPEN INTEREST GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 3,196 OI CONTRACTS..

We have now entered the active contract month of FEBRUARY where we lost 450 contracts to 1789 contracts.  We had 431 notices filed upon yesterday, so we lost 19 contracts or 1900 oz will not stand in this active contract month of February AND THESE WERE MORPHED INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS.

March saw a LOSS of 18 contracts DOWN to 2077.  April saw a LOSS of 2135 contracts DOWN to 39,.342. MARCH BECOMES THE FRONT MONTH FOR GOLD

We had 122 notice(s) filed upon today for 19600 oz

 PRELIMINARY COMEX VOLUME FOR TODAY: 438,427 contracts

CONFIRMED COMEX VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 314,189

comex gold volumes are RISING AGAIN

Here is a summary of the latest gold trading volumes at the Comex per year

certainly the introduction of EFP’s has certainly had an effect:

Trading Volumes on the COMEX

Meanwhile, gold-trading volumes on the COMEX have never been higher:

end

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total silver OI FELL  BY A CONSIDERABLE  3086  CONTRACTS FROM 209,256 DOWN TO  206,170 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S TINY 7 CENT LOSS.  WE WERE ALSO INFORMED THAT WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED 2732 EMERGENCY EFP’S FOR MARCH ISSUED BY OUR BANKERS (WITH 0 EFP CONTRACTS FOR MAY 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: 2732.   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 OBVIOUSLY HAD CONSIDERABLE LONG COMEX SILVER LIQUIDATION AND A TINY SIZED LOSS 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 354  SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS:

3086 CONTRACT LOSS AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 2732 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET LOSS TWO EXCHANGES: 354 CONTRACTS

We are now in the poor non active delivery month of FEBRUARY and here the front month GAINED 11 contracts UP TO  12 contracts.  We had 0 notices filed upon yesterday so we GAINED 11 contracts or 55,000  ADDITIONAL oz will stand for delivery at the comex

The March contract lost 5973 contracts DOWN to 121,017

April gained 11 contracts up to 22.

.

We had 2 notice(s) filed for 10,000 for the FEBRUARY 2018 contract for silver

INITIAL standings for FEBRUARY

Feb6/2018.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
 32,436.833 oz
HSBC
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz
 nil
No of oz served (contracts) today
122 notice(s)
 12200 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
1667 contracts
(166,700 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
1424 notices
142,400 oz
4.429 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:
we had 32,436.833 oz of gold transferred out of HSBC
total withdrawal: 32,436.833  oz
we had 0 customer deposit
total deposits: nil oz
we had 2 adjustments
i) Out of HSBC:  20,233.450 oz was adjusted out of the dealer and into the customer account of HSBC.  this usually leads to a settlement of gold at the comex
total registered or dealer gold:  387,695.824 oz or 12.05 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   9,329,119.323 oz 290.17 tones

For FEBRUARY:
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 122 contract(s) of which 113 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 7 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 FEBRUARY. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (1424) x 100 oz or 142,400 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (1789 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (122 x 100 oz per contract) equals 309,100 oz, the number of ounces standing in this active month of FEBRUARY

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

No of notices served (1424 x 100 oz or ounces + {(1789)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (122 x 100 oz )which equals 309,100 oz standing in this active delivery month of February (9.6143 tonnes). THERE IS 12.05 TONNES OF REGISTERED GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY SO FAR.

WE LOST 19 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 1900 OZ WILL NOT STAND BUT THEY WILL JOIN OTHER LONGS AS THEY HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO A LONDON BASED FORWARD THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE.

THE COMEX IS NOW UNDER STRESS AS THE REGISTERED GOLD FALLS BELOW 13 TONNES.

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XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

IN THE LAST 17 MONTHS 64 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE DECEMBER DELIVERY MONTH

FEBRUARY FINAL standings

feb 6 2018
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
 44,797.320 oz
HSBC
Malca
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil
oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
 781,102.170 OZ
 CNT
Delaware
No of oz served today (contracts)
2
CONTRACT(S)
(10,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
10 contracts
(50,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 126 contracts

(630,000 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) into CNT: 599,344.35 oz

ii) into  Delaware:  181,757.820 oz

total inventory deposits: 781,102.170 oz

 

we had 2 withdrawals from the customer account;

i) out of HSBC: 20,050.180 oz

ii) out of Scotia:  24,747.190 oz

total withdrawals;  44,797.320  oz

we had 0 adjustment

 

total dealer silver:  43.080 million

total dealer + customer silver:  248.788 million oz

The total number of notices filed today for the FEBRUARY. contract month is represented by 2 contract(s) FOR 10,000 oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in FEBRUARY., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 126 x 5,000 oz = 630,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (12) and the number of notices served upon today (2 x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the FEB contract month: 126(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of FEBRUARY(12) -number of notices served upon today (2)x 5000 oz equals 680,000 oz of silver standing for the FEBRUARY contract month. 

WE GAINED 11 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 55,000 OZ WILL  STAND AT THE COMEX

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

ESTIMATED VOLUME FOR TODAY: 85.186

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 152,793 CONTRACTS

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 152,793 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO  763 MILLION OZ OR 109.1% 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 RISES TO -2.24% (FEB 5/2018)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -0.65% to NAV (FEB 5/2018 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -2.24%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.65%/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 -3.62%: NAV 13.85/TRADING 13.20//DISCOUNT 3.62%

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

Feb 6/AGAIN VERY STRANGE: WITH TODAY’S TURMOIL, THE CROOKS DID NOT ADD ANY GOLD INVENTORY INTO THE GLD/INVENTORY REMAINS AT 841.35 TONNES

Feb 5  Strange,with all of today’s turmoil, the crooks at the GLD decided to add zero ounces into GLD inventory/inventory rests at 841.35 tonnes

Feb 2/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 841.35 tonnes

Feb 1/with gold up by $8.00/the crooks decided not to add any new physical gold metal into the GLD./inventory rests at 841.35 tonnes

Jan 31/with gold up $3.15 today, GLD shed another 5.32 tonnes of gold from its inventory/inventory rests at 841.35 tonnes

jan 30/with gold down by $4.85/GLD shed another 1.47 tonnes of gold from its inventory/inventory rests at 846.67 tonnes

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
Feb 6/2018/ Inventory rests tonight at 841.35 tonnes

*IN LAST 320 TRADING DAYS: 99.80 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 254 TRADING DAYS: A NET 57.51 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO GLD INVENTORY.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

Feb 6/WITH ALL OF TODAY’S TURMOIL/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.045 MILLION OZ/

Feb 5/ we had HUGE change in silver inventory at the SLV/ A DEPOSIT OF 1.131 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV/Inventory rests at 314.045 million oz/

Feb 2/we lost 982,000 oz from the SLV inventory /inventory rests at 312.914 million oz/

Feb 1/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 313.896 million oz/

Jan 31/ no change in inventory at the slv in total contrast to gold/inventory rests at 313.896 million oz/

Jan 30/no change in inventory/SLV inventory rests at 313.896 million oz/

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/

.

Feb 5/2017:

Inventory 314.045 million oz

end

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

+ 1.71%
12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.12%

end

Major gold/silver trading /commentaries for TUESDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

Gold Rises As Global Stocks Plunge and Bitcoin Crashes 70%

– Gold gains 0.6% in USD and surges 1.7% in euros and pounds
– European stocks fall more than 3% at the open after sharp falls in Asia
– DJIA falls 1,175 points, S&P 500 down 4.1% and Nikkei plummets 4.7%

– Gold rises from $1,330 to $1,342, £942 to £960 and €1,067 to €1,085 /oz
– Bitcoin crashes another 10% and has now plummeted by 70% to below $6,000
– Increased risk aversion will drive safe haven demand for gold as its hedging properties are appreciated again 

Source: Bloomberg via Mining.com

Gold prices rose today in all major currencies as a rout in global equities prompted investors to seek shelter in safe haven gold.

Spot gold prices were up 0.4 percent to $1,345.00 per ounce this morning in early European trading following Monday’s 0.6 percent gain in dollar terms. Gold saw larger gains in euros, sterling and other currencies as the dollar bounced back after a recent pronounced weakness.

Bitcoin plummeted for a fifth day, dropping below $6,000 and leading other digital tokens lower. A backlash by banks and government regulators against cryptocurrencies is impacting already fragile sentiment due to recent sharp falls.

Yesterday, bitcoin tumbled as much as 22 percent to $6,579. It has lost 70 percent of its value from a record high $19,511 in December. Other crypto currencies also fell sharply on Monday, with Ripple losing as much as 21 percent and Ethereum and Litecoin also weaker – down 16% and 13% respectively.

We believe gold prices may rise further as the global rout in stock markets should lead to a period of risk aversion and a new found appreciation for gold’s hedging and safe haven attributes.

However, as was seen during the ‘Lehman moment’ in 2008, gold could see short term weakness if stock markets continue to crash as speculators see margin calls and some liquidate all futures positions.

The fact that gold made good gains in all currencies yesterday, including the dollar, bodes well for gold and shows there is robust demand and the fundamentals of the gold market are sound. This is more than can be said than the fundamentals of the US economy and indeed of global stock and bond markets.

News and Commentary

Gold rises as equity sell-off spurs safe-haven buying (Reuters.com)

Global Stock Sell-Off Deepens, Yen Gains Haven Bid (Bloomberg.com)

These Charts Show Just How Bad the Selloff in Risk Assets Is (Bloomberg.com)

Bitcoin Tumbles Almost 20% as Crypto Backlash Accelerates (Bloomberg.com)

Monday massacre: Gold price rises as stocks crater (Mining.com)

Why the stock market is selling off, explained (WashingtonPost.com)

4 Takeaways From Monday’s Stock Market Sell-Off (NYTimes.com)

Gundlach: ‘Hard to love bonds at even 3 percent’ yield (Reuters.com)

Why the European sovereign debt crisis is back (CapitalAndConflict.com)

Argument against crypto is getting tired (StansBerryChurcHouse.com)

Gold and Silver Price Riggers Arrested – David Morgan (Youtube.com)

Two Elephants In The Room That The GOP Has Completely Forgotten (DavidStockMansContraCorner.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

05 Feb: USD 1,337.10, GBP 947.20 & EUR 1,072.49 per ounce
02 Feb: USD 1,345.00, GBP 946.48 & EUR 1,077.61 per ounce
01 Feb: USD 1,341.10, GBP 941.99 & EUR 1,077.98 per ounce
31 Jan: USD 1,343.35, GBP 950.29 & EUR 1,078.98 per ounce
30 Jan: USD 1,345.70, GBP 954.37 & EUR 1,083.56 per ounce
29 Jan: USD 1,348.40, GBP 955.07 & EUR 1,085.46 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

05 Feb: USD 16.88, GBP 12.01 & EUR 13.56 per ounce
02 Feb: USD 17.14, GBP 12.05 & EUR 13.72 per ounce
01 Feb: USD 17.19, GBP 12.09 & EUR 13.82 per ounce
31 Jan: USD 17.23, GBP 12.17 & EUR 13.84 per ounce
30 Jan: USD 17.30, GBP 12.24 & EUR 13.91 per ounce
29 Jan: USD 17.34, GBP 12.33 & EUR 13.99 per ounce


Recent Market Updates

– U.S. Debt Is “Extraordinarily High” and Are Stock And Bond Bubbles – Greenspan
– Gold Bullion Price Suppression To End? Bullion Bank Traders Arrested For Manipulating Market
– ATMs Hit By Malware “Jackpotting” Attacks That Dispense All Cash In Minutes
– London Property Market Tumbles As Glut of Luxury Apartments Grows To 3,000
– Silver Bullion: Once and Future Money
– Greatest Stock Bubble In History? GoldNomics Podcast Transcript
– 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

Mark O’Byrne
Executive Direct

END

 

Despite the fall in Bitcoin, we have been witnessing a huge increase pf Bitcoin ATM”s

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

Bitcoin ATM Installations Skyrocket Throughout Market Correction

While some investors are weathering the crypto storm confidently, many have jumped ship, but one group has proven resilient despite market conditions: Bitcoin ATM providers.

Bitcoin ATM installations Outpacing Traditional ATMs

As CryptoAnswers’ Creighton Piper detailsinstallations have gone parabolic over past weeks/months, as seen below.

Chart courtesy of CoinATMRadar.com via amCharts

136 Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) were installed during the market pullback alone, bringing the worldwide total to 2177 as tracked by CoinATMRadar.com. On average, 5 BTM locations spring up every day. This is just one more example of how the crypto ecosystem continues to grow, despite depressing market sentiment.

The United States still dominates the BTM industry with 1296 locations nationwide. This is a marked 30% increase since we last covered this development in October 2017. Canada and the UK follow with 340 locations and 109 locations respectively.

 

Top 5 countries: USA, Canada, UK, Austria, Spain

Bitcoin ATMs Expand Access to Top Cryptocurrencies

BTMs are beginning to pop up everywhere. Las Angeles alone boasts 165 units, and New York has 127. They offer quick, easy access to anyone needing to acquire and use Bitcoin on the fly. Transactions are instant, but this convenience comes at a price. Buying Bitcoin incurs a ~9% fee, while selling fetches a 7% fee.

In addition to Bitcoin, many locations offer Litecoin (905), Ether (332), and DASH (173) as well. Of the 2177 total BTMs, 944 of them offer some sort of altcoin support, and some of them even offer Dogecoin and/or Monero.

Privacy Issues

Until recently, fiat could be converted to crypto with nothing more than cash in your pocket. Personal details were unnecessary, and transactions could be made anonymously. This was great for innocent users to take advantage of, but it also allowed black market operatives easy access. Most BTM manufacturers are beginning to incorporate identification features now to comply with increasing regulation. Operators may opt to disable those features but are often mandated to use them. Some locations are still able to be used anonymously, but generally a phone number is required. BTMs remain the go-to resource for private transactions, however. Exchanges maintain an arsenal of client data, while BTMs do not. They help distance users from centralized banks and exchanges and keep private details safe. Anyone off-put by the phone number requirement can sidestep using a burn phone.

Final Word

Unfortunately, I was not able to find out how much Bitcoin is traded through these avenues compared to LTC, ETH or other offerings. That would be interesting info, as it would represent how raw use cases of top cryptocurrencies are evolving as their networks compete. As BTC network fees escalate out of control, I would imagine ETH and LTC are gaining on BTC in this respect.

At any rate, the confidence in the BTM market tells a different story than the exchange market. While currencies are subject to FUD and manipulation, ecosystem figures are immune. The best way to gauge the health of crypto in general is to look at real usage, adoption, and infrastructure growth. Fortunately for us all, that continues to be very much a growth story.

END

Mike Kosares on the roll of gold with the dollar in free fall

(courtesy Mike Kosares/GATA)

Mike Kosares: Gold takes center stage in dollar scare

 Section: 

2:32p ET Monday, February 5, 2018

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

The Trump administration, USAGold’s Mike Kosares writes today, doesn’t want the “strong dollar” policy of previous administrations but a dollar that can be “strategically benign.”

“In its unambiguous ambiguity,” Kosares writes, “the Trump administration has signaled no intention of disrupting any market-generated dollar weakness. It will stand aside.”

This, Kosares concludes, signifies stagflation, which is good for gold.

His analysis is headlined “Gold Takes Center Stage in Dollar Scare” and it’s posted at USAGold here:

http://www.usagold.com/cpmforum/2018/02/05/gold-takes-center-stage-in-do…

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

END

This will be the death knell of cryptocurrencies as the CFTC are demanding more oversight

 

(courtesy Reuters/GATA)

U.S. regulators to back more oversight of virtual currencies

 Section: 

By Michelle Price and Pete Schroeder
Reuters
Monday, February 5, 2018

WASHINGTON — Digital currencies such as bitcoin demand increased oversight and may require a new federal regulatory framework, the top U.S. markets regulators will tell lawmakers at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, will provide testimony to the Senate Banking Committee amid growing global concerns over the risks virtual currencies pose to investors and the financial system.

Giancarlo and Clayton will say a patchwork of rules for cryptocurrency exchanges may need to be reviewed in favor of a rationalized federal framework, according to prepared testimony published today. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-bitcoin-congress/u-s-regulator…

END

 




Your early TUESDAY 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 UP AT 6.2740 /shanghai bourse CLOSED DOWN AT 116.80 POINTS 3.35% / HANG SANG CLOSED DOWN 1649.80 POINTS OR 5.12%
2. Nikkei closed DOWN 1071.84 POINTS OR 4.73% /USA: YEN FALLS TO 109.00

3. Europe stocks OPENED DEEPLY IN THE RED   /USA dollar index RISES TO 89.67/Euro FALLS TO 1.2365

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO . +.078/ (CENTRAL BANK INTERVENTION THIS MORNING) GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 109.00/ 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:: 63.51  and Brent: 66.69

3f Gold UP/Yen UP

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO +.664%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN to 1.978% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD UP TO 1.420%

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES TO : 3.762?????????????????

3k Gold at $1340.60 silver at:16.82: 7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 3/100 in roubles/dollar) 57.34

3m oil into the 63 dollar handle for WTI and 66 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 109.00 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 0.9356 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1567 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year FALLING to +0.664%

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 2.6950% early this morning (THIS IS DEADLY TO ALL MARKETS). Thirty year rate at 2.989% /

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

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

“Euphoria Turns To Terror”: Dow To Open 750 Points Lower As VIX Eruption Accelerates

Update: VIX SURGES ABOVE 50 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE AUGUST 2015

* * *

It’s a bloodbath, with the Dow set to open 750 points lower “thanks” to the +377 fair value...

… but it could have been much worse, with S&P futures actually trading toward the highs of the overnight session after tumbling an additional 3.5% from Monday’s close, as risk assets around the world crashed then modestly rebounded even as traders remain on edge over what the implosion in the vol complex means for everyone.

World stock markets nosedived for a fourth day running on Tuesday, having seen $4 trillion wiped off from what just eight days ago had been record high values.

“Playtime is officially over, kids,” analysts at Rabobank said. “Rising volatility painfully reminds some investors that one-way bets don’t exist.”

“Since last autumn, investors had been betting on the ‘Goldilocks’ economy – solid economic expansion, improving corporate earnings and stable inflation. But the tide seems to have changed,” said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

Meanwhile, “The euphoria has turned to terror.”

There was a modest bound in European bourses, which opened sharply lower in the wake of the largest ever point loss in Dow Jones Industrial Average history. London’s FTSE 100 lost 3.5% at the opening bell, with every constituent falling and financial stocks hit hardest. The Europe-wide Stoxx 600 fell 2.2 %, while Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax 30 fell 3.5%, before recouping some losses.  As of this writing, core European cash equity markets trade around -1.5%/-2.0%.

In fact, as Bloomberg notes, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index at one point today slumped the most since Brexit, with every industry sector falling as much as 2 percent.

This came after massive falls on Asian bourses. Stocks in Japan and China were the worst hit, with Hong Kong tumbling over 6% in early trading. Japan’s Topix index was down by more than 6%, marking its biggest one-day fall in a year and a half, while Japan’s Nikkei fell over 10% from its Jan 23 high, entering a correction, after plunging as much as 7.1%, triggering JSCC intraday margin call for Japanese index futures.

And while Asian stocks also managed to rebound modestly from overnight lows it was not before the MSCI Asia Pacific index erased 2018 gains, just like the Dow Jones, which is itself on the verge of a -10% correction.

Meanwhile, in some welcome news, there was at least a little normalcy as Treasuries extend their safe-haven rally with 10-year yield down three basis points to 2.68%, while euro-area bonds found support.

The currency market was stock-driven for another day with the dollar turning negative as European equities pared losses and S&P futures traded briefly in the green, although after the Bloomberg Dollar index was modestly in the red, it has since surge higher suggesting things are about to get ugly again.

As Bloomberg notes, major G-10 FX pairs again remain relatively immune to wild equity swings, yuan rallies after PBOC says the market will have a larger role in FX rate; USD/JPY holds close to 109.00. Haven demand eased modestly, with the yen and the Swiss franc turning defensive. The euro moved above the $1.24 handle as short-term accounts closed shorts with a loss. The Aussie remains lower after uneventful RBA policy meeting.

Whipsaw in core fixed income, early trades see fading of rally in UST, Bund and Eurodollar futures before uptick in volatility measures prompts reversal; UST/bund spread wider by 7bps with futures block trades in focus, iTraxx crossover opens sharply wider but settles close to key 260bps level. Bitcoin briefly trades below $6k level.

In the commodities complex, both WTI and Brent crude futures trade lower albeit off worst levels with prices suppressed by the ongoing global risk sentiment; the recovery for WTI has also been stalled by a failure to reclaim USD 64/bbl to the upside with energy newsflow otherwise relatively light ahead of tonight’s API inventories. In metals markets, spot gold (+0.25%) continues to benefit from its safe-haven appeal and the softer USD despite the World Gold Council stating that demand for the yellow metal fell to its lowest level since 2009 during 2017.  The Bloomberg Commodity Index is trading 0.2% lower, having pared loss of as much as 0.4% earlier.

But unlike recent days, when attention was on US TSYs and the Dollar, today – and for the coming days – it will be all about the VIX, which extended its advance after Monday’s biggest-ever jump, which sent it higher by 116% on the session, heading for a level not seen since August 2011.

As of 6:39am in New York, the VIX climbed another 24% to 46.37. As discussed last night, the surge in the volatility measure is already claiming casualties, with various VIX-linked ENT set for “termination” and raising questions about the future of exchange-traded products tied to it.

And while we wait for today’s trading session to unfold, here is what else happened overnight.

Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk

  • European equities join the global sell-off as markets look to see whether Wall St will endure another day of heavy losses
  • That said, markets have gradually pared losses throughout the morning as commentators debate whether this is a minor blip or part of a larger correction
  • Looking ahead, highlights today include Canadian trade, APIs, NZ jobs and a slew of speakers

Market Snapshot

  • &P 500 futures little changed at 2,608
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 1.6% to 375.99
  • MXAP down 3.4% to 173.27
  • MXAPJ down 3.5% to 568.36
  • Nikkei down 4.7% to 21,610.24
  • Topix down 4.4% to 1,743.41
  • Hang Seng Index down 5.1% to 30,595.42
  • Shanghai Composite down 3.4% to 3,370.65
  • Sensex down 1.6% to 34,198.34
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 3.2% to 5,833.34
  • Kospi down 1.5% to 2,453.31
  • German 10Y yield fell 4.8 bps to 0.688%
  • Euro up 0.3% to $1.2404
  • Brent Futures down 0.7% to $67.13/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 2.4 bps to 1.757%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 2.9 bps to 1.43%
  • Brent Futures down 1% to $66.93/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,343.64
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.1% to 89.48

Top Overnight News from BBG

  • ECB’s Jens Weidmann says the greatest risk is now to assume that all problems are solved. “Shocks in specific regions or specific sectors of the economy can still put the euro area to an endurance test — despite the progress that has been made in the past years”
  • RBA leaves interest rates unchanged at record-low 1.5% as seen by all 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg; its chief, Philip Lowe, reinforced that a return of rapid wage growth remains a distant prospect despite strengthening business investment and a hiring bonanza
  • Germany’s factory orders increased 7.2% y/y in December versus estimate increase of 3.1% y/y; Germany construction PMI rose to 59.8 in January from 53.7 in December
  • Janus Henderson Group’s return to inflows proved to be short-lived, another sign that active managers have a long way to go before they stop the bleeding; the firm reported $2.9b of outflows in the three months through December, compared with the $700m of net new money it attracted in the three months through September
  • U.S. House sets Tuesday vote on stopgap spending measure
  • U.K. January BRC like-for-like retail sales 0.6% vs 0.7% estimate
  • Kuroda: Carefully watching stock markets; economic fundamentals are firm
  • RBA leaves rate unchanged; sees low wage growth to continue for a while
  • Australia December trade balance – A$1.4b vs A$0.2b estimate; Australia December retail sales -0.5% vs -0.2% estimate

Asia stocks continued the global equity sell-off and saw hefty losses across the board, as panic selling rolled over to the region following a slaughtering on Wall St. in which the DJIA (-4.6%) tumbled nearly 1200 points and briefly  slipped into correction territory with sell programmes pushing the space lower but closed well off session lows amid a recovered on low volume. ASX 200 (-3.2%) and Nikkei 225 (-4.7%) slumped at the open in which losses in crude weighed on Australia’s energy stocks, while the Japanese benchmark was the worst performer amid JPY strength and with the index in a technical correction. Hang Seng (-5.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (-3.4%) were also heavily weighed amid the ongoing market turmoil and after the PBoC refrained again from liquidity operations. Finally. 10yr JGBs traded higher and tracked the gains in T-notes which were up over a point, as the ongoing stock market sell-off spurred a flight-to-quality and lifted bond across the curve which saw the Japanese 40yr yield drop to its lowest since April last year. Furthermore, today’s 10yr inflation-indexed auction from Japan also attracted stronger demand and higher accepted prices. PBoC skipped open market operations again today for a daily net drain of CNY 80bln. PBoC set CNY mid-point at 6.3072.

Top Asian News

  • Ex-Goldman Volatility Trader Sees More Blood Before Rout Ends
  • Kuroda Says 10-Year Yield Target Won’t Change ‘Even a Bit’
  • Singapore, Malaysia Agree to New Stock Exchange Trading Link
  • What Global Policy Makers Are Saying About the Stock Slide
  • Currency Fundamentals Aren’t Shifting Much: FX Macro Ranking
  • Evergrande January Contract Sales 64.4B Yuan

European equities have kicked the session off on the backfoot (Eurostoxx 50 -1.8%) in a continuation of the sentiment seen late last night on Wall Street and overnight during Asia-Pac trade. There’s been a lack of fresh catalysts in European trade for the sell-off with participants in the region catching up to yesterday’s aforementioned losses; prices have recovered modestly from initial losses but remain markedly lower with all the ten sectors firmly in the red. Losses across all sectors are relatively broad-based with some slight underperformance in financials amid the downtick in yields and a disappointing earnings update from Munich Re (- 3.9%) who sit at the bottom of the DAX. Focus in the financial sector has also been placed on Credit Suisse (-3.7%) who opened with heavy losses (-7.2%) amid fears over declines in the XIV (a product issued by the company). In the Stoxx 600, very few companies trade in the green with Intesa Sanpaolo (+1.7%) a notable exception following their pre-market earnings.

Top European News

  • ECB’s Weidmann Says Complacency Is Biggest Risk for Euro Area
  • Freezing Russian Air Hits Europe After Third-Mildest January
  • AMS Potential Convertible Bond Placement Up to EU600m
  • Investec’s Koseff, Kantor Step Down After 40 Years at Helm

In currencies, Usd/Jpy and Eur/Jpy are edging higher again as EU cash bourses pare worst losses and flight to quality flow/positioning wanes somewhat. The headline pair has rebounded above 109.00 vs circa 108.50 lows overnight and bids at that level extending down to 108.30, just ahead of strong technical support at 108.28. The cross has traded up to 136.75 from around 134.00 in Asia, as Eur/Usd briefly reclaimed 1.2400+ status and the DXY continues to struggle on recoveries above 89.6000 near term resistance (within an 89.720-370 range). Cable is back below 1.4000 and briefly took out 1.3980 ‘support’ as Sterling succumbs to more UK political/Brexit uncertainty – Eur/Gbp pulling away from 0.8900. Usd/Cad edging back down towards 1.2500 having tested 1.2550+ levels when risk aversion was running rife (Dow crashing almost 1600 points for example). Elsewhere, some marked region-specific divergence in the Aud and Nzd, as the former was hit by disappointing data (weak retail sales and an unexpected trade deficit) plus some RBA concerns about wages, household consumption and the growth/inflation outlook, if the currency  appreciates too much. Aud/Usd is now under 0.7900 albeit off 0.7835 lows, while the Aud/Nzd cross has lost the 1.0800 handle and the Kiwi is back above 0.7300 vs the Greenback.

In the commodities complex, both WTI and Brent crude futures trade lower albeit off worst levels with prices suppressed by the ongoing global risk sentiment; the recovery for WTI has also been stalled by a failure to reclaim USD 64/bbl to the upside with energy newsflow otherwise relatively light ahead of tonight’s API inventories. In metals markets, spot gold (+0.25%) continues to benefit from its safe-haven appeal and the softer USD despite the World Gold Council stating that demand for the yellow metal fell to its lowest level since 2009 during 2017. Elsewhere, base metals were seen notably lower overnight in-fitting with the lack of global risk appetite with nickel said to have led the complex lower.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Trade Balance, est. $52.1b deficit, prior $50.5b deficit
  • 10am: JOLTS Job Openings, est. 5,961, prior 5,879

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

If you turned off your phone after dinner last night in Europe or if you had to leave early in the US you’ll be waking up to an extra-ordinary last hour on Wall Street. In fact the DOW dropped c.800 points in 10 minutes at 3pm NY time to be down -5.87% at the time. The DOW and S&P 500 eventually closing at -4.60% and -4.10% respectively – the worst day since August 2011. 10 yr Treasuries rallied 13.6bps (18bps from the day’s highs) to 2.707% – the biggest rally since June 2016. The biggest talking point though has to be the VIX which saw its biggest daily climb EVER, both in percentage and absolute terms (+116%, +20.0 to 37.32). This was the highest level since August 2015 when the Shanghai Comp.’s c8.5% drop briefly led to a vol spike after their currency devaluation. However before that you’d have to go back to October 2011 to see a higher close. Indeed if we look at the 7,077 trading days since VIX data is available (back to 1990), yesterday’s close would be in the top 96.85% percentile with most of the higher points occurring in 2008/09. Given how many products (including leverage ETFs) that have set up to exploit low vol, yesterday surely would have done some serious damage.

This morning in Asia, markets are extending the US selloff. The Nikkei (-5.23%) is on track for the largest fall since November 2016, while the Kospi (-1.36%), Hang Seng (-4.03%), and China’s CSI 300 (-2.55%) are all down as we type. S&P futures are 1.5% lower. The UST 10y yield is another c2bp lower and the House Republicans will vote later today to extend government funding until 23 March.

Indeed the last few days have really emphasised how easy it would be to get the next financial crisis if inflation really started to misbehave as most of this price action stems from a hint of it. When we published the note of the same name last September, we said the next crisis was inevitable soon and that the most likely cause over the next 2-3 years was if what we called the great withdrawal of unconventional policy coincided with higher inflation, especially given what are still record high levels of global market debts. If higher inflation materialised then central banks would be unable to respond in the way they have done in recent years (and even decades). Our structural view was that the next financial crisis was probably unavoidable before the end of the decade. In our 2018 outlook the base case was higher than expected inflation and yields but a controlled widening of spreads as the year progressed reflecting this and the likely associated higher levels of vol that this would bring. So the price action of the last few sessions is an extreme version of our 2018 view but perhaps more in line with medium term views.

For 2018 it all still rests with inflation. If US inflation is just a bit above expectations this year then our base case is still probably something we feel comfortable with (IG +25bps and HY +100bps over 2018). However if US inflation beats by more, the glue that has held the carry trade – and associated recent multi-year risk rally – will unfold very quickly and the timing of the next financial crisis will be brought forward. The problem is that a number of US labour  market statistics look increasingly stretched. So could wages really break out much higher in 2018? One to ponder but Torsten Slok’s latest chart book on the stretched US labour market is useful on this.

For balance, we should say if this fails to lead to US inflation breaking out on the upside then we will almost certainly go back to carry and risk will rally back big time. So inflation is absolute key. If we get through 2018 without some pick up, economists may have to throw out all their inflation/wages models. In listening to one of our US economists Matt Luzzetti last night, he made the point that this recent move will matter in so far as in impacts financial conditions. They have tightened sharply from record easy levels but their analysis suggest that the tightening needs to last for at least 6 weeks for it to impact growth momentum. So we have some time before growth expectations should be materially influenced. Interesting Bloomberg’s March Fed hike calculator went down from 82% to 80% yesterday. Not a big move so far.

Staying with rates, a big difference yesterday was that bonds seemed to benefit from a flight to safety even though they are the root cause of the move. Interestingly DB’s Alan Ruskin has shown that consecutive weeks of higher US bond yields and lower equity prices, have become progressively less common since the 1980s/1990s, and especially since the 2008 financial crisis. Three weeks of equities down, 10y yields up (as we’ve just seen) has not happened for more than a decade. The normal crisis relationship between equities and bonds was restored yesterday.

In Europe, 10y Bunds fell as much as 4.7bps at one stage to 0.715% before paring that move to close just over 3bps lower by the end of play. The Stoxx 600 however tumbled -1.56% and suffered its biggest one day and two day fall (-2.92%) since July 2016, while the six-day tumble of -4.64% is the biggest since June 2016. However this all happened before the bulk of the US sell-off so stand by for a wild ride at the open this morning. It’s worth highlighting that the moves in the last two days have now pushed most major US/European markets into negative territory YTD.

Rounding out the stats for the US, all sectors fell with losses led by the financials, health care and industrials sectors. Wells Fargo dropped 9.2% after the story we discussed yesterday concerning the Fed banning the bank from increasing its total assets beyond their size at the end of 2017 (US$1.95trn) until it cleans up its consumer and compliance issues.

Turning to currencies, the US dollar index gained for the second consecutive day (+0.40%), while the Euro and Sterling fell -0.77% and -1.13% respectively, with the latter weighed down by softer PMI readings. In commodities, WTI oil retreated for the third consecutive day to $63.55/bbl (-0.94%). Elsewhere, precious metals rebounded given the risk off tone (Gold +0.47%; Silver +0.87%) and other base metals were mixed but little changed (Copper +0.92%; Zinc  +0.79%; Aluminium -0.24%).

Away from the markets, the ECB’s Draghi seemed relatively dovish on his annual report to the EU parliament. On rates and inflation, he noted that “while our confidence that inflation will converge toward our aim of close to 2% target has strengthened, we cannot yet declare victory”. Further, he added “monetary policy will evolve in a fully data-dependent and time consistent manner” and that “….patience and persistence with regard to monetary policy is still warranted for underlying inflation pressure to build up”. Elsewhere, the Fed’s Kashkari noted in last Friday’s jobs report “we saw a little hint that wages might finally be rising…

but its’ not yet enough”. He added “it could be a blip, but let’s not ignore it”. In Germany, today may be the deciding day for Ms Merkel to form the next coalition government as talks resume at the CDU’s headquarters. The Saxony State Premier Haseloff expects a coalition deal with the SPD today and noted “we’ve covered most topics (with the SPD), just several fundamental questions on health care policy remain”. On the other side, the SPD General Secretary Klingbeil said today “is the decisive day…it’ll be decided whether we successfully close the talks or not”. He added “all of us are willing to get to a solution, but the talks are contentious”.

Now onto some of the Brexit headlines. The EU negotiator Barnier and the UK’s Brexit secretary Davis have met  officially for the first time in 2018 but their respective positions seemed broadly unchanged. Mr Davis emphasised that the UK has been “very clear” on what it wants, but Mr Barnier disagreed and noted “the time has come to make a choice” and that barriers to goods and services are unavoidable if the UK leaves the customs union. For now, the EU side “will wait for an official UK position of the government, in the next few weeks”. Elsewhere, the head of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority warned that both sides need to reach a transitional agreement for financial services by March, in part as some derivatives and insurance financial contracts may no longer be “serviceable”.

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, the January ISM non-manufacturing index was above market at 59.9 (vs. 56.7 expected) – the highest since 2005. In the details, the employment gauge rose to 61.6 – the strongest since 1997 and the new orders index rose to a seven year high. The final reading of January composite and services PMIs were unrevised at 53.8 and 53.3 respectively. In the Fed’s latest senior loan officers survey, banks reported demand for commercial and industrial loans (C&I) were broadly unchanged but weaker for auto loans and residential mortgages. Looking ahead, the survey found that banks expect to ease standards on residential mortgages and C&I loans, while tightening standards on commercial real estate and credit card loans.

The Euro area retail sales was broadly in line at -1.1% mom (vs. -1% expected), while the February Sentix investor confidence index was slightly lower than expected at 31.9 (vs. 33.2). The final reading of the Euro area January PMIs was revised slightly higher, with the composite PMI up 0.2 to 58.8 to a c11 year high and services PMI up 0.4 to 58. Across the countries, Germany’s composite PMI was revised 0.2 higher to 59 while France was revised down 0.1 to 59.7.

Elsewhere, the flash PMIs for Italy were above market, with the composite PMI at 59 (vs. 57.4 expected) and services at 57.7 (vs. 55.9 expected). In the UK, the flash PMIs were lower than expectations, with the composite PMI at 53.5 (vs. 54.6) and services PMI at 53 (vs. 54.1 expected) – the lowest since September 2016.

Looking at the day ahead, a fairly quiet data day all round with December factory orders in Germany the only release of note in Europe, while in the US the December trade balance and JOLTS job openings data is scheduled to be released. Away from that it’ll be worth keeping an eye on Fed Bullard’s comments when he speaks in the afternoon on the US Economy and Monetary Policy, while the ECB’s Weidmann speaks in the morning. General Motors and Walt Disney are due to report earnings.

Good luck navigating what looks set to be a volatile period for markets.

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late MONDAY night/TUESDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 116.8 points or 3.35% /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 1,649.80 or 5.12% / The Nikkei closed DOWN 1071,84 POINTS OR 4.73%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 3.23%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.2740/Oil DOWN to 63.57 dollars per barrel for WTI and 66.69 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED DEEPLY IN THE RED .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.2740. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AGAINST  THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.2879//ONSHORE YUAN A LOT STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR/OFF SHORE A LOT STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR/. THE DOLLAR (INDEX) IS  MUCH STRONGER AGAINST ALL MAJOR CURRENCIES EXCEPT THE YUAN. CHINA IS NOT  TOO  HAPPY TODAY.(STRONGER CURRENCY BUT WEAK MARKETS THROUGHOUT THE GLOBE )

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

/NORTH KOREA

end
 

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

END

c) REPORT ON CHINA

 

Asian stocks last night, a sea of red

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

Asian Stocks Are A Sea Of Red, US Futures Enter Correction -10% From Highs

Playing catch-up, or worse, appears to be the opening scenario for Asian equities which are down from around 2% (Malaysia) to 5% (Japan) but perhaps more importantly, Treasury yields continue to tumble.

US Equity futures are continuing to tumble in overnight trading – all entering the 10% technical correction…

On the bright side, Japanese stocks are not down as much as Nikkei futures were in the US session…

 

But the loss of faith in Fed rate hikes continues as 2Y yields tumble back below 2.00%…

 

Asian FX is also extending its drop against the dollar…

And while the dollar is stronger, gold is also bid…

end

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

 

Both the ECB and the White House concerned with yesterday market crash

(courtesy zerohedge)

ECB “In Touch With Market Participants” Over Market Crash; White House “Concerned”

In a double whammy of panic about the fate of the artificial “wealth effect” created thanks to $20 trillion in central bank liquidity, officials at both the White House and Europe’s largest hedge fund expressed concerns about the market rout that saw the Dow suffer its biggest point drop in history.

According to Bloomberg, ECB staff “have been in contact with market participants over the current selloff in stocks to gauge if there is any risk to financial stability.”

As Bloomberg adds, the latest communications are part of the ECB’s regular interactions with financial institutions and the central bank isn’t yet overly concerned by the global equity rout. The underlying assumption is that “it’s simply a correction because valuations may have become overstretched.”

Of course, if the VIX explosion continues, the ECB will be far more worried.

As a result, staff are “watching for signs the downturn might enter a self-reinforcing spiral or spread from equities to bonds.”

One worry is that the selloff was triggered by strong U.S. economic data that led to expectations of faster interest-rate increases, a symptom that financial markets are still  relying on monetary support, one of the people said.

Meanwhile, across the Atlatnic, White House Spokeswoman Mercedes Schlapp said on Fox that “obviously we’re concerned about setbacks that happened in the stock market” however, she was quick to hedge that “with that being said, we’re looking at the long term strong economic fundamentals.”

Seeking to distance the White House from Trump’s relentless boasting about every uptick and sudden silence now that stocks have crashed, she instead decided to sound like your typical, worthless sellside analyst, and said that people should focus on “improving fundamentals” instead: “What we’re seeing is a strengthened economic growth, increased wages; we’re focused on the fact that there’s been the lowest unemployment that we’ve seen in a long time, and there’s confidence in our businesses. Consumer confidence is at an all-time high.”

As we said last night, the best outcome from all of this is that Trump will probably not tweet about the S&P for a long, long time.

end

 

 

An excellent commentary on the state of affairs inside Germany. Yesterday we brought you Mish Shedlock’s take and it parallels Luongos.  If there is no coalition, that should be the top in the price of the Euro

 

(courtesy Tom Luongo)

Merkel, Schultz, & The Prelude To A European Liquidity Shock

Authored by Tom Luongo,

“While out loving Watchmaker loves us all to death.” — Rush “BU2B”

Politicians are cockroaches who walk upright.

If there was ever an example of political leadership selling out their constituents for their own agendas it is the coalition negotiations happening in Germany right now.

Both Angela Merkel and SPD Leader Martin Schultz have to retain power in Germany in order to retain power in Brussels heading up the European Union.  To do this they will agree to anything regardless of what Germans actually want.

Not So Grand After All

The talks between the two to form a government have resulted in a Grand Coalition bargain that no one is happy with.  And it’s killing Schultz’s SPD among voters.  Thanks to Mike Shedlock over at Mish Talk, we’ve got the latest German political polling.

The SPD is down to 18%.  With Merke’s CSU/CDU’s 33% they barely have the support of a majority in Germany.  Since the election the SPD has lost more 2.5% or 10% of its support.

german polling 2-5.jpg

This is the SPD that ran Germany for decades.  This is the SPD that got 25.7% in 2013.  Martin Schultz’s approval rating among Germans is dropping faster than Hillary Clinton’s at a rape survivors club meeting.

Seriously, Schultz is approved by just 25% of Germans.  Frustration is growing among German voters. Mike makes the salient point that:

That Germany has no new government more than four months after the election is barely comprehensible to the Germans: 71 percent do not understand why it takes so long to form a government.

I think part of this 71 percent fully understand that Merkel and Schultz are working so hard on this Grand Coalition for not Germany’s sake but for the European Union’s.  That’s the reason why support for the minor parties is growing at the SPD’s expense.

If the SPD votes down the coalition agreement, which is becoming more likely by the day, then these talks will fail and Germans will have to go back to the polls.  German President, former SPD leader and Merkel’s foreign minister during the last government, Sigmar Gabriel does not want a 2nd election.

He knows the results would be catastrophic both for Merkel and for the SPD.  Merkel would have to step down as head of the CSU/CDU Union party and then the whole situation bursts wide open.

The Alternatives to Grand Plans

If the coalition is ratified by the SPD then it will create an unstable alliance and Alternative for Germany (AfD) will assume the Opposition Party role in the Bundestag.  Any opportunity for AfD to govern will add credence to it among Germans.

This is a win-win scenario for Eurosceptics in the end.  Either way the opposition parties rise in value to Germans as the Union/SPD will take the blame if the government fails.  AfD, the FDP and Der Linke will continue gaining support.

The bigger the toe hold AfD gains in national politics the less radical they appear. Barriers to people voting for them will crumble.  People are bonded to their party like their sports teams.  It’s basic human in-group/out-group bias behavior.

So, while Germans may not be ready to hand AfD the reins of power yet seeing them in government legitimizes them for the long game.  And that’s the nightmare scenario for EU-firsters and Marxists like Merkel and Schultz.

This is why they are fighting so hard to retain power.  They know the next four years are important to the survival of the EU.

This is their window of opportunity to go for further political and monetary integration.  This is why they both agree on the European Stabilization Mechanism against the wishes of Germans.

In true Progressive fashion, both Schultz and Merkel agree that Germany must lead a greater Europe to save it from its own tribal in-fighting.  But, to do that they need to also destroy German culture in the process.

Thankfully the German people have woken up to their insanity at the right moment in time.  Let’s see if its enough for 2018.

Euro Worries

If the SPD rank and file reject this coalition agreement that will likely mark the top in the Euro.  For now the markets believe the story that it’s just a rubber stamp away and regime certainty will prevail.

But, if it doesn’t then there will be accelerating capital flight out of Europe.  The U.S. dollar will bottom, the euro will peak and bond yields will begin rising sharply.

In fact, they already are and I fear that this rally in the euro is a rush to cash before a market dislocation.  This is why eurodollar markets are crashing, the dollar has been in free fall while bond yields are rising.

Now that stocks are correcting this feels more and more like the prelude to a liquidity shock than anything else.  And the epicenter for it, in my opinion, is in the details of the European political nightmare unfolding.

END

7. OIL ISSUES

 

Oil and gasoline rise after a bigger than expected crude draw

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

8. EMERGING MARKET

 end

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

Euro/USA 1.2365 DOWN .00103/ 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 DEEPLY IN THE  RED 

USA/JAPAN YEN 109.00 DOWN  0.041 (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 1.3924 DOWN .0020 (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 1.2550 UP .0018 (CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA)

Early THIS TUESDAY morning in Europe, the Euro FELL by 3 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level RISING to 1.2457; / Last night Shanghai composite CLOSED DOWN 116.8 POINTS OR 3.35 % / Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 1,649.80 POINTS OR 5.42% /AUSTRALIA CLOSED DOWN 3.23% / EUROPEAN BOURSES DEEPLY IN THE RED  

The NIKKEI: this TUESDAY morning CLOSED DOWN 1071.84 POINTS OR 4.73%

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

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 1649.80 POINTS OR 5.12% / SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 116.80 POINTS OR 3.35% /

Australia BOURSE CLOSED DOWN 3.23% /

Nikkei (Japan)CLOSED DOWN 1071.84 POINTS OR 4.73%

INDIA’S SENSEX DEEPLY IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1341.00

silver:$16.80

Early TUESDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.6950% !!! DOWN 1 IN POINTS from MONDAY night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

The 30 yr bond yield 2.989 DOWN 1 IN BASIS POINTS from MONDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)

USA dollar index early TUESDAY morning: 89.67 UP 12  CENT(S) from MONDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers TUESDAY MORNING

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And now your closing TUESDAY NUMBERS \1 PM

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 2.060% UP 2  in basis point(s) yield from MONDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.0.078% DOWN  2/5   in basis points yield from MONDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.426% DOWN 3  IN basis point yield from MONDAY/

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.988 DOWN 4  POINTS in basis point yield from MONDAY/

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 59 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: +.692%  DOWN 4 IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY

END

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IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR TUESDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.2379 UP.0013 (Euro UP 13 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 109.21 UP 0.178 Yen DOWN 18 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3954 UP .0011( POUND UP 11 BASIS POINTS)

USA/Canada 1.2537 UP  .0005 Canadian dollar DOWN 5 Basis points AS OIL ROSE TO $63.81

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

This afternoon, the Euro was UP 13 to trade at 1.2379

The Yen FELL to 109.21 for a LOSS of 18 Basis points as NIRP is STILL a big failure for the Japanese central bank/HELICOPTER MONEY IS NOW DELAYED/BANK OF JAPAN NOW WORRIED AS AS THEY ARE RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY AS BOND YIELDS RISE

The POUND ROSE BY 11 basis points, trading at 1.3954/

The Canadian dollar FELL by 5 basis points to 1.2537/ WITH WTI OIL RISING TO : $63.81

The USA/Yuan closed AT 6.2907
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.078% DOWN 2/5 BASIS POINTS / yield/
Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield DOWN 7 IN basis points from MONDAY at 2.751% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.047  DOWN 5  in basis points on the day /

THE RISE IN BOTH THE 10 YR AND THE 30 YR ARE VERY PROBLEMATIC FOR VALUATIONS

Your closing USA dollar index, 89.65 UP 10 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 TUESDAY: 1:00 PM EST

London: CLOSED DOWN 193.58 POINTS OR 2.64%
German Dax :CLOSED DOWN 294.83 POINTS OR 2.34%
Paris Cac CLOSED DOWN 124.02 POINTS OR 2.35%
Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 2545.50 POINTS OR 2.53%

Italian MIB: CLOSED DOWN 474.62 POINTS OR 2.08%

The Dow closed up 569.32 POINTS OR 2.34%

NASDAQ WAS up 148.36 Points OR 2.13% 4.00 PM EST

WTI Oil price; 63.91 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 67.02 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS: 56.99 DOWN 22/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE HIGHER BY 22 BASIS PTS)

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES TO +.692% FOR THE 10 YR BOND 1.00 PM EST EST

VOLATILITY INDEX:  29.98  CLOSE/down 7.34

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:$63.51

BRENT: $67.17

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.8050%   THIS RAPID ASSENT IN YIELD IS VERY DANGEROUS/DERIVATIVES START TO BLOW UP/WE ARE BACK WHERE WE STARTED THESE PAST COUPLE OF DAY 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.0667%/BROKE GUNDLACH’S KEY 3.00% AGAIN WHERE ALL VALUATIONS ON STOCKS BLOW UP/

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS: 1.2379 UP.0013  OR 13 BASIS POINTS

USA/JAPANESE YEN:109.60 UP 0.559/ YEN DOWN 60 BASIS POINTS

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 89.69 UP 13 cent(s)/

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.3948 : UP 0.0006 POINTS FROM LAST NIGHT (6 POINTS)

Canadian dollar: 1.2504 UP 28 BASIS pts

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +0.692%

END

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

 

Volmageddon Sparks 6000-Pt Swings In The Dow As Liquidity Evaporates

Full Court Press from the media today to ensure bag-holders stay in…

 

So, first things first, the total catastrophe that is the Inverse VIX ETF XIV dropped 90% in after-hours trading, triggering its termination event…

And then when it re-opened, it crashed some more before squeezing higher (remember it will be at $4.22 on Feb 20th, no matter what happens in between)…

 

And in yet another example of the market’s sheer idiocy, this short-squeeze sent The Dow up 600 points…

 

VIX traded above 50 overnight before going dead, crashing, ramping, and generally being chaotic amid the large vol-of-vol ever…

 

Notably, S&P ‘VIX’ was the biggest mover across all the indices…

 

Asian equities were ugly overnight but played more catch-down than extended the moves..

 

European stocks extended their losses…

European ‘VIX’ smashed higher to the same level as US VIX today…

 

And US equity futures were a bloodbath overnight, before a panic-bid appeared from nowhere at the US equity market cash open… (NOTE that the market ramped at the open of Japanese markets as Abe and Kuroda spoke reassuringly and at the US open)

 

Quite a day…

 

The Dow ended up 568 points but went through some enormous point-swings intraday – from the cash close last night, Dow -1400, +1000, -600, +1100, -500, +400, -300, +600…

 

Some context, however, from Friday’s close…

Nasdaq, S&P and Dow managed to get back into the green for 2018…

 

Nanex’s Eric Scott Hunsader showed liquidity has evaporated from US equities – Liquidity rising from “Lord of the Flies” to “Banana Republic”. Still ridiculous (black=today)

 

Credit markets have started to awaken…

 

But for now, FX, rates, and Commodity vol remains ‘contained’…

 

After a massive loss yesterday (the most since the 2013 taper tantrum), aggregate bond and stock gains today were the best since Jan 2016…

 

Treasury yields were higher from the US equity cash close, after yields crashed notably lower overnight (but remain lower on the week)…

 

10Y ended back above 2.80% (pre-payrolls)

pre-payrolls)

 

The yield curve flattened dramatically intraday…

 

The odds of a 3rd rate-hike in 2018 plunged overnight to just 10%, but rallied back, as stocks bounced, to around 46%…

 

The Dollar Index ramped back to pre-Mnuchin-Masscare levels, tagged those stops, then dumped back into the red…

Gold and Silver were notably lower on the day after spiking overnight, crude trod water ahead of tonight’s inventory data and copper made modest gains…

Cryptos rallied into the hearing this morning…

 

But this chart made us think a little…

 

But then again, Bitcoin soared as VIX plunged…

END

 

LAST NIGHT/EVENING TRADING

I will try and keep this simple:  XIV is the “short” vehicle for volatility.  In other words traders who think that everything is normal short the VIX  ( = XIV) as they believe the market is complacent. However the shear panic of the losses yesterday caused severe panic as they tried to get out of their losing XIV trades.  In an unbelievable event, the vehicle disintegrated by a monstrous 90% causing heart failure for our shorts and a massive increase of ambulance visits to their local hospitals.  Any drop of greater than 80% causes a “termination event”

(courtesy zerohedge)

“Termination Event” Arrives: Traders Panic As XIV Disintegrates -90% After The Close

Today’s market turmoil has left more questions than answers.

“What was frightening was the speed at which the market tanked,” said Walter “Bucky” Hellwig, Birmingham, Alabama-based senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management, who helps oversee about $17 billion.

“The drop in the morning was caused by humans, but the free-fall in the afternoon was caused by the machines. It brought back the same reaction that we had in 2010, which was ‘What the heck is going on here?

Some tried to blame it on a fat-finger or ‘machines’, but in this case it was not the normal cuprits per se…

“There was not a single self-help; there were no outs; there were no fat fingers that we saw,” Doug Cifu, CEO of high-speed trading firm Virtu, told CNBC.

“There were no busted trades, no repricing. It was just an avalanche of orders around 3 o’clock-ish.”

But while we noted earlier that US equity futures were extending losses after the close, but the real panic action is in the volatility complex.

Putting today’s VIX move in context, this is among the biggest ever…

And it appears Morgan Stanley was right to bet on VIX hitting 30

But the real action is in the super-crowded short-vol space.

XIV – The Short VIX ETF – after its relentless diagonal move higher as one after another Target manager sold vol for a living… just disintegrated after-hours, down a stunning 90% to $10.00.

Which is a problem because as we explained last summer, the threshold for an XIV termination event is a -80% drop. What does this mean? Well, in previewing today’s events last July, Fasanara Capital explained precisely what is going on last July:

Additional risks arise as ‘liquidity gates’ may be imposed, even in the absence of a spike in volatility. In 2012, for example, the price of TVIX ETN fell 60% in two days, despite relatively benign trading conditions elsewhere in the market. The reason was that the promoter of the volatility-linked note announced that it temporarily suspended further issuances of the ETN due to “internal limits” reached on the size of the ETNs. Furthermore, for some of the volatility-linked notes, the prospectus foresee the possibility oftermination events: for example, for XIV ETF a termination event is triggered if the daily percentage drop exceeds 80%. Then a full wipe-out is avoided insofar as it is preceded by a game-over event.

The reaction of the investor base at play – often retail – holds the potential to create cascading effects and to send shockwaves to the market at large. This likely is a blind spot for markets.

Others expect the same:

Data is chaotic now but key numbers show IV value at +96.10 % for the day and IV down -96.67%. It’s likely & terminated. If so their final values will be set by what value the futures were when they closed out their position. Likely at least down 80%.

Those curious can read more on what a XIV termination event is here.

Also, recall that last Thursday  saw investors poured a record $520 million into an exchange-traded note that gains when VIX drops…

They chose… poorly.

For those harboring a hope that this most popular retail ETN will survive, maybe ask Credit Suisse – the ETN’s creator  – if the designated NAV of the ETF, at only $4.22, is accurate. If so, while there is still more room to fall, it would appear that the plunge is well over 80%, the threshold for a termination event.

 

As one veteran trader (who has seen numerous volatility cycles) exclaimed, “I’ve never seen anything like this… this is it” referring to the start of the unwind of the biggest aggregate short volatility position the markets have ever known.

end
Last night:  the big bank in trouble as they were long volatility:
Not sure if the entire 550 million loss is the bank itself or its client
(courtesy zerohedge)

Credit Suisse Tumbles On Fears Of Massive XIV Loss

Update: from Credit Suisse communications department:

Background: Please note there is no impact to Credit Suisse – we are completely hedged.

On the record: “The XIV ETN activity is reflective of today’s market volatility. There is no material impact to Credit Suisse.”

* * *

In addition to being the creator of the now infamous XIV ETN  – which was reportedly the most popular way of shorting volatility for retail investors, all of whom now face almost certainly total losses – Credit Suisse also happened to be its biggest holder.

Which, now that the ETN appears fated for termination, is suddenly a very big problem for Credit Suisse since according to the latest public filings, the Swiss bank owned 4.79 million units, or over $550 million, worth of XIV at yesterday’s close of $115.55, and roughly $480 million less at today’s after hours closing tick of $15.43. Of course, if the ETN is redeemed – and with its NAV at $4.22 according to the VelocityShare website – the loss could be total.

And while the question remains who exactly is eating the losses at Credit Suisse – the bank or its clients – the market is not taking chances, and Credit Suisse ADRs have tumbled in Asian trading…

… because if Credit Suisse is on the hook, it would mean two quarters of profits have just been wiped out: recall that CS reported roughly $250MM and $300 million in profits in the last two quarters, which would mean that the XIV loss was roughly equivalent to half a year’s worth or profits, an outcome which the regulators will be very interested in, not to mention shareholders, clients, and their lawyers.

Finally, completing the irony, there’s this:

And true to form, Credit Suisse terminates its XIV contract

(courtesy zerohedge)

Credit Suisse “Terminates” XIV

After it was halted for trading earlier in the day, which many saw as a harbinger of imminent termination – moments ago Credit Suisse confirmed retail vol sellers’ worst fears when it announced that it would indeed be “accelerating” the XIV ETN, i.e. terminating it.

From the press release:

Credit Suisse AG Announces Event Acceleration of its XIV ETNs

New York February 6, 2018 Credit Suisse AG (“Credit Suisse”) today announced the event acceleration of its VelocityShares™ Daily Inverse VIX Short Term ETNs (“XIV”) due to an acceleration event. The acceleration date is expected to be February 21, 2018.

Since the intraday indicative value of XIV on February 5, 2018 was equal to or less than 20% of the prior day’s closing indicative value, an acceleration event has occurred. Credit Suisse expects to deliver an irrevocable call notice with respect to the event acceleration of XIV to The Depository Trust Company by no later than February 15, 2018. The date of the delivery of the irrevocable call notice, which is expected to be February 15, 2018, will constitute the accelerated valuation date, subject to postponement due to certain events. The acceleration date for XIV is expected to be February 21, 2018, which is three business days after the accelerated valuation date.

How much money will holders of the now defunct XIV get?

On the acceleration date, investors will receive a cash payment per ETN in an amount equal to the closing indicative value of XIV on the accelerated valuation date. The last day of trading for XIV is expected to be February 20, 2018. As of the date hereof, Credit Suisse will no longer issue new units of XIV ETNs.

Which is bad news for XIV holders, because as we showed last night, the NAV of the ETN crashed  to $4.22 yesterday from 108.36.

… effectively wiping it out, and assuring that longs get nothing in what was until recently one of the best performing investments in the market.

Full press release: see zero hedge

Early this morning:  6 am
trading halted due to termination event
(courtesy zerohedge)

XIV, SVXY Halted, News Pending

With every trader suddenly focused on the vol-ETF complex after last night’s collapse in the NAV of the most popular inverse VIX ETF – the Credit Suisse-created VelocityShares XIV – which plunged over 80% effectively triggering a “termination event”, this morning it appears that the worst is indeed coming, with both the VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term ETN (XIV) and the ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (SVXY) suspended by the Nasdaq and NYSE Arca, respectively, on pending news.

As a reminder, the now terminal collapse of both ETFs took place after the VIX surged a record 116%, triggering a waterfall collapse in the NAV of the two synthetic products.

Meanwhile, to ease concerns that it had suffered a ~$500 million rout on its XIV holdings, moments ago Credit Suisse repeated what it told us last night, issuing a statement that the Swiss bank “has experienced no trading losses” from Velocity Shares Daily Inverse VIX Short Term ETNs, or XIV, due December 4, 2030, the bank said in statement.

Ok, but if not Credit Suisse, then someone else must have gotten hit on that $500 million in XIV exposure. One wonders who that someone is.

 

end

 

7:30 AM THIS MORNING:

The volatility index surges above 50 indicating trouble for the markets today.

(zerohedge)

VIX Surges Above 50 For The First Time Since August 2015

For those traders who were desperately hoping that yesterday’s VIX selloff would mercifully end in the overnight session, or that – as JPMorgan’s Marko Kolanovic suggested some central bank would step in and bail you out – we have some bad news: not only is the 116% surge in the VIX from yesterday accelerating, it is now above 50 as the vol eruption continues, crushing the world’s vol-sellersand assuring that all those who were collecting pennies in front of a steamroller, end up, well, fully steamrolled.

END

My goodness:  this was a huge deficit recorded in the USA trade balance of -53.1 billion dollars The imbalance was both with China and Europe and it worsened from last month. For the year the trade imbalance was 566 billion dollars or an increase of $61.2 billion dollars.  This will cause a further revision in G4 GDP was at last reporting was a gain of only 2.5%

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

Q4 GDP Hopes Fade As US Trade Deficit Hits Widest Since Oct 2008

Hopes for a resurgent Q4 GDP may be stymied as the US trade balance dropped to a new post-Trump wide deficit in December of -$53.1bn (worse than expected $52.1bn) as trade imbalances with Europe and China both worsened.

December also brings the annual revision and final data for 2017. For 2017, the goods and services deficit was $566.0 billion, up $61.2 billion from $504.8 billion in 2016.

Exports were $2,329.3 billion in 2017, up $121.2 billion from 2016. Imports were $2,895.3 billion in 2017, up $182.5 billion from 2016.

And finally, the trade deficit excluding petroleum at $49.84b in December – the widest trade deficit ever.

Full Breakdown:

Exports

Exports of goods and services increased $3.5 billion, or 1.8 percent, in December to $203.4 billion.

Exports of goods increased $3.4 billion and exports of services increased $0.1 billion.

The increase in exports of goods mostly reflected increases in industrial supplies and materials ($1.5 billion) and in capital goods ($1.2 billion).

The increase in exports of services mostly reflected increases in  travel (for all purposes including education) ($0.1 billion) and in maintenance and repair

Imports

Imports Imports of goods and services increased $6.2 billion, or 2.5 percent, in December to $256.5 billion. Imports of goods increased $6.0 billion and imports of services increased $0.3 billion.

The increase in imports of goods mostly reflected increases in consumer goods ($3.2 billion), in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($1.1 billion), and in capital goods ($0.8 billion).

The increase in imports of services mostly reflected increases in travel (for all purposes including education) ($0.2 billion) and in charges for the use of intellectual property ($0.1 billion).

By Nation

The December figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with South and Central America ($3.7), Hong Kong ($2.5), Brazil ($1.1), Singapore ($0.9), and United Kingdom ($0.3). Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($34.0), European Union ($17.2), Mexico ($6.1), Germany ($5.7), Japan ($5.5), Italy ($3.7), South Korea ($2.1), India ($2.1), France ($2.1), Taiwan ($1.6), Canada ($1.4), Saudi Arabia ($0.6), and OPEC ($0.5).

The deficit with the European Union increased $3.8 billion to $17.2 billion in December. Exports increased $1.2 billion to $25.1 billion and imports increased $4.9 billion to $42.3 billion.

The deficit with China increased $0.6 billion to $34.0 billion in December. Exports increased $1.1 billion to $11.9 billion and imports increased $1.7 billion to $45.9 billion.

*  *  *
Not exactly what President Trump was hoping for.

end

Job openings continue to decline and that confirms a labour market slowdown

(courtesy zerohedge)

Job Openings Continue To Decline, Confirming Labor Market Slowdown

After a burst of record high job openings which started in June of last year and declined in the fall, today’s December JOLTS report  – the favorite labor market indicator of now former Fed chair Yellen – showed another modest drop in job openings across most categories as the year wound down, with the total number declining from an upward revised 5.978MM to 5.8113MM, below the 5.950MM consensus estimate, the lowest print since May.

After the recent breakout, which started with the near record 414K monthly spike in job openings in June after years of being rangebound between 5.5 and 6 million, the latest job opening prints suggests that increasingly more vacant jobs are getting filled, although it is unclear if that is due to higher wages or looser employer standards. In any case, the fact that job openings is dropping is likely another modest negative for future wage growth.

The number of job openings was little changed for total private and for government. Job openings increased in information (+33,000) and federal government (+13,000), however job openings decreased in a number of industries with the largest decreases occurring in professional and business services (-119,000), retail trade (-85,000), and construction (-52,000). The number of job openings was little changed in all four regions. Now if only employers could find potential employees that can pass their drug tests…

It wasn’t just job openings that declined: total hires declined as well, although more modestly, dropping from a near record 5.493 million in November to 5.488 million in December. This is roughly the same as the May print of 5.472 million.

The other closely watched category, the level of quits – which indicates workers’ confidence they can leverage their existing skills and find a better paying job – reversed last month’s decrease, and in December increased modestly from 3.161MM to 3.259MM, suggesting workers were feeling more confident about demand for their job skills than the previous month. The number of quits was little changed at 3.3 million in December. The quits rate was 2.2 percent. The number of quits was little changed for total private and for government. Quits decreased in federal government (-4,000). The number of quits increased in the Midwest region.

And with a total 5.2 million separations (a 3.6% rate), this means that there were 1.6 million layoffs and discharges in December, virtually unchanged from November.The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total private and for government. Layoffs and discharges increased in state and local government education (+15,000). The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in all four regions.

Putting all the data in context:

  • Job openings have increased since a low in July 2009. They returned to the prerecession level in March 2014 and surpassed the prerecession peak in August 2014. There were 5.8 million open jobs on the last business day of December 2017.
  • Hires have increased since a low in June 2009 and have surpassed prerecession levels. In December 2017, there were 5.5 million hires.
  • Quits have increased since a low in September 2009 and have surpassed prerecession levels. In December 2017, there were 3.3 million quits.
  • For most of JOLTS history, the number of hires (measured throughout the month) has exceeded the number of job openings (measured only on the last business day of the month). Since January 2015, however, this relationship has reversed with job openings outnumbering hires in most months.
  • At the end of the most recent recession in June 2009, there were 1.2 million more hires throughout the month than there were job openings on the last business day of the month. In December 2017, there were 323,000 fewer hires than job openings.

Finally, and perhaps most notably, the Beveridge Curve (job openings rate vs unemployment rate), appears to be gradually normalizing after a nearly decade-long “drift” from its conventional pattern. From the start of the most recent recession in December 2007 through the end of 2009, the series trended lower and further to the right as the job openings rate declined and the unemployment rate rose. In December 2017, the unemployment rate was 4.1% and the job openings rate was 3.8%.

 

The House is to vote  today on a bill to avert a shutdown.  It may pass the house but has no chances of passing the Senate

(courtesy zerohedge)

House To Vote Tuesday On Bill To Avert Shutdown – But There’s A Catch

A meeting last night among House Republicans must’ve born fruit, because the caucus announced late last night that they would hold a vote late Tuesday on a bill to keep the federal government open through March 23. The vote would avert the second government shutdown this year.

The measure would fund most government agencies and contain a year of defense funding as well as two years of funding for community health centers, the Republican representatives told reporters. But without a concurrent deal on immigration that includes enshrining DACA protections in law, it’s difficult to say whether the bill will muster the votes to clear the Senate, where it would require 60 votes to circumvent a Democratic filibuster, per Reuters.

As CNN explains, the full-year defense-spending plan – a long-sought objective of Mark Meadows and the rest of the House Freedom Caucus – is being added to the plan to give GOP leaders a chance to muscle the bill across the finish line with Republican-only votes – a necessity for defense hawks who have grown increasingly uneasy about the Pentagon relying on short-term resolutions.

“We have to break this logjam some way,” said Rep. Greg Walden, the Oregon Republican who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, of the fifth short-term funding measure.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said he supports this strategy, and several GOP lawmakers said they expect it to pass the House with zero Democratic votes.

 

CNN

 

The bill also includes two years of funding for community health centers, a bipartisan priority.

But the same sources who told CNN they expect the bill to pass the House also noted that it probably has no chance in the Senate. One thing it would accomplish, however, is help House conservatives pressure their Senate counterparts to act on the defense funding.

“It’s the only way we can get to 218 votes when the Democrats won’t give any votes” on the continuing resolutions, said Michigan Republican Rep. Rep Bill Huizenga.

Asked by CNN what happens when the Senate strips out the defense spending, Huizenga said “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

In a statement that, perhaps inadvertently, sums up the state of negotiations between Republicans and Democrats since September, when the first continuing-resolution battles began percolating, Missouri Senator Roy Blunt said the two sides are “close” to finally resolving a host of issues from immigration, to disaster relief, to lifting spending caps that would open the door to a long term spending bill.

“We have the same level of high optimism on that we’ve had since October,” said Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of the GOP leadership team, with a grin. “Which is everybody’s almost in agreement, and that’s the story that does not appear to change, nor does it appear to come to conclusion.”

Worst case, senators said Monday, the chamber will strip the defense funding from the House bill and move a short-term bill that includes a handful of other priorities.

“I would expect it would not include defense,” Blunt said. “I think it may include a few other things. Maybe community health centers, maybe some sort of disaster – I think there’s a series of a half a dozen things, any combination of which might go on and I expect at least one or two of them would.”

According to CNN, one member of the GOP Senate leadership said that, if they can secure a deal on raising the spending caps, it would open the door to include a provision to raise the debt ceiling in the spending bill.

“There’s a chance,” Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranked Republican in the Senate, told reporters of the possible inclusion of a debt-limit increase in the short-term funding bill. “If we can get an agreement on caps, there’s all sorts of good things that are gonna happen, including that.”

Of course, negotiations on spending caps, immigration, disaster-relief, Obamacare and many other legislative priorities have been “close to a deal” for about four months now.

Let’s see if this time, lawmakers actually deliver.

end

 

Troubles for Newsweek continues as they fire their top editors and many of their staffers are told to pack up and head home

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

Game Over? Newsweek Fires Top Editors, Staffers Told To Go Home

Employees at Newsweek were informed today that editor-in-chief Bob Roe and executive editor Ken Li have been fired, along with journalist Celeste Katz – who had written articles covering an active investigation into parent company Newsweek Media Group, sources tell CNN.

a

Staff in Newsweek’s New York offices were told they could stop working and go home for the day on Monday afternoon, the source close to the newsroom told CNN.

“Can confirm I was fired. I know nothing else. Can say nothing else yet,” Roe told CNN in an email.

It is unclear whether the firings are related to Katz’s ongoing coverage of the Manhattan DA’s ongoing financial investigation of Newsweek, whose New York offices were raided January 18. Katz reported that authorities were investigating a potential “money trail” between former Newsweek Media Group executives and Olivet University, a California Christian College.

a
Investigators from the Manhattan DA’s office remove servers from Newsweek (source: Newsweek)

A search of Olivet’s publicly available tax records shows that in 2014, IBT Media Inc., later renamed Newsweek Media Group, paid the school $1.63 million for a R&D agreement. The company is listed as a “former trustee.” In 2013, Olivet’s tax filing listed another similar payment from the media organization to the school: $1.26 million for a licensing agreement.

Agents seized 18 computer servers as part of a criminal probe into the company’s finances, which sources said had been underway for at least 17 months at the time authorities executed a search warrant. –Celeste Katz, Newsweek

Also of note that Newsweek placed Chief Content Officer Dayan Chandappa on leave following allegations that he sexually harassed women while he was a top Reuters official, which fired journalist Celeste Katz wrote about last week.

The chief content officer of Newsweek Media Group, which publishes Newsweek and a suite of other digital properties, is taking an immediate leave of absence Monday following a news report that he had been dismissed from his previous job after a subordinate filed a sexual harassment complaint against him, the company announced Monday. –Celeste Katz,Newsweek

Aaaaaand, she’s gone – along with two top Newsweek editors who ostensibly green lighted the articles.

Police visited the Newsweek offices in December to investigate a white substance had been mailed to now-fired Executive News Director Ken Li, which they were then told turned out to be a false alarm.

The firings are the latest in a series of major issues for the beleaguered publication. As we reported last week, Newsweek’s parent company was busted by an independent ad fraud researcher for defrauding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by selling the agency online advertising which included a signficant amount of “cheap junk traffic with a share of bots.

When it comes to IBT’s fraudulent traffic practices, Social Puncher’s findings align with reporting from BuzzFeed News on IBT India, and with separate data gathered by Pixalate, an ad fraud detection company, and DoubleVerify, a digital media measurement company. (Social Puncher and BuzzFeed News previously collaborated on ad fraud investigations, but worked separately in this case.)

Based on what it described as a detailed investigation, DoubleVerify this week classified IBT’s US, UK, India, and Singapore sites as “as having fraud or sophisticated invalid traffic,” according COO Matt McLaughlin. DoubleVerify is now blocking all ad impressions on these sites on behalf of customers.

In response to questions from BuzzFeed News, Newsweek Media Group, the parent company of IBT, acknowledged it purchases audiences from ad networks that sell pop-up and pop-under traffic. It said this traffic represents a “small percentage of traffic on our sites” and denied any fraudulent activity. –Buzzfeed

The CFPB, now headed by Trump appointee Mick Mulvaney, told BuzzFeed News that the bureau is looking into the allegations.

While defrauding the CFPB would seem to be a federal case – the Manhattan DA would also have jurisdiction for any fraud which has occurred within the state.

So – the moral of the story for aspiring journalists appears to be that if your parent company is under active investigation, and your chief content officer has taken a leave of absence for sexual harassment, you may be fired if you report on it.

a

END
Trump creates a national vetting centre to allow for the free flow of information on immigrants wishing to enter the USA
(courtesy zerohedge)

 

Trump Creates ‘National Vetting Center’ For Immigrants, Refugees And Travelers

President Donald Trump is finally making good on his promise to implement “extreme vetting” practices for immigrants, refugees and anybody else trying to enter the US.

Late Monday, CNN reported Trump is expected to sign a national security memorandum on Tuesday establishing a “National Vetting Center” that will help coordinate information between various federal agencies. The order will allow the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies involved in the process six months to establish the center, which administration officials said is intended to streamline vetting and improve the flow of information between various federal agencies.

 

Trump

While the agency is expected to focus on immigrants, refugees and visa applicants, it will reportedly also assist in deportation cases.

The memorandum Trump is expected to sign on Tuesday will not establish any new authorities or call for any new funding to establish the vetting center, which will be an effort between DHS, the State Department, Justice Department and intelligence agencies, a National Security Council official said.

It’s unclear how this effort will change the way travelers and immigrants to the US are vetted.

While the center’s efforts are largely expected to focus on visa applicants, immigrants and others looking to enter the US, the center will also look to streamline vetting of certain individuals who are already in the US, including those subject to deportation proceedings, according to the National Security Council official.

In an attempt to fend off a spate of lawsuits from federal appeals courts that have so far stymied most of his immigration-reform efforts, Trump will order the creation of an independent civil liberties panel to oversee the new agency. The center will also be overseen by a board that’s expected to include at least one cabinet minister.

Anticipating concerns from civil liberties groups, the memorandum will also establish a standing privacy and civil liberties panel, which will have some oversight over the National Vetting Center’s activities. The membership of that panel will also be determined during the six-month period.

The National Vetting Center is part of the Trump administration’s broader efforts to tighten immigration screenings, following Trump’s calls for “extreme vetting” during his presidential campaign.

Trump has repeatedly pointed to the need for tighter immigration controls, amplifying his calls in the wake of terrorist attacks — even when the terrorist in question was born in the US or was radicalized after entering the United States.

Despite his precautions, Trump’s order will almost certainly be met with an injunction from a liberal federal judge – probably one from the ninth circuit, if history is any guide. Trump is set to announce the policy Tuesday, but the exact timing of the announcement is unknown.

end

 

Trump ready to shutdown government as he threatens Schumer over immigration laws

(courtesy zerohedge)

“I’d Love To See A Shutdown”: Trump Threatens Schumer With Shutdown Over Immigration Laws

Speaking live from the White House on Tuesday, President Donald Trump told reporters that “I’d love to see a shutdown” if Democratic leaders refuse to back his immigration proposals – specifically his push to tighten illegal immigration laws to make it more difficult for immigrants to sponsor relatives – a phenomenon Trump has called “chain migration.”

As Reuters reported, Trump said during a meeting with law enforcement officials that focused on gang violence, adding that his ultimate goal is to change immigration laws to stem the flow of dangerous MS-13 gang members into the US.

Trump

He also reiterated his demands that funding for the border wall be a part of a hoped-for immigration deal. Last month, the White House submitted a proposal for $18 billion in funding to start construction on the first 700 miles of the wall.

“If they don’t want to take care of our military then shut it down,” Trump said.

“We need much better border mechanisms and much better border security. We need the wall. We’re going to get the wall,” Trump said. “If we don’t have the wall, we’re never going to solve this problem.”

He also said he’d welcome a shutdown if Congress can’t pass a plan – demanding by Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows – to separate out defense spending from the continuing resolution in order to make an appropriation that would cover the remainder of he year.

See headlines from the meeting below via Reuters.

  • TRUMP: IF WE DON’T GET RID OF LOOPHOLES LET’S HAVE `SHUT DOWN’
  • TRUMP SAYS IF CONGRESS CANNOT AGREE TO EXTEND FUNDING FOR U.S. MILITARY, THEN HE WELCOMES A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
  • PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS HE’D “LOVE TO SEE A SHUTDOWN” IF CANNOT GET CHANGES TO IMMIGRATION LAWS
  • U.S. PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS NEED TO HAVE IMMIGRATION LAWS CHANGED IN ORDER TO HAVE SATISFACTORY RESPONSE TO MS 13 GANG
  • PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS HE’D “LOVE TO SEE A SHUTDOWN” IF CANNOT GET CHANGES TO IMMIGRATION LAWS
  • U.S. PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS NEED TO HAVE IMMIGRATION LAWS CHANGED IN ORDER TO HAVE SATISFACTORY RESPONSE TO MS 13 GANG

* * *

Trump’s insistence on border wall funding will probably dismay GOP Senate leaders including Texas Sen. John Thune, who said yesterday that Republicans would prefer to push the immigration debate until after the continuing resolution has passed. That sentiment was echoed by GOP Senator Mitch McConnell Tuesday afternoon, once again setting the president at odds with his Congressional leadership.

Earlier today, Trump tweeted a Daily Caller story claiming that the majority of Americans support a DACA compromise that would fully strengthen the border and include changes to legal immigration laws.

 

 

Republican leaders have also raised the possibility of bundling a bill to raise the debt ceiling with the short-term spending bill.

 

 

SWAMP STORIES

The House intelligence committee votes to release the Democratic response to the Nunes memo. It has been leaked that there is nothing in the democratic memo.

(courtesy zerohedge)

House Intel Committee Votes To Release Democratic Response To Nunes’ Memo

The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Monday to approve the release of the Democratic minority rebuttal to the GOP authored memo alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI and DOJ during the 2016 campaign.

a
Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Devin Nunes (R-CA)

“Republicans have endeavored to put the FBI on trial, put the Department of Justice on trial, impeach and impugn the hard work of these dedicated public servants at the FBI and the Department of Justice,” California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the panel, told reporters after Monday’s committee vote. “We think this very ill-serves the public and we hope that they will stop.”

The vote follows the Friday release of the “FISA memo” created by staffers from the office of House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), which claims that the FBI and DOJ used the infamous “Trump-Russia” dossier in order to spy on one-time Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.

The White House responded to the release by saying that the memo “raises serious concerns about the integrity of decisions made at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and the FBI to use the government’s most intrusive surveillance tools against American citizens.”

President Trump has five days to consider whether or not to block the release of the Democrat authored response over reasons of national security. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders suggested on Friday that President Trump would not oppose its release.

“The administration stands ready to work with Congress to accommodate oversight requests consistent with applicable standards, including the need to protect intelligence sources and methods,” said Sanders of the Democrat response.

President Trump tweeted over the weekend that the GOP authored memo “totally vindicates” him in the Russia probe.

This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!

House Intel Committee Minority leader Adam Schiff (D-CA) disagreed:

Quite the opposite, Mr. President. The most important fact disclosed in this otherwise shoddy memo was that FBI investigation began July 2016 with your advisor, Papadopoulos, who was secretly discussing stolen Clinton emails with the Russians. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/959798743842349056 

The 10-page Democrat response is said to correct “mischaracterizations” contained within the Republican memo, adding “crucial context” to actions by the FBI and DOJ regarding the application for a FISA court order to wiretap Mr. Page in October, 2016.

Talking points circulated last week by top House Judiciary Committee Democrat Jerry Nadler (D-NY) call the GOP-authored memo “deeply misleading,” according to Bloomberg, and claims that Republicans are now “part and parcel to an organized effort to obstruct” Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

a
Maxine Waters (D-CA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY)

Until now, we could only really accuse House Republicans of ignoring the President’s open attempts to block the Russia investigation,” Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee said in the four-page letter released on Saturday. The document provided a point-by-point rebuttal to the Republican memo alleging bias in Mueller’s probe of possible links between Russia and Trump’s campaign, according to Bloomberg’s summary.

“With the release of the Nunes memo — a backhanded attempt to cast doubt on the origins of the Special Counsel’s investigation — we can only conclude that House Republicans are complicit in the effort to help the President avoid accountability for his actions and for the actions of his campaign,” reads the talking points.

The “Nunes memo,” as Democrats call it, claims that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant against one-time low-level Trump advisor, Carter Page.

Carter Page was, more likely than not, an agent of a foreign power. The Department of Justice thought so. A federal judge agreed. The consensus, supported by the facts, forms the basis of the warrant issued,” Nadler writes in the rebuttal.

***

As we wrote last week:

According to the New York Times, the FBI investigation into Russian collusion began after drunken Trump campaign volunteer, George Papadopoulos, reportedly told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer at a London bar in May, 2016 that “Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.” When DNC emails began to leak, Australia apparently contacted US intelligence to report the drunken admission by Papadopoulos – igniting the Russia probe.

WASHINGTON — During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.

About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign.

Exactly how much Mr. Papadopoulos said that night at the Kensington Wine Rooms with the Australian, Alexander Downer, is unclear. But two months later, when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role. NYT

This is in stark contrast to GOP leaders who say that the salacious and unverified 34-page opposition research dossier triggered the probe.

For the New York Times – much like CNN’s botched “Bombshell” report from a few weeks ago that Donald Trump Jr. was told about the WikiLeaks emails before their release, only to issue a major correction because Trump Jr. was told after they were made public (by a random person), this “startling revelation” by the NYT that Papadopoulos spilled the beans about Russia having dirt on Clinton was already public information.

The Washington Examiner‘s Byron York tore into the NYT report:

NYT reports George Papadopoulos was a ‘driving factor’ that led FBI to start Trump-Russia probe in July 2016. Dossier played no role. 1/4 http://ow.ly/FZgg30hv6wU 

George Papadopoulos was working as an energy consultant in London when the Trump campaign named him a foreign policy adviser in early March 2016.

How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt

George Papadopoulos, a Trump foreign policy adviser, was the improbable match that set off a blaze that has consumed the first year of the Trump administration.

nytimes.com

So: 1) If Papadopoulos actions drove FBI probe, why wait til nearly Feb 2017 to interview him? If done to keep probe quiet before election, why wait more than two months after vote? 2/4

2) When did officials brief Congress about Papadopoulos? They briefed Congress about Carter Page in late summer 2016. 3/4

3) Did officials seek a surveillance warrant on Papadopoulos? They reportedly got one on Carter Page in summer 2016. Did they try to get one on Papadopoulos? If not, why not? 4/4

One add: Not saying Papadopoulos played no role. But questions about whether his part was so central in starting FBI probe in July 2016.

With both the House and Senate now setting their sights on the State Department’s alleged involvement with distributing anti-Trump intelligence, and new memos on tap according to House Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA), it will be interesting to see how deep into “memogate” we will get before something resembling a second special counsel is appointed.

 END
Senator Grassley releases a second dossier underwritten by Cody Shearer, a Clinton hatchet man.  This dossier was fed to Obama State Department  and then onto Christopher Steel and this made its rounds back to the FISA court.  This false document had similar false narrative on Russian collusion. Also in this report, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch reports that there was a third dossier bandied about originated in the State dept under John Kerry and this 3rd dossier also contained many false and fallacious statements
(courtesy zerohedge)

Grassley: “2nd Dossier” Fed To Christopher Steele By Obama State Dept, Routed Through Clinton Crony

A heavily redacted document just released by the Senate Judiciary Committee confirms the existence of a second anti-Trump dossier which – much like the first dossier published by Buzzfeed – relied on information from Russia’s FSB, the state security service. Said otherwise, actual Russian collusion in an attempt to sway the 2016 election.

Shockingly, this second dossier went from Clinton “hatchet man” Cody Shearerwho gave it to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, before it was routed it to former British Spy Christopher Steele. It is unknown what happened to the document after that.

According to the referral, Steele wrote the additional memo based on anti-Trump information that originated with a foreign source. In a convoluted scheme outlined in the referral, the foreign source gave the information to an unnamed associate of Hillary and Bill Clinton, who then gave the information to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, who then gave the information to Steele. Steele wrote a report based on the information, but the redacted version of the referral does not say what Steele did with the report after that.

Published accounts in the Guardian and the Washington Post have indicated that Clinton associate Cody Shearer was in contact with Steele about anti-Trump research, and Obama State Department official Jonathan Winer was a connection between Steele and the State Department during the 2016 campaign. –Washington Examiner

Of note, Shearer’s brother served as an ambassador during the Clinton administration, and his late sister was married to Strobe Talbott, the chief authority on Russia in President Bill Clinton’s State Department, according to ProPublica.

a
Cody Shearer (Youtube screen grab)

The newly released Senate Intel Committee document, authored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is an unclassified version of a Jan 4 criminal referral to the Justice Department targeting Christopher Steele – the former British spy who assembled the Trump-Russia dossier used to obtain a FISA surveillance warrant on one-time Trump advisor Carter Page.

a
Christopher Steele

Grassley and Graham also claim to have “substantial evidence” that Steele misled the FBI about his contacts with journalists regarding the dossier. In British court filings, Steele disclosed that he held off-the-record meetings with reporters at various news outlets prior to the 2016 election. 

12) The Issue at Hand
” it appears that either Mr. Steele lied to the FBI or the British court, or that the classified documents reviewed by the Committee contain materially false statements.”

“There is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility,” reads the unredacted document.

13) We have the statements from the British Court documents but until the is readacted we cannot identify the contradictions that Grassley found!
British Court Document (pgs 4-20) PDF>https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/constituents/2017-10-04%20CEG%20to%20FBI%20%28Steele%20Dossier%20in%20foreign%20intelligence%29%20with%20attachments1.pdf 

Grassley and Graham’s letter also blasts the FBI for blocking key details of their memo calling for Steele’s investigation, and gives them until tomorrow to provide an unredacted copy.

17) In addition to copying the IG, Grassley is also bringing the Office of Information Policy into the picture. They enforce compliance. Read about them here> https://www.justice.gov/jmd/organization-mission-and-functions-manual-office-information-policy 

18) What he is doing is telling the DOJ/FBI that if you do not unredact my memo I will have the IG will investigate you for not following DOJ policy AND the OIP will investigate you for violating the . WHEW!

The second memo’s existence was revealed last week by The Guardianwhich named the source as Clinton “hatchet man” Cody Shearer – a former journalist and political activist for the Clinton White House in the 1990s.

Shearer’s name recently appeared in a January 25 letter from the Senate Judiciary Committee to six individuals or entities thought to be involved in the funding, creation or distribution of the original salacious and unverified “Trump-Russia Dossier.” Recipients of the letter – including John Podesta, Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz – are asked to submit all communications between a list of 40 individuals or entities, one of whom is Cody Shearer.

Furthermore, during the Benghazi investigation of Hillary Clinton in 2015, the National Review called Shearer “someone with a history of misleading foreign sources, misrepresenting himself as an agent of the US government, and creating trouble for both himself and the United States abroad.” NR cited the story about Shearer’s secret trip to Bosnia in the 1990s, where he extorted money from the Bosnian Serbs, claiming he was a secret envoy of the Clinton administration and could negotiate a reduction of war crimes charges.

Like the original dossier, the Guardian adds that Shearer shared his dossier “with select media organizations before the election,” without naming the outlets. The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross cites a passage from a recent book by the Guardian’s former correspondent in Moscow, Luke Harding, about how he received an email from the “Clinton camp” that contained the same accusations as in the Steele dossier, but was not Steele’s work.

There’s evidence that the Shearer memo was provided to the Clinton campaign. Guardian journalist Luke Harding recently wrote in his book about Steele dossier:

And now we know why Grassley/Graham asked the DNC to turn over all communications they had with Cody Shearer and Sidney Blumenthal. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/30/trump-russia-collusion-fbi-cody-shearer-memo 

All eyes on the Obama State Department

Last week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said that the panel is now setting it’s sights on the Obama Administration as “phase two” of their investigation.

“We are in the middle of what I call phase two of our investigation, which involves other departments, specifically the State Department and some of the involvement that they had in this,” said Nunes.

“That investigation is ongoing and we continue work towards finding answers and asking the right questions to try to get to the bottom of what exactly the State Department was up to in terms of this Russia investigation.”

Grassley and Graham have released a redacted copy of their criminal referral of Christopher Steele. This paragraph jumped out at me in light of Nunes’ statement on Friday that “Phase II” of his investigation includes the State Department.

3rd Dossier?

Last week we reported on the release of 42 pages of heavily redacted State Department documents obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – which reveals that the Obama State Department provided Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) a “dossier of classified information on Russia” in order to undermine President Trump, according to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

These documents show the Obama State Department under John Kerry gathered and sent its own dossier of classified information on Russia to Senator Ben Cardin, a political ally in the U.S. Senate, to undermine President Trump,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch will pursue information on who pulled this classified information, who authorized its release, and why was it evidently dumped just days before President Trump’s inauguration.”

According to a March 2017 report in the Baltimore Sun: “Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin received classified information about Russia’s involvement in elections when the Obama administration was attempting to disseminate that material widely across the government in order to aid in future investigations, according to a report Wednesday … Obama officials were concerned, according to the report [in The New York Times], that the Trump administration would cover up intelligence once power changed hands.” –Judicial Watch

As Fitton explains, there are three dossiers, two of which were routed through the Obama State Department.

As we have reported, in March 2017, Former Obama Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Evelyn Farkas, made some stunning admissions during an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski.

While discussing the mad scramble by the Obama administration to collect and preserve intelligence on alleged Russian election hacking before Obama left office, it appears that Farkas accidentally implicated the Obama White House in the surveillance of Trump’s campaign staff:

The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would not longer have access to that intelligence. –Evelyn Farkas

Those “sources and methods” now appear to be Clinton operatives using Russian FSB “sources” to create several dossiers, which were circulated to media outlets and US government officials with the assistance of the Obama State Department. In other words, in a delightful twist of irony, the real Russian collusion was against a now-sitting President.

END

Nunes: a clear link has formed between the Democrats and Russia and how they tried to influence the election of 2016. Here zero hedge also discusses the origins of the second dossier from the Obama State dept. under John Kerry and how the dossier got to Steele who then used to spy on the Trump team through the FISA warrants

(courtesy zerohedge)

Nunes: “Clear Link” Between Democrats And Russia During 2016 Election

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) railed against Democrats and the FBI for the “clear link” between Russia and opponents of Donald Trump, who engaged in a literal conspiracy to smear Trump with the cooperation of Russian government officials.

Appearing on Fox News, Nunes traced the path directly from the Clinton campaign to the Kremlin:

“We have a clear link to Russia — you have a campaign who hired a law firm, who hire Fusion GPS, who hired a foreign agent, who then got information from the Russians on the other campaign,” said Nunes, adding “It seems like the counterintelligence investigation should have been opened up against the Hillary campaign when they got ahold of the dossier. But that didn’t happen, either.

Nunes also noted that the FBI never informed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court which granted a spy warrant on one-time Trump advisor Carter Page was not informed that the salacious and unverified dossier used as its foundation was funded in part by the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

It has been reported through various outlets, however, that officials did disclose the political origins of the dossier.

Meat the press

Nunes then called out the MSM for extreme hypocrisy over the disproportionate standards applied to the left vs. the right;

“I think the bigger problem, challenge here, is that the mainstream media is totally uninterested in this. Can you imagine if the shoe was on the other foot – and Donald Trump or George Bush or Karl Rove had paid for information and then George W Bush’s FBI had opened an investigation into the Obama campaign because they were talking to Russians – which, by the way, really did happen; the Obama campaign was talking to Russians back in 2008 – and open up a counterintelligence investigation using dirt dug up and paid for by RNC and George W. Bush supporters?

This town would be on fire. Every reporter would be following around Karl Rove and George W. Bush all over town – yet it’s crickets from the media. It’s embarrassing. It’s absolutely embarrassing, I’m almost flabbergasted. Because I thought at least there would be some ounce of credibility left, but there really is none.” –Devin Nunes

Phase Two

Earlier on Monday, Nunes appeared on Fox & Friends where he told them that the four-page “FISA memo” authored by staffers from his office and released last Friday was “just the beginning.”

While the memo released last Friday summarizes what the House Intelligence Committee GOP says are rampant abuses of surveillance powers by the FBI and DOJ during and after the 2016 election, phase two will focus on “irregularities” within the Obama State Department headed by Hillary Clinton and later John Kerry

“What we will do in phase two is follow the facts where they lead, and when we get enough facts, we will figure out a way to let the American people know,” Nunes told “Fox & Friends.”

Phase one of our investigation was getting to the FISA abuse. What we’re looking at now is the State Department and some of the irregularities there,” Nunes said Monday, noting that the committee has “several other areas” to probe.

Nunes first mentioned “phase two” last Friday on Special Report with Bret Baer.

Actual Russian Collusion

While Nunes didn’t elaborate, we suspect it might have something to do with the involvement of John Kerry’s State Department’s in a second Dossier containing claims from Kremlin officials – as detailed in a January 4 letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

As we detailed yesterday, the second dossier – like the first, relied on Russian officials for information (actual Russian collusion people)From there, this second dossier went from Clinton “hatchet man” Cody Shearer, who gave it to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, before it was routed it to former British Spy Christopher Steele. It is unknown what happened to the document after that.

Shearer – who took the Russian sourced Dossier and handed it to the Obama State Department, before they then handed it to Christopher Steele – is a controversial political activist and former journalist who was close to the Clinton White House in the 1990s. Of note, Shearer’s brother served as an ambassador during the Clinton administration, and his late sister was married to Strobe Talbott, the chief authority on Russia in President Bill Clinton’s State Department, according to ProPublica.

Sounds like exactly the “hatchet man” Hillary Clinton needed to quite literally collude with Russia in order to influence the US election – which, as Devin Nunes pointed out, the FBI should have done something about.

Again;

It seems like the counterintelligence investigation should have been opened up against the Hillary campaign when they got ahold of the dossier. But that didn’t happen, either.” –Devin Nunes

END
Steele fails to show up in a London court appearance after the USA senate under Grassley gave a criminal referral’
(courtesy zerohedge)

Steele Goes Dark; Ditches London Court Appearance Following Criminal Referral By US Senate

Former British MI-6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele was a no-show on Monday at a London courthouse, reports Fox News. Steele was expected for a long-requested deposition in a multi-million dollar civil case brought against Buzzfeed, which published a salacious and unverified “Trump-Russia” dossier.

Steele may have skipped out over concerns that he would be asked questions about his contacts with various media outlets in connection with at least two dossiers he had a hand in assembling and disseminating – for which he stands accused by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) of misleading the FBI about his contacts with journalists at various news outlets during the 2016 election.

There is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility,” reads the unredacted document that refers Steele for criminal prosecution in the US.

 

12) The Issue at Hand
” it appears that either Mr. Steele lied to the FBI or the British court, or that the classified documents reviewed by the Committee contain materially false statements.”

It therefore stands to reason that Steele wanted to avoid any uncomfortable questions which might apply to ongoing investigations in US House and Senate. Separately, records obtained and reviewed by Fox News from related civil litigation in Florida reveal that Steele maintains that even showing up for a deposition would “implicate state secrets in London.”

Evan Fray-Witzer, a Boston-based attorney representing Russian tech tycoon Aleksej Gubarev in multi-million dollar civil litigation, described Monday’s U.K. court actions to Fox News. “My understanding is that Mr. Steele’s lawyers spent a good deal of time arguing why they thought he (Steele) should not be required to sit for a deposition and that ultimately the court took the entire matter under advisement.”

Gubarev is suing Steele’s UK-based Orbis Business Intelligence because the Trump-Russia dossier claimed Gubarev’s companies used “botnets and port traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs and steal data.”

Fray-Witzer stressed in that hearing that the British government “has not asserted” Steele’s claims. The attorney has said Steele “is asserting he can’t speak about things.  We have pointed out that he’s spoken to anyone who is willing to listen, every journalist, and the FBI.” –Fox News

Steele was paid $168,000 by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was funded in part by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, who used law firm Perkins Coie as an intermediary.

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s January 4 criminal referral of Steele also reveals that the former British spy was involved in a second anti-Trump opposition research dossier.

As we reported on Monday, this second dossier went from Clinton “hatchet man” Cody Shearer, who gave it to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, before it was routed to Christopher Steele. It is unknown what happened to the document after that.

According to the referral, Steele wrote the additional memo based on anti-Trump information that originated with a foreign source. In a convoluted scheme outlined in the referral, the foreign source gave the information to an unnamed associate of Hillary and Bill Clinton, who then gave the information to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, who then gave the information to Steele. Steele wrote a report based on the information, but the redacted version of the referral does not say what Steele did with the report after that.

Published accounts in the Guardian and the Washington Post have indicated that Clinton associate Cody Shearer was in contact with Steele about anti-Trump research, and Obama State Department official Jonathan Winer was a connection between Steele and the State Department during the 2016 campaign. –Washington Examiner

Of note, Shearer’s brother served as an ambassador during the Clinton administration, and his late sister was married to Strobe Talbott, the chief authority on Russia in President Bill Clinton’s State Department, according to ProPublica.

Recalling that the dossier was published by Buzzfeed after the election, we’re sure that much like the rest of the swamp; Clinton, Obama, Comey, McCabe, Mueller, Rosenstein, Strzok, Page, and the rest of the gang – Christopher Steele thought Hillary would win, and none of this would have ever come to light.

Better watch out Steele!

 

 

 

Trump lawyer have advised Trump not to be interviewed by Mueller. Lawyer Ty Cobb explains that Mueller will not risk a showdown in the Supreme Court

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

Trump’s Lawyers Have Advised Him To Refuse Interview With Mueller: NYT

Despite the President’s insistence at a press conference last month that he was “looking forward” to sitting for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the president’s legal team has steadfastly advised him to refuse the interview based on the belief that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wouldn’t risk a Supreme Court showdown by subpoenaing the president, according to the New York Times, once again citing anonymous sources familiar with the legal team’s thinking.

Of course, that Trump will probably refuse the interview has been widely suspected since reports first surfaced that Mueller would soon request it. Several Trump proxies including Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich stoked suspicions by saying publicly that the president shouldn’t sit with Mueller and his team, who would only try to “trick him and trap him,” as Gingrich put it.

Nearly every member of Trump’s legal team, which is led by longtime Washington attorney John Dowd and also includes deputy counsel Jay Sekulow and longtime Washington lawyer Ty Cobb, believes Trump should refuse the interview, as do many of the senior aides in the administration, according to the Times.

 

Dowd

Cobb is the only one of Trump’s attorneys to advise full cooperation with Mueller, the White House lawyer whom Trump brought on back in July, and who was memorably overheard by a New York Times reporter loudly discussing the legal team’s strategy at a steakhouse, an embarrassing incident that presumably tarnished his standing on the team.

…John Dowd, the longtime Washington defense lawyer hired last summer to represent Mr. Trump in the investigation, wants to rebuff an interview request, as do Mr. Dowd’s deputy, Jay Sekulow, and many West Wing advisers, according to the four people. The lawyers and aides believe the special counsel might be unwilling to subpoena the president and set off a showdown with the White House that Mr. Mueller could lose in court.

They are convinced that Mr. Mueller lacks the legal standing to question Mr. Trump about some of the matters he is investigating, like the president’s role in providing a misleading response last summer to a New York Times story about a meeting Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. had with Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. The advisers have also argued that on other matters – like the allegations that the president asked the former FBI director, James B Comey, to end the investigation into the former national security adviser Michael Flynn – the president acted within his constitutional authority and cannot be questioned about acts that were legal.

Mr. Dowd has taken the lead on dealing with the special counsel about an interview and has been discussing the matter with Mr. Mueller’s office since December.

Others close to Mr. Trump have also cautioned him against a freewheeling interiew. Marc E Kasowitz, the president’s longtime personal lawyer from New York who initially dealt with the special counsel after Mr. Mueller took over the Russia investigation last May, has also consistently said the president should not agree to an interview.

Dowd and the rest of the legal team reason that, given the president’s tendency to exaggerate and embellish, he might stumble into lying to the special counsel, offering Mueller an opening to potentially prosecute him for perjury.

As the Times points out, Trump admitted more than two dozen times during a deposition in his lawsuit against the journalist Tim O’Brien that he had lied in the past about various subjects. Trump lost that case.

However, according to the NYT, legal precedent might favor Mueller…

“The upshot of the Nixon tapes case was that any president is going to have an extremely hard time resisting a request from a law enforcement officer,” said Neal K Katyal, an acting solicitor general in the Obama administration and a partner at the law firm Hogan Lovells.

“In general,” he added, “presidents do sit for interviews or respond to requests from prosecutors because they take their constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws seriously, and running away from a prosecutor isn’t consistent with faithfully executing the laws.”

Of course, during Watergate, Nixon was clearly guilty. More than a year after launching the investigation, and despite an avalanche of leaks, it appears the special counsel has nothing to directly implicate Trump or other senior members of the administration. Because, as Peter Strzok famously put it, there’s no “there there”, Mueller might be unwilling to try his luck with the Supreme Court, knowing that the risks are asymmetric: Even if he prevails, it would look like a giant waste of time if he nothing came of it.

Meanwhile, he has already secured guilty pleas from at least two people who were involved in the campaign – including one who was briefly a senior administration official. Meanwhile, charges against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates are pending.

The president is seemingly preoccupied with the myriad legislative battles raging in the House and Senate – including the push to pass a new spending bill, raise the debt limit, strike an immigration deal and pass a disaster relief package. But we imagine he’ll make time to respond to this story shortly. After all, when he publicly announced his intention to cooperate with the investigation, he did say that it would be pending the approval of his lawyers.

end

I will  see you WEDNESDAY night

HARVEY

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3 comments

  1. Harvey, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but the bankers always make palladium sell off before gold and silver. It’s their signal to each other to start naked-shorting gold and silver.

    Check the charts to get confirmation of what I’m saying.

    Like

  2. I’ve been invested in physical silver for years now.
    I deeply regret buying it, would never recommend it, and I’m so tired of all these so called experts
    that say the paper game will end soon. i made a fortune in cryptos last year, and my only regret was having all that money tied up in silver, so that I couldn’t buy more cryptos.
    Silver is the worst investment ever because all of the great reasons for buying it are nullified thanks to the never ending bankster suppression.

    Like

  3. How much of this selling is of actual, physical metal?

    Like

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