Feb 16/GOLD UP 25 CENTS TO $1353.20/SILVER DOWN 7 CENTS AS GOLD/SILVER HOLD DESPITE CHINESE HOLIDAY WEEK COMMENCING TODAY/MUELLER FILES RIDICULOUS INDICTMENTS AGAINST 13 RUSSIAN INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES./ROSENSTEIN ADMITS NO AMERICAN INVOLVED/

 

 

GOLD: $1353.20 UP $0.25

Silver: $16.77 DOWN 7 cents

Closing access prices:

Gold $1348.20

silver: $16.67

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: $XXXX DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $XXXX

PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $3.78

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $XXXX

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1333.50

discount of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$1.20

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1358.60

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1359.10

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1352.10

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1352.00

For comex gold:

FEBRUARY/

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR FEBRUARY CONTRACT: 0 NOTICE(S) FOR nil OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR:1784 FOR 178400 OZ (5.5489 TONNES),

For silver:

FEBRUARY

1 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

5,000 OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 309 for 1,5455,000 oz

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Bitcoin: BID $9768/OFFER $9,838: down $213(morning)

Bitcoin: BID/ $9,974/offer $10,044: DOWN $7  (CLOSING/5 PM)

end

Let us have a look at the data for today\

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In silver, the total open interest ROSE BY A GOOD SIZED 2604 contracts from 197,126  RISING TO 199,730 DESPITE  YESTERDAY’S   8 CENT LOSS IN SILVER PRICING.  WE  HAD ZERO COMEX LIQUIDATION. HOWEVER, WE WERE AGAIN NOTIFIED THAT WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE:  1247 EFP’S FOR MARCH AND AND 0 EFP’S FOR MAY AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THUS TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 1731 CONTRACTS.  WITH THE TRANSFER OF 1247 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 1247 CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 6.23 MILLION OZ DESPITE  WITH THE CONTINUAL DROP IN OPEN INTEREST IN SILVER AT THE COMEX.

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

38,099 CONTRACTS (FOR 13 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 38,099 CONTRACTS OR 190.495 MILLION OZ: AVERAGE PER DAY: 2930 CONTRACTS OR 14.653 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH:  190.495 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 27.14% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION

ACCUMULATION IN YEAR 2018 TO DATE SILVER EFP’S:  438.83 MILLION OZ.

ACCUMULATION FOR JAN 2018: 236.879 MILLION OZ

RESULT: A GOOD SIZED GAIN IN OI SILVER COMEX WITH THE   8 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICE.  WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 1247 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 1247 EFP’S  FOR  MONTHS MARCH AND MAY WERE ISSUED FOR TODAY  FOR A DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS.   WE GAINED  3851 OI CONTRACTS i.e. 1247 open interest contracts headed for London (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A INCREASE OF 2604  OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH THE FALL IN PRICE OF SILVER OF  8 CENTS AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $16.84 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 UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 0.998 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 143% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

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

 

In gold, the open interest  ROSE BY A GOOD 3,678 CONTRACTS UP TO 532,060 DESPITE THE FALL IN PRICE OF GOLD WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING ($2.45). HOWEVER, IN ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT, WE RECEIVED THE TOTAL NUMBER OF GOLD EFP’S ISSUED FOR TODAY AND IT TOTALED AN ATMOSPHERIC SIZED  21,324 CONTRACTS OF WHICH  APRIL SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 21,324 CONTRACTS AND  JUNE SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTRACTS AND THEN ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.    The new OI for the gold complex rests at 528,382. 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 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S TRADING IN GOLD,  WE HAVE A GAIN OF 25,002  CONTRACTS: 3,678 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX AND A GIGANTIC SIZED  21,324 OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON.(25002 oi gain in CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 77.76 TONNES)

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 22,672 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S/ GOLD(EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY STARTING WITH FIRST DAY NOTICE: 152,754 CONTRACTS OR 15,275,400  OZ OR 475.12 TONNES (13 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 11,750 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 1,175,000 OZ/ TRADING DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :   SO FAR THIS MONTH IN 13 TRADING DAYS: IN  TONNES: 475.12 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 475.12/2200 x 100% TONNES =  21.59% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN FEBRUARY ALONE.

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2018 TO DATE:  1108.53 TONNES

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

Result: A  GOOD SIZED INCREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE  FALL IN PRICE IN GOLD TRADING YESTERDAY ($2.45). IT IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THAT MANY OF THE DEPARTED COMEX LONGS  RECEIVED THEIR PRIVATE EFP CONTRACT  FOR EITHER  APRIL OR JUNE. HOWEVER, WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 21,324 CONTRACTS 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 21,324 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A NET GAIN IN OPEN INTEREST OF 25,002 contractON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

21,324 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND  3,678 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (in tonnes, the GAIN in total oi equates to 77.76 TONNES).

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

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

GLD

WITH GOLD UP $0.25 TODAY, THE CROOKS DECIDED TO RAID THE COOKIE JAR (WITHDREW) 2.36 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD

 

Inventory rests tonight: 821.30 tonnes.

SLV/ 

NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/

/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 ROSE BY A CONSIDERABLE 2604  contracts from 197,126 UP TO 199,730 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER TO THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) DESPITE  THE FAIR SIZED FALL  IN PRICE OF SILVER  (8 CENTS WITH RESPECT TO  YESTERDAY’S TRADING).   OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE ANOTHER GOOD 1731 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 SOME COMEX SILVER COMEX LIQUIDATION. IF WE TAKE THE  OI GAIN AT THE COMEX OF  2604 CONTRACTS TO THE 1247 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S, WE OBTAIN A GAIN OF  3851  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS .  WE STILL HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES THAT ARE STANDING FOR METAL IN JANUARY (SEE BELOW). THE NET GAIN TODAY IN OZ ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  19.255 MILLION OZ!!!

RESULT: A HUGE SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE FAIR SIZED FALL OF 8 CENTS IN PRICE (WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING ). BUT WE ALSO HAD ANOTHER GOOD 1247 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 THURSDAY night/FRIDAY morning: Shanghai closed /Hang Sang CLOSED / The Nikkei closed UP 255.27 POINTS OR 1.19%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.07%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.3415/Oil DOWN to 61.36 dollars per barrel for WTI and 64.45 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED DEEPLY IN THE GREEN  .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.3415. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST  THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.2980//ONSHORE YUAN /OFFSHORE YUAN NOT TRADING

 

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

 i)North Korea

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

 

3 c CHINA

i)Troubled HNA has now cut its stake in Deutsche bank.  There seems to be a liquidation panic by the company. Their bankruptcy will have far reaching effects throughout the globe.

( zerohedge)

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

7. OIL ISSUES

This will no doubt be the end of the Petrodollar scheme.  The futures market in Shanghai is set to begin on March 26.2018 where future traders can settle in yuan.  There also seems to be an element that if the owners of newbie yuan wish they can convert to gold.   This will be watched closely

( zerohedge)

 END

8. EMERGING MARKET

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)The following two commentaries are essential for you to read.  Chris Powell comments on Ted Butler’s latest offering discussing the massive buildup of physical silver by JPMorgan. Butler states that it is illegal and manipulative for JPMorgan while being the world’s largest short in silver at the Comex and probably also at the LBMA has accumulated such a hoard of physical silver of which he estimates to be north of 700 million oz.

 

Chris Powell states that it may be legal if the USA government is behind the acquisition

I believe that JPMorgan is acquiring the metal for sovereign China and that is why the regulators are mum.

I would like to state that even if the government is behind the acquisition they will never admit to their nefarious activities on this front

 

a must read..

( Ted Butler/ChrisPowell/GATA)

ii)Dave Kranzler thinks that the Fed by adding 18 billion to the system is back to QE.  If so the dollar will tank

 

(courtesy Dave Kranzler/IRD)

iii)Gold rose this week on the dollar collapse coupled with higher inflation

( James Turk/Kingworldnews)

 

iv)You must hear this interview of Chris Powell explain the cowardice of all our precious metals mining industry save a few

 

( Chris Powell/Mike Gleason/MME/GATA)

v) This seeking alpha author correctly read the tea leaves on Agnico Eagle while others have not figured it out yet.

(courtesy Peter Arendas/Seeking Alpha)

vi)A first ever fraud charge against a crypto trader

 

( zerohedge)

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

 

i)Trading early this morning: Inflation is gripping the uSA; it jumped a whopping 1% month over month

( zerohedge)

 

ii)Another indicator of the economy (inflation) heating up: both housing starts and permits spike and it all came on rental or multi family units

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

iib)Futures slide badly, the 10 yr bond yield rises as the dollar rebounds

(courtesy zerohedge)

iii)USA consumer confidence  (U. of Michigan Consumer Confidence) surges due to tax reform

( zerohedge)
iv)SWAMP STORIES

a)Schiff claims that there is ample evidence of collusion as Bannon was interviewed by Mueller and his team. If so can he show us some specifics

( zerohedge)

b)A good one:  Why are Comey’s memos dealing with Trump on supposed obstruction still secret

( Bryon York/Washington Examiner)

c)Mueller has now flipped his 3rd witness, Paul Manafort’s former no 2 man, Rick Gates although it is unclear what Gates’ role will be or what evidence Mueller has on him
( zerohedge)
d)Boy!! did this come out of nowhere:  Mueller indicts 13 Russian and 3 Russian companies for hacking the USA election

( zerohedge)
e)What an absolute joke:  Rosenstein:  Russians did not alter the outcome of the election and no American was part of this “scheme”

( zerohedge)

 

f)After gaining some composure from laughing so far, Russia finally responds to this absurd election meddling:

( zerohedge)

g)Trump responds: Campaign did nothing wrong..no collusion!!

( zerohedge)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest ROSE BY A GOOD 3,678 CONTRACTS UP to an OI level 532,060  DESPITE THE FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($2.45 LOSS WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING).   WE HAD ZERO 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 AN ATMOSPHERIC SIZED 21324 EFP’S ISSUED FOR APRIL  AND 0 EFP’s  FOR JUNE AND ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:  TOTAL  21,324 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: 25,002 OI CONTRACTS IN THAT 21,324 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE GAINED 3678 COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 25,002 contracts OR 2,500,200  OZ OR 77.76 TONNES.

Result: A  GOOD SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OPEN INTEREST DESPITE THE LOSS IN YESTERDAY’S GOLD TRADING ($2.45.) WE HAD ZERO COMEX GOLD LIQUIDATION.  TOTAL OPEN INTEREST GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 25,002 OI CONTRACTS..

We have now entered the active contract month of FEBRUARY where we GAINED 13 contracts UP to 1153 contracts.  We had 0 notices filed upon yesterday, so we GAINED 13 contracts or an additional 1300 oz will stand in this active contract month of February

March saw a LOSS of 156 contracts DOWN to 2143.  April saw a LOSS of 298 contracts DOWN to 368,189.  MARCH BECOMES THE FRONT MONTH FOR GOLD

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

 

 PRELIMINARY COMEX VOLUME FOR TODAY: 141,530 contracts

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  299,115 CONTRACTS

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 ROSE  BY A GOOD SIZED 2604  CONTRACTS FROM 197,126 UP TO  199,730 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S SMALL SIZED  8 CENT FALL IN TRADING).   HOWEVER,WE WERE ALSO INFORMED THAT WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED 1247 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: 1247.   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 NO LONG COMEX SILVER LIQUIDATION BUT A HUGE SIZED GAIN 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 GAINED 3851  SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS:

2604 CONTRACT GAIN AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 1247 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN TWO EXCHANGES: 3851 CONTRACTS 

We are now in the poor non active delivery month of FEBRUARY and here the front month LOST 177 contracts DOWN TO  77 contracts.  We had 3 notices filed upon yesterday so we LOST 174 contracts or 870,000 ADDITIONAL oz will NOT stand for delivery at the comex AND THESE LONGS EXITED OUT OF THE COMEX THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AND RECEIVED A LONDON BASED FORWARD.

The March contract lost 2720 contracts DOWN to 84,583

April GAINED 3 contracts UP to 158 .

.

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

INITIAL standings for FEBRUARY

Feb 16/2018.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
 6,076.215 oz
Brinks
Scotia
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz
No of oz served (contracts) today
0 notice(s)
 NIL OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
1153 contracts
(115300 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
1784 notices
178400 oz
5.5489 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 1 kilobar transaction/
We had 0 inventory movement at the dealer accounts
total inventory deposit into the dealer accounts:  nil oz
we had 2 withdrawal out of the customer account:
i) out of Brinks:  64.165 oz
ii) Out of Scotia: 6012.05 oz  187 kilobars
total withdrawal: 6076.215  oz
we had 0 customer deposit
total customer deposits: nil  oz
we had 0 adjustments
total registered or dealer gold:  402,632,052 oz or 12.52 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   9,102,010.723 oz 283.11 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 0 contract(s) of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 0 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account.

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To calculate the INITIAL total number of gold ounces standing for the FEBRUARY. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (1784) x 100 oz or 178,300 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (1153 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (0 x 100 oz per contract) equals 293,700 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 (1784 x 100 oz or ounces + {(1153)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (0 x 100 oz )which equals 293,700 oz standing in this active delivery month of February (9.135 tonnes). THERE IS 12.52 TONNES OF REGISTERED GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY SO FAR.

WE GAINED 13 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 1300 OZ WILL  STAND IN THIS ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF FEBRUARY.

THE COMEX IS NOW UNDER STRESS AS THE REGISTERED GOLD FALLS BELOW 13 TONNES AS WELL AS HUGE NUMBER OF TONNES LEAVING THE CUSTOMER ACCOUNT

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XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

IN THE LAST 17 MONTHS 71 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE DECEMBER DELIVERY MONTH

FEBRUARY FINAL standings

feb 16 2018
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
 3922.200 oz
Delaware
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil
oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
 742,545.040 oz
 JPM
HSBC
No of oz served today (contracts)
1
CONTRACT(S
(5,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
76 contracts
(380,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 309 contracts

(1,545,000 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 zero 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 J.P.MORGAN:598,412.100 oz  ***

ii) Into HSBC: 144,132.940 oz

total inventory deposits: 742,545.040 oz

*** JPMorgan is continually adding to its inventory almost every single day.

JPMorgan now has 134 million oz of  total silver inventory or 53% of all official comex silver.

we had 1 withdrawals from the customer account;

 

iii) Out of Delaware:: 3922.200 oz

total withdrawals;  3922.200  oz

we had 0 adjustment

total dealer silver:  43.827 million

total dealer + customer silver:  253.236 million oz

The total number of notices filed today for the FEBRUARY. contract month is represented by 1 contract(s) FOR 5,000 oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in FEBRUARY., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 309 x 5,000 oz = 1,545,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (77) and the number of notices served upon today (1 x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the FEB contract month: 309(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of FEBRUARY(77) -number of notices served upon today (1)x 5000 oz equals 1,925,000 oz of silver standing for the FEBRUARY contract month. 

WE LOST 174 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 870,000 OZ WILL NOT  STAND AT THE COMEX AND THEY MORPHED INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS..THE COMEX IS ONE BIG FARCE!!.

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ESTIMATED VOLUME FOR TODAY: 109,674 CONTRACTS

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 99,691 CONTRACTS

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 99,691 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO  498 MILLION OZ OR 71.2% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER

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

The record level of silver open interest is 234,787 contracts set on April 21./2017 with the price at that day at $18.42
The previous record was 224,540 contracts with the price at that time of $20.44

end

NPV for Sprott 

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV FALLS TO -2.16% (FEB 14/2018)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -0.34% to NAV (FEB 14/2018 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -2.16%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.34%/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 RISES TO -2/99%: NAV 13.98/TRADING 13.51//DISCOUNT 2.99.

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

 

Feb 16/WITH GOLD UP BY 25 CENTS, THE CROOKS DECIDED AGAIN TO RAID THE COOKIE JAR BY WITHDRAWING 2.36 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 821.30 TONNES

Feb 15/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 823.66 TONNES

Feb 14/AN ADDITIONAL OF 2.95 TONNES OF GOLD INTO GLD WITH THE HUGE GAIN OF 27.40 IN PRICE/INVENTORY RESTS AT 823.66 TONNES

Feb 13/WITH GOLD UP $3.40 WE HAD NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY REMAINS AT 820.71 TONNES

Feb 12/STRANGE!!WITH GOLD RISING BY 12.00 DOLLARS, THE CROOKS DECIDED AGAIN TO WITHDRAW 5.6 TONNES OF GOLD FOR EMERGENCY USE ELSEWHERE/INVENTORY RESTS AT 820.71 TONNES

Feb 9/AGAIN WITH HUGE TURMOIL ON THE MARKETS, THE CROOKS WITHDREW 2 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 826.31 TONNES

Feb 8/DESPITE THE GOOD GAIN IN PRICE FOR GOLD TODAY/THE CROOKS REMOVED .96 TONNES FROM THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 828.31 TONNES

FEB 7/AN UNBELIEVABLE 12.08 TONNES WAS REMOVED BY THE CROOKED BANKERS AND THIS GOLD WAS USED IN THE ASSAULT THESE PAST FEW DAYS/INVENTORY RESTS AT 829.27 TONNES

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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Feb 16/2018/ Inventory rests tonight at 821.30 tonnes

*IN LAST 327 TRADING DAYS: 119.85 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 257 TRADING DAYS: A NET 37.46 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO GLD INVENTORY.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

Feb 16/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.045 MILLION OZ/

Feb 15/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.045 MILLION OZ/

Feb 14./NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY DESPITE THE HUGE RISE IN PRICE/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.045 MILLION OZ

Feb 13./NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY TODAY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.045 MILLION OZ/

Feb 12/AGAIN, WITH TODAY’S HUGE RISE IN SILVER PRICE, IN TOTAL CONTRAST TO GOLD: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.045 MILLION OZ/

Feb 9/AGAIN WITH TURMOIL ON THE MARKETS, STRANGELY IN TOTAL CONTRAST TO GOLD: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.045 MILLION OZ/

Feb 8/DESPITE THE TURMOIL TODAY AND A PRICE RISE: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.045 MILLION OZ/

FEB 7/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 314.045 million oz/

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/

Feb 14/2017:

Inventory 314.045 million oz

end

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

+ 1.79%
12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.17%

end

 

At 3:30 pm est we receive the phony COT report.  Since it does not disclose the EFP transfers it is basically a useless report:

but for completeness sake, I will include it:

 

Gold COT Report – Futures
Large Speculators Commercial Total
Long Short Spreading Long Short Long Short
251,860 76,254 64,242 150,847 345,383 466,949 485,879
Change from Prior Reporting Period
-21,968 -6,697 3,685 -7,803 -18,718 -26,086 -21,730
Traders
172 79 74 44 61 251 183
 
  Small Speculators      
  Long Short Open Interest    
  44,796 25,866 511,745    
  2,510 -1,846 -23,576    
  non reportable positions Change from the previous reporting period  
COT Gold Report – Positions as of Tuesday, February 13, 2018

our large speculators

those large specs who are long gold pitched (transferred through EFP’s) a net 21,968 contracts

those large specs who have been short in gold covered (transferred) 6697 contracts from their short side

our commercials

 

those commercials who have been long in gold  pitched (transferred ) a huge 7803 contracts from their long side

those commercials who have been short in gold transferred a huge  and net 18,718 contracts from their short side

  

our small speculators

those small specs who have been long in gold added 2510 contracts to their long side

(they do not participate in the EFP’s)

those small specs who have been short in gold covered 1846 contracts from their short side.

 

Conclusions;

 

please do not read the above/the data is totally compromised.

 

And now for our silver COT

Silver COT Report: Futures
Large Speculators Commercial
Long Short Spreading Long Short
64,816 56,105 20,939 80,026 101,974
1,087 8,916 -17,793 4,771 -3,922
Traders
98 60 50 45 36
Small Speculators Open Interest Total
Long Short 194,056 Long Short
28,275 15,038 165,781 179,018
521 1,385 -11,414 -11,935 -12,799
non reportable positions Positions as of: 168

 

 

our large speculators

those large specs that have been long in silver added 1087 contracts on a net basis to their long side

those large specs that have been short in silver added 8916 contracts to their short side.

our commercials

 

 

those commercials that have been long in silver added 4771 contract to their short side

those commercials that have been short in silver transferred a net 3922 contracts from their short side to London

 

our small speculators

those small specs that have been long in silver added 521 contracts to their long side

those small specs that have been short in silver added 1385 contracts from their short side

 

Conclusions

 

please do not read the above crap!

 

Major gold/silver trading /commentaries for FRIDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

 GoldCore

Gold Up 3.8% In Week – If Closes Above $1,360/oz Will Be Biggest Weekly Gain In Nearly 2 Years

Gold Up 3.8% In Week – If Closes Above $1,360/oz Will Be Biggest Weekly Gain In Nearly 2 Years

Gold rose as the dollar fell to near a three-year low against a basket of currencies on Friday, heading for its biggest weekly loss in nine months, as a slew of bearish factors including firming inflation and a fall in retail sales and industrial production hit the dollar.

Gold in USD – 10 Years – (GoldCore)

U.S. producer prices accelerated in January, boosted by strong rises in the cost of gasoline and healthcare, offering more evidence that inflation pressures are building. The U.S. producer price index for final demand rose 0.4% last month after being unchanged in December.

In a second U.S. report yesterday, initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended February 10. U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax reform may help boost U.S. growth in the short term but could have negative consequences for the U.S. deficit and debt in the medium term, warned International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde yesterday.

Inflation was also surprisingly high in this week’s regional Fed reports, which saw a surge in the Prices Paid index, the clearest indicator of input cost inflation, which in both the Philly and New York reports jumped to 6 year highs.

U.S. industrial production and retail sales were also weaker than expected this week. U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell sharply in January, recording their biggest drop in nearly a year. Households cut back on purchases of motor vehicles and building materials.

This in conjunction with the high inflation numbers suggests that there is an increasing risk of stagflation taking hold in the U.S.

News and Commentary

Gold set for 4% gain – biggest weekly gain in nearly 2 years (Reuters.com)

Gold holds above $1350 level, closer to 3-week tops (FXStreet.com)

Bitcoin Chops Near $10,000 After Falling From New All-Time Near $20,000 (GoldSeek.com)

U.S. factory output fails to grow for second straight month (Reuters.com)

Wall Street eyes gold as inflation stirs, futures near multi-year highs (CNBC.com)

Barrick Cuts Gold Output Forecast for Eighth Potential Drop (Bloomberg.com)

Inflation Is Picking Up In The US – and There’s More To Come (MoneyWeek.com)

Bridgewater’s European Short Grows To A Massive $22 Billion: Here Are The Targeted Companies (ZeroHedge.com)

Is the Fed back to ‘quantitative easing’? (InvestmentResearchDynamics.com)

Is the Silver Market Not Manipulated After All? (SilverSeek.com)

The World Embraces Debt At Exactly The Wrong Time (ZeroHedge.com)

Go for gold! Vintage portraits of California prospectors – in pictures (TheGuardian.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

15 Feb: USD 1,353.70, GBP 962.21 & EUR 1,084.45 per ounce
14 Feb: USD 1,330.75, GBP 959.74 & EUR 1,077.77 per ounce
13 Feb: USD 1,329.40, GBP 955.04 & EUR 1,077.61 per ounce
12 Feb: USD 1,321.70, GBP 955.19 & EUR 1,077.45 per ounce
09 Feb: USD 1,316.05, GBP 945.58 & EUR 1,072.84 per ounce
08 Feb: USD 1,311.05, GBP 944.87 & EUR 1,071.13 per ounce
07 Feb: USD 1,328.50, GBP 956.12 & EUR 1,075.95 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

15 Feb: USD 16.83, GBP 11.98 & EUR 13.49 per ounce
14 Feb: USD 16.58, GBP 11.97 & EUR 13.43 per ounce
13 Feb: USD 16.61, GBP 11.94 & EUR 13.46 per ounce
12 Feb: USD 16.43, GBP 11.86 & EUR 13.39 per ounce
09 Feb: USD 16.36, GBP 11.83 & EUR 13.37 per ounce
08 Feb: USD 16.35, GBP 11.70 & EUR 13.36 per ounce
07 Feb: USD 16.69, GBP 12.02 & EUR 13.52 per ounce


Recent Market Updates

– Is The Gold Price Heading Higher? IG TV Interview GoldCore
– Global Debt Crisis II Cometh
– Sovereign Wealth Funds Investing In Gold For “Long Term Returns” – PwC
– Bitcoin and Crypto Prices Being Manipulated Like Precious Metals?
– “This Is Where They Completely Lost Their Minds” – Hussman
– Brexit Risks Increase – London Property Market and Pound Vulnerable
– Peak Gold: Global Gold Supply Flat In 2017 As China Output Falls By 9%
– Crypto Currency Backlash Sees Flight From Cryptos and Bitcoin
– Gold Rises As Global Stocks Plunge and Bitcoin Crashes 70%
– Shrinkflation Intensifies – Stealth Inflation As Thousands of Food Products Shrink In Size, Not Price
– 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

Mark O’Byrne
Executive Director

 

END

The following two commentaries are essential for you to read.  Chris Powell comments on Ted Butler’s latest offering discussing the massive buildup of physical silver by JPMorgan. Butler states that it is illegal and manipulative for JPMorgan while being the world’s largest short in silver at the Comex and probably also at the LBMA has accumulated such a hoard of physical silver of which he estimates to be north of 700 million oz.

 

Chris Powell states that it may be legal if the USA government is behind the acquisition

I believe that JPMorgan is acquiring the metal for sovereign China and that is why the regulators are mum.

I would like to state that even if the government is behind the acquisition they will never admit to their nefarious activities on this front

 

a must read..

(courtesy Ted Butler/ChrisPowell/GATA)

 

 

Ted Butler: No manipulation after all?

 Section: 

10:46a ET Thursday, February 15, 2018

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Silver market rigging whistleblower Ted Butler today lays out the overwhelming evidence that a single entity long has been rigging the silver market, and then raises the question of why the market regulatory agencies do nothing about it.

Here’s a possible answer: Regulators ignore the market rigging because the entity doing it is acting as agent for the U.S. government, which is fully authorized by federal law, the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 as amended in the 1970s, to intervene secretly in and to rig any market in the world:

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/international/ESF/Pages/esf-ind…

Indeed, at a hearing in November 2001 in U.S. District Court in Boston in GATA’s federal lawsuit against the U.S. government and the Bank for International Settlements, a lawyer for the government essentially conceded as much:

http://www.gata.org/node/4211

Butler’s commentary is headlined “No Manipulation After All?” and it’s posted at GoldSeek’s companion site, SilverSeek, here —

http://silverseek.com/commentary/no-manipulation-after-all-17103

— and at 24hGold here:

http://www.24hgold.com/english/news-gold-silver-no-manipulation-after-al…

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

 

No Manipulation, After All?

Theodore Butler

|

February 15, 2018 – 9:08am

 

In the never-ending search to either verify or rebut one’s own findings, I’d like you to consider something different today. I’m going to ask you to set aside my highly specific allegations of wrong-doing in the silver and gold markets, mostly centering on JPMorgan, and focus instead on whether if what I allege is really wrong or even matters much. Even though my allegations are based upon data published by the CFTC and CME Group, I would ask you to put that aside and consider that I may have been making a mountain out of a molehill about silver (and gold) price manipulation.

The best way of determining whether there is anything wrong in silver is to do a controlled experiment, namely, by removing it from the equation (along with any mention of JPMorgan) and substitute any other world commodity or entity in its place. In other words, would it be patently and outrageously illegal or no big deal at all if what is transpiring in silver occurred in any other commodity? I’ll present the facts and leave you to be the judge.

Pick any and every commodity with an active futures derivatives market that comes to mind and plugin the facts that are known to have existed in COMEX silver over the past ten years. Any and every commodity – corn, copper, crude oil, no exceptions. Now let’s plug in what we know in terms of facts that exist in silver.

First, we know from COT report data that a single entity has held a consistently large concentrated short position in COMEX silver, larger in terms of actual world production than in any other commodity. We further know that this large entity has always been the largest futures market short in COMEX silver over the entire decade; never flipping to net long. Next we know from COT data that while this uniquely large concentrated short seller has always been net short, its short position has both expanded and contracted regularly over the years and – get this – it has never lost money as it added or bought back short COMEX futures contracts. Never a loss, always only gains, a stunningly perfect trading record. This is determined in silver from observing changes in the concentrated short position of the largest short entity.

Finally we know, from the same source data used in the COT report but published separately in the Bank Participation report, that the dominant short seller in COMEX silver is a large US bank. Although this fact, by itself, wouldn’t be necessarily germane to the question if a manipulation exists or not, it does help tie in other facts.

You should now be envisioning any world commodity that comes to mind having had a single dedicated and dominant futures market short seller who has been consistently short for a decade and who has a perfect trading record – never suffering a loss and only having made profits from the short side.  Wouldn’t you be at least a little suspicious that something was wrong or that the market was rigged? Or would the existence of a single large trader, always short and never long or wrong for ten years running in corn, copper or crude oil or any other commodity not bother you at all?

Before you make up your mind, let me add in a few related facts. What if I told you that the same single dominate futures market short seller had spent the last seven years, in addition to maintaining its perfect paper trading as the largest short seller of all, also acquiring a massive physical hoard of the same commodity? And get this – this same paper market dominator had managed to acquire the largest physical stock pile in history of this same commodity.

Wouldn’t the thought cross your mind that maybe this big entity was milking this particular commodity in an underhanded manner, not only achieving the first perfect trading record ever and then taking advantage of the overall lower prices its massive short selling caused by buying all it could of the same commodity in a different form? Wouldn’t this sound like the perfect commodity price manipulation, namely, the manipulator making on both sides, milking the paper side and then using its price influence to buy the physical side in massive quantities and at depressed prices?

But wait, there’s more. What if I told you that there was a federal regulator, as well as a self-regulating entity in existence, in the form of the CFTC and the CME Group, who were specifically mandated with preventing such a scheme as I just outlined as their primary mission? Neither regulator has said anything about any of this for ten years, although the CFTC closed a formal five-year investigation into silver manipulation in 2013, which was inconclusive to say the least. Oh, and the financial institution identified as the big silver manipulator, JPMorgan, hasn’t said a peep about being publicly accused of criminal wrongdoing. Most usually, financial institutions are interested in maintaining the highest reputation possible and immediately address any issues contrary to their best interest. Not so with JPMorgan and silver.

So, you make the call. If the facts that are known to exist in silver were present in any other commodity, would this constitute manipulation in your opinion? Or if the facts were sufficient enough so as to require the CFTC, the CME, and JPMorgan to at least try to explain why manipulation wouldn’t exist in silver, given the verifiable facts? You might want to remember this the next time someone declares that no manipulation exists in silver or even better, that all markets are manipulated, so who cares?  Just ask them which market features the largest paper short who also happens to be the largest physical buyer of that same commodity?

Ted Butler

February 15, 201

 

 

END

 

Finally, we hear from Bart:  The Whistleblower’s allegation of VIX manipulation rings true.

Strange,we have been harping on the commission for years on this issue

 

(courtesy http://www.hitc.com/GATA)

 

Former CFTC commissioner: Whistleblower allegation about volatility index manipulation ‘rings true’

The VIX, often called the market’s fear index, has been “suspect for at least seven years,” says Bart Chilton, former CFTC commissioner.

The allegation by a whistleblower , in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission , of potential manipulation of the VIX, a key gauge of market fear and volatility, “rings true,” a former market regulator told CNBC on Wednesday.

Formally called the CBOE Volatility Index, the VIX measures market expectations of near-term volatility conveyed by S&P 500 stock index option prices.

“The VIX has been suspect for at least seven years,” said Bart Chilton, former commissioner of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. The CFTC aims to protect market participants from fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices related to financial derivatives such as futures and options. “People have been concerned about prices being pushed around. Although, there’s never been any hard evidence,” he said.

http://www.hitc.com/en- gb/2018/02/15/former-cftc-comm
issioner-whistleblower- allegation-about-volatili

-END-

 

You must hear this interview of Chris Powell explain the cowardice of all our precious metals mining industry save a few

 

(courtesy Chris Powell/Mike Gleason/MME/GATA)

(GATA)GATA secretary explains cowardice of gold mining industry, financial news media

Submitted by cpowell on 05:52PM ET Friday, February 16, 2018. Section: Daily Dispatches

12:50p ET Friday, February 16, 2018

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Interviewed this week by Mike Gleason of Money Metals Exchange, your secretary/treasurer explained why most monetary metals mining companies are too scared to protest government’s suppression of the price of their products. That is, the industry is too vulnerable to government regulation and utterly dependent for financing by the major investment banks that are formally government agents.

Mainstream financial news organizations, your secretary/treasurer adds, won’t report the market rigging because governments consider it a national security issue.

But, he continues, the documentation of this market rigging is all over the place, including the internet site of the Bank for International Settlements, the broker for central bank intervention in the gold market.

The interview is 20 minutes long and can be heard and read at the Money Metals Exchange internet site here:

https://www.moneymetals.com/podcasts/2018/02/16/govt- lying-about-gold-activities-001419?utm_source=180216-POD- PN&keycode=180216-POD- PN&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=podcast

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

 

Dave Kranzler thinks that the Fed by adding 18 billion to the system is back to QE.  If so the dollar will tank

 

(courtesy Dave Kranzler/IRD)

 

Dave Kranzler: Is the Fed back to ‘quantitative easing’?

 Section: 

By Dave Kranzler
Investment Research Dynamics, Denver
Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Federal Reserve added $11 billion to its System Open Market Account account for the week ending yesterday. It purchased $11 billion in mortgage securities directly from banks.

This injects $11 billion into the banking system. Cash is “high-powered” money — it can be leveraged 10 times (banks need to hold 10 percent in reserves against “high-powered” money. Eleven billion dollars is $110 billion of leverage for the banks to use for activities such as propping up the stock market.

This certainly explains why there appears to be another “V” recovery in the stock market after a near-10-percent drawdown in the Dow and the SPX. This is very similar to the 10-percent market plunges in August 2015 and January 2016, both of which were followed with highly unusual “V” recoveries. …

… For the remainder of the report:

http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/is-the-fed-back-to-quantitative-ea…

END

 

Gold rose this week on the dollar collapse coupled with higher inflation

(courtesy James Turk/Kingworldnews)

 

Gold defied expectations to rise on inflation report, Turk says

 Section: 

7:14p ET Thursday, February 15, 2018

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Interviewed by King World News, GoldMoney founder and GATA consultant James Turk says gold’s sharp increase Tuesday on a day when it was supposed to lose no matter which way the government’s inflation report went suggests that the shorts are in serious trouble. Turk’s interview is posted at KWN here:

https://kingworldnews.com/james-turk-this-is-what-really-triggered-the-m…

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

END

 

A first ever fraud charge against a crypto trader

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

 

Federal Prosecutors File First-Ever Fraud Charges Against Crypto Trader

The nearly 10-year-old cryptocurrency space has reached one of the more ignominious milestones to date.

Several months after the SEC filed the first civil fraud action against an ICO founder who was believed to have stolen money from investors, US prosecutors are sending a message to the community by filing the first case of a criminal fraud prosecution in blockchain history, according to federal prosecutors in Chicago.

Prosecutors are expected to outline the charge that “from September through November 2017, Kim transferred more than $2 million of the trading firm’s Bitcoin and Litecoin to personal accounts to cover his own trading losses, which had been incurred while trading cryptocurrency futures on foreign exchanges.”

But unlike the previous civil actions, the criminal case involves an employee at a blockchain startup who stole from his employer to fund a severe gambling problem, according to ABC 7.

Kim

According to a local Chicago television station, a 24-year-old trader named Joseph Kim considered himself “invincible” according to federal investigators. The trader was charged after allegedly siphoning $2 million in bitcoin and litecoin away from his Chicago-based employer.

Kim, who’s biography identifies him as a 2016 graduate of University of Chicago, is charged with fraud against Consolidated Trading LLC. Kim illegally transferred the firm’s cryptocurrency to his own personal accounts, according to federal investigators, to cover trading losses.

The Korean-American then lied about the transfers and tried to cover up the illegal trades by repaying some of the funds, prosecutors claim.

According to a federal complaint, Kim referred to himself as “DEGEN”, short for “degenerative gambler.”

In an email to his bosses last November, Kim allegedly admitted to the scheme. “It was not my intention to steal for myself” he is quoted as writing. “Until the end I was perversely trying to fix what I had already done.”

“I can’t believe I did not stop myself when I had the money to give back, and I will live with that for the rest of my life,” he said, according to prosecutors.

Kim was hired as a trader in July 2016. In an email last November to the firm’s top executives authorities say Kim apologized and said he was “sorry to betray you all like this.”

Yet it was Consolidated’s management team that discovered the misappropriation.

Kim made his initial court appearance on Friday at 10:30 am before Magistrate Judge Daniel G. Martin at the Dirksen Federal Building.

end

This seeking alpha author correctly read the tea leaves on Agnico Eagle while others have not figured it out yet.

(courtesy Peter Arendas/Seeking Alpha)

 

Agnico Eagle Is Flying High

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 About: Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (AEM)

Peter Arendas
Long only, commodities, research analyst

Summary

Agnico Eagle Mines set a new gold production record in 2017.

The 2018 and 2019 production guidance was improved slightly.

In 2020, Agnico should produce more than 2 million toz gold.

The debt is well under control and the company expects to raise dividends after the Amaruq and Meliadine mines are completed.

If everything goes well, the $60 share price level may be crossed over the next two years.

Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) recorded great results in 2017. It confirmed its ability to grow production while keeping the costs low, especially when compared to the other major gold miners. It was also Agnico’s 6th consecutive year when it was able to beat its production guidance. Agnico is up by more than 50% over the last 2 years and although it has been moving sideways over the last 12 months, the company is in a good shape and it’s primed for a significant growth over the next two years.

ChartAEM data by YCharts

In 2017, Agnico Eagle Mines produced 1,713,533 toz. gold, at an AISC of $804/toz. It compares favorably to the recent guidance of 1.68 million toz. gold at an AISC of $845/toz. Compared to 2016, the gold production increased by 3.05%. The operating cash-flow climbed to $767.6 million, which is in line with 2016. The development capital expenses equaled $575 million and the free-cash-flow remained positive despite the extensive development activities. However, as the management has stated, in 2018 and H1 2019, the free-cash-flow will be negative, as the development CAPEX should climb to $1.08 billion in 2018 alone. The 2017 net income equaled $243.9 million, or $1.06 per share. It represents a 53.6% growth compared to 2016. The total cash costs declined to $558/toz., which is 2.6% better than in 2016. The AISC declined by 2.4%, to $804/toz.

Source: own processing, using data of Agnico Eagle Mines

As of December 31, Agnico Eagle Mines held cash & cash equivalents worth $643.9 million. Moreover, it had also credit lines of approximately $1.2 billion at its disposal. The news release also announced that in Q1 2018, notes worth $350 million, bearing an average interest of 4.75%, should be issued. Together with the cash-flow, Agnico should be more than sufficiently financed for the projected near-term growth.

Another very positive news is, that although Agnico Eagle set a new gold production record, it was able to grow its gold reserves by 3.1%, to 20.6 million toz. The biggest reserves are at Kittilä (4.09 million toz. gold, 4.74 g/t), Meliadine (3.677 million toz. gold, 7.12 g/t) and Canadian Malartic (3.189 million toz. gold, 1.1 g/t).

Source: own processing, using data of Agnico Eagle Mines

Also Agnico’s debt situation is well under control. As of the end of 2017, the long-term debt equaled $1.37 billion. It means that the long-term debt to operating cash-flow ratio stands only at 1.78. Moreover, the maturities are well manageable. The first portion of the debt ($360 million) matures in 2020. Another $225 million is due in 2022. The rest of maturities is spread over the 2023-2032 period and it is never more than $200 million per year.Source: Agnico Eagle Mines

The near-term growth prospects

The near-term prospects of Agnico Eagle Mines are very good. Although a slight decline in the production volumes is expected in 2018 (from 1.71 million toz. in 2017 to 1.53 million toz, or by 10.5%), in 2019 it should grow back to 1.7 million toz. and in 2020, the 2 million toz. per year level should be reached. The production growth should be fueled especially by the Amaruq and Meliadine projects, which should start gold production in 2019.

The Amaruq project is located in Canadian Nunavut territory. According to Agnico Eagle Mines, the deposit consists of multiple gold-bearing sulphide-rich lenses. It was discovered in 2013 and according to the December 2017 resource estimate, the proposed open pit contains reserves of 2.366 million toz. gold, at a gold grade of 3.67 g/t. It contains also measured & indicated resources of 720,000 toz. gold, at a gold grade of 3.15 g/t and inferred resources of 135,000 toz. gold at a gold grade of 4.3 g/t. Moreover, besides the open pit, there is potential also for an underground operation. The underground part of the deposit contains measured & indicated resources of 301,000 toz. gold at a gold grade of 5.64 g/t and inferred resources of 1.609 million toz. gold, at a gold grade of 6.5 g/t. Ore from Amaruq should be processed at the Meadowbank mill. The development of the open pit is underway and the final permits are expected by the end of Q3. According to Agnico’s corporate presentation, Amaruq should produce 162,500 toz. gold in 2019 and 265,000 toz. gold in 2020. The AISC is estimated at $850/toz, over the mine life.

Just like Amaruq, also the Meliadine project is located in Nunavut. The open pit portion of the deposit contains reserves of 628,000 toz. gold at a gold grade of 5.22 g/t and the underground portion of the deposit contains reserves of 3.05 million toz. gold at a gold grade of 7.7 g/t. The open pit contains also measured & indicated resources of 1.166 million toz. gold, at a gold grade of 3.46 g/t and inferred resources of 133,000 toz. gold at a gold grade of 4.56 g/t. The underground portion of the deposit contains measured & indicated resources of 1.901 million toz. gold, at a gold grade of 4 g/t and inferred resources of 2.533 million toz. gold at a gold grade of 6.14 g/t. The development of the underground operation and facilities is underway, with a production start-up projected for 2019. The gold production should reach the 170,000 toz. gold level in 2019 and 385,000 toz. gold level in 2020. In years 2 through 12, the average annual production should equal approximately 400,000 toz. gold. The life of mine AISC is estimated at $720/toz.

Conclusion

Agnico Eagle Mines is in a good shape which was confirmed also by the 2017 results. The company is able to generate a lot of cash at the current gold prices and its cash-generating ability is poised to grow further, as its gold production should increase to 2 million toz. gold per year by 2020. As stated in the recent news release, after the Amaruq and Meliadine projects are completed (in the middle of 2019), the free-cash-flow should grow notably, which should be reflected also by higher dividend payments. Right now, the dividend stands at $0.11 per quarter and at the current share price of $45.1, the dividend yield equals slightly less than 1%. If there are no negative surprises and the gold price stays at least at the current levels, it is reasonable to expect Agnico Eagle’s shares to retest the summer 2016 highs at $60 over the next two years.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.




Your early FRIDAY 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  /shanghai bourse CLOSED  / HANG SANG CLOSED
2. Nikkei closed UP 255.27 POINTS OR 1.19% /USA: YEN RISES TO 106.29/DEADLY AS YEN CARRY TRADERS DISINTEGRATE

3. Europe stocks OPENED DEEPLY IN THE GREEN   /USA dollar index RISES TO 88.73/Euro FALLS TO 1.2466

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO . +.059/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 106.29/ 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:: 61.36  and Brent: 64.45

3f Gold UP/Yen DOWN

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO +.740%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN to 2.016% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD DOWN TO 1.479%

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS TO : 4.27?????????????????

3k Gold at $1355.80 silver at:16.82     7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 6/100 in roubles/dollar) 56.46

3m oil into the 61 dollar handle for WTI and 64 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 106.29 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 0.9243 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1527 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 +0.740%

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 2.889% early this morning (THIS IS DEADLY TO ALL MARKETS). Thirty year rate at 3.141% /BOTH VERY DEADLY

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

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

Violent Dollar Swings Fail To Stop Futures Levitation, Best Week For Stocks Since 2011

Global stocks were set to post their best week of gains in six years on Friday after two consecutive weeks spent in the red, shrugging off a rise in global borrowing costs while the dollar hit its lowest level since 2014. The MSCI world index rose 0.4% after European bourses opened. .After suffering its biggest weekly drop since August 2015 last week, this week’s recovery puts the index on track for its best weekly showing since early December 2011.

As Deutsche Bank notes, “The S&P 500 (+1.21%) rose for the 5th day and is now up +2.15% YTD which on a compounded annualised basis is c18.5%!! On this basis the NASDAQ (+1.58% yesterday, +5.11% YTD) is up c49.5% on an annualised basis.

As Reuters notes, investors remain puzzled at this week’s quick rebound in stock markets, which has also coincided with a rise in bond yields on evidence that inflation is starting to creep up globally. The most frequent argument offered by economists has been that historically, it’s not unusual for stocks and bond market borrowing costs to rise in tandem with a rapidly expanding economy.

“For me it’s really a question of maybe. Markets are taking a look at the inflationary outlook and saying OK, maybe rates are going up and maybe the economy will compensate for that,” said Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets. “That might change if we move to 3 percent on the 10-year (Treasury).”

In an especially quiet and illiquid overnight session, with most of Asia on holiday celebrating the Lunar New Year, FX traders saw fireworks in the latest violent lunges of the dollar, and especially the USDJPY, which tumbled as low as 105.55, taking out perimeter stops, and sending the pair to a fresh 15 month low, as the market shrugged off the widely-expected nomination of Haruhiko Kuroda (translation: no change to the BOJ’s policy) for another term as the BOJ governor, while Japanese stocks closed 1.2% higher, ignoring the spike in the yen.

While Japan closed higher, and Australia slightly lower, most major markets across Asia Pacific shut for Lunar New Year holidays, volumes in the region were light. What markets were open, were broadly in the green this morning…

… with European stocks emerging from the shadow of a global selloff rose further on Friday, extending their biggest weekly gain in more than a year. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rises 0.8%, with energy shares leading a broad rebound. This morning’s equity newsflow has been largely dominated by a busy slate of earnings from the likes
of Renault (+3.1%), Eni (+1.5%), Allianz (-0.7%) and Vivendi (-5.8%) which have provided a bulk of the focus for traders thus far. Elsewhere, Vopak jumped after saying it has the potential to “significantly improve” its 2019 Ebitda, while Vivendi tumbled after posting earnings and confirming trends previously reported in January.

Over in the US, U.S. stock index futures rose, although were off session highs, signaling further gains on Wall Street as global equities continue to recover and bond yields fall back from recent peaks. So far in the rebound, the S&P 500 has recouped more than 50% of the losses suffered in the latest correction, the index is back above its 50-DMA and technical breadth is rising.

Bit the biggest mover so far was the dollar came under early pressure as the Lunar New Year kept liquidity below average, as greenback sellers found limited resistance in pushing the currency lower before a long weekend in the U.S. In the process, the euro hit a fresh three-year high, while the yen seems determined to check barrier defense at 105.00. However shortly after the European open, the mood reversed completely, and the dollar saw a strong bid amid what some speculated was a broad round of dollar short covering, sending the BBG dollar index to session highs.

There is no strong consensus yet on what is driving the dollar’s persistent weakness, especially in light of rising yields. Some say it simply reflects a return of risk appetite and a shift to higher-yielding currencies, including many emerging market ones. But others cite concerns that Washington might pursue a weak dollar strategy as well as talk that foreign central banks may be reallocating their reserves out of the dollar. There are also worries President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and fiscal spending could stoke inflation and erode the value of the dollar.

“His protectionist policies could also fan inflation. Markets appear to have calmed down for now but fundamentally it is different from last year,” said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. “You could say that right now, rather than stocks rising around the world, it is the dollar falling against almost everything,” he added.

Benchmark Treasury yields halted their surge at around 2.9% and the dollar paused after falling to a three-year low against major peers. Failing to break above 2.90%, the yield on the 10Y Treasury has instead tested the downside, and was currently trading just north of 2.88%, which has proven a support level over the past 48 hours.

 

Even with borrowing costs on the rise, investors seem once again unconvinced they’re not yet at levels that would hinder equities as economic growth accelerates. While a larger number of economists forecast the Federal Reserve to step up its pace of interest-rate increases, that’s not helping the greenback, and as Bloomberg again highlights, the U.S.’s twin deficits have become a likely catalyst for a renewed wave of dollar-selling after February’s brief rally.

 

In other news, the White House urged the House to advance the Goodlatte immigration proposal after 4 bills were defeated in the Senate. Former Trump campaign adviser Gates is said to be nearing a plea deal with Special Counsel Mueller with negotiations having taken around a month alreadyThe UK’s IOD has put forward a bespoke Brexit solution which it believes will protect manufacturers from customs chaos but also allow the UK to strike independent trade deals. UK Retail Sales disappointed, rising on 0.1 M/M% vs. Exp. 0.5%.

Elsewhere, crude oil rose to a one-week high as the greenback’s slump increased the appeal of dollar-priced commodities. Bitcoin pared earlier gains, failing to hold above $10,000, while South Africa’s rand held near a three-year high as newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to deliver his state-of-the-nation speech Friday.

On today’s calendar, expected data include housing starts, building permits and University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. Coca-Cola, Deere, Kraft Heinz and Air Canada are among companies reporting earnings

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.4% to 2,745.50
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.8% to 379.55
  • MXAP up 0.7% to 177.20
  • MXAPJ up 0.4% to 579.63
  • Nikkei up 1.2% to 21,720.25
  • Topix up 1.1% to 1,737.37
  • Sensex down 0.9% to 34,001.42
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.08% to 5,904.04
  • Kospi up 1.1% to 2,421.83
  • German 10Y yield fell 2.0 bps to 0.744%
  • Euro up 0.2% to $1.2531
  • Italian 10Y yield unchanged at 1.796%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 2.8 bps to 1.479%
  • Brent futures up 0.5% to $64.62/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.5% to $1,360.00
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.1% to 88.47

Top overnight news

  • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated Haruhiko Kuroda to lead the Bank of Japan for another five-year term, with the Cabinet forwarding the nomination to parliament on Friday
  • The U.S. Senate blocked four immigration proposals Thursday, deepening a bitter impasse over how to protect 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants from deportation
  • U.K. is ready to set out its vision of how it wants financial services to operate after Brexit and favors “mutual recognition” of regulations to preserve the City of London’s access to the EU, FT reports, citing three unidentified senior figures briefed on Brexit discussions in the cabinet
  • Brexit talks are currently not headed to a disorderly exit, EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says at Munich Security Conference
  • Britain should aim for a partial customs union with the EU once it quits the bloc, according to the Institute of Directors
  • PIMCO had about $15 billion of third-party inflows in January as the bond manager owned by Allianz SE was allocated money by retail and institutional investors in Asia and the U.S., Chief Financial Officer Giulio Terzariol said in a Bloomberg TV interview on Friday

Stock markets were quiet in Asia with most the region away for Lunar New Year holiday, while the few bourses which were open seemed to have joined in on the celebratory tone and initially took impetus from a 5th consecutive win streak on Wall St. As such, ASX 200 (-0.1%) was positive for most the day with earnings in focus, although upside was capped and later reversed amid profit taking in mining-related sectors. Nikkei 225 (+1.2%) continued to defy the recent JPY strength and outperformed as participants widely anticipated the Japanese government nominations for Kuroda to serve a 2nd term and 2 more doves for the Deputy Governor roles, while markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore were among the mass holiday closures. Finally, 10yr JGBs were higher as Japanese yields retreated across the curve and which also followed the gains in USTs during the prior session, while the enhanced liquidity auction for longer-dated bonds failed to impact prices with the results broadly in line with the prior.
Japan submitted nomination for BoJ Governor Kuroda to stay on for another term, while it also nominated reflationist academic Wakatabe and BoJ’s Amamiya as Deputy Governors.

Top Asian News

  • Kuroda Nominated for Another Term as BOJ Governor
  • One of India’s Richest Men Allegedly Executed a $2 Billion Fraud
  • Ex-Lehman Banker Sees Gold Mine in India Bankruptcy Overhaul
  • India Stocks Fall as Deficit, Bank Fraud Weigh on Sentiment
  • Top China Lithium Producer to Extend Deal Spree with Listing

European equities (Eurostoxx 50 +0.9%) trade higher across the board after what was another firm close on Wall Street (S&P 500 +1.2%). All ten sectors trade in positive territory with outperformance in utility names following stellar earnings from EDF (+6.2%), subsequently dragging other names in the space higher. Elsewhere, energy names are performing well as prices remain supported by the softer USD. This morning’s equity newsflow has been largely dominated by a busy slate of earnings from the likes of Renault (+3.1%), Eni (+1.5%), Allianz (-0.7%) and Vivendi (-5.8%) which have provided a bulk of the focus for traders thus far.

Top European News

  • EDF Sees Profit Rebounding This Year as Power Prices Recover
  • U.K. Retail Sales Barely Grow as Consumers Subdued by Inflation
  • Saab Plunges After Failing to Live Up to Lowest Profit Estimates
  • Eni Boosts Production to Record as Profit Beats Estimates
  • Renault’s Ghosn Pledges ‘Irreversible’ Alliance With Nissan
  • Africa’s Richest Man Is Said to Revive Dangote Cement London IPO

In currencies, the Yen’s flight continues to compound the Dollar’s plight amongst G10 majors, but the Greenback remains a broader loser as EM currencies and commodities also prosper amidst the latest Usd sell-off. The DXY only just held above major Fib support at 88.250 overnight as Usd/Jpy selling eased up ahead of 105.50. However, only mild verbal acknowledgment of the largely one-way tide from Japanese officials, and no mention of intervention inspired a tame or token rebound to around 106.00 before the slide resumed. The Aud and Nzd are now looking at 0.8000 and 0.7450 vs their US counterpart, while the Eur has eclipsed its previous 2018 peak to trade just above 1.2550 and a few pips over the 1.2551 100 MMA having surpassed the 200 version (1.2453) on the way. Stops are said to waiting on a break of 1.2570, ahead of the next upside tech target at 1.2598, but a decent 1.2550 option expiry (1 bn) may keep the pair in check. Cable has now advanced through 1.4100 and almost hit 1.4144, with price action relatively contained following this morning’s below-expectation UK retail sales release. Usd/Chf is seriously testing the 0.9200 handle, with 0.9175 in sight. Japan’s Chief Govt. spokesman said the FX market has shown one-sided moves recently. He added no need to change government stance on FX however no comments were added on  whether appropriate measures include FX intervention.

In commodities, WTI and Brent crude futures continue to benefit from the softer USD with prices eyeing USD 62.00bbl and USD 65.00bbl to the upside respectively despite forecasts for a continuation of surging US production and a slew of markets currently shut in Asia; Baker Hughes set to take focus in the latter stages of the session. In metals markets, gold is on course for its largest percentage rise in two years as the softer USD and buying ahead of the Chinese Lunar New year dictated a bulk of the price action. Elsewhere, copper has also benefited from the aforementioned currency swings and global manufacturing picture with prices on track for their largest gain in over a year.

Looking at the day ahead, there is January retail sales data in the UK this morning. In the US, the January import price index, housing starts and building permits along with the preliminary February University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading are also due. Elsewhere, the ECB’s Coeure will speak and Coca- Cola and Kraft Heinz will report their earnings.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Import Price Index MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 0.1%; YoY, est. 2.95%, prior 3.0%
  • 8:30am: Export Price Index MoM, est. 0.3%, prior -0.1%; YoY, prior 2.6%
  • 8:30am: Housing Starts, est. 1.23m, prior 1.19m; MoM, est. 3.52%, prior -8.2%
  • 8:30am: Building Permits, est. 1.3m, prior 1.3m; MoM, est. 0.0%, prior -0.1%
  • 10am: U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 95.4, prior 95.7; Conditions, est. 111.1, prior 110.5; Expectations, est. 87.2, prior 86.3

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Another day, another higher inflation print largely ignored by the market. This time it was US core PPI that beat (0.4% mom vs 0.2% expected). As DB’s Matt Luzzetti highlighted the standout in the report was an incredibly strong reading for health care PPI, which is used to estimate the health care component of the PCE price index – the Fed’s favoured gauge. Health care PPI was up 0.68% m/m on a seasonally adjusted basis, the strongest print since the first reading of this series in Jan 2007. The data implies a sharp jump in the yoy rate for health care PCE inflation from about 1.5% to 2.2%. Matt went onto say that Wednesday’s CPI data and yesterday’s health care PPI data are consistent with a very strong core PCE print for January (+0.3% m/m), which would lift the 3m and 6m annualized inflation rate above 2%. So the inflation narrative builds and builds. This story and its’ impact on markets won’t go away in our opinion and we might just be ignoring it as we normalise from last week’s shock.

The S&P 500 (+1.21%) rose for the 5th day and is now up +2.15% YTD which on a compounded annualised basis is c18.5%!! On this basis the NASDAQ (+1.58% yesterday, +5.11% YTD) is up c49.5% on an annualised basis. Within the S&P, all sectors but energy rose, with gains led by the utilities and tech stocks. The VIX (-0.67%) fell for the 5th day and closed at 19.13.

10yr Treasuries initially rose in yield after the PPI report and at the highs of session (2.942%) they were a good 14bps higher than just before Wednesday’s CPI. However a rally to 2.91% by the close left yields just 0.7bps higher on the day. Elsewhere, Bund (+0.7bp) and Gilt (+0.5bp) 10y yields were little changed, while peripherals outperformed modestly with yields down 3bp to flat.

This morning in Asia, the Nikkei (+1.35%) is up while the ASX 200 (-0.08%) is marginally lower, while most other bourses are closed for Chinese New Year holidays. In Japan, the parliament has officially reappointed the existing BOJ Governor Kuroda for another five year term, as widely expected. The YEN is marginally higher this morning.

There’s been a fair amount of discussion in markets this week over the well cited story from Bloomberg that Bridgewater Associates (the largest hedge fund in the world) now has a $22bn short position on European stocks.  Obviously when a major global player does this you have to take notice. Staying in this asset class, DB’s European equity strategist Sebastian Raedler has argued in a note this morning that the recent equity market sell-off in the US and Europe was due to rising real bond yields. Yet, given that Euro area growth momentum is still supportive, the sell-off in European equities seems excessive, with the Stoxx 600 now trading around 7% below the fair-value level implied by his tactical model (375 versus an implied fair-value at 400). Yet, Sebastian remains tactically neutral on the market, as he expects fair-value to fall to 365 by mid-year on the back of a likely fade in Euro area PMIs over the coming months (driven by the lagged impact of EUR strength and a less favourable inventory cycle). He argues that  the main downside risk for European equities is that real bond yields continue rising.

If they increase by a further 50bps by mid-year, in line with our rates strategists’ projections, this would lower the implied fair-value level for the Stoxx 600 to around 345 (7% downside from current levels). See the note here for  more details. Flipping over to credit, yesterday Michal Jezek in my team published a report “Credit Derivatives Update: Positioning, Pricing and Long CDS/Short TRS in EUR & USD IG”. Firstly, the piece offers a concise summary of the latest positioning data in European and US CDS indices, given the extreme swings last week.

Secondly, it provides a brief comment on the latest repricing of CDS indices and options. And finally, it argues that recent hedging via CDS has made CDS cheapness relative to cash bonds even more extreme. Michal reiterates his earlier macro credit trade idea that takes advantage of the currently dislocated CDS-bond basis. You can download the report here.

Now recapping other markets performance from yesterday. European bourses were all higher, with the Stoxx 600  (+0.53%) up for the second day and gains driven by materials and tech stocks. Across the region, the CAC led the gains (+1.11%) while the DAX (+0.06%) and FTSE (+0.29%) advanced modestly. Turning to currencies, the US dollar index weakened for the fourth consecutive day (-0.59%; -3.8% YTD), while the Euro and Sterling gained 0.44% and  0.71% respectively. In commodities, WTI oil rose 1.35% to $61.42/bbl while precious metals consolidated on their larger gains from the prior day (Gold +0.22%; Silver +0.05%).

Back to currencies, DB’s Saravelos has been getting numerous enquiries as to how can it be that US yields are rising sharply, yet the dollar is so weak at the same time? He believes the answer is simple: the dollar is not going down despite higher yields but because of them. Higher yields mean lower bond prices and US bonds are lower because investors don’t want to buy them. This is an entirely different regime to previous years.

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, the February Philly Fed business outlook index was above market at 25.8 (vs. 21.5 expected) while the empire manufacturing index fell 4.6pts mom to 13.1 (vs. 18 expected). Notably, the latter reading is still in expansionary levels and the new orders and employment indices both firmed, as did the six-month ahead outlook for business conditions. Elsewhere, the January IP fell 0.1% mom (vs. 0.2% expected), weighed down by lower mining activity, while capacity utilisation was also below expectations at 77.5% (vs. 78%). Finally, the February NAHB housing market index was in line at 72, while the weekly continuing claims (1,942k vs. 1,925k expected) and initial jobless claims  (230k vs. 228k expected) were both higher than expectations.

In Europe, France’s 4Q unemployment rate was lower than expected at 8.9% (vs. 9.5%) – the lowest unemployment rate since 1Q 2009. The Euro area’s December trade surplus was slightly above market at €23.8bln (vs. €22.3bln), while the final reading for Spain’s January inflation was unrevised at 0.7% yoy.

Looking at the day ahead, there is January retail sales data in the UK this morning. In the US, the January import price index, housing starts and building permits along with the preliminary February University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading are also due. Elsewhere, the ECB’s Coeure will speak and Coca- Cola and Kraft Heinz will report their earnings.

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late THURSDAY night/FRIDAY morning: Shanghai closed /Hang Sang CLOSED / The Nikkei closed UP 255.27 POINTS OR 1.19%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.07%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.3415/Oil DOWN to 61.36 dollars per barrel for WTI and 64.45 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED DEEPLY IN THE GREEN  .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.3415. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST  THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.2980//ONSHORE YUAN /OFFSHORE YUAN NOT TRADING

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

/NORTH KOREA

end
 

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

c) REPORT ON CHINA

 

Troubled HNA has now cut its stake in Deutsche bank.  There seems to be a liquidation panic by the company. Their bankruptcy will have far reaching effects throughout the globe.

(courtesy zerohedge)

HNA Cuts Stake In Deutsche Bank Amid Liquidation Panic

One week ago, we reported that Deutsche Bank stock tumbled to the lowest level since November 2016 amid Chinese media reports  that the bank’s largest shareholder, China’s biggest and most distressed conglomerate, HNA, had reportedly defaulted after it missed a payment on a peer-to-peer product sold on Phoenix Finance, an investment and wealth management platform of Phoenix TV.

The default, if confirmed, would force a liquidation scramble at HNA as creditors demanded to be made whole immediately, forcing the conglomerate to sell most or all of its assets, including its massive stakes in various global real estate investment and public companies.

Neither event should have been a surprise: in January we reported that HNA was on the verge of bankruptcy, which “could unleash another liquidation panic in Deutsche Bank shares if other shareholders become convinced that HNA is looking to sell its $4 billion worth of DB shares (roughly a 10% stake) and try to frontrun it.”

Since then Deutsche Bank tumbled amid fears HNA would dump its holdings, while a few days later Bloomberg confirmed that HNA’s liquidity situation had indeed crossed its solvency “event horizon” and the Chinese firm had started liquidating  billions in US commercial real estate.

The stock plunged.

Commenting on this latest adverse development prompted by HNA’s imploding liquidity, we told readers to “keep a close eye on Deutsche Bank stock: while HNA may have promised John Cryan it won’t sell any time soon, companies tend to quickly change their mind when bankruptcy court beckons.”

One week later this predication was confirmed – in part – when on Thursday night HNA announced it had cut its stake in Europe’s biggest bank from 9.9% to 8.8%.

As the FT first reported, C-Quadrat, the Austrian asset manager through which HNA had initially bought its 9.9% stake in Deutsche Bank, said it had reduced its stake to “approximately 8.8 per cent” as of February 16 and that “further reduction of our holding is not planned.” We doubt the latter very much.

Incidentally, this was not the first but second sale of DB stock by HNA in the last week, which last Friday quietly snuck in the news that its share of voting rights had fallen from 9.9 to 9.2% and that it had lent 4.9% of its stake in the bank to raise funding while retaining a right to recall the stock.

In other words, between the sale of ~1% of Deutsche Bank stock, and the pledging of another 5% as collateral, HNA has obtained emergency liquidity to the tune of 6% of DBK’s market cap or roughly $2 billion.

The problem is that this won’t be nearly enough for the conglomerate facing tens of billions in near-term debt maturities amid a liquidity shortage, which – now that HNA has officially started dumping Deutsche shares – will further pressure DBK stock.

Worse, with HNA having pledged DB shares as collateral, any further drop in DBK stock will lead to margin calls, forcing HNA to raise even more capital as the market frontruns HNA’s ongoing liquidation of DB stock. This is precisely the “worst case scenario” we first discussed last July in “A Reverse Rollup From Hell”: China’s “Boldest Dealmaker” Faces Margin Call Disintegration.”

In retrospect, this would be a fitting end to one of the most perverse “new abnormal” relationships, one in which the “biggest shareholder of Europe’s most distressed bank is China’s most insolvent conglomerate.

The biggest shareholder of Europe’s most distressed bank is China’s most insolvent conglomerate https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-07/deutsche-bank-tumbles-2016-lows-amid-reports-hna-technical-default 

Deutsche Bank Tumbles To 2016 Lows Amid Reports Of HNA Technical Default

Deutsche stock is tumbling, down 4.1% on Wednesday, sliding to the lowest level since November 2016, amid speculation that its largest shareholders, China’s HNA Group conglomerate is in technical…

end

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

8. EMERGING MARKET

 

 

INDIA

Indian banks tumble after a $2 billion fraud is uncovered by one of India’s richest men after they used “ghost collateral” on huge number of their loans

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

Indian Banks Tumble After $2 Billion Fraud By One Of India’s Richest Men Emerges

Indian authorities have uncovered a $2 billion banking fraud involving one of the country’s 100 richest men, a jeweler who made his name dressing Hollywood and Bollywood actors including Kate Winslet and Priyanka Chopra. His name is Nirav Modi, and on Friday shares of the Punjab National Bank – or PNB – plunged after federal investigators first unveiled their findings in a fraud investigation.

In its complaint to India’s the Central Bureau of Investigation, PNB alleged that the fraud was led by Nirav Modi, a jeweler who’s dressed Hollywood and Bollywood actors including Kate Winslet and Priyanka Chopra. Modi’s No. 85 on Forbes’s 2017 list of India’s richest people and, at 47, is one of the youngest names on that list, according to Bloomberg.

The scheme also involved Mehul Choksi, whose Gitanjali Group of companies was intimately involved in the fraud.

PNB on Friday said it had filed complaints against Mehul Choksi’s Gitanjali Group of companies. These include Gitanjali Gems Ltd. and PNB alleges a 49 billion rupee (nearly $800 million) loss from Choksi’s companies, CBI spokesman Abhishek Dayal said in a text message.

India

Nirav Modi

PNB also claimed that Modi and Choksi worked with a former PNB employee, Gokulnath Shetty, who was posted at a PNB branch in Mumbai from where the fraud originated. Shetty was a deputy general manager in the bank’s FX department.

Shelly was instrumental in helping Modi and Choksi pull off the heist.

The details of the scheme will sound familiar to anybody who has read our coverage of China’s “ghost collateral” scandal: Modi and his collaborators secured fake guarantee letters from PNB bank, used over a period of roughly six years to secure some $2 billion in loans from overseas branches of Indian banks. During the scheme, several fake guarantee letters were issued by PNB – all without evidence of collateral – that were then used to secure the loans.

The schemers allegedly then bypassed the lender’s internal messaging system in order to avoid detection, and placed instructions via the Swift global payment system asking overseas branches of Indian banks to pay out cash in the form of “secured” loans. The exact details of how this played out haven’t yet been made clear.

And the scheme probably would’ve continued, if it hadn’t been for those pesky federal regulators.

Indeed, the scam was uncovered when Modi approached the bank about securing a new loan for its company. But Shetty – his man on the inside – had retired, and his successor declined to honor Modi’s request. In an incredibly brazen move, Modi – who had apparently become too comfortable with the success of his scheme – contested the bank’s decision to deny him another guarantee.

“At this, the firms contested that they have been availing this facility in the past also but the branch records did not reveal details of any such facility,” PNB said in the complaint.

It was only then that the bank and investigators discovered fake letters of undertaking and filed an initial complaint alleging a $44 million fraud. Two weeks later, it filed another complaint covering transactions worth about $1.8 billion,according to people familiar with the matter.

The exposure of the scheme – and the realization that the loans would never be repaid – sent PNB scrambling to try and pin some of the exposure on its counterparties, the overseas branches of Axis Bank and Allahabad Bank.

PNB has alleged that the money was used either to retire import bills or replenish maturing lines of credit with some other banks, according to the document seen by Bloomberg. In its public complaint, PNB names the Hong Kong branches of Axis Bank Ltd. and Allahabad Bank as the overseas counterparties.

Allahabad Bank has exposure of about 40 billion rupees while Axis Bank has a roughly 30 billion rupee exposure, a person familiar with the matter told reporters in New Delhi. Union Bank has about 20 billion rupee exposure with rest accounted to State Bank of India, the person said, asking not to be named as the information isn’t public.

“Allahabad Bank has raised claims of two tranches of $26 million each from Punjab National Bank for underwriting the letter of credit,” the Mint newspaper reported citing Usha Ananthasubramanian, managing director at Allahabad Bank. “We want the bank to pay up as the exposure is on PNB.”

Axis Bank told the exchanges on Thursday that the transactions were undertaken in the normal course of business and credited to PNB’s nostro accounts. It added it has “sold down all of the referred transactions.”

The Reserve Bank of India has been left to disentangle the mess, and has asked for all parties involved to submit all relevant information about the loans by the end of the week.

India’s government has asked all banks to send reports involving this case or other such incidents latest by the end of this week, the Press Trust of India reported.

The banking bureaucrat Kumar told BloombergQuint that the case is an isolated one. About 10 PNB employees have been suspended pending the CBI investigation, he said. He didn’t name any of the accused.

PNB’s CEO said Modi has reached out to PNB to present a repayment plan but the bank has sought more details. Nirav Modi had left India even before the CBI complaint was filed, according to media reports that didn’t cite any people.

India’s foreign ministry on Friday said it has suspended Modi and Choksi’s passports, and the documents may be revoked if they fail to respond.

“We will seek government intervention to extradite Modi and Choksi and will not allow any settlement that leaves burden on tax payers,” C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary of the All India Bank Employees Association, said in a phone interview. “From the data we are collecting the sense is that the amount is set to become bigger.”

Meanwhile, the authorities are seeking to extradite Modi and Choksi and promising that any settlement to help shore up PNB’s damaged balance sheet will not saddle taxpayers with the cost of the bailout.

But we imagine that promise is about as genuine as the collateral Modi and Choksi used to “secure” their loans.

end

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

Euro/USA 1.2466 DOWN .0025/ 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  GREEN  

USA/JAPAN YEN 106.29 UP  0.183 (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/DEADLY UNWINDING OF YEN CARRY TRADE

GBP/USA 1.4047 DOWN .0056(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 1.2492 UP .0011 (CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA)

Early THIS FRIDAY morning in Europe, the Euro FELL by 35 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level RISING to 1.2466; / Last night Shanghai composite CLOSED  Hang Sang CLOSED  /AUSTRALIA CLOSED DOWN 0.07% / EUROPEAN BOURSES DEEPLY IN THE GREEN  

The NIKKEI: this FRIDAY morning CLOSED UP 255.27 POINTS OR 1.19%

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

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED  / SHANGHAI CLOSED   /

Australia BOURSE CLOSED DOWN 0.07% /

Nikkei (Japan)CLOSED UP 255.27 POINTS OR 1.19%

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE GREEN

Gold very early morning trading: 1355.00

silver:$16.80

Early FRIDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.889% !!! DOWN 1 IN POINTS from THURSDAY night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%. (POLICY FED ERROR)/ VERY DEADLY

The 30 yr bond yield 3.141 DOWN 2 IN BASIS POINTS from THURSDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/DEADLY

USA dollar index early FRIDAY morning: 88.73 UP 15  CENT(S) from THURSDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers FRIDAY MORNING

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And now your closing FRIDAY NUMBERS \1 PM

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 2.006% DOWN 6  in basis point(s) yield from THURSDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.0.059% DOWN 1    in basis points yield from THURSDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.461% DOWN 4  IN basis point yield from THURSDAY/

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.985 DOWN 7 POINTS in basis point yield from THURSDAY/

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 53 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: +.706%  DOWN 6  IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY

END

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IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR FRIDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.2431 DOWN.0072 (Euro DOWN 72 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 106.20 UP 0.090 Yen DOWN 9 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.4042 DOWN .0061( POUND DOWN 61 BASIS POINTS)

USA/Canada 1.2539 UP  .0058 Canadian dollar DOWN 58 Basis points AS OIL ROSE TO $61.84

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This afternoon, the Euro was DOWN 72 to trade at 1.2431

The Yen FELL to 106.20 for a LOSS of 9 Basis points as NIRP is STILL a big failure for the Japanese central bank/HELICOPTER MONEY IS NOW DELAYED/BANK OF JAPAN NOW WORRIED AS AS THEY ARE RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY AS BOND YIELDS RISE

The POUND FELL BY 61 basis points, trading at 1.4042/

The Canadian dollar FELL by 58 basis points to 1.2539/ WITH WTI OIL RISING TO : $61.84

The USA/Yuan closed AT 6.3415
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.059% UP 1  BASIS POINTS / yield/
Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield DOWN 2 IN basis points from THURSDAY at 2.860% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.118  DOWN 2  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, 88.97 UP 38 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 FRIDAY: 1:00 PM EST

London: CLOSED UP 59.89 POINTS OR 0.83%
German Dax :CLOSED UP 105.79 POINTS OR 0.86%
Paris Cac CLOSED UP 59.06 POINTS OR 1.13%
Spain IBEX CLOSED UP 117.20 POINTS OR 1.21%

Italian MIB: CLOSED UP 302.24 POINTS OR 1.34%

The Dow closed UP 19.01 POINTS OR 0.08%

NASDAQ WAS DOWN 16.96 Points OR 0.23% 4.00 PM EST

WTI Oil price; 61.84 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 64.92 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS: 56.28 DOWN 11/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE HIGHER BY 11 BASIS PTS)

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD FALLS TO +.706% FOR THE 10 YR BOND 1.00 PM EST EST

END

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

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

WTI CRUDE OIL PRICE 4:30 PM:$61.65

BRENT: $64.92

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.870%   THIS RAPID ASSENT IN YIELD IS VERY DANGEROUS/DERIVATIVES START TO BLOW UP/still dangerous/stays extremely high in yield/

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.127%/BROKE GUNDLACH’S KEY 3.00% AGAIN WHERE ALL VALUATIONS ON STOCKS BLOW UP/ STILL DEADLY

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS: 1.2409 DOWN.0093  (DOWN 93 BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:106.26 UP 0.165/ YEN DOWN 17 BASIS POINTS/ very dangerous as yen carry traders are getting killed/yen continues to rise despite the NYSE rising.

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 89.12 UP 52 cent(s)/dangerous as the lower the dollar the higher the inflation.

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.4023 : DOWN 0.0081  (FROM YESTERDAY NIGHT UP 78 POINTS)

Canadian dollar: 1.2551 DOWN 70 BASIS pts

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +0.706%


VOLATILITY INDEX:  19.46  CLOSED  UP   0.32  

END

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

Massive Squeeze Sparks Best Week For Stocks In 7 Years As Dollar Crashes

This week can be summed up thus…

and thus…

Year-to-Date, Gold is leading stocks as bonds get battered…

But it was quite a week for stocks…

  • Nasdaq, S&P – best week since Dec 2011
  • Dow – best week since Nov 2016
  • Small Caps – best week since Dec 2016
  • “Most Shorted” Stocks – biggest weekly short-squeeze since Nov 2016
  • VIX – biggest weekly drop since Nov 2016
  • US Treasury Yield Curve – 2nd biggest weekly flattening since Sept 2011
  • HYG (HY Bond ETF) – best week since Feb 2016 (despite record outflows)
  • Dollar Index – 2nd worst week in 6 months
  • Gold – best week since April 2016
  • Bitcoin – best week in 2 months

Stocks were a one-way bet as mysterious dip-buyers picked up everything…except today’s Mueller/Russians drop…

On the day, Nasdaq ended red and Dow and S&P gave back pretty much everything into the bell…

 

Futures show the real craziness of the swing as Nasdaq surged 10% off last Friday’s lows…

 

In the biggest short-squeeze since the election…

 

The Dow broke through its Fibonnacci 61.8% retrace before pulling back on Russia indictment headlines…

 

VIX closed back below 20…

VIX yield curve still inverted (red) but dramatically less backwardated than a week ago (green)

 

And WTF is going in SVXY!!!!!

But adjusted for the collapse in price…

Overall Vols came back this week but Rate-Vol seems more elevated than norms now…

 

Treasury yields were mixed on the week with the long-end bid (-3bps) and the rest of the curve bear-flattening…

 

30Y remains in the range but notably lower in yield on the week…

 

And 2s30s tumbled…

 

The Dollar Index had an ugly week…

Dollar’s lowest weekly close since Dec 2014…

 

The Dollar (down), Stocks (up) and Gold (up) were all one big happy family this week…

 

A weak dollar sparked a bid across all commodities with copper leading the charge…

Copper’s huge outperformance this week suggests 10Y Yields should be notably higher…

 

Cryptos had a great week…

With Bitcoin back above $10,000 once again…

 

Finally, as Gluskin Sheff’s David Rosenberg notes, the new definition of economic strength when 60% of the incoming US data have come in shy of estimates this month and only 30% have topped expectations.

The Citi surprise index has rolled over to four-month lows.

Imagine what a weak economy must look like!

end

 

Trading early this morning: Inflation is gripping the uSA; it jumped a whopping 1% month over month

(courtesy zerohedge)

Inflation Dead Ahead: Core Import Prices Surge Most In 6 Years

Economists, but mostly traders, breathed a sigh of relief last month when US import prices (ex petroleum) printed an unexpected 0.2% drop last month, a big miss relative to expectations and recent gains. However, as it turned out, this unexpected drop was merely a deferred exporting of deflation by US trade partners, and in January import prices jumped by a whopping 1.0% M/M, in line with the highest monthly increase observed in the past five years.

Furthermore, excluding petroleum, the annual increase in import prices (NSA) rose to the highest in 6 years, as suddenly the US is importing far more inflation that previously expected. And since this is usually a 2-3 month leading indicator, we expect this number to manifest itself in rising prices some time in the early spring, just as the Fed unveils its new and improved dot plot.

Finally, those wondering where this inflation is being imported from, the chart below should provide some hints.

end

Another indicator of the economy (inflation) heating up: both housing starts and permits spike and it all came on rental or multi family units

(courtesy zerohedge)

Housing Starts, Permits Surge On Spike In Rental Units

Another day, another confirmation that the US economy is heating up just a little more than most expected.

With Wall Street expecting housing starts and permits of 1.234MM and 1.300MM, respectively, moments ago the US Census reported number that blew away expectations, with starts printing at 1.326MM in January, a 9.7% increase relative to the 3.5% expected, while permits jumped by 7.4% from 1.300MM to 1.396MM, on expectations of an unchanged print.

What is notable in today’s number is that single-family units were largely in line, declining for Permits from 881K to 866K, while single-family Starts rose from 846K to 877K, still well below November’s 946K.

So where did the bounce come from? The answer: multi-family, or rental units, which surged for Permits from 382K to 479K, while multi-family Starts surged from 360K to 431K, the highest number since December 2016.

Here is the visual breakdown, first Starts:

then Permits:

While it is very early to infer causality, the jump in rental unit construction could potentially add a modest disinflationary pressure to rents, which in recent months have seen declines across some of America’s largest MSAs. Whether or not this impacts Fed policy is too early to determine.

end
Futures slide badly, the 10 yr bond yield rises as the dollar rebounds
(courtesy zerohedge)

Futures Slide As Dollar, 10Y Rebounds

When commenting on recent moves in the market, Nomura’s Charlie McElligott correctly said that the culprit for the sharp move higher in stocks was the ongoing recent drop in the USD:

I REALLY think that it was the USD breakdown which provided the most relief for US equities.  The Bloomberg Dollar Spot index sits on the cusp of breaking-down to a new 3.5 year lows with a frightening amount of room to fall (no support til 1065—the 76.4% retracement of the 5 year BBDXY rally—which is another -4.5% move).

Well, following today’s barrage of data, which showed both housing starts and permits coming in way “hot”, and core import prices surging at the highest pace in 6 years, the dollar – which earlier had slumped to 3 year lows against its major peers – found a bid, in line with our musing earlier in the day…

… and with minutes to go until the market open, the BBG Dollar Index was at session highs.

And in kneejerk response, S&P futures – which no longer track 10Y yields but the dollar – erased earlier gains and traded at session lows, with Dow Futures down as much as 97 points, while S&P futures were down 7 points.

As Bloomberg adds, “the torrid recovery in American equities looked set to falter Friday as investors look ahead to a three-day weekend in the U.S. The S&P 500 remains 5 percent below its Jan. 26 record. The slowdown in the Treasury selloff eased concern that higher borrowing costs would hinder equities as economic growth accelerates. ”

So as a result of the latest regime shift, keep an eye on the dollar to determine which way futures will be trading, unless of course, the algos switch correlation pairs again, and resume trading in sync with yields instead of the USD.

end
Boy!! did this come out of nowhere:  Mueller indicts 13 Russian and 3 Russian companies for hacking the USA election
(courtesy zerohedge)

Mueller Indicts 13 Russians, 3 Companies For Hacking The US Election

Shortly after noon on Friday, U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced an indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities, accusing them of interfering in the 2016 presidential election and operating fake social media accounts.

In the indictment announced on Friday – the first criminal case to accuse Russians of seeking to influence the outcome of the U.S. election and support Donald Trump – Mueller describes a sweeping, years-long, multimillion-dollar conspiracy by hundreds of Russians aimed at criticizing Hillary Clinton and supporting Senator Bernie Sanders and Trump. He charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities and accused them of defrauding the U.S. government by interfering with the political process.

Mueller charges “defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to  the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016.”

The indictment adds that the Russians “were instructed to post content that focused on ‘politics in the USA’ and to ‘use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them)’.”

Ultimately, and this is the punchline, the goal was to disparage Hillary Clinton and to assist the election of Donald Trump.

In other words, anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have “unwittingly” been a collaborator of the 13 Russian “specialists” who cost Hillary the election.

The Russian organization named in the indictment – the Internet Research Agency – and the defendants began working in 2014 to interfere in U.S. elections, according to the indictment in Washington. They used false personas and social media while also staging political rallies and communicating with “unwitting individuals” associated with the Trump campaign, it said.

The Russians “had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system,” according to the indictment in Washington.

The Russians also reportedly bought advertisements on U.S. social media, created numerous Twitter accounts designed to appear as if they were U.S. groups or people, according to the indictment. One fake account, @TEN_GOP account, attracted more than 100,000 online followers.

The Russians tracked the metrics of their effort in reports and budgeted for their efforts. Some, as described below, traveled to the U.S. to gather intelligence for the surreptitious campaign. They used stolen U.S. identities, including fake driver’s licenses, and contacted news media outlets to promote their activities.

The full list of named defendants in addition to the Internet Research Agency, as well as Concord Management and Consulting and Concord Catering, include:

  • MIKHAIL IVANOVICH BYSTROV,
  • MIKHAIL LEONIDOVICH BURCHIK,
  • ALEKSANDRA YURYEVNA KRYLOVA,
  • ANNA VLADISLAVOVNA BOGACHEVA,
  • SERGEY PAVLOVICH POLOZOV,
  • MARIA ANATOLYEVNA BOVDA,
  • ROBERT SERGEYEVICH BOVDA,
  • DZHEYKHUN NASIMI OGLY ASLANOV,
  • VADIM VLADIMIROVICH PODKOPAEV,
  • GLEB IGOREVICH VASILCHENKO,
  • IRINA VIKTOROVNA KAVERZINA,
  • VLADIMIR VENKOV
  • YEVGENIY VIKTOROVICH PRIGOZHIN

Mueller’s office said that none of the defendants was in custody.

So how is Trump involved? Well, he isn’t, as it now seems that collusion narrative is dead, and instead Russian involvement was unilateral. Instead, according to the indictment, the Russian operations were unsolicited and pro bono, and included “supporting Trump… and disparaging Hillary Clinton,’ staging political rallies, buying political advertising while posing as grassroots U.S. groups. Oh, and communicating “with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.

Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants’ operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump (“Trump Campaign”) and disparaging Hillary Clinton. Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities. Defendants also staged political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as U.S. grassroots entities and U.S. persons, and without revealing their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, solicited and compensated real U.S. persons to promote or disparage candidates. Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.

Furthermore, the dastardly Russians created fake accounts to pretend they are Americans:

Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and creating false U.S. personas, operated social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences. These groups and pages, which addressed divisive U.S. political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by U.S. activists when, in fact, they were controlled by Defendants. Defendants also used the stolen identities of real U.S. persons to post on ORGANIZATION-controlled social media accounts. Over time, these social media accounts became Defendants’ means to reach significant numbers of Americans for purposes of interfering with the U.S. political system, including the presidential election of 2016

Mueller also alleges a combination of traditional and modern espionage…

Certain Defendants traveled to the United States under false pretenses for the purpose of collecting intelligence to inform Defendants’ operations. Defendants also procured and used computer infrastructure, based partly in the United States, to hide the Russian origin of their activities and to avoid detection by U.S. regulators and law enforcement.

Mueller also charges that two of the defendants received US visas and from approximately June 4, 2014 through June 26, 2014, KRYLOVA and BOGACHEVA “traveled in and around the United States, including stops in Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, and New York to gather intelligence, After the trip, KRYLOVA and BURCHIK exchanged an intelligence report regarding the trip.”

* * *

The indictment points to a broader conspiracy beyond the pages of the indictment, saying the grand jury has heard about other people with whom the Russians allegedly conspired in their efforts.

Stocks are not happy.

Stocks

 

Rosenstein is expected to hold a briefing at 1:30pm ET. Watch it live below:

https://www.nbcnews.com/widget/video-embed/1163370563963

 

 

Read the indictment below (link):

end

 

Stocks tumble into the red after the indictments!~

Stocks Tumble Into Red After Russian Indictments

Did Mueller just spoil the Trump-bump party again?

It sure looks like it…

 

Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russian for “meddling” triggered a VIX spike and slammed The Dow into the red…

 

end

 

What an absolute joke:  Rosenstein:  Russians did not alter the outcome of the election and no American was part of this “scheme”

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

“Russians Did Not Alter The Outcome Of The Elections”: Highlights From Rosenstein’s Press Conference

Shortly after the unveiling of the Mueller indictment against 13 Russian “specialists” and 3 Russian entities accused of hacking the US elections, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein held a brief news conference to summarize the findings.

Below are the highlights from the conference along with clips:

“The indictment charges 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States political system, including the 2016 presidential election”

COMING UP: Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to announce indictment of Russian nationals and entities accused of breaking U.S. laws to interfere with 2016 presidential election http://cbsn.ws/2EwD2hg  pic.twitter.com/jmflEKTqEo

NOW: “The indictment charges 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States political system, including the 2016 presidential election,” deputy AG Rod Rosenstein says http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/FKyUk6EJSg

Also notable “The defendants allegedly conducted what they called ‘information warfare’ against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general“, note that candidates was plural, and not just Hillary or Trump.

NOW: “The indictment charges 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States political system, including the 2016 presidential election,” deputy AG Rod Rosenstein says http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/FKyUk6EJSg

“The defendants allegedly conducted what they called ‘information warfare’ against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general,” deputy AG Rod Rosenstein says of indictment http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/cKhJQ4SlAF

2 defendants allegedly traveled to US in 2014 to collect intelligence for American influence operations, Rosenstein says; in order to hide Russian origins, they allegedly purchased space on computer servers in US in order to set up virtual private network

“The defendants allegedly conducted what they called ‘information warfare’ against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general,” deputy AG Rod Rosenstein says of indictment http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/cKhJQ4SlAF

2 defendants allegedly traveled to US in 2014 to collect intelligence for American influence operations, Rosenstein says; in order to hide Russian origins, they allegedly purchased space on computer servers in US in order to set up virtual private network http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/Fs9FRol7OE

“The [Russian] defendants allegedly used that infrastructure to establish hundreds of accounts on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, making it appear those accounts were controlled by persons located in the United States,”

2 defendants allegedly traveled to US in 2014 to collect intelligence for American influence operations, Rosenstein says; in order to hide Russian origins, they allegedly purchased space on computer servers in US in order to set up virtual private network http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/Fs9FRol7OE

MORE: “The [Russian] defendants allegedly used that infrastructure to establish hundreds of accounts on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, making it appear those accounts were controlled by persons located in the United States,” deputy AG Rod Rosenstein says http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/u1km1Bg8ou

“The Russians “also recruited & paid real Americans to engage in political activities, promote political campaigns & stage political rallies…according to the indictment, the Americans did not know they were communicating with Russians”

MORE: “The [Russian] defendants allegedly used that infrastructure to establish hundreds of accounts on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, making it appear those accounts were controlled by persons located in the United States,” deputy AG Rod Rosenstein says http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/u1km1Bg8ou

Rosenstein: The Russians “also recruited & paid real Americans to engage in political activities, promote political campaigns & stage political rallies…according to the indictment, the Americans did not know they were communicating with Russians” http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/DSqZQpxYIw

“Have you had any assurances by the Russians that they will provide these individuals for prosecution?”
Rosenstein: “We have no communications with the Russians about this. We will follow the ordinary process of seeking cooperation and extradition.”

Deputy AG Rosenstein: “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the [Russians’] conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.” http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/IPXvuJDudg

“Have you had any assurances by the Russians that they will provide these individuals for prosecution?”
Rosenstein: “We have no communications with the Russians about this. We will follow the ordinary process of seeking cooperation and extradition.” http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/vOT0iH6Cu0

 

* * *

However, the punchline, and what sent stocks higher, and appears to have absolved the Trump administration of the collusion narrative that has dominated for over a year, was the following statement from the deputy AG:

“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the [Russians’] conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

Rosenstein: The Russians “also recruited & paid real Americans to engage in political activities, promote political campaigns & stage political rallies…according to the indictment, the Americans did not know they were communicating with Russians” http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/DSqZQpxYIw

Deputy AG Rosenstein: “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the [Russians’] conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.” http://cbsn.ws/2EJrwhE  pic.twitter.com/IPXvuJDudg

 

Oh, and this:

  • U.S. DEPUTY AG ROSENSTEIN SAYS AFTER THE ELECTION, RUSSIANS STAGED RALLIES BOTH TO SUPPORT AND TO OPPOSE TRUMP

To summarize: in 2014, 13 Russians launched a campaign to interfere with the US political system by “disparaging” candidates. This continued until ultimately Trump was elected, meanwhile, “there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the [Russians’] conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

end

 

After gaining some composure from laughing so far, Russia finally responds to this absurd election meddling:

(courtesy zerohedge)

Russia Responds To “Absurd” Election Meddling Allegations

The indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three entities over allegations by the DOJ that Russians interfered in US elections – but “did not alter the outcome of the 2016 election” nor that any American was a knowing participant in this activity – are absurd, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

“13 people interfered in the US elections?! 13 against an intelligence services budget of billions? Against intelligence and counterintelligence, against the latest developments and technologies? Absurd? Yes,” Zakharova wrote in a post on Facebook.

Then again, what else could she say.

Furthermore, as noted in the DOJ complaint, the funding for the Russian operation came from catering and management companies controlled by defendant Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, a Russian businessman often referred to as “Putin’s chef” in the media because his organizations had hosted dinners for Russian President Vladimir Putin and foreign leaders, the AP reported.

Prigozhin was quoted in Russian state media responding to the indictments, saying, “Americans are really impressionable people. They see what they want to see. I greatly respect them. I’m not upset at all that I am on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see him.”

This probably means that Russia will not exactly rush to extradite the 13 named officials to the US. Although, judging by the pic below, one is already deeply embedded within US society…

end

the background to this absurd charge:

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

DOJ Complaint: The Russians Organized A Rally Called “Trump Is NOT My President”

Late last year, when the Trump-Russia collusion narrative was peaking, something unexpected emerged: back on November 12, 2016, an event organized by BlackMatters US, a ‘leftist’, anti-Trump group drew thousands of people to protest against the just elected President Trump.

 

 

There was just one minor glitch: BlackMattersUS emerged as a Russian-linked group.

As the Hill reported, “the BlackMatters organizing group was connected to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian “troll farm” with ties to the Kremlin, according to a recent investigation by the Russian Magazine RBC.

Facebook has identified the IRA as the group responsible for purchasing 3,000 political ads on Facebook’s platform and operating 470 accounts that appear to have attempted to influence the perspectives of Americans during the 2016 elections.

And now it’s confirmed: from Section 57 of the DOJ complaint against the Russian trolls who “interfered, but did not impact” the outcome of the election:

After the election of Donald Trump in or around November 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators used false U.S. personas to organize and coordinate U.S. political rallies in support of then president-elect Trump, while simultaneously using other false U.S. personas to organize and coordinate U.S. political rallies protesting the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. For example, in or around November 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators organized a rally in New York through one ORGANIZATION-controlled group designed to “show your support for President-Elect Donald Trump” held on or about November 12, 2016. At the same time, Defendants and their co-conspirators, through another ORGANIZATION-controlled group, organized a rally in New York called “Trump is NOT my President” held on or about November 12, 2016. Similarly, Defendants and their co-conspirators organized a rally entitled “Charlotte Against Trump” in Charlotte, North Carolina, held on or about November 19, 2016.

As we said back then:

“so the Russians spent $100,000 and created 0.004% of social media content to influence the election… and then the same Russians continued to help President Trump by unifying black and white Americans to protest against him.”

Of course, this – together with the other facts previously noted in the DOJ complaint – is why Mueller radically shifted his task, and instead of proving “collusion” by the Trump campaign, showed an unsolicited campaign by 13 Russians who were “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz & Marco Rubio & to support Bernie Sanders & then-candidate Donald Trump” and in the process managed to troll the US so hard, and somehow had a greater impact on the outcome of the election than the US media, entertainment and polling industries combined.

Finally, what was until now, at least officially, a “Russia-Trump collusion” mandate was downgraded to the amusing, if somehow criminal, “Russians sought to promote discord.”

Meanwhile, there’s this…

Dear US: I love you to bits. But you can’t complain about external influence on your political process when you have prior like this >>

end

 

end

 

Trump responds: Campaign did nothing wrong..no collusion!!

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Responds: Mueller Indictment Shows “Campaign Did Nothing Wrong. No Collusion!”

Russia wasted no time responding to today’s surprising DOJ charge which found not Russia collusion, but what some have described as criminal trolling: “13 people interfered in the US elections?! 13 against an intelligence services budget of billions? Against intelligence and counterintelligence, against the latest developments and technologies? Absurd? Yes” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharaova wrote on Facebook.

And then, shortly after 3pm, in his first official response which also took place on a social network, in this case his favorite Twitter, President Trump also responded to the DOJ, stating that because “Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President” and  because “the results of the election were not impacted” then “The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!

Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!

And while Trump can celebrate for now, earlier in the afternoon, the top House Intel Committee Democrat Schiff laid out what the next angle of attack will be in the special counsel probe:

“The indictment leaves open the vital question of whether Americans, including any associated with the Trump campaign, knowingly played a role in Russia’s active measures campaign.”

We expect the answer will be unveiled shortly, especially after yesterday’s news that Mueller managed to flip a third witness in the Russia probe

 

USA consumer confidence  (U. of Michigan Consumer Confidence) surges due to tax reform
(courtesy zerohedge)

Americans Shrug Off Stock Drop, Consumer Confidence Surges “Due To Tax Reform”

UMich consumer confidence surged more than expected in February’s preliminary data, as stock market gyrations were dominated by rising incomes, employment growth, and by net favorable perceptions of the tax reforms.

Indeed, when asked to identify any recent economic news they had heard, negative references to stock prices were spontaneously cited by just 6% of all consumers. In contrast, favorable references to government policies were cited by 35% in February, unchanged from January, and the highest level recorded in more than a half century.

In addition, the largest proportion of households reported an improved financial situation since 2000, and expected larger income gains during the year ahead.

The vast majority of favorable news involved changes to government tax policies and employment gains – 57% out of a total of 78%.

In comparison, the stock market was rarely mentioned, and remarkably, it was more likely to be mentioned as a favorable development (largely due to its rebound, and annual gains) than unfavorably (7% versus 6%). In comparison, following the 1987 stock market crash, a record 38% spontaneously cited stock price decline, and following the 2015 decline, 16% unfavorably cited stock prices (see last week’s report for more on stock declines). A strong economy meant that unemployment was anticipated to decline even further from its current low by 34%, the bestsince the start of 2017.

There is one black lining to this silver cloud, Home-Selling conditions reached near record highs (due to price)…

We assume all those crumbs add up after all?

end

 

SWAMP STORIES

Schiff claims that there is ample evidence of collusion as Bannon was interviewed by Mueller and his team. If so can he show us some specifics

(courtesy zerohedge)

Schiff Claims “Ample Evidence Of Collusion” Amid ‘Closed-Door’ Hearings With Bannon

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his staff must’ve broken a record for the fastest-ever leak of “closed-door” Congressional testimony because NBC News – one of the team’s go-to leak receptacles – has already published details gleaned from parts of Bannon’s multiday meeting with the Mueller team this week, which only wrapped up this morning.

Bannon

Given that Bannon has burned his bridges with the Republican party establishment AND the party’s pro-Trump wing, Mike Conway, the Republican leading the House investigation after Devin Nunes’ recused himself last year over allegations he went over his colleagues’ heads and shared information with the White House before giving it to them.

Steve Bannon, who served as President Trump’s chief strategist, was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller over multiple days this week, NBC News has learned from two sources familiar with the proceedings.

Bannon spent a total of some 20 hours in conversations with the team led by Mueller,who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as well as other issues that have arisen around the probe.

Bannon left his job as a senior White House adviser in August and returned to a leadership role at Brietbart, the right-wing news site based out of Washington. But he fell out of favor with the site’s financial backers, the Mercer family, after criticizing the president and his family in “Fire and Fury,” a book about the Trump administration published earlier this year by author Michael Wolff.

Bannon has reportedly been asked by the White House not to share details about his time in the West Wing, and to invoke executive privilege – an ask with which he has complied as he insists that he still thinks the president is a “great man” who has his full support.

And after reportedly sitting through 20 hours of testimony this week, the questions apparently touched on some of these sensitive issues, because, according to Schiff, Bannon refused to answer all but 25 questions (although Conway said Bannon answered at least 25 questions).

The former White House chief strategist was also booted out of Breitbart, where he was the executive chairman, after Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” book quoted him as saying he would have support from the Mercer family to run against Trump in 2020.

Meanwhile, Intel Committee ranking member Adam Schiff claimed the committee’s investigation showed “ample evidence” of collusion…

“There is already, in my view, ample evidence in the public domain on the issue of collusion if you’re willing to see it,” Schiff told reporters.

If you want to blind yourself, then you can look the other way.”

If what Schiff says about the evidence is true, maybe he could point out the specifics to us.

end

 

A good one:  Why are Comey’s memos dealing with Trump on supposed obstruction still secret

(courtesy Bryon York/Washington Examiner)

Byron York: Why Are The Comey Memos Secret?

Authored by Byron York, op-ed via The Washington Examiner,

If there is an obstruction of justice case to be made against the president in the Trump-Russia affair, James Comey is in the middle of it.

President Trump’s decision to fire the FBI director is often cited as Exhibit A for obstruction, and the foundation for that case is a set of seven memos Comey wrote describing conversations he had with the president between Jan. 6 and April 11, 2017.

The memos are critically important. Portions of them have been leaked to the press, given to a Comey friend, discussed in congressional testimony, and read by a few Capitol Hill lawmakers and staff. Sometimes it seems the only people who have never had a chance to see the Comey memos are the millions of Americans who are trying to make sense of the daily firehose of Trump-Russia news.

They’re not likely to see the memos anytime soon. The FBI and the office of Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller have imposed tight restrictions on access to the memos, holding them even more closely than some documents that are classified at a far higher level. Now, with speculation about obstruction ever present in the media, some lawmakers are calling for the memos to be released. It’s time for Americans to know what’s going on, they say.

The public part of the memo story began on May 16, 2017, when the New York Times published a storyheadlined, “Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation.” The paper reported that a Comey-penned memo detailing a Trump-Comey conversation the day after the firing of national security adviser Michael Flynn was “part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation.”

“An FBI agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations,” the Times added.

Members of Congress investigating the Trump-Russia affair, both House and Senate, Democrat and Republican, clamored to see the Comey memos. In a letter dated May 17, 2017 — the day after the Times report — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined ranking Democrats Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island to ask the FBI to “produce all such memos, if they exist.”

Other committees made similar requests. As has been the case throughout the investigation, the FBI was not immediately forthcoming. When Comey made a hugely anticipated, post-firing appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017, senators still had not seen the memos. They were forced to ask Comey questions not knowing what he had already written down.

Some lawmakers felt particularly aggrieved at the FBI’s refusal to turn over the memos when they learned that Comey had given some of the documents to a friend, Columbia University law professor Daniel Richman, for the specific purpose of being leaked to the New York Times, with the ultimate hope that exposure would spur the appointment of a special prosecutor in the Trump-Russia case.

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter,” Comey told the Senate last June. “Didn’t do it myself, for a variety of reasons. But I asked him to, because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. And so I asked a close friend of mine to do it.”

Within hours of Comey’s testimony, the bipartisan group on the Senate Judiciary Committee fired off a letter to Richman asking for the memos Comey sent him. Richman said no. He wouldn’t even say if he still had any of the memos. A few months later, the committee asked Richman to come in for an interview. He refused. Later, he claimed to be one of Comey’s attorneys.

Finally, in July 2017, the FBI allowed lawmakers to see the memos. But the bureau made sure the information in the memo was severely restricted.

For the Senate Judiciary Committee, which directly oversees the FBI, the bureau allowed only two committee staffers to see the memos. They had to go to the FBI, and an FBI minder was in the room at all times. They were not allowed to make copies or take notes. The FBI later took the memos to the Senate to allow Grassley to read them. But the same rules applied: FBI minder, no copies, no notes.

The no-notes restriction was unusual, because committee staff had been allowed to take notes from the Trump-Russia Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, applications, which were highly classified. Some of the Comey memos were not classified at all.

And, of course, both Republicans and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee had asked to be given the memos, not be given a chance to read them. That still hasn’t happened. “The chairman and ranking member asked for copies of the memos,” said a committee spokesperson Wednesday. “The FBI has yet to actually turn over those documents to the congressional committee tasked with overseeing the bureau and the Justice Department.”

On the House side, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., among a few others, was allowed to read the memos under the same conditions: FBI minder, no copies, no notes.

What struck Gowdy was the general absence of classified information in the memos or any other reason they should remain secret. Out of a total of seven memos, the FBI had marked four as classified at the “secret” or “confidential” levels — not the highest level — but even with those memos, it appeared to Gowdy that they could be released publicly with only minimal blacking-out.

“What would need to be redacted would be incredibly small and really would not interfere with the substance of the memos,” Gowdy told me in a phone conversation Wednesday. “I read them a long time ago, and I still don’t know why they’re not in the public domain. If they were really helpful for the Democrats, they would have been leaked a long time ago.”

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has the same view. “Seeing as Comey already admitted leaking information from his memos to the press, I do think the memos should be released publicly,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

So why the secrecy? Especially since the presence of what little classified material there is in the memos doesn’t seem to present a problem.

A Justice Department spokesman did not answer an inquiry, but the FBI and Mueller have taken the position that secrecy is necessary because the Trump-Russia probe is an ongoing investigation. Mueller received support two weeks ago when a federal court in Washington denied a Freedom of Information Act request by news organizations to make the memos public. After repeated presentations from Mueller’s office, Judge James Boasberg wrote, “the Court is now fully convinced that disclosure ‘could reasonably be expected to interfere’ with that ongoing investigation.”

Boasberg wrote a detailed analysis of the legal arguments in the case. But with Capitol Hill involved, there is always a political side, too. And politically, there are at least five reasons why the memos should not remain secret.

First is the public’s right to know, which is strong in a matter of this importance.

Second is the fact that there is not going to be an obstruction of justice trial for Trump; if there is any action against him, it will be the political process of impeachment, beginning in the House of Representatives, and the memos could play a key role.

Third, Comey himself has already leaked portions of the memos.

Fourth, Comey has already testified publicly about some of the same topics covered by the memos.

And fifth, the FBI has already conceded the principle that Congress has a right to see the memos.

Mueller and the FBI remain unconvinced. That could be a matter of principle, or it could be that keeping the Comey memos secret protects Comey’s — the star witness’s — credibility. It’s hard for anyone in public to test the memos’, and Comey’s, credibility while the documents remain hidden.

And then there is the public impression the memos might make. No one knows whether that would help or hurt Mueller’s case. Comey told the Senate that he found some of Trump’s statements “very disturbing” and “very concerning.” But did he write in the memos that he felt pressured or pushed or that Trump was making an effort to obstruct the investigation? The answer is not clear. If there were an impeachment trial for Trump, it’s uncertain whether the memos would prove more valuable to the prosecution or to the defense.

“I have read the memos,” Gowdy said on Fox News “Special Report” Monday. “They would be defense Exhibit A in an obstruction of justice case — not prosecution exhibit, defense Exhibit A. If Comey felt obstructed, he did a masterful job of keeping it out of the memos.”

Meanwhile, Congress is still trying to learn more about the documents. Last month, Grassley sent the Justice Department another letter trying to figure out who at the Justice Department had handled the memos. Judging by the committee’s record, the chairman will keep at it until the public gets a chance to learn the whole story.

end
Mueller has now flipped his 3rd witness, Paul Manafort’s former no 2 man, Rick Gates although it is unclear what Gates’ role will be or what evidence Mueller has on him
(courtesy zerohedge

Mueller Flips Third Witness In Russia Probe

Just hours after NBC News reported that former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon met with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team multiple times to answer questions for “20 hours” this past week, CNN dropped the first serious bombshell in the investigation.

According to CNN, Mueller is about to flip Paul Manafort’s former No. 2 man, Rick Gates – though it’s unclear what Gates’ role will be, or what evidence Mueller has on him.

Gates

Rick Gates

The effort is under seal, so the details aren’t available, but a few days ago it was reported that Gates was working with a new lawyer who, speculation had it, would be more amenable to striking a plea deal.

Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is finalizing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, indicating he’s poised to cooperate in the investigation, according to sources familiar with the case.

Gates has already spoken to Mueller’s team about his case and has been in plea negotiations for about a month. He’s had what criminal lawyers call a “Queen for a Day” interview, in which a defendant answers any questions from the prosecutors’ team, including about his own case and other potential criminal activity he witnessed.

Gates’ cooperation could be another building block for Mueller in a possible case against President Donald Trump or key members of his team.

Once a plea deal is in place, Gates would become the third known cooperator in Mueller’s sprawling probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. It would also increase the pressure to cooperate on Gates’ co-defendant Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, who has pleaded not guilty to Mueller’s indictment and is preparing for a trial on alleged financial crimes unrelated to the campaign. Gates pleaded not guilty on October 30 alongside Manafort.

“Nobody (who’s charged) goes in to provide incriminating information to the government unless it’s part of plea negotiations,” said a criminal defense attorney who represents a witness in the case. In a Queen for a Day interview, a defendant can typically admit to crimes with little additional consequences, unless he or she lies.

 

After the interview, there’s a very small chance a defendant could turn back toward fighting the charges, according to several lawyers who specialize in federal criminal cases.

Gates probably didn’t work close enough with Trump to have direct knowledge of misdeeds, but Gates could be valuable in pressuring Manafort to roll on his former boss. Gates’ deal will likely be announced in the coming days, and could also coincide with the filing of new, tax related charges that could increase the amount of prison time he could face. Right now, he’s facing up to 10 years.

The White House sees little sign that Gates’ cooperation could pose any risk to the President. “There’d be no anxiety here” if Gates cooperated with Mueller in exchange for a plea deal, one White House official said.

It’s still unclear what Gates, who outlasted Manafort in the campaign and later worked on the Trump inaugural efforts, could share that would be of value to the Russian collusion investigators, outside the Manafort case. The value of what a defendant says factors into the plea negotiation as both sides finalize the deal.

After an interview, prosecutors typically investigate the information a defendant provides. They then negotiate the defendant’s ultimate charges or potential sentence.

Gates’ plea deal could be announced in the next few days, given that he’s asked a judge for an extension until Wednesday to discuss his in-flux legal representation.

At the same time, investigators with the special counsel’s office are preparing to file new charges against him, according to people familiar with the probe. The additional charges are tax-related, these people say, which could increase the fines and prison time Gates faces in court. More charges are also being prepared against Manafort related to his work before he joined the Trump campaign, according to another source familiar with the case.

The threat of new charges could be used in the negotiation to pressure Gates into cooperating and pleading. With his current set of eight charges, Gates could face 10 or more years in prison if found guilty.

The options in a criminal case are “either trial or plea,” said Brian Stolarz, a white collar lawyer who specializes in federal cases.

“You have to have the heart, the stomach and the wallet to proceed with the trial.”

Gates’ decision to cooperate shouldn’t come as a surprise to the White House; developments in his case would suggest that his lawyers haven’t been preparing for a trial, CNN said.

Several developments of the past months have pointed to Gates pursuing a different path than a trial – from Gates’ lack of focus in court on fighting the charges to his financial situation at home.

His court case since then has barely focused on trial preparations, which Judge Amy Berman Jackson noted in court on Wednesday as she urged the lawyers to set a trial date.

Gates’ legal team quibbled over his bail terms and house arrest for more than two months after his indictment. Recently, they’ve been focused on a question of who will represent him in court. The three trial lawyers who took on Gates’ case shortly after his indictment asked to part ways with their client on February 1. The legal team drama culminated in two long sealed hearings in front of the judge last week and on Wednesday. The two-and-a-half hours spent on that topic suggest the lawyers’ situation with Gates is more complicated than a typical attorney changeover.

Interestingly, one reason Gates may be cooperating is because he’s received little support from GOP donors who were supposed to help with legal fees…

Working separately from Gates’ trial lawyers is the well-known Washington defense attorney Thomas Green. Green, who has known Mueller personally for years, is negotiating Gates’ plea deal, according to people familiar with the case. He has visited the special counsel’s office multiple times in the last several weeks. Green appeared with Gates yesterday in court, but is not handling his trial situation.

The judge has already acknowledged that Gates could not show he had $5 million in assets to secure his bail. His financial situation is further hampered by assets he would have to forfeit to the government if found guilty of money laundering charges. A complex criminal case such as this could cost a defendant more than a million dollars in legal fees, especially if he were to go to trial, according to several people familiar with the legal industry.

The stress has taken a toll on Gates’ young family, who have urged him to do what is necessary to conclude these proceedings, a source said. Gates lives in Richmond, Virginia, with his wife and four children.

Gates traveled with Trump, so he could’ve been privy to some misdeeds, but it’s unlikely. Mueller has already flipped George Papadopoulos – a former adviser of questionable influence during the campaign who reportedly offered to set up a meeting between the Trump campaign and a representative of the Russian government – and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Now we wait for details of what Gates’ told Mueller to leak..

end

 

FBI Misses Another Mass Shooter, Middle East Heating Up, Banks Melting down Again

By Greg Hunter On February 16, 2018 In Weekly News Wrap-Ups

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (WNW 322 2.16.18)

Looks like the FBI was told about the mass murderer before he went on a rampage that left 17 dead in a Florida high school this week. This isn’t the first time the FBI was tipped off about a mass murder plot and did not stop it. The shooter that killed 9 in a South Carolina church was allowed by the FBI to buy a gun. The FBI were tipped off about the Boston Bombers, the Fort Hood Shooter and the Pulse Nightclub mass murderer all well ahead of time. Is this incompetence or “too stupid to be stupid”?? Should someone be fired?

Looks like the Middle East is heating up again. An Israeli F-16 was shot down, and Israel warned Iran about intruding into its airspace with a drone. The Iranian drone was also recently shot down. New threats are coming from both sides.

Are the markets on the mend after the latest sell-off, or are we setting up for an even bigger plunge? Why are 10-Year Treasury rates headed higher? Are we headed for another credit crisis? These are all questions Wall Street money managers are contemplating before the next big market moves.

Join Greg Hunter as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.

Video Link

https://usawatchdog.com/fbi-misses- another-mass-shooter-middle-e
ast-heating-up-banks- melting- down-again/

END

Let us conclude this weeks commentary with David Stockman’s excellent work on the phoniness of the USA economy:

(courtesy David Stockman/ContraCorner)

Swan Song Of The Central Bankers, Part 3: The Goldilocks Economy Delusion

Authored by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog,

That was fast. Two weeks ago the Goldilocks Economy was being feted (again) from one end of Wall Street to the other. Today, however, January’s in-coming data brought a 6.7% annualized CPI rate and a negative 3.1%annualized retail sales print.

Can you say stagflation!

The robo machines certainly did when the Dow futures reversed by more than 400 points hard upon the 8:30 AM releases.

Indeed, even if you don’t cotton to the seasonally maladjusted monthly data prints, which we definitely do not, it’s hard to see the case for goldilocks even on a year over year basis.

To wit, nominal retail sales in January were up just 3.0% on a Y/Y basis, while the CPI gained 2.1%. So if consumers are the be-all and end-all of Keynesian prosperity, where’s the beef?

Certainly the measly 0.9% gain in real retail spending since January 2017 ain’t it.

Needless to say, the underlying trends do not remotely fit the goldilocks narrative anyway. As we mentioned a few days ago, hourly wage growth for the 80% of the work force considered to be “production and non-supervisory employees” was up just 2.4% in January while the CPI has now come in at 2.1%.

So with the household savings rate having now plunged to just 2.4%, which is virtually an all-time low, how do you get a consumer spending boom out of 0.3% annual wage growth?

Indeed, how do you possibly justify the new Fed Chair’s claim that the Yellen Fed (and Bernanke too) did a splendid job of restoring full-employment prosperity, and that these policies need to be continued full speed ahead?

As Powell said at his swearing-in ceremony:

Since then, monetary policy has continued to support a full recovery in labor markets and a return to our inflation target; we have made great progress in moving much closer to those statutory objectives…..Since then, monetary policy has continued to support a full recovery in labor markets and a return to our inflation target…..

While the challenges we face are always evolving, the Fed’s approach will remain the same. Today, the global economy is recovering strongly for the first time in a decade. We are in the process of gradually normalizing both interest rate policy and our balance sheet with a view to extending the recovery and sustaining the pursuit of our objectives.

The chart below obviously douses this entire self-serving narrative with a bath of cold water. During the last 17 years, real average weekly earnings of the core work force— men 25 years and over—have not increased by asingle dime (they’re actually down from $407 to $406 per week in constant 1982 dollars).

Even as the Fed’s balance sheet has soared by 10X and the value of household financial assets has nearly tripledsince the year 1997, therefore, worker paychecks have been dead in the water.

So we are not inclined to call the picture below a Goldilocks Economy or a measure of central bank success. Instead, it points to the rotting foundation of a once thriving capitalist economy that has been strip-mined by financialization and speculation—–the only real product of Keynesian central banking.

Nevertheless, Powell’s Orwellian transformation of failure into a roaring success is not merely institutional bluster from the Eccles Building: The entirety of Wall Street believes it, and the Fed’s egregious financial bubbles are predicated upon it.

When all is said and done, of course, both ends of the Acela Corridor are bubble-blind because they are in the business of cherry-picking the data-deltas, not analyzing underlying trends and absolute economic levels. For example, there have been numerous episodes of purported “wage growth acceleration” since the dotcom peak, but they have obviously all been transient noise, signifying nothing except $1 per week of lower real earnings.

Not only that: Fundamental financial principles were tossed on the ash-heap of history long ago—in favor of applause for any policy foolishness out of Washington that might goose the “in-coming data” for a few months or quarters; and without any regard for the longer-term adverse consequences of rampant money printing and fiscal excess.

After all, who in their right would think that the most asinine fiscal policy in modern history—a giant tax cut and spending surge which will take the FY 2019 deficit to nearly 6.0% of GDP in the 10th year of a flagging business expansion—-is good for the economy and stock market?

That’s especially the case—given the manner in which that policy was put in place. It reflects the irrational legislative lunges of a bumbling gang of Congressional Republicans who have betrayed every semblance of fiscal rectitude that was left in the so-called conservative party in order to insulate themselves politically from the whirling dervish in the Oval Office.

And for good measure, they actually took the corporal’s guard of fiscal hawks left in their ranks—-Rand Paul and the House Freedom Caucus—-out behind the Capitol and shot them dead (politically).

Stated differently, Keynesian central banking has generated what amounts to fanatical worship of the stock market, and a resulting corrupt and addled financial culture of “whatever it takes” and “any good delta will do”.

Thus, during the last iteration of the Goldilocks Economy in 2007, the Fed heads and the Wall Street talking heads alike waxed ebulliently about the “strong” incoming data and the absence of economic imbalances that might interrupt the party. And if you think that context-free, short-term monthly and quarterly rates of change (deltas) are where it’s at, everything was indeed coming up roses.

As of mid-2007, real GDP was still rising at a 2.3% rate on a Y/Y basis and job growth had remained steady, posting 1.2% to 1.6% annual gains.

Mid-2007 Goldilocks Economy

Except it wasn’t sustainable and the above picture didn’t matter. In fact, the above chart reflects more or less the normal, natural (i.e. unaided) condition of a capitalist economy. They do grow steadily owing to population gains, productivity improvement and the wealth-seeking impulses embedded in the free market.

But capitalist growth must inevitably be interrupted when state policy creates unsustainable financial bubbles, artificial economic eruptions and loss-making malinvestments. And, needless to say, that was exactly what was going on during Wall Street’s mid-2007 goldilocks bacchanalia.

The fact is, wages, household debt and housing prices were egregiously and unsustainably out of whack. As of June 2007, nominal hourly wages had risen by just 26% since January 2000. By contrast, the Case-Shiller housing price index was up by 81% and household debt had exploded by nearly 110% in barely seven years.

In a word, the trends in the chart below were infinitely more important than the short-term deltas in the Goldilocks Economy chart above. You don’t grow debt 4X faster than income for long.

Alas, the housing and debt bubbles reached their asymptote a few months later and the Fed’s Keynesian house of cards came tumbling down. In short order, the mid-2007 Goldilocks Economy turned into the disastrous picture below.

Yet neither the Fed nor Wall Street saw it coming. The Fed minutes just after the Lehman meltdown in September 2008, for example, reveal serious doubts about whether a recession had actually even commenced.

That get’s us back to the fundamental flaw in Keynesian central banking: Now that households have reached Peak Debt and the C-suites of corporate American have been turned into financial engineering joints, its patented formula of falsifying the cost of money and debt no longer works any magic on main street; it only systematically inflates financial asset prices and fuels relentless speculation and the invention of financial time bombs—- such as doubly short Vol ETFs for the homegamers and risk parity trades for the Ray Dalio’s of the world.

At length, of course, the bubbles burst and the financial time bombs—which have no economic value-added and would never emerge on the free market—blow sky high. That inexorable cycle, in turn, triggers panicked C-suite efforts to buck up share prices and rescue stock option values by means of sweeping “restructuring actions” (i.e. massive liquidation of jobs, inventories, fixed assets and inflated goodwill from failed M&A deals).

In a word, under the current regime of Keynesian central banking, the financial tail wags the main street dog. The Goldilocks Economy on main street is not a sign of sustainable prosperity; it’s the natural condition of the free market waiting to get bushwhacked by the next periodic collapse of Bubble Finance.

Needless to say, that’s exactly where we are now. Financialization of the US economy has continued to intensify and has now reached hideous proportions. Whereas, the total debt and equity value of the financial sector (banks, brokers, GSE’s, insurance companies, mutual funds, REITs etc) had traditionally amounted to 1.5-2.0XGDP, and had reached 3.5X on the eve of the financial crisis, it now totals more than $100 trillion and exceeds5X GDP.

Accordingly, the financial sector amounts to a dangerous, bloated economic walrus waiting to rollover on the main street economy.

Financialization of US Economy Since Greenspan

So we aren’t crediting the currently benign data-deltas during this particular reprise of the purported Goldilocks Economy, either. Like in 2007, what counts is the underlying fundamental trend, and as we showed yesterday, this time the US economy is fixing to be monkey-hammered by a doozy.

To wit, there could be no more destructive lurch of policy than the perfect storm of: (1) the eruption of giant fiscal deficits during the year 10 sell-by date of a tired business expansion; (2) an epochal pivot toward massive QT (quantitative tightening) by a greenhorn team of Keynesian central bankers who are mesmerized by their own propaganda and the Goldilocks Economy delusion; and (3) more than three decades of structural deterioration in the main street economy which has brought the net national savings rate nearly down to the zero-bound.

In a word, the wholesale abandonment of fiscal responsibility by Washington could not have come at a worse time. It has left the national savings rate so out of whack—-that it is rapidly heading toward negative territory.

And that’s a condition which is off-the-charts historically and which is even less logically sustainable than the housing price and debt boom that preceded the Great Financial Crisis.

Two decades ago (1997), the household savings rate was still respectable at 7.0% of disposable personal income, and amounted to $366 billion in nominal dollars. Likewise, net business savings totaled $279 billion, while government dis-saving (deficit) was just $105 billion or negative 1.0% of GDP.

Accordingly, net national savings totaled $540 billion or 6.7 % of national income. By contrast, both household savings and business savings today have diminished sharply relative to national income, while government dis-saving totaled $806 billion or 4.2% of national income at an annual rate during Q3 2017.

Moreover, when the Federal deficit soars to $1.2 trillion in the year ahead and you add the state and local deficit to the total, the resulting $1.5 trillion of government dissaving cannot possibly be offset by business and households. Even if household savings do not deteriorate further (which would keep a tight lid of consumption spending), combined household and business savings would amount to only $1.2 trillion (Q3 2017 annual rate).

Needless to say, we think there is only one way to close the gap: Yields will soar in order to elicit higher savings and to discourage gross investment. That doesn’t add up to a Goldilocks Economy in any way, shape or form.

To be sure, it is quite certain that the Donald’s new Yellen in trousers and tie has no clue that the national savings rate is fixing to pierce the zero-bound from above. Mesmerized by goldilocks, he and his minions are hell-bent on replenishing their dry powder and shrinking the Fed’s elephantine balance sheet.

At length, QT will powerfully and positively strengthen the dollar (and notwithstanding its recent pure trading swoon) versus the other major currencies, whose central banks are adopting the Fed’s shift to QT on a tentative and lagging basis.

Stated differently, the other central banks and sovereign authorities are likely to be selling USTs—directly or indirectly—to prevent their currencies from plummeting. Consequently, as we will address in Part 4, the off-shore financing of the US economy will likely reach its sell-by date, as well.

Just since the eve of the financial crisis, the US economy has effectively borrowed $6 trillion from abroad. And that’s surely another unsustainability that’s lurking below the placid surface of the Goldilocks Economy 2.0.

END

I will  see you TUESDAY night

HARVEY

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One comment

  1. You wanted to know the difference between the Gold & Silver markets:
    The Chinese play in gold, but not silver. The Gold volume today was half normal, the Silver volume is normal today. Difference is that Chinese went on vacation.

    Like

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