March 6/GOLD RISES BY $15.60 TO $1334.60/SILVER RISES 38 CENTS TO $16.77 ON TARIFF CONCERNS/BITCOIN DROPS 700 DOLLARS/NORTH KOREA WILLING TO DENUCLEARIZE AND WILL HOLD TALKS WITH SOUTH KOREA AND THE USA/TOM LUONGO ON WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN ITALY/EUROPE SET TO RETALIATE AGAINST USA TARIFFS/MORE SWAMP STORIES/

 

 

GOLD: $1334.60  UP $15.60

Silver: $16.77 UP 38 CENTS

Closing access prices:

Gold $1334.70

silver: $16.77

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: $1331.23 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1322.20

PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $9.03

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1332.15

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1321.15

PREMIUM SECOND FIX /NY:$11.00

SHANGHAI REJECTS NY PRICING OF GOLD.

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1324.95

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1325.00

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1331.40

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1333.10???

For comex gold:

MARCH/

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR MARCH CONTRACT: 0 NOTICE(S) FOR NIL OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR:2749 FOR 274900 OZ (8.5505 TONNES),

For silver:

MARCH

17 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

85,000 OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 4222 for 21,110,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: BID $10,856/OFFER $10,926: DOWN $539(morning)

Bitcoin: BID/ $10,693/offer $10,763: DOWN $700  (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 CONSIDERABLE SIZED 2859 contracts from 190,630  RISING TO 193,489  DESPITE YESTERDAY’S CONSIDERABLE 11 CENT FALL 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:  0 EFP’S FOR MARCH, 2621 EFP’S FOR MAY AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THUS TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 2621 CONTRACTS.  WITH THE TRANSFER OF 2621 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 24-48 HRS IN THE ISSUING OF EFP’S. THE 2621 CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 13.105 MILLION OZ   WITH THE RISE IN OPEN INTEREST IN SILVER AT THE COMEX.

ACCUMULATION FOR EFP’S/SILVER/J.P.MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES, / STARTING FROM FIRST DAY NOTICE/FOR MONTH OF MARCH:

8507 CONTRACTS (FOR 4 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 8507 CONTRACTS OR 42.53 MILLION OZ: AVERAGE PER DAY: 2126 CONTRACTS OR 10.633 MILLION OZ/DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH:  41.535 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 5.85% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION

ACCUMULATION IN YEAR 2018 TO DATE SILVER EFP’S:  535.01 MILLION OZ.

ACCUMULATION FOR JAN 2018: 236.879 MILLION OZ

ACCUMULATION FOR MONTH OF FEBRUARY: 244.945 MILLION OZ

RESULT: WE HAD ZERO LOSS  IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX DESPITE THE 11 CENT FALL IN SILVER PRICE.  WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 2621 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 2621 EFP’S  FOR  MONTHS MARCH AND MAY WERE ISSUED FOR  A DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS.   WE GAINED  5480 OI CONTRACTS i.e. 2621 open interest contracts headed for London (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A INCREASE OF 2859  OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH THE FALL IN PRICE OF SILVER OF 17 CENTS AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $16.39 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. 0.968 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 138% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT FEBRUARY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 17 NOTICE(S) FOR 85,000 OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest  FELL BY A CONSIDERABLE 5849 CONTRACTS FALLING TO 499,602 . WITH THE FAIR DROP IN PRICE YESTERDAY ($4.10) HOWEVER  FOR TUESDAY, THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCE AND IT TOTALED AN FAIR SIZED  4962 CONTRACTS OF WHICH MARCH SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTRACTS,  APRIL SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 4962 CONTRACTS ,  JUNE SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTRACTS AND THEN ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.    The new OI for the gold complex rests at 499,602. 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  AND WE ARE WITNESSING DELAYS IN ACTUAL DELIVERIES. IN ESSENCE WE HAVE A SMALL LOSS OF 887  CONTRACTS: 5849 OI CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND A FAIR SIZED 4962 OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON.(887 oi LOSS in CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 2.75TONNES)

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 5,140 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH : 40,035 CONTRACTS OR 4,003,500  OZ OR 124.52 TONNES (4 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 10,008EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 1,000,800 OZ/ TRADING DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :   SO FAR THIS MONTH IN 4 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 124.52 TONNES

TOTAL ANNUAL GOLD PRODUCTION, 2017, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD EX CHINA EX RUSSIA: 2555 TONNES

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 124.52/2200 x 100% TONNES =  4.26% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN MARCH ALONE.

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2018 TO DATE:  1376.72 TONNES

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

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S FOR FEBRUARY: 649.45 TONNES

Result: A  STRONG SIZED DECREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE CONSIDERABLE FALL IN PRICE IN GOLD TRADING YESTERDAY ($4.10)HOWEVER, WE HAD ANOTHER FAIR SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 4962 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 4962 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A NET LOSS IN OPEN INTEREST OF 887 contractON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

4962 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 5849 C ONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX. (in tonnes, the LOSS in total oi equates to 2.75 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 $15.60 : NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD /??

Inventory rests tonight: 833.98 tonnes.

SLV/

WITH SILVER UP 38 CENTS TODAY: 

NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.069 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 2859  contracts from 190,630 UP TO 193,489 (AND now A LITTLE  CLOSER TO THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) DESPITE THE FALL  IN PRICE OF SILVER  (11 CENTS WITH RESPECT TO  YESTERDAY’S TRADING).   OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE ANOTHER  2621 EFP CONTRACTS FOR MAY  (WE DO NOT GET A LOOK AT THESE CONTRACTS AS IT IS PRIVATE BUT THE CFTC DOES AUDIT THEM) AND 0 EFP’S FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS .  EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON. WE HAD ZERO COMEX SILVER COMEX LIQUIDATION. IF WE TAKE THE  OI GAIN AT THE COMEX OF  2859 CONTRACTS TO THE 2621 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S, WE OBTAIN A HUGE GAIN OF 5480  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS  WE STILL HAVE A STRONG AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES THAT ARE STANDING FOR METAL IN MARCH (SEE BELOW). THE NET GAIN TODAY IN OZ ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  27.40 MILLION OZ!!!

RESULT: A CONSIDERABLE  INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX DESPITE THE  FALL OF 11 CENTS IN PRICE (WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING ). BUT WE ALSO HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED 2627 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE STRONG  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR MARCH, DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL SILVER INTENSIFIES AS WE WITNESS SEVERE BACKWARDATION IN SILVER IN LONDON.

(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)TUESDAY MORNING/LATE MONDAY NIGHT: Shanghai closed UP 32.71 POINTS OR 1.00% /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 624.34 POINTS OR 2.09% / The Nikkei closed UP 375.67 POINTS OR 1.79%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 1.09%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.3310/Oil UP to 63.18 dollars per barrel for WTI and 65.98 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED DEEPLY IN THE GREEN  .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AT 6.3310 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.3260 /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING STRONGER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING MUCH STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR . CHINA IS VERY  HAPPY TODAY (STRONGER CURRENCY AND GOOD CHINESE MARKETS/ ) 

 

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

 i)North Korea

This is the big story of the day:  Kim Jung Un is ready to denuclearize and will be holding talks with the South.  They wish that their regime safety to be guaranteed.

( zerohedge)

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

THIS IS GOING TO BE A HUMDINGER OF A CLASS ACTION SUIT: kOBE STEEL NOW ADMITS TO FABRICATING DATA ON THEIR STEEL PRODUCTS FOR OVER 5 DECADES:

(COURTESY REUTERS)

3 c CHINA

The following is a very important read:  what happens if Trump does not back down on the tariffs? Even Trump admits that the goal of tariffs is aimed directly at China.  Trump has stated that he wants to “fine” China for stealing intellectual property.  The number bandied about:  $1 trillion  and that will no doubt fry all global markets.

( zerohedge)

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

i)Europe is set to retaliate against Trump’s tariffs with a huge 25% tariff of their own in mainly Republican controlled states.

( zerohedge)

ii)Our resident expert on Italian affairs is Tom Luongo. He comments on the election where he believes that the Norther league will join the 5 Star to form a government.  The Northern League has tremendous strength in the  North of the country, while 5 star is strong in the south.  If you look at the map below you will see unemployment is highest in the south.  The euro is killing Italy as it is too high for this sovereign nation but is OK for Germany.  Germany has no desire nor can they bail out Italy from its huge debts.

a must read…

( Tom Luongo)

iii)With the whole world watching whether Trump will carry out his pledge for tariffs on steel and aluminum, Europe renewed its tariffs for another 5 years but at higher rates, going as high as 72%

( zerohedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

i)Another Russian spy convicted of helping the west, was poisoned and is now in critical condition

( zerohedge)

ii)England responds to the poisoning:
( zerohedge)

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

Canada

We have been documenting this to you for several years now: Canada’s huge household debt to GDP.  Canada has been doing OK until Trudeau arrived and he seems to want to stop the number one initiate to bail out our country:  the oil pipelines.  This is our Achilles heal. Canada needs to move its vast oil through pipelines and Trudeau now wishes to stop these projects for environmental reasons.

Houston..we have a problem!

( zerohedge)

7. OIL ISSUES

i)For the past two years, I have been highlighting to you the importance of Israel’s discovery of the huge Leviathan field off of its coast.  The Israelis initially informed Cyprus that the gas/oil was heading into its territorial waters.  Turkey does not recognize Cyprus and wants to claim the discovery for itself.  On top of this we have Lebanon voiced their anger that some of the blocks which should be under Israeli territorial rights is theirs.

this is also a very important read..

( Paraskova/OilPrice.com)

ii)Oil down but gasoline higher.  Crude sees a good buildup but gasoline experiences a drawdown

( zerohedge)

8. EMERGING MARKET

South Africa

South Africa has signed into law allowing the confiscation of White farms into Black hands for no compensation. The problem is the huge debt at the banks. Can this lead to a banking crisis?

( Simon Black./SovereignMan.com)

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)Gold trading today:

(zerohedge)

i b) Crypto trading:

No reason given for the big drop of over $1000 for Bitcoin except for a major seller

( zerohedge)

ii)A study finds an increase in taxi trips between the NY FED and banks around FOMC meetings which suggests that information at the Fed level must be shared with the banks

( Derby/ Wall Street Journal/GATA)

iii)A very important read…Hong Kong is stretched to the limit as the Hong Kong dollar/USA dollar peg comes under fire.  The Hong Kong banking system is 8.3 x its GDP and that is akin to Ireland  and Iceland before both blew up.

Property values are sky high and somehow the authorities must let the air out of tires.

( Chris Powell/Ambrose Evans Pritchard/UKTelegraph)

iv)The total libor exposure is larger than anybody thought at 200 trillion dollars.

( Reuters/GATA/Brettell)

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

i)Early morning trading

(zerohedge)

ib)Mid afternoon

another joke:  supposedly Trump is open to tariff changes
(courtesy zerohedge)

ic)That did not last long:  Trump is adamant that they are going to do the tariffs( zerohedge)

ii)More indication of USA troubles as their factory orders tumbled in January.

( zerohedge)

iii)Further evidence that the USA is slowing down:  realtors are rattled as Manhattan apartment sales have plummeted to a 6 year low( zerohedge)

iv)This would be deadly to the NY stock market:  Gary Cohn may resign if steel and aluminum tariffs remain

( zerohedge)

v)Another Nor’Easter is on its away.  NY and Mass. are bracing for another monster winter storm

( zerohedge)

vi)Your next crisis is approaching fast:  The Wall Street Journal has uncovered the source of the next consumer debt crisis;  a fast rising delinquency in credit card debt.  And this is happening to middle income earners as well as lower income consumers

( zerohedge)

vii)SWAMP NEWS

a)Seems Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen has a little problem on his hands re the 130,000 dollars he gave to a former adult film actress. It seems that Robert Mueller is also interested in what happened.

( zerohedge)

b)Kelly has no what what Kushner and Ivanka Trump do all day

( zerohedge)

c)A very sad tale:  Nunberg was probably drunk when he gave these interviews.  Now the media is stating that Nunberg kind of agrees that Trump may have colluded with the Russians on the election.

( zero hedge)

d)Another tweet storm by Trump on DACA, where the Democrats did nothing for 8 years, North Korea, Oscar night and fake news

( zerohedge)

e)what a joke:Mueller hits Conway with Hatch Act violations and recommends appropriate discipline of which nothing will be done by Trump

( zerohedge)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest FELL BY  5849 CONTRACTS DOWN to an OI level 499,602  DESPITE THE CONSIDERABLE FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($4.10 LOSS/ YESTERDAY’S TRADING).  WE HAD CONSIDERABLE COMEX GOLD LIQUIDATION.  HOWEVER THE CME REPORTS THAT  THE BANKERS ISSUED AN FAIR SIZED  COMEX TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS. WE HAD A 4962 EFP’S ISSUED FOR APRIL , 0 EFP’s  FOR  MARCH , 0 FOR JUNE AND ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:  TOTAL  4962 CONTRACTS.  THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS ON THESE TRANSFERS. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THERE IS NO DOUBT A HUGE DELAY IN THE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S AND IT PROBABLY TAKES AT LEAST  48 HRS AFTER LONGS GIVE UP THEIR COMEX CONTRACTS FOR THEM TO RECEIVE THEIR EFP’S AS THEY ARE NEGOTIATING THIS CONTRACT WITH THE BANKS FOR A FIAT BONUS PLUS THEIR TRANSFER TO A LONDON FORWARD… THE COMEX IS NOW AN ABSOLUTE FRAUD!!

ON A NET BASIS IN OPEN INTEREST WE LOST TODAY: 887 OI CONTRACTS IN THAT 4962 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE LOST 5849 COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 887 contracts OR 88700  OZ OR 2.75 TONNES.

Result: A  CONSIDERABLE SIZED DECREASE IN COMEX OPEN INTEREST WITH THE FALL IN YESTERDAY’S GOLD TRADING ($4.10.)   TOTAL OPEN INTEREST LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 887 OI CONTRACTS..

We have now entered the non active contract month of MARCH where we LOST 56 contracts DOWN to 616 contracts. We had 0 notices served upon yesterday, so in essence we LOST 56 contacts or an additional 5600 oz will not stand for delivery at the comex AND THESE BOYS MORPHED INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS.

April saw a LOSS of 5530 contracts DOWN to 309,292. May saw another gain of 60 contracts to stand at 164. The really big June contract month saw a LOSS of 537 contracts DOWN to 107,805 contracts.

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

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

PRELIMINARY COMEX VOLUME FOR TODAY: 275,211 contracts

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  243,053 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:

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 CONSIDERABLE 2859  CONTRACTS FROM 190,630 UP TO 193,489 DESPITE FRIDAY’S  11 CENT FALL IN TRADING)  HOWEVER,WE WERE ALSO INFORMED THAT WE HAD  2621 EMERGENCY EFP’S FOR MAY ISSUED BY OUR BANKERS 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: 2612.   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 WE ALSO HAD A HUGE SIZED GAIN IN TOTAL SILVER OI FROM OUR TWO EXCHANGES. WE ARE ALSO WITNESSING A STRONG 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  5480  SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS

2859 CONTRACT GAIN AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 2621 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:5480 CONTRACTS 

AMOUNT STANDING FOR SILVER AT THE COMEX

We are now in the  active delivery month of MARCH and here the front month LOST 87 contracts FALLING TO 954 contracts. We had 143 contracts filed upon yesterday, so we GAINED 56 contracts or an additional 280,000 will  stand in this active delivery month of March.(AS SOMEBODY IS IN GREAT NEED OF PHYSICAL SILVER)

April lost 8 contracts FALLING TO 410 .

The next big active delivery month for silver will be May and here the OI GAINED 1176 contracts UP to 148,293

We had 17 notice(s) filed for 85,000 OZ for the MARCH 2018 contract for silver

INITIAL standings for MARCH/GOLD

MARCH 6/2018.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
 45,442.059 oz
 Brinks
Manfra
Scotia
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz NIL oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  nil
No of oz served (contracts) today
0 notice(s)
 NIL OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
616 contracts
(61600 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
0 notices
Total accumulative withdrawals of gold from the Dealers inventory this month NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month xxx oz
we had 0 kilobar transaction/
We had 0 inventory movement at the dealer accounts
i) Into Brinks:  NIL oz
total inventory deposit into the dealer accounts:  NIL  oz
total inventory withdrawals out of dealer accounts; nil oz
we had 3 withdrawals out of the customer account:
i) Out of  Brinks:  12,043.425 oz
ii) Out of Manfra: 209.778 oz
iii) Out of Scotia: 33,189.356 oz
total withdrawal: 45,442.059   oz
we had 0 customer deposit
total customer deposits: nil  oz
we had 0 adjustment(s)
total registered or dealer gold:  339,378.269 oz or 10.556 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   9,088,203.654 oz 282.68 tones
THE COMEX IS AGAIN IN STRESS AS ONLY 10.556 TONNES OF GOLD ARE LEFT TO SERVICE DELIVERIES
 

For MARCH:
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 MARCH. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (0) x 100 oz or 0 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (616 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (0 x 100 oz per contract) equals 61600 oz, the number of ounces standing in this nonactive month of MARCH (1.9160 tonnes)

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

No of notices served (0 x 100 oz or ounces + {(616)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (0 x 100 oz )which equals 61600 oz standing in this  nonactive delivery month of March . THERE IS 10.556 TONNES OF REGISTERED GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY SO FAR.

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XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

IN THE LAST 18 MONTHS 72 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE DECEMBER DELIVERY MONTH

MARCH INITIAL standings/SILVER

March 6 2018
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
 72,766.600 oz
CNT
Scotia
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil
oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
8973.527 oz
Delaware
No of oz served today (contracts)
17
CONTRACT(S
(85,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
937 contracts
(4,685,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 4222 contracts

(21,110,000 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 0 inventory movement at the dealer side of things

total inventory deposits/withdrawals/ into dealer: nil oz

we had 1 deposits into the customer account

i) Into Delaware:  8973.527 oz

ii) JPMorgan:  zero

*** JPMorgan for most of 2017 and in 2018 has adding to its inventory almost every single day.

JPMorgan now has 135 million oz of  total silver inventory or 54% of all official comex silver.

total deposits customer account: 8973.527 oz

JPMorgan did not add any silver into its warehouses (official) today.

we had 2 withdrawals from the customer account;

ii) Out of CNT: 2024.560 oz

iii) Out of Scotia: 70,742.600 oz

total withdrawals; 72,766.700  oz

we had 1 adjustments

i) out of Scotia:  10,461.400  oz  was adjusted out of the customer is this landed into the dealer account of Scotia

total dealer silver:  57,454 million

total dealer + customer silver:  251.715 million oz

The total number of notices filed today for the March. contract month is represented by 17 contract(s) FOR 85,000 oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in March., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 4222 x 5,000 oz = 21,110,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of Mar. (954) and the number of notices served upon today (17 x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the March contract month: 4222(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of March(954) -number of notices served upon today (17)x 5000 oz equals 25,795,000 oz of silver standing for the March contract month. 

We GAINED an additional 56 contracts or 280,000 additional silver oz will stand for delivery at the comex as somebody ws in urgent need of physical silver.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

ESTIMATED VOLUME FOR TODAY: 105,640 CONTRACTS

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 59,837 CONTRACTS

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 59,837 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO  299 MILLION OZ OR 42,7% 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 -1.85% (MARCH 6/2018)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV FALLS TO -0.54% to NAV (March 6/2018 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -1.85%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.54%/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 -3.12%: NAV 13.82/TRADING 13.38//DISCOUNT 3.12.

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

MARCH 6/WITH GOLD UP $15.60/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 833.98 TONNES

March 5/WITH GOLD DOWN $4.10/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 833.98 TONNES

MARCH 2/WITH GOLD UP $18.70/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 833.98 TONNES

March 1/WITH GOLD DOWN ANOTHER $12.30/A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY/ A DEPOSIT OF 2.96 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 833.98 TONNES

FEB 28/WITH GOLD DOWN ANOTHER 70 CENTS/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 831.03 TONNES/.

feb 27/WITH GOLD DOWN $13.80 WE HAD NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 831.03 TONNES

FEB 26/WITH GOLD UP $2.40/WE HAD ANOTHER INVENTORY GAIN/THIS TIME 1.77 TONNE ADDITION TO THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 831.03 TONNES/WE HAVE HAD 5 INCREASES IN THE PAST 6 TRADING GOLD SESSIONS/

FEB 23/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.15, WE HAD A GOOD INVENTORY GAIN OF 1.47 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 829.26 TONNES

FEB 22/WITH GOLD UP 90 CENTS AGAIN TODAY, WE HAD NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 827.79 TONNES

FEB 21/ WITH THE 90 CENT GAIN WE HAD ANOTHER DEPOSIT OF 3.15 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS TONIGHT AT 827.79 TONNES

Feb 20/WITH GOLD DOWN BY $24.25, THE CROOKS DECIDED THAT THEY HAD BETTER RETURN (DEPOSIT) 3.34 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS TONIGHT AT 824,64 TONNES

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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

MARCH 6/2018/ Inventory rests tonight at 833.98 tonnes

*IN LAST 336 TRADING DAYS: 107,16 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 266 TRADING DAYS: A NET 50.14 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO GLD INVENTORY.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

MARCH 6/WITH SILVER UP 38 CENTS/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.069 MILLION OZ/

March 5/WITH SILVER DOWN 11 CENTS/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.069 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 2/WITH SILVER UP 23 CENTS: A HUGE 1.479 MILLION OZ WAS ADDED TO SILVER’S INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.069 MILLION OZ/

March 1/WITH SILVER DOWN 11 CENTS TODAY/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.590 MILLION OZ./

FEB 28/WITH SILVER DOWN 5 CENTS TODAY/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.590 MILLION OZ/

feb 27/WITH SILVER DOWN 17 CENTS/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.590 MILLION OZ

FEB 26/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.590 MILLION OZ/

FEB 23/WITH SILVER DOWN 10 CENTS TODAY, WE HAD ANOTHER HUGE ADDITION OF 1.315 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.590 MILLION OZ/

fEB 22.2018/WITH SILVER DOWN  1 CENT TODAY, WE HAD NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 315.271 MILLION OZ/

FEB 21/WITH SILVER UP 15 CENTS TODAY, WE HAD A GOOD SIZED INVENTORY ADDITION OF 1.226 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 315.271 MILLION OZ/

Feb 20/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.045 MILLION OZ

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/

MARCH 5/2018: NO CHANGES TO SILVER INVENTORY/

Inventory 318.069 million oz

end

6 Month MM GOFO 1.94/ and libor 6 month duration 2.03

Indicative gold forward offer rate for a 6 month duration/calculation:

G0FO+ 1.94%

libor 2.23 FOR 6 MONTHS/

GOLD LENDING RATE: .29%

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.36%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.50

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.140

end

Major gold/silver trading /commentaries for TUESDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

RaboDirect Closing – Gold May Protect From Irish Banks Going “Belly Up Again” – Finuncane

– RaboDirect Ireland to close online savings accounts in Irish market on May 16
– RaboDirect holds over €3 billion in deposits from its 90,000 Irish customers
– Irish savers now exposed to still indebted Irish banks and bail-ins
– Marian Finucane heard recently that buying gold is for “ordinary people” and not just for “rich and posh people”
– By owning gold “if banks go belly up again you would be covered” – Finucane
– Bonkers.ie David Kerr mentions “one of note” GoldCore and GoldSaver
– Depositors with deposits over the government guarantee in the covered institutions are vulnerable and Marian says “after that goodnight, good luck and goodbye”

RaboDirect, the online savings bank, is set to close the deposit accounts of all 90,000 customers by May 16. Rabodirect’s 90,000 depositors have more than €3 billion on deposit with the bank.

Rabobank  is an A+ (S&P) rated Dutch bank and thus Rabodirect had the highest credit rating of any bank in the Irish savings market and thus was the safest savings option in recent years.

The online bank established itself in Ireland in 2005 and grew its deposit base rapidly, especially during the Irish financial crash which saw Irish banks nearly go bankrupt and having to be bailed out by the Irish government.

RaboDirect has begun to inform all customers of the  ‘actions they need to take’ and what they need to do before 16 May. Rabodirect said it wants to make the process as straightforward as possible for customers to close their accounts and transfer their savings securely to other financial institutions.

One of the actions RaboDirect clients should consider it to allocate some of their cash to physical gold.

The RaboDirect exit is very disappointing as it was the safest bank in Ireland and many of our clients had an online savings account with the bank. Other savings options in Ireland are much riskier. Some wags on Linkedin suggested that it might be time for the “bank of under the mattress.”

More prudent is to diversify your savings and reduce exposure to Ireland Banking Inc. and Ireland Inc.  An allocation to gold (not paper gold but physical gold in ultra secure vaults in safer jurisdictions in the world) remains prudent as gold is a proven safe haven asset, a hedging instrument and delivers strong returns having outperformed blue chip stock market indices and safe haven bonds in the last 10, 20 and 40 years.

Marian Finucane understands the value of gold and had an interesting chat with Bonkers.ie Founder David Kerr on RTE Radio 1 on Saturday morning.

Marian raised the topic of buying gold and how buying gold is associated with very “rich and posh people”, but she was listening to someone being interviewed the other day who is not a hugely “rich and posh” person and that they said that “ordinary people” might buy gold.

Bonkers.ie founder David Kerr mentions that there are online platforms where you can buy gold and that there is “one of note called GoldCore where you can have a gold account which you can put money into and they can buy fractions of bullion on your behalf and they will store it for you or if you want to they can send you individual gold coins or gold bars.”

Marian then asks the million dollar or in this case the hundred thousand euro question; whether gold would protect savers if banks got into difficulty again?:

“So if the banks went belly up again … you would be covered?”

David answered yes “you would have a commodity and you would have a thing – even though it is quite volatile.”

David pointed out how depositors have the deposit protection scheme which covers individuals in covered banks and not all savings institutions in Ireland. The government “guarantee” is currently up to just €100,000 per person per institution. However, that could change and be reduced overnight as we discussed in our recent podcast.

He also pointed out that deposits over the government guarantee are vulnerable. To which Marian concluded with a pointed question “after that goodnight, good luck and goodbye…?”

David responded saying “kind of yes.” Marian then pointed out that this is “obviously not with people’s pensions one hopes … mind you they dipped into that as well and they changed the rules there.”

Marian’s interview about Savings Accounts and gold can be listened to here (segment on gold from 9th minute)

News and Commentary

Gold slips but trade war fears, Italy vote provide support (Reuters.com)

U.S. Libor exposures larger than thought at $200 trillion (Reuters.com)

Warnings of financial blow-up in Hong Kong (SMH.com.au)

Thousands More Stores Are Now On The 2018 Retail Apocalypse Death List (ZeroHedge.com)

Silver’s poised to outpace gold this year (MarketWatch.com)

Alchemist Issue #88 (LMBA.org.uk)

An Anarchist Explains How Hackers Could Cause Global Chaos (ZeroHedge.com)

It’s Not A “Conspiracy Theory”: Here’s How Central Banks Actively Suppress The Price Of Gold (GATA.org)

Inflation and Honest Data (MauldinEconomics.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

06 Mar: USD 1,324.95, GBP 957.01 & EUR 1,074.00 per ounce
05 Mar: USD 1,326.30, GBP 958.78 & EUR 1,075.63 per ounce
02 Mar: USD 1,316.75, GBP 955.70 & EUR 1,071.04 per ounce
01 Mar: USD 1,311.25, GBP 953.80 & EUR 1,075.75 per ounce
28 Feb: USD 1,320.30, GBP 951.14 & EUR 1,080.53 per ounce
27 Feb: USD 1,332.75, GBP 954.78 & EUR 1,081.26 per ounce
26 Feb: USD 1,339.05, GBP 953.00 & EUR 1,085.30 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

06 Mar: USD 16.62, GBP 11.96 & EUR 13.41 per ounce
05 Mar: USD 16.51, GBP 11.95 & EUR 13.42 per ounce
02 Mar: USD 16.45, GBP 11.92 & EUR 13.36 per ounce
01 Mar: USD 16.32, GBP 11.87 & EUR 13.39 per ounce
28 Feb: USD 16.44, GBP 11.88 & EUR 13.45 per ounce
27 Feb: USD 16.61, GBP 11.91 & EUR 13.48 per ounce
26 Feb: USD 16.67, GBP 11.88 & EUR 13.52 per ounce


Recent Market Updates

– Silver bullion will likely outperform gold bullion going forward
– Gold $10,000? Goldnomics Podcast Quotations and Transcript
– Trump Risks Trade and Currency Wars – Protectionism and Economic War Loom
– Four Key Themes To Drive Gold Prices In 2018 – World Gold Council
– Is The Gold Price Going To $10,000? (Goldnomics Podcast 3)
– Gold Corridor From Dubai to China Sought By China
– Digital Gold Provide the Benefits Of Physical Gold?
– Weekly Briefing: Currency Wars – ECB Warns Re Trump, Russia and Turkey Buy Gold and BOE Bitcoin Warning
– Russian Central Bank Buys Gold – 600,000 Ounces Or 18.7 Tons In January As Venezuela Launches ‘Petro Gold’
– Bitcoin or British Pound ‘Pretty Much Failed’ As Currency?
– Bank Bail-In Risk In European Countries Seen In 5 Key Charts
– US-China Trade War Escalates As Further Measures Are Taken
– Gold Up 3.8% In Week – If Closes Above $1,360/oz Will Be Biggest Weekly Gain In Nearly 2 Years

Mark O’Byrne
Executive Director

Andrew Maguire’s Kinesis money which is a “bitcoin” but backed 100% by allocated gold and silver is set to go.

it think it would be a great idea to look at this!

please read at:  https://kinesis.money/#/

(Andrew Maguire)

Andrew Maguire

2:57 PM (1 hour ago)
to me

Harvey

Here It is my friend!  https://kinesis.money/#/ Please let everyone know.

Let catch up on Monday if you have time. We have billions in the hopper ready to be allocated on the 1st day of trading. The paper market days are over.

Warm regards

Andy

end.

THE FOLLOWING CAME FROM KOOS JANSEN:

YOU WILL NOTE THAT FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER CHINA EXPORTED GOLD TO LONDON.

THE QUESTION IS WHY?

I ASKED MY GOOD FRIEND  REG HOWE FOR HIS THOUGHTS ON THIS AND WE AGREE THAT THERE ARE TWO POSSIBILITIES:  1) THAT THERE IS EXTREME SHORTAGE IN LONDON AND A MAJOR BANK COULD NOT DELIVER UPON ALONG OVER THERE..  CHINA WOULD BE ASKING FOR A BIG QUID PRO QUO FOR PROVIDING THE NECESSARY PHYSICAL.  (IT MAKES SENSE IN THE FACT THAT GOLD IS IN BACKWARDATION IN LONDON)

2. TO HELP IN THE FACILITATION OF THE NEW OIL FOR YUAN FOR GOLD NEW FORMAT OR SOME FUTURE MEASURE THAT CHINA WILL REQUIRE OR AT LEAST BENEFIT FROM ADDITION PHYSICAL LIQUIDITY IN LONODN..

REGARDLESS, IT SHOWS SCARCITY OVER THERE.

FROM REG HOWE TO ME:

“Have read speculation that it may have to do with the mechanics of settling the new oil and gold contracts in physical.  More generally, I would guess it’s one of two things: (1) Chinese help in containing some serious stress in the gold market due to lack of physical, e.g., some central bank or major bullion bank unable to deliver, in which case there is likely a big quid pro quo; or (2) a positioning to facilitate some (other) future measure by China that will require or at least benefit from additional physical liquidity in London. In any event, seems to be more evidence of severe shortage of physical in London, otherwise they would just buy it there at today’s suppressed prices.”

END

No reason given for the big drop of over $1000 for Bitcoin except for a major seller

(courtesy zerohedge)

Bitcoin Drops Over $1000 As Cryptos Go Red For Week

Following yesterday’s exciting ramp, cryptocurrencies are tumbling today (down 6-8% overnight)..

A major seller appeared around 5amET…

And back in the red for the week.

Bitcoin is down over $1000 from its highs yesterday…

The move does not seem to have been driven any specific news catalyst.

Google Trends data show searches for bitcoin have fallen by 80 percent.

The last time google searches were this low in relation to bitcoin, the cryptocurrency was valued at $5,000.

And as CoinTelegraph reports, Harvard professor and economist Kenneth Rogoff implied Bitcoin only had value because of its use in “money laundering and tax evasion.”

https://players.brightcove.net/2540076170001/SJletUlwOz_default/index.html?videoId=5745789520001

“I would see $100 as being a lot more likely than $100,000 ten years from now,” he said, continuing:

“Basically, if you take away the possibility of money laundering and tax evasion, [Bitcoin’s] actual uses as a transaction vehicle are very small.”

Rogoff joins a diminishing number of traditional finance figures still maintaining a firm anti-Bitcoin stance.

Additionally, CoinTelegraph notes that Bitcoin’s sideways price action has led to the lowest number of confirmed transactions per day since March 2016, according to Blockchain.info.

Data shows BTC transactions falling in line with downward trends in price since the all-time highsof December 2017.

The number of transactions reached a two-year low on Feb. 26 with only 180,000 confirmed transactions, while Sunday, March 4 saw just 195,500.

The slump comes at a time when Bitcoin struggles to regain the sky-high USD value it achieved late last year, when it reached $20,000 on some major exchanges.

Despite the release of support for Segregated Witness (SegWit) technology by Bitcoin Core and exchanges Coinbase and Bitfinex in February, faster and cheaper Bitcoin transactions appear to interest investors less than overall trading potential.

end

Gold trading today:

(zerohedge)

Gold Is Surging As Tariff-Tantrum Hits Stocks Again

Precious metals are spiking this morning with Gold testing $1340, dramatically outperforming all other assets since Trump initially hinted at tariffs…

As Silver is up almost 3%…

The Dow has erased all its bounce gains and is back underwater post-tariffs…

And Treasury yields are sliding…

end

A study finds an increase in taxi trips between the NY FED and banks around FOMC meetings which suggests that information at the Fed level must be shared with the banks

(courtesy Derby/ Wall Street Journal/GATA)

Study finds increase in taxi trips between NY Fed and banks around FOMC meetings

 Section: 

By Michael S. Derby
The Wall Street Journal
Monday, March 5, 2018

A new study has found a jump in New York City taxi cab activity between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and major Wall Street banks around the time of central bank policy meetings, and the study’s author says the findings suggest an increase in informal communications between Fed employees and individuals in the private sector could be occurring.

The New York Fed strenuously disputed the study’s assertions.

The study was conducted by University of Chicago Booth School of Business Ph.D. candidate David Finer, 33 years old, and made available by the school. His research is in a working paper that will be made public today.

Mr. Finer used government-provided GPS coordinates, vehicle information, and other travel data to track taxi traffic between the addresses of the New York Fed and major banks. His research pointed to increased traffic between the destinations around lunch and late evening hours, which suggested informal meetings were taking place, Mr. Finer wrote in his paper. He found elevated numbers of rides around Federal Open Market Committee meetings, with most of them coming after the gathering.

“The paper does not say anything illegal is happening,” Mr. Finer said in an interview. But “the pattern of interactions suggest these meetings are happening, and there’s the potential for information to be shared” between Fed employees and those in the private sector at these types of gatherings, he said.

A spokesman for the New York Fed said the paper’s claims were fundamentally flawed. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/taxi-study-finds-increase-in-trips-between-…

END

A very important read…Hong Kong is stretched to the limit as the Hong Kong dollar/USA dollar peg comes under fire.  The Hong Kong banking system is 8.3 x its GDP and that is akin to Ireland  and Iceland before both blew up.

Property values are sky high and somehow the authorities must let the air out of tires.

(courtesy Chris Powell/Ambrose Evans Pritchard/UKTelegraph)

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Warnings of financial blowup in Hong Kong

 Section: 

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Telegraph, London
via The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
Monday, March 5, 2018

Hong Kong’s currency regime is coming under serious strain as the U.S. Federal Reserve steps up the pace of monetary tightening, threatening to set off an unpredictable chain of events in the world’s most overstretched financial system.

The enclave’s U.S. dollar peg — usually rock solid — has suddenly become the focus of global markets after the currency fell last week to its lowest level since the current trading band was established in 2005. Analysts say the authorities may soon be compelled to defend the exchange rate, with escalating complications.

A policy shift to force up Hibor lending rates — and drain excess liquidity — risks causing a host of latent problems to crystallise, threatening the territory’s hyper-valued property market and exposing hidden leverage in the Hong Kong dollar “carry trade.”

Rob Subbaraman, chief Asia strategist for Nomura, said the offshore hub is flashing 54 early-warning signals under the bank’s predictive model of future financial blowups.

“This is higher than during the peak of the Asian crisis” in 1997-98, he said. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/warnings-of-financial-blow-u…

END

Warnings of financial blow-up in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s currency regime is coming under serious strain as the US Federal Reserve steps up the pace of monetary tightening, threatening to set off an unpredictable chain of events in the world’s most over-stretched financial system.

The enclave’s US dollar peg – usually rock solid – has suddenly become the focus of global markets after the currency fell last week to its lowest level since the current trading band was established in 2005. Analysts say the authorities may soon be compelled to defend the exchange rate, with escalating complications.

Hong Kong looks increasingly vulnerable to financial stress, analysts say.
Hong Kong looks increasingly vulnerable to financial stress, analysts say.Photo: Shutterstock

A policy shift to force up Hibor lending rates – and drain excess liquidity – risks causing a host of latent problems to crystallise, threatening the territory’s hyper-valued property market and exposing hidden leverage in the Hong Kong dollar “carry trade”.

Rob Subbaraman, chief Asia strategist for Nomura, said the offshore hub is flashing 54 separate early warning signals under the bank’s predictive model of future financial blow-ups.

“This is higher than during the peak of the Asian crisis [1997-1998],” he said.

Nomura said the private credit-to-GDP ratio was 45 percentage points above its long-run trend, the world’s highest by a wide margin. It is a classic sign of bubble behaviour.

Property prices are 18 points higher in real terms, and the real effective exchange rate (REER) is nearly 17 points higher.

“Hong Kong looks increasingly vulnerable to financial stress. A potential trigger could be an accelerated Fed rate hiking cycle,” said Mr Subbaraman.

The Bank for International Settlements says Hong Kong's
The Bank for International Settlements says Hong Kong’s “credit gap” is in a league of its own.Photo: AP

This is exactly what is now coming into focus. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) says Hong Kong’s “credit gap” – the overshoot above trend – surged to record highs last year and is in a league of its own, even by the frothy standards of China and East Asia.

Almost all the countries at risk on this measure, bar Canada, are now in Asia. Much of the region is stretched and vulnerable to any external upset, such as a global trade war.

The BIS relies on the credit gap as the best early warning indicator for banking crises two to three years ahead. Any persistent gap above 10 points is a danger sign. Hong Kong is four times the level.

The enclave’s private debt-service ratio is also the highest in the world. It has jumped over the last decade to 28 per cent, a remarkable level given that borrowing costs have been pinned to the floor.

Much of the region is stretched and vulnerable to any external upset, such as a global trade war.

The question is what happens as rising US rates lift the worldwide cost of credit, and as the end of QE sucks liquidity out of global financial markets. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) fears “significant capital outflows from the Hong Kong banking sector” if the moves are abrupt.

Nomura warned clients to brace for a lot “dead wood rising to the surface” among Asian firms as the tightening cycle bites in earnest.

Hong Kong’s banking system is 8.3 times GDP – akin to the Irish banking system on the eve of the 2008 crisis – and is a contingent liability of the territory. The HKMA has imposed strong safety buffers. The liquidity coverage ratio is 146 per cent, easily meeting stress tests under the Basel capital rules.

Yet the banks have seen a surge in lending to entities in mainland China that exploit the offshore hub to circumvent curbs at home, or to finance an opaque “carry trade” into yuan assets.

Fullscreen

New US tariffs spark outcry in Asia

New US tariffs spark outcry in Asia

US President Donald Trump slaps steep tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels, sparking complaints and criticism from Asian nations.

The HKMA raised the “countercyclical capital buffer” from 1.25 per cent to 1.875 per cent in January but has signalled that this may have to go to 2.5 per cent.

“The risks associated with credit and property market conditions have not abated,” it said.

Property boom

The territory’s property boom is officially out of control. Carrie Lam, the chief executive, said eight rounds of mortgage controls have failed to stop the speculation, and may even have been counter-productive.

“The government really has no way to curb property prices,” she said.

Consultants Demographia estimate that prices are 19.4 times median incomes, up from 18.1 last year, making it the “least affordable” city in the world. (Sydney is 12.9, and London 8.5). Prices have jumped fourfold since 2003 in real terms.

In December, a mystery buyer paid $US200 million for two flats at The Peak on Mount Nicholson, designed by Alexandra Champalimaud. The development is a favourite among Shanghai’s super-rich. Chinese investors now account for 40 per cent of all land purchases in the enclave, despite a 15 per cent stamp duty for outsiders.

Chang Liu from Capital Economics said 90 per cent of all mortgages were priced off floating interbank rates, leaving the market highly vulnerable once interest rates rise in earnest.

“We expect residential property prices to fall by more than a third in the next few years,” he said.

Peter Churchouse, from Stansberry Churchouse, said leverage levels are manageable, with zero likelihood of repeating the 60 per cent price crash seen in the late Nineties. Average loan-to-value ratios for new mortgages are just 51 per cent (though 76 per cent on the existing stock).

Commercial developers have a low gearing, with a net debt to equity ratio of 15 per cent to 20 per cent. “I don’t see any systemic risk to the banking system or any signs of a residential real estate bubble in Hong Kong,” he wrote.

Pressure rising

Yet pressure is rising. The dollar peg forces Hong Kong to import US monetary policy. The currency slide over recent weeks leaves the HKMA little choice. It may soon have to sell “exchange fund bills” to drain liquidity and bring Hibor rates back into alignment with US dollar Libor rates.

Hong Kong has so far seemed immune to rising US rates but the pace is now quickening, and mainland China is coming off the boil after an 18-month spending boom. The International Monetary Fund said China’s “augmented fiscal deficit” rose to 12 per cent of GDP last year. This level of prime-pumping is clearly unsustainable.

‘Spillover risks’

Beijing is having to rein in the excess. Standard & Poor’s stripped Hong Kong of its AAA rating last September, citing “spillover risks” from China’s soaring debt. This follows similar moves by Moody’s and Fitch.

Simon Ward from Janus Henderson says his measure of the Chinese money supply – real true M1 – is in a nose-dive and has dropped below zero, signalling a slowdown later this year. He said the indicator was “flashing danger”.

Yields on five-year AA corporate bonds in China have jumped 230 basis points to almost 6 per cent over the last 15 months, and three-month Shibor rates have risen pari passu.

The China Activity Proxy published by Capital Economics suggests that the authentic rate of growth is running at 5 per cent. A new model by UBS that focuses on early warning “inflection points” hints at a sharp deceleration from last year’s torrid pace.

Hong Kong is in the awkward position of having deep ties to the Chinese economy, while being fixed to US monetary policy through the dollar peg. This could become painful if the yuan starts to slide. The territory has deep reservoirs of wealth. Foreign reserves are $US441 billion and external net assets are four times GDP. The HKMA has weathered many shocks before.

Yet it would be no great surprise if Hong Kong proves to be the locus of the next great spasm in global finance, whenever it comes.

Telegraph, London

END

The total libor exposure is larger than anybody thought at 200 trillion dollars.

(courtesy Reuters/GATA/Brettell)

U.S. Libor exposures larger than thought at $200 trillion

 Section: 

By Karen Brettell
Reuters
Monday, March 5, 2018

A committee of large banks tasked with helping U.S. derivatives markets move away from reliance on the London interbank offered rate (Libor) said today that the benchmark rate underpins more derivatives and loans than previously thought, adding to the need to reduce its influence.

The Alternative Reference Rates Committee said that around $200 trillion in U.S. dollar-based derivatives and loans are based on Libor, with derivatives accounting for around 95 percent of the exposures.

That is 25 percent higher than previous estimates.

“The vast scale and broad scope of this activity underscores the necessity of promoting robust alternatives to Libor,” the ARRC said in a report. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-bonds-libor/u-s-libor-exposures-l…

END

(courtesy Bill Holter)

How often have you heard the phrase “the government will never let it happen”? It almost doesn’t matter what the topic is you are talking about, nothing “bad” can ever really happen …or so it is thought. The reason of course is because we are so many years into “MOPE” (management of perspective economics). No matter what has happened in the past, the media, Wall Street, and the government have constantly spun the narrative to lead the “perspective”. MOPE has been with us for such a long time, it is not surprising the public is conditioned into believing nothing bad will EVER happen.

We could go through the exercise of “how” and even “why” MOPE came about but that might end up being a novel. Rather, I believe there is a core how and why. Put simply, MOPE became a necessity to protect the ability for the U.S. to borrow …AND to issue the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. This topic by the way is a chicken or the egg question but really no longer matters as we are in the very late innings of the credit game.

You see, the U.S. has run a budget deficit every year since 1960 which means they had to borrow funds to keep the doors open and the machine running. Foreigners provided for many years to cover the shortfall and also willingly (for the most part) accepted and used dollars for trade. Rather than live within means, the U.S. fell into the trap of borrowing more to pay back past debt with more new debt and not allow living standards to “clear”. Mother nature saw this and began to drain the Treasury of gold in the late 1960’s which led to the U.S. defaulting on Aug.15, 1971 …which kicked off the need for MOPE.

Fast forward to present, “credit” has been used all these years to fund MOPE …which created the need for even more credit, dollars issued and thus the further need to manage perspectives. The treasury market, and the ability to issue dollars as payment for trade deficits are THE core reasons for all the lies and subterfuge these many years. Without the ability to borrow new funds, or the ability to create dollars that are accepted for the import of real goods, the U.S. would be completely cooked. The result would have been and will be …much higher interest rates and far lower exchange rate (purchasing) powers. In other words, we over lived our means for many years. Adjusting to a real and sustainable standard of living will be seen as complete collapse even though it will only be levels that were natural in the first place.

The above leads us to what has happened over the last few years and where the U.S. is now. The world embarked on “QE” some nine years ago. The rest of the world went along with it so it was considered an “experiment”. It was not an experiment, plain and simple it was monetization. In a real and sustainable financial market, the real economy generates earnings and cash flow sufficient for investment. This is no longer the case. The real economy has been usurped by the needs of the financial economy via central bank monetization. Bluntly, because the financial markets have become more important than the real economy, all stops have been pulled and no limits exist on supporting banking, credit and the ability to extend the Ponzi scheme.

Over the last few years, serious inroads have been made into the use and acceptance of dollars for trade. We have chronicled it along the way for you and it looks like the big one will be later this month when China begins to trade yuan for oil on the 26th. China also peaked in their holdings (maybe not coincidentally) of U.S. Treasuries over four years ago. They now hold 10% fewer U.S. Treasuries than they did at the end of 2013.

The question needs to be asked, who will buy U.S. Treasuries at the very moment U.S. borrowing needs look to be exploding? The answer of course is no one. The only entity who will purchase U.S. Treasuries in size will be the Federal Reserve. They will be forced to purchase much of the new issuance. They will also be forced to purchase what is sold into the markets by foreigners and foreign central banks.

There is of course a problem, a HUGE problem. The Fed has already announced and begun “QT” (quantitative tightening), the reverse of QE. How is it possible for the Fed to actually sell treasuries into the market that already has too much supply? In my eyes they have a choice but not really. They can continue to lower their balance sheet and allow Treasury auctions to fail with not enough bidders …along with outright sales from foreigners. This will result in interest rates clearing at God knows what level, maybe 7% or higher? …Which will destroy the last of our real economy and topple the grotesque financial leverage. Or, they will hyper monetize and reverse again to outright QE?

The bottom line is this, they MUST monetize or interest rates will begin to clear. This option will usher in the end of the dollar because dollar holders will not want to be the ones holding the bag. The Fed cannot support the dollar with the issuance of new dollars as that creates more supply. Because the Fed holds almost no foreign currency and probably even less gold, they own nothing they can sell to purchase dollars with. I have said for many years, the dollar is the ultimate Achilles Heel because the Fed could not support both financial markets and the dollar at the same time. For a while, and with the use of “MOPE” they have done this but issuing new dollars to buy dollars is a formula with only one, Weimar like ending!

To finish, we are witnessing the end of an empire and they all rhyme in fiscal and monetary bankruptcy. History will show “the government will never let it happen” to be back assward because the government will be to blame for the ending and everything leading up to it. The ending is not in any doubt whatsoever due to mathematics, only the timing can be altered. Anyone asking the question “why didn’t anyone see this coming” paid no attention to history at all. If monetizing one’s debt was the road to financial and economic nirvana, there would be no recessions, no wars, no poverty, nothing even concerning. Outright monetization has been tried thousand’s of times in the past, never worked and always ended in disaster. Just because the rest of the world went along with it for a short while this time does not mean it will end any differently. In fact, because it has been the reserve currency being monetized means the disaster will be that much worse and far reaching.

Correcting something I wrote above, this is actually an “experiment” …one that failed thousands of times before and has always, with the same definitive ending. MOPE is easy because man never wants to hear the truth if it hurts!

Standing watch,
Bill Holter
Holter-Sinclair collaboration
comments welcome bholter@hotmail.com


 _____________________________________________________________________________________

Your early TUESDAY morning currency, Asian stock market results,  important USA/Asian currency crosses, gold/silver pricing overnight along with the price of oil Major stories overnight/9 AM EST

 

i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/CLOSED UP 6.3310  /shanghai bourse CLOSED UP 32.71 POINTS OR 1.00%  / HANG SANG CLOSED UP 624.34 POINTS OR 2.09%
2. Nikkei closed UP 375.67 POINTS OR 1.79% /USA: YEN RISES TO 106.35/ STILL DEADLY AS YEN CARRY TRADERS DISINTEGRATE

3. Europe stocks OPENED DEEPLY IN THE GREEN     /USA dollar index FALLS TO 89.68/Euro RISES TO 1.2396

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: RISES TO . +.056/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 106/35/ THIS IS TROUBLESOME AS BANK OF JAPAN IS RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY./JAPAN 10 YR YIELD FINALLY IN THE POSITIVE/BANK OF JAPAN LOSING CONTROL OF THEIR YIELD CURVE AS THEY PURCHASE ALL BONDS TO GET TO ZERO RATE!!

3c Nikkei now JUST BELOW 17,000

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

3e WTI:: 63.18  and Brent: 65.98

3f Gold UP/Yen UP

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund RISES TO +.690%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN to 2.00% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD DOWN TO 1.489%

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS TO : 4.287?????????????????

3k Gold at $1327.95 silver at:16.63     7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 3/100 in roubles/dollar) 56.37

3m oil into the 63 dollar handle for WTI and 65 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 106.35 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 0.9383 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1634 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year RISING to +0.690%

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 2.8991% early this morning (THIS IS DEADLY TO ALL MARKETS). Thirty year rate at 3.1663% /BOTH VERY DEADLY

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

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

Futures Surge As Nuclear, Trade War Threats Fizzle

The overnight session was already in a festive, risk-on mood with global market a sea of green amid fading fears of trade wars and concerns about Italy and European stability, when the news hit that North Korea is ready to denuclearize  if the regime safety is assured“, which sent futures to session highs, the dollar sliding, the USDJPY spiking and 10Y yields surging to 2.895%.

S&P futures were especially delighted, with the E-mini tracking dollar weakness, and spiking 8 points on the North Korea news, and up 12 points on the session, while the USDJPY pushed higher by 40 pips, rising above 106 and trading at 106.40 last.

Earlier, European stocks had already extended gains following Monday’s rally in the U.S. and Asia, even as the European Union was prepared to announce 25% punitive tariffs on American goods. Automakers take pole position among sector, a reversal from yesterday’s underperformance.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose a second day, with all Stoxx 600 sectors rising (547 Stoxx 600 members gain, 40 decline) following a broad advance in Asia as indexes from Hong Kong to Seoul clawed back losses incurred since U.S. President Donald Trump laid out a series of import tariffs last week. In the latest development, the European Commission proposed retaliatory measures on U.S. goods ranging from T-shirts and whiskey to motorcycles and ladders. The plans were limited in scope, targeting some 2.8 billion euros ($3.5 billion) of merchandise, and the euro traded little changed.

In fixed income, treasuries, bunds extend losses after North Korea signaled its openness to denuclearization; U.S. 10-year yield resumes ascent toward 2.90%, while periphery debt outperforms, while Italy’s 10-year BTPs erased all post-election declines.

In the aftermath of German and UK auctions Bunds and Gilts witnessed another bout of selling. The core bond is now just off a fresh 159.12 base (-76 ticks) and now eyeing the next downside chart level at 159.03. Gilts have fallen to 120.68 (-63 ticks), with support seen at 120.48 (February 27’s Liffe session low) according to RanSquawk. Risk back on flows come amidst very conciliatory talk attributed to North Korea. Elsewhere, previously resilient US Treasuries have not been able to escape the latest fallout in core EU bonds with futures now all underwater and the curve steeper.

The rebound in stocks – even prior to the North Korea news – suggested that fears of an escalation of trade war may be easing as Trump is facing growing domestic resistance to his planned levies on steel and aluminum imports within his own party: House Speaker Paul Ryan has called on him to reconsider, while White House economic adviser Gary Cohn is said to be arranging a meeting between Trump and U.S. executives in a bid to halt the order.

“People are realizing a large trade war does not have consensus support, and decent leads last night in the U.S. are driving global risk assets higher,” said Joshua Crabb, the head of equities at Old Mutual Global Investors in Hong Kong.

Asia’s emerging currencies and stocks rose amid a rebound in risk appetite driven by speculation that U.S. President Donald Trump will soften his proposed trade tariffs. Sovereign bonds were mostly steady to lower.

Separately, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda dialed back some of his recent perceived hawkishness.  Recall last week futures slumped after Kuroda told parliament Japan’s QE may end in 2019.  Today, the BOJ governor spoke again in a parliament hearing and “clarified” his comments last week: “Regarding exit, I didn’t say that we would make a change in FY2019, what I said was that the chances of inflation reading 2% in FY2019 was high” he said, further adding that “therefore, I said that we would be discussing how to move forward with exit. I never said we would be exiting immediately in FY2019.”

Also overnight, the Australian dollar pared gains as the central bank left interest rates unchanged at 1.50% as expected, and gave no indication an increase was coming soon. The RBA reiterated that it judged holding policy rates was consistent with sustainable economic growth and reaching the inflation target, while it also repeated that a strengthening exchange rate could slow pace of economic activity and inflation. Furthermore, RBA also stated that low level of rates continues to support domestic economy and that the outlook is for faster growth this year than last year, while it added that wage growth is to remain subdued for some time and gradually pick up.

Elsewhere, Riksbank Governor Ingves stated that weaker inflationary pressures creating uncertainty, adding that monetary policy needs to proceed cautiously. Furthermore, saying that inflation will be near 2% even though forecasts have been adjusted downwards. It’s too early and too big a risk to raise rates now.

WTI crude rises for a third-straight day to approach $63/barrel. WTI and Brent crude futures trade little changed but in close proximity to yesterday’s highs after the IEA took an upbeat view on global oil demand and OPEC Sec-Gen continued to show support for the solidity of the global supply cut agreement. Further newsflow will likely emanate from the Houston energy conference. In metals markets, spot gold trades with modest gains alongside a slightly softer USD with the move in the yellow metal capped to the upside by this morning’s risk appetite. Elsewhere, zinc prices saw their largest declines in three months in China following rising inventories whilst steel saw further selling pressure overnight as soft demand continues to hamper prices.

Looking ahead, highlights include API Inventories, New Zealand GDT Auction and a slew of speakers.

Top Overnight News

  • North Korea is said to be open to denuclearisation if regime safety is guaranteed, and added they are willing to freeze nuclear and missile activities during discussions with the US
  • White House economic adviser Gary Cohn is summoning executives from U.S. companies that depend on aluminum and steel to meet this week with President Donald Trump in a last-ditch attempt to blunt or halt the tariffs announced last week, according to two people familiar with the matter
  • The European Commission has proposed retaliatory dues on imports of U.S. steel, apparel, textile and footwear, selected industrial goods, according to draft list seen by Bloomberg
  • BOJ’s Kuroda says lessening stimulus before reaching inflation target is unthinkable, and that in the near term he doesn’t think the BOJ will be unable to buy bonds nor hit the limit before attaining target; also says he didn’t mean in earlier comments that exit will start as soon as FY2019
  • The EU offer on a post-Brexit trade that U.K. PM Theresa May will bring back from Brussels is likely to be short on detail, leaving Britain in the vulnerable position of having to negotiate substantial chunks of a trade deal after it’s lost much of its leverage
  • Ahead of the ECB’s March 8 policy meeting, the triple whammy of trade war fears, political uncertainty in Italy following Sunday’s election and signs that the euro-area’s economic upswing may be hitting a speed bump all strengthen the case repeatedly made by President Mario Draghi that officials must be patient and persistent in providing stimulus

Asian stocks were mostly higher after sentiment rolled over from the strong US session where all majors gained at least 1% after trade war fears somewhat abated and amid encouraging data releases. This positive momentum gathered pace across Asia-Pac bourses with ASX 200 (+1.1%) also underpinned by strength across the energy sector, and Nikkei 225 (+1.8%) outperformed as exporters cheered a weaker JPY. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+2.1%) joined in on the elation, while the Shanghai Comp. (+1.0%) initially retreated amid a glum tone in the mainland after the PBoC refrained from liquidity operations, but then later conformed to the region. Finally, 10yr JGBs were subdued with demand sapped amid gains across riskier assets and a mixed 30yr auction result.

Top Asian News

  • Asia’s Biggest Currency Gain in 20 Years May Be About to End
  • BOJ May Be Thinking But Not Doing Exit in 2019, Kuroda Says
  • Noble Group 2018 Bonds Set for Biggest Gain in Over a Month
  • H.K. Shares Soar as Trade Fears Ease, Chinese Big Caps Advance

As trade war fears are easing, the European cash open followed the strong lead seen in the US and overnight in Asia, with all major bourses now firmly in the green (Eurostoxx 50 +0.9%). FTSE MIB (1.4%) and DAX 30 (+1.1%) are clear outperformers today following the underperformance seen yesterday in both indices. Materials sector outperformance has been supported by firmer commodity prices. Smurfit Kappa (+18.9%), a noticeable mover today following news of the company rejecting an unsolicited offer from US based International Paper. Telecom Italia (+5.6%) are seen at the top of the FTSE MIB amid news Elliott Management have increased their stake in the company. Just Eat (-7.2%), a major laggard in focus today after the company failed to deliver on earnings.

Top European News

  • Bank of Ireland Senior Executives to Depart in Latest Reshuffle
  • Tesco Rises, Sainsbury Lags After Industry Data Shows Divergence
  • Brexit Is Hurting London Hotel Trade, Hilton’s Nassetta Says
  • Hungarian Opposition May Struggle to Unify Voters, Poll Shows

In FX, the dollar dropped after news that North Korea is open to scaling back on its nuclear weapons if the safety of Kim Jong Un’s regime is guaranteed. There was not much net movement in USD pairs prior to the announcement, but an overall improvement in risk appetite has sapped some strength from the traditional safe-havens, with the Jpy also taking on board comments from BoJ Governor Kuroda who clarified that easy policy will remain in place until such time that inflation reaches the 2% target level, which is currently forecast during fy 2019. Usd/Jpy back below 106.00 and Usd/Chf nearer the top of its 0.9385-0.9420 trading parameters with little reaction Swiss CPI data that was firmer than expected m/m, but bang in line with consensus in y/y terms. Usd/Cad remains firmer having just crossed over 1.3000 yesterday amidst ongoing NAFTA and US import tariff concerns, and with the options market indicating more Loonie depreciation ahead. The Kiwi is still benefiting from relative Aud weakness down under after some Aussie data misses overnight (Q4 current account and January retail sales vs a tad smaller decline in Q4 net exports) and a largely unchanged RBA on rates and in the accompanying statement (growth to pick up vs 2017, but inflation and wages still lagging). Nzd/Usd just over 0.7250 and Aud/Usd retreating from a brief 0.7800 test, as Aud/Nzd pulls back towards 1.0700. Elsewhere, some divergence in Eur/Scandi crosses, with the Nok up near 9.6250 highs on an upbeat Norwegian regional survey, but the Sek down to fresh 10.2000+ multi-year lows on more cautious Riksbank policy guidance from Governor Ingves and shrugging off reasons to start normalisation now from rate hike dissenter Ohlsson. Back to Usd/G10 pairs, Eur/Usd looks more supported above 1.2300, but perhaps capped by its 30 DMA around 1.2363, and Cable is holding the bulk of Monday’s gains over 1.3800 on UK PM May’s claims that a transition deal is getting closer (and notwithstanding more reports of hard-line EU demands).

In commodities, WTI and Brent crude futures trade little changed but in close proximity to yesterday’s highs after the IEA took an upbeat view on global oil demand and OPEC Sec-Gen continued to show support for the solidity of the global supply cut agreement. Further newsflow will likely emanate from the Houston energy conference. In metals markets, spot gold trades with modest gains alongside a slightly softer USD with the move in the yellow metal capped to the upside by this morning’s risk appetite. Elsewhere, zinc prices saw their largest declines in three months in China following rising inventories whilst steel saw further selling pressure overnight as soft demand continues to hamper prices.

Looking at the day ahead, with nothing of note in Europe, the main focus is on the US where we are due to receive January factory orders data along with final revisions to durable and capital goods orders. BOE’s Haldane will speak and over at the Fed, Dudley is due to speak at 7.30am ET.

US Event Calendar

  • 10am: Factory Orders, est. -1.4%, prior 1.7%; Factory Orders Ex Trans, prior 0.7%
  • 10am: Durable Goods Orders, est. -3.6%, prior -3.7%; Durables Ex Transportation, prior -0.3%
  • 10am: Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, prior -0.2%; Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, prior 0.1%

Central Banks

  • 7:30am: Fed’s Dudley Speaks at U.S. Virgin Islands
  • 7pm: Fed’s Brainard to Speak in New York
  • 8:30pm: Fed’s Kaplan Speaks at Energy Conference

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

As I get on the plane markets are looking a lot better than me and also on where they were towards the end of last week. In the US yesterday House Speaker Ryan’s comments (see below) and the general perception that last week’s protectionist fears may have been too much too soon seemed to drive risk assets higher yesterday, with the S&P (+1.1%) up for the second consecutive day and all sectors higher with gains led by utilities, financials and real estate stocks. Notably, the S&P has now had 14 days of plus or minus 1% moves in either direction since the start of February, which compares to only 10 days from Jan 17 to Jan 18. The Dow (+1.37%) and Nasdaq (+1.0%) also advanced while the VIX fell 4.4% to 18.73.

Delving into the rhetoric a bit more, House speaker Ryan’s spokeswoman noted “we’re extremely worried about the consequence of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this (tariffs) plan”, in part as they do not want to jeopardize the economic gains from recent tax reforms. Although President Trump has said “no, we’re not backing down”, he did seemed to softened his stance and opened the door for negotiations, at least for Canada and Mexico where he noted “tariffs on steel and aluminium will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed”. Later on, US trade representative Lighthizer confirmed those sentiments and noted that the President’s “view was that it makes sense that if we get a successful (NAFTA) agreement, to have them excluded” from the tariffs. Over in Germany, Ms Merkel’s Chief spokesman Seibert noted “…it makes little sense to compare tariffs on individual products” but added “…we certainly don’t want anything like a trade war”.

Turning back to Europe, the Italian election story hasn’t moved on significantly since we discussed it first thing yesterday morning but there has been some posturing. As a reminder the populists of 5SM and the Northern League remain the biggest winners. Arithmetically these two could form a coalition but the former has previously suggested they won’t enter a coalition. However their success means that a government will be incredibly difficult to form  without them.

Their leader Di Maio did say that 5SM’s victory should allow him to govern Italy and that we are open to talks with all parties. So we’ll see if that means they’re more open to a coalition than before.

Meanwhile NL leader Salvini said on live TV that “the centre-right coalition is the coalition that won”. He also said that result requires NL “to be responsible” and that the NL not available for “bizarre coalitions” and that “We want to  govern with the centre-right.” This would argue against the desire for a 5SM tie-up. It’s also worth noting that Salvini did say that “the common currency system is bound to come to an end….not because Salvini wants that but because that’s what facts, good sense and the real economy say”. So although his party haven’t been pushing to leave the euro recently he is clearly very negative about the single currency’s future which is interesting for someone who could be a kingmaker.

However he has always felt this way so it’s not really new news. Elsewhere, Mr Renzi noted the results were “very disappointing” for the Democratic Party and has resigned as Party Leader. Here is DB’s note published yesterday  morning on the results and the implications.

This morning in Asia, markets are rallying post the positive US lead. The Nikkei is up for the first time in five day (+1.75%) while the Kospi (+1.48%), Hang Seng (+1.58%) and China’s CSI300 (+0.68%) are also up as we type. Elsewhere, BOJ’s Kuroda spoke at his confirmation hearing in the upper house and noted the BOJ is keeping financial conditions as accommodative as possible. On inflation, the board’s consensus is that it will reach 2% in around fiscal year 2019 and the BOJ will work with the government to end deflation, although conceded that the 2% target is still distant.

Now recapping other markets performance from yesterday. European bourses initially opened weaker but recovered  quickly to close broadly higher. Across the region, the DAX (+1.49%) led the gains as the SPD voted to form a coalition government with Ms Merkel’s bloc, while the Stoxx (+1.04%) rose for the first time in five days and FTSE (+0.65%) also advanced. In Italy, the FTSE MIB and 10y BTPs both traded down earlier on (-2%; +7bp) but ended the day relatively resilient with BTPs +3.6bp and MIB -0.42% with bank stocks underperforming the market.

Over in government bonds, core 10y bond yields were mixed but little changed (UST 10y +1.7bp; Bunds -0.8bp) while peripherals excluding BTPs outperformed with yields down 4-5bp. Turning to currencies, the US dollar index edged higher for the first time in three days (+0.05%), while the Euro and Sterling gained 0.15% and 0.34% respectively. In commodities, WTI oil was up 2.22% to $62.61/ bbl partly due to a production disruption at Libya’s Sharara oil field, although production is expected to resume later this week.

Away from the markets and onto China’s National People’s Congress, Premier Li has signalled tolerance for slower growth and cut the fiscal deficit for the first time since 2012 (2017: 3% of GDP; 18E 2.6%). Our Chinese economists believes the changes reinforces their view that GDP growth will slow in 2018F to 6.3% from 6.9% in 2017. The main takeaways from the Premier’s work plan include: i) tightening fiscal policy, tolerating slower growth, ii) stronger support for the new economy, iii) better market access and lower tariffs for foreign firms in China and iv) monetary policy stance to stay unchanged. Refer to their note for more details.

In the US, the Fed’s Quarles noted the Volcker rule “…is an example of complex regulation that is not working well” and that “…banks spend far too much time and energy contemplating whether particular transactions or positions are consistent with the Volcker rule”. Hence, US financial agencies are working quickly to make “material changes” to the rules. Elsewhere, the Mississippi Republican Senator Cochran will resign from Congress on 1 April due to health reasons (age 80). His departure sets up a special election this November and could weigh on the Republican’s current slim majority of 51-49 in the Senate.

In credit, Michal in my team published a report “IG Strategy: ECB Keeps More Weight on the CSPP as It Takes Steinhoff Losses in Its Stride”. It provides an update on the latest CSPP purchases, their breakdown into primary and secondary, and their relative weight in the ECB QE programme. It includes estimates of the ECB’s average allocation of primary deals and an update on relative pricing of CSPP-eligible and ineligible securities. Finally, it estimates the ECB losses on the Steinhoff bond that they sold after it plunged by half and notes that it has been comfortably absorbed by the returns on the overall CSPP portfolio.

Finally, for those interested in empirical studies, the San Francisco Fed published a finding yesterday that noted negative yield curves have predicted all nine US recessions since 1955 with a lag of 6 to 24 months and “while the current environment appears unique”, the authors find “…the term spread is by far the most reliable predictor of recessions”. Something we’d generally agree with!

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, the February non-manufacturing ISM index was above market at 59.5 (vs. 59 expected). In the details, the new orders index rose 2.1pts to 64.8 (highest since 2005) while the employment index fell 6.6pts from January’s all-time high to 55.0. Elsewhere, the final readings of the February services PMI was in line at 55.9 while the composite PMI was slightly softer at 55.8 (vs. 55.9 previous) but still the highest since January 17.

In Europe, the January retail sales print was in line at -0.1% mom, leading to an annual growth of 2.3% yoy, while the March Sentix investor confidence was below market at 24 (vs. 30.9) and the lowest since April 17. The final readings for the Euro area’s February composite PMI (57.1 vs. 57.5 expected) and services PMI (56.2 vs. 56.7 expected) were revised c0.4pt lower. Across the countries, Germany’s composite PMI was +0.2pt higher than expectations to 57.6 while France was -0.5pt below to 57.8. Elsewhere, the flash composite PMI for Italy was lower than expected (56 vs. 57.9) while the UK was above market (54.5 vs. 53.6 expected) and the services PMI was the highest since October (54.5 vs. 53.3 expected).

Looking at the day ahead, with nothing of note in Europe, the main focus should be on the US where we are due to receive January factory orders data along with final revisions to durable and capital goods orders. BOE’s Haldane will speak and over at the Fed, Dudley is due to speak at 12.30pm GMT.

end

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)TUESDAY MORNING/LATE MONDAY NIGHT: Shanghai closed UP 32.71 POINTS OR 1.00% /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 624.34 POINTS OR 2.09% / The Nikkei closed UP 375.67 POINTS OR 1.79%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 1.09%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.3310/Oil UP to 63.18 dollars per barrel for WTI and 65.98 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED DEEPLY IN THE GREEN  .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AT 6.3310 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.3260 /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING STRONGER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING MUCH STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR . CHINA IS VERY  HAPPY TODAY (STRONGER CURRENCY AND GOOD CHINESE MARKETS/ ) 

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

/NORTH KOREA

This is the big story of the day:  Kim Jung Un is ready to denuclearize and will be holding talks with the South.  They wish that their regime safety to be guaranteed.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Breakthrough: North Korea Ready To Denuclearize “If Regime Safety Is Guaranteed”

Score another diplomatic victory for Trump, whose hard line negotiating tactic appears to have generated a dramatic – and favorable for market – outcome. Moments ago futures spiked, 10Y yields jumped and the USDJPY bounced about 106 on what the FT dubbed a “diplomatic breakthrough” that North and South Korea have agreed to hold direct talks between their leaders with North Korea signalling it is willing to abandon its nuclear program “if regime security can be guaranteed.

  • NKOREA OPEN TO DENUCLEARIZE IF REGIME SAFETY GUARANTEED: SKOREA

The headlines come from South Korean National Security Office special envoy Chung Eui-yong, who is speaking to reporters in Seoul after returning from Pyongyang. Remember he and another envoy, National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Monday. Chung confirms that North Korea is indeed ready to stop the jawboning and negotiate:

  • Kim Jong Un open to frank talks with U.S. for denuclearization: Chung
  • North Korea to suspend provocations during talks: Chung
  • Promises not to use any weapons against South Korea: Chung

Next step: a summit in April between the two neighbors where details will be ironed out: “North Korea, South Korea agree to hold summit in April”, Chung says. Pyongyang vowed not to test any ballistic missiles or make further provocations during talks, according Chung clarified.

The easing of tensions between the two Koreas and this clearly positive geopolitical development has triggered a broad based risk-on move. Fixed income is selling off sharply here, with Bunds flying. As the spot KRW market is closed, the NDF space is in focus. The 1m NDF has traded from 1076.0 to 1070.8 at time of print. USDJPY is spiking higher at 106.10 at print. This move may have legs especially as early NY begins to come in

The question now is whether this unexpected diplomatic victory for Trump will further empower him to demand similar concessions on the trade side, and launch the “trade wars”, even as the market is now fully convinced that the US president will backtrack.

end
 

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

THIS IS GOING TO BE A HUMDINGER OF A CLASS ACTION SUIT: kOBE STEEL NOW ADMITS TO FABRICATING DATA ON THEIR STEEL PRODUCTS FOR OVER 5 DECADES:

(COURTESY REUTERS)

Kobe Steel admits data fraud went on nearly five decades, CEO to quit

TOKYO (Reuters) – Kobe Steel Ltd admitted on Tuesday its data fraud has been going on nearly five decades and also revealed new cases of cheating, highlighting the challenges facing the 112-year-old company mired in compliance failures and malfeasance.

Japan’s third-biggest steelmaker said its CEO will step down to take responsibility for the widespread data fraud scandal that came to light last year, although doubts remain over its corporate culture and the possibility of future fines.

Kobe Steel, which supplies steel parts to manufacturers of cars, planes and trains around the world, admitted last year to supplying products with falsified specifications to about 500 customers, throwing global supply chains into turmoil.

The company, in announcing the results from a four-month-long investigation by an external committee, said it had also found new cases of impropriety, widening the total of affected clients to 605, including 222 customers overseas.

“I feel heavy responsibility as our data falsification has caused trouble to so many customers,” the resigning CEO and chairman, Hiroya Kawasaki, told a news conference.

“I’ve offered my resignation … as I think preventive measures should be done under a new management,” he said.

Kawasaki will leave his post on April 1, with his successor to be decided soon by the board, the company said.

Inappropriate actions were widespread, and were carried out with the knowledge and involvement of many, including management, the company said.

Kobe Steel also announced the resignation of Executive Vice President Akira Kaneko and temporary pay cuts for up to 80 percent of all internal directors and executive officers.

The case was one of the country’s biggest industrial scandals in recent memory, which set off a rash of malfeasance revelations by other Japanese heavyweights, hitting the country’s reputation for manufacturing excellence.

In the past several months, Mitsubishi Materials Corp, Toray Industries and Ube Industries have also admitted to product data fabrication while automakers Nissan Motor and Subaru Corp have revealed incorrect final inspection procedures.

PROBLEMS LONG ENTRENCHED

Kobe Steel said the data cheating started at least as early as the 1970s, based on testimony from multiple sources interviewed by the external investigation team.

Slideshow (4 Images)

The company mapped out various preventive measures, including setting up an external committee to oversee quality issues, but those familiar with the company say its problems are entrenched.

“What you see is a pattern, a culture,” said Steven Bleistein, CEO of Tokyo-based consultancy Relansa. “Company culture is something that a leader creates, so the very least you have to do is to remove the leader and the people who were complicit, from the CEO downwards.”

Kobe Steel has had a series of scandals in the last dozen years, including taking part in bid-rigging for a bridge project in 2005, failing to report income to tax authorities in 2008, 2011 and 2013, and falsifying emissions data in 2006. Illegal political funding to candidates in local elections in 2009 also prompted the resignations of the then CEO and chairman.

The data fraud scandal, though, so far appears to have left Kobe Steel’s finances unscathed. In February, the company reinstated a forecast for its first annual profit in three years for the year ending March 31.

But the company is also undergoing a U.S. Justice Department probe, meaning it still faces legal and financial risk. A Japanese government-sanctioned seal of quality has been revoked on some of its product as well.

“There is a pending risk for Kobe Steel as customers at home or abroad may cancel their contracts and take legal actions, and the U.S. Justice Department may seek a penalty,” said Makiko Yoshimura, director at S&P Global Rating Japan.

It is unclear how much a Justice Department fine would be. Last year, Japan’s Takata Corp agreed to plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing and pay $1 billion to resolve a U.S. Justice investigation into ruptures of its air bag inflators that were linked to more than 20 deaths worldwide.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Additional reporting by Chris Thomas and Indranil Sarkar in BENGALURU, Minami Funakoshi and Taiga Uranaka in TOKYO; Writing by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Stephen Coates and Tom Hogue

end

c) REPORT ON CHINA

The following is a very important read:  what happens if Trump does not back down on the tariffs? Even Trump admits that the goal of tariffs is aimed directly at China.  Trump has stated that he wants to “fine” China for stealing intellectual property.  The number bandied about:  $1 trillion  and that will no doubt fry all global markets.

(courtesy zerohedge)

What If Trump Does Not Back Down, And Why Is “$1 Trillion” Being Floated Around Washington?

One conventional wisdom about Trump’s thinking about the trade tariffs which he may (or may) not announce this week, is that Trump’s conviction with the action is directly proportional to the level of the Dow Jones.

Recall that over the weekend, DB’s Alan Ruskin said that “With widespread reports that the President has ignored the advice of leading advisors like Gary Cohn, it has become rational for those who believe in free trade to wish for a sharp decline in the stock market, as something the President may listen to on this issue.”

Further, as we noted yesterday quoting DataTrek’s Nick Colas, “The Achilles Heel for the Dow is clear enough: hurt Boeing by pulling orders (for example), and the Average will suffer disproportionately. And, presumably, President Trump’s affinity for that measure will force him to take notice.”

Then, overnight Bloomberg noted the same:

Donald Trump’s yardstick for his own success is going rogue. That’s the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a regular feature in the U.S. president’s commentary over the past year as the equity bull market raged on. Take early January, when the index sailed past 25,000 for the first time: “This is all about the Make America Great Again agenda! Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Six trillion dollars in value created!”

Contrast that with now, when the Dow’s being whipsawed by Trump’s own plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and the tweets have dried up. “Dow vigilantes” are signaling their disapproval, according to Ed Yardeni, who coined the term bond vigilantes in 1983 to describe investors who protest monetary or fiscal policies by dumping debt. He says that in relation to Trump and equities, the strategy may have merit.

“The bears could make a comeback if President Donald Trump turns into an outright protectionist,” the founder of his namesake research firm wrote in a note. “More likely is that he will back off if the market continues to react badly to his protectionist pronouncements.”

There’s just one problem with the “Dow Vigilantes” theory: stocks are now well above the level where they were when Trump unveiled the steel and aluminum tariffs.  In other words, as Trump has constantly doubled down on his threats that he would impose tariffs, the market’s interpretation of his motives notwithstanding, what he has seen is one day of losses, and both a Friday and Monday where the S&P closed green.

If anything, Trump will see the market – which has already priced in a capitulation by the president – as giving his tariff plan a thumbs up.

Which brings us to another issue noted by Strategas, which notes that President Trump’s Davos and State of the Union speeches both declared that the US was going to fine China for stealing US intellectual property. Those “fines” could be in the hundreds of billions of dollars range and are a much more significant trade event than steel and aluminum tariffs.

Trump himself has also said that the trade wars have one major target: Beijing, with the rest of the world negotiable collateral damage. Just yesterday, the US trade rep made it clear that both Mexico and Canada would get an exemption from the tariffs once they agreed to a “fair” renegotiation of Nafta.

Still, a trade war involving just China and the US is enough to grind global growth to a halt.

And beyond the already announced aluminum and steel tariffs, there is another far more troubling aspect, or rather number, to Trump’s protectionist push noted by Strategas. The number is $1 trillionHere is strategas:

President Trump is considering imposing tariffs on Chinese goods in response to China stealing US intellectual property. This is often referred to as Section 301 and President Trump specifically mentioned this action in both his Davos and State of the Union speeches. The rumor around DC is that the US will impose $1 trillion of tariffs, which would shock financial marketsWe believe the $1 trillion number is too high. Since the US imports $450bn from China, across the board tariffs would need to be 200 percent. Even for Trump that is too much. But given the magnitude of what is being discussed, China would need to respond.

If Strategas is correct, and if Trump’s ultimate intention is to hit China with tariffs in the “hundreds of billions” (or more), it’s on, and the resulting trade wars will promptly cripple all China-facing US corporations first, followed by the rest of the S&P. Here is strategas again on what happens then:

We are often asked which industries and companies would be impacted. There are some obvious sectors such as industrials (cars, planes), agriculture, and technology. Below is a list of US companies which derive the largest percentage of their total revenue from China. We are not saying to short these companies, but believe investors should start thinking about potential risks to the companies they own if they have sufficient business in China.

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

Europe is set to retaliate against Trump’s tariffs with a huge 25% tariff of their own in mainly Republican controlled states.

(courtesy zerohedge)

8. EMERGING MARKET

South Africa

South Africa has signed into law allowing the confiscation of White farms into Black hands for no compensation. The problem is the huge debt at the banks. Can this lead to a banking crisis?

(courtesy Simon Black./SovereignMan.com)

Did South Africa’s New President Just Guarantee An Imminent Banking Crisis?

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

Week before last, I told you about how the brand-new President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, made an impassioned speech calling for the confiscation of real estate from white land owners.

It was a pretty remarkable thing to say during what was literally his first week in office.

You’d think the new president would take the opportunity to address more immediate, more critical issues– for example, the fact that Cape Town is about to run out of water.

I’m serious.

Cape Town, the second largest city in South Africa (and the most well-developed on the African continent) is about to become the world’s first major city to run out of water.

The city is experiencing its worst drought in a century, one that has dragged on for more than three years. And its various dams and reservoirs are at historically low levels.

Local residents are already being rationed, including having their showers limited to two minutes.

But even with the rationing, Cape Town is still just weeks away from running out of water.

You’d think that would be at the top of the government’s list, given that their own idiotic policies caused this problem to begin with.

But no.

Social Justice has once again won the day over common sense. So they’re prioritizing the confiscation of white-owned land over critical water supply needs.

A few days ago, they took this a step further and actually passed a law authorizing the expropriation of land without compensation.

Their next move is to form an official committee to manage the process.

Now, South Africa obviously has a painful history regarding race.

And this issue of land ownership goes all the way back to the earliest European settlers who took land from the natives– something that President Ramaphosa called “original sin.”

The government’s objective is to correct this centuries-old injustice by taking land away from white owners and giving it back to its ‘original’ owners… ostensibly the descendants of native tribes.

But here’s where things become completely ridiculous. Let me give you a hypothetical example…

Let’s say a white landowner has a large property in eastern South Africa.

Even if he’s only owned the land for six months, he’s still going to be blamed for four centuries of imperialism… so his land will be confiscated by the government.

That sounds like a nice dose of justice!

But who will become the new owner?

One of the dominant tribes in eastern South Africa is the Zulu people. So perhaps the South African government will carve up the land and give tiny parcels to members of the Zulu tribe.

But then again… the Zulu tribe conquered that region centuries ago after a bloody war with the Ndwande tribe.

So perhaps the government should give the land to the descendants of the Ndwande instead.

Except that the Ndwande had conquered the area from the Mthethwa Empire, who in turn had conquered it from the Pedi tribe (of which Julius Malema, another of South Africa’s political hot-heads, is a member).

Even the most die-hard Social Justice Warrior whose heart soars at the prospect of confiscating land from white people has to acknowledge the absurdity of stealing property from the descendants of one conqueror and giving it to the descendants of another conqueror.

And, even if it were possible to accurately determine the ‘rightful’ owners of the land, and even if the prospect of forced redistribution were a good idea, can we really trust one of the most corrupt governments in the world to fairly and transparently execute the program?

Or is there just a teeny, tiny possibility that maybe, just maybe, all this confiscated land will end up being owned by government cronies?

Another important point is that a lot of this land that the government wants to confiscate probably has quite a bit of bank debt.

Imagine – you just bought a farm for, say, 50 million rand (that’s about USD $3 million). And in order to do so, you took out a hefty loan from a South African bank.

Now the government comes along and steals your property.

Are you seriously going to keep paying the loan?

Of course not.

This means that the banks are going to be stuck with massive defaults and bad debts, leading to a wave of bank failures.

So in their crusade to bring Social Justice to South Africa, the government is effectively engineering a banking crisis in their country.

This is criminally stupid behavior that puts South Africa on the same path that Zimbabwe followed in the late 1990s.

And as I told you a few weeks ago, when I first reported about this land confiscation in South Africa, anyone who is dumb enough to follow Zimbabwe’s economic model absolutely deserves what they’re going to get.

 end

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

Euro/USA 1.2396 UP .0059/ REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ SPAIN VS CATALONIA/REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:/TRUMP HEALTH CARE DEFEAT//ITALIAN REFERENDUM DEFEAT/AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA FALLING INTEREST RATES AGAIN/HOUSTON FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES ALL IN THE GREEN  

USA/JAPAN YEN 106.35 UP  0.098 (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 1.3905 UP .0058  (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 1.2933 DOWN .0047 (CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA)

Early THIS TUESDAY morning in Europe, the Euro ROSE by 59 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level RISING to 1.2396; / Last night Shanghai composite CLOSED UP 32.71  OR 1.00% /   Hang Sang CLOSED UP 624.34 POINTS OR 2.09%  /AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP 1.09% / EUROPEAN BOURSES  IN THE GREEN 

The NIKKEI: this TUESDAY morning CLOSED UP 375,67 POINTS OR 1.79%

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

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED UP 624.34 POINTS OR 2.09%  / SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 32.71 OR 1.00%   /

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 1.09% /

Nikkei (Japan)CLOSED UP 375.67 POINTS OR 1.79%

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE RED (BANKING SCANDAL)

Gold very early morning trading: 1327.00

silver:$16.59

Early TUESDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.8991% !!! UP 2  IN POINTS from MONDAY 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 3.1663 UP 2 IN BASIS POINTS from MONDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/DEADLY

USA dollar index early TUESDAY morning: 89.68 DOWN 40  CENT(S) from MONDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers MONDAY MORNING

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And now your closing TUESDAY NUMBERS \1 PM

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.917% DOWN 4  in basis point(s) yield from MONDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.0.056% UP 1    in basis points yield from MONDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.491% DOWN 1  IN basis point yield from MONDAY/

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 199.7 DOWN 2 POINTS in basis point yield from MONDAY/

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 51 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: RISES TO +.675%   IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY

END

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IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR TUESDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.2408 UP .0072 (Euro UP 72 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 106.06 DOWN 0.197 Yen UP 20 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3881 UP .0033( POUND UP 33 BASIS POINTS)

USA/Canada 1.2905 DOWN  .0075 Canadian dollar UP 75 Basis points AS OIL FELL TO $62.42

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This afternoon, the Euro was UP 72 to trade at 1.2408

The Yen ROSE to 106.06 for a GAIN of 20 Basis points as NIRP is STILL a big failure for the Japanese central bank/HELICOPTER MONEY IS NOW DELAYED/BANK OF JAPAN NOW WORRIED AS AS THEY ARE RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY AS BOND YIELDS RISE

The POUND ROSE BY 33 basis points, trading at 1.3881/

The Canadian dollar ROSE by 75 basis points to 1.2905/ WITH WTI OIL FALLING TO : $62.42

The USA/Yuan closed AT 6.3145
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.056%  UP 1  BASIS POINTS / yield/
Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield DOWN 2 IN basis points from MONDAY at 2.866% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.132  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, 89.56 DOWN 31 CENT(S) ON THE DAY/1.00 PM/

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

London: CLOSED UP 30.77 POINTS OR 0.43%
German Dax :CLOSED UP 23.00 POINTS OR 0.19%
Paris Cac CLOSED UP 3.00 POINTS OR 0.06%
Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 4.00 POINTS OR 0.04%

Italian MIB: CLOSED  UP 382.59 POINTS OR 1.75%

The Dow closed UP 9.36 POINTS OR 0.04%

NASDAQ WAS up 41.30 Points OR 0.56% 4.00 PM EST (short squeeze)

WTI Oil price; 62.42 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 65.63 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS: 56.72 DOWN 31/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE HIGHER BY 31 BASIS PTS)

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES TO +.675% 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:$62.42

BRENT: $65.66

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.883%   THIS RAPID ASSENT IN YIELD IS VERY DANGEROUS/DERIVATIVES START TO BLOW UP/ 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.148%/BROKE GUNDLACH’S KEY 3.00% AGAIN WHERE ALL VALUATIONS ON STOCKS BLOW UP/

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS: 1.2405 UP.0069  (UP 69 BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:106.19 DOWN 0.061/ YEN UP 6 BASIS POINTS/ very dangerous as yen carry traders are getting killed/yen continues to rise despite the NYSE rising.

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 89.59 DOWN 49 cent(s)/dangerous as the lower the dollar the higher the inflation.

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.3888: UP 0.0042  (FROM LAST NIGHT UP 42 POINTS)

Canadian dollar: 1.2880 UP 99 BASIS pts

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +0.675%


VOLATILITY INDEX:  18.36  CLOSED  down   0.37

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.03%  

END

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

9 Years “Off The Lows”: World Stocks +200%, Central Banks +170%, Dollar Unchanged

More chaotic swings in stocks today…

It’s been 9 years since President Obama called the bottom in the S&P 500 at 666 and there has been one asset that has crushed everyone else…

But away from crytpocurrencies… Global Stocks are up 200%, Global central bank balance sheets up around 170%… and the Dollar is unchanged…

As a reminder, the Bank of England launched its QE program on March 5, the day before US stocks hit their lows. The SPX rallied 14% between the close on the 5th and that of the day before the Fed launched its own asset purchase program. Perhaps, as Bloomberg’s Cameron Crise notes, the UK still has a few things to teach its younger, larger cousin…

*  *  *

Since Trump dropped the “T” word last week, gold is the best performer with today’s bounce in stocks pulling The Dow green, bonds are unch and the dollar is weaker…

Small Caps, Nasdaq, and the S&P are all green post-Trump Tariffs, The Dow and Trannies are unchanged…

On the day, stocks chopped around on headline roulette around North Korea hope and tariff hype…

The Dow ended at exactly 50% retracement levels from the record high to Feb lows… (350 point swing in The Dow today)

Bank stocks surged once again, extending the gains off Friday lows…

And FANG stocks are up almost 9% from Friday’s lows…

VIX tagged a 17 handle intraday again…

With rate-locks lifting ahead of CVS’ massive issuance, Treasuries flatlined on the day

The Dollar Index tumbled again today (extending the post-Trump-Tariff drop), erasing

Gold and Silver surged today as the dollar weakened but crude ended unch ahead of API inventory data tonight…

The silver/crude divergence got some chattering about the ratio’s seeming resistance…

Ugly day for cryptocurrencies (for no good reason)…

As Bitcoin caught down to Nasdaq…

END

Early morning trading

(zerohedge)

Stocks Slump Into Red At US Open

Good news is bad news? North Korean denuclearization chatter and Kuroda clarifying endless QE sparked a pre-open ramp in US equities but once the cash market opened, sellers emerged…

FANG safe-haven buying is holdoing Nasdaq up while The Dow and S&P go red…

And bond yields roundtripped to the lows of the day…

Maybe reality is setting in that Trump is not backing away from tariffs and that means bye-bye Gary

end
Mid afternoon
another joke:  supposedly Trump is open to tariff changes
(courtesy zerohedge)

Stocks Soar On Trump “Open To Tariff Changes” Comments

Following a Bloomberg headline proclaiming that Senator Purdue (a well-known Trump ally) has made comments that President Trump is “open to changes on tariffs.”

While not news per se, since Trump already stated the same this morning with regard his NAFTA, it appears the algos are eager to buy the dip…

The Dow is back in the green…

end
More indication of USA troubles as their factory orders tumbled in January.
(courtesy zerohedge)

US Factory Orders Tumble In January

Following Durable Goods plunge in January (final data showing worsening non-defense orders), US Factory Orders tumbled 1.4% (as expected) – the first drop in six months.

Core Factory Orders disappointed and growth slowed to its weakest since June…

Under the hood of orders, some sectors stood out with notable collapses…

  • Transportation equipment -10.0%
  • Nondefense aircraft: -28.4%
  • Defense aircraft: -45.6%
  • Mining, oil field machinery: -8.9%

Of course this should not be a surprise as global macro data has serially disappointed this year.

 end

Further evidence that the USA is slowing down:  realtors are rattled as Manhattan apartment sales have plummeted to a 6 year low

(courtesy zerohedge)

“That’s Quite A Blip” – Realtors Rattled As Manhattan Apartment Sales Plummet To 6-Year Low

As US home prices have climbed to within a hair’s breadth of their all-time highs from 2006, we’ve asked time and time again whether this is a market “top” or a “breakout”.

In each case, we’ve pointed to slackening transaction volume in some of the hottest housing markets in the US as a sign that, despite a purported paucity of new housing stock during the post-crisis era, high prices have left much of the market out of reach for middle- and working-class Americans (even those who might consider themselves part of the upper-middle class) as asset price appreciation has far outstripped wage growth.

And nowhere has this trend been more visible, perhaps, than in Manhattan.

To wit: After months of declines, Apartment sales in Manhattan fell in January to the lowest monthly rate since February 2012 (a six year low) as a trend in both declining sales prices and volume has intensified.

Across Manhattan, 840 co-ops and condos were sold in January, a 20.1% drop from a year earlier, when 1,051 apartment sales were recorded, according to CityRealty.

That’s the lowest number of units sold since February 2012, when 799 sales were recorded at an average price of $1.50 million. Volume peaked in July 2013, when 1,721 units were sold.

Manhattan

A separate batch of data from the New York City Department of Finance showed 995 units were sold in December, a 15.6% drop.

Sales prices also sunk precipitously last month, logging a 15.5% year-over-year drop to an average of $1.86 million in January from an average $2.2 million a year earlier, while the average price in December fell 14.3 percent, from $2.17 million.

CityRealty’s director of research said she was shocked by the drop.

“I’m a little startled, it’s quite a blip,” Gabby Warshawer, director of research at CityRealty, said of the drop.

One reason for the price decline, Reuters said, was a lack of new condo buildings entering the market. A preponderance of new condos coming online has skewed prices in the market toward upwards of $2 million, Warshawer said.

Manhattan

That’s skewed the average price of a condo to $2.8 million in January, compared with $1.3 million for co-ops, excluding data from upper Manhattan because of the area’s comparatively low activity. Only 61 units were sold in January.

Meanwhile, apartment sales priced above $10 million – the cutoff for the ulta-high-end range – have nearly doubled since 2013.

* * *

As we pointed out last month, sky-high rents and the skew toward luxury housing is forcing more Manhattan landlords to offer incentives like at least one month rent-free to help entice tenants.

Chart

If other luxury markets like Greenwich, Conn. and parts of the Hamptons are any guide, sellers of luxury Manhattan real estate will probably start pulling inventory from the market while they wait for more favorable market conditions to return…

…But given the impact of the Trump tax plan, specifically a provision that caps how much mortgage interest and state and local taxes can be deducted from federal income taxes,

end

Your next crisis is approaching fast:  The Wall Street Journal has uncovered the source of the next consumer debt crisis;  a fast rising delinquency in credit card debt.  And this is happening to middle income earners as well as lower income consumers

(courtesy zerohedge)

The WSJ Also Uncovered The Source Of The Next Consumer Debt Crisis

Two weeks after we first brought the market’s attention to the crisis quietly unfolding in consumer debt, The Wall Street Journal has caught up, admitting that some say is a sign of the financial fragility of middle-and-lower-income consumers.

As we detailed previously, the Federal Reserve reported most recently that US consumer non-mortgage debt has never been higher: as of December 31, 2017, US households had a record $1.0 trillion of credit card/revolving loans, a record $1.3 trillion of auto loans, and a record $1.5 trillion of student loans.

Among these, credit card and auto loans, in particular, have been experiencing accelerating delinquencies, but the very gradual increase in aggregated Net Charg-Offs has allayed any economist concerns about the state of the US consumer.

But, a modest scratch below the surface, and a startling discovery emerges.

While the larger U.S. banks that dominate credit card issuance have focused on prime and super prime consumers post the Great Financial Crisis (GFC), and have enjoyed a prolonged period of low charge off rates concurrent with the Fed’s almost decade long ZIRP.

As TCW’s Chet Melhotra notes, it is America’s smaller banks – those not in the Top 100 by asset size – that have experienced in just the recent months a surge in charge off deterioration, which at 7.9% is on par with the last financial crisis!  In other words, to find where the next consumer credit crisis hides – and will erupt next – ignore the big banks and focus on the smaller ones.

And delinquency rates are just as dangerously divided.

Read more detailed breakdown here…

And now The Wall Street Journal has noticed this could be a problem…

Both large and small banks pushed into the credit-card market in the wake of the recession in search of higher yields and an affluent customer base.

As competition intensified, big banks splurged on customers with cash rewards and points that could be redeemed for vacations.

Some smaller banks battled back by loosening credit-score requirements, but that strategy now seems to be backfiring, even though the economy is improving and the unemployment rate is near record lows.

Wages are rising only slowly and some consumers have simply taken on more debt than they can handle.

“There’s almost been a panic in getting their product out there to subprime borrowers,” said John Heath, directing attorney at Lexington Law, a consumer law firm based in Salt Lake City specializing in credit repair.

Some clients struggling to pay back credit-card bills to small banks were earlier rejected by large ones, he added.

And, as the chart above show, the deterioration at small banks has raised some concerns about how much worse losses could get if the economic recovery falters.

The small banks’ experience is “simply a leading indicator of a downturn to come,”said Robert Hammer, founder and chief executive of credit-card industry consultant R.K. Hammer.

In the run-up to the last recession, he noted, losses accelerated for small banks before they did for big ones.

But, but, but… all that dis-saving (and credit-card-debt engorgement) has spiked consumer confidence to near record highs

Which has never ended well!

This would be deadly to the NY stock market:  Gary Cohn may resign if steel and aluminum tariffs remain(courtesy zerohedge)

Gary Cohn May Resign If Last-Ditch Push To Kill Steel, Aluminum Tariffs Fails

Despite repeated denials from the pro-tariff wing of White House advisers (a triumvirate that includes Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, trade adviser Peter Navarro and trade representative Robert Lighthizer)media reports about Gary Cohn’s impending departure from the White House have just kept coming.

And for its latest installment in the ongoing “will Gary stay, or will Gary go” saga, Bloomberg reports that Cohn is making a last-ditch effort to dissuade his boss from imposing steep and controversial tariffs on steel and aluminum by inviting executives from US firms that would be adversely affected by the tariffs…

Cohn

…And, Bloomberg adds, if this last ditch effort fails, Cohn might follow this crowd of angry executives out the front gate…

A Trump order to impose the tariffs would be a huge setback for Cohn, who has vigorously opposed the move, citing concerns that it would harm the economy. This decision is viewed inside the White House as a possible breaking point for Cohn, a former senior executive at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and some insiders believe he will depart if Trump doesn’t take his advice on the issue.

Trump advisers who favor the tariffs want him to sign the paperwork while in Pennsylvania steel country on Saturday, but the signing location has not yet been decided, according to two people familiar with the location discussion.

Of course, Cohn isn’t alone in pushing back against the tariffs. Republicans in Congress, led by Speaker Paul Ryan, have launched a campaign to stop Trump from imposing the trade wars. The European Union is threatening to impose reciprocal tariffs on US goods produced in Republican controlled states – an outcome meant to ratchet up pressure on Trump’s fellow Republicans.

Ryan told reporters earlier this week that he and other Republicans in Congress are “extremely worried” about this plan, and are “urging the White House to not advance with this plan.” In response, Trump insisted that he’s not backing down;indeed, it’d be politically difficult to give up on the tariffs, especially since he listened to the emotional pleas of steel and aluminum executives last week. The European Commission, lea=d by Jean-Claude Juncker, is threatening to impose reciprocal tariffs on certain goods manufactured in Republican states.

Trump’s aides have urged him to unveil the tariffs in beautiful Steel City Pittsburgh. The visit would come days before a House special election in the heart of America’s steel country.

The candidate, Republican Rick Saccone, who is seeking to fill the seat of fellow Republican Tim Murphy – the Congressman who resigned in October after revelations he suggested that his mistress seek an abortion – has struggled against Democratic challenger Connor Lamb.

The district formerly represented by Murphy includes some 17,000 voters who are either steelworkers or related to them, the AFL-CIO told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But Trump must balance placating his base of down-and-out manufacturing workers with other considerations, like doing everything he can to support the US economy and financial markets.

Trump wants to protect industries that are “the backbone of this country” and to “make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect American workers,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a Monday briefing for reporters.

Trump is reportedly expected to formally impose the tariffs later this week – or early next week.

As analysts at Citi pointed out, Trump has said he “still ha[s] some people that I want to change” – an obvious red flag that could signal that he is willing to back away from his tariff push.

One thing’s for sure: With markets moving higher this week, it’s possible investors won’t fully price in the tariffs until they’ve been signed into law.

end

That did not last long:  Trump is adamant that they are going to do the tariffs

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump: “We Are Doing Steel Tariffs”

Earlier today we asked, what happens if Trump does not back down from his tariff threat, despite the market’s near certainty that the president will eventually change his mind. Well, a few hours later during a joint press conference with the Swedish prime minister, Trump confirmed that he has yet to change his mind, reiterating that “we’re doing tariffs on steel.”

  • TRUMP: `WE’RE DOING TARIFFS ON STEEL’

.@POTUS reaffirms commitment to impose tariffs despite objections from GOP leaders, saying we cannot “lose” steel and aluminum industries. http://cbsn.ws/2FnLGuN 

Trump also slammed Europe again, saying the old continent has been “particularly tough” on the US in trade, and suggested that Europe could “make a deal” to avoid tariffs:

  • TRUMP: U.S. HAS BEEN TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF ON TRADE FOR MANY YEARS
  • TRUMP: EU HAS BEEN `PARTICULARLY TOUGH’ ON U.S. IN TRADE
  • TRUMP SUGGESTS EU COULD MAKE DEAL THAT’D OBVIATE TARIFF NEED

Q: How do you avoid this escalating trade war?
Trump: We will straighten it out. We’ll do it in a very loving way. It will be a loving, loving way. They’ll like us better and they’ll respect us much more. http://cbsn.ws/2FnLGuN 

The president then confirmed what was suggested last night, that the US would be willing to exempt Canada and Mexico, and that there would be “no need for tariffs”, if a Nafta deal is made.

  • TRUMP: IF NAFTA DEAL MADE, NO REASON FOR TARIFFS ON CAN, MEX

But the focus of Trump’s ire was again China, which Trump said indirectly exports “much more steel” than just the 2% the US imports directs, by way of “trans-shipping”:

  • TRUMP SAYS CHINA SENDS U.S. MUCH MORE STEEL THAN PEOPLE THINK
  • TRUMP: IF YOU’RE BEHIND OTHER COUNTRIES, TRADE WARS NOT SO BAD
  • TRUMP SAYS CHINA “TRANS-SHIPS” STEEL TO U.S. THROUGH MANY OTHER COUNTRIES

His conclusion, the same as before: trade wars are not that bad… if you’re behind others:

  • TRUMP: IF YOU’RE BEHIND OTHER COUNTRIES, TRADE WARS NOT SO BAD

Summary: it still does not appear that Trump is about to relent on launching a trade war.

end

Another Nor’Easter is on its away.  NY and Mass. are bracing for another monster winter storm(courtesy zerohedge)

The East Coast Is Bracing For Another Monster Winter Storm

Just when you thought it was safe…Ed Vallee, head meteorologist at Vallee Weather Consulting LLC., warns:

Another east coast storm is on tap Tuesday into Wednesday, but this one is a bit different than this past event. A powerful storm will push through the middle of the country into Tuesday, while a secondary low-pressure system forms off the Mid Atlantic coast. This storm will be more progressive, limiting the amount of time strong winds and heavy precipitation can be in any one location, unlike the storm last week which moved very slowly off the New England coast.

As with any coastal storm, there remains some uncertainty in where this system will exactly track, which will ultimately impact where the rain/snow line will set up near the coast and how much snow falls. Regardless, confidence is increasing in a moderate to heavy snow event across the Mid-Atlantic and New England, with some places approaching 1 foot of snowfall. This combined with strong winds, will once again introduce a power outage risk across a region that in some places has yet to restore power from the storm last week.”

Vallee makes the point that winter is not finished with the Northeast just yet.

According to the National Weather Service, a winter storm watch has been declared for much of the Northeast for the second time in a week, as a new storm is expected to dump snow from New York to Massachusets that are still recovering from last week’s bombogenesis explosion.

The National Weather Service is now warning of “round 2,” as a winter storm advisory is now in effect for northeast New Jersey, southern Connecticut, and southeast New York, which could see as much as 6 to 9 inches (15 to 23 centimeters) of snow starting late Tuesday night into Wednesday evening.

Ready for round 2? Another powerful Nor’Easter is forecast to being impacting the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast by mid-week, bringing heavy snow, strong winds and coastal flooding again to the region.

“I have mentioned this a few times, but I do think the EPS snow tool is good at depicting the area of highest concern (here is the I-84 corridor). Still convinced SE areas mix, but confidence increasing on big impact just inland, potentially including NYC and perhaps Philly,” said Vallee.

“European EPS now over Nantucket Wednesday evening. Big snow signal for the I-84 corridor down into the Lehigh Valley of PA including Hartford, Allentown, most of NYC metro, and Boston,” Vallee added.

Meteorologist Steven DiMartino, the operator of NY, NJ, PA Weather, warned in his Monday afternoon weather note titled “Nor’ Easter To Bring More Snow, Winds, And Coastal Flooding,” that a significant winter storm is headed to the Northeast between Wednesday and Thursday. Here is the summary of the weather note: 

An area of low pressure currently in the Plains this afternoon will bring a major winter storm to the region tomorrow night on through early Thursday morning with significant snow accumulations, poor visibility, strong winds, and coastal flooding.

The storm will initially track towards the Ohio River Valley tomorrow evening with increasing clouds and a few rain and snow showers.  This low pressure system will redevelop off the Delmarva Peninsula on Wednesday morning with rain and snow rapidly developing throughout the region in time for the Wednesday morning rush hour.

Along the immediate coast of New Jersey, some warm air will mix in to start the precipitation as rain before strong lifting cools the atmosphere to change the rain over to snow.  As a result, snow accumulations in these areas will be in a lower range.

For the rest of the Philadelphia and New York City metropolitan areas, heavy snowfall can be expected.  The snow will feature convective banding which will lead to a wide range of snowfall accumulation, but a base of 6″ is expected.  Some rain and sleet may mix in at times as well.  There will be the potential for snowfall totals to go over 12″ in a few locations due to mesoscale banding impacts.

The snow will taper off to the west with a sharp cut off over easter Pennsylvania from the heaviest snowfall to liter snowfall thus the lower snowfall amounts.

In addition to the snowfall, strong winds are expected to impact the region as the low pressure system rapidly intensifies with sustained winds by late Wednesday morning between 15 to 30 mph with gusts over 40 mph at times.  The strong winds will produce poor visibility, power outages, and downed trees.

Another concern will be coastal flooding, especially for locations like Long Island where the current sea levels are already elevated from the previous storm.  While this storm will exit by Thursday morning, coastal flooding concerns will be elevated on late Tuesday night and continue on through Thursday.

The worst impacts from this storm will be from 10 AM to 11 PM Wednesday with heavy snowfall, poor visibility, strong wind gusts, and coastal flooding.

If the low pressure system tracks closer to the coast, warmer conditions will be found on the coast, reducing snowfall potential.  The storm may also track further east, but this potential did not show up in any current guidance.

Winter Whiteout? Winter Storm Watches have been posted for much of the Tri-State as another Nor’Easter will impact our area Wednesday! @StormTeam4NY is tracking the storm and its potential snowfall. Tune into #NBC4NY at 4 PM for the latest,” said Raphael Miranda, a meteorologist at WNBC New York.

Winter Whiteout? Winter Storm Watches have been posted for much of the Tri-State as another Nor’Easter will impact our area Wednesday! @StormTeam4NY is tracking the storm and its potential snowfall. Tune into at 4 PM for the latest.

Attention coastal counties! Coastal Flood Warnings & Advisories remain in effect during high tide until late tonight. Stay alert and stay with #NBC4NY for more weather updates,” he warned.

Attention coastal counties! Coastal Flood Warnings & Advisories remain in effect during high tide until late tonight. Stay alert and stay with for more weather updates.

Miranda’s snowfall prediction for NYC…

Here we SNOW again! Another will make a mess of things Wednesday. This storm will NOT create the same wind damage as our last one, but some of us could come away with more snow. This is our first call for how much we could see…expect these numbers change a bit.

Be careful out there…

SWAMP NEWS

Seems Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen has a little problem on his hands re the 130,000 dollars he gave to a former adult film actress. It seems that Robert Mueller is also interested in what happened.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump’s Lawyer Demanded Refund For $130,000 Porn-Star Payoff

Contrary to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s claim (made under oath) that he paid former adult-film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket in a gesture of good will, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday that First Republic Bank flagged Cohen’s transaction – made during the final days of the campaign – as suspicious.

As we previously pointed out, Cohen transferred the money to a lawyer for the former adult film actress, who dished on her relationship with Trump during interviews with Inside Edition and In Touch Magazine (the latter interview was recorded in 2011, but the magazine sat on it until this year)…

Back in 2016, Cohen reportedly missed two deadlines to pay off Daniels because he couldn’t get in touch with Trump during the hectic final stretch of the campaign, when the president was contending with the fallout from the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape.

Before receiving the payment, Daniels signed an NDA barring her from discussing her sexual encounters with the president.

Cohen

But after Trump’s victory, Cohen reportedly complained to friends that he had not yet been reimbursed by his most famous client. When approached by WSJ for comment on this story, he offered a terse reply: “Fake News.” That’s largely because Cohen stepped into the breach and put up his own funds to pay Daniels after her lawyers threatened to abnegate the deal and give their client the green light to sit for an interview.

Mr. Cohen had said last month that he had “facilitated” the payment using his own funds, that the deal was a private transaction and that it didn’t violate any laws. He said he wasn’t reimbursed by the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization, his former employer, but declined to answer questions about whether he was reimbursed by Mr. Trump or anyone else.

The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment. Mr. Cohen and White House representatives repeatedly have denied any relationship between Mr. Trump and Ms. Clifford.

Ms. Clifford has said privately and in a 2011 interview with a celebrity magazine that she had a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump after meeting him at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.

A spokesman for Ms. Clifford’s lawyer, Keith Davidson, said, “Attorney Davidson can not discuss private client matters.”

The reporting of the transaction by First Republic and Mr. Cohen’s efforts to reach Mr. Trump haven’t previously been reported.

Mr. Cohen created a company called Essential Consultants LLC as a vehicle for the payment to Ms. Clifford, on Oct. 17, 2016, according to Delaware state records and a person familiar with the matter. The $130,000 wire transfer to the client-trust account of Mr. Davidson, Ms. Clifford’s lawyer, was received on Oct. 27 at City National Bank in Los Angeles, the person said.

Under federal law, banks are required to flag transactions that have no business or apparent lawful purpose or that inexplicably diverge from a customer’s typical banking behavior. Suspicious activity reports are filed to the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, where federal investigators can access them.

A year after the payment, City National Bank, the bank used by Daniels’ lawyer, launched an internal inquiry into the payment of the funds into a client-trust account. City National sought information about the source of funds wired to Davidson’s account, an inquiry that was first reported by the Washington Post.

As WSJ explains, the one-year lag between Cohen’s payment and the bank’s inquiry is an unusually long delay. It suggests that City National received new information that prompted it to take a fresh look at the transaction, Charles Intriago, a former federal prosecutor and money-laundering expert, told WSJ.

Tellingly, this new information could include a subpoena for a client’s records, or a visit by regulators (yet another sign that the Mueller probe is still investigating the finances of Trump and his associates). Mueller has also previously sought information about Cohen’s purported role in building a Trump Tower in Moscow in late 2015 and 2016.

Cohen said during a September statement to the House Intel Committee that the Moscow proposal was “solely a real estate deal and nothing more” and noted it was terminated “months before the first primary.”

Whether Trump had direct knowledge of Cohen’s payment and reimbursement could impact an FEC investigation into purported misuse of campaign funds – the payment, experts say, could be construed to represent an illegal campaign contribution. It could also prove coordination between Cohen and Trump, which would also violate campaign finance rules.

Another question: Will angry Democratic lawmakers try to bust Cohen for lying to the Intel Committee about the source of the payment? If so, that could create problems for the Trump legal team, of which Cohen is still a member.

END

And now Mueller requests documents on Cohen’s relationship with Russia on Trump building ventures

(courtesy zerohedge)

Mueller “Requested Documents” About Trump’s Long-time Lawyer

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly requesting documents, asking witnesses about Michael Cohen, and otherwise “examining episodes” involving the longtime Trump lawyer who served as Trump’s de facto fixer both during the campaign and during Cohen’s time working at the Trump Organization.

According to WaPo, Cohen played a role in two incidents that are of interest to the Mueller probe:

The first area of focus for Mueller involves a deal that was nearly struck in late 2015 to build Trump Tower Moscow. As has already been reported, Cohen reportedly sent an email to Russian President Vladimir Putin inquiring about how to advance the stalled project. Cohen said he didn’t remember receiving a response.

Cohen

The second focus for Mueller is a “Russia-friendly” peace proposal that passed to Cohen by a Ukrainian lawmaker one week after Trump took office. And as former Trump aide Sam Nunberg disclosed yesterday in a series of manic, freewheeling interviews with several cable news shows, Cohen is one of nine individuals whose communications with Nunberg are being requested by the special counsel. Notably, Cohen is the only individual on that list who never worked for the Trump campaign or for the Trump White House.

Mueller is also looking into the construction of the Trump SoHo tower…

In January 2016, Cohen emailed Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, to ask for help advancing the project, according to documents submitted to congressional investigators.

Cohen said in an August statement that he did not recall receiving a response. He said that the plan was abandoned in January 2016 “for business reasons” when government permission was not secured and that the matter was “not related in any way to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.”

WSJ also reported yesterday that a bank transfer sent by Cohen to the lawyer of former adult-film star Stormy Daniels, purportedly a payoff to stop her from sharing the story of an affair with President Trump, with two media organizations. Cohen also reportedly demanded a refund from Trump following the payoff, but was forced to wai as the candidate was preoccupied with campaigning.

Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen, rejected the notion that his client was under particular scrutiny by Mueller.

“Unsourced innuendo like this succeeds only because the leakers know the Special Counsel will not respond to set the record straight,” he said in a statement. For more than a decade, Cohen worked as the top lawyer for the Trump Organization, filing dozens of lawsuits on behalf of his famously litigious boss. Though he never formally joined the campaign, he did serve as an informal advisor.

Currently, he’s serving on Trump’s legal team along with White House lawyers Ty Cobb, John Dowd and a handful of others. Cohen made many enemies within the West Wing staff for his reported tendency to bring out Trump’s “scorched earth” tendencies.

Mueller’s team has repeatedly sought information relating to Cohen in recent months, though it’s unclear how heavily they are probing him.

In summary, it’s unclear whether this is just another fishing expedition as Mueller pivots toward investigating Trump’s finances and whether he obstructed justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey after he reportedly refused Trump’s request to go easy on former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Cohen is currently suing Buzzfeed for publishing Cohen’s name with the infamous Steele Dossier.

* * *

In a separate story published earlier this afternoon, the Daily Beast reported that Cohen somehow obtained confidential testimony from one of the House Intelligence Committee’s interviews related to its Russia investigation.

The testimony that was reportedly leaked was from David Kramer, a former staffer for Sen. John McCain who testified on Dec. 19 about his role in bringing the infamous Steele dossier to the FBI’s attention. The DB said the leaked testimony is one sign of the “breakdown of trust” that has stymied the various Congressional investigations into Russia, as Republicans (and Democrats, too, though the DB story focuses exclusively on Cohen and his presumably Republican allies) routinely leak testimony that’s supposed to have been given in confidence.

A few days after Kramer’s testimony, his lawyer, Larry Robbins, got a strange call. The call was from Stephen Ryan, a lawyer who represents Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen. Cohen is facing scrutiny from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigators regarding potential coordination between Trump’s team and the Kremlin. He featured prominently in the Steele dossier—the document that Kramer handled—and is currently suing Buzzfeed for publishing it.

Ryan told Robbins he reached out because someone from the House told him that Robbins’ client, Kramer, had information about the Steele dossier that could help Cohen.

Robbins declined to help. Ryan then asked Robbins not to tell the House intelligence committee about their conversation.

Robbins refused Ryan’s request, and instead informed the committee of the request. He then wrote a letter to the committee blasting lawmakers for leaking his client’s testimony in reference to Robbins’ request.

Emily Hytha, a spokesperson for Rep. Michael Conaway, who is supervising the probe, said witness testimony was not shared improperly. (The testimony was deemed committee-sensitive, according to a committee source, but not classified.)

“Any accusation that a witness’s testimony was shared with another witness or their lawyer is unequivocally false,” she said.

When it comes to Cohen, Democrats on the committee are primarily concerned with an allegation in the Steele dossier claiming that Cohen met with a Russian operative in Prague during the summer of 2016. Cohen has denied that the meeting took place, but Democrats said they’ve been unable to obtain documents that would corroborate Cohen’s claims.

We imagine that the question of whether this trip took place is of paramount importance to Mueller, too.

end

Kelly has no what what Kushner and Ivanka Trump do all day

(courtesy zerohedge)

Kelly Has No Idea What Jared And Ivanka Do All Day: Report

Chief of staff John Kelly has reportedly grown frustrated with White House advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and has been asking people what the couple does all day, according to a report by the Associated Press.

“I am not a person who has sought the spotlight. First in my business and now in public service, I have worked on achieving goals, and have left it to others to work on media and public perception,” Kushner told congressional investigators last July.

But it is not immediately obvious what he’s achieved. There has been little progress on Mideast peace and relations with Mexico, another top Kushner priority, remain contentious over Trump’s proposed border wall. Kushner’s much ballyhooed project to reinvent the federal government has gained little traction. And questions persist about his family business’s global hunt for cash just a year before a $1.2 billion mortgage on a Manhattan skyscraper must be paid off by the company. -AP

Kushner has come under fire of late, as Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly probing his family’s Real Estate dealings – including whether foreign nationals sought to manipulate him over his family’s financial position.

The Kushner Co. says it is financially sound, however skeptics point to the company scrambling to raise funds from investors whose country of origin may present a conflict of interest. The Intercept reported that Kushner supported a blockade against Qatar after his father, Charles Kushner, sought and failed to obtain financial support from the Qatari financial minister for the family’s troublesome 666 Fifth Avenue property.

“If it’s true it’s damning,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told ABC on “This Week” Sunday. “If it’s true he’s got to go.”

Kushner also lost his ability to access top-secret intelligence last week, as President Trump – who could have granted Jared a permanent clearance – left the decision to Chief of Staff John Kelly.

“I will let General Kelly make that decision,” Trump told reporters. “I have no doubt he’ll make the right decision.”

The couple perceives Kelly’s crackdown on security clearances as a direct shot at them, according to White House aides and outside advisers. But one White House official disputed that account, suggesting that Kushner welcomed Kelly’s efforts to organize the West Wing, allowing him to more singularly focus on his portfolio.

Kelly, in turn, has been angered by what he views as the couple’s freelancing. He blames them for changing Trump’s mind at the last minute and questions what exactly they do all day, according to one White House official and an outside ally. –AP

Kushner’s clearance was downgraded from “Top Secret/SCI-level” to “secret” – walling them off from the most sensitive information. The decision was the first major shakeup since the dismissal of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who was exposed for abusing both of his ex-wives. The FBI insinuated that it had informed the White House of Porter’s conduct, appearing to contradict a timeline of events initially offered by Kelly.

“Only a son-in-law could withstand this sort of exposure and not be fired,” said former Obama communications director, Jennifer Palmieri “Kushner’s vulnerable and in an accelerated fall from grace. Even though his departure would leave Trump even more isolated, a decision could be made that it’s just not worth it for him to stay.”

That said, Trump has reportedly grown frustrated with both Kelly and over negative press surrounding Jared and Ivanka, according to the New York Times – and has been quietly seeking a solution to remove them from the White House.

Trump denied reports that he was displeased. “As I told Jared days ago, I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli–Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico,” said Trump. “Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the president’s agenda. There is no truth to any suggestion otherwise.”

The AP reports that Jared and Ivanka have no plans on leaving Washington anytime soon

end

A very sad tale:  Nunberg was probably drunk when he gave these interviews.  Now the media is stating that Nunberg kind of agrees that Trump may have colluded with the Russians on the election.

nonsense galore.

(courtesy zero hedge)

After Day Of Bizarre, Possibly Drunken Interviews , Nunberg Says He’ll “Probably” Cooperate

After a day of bizarre interviews – possibly while under the influence of one or more substances – Trump campaign associate Sam Nunberg says he will “probably end up cooperating” with special counsel Robert Mueller after previously stating he would not comply. “Mr. Mueller should understand I am not going in on Friday,” Nunberg told the Washington Post.

Nunberg, who was fired from the Trump campaign in 2015 over offensive Facebook posts, was subpoenaed by Mueller to appear before a grand jury investigating Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

“I’m not going to cooperate with Mueller. It’s a fishing expedition,” Nunberg told Bloomberg News. “They want me in there for a grand jury for testimony about Roger Stone. He didn’t do anything. What is he going to do? His investigation is BS. Trump did not collude with Putin. It’s a joke.”

“Let him arrest me,” said Nunberg.

* * *

After an awkward appearance on CNN, host Erin Burnett wrapped up the interview by suggesting Nunberg had been drinking.

“We talked earlier about what people in the White House were saying about you ― talking about whether you were drinking or on drugs or whatever had happened today,” said Burnett. “Talking to you, I have smelled alcohol on your breath.

Here’s CNN’s Erin Burnett telling former Trump aide Sam Nunberg that she can smell alcohol on his breath. He says he hasn’t been drinking.

Nunberg claimed he had not had a drink and had only taken antidepressants earlier in the day – however the Daily Beast reported on Monday evening that Nunberg had been acting strangely in reaction to Mueller’s subpoena, and that they were worried he had been “drinking again,” and was about to enter into a tailspin.

Starting Monday morning, Nunberg began calling several close associates that he was flatly refusing, at this time, to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Three Nunberg friends said they walked away from those conversations fearful that he was “drinking again” and was about to embark on a personal tailspin. They didn’t know it would play out on daytime TV. –Daily Beast

Fellow former campaign aide Carter Page said that Nunberg’s claim he colluded with the Kremlin was bogus, and implied that Nunberg had a drinking problem. “There’s been a lot of people that have been quite intoxicated for over a year and a half now, so nothing new here,” Page told Sean Hannity on the Fox News.

After admitting to host Katy Tur that he’d been interviewed by Mueller’s investigators, Nunberg was then asked if he believes the special counsel “has anything” on Trump. “I think they may,” the ex-aide responded. “I think he may have done something during the election. But I don’t know that for sure.”

That was enough for both the CBS Evening News and ABC’s World News Tonight – which kicked off their programs with the possibly drunk, possibly high Nunberg’s bumbling admission:

The former Trump campaign aide believes investigators have evidence that the Trump campaign may have colluded with the Russians, but Nunberg refuses to appear before a federal grand jury,” hyped CBS Justice reporter Paula Reid. She also played audio of Nunberg suggesting “Trump may have very well done something during the election with the Russians.”

The [ABC] network’s Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas also hyped Nunberg’s “stunning suggestion” about Trump and collusion. “Nunberg suggesting on yet another cable show that he believes the President knew about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians,” the ABC reporter added before playing a clip of his phone interview on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper.

Meanwhile, on NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt described the off the wall interviews and phone calls as “a fascinating twist in the Russia investigation.” And NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker touted Nunberg’s antics: “Tonight, defiant and digging in. Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide turned Trump antagonist dropping this bombshell, becoming the first former adviser to publically suggest candidate Trump may have done something wrong.” –Newsbusters.org

The Subpoena

Mueller has requested all emails, text messages, work papers, telephone logs and other documents pertaining to a list of individuals dating back to November 1, 2015 – approximately four-and-a-half months after Trump launched his campaign.

NBC News reported last week that Mueller’s team is asking pointed questions about whether Trump knew about hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign before the public found out. The subpoena indicates that Mueller may be focused not just on what Trump campaign aides knew and when they knew it, but also on what Trump himself knew. 

The list (via NBC):

  •     Steve Bannon, who left the White House as chief strategist in August.
  •     Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer for Trump who testified before congressional investigators in October.
  •     Rick Gates, Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, who pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy and lying to the FBI.
  •     Hope Hicks, who resigned last week as Trump’s communications director.
  •     Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager until June 2016.
  •     Paul Manafort, a former Trump campaign manager and Gates’ business partner, who pleaded not guilty to money laundering, conspiracy and making false statements last week.
  •     Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide.
  •     Keith Schiller, a former bodyguard for Trump who left as director of Oval Office operations in September.
  •     Roger Stone, a longtime Republican political operative and Trump campaign adviser who sources have told NBC News is the focus of investigators interested in his contacts with WikiLeaks during the campaign.

In response to the laundry list of deliverables, Nunberg told Bloomberg News “They want me in there for grand jury on Friday. I’m not paying the money to go down there,” Nunberg said.“What’s he going to do? He’s so tough – let’s see what they do. I’m not going to spend 40 hours going over emails. I have a life.”

end

Another tweet storm by Trump on DACA, where the Democrats did nothing for 8 years, North Korea, Oscar night and fake news

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Slams Obama’s 8 Wasted Years: “Democrats Are Nowhere To Be Found On DACA”

President Trump appears to be in greater-than-usual popcorn-mind mode this morning as a tweet-storm-nado blurted out in the space of a few minutes spanned everything from fake news and the media to energy production, and from Dems and DACA to Korean de-nuking.

Trump took a swing at Democrats yesterday – It’s March 5th and the Democrats are nowhere to be found on DACA. Gave them 6 months, they just don’t care. Where are they? We are ready to make a deal!” and followed through today by claiming “Total inaction on DACA by Dems. Where are you? A deal can be made!

Total inaction on DACA by Dems. Where are you? A deal can be made!

Trump then noted Federal Judge in Maryland has just ruled that ‘President Trump has the right to end DACA’. President Obama had 8 years to fix this problem, and didn’t. I am waiting for the Dems, they are running for the hills!

Federal Judge in Maryland has just ruled that “President Trump has the right to end DACA.” President Obama had 8 years to fix this problem, and didn’t. I am waiting for the Dems, they are running for the hills!

Then the president turned his attention to the fake-news-publishing-media, rejecting their narrative of “chaos” in the White House (but warning of more exits to come)…

The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House. Wrong! People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!

This seems to be thinly-veiled allusion to the ongoing trade debate, which various media sources have suggested has exposed ideological divisions within the White House. It also suggests that Trump may still be open to compromise, or to changing his mind, as the NY Times reported.

As Citi also notes, the comment ” I still have some people that I want to change ” is an obvious red flag. Last week saw the departure of Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s most trusted allies. There are constant rumours of potential firings within this White House, but some names come to mind – General Kelly (reportedly strained relations with the wider family); Gary Cohn (at odds with Trump on trade, almost quit before); Jared Kushner (potentially wrapped up in the Mueller investigation?) among several others.

Trump then switched to “little rocket boy” suggesting he is a little skeptical of the South Korean headlines regarding denuclearisation: “let’s see what happens“…

And finally, Trump gloated confidently about his domestic economic success…

No matter that USA is still a net crude importer (but that spoils that narrative too).

*  *  *
Update: Trump then added one more tweet that will set the left and Hollywood on fire…

Lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY. Problem is, we don’t have Stars anymore – except your President (just kidding, of course)!

end

what a joke:Mueller hits Conway with Hatch Act violations and recommends appropriate discipline of which nothing will be done by Trump

(courtesy zerohedge)

Mueller Hits Conway With ‘Hatch Act’ Violations, Recommends “Appropriate Discipline”

Less than a week after Hope Hicks, one of the most prominent women serving in the senior ranks of the White House staff, announced that she’s planning on leaving the West Wing, The Office Of Special Counsel Robert Mueller has released a statement attacking Kellyanne Conway – not for anything related to the Russia probe, of course, but instead for the serious sin of uttering a partisan opinion on a cable news show.

According to a statement released by the Office of the Special Counsel, On Nov. 20 and Dec. 6 2017, Conway appeared to try and influence a partisan election while serving in her “official capacity” as a “commissioned officer” of the West Wing.

Subsequently, the special counsel’s office decided there was grounds to accuse her of violating the Hatch Act, and are recommending that the president punish her. They made their recommendation in a report submitted to the president.

OSC Concludes Hatch Act Investigation of Kellyanne Conway, Finds Two Violations, and Refers Findings to President for Appropriate Disciplinary Action

WASHINGTON, D.C./March 6, 2018 — The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) today sent an investigative report to President Donald Trump finding that Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act in two television interviews. According to the report, in both instances, Conway appeared in her official capacity.

In the first interview, Conway advocated against one Senate candidate and gave an implied endorsement of another candidate.

In the second interview, she advocated for the defeat of one Senate candidate and the election of another candidate.

Both instances constituted prohibited political activity under the Hatch Act and occurred after Conway received significant training on Hatch Act prohibitions, according to the report.

OSC submitted the report to the President for appropriate disciplinary action. The report states that OSC gave Conway the opportunity to respond to the allegations during the OSC investigation and in response to the completed report and that she did not respond. The Office of White House Counsel provided brief explanations of Conway’s statements. The report includes and analyzes those explanations.

According to the report, on November 20, 2017, Conway appeared in her official capacity on Fox News’s Fox & Friends and discussed why voters should not support Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate. On December 6, 2017, Conway appeared in her official capacity on CNN’s New Day and discussed why voters should support Republican Roy Moore and not Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate.

“While the Hatch Act allows federal employees to express their views about candidates and political issues as private citizens, it restricts employees from using their official government positions for partisan political purposes, including by trying to influence partisan elections,” the report says.

“In passing this law, Congress intended to promote public confidence in the Executive branch by ensuring the federal government is working for all Americans without regard to their political views. Ms. Conway’s statements during the Fox & Friends and New Day interviews impermissibly mixed official government business with political views about candidates in the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate.”

The report continues,

The U.S. Constitution confers on the President authority to appoint senior officers of the United States, such as Ms. Conway. Considering the President’s constitutional authority, the proper course of action, in the case of violations of the Hatch Act by such officers, is to refer the violations to the President. OSC hereby submits this Report of Prohibited Political Activity to the President for appropriate disciplinary action. See 5 U.S.C. § 1215(b):’ Some presidentially appointed White House employees and other officials, such as Cabinet secretaries, generally fall under the President’s authority to discipline for Hatch Act violations. For all other federal employees, OSC may pursue disciplinary action with the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Federal employees, including employees designated as “commissioned officers” at the White House, are subject to the Hatch Act. While commissioned officers may engage in some political activity, they are still barred from using their official authority or influence to interfere with or affect elections. Although the President and Vice President are exempt from the Hatch Act, their employees are not.

*  *  *

That is, Conway appeared on CNN’s New Day and discussed why voters should support Republican Roy Moore over Democrat Doug  Jones in an Alabama special election for the Senate, and later made similar remarks during a taping of Fox & Friends.

Conway

Conway was reportedly given the opportunity to respond to the OSC’s allegations during the course of the investigation, but chose not to.

The office will now pass along its findings to the president and advise him to discipline Conway.

Of course, it’s doubtful Trump will do anything to push Conway out, given the number of senior staffers who have left in recent months.

But another scandal involving his staff is certainly not what the president wants to see…

end

The Australian diplomat whose tip launched the entire Russia probe was instrumental in providing a 25 million tie to the Clinton Foundation.  That means everything related to the Russian probe has Hillary written all over it

(courtesy zerohedge)

Australian Diplomat Whose Tip Launched Russia Probe Has $25 Million Tie To Clintons

The Australian diplomat whose 2016 tip resulted in the FBI’s Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation had previously arranged one of the largest donations to Clinton charities, documents reveal.

Alexander Downer, formerly Australia’s Foreign Minister, secured $25 million in aid from Australia for the Clinton Foundation’s fight against AIDS – according to decade-old government memos archived on the Australian foreign ministry website, report John Solomon and Alison Spann of The Hill.

A 2006 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by both Downer and President Clinton outlines a four year project to provide screening and drug treatment to AIDS patients in Asia.

The funds were originally slated for the Clinton Foundation, but were later routed to the Clinton Health Access Initative (CHAI). 

Australia was one of the largest donors to CHAI:

(SEE ZERO HEDGE FOR DONOR LISTS

in the years that followed, the project won praise for helping thousands of HIV-infected patients in Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, China and Indonesia, but also garnered criticism from auditors about “management weaknesses” and inadequate budget oversight, the memos show. –The Hill

Downer tipped off Australian authorities after a conversation with Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos at a London bar, in which Papadopoulos reportedly said the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. After Australian authorities alerted the FBI, a counterintelligence probe was launched according to reports – despite the fact that Papadopoulos was likely referring to already-public information concerning hacker Guccifer.

1) Um Maggie, [@maggieNYT ] hate to undercut your *explosive story* on origin of Russia Probe. But George Papadopoulos talking in May 2016, is likely about this *open and public information* from April 2016. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/04/08/source-no-coincidence-romanian-hacker-guccifer-extradited-amid-clinton-probe.html 

Source: No ‘coincidence’ Romanian hacker Guccifer extradited amid Clinton probe

The extradition of Romanian hacker “Guccifer” to the U.S. at a critical point in the FBI’s criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email use is “not a coincidence,” according to an intelligence…

foxnews.com

Moreover, Congressional investigators weren’t told about Downer’s connection to the Clinton Foundation.

“Republicans say they are concerned the new information means nearly all of the early evidence the FBI used to justify its election-year probe of Trump came from sources supportive of the Clintons, including the controversial Steele dossier,” reports The Hill

“The Clintons’ tentacles go everywhere. So, that’s why it’s important,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) chairman of a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee. “We continue to get new information every week it seems that sort of underscores the fact that the FBI hasn’t been square with us.

Democrats have accused the GOP overreach, claiming that Downer’s role with the Clinton Foundation deal shouldn’t be a factor.

“The effort to attack the FBI and DOJ as a way of defending the President continues,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence panel. “Not content to disparage our British allies and one of their former intelligence officers, the majority now seeks to defame our Australian partners as a way of undermining the Russia probe. It will not succeed, but may do lasting damage to our institutions and allies in the process.”

Australia and the Clinton Charities

In January we reported that the FBI had asked retired Australian policeman-turned investigative journalist, Michael Smith, to provide information he has gathered detailing multiple allegations of the Clinton Foundation receiving tens of millions of mishandled taxpayer funds, according to LifeZette.

“I have been asked to provide the FBI with further and better particulars about allegations regarding improper donations to the CF funded by Australian taxpayers,” Smith told LifeZette.

Of note, the Clinton Foundation received some $88 million from Australian taxpayers between 2006 and 2014, reaching its peak in 2012-2013 – which was coincidentally (we’re sure) Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s last year in office. Smith names several key figures in his complaints of malfeasance, including Bill and Hillary Clinton and Alexander Downer.

The materials Smith gave to the FBI concern the MOU between the Clinton Foundation’s HIV/AIDs Initiative (CHAI) and the Australian government.

Smith claims the foundation received a “$25M financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception” as a result of actions by Bill Clinton and Downer, who was then Australia’s minister of foreign affairs.

Also included in the Smith materials are evidence he believes shows “corrupt October 2006 backdating of false tender advertisements purporting to advertise the availability of a $15 million contract to provide HIV/AIDS services in Papua New Guinea on behalf of the Australian government after an agreement was already in place to pay the Clinton Foundation and/or associates.”-Lifezette

As a reminder, the Australian government announced that they would stop pouring millions of dollars into accounts linked to the Clinton charities in November of 2016 – right after Hillary Clinton lost the election.

The federal government confirmed to news.com.au it has not renewed any of its partnerships with the scandal-plagued Clinton Foundation, effectively ending 10 years of taxpayer-funded contributions worth more than $88 million.

The Clinton Foundation has a rocky past. It was described as “a slush fund”, is still at the centre of an FBI investigation and was revealed to have spent more than $50 million on travel.

Despite that, the official website for the charity shows contributions from both AUSAID and the Commonwealth of Australia, each worth between $10 million and $25 million.

Norway, coincidentally, also reduced its $20 million / year donations to the Clinton Foundation right after Hillary’s loss.

A third complaint by Smith revolves around a “$10 million financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception between April 1, 2008, and Sept. 25, 2008, at Washington, D.C., New York, New York, and Canberra Australia involving an MOU between the Australian government, the “Clinton Climate Initiative,” and the purported “Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute Inc.”

When asked why the Clinton Foundation was chosen as a recipient of Australian taxpayer dollars, a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that all funding was used “solely for agreed development projects” and Clinton charities have “a proven track record” in helping developing countries.

 END
 
I will  see you WEDNESDAY night

HARVEY

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