MARCH 7/ANOTHER RAID BY OUR BANKER FRIENDS ON GOLD/SILVER: GOLD DOWN $8.00 TO $1326.60 WHILE SILVER IS DOWN 27 CENTS TO $16.77/HUGE EFP ISSUANCE FOR BOTH GOLD AND SILVER: GOLD EFP ISSUANCE: 14232/SILVER EFP ISSUANCE: 4470,/GARY COHN RESIGNS TENDING THE NEW YORK MARKETS SOUTHBOUND/TRUMP SET TO INITIATE STEEL AND ALUMINUM TARIFFS STARTING TOMORROW/HUGE TRADE DEFICIT OF ALMOST 56 BILLION DOLLARS LAST MONTH DESPITE THE LOWER DOLLAR: THIS WILL CAUSE A FURTHER REDUCTION IN FIRST QUARTER GDP/MORE SWAMP STORIES/

 

 

GOLD: $1326.60  DOWN $8.00

Silver: $16.50 DOWN 27 CENTS

Closing access prices:

Gold $1325.40

silver: $16.50

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: $1341.05 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1335.00

PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $6.05

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1340.26

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1333.75

PREMIUM SECOND FIX /NY:$6.51

SHANGHAI REJECTS NY PRICING OF GOLD.

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1332.50

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1333.10

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1329.40

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1330.44???

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

302 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

1510,000 OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 4524 for 22,620,000 oz

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Bitcoin: BID $10,557/OFFER $10,627: DOWN $129(morning)

Bitcoin: BID/ $9907/offer $9978: DOWN $777  (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 3100 contracts from 193,489  RISING TO 196,590  WITH YESTERDAY’S HUGE 38 CENT RISE IN SILVER PRICING.  WE OBVIOUSLY 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 : 4470 EFP’S FOR MAY AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THUS TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 4470 CONTRACTS.  WITH THE TRANSFER OF 4470 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 4440 CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 22.35 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:

12,977 CONTRACTS (FOR 5 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 12,977 CONTRACTS OR 64.89 MILLION OZ: AVERAGE PER DAY: 2595 CONTRACTS OR 12.977 MILLION OZ/DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH:  64.89 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 9.27% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION

ACCUMULATION IN YEAR 2018 TO DATE SILVER EFP’S:  557.36 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 WITH THE 18 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICE.  WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 4470 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 4470 EFP’S  FOR THE  MONTH OF MAY WERE ISSUED FOR  A DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS.   WE GAINED  7570 OI CONTRACTS i.e. 4470 open interest contracts headed for London (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A INCREASE OF 3100  OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH THE RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER OF 38 CENTS AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $16.77 WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING. YET WE STILL HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX.

In ounces AT THE COMEX, the OI is still represented by just UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 0.968 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  ROSE BY A STRONG 8,498 CONTRACTS RISING TO 508,100 . WITH THE CONSIDERABLE RISE IN PRICE YESTERDAY ($15.60) HOWEVER  FOR TUESDAY, THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCE AND IT TOTALED AN HUGE SIZED  14,232 CONTRACTS  THE ISSUANCE OF,  APRIL SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 14,232 CONTRACTS ,  JUNE SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTRACTS AND THEN ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.    The new OI for the gold complex rests at 508,100. 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 HUGE GAIN  CONTRACTS: 8498 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX AND A HUGE SIZED 14232 OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON.(22,730 oi GAIN in CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 37.85 TONNES)

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 4962 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH : 54,267 CONTRACTS OR 5,426,700  OZ OR 168.79 TONNES (5 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 10,855 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 1,085,500 OZ/ TRADING DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :   SO FAR THIS MONTH IN 5 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 168.79 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 168.79/2550 x 100% TONNES =  6.59% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN MARCH ALONE.

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2018 TO DATE:  1420.99 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 INCREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE CONSIDERABLE RISE IN PRICE IN GOLD TRADING YESTERDAY ($15.60).  HOWEVER, WE HAD ANOTHER HUGE SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 14,232 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 14232 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A NET GAIN IN OPEN INTEREST OF 22,730 contracts ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

14232 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 8,498 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (in tonnes, the GAIN in total oi equates to 37.85 TONNES).

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

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

GLD

WITH GOLD DOWN $8.00 : A SLIGHT CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD /A WITHDRAWAL OF .25 TONNES TO PAY FOR FEES.

Inventory rests tonight: 833.73 tonnes.

SLV/

WITH SILVER DOWN 27 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 3100  contracts from 193,489 UP TO 196,590 (AND now A LITTLE  CLOSER TO THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) WITH THE CONSIDERABLE PRISE  IN PRICE OF SILVER  (38 CENTS WITH RESPECT TO  YESTERDAY’S TRADING).   OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE ANOTHER  4470 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  3100 CONTRACTS TO THE 4470 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S, WE OBTAIN A HUGE GAIN OF 7570  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:  37.85 MILLION OZ!!!

RESULT: A CONSIDERABLE  INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE STRONG RISE OF 38 CENTS IN PRICE (WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING ). BUT WE ALSO HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED 4470 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)WEDNESDAY MORNING/LATE TUESDAY NIGHT: Shanghai closed DOWN 17.97 POINTS OR 0.55% /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 313.81 POINTS OR 1.03% / The Nikkei closed DOWN 165.04 POINTS OR 0.77%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.93%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.3196/Oil DOWN to 62.18 dollars per barrel for WTI and 65.22 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED DEEPLY IN THE RED  .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AT 6.3196 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.3175 /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING STRONGER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING MUCH STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR . CHINA IS NOT VERY  HAPPY TODAY (STRONGER CURRENCY BUT LOUSY CHINESE MARKETS AND GLOBAL MARKETS/ )

 

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

 i)North Korea

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

3 c CHINA

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

 ItalySnyder writes that Italy is doomed due to the advance in the euroskeptic parties.

( Jeffrey Snyder/Alhambra Investment Partners)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

As expected the Bank of Canada holds rates bit warns that trade concerns with the USA are growing;

( zerohedge)

7. OIL ISSUES

8. EMERGING MARKET

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)The following is an extremely important paper by Stewart Dougherty and the subject is very dear to my heart…the fact that the USA does not have beneficial official gold and thus the reasons for the constant raids

it is long but well worth it…

( Stewart Dougherty)

ii)Real Vision’s Grant William confirms market rigging by governments:

( Grant Williams/GATA)

iii)

Gold expert Labourne states that the use og gold derivatives by the BIS declines by 55 tonnes and that helped gold rebound.

( Labourne/GATA)

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

i)Gary Cohn resigns!!

Possible replacements: Larry Kudlow (heaven help us), Jason Miller or David Urban
Markets should undergo huge turmoil
( zerohedge)
ii)the trade war with China begins and it is nuclear:  the uSA is considering broad curbs on Chinese imports as well as stop their investments in the uSA.  The Americans have stated that China will pay for stealing USA intellectual property.
let the games begin…
( zerohedge)

iii)Early trading:  why the Cohn resignation is far worse than markets think!!

a must read…

( Mark Cudmore)

iv)Wall Street reacts to the departure of Cohen:

( zerohedge)

v)It begins;  Trump to sign the import tariffs tomorrow.  We will see any country exclusions, if any, tomorrow

(courtesy zero hedge)

vi)Atlanta Fed President Bostic warns that trade wars may delay the implementation of rate hikes

(courtesy zerohedge)

vii)Morning data/trade data

The USA trade deficit climbs to 55.6 billion dollars in the month of January with the core trade deficit (ex Petroleum) at an all time time.  The trade deficit with China was 35.5 billion dollars, the trade deficit with Mexico: 5.6 billion dollars and Canada at only a deficit of 1.5 billion dollars.  This will no doubt fuel Trump in full tariff mode against China.

( zerohedge)

viii)The following is the key data point that the Fed is looking for:  wage growth and it is at its lowest level in 9 years:

( zerohedge)

ix)This may have a chance if Rand Paul gets a few democrats in the Senate to vote for it

(courtesy Jay Syrmopolous/TruthinMedia.com)

x)Navarro not on the list to replace Cohn:  probable choice Larry Kudlow, a doorknob, but an anti tariff person.  Should be interesting

( zerohedge)

xi)Finally we see USA credit card usage slow down a bit: an increase of only $ 0.700 billion.  The drop in January of credit card debt (probably to pay for December purchases) is probably another signal of problems in the economy that which we are witnessing.

( zerohedge)

xi) SWAMPVILLE

a)Peter Strzok ignored evidence of the Clinton hack and changed the wording of that a foreign hack actors from “reasonably likely” to “probable” so they could say that Clinton’s misuse of her server as extremely careless but not grossly negligent.

( zerohedge)

b)Have fun with this:  Our porn star sues Trump who forgot to sign his non disclosure

( zerohedge)

c)The USA now sues sanctuary California:

( zerohedge)

d)What a sad tale:  now Sam Nunberg is seeking treatment for substance and alcohol abuse after a drunken media trainwreck

( zerohedge)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest ROSE BY  8,498 CONTRACTS UP to an OI level 508,100  WITH THE CONSIDERABLE RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($15.60 GAIN/ YESTERDAY’S TRADING).  WE HAD ZERO 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 14,232 EFP’S ISSUED FOR APRIL ,   0 FOR JUNE AND ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:  TOTAL  14232 CONTRACTS.  THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS ON THESE TRANSFERS. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THERE IS NO DOUBT A HUGE DELAY IN THE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S AND IT PROBABLY TAKES AT LEAST  48 HRS AFTER LONGS GIVE UP THEIR COMEX CONTRACTS FOR THEM TO RECEIVE THEIR EFP’S AS THEY ARE NEGOTIATING THIS CONTRACT WITH THE BANKS FOR A FIAT BONUS PLUS THEIR TRANSFER TO A LONDON FORWARD… THE COMEX IS NOW AN ABSOLUTE FRAUD!!

ON A NET BASIS IN OPEN INTEREST WE GAINED TODAY: 22,730 OI CONTRACTS IN THAT 14232 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE GAINED 8,498 COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 22,730 contracts OR 2,273,000  OZ OR 71.40 TONNES.

Result: A  HUGE SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OPEN INTEREST WITH THE RISE IN YESTERDAY’S GOLD TRADING ($15.60.)   TOTAL OPEN INTEREST GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 22,730 OI CONTRACTS..

We have now entered the non active contract month of MARCH where we LOST 8 contracts DOWN to 608 contracts. We had 0 notices served upon yesterday, so in essence we LOST 8 contacts or an additional 800 oz will not stand for delivery at the comex AND THESE BOYS MORPHED INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS.

April saw a GAIN of 2275 contracts UP to 312,047. May saw another gain of 90 contracts to stand at 254. The really big June contract month saw a GAIN of 40087 contracts UP to 111,813 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: N/A contracts

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  N/A 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 3100  CONTRACTS FROM 190,630 UP TO 196,590 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S  38 CENT FALL IN TRADING).   HOWEVER,WE WERE ALSO INFORMED THAT WE HAD  4470 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: 4470.   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  7570  SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS

3100 CONTRACT GAIN AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 4470 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:7570 CONTRACTS 

AMOUNT STANDING FOR SILVER AT THE COMEX

We are now in the  active delivery month of MARCH and here the front month GAINED 3 contracts RISING TO 957 contracts. We had 17 contracts filed upon yesterday, so we GAINED 20 contracts or an additional 100,000 will  stand in this active delivery month of March.(AS SOMEBODY IS IN GREAT NEED OF PHYSICAL SILVER)

April GAINED 30 contracts RISING TO 440 .

The next big active delivery month for silver will be May and here the OI GAINED 89 contracts UP to 148,382

We had 302 notice(s) filed for 1,520,000 OZ for the MARCH 2018 contract for silver

INITIAL standings for MARCH/GOLD

MARCH 7/2018.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
 160,871.779 oz
DELAWARE
Scotia
I-D
MALCA
HSBC
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz NIL oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  178,176.636 OZ

JPM

No of oz served (contracts) today
0 notice(s)
 NIL OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
608 contracts
(60800 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
total inventory deposit into the dealer accounts:  NIL  oz
total inventory withdrawals out of dealer accounts; nil oz
we had 4 withdrawals out of the customer account:
i) Out of  DELAWARE:  14,698.479 oz
ii) Out of I-D: 5,304.750 oz
iii) Out of Scotia: 8,037.500 oz
iv) out of HSBC: 132,734.637 oz
v) out of Malca: 96.453 oz
total withdrawal: 160,871.779   oz
we had 1 customer deposit
i) Into JPMorgan: 178,176.636 oz
total customer deposits: 176,176.636  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;   9,105,5089.406 oz 283.21 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. (608 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (0 x 100 oz per contract) equals 60800 oz, the number of ounces standing in this nonactive month of MARCH (1.8912 tonnes)

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

No of notices served (0 x 100 oz or ounces + {(608)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (0 x 100 oz )which equals 60800 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 71 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE DECEMBER DELIVERY MONTH

MARCH INITIAL standings/SILVER

March 7 2018
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
 2.005.100 oz
Delaware
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil
oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
10,786.724 oz
Delaware
CNT
No of oz served today (contracts)
302
CONTRACT(S
(1,520,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
655 contracts
(3,275,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 4524 contracts

(22,620,000 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 2 deposits into the customer account

i) Into Delaware:  7856.724 oz

ii) Into CNT: 2940.190 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.

total deposits today:  10,796.224 oz

we had 1 withdrawals from the customer account;

i) Out of  Delaware 2005.100 oz

total withdrawals; 2005.100  oz

we had 1 adjustments

i) out of CNT:  1,137,558.990  oz  was adjusted out of the customer is this landed into the dealer account of CNT

total dealer silver:  58.592 million

total dealer + customer silver:  251.724 million oz

The total number of notices filed today for the March. contract month is represented by 302 contract(s) FOR 1,510,000 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 4524 x 5,000 oz = 22,620,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of Mar. (957) and the number of notices served upon today (302 x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the March contract month: 4524(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of March(957) -number of notices served upon today (302)x 5000 oz equals 25,895,000 oz of silver standing for the March contract month. 

We GAINED an additional 20 contracts or 100,000 additional silver oz will stand for delivery at the comex as somebody ws in urgent need of physical silver.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

ESTIMATED VOLUME FOR TODAY: N/A CONTRACTS

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: N/A CONTRACTS

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF N/A CONTRACTS EQUATES TO  N/A MILLION OZ OR N/A% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER

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

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

end

NPV for Sprott 

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV RISES TO -1.76% (MARCH 7/2018)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -0.50% to NAV (March 7/2018 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -1.76%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.50%/Central fund of Canada’s is still in jail but being rescued by Sprott.
Sprott WINS hostile 3.1 billion bid to take over Central Fund of Canada

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

3.SPROTT CEF.A FUND (FORMERLY CENTRAL FUND OF CANADA): NAV RISES TO -2/91%: NAV 13.68/TRADING 13.28//DISCOUNT 2/91.

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

MARCH 7/WITH GOLD DOWN 8.00/A SLIGHT CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/A WITHDRAWAL OF .25 TONNES TO PAY FOR FEES//INVENTORY RESTS AT 833.73 TONNES

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 7/2018/ Inventory rests tonight at 833.73 tonnes

*IN LAST 337 TRADING DAYS: 107,41 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 267 TRADING DAYS: A NET 48.89 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO GLD INVENTORY.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

MARCH 7/WITH SILVER DOWN 27 CENTS/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.069 MILLION OZ/

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 7/2018: NO CHANGES TO SILVER INVENTORY/

Inventory 318.069 million oz

end

6 Month MM GOFO 2.00/ and libor 6 month duration 2.24

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

G0FO+ 2.00%

libor 2.24 FOR 6 MONTHS/

GOLD LENDING RATE: .24%

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.40%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.51

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.10

GOLD LENDING RATES FALLING TO APPROACH ZERO AS PHYSICAL GOLD IS SCARCE/GOFO  RATES RISING

end

Major gold/silver trading /commentaries for WEDNESDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

Gold Does Not Fear Interest Rate Hikes

Gold Does Not Fear Interest Rate Hikes

– Gold no longer fears or pays attention to Fed announcements regarding interest rates
– Renewed interest in gold due to inflation fears and concern Fed won’t do enough to control it
– Higher interest rates on horizon will make debt levels unsustainable
– New Fed Chair warns “the US is not on a sustainable fiscal path” and could lead to an “unsustainable” debt load
– Higher interest rates are good for gold as seen in the 1970s and 2000s
– Gold markets aware that central banks are running out of financial weapons to deal with crises

You wouldn’t believe it by looking in the financial news but the price of gold has had a stellar run over the last few years. Since the beginning of the year it is up nearly 10%, contributing to the near 30% rise since early 2016. Most recently it has been thanks to a weaker dollar, but longer-term it is due to the disbelief gold has in central banks.

Many commentators and market observers did not expect gold to rise as it has: the same period included interest rate rises from the Federal Reserve, something once considered to be the gold market’s kryptonite.

But instead of driving the gold price down, US interest rate hikes have had little impact. One of the key factors supporting the gold price is the very same factor that has central bankers spooked – inflation.

Gold investors have realised that whilst interest rate hikes are likely to continue, the factors they are trying to combat (namely inflation) are now so far beyond central bankers’ control that gold remains an attractive safe haven and asset class.

Interest rate hikes are inevitable but gold sees past them

Inflation in the US is on the move — the PPI measured 2.2% in February. That might not seem like much but don’t forget that the markets are not prepared for higher inflation. Consider reactions back in January when it dawned on market participants that inflation could not stay this low forever.

Higher inflation will inevitably mean even more interest rate hikes. Surely this is a good thing? Perhaps, but is it too little too late?

Sadly central bankers seem to one step behind, rather than one step ahead when it comes to monetary policy. As we have seen since the financial crisis struck, central banks are reactors rather than actors when it comes to preventing seismic events.

Those investing in gold recognise that central banks can increase rates as much as they like. But a rapid reaction such as this can lead to dangerous problems for the debt-laden side of the market.

Interest rate increased will see unsustainable levels of debt

“Everything is just very burdened with debt, and there’s no stopping it.” Ron Paul told CNBC this week. He’s not wrong. At the moment there are zero plans in place to reduce the debt burden across the financial world.

What makes the debt so unsustainable? Interest rate hikes.

“We’re gonna see higher interest rates and when that happens then that debt becomes very much unsustainable” Stephen Flood, The Goldnomics Podcast

“the scene is set for higher interest rates, debt burden is going to become difficult to manage and we think that there’s going to be market events that these Treasury officials are going to have to answer for.”Stephen Flood, The Goldnomics Podcast

If central bankers react by increasing rates then it could make interest payments the US government’s largest single expenditure — bigger than Social Security ($916 billion in 2016), defense ($605 billion) or Medicare ($594 billion).

One could argue that the world did not end the last time the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was at levels we have seen recently. That was back in 1996. But think back to that year. The US national debt was under $5 trillion, today it is $20 trillion and counting. If the cost of servicing this debt increases then the impact on financial markets could well be astronomical.

This year it is set to get worse thanks to Trump’s tax plans. They are expected to push the annual budget deficit above $1 trillion and expand the $20 trillion national debt.

Its not just unsustainable levels of government debt that interest rates will trigger. Consider the huge levels of indebtedness we see for individuals across the Western world. For example, US consumer non-mortgage debt has never been higher. At the end of 2017 US households had a record $1.0 trillion of credit card/revolving loans, $1.3 trillion of auto loans, and $1.5 trillion of student loans.

Just a brief look at the US economy alone and one can see why an uptick in inflation and higher interest rates could easily flip us into the next recession. Gold remains an attractive asset as rate setters are running out of tools to control the markets with.

Central bankers have no more tools in the armoury

Back when the last recession took hold central banks could get (somewhat of) a grasp on the situation thanks to monetary policy. They slashed rates and the markets responded accordingly.

Today, interest rates remain very low but another recession is on the horizon. This is something that keeps many Fed bods awake at night.

As Reuters reports:

Federal Reserve policymakers are fretting that they could face the next U.S. recession with an arsenal of policies little different from that used in the last downturn but robbed of much of their punch because interest rates are still low.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is that when that next recession happens, and hopefully not for a long time, I don’t think we have as strong a toolkit as we would like to have to respond to that,” San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said Friday at a Town Hall Los Angeles event.

To pull out of the 2007-2009 recession, the Fed slashed short-term interest rates to near zero and bought $3.5 trillion in bonds to push down longer-term borrowing costs.

Since late 2015 it has gradually reversed course. Its key rate is now in the range of 1.25 to 1.5 percent, and the Fed expects to end this year with rates between 2 percent and 2.25 percent.

With an aging population slowing the economy’s growth potential, the Fed projects it can raise rates only to about 2.75 percent before borrowing costs will really start to brake the economy.

Are higher interest rates bad for gold?

Even with the dire consequences for the financial markets, one could think that there would be an opportunity cost to holding gold  over keeping cash in the bank as interest rates are rising.

Not so, rapidly rising rates against a backdrop of struggling financial markets make gold an even more attractive prospect. As Mark O’Byrne explains:

“…You see the media saying rising interest rates is bearish for gold. But if you look at the history and look at the data, interest rates rose continuously throughout the 1970s from below at the 10-year US Treasury, 10-year bonds below 5% in 1970, to up above 15% in 79-80 and gold prices went up from $35 to $ 850 in those nine years. So, rising interest rates weren’t a negative for gold whatsoever.

“Same thing happened again more recently. Obviously some people might say; “Oh well that’s ancient history and we’re a long way from the 1970s.

“Okay, fair enough well let’s look from 2003 to 2007. I think interest rates went from roughly 3/3½% to 5/5½ %and the gold price went up from $ 400 to $700/800. So, the narrative is incorrect. Rising interest rates are actually bearish as you can imagine for assets that are bought with debt and with leverage.” Mark O’Byrne, The Goldnomics Podcast

As Mark explains on the podcast, raising interest rates are bad news for those assets ‘bought with debt and with leverage’. Within this consider the scenario if both the Federal Reserve and the ECB respond to runaway inflation with accelerated large interest rate increases. This (combined with removal of monetary stimulus) it could very easily turn current ‘all-time-highs’ in the stock market to years of lows in a very short period of time.

You can hear more of Mark’s thoughts on this in our podcast.

Gold looks beyond the short-term

Unlike the financial media, gold looks beyond the short-term moves and commentary. Whilst gold is often dismissed in a higher interest rate environment those investing in it realise that monetary policy changes are not a sign of a healthier economy.

This explains why they have failed to react negatively to past-hikes and declarations by banks that more are on the horizon.

As briefly demonstrated above, one can see that interest rate hikes are unlikely to come at a time with either the US or global economy can handle them. The problem is, the central banks just don’t know what else to do.

Once higher hikes take hold the Federal Reserve will be back to their old game of catch-up and there is little indication that that will bode well for the financial system.

Gold has held its own in this financial crisis and particularly in the face of bearish central bank policies. Combine the likely outcome of these policies with flashpoints in the geopolitical system. This provides you with an even stronger case for gold bullion and bars as a safe haven.

News and Commentary

Gold gains as trade war fears weigh on dollar, equities (Reuters.com)

Asian markets dragged down after Gary Cohn’s resignation (MarketWatch.com)

Asian gold-backed ETFs grow by nearly 10 pct in February -WGC (Reuters.com)

Gold climbs to a more than two-week high as dollar slumps (MarketWatch.com)

Gold rallies 1.4 pct as potential North Korea talks hurt dollar (Reuters.com)


Source: Zerohedge

How about just conducting government business — and trading — in public? (Bloomberg.com)

Gold documentary confirms market rigging by governments (Youtube.com)

The WSJ Also Uncovered The Source Of The Next Consumer Debt Crisis (ZeroHedge.com)

‘There’s no stopping it,’ warns Ron Paul (MarketWatch.com)

Rand Paul Adds ‘Audit The Fed’ Amendment To Senate Banking Bill (ZeroHedge.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

07 Mar: USD 1,332.50, GBP 960.07 & EUR 1,071.86 per ounce
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

Silver Prices (LBMA)

07 Mar: USD 16.65, GBP 12.01 & EUR 13.42 per ounce
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


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

janskoyles

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

The following is an extremely important paper by Stewart Dougherty and the subject is very dear to my heart…the fact that the USA does not have beneficial official gold and thus the reasons for the constant raids

it is long but well worth it…

(courtesy Stewart Dougherty)

Mr. President, If We Don’t Have Gold, We Don’t Have a Country

The consequences of Gold Truth, such as it is but has not yet been revealed, are beyond sobering. If the Gold Truth is that USG, Inc. does not possess and own the gold it has promised the world that it owns and possesses, every last shred of monetary, fiscal, financial, economic and moral authority that USG, Inc. still possesses would be destroyed in a matter of seconds. And it is virtually impossible to see how the U.S. dollar could survive such a revelation without plummeting. – Stewart Dougherty

Stewart Dougherty has written another compelling, thought-provoking essay about gold and the United States Government’s intentional omission of gold as the foundation of monetary and fiscal policy.  Please note that Mr. Doughtery’s view of Trump does not represent IRD’s view of Trump or his efforts as President.

“Passivity is fatal to us. Our goal is to make the enemy passive. … Communism is notlove. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy.” Mao Tse-tung, proclaiming the founding of the People’s Republic of China, 1949

Circumstantial evidence is mounting high that there is something seriously wrong with the amount of gold reportedly owned by the United States government, or more precisely, the American people.

After nearly two generations of being brainwashed into believing that gold is a meaningless relic, western citizens have lost all concept of gold’s crucial monetary importance. If it turns out that the United States does not, in fact, possess and own the gold it claims to, the monetary, fiscal, economic, and humanitarian fallout will be unprecedented in its destructiveness. Unfortunately, the people have no idea what is at stake.

The largest corporation in the world, by far, is the United States government. No other corporation has anything even close to its $3.4 trillion in annual revenues, and $4.4 trillion in annual expenses. And no other corporation has ever suffered multiple annual losses exceeding $1 trillion dollars, nor could it have, as such losses would have financially annihilated it. To be able to print money at will and without limit, as USG, Inc. can do, has blinded it to the powerful beast called Consequences that is slowly and methodically hunting it down.

USG, Inc. employs thousands of accountants, many of whom work at the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO prepares detailed budgets, one of which looks forward thirty years, and then extrapolates the numerical trends for an additional forty-five years, for a total forward horizon of 75 years. The 2015 report examines USG, Inc.’s projected performance until the year 2090. According to that report, not only will USG, Inc. lose money every single year for the next 75 years, the losses will actually accelerate each year and total more than $300 trillion. In 2047 alone, the deficit is estimated to be $5.3 trillion, on a cash accounting basis. On an accrual accounting basis, it will be far worse, if USG, Inc. even makes it to that point in its current state, something we find it difficult to envision. It is arithmetically impossible for the dollar to avoid destruction in such a scenario.

It should be no surprise that USG, Inc.’s finances are such a disaster, because for the past generation and longer, the CEOs of USG, Inc. have never in their lives held real jobs in the productive economy, other than GW Bush’s brief stints as a member of an oil and then a baseball investor group, which is not the kind of real job we mean. Instead, these CEOs have all been professional politicians, who by definition do not contribute to the real economy, but rather, feed upon it.

This pattern was about to repeat itself in 2016, with the Deep State’s planned installation of Hillary Clinton into the CEO role at USG, Inc. Clinton, too, has never in her life had a real job in the productive economy, and has precisely zero experience managing anything even beginning to resemble a massive corporation with millions of employees and projected $1+ trillion, accelerating annual losses extending as far as eyes can see. This is exactly what the Deep State wanted: a corrupt, financially clueless, ideological figurehead, who would be oblivious as they ramped up the looting of USG, Inc. to a new level of rapaciousness while she was busy hectoring the nation’s producers and taxpayers about their deplorable selves. It is this looting that is the precise reason why USG, Inc. is now drowning in losses and debt, and is strategically paralyzed.

While anyone with any common sense would immediately understand that it would be ridiculous to expect that someone with zero education, training or experience in engineering could oversee the design of a spacecraft capable of landing on Mars, or that someone with zero medical education, training or experience could successfully conduct brain surgery, for some unfathomable reason, people think that someone with zero business education, training or experience can successfully manage the world’s largest corporation. USG, Inc.’s catastrophic financial results demonstrate the regrettable stupidity of that thought.

We previously termed the current United States operating system as one of “crony communism,” whereby the cronies have free rein to steal the nation’s current and retained earnings (the private wealth), while the people are progressively immiserated in communistic helplessness and squalor. The election of HRC would have finalized the crony communist revolution that Obama unleashed with all his might.

During the campaign, Trump claimed that the 2016 election provided the American people their “last chance” to turn the nation around. The key word was “chance;” he offered no guarantees, because he knew that the situation hung on a thread. In an upset, Trump won, and for the first time in decades, an actual businessman is now the CEO of the world’s largest corporation. Imagine that. Unfortunately, he inherited a situation so fractured and poisoned fiscally, monetarily, politically and societally that his turnaround task is virtually impossible, no matter how genuine his efforts might be.

Whether or not one agrees with Trump’s policies or style, he is now talking to the American people and the world about business topics that previous, politician USG, Inc. CEOs totally avoided, given their desire and incentive to preserve the status quo: the astronomical trade deficit; the need to bring back offshored jobs; the critical importance of reviving manufacturing; the staggering national debt; NATO’s getting a free defense ride at U.S. taxpayers’ expense; the need to slash strangulating regulations; skewed, unfair trade deals; the urgent need for GDP growth; the untenable condition of the nation’s infrastructure; the need to get massive illegal immigration, which comes at an exorbitant cost to taxpayers, under control; and all the rest.

Beyond those issues, Trump’s most important job responsibility is to restore the American spirit. Under Obama’s crony communist revolution, euphemized as his so-called “fundamental transformation of America,” a fraud he dared not call by its true name given that it was such an overt and pernicious attack on everything the vast majority of the people of this nation stand for, believe in and want, the citizens started to do, in droves, what they always do when subjected to totalitarian control: check out and shut down.

GDP and retail sales stagnated, and the economy progressively ground down. Stores closed and business owners gave up. And by the millions, the people retreated into the dead-end dependency of welfare, Food Stamps and Medicaid, while homelessness, tent city and under-bridge community numbers skyrocketed. Not coincidentally, opioid addiction, the ultimate surrender to despair and suicide, became a national epidemic. Which is exactly what the crony communist profiteers wanted: an increasingly helpless, hopeless, addicted and compliant populace that could be controlled by the actual “crumbs,” Ms. Pelosi, of subsistence government pigeon feed scattered upon the ground for the citizens to peck at.

As the Dutch thinker, Ronald Bernard, so incisively realized: “All the misery in the world is a business plan.”

Trump has said that his proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum are more than a matter of financials; they are also a matter of national security, because “if you don’t have steel, you don’t have a country.” This is thematically identical to the statement he has repeatedly made about illegal immigration: “If you don’t have borders, you don’t have a country.” This notion of “country” is vital, and particularly so when it comes to a nation’s monetary reserves. To steel and borders, we would add that, “if don’t have gold, you don’t have country.”

Mr. Trump is knowledgeable about gold. In fact, on January 29, 2016, he sealed a deal with Apmex, one of the nation’s largest gold dealers, for a 10 year lease of the 50th floor of “The Trump Building” located at 40 Wall Street in New York City. Significantly, at the signing ceremony, Apmex CEO Michael Haynes paid Mr. Trump the $200,000 lease deposit in gold bars.

In a statement, Mr. Trump said: “It’s a sad day when a large property owner starts accepting gold instead of the dollar. The economy is bad, and Obama’s not protecting the dollar at all. … If I do this, other people are going to start doing it, and maybe we’ll see some changes.”

Later, Trump’s press office amplified his statement by saying that “Mr. Trump has been bullish on gold due to his concerns about the value of the dollar.”

These statements demonstrate that Mr. Trump has more than a casual understanding of gold.

It is well-known that China, Russia and Turkey, among many other smaller nations, are steadily, and in the case of China, massively adding to their gold reserves. In fact, the governments of China and Turkey publicly encourage their citizens to buy gold, while Russia leads by example with its steady and well-publicized sovereign purchases. Gold is important to these nations for reasons that are well thought-out, forward-thinking and strategic.

On August 21, 2017, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin breezed into Kentucky for a visit. That morning, he spoke to members of the Louisville Chamber of Commerce, and announced, with no advance warning to the press, that after his speech, he was headed to the Fort Knox Gold Bullion Depository to check things out. Laughingly, he said to the audience, “I assume the gold is still there. It would be quite a movie if we walked in and there was no gold.”

After a short visit and cursory inspection, during which only one of the numerous Fort Knox lockers said to hold the American people’s gold was opened and eyeballed, and a few bars were handled,” Mnuchin concluded his visit and then tweeted to America and the world, “Glad gold is safe.” The insouciance of his tweet was stunning. [IRD Note: the gold remaining in Ft. Knox is largely for ceremonial display; most of the gold has been moved to what is dubiously called “deep storage” at West Point. It’s never been independently confirmed that gold actually exists or, if it does, to what extent the Fed has leased or hypothecated the gold to be used in support of the use of futures and LMBA forwards by Fed-member banks to help suppress the market clearing price of gold].

The supposed U.S. gold hoard was last audited in 1953, sixty-five years ago. The nation’s debt at that time was $266 billion, inflation adjusted. Today, it is nearly $21 trillion, or seventy-nine times greater. In 1953, the nation owned 20,000 tonnes of gold, an amount that plunged to 8,133 tonnes by 1974 [at least according to the numbers reported by the Fed]. From 1974 until now, the hoard has supposedly remained unchanged at 8,133 tonnes, despite the fact that the country’s fiscal situation has disintegrated with, in addition to the rapidly approaching $21 trillion in debt, more than $180 trillion in federal unfunded contingent liabilities; additional trillions in unfunded corporate and municipal, county and state government pensions; and annual trillion dollar plus deficits on a hockey stick trajectory projected for the next 75 years.

And yet, we are asked to believe that despite the fact that 11,867 tonnes of gold were sold and shipped between 1953 and 1974, generally strong economic years for the United States, not one ounce has been sold in the 44 year period from 1974 until now. Not one ounce has been used, for example, to guarantee China, Japan and other sovereign nations’ multi-trillion dollar investments in U.S. Treasury securities; not one ounce has been used to even fractionally settle the nation’s massive, persistent, multi-trillion dollar trade deficit that now measures $800+ billion per year; not one ounce has been used to sway foreign politicians who consistently and curiously pursue an American-dictated agenda at odds with their own national interests; and that not one ounce has been required to facilitate the largest national bailout in history, in the wake of the Great Financial Crisis. In fact, not one ounce has been needed for anything, despite the fact that USG, Inc.’s financial fortunes have collapsed since 1974. While we suppose that anything is possible, this does not appear plausible.

Mr. Trump was rightfully excited when Apple Computer announced a multi-year $350 billion investment in its U.S. facilities and operations. He has been similarly pleased by far smaller U.S. investment commitments made by other corporations. To him, every investment in America is important, no matter how big or small, and rightly so, as each has the potential to create jobs and needed tax revenues.

USG, Inc. is said to own 261.5 million ounces (8,133 tonnes) of gold. Mr. Trump could increase the price of gold by at least $1,000.00 per ounce in 10 seconds if he simply announced that USG, Inc. believes in gold, and that, similarly to Russia, China, Turkey and numerous other nations, plans to buy it on a regular basis. He could boost the price even more if he simultaneously announced that USG, Inc. would no longer tolerate the illegal rigging of gold’s price by the Wall Street profiteers and swindlers who have corrupted and criminalized the gold market for the past 40 years.

As the supposed largest sovereign holder of gold, by far, why on earth would USG, Inc. not support its price, when it would so obviously be in its direct financial interests to do so? If gold’s price increased by $1,000 per ounce, it would result in a $261.5 billion instantaneous windfall for USG, Inc. and the American citizen shareholders who supposedly own it. This would come at no cost whatsoever to USG, Inc. or to the shareholders, other than the trivial expense of setting up the press conference. And there would be no reason for the dollar to decline simply because USG, Inc. announced that as one of its many investment initiatives, from education to infrastructure to armaments, it was also going to put money into gold, in the expectation of making a profit from it. Just has China has been doing for the past twenty years, with great financial success.

$261.5 billion in profits, in 10 seconds, would be many times greater than what USG, Inc. will realize from Apple Computer’s multi-year $350 billion investment, only a small portion of which will actually trickle down to the U.S. Treasury in the form of tax revenues. So one would think there would be even more excitement about the opportunity in gold than in Apple’s planned spending. And we have not even included the significant capital gains tax revenue that would pour into USG, Inc. as a cohort of current gold investors traded their positions at a large, tax-generating profit.

USG, Inc.’s persistent silence, aside from the frivolous comments and jokes made about gold by Mr. Mnuchin in Kentucky, make no common sense. But the situation is actually deeper, and worse.

As those who study the gold market now know to be an undeniable, categorical fact, the price of gold has been illegally manipulated for decades by Wall Street profiteers who appear to operate with the full agreement and protection of USG, Inc. given that the manipulators are never prosecuted and that their criminal rigging operations continue unabated to this day.

Therefore, while foreign nations have dumped state-subsidized, underpriced steel, aluminum and other products into the United States, which we are told is terrible for our nation, Wall Street and its City of London collaborators have facilitated the dumping of tonnes of illegally manipulated, underpriced western gold into numerous countries including Russia, China and Turkey and many others. And yet western citizens are supposed to believe that the dumping of underpriced gold, including sovereign gold, which is supposed to be the people’s gold, is somehow a brilliant gambit that should be allowed to continue. In other words, the equivalent of western government cargo planes dumping gold out of their holds onto Moscow, Beijing, Ankara and other foreign capitals is presented as a smart thing for western nations to do, and of benefit to the increasingly impoverished, crony-communized citizens of the west, whose gold it is that is being dumped offshore.

Perhaps the same level of outrage that is expressed about jobs offshoring should also be expressed about gold offshoring, whose financial damage will compound over time and end up costing the nation more than the lost jobs.

It is virtually impossible to fathom the idiocy of this ongoing process of foreign gold dumping. On one hand, certain foreign nations promote their strategically important industries, such as steel and aluminum, by selling their products to the United States at low prices. On the other hand, the United States and its western counterparts facilitate the sale of their sole monetary bedrock, gold, to arch foreign competitors, for a fraction of the gold’s true price given that it is illegally manipulated by the western financial elite for their own private profit. Even if a country, say China for example, loses some money selling low-priced steel to the United States, by using the revenue they generate from such sales to buy western gold at a fraction of its true price is a no-brainer deal the artistry of which even Trump would have to admire. While they might lose a few pennies per pound on the steel, they stand to earn thousands of dollars per ounce on the gold.

If USG, Inc. actually owned and possessed 261.5 million ounces of gold, why would it allow Wall Street profiteers to wantonly crush its price, and directly facilitate its outflow to and enrichment of foreign countries with which it competes, and by which it is systematically being destroyed in trade wars it has been losing for decades?

We can understand Clinton, Bush and Obama not knowing the first thing about the strategic national importance of gold, and being clueless about how Wall Street has manipulated the gold market for nearly 40 years, at a profit to themselves that we have estimated exceeds $1+ trillion dollars to date. As mentioned previously, none of those persons has ever had a real job in the productive economy, or understands the first thing about competitive business tactics, capital markets, or national financial strategy. But Trump is a businessman and, as we have shown, is knowledgeable about gold. Yet while he has focused on far smaller opportunities than the enormous USG, Inc. balance sheet windfall he could engineer by simply talking up the price of gold, he does the exact opposite: he allows its price trashing and foreign dumping to continue.

We can reach only one possible, logical explanation for this stance: USG, Inc. stays silent about gold, because its gold is gone, either in large part, or altogether. And even if a portion of it is still housed at Fort Knox, West Point and Denver, it is pledged to and owned by others. Therefore, if USG, Inc. were to talk up the price of gold, the financial benefits would accrue not to USG, Inc., but to its national competitors such as China, Russia, Turkey and the other governments that have strategically purchased gold in large quantities at the bargain basement prices extended to them by the private Wall Street and London City manipulators and profiteers.

USG, Inc. will lose more than $1 trillion this fiscal year. To fully offset that loss, the price of USG, Inc.’s reported gold reserve would have to rise by $3,842.00 per ounce. Keep in mind, this price increase would be required to offset just one year of USG, Inc.’s deficit (aka, loss), namely that of Fiscal Year 2018. This price increase would do absolutely nothing to neutralize or ameliorate the roughly $20 trillion of pre-Fiscal Year 2018 debt, or the upcoming 75 years’ worth of $1+ trillion, steadily increasing annual deficits. The price of gold would have to increase by $4,000 and progressively more each and every year from now on just to offset USG, Inc.’s upcoming annual losses, which are currently projected to extend into perpetuity.

The consequences of Gold Truth, such as it is but has not yet been revealed, are beyond sobering. If the Gold Truth is that USG, Inc. does not possess and own the gold it has promised the world it does, every last shred of monetary, fiscal, financial, economic and moral authority that USG, Inc. still possesses would be destroyed in a matter of seconds. And it is impossible to see how the U.S. dollar could survive such a revelation without plummeting. A sudden, sharp dollar revaluation would wreak havoc on the global monetary system, financial markets, and economy, and let us all hope it never happens, even though the epic mismanagement of USG, Inc. indicates that it could happen.

The consequences of fiat currency destruction are currently on disturbing and heart-wrenching display in Venezuela. Many westerners look down their noses at Venezuela, as if it is some kind of freak, outlier nation whose suffering people are on a different planet from ours. But those people are not; they are here on earth, just like the rest of us. And if we are correct about our concerns that the actual gold balances at USG, Inc. are not what is being reported, the Venezuelization of the United States would become a likely, if not a guaranteed outcome.

President Trump is doing his best to be the agent of change so desperately needed in the United States. [IRD Note: whether or not you agree with the way Trump is going about effecting change is another matter]. At the same time, Truth is doing its best, as it always does, to be the same: an agent of revelation and change. History conclusively proves that Truth always wins in the end. When people are ahead of a dangerous truth, they can work with and even tame it by honoring and respecting its righteousness and force. But when a dangerous truth is ahead of the people, and expresses itself on its terms and schedule, it almost always cloaks itself in fury, and metes out destruction to those who have stood in its way and dishonored it.

We believe that it is vital for President Trump to now get ahead of and tell the people the truth about USG, Inc.’s gold situation, while there is still time to do so constructively. If the gold is gone, then as a national priority, USG, Inc. must figure out how to buy it back, at least to some degree. A monetary world in which China, Russia, Turkey and other nations own gold, but the west does not would yield invincible monetary and financial superiority to the west’s competitors. If the gold is there, then USG, Inc. should revel in and leverage the enormous fortune and financial opportunity it represents.

Mr. President, as someone who respects and supports the work you are doing to try to turn this country around, might I, with all due respect, paraphrase and echo your own words: “If we don’t have gold, we don’t have a country either.”

end

Stewart Dougherty is the creator of Inferential Analytics, a forecasting method that applies to events proprietary, time-tested principles of human instinct, desire and action. In his view, forecasting methods not fundamentally based upon principles of human action are unlikely to be reliable over time. He is a graduate of Tufts University (BA) and Harvard Business School (MBA). He developed expertise in strategic analysis and planning during a 35+ year business career, has traveled to and conducted research in over 25 countries and has refined Inferential Analytics into a reliable predictive instrument over a period of 17+ years

end

Real Vision’s Grant William confirms market rigging by governments:

(courtesy Grant Williams/GATA)

Real Vision’s gold documentary confirms market rigging by governments

 Section: 

9:40a Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Grant Williams of Real Vision has posted in the clear at You Tube a trailer for his new two-part documentary on gold, the second part examining gold market manipulation.

The trailer, quoting Ned Naylor-Leyland of Old Mutual Investors, fund manager and author James Rickards, and Ross Norman of London bullion dealer Sharps Pixley, maintains that to defend their own currencies governments always have had a powerful interest in controlling the gold price, long have intervened against it, and most likely are continuing to do so.

.Indeed, an expert unidentified in the trailer notes that the modern gold derivatives system was created precisely to divert demand away from real metal and thus help keep the price down.

The trailer is a little less than five minutes long and can be viewed here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjw1lduO6xw

Meanwhile over at Kitco News correspondent Daniela Cambone, covering the annual conference in Toronto of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, interviews gold and silver mining executives and analysts who marvel at what they consider the underpricing of the monetary metals and their miners.

See:

http://www.kitco.com/news/video/show/PDAC-2018/1880/2018-03-05/Gold-Is-C…

And:

http://www.kitco.com/news/video/show/PDAC-2018/1881/2018-03-05/Gold-Equi…

And:

http://www.kitco.com/news/video/show/PDAC-2018/1879/2018-03-05/The-Best-…

But gold price suppression by governments and central banks cannot be discussed at PDAC, and Kitco is always too polite to ask mining company executives about it. While such discussion might help expose and agitate against market rigging and thus benefit mining company shareholders, it also might complicate PDAC’s main business, stock touting.

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

end

Gold expert Labourne states that the use og gold derivatives by the BIS declines by 55 tonnes and that helped gold rebound.

(courtesy Labourne/GATA)

Robert Lambourne: Use of gold derivatives by BIS declines by 55 tonnes in February

 Section: 

By Robert Lambourne
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Bank for International Settlements reduced its use of gold swaps and other gold-related derivatives during February, according to the bank’s statement of account for the month:

https://www.bis.org/banking/balsheet/statofacc280218.pdf

This decrease follows a large increase in the bank’s gold swaps in January.

In recent months the BIS has been actively trading gold derivatives and the amounts disclosed each month have been variable.

The information provided in the BIS monthly statement of account is not sufficient to calculate a precise amount of gold-related derivatives, including swaps, but it appears that the bank’s total exposure as of February 28, 2018, was 525 tonnes of gold.

This compares to estimates of 580 tonnes, 450 tonnes, 600 tonnes, and 570 tonnes, respectively, at the January, December, November, and October month-ends and an audited swaps figure of 438 tonnes as of March 31, 2017.

The BIS is an association of central banks and provides little information about what it is doing in the gold market and for whom. This lack of transparency fuels suspicion that the bank’s activity is related to official efforts to suppress the gold price.

—–

Robert Lambourne is a retired business executive in the United Kingdom who consults with GATA about the involvement of the Bank for International Settlements in the gold market.

end


 _____________________________________________________________________________________

Your early WEDNESDAY 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 6.3196  /shanghai bourse CLOSED DOWN 17.97 POINTS OR 0.55%  / HANG SANG CLOSED DOWN 313.81 POINTS OR 1.03%
2. Nikkei closed DOWN 165.04 POINTS OR 0.77% /USA: YEN RISES TO 105.68/  DEADLY AS YEN CARRY TRADERS DISINTEGRATE

3. Europe stocks OPENED DEEPLY IN THE RED     /USA dollar index FALLS TO 89.51/Euro RISES TO 1.2420

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO . +.050/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 105.68/ 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:: 62.18  and Brent: 65.22

3f Gold DOWN/Yen DOWN

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO +.653%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN to 1.956% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD DOWN TO 1.440%

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES TO : 4.317?????????????????

3k Gold at $1330.45 silver at:16.64     7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 30/100 in roubles/dollar) 56.95

3m oil into the 62 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 105.68 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 0.9405 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1666 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year FALLING to +0.653%

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 2.844% early this morning (THIS IS DEADLY TO ALL MARKETS). Thirty year rate at 3.122% /

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

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

World Stocks, US Futures Tumble Amid Surge In Trade War Fears

If yesterday world markets were a sea of green as traders bought risk on news that threats of both a nuclear and trade war had sharply receded, today it’s the opposite, and while North Korea has yet to “unexpectedly” test fire an ICBM, Tuesday’s departure of Gary Cohn has all but assured market that a trade war is, after all, just a matter of time.

To be sure, Cohn’s departure – which is widely seen as a victory for the protectionists led by Peter Navarro and immigration hawks – is the only thing analysts and traders are writing about this morning, and while some thing the market’s overnight response, which has seen S&P futures slide over 20 points and the DJIA is set to open 330 points lower, has been exaggerated…

… others disagree, and fear that much more pain is in store, especially if Cohn’s departure is indicative of an imminent trade bombardment by the Trump administration.

The litany is summarized best by Bloomberg which notes that Cohn’s resignation “is a victory for figures who have sought to expunge the Trump administration of advocates for free trade and globalization, principles that have long been a hallmark of the Washington establishment. A registered Democrat, Cohn was regarded as one of the few political moderates close to the president. His absence will amplify voices like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and trade adviser Peter Navarro who back the president’s impulses to buck convention and pick trade fights on a global stage.”

Citi went further, going so far as to compare Gary Cohn to Luke Skywalker:

While heavily-trailed in the press, the market is still mourning the sudden departure of Gary Cohn, the White House’s ‘lonely democrat’ – seen by some as the final bastion of tariff-free international trade. Alas, now the last Jedi has fallen, Trade Wars and a galaxy far, far away now all seems an awful lot closer than before. USD is caught between a more hawkish Fed (Kaplan, Brainard overnight) and an administration that appears ready to shoot from the hip with regards to trade wars.

Echoing what we said 2 weeks ago, when we correctly predicted the coming trade wars when we highlighted the little noticed Peter Navarro promotion, Bank of Singapore’s James Cheo said that “Cohn’s resignation shows that within the Trump administration the pendulum is swinging toward anti-trade,” adding that “what we should be watching out for is how other countries react in response to the tariffs.”

Whatever one thinks of Cohn’s departure, the rising prospect of escalating protectionism has finally spooked algos and sent European and Asian stock markets reeling on Wednesday. As shown above, S&P futures slumped, while most government bonds climbed, sending the yield on the 10Y to 2.84%, where it started the week.

European government bonds rallied, with yields across the euro zone falling by 1-3 basis points, following similar strengthening in U.S. Treasuries overnight.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index headed for the first drop in three days, led by mining and auto shares. European car-makers, which face the risk of a hike in import tariffs to the United States, were among the worst performers, falling 1.1%. Rolls-Royce rose as much as 9.7% after reporting pretax profit for the full year that beat the highest analyst estimate. 1 of 19 Stoxx 600 sectors rose and with 110 Stoxx 600 members green, some 478 declined.  The materials sector was underperforming, pressured by the fall in commodity prices fuelled by US API crude stocks printing a build more than twice as expected.

“The implication is that without the restraining influence of Cohn on Trump, the president will now have a free hand to press ahead with further tariffs and generally up the ante on trade,” said Neil Wilson, an analyst at ETX Capital.
“This in itself does not bode well for risk despite that small boost we saw on news that North Korea could consider de-nuking.”

Earlier in the day, Asian markets also slid earlier as investors contemplated how bad the hit to China would be once Trump unleashes his trade war, a fear which was magnified by the report that the White House is considering clamping down on Chinese investments and imposing broader tariffs added to the gloom. Australia’s ASX 200 (-1.0%) underperformed with sentiment also dragged by weaker than expected GDP figures, while Nikkei 225 (-0.8%) was choppy and briefly found reprieve, before a firmer JPY ultimately weighed. Elsewhere, Shanghai Comp. (-0.6%) and Hang Seng (-1.0%) initially outperformed despite reports US may consider broad curbs on Chinese imports and takeovers, as well as news that ‘China hawk’ Peter Navarro was among the top 2 candidates to replace Cohn as
Trump’s top economic adviser.

Stocks in China and Hong Kong gave up their morning gains, sliding along with other regional markets and U.S. futures; Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.6%, trimming week’s advance to 0.5% while the ChiNext Index fell 0.7%, paring week’s gain to 0.8%. The Hang Seng Index slides 1% and is experiencing its wildest trading since 2016. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declines 1.1%

In other macro developments, the dollar initially tumbled on the Cohn news but has since recovered most losses, while the yen and the Swiss franc were once more in demand, as currencies sensitive to risk sentiment and from countries heavily reliant on trade were sold off as markets raised the odds for more U.S. barriers to trade. On Wednesday morning, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed, while European stocks followed Asia’s slide.

The Canadian dollar and the Mexican peso both retreated by around 0.5 percent against the dollar as Cohn’s departure was seen as raising risks that Washington could walk away from NAFTA negotiations. Other emerging market currencies that typically move in sympathy with the dollar were lower, with the South African rand and Russian rouble both down around 0.5 percent against the dollar.

Separately, overnight we got comments from two Fed speakers, a hawk and a dove: Fed’s Brainard (voter, dove) said gradual US rate hikes are likely appropriate and that there is greater confidence inflation will reach target, while she added that she is encouraged by substantial fiscal stimulus, full employment and above-trend economic growth. Brainard also stated that headwinds are turning into tailwinds, although they are ready to slow or speed up pace of hikes if forecasts are incorrect. Meanwhile, Fed’s Kaplan (non-voter, soft hawk) reiterated that baseline scenario is for 3 rate hikes in 2018 and said that it is too early to change forecasts due to tariffs as it is not yet known what will be implemented. Kaplan added that anything that jeopardizes trade relations with Mexico or Canada is not in US interest.

Commodities fell on worries that trade friction could slow global growth, with Brent crude futures giving up the previous day’s gains to drop 1.2 percent. Copper on the London Metal Exchange lost 0.9 percent, paring a 1.4 percent gain from the previous session.  WTI and Brent crude futures are trading with losses of over 1% this morning, largely following last nights API report which showed a wider than expected build in crude inventories (5.7mln vs. Exp. 2.7mln). As such, WTI initially traded south of the USD 62/bbl level, with Brent briefly below USD 65/bbl before reclaiming the levels. Elsewhere, gold has been trading relatively sideways throughout the morning, having pared its gap higher overnight after initial support from reports of Cohn’s resignation. Good news out of Australia, which reported record high iron ore exports from Port Hedland (largest iron ore loadings port in Australia).

Bulletin Headline Summary From RanSquawk

  • White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn is to resign and is expected to leave in next few weeks
  • Asian stocks and to a lesser extent their EU counterparts, were seen lower on the news as fears continue to
  • mount over ‘trade-wars’
  • Looking ahead, highlights include US ADP, BoC rate decision, DoEs, Fed’s Bostic, and Dudley

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 1% to 2,697.75
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 370.55
  • MSCI Asia Pacific down 0.6% to 174.05
  • MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan down 0.6% to 570.66
  • Nikkei down 0.8% to 21,252.72
  • Topix down 0.7% to 1,703.96
  • Hang Seng Index down 1% to 30,196.92
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.6% to 3,271.67
  • Sensex down 0.8% to 33,049.36
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1% to 5,901.99
  • Kospi down 0.4% to 2,401.82
  • German 10Y yield fell 0.8 bps to 0.667%
  • Euro up 0.09% to $1.2415
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 0.6 bps to 1.729%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 4.2 bps to 1.449%
  • Brent Futures down 1.2% to $65.03/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,332.27
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.06% to 89.57

Top Headline News from BBG

  • Gary Cohn’s absence will amplify voices like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and trade adviser Peter Navarro who back the president’s impulses to buck convention and pick trade fights on a global stage
  • The import taxes U.S. is considering would affect companies that help fuel the about $450 billion in Chinese goods imported to America annually. But Chinese manufacturers won’t be the only ones hurt in a trade war, as their close relationships as suppliers to American brands will likely create a ripple effect
  • China’s foreign currency holdings decreased for the first time in more than a year, as rising U.S. Treasury yields weighed on valuations
  • President Donald Trump signaled he’s open to talks with North Korea, even as his advisers expressed skepticism that Kim Jong Un is serious about suspending his nuclear weapons program and engaging in real negotiations.
  • The Trump administration is considering clamping down on Chinese investments in the U.S. and imposing tariffs on a broad range of its imports to punish Beijing for its alleged theft of intellectual property, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said more confidence on inflation warrants gradual interest-rate hikes; suggests tailwinds could speed pace of Fed rate hikes.
  • Opponents of Brexit are looking into whether Britain could postpone its exit from the European Union to give lawmakers and voters more time to weigh up whether they really want to leave.

Asian stocks were mostly lower as US political discord took the limelight once again after reports that National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn is to resign amid tariff disagreements. This latest high-profile and ‘market- friendly’ White House departure dampened the risk appetite and weighed on US equity futures in which Emini S&P gapped lower by about 1% and DJIA futures saw losses of nearly 400 points. ASX 200 (-1.0%) underperformed with sentiment also dragged by weaker than expected GDP figures, while Nikkei 225 (-0.8%) was choppy and briefly found reprieve, before a firmer JPY ultimately weighed. Elsewhere, Shanghai Comp. (-0.6%) and Hang Seng (-1.0%) initially outperformed despite reports US may consider broad curbs on Chinese imports and takeovers, as well as news that ‘China hawk’ Peter Navarro was among the top 2 candidates to replace Cohn as Trump’s top economic adviser. However, gains in Chinese money market rates eventually proved to be the deciding factor and tipped bourses into the red. Finally, 10yr JGBs pared the opening safe-haven inflows to return flat, amid a similar indecisive risk tone in Japanese stocks and following an unchanged BoJ Rinban purchase announcement. PBoC skipped open market operations, but later announced CNY 105.5bln 1yr MLF operation.

Top Asian News

  • Malaysia Central Bank Holds Benchmark Rate as Inflation Eases
  • China Stocks Retreat as Volatility Intensifies on Trade Concerns
  • China’s FX Reserves Snap Yearlong Rising Streak on Valuations
  • Widodo Clears Hurdle for Indonesia to Set Domestic Coal Price

The European cash open took the negative lead from Asia with most major bourses in the red, albeit losses have been pared throughout the session after the departure of NEC Director Cohn spooked investors as the US trade policy may be steered further into protectionist territory while reports from a US administration official stated that White House adviser Peter Navarro and commentator Larry Kudlow are the top two candidates to replace Gary Cohn. Asia-Pacific stocks reacted with a decline across the board.  FTSE 100 (+0.1%) outperforming, supported by a weaker sterling. The materials sector is underperforming, pressured by the fall in commodity prices fuelled by US API crude stocks printing a build more than twice as expected. Rolls-Royce (+12.8%) outperforming on the back of strong earnings. Smurfit Kappa (+3.3%) after US based International Papers confirmed its EUR 8bln offer to the company which was then rejected as an “opportunistic” takeover bid. Telecom Italia (-0.2%) is trading in a choppy fashion after company CEO stated the joint venture with Vivendi’s Canal+ will be put on hold.

Top European News

  • U.K. House Price Growth Slows to Four-Year Low, Halifax says
  • Europe’s Populist Godfather Suddenly Has a Fight on His Hands

In FX, USDJPY and USDCHFto a lesser extent, continues to provide the clearest if not best barometer of broad risk sentiment and the headline pair’s latest retreat from 106.00+ levels highlights the resurgence of aversion prompted by the US President’s import tariff plans. The failure to extend gains on conciliatory gestures from North Korea on the nuclear front to and beyond a key upside Fib just ahead of 106.50 is deemed to be bearish in terms of the technical outlook, while the departure of chief White House economic adviser Cohn is widely perceived as negative from the global trade wars perspective given his more temperate approach towards protectionist policies. 105.50 bids/support now being tested again, and the 2018 low around 105.25 is back on the radar ahead of reportedly big barriers at 105.00. Usd/Chf is sitting roughly in the middle of 0.9400-0.9350 parameters, and the pseudo safe-haven Eur is looking to climb further above 1.2400 vs the Greenback, while eclipsing its previous ytd base against the still Brexit-weighted Gbp to circa 0.8965 (having breached 0.8950 resistance more convincingly). Back to G10 majors, and it’s all change again for the commodity bloc that has reversed gains vs their US Dollar counterpart. Usd/Cad has rebounded over 1.2900 with the Loonie underperforming on the tariff proposals and NAFTA ahead of the BoC policy meeting, which is now even more likely to underscore the need for caution. Aud/Usd is pivoting around 0.7800 after mixed Aussie GDP data overnight and Nzd/Usd is back below 0.7300 as the Aud/Nzd cross holds above 1.0700 in wake of the latest GDT auction showing a dip in prices.

In commodities, WTI and Brent crude futures are trading with losses of over 1% this morning, largely following last nights API report which showed a wider than expected build in crude inventories (5.7mln vs. Exp. 2.7mln). As such, WTI initially traded south of the USD 62/bbl level, with Brent briefly below USD 65/bbl before reclaiming the levels. Elsewhere, gold has been trading relatively sideways throughout the morning, having pared its gap higher overnight after initial support from reports of Cohn’s resignation. Good news out of Australia, which reported record high iron ore exports from Port Hedland (largest iron ore loadings port in Australia). US API Crude Stocks (Mar 2) 5.661M vs. Exp. 2.700M

US Event Calendar

  • 7am: MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 2.7%
  • 8:15am: ADP Employment Change, est. 200,000, prior 234,000
  • 8:30am: Nonfarm Productivity, est. -0.1%, prior -0.1%; Unit Labor Costs, est. 2.1%, prior 2.0%
  • 8:30am: Trade Balance, est. $55.0b deficit, prior $53.1b deficit
  • 2pm: U.S. Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book
  • 3pm: Consumer Credit, est. $17.7b, prior $18.4b

Central Banks

  • 8am: Fed’s Bostic Speaks on the Economic Outlook
  • 8:20am: Fed’s Dudley Speaks in Puerto Rico
  • 2pm: U.S. Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

It all feels a bit 2017 this morning with the two main stories from the past 24 hours revolving around President Trump and North Korea. The big difference now though is that markets appear to be at least hoping that Kim Jong Un’s statement about potentially giving up nuclear weapons has some legs to it, while Trump’s war of words about tariffs doesn’t, although as you’ll see below the news overnight that Gary Cohn is to step down from his role as an economic advisor and also that Trump is considering broad curbs on Chinese imports and investments following an investigation into China intellectual property practices suggests otherwise.

We’ll come to that shortly, but first with regards to North Korea, headlines struck the wires at just after 11am GMT yesterday morning suggesting that North Korea is open to denuclearizing so long as the country’s safety can be guaranteed. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un will now meet with South Korea President Moon Jae-in at the end of April to discuss the matter. President Moon Jae-in’s office released a statement saying that “North Korea has clearly expressed its intention for denuclearization on the Korea peninsular, and if there is no military threat, and North Korea’s regime security is promised, they have clarified that there is no reason to hold nuclear weapons”.

President Trump responded by telling reporters that “they seem to be acting positively” and that ”I’d like to be optimistic”. He also suggested that the US would be open to talks with North Korea although Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, also added that he was “quite sceptical” and that he was doubtful that this was any sort of breakthrough. After initially starting on the front foot the S&P 500 then ebbed and flowed for much of the session – not helped by some soft corporate earnings numbers in the consumer sector – before eventually ending +0.26% by the closing bell. That’s actually the first <0.50% move up or down since February 22nd.

Meanwhile 10y Treasury yields bounced as much as 4bps from the intraday lows before falling again into the close to finish more or less unchanged at 2.886%. Core European bond markets were broadly 2-3bps higher in yield while BTPs actually rose 7bps from the lows at one stage. The Greenback was weaker versus pretty much all currencies with EM currencies in particular the big winner.

That generally positive sentiment in markets was also attributed to some of the pushback of Trump’s tariff talk from his own administration and party, however that optimism is fading this morning. Initially it started with House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday night, then yesterday Gary Cohn (an economic advisor to the White House) called on executives from major US companies to meet with the President this week with a view to persuading Trump to back down. However late last night news emerged that Cohn is to resign from his role as Trump’s economic advisor, suggesting that Trump is leaning heavily towards some form of protectionist measures. Needless to say that Cohn’s resignation also leaves further question marks around Trump’s economic agenda. On a similar note, overnight, news has also emerged that Trump is considering further measures, specifically for China imports and investments, supposedly following theft of intellectual property rights. An investigation by the US Trade Representative’s office into China’s intellectual property practices is expected in the coming weeks.

So it feels like these stories have some way to run yet and it’s worth noting that yesterday we also saw the EU respond to Trump’s threats by imposing some of their own, namely putting punitive tariffs on imports of US products including Harley-Davidson, Levi Strauss and Kentucky bourbon. So already some signs of tit for tat but the China developments is not to be underestimated as the investigation has been an issue which has somewhat flown under the radar for markets so far.

This morning in Asia the tone in markets has noticeably shifted following those overnight developments. The Nikkei (-0.80%), Hang Seng (-0.67%), Shanghai Comp (-0.16%) and ASX (-1.01%) are all lower as we go to print, while S&P 500 futures are down over 1%. 10y Treasury yields have also rallied back 3.7bps while bond markets in Asia more generally are stronger. The USD has also continued to weaken (-0.15%) with safe havens like the Yen (+0.49%) and Swiss Franc (+0.34%) stronger.

Staying with politics for now, on this continent markets have quickly accepted that Italy’s political stalemate is likely  to drag on for some time. Indeed if you wanted evidence that the market is not particularly concerned then look no further than the 10y BTP-Bund spread which now at 132bps (4bps tighter yesterday) and pretty much back to Friday’s pre-election level. Keep in mind that it was as wide as 212bps last year in April at one stage. The FTSE MIB bounced back strongly yesterday, notching up a +1.75% gain which was the strongest since February 14th and which also pushed the index back into positive territory YTD.

The DAX (+0.19%) and Stoxx 600 (+0.13%) also finished higher, despite fading a bit, although still remain in the red YTD. It’s worth noting that there was a story yesterday which attracted a bit of attention on Bloomberg suggesting that a rebellion within Renzi’s ruling Democratic Party could support a 5SM led government so it’s worth seeing if that has any legs.

Moving on. While politics continues to dominate the main stories at the moment, central banks should come back to the forefront from Thursday with the ECB and then Friday with the BoJ. In the meantime we’ve also had some  Fedspeak to digest with the Dallas Fed’s Kaplan (neutral/non-voter) yesterday speaking live on CNBC. He reiterated that 3 rate hikes is appropriate in 2018 but also that “I think we should get started sooner rather than later”. He also highlighted that the US economy is “either at or beyond full employment now” and so therefore a gradual pace of hikes is necessary. Kaplan was also asked a question about Trump’s tariffs threats although had a fairly straight bat approach response, saying that “our trading relationship with Canada and Mexico is critical to US competitiveness and US jobs”. Overnight we’ve also heard from the Fed’s Brainard, with her tone sounding a bit more upbeat than usual.  Specifically she said that “stronger tailwinds may help re-anchor inflation expectations at the symmetric 2%  objective” and that “with greater confidence in achieving the inflation target, continued gradual increases in the federal funds rate are likely to be appropriate”.

Here in the UK, the most significant Brexit news yesterday was comments from DUP leader Arlene Foster following a meeting with the EU’s Michal Barnier. Foster said that the current draft “has omissions and overreaches” and that there will therefore “be a need to negotiate”. So expect this to rumble on despite time clearly not being on the UK’s side.

Switching to the data now, yesterday’s releases were a bit of an afterthought but for completeness, in the US January factory orders printed at -1.4% mom which was bang in line with the consensus, while final durable and capital goods orders for the same month were revised up one-tenth to -3.6% mom and down one-tenth to -0.3% mom. There was no data of note in Europe yesterday.

To the day ahead now. The highlight this morning in Europe should be the final revision to Q4 GDP (consensus for no change to +0.6% qoq) along with the various growth components. Away from that we’ll get February house price  data in the UK and the January trade balance in France. This afternoon in the US the most notable release should be the February ADP employment change report which is generally seen as a bit of a precursor for payrolls. The  consensus is for a 200k print while our US economists are slightly below that at 175k. Also due out are the final Q4 revisions for nonfarm productivity and unit labour costs, along with January consumer credit. The Fed is also due to release the Beige Book in the evening. The Fed’s Bostic will also speak this afternoon at 1.00pm GMT on the economic outlook while the Fed’s Dudley is scheduled to speak at 1.20pm GMT although his speech is expected to concern the status of hurricane recovery efforts in the Caribbean. Finally keep an eye on Brexit related headlines once again with ambassadors from all EU countries (except the UK) due to meet in Brussels to hold their first meeting on draft guidelines between the EU and UK.

end

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)WEDNESDAY MORNING/LATE TUESDAY NIGHT: Shanghai closed DOWN 17.97 POINTS OR 0.55% /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 313.81 POINTS OR 1.03% / The Nikkei closed DOWN 165.04 POINTS OR 0.77%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.93%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.3196/Oil DOWN to 62.18 dollars per barrel for WTI and 65.22 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED DEEPLY IN THE RED  .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AT 6.3196 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.3175 /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING STRONGER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING MUCH STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR . CHINA IS NOT VERY  HAPPY TODAY (STRONGER CURRENCY BUT LOUSY CHINESE MARKETS AND GLOBAL MARKETS/ ) 

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

/NORTH KOREA

end
 

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

c) REPORT ON CHINA

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

Snyder writes that Italy is doomed due to the advance in the euroskeptic parties.

(courtesy Jeffrey Snyder/Alhambra Investment Partners)

8. EMERGING MARKET

 end

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

Euro/USA 1.2420 UP .0005/ 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 RED  

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 WEDNESDAY 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 DOWN 17.97  OR 0.55% /   Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 313.81 POINTS OR 1.03%  /AUSTRALIA CLOSED DOWN 0.93% / EUROPEAN BOURSES DEEPLY  IN THE RED 

The NIKKEI: this WEDNESDAY morning CLOSED DOWN 165.04 POINTS OR 0.77%

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

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 313.81 POINTS OR 1.03%  / SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 17.97 OR 0.55%   /

Australia BOURSE CLOSED DOWN 0.93% /

Nikkei (Japan)CLOSED DOWN 165.04 POINTS OR 0.77%

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE RED (BANKING SCANDAL)

Gold very early morning trading: 1331.90

silver:$16.69

Early WEDNESDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.844% !!! DOWN 6  IN POINTS from TUESDAY night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%. (POLICY FED ERROR)/ 

The 30 yr bond yield 3.122 DOWN 2  IN BASIS POINTS from TUESDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

USA dollar index early TUESDAY morning: 89.51 DOWN 11  CENT(S) from TUESDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers WEDNESDAY MORNING

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And now your closing WEDNESDAY NUMBERS \1 PM

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.859% DOWN 6  in basis point(s) yield from TUESDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.0.050% DOWN 3/5    in basis points yield from TUESDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.454% DOWN 4  IN basis point yield from TUESDAY/

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.955 DOWN 4 POINTS in basis point yield from TUESDAY/

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 50 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: FALLS TO +.655%   IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY

END

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IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR WEDNESDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.2397 DOWN .0019 (Euro DOWN 19 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 105.95 UP 0.374 Yen DOWN 37 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3885 DOWN .0014( POUND DOWN 14 BASIS POINTS)

USA/Canada 1.2991 UP  .0043 Canadian dollar DOWN 43 Basis points AS OIL FELL TO $61.61

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This afternoon, the Euro was DOWN 19 to trade at 1.2397

The Yen FELL to 105.95 for a LOSS of 37 Basis points as NIRP is STILL a big failure for the Japanese central bank/HELICOPTER MONEY IS NOW DELAYED/BANK OF JAPAN NOW WORRIED AS AS THEY ARE RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY AS BOND YIELDS RISE

The POUND FELL BY 14 basis points, trading at 1.3885/

The Canadian dollar FELL by 43 basis points to 1.2991/ WITH WTI OIL FALLING TO : $61.61

The USA/Yuan closed AT 6.3254
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.050%  DOWN 3/5 BASIS POINTS / yield/
Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield DOWN 0 IN basis points from TUESDAY at 2.8660% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.135  DOWN 0    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, 89.72 UP 11 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 WEDNESDAY: 1:00 PM EST

London: CLOSED UP 11.09 POINTS OR 0.16%
German Dax :CLOSED UP 131.49 POINTS OR 1.09%
Paris Cac CLOSED UP 17.60 POINTS OR 0.34%
Spain IBEX CLOSED UP 12.54 POINTS OR 0.13%

Italian MIB: CLOSED  UP 270.97 POINTS OR 1.22%

The Dow closed DOWN 82.76 POINTS OR 0.33%

NASDAQ WAS up 24.64 Points OR 0.33% 4.00 PM EST (short squeeze)

WTI Oil price; 61.61 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 64.33 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS: 56.92 DOWN 26/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE HIGHER BY 26 BASIS PTS)

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD FALLS TO +.655% FOR THE 10 YR BOND 1.00 PM EST EST

END

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

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

WTI CRUDE OIL PRICE 4:30 PM:$61.33

BRENT: $64.50

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.880%   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: 1.2415 DOWN .0001  (DOWN 1 BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:106.08 UP 0.498/ YEN DOWN 50 BASIS POINTS/ very dangerous as yen carry traders are getting killed/yen continues to rise despite the NYSE rising.

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 89.58 DOWN 4 cent(s)/dangerous as the lower the dollar the higher the inflation.

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.3908: UP 0.0004  (FROM LAST NIGHT UP 4 POINTS)

Canadian dollar: 1.2901 DOWN 47 BASIS pts

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +0.655%


VOLATILITY INDEX:  17.76  CLOSED  down   0.60

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.05%  

END

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

Carve-Outs’ Rescue Stocks From Cohn Carnage

Cohn’s out… but all is well…

Overnight saw stocks plunge on Gary Cohn resignation headlines, stagger some more on weak macro data, bounce on “good” news that Navarro was not ‘on the list’, only to be rescued by Sarah Sanders telling reporters that ‘carve-outs’ were possible from Trump’s tariffs… But as soon as The Dow filled its gap and S&P inched green, sellers re-appeared…

Dow managed to fill its gap before tumbling into the close…

Bank stocks were initially disappointed by Cohn’s departure but soon got over it (though Goldman underperformed)…

VIX was pushed lower again as all major US equity vols were systemically sold after Europe closed…

Treasury yields ended marginally lower on the day but traded in a narrow range once again…

And overall, 10Y yields managed to almost get back to unch this afternoon…

Notably Breakevens lagged yields today but snapped higher (along with stocks) after Sander’s “carve out” comment…

The Dollar Index limped back to unchanged after some modest gains early on…

At around 11ET, cryptos carnaged lower today…

with Bitcoin battered back below $10k on massive volume…

Commodities were all lower today (despite the dollar ending unch) and we note the jump in PMs on the Cohn headlines soon after the close…

Interestingly, the dollar and gold fell together in the afternoon as stocks were ramped…

WTI/RBOB sank on inventory and production data…

Gold continues to lead post-Trump-Tariff-Tantrum but stocks were ramping hard today…

 END

Today’s cartoon, by Paul Noth:

 
END
Gary Cohn resigns!!
Possible replacements: Larry Kudlow (heaven help us), Jason Miller or David Urban
Markets should undergo huge turmoil
(courtesy zerohedge)

Gary Cohn Resigns

The great power shift we predicted  one week ago, was just confirmed by the NYT which reported that Gary Cohn, former Goldman president and COO and President Trump’s top economic adviser, is resigning, “the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the Trump administration, White House officials said on Tuesday.”

President Trump has confirmed Cohn’s departure: “Gary has been my chief economic advisor and did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again. He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”

Cohn also issued a statement: “It has been an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies…I am grateful to the president for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the administration great success in the future.”

According to the NYT, officials insisted “there was no single factor behind the departure of Mr. Cohn” but his decision to leave came after he seemed poised to lose an internal struggle amid a Wild West-style process over Mr. Trump’s plan to impose large tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

This is the same “power struggle” we described with the following tweet:

That said, there may have been more: according to CNBC’s Eamon Javers, there was more than just the tariffs decision:

White House officials told me this afternoon that IF Gary Cohn leaves it won’t only be because of the tariff decision. They were clearly laying the groundwork for this news.

Cohn’s former boss and current Goldman CEO, Blankfein said that he was disappointed to see Cohn leave: “Gary Cohn deserves credit for serving his country in a first class way.  I’m sure I join many others who are disappointed to see him leave.”

Gary Cohn deserves credit for serving his country in a first class way. I’m sure I join many others who are disappointed to see him leave.

Cohn is expected to leave in the coming weeks. He will join a string of recent departures by senior White House officials, including Trump’s communications director and a powerful staff secretary.

Also note that Trump is not stopping with Cohn: according to the NYT, “The resignation also followed conversations Mr. Cohn held with the president in recent weeks about the possibility of replacing John F. Kelly as White House chief of staff, said people who were briefed on the matter. The president never formally offered Mr. Cohn the job, those people insisted, but Mr. Trump had discussions with him about whether he would be interested.”

* * *

So who will replace Cohn? According to Citi, “Larry Kudlow, Jason Miller and David Urban are said to be on the shortlist.”

It is likely that Cohn will still be allowed to keep the $284 million in tax-free proceeds  he unlocked by leaving Goldman and joining the Trump admin for just over a year.

One thing that is certain is that Cohn’s departure confirms that a worldwide trade war is about to break out, and is a good enough reason to reread the following article from this morning: “What If Trump Does Not Back Down, And Why Is “$1 Trillion” Being Floated Around Washington?”

Confirming that, Axios reports that Trump has canceled the Thursday tariff meeting that Cohn had arranged with various anti-tariff CEOs.

*  *  *

I kneejerk reaction, USDJPY and US equities have tumbled following news of the Cohn resignation

And S&P 500 ETF is down 1%…

 END
the trade war with China begins and it is nuclear:  the uSA is considering broad curbs on Chinese imports as well as stop their investments in the uSA.  The Americans have stated that China will pay for stealing USA intellectual property.
let the games begin…
(courtesy zerohedge)

Trade Wars Set To Go Nuclear: US Considering Broad Curbs On Chinese Imports

First thing this morning, when the market was surging and inexplicably rejoicing in the certainty that Trump would back down on tariffs, a nagging feeling that this was all wrong prompted us to ask “What If Trump Does Not Back Down“, and to follow it up with a troubling rumor from Strategas, namely that this is all about China, and would involve a massive amount of tariffs, to wit:

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.

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 trillion. Here 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 markets. We 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.

This afternoon, with the unexpected resignation of Gary Cohn, this was partially confirmed, however the full confirmation that it was indeed, all about China, came moments after the Cohn news, when Bloomberg reported that the Trump administration is considering clamping down on Chinese investments in the U.S. by slapping tariffs on a broad range of its imports in response to alleged intellectual-property theft, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. actions would result from the U.S. Trade Representative’s 301 investigation into China IP practices, and will hardly be a surprise now that Trump’s chief trade advisor is Peter Navarro, author of such books as “Death by China” and “Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World”

As Bloomberg adds, under the most severe scenario being considered, the U.S. could impose tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports, from shoes to consumer electronics.

Additionally, the White House could combine the tariffs with restrictions on Chinese investments in the U.S., which are reviewed for national-security risks by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., the Bloomberg sources said. The U.S. is also considering a more targeted approach that would seek to rein in Chinese investments

Furthermore, the White House is looking at ways to enforce reciprocity with China on foreign investment, meaning the U.S. would only allow takeovers in sectors that U.S. companies can access in China.

There is still a chance that a trade mushroom cloud could be avoided: officials told Bloomberg that they are still examining various options, and USTR could decide to do nothing.

However, when the announcement is made, sometime in April, we doubt it will be nothing. In fact, we are quite confident that when the dust settles, Beijing will be quite furious at Washington

end

Early trading:  why the Cohn resignation is far worse than markets think!!

a must read…

(courtesy Mark Cudmore)

Trader: “Cohn’s Resignation Is Far Worse Than Markets Think”

With the S&P down some 25 points and the Dow Jones set to open nearly 350 points lower, one can argue that the market response to Gary Cohn’s resignation has been somewhat exaggerated.

Others, however, like Bloomberg macro commentator and former Lehman trader, Marc Cudmore, claim this morning that the market reaction to Gary Cohn’s resignation as Trump’s top economic adviser has been “surprisingly resilient.”

The reason is that Cohn’s resignation is far worse than the market seems to think, and is why Cudmore is convinced that the market’s contained response “won’t sustain” and that “equity markets will suffer more in the days ahead.”

He explains why in his latest macro view.

Cohn Resignation Is Worse Than Markets Seem to Think: Macro View

The market reaction to Gary Cohn’s resignation as Trump’s top economic adviser has been surprisingly resilient. That won’t sustain.

The bullish interpretation would be to focus on global equities largely taking this news in their stride. Sure, there have been pullbacks, but there’s no sign of broad panic and no hint that it portends a worse environment to come. Such complacency is a mistake.

The multitude of ways this is bad for markets hasn’t yet been fully processed, partially due to the timing. When the news broke, most U.S. traders were in the bar or on their way home, while European investors were fast asleep.

Cohn’s resignation suggests Trump is prioritizing his trade war over any potential negative reaction from U.S. stocks, whose performance he has previously treated as a reliable barometer of his success and appeal.

Combined with threats of broader measures against China and talk of European retaliation, this is worrying for global trade and hence damaging for global growth. Emerging markets, relatively complacent so far, may be particularly vulnerable.

The negative impacts won’t stop there, though. The U.S. financial industry sector just lost its key ally in the administration, which can erode confidence for that sector and beyond into the wider economy.

The whole Trump administration is undermined by yet another high-profile departure. And it’s widened the rift between the president and senior Republicans.

Sure, we have no idea exactly how this will play out. And yes, it may all eventually be seen as a storm in teacup. But that’s a potential narrative for a few weeks time. Cohn quitting has effectively released the handbrake on escalating trade tensions.

For now, there can be no conviction about where this will stop. And uncertainty breeds contempt toward adding to risk. Equity markets will suffer more in the days ahead.

end

Wall Street reacts to the departure of Cohen:

(courtesy zerohedge)

“The Last Jedi Has Fallen”: Wall Street Reacts To Cohn’s Departure

As we highlighted first thing this morning, there has been no shortage of opinions about what Gary Cohn’s departure from the White House (after just one very lucrative year, which allowed Gary to cash out tax free on over $280 million in Goldman deferred comp) will mean for both markets and Trump policy going forward. And while many differ on the margins, the collective agreement is that “political moderate” Gary Cohn’s resignation confirms the ascendancy of the “protectionists”, “populists” and “anti-globalists” in Trump’s circle of influence (first noted here 2 weeks ago), such as Peter Navarro and Wilbur Ross.

Courtesy of Bloomberg, here is a rundown of some of the most vocal views this morning from Wall Street analysts, investors and traders.

‘The last Jedi’, from Citi’s Fraser King

“While heavily-trailed in the press, the market is still mourning the sudden departure of Gary Cohn, the White House’s ‘lonely democrat’ – seen by some as the final bastion of tariff-free international trade. Alas, now the last Jedi has fallen, Trade Wars and a galaxy far, far away now all seems an awful lot closer than before.”

‘Voice of Reason’, from Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS Wealth Management:

“The departure signals the defeat of anti-protectionism, or reduces the influence of anti-protectionism.”

“Any tax on trade, in any country, means consumers are going to be purchasing goods they would not chose to buy, at prices that are higher than they should have to pay, to subsidize less efficient companies.”

‘Most Meaningful’,from Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading Institutional Services:

“Of all the Trump administration resignations, this will be the one most meaningful for markets.”

“Cohn was the administration official financial markets had the most confidence in. This opens the environment up to whole new wave of uncertainty. The likelihood of a trade war just jumped dramatically.”

‘Treasury Tremors’,from Rabobank strategists led by Richard McGuire:

“We would challenge the oft-cited view that protectionism is bearish for USTs as it promises higher import costs (and, thus, inflation) while also portending a possible divesture of U.S. debt by China in retaliation.”

“We would instead argue that higher import costs, in representing a negative supply shock will ultimately weigh on demand. Tit-for-tat trade measures, meanwhile, point to lower world trade volumes which, in turn, promises lower global growth.”

Retaliation Risk. from Ben Emons, chief economist at Intellectus Partners LLC:

“Not only countries may retaliate, reciprocal trade is not a 1 for 1 trade, especially when tariffs are placed on high quality/low cost foreign goods that are a benefit to the domestic consumer.”

“The favorable global synchronization theme from 2017 is morphing into a de-synchronizing theme that can impact markets negatively.”

Faith in Earnings, from James Soutter, a fund manager at K2 Asset Management Ltd. in Melbourne:

“Markets will see this as another negative in the Trump presidency and will move lower on the news in the short term, but this doesn’t have an impact on the broader earnings growth story that equities are experiencing.”

‘More Chaos’, from Alan Patricof, a venture capitalist and managing director of Greycroft LLC who had backed Hillary Clinton against Trump:

“We need a grown up in the White House, that’s the problem, and it gets worse every day,” with the latest news indicating “more chaos.”

“The market doesn’t like uncertainty, the market doesn’t like surprises. All we’ve gotten for the last 15 months is surprises, and yet the market went up. At some point the market has got to be spooked by the fact that they just don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

“I feel it so many times — I Tweet it myself — this is it we’ve hit the inflection point. But “the market defies me, then we get another crazy move.” But this time, “Gary Cohn has been a grown up in the White House, and now he’s gone.”

‘Bark vs Bite‘, from Terry Haines, a managing director at Evercore ISI:

The narrative will be that protectionists “will be in the ascendant” and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, “the lone remaining ‘free trader,’ will be in eclipse.” Even so, “there is more bark than bite in the Trump protectionist story line of the last few days.”

“Investors should understand the Cohn departure as the end of his influence in a difficult White House, but not to overreact to it.”

‘Rates Impact?’from Michael McCarthy, Sydney-based chief strategist at CMC Markets Asia Pacific.

“It’s clear at the moment the markets are likely to price the worst-case scenario on tariffs. “Markets are very concerned about the impact on global growth,” given the “potential for tit-for-tat” protectionist moves in the wake of Europe’s retaliation threat following the move on U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.

“Higher interest rates could be off the table if this does escalate.”

‘Brutal’ Worries, from Johan Jooste, chief investment officer at Bank of Singapore Ltd.:

The really important next thing is how do other countries react to this. If the response is fairly brutal, if it’s really strong, without Cohn there you’d imagine the White House reacts in kind. Then we get into the kind of thing the market is probably now starting to discount as a greater probability, which is not a good outcome for stocks.”

‘Grandstanding Behavior’, from Nader Naeimi, head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors Ltd.:

“I view this as grandstanding behavior by Mr. Trump, with the aim to have more negotiating cards in his deck.”

“In markets, we are closer to a durable low than we were after the first leg down in markets in early February.”

end

It begins;  Trump to sign the import tariffs tomorrow.  We will see any country exclusions, if any, tomorrow

(courtesy zero hedge)

Trump To Sign Import Tariffs Tomorrow: Report

With Cohn out, it became clear over the past 24 hours that Trump was not bluffing with the steel and aluminum trade tariffs, contrary to the market’s rosy assumptions, and the only question was “when” will Trump officially sign the proclamation.

We got a hint earlier today, when White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reports that “we are still on pace for an announcement on that at the end of this week.”

Then moments ago, Axios reported, citing two senior admin officials, that Trump wants to sign the proclamation on steel and aluminum tariffs tomorrow, although it hedges that “still going thru legal process so nothing certain.” As Axios adds, “Trump is impatient and he wants to act — or at least be seen as acting. He got fed up with staff, especially Gary Cohn and Rob Porter, not giving him his tariffs on steel and aluminum. And some of Trump’s nationalist-minded advisers are telling him these tariffs will help turn out voters in the upcoming special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district.”

On the other hand, “these days — and in this White House — nothing is set in stone. Besides, the White House lawyers have been working overtime on these tariffs and sources tell me nothing is certain when it comes to timing.”

What to watch from tomorrow’s proclamation, per Axios:

  • Are any countries exempted? If not, this is a global 25% tariff on steel, and 10% on aluminum.
  • What, if any, steel and aluminum products are exempted? Past proclamations have listed specific products for targeted tariffs, but they were on different grounds than this round.
  • What does the post-tariff exclusion process look like? How do they handle the potential exemptions for specific products or countries after the fact?

Finally, a quick look at the proclamation process.

  • The Trump administration used a proclamation earlier this year when it slapped restrictions on Chinese solar panels.
  • Most proclamations imposing tariffs — like Trump’s move against Chinese solar, Obama’s 2009 Chinese tire tariffs, or Bush’s 2002 steel tariffs — are highly-detailed documents based on government trade reports.
  • They also tend to run through the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), but this round will not because they’re using Wilbur Ross’ Section 232 report, citing national security grounds.
  • This one is different: 232 is rarely invoked, but one example is Ronald Reagan’s use of 232 in 1982, when he cited national security grounds for ending oil imports from Libya.

Finally, at the same time as the unconfirmed report hit, Trump tweeted that “we must act soon”, noting that “China has been asked to develop a plan for the year of a One Billion Dollar reduction in their massive Trade Deficit with the United States

China has been asked to develop a plan for the year of a One Billion Dollar reduction in their massive Trade Deficit with the United States. Our relationship with China has been a very good one, and we look forward to seeing what ideas they come back with. We must act soon!

end

Stocks rise after the White House says that Mexico and Canada may be exempt from tariffs

(courtesy zerohedge)

Stocks Spike After White House Says Mexico, Canada May Be Exempt From Tariffs

As previously reported, NYT confirms that President Trump is expected to formally sign off on imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports at noon on Thursday, although “advisers close to the White House emphasized that the timing could change.”

The tariffs, however, would not go into effect immediately, however, with a two-week implementation period required under the statue that gives the president authority to impose the measures. That could give countries or companies a chance to submit input and try to sway the administration’s plan, according to the people familiar with the deliberations.

However, more notably, both the loonie and peso moved sharply, with the USDCAD dipping from 1.2960 to 1.2920 and USDMXN, 18.7860 towards 18.7300, following comments from Sarah Sanders that potential carveouts for Mexico and Canada are being discussed, which again echoes what President Trump said yesterday.

As some noted, however, Sanders did seem to strike a more conciliatory tone in saying that tariff plans will be executed on a “country by country basis” considering national security (which investors take to mean allies).

NEW: Press Sec. Sanders says Pres. Trump expected to “sign something by the end of the week” on tariffs, says some countries will have potential carve outs based on national security. http://abcn.ws/2D7UvXN 

The news that some allies may be exempt also helped push stocks higher on the day.

 end

Morning data

The USA trade deficit climbs to 55.6 billion dollars in the month of January with the core trade deficit (ex Petroleum) at an all time time.  The trade deficit with China was 35.5 billion dollars, the trade deficit with Mexico: 5.6 billion dollars and Canada at only a deficit of 1.5 billion dollars.  This will no doubt fuel Trump in full tariff mode against China.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Fuel For The Fire: US Trade Deficit Surges, Ex-Petroleum At All Time High

Coming at a time of heightened trade tensions and fears of an imminent trade war, for once every trader was looking at this morning’s international trade report to see if it will pour more fuel on the trade war fire. It did, because according to the BEA, in January the US trade deficit surged 5% to $56.6 BN from $53.9BN in December, worse than the $55.0BN expected, and the biggest deficit going back to 2008.

In January, imports were little changed in Jan. at $257.51b from $257.51b in Dec, while exports fell 1.3% in Jan. to $200.91b from $203.61b in December.

The report came just hours after Trump once again slammed the US trade deficit, tweeting that “From Bush 1 to present, our Country has lost more than 55,000 factories, 6,000,000 manufacturing jobs and accumulated Trade Deficits of more than 12 Trillion Dollars. Last year we had a Trade Deficit of almost 800 Billion Dollars. Bad Policies & Leadership. Must WIN again!”

From Bush 1 to present, our Country has lost more than 55,000 factories, 6,000,000 manufacturing jobs and accumulated Trade Deficits of more than 12 Trillion Dollars. Last year we had a Trade Deficit of almost 800 Billion Dollars. Bad Policies & Leadership. Must WIN again!

Looking at the breakdown, first exports:

  • Exports of goods and services decreased $2.7 billion, or 1.3 percent, in January to $200.9 billion. Exports of goods decreased $3.0 billion and exports of services increased $0.3 billion. The decrease in exports of goods mostly reflected decreases in capital goods ($2.6 billion), in industrial supplies and materials ($1.3 billion), and in other goods ($1.0 billion). An increase in consumer goods ($1.2 billion) partly offset the decreases.
  • The largest increase in exports of services was in charges for the use of intellectual property ($0.1 billion). The only decrease was in maintenance and repair services ($0.1 billion)

Then imports:

  • Imports of goods and services decreased less than $0.1 billion, or less than 0.1 percent, in January to $257.5 billion. Imports of goods decreased $0.2 billion and imports of services increased $0.2 billion. The decrease in imports of goods mostly reflected decreases in capital goods ($1.3 billion) and in consumer goods ($0.9 billion). An increase in industrial supplies and materials ($2.0 billion) partly offset the decreases.
  • The largest increase in imports of services was in other business services ($0.2 billion), which includes research and development services; professional and management services; and technical, trade-related, and other services. The largest decrease was in travel (for all purposes including education) ($0.2 billion

Jan. crude oil imports increased to $13.19b from $11.15b last month, representing 74.8% of total petroleum imports, Commerce Dept. said

What was more troubling than the growing headline number deficit, however, is that the “core” US trade balance remained at all time high, or $49.52BN.

Finally, according to the BEA, the January figures showed surpluses with:

  • Hong Kong ($2.6),
  • South and Central America ($2.4),
  • Singapore ($0.9),
  • Brazil ($0.5),
  • and United Kingdom ($0.3).

Meanwhile, deficits were recorded with:

  • China ($35.5),
  • European Union ($15.0),
  • Germany ($6.3),
  • Mexico ($5.6),
  • Japan ($5.6),
  • Italy ($2.8),
  • OPEC ($2.5),
  • India ($1.8),
  • Taiwan ($1.5),
  • Canada ($1.5),
  • South Korea ($1.5),
  • France ($1.4),
  • Saudi Arabia ($0.6).

Of note, the deficit with China increased $1.5 billion to $35.5 billion in January. Exports decreased $1.3 billion to $10.5 billion and imports increased $0.2 billion to $46.0 billion.

The deficit with the European Union decreased $2.1 billion to $15.0 billion in January. Exports decreased $0.4 billion to $24.7 billion and imports decreased $2.5 billion to $39.7 billion.

And while the trade number not only indicates that Q1 GDP estimates are about to be cut below 2.0%, it confirms that a trade war is now more or less assured.

end

Navarro not on the list to replace Cohn:  probable choice Larry Kudlow, a doorknob, but an anti tariff person.  Should be interesting

(courtesy zerohedge)

Navarro Says “Not On List To Replace Gary Cohn”, Stocks Jump

Speaking on Bloomberg TV, Peter Navarro – the man who, following his promotion 2 weeks ago, many believe was responsible for not only Trump’s decision to launch trade wars, but led to the resignation of Gary Cohn – discussed the current White House expertise on economic matters, saying “we have a deep economic bench with lots of points of view”, but more importantly, said that “I’m not on the list to replace Gary Cohn.

Reportedly, that makes Larry Kudlow, long reported by Politico as a potential Cohn replacement, favorite to become Trump’s top economic advisor. What is notable is that Kudlow made several TV appearances yesterday, and told CNBC that he was firmly against trade tariffs.

In response to Navarro’s statement, stocks spiked to session highs, and while the S&P is still down on the day, it has wiped out almost all losses. As some have noted, the market appears to be “hugely relieved” that the biggest trade hardliner has distanced himself from taking the top economic job.

Separately, Navarro also played down the steel and aluminium tariffs as “modest”, reflecting potentially a certain softening of rhetoric from within the White House today. He also pointed out that “everything about the US economy is bullish” and added that the steel and aluminum tariffs are “good for the economy.”

  • *NAVARRO SAYS EVERYTHING ABOUT U.S. ECONOMY IS BULLISH
  • *NAVARRO: METAL TARIFFS ARE GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY
  • *NAVARRO: STEEL, ALUMINUM TARIFFS ARE MODEST

He concluded that it is yet to be determined when Trump signs the tariff orders, although according to the previous report from Axios, that day could come as soon as tomorrow.

END

Atlanta Fed President Bostic warns that trade wars may delay the implementation of rate hikes

(courtesy zerohedge)

Fed President Warns Trade Wars May Delay Rate Hikes

While the Fed had clearly raised its economic outlook since the December FOMC meeting and into 2018 as a result of recent strong wage inflation prints, that may soon change, and not only because the global economic impulse is suddenly slowing fast as shown by the recent drop in the global economic surprise index…

… but mostly as a result of a potential economic slowdown resulting from Trump trade tariffs.

That was the take home message from Atlanta Fed’s (voting) president Raphael Bostic, who suggested that Trump’s trade war could offset any positive boost from the Trump fiscal stimulus.

Speaking to reporters in Florida, Bostic said that “some of the developments with the trade policy has introduced some uncertainty as to how the economy is going to perform, so I am really taking a wait-and-see attitude,’’ Asked whether he was deciding between two or three increases, or three or four, he said,“Everything is on the table.”

His dovish comments followed unexpectedly hawkish comments from none other than one of the Fed biggest heretofore dove, Lael Brainard:

“We would take into account developments if they proved to be material to the outlook,” Brainard told a dinner audience in New York. “It’s early to tell what the broader implications could be, so I see it as an uncertainty, but not something that would materially change my outlook, today.”

Bostic, who in December had favored raising rates just twice this year – making him one of the most dovish members of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee – shifted his projection to three moves. That upgrade was prompted by a $1.5 trillion tax-cut package signed by Trump in December and subsequent government spending agreed by lawmakers. However, he cautioned, a trade war might change the economic picture.

The Atlanta Fed president did say the Fed would have to wait and see what the economic impact might be if tariffs are imposed. He said that protectionism is a negative for the US economy, that “trade wars are not easy and winnable”, and that protectionist policies add uncertainties. He added, “There has not actually been anything done yet.”

“We don’t know which products are going to be pulled into this tariff regime,’’ Bostic said. “Europe has signaled it would hit a whole host of other products that are not aluminum or steel, so there is just no real certainty as to which products are going to be pulled into this. Anyone engaged in any international trade spaces has got to have some concern that they could be part of the story here and be at risk of a changing cost reality.’’

Adding to the dovish sentiment, he also said that he has not seen a burst of productivity that would boost overall
economic growth.

As Bloomberg notes, so far, the Fed has penciled in three moves this year, a number that will be revised later this month. New Fed Chair Powell told Congress last week that headwinds to U.S. growth had become tailwinds, prompting investors to up their bets that he’ll move four times in 2018. But that outlook could be thwarted if U.S. trade partners retaliate against sweeping tariffs on steel and aluminum planned by President Donald Trump.

In a comment published this morning, Oxford Economics said that:

“based on this and previous comments, we look for Bostic to approach future rate hikes with caution. In prior appearances he suggested that he was watching for inflation to pick up to a more sustainable pace nearer the 2% objective, but also that moderate growth was strengthening the labor market further.”

More ominously for the bulls, Bostic said that trade concerns could well result in lower stock priceswhich he described as “through the roof’’ since the election, as investors adjust their profit expectations.

He also warned that “the increase has not been commensurate with an increase in profits or any of those sorts of things,’’ he said, and cautioned that “if the response happens because there is a trade disruption and profitability for a host of sectors changes, then we could see a pretty significant move.’’

Finally, he also commented on Cohn’s resignation, saying it adds to the uncertainty: “I would fully expect it to have an impact,’’ he said. “If you look at the economic team, Cohn played a particular role and connected with a segment of the marketplace that is quite important and quite visible.”

In retrospect, by launching a trade war, Trump may have stumbled on the solution to prolonging the stock rally which will keep his beloved S&P at or near all time highs: after all, the mere hint that Bostic was considering reducing the number of rate hikes due to Trump’s action, sent stocks to session highs. However, judging by the prompt snapback, more Fed president will need to echo Bostic’ assessment that trade wars is just what the bullish market doctor ordered.

END

The following is the key data point that the Fed is looking for:  wage growth and it is at its lowest level in 9 years:

(courtesy zerohedge)

2017 Wage Growth At Lowest In 9 Years

US nonfarm labor costs rose just 0.35% YoY in 2017 – the weakest growth in American worker compensation since 2010…

While the headline revisions to Q4 unit labor costs and productivity were better than expected…

Unit labor costs +2.5% (vs 2.0% exp)…

Q4 productivity was revised up to unchanged from -0.1%…

2017 remains a dismal year for American workers…

end

END

This may have a chance if Rand Paul gets a few democrats in the Senate to vote for it

(courtesy Jay Syrmopolous/TruthinMedia.com)

 

Rand Paul Adds ‘Audit The Fed’ Amendment To Senate Banking Bill

Authored by Jay Syrmopolous via TruthInMedia.com,

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced on March 5 that he will introduce his “Audit the Fed” legislation, which would permit a full audit of the Federal Reserve System, as an amendment to the Senate Banking Bill. The Senate is expected to vote on the Banking Bill, S. 2155 –  officially known as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act— this week.

“While we have made great strides in reviving our economy through curbing overzealous regulation and cutting taxes, lasting prosperity will escape us if we do not hold the enabler of big government and our astronomical national debt accountable. It’s time for the Senate to side with the American people by removing the shackles on congressional oversight and lifting the Fed’s veil of secrecy. It’s time for us to pass Audit the Fed,” Paul said in his press release.

Passage of the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (S. 16), commonly referred to as Audit the Fed legislation, would require the nonpartisan, independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a thorough audit of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors and reserve banks within one year of the bill’s passage and to report back to Congress within 90 days of completing the audit.

Paul remains steadfast in his commitment to this legislation that he and his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), worked for years to pass, with the intent to stop the Federal Reserve’s “unchecked” and “arguably unconstitutional” meddling in the free market economy.

Senator Paul’s 2016 Federal Reserve Transparency Act received nearly unanimous Republican support, in addition to support from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Ultimately, the bill fell short of the required 60 votes for cloture after Senate Democrats leadership shot it down.

In January 2017, Paul reintroduced the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (S. 16), widely known as “Audit the Fed”. Appearing on Fox New with Tucker Carlson on February 7th, Paul explained why it is important for Congress to scrutinize the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.

“The main lobby against auditing the Fed is the Fed,” Paul said. When Carlson asked what the major arguments against auditing the Federal Reserve would be, Paul cautioned:

“Some see that the Fed pays for this enormous debt and they love big government, and they know we have to have big debt for big government, and they have to pay for it, so they don’t want to mess with the Fed because right now it is able to accommodate this enormous debt.”

“The reason I want oversight is people get hurt in the downturn,” Paul continued.

“So in 2008, when the housing market went bust, I blamed that on the Federal Reserve.We’re right in the middle of another boom. Anybody seen the stock market lately? It is a boom, just like the real estate boom of 2008, and it will come to an end. I wish I knew exactly when, so I could give your viewers some investment advice, but it will end. There will be a correction.

We have a huge bubble in the stock market created by easy money, free money, everybody has it. Free money! Federal Reserve will hand you bouquets of money. But there will be repercussions, and that will be the downturn. There will be a response or reaction to all of this extra money.

On the prospect of Trump signing the legislation if it were to make it through Congress, Paul said, “We’ve talked about Audit the Fed before and the fact that he supported it during his campaign. I think he will sign Audit the Fed if we can get it to him. The hardest part that we have to overcome is the institution of the Fed itself. The biggest lobbyist on Capitol Hill against auditing the Fed is the Fed.”

“I think it always has a chance of passing, but the hardest part is actually getting a vote on things,” Paul told Reason in an interview“You never know unless you try.”

END

Finally we see USA credit card usage slow down a bit: an increase of only $ 0.700 billion.  The drop in January of credit card debt (probably to pay for December purchases) is probably another signal of problems in the economy that which we are witnessing.

(courtesy zerohedge)

After Record Debt-Fuelled Splurge, US Credit Card Usage Post Sharp Slowdown

After a massive surge in consumer credit in the last three months of 2017, when October thru December saw a massive increase in revolving and non-revolving credit, amounting to a total $73 billion, the Fed reported that 2018 started off with a whimper, with a modest $701 million increase in credit card debt, coupled with a $13.2 billion increase in non-revolving, or auto and student loan, credit in the first month of the year.

Revolving credit was the clear outlier, with the monthly increase of $0.7BN far below December’s $6.1BN and last January’s $934 million, and the smallest increase since February 2015 (excluding the December 2015 series revision). Still, the increase pushed the latest revolving credit total to $1.0298 trillion, a new all time high.

Meanwhile, non-revolving credit, which with the exception of one definition change month, has not gone down since 2011, also hit a new all time high of $2.825 trillion, following the latest monthly increase of $13.2 billion, fractionally higher than last month’s downward revised $13.1 billion.

What about its components? Well, with everything else going for record highs, we doubt it will be a surprise to anyone that both student debt and auto loans hit a new all time high in the quarter ending December 2017, with $1.491 trillion for the former, and $1.12 trillion for the latter (the next monthly update will take place in two months, when the Q1 data is released).

The sharp slowdown in consumer credit growth may be the latest red flag for the US economy, which as a reminder ended 2017 with a record surge in credit-funded spending; and now that credit card companies demand payment, US consumers – whose personal saving rate is already near record lows – appear to have retrenched, and have substantially slowed down their credit card usage, which for an economy in which 70% of GDP is consumer spending suggests more negative surprises for Q1 GDP.

 
SWAMPVILLE

Peter Strzok ignored evidence of the Clinton hack and changed the wording of that a foreign hack actors from “reasonably likely” to “probable” so they could say that Clinton’s misuse of her server as extremely careless but not grossly negligent.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Peter Strzok Ignored Evidence Of Clinton Server Breach

FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok reportedly ignored “an irregularity in the metadata” indicating that Hillary Clinton’s server may had been breached, while FBI top brass made significant edits to former Director James Comey’s statement specifically minimizing how likely it was that hostile actors had gained access.

Sources told Fox News  that Strzok, who sent anti-Trump text messages that got him removed from the ongoing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, was told about the metadata anomaly in 2016, but Strzok did not support a formal damage assessment. One source said: “Nothing happened.

In December, a letter from Senate Homeland Security Committee Chair Ron Johnson (R-WI) revealed that Strzok and other FBI officials effectively “decriminalized” Clinton’s behavior through a series of edits to James Comey’s original statement.

The letter described how outgoing Deputy Director Andrew McCabe exchanged drafts of Comey’s statement with senior FBI officials, including Strzok, Strzok’s direct supervisor, E.W. “Bill” Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, and an unnamed employee from the Office of General Counsel (identified by Newsweek as DOJ Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson) – in a coordinated conspiracy among top FBI brass.

It was already known that Strzok – who was demoted to the FBI’s HR department for sending anti-Trump text messages to his mistress – downgraded the language describing Clinton’s conduct from the criminal charge of “gross negligence” to “extremely careless.”

Notably, “Gross negligence” is a legal term of art in criminal law often associated with recklessness. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, it is defined as “A severe degree of negligence taken as reckless disregard,” and “Blatant indifference to one’s legal duty, other’s safety, or their rights.” “Extremely careless,” on the other hand, is not a legal term of art.

18 U.S. Code § 793 “Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information” specifically uses the phrase “gross negligence.” Had Comey used the phrase, he would have essentially declared that Hillary had broken the law.

In order to justify downgrading Clinton’s behavior to “extremely careless,” however, FBI officials also needed to minimize the impact of her crimes. As revealed in the letter from Rep. Johnson, the FBIdowngraded the probability that Clinton’s server was hacked by hostile actors from “reasonably likely” to “possible.” 

“Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account,” Comey said in his statement.

By doing so, the FBI downgraded Clinton’s negligence – thus supporting the “extremely careless” language.

The FBI also edited Clinton’s exoneration letter to remove a reference to the “sheer volume” of classified material on the private server, which – according to the original draft “supports an inference that the participants were grossly negligent in their handling of that information.” Furthermore, all references to the Intelligence Community’s involvement in investigating Clinton’s private email server were removed as well.

Director Comey’s original statement acknowledged the FBI had worked with its partners in the Intelligence Community to assess potential damage from Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The original statement read:

W]e have done extensive work with the assistance of our colleagues elsewhere in the Intelligence Community to understand what indications there might be of compromise by hostile actors in connection with the private email operation.

In summary; the FBI launched an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server, ignored evidence it may have been hacked, downgraded the language in Comey’s draft to decriminalize her behavior, and then exonerated her by recommending the DOJ not prosecute.

Meanwhile, a tip submitted by an Australian diplomat tied to a major Clinton Foundation deal launched the FBI’s counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign – initially spearheaded by the same Peter Strzok who worked so hard to get Hillary off the hook.

And Strzok still collects a taxpayer-funded paycheck

end

Have fun with this:  Our porn star sues Trump who forgot to sign his non disclosure

(courtesy zerohedge)

Porn Star Sues David Dennison a/k/a Donald Trump: “He Forgot To Sign” Hush Agreement

As one might have expected when the Wall Street Journal published its first report about President Donald Trump’s 18-month-long extramarital relationship with former adult film actress Stormy Daniels – aka Stephanie Clifford – the scandal has somehow become wrapped up in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sprawling investigation into collusion between Trump and the Russians (or obstruction of justice, or Trump’s business conflicts…). We learned as much earlier today when we learned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is zeroing in on Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime fixer who testified that he paid Daniels’ lawyer $130,000 out of his own pocket in exchange for her signing an NDA about her relationship with Trump, per NBC News.

That news broke earlier this evening, and already, another twist in the ongoing saga of Stormy Daniels, the adult actress-turned-soccer mom who has scarcely left the headlines since making the initial round of media interviews (In Touch magazine even published a detailed 5,000-word interview with Daniels that it didn’t run back in 2011.

Though she by all accounts kept her share of the $130,000 payout, Daniels is suing President Trump in Los Angeles, arguing that her NDA with the president isn’t valid – because he never bothered to sign it.

Maybe he was distracted

Daniels

In the suit, Daniels’ lawyer alleges that his client has been harassed by Cohen as recently as last month over her decision to come forward with her story. Cohen has reportedly sued Daniels for breaking the agreement.

Clifford and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, are asking the Los Angeles County Superior Court to declare that both the hush agreement and the side agreement “were never formed, and therefore do not exist, because, among other things, Mr. Trump never signed the agreements.”

“In the alternative, Plaintiff seeks an order of this Court declaring that the agreements in the forms set out in Exhibits 1 and 2 are invalid, unenforceable, and/or void under the doctrine of unconscionability.”

The suit also says that Trump must know that Cohen is trying to silence Clifford, since rules for the New York bar, of which Cohen is a member, require him to keep his client informed at all times. “[I]t strains credulity to conclude that Mr. Cohen is acting on his own accord and without the express approval and knowledge of his client Mr. Trump.”

Trump has never addressed the alleged relationship publicly, and White House spokesperson Raj Shah told members of the press he had never asked the president about the alleged relationship. Cohen has acknowledged the payment, but has repeatedly declined to tell NBC News what the payment was for.

Clifford had previously given conflicting accounts of her relationship with Trump. In the lawsuit, Clifford alleges that in January 2018, Cohen, “concerned the truth would be disclosed … through intimidation and coercive tactics, forced Ms. Clifford into signing a false statement wherein she stated that reports of her relationship with Mr. Trump were false.”

Clifford signed the agreement (under an alias of course)…

Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, signed both the agreement and a side letter agreement using her professional name on October 28, 2016, just days before the 2016 presidential election. Cohen signed the document the same day. Both agreements are appended to the lawsuit as Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2.

The “hush agreement,” as it’s called in the suit, refers to Trump throughout as David Dennison, and Cliffordas Peggy Peterson. The side letter agreement reveals the true identities of the parties as Clifford and Trump.

And here is the alleged lack of signature (although the notary stamp should be sufficient)

To hear Daniels tell it, Cohen sounds like a vicious fixer determined to do his boss’s bidding no matter what – an impression that some of his more brazen dealings, like the time he emailed Felix Sater, a Trump associate with links to Russian crime groups, about how they could sway the election and get Trump elected.

Cohen is also a member of the legal team representing Trump in the various Congressional investigations and the Mueller probe.

Trump has never publicly commented on the Daniels allegations – though the White House comms department has denied them.

We wonder: Will we finally hear from Trump? (perhaps even in the form of a tweet).

END

The USA now sues sanctuary California:

(courtesy zerohedge)

US Sues California Over Immigrants

A lot of people’s feelings are about to get hurt on the west coast of America.

Just days after ‘Sanctuary City’ Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned criminal illegal immigrants that an ICE raid was imminent, Bloomberg reports that the US Justice Department plans to sue California in an effort to nullify three state laws it says interfere with federal immigration enforcement and violate the Constitution.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to discuss the lawsuit during a speech he is scheduled to give on Wednesday at a law enforcement conference in Sacramento.

“The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed,” Sessions wrote in his prepared remarks.

“We are fighting to make your jobs safer and to help you reduce crime in America.”

As a reminder, President Trump blasted Sanctuary Cities in his December video address…

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) reacted immediately with horror…

At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America.

Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) said during an interview last week with The Washington Post that the 10th Amendment “doesn’t give the federal government the right to determine or dictate how a state goes about doing public safety.”

“I feel pretty confident that he would have a difficult time proving that there’s a rational basis for the federal government commandeering state funds simply to get the state to accommodate the federal government’s desires on immigration enforcement,” Becerra said.

We don’t get in the way of the federal government in doing immigration enforcement, unless of course they do so in an unconstitutional manner. But they can’t get in the way of state public safety enforcement.

Of course, Federal law trumps State law, unless, of course, California state officials want another civil war over states rights (which we suspect would be a problem given their lack of gun ownership).

In a statement released about the new lawsuit, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen said:

California has chosen to purposefully contradict the will and responsibility of the Congress to protect our homeland. I appreciate the efforts of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice to uphold the rule of law and protect American communities.”

In the new lawsuit, expected to be filed today in federal court in Sacramento, the Justice Department wants to nullify Assembly Bill 450, which prohibits private companies from voluntarily cooperating with federal immigration agencies; Senate Bill 54, which restricts state and local law enforcement officials from voluntarily giving federal agents information about criminal aliens who are subject to removal from the U.S.; and Assembly Bill 103, which authorizes state authorities to review and inspect federal detention facilities in California.

And as WaPo notes, the Justice Department will enter court as the plaintiff in a suit, forcing California to appear as the defendant and make the case that its actions are legal.

END

What a sad tale:  now Sam Nunberg is seeking treatment for substance and alcohol abuse after a drunken media trainwreck

(courtesy zerohedge)

Gasparino: Sam Nunberg To “Seek Treatment” After Drunken Media Trainwreck

After a day of bizarre interviews with the media, fired Trump campaign associate Sam Nunberg says he’s going to get help for substance abuse problems, and that he will comply with Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel.

just spoke w @NunbergSam he told me he’s fully cooperating now w Mueller’s team and he’s intending to go get treatment following his grand jury appearance on Friday

While Nunberg denied drinking to CNN’s Erin Burnett after she said she smelled alcohol on his breath, Fox Business Network’s Charlie Gasparino said Nunberg admitted to him that he had been hitting the sauce.

“When I interviewed [Nunberg], and I interviewed him early, he admitted to me he was drinking,” Gasparino reported.

“He’s also going to seek treatment for what ails him,” he continued. “There’s something. Drinking I believe is a big part of it and that’s what happened yesterday.”

Gasparino also shed light on his 45-minute off-air conversation with Nunberg yesterday prior to most of his media appearances, after which he warned the other networks that the former Trump aide was inebriated.

We had a debate about whether we should trust information from a man who was inebriated. In the middle of that, [Nunberg] went to the Washington Post and a series of interviews. And that’s when it went off the rails,” Gasparino said, with MSNBC’s Katy Tur being the first stop.

“I may cut Katy Tur a break because she was the first one. But after that, you’re putting a guy on that has issues.”

not a fun story and i have real questions about the ethics of putting sam on TV yesterday given his state of mind https://twitter.com/ThorntonMcEnery/status/971059591453790208 

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 – an early aide to the Trump campaign, was fired in 2015 over racially charged Facebook posts. While on his drunken media tour on Monday, he repeatedly said said he wouldn’t cooperate with a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

“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.”

end

I will  see you THURSDAY night

HARVEY

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One comment

  1. Pat Ruvolo · · Reply

    Harvey: If the comex situation is really fraud ( you know better than most of us, let’s file a group (not class action) lawsuit. We probably have enough people that will put in a couple hundred a month to file a suit. The damages are enormous.

    50 dollar a month X 1000 people would buy us a helluva lot of good lawyers. If all this is true, it is a no brainer.

    Like

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