April COALITION OF FORCES STRIKE CHEMICAL OPERATIONS INSIDE SYRIA/MINOR RESPONSES FROM BOTH CHINA AND RUSSIA/GOLD UP $2.80 TO $1347.90/SILVER UP 7 CENTS TO $16.68/US HAS DECIDED NOT TO WITHDRAW ITS TROOPS FROM SYRIA/USA HOLDING A MASSIVE DRILL OF 4,000 TROOPS JUST OUTSIDE SYRIA IN AQABA/MORE SWAMP STORIES.

 

 

GOLD: $1347.90  UP $ 2.80  (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSINGS)

Silver: $16.68 UP 7 CENTS (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSINGS)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1346.00

silver: $16.68

For comex gold:

APRIL/

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT:3 NOTICE(S) FOR 300 OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR 663 FOR 66300 OZ (2.062 tonnes)

THE COMEX IS OUT OF GOLD

For silver:

APRIL

120 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

600,000 OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 264 for 1,320,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: BID $8026/OFFER $8129: up $180(morning)

Bitcoin: BID/ $7937/offer 8037: up $88  (CLOSING/5 PM)

 

end

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total OPEN INTEREST SURPRISINGLY FELL AGAIN  BY A CONSIDERABLE  2350 CONTRACTS FROM  220,167  FALLING TO 217,817  DESPITE FRIDAY’S 17 CENT RISE IN SILVER PRICING. . WE AGAIN HAD CONSIDERABLE COMEX LIQUIDATION. HOWEVER, WE WERE AGAIN NOTIFIED THAT WE HAD A SMALL SIZED  NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP :  693 EFP’S FOR MAY AND 75 FOR JULY AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 768 CONTRACTS.   WITH THE TRANSFER OF 768 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 768 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 3.84 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING THE RISE IN  SILVER PRICE AT THE COMEX AND THE STRONG AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR APRIL COMEX DELIVERY.

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

32,982 CONTRACTS (FOR 11 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 32,982 CONTRACTS) OR 164.910 MILLION OZ: AVERAGE PER DAY: 2,998 CONTRACTS OR 14.991 MILLION OZ/DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH:  164.910 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 23.55% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION (EX CHINA EX RUSSIA)

ACCUMULATION IN YEAR 2018 TO DATE SILVER EFP’S883.395 MILLION OZ.

ACCUMULATION FOR JAN 2018:                        236.879 MILLION OZ

ACCUMULATION FOR FEB 2018:                        244.95 MILLION OZ

ACCUMULATION FOR MARCH 2018:                236.67 MILLION OZ

RESULT: WE HAD A CONSIDERABLE SIZED LOSS IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX OF 2350  DESPITE THE 17 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICE. WE MUST HAVE HAD SOME SHORTCOVERING BY THE BANKERS AS NOT ALL OF THE LOST COMEX OPEN INTEREST LANDED IN LONDON AS FORWARDS.  THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD A SMALL SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 768 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 693  EFP’S  FOR THE  MONTH OF MAY AND 75 EFP CONTRACTS FOR JULY,  WERE ISSUED FOR  A DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS.    WE LOST   1582 OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: i.e. 768 open interest contracts headed for London (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH AN DECREASE OF 2350  OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH THE RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER OF 17 CENTS AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $16.67 WITH RESPECT TO FRIDAY’S TRADING. YET WE STILL HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX FOR DELIVERY IN THIS NON ACTIVE APRIL DELIVERY  MONTH.

In ounces AT THE COMEX, the OI is still represented by WELL OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.089 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 156% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT APRIL MONTH/ THEY FILED: 120 NOTICE(S) FOR 600,000 OZ OF SILVER

IN SILVER, WE HAVE NOW SET THE NEW RECORD OF OPEN INTEREST AT 243,411 AND AGAIN THIS HAS BEEN SET WITH A LOW PRICE OF $16.51  ON APRIL 9.2018.

ON THE DEMAND SIDE WE HAVE THE FOLLOWING:

  1. HUGE AMOUNTS OF SILVER STANDING FOR DELIVERY  (MARCH 27 MILLION OZ AND APRIL 1.8 MILLION OZ)
  2. HUGE RECORD OPEN INTEREST IN SILVER  243,411 CONTRACTS (OR 1.217 BILLION OZ/ SET APRIL 9/2018
  3. HUGE ANNUAL EFP’S ISSUANCE EQUAL TO 2.9 BILLION OZ OR 400% OF SILVER ANNUAL PRODUCTION

AND YET WE HAVE A CONTINUAL LOW PRICE OF SILVER DESPITE THE ABOVE HUGE DEMAND.  TO ME THE ONLY ANSWER IS THAT WE HAVE SOVEREIGN  (CHINA) WHO IS ENDEAVOURING TO GOBBLE UP ALL AVAILABLE PHYSICAL SILVER NO MATTER WHERE, EXACTLY WHAT J.P.MORGAN IS DOING. AND IT IS MY BELIEF THAT J.P.MORGAN IS HOLDING ITS SILVER FOR ITS BENEFICIAL OWNER..THE USA GOVERNMENT WHO IN TURN IS HOLDING THAT SILVER FOR CHINA.(FOR A SILVER LOAN REPAYMENT). IT ALSO LOOKS LIKE BANKER CAPITULATION IN SILVER AS THEY STRUGGLE TO REMOVE SOME OF THEIR HUGE OBLIGATIONS.

In gold, the open interest  FELL BY AN HUGE SIZED 7,572 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 506,429 DESPITE THE GOOD SIZED GAIN IN PRICE/FRIDAY’S TRADING ( RISE OF $6.15) WE ARE NOW IN THE ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF APRIL. THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCE AND IT TOTALED A STRONG SIZED 10,403 CONTRACTS :   JUNE SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 10,403 CONTRACTS , MAY SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTRACTS  AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The new OI for the gold complex rests at 506,429. 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 GOOD SIZED  OI GAIN IN CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES 7572 OI CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND AN STRONG  SIZED 10,403 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON.THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN: 2831 CONTRACTS OR 283100 OZ =8.805 TONNES.

FRIDAY, WE HAD 16,673  EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL : 121,191 CONTRACTS OR 12,119,100  OZ OR 376.95 TONNES (11 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 11,017 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 1,107,000 OZ/ TRADING DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :   SO FAR THIS MONTH IN 112 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 376.95 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 376.95/2550 x 100% TONNES =  14.78% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN MARCH ALONE.*** THE ACCUMULATION OF EFP CONTRACTS IS RISING PER MONTH.

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2018 TO DATE 2,421.42 TONNES

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

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S FOR FEBRUARY 2018:         649.45 TONNES

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S FOR MARCH 2018:                741.89 TONNES

WHAT IS ALARMING TO ME, ACCORDING TO OUR LONDON EXPERT ANDREW MAGUIRE IS THAT THESE EFP’S ARE BEING TRANSFERRED TO WHAT ARE CALLED SERIAL FORWARD CONTRACT OBLIGATIONS AND THESE CONTRACTS ARE LESS THAN 14 DAYS.  ANYTHING GREATER THAN 14 DAYS, THESE MUST BE RECORDED AND SENT TO THE COMPTROLLER, GREAT BRITAIN TO MONITOR RISK TO THE BANKING SYSTEM.  IF THIS IS INDEED TRUE, THEN THIS IS A MASSIVE CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD AS WE NOW WITNESS A MONSTROUS TOTAL EFP’S ISSUANCE AS IT HEADS INTO THE STRATOSPHERE

Result: A HUGE SIZED DECREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 7,572 DESPITE THE RISE IN PRICE // GOLD TRADING YESTERDAY ($6.15 GAIN). HOWEVER, WE HAD A STRONG SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 10,403 CONTRACTS AS THESE HAVE ALREADY BEEN NEGOTIATED AND CONFIRMED.   THERE OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT SEEM TO BE MUCH PHYSICAL GOLD AT THE COMEX.  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 10,403 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A GOOD SIZED NET GAIN OF 2831 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 

10,403 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 7,572 CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX. (in tonnes, the GAIN in total oi equates to 8.805 TONNES).

we had: 3 notice(s) filed upon for 300 oz of gold at the comex.

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

GLD

WITH GOLD UP  $2.80 :  WE HAD NO  CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/

Inventory rests tonight: 865.89 tonnes.

SLV/

WITH SILVER UP 7 CENTS TODAY: NO  CHANGES/ 

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.196 MILLION OZ/

end

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in SILVER FELL BY A CONSIDERABLE 2350 CONTRACTS from 220,167 DOWN TO 217,817 (AND AWAY FROM THE  NEW COMEX RECORD SET YESTERDAY/APRIL 9/2017). THE PREVIOUS RECORD OTHER THAN WAS ESTABLISHED AT: 234,787, SET ON APRIL 21.2017 ALMOST ONE YEAR AGO.  THE PRICE OF SILVER ON THAT DAY: $17.89.

 THE RATHER LARGE COMEX LOSS OF 2350 CONTRACTS, OCCURRED DESPITE THE CONSIDERABLE RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER (17 CENTS//). THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST HAS FALLEN FOR 5 CONSECUTIVE DAYS.  HOWEVER  OUR BANKERS ALSO USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE ANOTHER 693 EFP CONTRACTS FOR MAY  (WE DO NOT GET A LOOK AT THESE CONTRACTS AS IT IS PRIVATE BUT THE CFTC DOES AUDIT THEM) AND 75 EFP’S FOR JULY AND ALL OTHER MONTHS. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  768 CONTRACTS. EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON.  IF WE TAKE THE  OI LOSS AT THE COMEX OF 2350 CONTRACTS TO THE 3768 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S, WE OBTAIN A SMALL NET LOSS 1582 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  7.910 MILLION OZ!!! AND THIS OCCURRED WITH A RISE IN PRICE OF 17 CENTS???

RESULT: A LARGE SIZED DECREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX DESPITE THE RISE IN SILVER PRICING / FRIDAY (17 CENTS/) . BUT WE ALSO HAD ANOTHER SMALL SIZED 768 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE STRONG  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR APRIL, 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)FRIDAY MORNING/THURSDAY NIGHT: Shanghai closed DOWN 21.06 POINTS OR 0.66%  /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 22.90 POINTS OR 0.07%   / The Nikkei closed UP 118.46 POINTS OR 0.55%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP .22% /Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.2805/Oil UP to 66.85 dollars per barrel for WTI and 71.70 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED IN THE GREEN    .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AT 6.2805 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.2760 /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING STRONGER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING  MUCH STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR /CHINA RETALIATES WITH TARIFFS/ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW TARIFFS AND IT NOW LOOKS LIKE A FULL TRADE WAR IS BEGINNING/

SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

 

i)North Korea/South Korea

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

3 c CHINA

i)No question about it:  China is on the side of Russia in this conflict:

( zerohedge)

ii)China/Russia/USA
What on earth is Trump smoking:  accusing Russia and China of currency devaluation when both of the currencies has been on a rise especially the Chinese yuan.  The only reason that the Russian rouble is weaker is due to sanctions and the war rattling between the USA and Russia due to what is going on in Syria
( zerohedge)
iii)China is not going to like this:  The White House has just banned all USA firms from selling parts to China’s Telecom Giant ZTE
( zerohedge)

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

i)Saturday night/Israel/Syria

Israel launches an attack against a military base in Syria/Saturday night following the USA, Br. and French attack Friday night

( zerohedge)

ii)Sunday

USA/RussiaUSA is not withdrawing their troops from Syria until their goals are accomplished…whatever that is.  However, to create more ire from the Russians more sanctions are coming on Monday

( zerohedge)

iii)Russia/USA

That did not take long:  Trump hits  Russia with new sanctions over the Syrian gas attack.  More oligarchs are named and this time there are penalties if aid is given by any company or anyone assisting the Nord Stream 2 project. This is getting out of hand:

( zerohedge)

iii b)then Trump for whatever reason halts the plan for more Russian sanctions

( zerohedge)

iv)This is getting scarier by the minute:  USA is now launching a huge 4,000 USA troop military drill on the edge of Syria, at the town of Aqaba.  Within a tiny distance of Aqaba lies the Israel port of Eilat

( zerohedge)

v)MONDAY/RUSSIA AND USA
Putin warns the west of a global “chaos” if they hit Syria again
( zerohedge)
vi)Russia reveals who staged the Syrian gas attack and provides pictures of the staging.  USA hilariously claims that Moscow may have tampered with the site

( zerohedge)

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

7. OIL ISSUES

8. EMERGING MARKET

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)As we have pointed out to you, the new tax reform law passed by the USA has caused a huge dollar repatriation but that repatriation has caused a massive shortage of dollars in Europe and Asia.  We are now witnessing the collapse of the Iranian rial due to that shortage.

(courtesy Radio Farda/GATA)

ii)A good commentary from Jay Taylor: how much longer can the USA hegemony run on fake currency?

( Jay Taylor/GATA)

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

i)USA Morning Data

A surprise rebound in retail sales in March with Autos the big winner

( zerohedge)

b)We are continuing to see disappointing soft data reports.  Today it was the NY manufacturing Empire report and it fell notably below expectations

(courtesy zerohedge)

ii a)USA Morning trading:

Bonds are just not buying this obvious manipulation

( zerohedge)

iii)Friday night/Trump claims a perfectly executed strike on chemical facilities inside Syria

( zerohedge)

iv)China not to enthralled with the USA airstrikes into Syria, Friday night.  Both Germany and Italy refuse to participate

( zerohedge)

v)Syria claims that it’s Russian made defense system intercepted 71 out of the 103 cruise missiles launched.  The uSA states that all 103 hit their target.

( zerohedge)

vi)OPCW investigators arrive in Damascus right after the attack and they are stating that it looks like the “White Helmets” or western sympathizers who staged the gas attack

( zerohedge)

vii)David Stockman/part ii and part ii/ on how the Deep State is closing in on the Donald ”

(Part ii/part iii)

viii)An excellent paper by Tom Luongo as he tries to explain to us how the Deep State is controlling Trump and only for the good sense of Mattis, have we avoided war

( Tom Luongo)

ix)SWAMP STORIES

a)Comey just threw Obama and Lynch under the bus with the Clinton email investigation in that in his words: complicated matters

(courtesy zerohedge)

b)Lawyer Michael Cohen refuses to disclose the identity of his “third client”  as this soap opera continues

( zerohedge)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest FELL BY AN LARGE SIZED 7572 CONTRACTS DOWN to an OI level 506,429 DESPITE THE RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($6.45 GAIN/ FRIDAY’S TRADING).   FOR TWO YEARS STRAIGHT WE HAVE NOTICED THAT ONE WEEK PRIOR TO FIRST DAY NOTICE OF AN ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AND EFP’S NOTICES EXPONENTIALLY INCREASE.   THE CME REPORTS THAT  THE BANKERS ISSUED A HUGE SIZED  COMEX TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS. WE HAD 10,403 FOR  JUNE, 0 CONTRACTS ISSUED FOR MAY AND ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:  TOTAL  10,403 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 BASED FORWARD.

ON A NET BASIS IN OPEN INTEREST WE GAINED THE FOLLOWING TODAY ON OUR TWO EXCHANGES: 2831 OI CONTRACTS IN THAT 10,403 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE LOST 7572 COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 2831 contracts OR 283,100  OZ OR 8.805 TONNES.

Result: AN LARGE SIZED DECREASE IN COMEX OPEN INTEREST DESPITE THE RISE IN PRICE FRIDAY  (ENDING UP WITH A GAIN OF $6.15)THE  TOTAL OPEN INTEREST GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 2831 OI CONTRACTS..

We have now entered the  active contract month of APRIL where we LOST 35 contracts LOWERING TO  1304 contracts.  We had 0 notices served  yesterday, so we lost 35  contracts or an additional 3500 oz will not stand for delivery in this active delivery month of April and these lost contracts JOIN THEIR BROTHERS AS THEY MORPH INTO EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL CONTRACTS (EFP’S) ONCE THEY HAVE BEEN NEGOTIATED, WRITTEN UP AND SEALED. (i.e. London based forwards)

May saw A LOSS of 71 contracts to stand at 1224. The really big June contract month saw a LOSS of 8215 contracts DOWN to 379,704 contracts.   The next big delivery month after June is August and here the OI FELL BY 851 contracts DOWN to 48,747.

We had 3 notice(s) filed upon today for  300 oz at the comex

THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT THE COMEX DOES NOT HAVE ANY  GOLD TO SATISFY UPON OUR LONGS.

Trading Volumes on the COMEX

PRELIMINARY COMEX VOLUME FOR TODAY:250,404  contracts

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY: 281,381 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:

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total silver OI FELL AGAIN BY 2350 CONTRACTS FROM 220,167 DOWN TO 217,817 (AND AWAY FROM THE NEW RECORD OI FOR SILVER SET APRIL 9.2018)  DESPITE THE 17 CENT RISE IN SILVER PRICING.  HOWEVER, WE  ALSO WERE ALSO INFORMED THAT WE HAD A SMALL 693 EMERGENCY EFP’S FOR MAY ISSUED BY OUR BANKERS: 75 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED FOR JULY 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: 768.  WE SURPRISINGLY AND SHOCKINGLY AGAIN HAD CONTINUAL LONG COMEX SILVER LIQUIDATION.   ON A NET BASIS WE LOST 1582 SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AS WE OBTAINED A  2350 CONTRACT LOSS AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 768 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET LOSS  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:1582 CONTRACTS 

AMOUNT STANDING FOR SILVER AT THE COMEX

We are now in the non active delivery month of April and here the front month LOST 0 contracts STAYING AT  216 contracts.  We had 0 notices filed upon  so in essence we GAINED 0 contracts or NO additional ounces of silver will  stand for delivery in this non active delivery month of April.  However I made an error and we gained 600,000 oz on Thursday.

The next big active delivery month for silver will be May and here the OI LOST 3993 contracts DOWN to 104,727. June saw a GAIN of 26 contracts to stand at 99.  The next big delivery month for silver is July and here the OI ROSE by 1566 contracts UP to 75,798.

We had 120 notice(s) filed for 600,000 OZ for the APRIL 2018 contract for silver

INITIAL standings for APRIL/GOLD

APRIL 16/2018.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
7233.75 oz
Scotia
225 kilobars
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz NIL oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  nil OZ
No of oz served (contracts) today
3 notice(s)
 n300 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
1304 contracts
(130,400 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
663 notices
66,300 OZ
2.062 TONNES
Total accumulative withdrawals of gold from the Dealers inventory this month NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month xxx oz
 from the last week of March til today, we have had only 3 small entries for gold and they were all of the “kilobars” variety
From my vantage point, the comex is void of gold.  This rarely happens in a delivery month as gold is called upon to deliver.
***
we had 1 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 1 withdrawals out of the customer account:
i) Out of Scotia: 7233.75 oz  (225 kilobars)
total withdrawal:  7233.75   oz
we had 0 customer deposit
total customer deposits: nil oz
we had 0 adjustment(s)

For APRIL:
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 3 contract(s) of which 2 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 APRIL. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (663) x 100 oz or 66300 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of APRIL. (1304 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (3 x 100 oz per contract) equals 196,700 oz, the number of ounces standing in this active month of APRIL (6.118 tonnes)

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

No of notices served (660 x 100 oz or ounces + {(1304)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (0 x 100 oz )which equals 196,700 oz standing in this  active delivery month of APRIL . THERE IS 12.003 TONNES OF REGISTERED GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY SO FAR.

WE LOST 35 COMEX OI CONTRACTS OR 3500 OZ OF GOLD WILL NOT STAND BUT  THESE GUYS  MORPHED INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS.

total registered or dealer gold:  385,923.014 oz or 12.003 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   9,051,749.97 oz 281.547 tones
THE COMEX IS AGAIN IN STRESS AS ONLY 12.003 TONNES OF GOLD ARE LEFT TO SERVICE DELIVERIES. THERE IS HARDLY ANY GOLD AT THE COMEX TO SERVE UPON LONGS AND THUS THE REASON FOR THE EFP TRANSFER OVER TO LONDON.

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

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE APRIL DELIVERY MONTH

APRIL INITIAL standings/SILVER

APRIL 16/ 2018
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
 nil
  oz
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
602,312.800
oz
Brinks
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
 2353.300 oz
brinks
Delaware
No of oz served today (contracts)
120
CONTRACT(S
600,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
96 contracts
(480,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 264 contracts

(1,320,000 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 dealer deposits:  nil oz

we had 2 deposits into the customer account

i) Into JPMorgan: nil oz

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

JPMorgan now has 140 million oz of  total silver inventory or 53.4% of all official comex silver. (140 million/263 million)

JPMorgan did not  deposit  into its warehouses (official) today.

ii) Brinks:  1000,000

iii) Into Brinks: 1953.300  oz

total deposits today: 2953,300  oz

we had 0 withdrawals from the customer account;

total withdrawals;  nil   oz

we had 0 adjustment

total dealer silver:  60.055 million

total dealer + customer silver:  263.796 million oz

The total number of notices filed today for the APRIL. contract month is represented by 120 contract(s) FOR 600,000 oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in APRIL., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 264 x 5,000 oz = 1,320,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of April. (216) and the number of notices served upon today (120 x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the APRIL contract month: 264(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of April(216) -number of notices served upon today (120)x 5000 oz equals 1,800,000 oz of silver standing for the April contract month 

WE LOST 0  SILVER CONTRACT OR 0 ADDITIONAL OUNCES WILL STAND IN THIS NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF APRIL

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

ESTIMATED VOLUME FOR TODAY: 85,768 CONTRACTS

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 74,914 CONTRACTS

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 74,914 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO  374 MILLION OZ OR 53.5% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER

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

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

end

NPV for Sprott 

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV FALLS TO -2.37% (APRIL 16/2018)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -0.58% to NAV (APRIL 16/2018 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -2.37%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.58%/Central fund of Canada’s is still in jail but being rescued by Sprott.
Sprott WINS hostile 3.1 billion bid to take over Central Fund of Canada

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

3.SPROTT CEF.A FUND (FORMERLY CENTRAL FUND OF CANADA): NAV FALLS TO -2.42%: NAV 13.86/TRADING 13.53//DISCOUNT 2.42.

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

April 16/WITH GOLD UP$2.80/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 865.89 TONNES/

April 13/WITH GOLD UP $6.15, A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 5.90 TONNES INTO THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 865.89 TONNES

April 12/WITH GOLD DOWN $17.40/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 859.99 TONNES

April 11/WITH GOLD UP $13.85/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 859,99 TONNES

APRIL 10/WITH GOLD UP $5.25/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 859.99 TONNES

APRIL 9/WITH GOLD UP$4.50/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 859.99 TONNES

APRIL 6/WITH GOLD UP $7.50 ,A HUGE CHANGE IN INVENTORY AT THE GLD/ A DEPOSIT OF 5.90 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 859.99 TONNES

APRIL 5/WITH GOLD DOWN $8.20 WE HAD TWO ENTRIES: 1) TINY WITHDRAWAL OF .28 TONNES TO PAY FOR FEES AND 2) A DEPOSIT OF 2.06 TONNES//INVENTORY RESTS AT 854.09 TONNES

April 4/WITH GOLD UP $2.90 WE HAD NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 852.31 TONNES

APRIL 3./WITH GOLD DOWN $9.30 WE HAD NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 852.31 TONNES

APRIL 2/WITH GOLD UP $19.50, WE HAD A BIG  CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD A DEPOSIT OF 6.19 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 852.31 TONNES

MARCH 29/WITH GOLD DOWN $3.20 AND OPTIONS EXPIRY FINISHED, WE HAD NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS A 846.12 TONNES

March 28/WITH GOLD DOWN $16.70, ANOTHER RAID ORCHESTRATED, AGAIN NO SURPRISES AS WE WITNESS ANOTHER 1.18 TONNES OF GOLD REMOVED/INVENTORY RESTS AT 846.12 TONNES

MARCH 27/WITH GOLD DOWN $11.70 AND A RAID INITIATED, IT WAS NO SURPRISE TO SEE THAT A MASSIVE WITHDRAWAL OF 3.24 TONNES WAS USED IN THE ABOVE RAID/INVENTORY RESTS AT 847.30 TONNES

MARCH 26./WITH GOLD UP $4.60/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 850.54 TONNES

MARCH 23/WITH GOLD UP $23.30/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 850.54 TONNES

MARCH 22.WITH GOLD UP $5.90, NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 850.54 TONNES/

MARCH 21/WITH GOLD UP $9.65 NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 850.54 TONNES

March 20/WITH GOLD DOWN $5.75, A SURPRISING HUMONGOUS DEPOSIT OF 10.32 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 850.64 TONNES/

SO FAR, FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH, THE GLD HAS ADDED 19.61 TONNES WITH A NET LOSS OF $17.45

March 19/WITH GOLD UP $5.25: ANOTHER HUGE DEPOSIT OF GOLD TO THE TUNE OF 2.07 TONNES/GOLD INVENTORY RESTS TONIGHT AT 840.22 TONNES

MARCH 16/WITH GOLD DOWN $5.65/OUR CROOKS DEPOSITED ANOTHER 4.42 TONNES INTO GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 838.15 TONNES

FOR THE WEEK: GOLD LOST  $11.80, BUT GOLD INVENTORY ADVANCED:4.42 TONNES

MARCH 15/WITH GOLD DOWN $7.85, NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 833.73 TONNES

MARCH 14/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.55/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 833.73 TONNES

MARCH 13/WITH GOLD UP $6.25/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 833.73 TONNES

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

APRIL 16/2018/ Inventory rests tonight at 865.89 tonnes

*IN LAST 362 TRADING DAYS: 75.15 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 312 TRADING DAYS: A NET 81.15 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO GLD INVENTORY.

end

Now the SLV Inventory/

April 16/WITH SILVER UP 7 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.196 MILLION OZ/

April 13/WITH SILVER UP 17 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.196 MILLION OZ.

April 12/WITH SILVER DOWN 27 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.196 MILLION OZ/

April 11/2018/WITH SILVER UP 16 CENTS:  NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.196 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 10/WITH GOLD UP 8 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.196 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 9/WITH SILVER UP 12 CENTS/WE HAD NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.196 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 6/WITH SILVER UP 4 CENTS, WE HAD A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 1.319 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.196 MILLION OZ

APRIL 5/WITH SILVER UP 6 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.877 MILLION OZ/

April 4/WITH SILVER DOWN 11 CENTS/A SMALL CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/ A WITHRAWAL OF 135,000 OZ AND THIS IS PROBABLY TO PAY FOR FEES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.877 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 3./WITH SILVER DOWN 16 CENTS/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.012 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 2/WITH SILVER UP 34 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.012 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 29/WITH SILVER UP 6 CENTS, THE CROOKS DECIDED THAT THEY HAD BETTER ADD SOME 943,000 PAPER OZ TO THEIR INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.012 MILLION OZ

March 28/WITH SILVER DOWN 27 CENTS/AGAIN NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.069 MILLION OZ

MARCH 27/WITH SILVER DOWN 14 CENTS/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.069 MILLION OZ/

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

MARCH 23/WITH SILVER UP 19 CENTS, A HAD A BIG WITHDRAWAL OF 1.602 MILLION OZ.INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.069 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 22/WITH SILVER DOWN ONE CENT, NO CHANGE IN SLV INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.671 MILLION OZ/

March 21/WITH SILVER UP 21 CENTS/NO CHANGE IN SLV INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.671 MILLION OZ/

March 20/WITH SILVER DOWN 13 CENTS/NO CHANGE IN SLV INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.671 MILLION OZ/

March 19/WITH SILVER UP 5 CENTS, THE SLV ADDS A SMALL 659,000 OZ TO ITS INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.671 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 16/WITH SILVER DOWN 15 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.012 MILLION OZ.

FOR THE WEEK;  SILVER IS DOWN 42 CENTS YET ADDS 943,000 OZ OF SILVER INTO THE SLV/

MARCH 15/WITH SILVER DOWN 11 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.012 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 14/WITH SILVER DOWN 8 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.012 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 13/WITH SILVER UP 10 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.012 MILLION OZ/

HAD ANOTHER HUGE ADDITION OF 1.315 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.590 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 16/2018:  A NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY:  

Inventory 320.196 million oz

end

6 Month MM GOFO 1.99/ and libor 6 month duration 2.49

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

G0FO+ 1.99%

libor 2.49 FOR 6 MONTHS/

GOLD LENDING RATE: .50%

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.73%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.46

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.27

end

Major gold/silver trading /commentaries for MONDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

Global Debt Bubble Hits New All Time High – One Quadrillion Reasons To Buy Gold

– Global debt bubble hits new all time high – over $237 trillion
– Global debt increased 10% or $21 tn in 2017 to nearly a quarter quadrillion USD
– Increase in debt equivalent to United States’ ballooning national debt
– Global debt up $50 trillion in decade & over 327% of global GDP
– $750 trillion of bank derivatives means global debt over $1 quadrillion
– Gold will be ‘store of value’ in coming economic contraction
– Global debt is the mother of all bubbles

Source: Bloomberg

Global debt has now reached over 327% of global GDP, $237 trillion. Prior to the financial crisis it was less that $150 trillion. The amount by which it has surged in just one year is the same amount as the ballooning national debt of the United States.

The response of our leaders, central bankers and financial thinkers to this latest data?

It was good news as it showed that thanks to global growth the ratio of debt-to-gross domestic product fell for the fifth consecutive quarter. No irony in the fact that the economic growth is entirely funded by debt itself – adding another shaky layer to the house of cards.

Christine Lagarde said earlier this week:

The bottom line is that high debt burdens have left governments, companies, and households more vulnerable to a sudden tightening of financial conditions. This potential shift could prompt market corrections, debt sustainability concerns, and capital flow reversals in emerging markets.

A sudden tightening of financial conditions is inevitable. The latest FOMC minutes released yesterday showed that members plan to increase interest rates at a faster rate than previously expected. This was inevitable given the loose monetary policy that central banks have been enjoying for the last decade.

As Jim Rickards summarises:

We hear that the U.S. is facing a debt crisis because budget deficits are out of control. We hear that China is facing a debt crisis because of wasted infrastructure investment, bank Ponzi schemes and bad loans to money-losing state-sponsored enterprises.

Next we hear that emerging markets are facing a separate debt crisis because of dollar-denominated debt that cannot be repaid if higher U.S. interest rates lead to a stronger dollar.

In short, the whole world seems to be facing a debt crisis in various forms.

Global debt is primarily made up of three groups: non financial corporates, governments and households. Each as indebted as the next, each as addicted as the next with no detox programme on offer.

Rickards reminds us that $237tn is only part of the story:

This debt is in addition to approximately $750 trillion of bank derivatives as reported by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

Adding the debt and derivatives together produces over $1 quadrillion of financial obligations of various kinds. This is far more that the amount of debt and derivatives outstanding before the last financial crisis in 2008.

So bad is the debt crisis that five leading economists recently felt compelled to write an op-ed in the Washington Post warning Americans of the impending debt crisis.

From this point forward, even if economic growth continues uninterrupted, current tax and spending patterns imply that annual deficits will steadily increase, approaching the $1 trillion mark in two years and steadily rising thereafter as far as the eye can see.

Unless Congress acts to reduce federal budget deficits, the outstanding public debt will reach $20 trillion a scant five years from now, up from its current level of $15 trillion. That amounts to almost a quarter of million dollars for a family of four, more than twice the median household wealth.

This string of perpetually rising trillion-dollar-plus deficits is unprecedented in U.S. history.

In recent months, we have seen an inevitable rise in interest rates from their low levels of recent years. Rising interest rates and increasing deficits threaten to build upon each other to send public debt spiraling upward even faster. When treasury debt holders start to doubt our government’s ability to repay, or to attract future lenders, they will demand higher interest rates to compensate for the risk. If current spending and tax policy continue unaltered, higher interest costs will have to be financed by even more debt. More borrowing puts more upward pressure on interest rates, and the spiral continues.

Household debt is not just a major problem in the US. In the latest release of figures Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland each saw household debt as a percentage of GDP hit all-time highs. Only Italy and Ireland remain as the two mature market countries where household debt as a percentage of GDP is below 50%.

Things are even worse in emerging market South Korea where household debt to GDP is approaching parity, currently at 94.6%.

Listen on SoundCloud , Blubrry & iTunesWatch on YouTube below

Imagine how much worse things will get as interest rates across the board begin to rise. Or, more likely, as central banks change their minds about interest rate rises and allow the period of easy money to carry on. Cue major inflation around the globe and ever-higher levels of debt.

Conclusion 

The IIF, the group responsible for the data release, point to central banks as the culprits for these devastating figures.

“Still-low global rates continue to support unprecedented levels of debt accumulation.”

This is no surprise as they (as the puppets of governments and bankers) are the reason so many savers, households and investors have had to work hard to protect their assets in the last decade. Such little regard has been shown for the long term health of the economy or value of our hard won savings.

The global debt figures serve once again as a reminder that individuals and businesses must take responsibility for their own wealth and protect it from the ongoing currency debasement and gigantic monetary experiment of central banks.

Gold that is held in a segregated, allocated portfolio is a key way to protect your savings from counter-party risk in the financial system.  Gold’s performance in 2017 into this year, along with low gold liquidations, increased demand for gold coins and bars and central bank purchases shows the prudent money is again diversifying into gold in anticipation of the next financial crisis.

Listen on SoundCloud , Blubrry & iTunesWatch on YouTube below


Related reading

Global Debt Crisis II Cometh

Global Debt Bubble Understated By $13 Trillion Warn BIS

Gold A Store Of Value – Protect From $217 Trillion Global Debt Bubble

News and Commentary

Gold, Crude Speculators Betting “Mission Not Accomplished” (Nasdaq.com )

Gold edges up after Syria strikes (Reuters.com)

Asian Stocks Trade Mixed as Treasury Yields Gain (Bloomberg.com)

Syria brushes off U.S.-led airstrikes, launches new attacks against rebels (MarketWatch.com)

Oil, gold to gain on Syrian strikes, Russian retaliation in focus (Reuters.com)


Source: Morgan Stanley via ZeroHedge

Bond King Jeff Gundlach Says Gold Could Rally $1000 (CNBC.com)

Gundlach: Gold On The Verge Of “Thousand Dollar” Breakout (ZeroHedge.com)

Morgan Stanley Uses Gold As Proxy For The “True Value Of A Dollar” (ZeroHedge.com)

Citi: “There Is A Massive Problem” With The Bond Market (ZeroHedge.com)

Solid earnings season won’t be enough to avert another correction – Economist Shiller (CNBC.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

13 Apr: USD 1,340.75, GBP 938.93 & EUR 1,087.35 per ounce
12 Apr: USD 1,345.90, GBP 951.01 & EUR 1,090.99 per ounce
11 Apr: USD 1,345.20, GBP 947.96 & EUR 1,087.86 per ounce
10 Apr: USD 1,335.95, GBP 942.25 & EUR 1,083.46 per ounce
09 Apr: USD 1,328.50, GBP 941.91 & EUR 1,082.33 per ounce
06 Apr: USD 1,325.60, GBP 946.08 & EUR 1,082.75 per ounce
05 Apr: USD 1,327.05, GBP 943.67 & EUR 1,080.75 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

13 Apr: USD 16.51, GBP 11.57 & EUR 13.40 per ounce
12 Apr: USD 16.66, GBP 11.74 & EUR 13.50 per ounce
11 Apr: USD 16.57, GBP 11.67 & EUR 13.39 per ounce
10 Apr: USD 16.49, GBP 11.65 & EUR 13.38 per ounce
09 Apr: USD 16.34, GBP 11.59 & EUR 13.32 per ounce
06 Apr: USD 16.28, GBP 11.61 & EUR 13.30 per ounce
05 Apr: USD 16.31, GBP 11.59 & EUR 13.28 per ounce


Recent Market Updates

– Oil Surges Over 8%, Gold and Silver Marginally Higher, Stocks Gain In Volatile Week
– EU and Euro Exposed To Risks Including Trade Wars and War With Russia In Middle East
– Trump Tweets Russia “Get Ready” For Missiles In Syria – Gold, Oil Rise and Stocks Fall
– Private: EU and Euro Exposed To Trade Wars, Energy Dependence, Anti-EU and Anti-Euro Movements
– Trump Making ‘Major Decisions’ on Syria, Iran and Russia Response ‘Very Quickly’
– Gold Out Performs Stocks In 2018 and This Century By Ratio Of Two To One
– Jamie Dimon Warns Of Potential ‘Market Panic’
– Silver Bullion: Should We Be Worried About Silver?
– Martin Luther King Jr. Anniversary: Reminds Us Of Costs Of War To Society and Financial System
– Gold Outperforms Stocks In Q1, 2018
– Brexit, Stagflation Pressures UK High Street
– Gold Is Money While Currencies Today Are “IOU Nothings”
– “Stars Are Slowly Aligning For Gold” – Frisby

Mark O’Byrne
Executive Director

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

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

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

(Andrew Maguire)

Andrew Maguire

2:57 PM (1 hour ago)
to me

Harvey

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

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

Warm regards

Andy

_________________
___________________________________________________________________

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

 

i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/CLOSED DOWN 6.2849  /shanghai bourse CLOSED DOWN 48.40 POINTS OR 1.53%   / HANG SANG CLOSED DOWN 492.79 POINTS OR 1.60%
2. Nikkei closed UP 156.79 POINTS OR 0.26%/  /USA: YEN FALLS TO 107.23/  

3. Europe stocks OPENED IN THE RED     /USA dollar index FALLS TO 89.56/Euro RISES TO 1.2365

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: RISES TO . +.047/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 107.23/ 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:: 66.69  and Brent: 71.81

3f Gold DOWN/Yen UP

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund RISES TO +.541%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP to 1.812% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD UP TO 1.257%

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES TO : 4.06?????????????????

3k Gold at $1343.00 silver at:16.60     7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 139/100 in roubles/dollar) 62.09

3m oil into the 66 dollar handle for WTI and 71 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 107.23 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 0.9602 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1877 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year RISING to +0.541%

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 2.8580% early this morning (THIS IS DEADLY TO ALL MARKETS). Thirty year rate at 3.0641% /

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

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

US Futures Rally As Syria Fear Turns To Relief

Global markets breathed a sigh of relief on Monday after this weekend’s Syrian airstrikes, with bond yields rising, the dollar lower, Asian and European stocks mixed, and US futures spiking, as investors assessed the prospect of escalating geopolitical tensions after a U.S.-led airstrike on Syria hit only 3 targets – instead of the rumored 8 – and with Russia failing to respond, fears of an imminent military conflict have been sharply ratcheted down, resulting in a generally bullish market reaction.

There was a significant fear of potential escalation; that hasn’t happened so far,” said Callum Henderson, a managing director at Eurasia Group. Even so, “it remains to be seen how long this market rally lasts on the back of this specific factor, whether or not, or when, Russia retaliates,” he said on Bloomberg Television.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump declared “mission accomplished” on Twitter after 105 Tomahawk cruise missiles struck targets in Syria, further suggesting there would be no immediate escalation, and sending S&P500 futures higher by 0.7%, albeit amid muted volumes.

“There is some relief that a direct confrontation between the U.S. and Russia over Syria has been avoided,” said DZ Bank rate strategist Daniel Lenz after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that further Western attacks in Syria would bring chaos to world affairs.

Yet while US index futures enjoyed a relief rally, global markets were mostly mixed on Monday, with Hong Kong and Chinese markets sliding led by property taxes amid worries Chinese tightening measures including property tax could hurt home prices. Shares in Sunac China Holdings Ltd. slumped as much as 6.8 percent, China Evergrande lost 5.3 percent, while Shimao Property Holdings Ltd. fell 4.1 percent.

The MSCI’s broadest gauge for stocks listed in Asia Pacific fell as much as 0.3%, erasing an early advance, as uncertainty remained over the level of geopolitical risk in the Middle East following the U.S.-led missile strike in Syria over the weekend. In Japan, stocks pared earlier gains with the benchmark Topix index briefly dipping into the negative territory as the yen stages a rebound against the dollar in midday trading in Tokyo.

The yen rose 0.1% vs. the dollar to 107.1, after falling by as much as 0.2%, amid rising political risks surrounding Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Traders are growing concerned the series of scandals plaguing Abe could lead to his early resignation, putting the future of Abenomics, and the BOJ’s QE in jeopardy. The approval rating for Abe fell to a record low of 26.7% in a survey by Nippon TV published Sunday. He’s been forced to repeat denials of involvement in scandals as thousands called for his resignation in a protest.

“There is the possibility that Japan’s politics will become a catalyst for speculators to build fresh yen longs,” Makoto Noji and Ataru Okumura, strategists at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., wrote in a note dated Monday, citing the falling approval.

“For markets, the question is whether this matters for economic policy,” said Paul Donovan, global chief economist at UBS Wealth Management. “A change in leadership may matter if the next prime minister has a radically different agenda.”

European bourses opened the week mixed as investors remain wary of potential escalating tensions regarding Syria. The anticipated US-led response on Syria finally took place on Saturday, which was seen as somewhat of a slap on the wrist as they decided to hit only 3 targets and with the wave of strike action already declared to be over. In terms of sectors, energy is taking a hit from the falling oil prices whilst healthcare names are outperforming with Shire (+0.9%) higher on the day amid reports Takeda Pharmaceutical heads are to meet with US investors ahead of the GBP 35bln bid for the UK-listed pharma name. Furthermore, Shire is to sell their oncology business to unlisted French drugmaker Servier for USD 2.4bln. Whitbread jumped 6.7% after hedge fund Elliot Advisors disclosed its stake in the company, while Shire Plc also rose as it agreed to sell its oncology business to France’s Servier SAS. Elsewhere, the world’s biggest ad company, WPP, tumbled -4.4% following the departure of CEO Martin Sorrell after an allegation of personal misconduct, with concerns arising over the future course of action for the company.

Meanwhile, amid relief that US-led strikes on Syria looked unlikely to escalate, there were renewed concerns at Russia’s potential reaction to new sanctions from Washington. On Sunday, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” confirmed that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would announce new sanctions against Russia today that “go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use”. However, so far Russian assets have taken the news in stride, with RUB markets appearing to be more comfortable with the Syria situation – as a result, any further military events should not cause a new wave of risk-off unless we see a direct clash between Russian and US troops, according to various geopolitical pundits. Still, as Citi’s FX desk correctly points out, the multi-year trend of worsening US-Russia relations seems to be evolving in a faster pace now.

In other weekend news, Trump Economic Adviser Kudlow said he is optimistic US and China can avoid a broader trade spat, while he also confirmed US President Trump wants to look into entering the TPP-11 but that it was too soon to determine how long the process would take. This also comes in the context of a WSJ piece stating that the earliest the U.S. could formally start negotiations to join the TPP is sometime next year, and each of the 11 nations still in the deal have a veto.

US Special Counsel Mueller is said to have evidence Trump’s lawyer Cohen was in Prague during 2016 Presidential election, which reports state could lend credence to allegations by a former British spy that Cohen met a powerful Kremlin official. Elsewhere, it was also reported that US President Trump is said to have deep concerns on the direction Special Counsel Mueller is taking.

Late on Sunday, former FBI Director Comey described the Oval office meeting in which he said President Trump asked him to back off of Michael Flynn which he thinks is certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice. However, he added that he doesn’t think President Trump should be impeached, but instead thinks Trump should be voted out.

Moody’s raised Spain’s sovereign rating by one notch to Baa1; outlook stable. Fitch affirmed Luxembourg at ‘AAA’; outlook stable. S&P affirmed Poland at BBB+; outlook revised to positive from stable.

European and U.S. government bond yields rose across the board. That was partly as attention turned to what is expected to be a robust first-quarter U.S. corporate earnings season, which begins in earnest this week. The yield on both German and U.S. 10-year government bonds, seen as among the most liquid and safe assets in the world, were at their highest levels in three weeks.

In FX, the dollar weakened after futures data showed hedge funds are the most bearish on the greenback in five years. The ruble reversed earlier losses.

WTI oil futures dropped sharply, falling toward $66 a barrel amid concern that shale production will rise further, and after there was no immediate reprisal to the missile attack. In terms of energy specific newsflow, OPEC members continue to advocate further cooperation and reiterate that the current supply cuts are to continue to the end of the year. In the metals scope, news arising gold trades slightly softer on an improved risk appetite, and copper is uneventful following Chinese underperformance. Kuwait Oil Minister says June meeting will be a chance to review agreement, but the deal will continue until the end of 2018.

Aluminum resumed its rally, adding to its biggest weekly increase on record Friday on concerns about Rusal’s future solvency.

Economic data include retail sales and Empire manufacturing data, while Bank of America and Netflix are set to report earnings. A slew of Federal Reserve officials who are due to speak, including the incoming head of the New York Fed, John Williams.

Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquaw

  • European bourses trade mixed (Eurostoxx 50 flat) following suit from the Asia-Pac session as investors remain wary of potential escalating tensions regarding Syria
  • The greenback is now softer for choice vs all G10 counterparts, albeit modestly
  • Looking ahead, highlights include, US retail sales and Fed’s Bostic, Kaplan and Kashkari

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.4% to 2,666.75
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.1% to 378.69
  • MSCI Asia Pacific down 0.1% to 173.61
  • MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan down 0.6% to 567.24
  • Nikkei up 0.3% to 21,835.53
  • Topix up 0.4% to 1,736.22
  • Hang Seng Index down 1.6% to 30,315.59
  • Shanghai Composite down 1.5% to 3,110.65
  • Sensex up 0.2% to 34,248.01
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% to 5,841.34
  • Kospi up 0.1% to 2,457.49
  • German 10Y yield rose 2.9 bps to 0.54%
  • Euro up 0.2% to $1.2359
  • Brent Futures down 1.6% to $71.45/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 1.7 bps to 1.542%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 1.4 bps to 1.252%
  • Brent Futures down 1.6% to $71.44/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.06% to $1,345.37
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.2% to 89.62

Top Overnight News

  • Fresh sanctions will be imposed on Russia related to Syria’s reported use of chemical weapons, as the U.S. and U.K. assess the fallout and next steps after Friday night’s strike on the Middle Eastern country, the top U.S. diplomat to the United Nations said
  • The U.S. Treasury didn’t name China or any other nation a currency manipulator in its semi-annual foreign- exchange policy report, though it added India to its monitoring list
  • Approval rating for Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet fell to 31%, an all-time low since the start of his second administration as prime minister, according to an Asahi poll conducted April 14-15 via phone
  • Japan and China hold their first high-level economic dialogue in almost eight years on Monday against a backdrop of trade threats from the U.S. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with President Trump later this week in Florida
  • Oil halted gains near $67 as the U.S. rig count rose to a three-year high, a sign of potentially higher production that may outweigh fears conflict in the Middle East threatens supply
  • Donald Trump is “morally unfit” to be president, former FBI Director James Comey said in an interview on ABC News, adding that he couldn’t rule out the possibility that the Russian government has incriminating information about the president.

European bourses opened mixed this morning, following suit from the Asia-Pac session as investors remain wary of potential escalating tensions regarding Syria. The anticipated US-led response on Syria finally took place on Saturday, which was seen as somewhat of a slap on the wrist as they decided to hit only 3 targets and with the  wave of strike action already declared to be over. In terms of sectors, energy is taking a hit from the falling oil prices whilst healthcare names are outperforming with Shire (+0.9%) higher on the day amid reports Takeda Pharmaceutical heads are to meet with US investors ahead of the GBP 35bln bid for the UK-listed pharma name. Furthermore, Shire is to sell their oncology business to unlisted French drugmaker Servier for USD 2.4bln. Whitbread (+6.7%) is dominating the FTSE 100 after reports Elliott Advisors is pressuring the company to spin-off Costa in an effort to generate as much as GBP 3bln of additional value. Elsewhere, WPP (-4.4%) following the departure of CEO Martin Sorrell after an allegation of personal misconduct, with concerns arising over the future course of action for the company.

Top European News

  • London House Prices Fall in Stark Division With Rest of U.K.
  • Citi Says Easy Access Makes Nordic Firms Ripe for Takeovers
  • Wall Street’s $6 Trillion Man Fink Is Finally Worth $1 Billion
  • H&M Chairman Has Bought About 6.7m Additional H&M Shares

Asian stocks traded with a mixed tone as focus centred on air strikes on Syria over the weekend and Chinese data. The anticipated US-led response on Syria finally took place on Saturday, which was seen as somewhat of a slap on the wrist as they decided to hit only 3 targets and with the wave of strike action already declared to be over. As such, US equity futures gapped higher at the open, while ASX 200 (+0.2%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.3%) were also in the green as fears of an escalation subsided. Conversely, Shanghai Comp. (-1.5%) and Hang Seng (-1.6%) were negative following the miss on Chinese lending data last week and with tomorrow’s Chinese GDP adding to the risk factors, while the PBoC also announced to raise the 14-day reverse repo rate by 5bps which was in-line with the hikes seen in money market rates in reaction to the March Fed hike. This saw an increase in money market rates in Hong Kong, while underperformance was led by Rusal shares which tumbled over 20% after US announced to impose further Russian sanctions. Finally, 10yr JGBs are uneventful amid a subdued tone in USTs and indecisive risk sentiment in the region, while the absence of a BoJ Rinban announcement also ensured quiet trade. Finally, 10yr JGBs were uneventful and traded little changed amid the mixed risk tone and as a lack of BoJ Rinban announcement also ensured quiet trade.

Top Asian News

  • Japan Scandals Drag Abe’s Support Down Toward Danger Zone
  • Why Chances of India Being Named a Currency Manipulator Are Slim
  • China’s Xi Is Said to Be Opposed to Life-Long Rule, FT Reports
  • Hong Kong’s Currency Defense Tops $1.7 Billion to Little Effect

In currencies, the Dollar index has faded after brief attempt higher within a 89.850-600 range, and the Greenback is now softer for choice vs all G10 counterparts, albeit modestly. Moreover, the ‘reaction’ to Saturday’s US-led strikes against Syria has been relatively tame overall, with the targeted military action appeasing fears over more aggression and potential retaliation. EUR/GBP:  Outperformers, as Eur/Usd firms above the 1.2300 handle, 10 DMA at 1.2310 and 55 DMA at 1.2327, but falls just short of a key Fib at 1.2377 having failed to seriously test 1.2400 on several occasions of late. Cable remains underpinned and just posted a session high above 1.4300 (best since the YTD high of 1.4345), and perhaps buoyed by a Eur/Gbp sell recommendation from a big US bank eying 0.8475 vs a circa 0.8645 low/0.8670 high. JPY/CHF/NZD/CAD/AUD: All essentially flat vs the Usd, around 107.20, 0.9600, 0.7355 and 1.2600 respectively and awaiting further impetus. Dovish BoJ commentary has weighed on the Jpy, and similarly soft Swiss producer prices for the Franc, while the Loonie is looking for independent direction from the BoC on Wednesday and Canadian CPI on Friday. Aud/Usd is holding towards the upper end of a 0.7785-50 band, but also capped ahead of the nearest big figure after topping out just above last week. USD/RUB: The Rouble is under pressure again amidst 62.0000-63.1500 parameters vs the Dollar ahead of latest reciprocal sanctions from the US and Russia, as the latter pledges to respond forcefully, and also warning that further strikes vs Syria will not be tolerated.

In commodities, WTI and Brent futures trade lower amid an unwind of the geopolitical premium and another uptick in the Baker Hughes rig count on Friday. The unwind in risk comes following the Syrian strikes on Saturday which were not as wide-reaching as some had feared. This risk-on attitude is tempered, however, as markets await further action surrounding Russian sanctions and retaliatory effects. In terms of energy specific newsflow, OPEC members continue to advocate further cooperation and reiterate that the current supply cuts are to continue to the end of the year. In the metals scope, news arising gold trades slightly softer on an improved risk appetite, and copper is uneventful following Chinese underperformance. Kuwait Oil Minister says June meeting will be a chance to review agreement, but the deal will continue until the end of 2018.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Empire Manufacturing, est. 18.6, prior 22.5
  • 8:30am: Retail Sales Advance MoM, est. 0.4%, prior -0.1%; Retail Sales Ex Auto MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.2%
    • Retail Sales Ex Auto and Gas, est. 0.4%, prior 0.3%; Retail Sales Control Group, est. 0.3%, prior 0.1%
  • 10am: Business Inventories, est. 0.6%, prior 0.6%
  • 10am: NAHB Housing Market Index, est. 70, prior 70
  • 4pm: Total Net TIC Flows, prior $119.7b; Net Long-term TIC Flows, prior $62.1b

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

The temperature has certainly been raised on the geo-political front this weekend with Friday night’s 105 ‘targeted’ missile strikes on Syrian chemical weapons facilities, which had set their program “back for years”. President Trump tweeted “mission accomplished” while the UK Foreign Secretary Johnson noted there was “no proposal on the table” for further strikes, which is consistent with comments from US defence secretary Mattis. Elsewhere, Russia’s President Putin noted that further Western attacks on Syria would “inevitably lead to chaos in international relations”. On Sunday, the UN ambassador Haley said that the US will announce new sanctions today on Russian firms that “go directly to….dealing with equipment” related to the Syrian leader and his chemical weapons.

This morning in Asia, markets are trading mixed with the Nikkei (+0.26%) and ASX 200 (+0.24%) modestly up while the Kospi (-0.03%), Hang Seng (-1.55%) and Shanghai Comp. (-1.32%) are down as we type. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P are up c0.4% while the Yen is c0.1% stronger. In Japan, the latest poll from Nippon TV showed PM Abe’s approval rating has fallen to the lowest level since late 2012 (26.7%). In the US, the latest poll by ABC news  showed President Trump’s approval rating has risen to the highest in 2018 to 40% (vs. 36% in Jan.).

As for this week it’s hard to look beyond geopolitics and trade war developments. On the former the market hope is that the fact that the Syrian air strikes were targeted and that Russia haven’t further inflamed the rhetoric so far, means that we can slowly move on. The latter is still bubbling around the surface and it was interesting that Friday saw a WSJ article suggesting a possible White House announcement about which products are on the list of $100bn of Chinese goods subject to tariffs comes to fruition this week. Elsewhere there are still some notable data to highlight including China Q1 GDP (tomorrow) and US retail sales (today). The Fedspeak diary is also packed full all week while President Trump is due to meet Japan’s Abe, the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings kick off, and Germany’s Merkel and France’s Macron meet to discuss EU reform and trade. In addition to all that, US earnings season steps  up with 61 S&P 500 companies due to report. The full week ahead is included at the end.

As a prelude to this week’s Fed speak, the Fed’s Rosengren noted “we have to be vigilant to make sure we’re not over stimulating the economy and generating either wage and price increases that are faster than what we’re going to want in the long run”. He expects the unemployment rate will decline to 3.7% this year and “it’s possible that (it) will fall even more rapidly in the short term”. On rates, he “expects somewhat more tightening may end up being needed” than the current Fed dot plot projections of three rate hikes for 2018 (ie: 2 more) while “inflation is likely to increase a bit more than the current median forecasts” by the Fed.

Following on, our Chief international economist Torsten Slok noted that in the history of economics, it has never happened in any country anywhere in the world that inflation has hit the target and stayed at exactly that level for 12 months. Hence, the risk of an inflation overshoot is rising, and as a result, the belly and the long end of the curve will move higher, finally recognizing that the Fed is right and that higher rates are needed across the curve to cool  down inflation and the economy.

Now recapping market performance from Friday. In equities, the Stoxx 600 rose +0.10% while the S&P 500 fell -0.29% with losses led by the financials sector. While US banks’ 1Q results were broadly above market expectations, the share price for JPM and Wells Fargo both fell -2.7% and -3.4% respectively, in part as JP Morgan’s CEO Dimon noted competition is intense and lending was flat for the quarter while WFC noted a potential $1bln charge to settle with the US consumer regulator. The VIX fell for the fourth consecutive day to 17.41 (-5.84%).

Government bonds have firmed slightly with core 10y bond yields down 0.5-2bp (UST -0.9bp; Bunds -0.4bp; Gilts -2.1bp). Key currencies were marginally higher, with the US dollar index up 0.04% while the Euro and Sterling also advanced 0.03% and 0.07% respectively. In commodities, WTI oil rose for the fifth straight day to be up 8.59% last week to $67.39/bbl. Precious metals gained c1% (Gold +0.84%; Silver +1.14%) while other base metals were little changed (Copper -0.06%; Zinc +0.15%; Aluminium +0.21%).

Away from the markets and onto some weekend headlines. In France, President Macron spoke with BFM TV to highlight his desire for “deep reform” of the local tax system to divide it up between cities, departments and regions. However, he added no new taxes are planned, including local taxes during his mandate. In the UK, the Telegraph reported that the BOE has privately warned banks that the end of its £127bn cheaper term funding scheme posed a “systemic risk” to the British financial system.

Over at the Americas Summit in Lima, the US VP Pence noted he is “…hopeful that we are very close to a renegotiated NAFTA and there is a real possibility that we could arrive at an agreement within the next several weeks”. Elsewhere, the Canadian PM Trudeau spoke of “positive momentum” and would like to “see a renegotiated deal sooner rather than later”.

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from Friday. In the US, the April University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell 3.6pts from last month’s cycle high to 97.8 (vs. 100.3 expected). The survey indicated inflation expectations for 1 yr and 5-10yr both eased 10bp mom to 2.7% and 2.4% respectively. The February JOLTS job openings was slightly above market at 6,052 (vs. 6,024 expected) with the quits rate steady at 2.2%. Elsewhere, the NY Fed’s estimate of 1Q GDP growth was unchanged at 2.8%. In Europe, the final reading for Germany and Spain’s March CPI was unrevised at 1.5% yoy and 1.3% yoy respectively. The Euro area’s February trade surplus was slightly above expectations at €21bln (vs. €20.2bln).

The big release to kick the week off comes in the US with the March retail sales report. Other data due in the US includes the April empire manufacturing print, February business inventories and April NAHB housing market index reading. There is no data due out in Europe or Asia. Away from the data the Fed’s Bostic is due to speak in the evening. EU foreign ministers are also due to meet to discuss the situation in Syria. Bank of America and Netflix are the earnings highlights.

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)MONDAY MORNING/SUNDAY NIGHT: Shanghai closed DOWN 48.40 POINTS OR 1.53%  /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 492.79 POINTS OR 1.60%   / The Nikkei closed UP 56.79 POINTS OR 0.26%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP .14% /Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN at 6.2849/Oil DOWN to 66.69 dollars per barrel for WTI and 71.81 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED IN THE RED    .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AT 6.2849 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.2773 /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING  A LITTLE WEAKER AGAINST THE DOLLAR /CHINA RETALIATES WITH TARIFFS/ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW TARIFFS AND IT NOW LOOKS LIKE A FULL TRADE WAR IS BEGINNING/

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

North Korea/South Korea

 

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

end

c) REPORT ON CHINA/HONG KONG

No question about it:  China is on the side of Russia in this conflict:

(courtesy zerohedge)

China: “The Arrogant US Has A Record Of Launching Wars On Deceptive Grounds”

While the lack of retaliation by Russia to Trump’s Friday night Syrian airstrikes surprised some, Russia defended its stance of shrugging in response (and not escalating to full blown world war), by asserting that Soviet-made missiles intercepted more than half of the 105 cruise missiles fired at three Syrian facilities (the Pentagon denied any missiles were hit), and that the US, UK and French blitz was generally less aggressive than most had feared, perhaps thanks to extensive advance warnings by Trump that an attack was imminent.

Yet if Russia’s managed response is understandable, one country whose vocal outcry to US strikes has been a surprise, is China.

As we reported yesterday, China was the first superpower outside those directly involved to slam the US airstrikes: “Any unilateral military action violates the United Nations charter and its principles and international law and its principles. [The strikes] are also going to add more factors to complicate the resolution of the Syrian crisis,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

Beijing also called for an investigation into claims of a Syrian poison gas attack on the rebel-held town of Douma that rescuers and monitors say killed more than 40 people, and prompted the Western action: “The Chinese side believes a comprehensive, impartial and objective investigation should be conducted into the suspected chemical attacks and it should come up with reliable conclusions … Before this, no conclusion by any side should be made,” Hua said.

* * *

Then, on Saturday during the emergency session of the Security Council on Saturday, Russia proposed a resolution urging the US and its allies to “immediately and without delay cease the aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic and refrain from further aggressive acts in violation of the international law and the UN Charter.” Not surprisingly, the proposal was voted down – and would have been vetoed by the US – but the roll call was surprising:  Russia and Bolivia voted in favor of the resolution… alongside with China.

If there was any confusion on whose side of the Syrian conflict China finds itself, that confusion is now officially gone.

* * *

Finally, overnight China also reminded its population that while the US is engaging in a contained “hot war” with Syria, Beijing is currently fighting a trade war with Washington D.C. when in a front-page OpEd on the state-owned nationalist tabloid Global Times, the politburo authorized a scathing article in which it once again slammed Trump’s involvement in Syria, claiming that “the facts cannot be distorted. This military strike was not authorized by the UN, and the strikes targeted a legal government of a UN member state… it has not been confirmed if the chemical weapons attack happened or if it did, whether government forces or opposition forces launched it. International organizations have not carried out any authoritative investigation.”

And the most inflammatory accusation: the entire US attack was a false flag:

The Syrian government has repeatedly stressed that there is no need for it to use chemical weapons to capture the opposition-controlled Duma city and the use of chemical weapons has provided an excuse for Western intervention. The Syrian government’s argument or Trump’s accusations against the “evil” Assad regime, which one is in line with basic logic? The answer is quite obvious.

The US has a record of launching wars on deceptive grounds. The Bush government asserted the Saddam regime held chemical weapons before the US-British coalition troops invaded Iraq in 2003. However, the coalition forces didn’t find what they called weapons of mass destruction after overthrowing the Saddam regime. Both Washington and London admitted later that their intelligence was false.

Finally, the Global Times pivots to what happens next, and how the US provocation could lead to further escalation in hostilities with Russia:

Washington’s attack on Syria where Russian troops are stationed constitute serious contempt for Russia’s military capabilities and political dignity. Trump, like scolding a pupil, called on Moscow, one of the world’s leading nuclear powers, to abandon its “dark path.” Disturbingly, Washington seems to have become addicted to mocking Russia in this way. Russia is capable of launching a destructive retaliatory attack on the West. Russia’s weak economy is plagued by Western sanctions and squeezing of its strategic space. That the West provokes Russia in such a manner is irresponsible for world peace.

Finally, without stating it expressly, China makes it quite clear on whose side it would be should war break out between Russia and the US:

The situation is still fomenting. The Trump administration said it will sustain the strikes. But how long will the military action continue and whether Russia will fight back as it claimed previously remain uncertain. Western countries continue bullying Russia but are seemingly not afraid of its possible counterattack. Their arrogance breeds risk and danger.

Read the full Global Times op-ed here.

end
China/Russia/USA
What on earth is Trump smoking:  accusing Russia and China of currency devaluation when both of the currencies has been on a rise especially the Chinese yuan.  The only reason that the Russian rouble is weaker is due to sanctions and the war rattling between the USA and Russia due to what is going on in Syria
(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Accuses Russia, China Of Currency Devaluation: “Not Acceptable”

There is just too much economic confusion in the latest tweet from Trump to even begin to explain it, so we will just point out that moments ago Trump, in this case definitely not under the advice of Larry Kudlow, accused China and Russia of “playing the currency devaluation game”, at a time of rising interest rates, which Trump slammed as “not acceptable.”

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game as the U.S. keeps raising interest rates. Not acceptable!

Without going too deep – as we would never get out – it is worth noting three things.

First: in the Treasury’s just released report on FX manipulation, neither China nor Russia were accused of devaluing their currencies. If Trump has a problem with Beijing’s or Moscow’s FX policies, he should probably first instruct his treasury.

Second, both currencies have been strengthening for over two years, and only saw a modest loss in value just very recently.

Third, the only reason Russia is “playing the devaluation game” is because of the sanctions Trump unleashed on Russia last week which sent both the ruble, and Russian assets crashing. If anything, Moscow wants a stronger Ruble to avoid having to raise rates even higher. As for China, while it may want a weaker yuan to boost exports, it will surely come as news to Beijing that it is devaluing the currency, which is trading at the strongest level against the dollar since the August 2015 devaluation, as a result of – drumroll – the weaker dollar. In fact, the weaker the dollar, the stronger the Yuan.

Meanwhile, the biggest irony is what Trump himself told the WSJ exactly one year ago: “I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that’s my fault because people have confidence in me.

Maybe if Trump wants stronger foreign currencies – i.e. a weaker dollar – he should just make sure people have “less confidence” in him? That, or more likely, he will start attacking Jay Powell in his morning tweets, demanding the Fed stop hiking rates.

While there was initially no response in the FX complex, the Bloomberg Dollar Index has slid to session lows shortly after the tweet.

As a result, the BBDXY is back to 3 month lows.

end
China is not going to like this:  The White House has just banned all USA firms from selling parts to China’s Telecom Giant ZTE
(courtesy zerohedge)

White House Bans US Firms From Selling Parts To China Telecom Giant ZTE

While it’s becoming increasingly clear that the US and China aren’t trying to work out a “deal” on trade like Larry Kudlow and other members of the Trump administration have suggested – only to meet with denials from the Chinese – the White House isn’t letting up on the pressure, Reuters reported.

To wit, the Trump administration has banned American companies from selling components to Chinese telecom-equipment manufacturer Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) Corp. after accusing the company of lying during a settlement negotiation, according to Bloomberg.

Specifically, the Department of Commerce determined that ZTE had made false statements to the Bureau of Industry and Security during 2016 settlement negotiations and during its 2017 probationary period.

The company pleaded guilty last year in federal court in Texas for conspiring to violate US sanctions by illegally shipping US goods and technology to Iran.

ZTE paid nearly $900 million in fines and penalties, and an additional $300 million that could be imposed in the future.

The company had promised, as part of the settlement, to fire four senior employees and punish 35 others by either reducing bonuses or reprimanding them, Commerce Department officials told Reuters.

But the company admitted that, as of March, it had fired the four senior employees, but had not disciplined the 35 more-junior employees.

The punishment comes shortly after Trump blocked Broadcom’s takeover of Qualcomm on national security grounds. The US is fighting to safeguard its technology as companies build the country’s 5G data network. Treasury Department officials had expressed concerns about Qualcomm’s technology falling into Chinese hands.

Shares of several ZTE customers, including Acadia and Oclaro, saw their shares plunge 15% and 25%, respectively, in early trade after the open.

ZTE

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

8. EMERGING MARKET

end

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

Euro/USA 1.2365 UP .0039/ 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 107.23 DOWN  0.020 (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 1.4299 UP .0071  (Brexit March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED

USA/CAN 1.2607 UP .0013 (CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA/CANADA HAS A HUGE HOUSEHOLD DEBT/GDP PROBLEM)

Early THIS MONDAY morning in Europe, the Euro ROSE by 39 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level RISING to 1.2365; / Last night Shanghai composite CLOSED DOWN 48.40 POINTS OR 1.53% /   Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 492.79 POINTS OR 0.26% /AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP .214% / EUROPEAN BOURSES  OPENED IN THE RED

The NIKKEI: this MONDAY morning CLOSED UP 56.79 POINTS OR 0.26%

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED  IN THE RED

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 492.79 POINTS OR 1.60%  / SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 48.40 POINTS OR 1.53%   /

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP .14% 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED UP 56.79 POINTS OR 0.26%

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE GREEN 

Gold very early morning trading: 1343.60

silver:$16.60

Early MONDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.8580% !!! UP 3  IN POINTS from FRIDAY night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%. (POLICY FED ERROR)/ 

The 30 yr bond yield 3.0641 UP 4  IN BASIS POINTS from FRIDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

USA dollar index early  MONDAY morning: 89.56 DOWN 24  CENT(S) from FRIDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers MONDAY MORNING

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And now your closing MONDAY NUMBERS \1: 00 PM

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.648% DOWN 1  in basis point(s) yield from FRIDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.0.047% UP 1    in basis points yield from FRIDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.244% UP 1  IN basis point yield from FRIDAY/

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.802  UP 1  POINTS in basis point yield from FRIDAY/

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 56 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD:RISES TO +.525%   IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY

END

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IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR MONDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.2374 UP .0047 (Euro UP 47 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 107.26 UP 0.008 Yen DOWN 1 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.4330 UP .0015( POUND UP 101 BASIS POINTS)

USA/Canada 1.2578 DOWN  .0016 Canadian dollar UP 16 Basis points AS OIL FELL TO $66.48

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This afternoon, the Euro was UP 47 to trade at 1.2374

The Yen FELL to 107.26 for a LOSS of 1 Basis points as NIRP is STILL a big failure for the Japanese central bank/HELICOPTER MONEY IS NOW DELAYED/BANK OF JAPAN NOW WORRIED AS AS THEY ARE RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY AS BOND YIELDS RISE

The POUND ROSE BY 101 basis points, trading at 1.4330/

The Canadian dollar FELL by 16 basis points to 1.578/ WITH WTI OIL FALLING TO : $66.48

The USA/Yuan closed AT 6.2765
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.047%  UP 1   IN BASIS POINTS / yield/
Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 1 IN basis points from FRIDAY at 2.8377% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.0327  UP 1     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,89.49  DOWN 31 CENT(S) ON THE DAY/1.00 PM/

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

London: CLOSED DOWN 66.36 POINTS OR 0.91%
German Dax :CLOSED DOWN 50.99 POINTS OR 0.41%
Paris Cac CLOSED DOWN 2.06  POINTS OR 0.04%
Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 1.20 POINTS OR 0.01%

Italian MIB: CLOSED DOWN 1.01 POINTS OR 0.00%

The Dow closed UP  212.90 POINTS OR 0.87%

NASDAQ UP  49.64 Points OR 0.70% 4.00 PM EST

WTI Oil price; 66.48 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 71.67 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS: 62.08 DOWN 141/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE HIGHER BY 141 BASIS PTS)

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES TO +.525% 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:$66.33

BRENT: $71.45

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.8267%   THIS RAPID DECENT IN YIELD IS ALSO VERY DANGEROUS/RECESSION COMING

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.0254%/

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS: 1.2381 UP .0054  (UP 54 BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:107.10 DOWN 0.145/ YEN UP 15 BASIS POINTS/ very dangerous as yen carry traders are getting killed/yen continues to rise despite the NYSE rising. however gold is now breaking away from yen influence.

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 89.42 DOWN 38 cent(s)/dangerous as the lower the dollar the higher the inflation.

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.4338: UP 0.01093  (FROM LAST NIGHT UP 109 POINTS)

Canadian dollar: 1.2565 UP 23 BASIS pts

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +0.511%


VOLATILITY INDEX:  16.56  CLOSED  DOWN  0.85

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.353%  ..LIBOR HAS INCREASED FOR 47 CONSECUTIVE DAYS. 

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

Missile-Mania Sparks Stock-Buying Bonanza As Yield Curve Tumbles

As a reminder, here’s what happened in 2017 when Trump shot missiles at Syria…

And here’s what happened this time…

Missiles were dropped…

Correlations broke everywhere today…

Trannies were flying today – up 2.4%!!!! but for the major indices, it was all about the overnight action that drove the main thrust of gains…Stocks went nowhere from the European close…

Futures show the gap open on Sunday night and retest of Friday’s highs…Futures closed the day session around the same levels as they opened on Sunday night..

Machines dragged The Dow up to run yesterday’s high stops and the 50DMA… but then it rolled over…

The S&P 500 managed to clamber back into the green for the year (2673.61) and test its 50DMA…

VIX dropped back to a 16 handle…

Mixed picture for bank stocks with BofA higher on earnings but still down from Friday’s pre-open banking earnings drop…

NFLX was lower (ahead of earnings) among the FANGMAN stocks…

While stocks loved the missile strikes, bonds did not…

Treasuries were mixed on the day…but rallied throughout the US day session

But the 30Y rallied from the US open to end the day unchanged…

Driving the yield curve back down to its flattest since Oct 2007… (and 2s10s dropped below 45bps)

The Dollar Index slipped back below Friday’s lows…

The Ruble spiked after WaPo headlines claiming Trump has halted Russian sanctions…

Cryptos slid on the day but are marginally higher from Friday’s close… (with Bitcoin holding around $8,000)

The apparent demise of geopolitical fear prompted selling pressure in crude but PMs rallied on a weaker dollar…

Another disappointing data for macro data enthusiasts…

end

USA Morning Data

A surprise rebound in retail sales in March with Autos the big winner

(courtesy zerohedge)

Retail Sales Rebound In March As Autos Jump

After 3 straight months of declines, March retail sales surprised to the upside bouncing 0.6% MoM (+0.4% exp), but ex-autos/gas was a disappointment  (rising 0.3% vs 0.4% expectations).

The 0.6% MoM spike was higher than the highest (of 71) economists’ estimate

Eight of 13 major retail categories showed increases.

Sales at health and personal-care stores rose 1.4 percent, the most in two years.Auto sales rose 2 percent, the most since September; a report last week showed purchases of cars and light trucks rose to a 17.4 million annualized rate in March, the fastest this year.

Weaker categories included building-materials stores, which fell 0.6 percent; apparel-store sales, down 0.8 percent; and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, which declined 1.8 percent, the most since December, the data showed.

The data on Monday also showed that a decline in gasoline costs, as reported last week in the Labor Department’s consumer price index, may have weighed on filling-station receipts. Gas-station sales dropped 0.3 percent, the most since July, according to the Commerce report. Excluding automobiles and gasoline, sales advanced 0.3 percent for a second month.

end

We are continuing to see disappointing soft data reports.  Today it was the NY manufacturing Empire report and it fell notably below expectations

(courtesy zerohedge)

‘Hope’ Just Died In The Empire State

Extending the run of disappointing ‘soft’ survey data (plunging to its weakest since Dec 2016), today’s Empire State Manufacturing survey fell notably below expectations.

But under the hood, the survey was very worrisome… the six-months-ahead-general-business-conditions sub index (aka ‘hope’) collapsed at the fastest rate since the last two recessions…

As Gluskin Sheff’s Chief Economis David Rosenberg noted, The NY Empire manufacturing index had more of a Yankees than a Mets feel to it. The real key was the meltdown in the forward-looking six-month expectations index.

    end
USA Morning trading:

Bonds are just not buying this obvious manipulation

(courtesy zerohedge)

Stocks Surge As Yield Curve Crumbles To Fresh 11-Year Flats

Stocks exuberantly rallied on the ‘hype’ that the world is safe again and America’s latest intervention is one-and-done… but bonds ain’t buying it…

The curve tested Friday’s highs then crashed back down its flattest levels since Oct 2007…

Someone is ‘wrong’ again!

As Eric Peters anecdotally summed up over the weekend…

“We have this global synchronized recovery, massive tax cuts, rising budgets, hurricane rebuilding projects, and record corporate profits,” he said.

“We have $70 oil, record low unemployment in the US, Germany and Japan.”

I nodded.

“We have the 2nd longest economic expansion and one of history’s greatest bull markets in US stocks.”

Indeed, it’s true, if America avoids a recession for another year, it’ll be the longest expansion since before the Civil War.

“Inflation is rising, core, headline.”

Yup.

“So why can’t 10yr bond yields surpass 3%?”

Why indeed?!!

end

Friday night/Trump claims a perfectly executed strike on chemical facilities inside Syria

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Praises “Perfectly Executed Strike” In Syria: “Mission Accomplished!”

Investigators from the OPCW have barely begun sifting through the evidence on the ground in Douma, but that hasn’t stopped the US, France and the UK from patting themselves on the back for a “job well done” after last night’s brutal bombing campaign in Damascus and Homs.

And true to form, President Donald Trump was up early Saturday (as he is most weekends) to fire off a gloating tweet about the coalition’s airstrikes, which purportedly targeted regime bases and facilities dedicated to the production of chemical weapons.

In a series of tweets, the president lauded the “perfectly executed strike last night” and offered a “thank you” to France and the UK for “their wisdom and the power of their fine Military.”

“A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”

And while Trump’s plan to eliminate some discretionary domestic spending from the “omnibus” spending bill passed last month has reportedly hit the rocks ahead of its formal release early next month, the president eagerly seized the opportunity to gloat about the passage of a bill that he had expressed major reservations about only weeks before.

“So proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest our Country has ever had,” Trump tweeted.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

So proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest that our Country has ever had. There won’t be anything, or anyone, even close!

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!

Of course, the president wasn’t the only US politician to applaud the “one-time” military intervention in Syria.

Sen. John McCain tweeted his approval: “I applaud the President for taking military action against the Assad regime and I am grateful to our British and French allies for joining us in this action…”

John McCain

@SenJohnMcCain

I applaud the President for taking military action against the Assad regime, and I am grateful to our British and French allies for joining us in this action. To succeed in the long run, we need a comprehensive strategy for Syria and the entire region. https://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=press-releases&id=3062151E-7E3D-44A7-B24F-C480B8B07862 

Indeed, Trump has won McCain’s approval for what appears to be the first time since last year’s airstrike.

Maggie Haberman of the New York Times, hardly a staunch opponent of interventionism, pointed out the hypocrisy embedded in Trump’s words.

Maggie Haberman

@maggieNYT

A phrase indelibly associated with the Iraq War and inaccurate early declarations. Trump ran against the Iraq War https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/985130802668294144 

“Mission accomplished” indeed.

Alastair Williamson@StockBoardAsset

When a U.S. President starts announcing “Mission Accomplished” — that is the time to expect more war.

end

China not to enthralled with the USA airstrikes into Syria, Friday night.  Both Germany and Italy refuse to participate

(courtesy zerohedge)

China Slams Syrian Airstrikes As Germany And Italy Refuse To Participate

While the western community has been broadly supportive of the overnight strikes launched against Syria by the US, UK and France, two prominent members have either refused to participate or outright oppose them.

As we first reported last week, Germany (along with Italy) refused to be an active member of the strikes. On Saturday morning, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the country won’t participate in military actions against Syria, according to an interview in news magazine Spiegel.

This is not the role that we – in coordination with our partners – want to play in this conflict.” Although, he added that he understands the view of French President Emmanuel Macron, who said use of chemical weapons “crosses a line” and added that “The use of chemical weapons must stop and can’t be without consequences.”

Angela Merkel was similarly supportive: “We support that our American, British and French allies, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, have taken responsibility in this way,” the Chancellor said in statement… just not enough to take part in the strikes that she knew would prompt a response from Putin.

Italy also rushed to made it clear to the Kremlin it was not an active participant: Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said in a televised address that the reaction to alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria was measured, and should not mark the beginning of escalation in the region. He then added that while Italy is an ally of the participants, the country didn’t participate; and while Italy usually gives logistical help, in this case Italy did not provide.

Perhaps the reason for this reticence is that the two nations most reliant on Russian nat gas imports, realized that they don’t want to be especially cold this coming winter.

Meanwhile, China was less diplomatic and shortly after the strikes began, Beijing voiced opposition to US-led air strikes against Syrian military targets on Saturday and called for talks, adding that the Western operation had complicated efforts to find a solution to the crisis.

“Any unilateral military action violates the United Nations charter and its principles and international law and its principles. [The strikes] are also going to add more factors to complicate the resolution of the Syrian crisis,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

Beijing also called for an investigation into claims of a Syrian poison gas attack on the rebel-held town of Douma that rescuers and monitors say killed more than 40 people, and prompted the Western action.

“The Chinese side believes a comprehensive, impartial and objective investigation should be conducted into the suspected chemical attacks and it should come up with reliable conclusions … Before this, no conclusion by any side should be made,” Hua said.

Hua also said the Chinese embassy in Damascus was in close contact with Chinese citizens in the country. “So far they are all safe,” she said.

Beijing was reacting to air strikes launched by the United States, Britain and France carried out on what the US said were three chemical weapons facilities – one scientific facility near Damascus and two storage facilities near Homs. A total of more than 100 missiles were fired and the air strikes lasted no more than 70 minutes.

On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted: “Mission Completed”, and thanked Britain and France for the “perfectly executed strike”.

Announcing the strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, US President Donald Trump branded last week’s alleged poison gas attack the “crimes of a monster”.

A few minutes later, an AFP correspondent in Damascus heard a series of huge blasts and residents rushed to their balconies. For around 45 minutes, explosions echoed and the sound of warplanes roared over the city, as flashes flared in the distance.

Syrian state media reported only three people injured and Russia’s defence ministry said there were “no victims” among Syrian civilians and military personnel. Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said no additional strikes were planned. “Right now this is a one-time shot,” he said.

Syria’s regime, which has repeatedly denied any use of chemical weapons, immediately denounced the strikes as “brutal, barbaric aggression” that was “doomed to fail”.

* * *

On Saturday, Russia said it was calling an emergency session of the UN Security Council to discuss the “aggressive actions” of the United States and its allies. “Without the sanction of the UN Security Council, in breach of the UN charter and the norms and principles of international law, an act of aggression was committed against a sovereign state,” the Kremlin said.

Inspectors with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were due later Saturday to start work on a probe into the events of April 7 in Douma, the last rebel-held pocket of the onetime opposition stronghold of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for calm, delaying a planned trip to Saudi Arabia to deal with the aftermath of the military action. “I urge all member states to show restraint in these dangerous circumstances,” he said in a statement.

Beijing-based military analyst Li Jie said Beijing should stand with Russia as tensions rose between China and the United States.

“In this case, I think Beijing should stand firmly with Russia over the Syria issue. China is unlikely to send troops to Syria, but China would be on the same page as Russia when it comes to issues like supporting the Syrian government,” Li said.

end

Syria claims that it’s Russian made defense system intercepted 71 out of the 103 cruise missiles launched.  The uSA states that all 103 hit their target.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Syria Claims It Intercepted 71 Out Of 103 Cruise Missiles; Pentagon Denies

As US politicians and foreign leaders from Israel to Canada applauded the US-led airstrikes in Syria, reports emerged Saturday that the attack was far less effective than the Pentagon has claimed.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry,  most of the missiles launched by the US, UK and France had been intercepted by Syria’s air defenses. Employing Soviet-made S-125 and S-200 air defense systems as well as Buk and Kvadrat units, Syria reportedly shot down 71 of the 103 cruise missiles. These included 12 cruise missiles which had been headed toward the Dumeir military airfield – which was completely spared, thanks to the Syrian counterstrike.

The US target list included the following:

  •     4 missiles were launched targeting the area of the Damascus International Airport. All these missiles were intercepted.
  •     12 missiles were launched targeting the Al-Dumayr Military Airport. All these missiles were intercepted.
  •     18 missiles were launched  targeting the Bley Military Airport. All these missiles were intercepted.
  •     12 missiles were launched targeting the Shayarat Military Airport. All these missiles were intercepted.
  •     9 missiles were launched  targeting the Mezzeh Military Airport. Five of them were intercepted.
  •     16 missiles were launched targeting the Homs Military Airport. 13 of them were intercepted.
  •     30 missiles were launched targeting targets in the areas of Barzah and Jaramani. Seven missiles were intercepted.

A spokesperson for the Russian general staff confirmed that no Russian defense systems were used to repel the attack, adding that Russia had declined to supply Syria with more advanced weapons – a decision it said it would reconsider.

“The Syrian air defense system has been conducting an anti-air fight,” a spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Defense said. Furthermore, it confirmed that the Syrian military repelled the attack using weapons manufactured in the USSR more than 30 years ago.

The MoD added that, while the facilities in the areas of Barzah and Jaramani were partly destroyed, these facilities had been for a long time abandoned and had not been involved in the production of chemical weapons in contrary to the claims of the US-led coalition.

Buk

Buk-M1 missile system

Syrian state media reported that only three people were injured as a result of the strikes, and that no Syrian or Russian military of civilian personnel were wounded.

Syria’s regime, which has repeatedly denied any use of chemical weapons, immediately denounced the strikes as “brutal, barbaric aggression” that was “doomed to fail”.

Meanwhile, soldiers took to the streets to celebrate the intercepts.

James Elias Mirad@EliasMirad

Now Syrian army and citizens celebrating after intercepting 20 missiles

Predictably, the US offered a very different account of the airstrikes: During an early morning press conference, Lt. Gen Kenneth McKenzie said all of the missiles fired by the US and its partners landed.

“We are confident all our missiles reached their targets,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie added that the Syrian government responded by recklessly firing 40 missiles, none of which struck military targets or intercepted the coalition’s missiles. “The Syrian response was ineffective in all domains,” he said. Not only was the Syrian counterattack ineffective, the US said the regime actually endangered its own people by firing the missiles blindly.

“When you shoot iron into the air without guidance, it’s going to come down somewhere,” McKenzie said.

Amusingly, the Pentagon added that it documented a 2,000% increase in disinformation by Russian troll farms over the past 24 hours, in response to a reporter question why the Pentagon has failed to provide any of the evidence it has that Assad was behind the chemical attacks.

As a reminder, the US said it has “proof” the Syrian regime had orchestrated the attack, though investigators from the OPCW have only just started their investigation and are not even in Syria.

Late Friday night, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said that US airstrikes on Syria were a “one-time shot,” while Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters that the US wasn’t planning any further attacks.

Though these claims were apparently undercut by President Trump, who tweeted “Mission Accomplished” Saturday morning – echoing a statement made by President Bush to celebrate the “end” of the US’s mission in Iraq. Yet that announcement was, in reality, the beginning of a conflict that continues in some form even today.

end

OPCW investigators arrive in Damascus right after the attack and they are stating that it looks like the “White Helmets” or western sympathizers who staged the gas attack

(courtesy zerohedge)

OPCW Investigators Arrive In Damascus As Moscow Insists “White Helmets” Staged Gas Attack

The US-led coalition’s missiles have already blasted craters into the ground near Damascus and Homs (and while the attacks produced no fatalities, the US and Russia have presented dramatically different accounts of strike), but investigators from the United Nation’s chemical weapons watchdog are only just arriving in Damascus to begin processing the scene of the brutal chemical weapons attack in Douma last week that left at least 70 people dead.

OPCW@OPCW

🔴 BREAKING: Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team has arrived in Damascus, to commence its work.

Both Syria and Russia called for an OPCW inquiry into the attack, while Russia has claimed that it has evidence US-backed “white helmets” – a US-funded “humanitarian” NGO long applauded by the mainstream media for its efforts – had a hand in fabricating evidence. The US State Department, meanwhile, has asserted that it has “proof” the Syrian government was behind the attack (though it has neglected to release any details about this purported “proof” to the public). Furthermore, the US has blamed Russia for failing to ensure that chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria had been destroyed, per RT.

The agency was set up to oversee and guarantee the destruction of chemical weapons and to investigate instances of their use. The agency will examine samples taken from attack victims to determine the chemical used as it tries to uncover the perpetrator. Syria, Russia, the UK, the US, France and Russia are all members of the organization.

OPCW

This isn’t the first time OPCW has visited Syria in recent memory. It carried out a similar investigation in 2017, when the organization found that sarin or a sarin-like substance was employed in the town of Khan Shaykhun, but did not undertake an on-the-ground inspection of the site.

Evidence put forward in the agency’s report revealed the gas was most likely released to the north of the settlement. However, it did not attribute blame to the April 2017 attack, which was carried out in an area not controlled by the government of the Syrian Arab Republic at the time.

* * *

Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Defense says it has proof that the gas attack in Douma was staged to give the West an excuse to justify a military intervention in Syria, according to Major-General Igor Konashenkov.

It also accused the British government of pressuring the perpetrators to speed up the “provocation.” The MoD released interviews with two men who are purported to be the only doctors on the ground in Douma. They said video showing victims suffering from a chemical weapons attack was actually damage from smoke inhalation after a bomb struck a building, per RT.

“The Russian Defense Ministry also has evidence that Britain had a direct involvement in arranging this provocation in Eastern Ghouta,”  “We know for certain that between April 3 and April 6 the so-called White Helmets were seriously pressured from London to speed up the provocation that they were preparing.”

As we reported on Thursday, Russia has uncovered evidence that the White Helmets helped plant evidence and fabricate photos of the alleged victims of the attack.

Furthermore, Konashenkov said Russia hoped that international monitors from OPCW would confirm Russia’s findings. He added that Eastern Ghouta is trying to return to a peaceful existence after being liberated from militant groups by Syrian government forces.

Earlier this week, Russia’s MoD said in a statement that experts who had been sent by Russia to investigate “found no traces of the use of chemical agents” following a search of the site, adding that “all these facts show… that no chemical weapons were used in the town of Douma, as it was claimed by the White Helmets.”

“All the accusations brought by the White Helmets, as well as their photos… allegedly showing the victims of the chemical attack, are nothing more than a yet another piece of fake news and an attempt to disrupt the ceasefire,” said the Russian Reconciliation Center.

Russia’s ambassador to the UN said earlier this week that the White Helmets were “mendaciously acting under the cloak of health professionals” and instead were spreading western propaganda.

end

David Stockman/part ii and part ii/ on how the Deep State is closing in on the Donald ”

(Part ii/part iii)

The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 2: Mueller’s War

Authored by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog,

See Part 1 here.

What is going on in the eastern Mediterranean and over the skies and on the ground in Syria is absolutely nuts; it’s also scary dangerous and utterly unnecessary, too.

After all, the imminent Russian/American military clash is over the skeleton of an artificial backwater nation confected in 1916 by two swells in the British and French foreign offices. At length, what was never a nation anyway has finally been reduced to rubble, misery and sectarian fragments.

So there is nothing to contest now, and, in fact, there never was. The sovereign government of Syria long ago invited the Russians in and Washington out. Period.

Why, then, are commercial aircraft being warned to stay out of Syrian airspace, while the Russian fleet at Tartus scrambles into defensive redeployments?

Likewise, why is the Syrian air force being forced to hide its planes and helicopters in its own country, while Washington steams an armada of warships toward the Mediterranean that is larger and more lethal than the entire Navy of almost every other country in the world?

The answer is simple and terrible: Washington has become the War Capital of the planet and now teems with a whole generation of war-obsessed bureaucrats, think-tankers, consultants, lobbyists, militarists, imperialists, neocon belligerents and the legions of military/industrial/spy complex racketeers who feed off a hideously bloated national security budget.

Of course, you also have thousands of politicians—both those now in office and those who hang-around afterwards and get prosperous by hanging-out a shingle to ply the business of operating Washington’s global empire. Among them are the brainwashed, the stupid, the larcenous, the sanctimonious, the venal, the flag-wavers, the sunshine patriots and the ideologues of American exceptionalism, responsibility-to-protect (R2P), democracy propagation and plain old imperial hegemony.

Needless to say, our purpose here is not to play the name game. Instead, we are trying to color, characterize and concretize what we mean by the Deep State, and to explain why the latter is carrying on such a relentless, vicious and dark campaign to take the Donald down—even at risk of war with Russia and nuclear armaggedon for the entire planet.

It’s all encapsulated in two words: America First!

That was the Trump campaign slogan and tonality that sent the Imperial City into paroxysm of outrage and sanctimonious harrumphing. That’s because at the end of the day America First invalidates the very modus operandi of the War Capital, and all its projects, pretensions and illicit prosperity.

After all, in a world of America First, what happened or didn’t happen in Douma would be of no moment with respect to homeland security. In fact, here’s what Douma looks like today, and no everyday American would ever confuse it with an existential threat to his own safety or liberty.

Obviously, Douma is just the poster child for the illicit warp and woof of the entire American empire abroad. The civil war in Syria was essentially a proxy battle between the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam.

As such, it extended across the entire middle east, encompassing Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies on one side and Iran and its Shiite allies including the Washington supported government in Baghdad, the Washington demonized government in Damascus and the Hezbollah faction of Lebanon, on the other.

In one form or another this clash has been going on for 1300 years, and its current manifestation bears not a whit of consequence for the safety and security of the citizens of Lincoln NE, Spokane WA or Springfield MA. Accordingly, not one ounce of American blood or one dollar of American treasure should have ever been spent on it.

Alas, America First understands that truth intuitively and unequivocally. And that knowledge Imperial Washington could not abide.

Likewise, America First comprehends that the Persian Gulf is no American Lake and that it is in no way the business of the Fifth Fleet to police. Oil is a matter for markets and economics—meaning that high prices, shortages and supply interruptions are their own cure.

In fact, America First recognizes that in this day and age the US doesn’t even need a Fifth Fleet because its is useless to defend the homeland (that takes nuclear deterrence which we already have in abundance), and is only good for extending, occupying and policing an Empire that undermines homeland security and bleeds the nation’s treasury.

So too, the case of Ukraine. If the Crimeans chose to return to the Russian Motherland by a 90% referendum vote, which they were part of for upwards of 200 years after the peninsula was purchased by Catherine the Great in 1783, so be it.

Similarly, if the Russian-speaking, left-leaning population of the Donbas (eastern Ukraine) wishes to succeed from a regime in Kiev dominated by anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalists and proto-fascists, they have every right to do so—not the least of which is memorialized in a document penned by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin et. al. in 1776.

As a practical matter, whether the output of coal, chemicals, steel and other industrials by the 5 million people of the Donbas is chalked up to the GDP of Ukraine, Russia or a newly christened republic would not make an iota of difference to homeland security in the United States.

Indeed, it is difficult to think of developments anywhere on the planet which bear less on America’s security than the status of the Donbas. Well, except perhaps whether the Chinese want to waste their money building military bases on sandbars in the South China Sea.

In a similar manner, America First is OK with the sovereign determination by the Germans that their national security is adequately served by spending a mere 1.5% of GDP on defense, and that the route to peaceful relations with Russia is through more commerce and trade, not military build-ups and pointless provocations in places like Syria (Germany is not joining the Donald’s impending war there).

Stated differently, America First understands that if the Germans don’t expect to be invaded by Putin, exactly why is Washington bleeding its Treasury piling up conventional armaments on the other side of the Atlantic?

And that gets us to the meat of the matter: America First is an existential threat to the Deep State.

It turns the clock back to April 2, 1917—the date when the Woodrow Wilson foolishly declared war on Germany and led America into a bloody cauldron on the Western Front that had absolutely no bearing on its national security; and thereafter into a destructive “peace” at Versailles that guaranteed perpetual war.

America First, when followed to its logical and correct conclusion, would put the War Capital of the world out of business; it would result in a massive slashing of the hideously bloated national security budget; it would ash-can the endless complex of think-tanks, NGOs, intelligence contractors and lobbyists for foreign interests.

We refer, of course, to the likes of the Podesta brothers, Paul Manafort and 20,000 more like and similar operators and racketeers. Indeed, having it way with the Warfare State, America First would bring a hair-curling recession to the Imperial City which would make Youngstown Ohio look like a model of prosperity.

To be sure, we seriously doubt that the Donald had any idea of where American First was leading him when he stumbled upon the slogan; and we are afraid that his xenophobic fear-mongering about the Mexican border would have distracted him, anyway.

But the Deep State was taking no chances. That’s why the partisan shills who ran the CIA and FBI under Obama were able to launch their insidious anti-Trump witchunt as an “insurance policy” in July 2016; and it’s also why the Obama Administration pulled out all the stops in its waning days in office to insure that the verdict of November 8 would be re-litigated on the back of the Russian Meddling story.

In Part 3 we intend to summarize the ludicrously threadbare nature of the whole Mueller investigation, but suffice it here to note the Smoking Bunker Buster that puts the lie to the whole scam.

To wit, it is absolutely the fact that neither Donald Trump, nor his sons, nor his daughter and son-in-law went to Russia at any time after the Donald’s unlikely campaign was launched in June 2015. At that time no one including Vlad Putin gave him a snowball’s chance of ending up in the Oval Office; and since then Trump has proven that no one matters in his comings and goings except the Donald and his family.

So if there was any collusion after the announcement, it had to be by email or phone between the Trumps and high state officials in the Kremlin. That is to say, every word of such conversations would be stored in the vast NSA (national security agency) server farms where everything which crosses the worldwide web gets snatched and stored.

Needless to say, if Robert Mueller were truly doing god’s work in behalf of the rule of law and American democracy, he would have ordered-up the NSA taps on day one, and resolved the matter of “collusion” with the Russians within one week’s time.

That he didn’t do because no such taps exist and no such conversations between the Trumps and the Russian state ever happened. Period. Full stop.

To the contrary, the entire prolonged, ballyhooed, ever-expanding, leak-ridden, media-fueling Mueller investigation is designed to mortally wound Donald Trump and drive him from office. That is, to crush America First in its infancy and to obliterate even the crude and half-baked form in which its emerged from the modest gray matter nested under the Orange Comb-Over.

In that mission, the Mueller witch-hunt has already succeeded. The Donald has become so punch drunk from its malicious and vicious assault that he has simply capitulated, and his tweet of the morning lets the cat fully out of the bag.

To wit, less than two weeks ago he was embracing the famous strategy of Senator George Aiken, who in the midst of LBJ’s insane invasion of Vietnam explained how to end that pointless war: “Declare victory and go home” said yesteryear’s profound statesman from Vermont.

That’s exactly what the Donald  was doing when he declared victory over ISIS and announced that America would be going home from Syria, and did so without the approval of his Deep State minders.

So doing, it nearly made America First the policy of the land; it was a strident statement of the fact that the Doumas of the world may be human tragedies, but they are not threats to America’s security–nor are they the business of Washington’s war machine.

But the War Capital could not abide the thought, and this morning the Donald explained that he has now gotten his head “right”, after all.

Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”

That wasn’t a statement about second thoughts on attacking Syria; it’s an expression of the rationale the Donald is preparing to use in order to camouflage his abject surrender to the War Party.

That is to say, the anti-ISIS mission is complete—so now on to saving the world from the Iranians and the Russians.

Needless to say, bombing now vacant Syrian military installations into smithereens will not possibly accomplish that objective and will only make the risk of WWIII that much more palpable.

In fact, the surest way to get ISIS back is to destroy the Syrian government and thereby open the gates of Hell, as did Dubya back in 2003.

Either way, it’s Mueller’s War and the evil of it is near at hand.

end

The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 3: The Capture Is Complete

The Donald seems to be taking a Deep Breath on his Syria bombfest, but the Deep State has him by the orange hairs. So we doubt the delay will last much longer. [he didn’t!]

That’s because our Art of the Deal genius is getting bamboozled yet again. They are telling him that wiping out up to a dozen Syrian airfields, military installations and a dog-eared factory or two that can be identified as chemical weapons sites will amount to some pretty serious Shock & Awe where it counts: That is, the mere witnessing of it will cause the Fat Boy of Pyongyang to brown his ample trousers, thereby getting his “mind right” for the upcoming summit.

That’s exactly the kind of macho-bargainer stuff that the Donald thrives on, and is further proof that the Deep State has figured out exactly how to press his buttons.

To be sure, Trump is no innocent victim. He voluntarily made himself hostage to the War Party by surrounding himself with failed generals and the most rabid war-mongers to be found in the Imperial City—-John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel.

Indeed, you have to wonder. How could anyone with even a half-baked notion of America First think that a hard core interventionist like John Bolton should be brought up right close and personal to the POTUS ear lobes, Walrus mustache and all?

But whatever the Donald was thinking when he made such horrendous choices for his top national security posts, these denizens of the War Party have wasted no time shoving their own agenda right down his throat.

And at the top of that agenda is systematic, relentless escalation of provocations against Russia and Iran. That’s because confrontation with these demonized states is the best way to keep Imperial Washington (and therefore the entire country) on a war-footing and the national security gravy train overflowing with fiscal largesse.

As we indicated in Part 1, the impending attack on Syria is actually a shot across the bow aimed at Tehran and Moscow. The cover story is simply a humanitarian sounding ruse. Ostensibly, Bashar Assad is being administered a good hard spanking via a barrage of cruise missile birch switches.

That begs the question, of course, of how homeland security is actually enhanced by selectively spanking some malefactors and not others.

In this case, even the surely bogus claim that 40 civilians were gassed in Douma hardly compares to the 10,000 civilians that have been slaughtered by American bombs delivered by the Saudi air force in Yemen; or the thousands of anti-government prisoners that have been summarily executed by General al-Sisi in Egypt under this stewardship of Washington’s $1.2 billion annual stipend; or the thousands of civilians that Israel has killed during its periodic “lawn-mowing” exercises on the Gaza Strip.

Obviously, Washington shouldn’t even be in the spanking business because no one appointed America as the world’s policeman or moral proctor. But even if that were the true purpose (it’s not) of the impending act of naked aggression against the sovereign government of Syria, you would think there at least ought to be a semblance of proof that the alleged chemical attack actually occurred.

Unlike in past Syrian incidents, in fact, the way is wide open for an honest determination of what actually happened. That’s because the last rebel hold-outs in Eastern Ghouta are now all dead or have vacated the area on busses arranged by the Syrian government as part of the relocation deal that sent them to rebel-held Idlib province in the northwest.

Consequently, Douma is now safe for western journalists, government officials and international investigators from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Warfare (OPCW) to visit the alleged sites of the attack and find the evidence.

Of course, Syrian and Russian officials who have visited the area say there is no evidence of victims, bodies, chlorine residue or that the sole hospital in the community was ever over-run with victims of toxic chemical agents. That alone is remarkable given initial reports that there were upwards of a thousand victims of the purported attack.

But now the Russian government has gone a striking step further. They are claiming they have evidence that the whole thing was staged. That is, that an incident which has the world on the brink of war was just another false flag attack of the kind that the barbaric jihadists attacking the Syrian government have serially orchestrated since the original Ghouta event and Obama’s infamous “red line” of August 2013.

A Russian government spokesman said the ministry had found those who took part in filming the rent-a-mob chemical attack in Syria’s Douma and these people told how the video had been shot.

“Today, the Russian defense ministry has other evidence proving the United Kingdom’s direct involvement in the organization of this provocation in Eastern Ghouta,” he said

In his words, the so-called White Helmets were pressed by London in a period from April 3 to 6 to hurry up with the implementation of the planned provocation. “The White Helmets were told that in a period from April 3 to 6 Jaysh al-Islam militants would conduct a series of massive artillery bombings of Damascus. It would provoke a retaliation operation by government forces and the White Helmets were to use it to stage a provocation with an alleged use of chemical weapons,” he said.

 According to Konashenkov, officers of the Russian defense ministry spoke with two Syrians who had taken part in filming the framed-up attack. Both have medical diplomas and work with the emergency department of Douma’s hospital. The two men do not conceal their names. They told Russian officers that all those who had been taken to hospital during the filming had no symptoms of exposure to toxic agents.

“When the patients were receiving first aid unidentified people burst into the hospital, some were holding video cameras,” the spokesman cited them as saying. “These people started shouting, fanning hysteria. They carried hose and douched all present with water crying out that all of them had been exposed to poisonous agents.”

“The patients and their relatives yielded to panic and began to pour water on each other. After this scene was caught on video, these unidentified people fled,” he added.

This is what is called evidence in the civilized world, he stressed, adding that Russia had repeatedly warned about provocations with the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians plotted by militants in Eastern Ghouta.

We don’t know whether the Russian government is lying or not, but since the whole world has been invited to come and make its own determination, we doubt it. After all, they have produced local citizens from the Douma hospital and elsewhere in the community who say they witnessed the fabrication. If these witnesses and the Russians are lying, that will quickly become evident.

To the contrary, you can’t bury the evidence—including the bodies— of a chlorine attack that allegedly caused hundreds of deaths and injuries. If it happened, the OPCW investigators and journalists will fund it; and if they don’t, it didn’t.

Meanwhile, why in the world are they gathered in the Situations Room arguing about targets and how to minimize risks of a direct hit on Russian military personal, when the Donald could actually pick up the red phone and tell Putin that he’ll have an investigation team on the ground at Douma tomorrow AM?

We have not doubt that Cool Hand Vlad would say “be my guest”. And we also have no doubt that Pat Buchanan hit the nail on the head in his recent missive when he noted:

We cannot forever fight other peoples’ wars without ending up on the same ash heap of history as the other world powers before us.

And why not talk directly to our adversaries there?

If Trump can talk to Kim Jong-un, who used an anti-aircraft gun to execute his uncle and had his half-brother murdered in a Malaysian airport with a chemical weapon, why cannot we talk to Assad?

In 1974, Richard Nixon flew to Damascus to establish ties to Assad’s father, the future “Butcher of Hama.” George H.W. Bush enlisted Hafez al-Assad and 4,000 Syrian troops in his Gulf War to liberate Kuwait.

All over this city, and across the Middle East, there are people who wish to conscript U.S. wealth and power to advance their goals and achieve their visions. Having let them succeed so often has diminished us as a superpower from what we were at the end of the Cold War.

This should stop, and the nation knows it.

Among the reasons Democrats nominated Barack Obama and America elected him was that his opponents, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, supported the Iraq war Obama opposed.

Among the reasons the Republican Party nominated Trump and the nation elected him was that he promised to take us out and keep us out of wars like the one in Syria.

Is it not ironic that today our War Party, which, almost to a man, loathed Trump and rejected his candidacy, is goading and cheering him on, deeper and deeper into the Syrian quagmire?

And that gets us to the meat of the matter. Donald Trump has now been taken hostage by the machinery of the Deep State and has become the tool of its destructive agenda.

For instance, John Bolton is an advocate of America Uber Alles—the very antithesis of America First. In fact, he is an emissary for what might be termed the “Bibi First” wing of the War Party.

Netanyahu’s entire misbegotten reign as head of the Israeli government has been based on demonizing Iran, thereby gluing together a motley coalition of rightwing religious and settler parties in the parliament.

In the present circumstances, the over-riding agenda of the “Bibi First” wing is to ashcan the Iranian Nuke deal when it comes up for certification on May 12.

That’s because an Iran that rejoins the community of nations, reengages in trade and commerce with the rest of the world and adheres to the nuke deal, which it has every intention of doing if Washington sticks to its end of the bargain, is an Iran that puts the lie to the entire demonization campaign that has been conducted by the neocons in Washington and Israel for the past 25 years.

Needless to say, that is a scenario that the War Party cannot abide. It would put Bibi Netanyahu out of business and severely erode the case for the hundreds of billions that are being wasted on Washington’s conventional military capacities.

After all, if Washington didn’t have the Persian Gulf to police or a dog in the Sunni-Shiite religious and political struggles, it wouldn’t be wasting $30 billion per pop on new aircraft carriers and their battle-group armadas.

So the Deep State has moved heaven and earth to bring the Donald into its thrall and to bury every vestige of his incipient pivot toward an honest and affordable national security policy based on America First.

If the Tomahawk cruise missiles fly toward Syria over the weekend [they did], we will know that the capture has been complete; and that the Oval Office is now occupied by a hostage of the very Deep State that he campaigned against, and which, in any event, will soon sacrifice him to the vengeful furies of the Mueller witchunt.

end

An excellent paper by Tom Luongo as he tries to explain to us how the Deep State is controlling Trump and only for the good sense of Mattis, have we avoided war

(courtesy Tom Luongo)

 

Luongo: Trump Is Done, Mattis Won

Authored by Tom Luongo,

Friday night’s attack on Damascus was chilling.  No question.  It dredged up the worst possible scenarios from our sub-conscious and for a few hours made them real.  Now that the dust has settled, and we see what’s occurred (and what hasn’t) it’s time to draw some conclusions.

First thing’s first.  I reiterate what I said earlier in the week.  Trump is finished.  Read my article carefully, then overlay two things I didn’t talk about.  One, Trump is impulsive and easily manipulated.

Two, Trump is ultimately a coward and an appeaser, just like The Saker pegged him to be after bombing Al-Shairat last year.

All bullies are cowards.  That’s why they bully.

Because of these personal defects, he gave his resignation speech last night.  Be it later this year when he’s impeached/forced to resign for a war crime or in January 2021 after losing to a baked potato, the anti-interventionist crowd who elected him will remember this for a long time.

I want to remind you of what happened last year with Al-Shairat.  Trump bombed it while having dinner with Chinese Premier Xi Jinping.  A light show of sound and fury which ultimately did very little damage. 

But, it did not signify nothing.

It signified that Trump is out of his depth in foreign policy.

A few months later Seymour Hersh, one of the few journalists left in the U.S., published his expose of what actually happened which led to the decision to bomb Syria.  It was at this point I realized Trump wasn’t fit to conduct foreign policy.  Trump wanted to go to war fully and was talked out of it by his military advisers, namely Gen. James Mattis.

Mattis of Grave Import

Mattis gave Trump the option he took.  A big light show which the Russians allowed to occur so Trump could get some relief from his detractors and satisfy himself that he did something in response to what he perceived to be a morally reprehensible act.

No 4-d chess. No back door coordination with the Russians.  Just a man with a deep sense of morality that needed to feel powerful.

Now fast forward to last night.  Same story.  Different circumstances since now Trump is even more isolated, more paranoid, more betrayed at every level by his political opposition. Do you think he hired John Bolton because he’s become more nuanced in his foreign policy approach?

If you do, then you aren’t just an idiot.  You are an heir to the throne of the kingdom of idiots.

Sometimes when we do this type of analysis we forget about the men we are actually dealing with versus who we are personally.  It’s easy to overlay our own abilities onto a public figure and think that if we can see this, he has to be able to.

But, that’s the wrong approach.  Trump is what he is.  And re-reading Hersh’s account from last year reminded me of what we’re dealing with here.

They were dealing with a man they considered to be not unkind and not stupid, but his limitations when it came to national security decisions were severe. “Everyone close to him knows his proclivity for acting precipitously when he does not know the facts,” the adviser said. “He doesn’t read anything and has no real historical knowledge. He wants verbal briefings and photographs. He’s a risk-taker. He can accept the consequences of a bad decision in the business world; he will just lose money. But in our world, lives will be lost and there will be long-term damage to our national security if he guesses wrong. He was told we did not have evidence of Syrian involvement and yet Trump says: ‘Do it.”’

His refusal to act against his domestic enemies who are obviously guilty put him in the position he’s in now, having to trust the word of the worst people in U.S. policy-making, the John Bolton wing of the establishment.

To survive last year, Trump made a deal with them.  The military would be in charge of foreign policy.  Trump would get to play president working on domestic issues.  But, during that time things got even worse.

Yes, he got some major domestic wins.  He outlasted his opposition long enough to reveal the depths of their depravity and mendacity.  But, all that time the center of the foreign policy establishment in Washington closed in on him.  And the siren’s call of moralistic intervention to stop Iran and/or Russia was consistently impressed on him.

The Big Show

So, here we are again.  Trump’s enemies know how to get him triggered to do something stupid and against his good instincts.  Then compound this by telling him the Russians are the problem.  They are lying.  They’ve betrayed him too.

He has a near obsession with being the anti-Obama.  It defines so many of his actions.

It’s why he’s willing to tweet out a complete reversal of what he advocated for in 2013, for Obama not to bomb Syria.  He was right then.  But, as president, he’s defined Obama as his shadow, everything he’s not.  And with good reason, Obama is likely behind much of the opposition he’s dealing with every day.

These things build up over time.  They paralyze a man as self-absorbed as Trump.  He’s no angel, but he was the best option we had in 2016.  Our options were Hillary Clinton or him.  We chose Trump.

But, make no mistake, we still elected DONALD TRUMP.

And that leads me to where we are now.

Yesterday I wrote that I thought Mattis and Trump were trying to run out the Neoconservatives clock on bombing Syria.  I was half-right.  Trump had already gone fully over to the neocons approach and Mattis talked him out of it.

Bolton pushed for a broader attack hard and Mattis put the kibosh on it because he’s the adult in the room.

If not, the Neocons would finally have the war they’ve been salivating for these past forty plus years.  But, things have changed.

Russian anti-missile systems are too strong for us to deal with.  It would take the kind of saturation bombing reserved only for Defcon 1 scenarios to attack Syria with the intention of ‘winning.’

The Syrians claim to have shot down 70% of the incoming missiles using old Russian anti-missile batteries, S-200’s, Buks, etc.  Even if they are exaggerating and only shot down half of the missiles.  It only makes the next steps clearer.  Russia will sell Assad S-300’s now.

Only Winning Matters

Looking at the results of the attack last night I fully believe it was another ‘Goldilocks Option’ from Mattis like last year.  While we may not have informed the Russians the attack was coming, France may have.  Moreover, France may have backed out of actually firing missiles at all.

If this was a serious attack on Damascus, which I don’t believe, then Syrians wouldn’t be dancing in the streets for having survived the U.S.’s impotent chest-thumping.

They would be mourning their dead.

We didn’t hit any Iranian, Russian or Hezbollah installations.  The Israelis will be incensed.  In fact, this was a no-winner outcome.  Everyone was weakened by this to some degree in the short term, except the target of the attack itself, Bashar al-Assad.

Assad will now move on to the next victory in the campaign to re-form Syria.  While Mattis just gave the rebels carte blanche to stage another chemical weapons attack in Dara’a, which is the next likely area to be cleansed of ‘rebels.’

But, that’s where Mattis is smarter than Trump.  He knows that even if one of Assad’s commanders went off the reservation and used chlorine gas here, something I give a 5 to 10% probability of, it’s not worth World War III over.  He knows that horrible things happen in war.  And that leaders and civilian populations cannot be held accountable for the deficits of one man or small cadre of men.

There’s no real option for us to go deeper into Syria, despite what the Israeli lobby and the Neocons in the U.S. want.  This attack didn’t help them.  By doing this Mattis continues to let Trump blow off steam, make his points and hasten the day that we can actually get out of the Middle East.

Trumped Himself

Meanwhile Trump just ensured that he has no bargaining power in North Korea, is aligned with the criminal U.K. government in illegally bombing a sovereign nation in violation of all international law and pushed Russia, Iran and China into a closer alliance.

His opponents will hang him with this strike.  Even if he was coerced into this against his will, it signals to the world he isn’t in control of anything and has no real power.  So much for the Art of the Deal.

Up until now, much of Trump’s successes have come from his allies supporting him by leaking damaging material domestically or covering for his mistakes internationally.  They did this because they believed him to be sincere in wanting to devolve the U.S. empire and bring rationality back to international politics.

And I still believe he is.

But, with his unwillingness to evolve and become better they aren’t going to let him get his wins anymore.  There’s no upside for Putin to let Trump take the credit for purging Syria of ISIS or brokering peace with North Korea anymore.

Trump is hopeless on the international stage.  Another false flag, another impotent light show.  He’s not Orange Jesus, he’s a deeply flawed, if well-intentioned man.  And it’s time we stopped the cult of personality and begin the hard work of Draining the Swamp.

That’s why he’s done.  And that’s why we’re not out of the woods yet.  For now, we can let out a breath but this isn’t over.

The neocons will push for Trump to fire Mattis next.  If that happens, duck.

end

*  *  *

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“You Can’t Be Safe In The Stock Market” Stockman Slams America’s “Bad Money System”

Via  Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

Former Reagan White House Budget Director David Stockman says look out for the “perfect storm” coming our way. Stockman explains,

I think we are in peak crazy time, really, to launch an attack against Syria based on the flimsy evidence to date, and the likelihood it was another false flag operation…

Trump declared victory two weeks ago in Syria and said we are coming home, which is exactly the right thing to do and say.

Then, all of a sudden, you have a gas attack and the clamor from the war party to do something, respond and bomb Assad yet one more time, even though those air bases and military bases are populated with Russian military…”

Stockman summarizes the chaos…

“You have a hot war against Russia and the Iranians, which we have no business starting.  You have a trade war brewing, I am afraid will get out of control with China, which is totally unnecessary.  You have a fiscal calamity brewing right before your eyes, and you have a Fed populated by Keynesians, who think they miraculously cured the economy and everything is fixed.  So, they are finally going to do what they should have done a long time ago and that is normalize interest rates…

The problem is they have waited so long…that by October, they will be shrinking their balance sheet by $50 billion a month… while the Treasury is attempting to sell $1.2 trillion a year of new debt…

You are going to have, and I am quite certain of it, you are going to have a yield shock like the world has not seen in a long time

When yields hit 4%, the proverbial brown stuff is going to hit the fan.  It is the proverbial perfect storm of upset, upheaval and really insane kind of developments.  Finally, after kicking the can all these years, it is finally going to come together, and I don’t see what is really going to slow it down.

How did the world get into record debt and trade wars? Stockman says,

“The point is a free market based on honest money would never produce this kind of imbalance. 

Under the old system, when you start to run trade deficits this big…there would have been quick adjustment because we would have lost reserves. 

Pre-1914, that was gold.  When you lost financial reserves, gold, that caused the banking system to tighten up and caused interest rates to rise, credit to be curtailed, and the economy slowed down.  Prices adjusted and slowly imports declined and exports recovered…

We don’t have that anymore. We basically have a bad money system, which allows these kinds of trade imbalances to grow.

What Stockman sees is deflation, depression and financial Armageddon. Stockman says,

“In the bond market, I don’t know any other way to describe it… It’s uncharted territory, and we have never been here before

The house of cards is so shaky and so fragile right now that there is the risk of the proverbial black swan event.  We don’t see something coming.  It shocks the system.  It triggers a panic, and the panic soon envelops itself and descends into some sort of doom loop.  That could very easily happen.”

Stockman says, “Gold and silver are the only safe investments to have . . . you can’t be safe in the stock market, and you can’t be safe in the bond market.”

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with financial expert David Stockman.

SWAMP STORIES

Comey just threw Obama and Lynch under the bus with the Clinton email investigation in that in his words: complicated matters

(courtesy zerohedge)

Obama And Lynch “Jeopardized” Clinton Email Investigation: Comey

With the country’s attention focused on James Comey’s book publicity gala interview with ABC at 10pm ET, the former FBI Director has thrown former President Obama and his Attorney General Loretta Lynch under the bus, claiming they “jeopardized” the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Comey called out Obama and Lynch in his new book, A Higher Loyalty, set to come out on Tuesday. In it, he defends the FBI’s top brass and counterintelligence investigators charged with probing Clinton’s use of a private email server and mishandling of classified information, reports the Washington Examiner, which received an advanced copy.

I never heard anyone on our team — not one — take a position that seemed driven by their personal political motivations. And more than that: I never heard an argument or observation I thought came from a political bias. Never … Instead we debated, argued, listened, reflected, agonized, played devil’s advocate, and even found opportunities to laugh as we hashed out major decisions.

(“Guys, LMAO, we totally just exonerated Hillary! My sides! Hey Andy, how’s Jill’s Senate race going?”)

Comey says that multiple public statements made by Obama about the investigation “jeopardized” the credibility of the FBI investigation – seemingly absolving Clinton of any crime before FBI investigators were able to complete their work.

Contributing to this problem, regrettably, was President ObamaHe had jeopardized the Department of Justice’s credibility in the investigation by saying in a 60 Minutes interview on Oct. 11, 2015, that Clinton’s email use was “a mistake” that had not endangered national security,” Comey writes. “Then on Fox News on April 10, 2016, he said that Clinton may have been careless but did not do anything to intentionally harm national security, suggesting that the case involved overclassification of material in the government.”

President Obama is a very smart man who understands the law very well. To this day, I don’t know why he spoke about the case publicly and seemed to absolve her before a final determination was made. If the president had already decided the matter, an outside observer could reasonably wonder, how on earth could his Department of Justice do anything other than follow his lead.” –Washington Examiner

Of course, Comey had already begun drafting Clinton’s exoneration before even interviewing her, something which appears to have been “forgotten” in his book.

The truth was that the president — as far as I knew, anyway — he had only as much information as anyone following it in the media. He had not been briefed on our work at all. And if he was following the media, he knew nothing, because there had been no leaks at all up until that point. But, his comments still set all of us up for corrosive attacks if the case were completed with no charges brought.”

“Matter” not “Investigation”

Comey also describes a September 2015 meeting with AG Lynch in which she asked him to describe the Clinton email investigation as a “matter” instead of an investigation.

“It occurred to me in the moment that this issue of semantics was strikingly similar to the fight the Clinton campaign had waged against The New York Times in July. Ever since then, the Clinton team had been employing a variety of euphemisms to avoid using the word ‘investigation,’” Comey writes.

The attorney general seemed to be directing me to align with the Clinton campaign strategy. Her “just do it” response to my question indicated that she had no legal or procedural justification for her request, at least not one grounded in our practices or traditions. Otherwise, I assume, she would have said so.

Comey said others present in the meeting with Lynch thought her request was odd and political as well – including one of the DOJ’s senior leaders.

I know the FBI attendees at our meeting saw her request as overtly political when we talked about it afterward. So did at least one of Lynch’s senior leaders. George Toscas, then the number-three person in the department’s National Security Division and someone I liked, smiled at the FBI team as we filed out, saying sarcastically, ‘Well you are the Federal Bureau of Matters,’” Comey recalled.

That said, Comey “didn’t see any instance when Attorney General Lynch interfered with the conduct of the investigation,” writing “Though I had been concerned about her direction to me at that point, I saw no indication afterward that she had any contact with the investigators or prosecutors on the case.”

In response, Loretta Lynch promptly issued a statement in which she said that if James Comey “had any concerns regarding the email investigation, classified or not, he had ample opportunities to raise them with me both privately and in meetings. He never did.”

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Laura Jarrett

@LauraAJarrett

Statement from former AG Loretta Lynch on Comey

As we reported earlier, President Trump slammed Comey in several Saturday morning tweets – calling him a “slime ball” and a liar, and the “worst FBI director in history”, intent on exacting his revenge for being unceremoniously fired.

To start off his morning tirade, Trump lashed out at Comey for his stunning admission that the he might have behaved differently toward Clinton if her polling numbers weren’t as strong, and that Comey may not have reopened the Hillary probe if he thought she could lose.

Trump notes – correctly according to Comey’s own statement – that the FBI director’s admission shows that he was making decisions during the investigation based on whether he believed Clinton would win.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Unbelievably, James Comey states that Polls, where Crooked Hillary was leading, were a factor in the handling (stupidly) of the Clinton Email probe. In other words, he was making decisions based on the fact that he thought she was going to win, and he wanted a job. Slimeball!

According to excerpts of his memo leaked to the mainstream media, Comey admitted that he publicly revealed the reopening of the FBI’s probe into Clinton’s mishandling of classified information partly because he feared that, once she won, her critics would have grounds to question the legitimacy of her presidency, as we pointed out on Friday.

Trump then points out that Comey offered no explanations for the bureau’s most questionable behavior, including the DNC’s refusal to let the FBI examine its email server after Wikileaks released a trove of hacked emails, as well as the $700,000 campaign contribution received by Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s wife from an ally of the Clintons.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The big questions in Comey’s badly reviewed book aren’t answered like, how come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the FBI (why didn’t they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabe’s $700,000 & more?

But hey, according to Comey – it was Obama and Lynch who complicated “matters” with the investigation. The “boyscoutish” former FBI Director could do no wrong. Just make sure to buy Comey’s book to know for “sure.”

end

Lawyer Michael Cohen refuses to disclose the identity of his “third client”  as this soap opera continues

(courtesy zerohedge)

Michael Cohen Refuses To Disclose Identity Of His “Third Client”

President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen will appear in Manhattan federal court Monday at 2 pm ET in the courtroom of judge Kima Wood for a hearing about how the government should handle materials seized from his office and home during an FBI raid last week.

Cohen’s lawyers have filed an injunction seeking to stop the government from reviewing the materials, which they argue could include communications between Cohen and President Trump that should be shielded by attorney-client privilege. Instead, his lawyers have argued that they should be allowed to review the documents before the government can appoint a “taint team” consisting of third-party investigators who will make that determination.

Information leaked late last week and over the weekend would paint Cohen as a type of fixer who typically handled payoffs to cover up his clients affairs. In addition to allegedly making payments to two separate women on behalf of President Trump, it was reported over the weekend that Cohen paid $1.6 million to a woman who had an abortion after being impregnated by former Republican National Committee Deputy Finance Chairman Elliott Broidy. Broidy resigned on Friday after admitting to the affair.

Cohen

And a filing that Cohen’s legal team submitted just hours before Cohen is set to appear in Manhattan court only further entrenches this reputation, as it confirms that Cohen gave legal advice to three people in the past year: President Trump, Broidy and a third person whom Cohen declined to name, Bloomberg reported.

“The third legal client directed Mr. Cohen to not to reveal the identity publicly,” Cohen’s lawyers wrote.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press, pointing out more details from the filing, cited Cohen’s lawyers as saying the FBI investigators “took everything” during last week’s raids, which they have described as “completely unprecedented.”

Cohen’s attorneys said the FBI seized dozens of electronic devices and other items including documents and data unrelated to the probable cause used to justify the warrants.

Cohen is reportedly under criminal investigation for personal business dealings unrelated to the Russia probe and has been ordered to appear in court Monday after his lawyers successfully secured a delay.

The raid purportedly sought information on payments Cohen made to former adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen MacDougal, who was reportedly paid off by Trump ally David Pecker.

Expect the question of the third individual’s identity to become a major issue in today’s hearing, which will be closely watched by investors and political observers alike. Investors will be hoping details coming out of the hearing won’t spoil today’s rally.

END

I will  see you  TUESDAY night

HARVEY

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