MAY 17/Major story!! IG Horowitz finds that the FBI and the Dept of Justice broke the law in the Clinton probe and now refers the matter to Huber for criminal charges. Interesting Sally Yates has got some serious troubles as well!/Gold down $1.75 to $1290.25 but silver continues to rise: up 6 cents to $16.45/Europe revolts against Iranian sanctions/Trump states no progress on Chinese trade issues/Emerging market troubles: Argentinian Peso continues to decline/Also Brazilian Real in a free-fall/ Trump issues Merkel an ultimatum to stop the Nord Stream No 2 gas pipeline project/

 

 

GOLD: $1290.25  DOWN $ 1.75  (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSINGS)

Silver: $16.45 UP  6 CENTS (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSINGS)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1291..00

silver: $16.45

For comex gold:

MAY/

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR MAY CONTRACT:19 NOTICE(S) FOR 1900 OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR 649 FOR 64900 OZ (2.018 tonnes)

For silver:

MAY

35 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

175,000 OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 6074 for 30,370,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: BID $8239/OFFER $8339: DOWN $56(morning)

Bitcoin: BID/ $8163/offer $8263: DOWN $131  (CLOSING/5 PM)

 

end

First Shanghai gold fix comes at 10 pm est

The second Shanghai gold fix:  2:15 pm

First Shanghai gold fix gold: 10 pm est:  1300.03

NY price  at the same time: 1293.65

PREMIUM TO NY SPOT: $6.38

ss

Second gold fix early this morning:  1297.71

USA gold at the exact same time:  1290.40

PREMIUM TO NY SPOT:  $7.31

AGAIN, SHANGHAI REJECTS NEW YORK PRICING.

WE WILL NOT PROVIDE LONDON FIXES AS THEY ARE NOT ACCURATE AS TO WHAT IS GOING ON AT THE SAME TIME FRAME.

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total OPEN INTEREST  ROSE BY A GOOD 1994 CONTRACTS FROM  198,065  RISING TO 200,198  DESPITE YESTERDAY’S TINY 10 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICING   WE ARE NOW WITNESSING OUR USUAL AND CUSTOMARY COMEX LONG LIQUIDATION AS WE ENTERED INTO THE ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MAY AS LONGS PACK THEIR BAGS AND MIGRATE OVER TO LONDON.  WE WERE  NOTIFIED THAT WE HAD A FAIR SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP :   1156 EFP’S FOR JULY AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 1156 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 1156 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 1156 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 5.78 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE  10 CENT GAIN IN  SILVER PRICE  AT THE COMEX AND

2. THE STRONG AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR MAY COMEX DELIVERY. (30.665 MILLION OZ)

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

25,357 CONTRACTS (FOR 13 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 25,357 CONTRACTS) OR 126.785 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 1950 CONTRACTS OR 9.752 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH:  126.785 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 18.11% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION (EX CHINA EX RUSSIA)

ACCUMULATION IN YEAR 2018 TO DATE SILVER EFP’S:            1,272.11      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

ACCUMULATION FOR APRIL 2018:                                          385.75         MILLION OZ

RESULT: WE HAD A STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX OF 1994 DESPITE THE SMALL 10  CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICE.  WE HAVE NOW ENTERED THE NEW ACTIVE MONTH OF MAY.   THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT IN FACT WE HAD AN GIGANTIC SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 1156 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 (SEE COMEX DATA) . FROM THE CME DATA:  1156 EFP CONTRACTS FOR JULY, AND ZERO FOR ALL OVER MONTHS   FOR  A DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS (TOTAL: 1156). TODAY WE GAINED 3150  TOTAL OI CONTRACTS  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: i.e. 1156 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH AN INCREASE OF 1994  OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH THE TINY RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER OF 10 CENTS AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $16.39 WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING. YET WE STILL HAVE A STRONG AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX FOR DELIVERY IN THIS  ACTIVE MAY DELIVERY MONTH. IT SURE LOOKS LIKE A FAILED BANKER SHORT COVERING EXERCISE!!

In ounces AT THE COMEX, the OI is still represented by OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.000 MILLION OZ TO BE EXACT or 143% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED AT THE COMEX: 35 NOTICE(S) FOR 175,000 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 , APRIL: 2.485 MILLION OZ AND MAY: 30.665 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/2017
  4. RECORD SETTING EFP ISSUANCE FOR ANY MONTH IN SILVER; APRIL/2018/ 385.75 MILLION OZ/ (FINAL)

AND YET, WITH THE EXTREMELY HIGH EFP ISSUANCE, 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 A CONSIDERABLE 7545 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 512,413 DESPITE THE GAIN IN THE GOLD PRICE/YESTERDAY’S TRADING (GAIN OF $1.05) WE ARE NOW IN THE NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MAY.  THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCE AND IT TOTALED AN GIGANTIC SIZED 12,098 CONTRACTS :   JUNE SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 11,848 CONTRACTS , MAY SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTRACTS  AND AUGUST SAW THE ISSUANCE OF: 250 CONTRACTS WITH ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The new OI for the gold complex rests at 512,413. 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. . 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 STRONG SIZED  OI GAIN IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 7545  OI CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND AN GIGANTIC SIZED 12,098 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON.THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN: 4553 CONTRACTS OR 455,300 OZ = 14.161 TONNES. AND ALL OF THIS OCCURRED WITH A TINY GAIN OF $1.05 

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 20,304  EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF MAY : 126,078 CONTRACTS OR 12,607,800  OZ OR 392.155 TONNES (13 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 9,698 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 969,800 OZ/ TRADING DAY),,

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :    THIS MONTH IN 13 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 392.155 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 392.155/2550 x 100% TONNES =  15.37% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN APRIL ALONE.*** THE ACCUMULATION OF EFP CONTRACTS IS RISING PER MONTH.

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2018 TO DATE 3,150.09*  TONNES   *SURPASSED ANNUAL PROD’N

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  (22 TRADING DAYS)

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S FOR APRIL 2018:                   713.84 TONNES  (21 TRADING DAYS)

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 CONSIDERABLE SIZED DECREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 7545  DESPITE THE $1.05 RISE  IN PRICE // GOLD TRADING YESTERDAY ($1.05 GAIN).  WE ALSO HAD AN GIGANTIC SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 12098 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 12098 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A GOOD SIZED NET GAIN OF 4553 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 

12,098 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 7545 CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX. (in tonnes, the GAIN in total oi equates to 14.161 TONNES). ..AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT BUT ALL OF THESE OCCURRED AT THE COMEX WITH A TINY GAIN OF $1.05 IN TRADING!!!. 

we had: 19 notice(s) filed upon for 1900 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 DOWN  $1.75 /NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 856.17 TONNES

Inventory rests tonight: 856.17 tonnes.

SLV/

WITH SILVER UP 6 CENTS   A SMALL CHANGES IN THE SILVER INVENTORY AT  THE SLV INVENTORY/ A DEPOSIT OF 471,000 OZ 

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 321.945 MILLION OZ/

end

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in SILVER ROSE BY A STRONG SIZED 1994 CONTRACTS from 198,065 UP TO 200,059 (AND, CLOSER TO THE  NEW COMEX RECORD SET /APRIL 9/2017 AT 243,411/SILVER PRICE AT THAT DAY: $16.53). THE PREVIOUS RECORD OTHER THAN WAS ESTABLISHED AT: 234,787, SET ON APRIL 21.2017 OVER ONE YEAR AGO.  THE PRICE OF SILVER ON THAT DAY: $17.89.   OUR CUSTOMARY MIGRATION OF COMEX LONGS MORPH INTO LONDON FORWARDS CONTINUES AS OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE: , 0 EFP CONTRACTS FOR MAY  (WE DO NOT GET A LOOK AT THESE CONTRACTS AS IT IS PRIVATE BUT THE CFTC DOES AUDIT THEM), AND 1156 EFP’S FOR JULY AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  1156 CONTRACTS. EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON.  IF WE TAKE THE  OI GAIN AT THE COMEX OF 2123 CONTRACTS TO THE 1156 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE OBTAIN A  STRONG GAIN OF 3279 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  15.75 MILLION OZ!!! AND THIS OCCURRED WITH  THAT TINY 10 CENT GAIN IN PRICE .  THE BANKERS ORCHESTRATED THEIR RAID THROUGHOUT LAST WEEK  DESPERATELY TRYING TO PARE THEIR GIGANTIC OPEN INTEREST SHORT ON BOTH EXCHANGES BUT TO NO AVAIL. JUDGING BY THE RECORD NUMBER OF EFP ISSUANCE DURING LAST MONTH OF APRIL AT 385.75 MILLION OZ AND THE TOTAL OI GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES, THE CONSTANT RAIDS, LIKE YESTERDAY ARE NOW BEING CALLED UPON BY OUR BANKER FRIENDS  IN AN ATTEMPT TO SHAKE AS MANY SILVER LEAVES FROM THE SILVER TREE AS POSSIBLE AND JUDGING BY THE RESULTS TO YESTERDAYS ACTION THEY WERE NOT AT ALL SUCCESSFUL.

RESULT: A CONSIDERABLE SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 10 CENT GAIN  IN SILVER PRICING YESTERDAY. BUT WE ALSO HAD ANOTHER STRONG SIZED 1156 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 CONTINUES TO INTENSIFY 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

)THURSDAY MORNING/WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Shanghai closed DOWN 15.28 points or 0 .48%   /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 168.05 points or 0.54%    / The Nikkei closed UP 121.14 POINTS OR 0.53% /Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN .18%  /Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.3687/Oil UP to 72.17 dollars per barrel for WTI and 80.02 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED GREEN.   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AT 6.3687 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.3545/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/

/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA

 

i)North Korea/South Korea/USA

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

3 c CHINA

i

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

i)EUROPE/IRAN

Europe is revolting against the USA sanctions as they bid to preserve the Iran-Nuclear deal exactly what Tom Luongo said would happen.  Europe is too dependent on Iranian oil.  Europe proposes huge tariffs on USA goods

( zerohedge)

i b) The war begins:  The EU launches its rebellion against Trump’s Iran sanctions as it bans European companies from complying with the sanctions.

( zerohedge)

ii)ITALY

The coalition has reached agreement but still confusion reigns.  Still no word on  the 250 billion euro debt forgiveness

( zerohedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

i)Europe/Iranian oil

Now it seems that Europe wishes to pay for Iranian oil in euros and not dollars.  Another step in stopping USA hegemony

(COURTESY RT)

ii)This will surely drive the west mad…Putin drives a dump truck across the new $3.6 billion bridge connecting the Crimea to Russia.  The Ukraine is furious with the building of that bridge over the Kerch strait.  The environment to build that bridge is notoriously difficult but the Russians managed to build it and on time.( zerohedge)
 

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

i)A very important commentary on Julian Assange

( Raul Meijer)

ii)The well respected Judith Bergman of the Gatestone Institute offers a poignant commentary on the sad state of affairs inside Sweden

( Judith Bergman/Gatestone Institute)

7. OIL ISSUES

Oil jumps above 80 dollars for the first time since 2014:

( zerohedge)

8. EMERGING MARKET

BRAZIL

Brazil is a good indicator for health in our emerging markets.  The market expected one final cut by the central bank and surprisingly they refrained from lowering its rates due to the faltering currency.  It held for a few hours and then bang!! it collapsed to around 3.7 to the dollar.  Brazil has huge external debts just like Argentina.  The low value of the real will cause huge inflation into Brazil

( zerohedge)

VENEZUELA

The Venezuelan government seizes the Kellogg factory after it was shut down.  Maduro then called on employees to produce the products.

This will end in failure

(courtesy Mac Slavo.SHTFplan)

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)As to be expected”  the sanctions are creating an environment for citizens to take their unwanted rials and buy gold
(Radio Free Europe/Washington/GATA)

ii)I brought this to your attention yesterday but it is worth repeating;  we have reached peak gold/silver.  All the  major deposits have already been discovered

(courtesy zerohedge Telfer Goldcorp/.Friedman/National Post/GATA)

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

i)EARLY MORNING DATA
a)Soft data Philly Fed reports a big spike due to the best “new orders” print in 45 years..a 8 standard deviation move
(courtesy zero hedge)

ii )This afternoon trading

Trump doubts that China trade talks will be successful.  Also hints that China is somehow influencing North Korea
( zerohedge)

iii)Illinois/USA

The sad state of affairs with respect to the Illinois pension system.  Each citizen in Illinois has the equivalent of $11,000 of debt.
( zerohedge)
iv)Wells Fargo is nothing but a criminal organization..they have now been caught altering business information on business documents and this occurred in late 2017 and 2018.
(courtesy zerohedge)

v)We now witness higher mortgage rates, the highest in 8 years and this surprisingly is unleashing bidding wards for homes.

(courtesy zerohedge)

vi)Senate confirms Haspel

( zerohedge)

vii)SWAMP STORIES

a)Mueller tells Trump team that he cannot and will not indict the President

(courtesy zerohedge)

b)It now seems that Strzok was sent to London to interview British Ambassador Downer who had a discussion with newcomer Trump advisor Papadopoulos and it was from that point that the plan was hatched.  It was called  Operation Crossfire Hurricane and the scheme was to hijack the election for Hillary.  When Hillary lost, then the high ranking officials of the FBI, CIA and Dof J did everything to sabotage the Trump Presidency.  The Times trying to beat the forthcoming Inspector General Report brought out its piece today basically outlining what we have been telling you over the past year( zerohedge)

c)The slippery world of Michael Cohen;

( zerohedge)

d)Trump slams the Obama FBI for spying on the Trump campaign team.  Pay special attention to Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal who lays out the correct time line and for the Democrats to use the Papadopoulos interview with Downer as to the origin of the Russian collusion story is totally preposterous

( zerohedge

e)The Inspector General’s report on the Clinton email probe is now about to drop.  The other  aspects such as the FISA abuse will come later( zerohedge)

f)Major story!!

We now have some details: IG Horowitz finds that the FBI and the Dept of Justice broke the law in the Clinton probe and now refers the matter to Huber for criminal charges. Interesting Sally Yates has got some serious troubles as well!

(courtesy zerohedge)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest FELL BY A STRONG SIZED 7,545  CONTRACTS DOWN to an OI level 512,413 DESPITE THE GAIN IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($1.05 GAIN/ YESTERDAY’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 AN GIGANTIC SIZED  COMEX TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS., THAT IS 11,848 CONTRACTS ISSUED: FOR  JUNE, 250 CONTRACTS ISSUED,  FOR AUGUST 0 CONTRACTS AND ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:  TOTAL  12,098 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: 4553 OI CONTRACTS IN THAT 12,098 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE LOST 7545  COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 4553 contracts OR 455,300  OZ OR 14.161 TONNES.

Result: A CONSIDERABLE DECREASE IN COMEX OPEN INTEREST DESPITE THE RISE IN PRICE YESTERDAY  (ENDING UP WITH AN GAIN OF $1.05).  THE  TOTAL OPEN INTEREST GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 4553 OI CONTRACTS..

We have now entered the non  active contract month of MAY where we LOST 1 contract FALLING TO 105 contracts. We had 6 notices filed upon yesterday, so we GAINED 5 contracts or an additional 500 oz will stand in this non active delivery month of May SO SOMEBODY WAS IN URGENT NEED OF SOME PHYSICAL GOLD AT THIS SIDE OF THE POND.

The really big June contract month saw a LOSS of 13,315 contracts DOWN to 233,007 contracts. JULY saw a GAIN of 45 contracts to stand at 298.   The next big delivery month after June is August and here the OI ROSE BY 4504 contracts UP to 187,433.

We had 19 notice(s) filed upon today for 1900  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: 305,794  contracts

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY: 362,481 contracts

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total silver OI ROSE BY A CONSIDERABLE SIZED 1994 CONTRACTS FROM 198,065 UP TO 200,059 (AND CLOSER TO THE NEW RECORD OI FOR SILVER SET APRIL 9.2018/ 243,411 CONTRACTS)  DESPITE THE TINY 10 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICING YESTERDAY. SINCE WE ARE NOW INTO THE  ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MAY. WE  WERE  INFORMED THAT WE HAD A STRONG SIZED 1156 EFP CONTRACT ISSUANCE FOR JULY AND ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS.  THESE EFPS WERE ISSUED TO COMEX LONGS WHO RECEIVED A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON.  THE TOTAL EFP’S ISSUED: 1156.   ON A NET BASIS WE GAINED 3150  SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AS WE OBTAINED A 1994 CONTRACT GAIN AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 1156 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:   3150  CONTRACTS 

AMOUNT STANDING FOR SILVER AT THE COMEX

We are now in the  active delivery month of MAY and here the front month FELL BY 54 contracts RISING TO 148 contracts. We had 95 notices filed upon yesterday so we SURPRISINGLY  GAINED 44 contracts or 220,000 additional ounces will  stand for delivery in this  active delivery month of May AS SOMEBODY AGAIN WAS DESPERATE FOR PHYSICAL SILVER ON THIS SIDE OF THE POND..

June saw a LOSS of 24 contracts to stand at 771.  The next big delivery month for silver is July and here the OI GAINED 730 contracts UP to 138,224. The next active delivery month after July for silver is September and here the OI ROSE by 1041 contracts UP to 27,141

We had 35 notice(s) filed for 175,00OZ for the MAY 2018 contract for silver

INITIAL standings for MAY/GOLD

MAY 17/2018.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
11,912.147 OZ
HSBC
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz NIL oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz   nil  OZ
No of oz served (contracts) today
19 notice(s)
 1900 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
86 contracts
(8600 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
649 notices
64900 OZ
1.20186 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
 FINALLY AFTER MANY WEEKS, WE HAVE A PULSE AT THE GOLD COMEX TODAY
we had 0 kilobar transaction/
We had 0 inventory movement at the dealer accounts
total inventory deposit into the dealer accounts:  NIL  oz
total inventory withdrawals out of dealer accounts; nil oz
we had 1 withdrawals out of the customer account:
i) Out of HSBC:  11,912.147 oz
total customer withdrawals:  11,912.147 oz
we had 0 customer deposit
total customer deposits: nil oz
we had 0 adjustment(s)
i

For MAY:
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  19 contract(s) of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 12 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To calculate the INITIAL total number of gold ounces standing for the MAY. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (649) x 100 oz or 64900 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAY. (105 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (19 x 100 oz per contract) equals 73,500 oz, the number of ounces standing in this active month of APRIL (2.286 tonnes)

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

No of notices served (649 x 100 oz)  + {(105)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (19 x 100 oz )which equals 73,500 oz standing in this  active delivery month of MAY . THERE ARE 9.0356 TONNES OF REGISTERED GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY SO FAR.

WE GAINED 500 OZ OF GOLD (5 CONTRACTS) STANDING IN THIS NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MAY AS SOMEBODY BADLY NEEDED PHYSICAL GOLD AT THIS SIDE OF THE POND..

total registered or dealer gold:  290,495.119 oz or 9.0356 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   9,032390.443 oz 280.97 tones
THE COMEX IS AGAIN IN STRESS AS ONLY 9.0356 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 73 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE APRIL DELIVERY MONTH

MAY INITIAL standings/SILVER

MAY 17/ 2018
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
 60,374.110 oz
Delaware
Malca
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil
oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
 150,049.178
oz
JPMorgan
No of oz served today (contracts)
35
CONTRACT(S)
(175,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
59 contracts
(295,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 6074 contracts

(30,370,000 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

i

total dealer deposits: nil oz

we had 1 deposits into the customer account

i) Into JPMorgan: 150,049.178 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)

ii) Into everybody else: 0

total customer deposits today: 150,149.178 oz

we had 2 withdrawals from the customer account;

i) out of Delaware: 25,148.240 oz

ii) Out of Malca:  35,225.870 oz

total withdrawals;  60,374.110 oz

we had 0 adjustments

i

total dealer silver:  69.161 million

total dealer + customer silver:  267.636 million oz

The total number of notices filed today for the MAY. contract month is represented by 35 contract(s) FOR 175,000 oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in MAY., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 6074 x 5,000 oz = 30,370,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAY. (94) and the number of notices served upon today (35 x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the MAY contract month: 6074(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of MAY(94) -number of notices served upon today (35)x 5000 oz equals 30,665,000 oz of silver standing for the MAY contract month 

WE GAINED 44 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 220,000 OZ WILL  STAND AT THE COMEX AS SOMEBODY WAS IN URGENT NEED OF PHYSICAL SILVER ON THIS SIDE OF THE POND.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

ESTIMATED VOLUME FOR TODAY: 66202 CONTRACTS

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 66167 CONTRACTS

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF  66167 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 331 MILLION OZ  OR 47.2% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER

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

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

end

NPV for Sprott 

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV FALLS TO -1.88% (MAY16/2018)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -0.65% to NAV (MAY 16/2018 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -1.88%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.65%/Central fund of Canada’s is still in jail but being rescued by Sprott.
Sprott WINS hostile 3.1 billion bid to take over Central Fund of Canada

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

3.SPROTT CEF.A FUND (FORMERLY CENTRAL FUND OF CANADA): NAV FALLS TO -2.23%: NAV 13.42/TRADING 13.11//DISCOUNT 2.23.

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

May 17/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.75/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 856.17 TONNES

MAY 16./WITH GOLD UP $1.05: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 856.17 TONNES

MAY 15/WITH GOLD DOWN $27.35, THE CROOKS WITHDREW 10 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD WHICH WAS USED IN THE RAID TODAY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 856.17 TONNES

MAY 14/ WITH GOLD DOWN $2.35: A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 4.68 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD and then a withdrawal of 1.48 tonnes /INVENTORY RESTS AT 866.17

A net gain of 3.2 tonnes of gold.

MAY 11/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.75/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 862.96 TONNES/

MAY 10/WITH GOLD UP $9.60/A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.17 TONNES FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 862.96 TONNES/SUCH CROOKS

MAY 9/WITH GOLD DOWN $0.55/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 864.13 TONNES

MAY 8/WITH GOLD DOWN $0.10/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 864.13 TONNES

MAY 7/WITH GOLD DOWN $0.55/ANOTHER WITHDRAWAL OF 1.47 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 864.13 TONNES

MAY 4/WITH GOLD UP $2.05/A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.13 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 865.60 TONNES

MAY 3/WITH GOLD UP $7.05/NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 866.77 TONNES

MAY 2/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.15/ A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 4.43 TONNES FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 866.77 TONNES

MAY 1/WITH GOLD DOWN $12.15/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 871.20 TONNES

APRIL 30/WITH GOLD DOWN $4.05/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 871.20 TONNES.

APRIL 27./WITH GOLD UP $5.90/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 871.20 TONNES/

APRIL 26/WITH GOLD DOWN $4.90/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 871.20 TONNES

APRIL 25/AFTER 9 CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF NO MOVEMENT OF GOLD INTO OUT OF THE GLD, WE HAD A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 5.31 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 871.20 TONNES.

APRIL 24./WITH GOLD UP $9.90, WE HAD NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 865.89 TONNES/

APRIL 23.2018/WITH GOLD DOWN $14.00/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 865.89 TONNES.

APRIL 20/WITH GOLD DOWN $10.20: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 865.89 TONNES

APRIL 19/WITH GOLD DOWN $4.25: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 865.89 TONNES/

APRIL 18/WITH GOLD UP $3.65: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 865.89 TONNES

APRIL 17/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.00 NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 865.89 TONNES/

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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

MAY 17/2018/ Inventory rests tonight at 856.17 tonnes

*IN LAST 384 TRADING DAYS: 84.84 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 334 TRADING DAYS: A NET 71.46 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO GLD INVENTORY.

end

Now the SLV Inventory/

May 17/WITH GOLD UP 6 CENTS/A SMALL CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 471,000 OZ//INVENTORY RESTS AT 321.945 MILLION OZ/

MAY 16./WITH SILVER UP 10 CENTS/A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 1.883 MILLION OZ OF SILVER INTO THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 321.474 MILLION OZ

MAY 15/WITH SILVER DOWN 33 CENTS, NO CHANGES AT THE SLV; THE CROOKS COULD NOT BORROW ANY SILVER BECAUSE THERE IS NONE: INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.591 MILLION OZ

MAY 14/WITH SILVER DOWN 10 CENTS/A SMALL CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/ A WITHDRAWAL OF 858,000 FROM THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 319.591 MILLION OZ/

MAY 11/WITH SILVER DOWN 2 CENTS/THE CROOKS WITHDREW A MONSTROUS 2.824 MILLION OZ FROM THE SLV INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.439 MILLION OZ/

MAY 10/WITH SILVER UP 22 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 323.263 MILLION OZ/

MAY 9/WITH SILVER UP 6 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 323.263 MILLION OZ/

MAY 8/WITH SILVER DOWN 2 CENTS:NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 323.263 MILLION OZ.

MAY 7/WITH SILVER FLAT: A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV// A WITHDRAWAL OF 942,000 OZ OF SILVER FROM THE SLV INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 323.263 MILLION OZ/

MAY4/WITH SILVER UP 5 CENTS/A BIG CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/ A DEPOSIT OF 1.224 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 324.205 MILLION OZ/

MAY 2/WITH SILVER UP 24 CENTS/A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV// A DEPOSIT OF 6.082 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 322.981 MILLION OZ/

MAY 1/WITH SILVER DOWN 24 CENTS/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.899 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 30/WITH SILVER DOWN 11 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.899 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 27/WITH SILVER DOWN 5 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.899 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 26/WITH SILVER DOWN 2 CENT/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316,899 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 25./WITH SILVER DOWN 18 CENTS/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.899 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 24./WITH SILVER UP 8 CENTS/SOMETHING SPOOKED OUR CROOKS TO ADD SOME PAPER SILVER: A DEPOSIT OF 1.601 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.899 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 23.2018/WITH SILVER DOWN 50 CENTS, ANOTHER HUGE WITHDRAWAL FROM THE SLV INVENTORY: A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.413 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 315.298 MILLION OZ.

APRIL 20/WITH SILVER DOWN 11 CENTS: ANOTHER HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY: A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.13 MILLION OZ//SLV RESTS TONIGHT AT 316.711 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 19/WITH SILVER UP 3 CENTS TODAY: WE HAD A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 2.355 MILLION OZ/ MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE!!/INVENTORY RESTS AT 317.841 MILLION OZ

APRIL 18/WITH SILVER UP 44 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 320.196 MILLION OZ

APRIL 17/WITH SILVER UP 10 CENTS TODAY/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS  AT 320.196 MILLION OZ

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/

MAY 17/2018:  

Inventory 321.945 million oz

end

6 Month MM GOFO 2.06/ and libor 6 month duration 2.49

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

G0FO+ 2.06%

libor 2.49 FOR 6 MONTHS/

GOLD LENDING RATE: .43%

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.76%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.56

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.20

end

Major gold/silver trading /commentaries for THURSDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

Oil Price Is Going To K

END

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

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

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

(Andrew Maguire)

Andrew Maguire

2:57 PM (1 hour ago)
to me

Harvey

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

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

Warm regards

Andy

 END
As to be expected”  the sanctions are creating an environment for citizens to take their unwanted rials and buy gold
(Radio Free Europe/Washington/GATA)

As currency crisis worsens, Iranians invest in gold

 Section: 

From Radio Farda, Washington
(Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty)
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Iranians are reportedly investing in gold after the Central Bank of Iran last week issued strict limits on the amount of foreign currency travelers can take out of the country amid a deepening currency crisis.

With exchange offices forbidden to sell foreign currency and new rules limiting the amount of foreign currency travelers can take out of the country to 5,000 euros ($5,980) if leaving by air and 2,000 euros ($2,392) if exiting by land or sea, gold has become the new currency of choice for people hoping to move their money out of the country.

Referring to the formation of a “new forex market,” the chairman of the Iran Gold & Jewelry Association, Hossain Pendarvand, says gold has replaced the dollar in local markets and that despite protective measures taken by the Central Bank of Iran, money is still finding its way out of the country, but now in the form of gold.

“The gold products market is suffering from a recession, while the market for melted gold is flourishing, indicating that in the absence of the dollar, people have started buying more gold and taking it out of Iran,” Pendarvand told state-run Iran Students News Agency on Tuesday. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://en.radiofarda.com/a/as-currency-crisis-worsens-iranians-begin-to…

END

I brought this to your attention yesterday but it is worth repeating;  we have reached peak gold/silver.  All the  major deposits have already been discovered

(courtesy zerohedge Telfer Goldcorp/.Friedman/National Post/GATA)

Who cares about ‘peak gold’ until there’s ‘peak paper’?

 Section: 

‘We’re Right at Peak Gold’: All Major Deposits Have Been Discovered, Declares Goldcorp Chairman

By Gabriel Friedman
National Post, Toronto
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ian Telfer, chairman of Goldcorp Inc., is the latest industry magnate to predict the world has reached “peak gold,” saying that from here on out, mine production will continue to decline because all the major deposits have been discovered.

“If I could give one sentence about the gold mining business … it’s that in my life, gold produced from mines has gone up pretty steadily for 40 years,” Telfer said. “Well, either this year it starts to go down, or next year it starts to go down, or it’s already going down.”

“We’re right at peak gold here,” he added.

Although gold prices sank 2 percent to US$1,289.86 per ounce this week, sliding below the psychologically significant US$1,300 mark for the first time this year, Telfer said that day that he remained bullish and predicted gold prices would surpass US$1,500 or US$1,600 per ounce before the end of the year. …

… For the remainder of the report:

http://business.financialpost.com/commodities/mining/were-right-at-peak-.

END


___________________________________________________________________

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

 

i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/CLOSED UP 6.3687  /shanghai bourse CLOSED DOWN 15.28 POINTS OR 0 .48%    / HANG SANG CLOSED DOWN 168.05 POINTS OR 0.54%
2. Nikkei closed UP 121.14 POINTS OR 0.53% /  /USA: YEN RISES TO 110.64/  

3. Europe stocks OPENED GREEN     /USA dollar index RISES TO 93.46/Euro FALLS TO 1.1791

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: RISES TO . +.06/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 110.64/ 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:: 72.17  and Brent: 80.02

3f Gold DOWN/Yen DOWN

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO +.61%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP to 2.16% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD UP TO 1.42%

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES TO : 4.46?????????????????

3k Gold at $1288.15 silver at:16.39   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 16/100 in roubles/dollar) 61.88

3m oil into the 72 dollar handle for WTI and 80 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 110.64 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 1.0018 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1808 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year FALLING to +0.610%

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 3.10% early this morning (THIS IS DEADLY TO ALL MARKETS). Thirty year rate at 3.22%

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

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

Markets On Edge As Yield, Dollar, Oil Meltup Continues; Italy Not Helping

With Walmart unofficially set to close Q1 earnings season, which despite being the strongest in 7 years failed to boost the S&P500, all attention will remain glued on the interplay of the rates-dollar-oil trio, and judging by the somber overnight market action, traders are not too excited with the ongoing meltup in all three.

U.S. stock index-futures inched lower driven by contracts on the Nasdaq 100 as Cisco’s forecasts fell short of Wall Street’s most optimistic projections. European stocks are mixed although concerns about Italy’s new government are rising again, while Asia was modestly in the red.

In the early session, U.S. 10-year TSY yields extended their advance to over 3.1%, rising as high as 3.12%. The 5s30s curve pared an earlier steepening move to flatten slightly.

Focus remains on 3.22% level in 30-year bond, which is this year’s highest closing level and has also has been highlighted by market commentators. Rising just shy of 3.25%, the 30Y rose to its highest level since 2015, showing that this year’s selloff has spread to the most-resilient part of the world’s biggest bond market.

The other main driver of risk, the Dollar index (in this case the BBDXY), slipped initially as talk on the probability of U.S. yield-inversion prompted some profit-taking, but it then quickly erased the drop as the yield on 30-year notes hit fresh cycle highs after the London open.

Sterling provided intraday traders with the volatility they were looking for amid conflicting reports over the U.K.’s intentions to stay in the EU customs union, while the euro stayed in a lower-highs pattern as leveraged names fade rallies given Italy risks remain. Buoyed by the sinking Euro, European stocks edged higher.

As Bloomberg notes, there were three moving parts within European session;

  • Firstly, U.K. markets react to Telegraph story of extended customs union, despite further reports tempering impact. Short Sterling curve bear steepens, gilts gap lower at the open and GBP outperforms other G-10 FX.
  • Secondly, BTP/bund spread tightens marginally as debt write-off fears from Italy subside, however BTP futures still weak as damage to sentiment from eurosceptic/fiscally loose govt. is already done.
  • Finally, USTs curve snaps steeper in early trading, 10y yield hits 312bps before fading back slightly; overall leading to underpinning of USD, USD/JPY accelerates higher after breaking above 110.50. UST/bund spread tightens as block trades print, large German 5s30s steepener also blocked.

The energy sector will also be in focus after oil rose to $80 a barrel in London for the first time since November 2014 as U.S. crude inventories fell and traders braced for the impact of renewed sanctions on OPEC member Iran. Money managers who are reducing their bullish bets on oil are following a “dangerous” strategy, according to Goldman Sachs which today released its latest bullish note on oil, suggesting that just like in the summer of 2008 Goldman is selling the hell out of crude. Demand will remain strong and concerns over economic growth will probably prove temporary, analysts including Jeffrey Currie wrote in a May 16 note

In Europe, all eyes are on Italy, and especially its bond and stock market, and where the early rebound in the benchmark FTSE MIB fizzled out, with the index now falling as much as 0.5% amid volatile trading as investors await news on a potential final deal between Five Star and League to form government. Italia stocks initially rose at the open after newspaper Corriere della Sera reported populists had dropped a request for a €250BN writeoff by the ECB. Overnight, the two anti-establishment parties said they have virtually completed a government program.

Ahead of today’s announcement, analysts remain largely sanguine: Italian concerns at the current juncture will likely not “prove sufficient enough to trigger sustained selling pressure on the euro in the near-term, although they could contribute to more volatility,” Lee Hardman, a currency analyst at MUFG, told Bloomberg.

In Central Bank news, Fed’s Bullard said additional rate increases may depress inflation expectations and that Fed action which inverts yield curves is a very negative signal. Across the Atlantic, ECB’s Constancio said there must be acceptance the ECB has no excuses not to intervene in the sovereign bond market to deal with acute liquidity stress.

In other news, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Ross and Trade Representative Lighthizer will be meeting with the Chinese delegation, while there were conflicting reports on whether Trump trade adviser and China-hawk Navarro will be attending.

Elsewhere, Mexican Economy Minister Guajardo said it is basically impossible to have a NAFTA deal by the 17th and that NAFTA ministers are exploring the possibility of meeting again. Guajardo added that the soft deadline has some margin of flexibility and does not rule out reaching a NAFTA deal from end of May onwards. Elsewhere, US Trade Representative Lighthizer is said to not be optimistic for an imminent NAFTA agreement.

Trump legal adviser Giuliani said Special Counsel Mueller told the Trump team that he will adhere to Justice Department guidance that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

On Brexit, there were initial reports from the Telegraph that the UK is to tell EU it is prepared to remain in customs union arrangement beyond 2021. However, this was then dismissed by sources at PM May’s office. UK PM May said they are considering amendments to the EU withdrawal bill, it is right to take their time on that, and negotiations on a workable backstop arrangement are being negotiated with the EU.

As noted above, oil is trading marginally higher today with Brent breaching USD 80/bbl, supported the prospect of a sharp drop in Iranian crude supply. There has been little oil news flow following the larger than expected DoE crude inventory drawdown. Barclays raised their Brent oil assumptions to USD 73/bbl in 2018 and USD 70/bbl in 2019, following suit from other analysts. Yesterday, Iran Oil Minister Zanganeh stated Iran will be doing its best to maintain production and continue exports, while he also commented that oil prices at USD 60-65/bbl are ‘logical’ and the US wants to see high prices to boost shale production. Elsewhere, gold and copper trade lower on the day as the yellow and red metal track the current risk tone.

Today, traders will focus on jobless-claims data and the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook. Walmart, Applied Materials, and Nordstrom are among companies reporting earnings

Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk

  • European bourses mostly higher as markets await further updates from Italy’s populist parties
  • US Treasury yields underpins the Greenback and offers protection against global tariff headwinds
  • Looking ahead, highlights include US weekly jobs, Philly Fed, ECB’s Constancio, Fed’s Kashkari, Kaplan and BoE’s Haldane

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.2% to 2,718.25
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.08% to 393.53
  • MXAP down 0.1% to 174.42
  • MXAPJ down 0.3% to 568.49
  • Nikkei up 0.5% to 22,838.37
  • Topix up 0.5% to 1,808.37
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.5% to 30,942.15
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.5% to 3,154.28
  • Sensex down 0.3% to 35,279.96
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.2% to 6,094.26
  • Kospi down 0.5% to 2,448.45
  • German 10Y yield rose 2.8 bps to 0.634%
  • Euro up 0.05% to $1.1814
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 16.0 bps to 1.858%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 0.7 bps to 1.405%
  • Brent futures up 0.7% to $79.80/bbl, highest since 2014
  • Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,289.39
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.1% to 93.26

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Italy is still waiting for its next government after talks between two populist leaders dragged on Wednesday night. More than two months after an inconclusive election, the two sides have repeatedly blown deadlines set by President Sergio Mattarella as they try to find a deal
  • U.K. PM Theresa May’s inner Cabinet has drawn up a plan to fix the intractable Irish border problem: keeping some EU customs rules for years after Brexit. It’s an idea that still faces obstacles but the proposal is to keep the U.K. aligned with tariff and customs rules for longer as a last resort, according to people familiar with the matter
  • Key Fed staff members are pushing back against the idea of asking U.S. banks to institute countercyclical capital buffers, according to people familiar
  • Fed’s Bullard: if rates rise too aggressively and yield curve inverts, would be taken as a very negative signal and risk of recession would go up
  • EU Budget Commissioner: Tariffs on U.S. goods one option EU is considering in response to U.S. decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran
  • EU leaders presented a determined front to stand up to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to penalize EU businesses and scupper the Iran nuclear deal. The bloc made a rare demonstration of unity in the face of what EU President Donald Tusk called the “capricious assertiveness” of the Trump administration
  • The White House distanced itself from the hard- line North Korea stance of President Trump’s top security adviser, indicating his administration is committed to keeping next month’s summit with Kim Jong Un on track
  • Cable rises back above 1.35 handle in Asia and toward 200-DMA on the customs union report. New Zealand dollar’s advance of as much 0.6% is also elevating the Aussie as cross-related bids come into play, according to a trader. Euro gains against greenback after weakening Wednesday amid concern about a potential proposal to write off some Italian debt
  • U.S. treasuries are slightly higher changed in Asia; had weakened in New York trading, with 10Y yields rising as much as 3bps to just above 3.10%; the 5s30s curve pared an earlier steepening move to flatten slightly; Focus remains on 3.22% level in 30-year bond, which is this year’s highest closing level and has also has been highlighted by market commentators

Asian equity markets were mostly subdued as the initial tailwind from a rebound in US stocks gradually waned after trade protectionism concerns were stoked overnight. ASX 200 (-0.2%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) both opened higher as they took cue from Wall St where markets shrugged off rising Treasury yields and US data including Industrial Production provided some encouragement. However, Australian stocks then retreated amid heavy losses in the Industrials sector and a deterioration in both Shanghai Comp. (-0.5%) and Hang Seng (-0.5%) in which the latter wiped out gains of over 1%. This was due to trade concerns after China’s Mofcom released its statement on previously announced tariffs in which it is to levy reciprocal taxes on some US products and halt tariff concessions on imports of US fruit and pork, which doesn’t bode well ahead of today’s US-China trade talks. Furthermore, Japan was also said to inform the WTO regarding its own trade response and that it is ready to retaliate against US tariff actions, although Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga later downplayed it and stated that nothing yet has been decided. Conversely, not all was not all was gloomy in the region as Tencent outperformed in Hong Kong with gains nearly 5% after it posted an over 60% increase in Q1 net. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lacklustre as yields played catch up to their US counterparts, while a 5yr JGB auction also failed to support as the b/c and accepted prices slipped from prior. China is to levy reciprocal tax on some US products and will stop tariff concessions on imports of US fruits and pork, according to statement posted by China Mofcom regarding previously announced tariffs, although Mofcom also reiterated China doesn’t want to see trade tensions with US to escalate

Top Asian News

  • Emerging Markets Under Pressure to Boost Borrowing Costs
  • Malaysia Police Seize Items From Ex-Premier Najib’s House
  • Santos Sinks as $10.4 Billion Harbour Bid Ignores Oil Rally
  • Kakao to Merge With Music Streaming Unit Kakao M Via Stock Swap

In European markets, discounting the SMI (-0.3%) being weighed on by major component underperformance all major bourses are trading in positive territory for the day with the Euro Stoxx 50 up 0.2%. In an earnings heavy morning, Altice (+10.5%) Lagardere (+2.3%) and National Grid (+1.6%) posted positive results and are currently trading positive for the day, with AP Moeller-Maersk (-9.4%) Investec (-4.5%) and Royal Mail (-5.4%) coming in under expectations and trading in negative territory. Pervasive news for the UK gambling sector with the UK cutting the maximum stake in FOBTs to GBP 2.00 has led to gambling names such as William Hill (-3.0%) and Paddy Power (-0.7%) being down for the day on the announcements that revenues will be impacted negatively.

Top European News

  • Italy’s Populists Drop Debt Writeoff in Almost-Final Policy Plan
  • Euro Bearish Sentiment Climbs to Two-Month High on Italy Risk
  • U.K. Sees Extended EU Customs Ties as Irish Border Fix
  • EU Hardens Against Trump With United Stand on Trade and Iran
  • William Hill, Paddy Power See Sales Hit From U.K. Betting Limit

In FX, the dollar has seen volatile trade on conflicting drivers as the ongoing rally in US Treasury yields underpins the Greenback and offers protection against global tariff headwinds. The index is meandering between circa 93.100-450, vs yesterday’s marginal new high for the year around 93.640, and also subject to choppy moves on the back of fluctuating fortunes in basket currencies. GBP/EUR: The Pound has been buffeted by latest Brexit reports suggesting a customs union back-stop in some shape or form, with an initial boost on paper talk that the UK may stay in the current EU fold until 20121 or longer and then a downturn on denials via a spokesperson for PM May. However, Cable has recovered to 1.3500+ and Eur/Gbp is back below 0.8750 after subsequent headlines essentially pointing to a halfway house, while Eur/Usd remains leggy above 1.1800 after weakening to a fresh ytd low on Wednesday around 1.1761. CAD/AUD/NZD: Both holding a firmer line vs their US counterpart, the Loonie still getting some support from elevated oil prices and not giving up on a NAFTA deal before the day is out even though the prospects are waning – Usd/Cad currently nearer the bottom of a 1.2795-50 range, above hefty option expiries at 1.2700 (running off today and more for Friday’s NY cut) and well within barriers from 1.2925-1.2625. The Aud saw 2-way price action after a mixed Aussie jobs report overnight and has settled towards the middle of a 0.7505-45 band as some elements of the labour data were encouraging, while cross flows were also bullish as Aud/Nzd rebounded over 1.0900 again. Note, the Kiwi has also struggled above 0.6900 vs the Usd even though the NZ budget balance and forecasts improved overnight.

In commodities, oil is trading marginally higher today with Brent breaching USD 80/bbl, supported the prospect of a sharp drop in Iranian crude supply. There has been little oil news flow following the larger than expected DoE crude inventory drawdown. Barclays raised their Brent oil assumptions to USD 73/bbl in 2018 and USD 70/bbl in 2019, following suit from other analysts. Yesterday, Iran Oil Minister Zanganeh stated Iran will be doing its best to maintain production and continue exports, while he also commented that oil prices at USD 60-65/bbl are ‘logical’ and the US wants to see high prices to boost shale production. Elsewhere, gold and copper trade lower on the day as the yellow and red metal track the current risk tone.

Looking at the day ahead, we’ve got the latest weekly initial jobless claims print (215k expected) along with the May Philly Fed PMI (expected to soften slightly to +21.0 from +23.2) and April leading index (+0.4% mom expected). Away from the data the ECB Vice-President Constancio is scheduled to speak at two separate events in Frankfurt at 11.30pm BST and 1.00pm BST, while the BoE’s Haldane speaks at 5pm BST. Over at the Fed, Kashkari is due to speak at 3.45pm BST and Kaplan is scheduled to speak at 6.30pm BST

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, est. 215,000, prior 211,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.78m, prior 1.79m
  • 8:30am: Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook, est. 21, prior 23.2
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Economic Expectations, prior 52.5; Consumer Comfort, prior 55.8
  • 10:45am: Fed’s Kashkari Speaks at Moderated Q&A in Minneapolis
  • 1:30pm: Fed’s Kaplan Speaks in Moderated Q&A

DB’s Craig Nicol concludes the overnight wrap

While the rout across bonds may have slowed slightly, or in some cases reversed, over the last 24 hours for most markets, no one appeared to pass on the invite to Italy with the main story in markets being the surge for BTP yields yesterday following leaks of some of the details of a draft coalition agreement between the 5SM and League. Indeed, 10y BTPs touched a high of 2.112% intraday yesterday (+16.4bps) before eventually finishing just off that at 2.107% and +16.2.bps on the day for the biggest one-day selloff since June last year. The yield is the highest now since October last year and up 40bps from the April lows. The spread to Bunds also reached 151bps and the widest post-election after an eye opening +20.2bps moveThat’s the biggest one-day spread move between BTPs and Bunds since the Brexit-impacted widening on 24th June 2016.

So, some impressive price action. What really grabbed the market’s attention was the comment in the leaked draft which came through early yesterday morning that the new government planned to ask the ECB to write-off €250bn in Italian debt. Subsequent comments throughout the day appeared to downplay the statement with League economic advisor Claudio Borghi saying that there was no such proposal to cancel part of Italy’s debt, but that instead there is “simply the request for a change in accounting rules” which appeared sufficiently vague to keep the market guessing. Other snippets of the draft proposal included a mechanism to move away from the single currency (which has also since been downplayed) and also to reassess the country’s EU budget contributions. A separate statement from the two parties which was picked up by the FT also revealed that the nation’s desire “must be to return to the pre-Maastricht setting”. According to Bloomberg the two leaders of the 5SM and League are said to still be putting finishing touches to their program after talks dragged on late into last night.

Despite the emergence of the two populist parties as the front runners in Italy, markets had become accustomed to a softer stance from the 5SM and League in recent weeks and months so it wasn’t a great surprise to see markets react as they did. Indeed the whole BTP curve was sharply higher with 2y BTPs in fact rising back into positive territory (+14.8bps to 0.064%) for the first time in over a year. Cyprus is the only other Eurozone country to have positive 2y yields. The rest of the periphery seemed to get dragged along with Italy yesterday with Greece in particular finishing +22.6bps higher, while Spain and Portugal were +5.5bps and +6.3bps higher respectively. In contrast, the rest of Europe was a few basis points lower with Bunds actually rallying -4.0bps. Treasuries finished last night +2.4bps at 3.097% with decent industrial data again helping, and is trading around that level this morning. EM currencies and bonds were also generally a bit more resilient with the recently hammered Turkish Lira amongst the top FX performers.

Those Italy developments also resulted in the Euro falling -0.25% and temporarily below 1.180 for the first time this year. The FTSE MIB also tumbled -2.32% and the most since early March with Banks down around 4%. By contrast the Stoxx 600 and DAX finished +0.22% and +0.20% respectively. Weakness spread over into Italian credit too with sub bonds in the Italian Banks between 10bps and 12bps wider.

The weakness was by and large contained in Italy and to a lesser extent the periphery however as across the pond the S&P 500 nudged up +0.41% last night helped by results out of the retail sector of all places with Macy’s posting a second straight quarter of sales gains and also raising full year guidance. That solid industrial production print also appeared to help (more on that below) while the White House appeared little concerned about North Korea’s comments threatening to pull out of talks with President Trump next month. Last night we also got the news that White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro was to be excluded from trade discussions with China this week, which was taken positively in the sense of it making more likely that an amicable outcome would be met.

Overnight, markets are a bit more mixed in Asia with the Nikkei (+0.63%) and Hang Seng (+0.05%) flat to slightly higher, but the Shanghai Comp (-0.23%) and ASX (-0.27%) in the red. US equity futures are flat while Gold and the rest of the commodity complex is slightly firmer. A headline from the Telegraph newspaper saying that the UK will tell the EU it is prepared to stay in the customs union post 2021 has helped Sterling bounce +0.50% in the early hours.

Moving on. Other news really played second fiddle to the Italy headlines yesterday in markets. Over at the Fed we heard from Atlanta Fed President Bostic with the biggest takeaway perhaps being that he is in the camp of those Fed officials who have some concern about a possible inversion of the yield curve. Indeed he said that it is his job to make sure that it doesn’t happen. After a relatively big move on Tuesday, the 2s10s curve was less than 1bp wider yesterday at 50bps. Later on, San Francisco Fed President Williams said interestingly that he thought forward guidance would at some point be “past its shelf life”. Our US economists have previously hinted that forward guidance is something that could be phased out in the future, with the first part of this being removing the “for some time” phrase from the FOMC statement.

Away from this, the economic data barely played a role yesterday in Europe after CPI reports in Germany and the Euro area failed to throw up any surprises. Indeed the core April CPI reading for the Euro area was confirmed at +0.7% yoy which matched the flash reading, while Germany’s April headline reading was confirmed at -0.1% mom. Staying with Europe, it perhaps wasn’t a surprise to see German Chancellor Merkel’s comments overshadowed by the Italy headlines with the Chancellor reiterating a need for EU states to push for European reform including providing a “common backstop” through the European monetary fund.

Meanwhile, there was a small positive data surprise in the US where April industrial production rose +0.7% mom and the March print was revised up two-tenths. Capacity utilization was also confirmed as rising four-tenths to 78.0%. Prior to that, data in the housing market was more mixed with starts much softer than expected in April (-3.7% mom vs. -0.7% expected) but permits less than soft than the consensus expected (-1.8% mom vs. -2.1% expected).

Looking at the day ahead now, the diary is fairly sparse this morning with the March trade balance reading in Italy and March construction output data for the Euro area the only releases of note. This afternoon in the US we’ve got the latest weekly initial jobless claims print (215k expected) along with the May Philly Fed PMI (expected to soften slightly to +21.0 from +23.2) and April leading index (+0.4% mom expected). Away from the data the ECB Vice-President Constancio is scheduled to speak at two separate events in Frankfurt at 11.30pm BST and 1.00pm BST, while the BoE’s Haldane speaks at 5pm BST. Over at the Fed, Kashkari is due to speak at 3.45pm BST and Kaplan is scheduled to speak at 6.30pm BST

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)THURSDAY MORNING/WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Shanghai closed DOWN 15.28 points or 0 .48%   /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 168.05 points or 0.54%    / The Nikkei closed UP 121.14 POINTS OR 0.53% /Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN .18%  /Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.3687/Oil UP to 72.17 dollars per barrel for WTI and 80.02 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED GREEN.   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AT 6.3687 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.3545/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/

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

North Korea/South Korea/usa

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

end

c) REPORT ON CHINA/HONG KONG

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

EUROPE/IRAN

Europe is revolting against the USA sanctions as they bid to preserve the Iran-Nuclear deal exactly what Tom Luongo said would happen.  Europe is too dependent on Iranian oil.  Europe proposes huge tariffs on USA goods

(courtesy zerohedge)

European Leaders Revolt Against US Sanctions In Bid To Preserve Iran Deal

European leaders gathered in Sofia on Thursday to hash out a plan for shielding Iran from the brunt of US economic sanctions as they try to convince Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to continue abiding by the terms of the deal, while proposing levying tariffs on US goods in response to Trump decision to impose sanctions on Iran.

Shortly after President Trump announced that the US would pull out of the deal, Rouhani promised that his country would continue abiding by its terms only if Iranian businesses could continue operating normally.

In an interview with Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio, European Union budget commissioner, Guenther Oettinger discussed several options for preserving the deal, including using the European Investment Bank to offset the impact of sanctions by extending loans to firms with financing problems. In an example of one more-extreme measure under discussion, the EU has also considered “imposing its own tariffs” on the US that would make it much harder for US firms to sell their goods and services in the trade bloc.

Of course, the US has important goods and services in the industrial sector that it would like to offload in Europe, Oettinger said.

While sanctions weren’t the EU’s first choice for preserving the deal, few other actions would be strident enough to get President Trump’s attention, as Oettinger made clear:

“We want to resist that. We have limited possibilities,” he said.

“Trump despises weaklings. If we back down step by step, if we acquiesce, if we become a kind of junior partner of the US then we are lost.”

And while the EU would like to protect its largest companies from US sanctions, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that companies would be responsible for deciding whether they will still do business with Iran.

Macron

Macron was referencing French oil firm Total, which said on Wednesday that it would end work on a large gas field project in Iran unless it receives an exemption from US sanctions against Tehran, according to Reuters. Tehran had hailed that project as a symbol of the deal’s efficacy.

Meanwhile, A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, also said it would cease business operations in Iran.

CEO Soren Skou told Reuters on Thursday that A.P. Moller-Maersk was following suit.

“With the sanctions the Americans are to impose, you can’t do business in Iran if you also have business in the U.S., and we have that on a large scale,” Skou told Reuters in an interview following the firm’s first-quarter report.

“I don’t know the exact timing details, but I am certain that we’re also going to shut down (in Iran),” Skou said.

Finnish mining technology company Outotec said US sanctions would complicate its business with Iran, though it added that it’s too early to make a final decision on whether it would leave the Iranian market.

Macron said France backed proposals by the European Commission to protect and compensate European companies that might be hit by US sanctions for trading with Iran.

“International companies with interests in many countries make their own choices according to their own interests. They should continue to have this freedom,” Macron said after arriving for a second day of EU leaders’ talks in the Bulgarian capital.

“But what is important is that companies, and especially medium-sized companies which are perhaps less exposed to other markets, American or others, can make this choice freely.”

That said, there’s no easy or quick way to protect companies from US sanctions, and that it will take time before the bloc can decide on a strategy. And even when they do, the plan will likely fall short of the types of firm guarantees that the Iranian authorities are seeking.

END

The war begins:  The EU launches its rebellion against Trump’s Iran sanctions as it bans European companies from complying with the sanctions.

(courtesy zerohedge)

EU Launches Rebellion Against Trump’s Iran Sanctions, Bans European Companies From Complying

Following our discussion of Europe’s angry response to Trump’s unilateral Iran sanctions, in which European Union budget commissioner, Guenther Oettinger made it clear that Europe will not be viewed as a vassal state of the US, stating that “Trump despises weaklings. If we back down step by step, if we acquiesce, if we become a kind of junior partner of the US then we are lost”, moments ago Reuters reported that the European Commission is set to launch tomorrow the process of activating a law that bans European companies from complying with U.S. sanctions against Iran and does not recognise any court rulings that enforce American penalties.

“As the European Commission we have the duty to protect European companies. We now need to act and this is why we are launching the process of to activate the ‘blocking statute’ from 1996. We will do that tomorrow morning at 1030,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

Speaking at news conference after a meeting of EU leaders in Bulgaria, Juncker added that he “also decided to allow the European Investment Bank to facilitate European companies’ investment in Iran. The Commission itself will maintain its cooperation will Iran.”

Europe’s hardline position will infuriate Trump, as Brussels effectively nullifying US sanctions will prompt a violent outburst from Trump, who needs Europe on his side for US sanctions of Iran to have any chance of succeeding.

Perhaps sensing what is coming, French President Emmanuel Macron took a slightly softer tone, and said that the nuclear deal with Iran should be supplemented and it is necessary to continue negotiations, including on missile program.

The French president said that “the European Union decided to preserve nuclear deal and defend EU companies” adding that “our main interest in Iran is not in trade, but in ensuring stability in the region, at the same time, we will not become an ally of Iran against the US.

“We’ve had a vibrant discussion on Iran. The 2015 nuclear agreement is a crucial element of peace and security in the region. We have opted to support it whatever the US decides to do,” said the French president on arrival at the Sofia summit. “We have pledged to take necessary political steps for our companies to stay in Iran.”

Macron also said that the nuclear deal with Iran must not only be preserved, but also supplemented and expanded to include ways to solve the missile problem and questions about Iran’s role in the region.

“International companies with interests in many countries make their own choices according to their own interests. They should continue to have this freedom,” he added, making it clear that European companies will not be subject to US sanctions, even if that decision is ultimately up to the US.

But the most accurate observations by Macron was that Trump’s Iran decision strengthens both Russia and China in the region, something we pointed out weeks ago, begging the question whose interests is Trump representing.

And now that Europe has openly rebelled against Trump’s sanctions, one wonders how long before the selling in oil resumes, as it is becoming increasingly clear that unlike 2012, Europe – and most of Asia – will continue buying Iranian oil, suggesting that the decline, if any, in Iranian exports will be a few hundred thousands barrels at most, a number which we expect will shrink to 0 as Iran offers increasingly preferential prices to its non-USD paying clients, especially now that Asian oil demand is soaring.

ITALY

The coalition has reached agreement but still confusion reigns.  Still no word on  the 250 billion euro debt forgiveness

(courtesy zerohedge)

Italy’s Five Star, League Reach Agreement On Coalition Government, But Confusion Remains

Italy’s two-and-a-half month stalemate is finally coming to an end, and according to unnamed Bloomberg and Reuters sources, the leaders of Italy’s populist Five Star movement and Northern League have agreed on a final government program, one which to the market’s relief does not include a request to write down €250BN in debt held by the ECB.

or maybe not: shortly after the flashing read headlines hit, the League said the government deal is not final, and nor is there a deal on premiership. Meanwhile, Italy’s Ansa newswire reported that according to its sources, a final government plan has not been sealed yet, and that negotiations are still ongoing on govt program and on the name of candidate prime minister.

In any case, here’s a summary of what we know so far courtesy of Bloomberg:

  • Populist parties Five Star and the League have a deal on a program to form a coalition government, according to a party official, while news agency ANSA says the plan is not final
  • Still no word on who will be nominated as prime minister
  • The parties want to canvas their voters before presenting it to Italy’s president for approval
  • The program calls for increased fiscal spending, tax cuts and reviewing international agreements
  • It does not include a proposal to write off billions of government debt held by the ECB, as per an earlier draft
  • Investors are wary of a radical shake-up in an EU founding member, with the yield premium to German bonds the widest since January

In a meeting in the Palazzo Montecitorio, Matteo Salvini and Luigi di Maio, the leaders of the League and M5S, respectively, are trying to decide who will be the next prime minister of Italy.

Meanwhile, the leaks about the government’s policy program appeared to dull concerns about a possible Italeave.

And while initial reports of a deal raised hopes, Five Star officials later denied that an agreement had been reached, leading to widespread confusion about the status of a deal.

  • ITALY’S 5-STAR, LEAGUE  PROGRAMME CONTAINS NOTHING THAT COULD CAUSE CONCERN OVER ITALY’S EURO MEMBERSHIP: RTRS
  • ITALY POPULIST LEADERS AGREE ON POLICY PROGRAM: ANSA
  • FIVE STAR, LEAGUE AGREE FINAL GOVERNMENT PROGRAM: OFFICIAL

Still, it appears that most outstanding items have been resolved:

  • FIVE STAR’S DI MAIO: WE STILL DON’T HAVE PRIME MINISTER
  • FIVE STAR’S DI MAIO: THE LARGEST PART OF ISSUES SOLVED

While some hoped this added clarity would stabilize European assets, Italian BTPs continue to selloff, and the 10Y Italian yield was trading around 2.16%, as concerns over the parties’ anti-European sentiment trumps the fact that some agreement has been reached after all; meanwhile the Italian-German spread remains at the widest levels since January.

Yield

German

Equities are taking matters somewhat better, with the Stoxx 600 rising as much as 0.3% and the FTSE MIB reversing earlier losses to trade flat on the day.

END

A huge trade war in the offing: Trump gives Merkel an ultimatum to drop the Nord Stream No 2 gas pipeline project or prepare for a huge trade war

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Gives Merkel An Ultimatum: Drop Russian Gas Pipeline Or Trade War Begins

It became clear just how important it is to the US for Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project to fail two months ago when, as we described in “US Threatens Sanctions For European Firms Participating In Russian Gas Pipeline Project“, the U.S. State Department warned European corporations that they will likely face penalties and sanctions if they participate in the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 on the grounds that “the project undermines energy security in Europe”, when in reality Russia has for decades been a quasi-monopolist on European energy supplies and thus has unprecedented leverage over European politics, at least behind the scenes.

As many people know, we oppose the Nord Stream 2 project, the US government does,” State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert said during a late March press briefing adding that “the Nord Stream 2 project would undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability. It would provide Russia [with] another tool to pressure European countries, especially countries such as Ukraine.” And speaking of Ukraine, recall that in 2014, shortly after the US State Department facilitated the presidential coup in Ukraine, Joe Biden’s son Hunter joined the board of directors of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest oil and gas company. Surely that was merely a coincidence.

Nauert also said that Washington may introduce punitive measures against participants in the pipeline project – which could be implemented using a provision in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Fast forward to today, when the dreadfully named CAATSA act just made a repeat appearance; around the time Europe made it clear it would openly defy Trump’s Iran sanctions, the WSJ reported that Trump told Merkel that if she wants to avoid a trans-Atlantic trade war, the price would be to pull the break on Nord Stream 2, according to German, U.S. and European sources.

The officials said Mr. Trump told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in April that Germany should drop support for Nord Stream 2, an offshore pipeline that would bring gas directly from Russia via the Baltic Sea. This would be in exchange for the U.S. starting talks with the European Union on a new trade deal.

While it had long been suspected that Trump would push hard to dismantle Nord Stream 2 just so US nat gas exporters could grab a slice of the European market pie, the aggressive push comes as a surprise, and as the WSJ notes, “the White House pressure reflects its hard ball tactics on trade, moves that have contributed to rising tensions between Europe and the U.S. and raised fears in export-dependent Germany of a tit-for-tat on tariffs that could engulf its car industry.”

The Nord Stream II (or NS2) project was started in 2015 is a joint venture between Russia’s Gazprom and European partners, including German Uniper, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie, Wintershall and the British-Dutch multinational Royal Dutch Shell. The pipeline is set to run from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea – doubling the existing pipeline’s capacity of 55 cubic meters per year, and is therefore critical for Europe’s future energy needs.

NS2 is the second phase of an existing pipeline that already channels smaller amount of gas from Russia to Germany. Construction for the second phase started this week in Germany, after investors committed €5 billion ($5.9 billion) to the venture.

Trump has publicly criticized the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, saying at a meeting with Baltic State leaders at the White House this year that “Germany hooks up a pipeline into Russia, where Germany is going to be paying billions of dollars for energy into Russia…That’s not right.”

“Donald Trump is a deal maker…there is a deal to be made if someone (in Germany) stood up and said ‘Help us protect our auto industry a little bit more, because we’re great at it and we’re going to help you on Nord Stream 2’,” said one U.S. official, who was present at the April meeting between Ms. Merkel and Mr. Trump.

Raising the pressure further, Sandra Oudkirk, a senior U.S. diplomat, told journalists in Berlin on Thursday that as a Russian energy project the pipeline could face U.S. sanctions, putting any company participating in it at risk.

* * *

The Kremlin shot back immediately as spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the U.S. efforts “a crude effort to hinder an international energy project that has an important role in energy security.”

The Americans are simply trying crudely to promote their own gas producers,” he said.

He is, of course, right, even if the official explanation is that Washington opposes the pipeline because it would make Ukraine—currently the main transit route for Russian gas headed west—and other U.S. allies in the EU more vulnerable to Russian pressureGerman officials also say the U.S. is eager to displace Russia as a provider of gas to Europe, hence confirming with the Russian said.

Of course, in the end it’s all a question of leverage, and who has more, and right now Trump believes that by threatening European auto exports hostage, he has all of it.

* * *

Still, that Trump thinks he can interject after three years of trade negotiations with an abrupt demand while providing no alternatives, is rather stunning, but understandable. As Alex Gorka of the Strategic Culture Foundation wrote, on March 15, a bipartisan group of 39 senators led by John Barrasso (R-WY) sent a letter to the Treasury Department.

They oppose NS2 and are calling on the administration to bury it. Why? They don’t want Russia to be in a position to influence Europe, which would be “detrimental,” as they put it.  And, as Gorka wrote, their preferred tool to implement this obstructionist policy is the use of sanctions, precisely what we are seeing currently.

To be sure, 39 out of 100 is a number no president can ignore as powerful pressure emanating from US corporations and lobbies was being applied on the administration. Even before the senators wrote their letter, Kurt Volker, the US envoy to Ukraine, had claimed that NS2 was a purely political, not commercial, project.

As we said in March, “No doubt other steps to ratchet up the pressure on Europe will follow.” Little did we know that less than 2 months later, the US and Europe would be embroiled in a bruising trade war in which the fate of NS2 is suddenly the key variable.

* * *

So will Trump win, and will US LNG replace Russian exports?

While Merkel hasn’t yet dropped her support for the pipeline, she said on Thursday the EU had agreed at a summit Wednesday night to offer the U.S. “closer cooperation” in the field of gas in exchange for a permanent exemption from the steel and aluminum tariffs, suggesting that Nord Stream 2 may soon be a trade war casualty.

Should Europe fold, it should expect a surge in energy inflation: Liquefied gas from the U.S. needs to be shipped over the Atlantic and would be considerably more expensive than Russian gas delivered via pipelines. A senior EU official working on energy regulation said Russian gas would be at least 20% cheaper.

“Trump’s strategy seems to be to force us to buy their more expensive gas, but as long as LNG is not competitive, Europe will not agree to some sort of racket and pay extortionate prices,” an EU official said.

Which, amusingly, is precisely what Trump’s brute trade overture is: an global racket.

Germany’s pipeline plan has long been controversial with Ukraine, as well as several EU countries on the bloc’s eastern edge who fear it gives Russian President Vladimir Putin power over gas deliveries—which Berlin has so far largely ignored.

Trump has been pushing for better access for U.S. companies to an EU market he has criticized as over-protected. Barring an EU offer to address Mr. Trump’s grievances, the U.S. will hit Europe with punitive steel and aluminum tariffs on June 1. The EU has promised retaliatory tariffs.

* * *

So now that the ball is in Merkel’s court, how will she respond?  On Friday, the German chancellor is traveling to Russia on Friday to meet Vladimir Putin in hopes of brokering a compromise that would satisfy the U.S. and her European partners.

She will ask Mr. Putin for a deal that would preserve the lucrative transit trade—Ukraine gets a fee for letting Russian gas through its territory on the way to eastern Europe—even after Nord Stream 2 comes online in 2019, a German official said.

Meanwhile, German government officials say that since all the permits for Nord Stream 2 have been issued, the WSJ notes that there is no legal way to stop the project, which is run by Gazprom , the Russian energy giant, under financing agreements with international companies such as Engie, OMV, Shell, Uniper and Wintershall

8. EMERGING MARKET

BRAZIL

Brazil is a good indicator for health in our emerging markets.  The market expected one final cut by the central bank and surprisingly they refrained from lowering its rates due to the faltering currency.  It held for a few hours and then bang!! it collapsed to around 3.7 to the dollar.  Brazil has huge external debts just like Argentina.  The low value of the real will cause huge inflation into Brazil

(courtesy zerohedge)

Brazilian Real Rout Returns Despite Hawkish Central Bank ‘Hold’

Brazil’s central bank (BCB) surprised the market by foregoing a final rate cut overnight in what seemed like a hawkish effort to stem the tide of collapse in its currency. For a few brief minutes it worked… but the Real is now collapsing lower again to more than 3.70/usd.

As Goldman Sachs noted, the BCB decision went against a broad market consensus expecting a final 25bp rate cut: only 2 of the 39 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expected the Copom to leave the policy rate unchanged at 6.50%. The forward guidance hardened, now indicating the end of the long easing cycle.

This was one of the few instances where a central bank surprises a heavy market consensus and, yet, is likely to be applauded for it and gain credibility. The reason analysts were expecting a rate cut was not because in their assessment of the macro fundamentals and overall evolution of the balance of domestic and external risks further easing would be warranted, but simply because the central bank guidance from the previous meeting, reiterated in the Quarterly Inflation Report, clearly suggested so, and in recent weeks, amidst already clear currency pressures, central bank officials did not publicly abandon such guidance.

Overall, while the Copom communication with the market may have been imperfect, the decision to hold is, in our assessment, perfectly justified by the recent developments in external financial markets and the ongoing depreciation pressure on the BRL. We expect the Copom to leave the policy rate unchanged at 6.50% for the foreseeable future and expect the next move to be a hike.

However, it didn’t and isn’t and the Real is now down almost 20% since the end of January…

And don’t forget, the Brazilian Real is what Bank of America called the best indicator of imminent emerging market turmoil

And in fact, it is LatAm FX that is getting crushed – now at its weakest level ever relative to the broad EM FX…

And this weakness is continuing even as the region’s biggest exports – commodities – are rising.

END

VENEZUELA

The Venezuelan government seizes the Kellogg factory after it was shut down.  Maduro then called on employees to produce the products.

This will end in failure

(courtesy Mac Slavo.SHTFplan)

Venezuelan Government Seizes Kellogg’s Factory After Closure: A Recipe For Failure

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

The socialist Venezuelan government has seized a closed Kellogg’s factory and decided to make the perfect storm for failure out of their theft.  The government has handed control of the factory over to the workers who will attempt to continue to produce Kellogg’s products.

Hold your laughter, because this actually happened. According to the BBC, the move comes as Kellogg’s announced it was pulling out of the dystopian communist country because of the worsening economic situation brought on by the disturbing socialist policies of President Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro, who has previously accused the United States of waging economic war against his government, and called the factory closure “absolutely unconstitutional and illegal,” even though his policies are the ones which caused the closure of the factory to begin with.

But in the meantime, Maduro has decided to hand the factory over to workerswho he thinks will continue production.  Interesting, considering most people won’t work long without being paid, and if Kellogg’s cannot find supplies to produce their infamous cereals, it’s unlikely the workers will be successful.  But socialists don’t think much more than one second about any decision anyway.

Venezuela’s battered economy has been hit by falling oil revenue and the plummeting value of its currency, the bolivar. It also has one of the highest rates of inflation in the world. Kellogg is simply the latest multinational company to close or heavily scale back operations in Venezuela, citing strict currency controls, a lack of raw materials and soaring inflation.

Kellogg’s said it hoped to return to Venezuela in the future and warned the Venezuelan government against sales of its brands “without the expressed authorization of the Kellogg Company.”

But the company probably doesn’t have to worry much.

Worker-run businesses are the biggest recipe for failure in economics that has likely ever existed.

Just ask Venezuela how that’s working out…

For example, in 2016, Venezuela’s government took over a plant belonging to US-based hygiene products manufacturer Kimberly-Clark after it announced it was stopping operations because it could not obtain raw materials. The Texas-based firm recently requested the start of arbitration proceedings against Venezuela at the World Bank. The Texas-based company said in a statement:

“If the Venezuelan government takes control of Kimberly-Clark facilities and operations, it will be responsible for the well-being of the workers and the physical asset, equipment and machinery in the facilities going forward.”

Responsibility is a word socialists cannot readily define, however. And you would think with all this seizure of private businesses, Venezuela wouldn’t have food and toilet paper shortages if these policies were successful. But that’s the problem.  There is little success in Marxist ideals and yet they still insist on blaming capitalism.

“I would rather be subjected to the few failures of capitalism than the few successes of socialism.” -Unknown

end

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

Euro/USA 1.1791 DOWN .0024/ 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 GREEN   

USA/JAPAN YEN 110.64   UP   0.274  (Abe’s new negative interest rate (NIRP), a total DISASTER/SIGNALS U TURN WITH INCREASED NEGATIVITY IN NIRP/JAPAN OUT OF WEAPONS TO FIGHT ECONOMIC DISASTER/

GBP/USA 1.3488 DOWN  0.0059  (Brexit March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED

USA/CAN 1.2777 DOWN .0006 (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 THURSDAY morning in Europe, the Euro FELL by 56 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level FALLING to 1.1791; / Last night Shanghai composite CLOSED DOWN 15.28 POINTS OR 0.48%   Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 168.05 POINTS OR 0.54% /AUSTRALIA CLOSED DOWN .18% / EUROPEAN BOURSES  GREEN

The NIKKEI: this THURSDAY morning CLOSED UP 121.14 OR 0.53% 

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED GREEN 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 168.05 POINTS OR 0.54%   / SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 15.28 POINTS OR 0.48%  /

Australia BOURSE CLOSED DOWN .18%

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED UP 121.14 POINTS OR 0.53%

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE RED 

Gold very early morning trading: 1288.75

silver:$16.40

Early THURSDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 3.10% !!! UP 0 IN POINTS from WEDNESDAY night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%. (POLICY FED ERROR)/ 

The 30 yr bond yield 3.22 UP 0  IN BASIS POINTS from WEDNESDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

USA dollar index early  MONDAY morning: 93.46 UP 7  CENT(S) from YESTERDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers THURSDAY MORNING

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And now your closing THURSDAY NUMBERS \1: 00 PM

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.803% UP 0  in basis point(s) yield from WEDNESDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.0.63%  UP 1   in basis points yield from WEDNESDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.408% DOWN 1/2  IN basis point yield from WEDNESDAY/

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.115  UP 0  POINTS in basis point yield from WEDNESDAY/

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 71 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: RISES TO +.64%   IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY

END

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IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR THURSDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1796 DOWN .0018(Euro DOWN 18 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 110.76 UP 0.385 Yen DOWN 39 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3505 DOWN .0041( POUND DOWN 41 BASIS POINTS)

USA/Canada 1.2813 UP  .0030 Canadian dollar DOWN 30 Basis points AS OIL ROSE TO $71.87

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This afternoon, the Euro was DOWN 18 to trade at 1.1796

The Yen ROSE to 110.76 for a GAIN of 39 Basis points as NIRP is STILL a big failure for the Japanese central bank/HELICOPTER MONEY IS NOW DELAYED/BANK OF JAPAN NOW WORRIED AS AS THEY ARE RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY AS BOND YIELDS RISE

The POUND FELL BY 41 basis points, trading at 1.3505/

The Canadian dollar FELL by 30 basis points to 1.2813/ WITH WTI OIL RISING TO : $71.89

The USA/Yuan closed AT 6.3672
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.063%  UP 1  IN BASIS POINTS / yield/
Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 1   IN basis points from WEDNESDAY at 3.109 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.243  UP 4      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, 93.54  UP  16 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 THURSDAY: 1:00 PM EST

London: CLOSED UP 53.77 POINTS OR 0.70%
German Dax :CLOSED UP 118.28 POINTS OR 0.98%
Paris Cac CLOSED UP 54.38 POINTS OR .98%
Spain IBEX CLOSED UP 105.40 POINTS OR 1.04%

Italian MIB: CLOSED UP 67.77 POINTS OR 0,29%

The Dow closed DOWN 54.95 POINTS OR 0.22%

NASDAQ closed DOWN 15.82 Points OR  0.21.%      4.00 PM EST

WTI Oil price; 71,87  1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 80.19 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS: 61.93 UP 20/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE LOWER BY 20 BASIS PTS)

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES TO +.64% 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:$71.57

BRENT: $79.44

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 3.11%   THIS RAPID RISE IN YIELD IS ALSO VERY DANGEROUS/RECESSION COMING/DERIVATIVES FRY!!

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.25%/DEADLY

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS: 1.1793 DOWN .0021  (DOWN 21 BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:110.76 UP 0.395 YEN DOWN 40 BASIS POINTS/ .

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 93.49 UP 10 cent(s)/dangerous as the lower the dollar the higher the inflation.

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.3512 down 0.0035  (FROM YESTERDAY NIGHT down 35 POINTS)

Canadian dollar: 1.2789 DOWN 83 BASIS pts

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +0.64%


VOLATILITY INDEX:  13.44  CLOSED  UP 0.02`   

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.325%  .

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

Bonds Battered, Submerging Markets Slump, & Small Caps Hit Record High

Everything was awesome until Trump dropped the truth bomb about China trade talks…

Small Caps and Trannies outperformed…

S&P, Dow, and Nasdaq remain red for the week…

The S&P found support at its 100DMA…

VIX tested down to a 12 handle once again but bounced…

Small Caps  – which dominate the ‘most shorted’ – soared to another new record high as the short-squeeze continued on…

Italian banks remain under pressure…

US Homebuilders continue to get hammered

The Treasury complex was very mixed with the long-end continuing to get hammered (30Y +3bps) and the short-end bid (2Y -2bps)…

That was the first drop in 2Y Yields in 10 days.

10Y closed at 3.11% – highest since July 2011

30Y closed at 3.25% – highest since Sept 2014

Which pushed the yield curve to its steepest since the release of The Fed minutes in April…

Emerging Market FX dipped back lower after a brief dead cat bounce yesterday…

With the Colombian Peso pounded, Rand routed, and Lira lashed…

Crytpocurrencies also slid lower once again – so much for the Blockchain Week Bounce…only Ethereum remains green from last Friday’s close…

Copper and Silver managed modest gains on the day, oil was flat, gold was lower.,..

WTI/RBOB ended the day unchanged despite some vol… (WTI topped $72 and Brent topped $80 intraday)…

Silver is notably outperforming gold in the last few days…

Finally, we note that as Small Caps make new record highs, relative to The Dow, the Russell 2000 is back at the same level as when Trump was elected…

end
Market data
Soft data Philly Fed reports a big spike due to the best “new orders” print in 45 years..a 8 standard deviation move
(courtesy zero hedge)

Philly Fed Spikes On Best ‘New Orders’ Print In 45 Years – What Happened Next?

The headline Philly Fed index spiked, jumping from 23.2 to 34.4 – smashing all analyst expectations (beating the median estimate by almost 8 standard deviations)

Prices Paid drifted lower as did the six-months-forward outlook…

But, New Orders exploded from 18.40 to 40.60 – the highest since March 1973…

But as the chart above shows – 8 months later, the US economy was in recession.

end
AFTERNOON TRADING
Trump doubts that China trade talks will be successful.  Also hints that China is somehow influencing North Korea
(courtesy zerohedge)

Stocks Tumble As Trump “Doubts China Trade Talks Will Be Successful”

Having seemingly implied that China was behind the North Korean shenanigans regarding the US summit:

“China’s Xi may be influencing North Korea’s Kim.”

“Nothing has changed on North Korea that we know of,” President Trump says as he meets Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO, at the White House.

“I want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt”

If there is no meeting with North Korean leader, it will be “interesting,” he also said.

CBS News

@CBSNews

“Nothing has changed on North Korea that we know of — we have not been told anything. And if it does, that’s fine. If it doesn’t, I think we will probably have a very successful meeting,” President Trump says http://cbsn.ws/2Ir3WF0 pic.twitter.com/SJ5CAz9vm2

CBS News

@CBSNews

“I think that things have changed a little bit when they met with China. They met a second time, as you know — Kim Jong Un had a second meeting with China, which was a little bit of a surprise meeting,” President Trump says http://cbsn.ws/2Ir3WF0 pic.twitter.com/Ntpe2QUjLw

With a Chinese delegation is currently in Washington taking part in talks with top Trump administration officials.President Trump said that:

he “doubts the China trade talks will be successful” and took the shine off stocks…

“When you’re losing $500 billion a year on trade, you can’t lose the trade war, you’ve already lost it”

TicToc by Bloomberg

@tictoc

Trump on China trade: “When you’re losing $500 billion a year on trade, you can’t lose the trade war, you’ve already lost it”

Stocks slid lower…

But the dollar and bond yields were unimpressed for now.

Wells Fargo is nothing but a criminal organization..they have now been caught altering business information on business documents and this occurred in late 2017 and 2018.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Wells Fargo Caught Altering Information on Business Customers Documents

Just when you thought that after the last criminal offense by Wells Fargo (which as a reminder was pushing customers into higher-fee retirement accounts), surely there was no way Warren Buffett’s favorite criminal organization would be caught again engaging in some even more bizarre criminal activity.

Alas, it was not meant to be as Wells somehow always finds a way, and moments ago the WSJ reported that in the latest scandal involving America’s largest mortgage lender, “some employees” in Wells Fargo’s business banking, aka “wholesale” unit and is separate from Wells’ retail division, improperly altered information on documents related to corporate customers without their knowledge.

The Information adjusted by Wells employees varied from social security numbers to addresses to dates of birth for people associated with business-banking clients, with the bulk of incidents reportedly taking place in 2017 and early 2018, as Wells Fargo was trying to meet a deadline to comply with a regulatory consent order related to the bank’s anti-money-laundering controls.

In other words,to comply with regulations against fabricating client data, Wells… fabricated client data.

The employees were also working to get documents in order prior to new requirements from another regulator for disclosures related to proof of beneficial ownership of businesses, the WSJ added. Wells Fargo only became aware of the behavior in recent months from employees and is still investigating the matter.

While a Wells Fargo spokesman told WSJ the bank doesn’t comment on regulatory matters, he said that “this matter involves documents used for internal purposes,” and added that “no customers were negatively impacted, no data left the company, and no products or services were sold as a result” although we are confident the the upcoming congressional hearings may reveals something else.

“Over the past several months we’ve built more robust internal processes that reinforce our values, and if we find any situations where behavior violates those values, we take swift action to correct.”

Processes, such as this one, in which the bank fabricated corporate customer data.

The altering of information within the business-banking division of Wells Fargo, which serves small firms with annual sales ranging from $5 million to $20 million, comes as the bank is continuing to grapple with the fallout from the sales-practices scandal that erupted in September 2016. That involved bank employees fabricating information to open as many as 3.5 million accounts without customers’ knowledge or authorization.

Regulators subsequently sanctioned Wells as more problems have emerged. Wells Fargo agreed to a $1 billion settlement with two of its main regulators in April, which forced the bank to adjust reported first-quarter earnings by $800 million. The settlement focused on risk-management failures that led to improper charges to mortgage and auto-lending customers.

Following the news, Wells Fargo stock has slumped, and is the worst performer in the KBW bank index, falling as much as 1.5% in early trading.

Illinois/USA
The sad state of affairs with respect to the Illinois pension system.  Each citizen in Illinois has the equivalent of $11,000 of debt.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Broke Illinois Pension System Leaves Every Resident With $11,000 Of Debt

The Illinois state pension system is in a mess. 

For those unfamiliar, here’s a quick recap: Illinois (rate just one notch above junk) is drowning under a mountain of debt, unpaid bills and underfunded pension liabilities and it’s largest city, Chicago, is suffering from a staggering outbreak of violent crime not seen since gang wars engulfed major cities from LA to New York in the mid-90’s, while rising taxes have prompted a mass exodus with the state lost 1 resident every 4.3 minutes in 2017.

And if you need a refresher, feel free to peruse some of our coverage on Illinois’ challenges:

The state’s horrendous mismanagement has left each man, woman and child of Illinois with nearly $11,000 in debt.

“Illinois failure to address its pension crisis has resulted in further deterioration of the state and cities’ financial condition, exorbitantly high borrowing costs, and an inability to address other critical needs at the state and local level,” said Laurence Msall, president of Chicago nonprofit – the Civic Federation, which tracks state and municipal finances. “Time is not your friend when your liabilities are compounding and your revenues are not.”

The funding shortfall across Illinois’s five retirement systems climbed to $137 billion by last June, a jump of about $17.8 billion since 2015, after the government for years failed to make adequate contributions.

That pension deficit — more than four times larger that its debt to general-obligation bondholders — is adding hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to Illinois’s budget each year as the government plows more money in to catch up.

Illinois has been contending with the issue for decades. In 1994, Illinois passed a law that was supposed to ensure that the state had enough assets to cover 90 percent of its liabilities by 2045, though it went on to skip annual payments or fail to contribute enough. At the same time, investment returns were hammered by last decade’s stock-market busts. –Bloomberg

“There hasn’t been any progress made,” Dick Ingram, executive director of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System, the state’s largest pension. “It’s a case of the numbers have gotten so big that nobody honestly really knows what to do.”

While the state prepares to shell out $8.5 billion to its five retirement systems in 2019, it’s not nearly enough. Despite the 300% funding increase over a decade ago (just $2.8 billion in 2009), underfunded liabilities continue to grow. By 2045, the projected contribution will be $19.6 billion according to a March report described by Bloomberg.

Compounding the problem is 2016 loophole to a 2015 state supreme court ruling which required the state to step up its contribution if the assumed rate of return was lowered. Lawmakers instated so-called “smoothing,” which allowed the state to phase in hundreds of millions of dollars instead of contributing the funds all at once.

Sinkhole action

The longer Illinois avoids addressing its pension crisis, the closer the state gets to having to impose overly burdensome taxes – as well as credit downgrades, suspension of pension payments, and even bond defaults according to Richard Ciccarone, president of Merrit Research Services.

Everyone wants to find a “silver bullet,” said Illinois Representative Robert Martwick, chair of the personnel and pensions committee. But he’s exploring any way to save money. He’s held hearings on everything from reducing the debt by selling more than $100 billion of pension-obligation bonds to consolidating downstate police and fire pension funds to save money. The state cannot grow its way out of this problem, Martwick said. –Bloomberg

We’re in some really, really difficult financial times here,” Martwick said in a phone interview. “We’re still digging a hole for ourselves.

Rauner supports the so-called “consideration model,” which in part allows state employees to choose lower, delayed cost-of-living adjustments in return for ensuring their future raises count toward pensions. Opponents argue this still violates the ban on lowering benefits. “We need more pressure on the General Assembly,” Rachel Bold, a spokeswoman for Rauner, said in an email.

Lawmakers attempted such a “consideration model” in 2013 – approving cuts to cost-of living adjustments and a higher retirement age for some workers – however the courts unanimously struck down the law, saying it violated the state’s constitutional ban on reducing retirement benefits.

“Crisis is not an excuse to abandon the rule of law,” the May 8, 2015 state supreme court decision reads.

Maybe the judges can make defaults illegal too?

END

We now witness higher mortgage rates, the highest in 8 years and this surprisingly is unleashing bidding wards for homes.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Highest Mortgage Rates In 8 Years Unleash Bidding Wars, Home Buying Frenzy

Yesterday when looking at the latest MBA Mortgage Application data, we found that, as mortgage rates jumped to the highest level since 2011, mortgage refi applications, not unexpectedly tumbled to the lowest level since the financial crisis, choking off a key revenue item for banks, and resulting in even more pain for the likes of Wells Fargo.

Today, according to the latest Freddie Mac mortgage rates report, after plateauing in recent weeks, mortgage rates reversed course and reached a new high last seen eight years ago as the 30-year fixed mortgage rate edged up to 4.61% matching the highest level since May 19, 2011.

But while the highest mortgage rates in 8 years are predictably crushing mortgage refinance activity, they appears to be having the opposite effect on home purchases, where there is a sheer scramble to buy, and sell, houses. As Bloomberg notes, citing brokerage Redfin, the average home across the US that sold last month went into contract after a median of 36 only days on the market – a record speed in data going back to 2010.

To Sam Khater, chief economist of Freddie Mac, this was a sign of an economy firing on all cylinders: “This is what happens when the economy is strong,” Khater told Bloomberg in a phone interview. “All the higher-rate environment does is it either causes them to try and rush or look at different properties that are more affordable.”

Of course, one can simply counter that what rising rates do is make housing – for those who need a mortgage – increasingly more unaffordable, as a result of the higher monthly mortgage payments. Case in point: with this week’s jump, the monthly payment on a $300,000, 30-year loan has climbed to $1,540, up over $100 from $1,424 in the beginning of the year, when the average rate was 3.95%. In other words, all else equal, home prices will fall.

As such, surging rates merely pull home demand from the future, as potential homebuyers hope to lock in “lower” rates today instead of risking tomorrow’s rates. It also means that after today’s surge in activity, a vacuum in transactions will follow, especially if rates stabilize or happen to drop. Think “cash for clunkers”, only in this case it’s houses.

Meanwhile, the short supply of home listings for sale and increased competition is only making their purchases harder to afford: according to Redfin, this spike in demand and subdued supply means that home prices soared 7.6% in April from a year earlier to a median of $302,200, and sellers got a record 98.8% of what they asked on average.

Call it the sellers market.

Furthermore, bidding wars are increasingly breaking out: Minneapolis realtor Mary Sommerfeld said a family she works with offered $33,000 more than the $430,000 list price for a home in St. Paul. The listing agent gave her the bad news: There were nine offers and the family’s was second from the bottom.

For Sommerfeld’s clients, the lack of inventory is a bigger problem than rising mortgage rates. If anything, they want to close quickly before they get priced out of the market — and have to pay more interest.

“I don’t think it’s hurting the buyer demand at all,” she said. “My buyers say they better get busy and buy before the interest rates go up any further.”

Then again, in the grand scheme of things, 4.61% is still low. Kristin Wilson, a loan officer with Envoy Mortgage in Edina, Minnesota, tells customers to keep things in perspective. When she bought a house in the early 1980s, the interest on her adjustable-rate mortgage was 12 percent, she said.

“One woman actually used the phrase: ‘Rates shot up,’” Wilson said. “We’ve been spoiled after a number of years with rates hovering around 4 percent or lower.”

Of course, if the average mortgage rate in the America is ever 12% again, look for a real life recreation of Mad Max in a not so friendly neighborhood near you.

END

Senate confirms Haspel

(courtesy zerohedge)

Senate Confirms Gina Haspel To Head CIA

The CIA has a new boss, and for the first time, it’s a woman.

On Thursday afternoon, despite vocal opposition from many senators over her involvement in the Bush-era “enhanced interrogation”, i.e. torture, programs, the Senate confirmed Gina Haspel in a 54-45 vote as the next head of the CIA.

In the end, support from Senate Democrats, including the Senate Intelligence Committee’s vice chair Mark Warner, helped ensure Haspel’s confirmation. She was previously approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee in a 10-5 vote early Wednesday in a closed-door session, paving the way for her confirmation.

While close, this was not the narrowest of Trump nominee confirmations, with Betsy De Vos, Jeff Sessions and Scott Pruit all confirmed with a narrower margin.

Haspel’s 54-45 confirmation vote not the narrowest of Trump nominees: @BetsyDeVosED was confirmed 51-50, with @VP casting tie-breaking vote. Other narrow confirmation votes: -AG Sessions: 52-47 -@EPAScottPruitt 52-46“Throughout the process, she demonstrated candor, integrity and a forthright approach to the committee’s questions. She displayed the talent and expertise that make her uniquely qualified to face America’s biggest national security challenges, whether in the area of counterterrorism or renewed international competition among great powers,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said ahead of Thursday’s vote.

Many disagreed: Republican Senators Rand Paul (Ky.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) sided with most Democrats in voting against Trump’s controversial pick to replace Mike Pompeo. Sen. John McCain also opposed her nomination but was in Arizona battling brain cancer. Meanwhile, several Democrats including Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and red-state Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) supported the nominee.

While Haspel’s nomination sparked renewed debate over brutal interrogation practices the CIA used on terror suspects after 9/11 mostly due to her involvement in supervising a secret CIA detention site in Thailand, it wasn’t enough to prevent her from becoming the next CIA head. Still, the veteran CIA official who has been with the agency for more than 30 years, received roughly half the support from Democrats that now-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a former House member, received last year when he was confirmed as President Trump’s first CIA chief.

Her nomination was immersed almost immediately by controversy because of her involvement in the agency’s post-Sept. 11 “enhanced interrogation” program — now widely viewed as torture. In particular, senators homed in on her time spent running a CIA black site and role in the destruction of videotapes documenting the interrogation of an al Qaeda suspect.

Meanwhile, as the Hill details, the CIA – and Trump – launched an all-out charm offensive in order to build support for Haspel’s nomination, playing up politically favorable aspects of her largely secret career, including her work on Russia. They also touted her support among former intelligence community officials, including James Clapper, former President Obama’s director of national intelligence.

In the end the deep state got what it wanted.

SWAMP STORIES
Mueller tells Trump team that he cannot and will not indict the President
(courtesy zerohedge)

Mueller Tells Trump Team He Won’t Indict President: Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s attorney and longtime associate, told Fox News on Wednesday that special counsel Robert Mueller has notified Trump’s legal team that he will follow Justice Department guidance and not seek an indictment against Trump.

All they get to do is write a report,” said Giuliani.

Giuliani, himself a former federal prosecutor and mayor of New York City, also told Fox that Mueller’s investigators have not responded to five information requests from the president’s team. That has forced Trump’s legal team to push off making a decision about whether the president will sit for an interview with the special counsel — a decision they had hoped to reach by Thursday.  –Fox News

Federal prosecutors are barred from indicting a sitting president, as laid out in a Justice Department memo. Giuliani says that Mueller has no choice but to follow its guidance.

Meanwhile, the special counsel’s office and Trump’s legal team continue to hash out the conditions under which the President will communicate with investigators.

Giuliani joined Trump’s legal team last month and has repeatedly warned that an in-person interview of the president by the special counsel’s team would constitute a “perjury trap.” Complicating matters, Trump himself has refused to rule out agreeing to an interview with Mueller.

In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity earlier this month, Giuliani said that the Mueller team had ruled out allowing the Trump team to submit written answers to the special counsel’s questions.

Giuliani said last week that the president’s legal team would oppose any subpoena unless they could “reach agreement on the ground rules.” He argued that Trump could invoke executive privilege, and the team would point to Justice Department opinions in fighting a subpoena and “on both law and the facts, we would have the strongest case you could imagine.”-Fox News

Giuliani has pointed to the fact that the Trump team has handed over 1.2 million documents to Mueller as evidence of cooperation with the probe – which marks its one-year anniversary on Thursday.

So far, Mueller’s probe has resulted in the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, the arrests of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and the indictment of 13 Russian nationals on allegations of hacking the 2016 election – along with the raid of Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

Earlier this month, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who is officially in charge of the Russia investigation – admitted that Trump can’t be indicted.

“The Department of Justice has in the past, when the issue arose, has opined that a sitting President cannot be indicted,” Rosenstein said. “There’s been a lot of speculation in the media about this, I just don’t have anything more to say about it.”

In a series of memorandums, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded that indicting a sitting president would violate the Constitution by undermining his ability to do his job. Those memos, too, though, said the answer was a matter of structure and inference.

The Justice Department’s regulations require Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, to follow the department’s “rules, regulations, procedures, practices and policies.” If the memos bind Mr. Mueller, it would seem he could not indict Mr. Trump, no matter what he uncovered.-NYT

No American court has ever addressed the matter, however elements of the issue were argued before the Supreme Court in United States v. Nixon in a 1974 case in which Richard Nixon was forced to comply with a subpoena from special counsel Lee Jaworski during the Watergate investigation, however the issue of indictment was not ruled on.

This case is essentially over,” Giuliani said. “They’re just in denial.”

END

It now seems that Strzok was sent to London to interview British Ambassador Downer who had a discussion with newcomer Trump advisor Papadopoulos and it was from that point that the plan was hatched.  It was called  Operation Crossfire Hurricane and the scheme was to hijack the election for Hillary.  When Hillary lost, then the high ranking officials of the FBI, CIA and Dof J did everything to sabotage the Trump Presidency.  The Times trying to beat the forthcoming Inspector General Report brought out its piece today basically outlining what we have been telling you over the past year

(courtesy zerohedge)

“Operation Crossfire Hurricane”: FBI Sent Strzok On Secret Mission To London Before Election

The New York Times is out with a puff piece ahead of the highly anticipated DOJ Inspector General report expected any day now detailing the FBI’s (mis)conduct during the 2016 US election. The Times piece is brought to you by yet more leaks from the FBI, with their account of the operation against the Trump campaign prior to former Director Comey’s firing and the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Key takeaways:

  • The FBI’s codename for the operation which began 100 days before the US election was Crossfire Hurricane, in reference to a lyric in the Rolling Stones song Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
  • The FBI sent counterintelligence agents, one of whom was Peter Strzok, to London in the summer of 2016 to meet with Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, to describe his meeting with Trump campaign advisor, George Papadopoulos.
  • The meeting with Downer was described as “highly unusual,” and “helped provide the foundation for a case that, a year ago Thursday, became the special counsel investigation.”
  • The FBI kept details of the operation secret from most of the DOJ – with “only about five Justice Department officials” aware of the full scope of the case.

Fearful of leaks, they kept details from political appointees across the street at the Justice Department. Peter Strzok, a senior F.B.I. agent, explained in a text that Justice Department officials would find it too “tasty” to resist sharing. “I’m not worried about our side,” he wrote. –NYT

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Sean Davis

@seanmdav

It was an assignment so secretive that Peter Strzok giddily texted his side piece about it on an unsecured line. It’s also weird for NYT to characterize the meeting as “not yet reported” seeing as how Strzok’s texts about it have been out for months. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/us/politics/crossfire-hurricane-trump-russia-fbi-mueller-investigation.html 

  • Former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn was under investigation, along with Paul Manafort and another advisor “suspected of being a Russian agent himself.”
  • Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dossier memos didn’t reach the FBI until mid-September 2016.

The F.B.I. bureaucracy did agents no favors. In July, a retired British spy named Christopher Steele approached a friend in the F.B.I. overseas and provided reports linking Trump campaign officials to Russia. But the documents meandered around the F.B.I. organizational chart, former officials said. Only in mid-September, congressional investigators say, did the records reach the Crossfire Hurricane team.

  • Strzok texted his mistress Lisa Page with doubts over the case.

“I cannot believe we are seriously looking at these allegations and the pervasive connections,” Mr. Strzok wrote soon after returning from London.

  • Donald Trump was not under investigation, “but his actions perplexed the agents.”

A year and a half later, no public evidence has surfaced connecting Mr. Trump’s advisers to the hacking or linking Mr. Trump himself to the Russian government’s disruptive efforts.

“It’s like the deep state all got together to try to orchestrate a palace coup,” Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, said in January on Fox Business Network.

TrumpSoldier@DaveNYviii

🔥Matt Gaetz turns up the heat on the DOJ to appoint a second special counsel!
“These are the elements of a palace coup…It is important to note that over 20 members of the Judiciary Committee sent AG Sessions a demand for a second special counsel.”

The Times then delves into what they call “missteps” (and others might call unprecedented collusion between an establishment candidate, the previous administration, foreign officials, and high-ranking members of the US Intelligence Community to destroy Donald Trump’s chances of winning the US election – then “salt the earth” with Russian conspiracy theories after he won).

And there were missteps. Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director, was cited by internal investigators for dishonesty about his conversations with reporters about Mrs. Clinton. That gave ammunition for Mr. Trump’s claims that the F.B.I. cannot be trusted. And Mr. Strzok and Lisa Page, an F.B.I. lawyer, exchanged texts criticizing Mr. Trump, allowing the president to point to evidence of bias when they became public. -NYT

“Missteps” indeed. The Times’ fails to mention that McCabe authorized a self-serving leak to the New York Times claiming that the FBI had not put the brakes on the Clinton Foundation investigation, during a period in which he was coming under fire over a $467,500 campaign donation his wife Jill took from Clinton pal Terry McAuliffe.

Instead, the NYT simply says McCabe was “cited by internal investigators for dishonesty about his conversations with reporters about Mrs. Clinton.”

The rest of The Times piece goes into how the FBI was super careful and by-the-book when it came to their totally legit investigation that was not launched because of the Steele dossier.

“Folks are very, very careful and serious about that process,” said Sally Yates, former Deputy AG under Obama. “I don’t know of anything that gives me any concerns.

Strange – Congressional investigators and the Inspector General apparently disagree, strongly.

end

The slippery world of Michael Cohen;
(courtesy zerohedge)

Cohen Leaker Steps Forward: “To Say That I Am Terrified Right Now

Would Be An Understatement”

Journalist Ronin Farrow is back with another bombshell report – this time from the person who leaked Michael Cohen’s banking records, detailing “pay for play” type payments from the likes of Novartis and AT&T.

In short: The leaker, law enforcement official, became alarmed after two “suspicious-activity reports” (SARs) filed by Cohen’s bank, First Republic, went missing from a the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) that he leaked the rest.

And instead of going to the Treasury’s Inspector General, or special counsel Robert Mueller, the leaker chose porn star lawyer Michael Avenatti, who published the remaining SARs on Cohen (along with two other men named “Michael Cohen” wrongly included in the disclosure).

The official, who has spent a career in law enforcement, told me, “I have never seen something pulled off the system. . . . That system is a safeguard for the bank. It’s a stockpile of information. When something’s not there that should be, I immediately became concerned.” The official added, “That’s why I came forward.

The report also refers to two previous suspicious-activity reports, or sars, that the bank had filed, which documented even larger flows of questionable money into Cohen’s account. Those two reports detail more than three million dollars in additional transactions—triple the amount in the report released last week. –New Yorker

Farrow reports that “seven former government officials and other experts familiar with the Treasury Department’s FINCEN database expressed varying levels of concern about the missing reports,” with some speculating that FINCEN may have deliberately restricted access to the reports due to the sensitivity of their content – a move officials say would be “nearly unprecedented.”

Daniel W. Drezner

@dandrezner

As someone who worked at Treasury on anti-money laundering activities, my reaction to this @RonanFarrow story is “holy s**t.” https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/missing-files-motivated-the-leak-of-michael-cohens-financial-records 

That said, “A record-retention policy on FINCEN’s Web site notes that false documents or those “deemed highly sensitive” and “requiring strict limitations on access” may be transferred out of its master file,” according to Farrow.

Nevertheless, a former prosecutor who spent years working with the fincen database said that she knew of no mechanism for restricting access to sars. She speculated that fincen may have taken the extraordinary step of restricting access “because of the highly sensitive nature of a potential investigation. It may be that someone reached out to fincen to ask to limit disclosure of certain sars related to an investigation, whether it was the special counsel or the Southern District of New York.

Banks are legally required to file SARs with the Treasury in order to note activity resembling money laundering, fraud or other criminal conduct. Once filed, the reports are routed to a permanent database maintained by FINCEN – searchable by “tens of thousands of law-enforcement and other federal government personnel.”

Of note, they are not proof of criminal activity, however the information they contain can be used in law-enforcement proceedings.

Jonathan Alter

@jonathanalter

No need to fear that the missing Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) identified by Ronan Farrow might be destroyed evidence. SARs aren’t evidence, a former federal prosecutor tells me. Bank records are, and Mueller has ‘em.
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/missing-files-motivated-the-leak-of-michael-cohens-financial-records 

Cohen opened up the account at First Republic for his company, Essential Consultants, in October 2016 – right before the US election, in order to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford), to keep quiet about an alleged affair she had with President Trump.

First Republic’s compliance officers later began flagging Cohen’s transactions in the account as possible signs of money laundering. Among other potential violations, the documents cite “suspicion concerning the source of funds,” “suspicious EFT/ wire transfers,” “suspicious use of multiple accounts,” and “transaction with no apparent economic, business, or lawful purpose.” (A spokesperson for First Republic Bank declined to comment.)

By January of 2018, First Republic filed three suspicious-activity reports on Cohen’s account – the most recent of which covers the period between September 2017 and January 2018, and included activity totaling nearly one million dollars. It also refers to the two missing reports that made the leaker suspicious, which cover periods prior to September 2017.

Moreover, Cohen’s transfer of the money into his personal accounts caused Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to file their own SAR on Cohen!

A substantial portion of this money seems to have ended up in Cohen’s personal accounts. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney filed a separate sar showing that, during that same three-month period, Cohen set up two accounts with the firm, into which he deposited three checks from his Essential Consultants account, two in the amount of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and one in the amount of five hundred and five thousand dollars. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney marked those transactions, which added up to more than a million dollars, as possible signs of “bribery or gratuity” and “suspicious use of third-party transactors (straw-man).”

Cohen also apparently lied to First Republic – repeatedly telling them that Essential Consultants would be used for leveraging “his experience in real estate to consult on commercial and residential” deals – for which he said that the transactions would be “modest.” The bank’s compliance officers noted “a significant portion of the target account deposits continue to originate from entities that have no apparent connection to real estate or apparent need to engage Cohen as a real estate consultant.”

David Murray, a former Treasury official focussed on illicit finance, told me, “There are a ton of red flags here. The pattern of activity has indicators that are inherently suspicious, and the volume and source of funds do not match the account profile that was built when the account was opened.”

Pay for play?

Last week’s report by Avenatti details a payment from Cohen’s First Republic account to Demeter Direct, Inc. – a Korean food company on its face, however “a Web site, since taken down, suggested that it was a global consulting firm.”

After the press began scrutinizing Cohen’s accounts, a man listed as Demeter Direct’s C.E.O., Mark Ko, told CNN that he served as an intermediary and translator in Cohen’s dealings with an aviation firm, majority-owned by South Korea’s government, called Korea Aerospace Industries.

First Republic’s SAR on the transaction noted that the aerospace company paid Cohen $150,000 in November, 2017, the same month President Trump visited South Korea, while Korea Aerospace Industries was lobbying for a multibillion-dollar US Air Force contract.

The Korean defense company, partnered with Lockheed Martin to build the T-50A trainer jet in hopes of securing a U.S. Air Force contract worth roughly $16 billion.

Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s top weapons supplier, entered the T-50A into the bidding contest. The plane is a version of KAI’s T-50, which is used in South Korea as well as several other U.S. partner nations.

Lockheed told CNBC in a statement, “We had no knowledge of a business relationship between Korea Aerospace Industries and Mr. Cohen, and are not aware of any connection that it may have to the U.S. Air Force Advanced Pilot Training competition.”

The companies are widely expected to win the lucrative contract for the delivery of 350 aircraft. –CNBC

Cohen also used his Essential Consultants account to pay personal expenses, such as his Amex bill, AT&T and Mercedes Benz bills, along with initiation fees and dues to the “Core Club,” a place for socialites to rub elbows described once by the Times as a “portal to power.” Cohen also cut himself several personal checks from his business account of around $100,000, on top of the million he deposited into his Smith Barney accounts.

Russia?

One payment which may be of particular interest to Robert Mueller (who has all of Cohen’s records now) are payments received by a company closely tied to a Russian oligarch close to Putin.

In many cases, the suspicious-activity reports highlight activity of potential interest to ongoing investigations, including that of the special counsel, Robert Mueller. Bank compliance officers noted eight payments from a company called Columbus Nova to Cohen’s account between January and August of 2017, totalling five hundred thousand dollars. The investigators wrote that Columbus Nova’s biggest client is a company controlled by Viktor Vekselberg, whom they described as “reputed to be a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.” The report also points out that Andrew Intrater, Vekselberg’s relative and the C.E.O. of Columbus Nova, donated more than three hundred thousand dollars to Trump-related causes.

The report flagged the activity as suspicious “because the CEO’s company transferred substantial funds to the personal attorney of Trump at the same time the CEO reportedly donated substantial funds to Trump’s inauguration fund and joint fundraising committee for Trump’s reelection and the Republican National Committee.”

More banks, more SARs

Several other banks flagged Cohen for suspicious transactions – some of which piece together the reasons for the transactions from news reports, “citing articles from publications including the Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair about Trump, Russia, and secret election-season payments.” These include the Stormy Daniels payment.

Another, filed by City National Bank, concerns Elliott Broidy – the former deputy finance chairman for the RNC, who Cohen arranged a $1.6 million payoff to a former Playboy model in late 2017. The woman says Broidy impregnated her, then forced her to get an abortion as part of the deal.

The report notes, “Broidy also owns a private security company, Circinus, which provides services to the U.S. and other governments. The company has hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts with the U.A.E.” Broidy has said that Cohen and another lawyer, Keith Davidson, worked out a deal in which Broidy would pay $1.6 million to a former Playboy model he had impregnated. Broidy appears to have paid both lawyers for arranging the deal. The City National report shows that Broidy funnelled the payments through Real Estate Attorneys’ Group, a legal corporation. Broidy seems to have paid Davidson two hundred thousand dollars, and to have sent three payments, of $62,500 each, to Cohen—one to the Essential Consultants account and two to the account of Michael D. Cohen and Associates.

A rep for Broidy said that the description of the payments was “not correct,” adding that “Mr. Broidy is not going to detail his payments for legal services to Mr. Cohen.”

According to FINCEN, disclosing a SAR is a federal offense which carries harsh penalties including fines of up to $250,000 and five years in prison. The official who leaked to Avenatti says he was aware of the risks, but feared that the missing SARs might be suppressed.

“We’ve accepted this as normal, and this is not normal,” the official said. “Things that stand out as abnormal, like documents being removed from a system, are of grave concern to me.”

When it comes to the potential legal consequences of leaking, the official said “To say that I am terrified right now would be an understatement.”

This is a terrifying time to be an American, to be in this situation, and to watch all of this unfold.”

To this some would counter: why did he put himself in this position, and why – given the seriousness of the official’s concerns – did he leak to a porn star’s lawyer instead of going straight to Mueller?

Robert Barnes@Barnes_Law

As forecast, Avenatti obtained his information through an illegal, CRIMINAL LEAK by someone now identified as a “law enforcement official.” Given this source both knew about bank transactions and had access to a government database, this is highly likely either or . https://twitter.com/Evan_Rosenfeld/status/996881477060079617 

end

Trump slams the Obama FBI for spying on the Trump campaign team.  Pay special attention to Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal who lays out the correct time line and for the Democrats to use the Papadopoulos interview with Downer as to the origin of the Russian collusion story is totally preposterous

(courtesy zerohedge

Trump Slams Obama FBI ‘Spying’ Report As “Bigger Than Watergate”

President Trump came out swinging this morning with his Twitter-game, first lashing out at the start of the second year of special counsel Mueller’s “greatest witch hunt in American history” and then blasting reports of FBI spying on his campaign as “bigger than Watergate.”

Following Wednesday’s Senate Intelligence Committee announcement that it concurred with the intelligence community’s 2017 assessment that Russia sought to sow discord during the election with the intent of harming Democrat Hillary Clinton and aiding Trump, but there was no collusion…The president in an early morning tweet again referred to the investigation as a “witch hunt.”

Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History

and there is still No Collusion and No Obstruction. The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win an Election despite the spending of far more money!” Trump tweeted.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History…and there is still No Collusion and No Obstruction. The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win an Election despite the spending of far more money!

But it appears to be the ongoing details surrounding allegations of FBI spying during the campaign and “Operation Crossfire Hurricane” that seems to have angered him most.

Touting a report saying the FBI under former President Obama spied on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, Trump exclaimed that the revelation could be “bigger than Watergate.”

“Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI “SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN IMBEDDED INFORMANT,” the president tweeted in reference to a National Review report published last week.

“There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.” If so, this is bigger than Watergate!”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI “SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.” Andrew McCarthy says, “There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.” If so, this is bigger than Watergate!

The report alleges that Obama-led agencies used their surveillance powers to monitor the Trump campaign.

As The Hill reports, this is not the first time that the Obama administration has been accused of spying on the Trump campaign. Last year, Trump accused the former president of wiretapping Trump Tower shortly before the 2016 election. “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires ” tapped,” the president tweeted in March 2017.

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel – who has been the tip of the spear in exposing what really occurred and stands out among mainstream media types who so easily fold to their peers’ NeverTrump ‘feelings  laid out, in a series of tweets, some key points that everyone – leftist and right – should consider… (that’s wishful thinking)…

1. So a few important points on that new NYT “Hurricane Crossfire” piece. A story that, BTW, all of us following this knew had to be coming. This is DOJ/FBI leakers’ attempt to get in front of the facts Nunes is forcing out, to make it not sound so bad. Don’t buy it. It’s bad.

2. Biggest takeaway: Govt “sources” admit that, indeed, the Obama DOJ and FBI spied on the Trump campaign. Spied. (Tho NYT kindly calls spy an “informant.”) NYT slips in confirmation far down in story, and makes it out like it isn’t a big deal. It is a very big deal.

3. In self-serving desire to get a sympathetic story about its actions, DOJ/FBI leakers are willing to provide yet more details about that “top secret” source (namely, that spying was aimed at Page/Papadopoulos)–making all more likely/certain source will be outed. That’s on them

4. DOJ/FBI (and its leakers) have shredded what little credibility they have in claiming they cannot comply with subpoena. They are willing to provide details to friendly media, but not Congress? Willing to risk very source they claim to need to protect?

5. Back in Dec., NYT assured us it was the Papadopoulos-Downer convo that inspired FBI to launch official counterintelligence operation on July 31, 2016. Which was convenient, since it diminished the role of the dossier. However . . .

6. Now NYT tells us FBI didn’t debrief downer until August 2nd. And Nunes says no “official intelligence” from allies was delivered to FBI about that convo prior to July 31. So how did FBI get Downer details? (Political actors?) And what really did inspire the CI investigation?

7. As for whether to believe line that FBI operated soberly/carefully/judiciously in 2016, a main source for this judgment is, um . . .uh . . . Sally Yates. Who was in middle of it all. A bit like asking Putin to reassure that Russia didn’t meddle in our election.

8. On that, if u r wondering who narrated this story, note paragraphs that assure everybody that hardly anybody in DOJ knew about probe. Oh, and Comey also was given few details. Nobody knew nothin’!(Cuz when u require whole story saying u behaved, it means u know you didn’t.)

Now who is the conspiracy theorist?

end

The Inspector General’s report on the Clinton email probe is now about to drop.  The other  aspects such as the FISA abuse will come later

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

Inspector General Report On Clinton Email Probe About To Drop, Now In Final Review

A long-awaited report by the Department of Justice’s internal watchdog has moved into its final phase – after the DOJ notified multiple subjects mentioned in the document that they can privately review it by week’s end, and will have a “few days” to craft any response to criticism contained within the report, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Those invited to review the report were told they would have to sign nondisclosure agreements in order to read it, people familiar with the matter said. They are expected to have a few days to craft a response to any criticism in the report, which will then be incorporated in the final version to be released in coming weeks. –WSJ

Inspector General Michael Horowitz told lawmakers in April that he expected to issue the report in May, however Tuesday’s notification indicates that he has largely completed his inquiry.

Congressional investigators will get their hands on the report in coming weeks.

A related report was released in April detailing the DOJ’s case against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was found to have lied four times to the DOJ and FBI, including twice while under oath.

McCabe, who was fired a day before he was set to collect his full pension, authorized a self-serving leak to the Wall St. Journalclaiming that the FBI had not put the brakes on the Clinton Foundation investigation, during a period in which he was coming under fire over a $467,500 campaign donation his wife Jill took from Clinton pal Terry McAuliffe.

To be clear, this report will have nothing to do with the FBI’s alleged FISA abuse, high-level collusion against the Trump campaign, or the genesis of the counterintelligence investigation against then-candidate Donald Trump. The OIG will be covering those issues as part of a separate investigation announced in late March.

The report on the Clinton email investigation will, however, cover the conduct of FBI “lovebirds” Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Strzok notably spearheaded the Clinton email investigation before also handling the early Trump-Russia investigation.

Horowitz’s report will undoubtedly also cover significant edits made by the FBI’s top brass to Hillary Clinton’s ex

end

Major story!!

We now have some details: IG Horowitz finds that the FBI and the Dept of Justice broke the law in the Clinton probe and now refers the matter to Huber for criminal charges. Interesting Sally Yates has got some serious troubles as well!

(courtesy zerohedge)

IG Horowitz Finds FBI, DOJ Broke Law In Clinton Probe, Refers To Prosecutor For Criminal Charges

As we reported earlier Thursday, a long-awaited report by the Department of Justice’s internal watchdog into the Hillary Clinton email investigation has moved into its final phase, as the DOJ notified multiple subjects mentioned in the document that they can privately review it by week’s end, and will have a “few days” to craft any response to criticism contained within the report, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Those invited to review the report were told they would have to sign nondisclosure agreements in order to read it, people familiar with the matter said. They are expected to have a few days to craft a response to any criticism in the report, which will then be incorporated in the final version to be released in coming weeks. –WSJ

Now, journalist Paul Sperry reports that “IG Horowitz has found “reasonable grounds” for believing there has been a violation of federal criminal law in the FBI/DOJ’s handling of the Clinton investigation/s and has referred his findings of potential criminal misconduct to Huber for possible criminal prosecution.”

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

BREAKING: IG Horowitz has found “reasonable grounds” for believing there has been a violation of federal criminal law in the FBI/DOJ’s handling of the Clinton investigation/s and has referred his findings of potential criminal misconduct to Huber for possible criminal prosecution

Sperry also noted on Twitter that the FBI and DOJ had been targeting former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn before his December 2016 phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, stemming from photos of Flynn at a December 2015 Moscow event with Vladimir Putin (and Jill Stein).

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

BREAKING: Comey/Yates targeted Gen. Flynn in C.I. investigation a yr BEFORE he communicated w Russian ambassador in Dec 2016 as a transition official–and the trigger was Flynn sitting at same table w Putin at Dec 2015 Moscow event, even tho Green Party’s Jill Stein also at table

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

BREAKING: Comey and Yates had at least 5 members of Trump’s team under secret federal surveillance during the 2016 campaign, including Gen. Flynn

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

As the IG prepares to release his next report, Sally Yates is suddenly animated & agitated. She is tweet-storming against Trump, giving speeches bashing Trump, and spinning her role in the investigations in the New York Times. Yates appears worried about something ahead of report

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

Sally Yates keeps reappearing in the political espionage scandal. Now we know her aide Matthew Axelrod called FBI HQ to demand NY agents back off Clinton Foundation probe during 2016 campaign. Yates also signed a FISA spy warrant on Page & got Flynn fired:https://nypost.com/2017/05/09/sally-yates-was-the-real-blackmailer/ 

Who is Huber?

As we reported in March, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed John Huber – Utah’s top federal prosecutor, to be paired with IG Horowitz to investigate the multitude of accusations of FBI misconduct surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The announcement came one day after Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed that he will also be investigating allegations of FBI FISA abuse.

While Huber’s appointment fell short of the second special counsel demanded by Congressional investigators and concerned citizens alike, his appointment and subsequent pairing with Horowitz is notable – as many have pointed out that the Inspector General is significantly limited in his abilities to investigate. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) noted in March “the IG’s office does not have authority to compel witness interviews, including from past employees, so its investigation will be limited in scope in comparison to a Special Counsel investigation,”

Sessions’ pairing of Horowitz with Huber keeps the investigation under the DOJ’s roof and out of the hands of an independent investigator.

***

With the wheels set in motion last week seemingly align with Congressional requests and the OIG mandate, and the upcoming OIG report likely to serve as a foundational opinion, the DOJ will finally be empowered to move forward with an impartially appointed Special Counsel.

I will  see you FRIDAY night

HARVEY

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