FEB 4/CHINA IS AWAY FOR A WEEK AND THUS EXPECT ALGOS TO GO CRAZY WITH GLEE/GOLD DOWN $2.65 TO $1314.95/SILVER DOWN 4 CENTS TO $15.88/FRANCE IN TURMOIL FOR THE 11TH STRAIGHT WEEKEND/ITALY REJECTS RECOGNIZING GUAIDO AS THE DEFACTO HEAD OF VENEZUEAL/MADURO CONTINUES TO BE DEFIANT AND NOT CALL FOR ELECTIONS/MORE SWAMP STORIES FOR YOU TONIGHT/

 

 

 

GOLD: $1314.95 DOWN $2.65 (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Silver:   $15.88 DOWN 4 CENTS (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Closing access prices:

Gold :  1312.25

 

silver: $15.87

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For comex gold and silver:

FEBRUARY

 

 

 

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR  FEB CONTRACT: 2254 NOTICE(S) FOR 225,400 OZ (7.010 tonnes)

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  8489 NOTICES FOR 848900 OZ  (26.404 TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR FEBRUARY

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

55 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR 275,000  OZ/

 

total number of notices filed so far this month: 394 for 1,970,000

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: OPENING MORNING TRADE $3444: DOWN 14

 

Bitcoin: FINAL EVENING TRADE: $3462 UP   $3

 

end

 

XXXX

JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs are taking a huge issuance (stopping) of gold at the comex.

today 1276/2254

EXCHANGE: COMEX
CONTRACT: FEBRUARY 2019 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,316.900000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 02/01/2019 DELIVERY DATE: 02/05/2019
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED
____________________________________________________________________________________________
072 C GOLDMAN 2
357 C WEDBUSH 6
657 C MORGAN STANLEY 10
657 H MORGAN STANLEY 206
661 C JP MORGAN 2006 607
661 H JP MORGAN 669
685 C RJ OBRIEN 20 2
686 C INTL FCSTONE 11 1
690 C ABN AMRO 61 56
737 C ADVANTAGE 107 76
800 C RCG 32 20
880 H CITIGROUP 606
905 C ADM 9 1
____________________________________________________________________________________________

TOTAL: 2,254 2,254
MONTH TO DATE: 8,489

 

 

 

 

Let us have a look at the data for today

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In silver, the total OPEN INTEREST ROSE BY A HUGE SIZED 35484 CONTRACTS FROM 203,388 UP TO 206,872 ACCOMPANYING FRIDAY’S 14 CENT LOSS  IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX. TODAY WE ARRIVED CLOSER TO  AUGUST’S 2018  RECORD SETTING OPEN INTEREST OF 244,196 CONTRACTS.

WE HAVE ALSO WITNESSED A LARGE AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL METAL STAND FOR COMEX DELIVERY AS WE NOW HAVE JUST LESS THAN 22 MILLION OZ STANDING IN DECEMBER. AS WELL WE ARE WITNESSING CONSIDERABLE LONGS PACKING THEIR BAGS AND MIGRATING OVER TO LONDON IN GREATER NUMBERS IN THE FORM OF EFP’S.  WE WERE  NOTIFIED  THAT WE HAD A STRONG SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP:

1257 EFP’S FOR MARCH,  0 FOR APRIL, FOR MAY, 0 FOR DECEMBER AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE: OF 1257 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 1257 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 1257 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 6.285 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 14 CENT LOSS IN SILVER PRICE AT THE COMEX AND

2. THE STRONG AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES WHICH STOOD FOR DELIVERY IN THE LAST SIX MONTHS:

JUNE/2018. (5.420 MILLION OZ);

FOR JULY: 30.370 MILLION OZ

FOR AUG., 6.065 MILLION OZ

FOR SEPT. 39.505 MILLION  OZ S

FOR OCT.2.525 MILLION OZ.

FOR NOV:  A HUGE 7.440 MILLION OZ STANDING FOR NOVEMBER AND

21.925 MILLION OZ FINALLY STAND FOR DECEMBER.

5.845 MILLION OZ STAND IN JANUARY.

AND NOW 2.410 MILLION OZ STANDING FOR FEBRUARY.

 

 

ACCUMULATION FOR EFP’S/SILVER/J.P.MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES, / STARTING FROM FIRST DAY NOTICE/FOR MONTH OF FEBRUARY: 3463 CONTRACTS (FOR TRADING DAYS TOTAL 3463 CONTRACTS) OR 17.32 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 1154 CONTRACTS OR 5.77 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF FEB:  17.32 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 2.47% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION (EX CHINA EX RUSSIA)*  JUNE’S 345.43 MILLION OZ IS THE SECOND HIGHEST RECORDED ISSUANCE OF EFP’S AND IT FOLLOWED THE RECORD SET IN APRIL 2018 OF 385.75 MILLION OZ.

ACCUMULATION IN YEAR 2019 TO DATE SILVER EFP’S:           234.77    MILLION OZ.

JANUARY 2019 EFP TOTALS:                                                      217.455. MILLION OZ.

 

 

RESULT: WE HAD A HUGE SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 35484 WITH THE 14 CENT LOSS IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX //YESTERDAY..THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD A GOOD SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 1257 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) .

TODAY WE GAINED A HUGE SIZED: 4741 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

i.e 1257 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH INCREASE OF 3484 OI COMEX CONTRACTSAND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 14 CENT LOSS IN PRICE OF SILVER  AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $15.92 WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING. YET WE HAD A GIGANTIC AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX FOR DELIVERY 

 

 

In ounces AT THE COMEX, the OI is still represented by JUST OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.018 BILLION OZ TO BE EXACT or 145% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT FEBRUARY MONTH/ THEY FILED AT THE COMEX: 55 NOTICE(S) FOR 275,000 OZ OF SILVER

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

AND NOW WE RECORD FOR POSTERITY ANOTHER ALL TIME RECORD OPEN INTEREST AT THE COMEX OF 244,196 CONTRACTS ON AUGUST 22/2018 AND AGAIN WHEN THIS RECORD WAS SET, THE PRICE OF SILVER WAS $14.78 AND LOWER IN PRICE THAN PREVIOUS RECORDS.

ON THE DEMAND SIDE WE HAVE THE FOLLOWING:

  1. HUGE AMOUNTS OF SILVER STANDING FOR DELIVERY  (MARCH/2018: 27 MILLION OZ , APRIL/2018 : 2.485 MILLION OZ  MAY: 36.285 MILLION OZ ; JUNE/2018  (5.420 MILLION OZ) , JULY 2018 FINAL AMOUNT STANDING: 30.370 MILLION OZ   )  FOR AUGUST 6.065 MILLION OZ. , SEPT:  A HUGE 39.505 MILLION OZ./ OCTOBER: 2,520,000 oz  NOV AT 7.440 MILLION OZ./ DEC. AT 21.925 MILLION OZ   JANUARY AT  5.825 MILLION OZ.AND NOW FEB 2019:  2.410 MILLION OZ/
  2. HUGE RECORD OPEN INTEREST IN SILVER 243,411 CONTRACTS (OR 1.217 BILLION OZ/ SET APRIL 9/2018) AND NOW AUGUST 22/2018:  244,196 CONTRACTS,  WITH A SILVER PRICE OF $14.78.
  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/  AND THE SECOND HIGHEST RECORDED EFP ISSUANCE JUNE 2018 345.43 MILLION OZ

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).

 

IN GOLD, THE OPEN INTEREST FELL BY A TINY SIZED 955 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 476,289 WITH THE FALL IN THE COMEX GOLD PRICE/(A LOSS IN PRICE OF $3.00//YESTERDAY’S TRADING).

 

 

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A STRONG  SIZED 6351 CONTRACTS:

 

FEBRUARY HAD AN ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTACTS  APRIL 6708 CONTRACTS, DECEMBER: 0 CONTRACTS AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 476.289. 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 AN A VERY GOOD SIZED GAIN IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 5396 CONTRACTS: 955 OI CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND 6351 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN: 5396 CONTRACTS OR 539,60, OZ = 16.78 TONNES. AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD/ YESTERDAY TO THE TUNE OF $3.00.

 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 6708 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY : 13,059 CONTRACTS OR 1,305,900 OZ  OR 40.61 TONNES (3 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 4353 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 3 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 40.61 TONNES

TOTAL ANNUAL GOLD PRODUCTION, 2018, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD EX CHINA EX RUSSIA: 2555 TONNES

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 40.61/2550 x 100% TONNES = 1.59% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN DECEMBER ALONE.***

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2019 TO DATE:     4,671.96  TONNES

JANUARY 2019 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE;   531.20 TONNES

 

 

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

 

 

Result: A TINY SIZED DECREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 955 WITH THE LOSS IN PRICING ($3.00) THAT GOLD UNDERTOOK FRIDAY) //.WE ALSO HAD A STRONG SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 6351 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 6351 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A GOOD GAIN OF 5396 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

6351 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 955 CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX. (IN TONNES, THE GAIN IN TOTAL OI EQUATES TO 16.78 TONNES). ..AND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND OCCURRED WITH THE LOSS OF $3.00 IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING AT THE COMEX

 

 

we had:  2254 notice(s) filed upon for 225,400 oz of gold at the comex.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

GLD...

 

WITH GOLD DOWN $2.65 TODAY

THE FRAUD CONTINUES:

 

 

TWO BIG CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD IN ONE DAY

i)A MASSIVE WITHDRAWAL 8.37 TONNES OF PAPER GOLD  AND THIS WAS USED TO LOWER THE PRICE OF GOLD TODAY.

 

ii) THEN AN ADDITION (DEPOSIT) OF 2.00 TONNES OF GOLD ADDED TO THE GLD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

/GLD INVENTORY   817.40 TONNES

Inventory rests tonight: 817.40 tonnes.

 

TO ALL INVESTORS THINKING OF BUYING GOLD THROUGH THE GLD ROUTE: YOU ARE MAKING A TERRIBLE MISTAKE AS THE CROOKS ARE USING WHATEVER GOLD COMES IN TO ATTACK BY SELLING THAT GOLD.  IT SURE SEEMS TO ME THAT THE GOLD OBLIGATIONS AT THE GLD EXCEED THEIR INVENTORY

 

SLV/

WITH SILVER DOWN 14 CENTS  IN PRICE  TODAY:

A SMALL WITHDRAWAL OF 129,000 OZ AND THAT WOULD PROBABLY PAY FOR FEES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 310.594 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 3484 CONTRACTS from 203,388 UP TO 206,872  AND MOVING CLOSER TO THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET LAST IN AUG.2018 AT 244,196 WITH A SILVER PRICE OF $14.78/(AUGUST 22/2018)..THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET ON APRIL 9/2018 AT 243,411 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS WITH THE SILVER PRICE AT THAT DAY: $16.53). AND PREVIOUS TO THAT, THE RECORD  WAS ESTABLISHED AT: 234,787 CONTRACTS, SET ON APRIL 21.2017 OVER  1 1/3 YEARS AGO.  THE PRICE OF SILVER ON THAT DAY: $17.89.  AS YOU CAN SEE, WE HAVE RECORD HIGH OPEN INTERESTS IN SILVER  ACCOMPANIED BY A CONTINUAL LOWER PRICE WHEN THAT RECORD WAS SET…..

 

.

OUR CUSTOMARY MIGRATION OF COMEX LONGS CONTINUE TO MORPH INTO LONDON FORWARDS  AS OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE:

 

1257 CONTRACTS FOR MARCH. 0 CONTRACTS FOR MAY., FOR DECEMBER AND  AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 1257 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 3484 CONTRACTS TO THE 1257 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE OBTAIN A STRONG GAIN  OF 4741  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 23.71 MILLION OZ!!! AND YET WE ALSO HAVE A STRONG DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL AS WE WITNESSED A FINAL STANDING OF GREATER THAN 30 MILLION OZ FOR JULY, A STRONG 6.065 MILLION OZ FOR AUGUST..  A HUGE 39.505  MILLION OZ  STANDING FOR SILVER IN SEPTEMBER… OVER 2 million  OZ STANDING FOR THE NON ACTIVE MONTH OF OCTOBER.,  7.440 MILLION OZ FINALLY STANDING IN NOVEMBER.  21.925 MILLION OZ  STANDING IN DECEMBER , 5.845 MILLION OZ STANDING IN JANUARY..AND NOW 2.410 MILLION OZ STANDING IN FEBRUARY.

 

 

RESULT: A STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 14 CENT PRICING LOSS THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// YESTERDAY.BUT WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED 1257 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE STRONG  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR SEPTEMBER, 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

i)MONDAY MORNING/ SUNDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED CHINESE NEW YEAR //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 59.47% /The Nikkei closed UP 14.90  PTS OR 0.21%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP .47%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 6.7422 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil UP to 55.06 dollars per barrel for WTI and 62.70 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED EXCEPT LONDON 

//ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AT 6.7422AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7802: / TRADE TALKS NOW ON/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED   : /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING ABOVE LEVEL OF OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST THE DOLLAR /CHINA RETALIATES WITH TARIFFS/ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW TARIFFS AND IT NOW A FULL TRADE WAR COMMENCED

 

 

 

 

 

3A/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA

 

 

i)North Korea//USA

 

 

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

 

 

3 C/  CHINA

 

 

i) CHINA

China is in big trouble as its current account shrinks to zero, its total debt to GDP rises to 300% and much of that debt is non performing.  A good reason why China is dramatically slowing down

(courtesy Schmid/Epoch times)

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

i)France

The yellow vest march to denounce police violence and they were promptly beaten up by riot police.  This is the 11th weekend in a row for protests.

( zerohedge)

ii)The Gatestone Institute’s Guy Milliere explains in detail what is going on in France
( Guy Milliere/Gatestone)

iii)UK/EU

Mish Shedlock is correct:  the UK will have only one to two years of pain by walking out of BREXIT but if May continues with her plan there will be permanent idiocy
( Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk)

iv)Italy/Venezuela

Italy thwarts the EU plans to recognize Guaido as legitimate leader of Venezuela.
( zerohedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

i) EU

Europe has a new SWIFT system for payment but they will not dare go against the USA on fears of sanctions

( zerohedge)

ii)This will not go over well with Trump: Iran test launches a new long range cruise missile

( zerohedge)

iii)Trump now delays his Syria departure as he must protect Israel from Iranian aggression

( zerohedge)

 

 

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

Things are not going off too well for General Motors.  They are going to lay off 4250 salaried workers in North America starting Monday.

(courtesy Shannon Jones/Global Research)

and special thanks to Robert H for sending this to us:

7. OIL ISSUES

The low price of oil can no doubt will have a devastating effect on global oil, especially if the “teapots” dump refined oil at lower and lower prices.

(courtesy Philip Verleger/OilPrice.com

 

 

 

 

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

 

 

i)VENEZUELA/USA

Tom Luongo outlines the USA plan to take over Venezuela and put American firms in control of their oil. Luongo states that time is running out on the Americans

( Tom Luongo)

ii)During the past 12 years, China has lent Venezuela 50 billion USA dollars on an oil/loan basis.  The loan has been whittled down to $20 billion dollars.  Venezuela has not paid much since 2015.  Russia is owed $3 billion and thus we may be a USA-China/ USA Russia proxy war in Venezuela especially if Guaido gets into power.

( zerohedge)

iii)Do not know if this will help but self declared President of Venezuela, Guaido reaches out to China in an attempt to win them over.  Trump continues to repeat that military force is an option of which China and Russia will not be happy.  However Venezuela is in the sphere of influence of the USA

( zerohedge)

iv)Bus driver Maduro rejects election ultimatums.  Trump thinks about invading Venezuela.

( zerohedge)

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)Bus driver genius, Maduro sells 3 tonnes of gold to UAE’s Noor capital
( Reuters/GATA)

ii)Very strange for the BIS to execute swaps whereby they are long unallocated gold and short allocated gold. Is the BIS trying to recover lost central bank gold?

( Robert Lambourne/GATA)

iii)Please read…the truth behind the price rigging by the BIS..

( GATA/Chris Powell)

 

iv)This sovereign wealth fund strongly believes in gold.

( Bloomberg/GATA)

 

v)Chris Waltzek interview Bill Murphy talking about the years of suppression which has led to company consolidations and acquisitions.

( GATA)

 

vi)A very important commentary form Jeffrey Snider as he asks if gold trading higher due to fear or reflation.  He strongly suggests it is fear and China is the main culprit

(courtesy Jeffrey Snider)

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

 

 

MARKET TRADING

ii)Market data/

a)November was the first month that we witnessed a downturn in many numbers.  We know get November factory orders and they tumbling .6% month over month

( zerohedge)

b)It sure does not look good: small business confidence is suddenly collapsing at the fastest pace

( zerohedge)

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

a)Interesting:  the first quarter earnings growth is now faltering which should cause some problems for the markets

( zerohedge)

 

iv)SWAMP STORIES

Funny!! Poor Maxine!!Deutsche bank refused to lend to Trump during the 2016 Presidential race…another Democrat theory down the drain.

( zerohedge)

b)Trump teases that a national emergency is set to be declared to fund the border wall.
(  zerohedge)

 

E)SWAMP STORIES/MAJOR STORIES//THE KING REPORT

 

end

 

 

 

Let us head over to the comex:

 

THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN FELL BY AN TINY SIZED 955 CONTRACTS DOWN TO A LEVEL OF 476,289 WITH THE FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($3.00) IN FRIDAY’S COMEX 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 AS WELL AS WE WITNESS THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST COLLAPSE. ONCE WE GET TO FIRST DAY NOTICE, THEN THE OPEN INTEREST RISES., THE REASON FOR THE COLLAPSE IN OPEN INTEREST IS THE FORCED LIQUIDATION OF THE SPREADERS.

 

 

WE ARE NOW IN THE  NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF JANUARY..  THE CME REPORTS THAT THE BANKERS ISSUED A STRONG SIZED COMEX TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS., THAT IS 6351 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

FOR FEBRUARY:  0. FOR APRIL 6351, FOR DECEMBER: 0 AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  6361 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:  5396 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 6351 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE LOST A TINY SIZED 955 COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:5396 contracts OR 539600  OZ OR 16.78 TONNES.

 

We are now in the active contract month of FEBRUARY and here the open interest stands at 3,851 contracts, and thus undergoing a loss of 5238 contracts.  We had 5296 contracts stand for delivery yesterday so we gained 58 contracts or 5,800 additional oz will  stand for delivery in this very active delivery month of February as they refused to morph into London based forwards as well as negating a sizable fiat bonus.

QUEUE JUMPING RETURNS TO THE COMEX QUITE EARLY IN THE FEBRUARY DELIVERY CYCLE. THE CROOKS ARE SHORT OF GOLD!!

 

 

 

The next non active delivery month after February is  March and here we  GAINED 47 contracts to stand at 1691.  After March, the next big delivery month is April and here the OI rose by 3899 contracts up to 341,078 contracts.

 

 

 

FOR COMPARISON FEBRUARY 2019 TO THE  FEBRUARY 2018 COMEX GOLD CONTRACT MONTH

 

 

 

ON FEB 1.2018: 20.07 TONNES OF GOLD STOOD FOR DELIVERY, BUT BY THE END OF MONTH ONLY 8.55 TONNES EVENTUALLY STOOD AS THE REST MORPHED INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS.

TODAY’S NOTICES FILED:

WE HAD 2254 NOTICES FILED TODAY AT THE COMEX FOR 225,400 OZ. (7.010 tonnes)

 

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total COMEX silver OI ROSE BY A STRONG SIZED 3484  CONTRACTS FROM 203,388 UP TO 206,872(AND CLOSER TO THE NEW RECORD OI FOR SILVER SET ON AUGUST 22.2018.  (THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET APRIL 9.2018/ 243,411 CONTRACTS) AND TODAY’S OI COMEX GAIN  OCCURRED DESPITE A 14 CENT LOSS IN PRICING.

 

WE ARE NOW INTO THE NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF FEBRUARY AND THE  AMOUNT OF OPEN INTEREST READY TO STAND IS  143 CONTRACTS, HAVING LOST 32 CONTRACTS FROM FRIDAY.  WE HAD 53 NOTICES FILED ON FRIDAY SO WE GAINED 21 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 105,000 OZ WILL STAND FOR DELIVERY IN THIS NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF FEBRUARY.

 

.

 

 

 

THE NEXT NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH AFTER FEBRUARY IS THE VERY BIG AND ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MARCH AND HERE THE OI FELL BY 1629 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 140,327 CONTRACTS. AFTER MARCH, APRIL MAINTAINED ITS INITIAL 15 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  AFTER APRIL, THE NEXT BIG ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH IS MAY AND HERE THE OI ADVANCED BY 5008 CONTRACTS UP TO 34,788 CONTRACTS.

 

 

 

 

ON A NET BASIS WE GAINED 4741 SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AS WE OBTAINED A 3484 CONTRACT GAIN AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 1257 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  4741 CONTRACTS...AND ALL OF THIS STRONG DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A 14 CENT LOSS IN PRICING// FRIDAY??

 

 

 

 

 

FOR COMPARISON SILVER COMEX CONTRACT MONTH  FEB 2018 VS FEB 2019

 

 

 

 

ON FIRST DAY NOTICE FEB 1/2018 CONTRACT MONTH WE HAD 670,000 OZ.  AT THE MONTH’S CONCLUSION WE HAD 2.035 MILLION OZ STAND AS WE WITNESSED QUEUE JUMPING ON A REGULAR BASIS AT THE SILVER COMEX.

TODAY THE INITIAL AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING IS 2.050 MILLION OZ./

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED:

 

We, today, had 55 notice(s) filed for 275,000 OZ for the FEB, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

 

 

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY:  148,067 CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  208,534  contracts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INITIAL standings for  FEB/GOLD

FEB 4/2019.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
NIL
oz
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz NIL oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  

 

2,000 oz

 

HSBC

 

OZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
2254 notice(s)
 225,400 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
1597 contracts
(159700 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
8489 notices
848,900 OZ
26.404 TONNES
Total accumulative withdrawals of gold from the Dealers inventory this month NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month xxx oz

 

we had 0 dealer entries:

 

 

total dealer deposits: NIL oz

total dealer withdrawals: 0 oz

We had 1 kilobar entries

 

we had 1 deposit into the customer account

i) Into HSBC:  2,000.000 oz exactly

the whole comex is a fraud

 

total gold customer deposits;  2,000.000 oz

 

we had 0 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

 

 

 

total gold withdrawing from the customer;  NIL oz

 

we had 1  adjustments….
i) Out of JPMorgan: 115,740.000 oz was adjusted out of the customer and into the dealer.
no settlement yet.

FOR THE FEB 2019 CONTRACT MONTH)

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 2254 contract(s) of which 669 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 607 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account and 0 notices by the squid  (Goldman Sachs)

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To calculate the INITIAL total number of gold ounces standing for the FEBRUARY/2019. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (8489) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (3851 contract) minus the number of notices served upon today (2254 x 100 oz per contract) equals 1,008,600 OZ OR 31.371 TONNES) the number of ounces standing in this active month of FEBRUARY

 

Thus the INITIAL standings for gold for the FEB/2019 contract month:

No of notices served (8489 x 100 oz)  + {3851)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (2254 x 100 oz )which equals 1,008,600 oz standing OR 31.371 TONNES in this active delivery month of FEBRUARY.

WE GAINED 58 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 5,800 OZ WILL STAND AT THE COMEX AS THEY REFUSED TO MORPHED INTO A LONDON BASED FORWARD AS WELL AS NEGATING A FIAT BONUS.

 

 

 

 

 

THERE ARE ONLY 28.588 TONNES OF REGISTERED COMEX GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY AGAINST 31.371 TONNES STANDING FOR FEBRUARY

OF WHICH 26.404 TONNES OF GOLD HAVE ALREADY BEEN SERVED UPON SO FAR THIS MONTH.

 

 

 

total registered or dealer gold:  919,115.667 oz or   28.588 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   8,441,056.807 oz 262.552 tonnes

IN THE LAST 27 MONTHS 92 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

 

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE NOV DELIVERY MONTH

FEB INITIAL standings/SILVER

FEB 4 2019
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
860,485.659  oz
 Brinks

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
796.472.243 oz
Brinks
CNT
No of oz served today (contracts)
55
CONTRACT(S)
275,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
86 contracts
440,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 394 contracts

(1,970,000 oz)

Total accumulative withdrawal of silver from the Dealers inventory this month NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of silver from the Customer inventory this month

we had 0 inventory movement at the dealer side of things

 

 

total dealer deposits: nil  oz

total dealer withdrawals: 0 oz

we had  2 deposits into the customer account

 

i) Into JPMorgan: nil  oz

 

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

JPMorgan now has 147.7 million oz of  total silver inventory or 50.77% of all official comex silver. (149.787 million/295 million)

 

i) Into Brinks:  196,478.800 oz

ii) Into CNT: 599,993.443 oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total customer deposits today: 796.472.243   oz

we had 1 withdrawals out of the customer account:

i) Out of Brinks:  860,485.659 oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total withdrawals: 860,485.659    oz

 

we had 0 adjustment..

 

 

 

total dealer silver:  88.142 million

total dealer + customer silver:  297.214 million oz

 

 

 

 

The total number of notices filed today for the FEBRUARY 2019. contract month is represented by 55 contract(s) FOR 275,000  oz

To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in FEB., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 394 x 5,000 oz = 1,970,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (143) and the number of notices served upon today (55x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the FEBRUARY/2019 contract month: 394(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of FEB( 143) -number of notices served upon today (55)x 5000 oz equals 2,410,000 oz of silver standing for the FEBRUARY contract month.  This is a strong number of oz standing for an off delivery month.

WE GAINED 21 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 105,000 OZ WILL STAND AT THE COMEX AS THESE GUYS REFUSED TO MORPH INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS AND ALSO NEGATING A FIAT BONUS. QUEUE JUMPING CONTINUES AT THE COMEX UNABATED.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

TODAY’S SILVER VOLUME:  67,943 CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 80,139 CONTRACTS… 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 80,139 CONTRACTS EQUATES to 400 million OZ  57.1% 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 -3.60% (FEB 4/2019)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -0.77% to NAV (FEB 4 /2019 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -3.60%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

3.SPROTT CEF.A FUND (FORMERLY CENTRAL FUND OF CANADA):

NAV 13.35/TRADING 12.84/DISCOUNT 3.80

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

FEB 4/WITH GOLD DOWN $2.65: TWO TRANSACTIONS: i)A MASSIVE WITHDRAWAL OF 8.37 TONNES OF PAPER GOLD WAS REMOVED FROM THE GLD AND THEN ii) a A STRONG DEPOSIT OF 2.00 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 817.40 TONNES

FEB 1/WITH GOLD DOWN $3.00 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 823.87 TONNES

JAN 31/WITH GOLD UP $9.80 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 823.87 TONNES

JAN 30/WITH GOLD UP $.65: A HUGE HUGE MONSTROUS ADDITION OF 8.23 TONNES OF PAPER GOLD ENTERED THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 823.87..SO FAR IN JANUARY: 28.56 TONNES HAVE BEEN ADDED

JAN 29/WITH GOLD UP $6.15/A HUGE ADDITION OF 5.88 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 815.64 TONNES

JAN 28/WITH GOLD UP $5.30 TODAY:NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 809.76 TONNES

JAN 25/WITH GOLD UP $17.90: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 809.76 TONNES

jAN 24/WITH GOLD DOWN $3.70?: NO CHANGES AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 809.76 TONNES

JAN 23/WITH GOLD UP 50 CENTS: NO CHANGES AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 809.76 TONNES

JAN 22/WITH GOLD UP A TINY $.85 A MASSIVE PAPER DEPOSIT OF 12.06 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE FRAUDULENT GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 809.76 TONNES

JAN 18/WITH GOLD DOWN $9.65: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 797.71

JAN 17/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.10: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 797.71

JAN 16/WITH GOLD UP $5.40 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 797.71

JAN 15/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.65: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 797.71 TONNES

JAN 14/WITH GOLD UP $1.60/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 797.71 TONNES

JAN 11/WITH GOLD UP $2.30 TODAY ANOTHER WITHDRAWAL OF 1.47 TONNES OF GOLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 797.71 TONNES

JAN 10/WITH GOLD DOWN $4.00/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 799.18 TONNES

JAN 9/WITH SILVER UP $6.00/ TWO TRANSACTIONS: a) A TINY WITHDRAWAL OF .25 TONNES TO PAY FOR FEES ETC b) A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 2.65 TONNES INTO THE GLD INVENTORY./INVENTORY RESTS AT 799.18 TONNES

JAN 8/WITH GOLD DOWN $3.70 TODAY, A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.47 TONNES AND THIS GOLD WAS USED IN THE RAID/INVENTORY RESTS AT 796.78 TONNES

JAN 7/WITH GOLD UP $4.45 TODAY: A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 2.94 TONNES OF GOLD ENTERED THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 798.25 TONNES

JAN 4/WITH GOLD DOWN $8.65 TODAY; NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 795.31 TONNES

JAN 3/2019/WITH GOLD UP $10.65 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY REMAINS AT 795.31 TONNES

JAN 2.2019/WITH GOLD UP $3.35 TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 7.64 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 795.31 TONNES

DEC 31/WITH GOLD DOWN $2.20 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 787.67 TONNES

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

FEB 4/2019/ Inventory rests tonight at 817.40/ tonnes

*IN LAST 544 TRADING DAYS: 117.65 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 444 TRADING DAYS: A NET 42.38 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO THE GLD INVENTORY.

 

end

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

FEB 4/WITH SILVER DOWN 4 CENTS: A SMALL CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 129,000 OZ TO PAY FOR FEES/.INVENTORY RESTS AT 310.594 MILLION OZ/

FEB 1/WITH SILVER DOWN 14 CENTS: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY  RESTS AT 310.723 MILLION OZ/

JAN 31/WITH SILVER UP 15 CENTS TODAY: ANOTHER BIG DEPOSIT OF 1.126 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 310.723 MILLION OZ/

JAN 30/WITH SILVER UP 7 CENTS: A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 938,000 INTO THE SLV INVENTORY./INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.597 MILLION OZ.

JAN 29/WITH SILVER UP 9 CENTS TODAY/A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 1.408 MILLION OZ  IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV.INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.659 MILLION OZ/

JAN 28/WITH SILVER UP 5 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.251 MILLION OZ/

JAN 25/WITH SILVER UP 40 CENTS: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.251 MILLION OZ/

JAN 24/WITH SILVER DOWN 7 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY

JAN 23/WITH SILVER UP 4 CENTS: A HUGE LOSS OF 938,000 FROM THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.251 MILLION OZ/

JAN 22/WITH SILVER DOWN 5 CENTS: A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 1.179 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV/SLV IS A FRAUDULENT VEHICLE/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.189 MILLION OZ/

JAN 18/WITH SILVER DOWN 13 CENTS: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY/NO DOUBT THE MASSIVE WITHDRAWAL OF PAPER SILVER WAS USED IN THE RAID TODAY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.110

JAN 17/WITH SILVER DOWN 9 CENTS TODAY:ANOTHER BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV; A MASSIVE WITHDRAWAL OF 3.895 MILLION OZ./INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.110 MILLION OZ/

JAN 16/WITH SILVER FLAT TODAY: A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV

A WITHDRAWAL OF 2.158 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 311.005 MILLION OZ/

JAN 15/WITH SILVER DOWN 4 CENTS TODAY: A SMALL CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 469,000 OZ FROM ITS INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 313.163 MILLION OZ/

JAN 14/WITH SILVER UP ONE CENT TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 313.632 MILLION OZ/

JAN 11/WITH SILVER UP 4 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 313.632 MILLION OZ/

JAN 10/WITH SILVER DOWN 11 CENTS TODAY; NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 313.632 MILLION OZ/

JAN 9/WITH SILVER  UP 4 CENTS TODAY; A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.126 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY LOWERS TO 313.632 MILLION OZ/???

JAN 8/WITH SILVER DOWN 4 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.758 MILLION OZ

JAN 7/WITH SILVER DOWN ONE CENT: A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 2.347 MILLION OZ FROM THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.758 MILLION OZ/

JAN 4/WITH SILVER DOWN 3 CENTS: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV.INVENTORY RESTS AT 317.105 MILLION OZ

JAN 3/2019/WITH SILVER UP 22 CENTS A SMALL CHANGE TODAY: A WITHDRAWAL OF 118,000 OZ TO PAY FOR FEES:  INVENTORY RESTS AT 317.105 MILLION OZ/

JAN 2/2019/WITH SILVER UP 10 CENTS TODAY/NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 317.233 MILLION OZ/

DEC 31/WITH SILVER UP 6 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 317.233 MILLION OZ/

 

 

FEB 4/2019:

 

Inventory 310.594 MILLION OZ

LIBOR SCHEDULE AND GOFO RATES:

 

 

THE RISE IN LIBOR IS CREATING A SCARCITY OF DOLLARS BECAUSE FOREIGN EXCHANGE SWAPS (COSTS) ARE SIMPLY PROHIBITIVE

YOUR DATA…..

6 Month MM GOFO 2.21/ and libor 6 month duration 2.79

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

G0LD LENDING RATE: + .58

 

 

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.50%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.96

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.67

end

 

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES

end
i) GOLDCORE BLOG/Mark O’Byrne

7 Financial Truths In An Uncertain 2019

7. Diversify, diversify, diversify – Truly balance your savings and investments
6. Avoid leverage and speculation and focus on saving and owning quality assets
5. Don’t make money the guiding principle for what you have or do
4. Own gold/ silver (in safest ways) & focus on value rather than price in fiat $, €, £
3. Do everything you can to avoid excessive debt 
2. Enjoying the simple things in life – our health and our families health, time with family & friends, good food, time in nature, travel, “a baby’s smile …”
1. “DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY …14,000 things to be happy about… “

 

Watch Latest GoldCore Interview Here

News and Commentary

Gold prices fall in thin trade as risk aversion recedes (CNBC.com)

Azerbaijan’s Sovereign Wealth Fund’s Escape From Geopolitics, Credit Risk (Bloomberg.com)

UAE’s Noor Capital says it bought 3 tonnes of gold from Venezuela (Reuters.com)

Maduro’s Bid to Fly Gold Out of Venezuela Is Blocked (Bloomberg.com)

After Years in the Doldrums, Gold and Gold Miners are Finally Hot Again (Bloomberg.com)

Gold Is One Wealth Fund’s Refuge in World Gripped by Turmoil (Bloomberg.com)

Brexit is a revolt against a German-run European super-state (CNBC.com)

An Inability To Turn Around: Deutsche Bank Slides After Reporting Dismal Earnings (ZeroHedge.com)

Sudden Sentiment Shift: The Mainstream Rediscovers Precious Metals (DollarCollapse.com)

Silver Outperforming Gold (SilverSeek.com)

Gold: Fear Or Reflation? (Investing.com)

Gold’s bullish potential is hard to ignore in 20 year chart (Twitter.com)

‘Chart Master’ Carter Worth: where gold is heading next (CNBC video) (Twitter.com)

Listen on iTunes,Blubrry & SoundCloud  & watch on YouTube above

Gold Prices (LBMA PM)

01 Feb: USD 1,320.75, GBP 1008.54 & EUR 1,150.83 per ounce
31 Jan: USD 1,322.50, GBP 1006.95 & EUR 1,152.16 per ounce
30 Jan: USD 1,312.95, GBP 1002.04 & EUR 1,148.44 per ounce
29 Jan: USD 1,308.35, GBP 994.48 & EUR 1,143.24 per ounce
28 Jan: USD 1,301.00, GBP 987.98 & EUR 1,139.81 per ounce
25 Jan: USD 1,282.95, GBP 981.33 & EUR 1,132.08 per ounce
24 Jan: USD 1,279.75, GBP 981.70 & EUR 1,128.36 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

01 Feb: USD 16.01, GBP 12.26 & EUR 13.96 per ounce
31 Jan: USD 16.07, GBP 12.24 & EUR 13.99 per ounce
30 Jan: USD 15.91, GBP 12.15 & EUR 13.92 per ounce
29 Jan: USD 15.85, GBP 12.05 & EUR 13.87 per ounce
28 Jan: USD 15.68, GBP 11.93 & EUR 13.75 per ounce
25 Jan: USD 15.37, GBP 11.74 & EUR 13.55 per ounce
24 Jan: USD 15.30, GBP 11.75 & EUR 13.48 per ounce

Recent Market Updates

– Central Banks Buy More Gold In 2018 Than Any Year Since 1967
– Gold Breaks Out of Range After Dovish Fed – Further 1% Gain to $1,321/oz
– U.S.-China War May Be “Just A Shot Away”
– Buy Bitcoin or Gold? Bitcoin Buyers Investing In Gold In 2019
– Gold Consolidates Above $1,300 After 1.2% Gain Last Week
– Gold Bullion Will Protect From Politicians, Brexit and Increasing Market Volatility In 2019
– Brexit – The Pin That Bursts London Property Bubble
– Davos: David Attenborough Warns We Are Damaging The World ‘Beyond Repair’
– Gold May Return 25% In 2019 Given Brexit, Trump and Other Risks – IG TV Interview GoldCore
– Brexit, EU, Germany, China and Yellow Vests In 2019 – Something Wicked This Way Comes
– Three Reasons Gold May Embark On An Extended Rally
– Political Turmoil in UK & US Sees Gold Hit 2 Week High
– Gold Holds Steady Over €1,100/oz – Increased Possibility Of A Disorderly Brexit

Mark O’Byrne
Executive Director
GATA STORIES AS IT RELATES TO PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER
Bus driver genius, Maduro sells 3 tonnes of gold to UAE’s Noor capital
(courtesy Reuters/GATA)

UAE’s Noor Capital says it bought 3 tonnes of gold from Venezuela

 Section: 

By Mayela Armas
Reuters
Friday, February 1, 2019

CARACAS, Venezuela — Abu Dhabi investment firm Noor Capital said today it bought 3 tonnes of gold on Jan. 21 from Venezuela’s central bank, at a time when President Nicolas Maduro is seeking to keep his crisis-stricken government solvent.

Noor Capital said in a statement it would refrain from further transactions until Venezuela’s situation stabilizes and its purchase was in accordance with “international standards and laws in place” as of Jan. 21.

Reuters reported Thursday that Venezuela had shipped 3 tonnes of gold to the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 26 and would sell 15 tonnes more to the country in the coming days.

Venezuela’s plan was to sell 29 tonnes of gold held in Caracas to the UAE by February in order to provide liquidity for imports of basic goods, a senior official said.

Two high-level Venezuelan central bank officials were made to resign on Thursday and today because they did not want to authorize the sale of gold, three sources familiar with the situation said, declining to be named because the situation was sensitive. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-gold/uaes-noor-cap…

* * *

Help keep GATA going:

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:

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END

Very strange for the BIS to execute swaps whereby they are long unallocated gold and short allocated gold. Is the BIS trying to recover lost central bank gold?

(courtesy Robert Lambourne/GATA)

Robert Lambourne: Is BIS using swaps to recover central bank gold?

 Section: 

By Robert Lambourne
Saturday, February 2, 2019

Disclosures in the recent monthly statements of account published by the Bank for International Settlements show that the bank is still actively trading in gold swaps, which the bank uses to gain access to gold held by commercial banks.

There is not enough information in the monthly reports to calculate the exact amount of swaps. But based on December’s statement, which was posted very late, only this week —

https://www.bis.org/banking/balsheet/statofacc181231.pdf

— it can be estimated that the bank’s gold swaps exceeded 275 tonnes at the end of the month. This compares to estimates of 308 tonnes in November, 372 tonnes in October, 238 tonnes in September, and 370 tonnes in August.

The BIS began using gold swaps more than nine years ago. They were first disclosed in the bank’s annual report for the year ended March 31, 2010. The BIS reported then that it had acquired 346 tonnes of gold through swaps.

Based on a review of the bank’s annual reports, it seems that the BIS was not involved in gold swaps for at least 10 years prior to 2010. As can be seen from the following table, the BIS has used gold swaps extensively since 2010.

March 2010: 346 tonnes.
March 2011: 409 tonnes.
March 2012: 355 tonnes.
March 2013: 404 tonnes.
March 2014: 236 tonnes.
March 2015: 47 tonnes.
March 2016: 0 tonnes.
March 2017: 438 tonnes.
March 2018: 361 tonnes.

The BIS rarely comments publicly on its banking activities, but its first use of gold swaps was considered important enough to cause the bank to give some background information to the Financial Times for an article published on July 29, 2010, coinciding with publication of the bank’s 2009-10 annual report.

The general manager of the BIS at the time, Jaime Caruana, said the gold swaps were “regular commercial activities” for the bank, and he confirmed that they were all carried out with commercial banks and so did not involve other central banks.

The FT article can be found here:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3e659ed0-9b39-11df-baaf-00144feab49a.html

The article includes comments from people said to be familiar with the BIS’ gold transactions:

“Some analysts speculated that the swap deals were a surreptitious bailout of the European banking system ahead of last week’s publication of stress tests. But bankers and officials have described the transactions as ‘mutually beneficial.’

“‘The client approached us with the idea of buying some gold with the option to sell it back,’ said one European banker, referring to the BIS.

“Another banker said: ‘From time to time central banks or the BIS want to optimize the return on their currency holdings.'”

The comments to the FT confirm that the BIS initiated the discussions on making the swaps with its potential counter parties and was the driving force behind the transactions. Since that interview in 2010 the BIS has offered no more public comments on their use of gold swaps.

Indeed, the BIS has refused GATA’s request to explain its activity and objectives in the gold market and to confirm or dispute this analyst’s conclusions about them:

http://www.gata.org/node/17793

From disclosures in the BIS’ annual and semi-annual reports, it appears highly likely that the bank’s gold swap activity involves only commercial banks acting as their counterparties rather than other central banks. Since the BIS initiated these transactions, it is fair to ask whether the swaps are being used to top up central bank gold holdings.

The swaps make the BIS long unallocated gold and short allocated gold, which seems a strange position for the supposedly conservatively run central bank of the central banks. This exposure is not highlighted in the voluminous risk-management disclosures made in BIS annual reports.

The nine-year period during which the BIS has been involved with gold swaps has also seen a substantial decline in the volume of gold being deployed in the BIS’ traditional gold banking business. The traditional gold banking business saw the BIS acting as an agent for central banks wishing to deposit gold on an unallocated basis with other central banks based in major gold trading centers.

As an example, this business allowed the gold of Germany’s central bank to be deposited safely on its behalf with the Bank of England though Germany and the United Kingdom were at war from 1939 to 1945. As this traditional gold banking business has declined, there have been occasions when swaps have provided more than 50 percent of the gold deposited by the BIS in unallocated gold accounts with major central banks in gold trading centers — an example such as occurred on March 31, 2017.

So the use of gold swaps has become an important source of gold for the BIS’ banking business. Such a major change to the nature of the BIS’ gold banking has not been explained by the BIS, and it seems a rather odd development since the driving force for the traditional gold banking business was presumably demand from central banks wishing to protect their gold by depositing it with the BIS rather than directly with another central bank in a gold trading center.

One could imagine that Venezuela lately might have preferred to deposit its gold at the Bank of England via a transaction with the BIS rather than directly.

The use of gold swaps to source gold to be deposited in BIS unallocated gold accounts at major central banks does not appear to fit with the original rationale for the bank’s gold banking business. But it does fit the possibility of shortages of central bank gold being filled by the BIS through swaps.

Will the BIS ever explain if this assessment is wrong?

—–

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

* * *

END

Please read…the truth behind the price rigging by the BIS..

(courtesy GATA/Chris Powell)

A voice from inside the gold swap and price-rigging business

 Section: 

11:17a ET Sunday, February 3, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

GATA consultant Robert Lambourne’s report yesterday about the gold trading signified by the December financial statement of the Bank for International Settlements speculated that the bank’s use of gold swaps might mean to recover gold for central banks that are inconveniently short in their official reserves:

http://www.gata.org/node/18825

In response to Lambourne’s analysis, a prominent figure in the gold business in London and elsewhere who has followed GATA’s work for many years wrote to your secretary/treasurer with his own account of the swap business and invited GATA to distribute it.

It confirms that central banks trade gold in large part to facilitate gold production by providing cheap financing for mines, to regulate and contain the price of the monetary metal, and thus to discourage increases in the price of all commodities.

… 

This echoes and elaborates on the candid admission by Barrick Gold in U.S. District Court in New Orleans in 2003 that in borrowing and selling central bank gold in pursuit of its mining operations, the company had become the agent of the central banks in regulating the gold market:

http://www.gata.org/node/1858

What follows from our friend formerly in the gold business in London cannot be attached to him by name, as it predictably enough might get our friend in trouble with some powerful people. That makes our friend an anonymous source, something that, for credibility reasons, GATA seldom bothers with. What our friend says is just hearsay to you.

But there is nothing outlandish about our friend’s account and its elaboration fits neatly with everything else GATA has documented, so perhaps it can be offered simply as a plausible possibility about how the world financial system is being operated surreptitiously. Our friend’s account also would be an excellent outline for journalistic pursuit of the world financial system’s operations if the world ever enjoys any serious financial journalism.

Our friend writes as follows.

* * *

“My firm regularly traded unallocated gold swaps with central banks and the Bank for International Settlements in the 1970s and 1980s. This was a major source of gold finance for the mining industry, enabling the BIS and other official gold holders to get a U.S. dollar return on part of their large gold holdings and allowing bullion dealers to provide cheap project finance for miners and jewellers. It also enabled less-creditworthy central banks to manage short-term liquidity issues.

“Effectively this process created a supply of ‘paper gold’ — sometimes but not always marked to market — that had a depressing effect on the gold price.

“Following the near-disasters of the gold short positions of Long-Term Capital Management (1998) and Ashanti (1999), such official activity was greatly reduced. But the more recent sudden major downward moves in the gold price could well have been effected by swap trading.

“After the LTCM and Ashanti incidents, the BIS’ Financial Stability Unit, which was formed in response to those near-disasters, was replicated by central banks around the world. Volatility in the gold price and gold’s status as a proxy for all commodities made it a target for official ‘shock absorber’ actions — something welcomed by both the BIS and the International Monetary Fund.”

* * *

What is so outlandish about GATA’s conclusions about gold and commodity market manipulation?

GATA might be demolished by a public statement from the bank or a group of central banks, accompanied by the disclosure of official documents, asserting that they have nothing to do with the gold market and couldn’t care less about the valuation of the once and possibly future world reserve currency.

Instead all that can be extracted from the BIS is its comprehensive refusal to answer for itself:

http://www.gata.org/node/17793

Monetary metals mining companies and the World Gold Council refuse to pursue the truth here, though it is crucial to monetary metals investors.

So GATA is grateful to our friend from the gold business for being so candid with us — and with you.

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

* * *

end

This sovereign wealth fund strongly believes in gold.

(courtesy Bloomberg/GATA)

Gold is one wealth fund’s escape from geopolitics, credit risk

 Section: 

By Zulfugar Agayev
Bloomberg News
Sunday, February 3, 2019

For Azerbaijan’s sovereign wealth fund, nothing beats the safety of gold in a world gripped by trade disputes and geopolitical risk.

Known as Sofaz, the fund is looking to almost double its holdings of the precious metal in 2019 to 100 tons after resuming purchases in 2018 following a five-year break. By contrast, it’s steering clear of larger bets on bonds and especially equities, an approach that Executive Director Shahmar Movsumov says allowed the fund to avoid losses last year.

… 

We would want to have something that is not someone else’s credit risk,” Movsumov said in an interview in the capital, Baku, on Friday. “In a world where you see the changes in geopolitics, changes in reserve currencies, changes in the dynamics between superpowers and their imminent impact on the financial sector, you want to be on the safe side.” …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-03/gold-is-one-wealth-fu…

END

Chris Waltzek interview Bill Murphy talking about the years of suppression which has led to company consolidations and acquisitions.

(courtesy GATA)

GoldSeek Radio’s Chris Waltzek interviews GATA Chairman Bill Murphy

 Section: 

6p ET Sunday, February 3, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Years of price suppression have stifled gold exploration and are leading to mining company consolidations and acquisitions, GATA Chairman Bill Murphy says, concurring with GoldSeek Radio’s Chris Waltzek in an interview posted today. When the physical gold market overwhelms the “paper gold” market, Murphy says, the fundamentals for gold will assert themselves and the price will soar.

The interview is 12 minutes long and begins at the 31:40 mark here:

http://news.goldseek.com/radio/1549235837.php

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





iii) Other Physical stories
Due to the criminal conviction of trader Edmonds, the USA prosecution is seeking to halt the civil lawsuit. I was misinformed: all discoveries in a civil suit are public and because of that, the prosecution gives the defendants the right to plead the 5th if their testimony incriminates them
(courtesy zerohedge/Chris Powell)

US seeks halt in civil lawsuit accusing JP Morgan of manipulating metals market, citing criminal case

  • The U.S. wants a federal judge to halt a civil lawsuit accusing J. P. Morgan of manipulating precious metals markets. The Justice Department cited an ongoing criminal case as its reason for the request.
  • A former J. P. Morgan trader pleaded guilty in Connecticut last month to manipulation charges.
  • In the guilty plea, the trader said he had learned to make bogus trade orders from senior traders at the bank and that he used the strategy hundreds of times with the knowledge and consent of his immediate supervisors.

A sign of JP Morgan Chase Bank is seen in front of their headquarters tower in New York.

Amr Alfiky | Reuters
A sign of JP Morgan Chase Bank is seen in front of their headquarters tower in New York.

The Justice Department is asking a judge to put the brakes on a civil lawsuit against J. P. Morgan Chase, citing an ongoing probe into a “related criminal case” that involves alleged manipulation of precious metals markets.

The department wants a six-month postponement in the proceedings of the civil lawsuit, which was filed in 2015 by hedge fund manager Daniel Shak and two commodity traders. The government also says it could ask for a longer delay in the case, according to a court filing on Monday.

The move comes days after Shak’s lawyer, David Kovel, sought permission to reopen questioning of two former J. P. Morgan traders and the bank’s current global head of base and precious metals trading.

Kovel, in making the request with the Manhattan federal judge in the civil case, cited last month’s guilty plea by one of those former traders, John Edmonds, in federal court in Connecticut.

Edmonds admitted making bogus bids on precious metals contracts while working at the bank from 2009 to 2015.

Neither J. P. Morgan Chase nor Kovel’s clients have opposed the Justice Department’s request.

In arguing for a delay, the Justice Department said Shak’s lawsuit is “related” to Edmonds’ criminal case and that Edmonds has “pleaded guilty and acknowledged his own participation in such conduct, as well as that of other traders.”

“Edmonds awaits sentencing, but the broader investigation is ongoing,” the Justice Department said. The U.S. wants to delay the civil case “to protect the integrity of its ongoing criminal investigation,” it said.

J. P. Morgan did not respond to a request for comment by CNBC. Kovel declined to comment.

Tuesday night, after this story first was published, Judge Paul Engelmayer ordered the federal prosecutors to explain in detail by Monday why postponing proceedings in the civil lawsuit would not harm those involved, and why reopening questioning “would be detrimental to the Government’s ongoing criminal investigation.”

Englemayer also wrote that he regards Edmonds’ guilty plea “as potentially highly consequential” to the civil case.

In his guilty plea, the 36-year-old Edmonds said he had learned to make bogus trade orders from senior traders at the bank and that he used the strategy hundreds of times with the knowledge and consent of his immediate supervisors. He admitted to working with “unnamed co-conspirators” at J. P. Morgan, according to the Justice Department.

Kovel wants to question Edmonds again as well as Michael Nowak, the bank’s global head of base and precious metal trading, and former J. P. Morgan Chase Managing Director Robert Gottlieb. The three had previously answered questions under oath in the civil case.

Kovel said in court filings that Nowak was the immediate supervisor of Edmonds, while Gottlieb was Edmonds’ mentor.

In his prior deposition, Edmonds said that Gottlieb sat only a “couple feet” away from him for about five years, and that he was “somebody [he] looked up to in the business,” who helped guide and train him.

Nowak is described by Edmonds as his direct supervisor, with whom he would sometimes discuss trading strategies. Nowak was also the person responsible for overseeing the performance and risk of Edmonds’ portfolio, according to the deposition.

Edmonds also stated in his prior deposition that he would enter precious metals trades for both Nowak and Gottlieb, among others.

The civil lawsuit claims Shak and his fellow plaintiffs lost tens of millions of dollars as a result of actions by J. P. Morgan’s traders.

A very important commentary form Jeffrey Snider as he asks if gold trading higher due to fear or reflation.  He strongly suggests it is fear and China is the main culprit
(courtesy Jeffrey Snider)

Gold – Fear Or Reflation?

Authored by Jeffrey Snider via Alhambra Investment Partners,

Gold is on fire, but why is it on fire? When the precious metals’ price falls, Stage 2, we have a pretty good idea what that means (collateral). But when it goes the other way, reflation or fear of deflation? Stage 1 or Stage 3?

If it is Stage 1 reflation based on something like the Fed’s turnaround, then we would expect to find US$ markets trading in exactly the same way. Like 2017, when gold was last rising, there should be reflationary corroboration in rising rates, current and expected, along with inflation expectations and curves.

That’s not happening here or anywhere. Even as the “bond market” including eurodollar futures has retraced some of December’s awfulness, it really hasn’t been all that much and the curves are still highly distorted (liquidity risk, therefore clear deflation signal).

This one, a very important set of prices, goes into the fear column.

Maybe gold is up because of something the Chinese are doing. Some kind of reflationary “stimulus” that gets the whole thing restarted after the aborted soft landing the last half of last year. Gold, after all, isn’t determined solely by what may be happening US economy-wise or even in eurodollar capacities. China in monetary overdrive might seem an inflation risk worth hedging.

Except, gold really started moving upward back in October when China was engulfed in deflationary liquidation (right from the start of its reopening from the National Day Golden Week). Despite several attempts at “stimulus”, which isn’t stimulus, the Chinese economy continues down the deflation track unabated.

The first look at January 2019 inside China isn’t encouraging. The Chinese NBS reports today that the manufacturing PMI remained below 50 for a second straight month. Though the overall index was marginally higher than December, the subindex for New Orders declined a little further below 50 (and New Export Orders quite a bit below 50). It doesn’t appear Chinese manufacturing is going to turnaround in the next few months.

Neither the New Orders nor New Export Orders components have been this low since the worst point of the global downturn 2015-16. That’s also true of the separate Caixin Manufacturing Survey. Measuring more of medium-sized Chinese producers, this PMI declined to 48.3 in January. It was 51 just seven months ago.

Even what might seem like good news isn’t. The NBS PMI for the services sector rebounded to 54.7 last month from 53.8 the month before. However, this merely continues the same volatile sawtooth pattern, one that has taken on a downward trend of lower highs and lower lows. Not as fast in deceleration as manufacturing, still the wrong direction.

In another report, China’s NBS estimates about industrial revenues and profits for December 2018 show even more deterioration than what’s figured in their PMI’s. On an accumulated basis, Revenues from Principle Activities gained just 8.5% for December. That means for the full-year 2018, sales growth was 8.5% above the total for all of 2017.

In terms of Total Industrial Profits, the accumulated growth rate for December was down to just 10%. These are not encouraging results.

Because accumulated estimates can be biased by what happened early in any year, pulling apart these numbers by month instead gives us a better sense of more recent conditions and directions. On a monthly basis, China’s industrial deterioration is stark: revenues were up just 1.6% year-over-year in December alone, while profits fellby just about 5%.

This is certainly where the PMI’s and industrial figures agree; manufacturing and industry in China hasn’t been this bad since the last time the whole world was in a downturn.

If Chinese industry is behaving like it did in early 2016, the worst parts of Euro$ #3, it sure raises questions about the state of the global economy right now.

I’m pretty sure this one goes in the fear column, too.

That would leave reflation gold with just Jay Powell and Mario Draghi on its side. Since neither of them has any idea what’s going on, I’m not sure other than stocks there is much to think that they’ll get the response right even eventually. Fed funds at 240 bps didn’t break China, nor did trade wars (though they haven’t helped).

In other words, what we are seeing are the variable economic effects of Euro$ #4 just now picking apart the global economy. The Federal Reserve is as much a bystander to it as it was in Euro$’s #1, 2 and 3. The FOMC bungled all those, too, but now it suddenly transforms into an effective, honest bureaucratic machine?

I’d put that one as far into the fear column as the ledger will allow.

 

end

 

Bill Holter and Jim Sinclair with Greg hunter
A MUST VIEW……

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFGZPxgQt9w&feature=youtu.be

Trump Presides Over Bankruptcy of US – Jim Sinclair & Bill Holter

or here:

We’re Flash Crashing to Hell – Jim Sinclair & Bill Holter

Financial writer Bill Holter and renowned gold and financial expert Jim Sinclair warned last summer there were big problems coming in the global financial system. Today, Sinclair says, “We destroyed everything. We not only destroyed the financial markets, we destroyed society. I’m going for June of this year. The reset button gets reset after a few days of a flash crash that can’t be stopped. We’re flash crashing to hell, piece by piece by piece, until all of a sudden, the motion of the entity cannot be stopped.”

Holter says, “I think President Trump is going to preside over a bankruptcy. He’s gone through bankruptcies with his own companies and understands the process. That’s what this is. It’s the bankruptcy of the corporation of the United States.”

Sinclair adds, “Much of Trump’s business career is in bankruptcy, and he has used it as an asset quite successfully.”

Holter also points out, “Paul Volker, when he was Chairman of the Fed, was able to raise rates and able to tighten the money supply. He was able to create a deep recession. The reason he was able to do that was the country, corporations, individuals and the federal government itself was not over-leveraged in 1980 to the extent it is today. The over-leverage is everywhere today. If Paul Volker came in today and tried to do what he did back in 1979 and 1980, all you would see for markets and the economy is one big black smoking hole. You would have the entire system come down.”

Sinclair warns, “If Bill and I were standing on a street corner as preachers, our sign would read not ‘the end is near.’ Our sign would read, ‘it ended.’”

Sinclair goes on to say, “The flash crash to hell has started because the U.S. dollar is only up for one reason. It’s only up because there is a synthetic short.”

Holter adds, “And if you look at the dollar chart, it is rolling over. The next big move in the dollar is down, which also tells you the next move in any asset priced in dollars is going to cost more dollars because the dollar will weaken dramatically.”

In closing, Sinclair says, “The dollar standard is over. We were on a gold standard, and then poof, Nixon, and out. What has happened to the petro-dollar? Poof, it’s out in comparison to what it was. What system is next? The marbles standard? Gold is going back . . . to a store house of value.”

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Jim Sinclair and Bill Holter of JSMineset.com.

-END-

end

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

i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/CLOSED DOWN TO 6.7422/

 

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  6.7802   /shanghai bourse CLOSED /CHINESE NEW YEAR FOR THE WEEK

HANG SANG CLOSED UP 59.47 POINTS OR .21%

 

 

2. Nikkei closed UP 95.38  POINTS OR 0.46%

 

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED ALL RED EXCEPT LONDON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/USA dollar index RISES TO 95.71/Euro FALLS TO 1.1447

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO. –.01/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 108.92/ THIS IS TROUBLESOME AS BANK OF JAPAN IS RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY./JAPAN 10 YR YIELD IS NOW TARGETED AT .11%/JAPAN LOSING CONTROL OF THEIR BOND MARKET

 

3c Nikkei now JUST BELOW 17,000

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

3e WTI:: 55.06 and Brent: 62.70

3f Gold DOWN/JAPANESE Yen DOWN CHINESE YUAN:   ON -SHORE DOWN DOWN  /OFF- SHORE: 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 DOWN FOR Brent this morning

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund RISES TO +.16%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN to 2.75% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD UP TO 1.23%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.59: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS TO : 3.91

3k Gold at $1310.90 silver at:15.70   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 8/100 in roubles/dollar) 65.47

3m oil into the 55 dollar handle for WTI and 62handle 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 109.89 DESTROYING JAPANESE CITIZENS WITH HIGHER FOOD INFLATION

30 SNB (Swiss National Bank) still intervening again in the markets driving down the SF. It is not working: USA/SF this morning 0.9975 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1418 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 +0.16%

The bank withdrawals were causing massive hardship to the Greek bank. the Greek referendum voted overwhelming “NO”. Next step for Greece will be the recapitalization of the banks and that will be difficult.

4. USA 10 year treasury bond at 2.70% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 3.049%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 5.2105

 

Global Markets Flat With China On Weeklong Holiday; Dollar Rises

With much of the market action in recent weeks taking place during the overnight session, it is not a surprise that with China on a week-long Lunar New Year holiday, markets have been rather lethargic, with European bourses and US futures drifting without direction, if slightly lower following Friday’s inconclusive trade talks between the US and China as the dollar traded higher pressuring gold, while Treasury yields were slightly higher.

After a whirlwind week, that included a deluge of earnings, dovish Federal Reserve comments and U.S.-China trade talks in Washington, there is a notable lack of drivers for markets on Monday, particularly in Asia, where China is off and other markets will be shut for days.

US President Trump commented on Saturday that he expects to reach a trade agreement with China soon, while there were also reports that President Trump may meet with Chinese President Xi in Da Nang, Vietnam at the end of February. In related news, China state-owned Cofco Group said it purchased an additional 1 million tons of US soybeans

Investors may again look for direction from a corporate earnings season that’s been mixed so far and where Q1 earnings are now expected to post the first Y/Y decline in 3 years.

In Europe, the French CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX underperformed peers with autos weighing while oil and healthcare companies were the biggest gainers in the Stoxx 600 Index, offsetting declines in carmakers. The energy sector was the marked outperformer as Brent hovered around $63/bbl. In terms of laggards, material names are subdued following weak performances in some base metals during Asia-Pac trade. On the tech and consumer front, Japanese-listed Sony and Panasonic became the latest companies to issue a profit warning, following on from NDIVIA, Apple and Samsung, also citing a slowdown in China, however European tech names largely shrugged this off. The sector is kept afloat by DAX-listed Wirecard (+13.5%) after shares rebounded with a vengeance after an internal investigation into alleged criminal misconduct showed no conclusive findings. Elsewhere, UK-listed gambling names kicked off the week at the top of the Stoxx 600 following a number of positive broker moves at Jefferies, albeit William Hill (+0.4%) and Paddy Power Betfair (+0.4%) have since trimmed gains. Italian FTSE MIB manages small gains of +0.3%, while SMI’s Julius Baer (-4.6%) rested at the foot of the Swiss index amid disappointing earnings in which its CEO highlighted that a cost-to-income ratio of 68% is unlikely this year.

In Asia, trading was subdued as much of the region was closed headed into Lunar New Year holidays and following the indecisive performance in the US last Friday amid mixed employment data. Australia’s ASX 200 (+0.5%) was led higher by energy names and with optimism also seen in the largest weighted financials sector despite the looming Banking Royal Commission final report on the industry which was released after the close and referred 24 misconduct to regulators but did not suggest criminal charges. Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) was underpinned by favourable currency moves and a slew of earnings, but with Sony and Honda among the few notable underperformers after Sony reduced its revenue outlook and Honda posted a 34% drop in 9-month net. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+0.2%) traded indecisive amid the absence of mainland participants all week and early closure in Hong Kong, while Chinese PMI data over the weekend was somewhat inconclusive in which Caixin Services PMI topped estimates but Caixin Composite PMI weakened from prior.

US equity futures were unchanged after the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all edged higher on Friday after better-than-expected U.S. jobs report overshadowed a disappointing sales forecast from Amazon. U.S. President Donald Trump told CBS that trade talks with Beijing are “doing very well” and sounded confident an agreement with North Korea was on the horizon. Brent crude set a fresh 2019 high as output fell.

In rates, BTPs rebounded from an early slump brushing off weekend warnings from ECB’s Visco. Gilts reverse a weak open to trade roughly flat, curve small steeper, helping Bunds off the lows. Money markets are betting that ECB policy makers will raise the benchmark deposit rate in only June 2020, compared with earlier expectations for a liftoff this year. That is spurring a rally in everything from benchmark German bonds to Belgian and Spanish debt securities. US Treasury futures grind sideways, 10Y yield steady just under 2.70%. Portuguese bonds look set to extend their peer- beating performance into 2019, after providing investors with the best returns among peripheral euro-area debt markets last year, according to Citigroup.

The currency market felt China’s absence due to the Lunar New Year holiday, with low volumes and tight ranges in the major currencies. The dollar advanced against most Group-of-10 peers while the yen led losses as better-than-expected U.S. data Friday made for a risk-on bias. Some highlights via Bloomberg:

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index headed for its longest winning streak in almost two weeks, boosted by a weaker yen, as solid U.S. economic data Friday set the tone at the start of the week
  • The euro was steady against the dollar, trading near 1.1450 after turo-zone February Sentix investor confidence fell to -3.7 vs est. -1.3
  • The pound touched a session low after IHS Markit’s gauge for the construction sector fell to 50.6 in January, from 52.8 in December, a markedly worse reading than the 52.5 forecast by economists; The British economy was dealt a blow from Nissan Motor over the weekend, which is ditching commitments to build a new vehicle model in the U.K., the latest company to make contingency plans against a no-deal Brexit scenario
  • Australia’s dollar fell against most of its Group-of-10 peers as an unexpected slide in building approvals raised the prospect that the central bank may adopt a more dovish tone this week.
  • Yen declined for a second day as local stocks rallied in risk-on sentiment, though trading was subdued as Lunar New Year holidays start in China
  • Canadian dollar led gains amid an advance in oil prices

The stronger dollar pressured gold which dropped 0.5% after hitting an 8 month high late last week.

Elsewhere, Venezuelans marched in dueling protests Saturday, with the two men who both claim to be the nation’s leader each exhorting followers to hold firm. The country’s outlook is being followed by oil traders given the country’s share of global exports. Emerging-market currencies and shares fell.

In other geopolitical news, President Putin said the US breached the INF arms treaty and that Russian will also suspend the treaty, while he is said to agree with Defense Ministry proposal to begin development of a mid-range supersonic missile. Turkey President Erdogan said Turkey and Syria have begun low level discussions.

In the latest Brexit news, PM May said she will seek a pragmatic solution regarding Brexit when she returns to Brussels and said she will be armed with a fresh mandate and new ideas. Additionally, UK PM May could be planning for a general election in June, according to reports; reports were later downplayed by Boris Johnson, according to Sky News. UK PM May has also invoked the support of Jeremy Corbyn to insist the EU must offer concessions on her Brexit deal, as she states that she will “battle for Britain” when she travels to Brussels to re-open negotiations. At the same time, UK Business Secretary Clark reportedly urged PM May to rule out a no-deal Brexit and told PM May that Nissan’s decision to cancel production of a new model in its Sunderland factory was a warning sign of what could occur to the UK car industry in the event of failing to reach an agreement.

Looking ahead, notable earnings include Alphabet (market cap of USD 780bln) and Gilead report Q4 earnings while economic data include durable goods, factory orders.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 2,706.00
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.06% to 359.48
  • MXAP up 0.1% to 156.40
  • MXAPJ down 0.07% to 511.08
  • Nikkei up 0.5% to 20,883.77
  • Topix up 1.1% to 1,581.33
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 27,990.21
  • Shanghai Composite up 1.3% to 2,618.23
  • Sensex up 0.4% to 36,602.03
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 5,891.20
  • Kospi down 0.06% to 2,203.46
  • German 10Y yield unchanged at 0.167%
  • Euro down 0.09% to $1.1446
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 15.6 bps to 2.389%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 0.9 bps to 1.232%
  • Brent Futures up 1.2% to $63.51/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,311.22
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.2% to 95.73

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Money-market traders are braced for $134b of Treasury bills to be sold between Monday and Wednesday, followed by an additional dose on Thursday via the 4- and 8-week auctions
  • Two-thirds of Americans oppose President Donald Trump declaring a national emergency if Congress doesn’t offer up the funds he wants to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border, a CBS News poll released Sunday shows
  • Australian building approvals suffered the biggest annual back-to-back drop in almost a decade as a housing slump deepens. Falling unemployment is propping up households and allowing the economy to absorb a property slump, meaning the central bank can afford to stay on the sidelines — for now
  • Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro went on Spanish television to denounce foreign meddling as U.S. President Trump signaled he’s confident a transition of power to opposition leader Juan Guaido is under way
  • Oil held near a two-month high after data showed U.S. production growth slowing at a time when OPEC cuts and American sanctions on Venezuela have already eased concerns over a supply glut
  • Wall Street firms are preparing to lobby China for changes that would make it easier to bet against its stock market through a trading link from Hong Kong
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari said Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is “coming around” to the view to wait until wages and inflation rise before raising interest rates again, and that the Fed’s latest pause will help keep a “fundamentally healthy” economy on track
  • Money-market traders are braced for $134b of Treasury bills to be sold between Monday and Wednesday, followed by an additional dose on Thursday via the 4- and 8-week auctions
  • ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny doesn’t expect recession in Europe despite a lot of economic uncertainty, especially around the situation in Germany

Asian equity markets began the week positively but with gains only marginal amid the mass closures in the region for the Lunar New Year and following the indecisive performance on Wall St last Friday amid mixed employment data. ASX 200 (+0.5%) was led higher by energy names and with optimism also seen in the largest weighted financials sector despite the looming Banking Royal Commission final report on the industry which was released after the close and referred 24 misconduct to regulators but did not suggest criminal charges. Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) was underpinned by favourable currency moves and a slew of earnings, but with Sony and Honda among the few notable underperformers after Sony reduced its revenue outlook and Honda posted a 34% drop in 9-month net. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+0.2%) traded indecisive amid the absence of mainland participants all week and early closure in Hong Kong, while Chinese PMI data over the weekend was somewhat inconclusive in which Caixin Services PMI topped estimates but Caixin Composite PMI weakened from prior. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower with demand subdued by the gains in riskier assets and as prices tracked the post-NFP declines in T-notes, although losses were contained by the BoJ presence in the market for a respectable JPY 1tln of JGBs.

Top Asian News

  • Philippine Stocks Fall as Central Bank Tempers Rate Outlook
  • Putin Joins Trump in Finding Ways to Ease Deripaska’s Pain
  • Euro Hedging Cost for European Elections Drops to One-Year Low
  • Japan to Ask Citizens for Ideas to Fix the Government’s Finances

A lacklustre start of the week for European equities as the region failed to sustain the momentum seen in Asia. Major indices drifted lower from the open (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.4%) but remain mixed. The energy sector is the marked outperformer amid the price action in the complex in which Brent hovered around USD 63/bbl. In terms of laggards, material names are subdued following weak performances in some base metals during Asia-Pac trade. On the tech front, Japanese-listed Panasonic became the latest company to issue a profit warning, following on from NDIVIA, Apple and Samsung, also citing a slowdown in China, however European tech names largely shrugged this off. The sector is kept afloat by DAX-listed Wirecard (+13.5%) after shares rebounded with a vengeance after an internal investigation into alleged criminal misconduct showed no conclusive findings. Elsewhere, UK-listed gambling names kicked off the week at the top of the Stoxx 600 following a number of positive broker moves at Jefferies, albeit William Hill (+0.4%) and Paddy Power Betfair (+0.4%) have since trimmed gains. Finally, SMI’s Julius Baer (-4.6%) rests at the foot of the Swiss index amid disappointing earnings wherein its CEO highlighted that a cost-to-income ratio of 68% is unlikely this year. Looking ahead State-side, notable earnings include Alphabet (market cap of USD 780bln) reporting after US hours.

Top European News

  • Panalpina Investor Rebuffs DSV’s $4 Billion Takeover Offer
  • Danske Bankers Needn’t Fear Bonus Cuts Amid Estonian Scandal
  • Electric Vehicles Meet a Strong Challenge From Gas in Spain
  • Warmer Shift in Europe Brings Mixes for Gas and Power Traders
  • Italy’s Staggering Debts Are Europe’s Systematic Problem

In currencies, for the DXY it was a relatively quiet start to the week, with trade in Asia dampened to an extent by China’s Lunar New Year holidays, but the Dollar continues on a firmer footing in wake of last Friday’s bumper US payroll number that was only partially nullified by less frothy earnings, a rise in the jobless rate and a downgrade to the previous month’s NFP tally. The index is holding towards the upper end of a tight 95.771-571 range, but further off its pre-data low and key chart support ahead of 95.000.

  • JPY/AUD – The major laggards, partly due to the aforementioned general Greenback bid, but the former also underperforming as the Nikkei climbed and some stops were triggered at 109.85. However, option related offers appear to have capped the headline pair around 109.90 vs 109.45 at the low, with 2 bn expiries running off between 110.00-10, while techs will also be aware that a 61.8% Fib sits just above the big figure at 110.03. Meanwhile, the Aud has retreated further from recent circa 0.7295 peaks following another sharp decline in Aussie building approvals overnight, and is currently nearer the base of 0.7255-25 parameters. Note, expiry interest may also keep Aud/Usd depressed given 1.6 bn at 0.7240-50 for the NY cut.
  • CHF/GBP – The next weakest G10 links, as the Franc edges down through 0.9950 support and probes below 0.9970, while the Pound is still suffering from Brexit fatigue and uncertainty in the main. Cable is hovering a few pips off the 200 DMA (1.3045) vs 1.3095 at best, with additional pressure coming via another sizeable UK PMI miss, as construction tumbled to 50.6 from 52.8 and vs an expected 52.4.

The commodity complex remains on an upwards trajectory after consolidating during Asia-Pac hours. WTI (+0.1%) and Brent (+0.5%) are choppy and off highs as the former still resides above USD 55/bbl while the latter hovers around USD 63/bbl. Recent gains are attributed to a number of factors leading to a tighter market. As output curbs come into effect, OPEC’s oil supply fell by the most in two years in January; according to a Reuters’ survey. Meanwhile, Russia’s production fell from a record 11.45mln BPD in December to 11.38mln BPD in January, around 35k BPD from October 2018 (the baselines for the global oil accord), albeit, Moscow missed the output cut target last month according to Energy Ministry data. Furthermore, adverse weather in Libya resulted in crude and condensate exports declining to a six-month low with the country’s largest oil field still halted. Prices are also underpinned as US sanctions on Venezuela sharply limits oil transactions between the OPEC member and other countries, but to a lesser extent compared to the Iranian sanctions last year; according to experts citing US Treasury data. Furthermore, oil exports from the country fell to a ten-month low with exports to US and China both declining. Metals are relatively mixed with spot gold (-0.5%) unwinding some risk premium as risk aversion wanes following Friday’s above-forecast US jobs report and optimistic China-US trade developments. Meanwhile copper was lacklustre as the red metal’s largest buyer is away on a week-long holiday. On the flip side, iron ore prices surged as demand concerns continue to weigh on the base metal amid the collapse of Vale’s dam.

It’s a quiet start to the week for data with the only releases of note being the February Sentix investor confidence reading and December PPI for the Euro Area, preliminary January CPI for Italy and final November factory orders, durable and capital goods orders revisions in the US. Elsewhere, German Chancellor Merkel travels to Japan for meetings with PM Abe, while the earnings highlight is Alphabet.

US event calendar

  • 10am: Factory Orders, est. 0.3%, prior -2.1%; Ex Trans, prior 0.3%
  • 10am: Durable Goods Orders, est. 1.5%, prior 0.8%; Durables Ex Transportation, est. 0.1%, prior -0.3%
  • 10am: Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.1%, prior -0.6%

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Tomorrow marks the first year anniversary of Powell becoming Chair of the Federal Reserve and interestingly today is his birthday! After eight meetings at the helm it was interesting that last week’s was the first where the S&P 500 rose on FOMC announcement day. After a year of being mostly on the hawkish side it seems he has performed a 180 degree pivot in 2019. As a reminder our long-standing concerns on US growth in 2020 were a lot to do with the risk of a 2s10s inversion at some point in 2019. We believe that the yield curve is a reliable predictor of the cycle with the normal lag between inversion and recession being 12-18 months (see our Yield Curve 101 note for more). However with the Fed’s U-turn the probability of an inversion has fallen or at least when it occurs might have been delayed. This doesn’t change our bullish view on Q1 (in fact it reinforces it) but it might at some point question our more bearish H2 forecast. However still plenty of time to review this and there are other risks to consider. A recession in Europe is one such risk and on Friday our German economists published a rather gloomy view on their domestic economy showing a number of key indicators drifting into recessionary territory. See their report here.

Back to the US and in our yield curve note we did zone in on the only lengthy delay between inversion and recession in the last 70 plus years. This was in the late 1960s where in the face of rising inflation but a falling stock market, the Fed made what could be described as a policy error by keeping policy too loose especially in the face of higher government spending on the Vietnam War and on the start of Medicare/Medicaid. Basically the yield curve first inverted in December 1965, inflation spiked in early 1966 (with the US at full employment) and continued rising and the S&P 500 fell over 20% from January 1966 peaks. The Fed seemed more concerned by the stock market and stayed on hold in 1966 and even cut rates in early 1967 as growth, fiscal spending and inflation went higher. This likely prolonged the cycle and re-steepened the curve but reinforced higher inflation and by the end of 1967 the Fed were forced to reverse course and start a hiking cycle. The curve then re-inverted and by the end of the decade the recession arrived four years after the first inversion. We make this point to show that cycles can be manipulated by policy makers that deviate policy away from what may have been a more appropriate course.

Anyway from the 1960s and back to the last year of the two thousand and tens. After a busy week last week that included the dovish FOMC and a strong payrolls (see below) this week looks set to be relatively quiet although we do have Mr Trump’s delayed State of the Union address tomorrow night and another busy week of corporate earnings. We also have a backlog of post-shutdown US data to get through though and tomorrow’s global services PMIs are one of the highlights of the week. Outside of that we have the latest BoE meeting on Thursday with Brexit and US-China trade headlines unlikely to stray too far from the spotlight. On Brexit it was interesting to see one opinion poll (Opinium/Observer) put the ruling Tory party 7 points ahead over the weekend. I can’t help thinking that whether it’s good or bad for the country, having a stance where you try to force concessions from Brussels to get a deal, polls well in the country from a core group of voters. This is a dilemma for MPs and party strategists across the board.

With regards to politics on the other side of the Atlantic, the State of the Union address will likely see border security as a hot topic with the reopening of government pretty much halfway through the 21 days by the time he speaks. We’ll soon return to focus on the threat of a fresh shutdown if progress isn’t made this week.

Earnings will continue to be in focus given some big moves for companies in this season. Interestingly DB’s Binky Chadha reported at the back end of last week that US Q4 earnings have seen the lowest beats in 7 years (see link here) but that the rally and price surges for some individual beats reflected that the market had more than priced this in. This week 98 S&P 500 companies are due to report. The highlights include Alphabet today, Walt-Disney on Tuesday, General Motors on Wednesday, and Twitter on Thursday. In Europe the highlights include BP on Tuesday, GlaxoSmithKline, Daimler and BNP Paribas on Wednesday, and Total, L’Oreal and Sanofi on Thursday. In Asia SoftBank reports tomorrow, Toyota on Wednesday and Nippon on Thursday.

In addition to the January ISM non-manufacturing release the market will also likely keep a close eye on the final January services and composite PMI revisions in Japan, Europe and the US tomorrow. Friday’s final manufacturing revisions in Europe confirmed an even weaker manufacturing print for Germany (49.7 vs. 49.9 flash) while Italy came in weaker than expected at 47.8 (vs. 48.8 expected). It’ll be worth keeping an eye on the remaining data for the non-core. The full day by day week ahead is at the end today as per normal on a Monday. A reminder that it’s Lunar New Year and China will be closed while markets in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam are also closed for either all or part of the week.

Over the weekend we’ve had the remaining January Caixin PMIs in China with the services reading surprising slightly to the upside at 53.6 (vs. 53.4 expected). That is however down 0.3pts from December and together with the soft manufacturing reading it puts the composite at 50.9 and the lowest since October. As for markets this morning, trading volumes are much lower than average unsurprisingly given the holidays however the Nikkei (+0.42%) and Hang Seng (+0.21%) are both posting modest gains. Sentiment has also been given a lift by President Trump’s comment that trade talks are “doing very well” following an interview with CBS over the weekend. Futures in the US are also slightly up while oil is little changed along with most bond markets.

Briefly recapping Friday and the past week now. After a dovish Fed last week Friday’s strong US data added fuel to the fire with the US nonfarm payrolls report and the ISM manufacturing survey both beating expectations. The headline message is that US growth still looks quite strong currently and inflation pressures are not announcing themselves at the moment. The headline January jobs number was 304k (versus 165k expected), and while the December figure was revised down by 90k, the overall trend is still very healthy. Indeed, the 12-month moving average job growth is 223k, the best pace since April 2016. The month-on-month average hourly earnings print was a touch soft at 0.1%, though the year-on-year figure met expectations at 3.2%. The unemployment rate surprisingly rose to 4.0% from 3.9% and the U-6 underemployment shot up to 8.1% from 7.6%. However, these surprising moves were driven by an increase in the labour force participation rate and by distortions from the government shutdown, so our economists downplayed their importance. The ISM printed at 56.6 from 54.1, with a robust rise in the new orders index to 58.2 from 51.1. The prices paid index fell to 49.6 from 54.9, the lowest level since February 2016.

Equity markets mostly ignored the data on Friday but with the S&P 500 ending the week +1.57% higher (+0.09% on Friday). Other major indexes also advanced, with the DOW and NASDAQ up +1.57% and +1.32% (+0.26% and -0.45% Friday), respectively. The STOXX 600 gained a more-modest +0.52% (+0.29% Friday). The real action was in treasuries, where two-year yields ended the week -9.6bps lower (despite a +6.7bps rise on Friday after the data). Ten-year yields in the US and Germany fell -7.4bps and -2.7bps (+5.5bps and +1.7bps Friday), respectively. Italian BTP yields rose +12.5bps (+14.2bps) after data showed the country formally entered a recession last quarter. Corporate credit continued to rally, with HY cash spreads in the US and Europe tightening -5.9bps and -9.8bps on the week (-8.1bps and -2.1bps Friday).

It’s a quiet start to the week for data with the only releases of note being the February Sentix investor confidence reading and December PPI for the Euro Area, preliminary January CPI for Italy and final November factory orders, durable and capital goods orders revisions in the US. Elsewhere, German Chancellor Merkel travels to Japan for meetings with PM Abe, while the earnings highlight is Alphabet.

 

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)MONDAY MORNING/ SUNDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED CHINESE NEW YEAR //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 59.47% /The Nikkei closed UP 14.90  PTS OR 0.21%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP .47%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 6.7422 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil UP to 55.06 dollars per barrel for WTI and 62.70 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED EXCEPT LONDON 

//ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AT 6.7422AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7802: / TRADE TALKS NOW ON/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED   : /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING ABOVE LEVEL OF OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST THE DOLLAR /CHINA RETALIATES WITH TARIFFS/ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW TARIFFS AND IT NOW A FULL TRADE WAR COMMENCED

 

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

 

 

 

 

i)North Korea//USA/Sweden

 

end

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

 

3 C CHINA

China is in big trouble as its current account shrinks to zero, its total debt to GDP rises to 300% and much of that debt is non performing.  A good reason why China is dramatically slowing down

(courtesy Schmid/Epoch times)

i) CHINA/

Big Trouble In Shrinking China

Authore by Valentin Schmid via The Epoch Times,

The country’s economic problems are starting to escalate…

China is a country of extremes, especially regarding economic forecasts. There are those who think “China will take over the world” with its technocratic central planning. Then there are those who say its debt bubble is so gigantic, the economy will crash and burn.

The truth, probably, lies somewhere in the middle. And it looks like we are getting closer to know the truth.

Official GDP growth, is of course on track at 6.6 percent for the year 2018, stellar among industrial and even emerging economies. But nobody believes these figures, even though they are the worst since 1990.

“Real GDP fell by 1.7 percent and 0.6 percent in Q3 and Q4 respectively compared with the official figures showing growth of 6.4 percent and 6 percent,” Enodo Economics chief economist Diana Choyleva wrote in a note to clients about the annualized growth during the past two quarters of 2018.

According to Choyleva, China is experiencing an unofficial recession.

Enodo Economics estimates Chinese GDP growth was negative during the past two quarters. (Enodo Economics)

While this doesn’t mean the crash and burn scenario is unavoidable, the flurry of official and unofficial economic indicators flashing red make the “take over the world” scenario quite unbelievable for the intermediate future.

Going Down

No matter which official indicator you look at, the Chinese economy is in decline. Retail sales growth is barely above 5 percent, the lowest level since 2003 with automobile sales crashing 13 percent. Total imports in U.S. dollar terms are down 7.6 percent in December of 2018 as compared to the year before.

Imports in China are crashing. (Capital Economics)

China’s current account balance, or the amount of exports over imports and one of the main drivers of Chinese growth over the decades is down to 0.37 percent of GDP, from 10 percent in 2008.

China’s current account was once a source of strength, not anymore. (TS LOMBARD)

Given these figures, it isn’t surprising that research firm Capital Economics doesn’t “rule out a sharper-than-anticipated slowdown in China’s economy.”

With exports down 4 percent, the analysts at Oxford Economics are also sounding the alarm bells.

“While Chinese GDP growth is slowing broadly as we expected, trade is slowing more abruptly, implying bigger negative international spillovers. With China accounting for some 10 percent of world trade (and almost 20 percent of world trade growth in the last decade), this import weakening is a significant threat to global growth.”

What about the unofficial data? The China Beige Book (CBB) runs an extensive amount of surveys across different companies and sectors on the ground in China. As early as late December, it warned that:

“Now the trend is deterioration, into what could potentially be a much weaker 2019. Most telling, still-heavy borrowing did not lead to heavy capital expenditure, with paltry results in services and retail driving a sharp drop in overall investment growth.”

The CBB also warned that with manufacturing broadly down, services and consumers are also not picking up the slack, as borne out by official data.

Given this material slow-down in trade, one may assume that it’s the U.S. retaliation against unfair Chinese practices that’s causing the troubles in China’s economy. The CBB also reports that only 18 percent of companies operating in the trade-heavy southern province of Guangdong showed an increase in export orders in the fourth quarter, down from 65 percent in the third quarter of 2018.

Although the Trump administration’s tough stance on Chinese anti-competitive policies certainly isn’t helping Beijing, it is not the cause of the slowdown and problems in the Chinese economy:

Trade with countries from Asia slowed much more than bilateral trade with the United States and the Chinese domestic problems like a slow down in retail sales cannot be explained by a limited amount of tariffs.

Debt Problems

The main problem of the Chinese economy is debt and overcapacity. Debt has blown up to 300 percent of GDP through the state-controlled banking system.

The financing went into building trains, roads, airports, apartments, shipyards, anything that can be built. And while some of the stuff is undoubtedly useful, a lot of it is not.

If it’s not useful or sustainable, it won’t generate the returns necessary to service said debt. This problem could have been nipped in the bud, but Chinese central planners wanted ever more steel mills and high speed trains and push back the day of reckoning when most of the unprofitable companies would go bankrupt.

So in order to keep the gravy train running, more debt had to be issued to build more stuff.

Now, the debt growth has also come to a halt, which is most likely the root cause of the massive slowdown. Official broad credit growth has slowed to around 10 percent, the lowest in a decade.

Within the broader debt system, the shadow banking system of trust loans, bankers acceptances, and wealth management products is deep into negative growth territory.

On the other hand, the CBB reports that companies are maxing out official channels to stay liquid, but this is more a sign of desperation rather than future growth to come:

“Evidence of clandestine People’s Bank of China (PBOC) easing is piling up: the loan application rate stayed elevated, the rejection rate remained near all-time CBB lows despite this, and both bank and shadow bank lending again got cheaper. The problem isn’t lack of borrowing; it’s that plentiful borrowing isn’t boosting growth.”

This divergence makes sense as fixed asset investment rose 5.9 percent in December from a year before, bucking the trend of other declining indicators. According to CBB, it was state and larger firms who borrowed the most, channeling it into construction activity, which is the easiest lever for the central planners to manipulate.

Floor space under construction rose 5 percent in December, according to official figures, while there are still about 20 months of inventory left to be sold according Capital Economics estimates.

Getting Desperate

After the new year, the PBOC easing became less clandestine as the central planners in the Chinese regime are getting desperate.

After lowering the among of money banks have to hold on reserve in late 2018, the PBOC started a full blown Quantitative Easing (QE) scheme in the beginning of 2019.

Although final numbers are not known, the program allows banks to swap near worthless collateral for central bank assets, thus reducing the risks on their balance sheet and freeing up reserves for more lending.

But also the Chinese regime leader, Xi Jinping, has found some strong words to warn his comrades at an internal party meeting in January:

“The party is facing long-term and complex tests in terms of maintaining long-term rule, reform and opening-up, a market-driven economy, and within the external environment,” Xi said, according to Xinhua.

“The party is facing sharp and serious dangers of a slackness in spirit, lack of ability, distance from the people, and being passive and corrupt. This is an overall judgment based on the actual situation.”

His assessment isn’t too far off the mark as the “actual situation” is rapidly going downhill.

Smoke and Ashes

Now, does this mean the other extreme is going to play out and people in Beijing will go back to riding only bicycles again? Probably not.

The most likely outcome of debt deleveraging is going to be a period of low or no growth and major creative accounting exercises to sweep bad debt under the rug, as “Red Capitalism” author Fraser Howie describes the previous round of bank bailouts around the year 2000:

“A lot of it was accounting: reshuffling assets, moving things off balance sheet, taking them out of the public eye.”

This can prevent a full-blown collapse but since an inordinate amount of capital and labor has been wasted on technocratic central planning projects, there also won’t be any growth.

So China will most likely resemble the other debt basket case Japan, except for the fact Japan managed to lift the whole population into prosperity and not just about half. So much for the achievements of the Communist Party and the “Chinese model” of statism and central planning.

Of course, there will be ups and downs and the QE as well as other government stimulus may boost activity for a little while, but not for long, writes Choyleva and advises investors to buckle up:

“These tectonic shifts will make it a lot harder – if not impossible – for Beijing to count on the tried-and-tested tools of policy stimulus to restore sustainable growth. Unsettled as they are, global financial markets have yet to grasp that this time it really is different in China.”

end

4.EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

France

The yellow vest march to denounce police violence and they were promptly beaten up by riot police.  This is the 11th weekend in a row for protests.

(courtesy zerohedge)

French Yellow Vests March To Denounce Police Violence; Promptly Get Beaten By Riot Cops

One week after a Yellow Vest organizer was “handicapped for life” by French police, protesters dedicated Saturday’s demonstrations to denouncing police violence – only to be beaten and gassed by said police.

There have been 1,900 protesters and around 1,000 police injured since the movement began in November, and 10 fatalities, including an 80-year-old Marseille woman who was killed when a police tear-gas canister was launched into her apartment window while she was trying to close the shutters. She was taken to a nearby hospital but died during an operation after suffering shock, according to a local media report.

Embedded video

Luke Rudkowski

@Lukewearechange

More French police throwing down, beating, batoning, and abusing their own people.

Seems to be the usual now every Saturday in Paris.pic.twitter.com/A8Mm0IMtPT

Embedded video

Stéphanie Roy@Steph_Roy_

Blessée par un tir de grenade de desencerclement à la jambe tout comme de nombreux manifestants. Les risques du métier…
Merci au confrères pour leur aide.

Embedded video

Stéphanie Roy@Steph_Roy_

Une des figures des gilets jaunes Thierry Paul Valette qui a lancé une ligne de gilets jaunes aux européennes, victime d un jet de projectile.

Embedded video

Stéphanie Roy@Steph_Roy_

Échauffourées en cours entre gilets jaunes et FDO suite à des arrestations

Police used several weapons against the activists on Saturday, including rubber bullets and Flash Ball weapons. The French Interior Ministry said that 80,000 security officials had been deployed across France, including 5,000 in Paris.

In Valance in the south of France, the mayor said measures had been taken to prepare for about 10,000 demonstrators. Authorities fear up to 1,000 of those could be violent rioters. –Daily Mail

Protesters in Paris began chanting “Macron Resign” Saturday morning as they threw bottles and other projectiles at police, resulting in the deployment of tear gas.

“We want him out, but we also want the police to stop wounding us with their Flash Ball weapons,” said 33-year-old Yellow Vest Jacques Caron.

Yellow Vest organizer Jerome Rodrigues, 40, was “handicapped for life” last weekend after being struck with a projectile fired by police, which his attorney said was a flashball. Rodrigues addressed a Paris crowd on Saturday before the day’s protests.

Like others who have been mutilated in recent months, he said he was hit by a so-called Flash Ball – rubber projectiles fired from police guns.

A bid to have them outlawed failed last week, and numerous officers were seen carrying them today.

Dramatic video of the Rodrigues incident led to other Yellow Vests calling for a ‘mass uprising’ against the Macron administration.

In turn, police suggest that a non-lethal grenade exploded in front of Mr Rodrigues, and he was hit by shrapnel. –Daily Mail

Earlier in the week Rodrigues said that he had received messages of support from several French police officers. “The police have orders but I know there are men behind the armour,” Rodrigues told RT. He was placed in an artificial coma following the incident at the Bastille monument last Saturday.

Yellow Vest organizer Eric Drouet, meanwhile, said that French police had “aimed at the head,” telling BFM-TV that it was a “homicide attempt.”

“When we aim at the head, we try to kill. How should this weapon be used? We must not aim our head.”

Drouet says that Rodrigues incident justifies “a mass uprising without precedent by all useful and necessary means.”

On Friday, France’s top administrative court ruled that police could continue to use rubber bullets blamed for dozens of injuries during the protests.

The French Council of State justified the use of police force due to the threat of violence which has accompanied the protests.

“Contrary to what the applicants claimed, the organisation of operations to maintain order during the recent demonstrations did not indicate any intention by the authorities not to respect the strict rules governing the use’ of such ‘less-lethal weapons,” said the court, which added that the use of specialized “defense ball launchers” (LBDs) “is particularly appropriate for responding to these types of situations, as long as the rules governing their use are respected.”

Protesters have been joined by extremists from the far Right and the ultra-Left, as well as anarchists intent on causing as much damage as possible.

The independent Mr Macron, leader of the Republic On The Move party, won the French presidential election in a landslide in 2017, but he is now dubbed the ‘President of the Rich’ with polls showing his popularity rating struggling to get above 30 per cent.

Today’s ugly scenes are typical of ugly scenes that have regularly reduced Paris and other towns and cities around Paris to a war zone. –Daily Mail

“These less-lethal weapons are essential, they allow us to keep protesters and rioters at a distance, or to approach them for arrest without having to use weapons that can kill,” said junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez in an interview with RTL Radio.

end
The Gatestone Institute’s Guy Milliere explains in detail what is going on in France
(courtesy Guy Milliere/Gatestone)

Unrest In France: No End In Sight

Authored by Guy Millière via The Gatestone Institute,

  • The third group is extremely large: it is the rest of the population. The upper class treat them as regrettable dead weight and expect nothing from them except silence and submission. Its members often have a hard time making ends meet. They pay taxes but can see that a growing portion is being used to subsidize the very people who drove them out of their suburban homes.
  • For the moment, Macron does not seem to want to recognize that these people even exist.
  • When Macron lowered the taxes of the wealthiest but increased the taxes of these “peripherals” by means of a fuel tax, it was seen as the last straw — in addition to his arrogant condescension.
  • “Today, most of those who protest do not attack the police. But instead of acting to bring down the violence, the police are receiving orders pushing them to be very violent. I do not blame the police. I blame those who give them orders”. — Xavier Lemoine, the mayor of Montfermeil, a city in the Eastern suburbs of Paris where the 2005 riots were extremely destructive,

Police scuffle with a yellow vest protester on December 18, 2018 in Biarritz, France. (Photo by Gari Garaialde/Getty Images)

Saturday, January 26th 2019. “Yellow vests” protests were being organized in the main cities of France. Mobilization was not weakening. Support from the population had decreased slightly but was still huge (60%-70%, according to polls). The main slogan has remained the same since November 17, 2018: “Macron must resign”. In December, another slogan was added: “Citizens’ initiative referendum“.

The government and French President Emmanuel Macron have been doing everything they can to crush the movement. They have tried insults, defamation and have said the demonstrators were both “seditious people” wishing to overthrow the institutions and fascist “brown shirts“. On December 31, Macron described them, as “hateful crowds“. The presence of some anti-Semites led a government spokesman (incorrectly) to describe the entire movement as “anti-Semitic“.

The Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, ordered the police to resort to a degree of violence not seen since the time of the Algerian war (1954-62). During the two last decades in France, other riots have taken place many times. In 2005, for instance, when the whole country was subjected to arson and riots for weeks, the number of wounded rioters remained low. But violence has consequences. In just the last few weeks, 1,700 protesters were wounded, some seriously. Nineteen lost an eye; four lost a hand. Although French police officers do not use lethal weapons, they do use rubber ball launchers and often fire at protesters’ faces — a target prohibited by the current rules of engagementThe French are also the onlypolice force in Europe to use Sting-Ball grenades.

Macron has never treated protesters as people who have legitimate claims, so he has never paid attention to their claims. He only agreed to suspend the additional fuel tax, which was to have been begun in January, and to grant a slight increase in the minimum wage — all of which he did only after weeks of protests.

Journalists say that Macron thought the movement would fade away after the end-of-year break; that police violence and desperation would induce the demonstrators to resign themselves to their fates, and that the support of the general population would collapse. Nothing of the sort took place.

It is clear that Macron does not want to meet the main demands of the protesters; that he will not resign, and that he refuses to accept a citizens’ initiative referendum. He has apparently decided that if he dissolved the national assembly and called for legislative elections to end the crisis — as President Charles de Gaulle did it to put an end to an uprising in May 1968, as allowed by the French Constitution — he would suffer a scathing defeat. He can see that an overwhelming majority of the French people reject him, so apparently he has determined to seek a way out:

Macron called for a “great national debate” to address the problems facing the country. It soon became clear, however, that the “great debate” would be unconventional, to say the least.

Macron wrote a letter to all French citizens inviting them to “participate”, but saying explicitly that the “debate” would not change anything, that the government would continue in exactly the same direction (“I have not forgotten that I was elected on a project, on major orientations to which I remain faithful.”), and that everything that was done by the government since June 2017 would remain unchanged (“We will not go back on the measures we have taken”).

He then entrusted organizing the “debate” and drafting its conclusions to two members of the government, and requested that “registers of grievances” be made available to the public in all town halls.

Macron then launched the “debate” by meeting mayors of many cities, but not in public. He seems to have been concerned that if he organized meetings open to the public, he would be immediately chased away by crowds.

The first two meetings took place in small cities (with 2000-3000 inhabitants), and with mayors whom the organizers — chosen by Macron — allowed to come. The organizers also selected the questions to be asked, then sent them to Macron to be answered at the meeting.

The day before each meeting, the selected city was placed under the administration of legions of police. All access roads to the city were closed, and anyone found wearing a yellow vest or carrying one in his car was fined. All protests in the city were flatly forbidden. The police made sure that the road used by Macron’s convoy to reach the city was empty of any human presence for several hours before the convoy arrived.

Television news channels were asked to broadcast the entire meetings, which lasted six to seven hours. Only a few journalists, also selected by Macron, had permission to attend.

Several commentators stressed that pretending to “debate” is nonsense, and that entrusting the organization of the “debate” and the drafting of its conclusions to members of the government, and the way the meetings were organized, clearly show that these performances are a sham.

Some commentators pointed out that the term “register of grievances” has not been used since the time of absolute monarchy, that mayors are treated as waxworks and that placing the cities Macron visits in a state of siege is unworthy of a democracy.

A French economist, Nicolas Lecaussin, who grew up in Romania, wrote that these meetings reminded him of those in Romania during communism.

The author Éric Zemmour said that Macron is desperately trying to save his presidency but that the attempt will be useless:

“Macron has lost all legitimacy. His presidency is dead… For three months the country stopped economically; and Emmanuel Macron, to try to save his presidency, inflicts on the country two months of additional economic stagnation, and two more months of demonstrations. When people understand that they have been deceived, anger could increase… France is already a country in very bad shape.”

The French economy is, in fact, sclerotic. The Index of Economic Freedom created by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal ranks it 71st in the world (35th among the 44 countries in the Europe region) and notes that “the government spending accounts for more than half of total domestic output”. The Index also reveals that “the budget has been chronically in deficit”; that “corruption remains a problem and that “the labor market is burdened with rigid regulations” leading to a high level of unemployment.

France has lost almost all its factories (industrial jobs account for only 9.6% of total employment). Its agriculture is in ruins, despite huge European subsidies: 30% percent of French farmers earn less than 350 euros ($400) a month and dozens commit suicide each year. In the high-tech sector, France is essentially absent.

brain drain has started that show no signs it will stop.

In parallel, each year, 200,000 immigrants from Africa or the Arab world, often without skills, arrive. Most are Muslim and have been contributing to the Islamization of France.

When a talk show host recently asked Zemmour why Macron is not placing the country’s interest higher by taking the reality on the ground into account, the author replied:

“Macron is a technocrat. He thinks he is always right. He was programmed to do what he does. For him, France and the French people do not count. He is at the service of technocracy. He will do exactly what is wanted by the technocracy and a higher class, [who are] totally disconnected from the bulk of the country’s population… Those who want to understand have to read Christophe Guilluy.”

Guilluy, a geographer, published two books: La France périphérique (“Peripheral France”) in 2014, and, just weeks before the outbreak of the uprising, No society. La fin de la classe moyenne occidentale (“No Society. The End of the Western Middle Class”). In them, he explains that French population today is divided into three groups.

The first group is a ruling upper class, totally integrated into globalization, made up of technocrats, politicians, senior civil servants, executives working for multinational companies, and journalists working for the mainstream media. The members of this class live in Paris and the main cities of France.

The second group lives in the suburbs of the main cities and in no-go zones (“Zones Urbaines Sensibles“). It consists mainly of immigrants. The French upper class, who rule, recruit people to serve it directly or indirectly. They are poorly paid, but highly subsidized by the government, and increasingly live according to their own cultures and standards.

The third group is extremely large: it is the rest of the population. It is this group that is called “peripheral France.” Its members are made up of low-ranking civil servants, blue collar workers and former blue-collar workers, employees in general, craftsmen, small entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, farmers, and the unemployed.

For the ruling upper class, they are useless. The ruling upper class treat them as regrettable dead weight and expect nothing from them except silence and submission.

Members of “peripheral France” have been driven out of the suburbs by the influx of immigrants and the emergence of no-go zones. These “peripherals”, for the most part, live 30 kilometers or more from the big cities. They can see that the upper class dismisses them. They often have a hard time making ends meet. They pay taxes but can see that a growing portion is being used to subsidize the very people who drove them out of their suburban homes. When Macron lowered the taxes of the wealthiest, but increased the taxes of the “peripherals” with a fuel tax, it was seen as the last straw — in addition to his arrogant condescension.

In a recent interview on the British web magazine Spiked, Guilluy said that the “yellow vests” movement is a desperate awakening of “peripheral France”. He predicted that despite Macron’s efforts to displace the problem, the awakening will last, and that either Macron “will recognize the existence of these people, or he will have to opt for a soft totalitarianism”.

For the moment, Macron does not seem to want to recognize that these people even exist.

According to François Martin, a journalist for the monthly Causeur, Macron has placed himself in a stalemate:

“He must make decisions and he can no longer take any decision without making things much worse… Macron should agree to resign, but will not do it, and would prefer to go to the end, and hit a wall… The next three years will be hell for the yellow vests and for the French”.

At the end of the protests in Paris on January 26, thousands of “yellow vests” had planned to gather peacefully on one of the main squares of the city, the Place de la République, for a “debate” and to provide responses to the “debate” organized by Macron. The police were ordered to disperse them brutally; they once again used rubber ball launchers and Sting-Ball grenades to do just that.

One of the leaders of the “yellow vests” movement, Jerome Rodrigues, was shot in the face while filming police officers in a square nearby, the Place de la Bastille. He lost an eye and for several days was hospitalized. Other protestors were wounded.

In the spring of 2016, leftists had organized debates in the same locations and were allowed to remain there for three months with no police intervention.

In an article describing the events of January 26, columnist Ivan Rioufol wrote in Le Figaro: “Repression seems to be the only argument of the caste in power, faced with a large-scale protest that will not weaken”.

Why today’s events are especially ugly, according to Xavier Lemoine, the mayor of Montfermeil, a city in the Eastern suburbs of Paris where the 2005 riots were notably destructive, is that:

“In 2005, the police were clearly the target of rioters, and they showed restraint in the use of force to bring down the violence. Today, most of those who protest do not attack the police. But instead of acting to bring down the violence, the police are receiving orders pushing them to be very violent. I do not blame the police. I blame those who give them orders”.

The next day, Sunday, January 27, a demonstration was organized by Macron’s supporters, who called themselves “the red scarves“. The demonstration was supposed to show that an impressive number of people were still on Macron’s side. Organizers said that ten thousand people came. Videos, however, show that the number seems to have been far lower.

end
UK
Mish Shedlock is correct:  the UK will have only one to two years of pain by walking out of BREXIT but if May continues with her plan there will be permanent idiocy
(courtesy Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk)

Brexit ‘Chicken’: 1-2 Years Of Pain Now Versus Permanent Idiocy

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

The UK is at a crossroadsFearmongering of “crashing” out of the EU is in play. The EU is playing “chicken“.

In the classic game of Chicken, the first person to blink loses.

The name “chicken” has its origins in a game in which two drivers drive towards each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash, but if one driver swerves and the other does not, the one who swerved will be called a “chicken”, meaning a coward.

That’s essentially the game the EU is playing with Theresa May and the UK.

Chicken Brexit Style

May has blinked so damn many times the EU fully expects here and the UK parliament to blink again.

May gave away 39 billion pounds, agreed to an odious backstop that has the potential of keeping the UK in a customs agreement forever, and received nothing in return.

May is headed back to the EU now with her head tucked under her legs in a posture of defeat in a futile attempt to win backstop changes that the EU has already nixed.

What’s the point?

Brexit Plans

The Guardian reports One in three UK firms plan for Brexit relocation, IoD says.

That’s a very good thing. The more planning for Brexit, the less fear and pain there will be.

Short-Term Pain

The UK has a choice: Walk away and have a bad 1-2 years with 39 billion pounds in hand, knowing the EU will have a far worse two years, or be made permanent fools of.

That is the choice.

The EU played May for a fool and she was then and remains now. May is on the EU’s side. So why should they blink?

The only chance for a deal is if May and the UK parliament is willing to play chicken accepting a “crash” if the EU does not blink by removing the backstop.

No Chicken Crash

Here’s the most Absurd Brexit claim Ever:“30-Year Recession, Worse Than 1930s”

Contrary to discussion of no food, no medicine, no air travel, and dogs trapped on the wrong side of the English Channel, the process will be relatively smooth.

Sure, there will be some short-term pain.

But the long-term gain is the UK will be able to negotiate its own trade deal, it can control its fishing rights, it will not be under pressure to join the Euro, and it can escape the massive idiocy of EU agricultural policy and over-regulation of virtually everything.

Choice at Hand

  1. Short-term small amount of pain with enormous long-term benefits
  2. Long-term idiocy

So UK, which is it?

end
Italy/Venezuela
Italy thwarts the EU plans to recognize Guaido as legitimate leader of Venezuela.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Italy Thwarts EU Plans To Recognize Guaido As Legitimate Leader Of Venezuela

Following a nonbinding vote in the EU Parliament to recognize Juan Guaido last week, foreign ministers from the various EU countries discussed officially recognizing the leader Venezuela’s opposition-dominated National Assembly as the true legitimate leader of the struggling socialist-dominated dictatorship.

Juan

But one dissenting member managed to block the statement, which was supposed to be delivered by EU Foreign Affairs Secretary Federica Mogherini.

Hours after four EU members officially recognized Guaido, RT reported that Italy managed to stymie a bloc-wide recognition of Guaido, citing a source from within M5S, one of two parties running Italy as part of a ruling populist coalition. BBG reported that other Eastern European nations also refused to back the proposal to recognize Guaido.

Italy announced the veto at an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers that started on January 31 in Romania, the source said. The statement, which was supposed to be delivered by EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini recognized Guaido as interim president if snap elections were not held.

[…]

The parliament urged the EU to follow suit but the effort stalled due to internal discord. A range of European nations have separately recognized the opposition chief as Venezuela’s acting president, including the UK, France, Sweden, Spain, and Austria. The coordinated move came after an eight-day deadline for Maduro to call presidential elections expired on Monday.

Austria, the Netherlands and Poland have also said they would recognize Guaido this week.

While the US has pledged its “full support” of Guaido, Russia, China, Iran and Turkey have all denounced this meddling in Venezuelan affairs and have continued to back Maduro.

Maduro rejected an ultimatum, delivered by the four EU members who recognized his rival on Monday, to call for democratic elections or lose their support. However, he did offer a small “concession” by suggesting that elections for the assembly be held earlier than 2020, saying that the assembly – the locus of opposition to Maduro’s rule – must be “re-legitimized.”

Despite widespread popular unrest in the wake of Guaido’s decision to declare himself the legitimate ruler of Venezuela late last month, Maduro has retained the loyalty of the military (give or take a few defections).

5.RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

i) EU

Europe has a new SWIFT system for payment but they will not dare go against the USA on fears of sanctions

(courtesy zerohedge)

European Companies “Won’t Dare” Use SWIFT Alternative To Send Money To Iran

The launch of INSTEX — “Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges” — by France, Germany, and the UK this week to allow “legitimate trade” with Iran, or rather effectively sidestep US sanctions and bypass SWIFTafter Washington was able to pressure the Belgium-based financial messaging service to cut off the access of Iranian banks last year, may be too little too late to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.

Tehran will only immediately press that more than just the current “limited humanitarian” and medical goods can be purchased on the system, in accordance with fulfilling the EU’s end of the 2015 JCPOA — something which EU officials have promised while saying INSTEX will be “expansive” — whileEuropean companies will likely continue to stay away for fear of retribution from Washington, which has stated it’s “closely following” reports of the payment vehicle while reiterating attempts to sidestep sanctions will “risk severe consequences”.

Image source: DPA picture alliance

As a couple of prominent Iranian academics told Al Jazeera this week: “If [the mechanism] will permanently be restricted to solely humanitarian trade, it will be apparent that Europe will have failed to live up to its end of the bargain for Iran,” said political analyst Mohammad Ali Shabani. And another, Foad Izadi, professor at the University of Tehran, echoed what is a common sentiment among Iran’s leaders: “I don’t think the EU is either willing or able to stand up to Trump’s threat,” and continued, “The EU is not taking the nuclear deal seriously and it’s not taking any action to prove to Iran otherwise… People are running out of patience.”

But Iranian leadership welcomed the new mechanism as merely a small first step: “It is a first step taken by the European side… We hope it will cover all goods and items,” Iranian Deputy FM Abbas Araqchi told state TV, referencing EU promises to stick to its end of the nuclear deal.

The European side also acknowledged it as a precondition to keeping the nuclear deal alive, which EU leaders sea as vital to their security and strategic interests: “We’re making clear that we didn’t just talk about keeping the nuclear deal with Iran alive, but now we’re creating a possibility to conduct business transactions,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters on Thursday. “This is a precondition for us to meet the obligations we entered into in order to demand from Iran that it doesn’t begin military uranium enrichment,” Maas said.

What is INSTEX?

  • A “special purpose vehicle” that will allow European businesses to trade with Iran, despite strict US sanctions.
  • According to media reports, INSTEX will be based in Paris and will be managed by German banking expert Per Fischer, a former manager at Commerzbank. The UK will head the supervisory board.
  • The European side intends to use the channel initially only to sell food, medicine and medical devices in Iran. However, it will be possible to expand it in the future. — DW.com

Technically US sanctions allow some limited humanitarian trade and limited goods; however the White House’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran has still scared away European giants like Seimens, Maersk, Total, Daimler, Peugeot, Renault, and others.

This brings up the central question of whether skittish European countries will actually return to doing business with Iran, the entire purpose on which the new mechanism rests. The dilemma was summarized at the start of this week by outspoken Iran hawk Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who told the AP “The choice is whether to do business with Iran or the United States.” He warned, “I hope our European allies choose wisely.”

Thus far a number of analysts and observers have remained far less optimistic than the European sponsors of INSTEX. One particular interview with geopolitical analyst and journalist Luc Rivet, cited in Russian media, outlines the likelihood for failure of the new payment vehicle“I don’t know what companies will make use of that mechanism to sell to Iran,” Rivet said, noting that countries still consider it “dangerous” to be caught working with Iran.

Addressing the current restriction of INSTEX facilitating medical and pharmaceutical goods transactions, he continued:

Who produces this equipment? You think that Siemens will sell to Iran? Never, because they sell to America many other things as well… And Siemens is afraid of losing the American market.

No matter if a handful of companies resume or continue business with Iran he explained that an “incredible number of companies” won’t. He added: “It’s much easier for Chinese and Russian companies to make deals with Iran. The Europeans are scared in an incredible way. The companies are afraid by ricochet of being in the eye of the storm with the Americans.”

He concluded, “That’s very dangerous for European companies,” and repeated, “I don’t know anybody who will dare to go with this Instex system.”

And the New York Times in asking the same question — But Will Anyone Use It? — concludes similarly that “given that most large companies have significant business in the United States, very few — if any — are likely to use the trading mechanism for fear of incurring Washington’s wrath.”

However, the test will be whether or not a steady trickle of small companies gives way to bigger companies. The NYT report continues:

But the financial mechanism could make it easier for smaller companies with no exposure in the United States to trade with Iran and could promote trade in medicine and food, which are not subject to sanctions. European diplomats say that, in the beginning, the concentration will be on goods that are permitted by Washington, to avoid an early confrontation.

But much could also depend on just how fierce the White House reaction will be. If the past months’ Trump administration rhetoric is any indicator, it will keep large companies scared and on the sidelines.

end

After the USA suspends the INF treaty so does the Russians

(courtesy zerohedge)

In Tit-For-Tat, Russia Suspends INF Treaty; Putin Slams US “Demolishing” Global Security

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) has effectively collapsed following the US announcing Friday that it’s suspending all obligations under the treaty. Predictably Moscow’s response has been swift, with President Vladimir Putin saying in a meeting with his foreign and defense ministers that Russia will now pursue missile development previously banned under its terms.

Putin said “ours will be a mirror response” in a tit-for-tat move that the Russian president ultimately blames on Washington’s years-long “systematic” undermining of the agreement.

Via the Moscow Times

“Our US partners say that they are ceasing their participation in the treaty, and we are doing the same,” the Russian president said“They say that they are doing research and testing [on new weapons] and we will do the same thing.”

Crucially, however, he noted that there were no plans to deploy short and mid-range missiles to Europe unless the US does it first — a worst nightmare scenario that has rattled European leaders ever since talk began from Trump that the 1987 treaty could be scrapped.

Putin still seemed to allow some degree space for last minute concessions as “still on the table” possibly in line with the Trump administration’s desire to modernize and update a new treaty taking into account new technological and geopolitical realities, such as China’s ballistic missile capabilities.

“Let’s wait until our partners mature sufficiently to hold a level, meaningful conversation on this topic, which is extremely important for us, them, and the entire world,” Putin said. But also lashing out during the press conference that followed the meeting with top officials Putin described:

Over many years, we have repeatedly suggested staging new disarmament talks, on all types of weapons. Over the last few years, we have seen our initiatives not supported. On the contrary, pretexts are constantly sought to demolish the existing system of international security.

Specifically he and FM Sergei Lavrov referenced not only Trump’s threats to quit the agreement, which heightened in December, but accusations leveled from Washington that the Kremlin was in violation. The White House has now affirmed the bilateral historic agreement signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan will be suspended for 180 days. Lavrov insisted that Moscow “attempted to do everything we could to rescue the treaty.”

This included “unprecedented steps going far beyond our obligations,” Lavrov said, and noted that part of Washington’s “systematic” attempts to undermine the treaty included “testing drones that matched the characteristics” of ground-based cruise missiles banned in the treaty, as well as installing “MK 41 launching systems for the defense shield in Europe that can be used to fire mid-range Tomahawk cruise missiles without any modification.”

Putin noted further in the midst of Lavrov’s remarks, “This is a direct a violation of the INF.” And Lavrov also added, “Such launchers have already been completed in Romania, more are scheduled to be put into service in Poland and Japan.”

Alarmingly, Putin concluded his remarks by saying Washington could be imperiling in the long term the landmark New START treaty, set to expire in 2021.

end

This will not go over well with Trump: Iran test launches a new long range cruise missile

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

Iran Taunts Trump With Test-Launch Of New Long-Range Cruise Missile

Earlier this week, the DNI and his CIA director elicited a stern rebuke from President Trump after contradicting him by warning that Iran remained “technically” in compliance with the nuclear deal and that ISIS remained a threat in the Middle East,prompting Trump to warn that Iran remained a threat, and that Trump was right to scrap the Iran deal because “they are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond. Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different, but….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….a source of potential danger and conflict. They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!

As it turns out, President Trump had a point. And he only had to wait a few days for Iran to remind the world that it’s missile tests remain a threat not just to US national security, but the global order.

Fire

During a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Islamic Republic on Saturday, Iran carried out a test of its new Hoveizeh cruise missile, which, with a range of 800 miles, is capable of striking Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Iran

What’s more, the missile tests violate the UN resolution that enshrined the Iran deal, which called for Iran to wait eight years before developing new cruise missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload. Iran denies that it violated the resolution because it denies that the missiles are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, and that they are merely for “defensive and deterrence” purposes, according to Reuters.

The  Hoveizeh is part of the Soumar family of surface-to-air cruise missiles first unveiled in 2015

Embedded video

Vugar Atabey@VA1908AV

💥Iran test-fired its Hoveizeh cruise missile, with the range of 1200+ km.

While western experts warn Iran often exaggerates the capabilities of its weapons, the missile launch is still concerning, according to the Express.

Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami warned that the missile was representative of Iran’s spirit of self reliance.

“The Hoveyzeh missile is the symbol of self-belief and an important defense achievement based on today’s technological progress in the world.”

And in what sounded like taunting the West and Saudi Arabia, Hatami warned that Iran will decisively respond to any threats “on the same level.”

In January, the US warned Iran not to carry out three planned missile tests, but the Islamic Republican proceeded anyway.

Trump pulled out of the Iran deal last year, arguing that, although Iran was technically in compliance, the terms of the deal were too generous to Iran’s domestic weapons industry, which the country has developed internally during years of international sanctions.

And with that, the international community takes one step closer to World War III.

end

Trump now delays his Syria departure as he must protect Israel from Iranian aggression

(courtesy zerohedge)

Death Knell For Syria Pullout: “We Have To Protect Israel” Says Trump

After approaching two months of talk of a “full” and “immediate” US troop withdrawal from Syria, first ordered by President Trump on December 19 — which was predictably met with swift and fierce pushback from beltway hawks including in some cases his own advisers — it now appears the death knell has sounded on the prior “complete” and “rapid” draw down order.

Trump said in a CBS “Face the Nation” interview this weekend that some unspecified number of US troops will remain in the region, mostly in Iraq, with possibly some still in Syria, in order “to protect Israel” in what appears a significant backtrack from his prior insistence on an absolute withdrawal.

“We’re going to be there and we’re going to be staying. We have to protect Israel,” he replied when pressed by CBS reporter Margaret Brennan. “We have to protect other things that we have. But we’re – yeah, they’ll be coming back in a matter of time.” He did note that “ultimately some will be coming home.”

“Look, we’re protecting the world,” he added. “We’re spending more money than anybody’s ever spent in history, by a lot.” Trump’s slow drift and change in tune on the subject of a promised “rapid” exit comes after Israeli officials led by Prime Minister Netanyahu alongside neocon allies in Washington argued that some 200 US troops in Syria’s southeast desert along the Iraqi border and its 55-kilometer “deconfliction zone” at al-Tanf are the last line of defense against Iranian expansion in Syria, and therefore must stay indefinitely.

“I want to be able to watch Iran,” Trump said further during the CBS interview. “Iran is a real problem.” He explained that “99%” of ISIS’s territory had been liberated but that a contingency of US troops must remain to prevent a resurgent Islamic State as well as to counter Iranian influence, for which American forces must remain in Iraq as well.

“When I took over, Syria was infested with ISIS. It was all over the place. And now you have very little ISIS, and you have the caliphate almost knocked out,” the president said. “We will be announcing in the not too distant future 100% of the caliphate, which is the area – the land – the area – 100. We’re at 99% right now. We’ll be at 100.”

However Trump’s invoking Iranian influence as a rationale for staying further contradicts his prior December statement that the defeat of ISIS was “the only reason” he was in Syria in the first place.

MARGARET BRENNAN:How many troops are still in Syria? When are they coming home?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: 2,000 troops.

MARGARET BRENNAN: When are they coming home?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: They’re starting to, as we gain the remainder, the final remainder of the caliphate of the area, they’ll be going to our base in Iraq, and ultimately some will be coming home. But we’re going to be there and we’re going to be staying

MARGARET BRENNAN: So that’s a matter of months?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have to protect Israel. We have to protect other things that we have. But we’re- yeah, they’ll be coming back in a matter of time. Look, we’re protecting the world. We’re spending more money than anybody’s ever spent in history, by a lot. We spent, over the last five years, close to 50 billion dollars a year in Afghanistan. That’s more than most countries spend for everything including education, medical, and everything else, other than a few countries.  CBS “Face the Nation” Feb.3 interview transcript

The Pentagon in recent weeks has reportedly been putting logistics in place for a troop draw down from northern and eastern Syria.

Though it remains unclear just how many troops could remain as the majority possibly begin to pullout toward US bases in Iraq, the Tanf base could remain Washington’s last remote outpost disrupting what US defense officials see as a strategic Baghdad-Damascus corridor and highway, and potential key “link” in the Tehran-to-Beirut so-called Shia land bridge.

Foreign Policy magazine has identified this argument as the final card the hawks opposing Trump’s draw down had to play in order to hinder to an actual complete US exit:

“Al-Tanf is a critical element in the effort to prevent Iran from establishing a ground line of communications from Iran through Iraq through Syria to southern Lebanon in support of Lebanese Hezbollah,” an unnamed senior US military source told the magazine.

The Israeli prime minister has pushed hard against the White House pullout plan, and “has repeatedly urged the U.S. to keep troops at Al-Tanf, according to several senior Israeli officials, who also asked not to be identified discussing private talks,” per Bloomberg. The Israelis have reportedly argued “the mere presence of American troops will act as a deterrent to Iran” even if in small numbers as a kind of symbolic threat.

The internal administration debate, following incredible push back against Trump’s withdrawal decision, has made entirely visible the national security deep state’s attempt to check the Commander-in-Chief’s power. And now US presence at al-Tanf represents the last hope of salvaging the hawks’ desire for permanent proxy war against Iran inside Syria.

It appears the deep state has won out over Trump’s initial policy decision once again; but it remains to be seen if, however slowly on what’s clearly a delayed timetable departing from his original plans, all US troops ultimately exit Syria. Until then there’ll be more time and perhaps more provocations the hawks can rely on to effectively ensure full circle return to indefinite occupation in Syria.

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

Things are not going off too well for General Motors.  They are going to lay off 4250 salaried workers in North America starting Monday.

(courtesy Shannon Jones/Global Research)

and special thanks to Robert H for sending this to us:

 

GM to Lay Off 4,250 Salaried Workers in North America Starting Monday

General Motors will begin laying off 4,250 North American salaried workers Monday morning as part of a sweeping restructuring announced in November that includes the closure of five plants and the elimination of 15,000 jobs. The plan includes the destruction of 15 percent of the company’s 54,000 North American salaried jobs.

According to one press report, the jobs massacre will take the form of “rolling layoffs” that will continue until the end of the month. Three assembly plants—Lordstown, Ohio; Detroit-Hamtramck; and Oshawa, Ontario—along with Warren Transmission in Michigan and a propulsion plant in Maryland—are slated to close by the end of the year, devastating entire towns and cities.

One report said that GM management was determined to begin the layoffs before the company releases its fourth quarter 2018 and full year 2018 earnings reports on Wednesday, which are expected to show a drop in profits. This underscores the fact that Wall Street is cracking the whip on GM and the rest of the auto giants to press ahead with cost-cutting and stepped up attacks on the workers in order to drive up stock prices and the speculative profits of the banks, hedge funds and big investors. GM has said the job cuts and plant closings will free up $6 billion in cash, but the automaker has spent $10.6 billion since 2015 buying back its own shares in order to fatten the portfolios of the financial oligarchs.

The cuts have generated enormous anger and opposition among autoworkers in the US and Canada, who have never recovered from job cuts and concessions imposed with the collaboration of the auto unions as part of the Obama administration’s 2009 forced bankruptcy and restructuring of GM. The cuts will further impoverish regions in both the US and Canada that have been ravaged by decades of deindustrialization.

Last month, workers at the Oshawa assembly plant staged a five-hour sit down protest after GM CEO Mary Barra announced that she would not reconsider the decision to close the factory. Workers took the action independently of Unifor, terrifying the union officials and sending them scrambling to quash the rebellion.

February 9 demonstration in Detroit against GM plant closures

The World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter and the Steering Committee of the Coalition of Rank-and-File Committees have called a demonstration for February 9 outside GM headquarters in Detroit in opposition to the plant closings. It has called on workers to mobilize independently of the UAW and Unifor to defend their jobs and living standards and link up with the struggle of 70,000 Mexican autoworkers in Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas, who have been carrying out a wildcat strike for nearly three weeks.

The demonstration is not an appeal to GM and the corporate bosses, but rather a call for workers to mobilize their strength and fighting determination through the formation of rank-and-file committees independent of the pro-corporate unions and the corporate-controlled politicians and parties. (See: “February 9 demonstration against auto plant closures in Detroit: The program and strategy to defend jobs”).

The call has garnered widespread interest and support. A central theme of this action is the unity of US, Mexican and Canadian workers against job cuts and concessions and against all attempts to divide workers along national lines.

This means an implacable struggle against the economic nationalism promoted by the unions. The response of the United Auto Workers and Unifor in Canada to the plant closures is to spew nationalist poison. This week, the United Auto Workers announced that is joining a boycott of GM vehicles assembled in Mexico previously initiated by Unifor.

These same organizations oppose any industrial action by GM workers to fight the layoffs. They plan to use the threat of plant closings to blackmail workers into accepting new concessions that will be demanded by the auto companies in contract negotiations later this year.

The call for a boycott targeting the jobs of Mexican workers is an attempt to divert workers from a struggle against the real enemy—the transnational auto companies and the profit system as a whole—and instead channel their anger against their fellow workers south of the Rio Grande. In this way, the unions line up behind the Trump administration’s fascistic attacks on immigrant workers from Mexico and Central America.

The announcement of the GM closures takes place against a background of growing worker militancy around the word, including strikes by autoworkers in Hungary, yellow vest protests in France, a general strike in India and a walkout by 30,000 teachers in Los Angeles.

Of particular concern to the UAW and Unifor is the strike by the maquiladora workers in Matamoros against sweatshop conditions at auto parts manufacturers and other industries. To this date, the UAW has not said a word about the heroic actions of the Matamoros workers, who launched their strikes independently of and in opposition to the official unions.

A worker at the Ford Sterling Axle plant outside of Detroit told the WSWS in response to the UAW’s call for an anti-Mexican boycott,

“It is not the fault of Mexican workers. It is corporate greed. They just want more profits.

“We haven’t heard a word from [UAW President] Gary Jones since he got elected. He doesn’t want to piss off the car companies because he is afraid of losing perks. They are invested in GM through the retiree health care fund.”

Referring to the blackout of reports about the strikes in Matamoros, he said,

“They don’t want us to get any ideas. What the Mexican workers are doing is sticking together and saying enough is enough. They don’t want us to find out because they don’t want us raising our own demands.”

A General Motors worker at the Delta Township assembly plant near Lansing, Michigan said he planned to attend the Feb 9 demonstration.

“It is not the Mexican workers’ fault. They are trying to provide for their families.

“GM is closing five plants, but they are making record profits. They are trying to force the older workforce to retire by placing them in other plants and making them drive long distances. It leaves them little time for their families. They can’t just relocate and buy new homes. It forces them to retire.

“You haven’t heard anything from the UAW about Canadian plants being closed. We should work on how you hurt them by sticking together. You should have Mexican, Canadian, US workers all united together.”

In another demonstration of the UAW’s lineup with the Trump administration, on Thursday UAW President Gary Jones announced his support for Trump’s executive order titled “Strengthening Buy-American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects.” In a brief statement Jones declared,

“Companies like General Motors have an obligation to build where they sell and stop exporting jobs abroad.”

Meanwhile, Unifor says it plans to run ads promoting its anti-Mexican boycott during this Sunday’s Super Bowl football game. These ads are extremely costly, reportedly $5.25 million for a 30 second spot, or roughly the equivalent of the monthly dues contribution of 100,000 workers.

The nationalist “Buy American” and “Made in Canada” campaigns of the UAW and Unifor are both reactionary and absurd. They ignore the global character of production, which makes it impossible to determine the “nationality” of any given vehicle.

After ignoring the strikes in Matamoros for weeks, Unifor President Jerry Dias announced his “support” for striking Mexican autoworkers in a perfunctory statement this week. This followed determined attempts by the establishment media, pseudo-left groups, Unifor and the UAW to black out all news of the strike by Mexican workers.

The launching of mass layoffs by GM gives added urgency to preparations for the February 9 demonstration in Detroit. The WSWS and the Socialist Equality Party call for the widest possible mobilization of autoworkers as well as other sections of the working class, teachers, auto parts workers, Amazon and United Parcel Service workers as well as students and youth against the plant closures and layoffs.

*

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7  OIL ISSUES

The low price of oil can no doubt will have a devastating effect on global oil, especially if the “teapots” dump refined oil at lower and lower prices.

(courtesy Philip Verleger/OilPrice.com

The Next Big Threat For Oil Comes From China

Authored by Philip Verleger via Oilprice.com,

There is a widespread concern in the world regarding China’s decelerating economic growth. The slowdown, if it continues, threatens economic activity almost everywhere. Growth in Germany, for example, has already cooled due to its exports of high-quality machinery to China dropping precipitously.

Those in the oil market also worry about China. The country’s economic growth has been a key driver of global crude oil consumption. Indeed, China accounts for one-third of the International Energy Agency’s projected 2019 increase in world oil use.

Weak Chinese economic growth is not the end of the oil market’s prospective ills, however. Few recognize the additional trouble on tap from the Chinese independent refiners affectionately known as teapots.” The danger occurs because lower oil demand growth in China comes just when independent refining capacity there is rising. The capacity growth has been financed primarily by debt, most likely supplied by China’s alternative lenders. As demand slows, these refiners will turn to international markets, dumping products in Singapore, the Americas, or Europe to earn hard cash. In doing so, they could plunge the global refining industry into a serious recession and drive crude prices down sharply.

This will not be the first time that refineries in Asia caused a crisis in the oil sector. In 1997, Korean refiners did the same during the Asian financial collapse. That incident is described in the December 1997 Oil Market Intelligence (OMI). The report begins by noting that Korean refiners had begun to seek exports markets before the crisis hit “mostly to employ 620,000 b/d of new refining capacity that came on stream since late 1966.” The effort intensified as domestic consumption collapsed:

But once the won started its second descent in two years—it dropped over 94% against the dollar between July 1 and December 10 [1997], much of it in early December—the push to export became more desperate because the five big refiners could not recoup in domestic product prices the staggering dollar price of crude oil feedstock. (“Economic Crisis Spills Over onto Oil Markets,” Oil Market Intelligence, December 1997, p. 11.)

The article noted that Korean refiners were trying to sell products to China, Taiwan, and Japan. It added that Korea’s exports to China rose fourfold between January and October, while its share of the Chinese gasoil import market went from seven to twenty-six percent. The Asian refining center in Singapore lost market share, falling from seventy-five to twenty-six percent.

The OMI report also observed ominously that “shippers and traders report that Korean refiners are lowering prices to meet their need to expand that share.”

The gasoil market suffered significantly. The OMI editors explained that Korea’s use was declining (consumption dropped one hundred fifty thousand barrels per day, or thirty-three percent, in December 1997 from December 1996), causing refiners to push gasoil to China. Those sales pressured margins at refineries in Singapore. The editors added, “If its [Korea’s] five refiners can keep importing crude oil—and the government is now talking of using foreign exchange reserves to finance crude purchases and overcome private credit squeezes—it is likely to keep pumping out the product to its neighbors.”

Looking back twenty years, one sees this is what happened. Figure 1 traces the price of gasoil and premium gasoline in Singapore by month from January 1997 to December 1999. Spot gasoil prices plunged from a peak of $32.50 per barrel in December 1996 to a low of $13.80 in October 1998. Distillate cracks measured against spot Dubai crude dropped from $9 per barrel in December 1996 to zero in 1999.


(Click to enlarge)

Arbitrage carried the impact of the Korean fire sale across the globe. Gasoil prices fell fifty-eight percent in Singapore from December 1996 to October 1998. In the US Gulf Coast market, they declined fifty-eight percent from December 1996 to February 1999. In Europe, the decline was fifty-one percent.

Korea’s fire sale of products precipitated a crude price decrease. As I have written often, product prices often lead crude prices. This was the case in the Asian crisis. Energy Intelligence Group data show that the netback on Dubai crude at Singapore declined from $23 per barrel in December 1996 to $9 in February 1999. Spot crude prices followed, as did prices for export contracts linked to spot crude prices.

Chinese independent refiners may be emulating the action of Korean refiners in 1997 and 1998. The Wall Street Journal warned on January 23 that the economic slowdown in China could curb Chinese gasoline consumption, which would “mean a flood of exports to the rest of Asia.” The WSJ author, Kevin Kingsbury, added that regional refining margins could be pressured.

Kingsbury explained that the economic slowdown would reduce growth in China’s oil consumption as refining capacity there increased:

Nomura forecasts demand growth of 0.5% this year, slowing from an estimated 4% last year. At the same time, Chinese refineries will increase production capacity by some 6%, according to Fitch Solutions.

He also noted that export quotas for gasoline, jet fuel, and fuel oil rose thirty-five percent last year. Further increases are expected for 2019 “so Chinese refiners can maintain production.”

In this regard, a January 24 report from Bloomberg is concerning. In it, Jack Wittels wrote that “a fleet of giant newly built oil tankers is gearing up to ship diesel out of East Asia.” Five new tankers are positioned off China’s coast, each with a capacity of two million barrels. Two additional tankers will shortly join the “armada.” Four of the parked vessels are already loaded or loading. The products will likely move to Europe, where margins are high.

These will not be the last shipments from China. In past economic downturns, the decrease in petroleum product consumption has lagged the falloff in economic activity. For example, the December 1997 OMI began its discussion of problems in Asia with this observation: “a few short months ago it seemed that Asia’s economic woes were unlikely to affect oil demand in a major way, and that the financial crisis could be contained in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.” The article then continued ruefully, “Neither proposition looks valid anymore.”

The increased exports from China will reduce refining margins across the globe just as margins are being squeezed by a gasoline surplus and as refiners get ready to meet the IMO 2020 standard. This situation could have serious impacts on US and European refiners. Profits could come under intense pressure, particularly at firms that have been boosting product exports from the United States to Europe and the Americas.

Attention must stay riveted on China for the rest of 2019. The volume of product exports from its refineries will keep rising if its economy continues to falter, as many believe it will. The country’s problems, and problems for the world refining industry, will be compounded if the United States and China cannot resolve their trade war.

In this regard, further news on Wednesday, January 29, was ominous. Platts reported that China’s refiners are looking beyond Asia to boost exports. In 2018, Chinese gasoline exports rose twelve percent from 2017 and gasoil exports seven percent. There could be much larger increases in 2019 as more refining capacity comes on stream, especially if China’s domestic consumption stays the same or decreases.

8. EMERGING MARKETS

Tom Luongo outlines the USA plan to take over Venezuela and put American firms in control of their oil. Luongo states that time is running out on the Americans

(courtesy Tom Luongo)

Time Is Running Out To Oust Maduro

Authored by Tom Luongo via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The most welcome news for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in the past month came from Russian President Vladimir Putin in December. Maduro and Putin reaffirmed the relationship between the two countries with more than just words.

More than $5 billion in new oil exploration and production deals were signed when the two met in December which will assist Venezuela in establishing its ambitious (or foolhardy) plan to only sell its oil in its oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro.

Maduro has insisted that the Venezuelan state oil company PVDSA will only accept Petro for its oil starting this year. By all accounts the Petro looks like a scam and until he can make good on promises to his benefactors, Russia and China, there is no way they will use it.

But, in theory, the Petro is a fine idea. Is it one that Maduro can pull off? It’s a good question. I doubt it.

But if it, or something like it were to succeed, it represents a tectonic shift for the world economy. Not today or tomorrow, mind you, but over time. Why? Because it provides a blueprint for countries which are not on The Davos Crowd’s Christmas card list to extricate themselves from the IMF/World Bank/SWIFT hamster wheel of currency collapse, debt slavery, economic privation and regime change.

Because cryptocurrencies exist outside of the traditional banking system it allows them to skirt sanctions (which are acts of war) and continue engaging in peaceful commerce on their terms, not those set on Wall St. or K Street.

But that said, there’s no real need for the Petro per se. Maduro could simply take Bitcoin.

The other day I wrote an article tying US policy towards Venezuela to Iran, saying Trump’s plans for Energy Dominance are what is driving his foreign policy. Venezuela looks like a dry run for what’s on tap for Iran later this year or early 2020.

And its John Bolton who is the architect of this horrific policy.

This is the John Bolton blueprint for regime change. Demonize the leader of a country that opposes our imperial rule, cut them off from the rest of the world through sanctions and political/military pressure and wait for the society to collapse. Then back a regime change by a US groomed puppet, in this case the nobody who is Juan Guaidó.

Sell it all the entire time as a failure of the other guy in charge. For Chavez and Maduro the spectre of Socialism is all it takes, especially now with the Democrats and the media championing our own female Che, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as the bogeyfem.

If that fails and it looks like it has then threaten to invade on humanitarian grounds. The only way this works with a US population weary of two straight decades of war is for things to get so bad our intervention makes us look like the savior of a blighted people.

Once you make the big move, like Bolton and Pompeo did earlier this week, you have to get the kill shot quickly or things stabilize against you. I told you this last summer when it was Turkey’s lira that was the big story.

And before that it was the Saudis’ attempt to overthrow the government of Qatar through financial and military blockade.

And in late 2014 it was the collapse in oil prices which was supposed to spark a revolt against Putin in Russia which also failed, despite rumors of an internal coup within the Kremlin suppressed by Putin in March 2015.

Every day past the big news day, the crisis day, that the target of that crisis survives raises the odds of the situation improving as the panic subsides, information is disseminated, markets calmed over and allies respond.

The coming days will be key for Maduro. Because once the US makes its big move if it doesn’t get what it wants then it never will. Opposition to our meddling in Caracas will harden, Maduro’s position will strengthen and things will calm down.

It will be up to Maduro then to get serious about making things right in his country. Again, I’m not sure he’s capable of it but once the cat’s out of the bag about how much the West wants him removed from power, the easier it will be to sell the Venezuelans left there that their plight is Washington’s fault, not his.

The only silver lining to all of this is that Trump can then blame Bolton and Pompeo for this sad state of affairs, fire them for incompetence and begin dismantling the policy towards Iran. But, I’m probably just engaging in a bit of wishful thinking here.

Over the past two years Venezuelan oil production has collapsed by nearly 30% from over 2.1 million barrels per day to under 1.5 million late last year. Production numbers have recovered slightly and were back above 1.5 million in December.

But the reality is that those lost barrels are the difference between a stable government and one on the brink of collapse. The focus for Putin and China’s Xi Jinping now should be on getting those numbers back up to 2017 levels quickly and bringing some semblance of normalcy to the situation there.

Collapsing Venezuela’s oil production was the US’s plan all along. And this is, frankly, heartless treatment of the very Venezuelan people the lesser lights of the Trump administration profess to care so much about. Our policy towards them has been nothing more than a variation on the old adage, “the beatings will continue until morale improves.”

In this case, substitute removing Maduro from power for ‘morale’ and regaining access to the global banking system the ‘beatings.’

But it is absolutely no different than the rhetoric used by both Pompeo and Bolton over Iran. Remember Pompeo’s list of 12 demands on Iran last year? This is a clear statement to the Iranian government, “Step aside or we will starve your people to death.”

Then he followed that up by saying exactly that.

Humans would rather starve to death than be saved by megalomaniacs like Bolton, Pompeo and Trump. Our dignity demands more from us than that. What is the saddest part of this is that the Trump base has been sold this policy as some kind of humanitarian mission to save the Venezuelans from Maduro.

That groundwork has already been laid about Iran.

When the reality is that it’s the US’s needs to starve the world of oil to maintain the petrodollar system that they need to be saved from.

end

During the past 12 years, China has lent Venezuela 50 billion USA dollars on an oil/loan basis.  The loan has been whittled down to $20 billion dollars.  Venezuela has not paid much since 2015.  Russia is owed $3 billion and thus we may be a USA-China/ USA russia proxy war in Venezuela especially if Guaido gets into power.

(courtesy zerohedge)

The Coming US-China Proxy War In Venezuela

China won’t give up on embattled Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro anytime soon even as the US-led international noose of “delegitimizing” hangs around the socialist strongman, according to government statements released on Friday. Beijing reaffirmed it maintains “normal state-to-state relations” and cooperation between the two sides “shouldn’t be undermined no matter how the situation evolves,” according to press briefing by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Or rather, we could more simply translate: with billions of dollars in credit on the line, “non-interference” is simply not an option for China.

Image via CNN Chile

“China has maintained close communication with all parties through different ways,” a ministry spokesperson said in response to question about whether China has had contact with National Assembly leader Juan Guaido. “We are ready to work with all parties to promote peace talks, and create favorable conditions for the proper settlement of the Venezuelan issue,” the ministry added.

But then there’s the not so minor issue of China over the past decade lending over $50 billion to Caracas as part of an oil-for-loan agreements program. It underscores just how quickly what appears a new White House full court press for regime change could bring Washington again into indirect conflict with both China and Russia. And in total Venezuela owes “more than $120 billion just to China and Russia” FOX reported this week.

A new Wall Street Journal report outlines what’s at stake, and the mounting costs for Beijing:

When China hatched the first of a series of oil-for-loans agreements with Venezuela in 2007, it seemed like a perfect match. Venezuela had the world’s biggest oil reserves; China was poised to become the biggest energy consumer.

Twelve years and more than $50 billion in loans later, a political crisis in Venezuela is threatening China’s payout and drawing Beijing into a proxy standoff as it supports a Venezuelan leader the U.S. is intent on toppling. It is a conflict with Washington that Beijing could do without, amid efforts to resolve a trade dispute that is weighing on the Chinese economy.

And what remains of that loan which could potentially disappear with the stroke of an anti-Maduro coup?

According to estimates by China’s Commerce Ministry, Venezuela still owes around $20 billion, the WSJ reports.

Source: WSJ

Both China and Russia further remain the Latin American country’s biggest arms suppliers and Beijing had an additional $3.2 in direct investments in Venezuela in 2017, not to mention at least three joint ventures between between China National Petroleum Corp and Venezuela’s now US-sanctioned state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA.

Though Venezuelan repayments to China reportedly began slowing to a “trickle” by 2015, current political unrest and Washington’s regime change efforts could prove devastating for Chinese investment:

China’s investments are now at risk under Mr. Maduro—and Beijing also recognizes that a U.S.-backed Guaidó administration might refuse to honor outstanding debts.

China’s Commerce Ministry spelled out this concern on Tuesday. “If the opposition party holds power in the future, a new Venezuelan government could use ‘protecting national interests’ as a reason to renegotiate contract terms with China and even just refuse to repay remaining debts,” the ministry said in its latest investment guidance report on Venezuela.

Given that Beijing is all to aware of the outcome to any Venezuelan transition of power, and given it remains the Maduro regime’s top weapons supplier, there’s no telling what kind of possible clandestine military-to-military cooperation or contingency plans are already in effect.

Similar to China’s quiet military support to Syria’s Assad throughout the past years of international proxy war in the Levant, which has gone increasingly public , China could be gearing up to support Maduro in a more direct capacity.

“Cold War style map” presented at Monday White House press briefing: the map was aimed at showing the countries that support Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro (in red), and those countries that do not (in blue). via Bloomberg

“Russia and China are using Venezuela as a proxy conflict to challenge the U.S. This is more than just economic support. Russia and China are leveraging its economic support to establish a military-industrial presence in Venezuela,” Joseph Humire, executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society, told Fox News this week.

For starters, China has a satellite tracking facility at the Capitán Manuel Rios Air Base in Guárico, while Russia has a cyberpresence at the Naval Base Antonio Diaz “Bandi” in La Orchilla, an island north of Caracas.

“This adds space and cyberspace capabilities that the Maduro regime does not have,” Humire pointed out. “For Russia and China, pressuring the U.S. via Venezuela adds leverage to their regional ambitions in Ukraine and Eastern/Central Europe (for Russia) and Taiwan and South China Sea (for China).” — FOX News

All of this suggests amidst what some analysts have dubbed “a new Cold War” scenario that another Cuban Missile Crisis in America’s backyard could be around the corner.

This is all the more likely considering the Trump White House may not be accurately assessing China and Russia’s resolve to stick by Maduro and his still loyal military. Yet unlike in Syria where Russian intervention at the invitation of Damascus in 2015 thwarted the US-Gulf-NATO drive for regime change, Washington has geography working clearly in its favor in the case of Venezuela.

end

 

Do not know if this will help but self declared President of Venezuela, Guaido reaches out to China in an attempt to win them over.  Trump continues to repeat that military force is an option of which China and Russia will not be happy.  However Venezuela is in the sphere of influence of the USA

(courtesy zerohedge)

Venezuela’s Self-Declared President Reaches Out To China As Trump Repeats Military Force Is “An Option”

Venezuela’s self-declared president Juan Guaido, who twelve days ago declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela, claiming current President Nicolas Maduro is no longer fit to lead and that he essentially usurped power, said that he wants a “productive and mutually beneficial” relationship with China and is ready to engage Chinese officials in dialogues “as soon as possible”, even though China, along with Russian and Turkey, are among the handful of countries who have refused to recognize his self-proclaimed presidency to succeed Nicolas Maduro.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post,  Guaido extended an olive branch to China, which would continue to play a role in Venezuela’s economic development, adding that Beijing’s deals with Maduro’s government would remain in force so long as they were entered into in adherence to “due process.”

“China is a crucial global player, and we want to establish a productive and mutually beneficial relationship,” he said in an email interview. The 35-year-old leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly added that “China’s support will be very important in boosting our country’s economy and future development.” It will also be critical for the ongoing soft coup to succeed as without the support of China and Russian, a new administration in Caracas will find it next to impossible to find global recognition, if it is shunned by two of its biggest clients, and creditors.

As we have reported previously, China along with Russia, has remained firm in supporting Maduro, even as international recognition of him as the legitimate Venezuelan ruler has fallen apart over the past week.

Following what was effectively an oil blockade by US President Donald Trump last week when the US imposed sanctions on state-run energy company PDVSA, the European Parliament on Thursday recognized Guaido as de facto head of state, heightening international pressure on the socialist president. EU governments, divided over whether to recognize Guaido, also agreed to lead an international crisis group with South American nations to seek new elections, setting a 90-day time limit, and threatening further economic sanctions.

Speaking to SCMP, Guadio said that “Maduro is increasingly isolated and is largely acting alone”, even though China has clearly not isolated Maduro, adding that “China has witnessed at first hand the plundering of our state resources by Maduro’s government. Its development projects in Venezuela have been equally affected and falling due to governmental corruption and debt default.” What he didn’t say is that China is quite delighted with these events as it has allowed Venezuela to become what is effectively a debtor in possession into an insolvent state.

Commenting on whether he plans to allow Venezuela to be part of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, Guaido said he would improve the relationship with Beijing to stimulate the Venezuelan economy, which has been plagued by hyperinflation and a collapse of investors’ confidence.

“In Latin America and the Caribbean, China continues to promote trade within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said. “This initiative gives China a natural space to foster development across the region.”

“There is a lot of work to do in this regard,” he wrote. “Our government will act with strict adherence to the laws and its international duties. We are committed to restoring the rule of law to recover the trust of our investors. All agreements that have been signed with China following the law will be respected. If previous agreements were signed by adhering to the due process of approval by the National Assembly, my government will accept and honour them.”

China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said on Friday that China’s deals with Venezuela should not be affected “no matter how circumstances change”. When asked at a press conference if Beijing had contacted Guaido, Geng said China has been in touch with “all sides” in different ways.

China is one of the biggest creditors of the socialist Latin American state, having loaned $50 billion to Caracas over the last decade, which the South American nation has been repaying in oil shipments.

Furthermore, during Maduro’s trip to Beijing in September, President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders promised to “provide whatever help it can offer” to cash-strapped Venezuela.

Maduro also secured multiple deals with China worth “billions of dollars”, including another US$5 billion credit line.

So having his work cut out for him when it comes to dialog with Beijing, Guaido conceded that he would need its support too: “Venezuela needs to reactivate its international relations with different global actors based on a solid spirit of cooperation and the interests of our people,” he said. “Given its competitiveness and market, China is a fundamental global player with whom we would like to relaunch our relationship based on mutual respect and cooperation… We are ready to begin a constructive relationship and dialogue with China as soon as possible.”

It’s unclear if Guadio’s olive branch will have an impact on bilateral relations. Jiang Shixue, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Latin American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Beijing’s decision about who to recognize as president had nothing to do with commerce or geopolitics.

“By recognising Maduro, China recognises a legitimate choice made by the Venezuelan public, who expressed their will by way of an election,” Jiang said. “If Venezuela holds a re-election, or if a president emerges by peaceful, democratic means, China would recognise the choice made by the Venezuelan public.”

Rough translation: China will back anyone that the US is against.

But Maryhen Jimenez Morales, a politics lecturer at the University of Oxford and an expert on Venezuela, said it made perfect sense for China to switch its support to Guaido.

“The political dimension of the crisis is also hurting the bilateral relationship [between China and Venezuela because] Maduro has basically no popular support any more,” Jimenez said. “Beijing has enough reasons to support Guaido’s presidency without [him] offering any additional economic benefits.” Recognizing Guaido was “a step forward to a more stable and trustworthy relationship”, she added.

We doubt that will happen, especially when Trump continues to threaten to send the US army to Venezuela as he did on Sunday, when he signaled he’s confident a transition of power in Venezuela is under way with the U.S. pressing for Guaido to take over.

Trump also added that the use of U.S. military force in Venezuela remains “an option” and he isn’t inclined to negotiate with President Nicolas Maduro to persuade him to leave, Trump said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” airing Sunday. At the same time, “I think the process is playing out” as Venezuelans take to the streets to protest, he said.

“If you talk about democracy, it’s really democracy in action,” the U.S. president said, confirming that the soft coup is only taking place thanks to ongoing support from the US.

Turkey confirmed as much on Sunday, when Ankara warned that the states refusing meaningful dialogue with the legitimate authorities of Venezuela – i.e. Maduro – only ‘help’ to plunge the country into more chaos and uncertainty, rather than contribute to resolving the problem.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu cautioned that “there is a spark that can turn into a fire at any moment.” A crisis like that should be defused “through dialogue,” and Venezuelan authorities have expressed readiness for it – yet foreign states are apparently not interested.

Is that how it happened? No. On the contrary, [the crisis] was fueled from the outside. The people of Venezuela were punished. Millions of people were forced to leave Venezuela.

Turkey’s top diplomat quoted by RT, was speaking on Sunday before the election ultimatum, given to the government of Nicolas Maduro by several European countries, expires.  In a bid to put more pressure on Nicholas Maduro, the UK, Spain, Germany, and France issued a blunt ultimatum, calling on him to announce new elections by the end of Sunday (February 3). If Maduro does not relent, they pledged to automatically recognize Guaido as the president of Venezuela. The ultimatum was slammed by Moscow, which pointed out the “identical” wording of the threat.

On Saturday, amid rallies both in support of and against his government, Maduro proposed snap elections to the national Assembly (a body dominated by opposition). Yet, he did not name any exact date, signaling he is unlikely to cave in to the ultimatum.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence who is gradually emerging as one of the most ardent neocons in recent years, said “this is no time for dialogue,” but rather the “time for action.” Echoing this sentiment, legacy neocon and National Security Advisor John Bolton doubled down, saying Washington will send “humanitarian aid” to the people of Venezuela, adding: “It’s time for Maduro to get out of the way.”

Firing back, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza accused the US of waging “unjust wars” and subjecting “economies to a blockade,” while causing “death, hunger, destruction and suffering.”

end
Bus driver Maduro rejects election ultimatums.  Trump thinks about invading Venezuela.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Maduro Rejects Election “Ultimatums”, Warns Trump Will Leave White House “Stained With Blood” If Venezuela Invaded

Less than  twenty-four hours  after telling thousands of supporters that he “agreed” and was “committed to holding parliamentary elections this year,” as demanded by the National Assembly…

“They (the opposition) want to bring forward elections, let’s have elections,” he said defiantly just ahead of the Sunday deadline set by European nations to hold fresh presidential elections, though he stopped short of any reference to fresh presidential elections.

…embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has flip-flopped rather aggressively, warning Donald Trump he will leave the White House “stained with blood” if he insists on pursuing what he called a “dirty” imperialist conspiracy to overthrow him.

Perhaps Maduro’s newfound resistance was sparked by support he witnessed yesterday (as John Bolton continued his interventionist threats)…

Babak Taghvaee@BabakTaghvaee

: Rally of protesters in Main Avenue in Las Mercedes against . Millions of protesters have come to streets of various towns in to rally in support of Juan .

Embedded video

Babak Taghvaee@BabakTaghvaee

While millions of people are protesting against in support of Juan in tens of cities and towns, a few thousand supporters of are gathered in Avenue Bolivar at as a part of a propaganda counter protest. pic.twitter.com/ZnLYOx92XI

Embedded video

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The Guardian reports that Maduro warned, during a combative interview with the Spanish journalist Jordi Évole,

Stop. Stop, Trump! Hold it right there! You are making mistakes that will leave your hands covered in blood and you will leave the presidency stained with blood,”

“Why would you want a repeat of Vietnam?”

Maduro clearly signalled that he had no plans to go anywhere…

“If the north American empire attacks us, we will have to defend ourselves… We aren’t going to hand Venezuela over…”

However, Maduro admitted he was facing a “tough” fight against powerful opponents, but was not backing down…

“They use sledgehammers instead of boxing gloves,” Maduro said of the US, which he claimed was seeking to topple him to seize Venezuela’s oil.

“But it’s like David against Goliath,” Maduro went on. “We have our secrets too – and we have our sling. David’s sling is in our hands.”

Maduro also sent a message to his opposition challenger Guaidó:

“Think carefully about what you are doing,” he said, urging Guaidó “to abandon his coup-mongering strategy”.

The democratically-elected Venezuelan president also rejected European calls for elections, saying:

“We don’t accept ultimatums from anyone. I refuse to call for elections now – there will be elections in 2024. We don’t care what Europe says.”

Adding, “you can’t base international politics on ultimatums. That’s the stuff of the empire, of colonial times.

Speaking to CBS on Sunday, Trump said he had rejected talks with Maduro “because so many really horrible things have been happening in Venezuela”.

Asked if military action was possible, he replied: “Well I don’t want to say that. But certainly it’s something that’s on the – it’s an option.”

Seems like it is time for Trump to unleash a “fire and fury” tweet to get things back on the diplomatic track.

end

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

Euro/USA 1.1447 DOWN .0007 REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:///ITALIAN CHAOS /AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA RISING INTEREST RATES /FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES  RED EXCEPT LONDON 

 

 

 

 

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 109.89  UP 0.431 (Abe’s new negative interest rate (NIRP), a total DISASTER/NOW TARGETS INTEREST RATE AT .11% AS IT WILL BUY UNLIMITED BONDS TO GETS TO THAT LEVEL…DEADLY TO OUR YEN SHORTERS

GBP/USA 1.3061     DOWN   0.0004  (Brexit March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED

USA/CAN 1.3105 UP .0008 CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA/CANADA HAS A HUGE HOUSEHOLD DEBT/GDP PROBLEM)

Early THIS MONDAY morning in Europe, the Euro FELL by 7 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level FALLING to 1.1447/ Last night Shanghai composite closed /OFF FOR THE WEEK/CHINESE NEW YEAR 

 

 

//Hang Sang CLOSED UP 59.47 POINTS OR .21%

 

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP 0.47%  /EUROPEAN BOURSES RED EXCEPT LONDON

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NIKKEI: this MONDAY morning CLOSED UP 14.90 POINTS OR 0.07%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED RED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang Sang CLOSED UP 59.47 POINTS OR .21% 

 

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED CHINESE NEW YEAR 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 47%

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED UP 95.38 PTS OR 0.46%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1310.90

silver:$15.73

Early MONDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.70% !!! UP 1 IN POINTS from FRIDAY’S 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 UP 1  IN BASIS POINTS from FRIDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

USA dollar index early MONDAY morning: 95.71 UP 17 CENT(S) from  FRIDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers MONDAY MORNING

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And now your closing MONDAY NUMBERS \12: 00 PM

 

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.66% UP 2     in basis point(s) yield from FRIDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: -.01%  DOWN 0   BASIS POINTS from FRIDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

 

 

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.24% UP 2   IN basis point yield from FRIDAY

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.73 down 2     POINTS in basis point yield from FRIDAY/

 

 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 149 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: RISES UP TO +.18%   IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY//

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.55% AND NOW ABOVE THE  THE 3.00% LEVEL WHICH WILL IMPLODE THE ENTIRE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM. AT 4% SPREAD THERE WILL BE A MASSIVE BANK RUN…

 

END

IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR MONDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1437 DOWN   .0020 or 20 basis points

 

 

USA/Japan: 109.84 UP  0.473 OR 48 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3055 DOWN.0010( POUND DOWN 10  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar DOWN 35 basis points to 1.3132

 

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The USA/Yuan,CNY closed UP AT 6.7422 0N SHORE  (YUAN DOWN)

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  6.7787(  YUAN DOWN)

TURKISH LIRA:  5.2183

the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at -.01%

 

 

 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield DOWN 0 IN basis points from FRIDAY at 2.73 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.07 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, 95.79 UP 22 CENT(S) ON THE DAY/1.00 PM/

 

Your closing bourses for Europe and the Dow along with the USA dollar index closing and interest rates for MONDAY: 12:00 PM 

London: CLOSED UP 51.37 OR 0.74%

German Dax : DOWN 7.56 POINTS OR 0.07%

Paris Cac CLOSED DOWN 19.07 POINTS OR 0.38%

Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 44.20 POINTS OR  0.49%

Italian MIB: CLOSED UP 28.83 POINTS OR 0.15%

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 54.28 12:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 62.28 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   ROUBLE CROSS:    65.61  THE CROSS HIGHER BY 0.13 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE LOWER BY 13 BASIS PTS)

 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES +.18 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, 4:00 pm/and 10 year USA interest rate:

WTI CRUDE OIL PRICE 4:30 PM :  54.73

 

 

BRENT :  62.68

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: … 2.72..

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.06

 

 

 

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1433 ( DOWN 20    BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:109.93 UP.469 (YEN DOWN 47   BASIS POINTS/..

 

.

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 95.85 UP 27 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA:1.3036  DOWN 30 POINTS FROM YESTERDAY

the Turkish lira close: 5.2171

the Russian rouble 65.61:   DOWN 13 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( UP 13 BASIS POINTS)

 

Canadian dollar:  1.3114 UP 15 BASIS pts

USA/CHINESE YUAN (CNY) :  6.7422  (ONSHORE)

USA/CHINESE YUAN(CNH): 6.7777  (OFFSHORE)

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: ,0.18%

 

The Dow closed UP 156.46 POINTS OR 0.62%

 

NASDAQ closed up 78.42 POINTS OR 1.08%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  15.81 CLOSED DOWN 0.33 

 

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.732%  .LIBOR  RATES ARE FALLING/

 

FROM 2.736

 

 

 

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY/WEEKLY SUMMARY/FOLLOWED BY TODAY

 

With China Away, Algos Will Play – Stocks Melt-Up As Earnings Throw-Up

With China taking the week off for Lunar New Year, it seems vol-selling is back en vogue as overnight tape-bomb-risk ‘may’ have been removed (as well as immediate Chinese financial system liquidity issues). Do not worry, risk is “contained”…

 

China closed so no equity market but the yuan tumbled overnight…

European stocks were generally lower on the day but UK’s FTSE managed to scramble back to close green…

 

But US equity markets all drifted higher all day, led by Nasdaq…with a vertical panic-bid into the close…

 

As we detailed earlier, today’s melt-up comes to you courtesy of CTAs – All the major indices have broken above key technical levels…

And so, almost exactly one month after trend-following CTAs  flipped to net short for the first time in three years…

… accelerating the market’s slide into the Dec 24 bear market which lasted all of 5 minutes before a combination of Mnuchin’s invocation of the PPT (and bank liquidity check), Trump’s urge to buy stocks as it was “a tremendous opportunity to buy”, a massive pension fund rebalancing buy order and Powell’s dovish U-turn sent stocks soaring, CTAs are back to where they were for the most part since 2016: long.

And the result is evident in futures – calm until the cash market opens and the algo-buying panic begins…

Another big squeeze of the shorts again today…and the meltup at the close…

 

Apple’s recent resurgence has pushed it back to the most valuable US listed company once again at $807bn, back above (barely) Microsoft and Amazon…

 

Equity and Credit protection costs plummeted further… VIX tumbled to a 15 handle (4mo lows)

 

Treasury yields were up across the curve today…

 

10Y Yields rallied back to erase the post-Powell plunge, but were unable to breakout…

 

The dollar surged back up to recent highs – erasing the post-Powell plunge…but was unable to breakout…

 

But, with SOTU tomorrow, some wonder if Trump’s falling approval will lead the dollar lower again…

Cryptos were a mixed bag…

 

Copper managed notable gains and while Crude rebounded it remained red like PMs as the dollar surged…

 

Gold erased its post-Powell jump…then rebounded…

 

WTI plummeted into and across the US equity market open, breaking back below $54, but like the rest of the market, it rebounded strongly (some noted that the selloff was attributed to a large producer)…

 

Since The FOMC statement, Bonds, Bullion, and the Dollar are now back to unchanged but stocks are panic-bid…

 

Finally, this is becoming a farce…

Stocks are soaring as Earning expectations plunge to six-month lows…

END

market trading/

MARKET DATA

November was the first month that we witnessed a downturn in many numbers.  We know get November factory orders and they tumbling .6% month over month

(courtesy zerohedge)

US Factory Orders Tumbled In November

After tumbling in October, US Factory Orders were expected to rebound (albeit modestly) in November’s (shutdown-delayed) data, but they didn’t…

US Factory Orders tumbled 0.6% MoM, notably worse than the 0.6% rebound expected after October’s 2.1% plunge… This is the first consecutive monthly contraction since June 2016…

Worse still ex-Transports, orders tumbled 1.3% MoM.

Year-over-year, factory order growth slowed dramatically to just 4.1% YoY…

The final updates for Durable Goods data was also disappointing with Core Capex slumping 0.6% MoM (after the same drop the previous month) and shipments dropped 0.2% (against expectations of unchanged). The headline Durable Goods Orders data also slowed dramatically from the preliminary print (rising just 0.7% against expectations of a 1.5% rebound).

Finally, we note that the relationship between US factory orders and the ‘hard’ broad macro data of the US economy has decoupled in recent years…

But more worryingly, ‘soft’ data has collapsed since the factory orders data was created…

Probably nothing…

END

It sure does not look good: small business confidence is suddenly collapsing at the fastest pace

(courtesy zerohedge)

“We Could Be At A Turning Point”: Small Business Confidence Is Suddenly Collapsing

Having soared to all time highs in 2018 cheering Trump’s tax cuts, economic confidence among small businesses has hit its lowest level since the 2016 election, according to a new report.

Heading into 2019, small businesses are becoming more cautious about their plans for spending, whether investments or hiring new employees. Some are already reacting to slowing sales, while others are trying to plan ahead and deal with fears of tariffs, volatile financial markets, the government shut down, higher interest rates and other headwinds heading into the new year with some already speculating about a 2020 recession.

According to a monthly survey of 765 small companies by Vistage Worldwide Inc, just 14% expect the economy to improve this year and 36% expect it to get worse. For the first time since the last election, small businesses are more pessimistic about their own financial outlook then they had been in the year prior.

Richard Curtin, a University of Michigan economist stated: “We could be at a turning point. Recessions are not made of one firm collapsing, but of many firms cutting back in marginal ways.” And yet, all this flies in the face January’s jobs report which saw payrolls rise by 304,000, indicating that jobs still appear to be growing at a healthy clip.

Meanwhile, according to the Vistage Survey, 42% of the surveyed firms said that the Trump administration helped their businesses, down from a high of 52% in January of last year. 34% claimed that the Trump administration had no impact. About one in four small businesses said that the Trump administration had hurt the outlook for their business going forward.

Confirming the shift in sentiment, Bill Visintainer, chief executive of Atlas Welding Supply told the WSJ that “people were inquiring a lot, but they didn’t pull the trigger, not nearly at the rate we saw a year earlier.” Visintainer also says that customers have been taking longer to pay their bills. As a response, he has cut back on the company’s spending and delayed purchases of products he needs to deliver gas until customers place orders, instead of steadily keeping inventory in place.

“I hate to lower my expectations,” he said, but he had no other choice.

Still, some small businesses are still confident. Southwest Geotechnical LLC in Las Vegas, for instance, is planning to add about 12 employees this year after hiring more than that in 2018. They’re also going to spend about $150,000 on new lab equipment for new employees. Owner Justin Stratton said:“Business is rocking. I am being told by developers that they are looking for a banner year.”

But the numbers don’t lie: 66% of small firms expect revenue to grow this year according to the survey. While this may seem optimistic, this number is down from 83% in January 2018.

Kenny Rubenstein, the owner of Rubenstein’s, a 95-year-old New Orleans based clothing company, said that sales were strong last year but when he placed his orders for fall 2019, he bought only 75% of what his internal reports suggested that he buy.

He said: “I’d rather play it safe at this point. I’m divided right down the middle. Half of me is very positive. Half of me is very nervous.”

The owner of Webfoot Painting in Bend, Oregon echoed this sentiments: “It’s batten down the hatches; hold on to your cash. We are scared, but we are not playing scared. We are playing super-conservative with our cash.”

USA ECONOMIC STORIES OF INTEREST

Interesting:  the first quarter earnings growth is now faltering which should cause some problems for the markets

(courtesy zerohedge)

The Profit Party Is Over: Q1 Earnings Growth Crashes, Set For Biggest Drop In 3 Years

After last week’s earnings deluge, 46% of the companies in the S&P 500 have now reported actual results for Q4 2018. And according to Factset data, so far earnings season is mediocre at best with the percentage of companies reporting EPS above estimates (70%) below the 5-year average. Companies are also reporting earnings that are 3.5% above the estimates, which is also below the 5-year average. The silver lining is that in terms of revenues, the percentage of companies reporting actual revenues above estimates (62%) is above the 5-year average, and on aggregate, companies are reporting revenues that are 0.8% above the estimates, which is also above the 5-year average.

Separately, the blended year-over-year earnings growth rate for the fourth quarter is 12.4% today, which while is above the earnings growth rate of 10.9% last week, if well below the Q3 earnings growth, with positive earnings surprises reported by companies in multiple sectors – led by the Energy sector – responsible for the increase in the earnings growth rate during the week.

While hardly a disaster, if 12.4% is the actual growth rate for the quarter, it would mark the first time the index has not reported earnings growth above 20% since Q4 2017 according to Factset. However, it will also mark the fifth straight quarter of double-digit earnings growth for the index (although this is unlikely to persist, see below). Ten of the eleven sectors are reporting year-over-year earnings growth. As shown in the chart above, five sectors are reporting double-digit earnings growth, led by the Energy, Industrials, and Communication Services sectors.

Looking at the top line, the blended, year-over-year revenue growth rate for the fourth quarter is 6.6% today, which is above the revenue growth rate of 6.2% last week. Positive revenue surprises reported by companies in multiple sectors (led by the Health
Care sector) were responsible for the increase in the revenue growth rate during the week. Ten of the eleven sectors are reporting year-over-year growth in revenues. Three sectors are reporting double-digit growth in revenues: Communications Services, Energy, and Real Estate.

Some more key metrics on Q4 earnings season courtesy of Factset:

  • Earnings Revisions: On December 31, the estimated earnings growth rate for Q4 2018 was 12.2%. Six sectors have higher growth rates today (compared to December 31) due to upward revisions to EPS estimates and positive EPS surprises.
  • Earnings Guidance: For Q1 2019, 33 S&P 500 companies have issued negative EPS guidance and 9 S&P 500 companies have issued positive EPS guidance.
  • Valuation: The forward 12-month P/E ratio for the S&P 500 is 15.7. This P/E ratio is below the 5-year average (16.4) but above the 10-year average (14.6).

So on net, earnings season is progressing generally in line with expectations. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that while companies are still reporting generally strong earnings, the good days are about to end with a bang as a result of the recent barrage in profit warnings and negative preannouncements, first and foremost starting with Apple, which issued a shocking guidance cut one month ago for the first time since 2001.

As a result, during January, analysts lowered earnings estimates for companies in the S&P 500 for the first quarter, and the Q1 bottom-up EPS estimate dropped by 4.1% (to $38.55 from $40.21) during this period.

How significant is a 4.1% decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate during the first month of a quarter? How does this decrease compare to recent quarters? Here are some troubling answers from FactSet which notes that during the past five years (20 quarters), the average decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate during the first month of a quarter has been 1.6%.

During the past ten years, (40 quarters), the average decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate during the first month of a quarter has been 1.8%. During the past fifteen years, (60 quarters), the average decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate during the first month of a quarter has been 1.7%. Thus, the decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate recorded during the first month of the first quarter was larger than the 5-year, 10-year, and 15-year averages.

In fact, the first quarter marked the largest decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate during the first month of a quarter since Q1 2016 (-5.5%).  At the sector level, all eleven sectors recorded a decline in their bottom-up EPS estimate during the first month of the quarter, led by the Energy (-22.5%) and Information Technology (-7.3%) sectors. Overall, seven sectors recorded a larger decrease in their bottom-up EPS estimate relative to their 5-year average and their 10-year average for the first month of a quarter.

What is striking is just how fast Q1 earnings have been slashed lower, with the S&P expected to post a 3.3% growth as recently as Dec 31, a number which is now down to -0.8%, as consensus for the first time expects Q1 EPS to post an annual decline due to downward revisions to EPS estimates during the month.

The collapse is even more pronounced if one extend the period under observation: on September 30, the estimated earnings growth rate for Q1 2019 was 6.7%. On December 31, the estimated earnings growth rate for Q1 2019 was 3.3%. Six of the eleven sectors are now predicted to report a decrease in earnings for the first quarter, curiously led by the Information Technology (-8.9%) sector which until recently had been the fastest growing sector for years.

And, as noted above, if the index reports an actual decline in earnings for the first quarter, it will mark the first year-over-year decline in earnings since Q2 2016 (-3.1%).

Furthermore, the after peaking in October, forward EPS for 2019 has been declining ever since and in January recorded its biggest sequential decline since January 2016.

What about beyond Q1, which is now expected to be the first quarter since 2016 to post negative earnings growth? Well after the earnings decline in Q1 2019 analysts now expected – at best – low, single-digit growth in earnings in Q2 2019 and Q3 2019. For Q1 2019, analysts are projecting a decline in earnings (-0.8%) and revenue growth of 5.7%.

  • For Q2 2019, analysts are projecting earnings growth of 1.6% and revenue growth of 5.1%.
  • For Q3 2019, analysts are projecting earnings growth of 2.7% and revenue growth of 4.9%.
  • For Q4 2019, analysts are projecting earnings growth of 9.9% and revenue growth of 6.0%.
  • For CY 2019, analysts are projecting earnings growth of 5.6% and revenue growth of 5.3%.

Incidentally the 5.6% EPS growth for the full year 2019 is already a 30% haircut to the 7.8% EPS growth that was expected on Dec. 31... and we are only 1 month into the new year.

What does all of this mean for stocks?

Well, the current consensus year-end target price for the S&P 500 is 3044.19, which is 12.6% above the closing price of 2704.10. At the sector level, the Energy (+18.8%) sector is expected to see the largest price increase, as this sector has the largest upside difference between the bottom-up target price and the closing price. On the other hand, the Utilities (+1.8%)  sector is expected to see the smallest price increase, as this sector has the smallest upside difference between the bottom-up target price and the closing price.

Meanwhile, from a valuation standpoint, the forward 12-month P/E ratio – assuming 2019 EPS grows 5.6% Y/Y – is 15.7x. This P/E ratio is below the 5-year average of 16.4 but above the 10-year average of 14.6. It is also above the forward 12-month P/E ratio of 14.4 recorded at the end of the fourth quarter (December 31). Since the end of the fourth quarter (December 31), the price of the index has increased by 7.9%, while the forward 12-month EPS estimate has decreased by 1.1%.

At the sector level, the Consumer Discretionary (20.1) sector has the highest forward 12-month P/E ratio, while the Financials (11.4) sector has the lowest forward 12-month P/E ratio.

Finally, as clearly shown in the chart beow, the only reason stocks have surged nearly 15% from their mini bear market lows on Dec 24 is due to multiple expansion, as Forward EPS have continued to decline, however the Fed’s dovish reversal has been quite successful in boosting forward PE multiples.

As the chart above clearly shows, the Fed’s dovish flip has made earnings largely irrelevant for the market’s near term direction, as Powell’s stated intent to pause hiking and ostensibly slow the Fed’s balance sheet shrinkage has taken priority over everything else. In any case, now that Q4 earning session is over the hump, during the upcoming week, 103 S&P 500 companies (including 1 Dow 30 component) are scheduled to report results for the fourth quarter. Expect even more market upside irrelevant of what historicals companies report or what guidance they deliver.

 

SWAMP STORIES

Funny!! Poor Maxine!!Deutsche bank refused to lend to Trump during the 2016 Presidential race…another Democrat theory down the drain.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Deutsche Bank Refused To Lend To Trump During 2016 Race: NYT

“Kerosene Maxine” isn’t going to like this.

As the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee prepares to subpoena Deutsche Bank, which she described in a recent interview as “perhaps the biggest money laundering banks in the world”the New York Times on Saturday revealed that just as Trump was winning primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina in March 2016, DB refused to expand a loan to the Trump Organization, which had been requested to pay for renovations at Turnberry, one of Trump’s golf clubs in Scotland. The money was to be backed by Trump’s golf club in Doral, Fla.

At the time, the bank already had hundreds of millions of dollars in loans outstanding to the Trump Organization, and Trump’s go-to bankers in Deutsche’s private banking unit were inclined to approve his request. However, senior executives at the bank – including now-CEO Christian Sewing  were skittish because of the “reputational risks” pertaining to Trump’s divisive statements on the campaign trail. They also were uncomfortable with the political risks, fearing that if Trump won and then defaulted on the loan, Deutsche would be left in the awkward position of having to seize assets from the president of the US.

Trump

According to the NYT, Trump asked for the money at a time when he was lending tens of millions of dollars to his campaign. But as the request wound its way to a committee of senior executives in Frankfurt, executives at the bank reportedly became aware for the first time just how much business DB had with the New York real estate developer who would soon become president.

Since Trump’s relationship with Deutsche first blossomed in the late 1990s, when the bank agreed to lend him $125 million to finance renovations on a Wall Street skyscraper, the relationship has endured its ups and downs.

At the time, Deutsche was struggling to break into the US market and was more tolerant of risk than its US peers, who had more or less severed ties with Trump after a series of bankruptcies in the early 1990s.

Though it was rocky at times (Trump sued DB during the apex of the financial crisis), his relationship with the bank continued through the dawn of his political career.

The relationship between Mr. Trump and Deutsche Bank had survived some rocky moments. In 2008, amid the financial crisis, Mr. Trump stopped repaying a loan to finance the construction of a skyscraper in Chicago – and then sued the bank, accusing it of helping cause the crisis. After that lawsuit, Deutsche Bank’s investment-banking arm severed ties with Mr. Trump.

But by 2010, he was back doing business with Deutsche Bank through its private-banking unit, which catered to some of the world’s wealthiest people. That unit arranged the Doral loans, and another in 2012 tied to the Chicago skyscraper.

Mr. Trump’s go-to in the private bank was Rosemary Vrablic, a senior banker in its New York office. In 2013, she was the subject of a flattering profile in The Mortgage Observer, a real estate magazine owned by Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was also among her clients. In 2015, she arranged the loan that financed Mr. Trump’s transformation of Washington’s Old Post Office Building into the Trump International Hotel, a few blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.

In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, a rep from the Trump organization denied that it had sought money for Turnberry in 2016, and denounced the NYT story as “absolutely false.”

“This story is absolutely false. We bought Trump Turnberry without any financing and put tens of millions of dollars of our own money into the renovation which began in 2014. At no time was any money needed to finance the purchase or the refurbishment of Trump Turnberry,” she said.

In a separate but similar story, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that Deutsche Bank rushed to offload a $600 million loan to Russian state-controlled banking giant VTB in late 2016 as the German lender sought to limit its exposure to Russia following the infamous mirror trading scandal.

The bank decided to shed the loan amid worries about its financial relationships with Russian entities. And though WSJ couldn’t figure out how VTB used the money that DB lent it, a Deutsche spokesman insisted that the money wasn’t intended to benefit President Trump or his businesses as part of some back-door deal.

The Wall Street Journal couldn’t determine where the loan money went. Deutsche Bank considered the VTB financing standard bank-to-bank funding, provided to VTB in U.S. dollars, according to the people familiar with the funding. VTB said in a statement to the Journal that the loan “was intended for the purposes of VTB’s treasury business activities,” and wasn’t directed to President Trump or any business affiliated with him.

A spokesman for Deutsche Bank said, “Any assertion that our financing to VTB was intended to benefit President Trump or anyone else connected to him is false.”

The scrutiny of VTB is tied to an email exchange between Michael Cohen and former Trump associate Felix Sater, who promised Cohen that the Russian bank would be willing to finance the infamous Trump Tower Moscow project. Cohen had also reportedly planned to meet with senior VTB executives during a trip to Moscow back in May 2016, but the trip didn’t pan out.

One prominent golf journalist, cited in the NYT story about Deutsche refusing a loan to the Trump Organization during the campaign, claimed that Eric Trump once told him back in 2013 that the Trump Org used money it had received from Russian sources to finance the purchases and renovations of about a dozen golf clubs and resorts around the world. The Trump Org has insisted that it relied on its own money to finance these projects.

VTB was among a handful of Russian lenders who were hit with US sanctions after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, making the Deutsche Bank’s loan even more valuable to the bank – and even more difficult for Deutsche to sell.

Still, if nothing else, the deal shows how closely interlinked Deutsche and VTB had become. But so far, at least, nobody has uncovered any evidence linking the Trump Organization to VTB.

But it looks like “Kerosine Maxine” is hoping to change that.

end
Trump teases that a national emergency is set to be declared to fund the border wall.
(courtesy  zerohedge)

Trump Teases Imminent National Emergency Declaration To Fund Border Wall 

President Trump has been dropping hints all weekend that he’s about to declare a national emergency to fund his long-promised border wall, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has refused to budge on a compromise.

With just eleven days to go until stopgap government funding expires and another partial government shutdown begins, Trump has called the negotiations a waste of time, and that people should “listen closely” to his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

When the talks began last week, Democrats offered no new money for border barriers and Republicans were still seeking $5.7 billion for a wall. They suggested an openness to border fencing, but not the wall Trump made a centerpiece of his presidential campaign. For lawmakers in the talks, Trump and Pelosi are proving the biggest obstacles to a compromise. –Bloomberg

When asked on Friday if he’s likely to declare a national emergency, Trump said “I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have to do that. But we will at the same time be building, regardless, we’re building a wall. And we’re building a lot of wall. But I can do it a lot faster the other way.”

Trump then suggested that people tune in on Tuesday:

“Well, I’m saying listen closely to the State of the Union,” Trump said, adding. “I think you’ll find it very exciting.”

Embedded video

POLITICO

@politico

Reporter: Mr. President, have you privately decided whether or not you will declare a national emergency?

Trump: I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have to do that… Everything’s an option. https://politi.co/2WCUrdc 

Last week Trump floated the idea of a national emergency in an interview with the New York Times.

“I’ll continue to build the wall and we’ll get the wall finished … Now whether or not I declare a national emergency — that you’ll see.

During an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Trump continued to make the case for overriding Pelosi.

It’s national emergency, it’s other things and you know there have been plenty national emergencies called,” he said.

White House aides, meanwhile, have said that Trump will use his SOTU speech to implore Congress to move forward on issues including immigration, and “bridge old divisions,” according to Bloomberg.

If lawmakers reach a deal, it could include Democrats agreeing to miles of new border fencing. It remains unclear if Trump would accept that offer. While he’s described new and replacement fencing as a “wall,” and U.S. troops have been laying miles of concertina wire near the border, he’s also said fencing is not sufficient.

Negotiators then would also need to sort out how to pay for the extra barriers, including whether to cut other programs or use budget gimmicks to make up the difference. They’ll also need to sort out other fiscal disputes such as whether to send more disaster aide to hurricane-battered Puerto Rico, which Trump has opposed. –Bloomberg

While the 2016 GOP platform called for a wall along the entire southern US border, the scope of the project has changed significantly over the last three years – most recently acknowledging that the wall wouldn’t be necessary in areas with natural obstacles such as mountains or the Rio Grande River, and that the wall could be made of “steel slats” instead of concrete.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

A design of our Steel Slat Barrier which is totally effective while at the same time beautiful!

Last week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he wants legislators to find common ground in order to prevent another shutdown and to avoid a national emegency declaration.

“I’m for whatever works that prevents the level of dysfunction we’ve seen on full display here in the last month and also doesn’t bring about a view on the president’s part that he needs to declare a national emergency,” McConnell told reporters.

Trump has been personally warned that if he declares a national emergency, anyone in Congress could – and inevitably would, challenge it by calling for a vote to overturn his decision and lead to court challenges.

Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said Sunday on CNN that while Trump has the power to declare an emergency, it would likely have to be decided by the courts.

A CBS News poll released Sunday found two-thirds of Americans oppose Trump declaring a national emergency in order to get the wall built, and most survey respondents — 73 percent — said they want Trump to continue negotiating while keeping the government [open]. –Bloomberg

“If we can’t arrive at a deal over that, it becomes hard to see how you arrive at a deal over a national infrastructure package or drug pricing or things of that nature where the country needs us to come together and find a common sense solution,” said Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee.

SWAMP STORIES/MAJOR STORIES//THE KING REPORT
and special thanks to Chris Powell of GATA for sending this down for us:

[China] Manufacturing Shrinks at Steepest Pace in Nearly Three Years: Caixin Survey

The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which gives a snapshot of operating conditions in the manufacturing sector, dipped to 48.3 in January from 49.7 the previous month, marking the weakest level since February 2016…

https://www.caixinglobal.com/2019-02-01/manufacturing-shrinks-at-steepest-pace-in-nearly-three-years-caixin-survey-101376828.html

Euro zone factory growth dried up in January, outlook gloomy: PMI   

IHS Markit’s January final manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell for a sixth month, coming in at 50.5 from December’s 51.4… That was its lowest reading since November 2014 and an index measuring output… to a 5-1/2 year low of 50.5 from 51.0… https://reut.rs/2S5135N

Britain’s manufacturing sector ‘at risk of sliding into recession’ as firms stockpile goods at record rate in time for Brexit

  • New orders and employment levels within the sector slowed in January
  • Stockpiling levels grew at the fastest pace in IHS survey’s history 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/article-6657195/Uks-manufacturing-sector-risk-sliding-recession-firms-stockpile-goods-Brexit.html

@WSJCentralBanks: German central-bank president Jens Weidmann called on the European Central Bank to press ahead with plans to phase out ultra-low interest rates, warning that the ECB currently has little room to deal with any new economic downturn

https://www.wsj.com/articles/ecbs-weidmann-important-not-to-waste-time-in-normalizing-monetary-policy-11548951077?mod=e2twcb

“An Inability to Turn Around”: Deutsche Bank Slides after Reporting Dismal Earnings

Deutsche Bank reported Q4 net revenue of €5.58B… and 2.6% below the average analyst estimate of €5.73, led by another decline in trading revenue, resulting in a pretax loss of €319 million in line with estimates of a €331.0 million loss…

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-01/inability-turn-around-deutsche-bank-slides-after-reporting-dismal-earnings

Congresswoman Suggests A 90% Tax Rate

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) suggested raising taxes as high as 90% in order to pay for the “Green New Deal.”… https://thehayride.com/2019/01/congresswoman-suggests-a-90-tax-rate/

 

@CNBC: “I want these billionaires to stop being freeloaders,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren told @JimCramer on @MadMoneyOnCNBC last nighthttps://cnb.cx/2Ut4q32

 

Elizabeth Warren blasts Sears buyer as a ‘practitioner of predatory capitalism’

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/warren-blasts-sears-buyer-as-a-practitioner-of-predatory-capitalism-2019-02-01

 

Rep. Omar Vilifies Israel, Comparing It to the U.S. Jim Crow Era

https://saraacarter.com/rep-omar-vilifies-israel-comparing-it-to-the-u-s-jim-crow-era/

 

Rep. Tlaib Promotes Using Eminent Domain to Seize GM Property to Create ‘Green New Deal’

https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/craig-bannister/rep-tlaib-promotes-using-eminent-domain-seize-gm-property-create-green-new-deal

 

Progressive Dems: ‘Not another Dollar’ More in DHS Funding – Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar just threw a wrench in the border wall debate…

https://www.thedailybeast.com/progressive-democrats-to-shutdown-negotiators-not-another-dollar-in-dhs-funding

 

WaPo: Republicans seize on liberal positions to paint Democrats as radical

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republicans-seize-on-liberal-positions-to-paint-democrats-as-radical/2019/01/31/d705603e-24f2-11e9-ad53-824486280311_story.html

Howard Schultz ‘freaked out’ by Democratic backlash to independent presidential run, as he weighs bid – Schultz once described himself as a lifelong Democrat but said he now may break with his old party because he feels it has moved too far to the left on spending and taxes, while promoting programs that will saddle future generations with enormous debt…

https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/howard-schultz-freaked-out-by-democratic-backlash-to-independent-presidential-run-rethinks-effort.amp

Ann Coulter: We Put ‘Lunatic,’ ‘Lazy’ Trump in the White House for One Reason — The Wall

https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2019/02/01/ann-coulter-we-put-lunatic-lazy-trump-in-the-white-house-for-one-reason-the-wall/

 

WaPo: McConnell cautioned Trump that an emergency declaration on border wall could pit the president against his own party

@RepMattGaetz: I thought Robert Mueller was supposed to be investigating Russian Collusion, now he has become a glorified hall monitor enforcing the provisions of lying to Congress. The problem is he is enforcing them unequally. So, I am introducing the Justice for all Act… A bill that forces anyone that who has lied to Congress, including #Clapper, #HillaryClinton, #Comey, #McCabe, and #Brennan, to be prosecuted equitably.

 

Please notice that GOP leaders are silent on Schiff’s abuse of Don Jr. and Team Mueller’s abuses.  It’s clear that the GOP Congressional leadership has tacitly supported the coup attempt on DJT.

California US Representative Devin Nunes shared on FOX News that Hillary Clinton’s campaign team, working with Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS, likely set up the entire Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner as a way of entrapping the Trump campaign.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/02/confirmed-hillary-camp-set-up-trump-tower-meeting-between-russians-and-don-jr-all-russians-involved-are-connected-to-the-clintons/

DOJ let Russian lawyer into US before she met with Trump team [To set up Team Trump?]

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/341788-exclusive-doj-let-russian-lawyer-into-us-before-she-met-with-trump

@WhiteHouse: The United States has adhered to the INF Treaty for more than 30 years, but we will not remain constrained by its terms unless Russia comes into verifiable and enforceable compliance.

@LindseyGrahamSC: I completely support the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty due to Russian noncompliance.  Russia has been in violation of the treaty for years and the Obama Administration refused to do anything about it.

@IngrahamAngle: Judge Amy Berman Jackson, Obama appointee, is mulling a gag order that wd harm @StoneColdRoger’s ability to raise $ for his defense fund.  A punitive, not corrective, move.

@Barnes_Law: In other words, a Mueller subservient Judge, hand-picked by Mueller despite the rule of random judicial assignment, threatened the First Amendment & Fifth Amendment rights of Roger Stone to try to silence him from mounting a public defense

     How did the SAME federal judge in a district of 21 judges manage to get “randomly assigned” the email case, the Manafort case and the Roger Stone case?

I WILL SEE YOU TUESDAY NIGHT
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