FEB 5/REP MOONEY LASHES OUT AT THE CFTC FOR NOT ANSWERING HIS LETTER/GOLD RISES 30 CENTS TO $1315.25/SILVER DOWN 3 CENTS TO $15.85/JAPAN’S LARGEST PENSION FUND LOSES THE EQUIVALENT $136 BILLION/ITALY’S DEBT CAN BRING DOWN THE ENTIRE EU/ SEEMS TRUMP READY TO BRING ON JUDY SHELTON..A GOLD BUG TO THE FED AS WELL AS NOMINATE DR MALPASS ANOTHER GOLD BUG TO THE WORLD BANK/MORE SWAMP STORIES FOR YOU TONIGHT/

 

 

 

GOLD: $1315.25 UP $0.30 (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Silver:   $15.85 DOWN 3 CENTS (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Closing access prices:

Gold :  1315.20

 

silver: $15.85

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For comex gold and silver:

FEBRUARY

 

 

 

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR  FEB CONTRACT: 319 NOTICE(S) FOR 31900 OZ (0.9922 tonnes

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  8808 NOTICES FOR 880,800 OZ  (27.396 TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR FEBRUARY

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

106 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR 530,000  OZ/

 

total number of notices filed so far this month: 500 for 2,500,000

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: OPENING MORNING TRADE $3471: DOWN 1

 

Bitcoin: FINAL EVENING TRADE: $3464 UP   $2

 

end

 

XXXX

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

today  167/319

EXCHANGE: COMEX
CONTRACT: FEBRUARY 2019 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,314.300000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 02/04/2019 DELIVERY DATE: 02/06/2019
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED
____________________________________________________________________________________________
435 H SCOTIA CAPITAL 160
657 C MORGAN STANLEY 1
657 H MORGAN STANLEY 24
661 C JP MORGAN 71
661 H JP MORGAN 96
686 C INTL FCSTONE 1 3
690 C ABN AMRO 60 8
732 C RBC CAP MARKETS 1
737 C ADVANTAGE 76 23
800 C MAREX SPEC 20 7
880 H CITIGROUP 86
905 C ADM 1
____________________________________________________________________________________________

TOTAL: 319 319
MONTH TO DATE: 8,808

 

 

 

 

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total OPEN INTEREST ROSE BY A STRONG SIZED 2587 CONTRACTS FROM 206,692 UP TO 209,459 ACCOMPANYING YESTERDAY’S 4 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 GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP:

512 EFP’S FOR MARCH,  0 FOR APRIL, FOR MAY, 0 FOR DECEMBER AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE: OF 512 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 512 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 512 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 2.560 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 4 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: 3975 CONTRACTS (FOR 4 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 3975 CONTRACTS) OR 19.875 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 994 CONTRACTS OR 4.968 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF FEB:  19.875 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 2.83% 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:           237.33    MILLION OZ.

JANUARY 2019 EFP TOTALS:                                                      217.455. MILLION OZ.

 

 

RESULT: WE HAD A STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 2587 WITH THE 4 CENT LOSS IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX //YESTERDAY..THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD A FAIR SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 512 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 STRONG SIZED: 3099 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

i.e 512 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH INCREASE OF 2587 OI COMEX CONTRACTSAND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 4 CENT LOSS IN PRICE OF SILVER  AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $15.88 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. 1.047 BILLION OZ TO BE EXACT or 150% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT FEBRUARY MONTH/ THEY FILED AT THE COMEX: 106 NOTICE(S) FOR 530,000 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 FAIR SIZED 1776 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 474,513 WITH THE FALL IN THE COMEX GOLD PRICE/(A LOSS IN PRICE OF $2.65//YESTERDAY’S TRADING).

 

 

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A STRONG  SIZED 10,064 CONTRACTS:

 

MARCH HAD AN ISSUANCE OF 185 CONTACTS  APRIL 9879 CONTRACTS, DECEMBER: 0 CONTRACTS AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 474,513. 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 STRONG SIZED GAIN IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 8286 CONTRACTS: 1362 OI CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND 10,064 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN: 8286 CONTRACTS OR 828,600, OZ = 25.77 TONNES. AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD/ YESTERDAY TO THE TUNE OF $2.65.

 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 6351 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY : 23,123 CONTRACTS OR 2,312,300 OZ  OR 71.92 TONNES (4 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 5780 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 4 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 71.92 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 71.92/2550 x 100% TONNES = 2.82% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN DECEMBER ALONE.***

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2019 TO DATE:     4,703.26  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 FAIR SIZED DECREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 1776 WITH THE LOSS IN PRICING ($2.65) THAT GOLD UNDERTOOK FRIDAY) //.WE ALSO HAD A STRONG SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 10,064 CONTRACTS AS THESE HAVE ALREADY BEEN NEGOTIATED AND CONFIRMED.   THERE OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT SEEM TO BE MUCH PHYSICAL GOLD AT THE COMEX.  I GUESS IT EXPLAINS THE HUGE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S…THERE IS HARDLY ANY GOLD PRESENT AT THE GOLD COMEX FOR DELIVERY PURPOSES. IF YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE 10,064 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A STRONG GAIN OF 8672 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

10,064 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 1776 CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX. (IN TONNES, THE GAIN IN TOTAL OI EQUATES TO 25.77 TONNES). ..AND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND OCCURRED WITH THE LOSS OF $2.65 IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING AT THE COMEX

 

 

we had:  319 notice(s) filed upon for 31,900 oz of gold at the comex.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

GLD...

 

WITH GOLD UP $0.30 TODAY

 

 

THE FRAUD CONTINUES:

 

A MASSIVE PAPER WITHDRAWAL OF 4.11 TONNES

 

 

 

/GLD INVENTORY   813.29 TONNES

Inventory rests tonight: 813.29 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 3 CENTS  IN PRICE  TODAY:

NO CHANGE IN INVENTORY AT THE SLV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/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 2587 CONTRACTS from 206,892 UP TO 209,459  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:

 

512 CONTRACTS FOR MARCH. 0 CONTRACTS FOR MAY., FOR DECEMBER AND  AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 512 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 2587 CONTRACTS TO THE 512 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE OBTAIN A STRONG GAIN  OF 3099  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 15.49 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 4 CENT PRICING LOSS THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// YESTERDAY.BUT WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED 512 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

)TUESDAY MORNING/ MONDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED CHINESE NEW YEAR //Hang Sang CLOSED NEW YEAR  /The Nikkei closed DOWN 39.32  PTS OR 0.19%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 1.76%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 6.7422 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil DOWN to 54.28 dollars per barrel for WTI and 62.11 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED GREEN //.

 ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AT 6.7422AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7651: / 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 STRONGER 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

By goodness what a loss:  in its 4th quarter, the largest Japanese Pension fund:  GPIF lost 136 billion usa dollars in the last 3 months of the year with the downfall in stocks.

( zerohedge)

 

 

3 C/  CHINA

 

 

i) CHINA

Huawei lawyers in Canada are fighting the USA’s “politically motivated” prosecution in order to win her freedom. Although the bar is low, she may win on this;

(courtesy zerohedge)

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

italy

Italy has one of the highest debts in Europe at 1.5 trillion euros or 1.7 trillion uSA dollars.  An Italian debt crisis would take down the entire EU

(  zerohedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

i)Trump continues to show his allegiance to Israel as he shows his support to AIPAC

( Tom Luongo)

ii)Turkey

Turkey’s largest bank Isbank is in the news today as Erdogan wishes to seize the bank.  Believe it or not but 28% of the bank is owned by the opposition.  The bank is in fine shape so the seizure is politically motivated.
(courtesy zerohedge)

 

 

 

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

This is very good news:  Trump is set to hire Dr David Malpass, a strong gold bug to lead the World Bank. Something must be up as he is also set to nominate Dr Judy Shelton to the Fed board

( zerohedge)

7. OIL ISSUES

 

 

 

 

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

 

 

i)VENEZUELA/USA

a)Trading in sovereign Venezuela bonds have dried to zero after the Trump sanctions

( zerohedge)

b)More trouble for Maduro has a flotilla of Venezuelan oil tankers are stranded off the Gulf of Mexico

(courtesy zerohedge)

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

WOW!! This will be a biggy if it comes to fruition:  Trump may nominate Dr Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve and she backs a hard currency i.e. gold.
( New York Sun/GATA)

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

 

 

MARKET TRADING

ii)Market data/

Even though the January PMI manufacturing rose, the usually stronger USA service PMI plunged led by new orders

( zerohedge

 

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

a)Interesting:  Trump and Powell met for an informal dinner and details emerge that Powell will maintain his dovish position on interest rate hikes/balance sheet roll-offs

( zerohedge)

b)Once the uSA experiences a downturn, it will be the huge BBB corporate debt group will will cause the implosion of uSA finances.

( John Rubino/DollarCollapse,com)

c)Why the left vilifies Tulsi Gabbard..as she reveals the bankruptcy of the American left

( Tom Luongo)

iv)SWAMP STORIES

a)The Trump Inaugural committee has been subpoenaed by New York Prosecutors (Democrats) to see if they misspent some of their $107 million dollars received in donations.

( zerohedge)

b)As caravans move closer to the USA border Trump again demands his 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 FAIR SIZED 1776 CONTRACTS DOWN TO A LEVEL OF 474,513 WITH THE FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($2.65) IN YESTERDAY’S COMEX TRADING).FOR THREE 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 10,064 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

FOR MARCH:  185. FOR APRIL 9879, FOR DECEMBER: 0 AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  10,064 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:  8286 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 6351 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE LOST A FAIR SIZED 1776 COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:8286 contracts OR 828,600  OZ OR 25.77 TONNES.

 

We are now in the active contract month of FEBRUARY and here the open interest stands at 1589 contracts, and thus undergoing a loss of 2262 contracts.  We had 2254 contracts stand for delivery yesterday so we LOST 8 contracts or 800 additional oz will NOT stand for delivery in this very active delivery month of February as they  morphed into London based forwards as well as accepting a sizable fiat bonus.

 

 

 

The next non active delivery month after February is  March and here we GAINED 204 contracts to stand at 1895.  After March, the next big delivery month is April and here the OI rose by 69 contracts up to 341,147 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 319 NOTICES FILED TODAY AT THE COMEX FOR 31900 OZ. (0.09922 tonnes)

 

 

 

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total COMEX silver OI ROSE BY A STRONG SIZED 2587  CONTRACTS FROM 206,872 UP TO 209,459(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 4 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  114 CONTRACTS, HAVING LOST 29 CONTRACTS FROM FRIDAY.  WE HAD 55 NOTICES FILED YESTERDAY SO WE GAINED 26 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 130,000 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 2327 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 138,000 CONTRACTS. AFTER MARCH, APRIL ROSE FROM ITS INITIAL 15 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS BY 2 CONTRACTS TO STAND AT 17.  AFTER APRIL, THE NEXT BIG ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH IS MAY AND HERE THE OI ADVANCED BY 4395 CONTRACTS UP TO 39,193 CONTRACTS.

 

 

 

 

ON A NET BASIS WE GAINED 3099 SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AS WE OBTAINED A 2587 CONTRACT GAIN AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 512 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  3099 CONTRACTS...AND ALL OF THIS STRONG DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A 4 CENT LOSS IN PRICING// YESTERDAY??

 

 

 

 

 

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 106 notice(s) filed for 530,000 OZ for the FEB, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

 

 

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY:  125,241 CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  167,817  contracts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INITIAL standings for  FEB/GOLD

FEB 5/2019.

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  

 

NIL oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
319 notice(s)
 31,900 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
1270 contracts
(127,000 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
8808 notices
880,800 OZ
27.396 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 0 deposit into the customer account

 

we had 0 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

 

 

 

total gold withdrawing from the customer;  NIL oz

 

we had 4  adjustments….and it is the first two that I am looking for as it generally indicates a settlement:
i) Out of Brinks:  42,976.357 oz was adjusted out of the dealer and this landed into the customer account of Brinks
ii) Out of HSBC: 67,900.184 oz was adjusted out of the dealer and this landed into the customer account of HSBC
iii) Out of Manfra:  96.45 oz (3 kilobars) was adjusted out of the customer account and this landed into the dealer account of Manfra
iv) Out of Scotia: 15,868.330 oz was adjusted out of the customer and this landed into the dealer account of Scotia

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 319 contract(s) of which 96 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 71 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 (8808) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (1589 contract) minus the number of notices served upon today (319 x 100 oz per contract) equals 1,007,800 OZ OR 31.346 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 (8808 x 100 oz)  + {1589)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (319 x 100 oz )which equals 1,007,800 oz standing OR 31.346 TONNES in this active delivery month of FEBRUARY.

WE LOST CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 800 OZ WILL NOT STAND AT THE COMEX AS THEY  MORPHED INTO A LONDON BASED FORWARD AS WELL AS ACCCEPTING A FIAT BONUS.

 

 

 

 

 

THERE ARE ONLY 25.636 TONNES OF REGISTERED COMEX GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY AGAINST 31.346 TONNES STANDING FOR FEBRUARY

OF WHICH 27.396 TONNES OF GOLD HAVE ALREADY BEEN SERVED UPON SO FAR THIS MONTH.

 

 

 

total registered or dealer gold:  824,23.906 oz or   25.636 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 5 2019
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
661,847.711  oz
 Brinks
CNT

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
1,170,187.417 oz
HSBC
CNT
No of oz served today (contracts)
106
CONTRACT(S)
530,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
8 contracts
40,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 500 contracts

(2,500,000 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 HSBC:  599,893.737 oz

ii) Into CNT: 570,293.680 oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total customer deposits today: 1,170,187.417   oz

we had 2 withdrawals out of the customer account:

i) Out of Brinks:  1009.500 oz

ii) Out of CNT:  660,838.211 oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total withdrawals: 661.847.711    oz

 

we had 2 adjustment..

i)Out of Brinks: 158,232.820 oz was adjusted out of the customer account and this landed into the dealer account of Brinks

ii) Out of CNT: 336,101.240 oz was adjusted out of the customer account and this landed into the dealer account of CNT

 

 

 

 

total dealer silver:  88.636 million

total dealer + customer silver:  297.723 million oz

 

 

 

 

The total number of notices filed today for the FEBRUARY 2019. contract month is represented by 106 contract(s) FOR 530,000  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 500 x 5,000 oz = 2,500,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (114) and the number of notices served upon today (106x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the FEBRUARY/2019 contract month: 500(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of FEB( 114) -number of notices served upon today (106)x 5000 oz equals 2,540,000 oz of silver standing for the FEBRUARY contract month.  This is a strong number of oz standing for an off delivery month.

WE GAINED 26 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 130,000 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:  48,444 CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 73,850 CONTRACTS… 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 73,850 CONTRACTS EQUATES to 369 million OZ  52.7% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER

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

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

end

NPV for Sprott 

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV RISES TO -3.49% (FEB 5/2019)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV FALLS TO -0.82% to NAV (FEB 5 /2019 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -3.49%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

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

NAV 13.36/TRADING 12.87/DISCOUNT 3.69

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

FEB 5/WITH GOLD UP $.30 TODAY: A HUGE PAPER WITHDRAWAL OF 4.11 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 813.29 TONNES

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 5/2019/ Inventory rests tonight at 813.29/ tonnes

*IN LAST 544 TRADING DAYS: 121.76 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 444 TRADING DAYS: A NET 38.27 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO THE GLD INVENTORY.

 

end

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

FEB 5/WITH SILVER DOWN 3 CENTS; NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 310.594 MILLION OZ.

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 5/2019:

 

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 2.80

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

G0LD LENDING RATE: + .59

 

 

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.52%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.98

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.56

end

 

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES

end
i) GOLDCORE BLOG/Mark O’Byrne

“Right” Trump and “Left” Ocasio-Cortez Will Join Forces And Debase The Dollar

– Intellectuals are laying the groundwork for “a tower of debt higher than any ever seen in world history”
– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Donald J Trump (DJT) will soon be on the same side by coming to love massive debt, “$2-trillion federal deficits,” ultra loose monetary policies and the debasement of the dollar
– Beyond “good and evil” and moving to “dumb and dumber” monetary and economic policies may see dollar go the way of bolívars in Venezuela today

by Bill Bonner via Bonner & Partners

The intellectuals are laying the groundwork.

That is, they’re digging the foundations for an extraordinary structure – a tower of debt higher than any ever seen in world history.

The primary architect? Paul Krugman? Jerome Powell? Joseph Stiglitz?

Nope. Not an architect at all… but a politician.

Low-Interest People

It’s none other than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), the ambitious young representative of New York’s 14th district, who has the shovel in her hands.

She may be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, but she wasn’t born yesterday. And she may not know any more about economics than Donald J. Trump. But she knows a winning trend when she sees one.

And circa 2019, debt is becoming more popular than internet hook-ups.

Our dear readers generally approve when we poke fun at liberals like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. But they hate it when we talk smack about the president. Many see the contest in Washington as a fight between good and evil. And they know what side they’re on!

We predict, however, that AOC and DJT will soon be on the same side. Beyond good and evil. Just dumb.

Both are already “low-interest kind of people.” And when the going gets tough, both will come to love Modern Monetary Theory, MMT… and $2-trillion federal deficits.

Silly Duffers

One of our dicta here at the Diary: People come to think what they have to think when they have to think it. Markets make opinions, in other words, not the other way around.

And markets are running into trouble. The trends that were so felicitous for so long – falling interest rates and rising stock prices – have now stalled, or even reversed.

The private sector faces a recession. Wall Street sees a bear market coming. In Washington, tax receipts will fall… as costs continue to rise.

How to keep the jig up? The politicians – left, right, and center – will come to see: debt isn’t so bad!

What were those previous generations thinking, they will wonder? Scrimping and saving, balancing budgets, making trade-offs – and for what? The silly duffers didn’t know any better.

The intellectual drift in favor of more government debt was put forward this week in the pages of the “pink paper,” the Financial Times:

A government can issue debt to pay for whatever it likes. It can pay to fight a war, to lower taxes for a preferred group, to soften the sharp edges of a recession. The United States has, in fact, issued debt to pay for all of these things. American politicians say that public debt crowds out private investment, that it’s unsustainable and will turn the country into Argentina. Or Greece. Or now, Venezuela. But regardless of what they say, what American politicians do is vote for more debt.

The FT is right about that. Year in, year out… boom or bust… Democrat or Republican – they voted for more debt. Modern Monetary Theory is at least realistic about it.

Noting that politicians are not shy about going into debt – without any horrible consequences; not recently, at any rate – the MMTers fantasize about a world in which government can get as much money as it pleases. Debt shouldn’t be a limitation.

A government issues money, they reason. Why does it have to borrow at all?

This seemed like such a breath of fresh monetary air that many economists and politicians practically hyperventilated. Here was a theory that seemed to validate a widespread practice – spending more than you earn. It was the feds’ money to begin with; why shouldn’t they spend as much as they want?

Ms. AOC is often posed the question directly. She favors free universities, free healthcare, free this, free that – “How can we afford it?” ask skeptics.

But she’s ready with the MMT answer: “How do we pay for anything?”

Touché!

“We” don’t pay for anything. The feds pay… with resources that – one way or another – they’ve squeezed out of us. In theory, it doesn’t matter how they get it. Debt. Taxes. Inflation. Take your pick.

Chartalist System

What really counts is the total amount of resources the feds take. The more they squander, the less is left for real output and growth. And the practical advantage of debt over inflation (just printing money) is that it limits the take.

Borrowed money has a cost. The more the feds borrow, the higher interest rates go. Then, the economy slumps… tax revenues decline… and the feds are worse off than ever.

Then, of course, the feds finagle a fix, getting the central bank – the Fed – to buy up their debt, so interest rates don’t go up. This ends up being very close to a pure MMT or Chartalist system, where the feds are, in effect, printing the money to pay for their quack programs.

But the central insight of MMT is deeply flawed. It confuses the feds’ “money” with real money.

MMT admits that their spending is limited only by the resources available in the real world. But that is why we have real money in the first place – to make sure the limits are respected.

Fake money only works for as long as it mimics real money; that is, only so long as it respects the limits of real resources. After all, a car is not a car because the feds say it’s a car; it’s a car because it takes you where you want to go.

And as soon as the feds’ money stops taking you where you want to go – like Zim dollars in Zimbabwe in 2006 or bolívars in Venezuela today – MMT falls apart. The feds could “print” all they wanted; it wouldn’t buy them a ham sandwich.

Fortunately, the U.S. dollar still has some miles left on it. But with politicians like AOC and DJT at the wheel, it’s just a matter of time before the limits come off… and it ends up in a ditch.

Sign up for only daily newsletter featuring the unique ideas of bestselling financial author Bill Bonner. From Wall Street to Washington, Bill leaves no idol un-busted and no stone unturned…

 

 

News and Commentary

Gold posts second loss in a row, but analysts see higher prices ahead (MarketWatch.com)

Gold slips as dollar gains as China closed for Lunar New Year (Reuters.com)

Major European nations recognize Guaido as Venezuela president (Reuters.com)

Asahi to emerge as largest gold, silver refiner in US after Republic acquisition (SPGlobal.com)

Melbourne Housing Prices Plummet At Fastest Quarterly Pace Ever Recorded; Sydney Enters “New Territory” (ZeroHedge.com)


Why Italy’s Debts Are Europe’s Big Problem. Source: Bloomberg

Why Italy’s Debts Are Europe’s Big Problem (Bloomberg.com)

World Bank And IMF Are In Crisis. It’s Time To Push A Radical New Vision (TheGuardian.com)

Rickards: “The Plan To Ditch King Dollar” (DailyReckoning.com)

Turtles All the Way Down – Hussman (HussmanFunds.com)

New-Age Precious Metals Investor: The Coming Pension Fund Disaster (SRSRoccoReport.com)

“I Have Never Experienced This Kind Of Immoral Behavior From A Bank In My Entire Life”: Goldman Slammed In Latest CDS Scandal (ZeroHedge.com)

Can the U.S. and China Avoid War? Kyle Bass Interview (RealVision.com)

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

Gold Prices (LBMA PM)

04 Feb: USD 1,311.00, GBP 1004.36 & EUR 1,145.55 per ounce
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

Silver Prices (LBMA)

04 Feb: USD 15.74, GBP 12.05 & EUR 13.75 per ounce
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

Recent Market Updates

– 7 Financial Truths In An Uncertain 2019
– 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

Mark O’Byrne
Executive Director
GATA STORIES AS IT RELATES TO PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER
WOW!! This will be a biggy if it comes to fruition:  Trump may nominate Dr Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve and she backs a hard currency i.e. gold.
(courtesy New York Sun/GATA)

New York Sun: Trump’s ideal nominee for the Fed

 Section: 

From The New York Sun
Monday, February 4, 2019

It looks like this could be the moment at which President Trump makes his move in respect of the Federal Reserve. We say that because the chatter we hear is that he’s considering nominating to its board of governors the economist Judy Shelton. The Sun endorses her heartily. It would mark a brilliant start to redeeming his campaign promises in respect of monetary policy and our central bank.

Ms. Shelton is no stranger to readers of Sun editorials — or the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. She has long since emerged as one of the most articulate, but measured, advocates of the idea that our economic troubles spring in large part, if not exclusively, from the fiat nature of our currency. And that we need to bring back into our political economy the idea of sound money. …

… For the remainder of the commentary:

https://www.nysun.com/editorials/trumps-ideal-nominee-for-the-fed/90559/

end

Congressman Mooney demands that the CFTC answer our questions re gold/silver market rigging

a must read..

(courtesy MoneyMetals.com/GATA)

Answer GATA’s questions on gold market rigging, congressman tells CFTC

 Section: 

Congressman Demands CFTC Explain Its Failure to Find Silver Market Manipulation Where Justice Department Did

From Money Metals News Service, Eagle, Idaho
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

https://www.moneymetals.com/news/2019/02/05/cftc-silver-market-manipulat…

WASHINGTON — A member of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee today pressed the Commodities Futures Trading Commission on its conspicuous failure to uncover the very silver market manipulation now being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In a probing letter dated today to CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, Rep. Alex X. Mooney, R-West Virginia, writes:

“The U.S. Justice Department obtained a guilty plea from a former commodities trader for JPMorganChase & Co. to charges of manipulating the gold and silver markets between 2009 and 2015, and its investigation into the actions of related parties is ongoing.

The period at issue substantially overlaps the time during which your commission was investigating complaints of manipulation of the silver market — 2008 to 2013. However, in 2013 the commission announced that it had closed its investigation without finding any wrongdoing.

“Why did the commission fail to find the wrongdoing the Justice Department has confirmed and continues to investigate? Also, will the commission now be re-opening its investigation into silver market manipulation and opening an investigation into gold market manipulation? If not, why not?”

Meanwhile, Rep. Mooney asks about the CFTC’s recent refusal to answer questions posed by a non-profit watchdog group called the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) that investigates government interventions in gold and silver markets:

http://gata.org/node/18684

Rep. Mooney’s letter seeks answers from the CFTC about its apparent reporting discrepancies, the unusual correlation between the Chinese yuan and the gold price, and whether the CFTC believes it has jurisdiction over gold market trading by the U.S. government or foreign governments.

“Congressman Mooney understands that a lack of transparency in the gold and silver markets not only undermines confidence, but also enables governments and powerful financial interests to manipulate currencies and asset prices to Americans’ great detriment,” said Jp Cortez, policy director for the Sound Money Defense League.

“Gold and silver are true money, and the CFTC has a responsibility to expose and punish those who seek to secretly manipulate its value.”

Rep. Mooney’s letter to CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo can be accessed here:

http://gata.org/files/MooneyLetterToCFTC-02-05-2019.pdf

The Sound Money Defense League is a public policy group working nationally to bring back gold and silver as America’s constitutional money. The group also maintains America’s Sound Money Index.





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.

 

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

i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/CLOSED/ LAST AT: 6.7422/

 

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  6.7651   /shanghai bourse CLOSED /CHINESE NEW YEAR FOR THE WEEK

HANG SANG CLOSED

 

 

2. Nikkei closed DOWN 39.32  POINTS OR 0.19%

 

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED GREEN 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/USA dollar index RISES TO 95.93/Euro FALLS TO 1.1422

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO. –.01/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 109/93/ 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:: 54.28 and Brent: 62.11

3f Gold DOWN/JAPANESE Yen DOWN CHINESE YUAN:   ON -SHORE CLOSED DOWN  /OFF- SHORE: UP

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

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

3h Oil DOWN for WTI and 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 +.20%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN to 2.76% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD UP TO 1.25%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.56: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS TO : 3.89

3k Gold at $1313.70 silver at:15.84   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 8/100 in roubles/dollar) 65.49

3m oil into the 54 dollar handle for WTI and 62 handle for Brent/

3n Higher foreign deposits out of China sees huge risk of outflows and a currency depreciation. This can spell financial disaster for the rest of the world/

JAPAN ON JAN 29.2016 INITIATES NIRP. THIS MORNING THEY SIGNAL THEY MAY END NIRP. TODAY THE USA/YEN TRADES TO 109.95 DESTROYING JAPANESE CITIZENS WITH HIGHER FOOD INFLATION

30 SNB (Swiss National Bank) still intervening again in the markets driving down the SF. It is not working: USA/SF this morning 1.0012 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1434 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year RISING to +0.20%

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 2.73% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 3.07%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 5.2016

 

Global Stocks Hit 2 Month High On Muted Levitation, Iron Ore Soars

Despite yesterday’s disappointing Google results, which saw the search giant beat estimates but its stock slump as investors were concerned by surging costs and expenses, global stocks extended their red hot start to 2019, hitting a 2 month high, boosted by Europe’s miners and banks while the dollar gained for a fourth day as traders waited for U.S. President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address following news the president had unexpectedly had dinner with Fed Chair Powell and Vice Chairs Clarida.

After initially dipping, S&P futures gradually turned higher on Tuesday, tracking shares in Europe where the Stoxx 600 Index headed for the sixth advance in a row, even as chip suppliers Infineon Technologies and AMS issued warnings about future growth, boosted by strong earnings from oil giant BP, which reported that its profits had doubled, while another move higher in crude prices overnight pushed the oil and gas sector up 1.5%. Also helping were euro area PMIs, which were revised slightly upward. Still, the common currency was lower as disappointing data from Italy hung over the region. Sterling fell slightly following a weak services report.

Miners were also up sharply as traders reacted to news that Brazil had ordered Vale, the world’s largest iron ore miner, to close eight of its dams following a deadly collapse that killed over 300 people last month. As a result, iron ore prices continued their surge and are now at a near 2-year high.

“Our fundamental view is there no reason for this incredible move, so is it just speculation, a frenzy about possible stimulus in China?,” said Saxo Bank’s head of FX Strategy John Hardy. “What should we do with it? I don’t know, but it should be noted.”

In Asia, the overnight session remained muted as China and large parts of Asia were closed for Lunar New Year celebrations overnight but what markets were open continued to push higher. Japan’s Nikkei marked its highest level in seven weeks at one point before fading to finish slightly lower. Australian shares suffered no such fatigue, jumping 2%, with long-battered financials surging on short-covering after a special government-appointed misconduct inquiry left the structure of the country’s powerful banks in place, while the RBA kept the Cash Rate Target unchanged at 1.50% as expected while reiterating that low rates are supporting the economy and that progress on inflation and unemployment is expected to be gradual. Furthermore, the RBA noted that the labour market remains strong and that it sees a gradual inflation pick up over next couple of years but added that the central scenario for GDP growth is to average around 3% this year and to slow in 2020 vs. Prev. forecast of around 3.5% growth for the next 2 years back at the December meeting.

With Europe continuing to rally, the MSCI index of global stocks reached a two-month high, after enjoying its best January on record, rising more than 13% from a near two-year low hit in late December.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 gained on Monday, with technology and industrials the biggest winners, 100-day moving averages sliced through and the VIX dropping to its lowest in four months. As noted earlier, the Fed took the unusual step of issuing a statement on Monday saying that its head Jerome Powell had told President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that “the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming economic information.”

In the currency markets, the dollar fluctuated and was trading unchanged following recent gains against its major peers as investors continued to weigh last Friday’s strong payrolls number offset by disappointing production and capex data. The Bloomberg Dollar index was steady, holding a three-day advance; U.S. and European sovereign yield curves bear steepened with Treasuries outperforming Bunds. The euro edged lower, touching a day low versus the dollar after weak PMIs out of Italy and France.

Cable dropped 0.2% to a 1.3013 day low after the worse-than-forecast U.K. services PMI data. The krona slipped against all G-10 peers apart from the Swiss franc, with the Swedish currency touching a day low after services and composite PMIs slipped in January; USD/CHF rose to 1.0011, an 11-week high

The Australian dollar gained 0.5% to $0.7260, erasing earlier losses amid short covering, after the Reserve Bank of Australia left policy unchanged at its first meeting this year but sounded less dovish than the markets had expected. The Aussie had earlier fallen fell as much as 0.5 percent after a slump in retail sales reinforced concerns about the health of the economy.

Traders will next focus on today’s main event, President Donald Trump’s delayed State of the Union address, due at 2100 ET Tuesday as well as U.S. ISM non-manufacturing figures, also due later in the day. Trump told a White House event over the weekend that he might declare a national “emergency” because Democrats in Congress weren’t moving toward a deal to provide money to build a wall on the border with Mexico. Such a step would likely prompt a court challenge from Democrats.

“If President Trump persists in his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in the upcoming address, it would cap the dollar’s rally,” said Kengo Suzuki, chief FX strategist at Mizuho Securities.

Also late on Monday, Trump’s inaugural committee said it received a subpoena for documents. Elsewhere, there were separate reports that US Rep. Neal is building a case to subpoena US President Trump’s tax returns.

In Brexit news, Europe’s top official offered Britain a legal guarantee that it would not be trapped by the Irish backstop last night but was swiftly rejected by Brexiteer MPs. As a reminder, UK PM May is heading to Northern Ireland in a bid to salvage her Brexit deal by finding an alternative to the “toxic” backstop proposal. UK Ministers are secretly planning to unilaterally cut tariffs on all imports to zero in the event of a no-deal Brexit, in a move that could flood the market with cheap goods and “ruin” industry, according to a HuffPost UK exclusive.

In geopolitical news, the UN sanctions monitor report said North Korea nuclear and ballistic missile program remains intact and that North Korea is working to protect those capabilities from military strikes. Furthermore, it added that North Korea is violating UN arms embargo and is breaching sanctions through illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal.

Elsewhere, West Texas oil climbed as traders weighed output cuts from the OPEC producer group and its partners against expectations for rising U.S. crude inventories. Emerging-market shares and currencies drifted. Looking at today’s key events, President Trump will deliver a delayed State of the Union address. Scheduled earnings include Disney, Suncor Energy, Estee Lauder.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 2,724.00
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.8% to 362.64
  • MXAP up 0.3% to 156.79
  • MXAPJ up 0.4% to 513.34
  • Nikkei down 0.2% to 20,844.45
  • Topix up 0.1% to 1,582.88
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 27,990.21
  • Shanghai Composite up 1.3% to 2,618.23
  • Sensex up 0.2% to 36,657.21
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 2% to 6,005.92
  • Kospi down 0.06% to 2,203.46
  • German 10Y yield rose 2.1 bps to 0.198%
  • Euro down 0.2% to $1.1417
  • Brent Futures up 0.5% to $62.85/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 1.3 bps to 2.376%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 0.2 bps to 1.246%
  • Brent Futures up 0.5% to $62.85/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.06% to $1,311.47
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 95.96

Top Overnight News from BBG

  • Trump’s inaugural committee is under scrutiny by federal prosecutors in New York, adding new legal woes for the president and his allies that stretch beyond the probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller
  • The president’s second State of the Union promises to be one of the most dramatic moments in recent memory for the annual address to Congress. The appearance will be shadowed by the threat of another government shutdown, and he has hinted that he may make news — a national emergency declaration on the U.S. southern border, a proposal on drug prices or on AIDS, or dates and locations for summits with the leaders of China and North Korea
  • The U.K.’s dominant services sector barely grew in January, bringing the economy to a near- halt. Companies said they were less likely to start new projects and that clients were spending more cautiously because of a lack of clarity around Brexit
  • Danuta Huebner, head of the European Parliament’s constitutional-affairs committee, said the prospect of a U.K. withdrawal from the EU on March 29 without a divorce agreement is so alarming that Britain’s partners in the bloc would seriously consider a later date for departure to ensure it took place in an orderly fashion
  • A manufacturing and export-led slump in Italy’s economy spilled into services at the start of the year, aggravating an already fragile economic situation in the euro area. Business activity among Italian services providers shrank in January and forced companies to reduce headcount for the first time in more than two years

Asia-Pac equity markets found some early support from the tech-led gains on Wall St, although later turned somewhat mixed amid focus on earnings and with most the region shut for the Lunar New Year. Nonetheless, ASX 200 (+2.0%) was the stellar performer due to strength in its largest weighted financials sector as banks seemingly made light of the Banking Royal Commission final report regarding misconduct in the industry. As such, Australia’s banking powerhouses all edged firm gains in the aftermath of the report which recommended against structural separation and referred 24 misconduct cases to regulators but did not suggest criminal charges, while many viewed the report as unlikely to result in fundamental reforms for the industry in the long-term and Moody’s also noted that the recommendations will likely preserve profitability in the industry. Nikkei 225 (-0.2%) shrugged off opening gains and traded flat as earnings remained the main driver for price action in Tokyo after Panasonic cut its outlook, while Yahoo Japan outperformed following an upward revision to its FY giudance. Finally, 10yr JGBs were initially pressured as they followed suit to the recent downside in T-notes, although prices later rebounded following the 10yr auction in which the b/c and accepted prices increased from prior, while the average yield slipped to negative territory. The RBA kept the Cash Rate Target unchanged at 1.50% as expected. The RBA reiterated that low rates are supporting the economy and that progress on inflation and unemployment is expected to be gradual. Furthermore, the RBA noted that the labour market remains strong and that it sees a gradual inflation pick up over next couple of years but added that the central scenario for GDP growth is to average around 3% this year and to slow in 2020 vs. Prev. forecast of around 3.5% growth for the next 2 years back at the December meeting

Top Asia News

  • RBA Leaves Key Rate at 1.5% as Seen by All 32 Economists
  • Polls Not a Risk to India’s Growth, Focus on Investment: SocGen
  • Tycoons on the Run to Play Pivotal Role in World’s Largest Vote
  • Overseas Funds Sour on Indian Bonds as Budget Math Weighs
  • Norinchukin Bank Added 3 Trillion Yen of CDOs Since March

An upbeat session for European equities thus far following on from a holiday-thinned Asia-Pac session as the region is fuelled by a number of large-cap earnings. Major indices extended on opening gains and are firmly in positive territory (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.0%) with Britain’s FTSE 100 (+1.4%) leading the advances amid upbeat earnings from heavyweight BP (+5.2%), wherein the oil-giant beat on adjusted net and revenue forecasts while also expecting higher underlying production and lower refining margins this fiscal year. Sectors are experiencing broad-based gains with the energy sector the marked outperformer as earnings from BP lifts the likes of Royal Dutch Shell (+1.7%) and Total (+1.6%) in sympathy. Elsewhere, the tech sector is largely resilient to a guidance cut from AMS (-13.2%), as the rebound in Wirecard (+6.5%) keeps the sector afloat. Meanwhile, Infineon (-0.3%) numbers printed largely in-line, though the company now expects 2019 revenue growth to be at the bottom end of the forecast range. Finally, Indivior (-11.4%) shares fell as much as 24% at the EU open after the US Federal Court rejected its appeal for another hearing regarding patent infringement by a low-cost copycat drug developed by Dr Reddy.

Top European News

  • Services Bring U.K. Economy to Near-Halt as Brexit Approaches
  • Italy’s Broadening Slump Weighs Down the Euro-Area Economy
  • Panalpina Shareholders May Want to Exit Long Positions: Stifel
  • Salvini’s League Rises to 33.8% in SWG Poll; Five Star Declines

In FX, although the USD is mixed vs major currency rivals, the index has inched a bit closer to the 96.000 mark, largely by virtue of the aforementioned Eur/Usd decline and that pair’s biggest weighting in the basket.

  • AUD was the top G10 performer after a sharp turnaround in fortunes overnight, as the Aussie recovered impressively from sub-0.7200 lows vs the Usd and circa 1.0455 vs the Nzd in wake of a less dovish than many anticipated RBA policy statement. This, despite yet more disappointing data in the form of retail sales and downgrades to the outlook for growth in 2019 and 2020. Aud/Usd is now back up near 0.7250 and Aud/Nzd has rebounded over 1.0500+.
  • CHF – The Franc has extended recent losses vs the Greenback and just traded down through parity amidst broadly risk on trade highlighted by broad EU equity market gains, and the Chf seemingly taking some of the strain from the Jpy that has rebounded from 110.00+ vs the Usd.
  • EUR/GBP – Both on the back foot vs the Dollar and inching closer towards downside big figures at 1.1400 and 1.3000 respectively. The single currency tested bids around 1.1410 before gleaning some traction from a firmer than flash pan-Eurozone services PMI as sub-50.00 Italian and French prints were offset by more encouraging Spanish and German surveys (in headline terms at least). However, Eur/Usd remains precarious below several daily chart levels and just above decent option expiries between 1.1400-10 (1.1 bn). Conversely, Cable has now breached the 200 DMA (around 1.3038) following a 3rd and most worrying UK PMI miss given the importance of services to overall GDP. The Pound is holding just above late January lows, while Eur/Gbp has rebounded towards recent peaks not far from 0.8800.
  • CAD – The Loonie continues track moves in crude prices and is back on the front foot vs its US counterpart having rebounded above the 200 DMA (1.3130) and retesting chart/psychological resistance at 1.3100.

In commodities, a relatively choppy session for the oil market as earlier losses were nursed after a muted Asia-Pac trade. WTI (+1.1%) and Brent (+0.7%) edged higher in recent trade amid the overall market risk-appetite wherein the former reclaimed USD 53/bbl, while the latter hovers around the USD 63/bbl level. News flow has been light for the complex with participants awaiting the release of the weekly API crude inventories for a further catalyst. Elsewhere, metals have been mixed with spot gold (+0.1%) largely moving in tandem with the buck, meanwhile copper is outperforming in the complex with prices holding onto most of yesterday’s risk-fuelled gains. Finally, iron ore prices remain on an upward trajectory as Brazilian mining-giant Vale suspended operations at its Brucutu mine to comply with a court order regarding safety improvement at the mine, ING notes “the mine halt could impact 30mtpa of iron ore supply if Vale is unable to successfully appeal the decision.”

Looking at the day ahead, we’ll also get the remaining PMIs along with the January ISM non-manufacturing (57.0 expected). Tonight at 9pm is President Trump’s State of the Union address while the main earnings highlights today are Walt Disney and BP

US Event Calendar

  • 9:45am: Markit US Services PMI, est. 54.2, prior 54.2
  • 9:45am: Markit US Composite PMI, prior 54.5
  • 10am: ISM Non-Manufacturing Index, est. 57.1, prior 57.6

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

I hope the various winter colds are bypassing you more than they are our family. Both twins have cold induced conjunctivitis and bad coughs. They are walking around a lot with their eyes closed up and bumping into everything. Maisie has an awful cough and slight conjunctivitis too. Calpol is fast going out of stock where we live as a result. Meanwhile, both my wife and I are fighting off the same thing with my hay fever only being kept in check by the snow and tablets. As part of the design of the new house we are considering incorporating a permanent cross on the front door to warn people away.

Fortunately markets continue to shake off their pre-Xmas bout of man-flu but the last 24 hours were about as slow as we’ve seen so far this year. Major equity markets rallied but in thin trading. Volumes in Hong Kong were 54% lower than the 100-day average, as the Chinese mainland was closed for the lunar new year holiday. In Europe and the US, volumes were 15-30% lower than usual, but most benchmark indexes nevertheless grinded higher throughout the session. The NASDAQ led gains, up +1.15% into Alphabet’s earnings report. The S&P 500 and the DOW gained +0.68% and +0.70% respectively. Meanwhile the VIX edged lower to 15.73, its lowest level since the spike higher in early October last year. In Europe, the STOXX eked out a +0.06% gain, but this masked some differentiation across the continent. Italy’s FTSE MIB was up +0.15% with Spain’s IBEX down -0.49%. Spanish banks underperformed, with Banco de Sabadell and CaixaBank trading down -4.80% and -4.54% after weak earnings on Friday.

After the US close, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) reported somewhat disappointing earnings. While revenues rose more than expected in the fourth quarter and the closely-watched “paid clicks” metric rose an impressive 66%, investors focused on the erosion in profit margins from 24% to 21%. Given where we are in the cycle, it’s understandable that investors are attentive to signs of profit compression, and Alphabet’s share price slid around -3.10% in overnight trading.

The good news is that bond markets were a bit more exciting, especially Treasuries, where 10y yields rose +3.9bps which puts them up +9.4bps from the pre-payrolls levels of Friday. The move was led by a stronger day for the Greenback – which included the yen passing 110 for the first time this year (close 109.88) – as well as a busy day for US IG issuance. The moves in Europe were a lot less exaggerated but the direction of travel was the same with 10y Bunds cheapening +1.1bps. The euro also slid -0.16% although the single currency didn’t appear too fussed after ECB Governing Council member Nowotny said that he doesn’t see a recession in Europe despite recent weak data (especially in Germany). To be fair I can’t remember a central bank saying they see one coming but readers feel free to correct me.

The good news for those that found yesterday a bit dull is that there is potential for things to get a little more interesting today firstly with the final January PMIs due out in Europe this morning and then President Trump’s delayed State of the Union address due late this evening. Just on the latter, Trump is due to deliver his address at 9pm ET which is 2am GMT in the UK tomorrow morning. The average speech is around 50 minutes but for context, Trump’s speech last year was the third-longest ever at 80 minutes. Whilst it’s near-impossible to predict what will or won’t be said, expect the contentious border wall issue to be a talking point especially given rising tensions between Trump and House Speaker Pelosi. Indeed Politico believe that the biggest question is whether Trump will use the platform to declare a national emergency at the southern border as justification for beginning construction.

Overnight, one of the main stories has been news of a rare meeting between the Fed Chair Powell and the US President Trump to discuss recent economic developments and the outlook. However the Fed said in a statement that Mr. Powell didn’t share his expectations for monetary policy, “except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming economic information and what that means for the outlook,” while adding that his comments were “consistent with his remarks at his press conference of last week.” So, nothing new in particular but it was interesting they met. The meeting was also attended by Fed Vice Chair Clarida and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Elsewhere, the Fed’s Loretta Mester (non-voter) said that the monetary policy is not “far behind or far ahead of the curve,” while adding that the Fed might get back to raising interest rates if the economy performs on the lines of her expectations even as she acknowledged a growing set of downside risks to her outlook for continued above-trend growth.

Back to markets where this morning in Asia sentiment is mixed with Hong Kong, China and South Korea’s equity markets closed for holidays. The Nikkei (+0.04%) is trading flattish post erasing early gains. Futures on the S&P 500 are down -0.10% this morning with the disappointing result from Alphabet weighing slightly. In terms of overnight data releases, Japan’s January composite PMI came in at 50.9 (vs. 52.0 last month) with the services PMI standing at 51.6 (vs. 51.0 last month). Elsewhere the UK’s January BRC like for like sales came in at +1.8% yoy (vs. -0.2% yoy expected).

In other news, Sterling chopped around a bit yesterday amid sporadic Brexit headlines. It was initially weaker into mid-afternoon firstly after Tory lawmaker Rees-Mogg said that he would accept a Brexit deal without an Irish backstop, backing up comments from the ERG that pro Brexit Tory MPs won’t support a compromise being proposed by May to add an addendum to the existing Withdrawal Agreement. Later in the session the Pound spiked back above 1.31 post the (albeit limited) story that Merkel was dropping hints of a trying to find a ‘creative’ Brexit compromise. The currency quickly retraced those gains to end the session -0.32% weaker at 1.3037 as the top EU negotiators poured cold water on the prospect of reopening the Withdrawal Agreement, with Michel Barnier saying that the backstop is the “only operational solution” to address the Irish border.

Finally the limited amount of economic data that was out yesterday didn’t do a whole lot to move the dial. Perhaps the most interesting was here in the UK where the January construction PMI slumped a notable -2.2pts to 50.6 (vs. 52.5 expected) and to the lowest since March last year. That of course follows the weaker than expected manufacturing PMI out last Friday. Elsewhere Italy’s preliminary CPI print for January was confirmed at -1.7% mom which wasn’t quite as bad as feared (-1.9% expected). The annual rate for the headline and core readings have however both slipped to +0.9% yoy. The euro area’s Sentix sentiment survey of 4,500 private and institutional investors fell to -3.7, its lowest level since 2014.

In the US, revisions to core capex orders were disappointing at -0.6% mom (vs. -0.1% expected) while core shipments were revised down a further tenth to -0.2% mom. This data is for November so looks a little out of date now with the BEA beginning the process of working through the large backlog of data releases. Later in the session, the Fed released their Q1 Senior Loan Officer Survey, which showed that C&I lending conditions tightened for the first time in two years. Banks’ reported willingness to lend to consumers also fell to its lowest level since 2009. However, the survey took place in later December, amid the nadir for equity markets, so it may somewhat overstate the severity of conditions.

To the day ahead now where the early focus data this morning will be on the final January PMIs in Europe. In terms of expectations, no change from the 50.8 flash services reading for the Euro Area is expected, however expect the market to be closely watching the data in France (following the big plummet in the flash to 47.5) and Italy (which stood at 50.5 in December). Also out this morning are December retail sales for the Euro Area while this afternoon in the US we’ll also get the remaining PMIs along with the January ISM non-manufacturing (57.0 expected). As mentioned near the top, early tomorrow morning (UK time) and late this evening (US time) we’ve got President Trump’s State of the Union address while the main earnings highlights today are Walt Disney and BP.

 

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)TUESDAY MORNING/ MONDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED CHINESE NEW YEAR //Hang Sang CLOSED NEW YEAR  /The Nikkei closed DOWN 39.32  PTS OR 0.19%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 1.76%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 6.7422 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil DOWN to 54.28 dollars per barrel for WTI and 62.11 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED GREEN //.

 ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AT 6.7422AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7651: / 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 STRONGER 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

By goodness what a loss:  in its 4th quarter, the largest Japanese Pension fund:  GPIF lost 136 billion usa dollars in the last 3 months of the year with the downfall in stocks.

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

“No Need To Be Pessimistic” – World’s Biggest Pension Fund Suffers Record Collapse In Q4

“fleshwound”?

The world’s largest pension fund – in the world’s most demographically-challenged nation – suffered a stunning record loss in the last quarter as its Abe-supporting domestic-stock-buying-spree crushed Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF).

Bloomberg reports thatGPIF lost 9.1 percent, or 14.8 trillion yen ($136 billion), in the three months ended Dec. 31, it said in Tokyo on Friday. The decline in value and the rate of loss were the steepest based on comparable data back to April 2008. Domestic stocks were the fund’s worst performing investment, followed by foreign equities. Assets fell to 150.7 trillion yen at the end of December from a record 165.6 trillion yen in September.

While global central-bank-liquidity driven gains in global stocks helped the GPIF generate returns for the previous two fiscal years, December’s global rout underscored the risks facing the fund since it revamped strategy in 2014 to accumulate stocks and pare domestic bonds – something they vehemently deny is anything but prudent independent risk-managed behavior.

Bloomberg notes that the GPIF may have little choice but to invest in equities as fixed-income yields, especially those of Japanese government debt, are too low, said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo.

“It makes sense for the GPIF to hold some risk assets in this environment because yields are low globally and bond investments don’t give good returns,” Fujiwara said.

“Yet from a pensioner’s point of view, it takes too much risk on its investments.”

But that won’t stop Abe (and Kuroda) from pushing their nation’s “independent” pension fund administrators to keep buying the dip in domestic stocks… or else.

Analysts are mixed on what to make of this collapse… some are blindly toeing the government line that any quarter now, everything will be awesome.

Shingo Ide, the chief equity strategist at NLI Research Institute in Tokyo, points out that the GPIF’s long-term performance is more important than quarterly moves. GPIF’s cumulative investment return since fiscal 2001 was 56.7 trillion yen for an annualized 2.7 percent gain.

There’s no need to be pessimistic just because GPIF would incur loss on its investment on a quarterly basis,” Ide said.

“For pension funds, it’s more important to focus on how they secure long-term returns rather than their quarterly performance.”

But some worry about just how much risk GPIF carries…

Still, with about half of its assets in domestic and foreign equities, the GPIF’s performance may be in danger of declining as concerns about the U.S.-China trade war and the U.K.’s departure from the European Union increase the risk of a global economic slowdown, according to Hidenori Suezawa, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo.

“Trade frictions between the U.S. and China haven’t been fully solved yet and there’s a possibility that the Brexit problem may be prolonged,” Suezawa said.

We can’t be optimistic about the investment performance toward March.”

And yet, as we noted previously, it may be about to get even worse. As Sumitomo Mitsui strategist Ayako Sera said, the GPIF has little choice but to diversify into alternative assets and high-yield bonds if it wants higher returns because Japan’s bonds, which make up about 27% of the GPIF’s assets, have virtually zero returns (well, the may rise as high as 0.2% as per the BOJ’s latest announcement) as the Bank of Japan maintains its unprecedented monetary easing.

“The GPIF’s biggest problem is it can’t keep taking in domestic bonds – especially government bonds – as a staple with Japanese interest rates so low,” Sera said.

The fund needs to sample a wider variety of dishes.”

Apparently that’s prudent banker talk for “we need to put more pensions into, well, junk.” What it really is, is the famous yield creep to justify buying ever riskier securities, which of course, are “not risky” because the GPIF can hold in perpetuity, which somehow means the laws of the business cycle no longer matter.

end

3 C CHINA

Huawei lawyers in Canada are fighting the USA’s “politically motivated” prosecution in order to win her freedom. Although the bar is low, she may win on this;

(courtesy zerohedge)

Huawei CFO’s Lawyers Say US’s “Politically Motivated” Prosecution Is Key To Her Freedom

Canadian lawyers for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou allege that the US’s campaign to extradite the daughter of the telecoms giant’s founder has “the cloud of politicization hanging over it.” And this, her legal team believes, might be a way out.

In an interview with Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail, Meng’s legal team revealed that their defense of the Chinese executive will rest on the idea that the US is attempting to abuse the extradition process for political purposes, echoing Beijing’s accusations that the US has turned Meng into a political pawn. The defense’s argument will also rely heavily on comments made by John MacCallum, the former Canadian ambassador to Beijing, who was fired last month after saying that Meng had “a strong case” to fight extradition.

To be sure, the vast majority of extradition requests are granted by the Canadian government. The US finally filed its request just before the deadline last week. Canadian courts now have 30 days to mull the request and issue a motion to proceed.

Meng

But given the “political overlay” in the Meng case (which is obvious to all despite US officials’ insistence that the US’s crackdown on Huawei is “totally separate” from the ongoing trade spat), lead counsel Richard Peck believes there’s a strong defense to be made. Peck, who has been practicing law in Canada for more than 45 years, said he believes the case is more politicized than that of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, whom Spain sought to extradite from the UK more than 20 years ago.

“He [Mr. McCallum] mentions some of the potential defences – and certainly, I think any person that knows this area would see the potential for those defences arising,” Richard Peck, the lead counsel for Ms. Meng, told The Globe and Mail in a telephone interview from his Vancouver office.

“The political overlay of this case is remarkable. That’s probably the one thing that sets it apart from any other extradition case I’ve ever seen. It’s got this cloud of politicization hanging over it.”

Canada’s extradition act explicitly states that extradition requests are not to be made for political purposes. However, even Peck admits that the bar for these requests is “very low”, with the requesting government only needing to prove evidence of criminality – that is, enough evidence of wrongdoing to warrant a chargeMeng’s legal team is also looking at a defense based on the concept of double criminality – that the crimes alleged by the US (i.e. lying to banks to facilitate violations of US sanctions) would be considered crimes in Canada.

The question being raised by commentators in the media, Mr. Peck said, is, “‘Is this case really about this allegation against the client or is it bigger than that – is it more of a politically driven case?’ That could form in theory part of an abuse-of-process argument.”

The theory is being actively explored by Ms. Meng’s legal team.

The team has four core Canadian members, including Eric Gottardi, a partner in Mr. Peck’s law firm; David Martin, also of Vancouver; and Scott Fenton of Toronto. They are supplemented by Reid Weingarten, of New York and Washington, and three of his colleagues at Steptoe & Johnson, a 500-lawyer international firm, which includes an office in Beijing.

Each member has been assigned a task, Mr. Gottardi explained. One person might be looking at double criminality [whether the charges would be crimes in Canada]. Someone else is looking at the political character aspect and some of these other issues people have talked about in the medialike Ambassador McCallum. I’m trying to run those issues to ground right now, and bring them back to the group to decide which ones will be viable going forward.”

[…]

But in this case, Mr. Gottardi said, “we’ve got quite arguable factual issues that go to some of the core principles of the Extradition Act. Whether or not the essence of the conduct that we’re looking at, which is tied into sanctions violations, is even illegal in Canada.”

However, in what might seem like a gift to Meng’s legal team, President Trump said that he wouldn’t hesitate to intervene in Meng’s prosecution if it could help facilitate a trade deal with China, lending an unmistakably political tinge to the process.

The significance of this remark – as well as the timing of US indictments against Huawei and Meng, which were handed down just before the start of the latest round of trade talks – has not been lost on Meng’s legal team.

“Some of the comments by the executive of the United States we have to look at very closely in terms of how they impact the fairness of the Canadian extradition hearing and how easy it will be for Canada to adhere to the rule of law,” Mr. Gottardi said.

[…]

“Looking at the press conference and the indictment and starting to gather evidence in the United States and Canada, we’re starting to get the sense that this isn’t a run-of-the-mill prosecution.”

No extradition hearing date has yet been set in the Meng case

end

4.EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

italy

Italy has one of the highest debts in Europe at 1.5 trillion euros or 1.7 trillion uSA dollars.  An Italian debt crisis would take down the entire EU

(courtesy  zerohedge)

How An Italian Debt Crisis Could Take Down The EU

Plagued by another run of bank bailouts and simmering tensions between the partners in its ruling coalition, Italy’s brief reprieve following the detente between its populist rulers and angry bureaucrats in Brussels is already beginning to fade. As Bloomberg reminded us on Monday, Italy’s $1.7 trillion pile of public debt – the third largest sovereign debt pool in Europe – is threatening to set off a chain reaction that could hammer banks from Rome, to Madrid, to Frankfurt – and beyond.

Italy

Just the mention of the precarity of Italian debt markets “can induce a shudder of financial fear like no other” in bureaucrats and businessmen alike – particularly after Italy’s economy slid into a recession during Q4.

Italy

While much of Italy’s debt burden is held by its banks and private citizens, lenders outside of Italy are holding some 425 billion euros ($486 billion) in public and private debt.

Bank

The Bloomberg analysis of Italy’s financial foibles follows more reports that Italy’s ruling coalition between the anti-immigrant, pro-business League and the vaguely left-wing populist Five-Star Movement has become increasingly strained. Per BBG, the two parties are fighting a battle on two fronts over the construction of a high speed Alpine rail and a legal case involving League leader Matteo Salvini over his refusal to let the Dicotti migrant ship to dock in an Italian port last summer.

After M5S intimated that it could support the investigation, the League warned that such a move would be tantamount to “blackmail” against Salvini, whose lieutenants have been pushing for him to take advantage of the party’s rising poll numbers and push for early elections later this year. However, Salvini has rebuffed these demands, warning that there’s nothing stopping Italian President Sergio Mattarella from calling for a new coalition instead of new elections.

On the other hand, the League is growing increasingly weary of the “Citizens’ Income”, one of the boldest proposals included in Italy’s 2019 budget, which calls for a guaranteed subsidy for all Italians under the poverty line, provided they can prove they are looking for work.

On Monday, Luigi Di Maio and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte presented the first of the cards that will carry the income during a ceremony that Salvini decided to skip, according to BBG. As many as 5 million Italians could be eligible for the microchip-embedded cards.

“We’ll be injecting 8 billion euros ($9.2 billion) into the real economy every year – people will be able to spend those 8 billion,” Di Maio said, at one point channeling Albert Einstein, saying those who claim something is impossible should leave those who are actually doing it alone.

However, the plan has irked business owners, who constitute some of the League’s most reliable supporters.

Circling back to the threat posed by Italian debt, BBG’s analysis showed that French banks are the most exposed, as BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole own retail banking units in Italy.

Banking

To keep operating without massive budget cuts (something neither party in the ruling coalition has shown any sign of supporting) Italy must sell 400 billion euros ($457 billion) of debt per year. But since Italy’s banks hold so much of the country’s debt, declines in the price of Italian bonds inevitably hurts the shares of Italian banks, and also forces them to hold more capital on their books to ensure liquidity from the ECB. This creates the potential for a negative feedback loop known as the “doom loop”.

Put another way, “a government crisis could drag down the banking system or a banking crisis could suck in the government.”

Doom

And while NPLs held by Italian banks have declined in recent years (as no fewer than seven Italian banks have required bailouts in the past three years)…

Italy

…A genuine crisis would exhaust the lending capacity of the European Stability Mechanism (some 410 billion euros or $470 billion) in just a year. With ECB President Mario Draghi set to depart later this year, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s power on the wane, if the populists don’t manage to generate the economic growth that they have argued will be unleashed by their stimulus programs, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the crisis that tears apart the EU and eurozone is centered in Rome

end

5.RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

Trump continues to show his allegiance to Israel as he shows his support to AIPAC

(courtesy Tom Luongo)

Trump Kneels Again Before AIPAC

Authored by Tom Luongo,

We know the pull of the Israeli lobby is strong in D.C. We also know that Donald Trump’s foreign policy has centered around Israel’s security.

But what we didn’t know for certain was just how far Trump is led around by the whatever AIPAC wants. Until Sunday morning…

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

It seems that the panic in D.C. over Trump’s desire to pull out of Syria got everyone activated. Nothing unites the Beltway cocktail circuit and lobbying myrmidons like the threat of peace in the Middle East.

With $4 billion in aid every year and a few hundred nukes the idea that we have to occupy a border crossing between Iraq, Jordan and Syria to protect Israel against Iranian weapons is frankly, ludicrous.

Iran is a bigger threat to Israel now because after seven years of war in Syria, begun by a blatantly aggressive move by a U.S. coalition to oust President Assad, is simply blowback by another name.

Clinton and Obama put together the dream team coalition to destroy Syria — U.K., France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Turkey — by backing various head-chopping animals to wreak havoc and overthrow the government.

It failed when it caused the counter-move by Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah. After the British parliament heroically stopped David Cameron from joining Obama’s coalition to invade in 2013 the plan was doomed to fail.

Putin stepped in, brokered a ceasefire and the removal of Assad’s chemical weapons. But we didn’t stop. To believe the U.S. media ISIS is one of the few known examples of parthenogenesis, springing up out of nowhere to take over vast stretches of the Levant.

But that was the Achilles’ heel of the entire operation. Because Putin’s military intervention made it easy to expose the whole rotten mess, including Israel’s giving aid and comfort in the Golan Heights to ISIS, while we dropped bombs in the desert because we couldn’t find them.

We can read license plates from space but we can’t find the Toyota Hilux its mounted on?

Trump inherited this mess but he’s done nothing substantial to improve it. All he’s done is empower Israel to be even more brazen in attacking Syria, killing and displacing Syrian civilians while claiming attacks on Iranian weapons depots.

It’s all nonsense and Trump looked like he’d had enough of it.

Trump’s Chaotic Mess

On the other hand, it is refreshing to see some honesty in our public officials. We’re overthrowing Maduro in Venezuela for oil and we’re staying in Syria for Israel.

Full Stop.

Maybe this is what Trump meant when he talked briefly about not lying to the American people. Or maybe that was just another ‘big ask’ from someone that has become little more than Barack Obama in bronzer.

Trump went for broke in December on two major planks of his campaign — The Wall and the Middle East. I voted for him on the basis of criticizing our foreign policy and wanted the troops out of central Asia.

The Swamp is filled by the runoff from the overseas Empire.

He shutdown the government for more than a month while simultaneously going to the mat with his cabinet over Syria. And since then he’s done nothing but backtrack and step down expectations.

In doing this he was always vulnerable to a counter-attack on both fronts. He made Syria vulnerable because he has to get a deal done on the wall in the next two weeks or he’s back to square one.

It seems Thursday’s Senate rebuke of Trump’s plans in Syria was followed up by some weekend arm-twisting of the president. Trump made another one of his ‘big asks’ Art-of-the-deal style, only to be ground down to an ineffectual reorganizing of deck chairs on the foreign policy Titanic.

Don’t think that Senate rebuke wasn’t part of the Wall negotiations, because it was.

McConnell and Rubio were saying loud and clear, “If you want our support on the Wall you have to give up pulling out of Syria.”

This is why I wasn’t convinced by Trump’s tweets (here and here) after that vote on Friday, saying “Certain people must get smart!” It looks like Trump is the one who has to smarten up and realize that he cannot attack on every front all the time and think the chaos is his friend.

Israeli Overreach

I never thought for a second that Trump was pulling the troops out of Iraq or that most of the force we have in Syria wouldn’t be repositioned there. I knew that Trump was looking for a way to keep a campaign promise with his Syria announcement while not truly changing anything.

He’s been AIPAC’s best friend since he entered office. But, I also thought that the dangerous game played by Israel, France and the U.K. which led to the shooting down of the Russian IL-20 reconnaissance plane woke him up to the reality that Bibi Netanyahu will do just about anything to provoke a wider war.

I know that Putin has had enough. That’s why he sent S-300’s to Syria and won’t take Bibi’s phone calls.

What happened was obvious. France that shot down the plane, the U.K. were the coordinators and Israel the air cover needed to sell a lie about Syria antiquated air defense shooting down the Russian plane.

Putin smartly went along with this narrative because it stopped a wider conflict and led to the current relative peace we have now.

Russia, and Putin, did the one thing that makes this whole thing look like a frame job, it accepted the narrative of Israeli malfeasance in the interest of stopping a wider conflict by accusing and/or attacking a NATO member, France.

Flores (at Fort-Russ.com) makes the salient point that the S-200 friendly fire scenario is highly unlikely.  That, in fact, France shot down the plane, was prepared to accept blame (which it did by preemptively denying it was involved) and destroy what was left of Russian/French relations.

Now Russia can use the excuse of Israeli betrayal as justification for upgrading Syria’s air defenses. Citing the very thing that caused the tragic death of their soldiers, antiquated air defense systems which didn’t properly identify friend from foe.

This is why I think Trump fired Nikki Haley from her post as U.N. Ambassador. She was involved in some way.

And it’s also why he pushed so hard to pull our troops out of Syria three months later, after the Russians had delivered and were spinning up S-300’s stabilizing the situation near Israel.

The board state is pretty clear near Damascus. Israel has lost its safe zone of flying F-16’s over Lebanon to attack Damascus.

This gave Trump room to end the balkanization efforts of Bolton et.al. east of the Euphrates river. The Kurds will make a deal with Damascus. While Trump tacitly admits President Erdogan in Turkey isn’t going to lift one finger to help the U.S. provoke regime change in Iran.

Security After Withdrawal

Trump’s analysis of this is correct. It is his spirit that is weak. The realities in D.C. are that it can’t happen since Israel is now calling in all of its markers to prevent this from occurring.

Netanyahu needs this from Trump to assist his re-election in a few weeks. But this is incredibly short-sighted for all involved. Israel is not made safer in the long run by constantly running behind the U.S.’s skirts and crying “Get ‘im Don!”

One of the undercurrents of Trump’s election was Israel First fatigue that is more pervasive in the American electorate than anyone wants to admit. We’re tired of fighting all across central Asia for undefined goals. Israel is part of that fatigue. And no amount of screaming “Anti-Semite!” will quell it.

Without the threat of ISIS, transitioning then to “Iran, Iran the Bogeyman for Israel” isn’t going to play well in 2020.

It’s the best Alt-Right recruiting tool there is, sadly. And it does no one any good to keep the conflict locked along these lines when there is the real threat of a wider conflict occurring.

Iran will leave Syria when the U.S. does. Since Trump has made it clear that we aren’t leaving because Israel doesn’t want us to, nothing will change. But, every day our position grows weaker while opposition to it grows stronger.

Trump is right to talk about the money. $50 billion in Afghanistan a year. For what? Neocon dreams of overthrowing Putin. Playing outdated games of Risk with opponents who are rapidly changing the rules of the game and raising the costs even higher.

The war of attrition playing out in Syria continues and weakens everyone who keeps playing it out to the bitter end. Whether Trump is the architect of this or not is irrelevant. It’s obvious he’s powerless to stop it.

*  *  *

 

 

end
Turkey
Turkey’s largest bank Isbank is in the news today as Erdogan wishes to seize the bank.  Believe it or not but 28% of the bank is owned by the opposition.  The bank is in fine shape so the seizure is politically motivated.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Erdogan Moves To Seize Turkey’s Largest Bank

With the Turkish Lira surging in recent months, largely on the back of recent dollar weakness coupled with lack of Turkish economic horror stories, it had been a while since we got a reminder that Turkey is now a truly authoritarian state in which president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the country’s de facto dictator, having been granted virtually unlimited executive powers last year.

On Tuesday, we got just such a reminder, when Erdogan escalated his campaign to seize the nation’s largest listed lender, Turkiye Is Bankasi, when he urged Turkey’s puppet parliament to vote for the takeover according to Bloomberg.

Shares of the bank, which is partially owned by Turkey’s main opposition party, tumbled after Erdogan told his ruling AK party’s lawmakers in Ankara on Tuesday that “Isbank will become the property of the Treasury, with the permission of God.”

While the opposition CHP party, which has been repeatedly targeted by Erdogan in the past, doesn’t get any dividends from its 28% stake in Isbank, Erdogan accuses it of “exploiting” the memory Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, who bequeathed Isbank shares to the party he created in his will. Erdogan, always eager to nationalize any valuable asset so it can then become part of the Erdogan family empire, has contended that what once belonged to the nation’s founder shouldn’t be owned by a political faction, especially not one which opposes him.

Naturally, any ad hoc nationalization by Erdogan of a major financial institution would lead to market chaos and flight of foreigners from the emerging market; predictably Isbank has said in the past that any effort to nationalize it would amount to a financial crime. Meanwhile, CHP has so far resisted Erdogan’s demands to give up its equity stake and its four seats on the bank’s board although it may have no choice but to comply with the “parliament’s” wishes.

And while the AK party lacks the parliamentary majority needed to unilaterally change the laws on the bank’s ownership – for now – according to Bloomberg Erdogan suggested its junior partner in the assembly, the nationalist MHP, would support his legislative efforts to enable the unprecedented takeover.

Isbank shares plunged as much as 6% following Erdogan’s comments and were trading 1.2% lower as of 1 p.m. in Istanbul. The Turkish lira, which inexplicably continues to surge despite Turkey’s ongoing episode of rampant inflation, also trimmed gains, trading 0.2% higher at 5.2067 per dollar.

To be sure, there is a reason why the market may be taking Erdogan’s threats as hollow, which may reflect an effort to energize his base before municipal elections in March: it’s not the first time he has vowed to take over Isbank. In fact, his aides first began floating the idea of nationalizing Isbank in 2015. While so far the bank has resisted Erdogan’s nationalization push, all it takes is for one time to be different.

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

This is very good news:  Trump is set to hire Dr David Malpass, a strong gold bug to lead the World Bank. Something must be up as he is also set to nominate Dr Judy Shelton to the Fed board

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Nominates Former Bear Stearns Chief Economist To Lead World Bank

In a report that elicited chuckles from some corners of Wall Street, the Washington Post reported late Monday that President Trump planned to nominate Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs David Malpass – who, in addition to serving as the chief economist at Bear Stearns as the investment bank spiraled into bankruptcy, also worked in the Reagan and Bush the elder administrations – to be the next president of the World Bank.

Due to a decades-old agreement with European nations, Washington picks the head of the World Bank while Europe chooses the head of the IMF. Since 1944, the World Bank’s 12-member board has never refused to confirm Washington’s pick, meaning that Malpass’s confirmation is virtually assured – barring a unforeseen and unprecedented break with unprecedented.

One “person close to Malpass” told WaPo that he would seek to be a “constructive” World Bank president, though he declined to comment on Malpass’s agenda beyond saying he would seek to protect US interests and raise incomes in developing nations.

Malpass

Of course, given his reputation as a skeptic of global institutions like the World Bank, speculation about Malpass’s plans for the bank will almost certainly be the subject of widespread speculation. Since joining the Trump Administration, Malpass has offered some scathing criticism of the institution, once describing the bank as part of a “giant sprawl” of international organizations that create “mountains of debt without solving problems.” He has also accused the World Bank of “mission creep” and of prioritizing its own growth over that of the recipients of its funds. Echoing Trump’s push to cut costs at the UN, the Economist described Malpass as a “cost cutting crusader”. Indeed, Malpass is a skeptic of the very organization that he is being tasked to lead. A noted China hawk, Malpass has been heavily involved with the US-China trade talks, and has also been critical of the World Bank’s loans to Beijing.

At least one former Wall Street economist pointed out the irony in appointing Malpass to run a global organization tasked with fostering economic growth and stability, particularly in the emerging world, after the Treasury official failed to foresee the impending demise of his former employer.

Stephen King@KingEconomist

Can I nominate myself to run the World Bank? After all, I was the chief economist for a bank that didn’t fail during the global financial crisis.

32 people are talking about this

The current World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, stepped down on Feb. 1 after more than six years in the post to take a job at a firm focused on infrastructure development in foreign countries. The official announcement of Malpass’s candidacy is expected on Wednesday.

 

7  OIL ISSUES

8. EMERGING MARKETS

Venezuela

Trading in sovereign Venezuela bonds have dried to zero after the Trump sanctions

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trading In Venezuela Bonds Has Frozen After Trump Sanctions

One day after a mini mutiny broke out at the Venezuela central bank, where some staffers received “early retirement offers” Friday after disregarding orders from upper management and refusing to carry out financial operations that have been barred by US sanctions (although realistically besides printing money do Venezuela central bankers really do all that much), the financial boycott hit Venezuela where it hurts even more: its sovereign bonds, where trading ground to a halt on Monday after the White House updated its sanctions guidelines on transactions tied to Maduro’s regime.

Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that are U.S. persons “may not buy, sell, or otherwise engage in transactions related to debt, equity or other holdings in blocked persons and must block such holdings, unless authorized by OFAC,” the Treasury Department advised on its website, even as Treasury officials declined to elaborate on the rule or its implications for traders.

As a result, bondholders at nine investment firms and hedge funds from New York, Miami, London and Berlin queried by Bloomberg said that on Monday they stopped trading in Venezuela sovereign bonds and debt from state oil giant PDVSA following the U.S. Treasury Department instructions which were interpreted as barring virtually all transactions.

Ironically, the trading freeze comes amid renewed hopes of a regime change which sent the bonds to 1 year highs as investors scrambled to load up. Now they won’t be able to sell their exposure for an indefinite period of time.

While European and Asian funds weren’t subject to the same restrictions, the concentration of debt trading within the U.S. financial system makes it challenging for those firms to buy and sell as well. Many financial institutions, for example, adhere worldwide to U.S. sanctions. Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg, Trace showed zero trades on PDVSA’s debt since last Wednesday although Bloomberg caught a handful of trades in Venezuela’s 9.25% bonds due Sept 2017.

“Legally and theoretically I should be able to trade these bonds, but practically I am not able to do it anymore,” said Lutz Roehmeyer, a Berlin-based money manager at Capitulum Asset Management, which holds PDVSA bonds.

Previously, the Treasury Department said the financial restrictions are meant to cripple the Maduro government and spur regime change, explaining that this US-headed “soft coup” of the Maduro regime will end when state-run companies like PDVSA transfer control to National Assembly President Juan Guaido or “a subsequent, democratically-elected government that is committed to taking concrete and meaningful actions to combat corruption, restore democracy, and respect human rights.”

Meanwhile, the complicated, lengthy and sometimes contradictory instructions from the Treasury forced investors to seek legal assistance parsing the text word-for-word.

“If the Venezuela sanctions aren’t clarified, trading of the debt will be similar to what we had with Cuban debt,” Jean-Dominique Butikofer, of Voya Investment Management told Bloomber. “Everyone will trade with a legal tweezers.”

end
More trouble for Maduro has a flotilla of Venezuelan oil tankers are stranded off the Gulf of Mexico
(courtesy zerohedge)

Flotilla Of Venezuelan Oil Tankers Stranded In Gulf Of Mexico

On Monday evening, the embattled regime of Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro suffered its latest blow when 11 of the 14 members of the “Lima Group” – an organization created with the singular aim to bring about a “peaceful end” to the crisis in Latin America’s socialist paradise – backed opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate ruler of Venezuela.

Bully

In a declaration issued by the group, the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru “reiterate their recognition and support for Juan Guaidó” and called on the international community “to take measures to prevent the Maduro regime from conducting financial and trade transactions abroad, from having access to Venezuela’s international assets and from doing business in oil, gold and other assets,” according to the BBC.

BBC

And in the latest sign that military conflict remains a possibility (after all, both President Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton have insisted that the door to a military intervention is still open), when asked about whether a civil war is inevitable, Maduro replied that “no one could answer that question with certainty.” While Guaido, who is struggling to convince the Venezuelan military to abandon Maduro and back his upstart parallel government, definitively ruled out a war as an option.

Meanwhile, RIA reported Tuesday morning that Maduro is hoping to arrest the slide in Venezuelan oil production by boosting output to 2.5 million barrels per day (from less than 1 million b/d currently).

But much to the chagrin of Russian state-controlled oil giant RosneftUS sanctions against Venezuelan oil firm PDVSA have left a flotilla of ships carrying some 7 million barrels of Venezuelan crude stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the oil was ordered before the US sanctions came into play, as buyers took advantage of PDVSA’s open-market firesales ahead of the sanctions. Other buyers are stashing oil aboard the 12 tankers until they figure out where to put their money, according to Reuters.

According to the US sanctions, payments for Venezuelan oil are supposed to go into escrow accounts that will ultimately be handed over to Guaido. But the accounts haven’t been set up yet.

“There were many cargoes of Venezuelan crude already in the Gulf when sanctions were announced,” said a trader who deals with PDVSA. Others are stuck because holders “cannot find who to sell them to due to sanctions,” the trader said.

The tankers had been chartered by regular U.S. buyers of Venezuelan oil, including Chevron Corp, PDVSA’s refining unit Citgo Petroleum and Valero Energy, and trading houses that sell to refiners.

“Everybody is still working through the mechanics of things, still trying to figure out how freights are going to get paid and is sitting on the sidelines waiting for this to roll out,” said one ship broker on Monday who was not authorized to speak publicly.

[…]

Separately, a few tankers that had waited for weeks to lift oil bound for U.S. customers left the Venezuelan port of Jose over the weekend without loading, according to Refinitiv data.

The oil fleet in Gulf waters grew as a bottleneck earlier formed around Venezuelan ports by tankers awaiting authorization to load. PDVSA has said it will only sell to certain customers that prepay for cargoes.

Outside of U.S. waters, there were also tankers loaded with Venezuelan crude and idling in the Caribbean and Europe, the Refinitiv data shows.

In another example of how US sanctions can halt global trade in a given asset, we pointed out on Monday how trading in Venezuelan bonds had virtually frozen, with not a single trade crossing the tape on Monday, following US sanctions, as even buyers and sellers in Europe have been de facto barred from trading the bonds.

Of course, foreign buyers of Venezuelan crude who are looking for a workaround of the US dollar-based financial system have at least one option at their disposal: They could always pay for Venezuelan oil in petros.

end

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

Euro/USA 1.1422 DOWN .0013 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  GREEN 

 

 

 

 

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 109.95  DOWN 0.023 (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 1.3009     DOWN   0.0017  (Brexit March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED

USA/CAN 1.3117 UP .0005 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 TUESDAY 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 CHINESE NEW YEAR 

 

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP 1.76%  /EUROPEAN BOURSES GREEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NIKKEI: this TUESDAY morning CLOSED DOWN 39.32 POINTS OR 0.19%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED GREEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang Sang CLOSED CHINESE NEW YEAR

 

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED CHINESE NEW YEAR 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 1.76%

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED DOWN 39.32 PTS OR 0.19%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE GREEN

Gold very early morning trading: 1313.60

silver:$15.84

Early TUESDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.73% !!! UP 1 IN POINTS from MONDAY’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 3.07 UP 1  IN BASIS POINTS from MONDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

USA dollar index early TUESDAY morning: 95.93 UP 7 CENT(S) from  MONDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers TUESDAY MORNING

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And now your closing TUESDAY NUMBERS \12: 00 PM

 

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.66% UP 0     in basis point(s) yield from MONDAY/

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

 

 

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.26% UP 2   IN basis point yield from MONDAY

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.79 UP 6     POINTS in basis point yield from MONDAY/

 

 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 153 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: FALLS UP TO +.17%   IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY//

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.62% 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 TUESDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1405 DOWN   .0030 or 30 basis points

 

 

USA/Japan: 109.98 UP  0.015 OR 2 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.2946 DOWN.0081( POUND DOWN 81  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar DOWN 16 basis points to 1.3132

 

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

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  6.7685(  YUAN DOWN)

TURKISH LIRA:  5.2012

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

 

 

 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield DOWN 3 IN basis points from MONDAY at 2.70 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.03 DOWN 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, 96.07 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 TUESDAY: 12:00 PM 

London: CLOSED UP 143.24 OR 2.04%

German Dax : UP 191.40 POINTS OR 1.71%

Paris Cac CLOSED UP 83.15 POINTS OR 1.66%

Spain IBEX CLOSED UP 116.80 POINTS OR  1.30%

Italian MIB: CLOSED UP 227.89 POINTS OR 1.16%

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 53.98 12:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 62.24 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   ROUBLE CROSS:    65.58  THE CROSS HIGHER BY 0.01 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE LOWER BY 1 BASIS PTS)

 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD FALLS +.17 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 :  53.70

 

 

BRENT :  61.67

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: … 2.70..

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.03

 

 

 

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1408 ( DOWN 27    BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:109.98 UP.001 (YEN DOWN 1   BASIS POINTS/..

 

.

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 96.07 UP 22 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA:1.2953  DOWN 74 POINTS FROM YESTERDAY

the Turkish lira close: 5.2005

the Russian rouble 65.62:   DOWN .04 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( UP 4 BASIS POINTS)

 

Canadian dollar:  1.3134 UP 19 BASIS pts

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

USA/CHINESE YUAN(CNH): 6.7638  (OFFSHORE)

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: ,0.17%

 

The Dow closed UP 172.15 POINTS OR 0.68%

 

NASDAQ closed up 54.55 POINTS OR 0.74%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  15.57 CLOSED DOWN 0.16 

 

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.734%  .LIBOR  RATES ARE FALLING/

 

FROM 2.732

 

 

 

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

Stocks Continue To Soar But Bonds, Bullion, & The Greenback Ain’t Buying It

Everything is awesome, right? (just don’t pay attention to bonds, gold, or the dollar)…

Well it had to be higher on SOTU day…

 

Chinese equity markets remain closed for the lunar new year holiday but yuan surged overnight – erasing the plunge from the day before…

 

European equity markets soared, playing catch up to US markets’ ramp and continued into the close (wth FTSE 100 outperforming)…

 

US equities rampaged higher at the cash open once again, but dipped notably shortly after EU closed.

 

On the cash side, Nasdaq outperformed thanks to a rebound in GOOGL…

 

Today was a double-rainbow day – two short-squeezes for the price of one…

 

The S&P was unable to break its 200DMA…

 

US Equity market breadth is extreme to say the least and stocks are “overbought”…

 

Nasdaq is the most overbought since its highs in August…

 

But it seems the Buy-The-Afternoon-Dip trade just won’t stop…

 

FANG Stocks soared again but some are wondering if a head-and-shoulders is forming…

 

VIX collapse continues (back to a 15 handle), likewise, credit spread compression charges on…

 

Despite the equity market gains, bonds were also bid today…

 

Notably 10Y was bid off the pre-Powell highs…

 

The dollar index lifted modestly, but remains stuck around the pre-FOMC highs range…

 

Cryptos went nowhere fast…

 

Copper continues to rise but crude tumbled for the 2nd day in a row…PMs flatlined.

 

Copper is now at its highest since late November…

 

Gold bounced after erasing its post-Powell gains…

 

After trading tick for tick, WTI and Stocks decoupled today…

 

And before we leave commodities, we note the collapse in the Baltic Dry Index (global trade?) is now the worst start to a year since 2012…

 

Finally, this is the best start to a year for the S&P 500 since 1987 and worst start for Earnings expectations in three years…

And don’t forget – The stock market is up 100% of the time on the day after Trump and Powell share a steak

Daniel Lacalle

@dlacalle_IA

Since Powell backtracked and the PBOC stepped up liquidity injections, global money supply has roundtripped to March 18 levels.

Forget earnings or macro. This is why markets have rallied.

302 people are talking about this

END

market trading/

MARKET DATA

Even though the January PMI manufacturing rose, the usually stronger USA service PMI plunged led by new orders

(courtesy zerohedge)

US Services Stumble To 13-Month Lows As New Orders Plunge

After US Manufacturing’s PMI bucked the global slowdown trend, rebounding in January, US Services data was also expected to likewise stabilize against weakness worldwide, but it didn’t.

Markit’s US Services PMI printed 54.2, down from 54.4 – the lowest since September – weighed down by the joint-weakest rise in new business since Oct 2017, the rate of new order growth matches December’s recent lows, and activity expansion is the softest in four months.

ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Index disappointed, dropping to 56.7 (57.1 exp) from an upwardly revised 58.0 as new orders dropped sharply in January. ISM Services has not been lower since Dec 2017

So manufacturing upticked in January and services slumped according to both surveys.

The downshift in services expansion is in sync with forecasts for economic growth to moderate this year as the tax-cut boost fades and the trade war weighs on business plans.

The index of non-manufacturing business activity declined to 59.7from 61.2 the prior month, and the gauge of new orders fell to 57.7from 62.7, the steepest drop since August 2016.

And New Export Orders crashed by the 3rd biggest amount since Lehman…

Commenting on the PMI data, Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit said:

“The robust economic growth signalled by the US PMI surveys at the start of the year sits in stark contrast to the near-stalling of growth seen in Europe, China and Japan. At current levels, the surveys are consistent with annualised GDP growth of around 2.5% at the start of the year.

“Jobs growth remained buoyant as business optimism perked up to its highest since October. Backlogs of work are meanwhile building up, in part because firms struggled to meet demand, which has in turn allowed sellers to continue to push prices higher.

However, although still robust, the rates of economic growth, job creation and inflation signalled by the PMI surveys have cooled since peaks seen last year. This possibly reflects some impact from the government shutdown, though scant evidence of such was seen in the anecdotal evidence from the surveys, but also reflects an easing of demand growth, notably from abroad. Foreign sales of goods and services barely rose in January, contrasting with signs of faster growth of domestic orders. “

Just remember, it’s never a decoupling, it’s always just a lag.

USA ECONOMIC STORIES OF INTEREST

Interesting:  Trump and Powell met for an informal dinner and details emerge that Powell will maintain his dovish position on interest rate hikes/balance sheet roll-offs

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump, Powell Met For “Informal Dinner” At White House

Following numerous angry tweets by the president targeting the US central bank, and media reports that Trump has considered to fire Fed chair Powell unless he stops hiking, tonight Trump and Powell, together with Fed vice chair Richard Clarida, finally met face to face at a previously undisclosed “informal dinner” which included Steven Mnuchin – the man who recommended Powell for Fed Chair – according to a press release issued by the Fed late on Monday.

According to the brief Fed statement, the four met to “discuss recent economic developments and the outlook for growth, employment and inflation” with the Fed noting that Chair Powell’s comments in this setting, which were not recorded, “were consistent with his remarks at his press conference of last week” but more importantly, “Powell did not discuss his expectations for monetary policy, except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming economic information and what that means for the outlook.”

Powell also told Trump that he would set monetary policy “in order to support maximum employment and stable prices and will make those decisions based solely on careful, objective and non-political analysis.”

In other words, Powell told Trump, although we’ll never really know what was said, that the president got his dovish reversal and market rebound, just as he demanded, and if he could please get off Powell’s case.

The full press release is below.

Statement on Chair Powell’s and Vice Chair Clarida’s meeting with the President and Treasury Secretary

At the President’s invitation, Chair Powell and Vice Chair Clarida joined the President and the Treasury Secretary for an informal dinner tonight in the White House residence, to discuss recent economic developments and the outlook for growth, employment and inflation.

Chair Powell’s comments in this setting were consistent with his remarks at his press conference of last week. He did not discuss his expectations for monetary policy, except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming economic information and what that means for the outlook.

Finally, Chair Powell said that he and his colleagues on the FOMC will set monetary policy in order to support maximum employment and stable prices and will make those decisions based solely on careful, objective and non-political analysis.

For media inquiries, call 202-452-2955.

 

end

Once the uSA experiences a downturn, it will be the huge BBB corporate debt group will will cause the implosion of uSA finances.

(courtesy John Rubino/DollarCollapse,com)

What Blows Up First?

Authored by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com,

The key insight of the Austrian School of Economics (maybe the key insight of ALL economics) is that the amount you borrow matters, but so does the use to which you put the money.

A case in point is US corporate debt, which has changed structurally lately in very scary ways. The short version of the story is that after the US cut interest rates to historically low levels to keep the Great Recession from swapping it’s capital R for a capital D, public companies figured out that they could borrow money for less than their stocks’ dividend yield, use the proceeds to buy back their outstanding shares, and generate free cash flow in the process. And – a nice added perk – the increased demand pushed their share price up and landed their CEOs even bigger year-end bonuses.

So that’s what they did, on an epic scale.

But – recall the Austrian School insight – the result was soaring debt without any new productive assets to offset the cost.

Generally speaking, debt rising faster than operating income equals diminished creditworthiness. So all that borrowing has produced several trillion dollars of debt that’s just one step above junk. Here’s an excerpt from money manager Louis Gave’s take on the subject.

The Size of Corporate Debt One Rung Above Junk Has Never Been Greater, Warns Louis Gave

Louis Gave at Gavekal Research says the greatest source of potential instability in the years ahead lies with the massive growth of the U.S. corporate debt market, particularly at the BBB-rated (near junk) level.

Gave recently told FS Insider that it has far outpaced the economy and could be due for a reset during the next downturn, which is increasingly becoming a concern by other strategists.

When it comes to potential trouble spots brewing in the financial markets or global economy, Gave said “if you ask a French client, they tend to point a finger at Italy. If you ask Italian clients, they point a finger at Deutsche Bank; and if you ask German clients, they point a finger at France. When I talk to my U.S. clients, most of them point a finger at China, which they see as having unsustainable high levels of debt and is an accident waiting to happen.”

However, Gave sees an even source of potential problems since, as he points out, the “size of corporate debt one rung above junk has never been greater” (see below).

The challenge today, Gave said, “is that part of the massive growth we’ve seen in the U.S. corporate bond market has really taken place in the BBB space. And so, if you start seeing an economic downturn (and the usual type of downgrades that occur in a downturn), then all of a sudden you have investment grade that becomes non-investment grade.”

Gave worries this could send shock waves through the financial markets since U.S. corporate debt is widely held by pension funds, investment banks, and large institutions all around the globe.

“There are real questions about all the energy debt that’s being issued by a lot of negative cash flow companies in the energy space,” he said, which also leads to questions about industrial, auto and real estate debt.

Gave asked listeners whether all this growth in debt has “funded the purchase of assets that allow the servicing of the debt and then the reimbursement of the debt or has this growth really funded a massive rise in share buybacks and financial engineering?” Gave said if the answer is the latter it would signify that our balance sheets are far more stretched out than they have been in previous cycles.

To sum up, hundreds of US companies are about to find their bond ratings cut to junk. They’ll then have to pay way up to refinance their debts (or in some cases to make payroll), setting off a death spiral that, if the history of past debt binges is any indication, will end with mass bankruptcies.

And as Gave notes, a ton of these bonds reside in the very same pension funds that are already due to implode in the next recession.

end
Why the left vilifies Tulsi Gabbard..as she reveals the bankruptcy of the American left
(courtesy Tom Luongo)

Gabbard Reveals The Bankruptcy Of American Left

Authored by Tom Luongo,

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D – HI) is a perfect case study with what is wrong with American politics. She represents fairly standard Democratic party positions on issues like gay rights, gun control, health care and redistributive tax policy.

But on the crucial issue of foreign policy she’s a dissenter. And, from what I can figure out, this dissension comes from a principled position.

And that makes her persona non grata in the current political climate of partisanship.

If there has been one thing that Donald Trump has been useful for it is exposing who the real enemies of peace in the world are. He is useless to stop them, but at least he has been such a lightning rod that he’s outed what truly animates Washington, London, Berlin, Brussels and Paris. We have him to thank for that.

Gabbard is the next generation of US politician but I fear she is too little, too late. Much like Rand Paul in the GOP. She understands, as a veteran of our foreign adventurism, that the game of geopolitics is built on fundamentally flawed premises. And that the best way to win that game is not to play.

And for this she has been the target of the worst kind of smear campaign, one that was internally generated by a US funded, DNC-enabled, opposition firm. No longer is it enough to bomb or gas people overseas in false flag operations to keep the electorate braying for war.

Now it’s come to the land of mundane political campaigns.

That’s how desperate the Democrats are to regain the White House in 2020. They will eat themselves before allowing any variation of message. No dissension is allowed. No Bernie Sanders to split the base and confuse the simpletons in Flyover Country they need to win back the Rust Belt.

It’s why we’ve seen them go after Bernie himself and why Bernie is now one-upping Elizabeth Warren’s patently stupid 70% top tax bracket. Whatever Fauxcahontas wants, I want 10% more, because I’m 10% more leftie than she is.

It’s all so predictably pathetic it would be laughable if Donald Trump wasn’t such a hopeless mess on everything else.

Gabbard, for all of her faults from this libertarian’s perspective, is still a welcome breath of very fresh air on the main reason I voted for Donald Trump in 2016 – to end the foreign wars that are bankrupting us financially, culturally and spiritually.

Because she understands what many reasonable and principled liberals understand: The Swamp is filled with the runoff from the overseas Empire.

We can argue about taxes and health care after we stop spending $1 trillion a year subjugating the world for the profit of the weapons producers, military contractors, oil companies, lobbyists, spies, oppo research firms, generals at NATO and all the bureaucrats that money subsidizes.

So the demonization of Tulsi Gabbard started before she even had a chance to officially enter the race. Because if there is one thing that unites the vultures in D.C. it is the threat of peace breaking out in the public discourse.

Every day the case for staying overseas in places like Syria and Afghanistan frays a little bit more. Every election since 2008 in the US has been a referendum in some way on the Empire abroad. Obama in 2008 and again in 2012 as Romney and McCain positioned the Republicans to look like warmongers worse than Obama was.

And then Trump in 2016. It all started with Ron Paul and Gabbard is yet another in a long line of critics of that which is not to be criticized in D.C.

She has smartly positioned herself as the outsider on the one issue that unites the center of the US electorate – left and right – ending the Empire. Trump makes the point that it is too expensive. He’s a transactional kinda guy.

Gabbard is making the case on moral grounds, and good for her.

She defied her party to go to Syria and meet with President Bashar al-Assad to get a better look at what was happening there. She knows there are millions of votes to be mined from being anti-war.

But, the Democrats, so thoroughly suffused with the anti-Trump animus, have turned the mere suggestion of changing course in the Middle East as giving advantage to the evil Vladimir Putin. It’s beyond silly in the extreme and yet the constant barrage of anti-Russian propaganda has 72% of Americans viewing Russia unfavorably.

And 85% of Democrats.

These are worse than Cold War numbers, folks. And yet, what are the Democrats so scared of?

What’s sad about the attack on Gabbard is not just that it was obviously made up and then breathlessly amped up by NBC news. It is that 17 out of 20 Democrats would likely never vote for her in the primaries because of this irrational hatred of Russia created by the Clintons as payback for Hillary losing an election she had no business winning.

It reeks of weakness, fear and desperation. It reeks of moral bankruptcy.

Gabbard will have a better shot at an independent run. But she won’t do that. She will continue to snipe from the sidelines, like Rand Paul, and wait for the country to come to her, if ever.

War is and should always be the bellwether by which a candidate for President is measured. And the Democrats are using Russiagate hysteria to keep the most expensive part of the empire off the table while they talk about how they are going to pay for universal health care by taxing assets and Unicorn farts.

Gabbard is smart throwing her hat in the ring now. I don’t think she has much of a chance of affecting the race in 2020 because the intensity with which Trump Derangement Syndrome burns within the party faithful.

But if she is capable of connecting with people by separating ending the Empire from giving Russia an advantage she could be useful in keeping things from getting any worse, while her party sinks into a frothing, gibbering mess, especially if somehow Trump wins re-election.

SWAMP STORIES

The Trump Inaugural committee has been subpoenaed by New York Prosecutors (Democrats) to see if they misspent some of their $107 million dollars received in donations.

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

Trump Inaugural Committee Subpoenaed By New York Prosecutors

President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in New York Southern District, ABC News and Bloomberg reported, indicating that even as the special counsel probe appears to be nearing an end, “another investigation that could hamstring the president and his lawyers is widening.”

“We have just received a subpoena for documents,” Kristin Celauro, a spokeswoman with Owen Blicksilver PR, said in an email. “While we are still reviewing the subpoena, it is our intention to cooperate with the inquiry.”

It was not immediately clear if the subpoena was related to the criminal probe that had been launched in December, which according to the WSJ, was investigating whether the committee had misspent some of the record $107 million it raised from donations.

According to ABC, the contact which came from the public corruption section in the Southern District, is the latest activity focusing on Trump’s political fundraising both before and immediately after his 2016 election. Lawyers for the inauguration committee were contacted midday Monday and asked if they could accept a subpoena for documents from federal prosecutors, according to sources familiar

The Trump family business has also been in contact with prosecutors, but sources familiar with those discussions would not spell out the specific topics covered.

ABC News reported previously about interest by federal investigators in the foreign guests at the inaugural event, and possible contributions by foreign nationals, which would be prohibited. Among those who attended were Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, who is now on the Treasury Department list of sanctioned oligarchs.

Last year, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team had questioned several witnesses about millions of dollars in donations from donors with connections to Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, sources with direct knowledge previously told ABC News. One Mueller target, a political consultant named Sam Patten, acknowledged as part of a plea deal that he accepted $50,000 to buy tickets on behalf of a Ukrainian businessman who wanted to attend inaugural events.

Still, despite the amount of money raised, the festivities surrounding Trump’s swearing-in were far more modest in scale than past inaugural events. The non-profit group established to oversee the celebration hosted only three major events with some small intimate private affairs. The record breaking fundraising was double of President Barack Obama’s first inaugural. The committee was chaired by President Trump’s longtime friend, Thomas Barrack. It has been previously reported Barrack sat for an interview with Mueller’s office in late 2017.

As ABC News further details, it had obtained documents which showed the committee spent more than $1.5 million at the Trump International Hotel in Washington ahead of the president’s 2017 swearing-in. It is part of an array of expenditures there and elsewhere that included more than $130,000 for customized seat cushions at two gala dinners for the president-elect, $10,000 to provide makeup to the servers at another formal dinner, and $2.7 million to a company that produced a Broadway-style rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” using Las Vegas showgirls flown in by Trump pal Steve Wynn for a private event.

Questions about the inaugural spending were first raised last year when tax filings disclosed the five largest vendors included payments of nearly $26 million to an event planning firm run by a one-time adviser and close friend of Melania Trump. The adviser, Stephanie Winston-Wolkoff, created a company called WIS Media Partners based in California that handled some of the festivities. That firm paid out contracts to other sub-contractors that were hired and used some of the funds to hire sub-contractors.

It was also unclear if the probe had been bolstered by input from two of Trump’s formerly closest aides. Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen has been extensively interviewed by prosecutors in the Southern District office. Longtime family accountant and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg has agreed to cooperate, though the extent of his help is unknown.

The Trump Inauguration also donated $5 million to various charities including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the Smithsonian Institute among others.

end
As caravans move closer to the USA border Trump again demands his wall
(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump: “We Will Build A Human Wall If Necessary”

As President Trump’s demands that funding for his border wall be included in a bipartisan border security bill continue to fall on deaf ears, the president once again blasted intransigent Democrats for refusing to cooperate on the wall, claiming he wouldn’t have needed to send another 3,600 troops to the border if we had a “real Wall” in place.

As “tremendous numbers” of people travel through Mexico toward the US border, Trump has sent a “Human Wall” of soldiers to defend against the next round of migrant caravans. But if the wall had already been built, the advancing caravans would be a “non-event.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Tremendous numbers of people are coming up through Mexico in the hopes of flooding our Southern Border. We have sent additional military. We will build a Human Wall if necessary. If we had a real Wall, this would be a non-event!

The tweet followed reports citing aides to the president that Trump isn’t planning to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build the wall during the State of the Union on Tuesday.

But the calls for a wall of military personnel beg the question: Is this the human wall that Trump has in mind?

Wall

end

SWAMP STORIES/MAJOR STORIES//THE KING REPORT
and special thanks to Chris Powell of GATA for sending this down for us:

Democratic contenders hoping to run on soaking the rich

https://apnews.com/0f5e1bdd963b4b7c9b4d4b2d6c190b57

Ocasio-Cortez Says NFL Owners Who Don’t Hire Kaepernick Would Pay Her Proposed 70% Tax

https://ilovemyfreedom.org/threat-ocasio-cortez-says-nfl-owners-who-dont-hire-kaepernick-would-pay-her-proposed-70-tax/

Cuomo announces income tax revenues have dropped by $2.3B   https://nyp.st/2D9Z1qt

[Increasing taxes to appease the socialist mob will accelerate flight & lower tax revenue.]

The Fed: Statement on Chair Powell’s and Vice Chair Clarida’s meeting with the President and Treasury Secretary[‘informal’ dinner at WH last night]

At the President’s invitation, Chair Powell and Vice Chair Clarida joined the President and the Treasury Secretary for an informal dinner tonight in the White House residence, to discuss recent economic developments and the outlook for growth, employment and inflation.

    Chair Powell’s comments in this setting were consistent with his remarks at his press conference of last week. He did not discuss his expectations for monetary policy, except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming economic information and what that means for the outlook. 

    Finally, Chair Powell said that he and his colleagues on the FOMC will set monetary policy in order to support maximum employment and stable prices and will make those decisions based solely on careful, objective and non-political analysis.  https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/other20190204a.htm

Virginia’s lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax denies sexual assault allegation that has surfaced as he’s poised to take over if disgraced governor Ralph Northam steps down

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6665835/Virginias-LG-Justin-Fairfax-denies-sexual-assault-allegation-amid-Northam-fury.html

 

Fairfax Admits Encounter with Accuser; Claims It Was Consensual

https://bigleaguepolitics.com/fairfax-admits-encounter-with-accuser-claims-it-was-consensual/

 

Washington Post Refused To Run Sketchy Sex Assault Allegation Against A Democrat. They Ran Several Against Brett Kavanaugh. [“Fake News Dies in the Sunlight”]

https://www.dailywire.com/news/43013/washington-post-refused-run-sketchy-sex-assault-ashe-schow

 

Documents Show CNN Was Tipped off on Roger Stone Arrest by 29 FBI Armed Agents – Leaked by Deep State! –Documents obtained exclusively by The Gateway Pundit show a copy of the draft indictment without the PACER filing number or official stamps of the court, with metadata on the document identifying it as being authored by “AAW”, who is suspected to be lead Special Counsel prosecutor Andrew Weissmann…

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/02/exclusive-documents-show-cnn-was-tipped-off-on-roger-stone-arrest-by-29-fbi-armed-agents-leaked-by-fbi/

I WILL SEE YOU WEDNESDAY NIGHT
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