FEB 7/GOLD RISES 35 CENTS TO $1310.75/SILVER DOWN ONLY ONE CENT TO $15.71 AS BOTH METALS HOLD DESPITE CHINA BEING OFF FOR THEIR LUNAR NEW YEAR/BANK OF ENGLAND LOWERS FORECAST FOR GROWTH FOR GREAT BRITAIN/ALSO ECB LOWERS GROWTH FOR THE EU/GERMAN 10 YR BONDS CLOSE AT .12//USA ANNOUNCES THAT CHINA AND THE USA ARE VERY FAR APART AND XI AND TRUMP MAY NOT MEET PRIOR TO THE MARCH 1 DEADLINE/DOW DROPS 220 POINTS//

 

 

 

GOLD: $1310.75 UP $0.35 (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Silver:   $15.71 DOWN 1 CENT (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Closing access prices:

Gold :  1310.50

 

silver: $15.73

 

For the entire week, China has been off for their lunar New Year.  China is such a huge purchaser of physical gold, the crooks now have an easy time shorting gold/silver because they do not have to cover until Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For comex gold and silver:

FEBRUARY

 

 

 

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR  FEB CONTRACT: 28 NOTICE(S) FOR 2800 OZ (0.087 tonnes

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  8890 NOTICES FOR 889,000 OZ  (27.651 TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR FEBRUARY

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

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

 

total number of notices filed so far this month: 500 for 2,600,000

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: OPENING MORNING TRADE $3409: UP 5

 

Bitcoin: FINAL EVENING TRADE: $3401 DOWN   $71

 

end

 

XXXX

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

today 15/32

EXCHANGE: COMEX
CONTRACT: FEBRUARY 2019 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,309.500000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 02/06/2019 DELIVERY DATE: 02/08/2019
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED
____________________________________________________________________________________________
661 C JP MORGAN 3
661 H JP MORGAN 12
686 C INTL FCSTONE 1
690 C ABN AMRO 20
737 C ADVANTAGE 6 5
800 C MAREX SPEC 1
880 H CITIGROUP 8
____________________________________________________________________________________________

TOTAL: 28 28
MONTH TO DATE: 8,890

 

 

 

Let us have a look at the data for today

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In silver, the total OPEN INTEREST ROSE BY A GOOD SIZED 1055 CONTRACTS FROM 207,101 UP TO 208,276 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S 13 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 SMALL SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP:

788 EFP’S FOR MARCH,  0 FOR APRIL, FOR MAY, 0 FOR DECEMBER AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE: OF 788 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 788 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 788 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 1.175 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 13 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 2.595 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: 4998 CONTRACTS (FOR TRADING DAYS TOTAL 4998 CONTRACTS) OR 24.990 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 833 CONTRACTS OR 4.165 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF FEB:  24.990 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 3.57% 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:           242.45    MILLION OZ.

JANUARY 2019 EFP TOTALS:                                                      217.455. MILLION OZ.

 

 

RESULT: WE HAD A GOOD SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 1055 DESPITE THE 13 CENT LOSS IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX //YESTERDAY..THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD  SMALL SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 788 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: 1843 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

i.e 788 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH INCREASE OF 1055 OI COMEX CONTRACTSAND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 13 CENT LOSS IN PRICE OF SILVER  AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $15.72 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: 11 NOTICE(S) FOR 55,000 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:  2.595 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 ROSE BY A FAIR SIZED 1857 CONTRACTS UP TO 481,593 DESPITE THE FALL IN THE COMEX GOLD PRICE/(A LOSS IN PRICE OF $4.85//YESTERDAY’S TRADING).

 

 

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A FAIR  SIZED 3148 CONTRACTS:

 

MARCH HAD AN ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTACTS  APRIL 3148 CONTRACTS, DECEMBER: 0 CONTRACTS AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 481,593. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THERE WILL BE A DELAY IN THE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S.  THE BANKERS REMOVE LONG POSITIONS OF COMEX GOLD IMMEDIATELY.  THEN THEY ORCHESTRATE THEIR PRIVATE EFP DEAL WITH THE LONGS AND THAT COULD TAKE AN ADDITIONAL, 48 HRS SO WE GENERALLY DO NOT GET A MATCH WITH RESPECT TO DEPARTING COMEX LONGS AND NEW EFP LONG TRANSFERS. . EVEN THOUGH THE BANKERS ISSUED THESE MONSTROUS EFPS, THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS TO SUPPLY METAL BUT IT TRANSFERS THE RISK TO A LONDON BANKER OBLIGATION AND NOT A NEW YORK COMEX OBLIGATION. LONGS RECEIVE A FIAT BONUS TOGETHER WITH A LONG LONDON FORWARD. THUS, BY THESE ACTIONS, THE BANKERS AT THE COMEX HAVE JUST STATED THAT THEY HAVE NO APPRECIABLE METAL!! THIS IS A MASSIVE FRAUD: THEY CANNOT SUPPLY ANY METAL TO OUR COMEX LONGS BUT THEY ARE QUITE WILLING TO SUPPLY MASSIVE NON BACKED GOLD (AND SILVER) PAPER KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE NO METAL TO SATISFY OUR LONGS. LONDON IS NOW SEVERELY BACKWARD IN BOTH GOLD AND SILVER  AND WE ARE WITNESSING DELAYS IN ACTUAL DELIVERIES.

IN ESSENCE WE HAVE AN A VERY GOOD SIZED GAIN IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 5293 CONTRACTS: 2145 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX AND 2145 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN: 5293 CONTRACTS OR 529,300, OZ = 16.46 TONNES. AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A LOSS IN THE PRICE OF GOLD/ YESTERDAY TO THE TUNE OF $4.85.

 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 5510 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY : 31,781 CONTRACTS OR 3,178,100 OZ  OR 96.77 TONNES (6 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 5296 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 6 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 96.77 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 96.77/2550 x 100% TONNES = 3.79% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN DECEMBER ALONE.***

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2019 TO DATE:     4,730.2  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 INCREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 1857 DESPITE THE LOSS IN PRICING ($4.85) THAT GOLD UNDERTOOK YESTERDAY) //.WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 3148 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 3148 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A GOOD GAIN OF 5,005 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

3148 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 1857 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (IN TONNES, THE GAIN IN TOTAL OI EQUATES TO 15.56 TONNES). ..AND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND OCCURRED WITH THE LOSS OF $4.85 IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING AT THE COMEX

 

 

we had:  28 notice(s) filed upon for 2800 oz of gold at the comex.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

GLD...

 

WITH GOLD UP $0.35 TODAY

 

 

THE FRAUD CONTINUES:

 

ANOTHER STRONG PAPER WITHDRAWAL OF 2.06 TONNES

 

 

 

/GLD INVENTORY   809.76 TONNES

Inventory rests tonight: 809.86 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 1 CENT  IN PRICE  TODAY:

NO CHANGES IN INVENTORY AT THE SLV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.656 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 GOOD SIZED 1055 CONTRACTS from 207,101 DOWN TO 208,156  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:

 

788 CONTRACTS FOR MARCH. 0 CONTRACTS FOR MAY., FOR DECEMBER AND  AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 788 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 1055 CONTRACTS TO THE 788 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE OBTAIN A STRONG GAIN  OF 1843  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 9.815 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 2.595 MILLION OZ STANDING IN FEBRUARY.

 

 

RESULT: A FAIR SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 13 CENT PRICING LOSS THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// YESTERDAY.BUT WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED 788 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE STRONG  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR SEPTEMBER, DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL SILVER CONTINUES TO INTENSIFY AS WE WITNESS SEVERE BACKWARDATION IN SILVER IN LONDON.

 

 

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY: Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)THURSDAY MORNING/ WEDNESDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED CHINESE NEW YEAR //Hang Sang CLOSED NEW YEAR  /The Nikkei closed UP 29.61  PTS OR 0.14%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.39%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 6.7422 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil DOWN to 53.60 dollars per barrel for WTI and 62.41 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED //.

 ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AT 6.7422AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7837: / TRADE TALKS NOW ON/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED   : /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING ABOVE LEVEL OF OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST THE DOLLAR /CHINA RETALIATES WITH TARIFFS/ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW TARIFFS AND IT NOW A FULL TRADE WAR COMMENCED

 

 

 

 

 

3A/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA

 

 

i)North Korea//USA

 

 

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

 

 

 

3 C/  CHINA

 

 

i) CHINA/USA

My goodness, the Clintons are involved with Huawei as the company has deep ties to the former Sec of state Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton

 

( Dick Morris/WesternJournal.com)

 

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

i)UK

Not good for England this morning after the Bank of England slashes its GDP forecast for the year as well as warning of rising BREXIT damage

( zerohedge)

ii)France/Italy
France is angry with Italy after DiMaio supports the French yellow vest movement.  So Macron recalls his ambassador to Italy.  The EU is falling apart
( zerohedge)

iii)Germany/Wirecard

Looks like we have another massive fraud on our hands with respect to German based Wirecard as a whistleblower exposes accounting fraud.

(courtesy zerohedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

 

 

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

i)A global crash is coming:  the entire world’s economies are entering contraction/crisis(courtesy Graham Summers/Phoenix Research Capital)

7. OIL ISSUES

 

 

 

 

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

 

 

i)VENEZUELA/USA

Admiral states that the USA is now military ready to protect uSA personnel in Venezuela.

( zerohedge)

ii)Pompeo makes the ridiculous claim that Hezbollah has active cells in Venezuela and this will no doubt justify possible USA intervention
( zero hedge)

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)Supposedly Maduro sold 40% of his gold reserves i.e. 73 tonnes.  Now he has 110 tonnes of gold to his credit but no doubt most of their gold is now kept outside Caracas. It will be very difficult for Maduro to obtain any of his remaining gold for two reasons:
1. the west do not want to give this dictator anything as he would no doubt confiscate the stuff for himself
2. the Bank of England has already leased out his gold/
( Laya/Vasquez Bloomberg//GATA)
ii)A good reason not to invest into cryptos. ….mysterious surrounding the lost 150 million crypto fortune deepens as analysts question the founders death.

( zerohedge)

 

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

 

 

MARKET TRADING

a)stocks tumble after Kudlow warns on poor trade talks

b)) Then: stocks further collapse on reports that Trump and Xi will not meet

(courtesy zerohedge)

ii)Market data/

Credit card debt hits a high of 1.045 trillion dollars.  This is in December but the increase was only 16.6 billion dollars just below the $17 billion expected. The Christmas season was not as big as expected.  Also student loans hit a record 1.593 trillion dollars and auto loans: 1.155 trillion dollars.  Total credit now exceeds $4 trillion for the first time.
( zerohedge)

 

 

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

a)Another good indicator to suggest the economy is faltering:  Class  8 heavy truck orders just crashed by 68% in January

( zerohedge)

b)My goodness:  P G and E exposed to another catastrophe as one of gas lines explodes engulfing San Francisco buildings  near the Presidio on Geary Ave and Parker.  The good news for PG and E is that they have already filed for bankruptcy.  The bad news is for the inflicted as they will have no hope of recovery.
(courtesy zerohedge)
c)Bricks and mortar operations continue to falter.  Here is a list of chains in big trouble led by Neiman Marcus

( zerohedge)

d)Marriage rates are down, while cohabiting rates are up.  Young adults refuse to marry because mainly their student debt is just too high. Also family formations is in decline and again due to the high student and auto debt

( Mishtalk,Mish Shedlock)

e)Quite a stat:  The total debt of Americans that still have student loans and are over 60 years of age is a whopping $86 billion dollars.

( zerohedge)

f)Moody’s warns the new Illinois Governor that his state is in dire shape. He warns that any new taxes will make more residents to flee and thus less citizens to pay the taxes and purchase goods to stimulate their economy

( Dabroski/Klingner/WirePoints.com

 

iv)SWAMP STORIES

TRUMP is furious as Schiff hires former National Security Council to trying and find stuff on him.  These guys are deep staters and will stop on nothing.  This is going to be a huge witch hunt

( zerohedge)

 

 

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

 

end

 

 

 

Let us head over to the comex:

 

THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN ROSE BY AN GOOD SIZED 1857 CONTRACTS UP TO A LEVEL OF 481,593 DESPITE THE LOSS IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($4.85) 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 GOOD SIZED COMEX TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS., THAT IS 3148 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

FOR MARCH:  0. FOR APRIL 3148, FOR DECEMBER: 0 AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  3148 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:  5005 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 3148 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE GAINED A GOOD SIZED 1857 COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:5005 contracts OR 500,500  OZ OR 15.56 TONNES.

 

We are now in the active contract month of FEBRUARY and here the open interest stands at 920 contracts, and thus undergoing a loss of 258 contracts.  We had 54 contracts stand for delivery yesterday so we LOST 202 contracts or 20,200 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 comex is out of gold!@!

 

 

 

The next non active delivery month after February is  March and here we GAINED 49 contracts to stand at 1846.  After March, the next big delivery month is April and here the OI rose by 1848 contracts up to 347,242 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 28 NOTICES FILED TODAY AT THE COMEX FOR 2800 OZ. (0.087 tonnes)

 

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total COMEX silver OI ROSE BY A GOOD SIZED 1055  CONTRACTS FROM 207,101 UP TO 208,156(AND FURTHER FROM 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 WITH A 13 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  20 CONTRACTS, HAVING GAINED 3 CONTRACTS FROM YESTERDAY.  WE HAD 9 NOTICES FILED YESTERDAY SO WE GAINED 12 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 60,000 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 2574 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 131,912 CONTRACTS. AFTER MARCH, APRIL ROSE FROM 18 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS  TO STAND AT 26 FOR A GAIN OF 8.  AFTER APRIL, THE NEXT BIG ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH IS MAY AND HERE THE OI ADVANCED BY 3472 CONTRACTS UP TO 43,570 CONTRACTS.

 

 

 

 

ON A NET BASIS WE GAINED 1843 SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AS WE OBTAINED A 1055 CONTRACT GAIN AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 788 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  1843 CONTRACTS...AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A 13 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 11 notice(s) filed for 55000 OZ for the FEB, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

 

 

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY:  93,562 CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  142,995  contracts

comex gold volumes are getting extremely low as players just do not want to play in this casino.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INITIAL standings for  FEB/GOLD

FEB 7/2019.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
321.500
oz
Scotia
10 kilobars
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz NIL oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  

 

 

nil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
28 notice(s)
 2800 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
892 contracts
(89,200 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
8890 notices
888000 OZ
27.651 TONNES
Total accumulative withdrawals of gold from the Dealers inventory this month NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month xxx oz

 

we had 0 dealer entries:

 

 

total dealer deposits: NIL oz

total dealer withdrawals: 0 oz

We had 1 kilobar entries

 

we had 1 deposit into the customer account

i) Into Scotia:  321.500 oz

total gold deposits:  321.500 oz

we had 0 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

 

 

 

total gold withdrawing from the customer;  NIL oz

 

we had 0  adjustments…

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 28 contract(s) of which 12 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 3 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 (8890) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (1178 contract) minus the number of notices served upon today (28 x 100 oz per contract) equals 998,600 OZ OR 31.06 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 (8890 x 100 oz)  + {920)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (28 x 100 oz )which equals 978,200 oz standing OR 30.462 TONNES in this active delivery month of FEBRUARY.

WE LOST 202 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 20200 OZ WILL NOT STAND AT THE COMEX AS THEY  MORPHED INTO A LONDON BASED FORWARD AS WELL AS ACCEPTING A FIAT BONUS. THE COMEX MUST BE VOID OF GOLD./

 

 

 

 

 

THERE ARE ONLY 23.13 TONNES OF REGISTERED COMEX GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY AGAINST 30.426 TONNES STANDING FOR FEBRUARY

OF WHICH 27.651 TONNES OF GOLD HAVE ALREADY BEEN SERVED UPON SO FAR THIS MONTH.

 

 

 

total registered or dealer gold:  743,812.931 oz or   23.13 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   8,466,181.791 oz 263.33 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 7 2019
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
496,406.636  oz
CNT
I. Delaware

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
nil oz
No of oz served today (contracts)
11
CONTRACT(S)
55,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
9 contracts
45,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 520 contracts

(2,600,000 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  0 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 everybody else:  zero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total customer deposits today: nil   oz

we had 2 withdrawals out of the customer account:

 

i) Out of CNT:  472,505.000 oz  ????????

 

ii) Out of I-D:  23,901.636 oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total withdrawals: 496,406.636     oz

 

we had 0 adjustment..

 

 

 

 

 

total dealer silver:  88.636 million

total dealer + customer silver:  296.894 million oz

 

 

 

 

The total number of notices filed today for the FEBRUARY 2019. contract month is represented by 11 contract(s) FOR 55,000  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 520 x 5,000 oz = 2,600,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (20) and the number of notices served upon today (11x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the FEBRUARY/2019 contract month: 520(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of FEB( 20) -number of notices served upon today (11)x 5000 oz equals 2,645,000 oz of silver standing for the FEBRUARY contract month.  This is a strong number of oz standing for an off delivery month.

WE GAINED 12 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 60,000 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:  31,649 CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 65,893 CONTRACTS… 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 65,893 CONTRACTS EQUATES to 329 million OZ  47.0% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER

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

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

end

NPV for Sprott 

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV FALLS TO -3.62% (FEB 6/2019)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -.79% to NAV (FEB 6 /2019 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -3.62%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

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

NAV 13.29/TRADING 12.83/DISCOUNT 3.48

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

FEB 7/WITH GOLD UP 35 CENTS/ANOTHER PAPER GOLD WITHDRAWAL OF 2.06 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 809.76 TONNES

FEB 6/WITH GOLD DOWN $4.85 TODAY: A STRONG PAPER WITHDRAWAL OF 1.37 TONNES FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 811.82 TONNES

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 7/2019/ Inventory rests tonight at 809.76 tonnes

*IN LAST 544 TRADING DAYS: 125.19 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 444 TRADING DAYS: A NET 34.84 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO THE GLD INVENTORY.

 

end

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

FEB 7/WITH SILVER DOWN 1 CENT TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.656 MILLION OZ/

FEB 6/WITH SILVER DOWN 13 CENTS TODAY; A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 938,000  OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.656 MILLION OZ/

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 7/2019:

 

Inventory 309.656 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 2.25/ and libor 6 month duration 2.78

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

G0LD LENDING RATE: + .53

 

 

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.55%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.96

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.41

end

 

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES

end
i) GOLDCORE BLOG/Mark O’Byrne

ITALEX

 

GATA STORIES AS IT RELATES TO PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER
Supposedly Maduro sold 40% of his gold reserves i.e. 73 tonnes.  Now he has 110 tonnes of gold to his credit but no doubt most of their gold is now kept outside Caracas. It will be very difficult for Maduro to obtain any of his remaining gold for two reasons:
1. the west do not want to give this dictator anything as he would no doubt confiscate the stuff for himself
2. the Bank of England has already leased out his gold/
(courtesy Laya/Vasquez Bloomberg//GATA)

Maduro sold 40% of Venezuela’s gold last year amid cash crunch

 Section: 

By Patricia Laya and Alex Vasquez
Bloomberg News
Wednesday, February 6, 2019

President Nicolas Maduro blew through more than 40 percent of Venezuela’s gold reserves last year in a desperate bid to fund government programs and pay millions to bondholders.

The government sold a total of 73 tons of gold to two firms in the United Arab Emirates and another in Turkey, opposition lawmaker Carlos Paparoni told reporters in Caracas on Wednesday. That drained reserves to about 110 tons at the end of last year from 184 tons, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, who corroborated Paparoni’s data.

… 

 

Maduro raided the central bank’s vaults of the 2.34 million ounces of gold (worth about $3.1 billion at current spot prices) as debt piled ever higher and financing options dried up after the U.S. imposed sanctions against his regime.

Amid an international push to persuade the authoritarian ruler to cede power to a transitional government, the opposition is also seeking to thwart further gold sales to prevent a ransacking of the country during Maduro’s final days in power. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-06/maduro-sold-40-of-ven…

* * *

Help keep GATA going:

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

http://www.gata.org

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

http://www.gata.org/node/16





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A good reason not to invest into cryptos. ….mysterious surrounding the lost 150 million crypto fortune deepens as analysts question the founders death.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Mystery Surrounding ‘Lost’ $150M Crypto Fortune Deepens As Analysts Question Exchange Founder’s Death

We were half-joking when we speculated last week that QuadrigaCX CEO Gerald Cotten – founder of a Canadian crypto exchange that has become embroiled in a $150 million fiasco after Cotten died and purportedly took the keys to the exchange’s cold wallets to his grave, rendering his customers’ coins immovable – faked his own death in a foreign land to abscond with a fortune belonging to his customers. But a Bloomberg report published Wednesday evening has raised red flags suggesting that this ludicrous “conspiracy theory” might soon become a “conspiracy fact.”

Quadriga

Gerald Cotten

But since Quadriga filed for bankruptcy protection last month in the face of a rash of lawsuits being filed by angry customers demanding their coins be returned, a group of analysts and crypto-sleuths have been trying to suss out whether the claims made by Quadriga and Cotten’s widow – that the notoriously security-conscious (some might say paranoid) executive was the only employee who handled moving coins deposited with the exchange, and that he had recently shifted the bulk of the exchange’s holdings into “cold storage” platforms to which only he possessed the encrypted key, which they have been unable to locate – hold water.

And as it turns out, there has been some suspicious activity that, at first brush, would seem to call these claims into question. As one Cornell professor who spoke with BBG claimed, Quadriga’s story didn’t pass “the smell test.” If the coins were truly frozen, then why hadn’t the exchange at least furnished the public keys that would allow auditors to verify their holdings on the blockchain?

The argument that that’s what happened with Quadriga didn’t pass the smell test for many in the industry who are adept at scouring the anonymous ledgers that underpin the decentralized networks for evidence of where digital coins may be stored.

“The Quadriga story doesn’t make sense,” Emin Gün Sirer, a professor at Cornell University and co-director of the Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts, wrote in an email Wednesday. “The one amazing thing about blockchains is that anyone can audit, in essence, any company.”

[…]

“If the funds are frozen and the cold wallet is inaccessible, it should be possible for the exchange to provide the cold wallet addresses so their claims can be verified with the help of the blockchain,” Sirer said.

But the fact that the exchange hasn’t disclosed which wallets belong to it hasn’t stopped amateur investigators from analyzing transactions and taking an educated guess.

And what they found might come as disturbing – at least for QuadrigaCX’s 115,000 customers. The analysts said they couldn’t find any cold wallets holding the Ether that supposedly was one of the cryptocurrencies held on the exchange. Instead, they found that Quadriga had been moving Ether from its wallet to larger exchanges through mid-January.

But that would seem to contradict the exchange’s story that Cotten was the only one who had access. After all, he died in December.

Analysis firms such as Elementus say that by examining the blockchain patterns, they can guess which particular wallets holding coins belong to. The researcher says it couldn’t find any cold wallets holding Ether, one of the cryptocurrencies that’s missing. Instead, Quadriga was moving Ether to larger exchanges through mid-January, Elementus said.

At the same time, the patterns could mean that the exchange had set up automatic transfers to larger exchanges when its wallet balances reached a certain amount, or, alternatively, that “there’s some fishy business going on,” Elementus founder Max Galka said.

The head of one exchange where Quadriga had stashed some of its coins said that the vast majority of its holdings recently disappeared. He also noted that not being transparent about where coins are on the blockchain is troubling.

Jesse Powell, head of exchange Kraken, said it has some Quadriga balances. Of about 230,000 Ether coins that Quadriga is supposed to have had, only about 1,000 coins remain in its own wallets, Galka said.

“Not to be transparent” about where the money is exactly on a blockchain “is unusual,” said Christine Duhaime, a Canadian lawyer specializing in anti-money laundering.

According to the company, Cotten, aged 30, died of complications from Crohn’s disease in Jaipur, India in December while reportedly doing research for an orphanage he planned to build.

But if the coins have in fact been moved since his death, that could mean one of two things: Either the exchange is lying, and Cotten’s former colleagues are seeking to take advantage of his death by robbing his customers.

Or, Cotten is still alive, and has already taken the money and run?

end

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

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

 

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  6.7837   /shanghai bourse CLOSED /CHINESE NEW YEAR FOR THE WEEK

HANG SANG CLOSED

 

 

2. Nikkei closed DOWN 122.78  POINTS OR 0.59%

 

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED RED 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/USA dollar index RISES TO 96.63/Euro FALLS TO 1.1335

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO. –.01/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 109.79/ 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:: 53.60 and Brent: 62.41

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

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO +.12%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP to 2.92% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD UP TO 1.25%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.80: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES TO : 3.96

3k Gold at $1306.85 silver at:15.67   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 19/100 in roubles/dollar) 66.06

3m oil into the 53 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 109.79 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 1.0087 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1398 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year FALLING to +0.12%

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 2.67% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 3.01%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 5.2645

 

Global Stocks Slide As Dollar Spikes, Italian Bonds Tumble After EC Slashes GDP

The amazing post-Christmas/PPT/Trump rally appears to finally be over.

US traders walked in to a sight that brought in painful memories from December: a sea of red in global markets as stocks in Europe fell alongside S&P futures following a mixed session in Asia where India’s central bank joined the global easing bandwagon with a surprise rate cut. Italian bond prices tumbled after the European Commission confirmed yesterday’s media reports when it slashed growth forecasts for the euro region’s major economies, while dollar scored its longest winning streak since a hot run in early October that helped set off a wave of global bear markets.

Poor earnings and weak data out of Germany ensured Europe’s main bourses started lower and kept MSCI’s index of world stocks heading for only its second two-day run of falls of the year so far.  Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index tumbled, dragged down by automakers and banks as sharply lower trading revenue from Societe Generale countered positive results from UniCredit and DNB.

The euro weakened and bunds rose after the European Commission warned in their dour growth forecast that Brexit and the slowdown in China threaten to make the region’s outlook even worse, slashing Euro area growth to 1.3%, while Italy’s 2019 GDP forecast was cut from 1.2% to just 0.2%, barely above recession territory, and putting the country’s controversial deficit forecast in jeopardy.

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As a reminder, Italy agreed a deficit target of 2.04 percent in December, averting a major fall-out with the EU, though this was based on a growth assumption of 1.0 percent. Slowing growth in Italy could make it harder for the country to remain within EU rules. As a result of the downgrade, Italian 10Y yields popped higher, rising near 2019 highs, which is notable because when the report first hit yesterday, markets were largely oblivious and instead were congratulating themselves on the 5x oversubscribed Italian 30Y bond that priced yesterday tighter than expected. Today is the hangover.

However, Benjamin Schroeder, rates strategist at ING, said he did not expect the EU to demand more fiscal tightening from Italy, should its forecasts be reduced. “The EU has another thing to deal with — Brexit — and the other thing is do you want to infuse the campaign ahead of the parliamentary elections with this topic.”

European banks reversed initial gains after the EC cut its growth forecasts for the region’s major economies. The Stoxx 600 Banks Index is down 0.9% as of 11:48am CET, having earlier risen as much as 0.5%. Biggest fallers are Raiffeisen and Commerzbank, both -3.3%. Italian banks trimmed earlier gains of as much as 2.7%, with the FTSE Italia All-Share Banks Index still up 0.2%. UniCredit raises 2% after 4Q earnings that exceeded plans for cost cutting and improving asset quality. London’s FTSE was the only major bourse clinging to positive territory.

Adding insult to European injury, the euro slumped to $1.1330 following the latest dismal report out of Berlin as Germany reported its fourth consecutive drop in industrial output, which declined -0.4% in December, far below the 0.7% increase expected, and down -3.9% YoY: “Another day, another piece of terrible German data. EUR/USD risks a move to $1.1300,” said ING’s chief EMEA FX and interest rate strategist, Petr Krpata.

Futures on the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq indexes all slipped. In Japan, shares fell amid a raft of corporate earnings, although SoftBank surged 18% on plans for its biggest-ever buyback. China and Hong Kong markets are shut.

Earlier, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.1% as it rose to its highest since early October, rising steadily since early January as the Fed capitulated to markets and changed its tune and emerging markets have surged more broadly after a torrid 2018. Australia’s benchmark stock index jumped 1.2 percent amid expectations of easy monetary policy after the country’s central bank chief shifted away from his previous tightening bias. Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.6 percent though and the caution quickly spread to Europe.

Treasuries climbed with the dollar, which advanced for a sixth day as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave a brief but positive assessment of the economy and several of the world’s central banks put their tightening plans on hold.

Elsewhere the pound was struggling near $1.29 again ahead of a Bank of England meeting, while gloomy jobs data saw New Zealand’s dollar suffer a similar flop as its Australian counterpart had seen the previous day. The kiwi slid to $0.6744, losing nearly 2 percent in the past 24 hours, as investors wagered on the risk of a cut in interest rates there. The country’s central bank holds its first meeting of the year next week.

The next major trigger for markets will more likely be any breakthrough in the U.S.-Sino tariff talks when the two sides meet in Beijing next week.  Probably more pressing though for the U.S. markets is the threat of another government shutdown, Nick Twidale, an analyst at Rakuten Securities Australia said. “With both sides of the house standing firm on the contentious border wall issue at present and the deadline approaching swiftly on Feb 15 we could be back where we were just a few weeks ago.”

The broad dollar gains put pressure on gold, which eased to $1,303.96 per ounce, slipping further from last week’s top of $1,326.30. Oil prices eased too after U.S. crude inventories rose and as production levels in the country held at record levels. Brent crude futures slipped 23 cents to $62.46. U.S. crude eased 19 cents to $53.82 a barrel.

Expected data include jobless claims. Fiat Chrysler, Kellogg, Philip Morris, T-Mobile, and Twitter are among companies reporting earnings.

Market Snapshots

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.5% to 2,716.25
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 364.70
  • MXAP down 0.3% to 156.49
  • MXAPJ up 0.07% to 514.12
  • Nikkei down 0.6% to 20,751.28
  • Topix down 0.8% to 1,569.03
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 27,990.21
  • Shanghai Composite up 1.3% to 2,618.23
  • Sensex up 0.2% to 37,051.70
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.1% to 6,092.46
  • Kospi unchanged at 2,203.42
  • German 10Y yield fell 0.7 bps to 0.155%
  • Euro down 0.2% to $1.1345
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 6.4 bps to 2.499%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.3 bps to 1.244%
  • Brent futures down 0.2% to $62.58/bbl
  • Gold spot little changed at $1,306.71
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.2% to 96.59

Top Overnight News

  • President Trump underscored his desire to reduce the trade gap with China in his State of the Union speech Tuesday, yet the deficit is on track to balloon again as a solid economy boosts American demand for imports
  • The top Democrat working on a border- security deal to avoid another government shutdown said lawmakers should be able to reach a bipartisan agreement by the end of this week
  • Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank must rely on incoming economic data to determine if its next policy move will be up or down, while likening the current moment to 2016 when she kept rates on hold almost all year
  • Oil resumed its drop as rising U.S. production and concern over the outlook for the global economy countered a decline in American fuel inventories
  • The European Commission slashed its growth forecasts for all the euro region’s major economies from Germany to Italy and warned that Brexit and the slowdown in China threaten to make the outlook even worse
  • German industrial output unexpectedly declined for a fourth month in December, feeding concerns that temporary setbacks in Europe’s largest economy may prove more protracted
  • India’s central bank unexpectedly cut the benchmark interest rate and dumped its hawkish stance, as slowing inflation allowed policy makers room to support the government in spurring economic growth

Asian equity markets were somewhat mixed with the region cautious following the subdued performance on Wall St, where all majors posted mild losses and the S&P 500 snapped a 5-day win streak. Nikkei 225 (-0.6%) was negative with sentiment dampened by a firmer currency and as participants digested a slew of earnings, although the index was not short of success stories as Mazda was buoyed after an upward revision to guidance and SoftBank surged over 17% on higher profits and the announcement of a JPY 600bln buyback. Elsewhere, KOSPI (Unch) traded indecisively and struggled to maintain the early exuberant tone on return from the Lunar New Year holidays, while ASX 200 (+1.1%) outperformed its peers with broad-based gains as sentiment continued to get a lift from RBA Governor Lowe’s recent dovish shift to a more evenly balanced view on rates. Finally, 10yr JGBS failed to benefit from the risk averse tone in Japan with demand kept subdued amid a similar picture seen in T-notes, while firmer results at today’s 30yr JGB auction were also ineffective in spurring prices. Italy’s industry minister has denied reports that the government will ban China’s Huawei and ZTE from it’s 5G plans; adding that there is no evidence that Huawei presents a threat to national security

Top Asian News

  • India’s New Central Bank Chief Delivers Surprise Rate Cut
  • Australia Bank Probe Claims Biggest Victim as NAB Chief Quits
  • A Rare Hostile Takeover Bid in Japan Signals Changing Times
  • Philippines Keeps Key Rate Unchanged as Inflation Nears Target

All major European equities kicked off the day in the red [Euro Stoxx 50 -0.8%], taking the lead from the softer performance seen on Wall Street; losses extended as the risk-averse sentiment intensified following the European Commission’s cut to Eurozone GDP and inflation forecasts. The FTSE 100 (-0.1%) is less impacted amid currency effects. Sectors are mixed with some underperformance seen in telecom names and some outperformance in healthcare.  Towards the bottom of the Stoxx 600 are Tui (-16.7%) following the Co. cutting profit outlook due to sector headwinds.  Separately, Publicis (-12.4%) are down following Q4 revenue growth coming in below expectations; pressuring WPP (-6.2%) and Prosiebensat (-3.1%) in sympathy.

Top European News

  • Vestas Expects Margins to Tighten Even as Turbine Sales Grow
  • Thomas Cook to Weigh Options for Airline Unit After Losses
  • Total Profit Beats Estimates as Output Growth Accelerates
  • Norway Wealth Fund Steps Up Voting Against CEO Pay Packages
  • European Output Gauges Decline, Feeding Doubts Over Rebound

In FX, the Kiwi has dropped to the bottom of the G10 pile on the back of a relatively bleak NZ jobs report overnight, as employment growth almost dried up in Q4 and the unemployment rate rose more than expected. Nzd/Usd is now hovering around 0.6750 and in danger of testing support just ahead of 0.6700 having lost grip of the 0.6900 and 0.6800 handles in very short order, while the Aud/Nzd cross has snapped back above 1.0500 from close to 1.0400 only yesterday even though the Aussie continues to weaken independently on the RBA shift from a tightening to neutral bias, with Aud/Usd pivoting 0.7100 and edging closer to bids/tech support circa 0.7075.

  • EUR/CAD/GBP – All extending losses vs the Greenback as well, and the single currency blighted by more weak Eurozone data, confirmation of downside economic risks via the latest ECB monthly bulletin and GDP/inflation downgrades from the EU Commission. Eur/Usd has now filled bids at 1.1350, with bears targeting the 1.1320 level next for more buying interest ahead of the 30 DMA around 1.1316 before 1.1300. Meanwhile, consolidation in crude prices and a stalling of recent recovery momentum has combined with a change in the technical landscape for the Loonie that has retreated further from recent highs to 1.3250+, and Sterling continues to suffer Brexit-related jitters on top of the overriding Dollar strength (DXY holding firm above 96.500), with Cable testing support just under 1.2900 (namely 1.2895 where 30 and 100 DMAs align).
  • JPY/CHF – Relative outperformers and benefiting from their safe-haven appeal as risk sentiment wanes, with Usd/Jpy reversing from another 110.00+ foray and Eur/Chf has retreating further from 1.1400+ even though the Franc remains below par vs the Buck.

In commodities, Brent (-0.5%) and WTI (-0.4%) prices have been choppy but are ultimately in the red, although off of session lows as the impact from yesterday’s EIA data showing production remained unchanged at the record level of 11.9mln BPD dissipated overnight where trade in the complex was largely flat. In recent news flow Libya’s NOC is said to have not ordered the Sharara oil field to be reopened; Libya are reportedly producing 950k BPD of oil. Separately, the TransCanada Keystone oil pipeline was shut due to a potential leak in the Missouri area; however, it was unknown if the leak originated from Keystone. Finally, sources noted that Saudi oil output fell to 10.24mln BPD, below the target level under the OPEC production pact. Gold (Unch) prices are muted and trading within a thin USD 5/oz range, the yellow metal is still above the USD 1300/oz level and continues to move in tandem with the buck. Similarly, London Metal Exchange copper has retreated from the two months high reached in the previous session as the dollar firms and China’s absence due to their holiday continues to impact markets.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, est. 221,000, prior 253,000
  • 8:30am: Continuing Claims, est. 1.73m, prior 1.78m
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, prior 57.4
  • 3pm: Consumer Credit, est. $17.0b, prior $22.1b

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

We’re in full blown DB research promotion mode at the top here this morning as we have just published a major global growth downside risk analysis, have downgraded our European growth forecasts and have published our latest House View document. We also have a few spaces left at a high profile Brexit panel this afternoon in London to offer up to readers.

Overnight our global economic team published a comprehensive note reviewing the major downside growth risks: trade policy, Brexit, and China. They look at the “tail risk” scenarios for each, reasonably finding that the different shocks would have disparate effects on various regions, though a perfect storm of worst-case outcomes on each front would prompt a very severe downturn. They also downgrade their baseline forecast for euro area growth to +0.9% this year. The full note is available here .

Separately, my House View team published the latest edition of their flagship publication, titled: At the crossroads. They review the global macro outlook, the key themes and risks, and our strategists’ cross-asset forecasts. Overall, there are not major changes to the outlook from the December edition, but many of the major issues impacting growth and markets are set to escalate or be resolved in the next several weeks. The report is available here .

For those that want to know exactly what is going to happen with Brexit, DB is hosting an event later with three high calibre external speakers on UK politics and Brexit. James Forsyth, Political Editor of the Spectator, will help us solve the rubics cube of Conservative Party factions and upcoming Westminster votes. Stephen Bush, Political Editor of the New Statesmen, one of the most plugged in commentators on the Labour Party, will help navigate Jeremy Corbyn’s vision for Brexit and government. Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy at the IOD, will help us understand how industry is preparing for no deal, and the EU’s side of talks. DB’s Brexit expert Oli Harvey will moderate. The event starts at 4.45pm in the Deutsche Bank Auditorium, with drinks afterwards with DB Macro Trading. Please register your interest in attending here .

More on Brexit later but in listening to the adverts above you haven’t missed much as this continues to be a quiet week as was expected given the lull in important events. US bourses ended slightly lower last night, with the closing moves for the S&P 500, DOW and NASDAQ being -0.22%, -0.08% and -0.36% respectively. The S&P 500 snapped its run of five straight daily advances, while the dollar notched its fifth straight advance, gaining +0.32%. That was after the STOXX 600 eked our gains of +0.15% in Europe to take its run of successive gains to seven and the most since September-October 2017. Cash HY spreads in Europe and the US were -6bps and -2bps tighter respectively while Treasuries and Bunds ended the day close to flat. So really not much to write home about. To be fair I suspect my wife would be very confused if I wrote home to tell her anything about anything. In fact it seems crazy to think that when I was a student I used to write long flowing letters to old friends, girlfriends and family and then find a letter box to post them. It would be interesting to know the age of the youngest reader who has actually sent regular love letters in the post rather than an email or a WhatsApp. Even phone calls when I was a student were a sign of needless extravagance.

Anyway I digress, in terms of what news we did get yesterday, US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin unsurprisingly reiterated the intention to reach a trade deal with China. He said that “we’re putting in an enormous amount of effort to try to hit this deadline and get a deal.” Elsewhere the US trade deficit data for November was released yesterday, showing a slightly better-than-expected balance at -$49.3 billion. That could mechanically raise fourth quarter growth expectations, but our economists expect it to be balanced out by large imports in December, probably in an effort to front-run tariffs that took effect on January 1. Meanwhile Germany’s soft factory orders data in the morning initially sparked a bit of risk-off with earnings not helping as the day progressed.

Indeed weaker than expected reports from Electronic Arts (-13.31%) and Take Two (-13.76%) seemed to more than overshadow positive snippets from General Motors (+1.58%) and Snap (+21.59%). Microchip Technology (+7.29%) also had a good day after the CEO predicted that we may have seen the bottom in the cycle for the industry. Those remarks helped the broader semiconductor index gain +2.59%, taking it back to near its level of early October.

Over in Europe our equity strategists highlighted overnight that with 30% of companies having reported, Q4 European EPS growth stands at 1% year-on-year, down from the Q3 growth rate of 8%. This is in line with consensus expectations for the companies that have reported. However, EPS growth expectations for the full Q4 earnings season have been marked down from 3% at the start of the season to almost 0% now. Energy, consumer staples and consumer discretionary sectors have seen the biggest upside surprises to earnings, while communication services and technology have seen major disappointments. Click here for the link.

Late last night we heard from Fed Chair Powell and the Fed’s vice chairman for banking supervision Quarles. Powell gave a brief but positive assessment of the economy by saying that “The U.S. economy is now in a good place; at the moment, unemployment is low, prices are near two percent inflation, so we’re in a good place now.” Quarles also gave a similar assessment of the economy by saying that “the outlook is still very solid and the labour market is an extremely solid labour market, and inflation pressures remain muted.” However, Quarles added that global risks represent the most significant risk to the outlook and like the Fed’s Kaplan who provided calendar-based guidance earlier in the week, Quarles went on to say that he will be looking to analyze these risks more over the next 6 months. So, another member to provide a bit more explicit guidance in terms of calendar-based guidance.

In Asia this morning markets are trading mixed with the Nikkei (-0.62%) leading the decline with almost every sector trading lower amidst a slew of earnings releases even as Softbank shares are up as much as +17.54% on the announcement that the company will buy back as much as JPY 600bn ($ 5.5bn) of stock. Meanwhile, the Kospi (-0.03%) is trading flattish post markets re-opening after three days of holiday and the Australia’s ASX (+1.10%) is continuing its move up after yesterday’s surprise shift in policy stance by the RBA. Markets in Hong Kong and China are closed for holidays. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are down -0.23%. In other news, the US President Trump has nominated senior Treasury official David Malpass to lead the World Bank. In the past, Malpass has been sharply critical of China and has called for a shakeup of the global economic order.

As for Brexit, as we today enter T-50 until March 29th, it was a case of sifting through all the noise again yesterday. The most headline-grabbing comments on Bloomberg was perhaps those from Tusk who didn’t mince his words by saying that there is “a special place in hell for those people who promoted Brexit without any plan for how to deliver it”. This won’t encourage the hard Brexiteers to compromise and will therefore not be seen as helpful. He also confirmed that the EU will make no new offer to PM May and “will not gamble with peace in Ireland or put a sell-by date on reconciliation”. The EC’s Juncker and May are due to meet this morning at 10am GMT however there is little sign of any concessions from either the EU or Ireland to May. What is interesting though is contrasting the Tusk comments to those from Germany. Yesterday Reuters reported that a German government spokesman had said that Germany is “prepared to show creativity on Brexit”. That backs up earlier softer comments from Merkel, albeit comments that seemed to be stretched somewhat in the press. The euro finished -0.39% yesterday.

Staying in Europe, BTPs underperformed (10y +6.6bps) yesterday after the new 30-year deal was confirmed as an €8bn deal which seemed to eclipse expectations for closer to €6-7bn. That said the order book did pass an eye-watering €41bn and therefore eclipsed last month’s demand for shorter bonds. Separately, Italian news agency Ansa reported that the European Commission may downgrade Italy’s 2019 growth forecast to as low as 0.2% in new updates due later today. Our economists are at 0.7%, in line with the consensus private sector forecast. Meanwhile, the IMF in its review of Italian economy said that the annual GDP growth is likely to stay below 1% through 2023 while also adding that the Italian government is falling short on needed reforms for sustainable growth. Finally, Bloomberg reported that the ECB sees no urgency for implementing new TLTROs, which would also be bearish for Italy if true.

In other markets yesterday WTI oil closed +0.50% higher after US data showed smaller-than-expected builds in crude and gasoline inventories. Iron ore rose +0.76% yesterday, as it continues to steal the limelight in commodities post the tragic Brazil dam disaster. The video clips are truly horrifying if you haven’t seen them. Iron ore is up +25.53% this year already and +36.26% from the early-December lows.

Moving on. The main event today should be the BoE meeting. While no change in policy is expected our economists expect the outcome to be a lot more dovish with a material risk (50% chance) that the MPC drop their tightening bias altogether and move to neutral. The rational is: a) significantly weaker domestic survey data pointing to below potential growth b) weaker external conditions c) sizeable downside miss to the BoE’s inflation forecasts. As a minimum the team expect Carney to endorse current market pricing which right now is around 15bps worth of hikes this year. More in their report here .

As for the data that was out yesterday, as highlighted at the top, Germany’s December factory orders data made for fairly bleak reading with orders down -1.6% mom during the month (vs. +0.3% expected). The annual rate weakened to -7.0% yoy as a result which is the weakest since 2012.

Finally to the day ahead, where this morning we’ve got more important data out of Germany with the December industrial production report (+0.8% mom expected). Shortly after we get the December trade balance in France and then January house prices data in the UK. This all comes before the BoE meeting at midday while in the US this afternoon we’ll get the latest weekly initial jobless claims reading – which is worth a watch in light of the big spike to 253k last week (shutdown related or not?) – and then December consumer credit data later this evening. Away from that, the Fed’s Kaplan (2.15pm GMT) and Clarida (2.30pm GMT) are scheduled to speak today while the ECB’s Mersch speaks shortly after midday. The European Commission’s latest forecasts are also out while the earnings highlights are Total, L’Oreal, Sanofi, Twitter and T-Mobile.

 

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)THURSDAY MORNING/ WEDNESDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED CHINESE NEW YEAR //Hang Sang CLOSED NEW YEAR  /The Nikkei closed UP 29.61  PTS OR 0.14%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.39%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 6.7422 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil DOWN to 53.60 dollars per barrel for WTI and 62.41 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED //.

 ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AT 6.7422AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7837: / TRADE TALKS NOW ON/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED   : /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING ABOVE LEVEL OF OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST THE DOLLAR /CHINA RETALIATES WITH TARIFFS/ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW TARIFFS AND IT NOW A FULL TRADE WAR COMMENCED

 

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

 

 

 

 

i)North Korea//USA/Sweden

 

end

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

3 C CHINA

My goodness, the Clintons are involved with Huawei as the company has deep ties to the former Sec of state Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton

 

(courtesy Dick Morris/WesternJournal.com)

 How The Clintons Made Money From Huawei

Authored by Dick Morris, op-ed via WesternJournal.com,

When Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1 through an extradition warrant from the United States, American media described in detail how the company had apparently conspired to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran. (provided by Harvey)

Huawei has long been involved in helping terrorist states and seemingly seeking to thwart U.S. sanctions. Meng is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei.

As details of Huawei’s complicity with Iran emerge, it is time to look back on the Clinton family and its close relationship with Huawei. When their connection was first exposed more than a decade ago, it just seemed like another shady Clinton deal. But now, it becomes clear that Huawei has been central to the Iranian efforts to evade first U.N. and then U.S. sanctions.

The Clintons were apparently conspiring with the enemy.

Huawei has long been a bad actor in undermining U.S. foreign policy. The company has had a deep and long term relationship with the Clinton family.

Huawei and the Clintons’ ties began when Terry McAuliffe, the Clintons’ top fundraiser and future governor of Virginia, bought a Chinese car company – GreenTech Automotive – and moved it to the U.S. in the hopes that it would produce electric cars.

McAuliffe got Huawei to invest in GreenTech through a financing firm called Gulf Coast Funds Management, headed by Hillary’s brother, Tony Rodham. Gulf Coast, boasting the Rodham name, agreed to help Huawei get visas for its top executives under the EB-5 program, which awards visas to those who invest at least $500,000 in the U.S. to create jobs.

The feds had already turned Huawei down because of its links to the Chinese military.

Huawei’s misdeeds are plentiful.

It helped Saddam Hussein install fiber optic cables in violation of U.S. sanctions.

It also helped the Taliban by installing a phone system in Kabul, Afghanistan.

It stole proprietary material from U.S. high-tech company Cisco Systems. This material ended up in Chinese hands.

In 2013, Huawei tried to sell telecom equipment made by Hewlett-Packard to Iran in defiance of sanctions. And, until a few weeks ago, the parent company of Huawei’s Iranian business partner was partly owned by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is playing the key role in Iran’s nuclear program.

According to the South China Morning Post, the U.S. action against Huawei “will severely damage, even cripple, the Chinese company. Of Huawei’s 92 core suppliers, 33 are U.S. corporations, including chip makers Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Marvell and Micron. If Washington now prohibits these companies from selling to Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant will struggle to survive.”

And, if their full role in the liaison with Huawei comes out, so will Bill and Hillary.

4.EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

UK

Not good for England this morning after the Bank of England slashes its GDP forecast for the year as well as warning of rising BREXIT damage

(courtesy zerohedge)

Pound Tumbles After BOE Slashes GDP Forecast, Warns Of Rising Brexit Damage

The Bank of England kept its rates on hold at 0.75%, as expected, in a unanimous decision despite rumors of a hawkish dissenter.

Bank of England

@bankofengland

We have kept interest rates at 0.75%. Find out why in our visual summary: https://b-o-e.uk/2HV7rYw 

However, the reason why pound plunged following the report is that the central bank joined the Fed and other central banks, in retreating from plans for multiple interest rate rises as it downgraded its economic outlook amid mounting Brexit uncertainty and slowing global growth.

With the March 29 deadline to leave the EU and no Brexit deal yet concluded which has depressed spending and confidence, the BOE said that “uncertainty had intensified,” and now forecasts 1.2% growth this year, down from 1.7% predicted three months ago, the biggest downgrade since the 2016 referendum according to Bloomberg. The global backdrop has also weakened, as highlighted in the European Commission’s sweeping cuts to the euro-area economic outlook on Thursday.

The messaging was clearly negative, even as potential growth offsets the debate around slack in the economy, meaning less growth is required for inflation; so while the report was not unequivocally dovish, the GBP tumbled on the release, with the 10Y gilt now down at 1.1650.

The BOE’s decision follows recent dovish statements from the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank. U.K. officials noted the impact of China’s slowdown and said trade wasn’t contributing as much to growth as they expected.

The forecasts came alongside the latest policy decision by the Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Mark Carney. It voted 9-0 to hold the key interest rate at 0.75 percent, as predicted by all economists in a Bloomberg survey. The bank last lifted the rate in August.

Some details from the report:

  • With the final Brexit terms still unresolved, the BOE said that its forecasts would need to be updated “once greater clarity emerged about the nature of EU withdrawal.” Acknowledging the huge impact of uncertainty, it ran an analysis showing that less uncertainty would lead to much stronger growth – 1.6% this year and 2.2% in 2020.
  • Assuming a smooth Brexit, policy makers reiterated that limited and gradual rate increases will be necessary. Nevertheless, the forecasts suggested that just one more quarter-point hike would be needed in the next three years to return inflation to close to the 2 percent target, down from almost three hikes seen in November.
  • The MPC also cut their prediction for business investment to a 2.75% drop this year, having previously forecast a +2% increase.
  • Why Brexit outcomes are so important: On GBP, the MPC highlighted that their forecasts are especially sensitive to moves. A 5% depreciation in GBP would lift inflation to 2.4% percent by the end of 2021, versus 2.1% in the current projections – while a gain of that magnitude would drop the rate to 1.8%.

As a result, investors now see almost no chance of a quarter-point rate move by the end of the year. Furthermore, the BOE bank said that productivity is recovering more slowly than it had thought and that the supply capacity of the economy had shrunk. Officials said that potential supply growth is now a “little below” the 1.5 percent previously estimated.

The report wasn’t uniformly dovish, and in two years, the BOE sees demand outstripping supply, implying some inflationary pressure building in the economy. In the near-term, however, inflation will drop below the BOE’s 2 percent goal due to lower oil prices.

The committee also noted how sensitive its forecasts are to swings in the pound. A 5 percent depreciation in sterling would lift inflation to 2.4% by the end of 2021 versus 2.1% in the current projections, while a gain of that magnitude would drop the rate to 1.8 percent. Judging by today’s GBP drop, more inflation, or rather stagflation, may be in the cards.

end
France/Italy
France is angry with Italy after DiMaio supports the French yellow vest movement.  So Macron recalls his ambassador to Italy.  The EU is falling apart
(courtesy zerohedge)

France Recalls Ambassador From Italy After “Unprecedented” Verbal Attacks

The diplomatic row between France and Italy is escalating. More than half a year after Italy summoned the French ambassador over Europe’s migrant row, on Thursday France one-upped Italy when it announced it would recall its ambassador to Italy, citing “outrageous” verbal attacks, repeated “meddling” in its domestic affairs and “unacceptable” provocations.

 

The French foreign ministry said the decision was taken following a meeting between Italy’s deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio and leaders of the French Yellow Vest protester movement, trumpeting his support for the grassroots protests in defiance of President Emmanuel Macron.

“This is unprecedented since the war,” the foreign ministry said in an emailed statement on Thursday. “Having disagreements is one thing, but using the relationship for electoral purposes is quite another.”

Luigi di Maio, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement hailed the “winds of change across the Alps” yesterday on Twitter after meeting with Yellow Vest activists Cristophe Chalencon and Ingrid Levavasseur.

View image on Twitter

“The latest interference is an additional and unacceptable provocation,” according to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Thursday. It added that this “violates the respect that democratically and freely elected governments owe each other.”

“All these acts create a serious situation that questions the intentions of the Italian government” towards France.

A diplomatic feud has been growing between Paris and Rome over repeated expressions of support for the Yellow Vest protests coming from top Italian officials. Di Maio’s co-deputy PM Matteo Salvini said this week that French people “will be able to free themselves from a terrible president” in May after European parliamentary elections take place.

Chalencon and Levavasseur are themselves planning to run in those elections, according to French media reports.

end

Germany/Wirecard

Looks like we have another massive fraud on our hands with respect to German based Wirecard as a whistleblower exposes accounting fraud.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Wirecard Shares Sink As Theranos-Style Whistleblower Exposes Accounting Fraud

Last month, the Financial Times sent shares of German global payments company Wirecard – a market darling which had seen its shares nearly quintuple in a span of less than four years – reeling when it published a story purportedly sourced from company insiders revealing the existence of an internal investigation into widespread accounting fraud. Before the rout was over, Wirecard shares had fallen more than 20%. But analysts backed up the company’s insistence that no wrongdoing had actually taken place, with one calling the report “fake news”.

Wirecard

But refusing to back down, the FT returned on Thursday with another even more extensive story, sourced Theranos-style “whistleblower” company insider who claimed to have been complicit in the alleged fraud. The whistleblower managed to leak a copy of a report compiled by a law firm that examines the alleged malfeasance in great and sometimes stunning detail. And as a result, Wirecard’s shares are moving lower once again.

WC

This time around, investors might find it difficult to ignore the FT’s findings, or find them anything short of compelling. because not only does it cite information from company insiders, but it also includes details from a preliminary report from one of Asia’s top law firms that appear to back up the allegations of wrongdoing. The company, according to the report, committed widespread book-padding as it sought to take over a regional payments business from Citigroup that ultimately granted Wirecard a stretch of territory spanning from New Zealand to India.

The gist is simple: As Wirecard embarked on its quest for globe-spanning domination in the payments space, heads of regional businesses were encouraged to inflate the company’s transaction volume numbers, mainly through the use of a technique referred to by the FT as “round tripping.”

One year ago, Edo Kurniawan, a jovial 33-year-old Indonesian who runs the Asia-Pacific accounting and finance operations for global payments group Wirecard AG, called half a dozen colleagues into a Singapore meeting room. He picked up a whiteboard pen and began to teach them how to cook the books.

His company would soon become one of Germany’s most valuable financial institutions, but as Mr Kurniawan spoke, the immediate task at hand was to create figures that would convince regulators at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to issue a licence so Wirecard could dole out prepaid bank cards in the Chinese territory. 

The group was seeking to take over payment operations from Citigroup, covering 20,000 retailers in 11 countries stretching from India to New Zealand. Regulatory approvals in every territory were crucial, even if it meant inventing numbers to be used in the Hong Kong licence application.

Mr Kurniawan then sketched out a practice known as “round tripping”: a lump of money would leave the bank Wirecard owns in Germany, show its face on the balance sheet of a dormant subsidiary in Hong Kong, depart to sit momentarily in the books of an external “customer”, then travel back to Wirecard in India, where it would look to local auditors like legitimate business revenue.

The practice, according to the report cited by the FT, was used to appease regulators throughout Asia, which suggests that the fraud wasn’t merely the work of one rogue employee.

In isolation, Mr Kurniawan’s scheme might have appeared to be the act of a rogue employee in the provincial outpost of a little known financial group. But the account of what happened, in a preliminary report on the investigation by one of Asia’s most eminent legal firms, indicated it was part of a pattern of book-padding across Wirecard’s Asian operations over several years. Documents seen by the Financial Times show two senior executives in the Munich head office had at least some awareness of the round-tripping scheme: Thorsten Holten and Stephan von Erffa, respectively the company’s head of treasury and head of accounting.

The revelations call into question the figures reported by one of Europe’s few technological success stories, a German fintech group that has grown into a €20bn global payments institution. Before the FT exposed the existence of the investigation last week, the group was more valuable than Deutsche Bank or Commerzbank, whose place it has taken in Germany’s main stock market index. Wirecard is a favourite of retail investors, who saw its rapid expansion into Asia as a sign that it can challenge the world’s biggest banks for primacy in the $1.4tn market for payments.

The “whistleblower” who spoke with the FT helped initiate the internal probe after finding the brazenness of one of the company’s regional managers, who had called a meeting to explain to employees how the fraud would be carried out, almost too shocking to be believed.

This time questions about its Asian operations began internally, prompted by a whistleblower left stunned by Mr Kurniawan’s January meeting last year. Notifying Wirecard’s senior legal counsel in the region on March 26, the whistleblower identified two senior finance executives, James Wardhana and Irene Chai, as accomplices in the book-cooking operation. A separate whistleblower also raised concerns in February, and on April 3 that person supplied the compliance team with a suspect contract they had received via Telegram, the encrypted messaging app. Daniel Steinhoff, Wirecard’s head of compliance in Munich, flew in to Singapore for a briefing. On April 13 he ordered the email archives of these individuals “mirrored”, with copies seized.  Compliance staff, who evidently found the accounts of the whistleblowers credible, soon found enough in the documents to warrant a snap investigation, codenamed Project Tiger. They called in Singapore-based Rajah & Tann, which sent in a team of former prosecutors.

Eventually, much of the behavior that the whistleblower had complained about was borne out by the report, including “forgery and/or falsification” as well as “cheating, criminal breach of trust, corruption and/or money laundering.”

On May 4 R&T submitted a preliminary report, running to 30 pages of bombshell allegations:evidence in the documents of “forgery and/or of falsification of accounts”, as well as reasons to suspect “cheating, criminal breach of trust, corruption and/or money laundering” in multiple jurisdictions.  The trio in Singapore, led by Mr Kurniawan, appears to have been fabricating invoices and agreements to create a paper trail which could be shown to auditors at EY, as if money was moving in and out of Wirecard for legitimate purposes.

And in what was undoubtedly a bad look for the company’s top brass, once the investigation got rolling, the company’s top brass installed a senior employee who had allegedly been involved in some of the fraudulent activities to help oversee the probe, inviting comparisons to the “fox guarding the hen house.”

A briefing document dated May 7 2018 was prepared for a meeting of Wirecard’s four most senior executives. Alexander von Knoop, chief financial officer, thanked the author in an email following the meeting “for the great job you are doing to clarify the circumstances and to prevent Wirecard Group from any financial and reputational damage”.  The email also announced that Jan Marsalek, Wirecard’s chief operating officer, had been appointed to co-ordinate the inquiry, “to get the necessary pressure on the investigation”, Mr von Knoop said.

[…]

Wirecard’s lawyers in Singapore warned Mr Marsalek’s proposed role presented “a perceived and potential conflict of interest.” He was a material witness of fact who had worked closely with Mr Kurniawan on certain projects, they said.

To sum up, to call Thursday’s FT report “damning” would be an understatement. It suggests that managers throughout the company’s vast global network brazenly and blithely invented money flows and even in some cases fake customers to back them up. The company also reportedly violated AML reporting guidelines. Taken together, the fraud calls into questions not just Wirecard’s recent earnings results, but the very perception of WireCard as one of the Continent’s most successful fintech startups.

Which begs the question: When this is all said and done, will Wirecard be remembered as Germany’s “Theranos?” As the whistleblower put it: “If a payments company can do this, how can we trust the system?”

5.RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

 

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

A global crash is coming:  the entire world’s economies are entering contraction/crisis

(courtesy Graham Summers/Phoenix Research Capital)

This Is Your Final Warning Before Things Get UGLY

The next leg down is officially here.

The big picture story for the markets is that the US/China trade deal is no longer important. Even if the two nations did agree on a perfect deal that resolves the structural issues between their economies (highly improbable), the fact is that the global credit cycle has turned and we are entering a contraction/ crisis.

Europe is now officially weakening with most major economies (Germany, France, Italy and Spain) approaching, if not already in, recessions.

The market is fully aware of this. The German DAX has ended its bull market from the 2009 low. This latest rally is a pathetic dead cat bounce in the context of a larger bear market.

GPC27191.png

The situation is even worse in China. There we have the beginning of complete systemic collapse as the largest pile of garbage debt/ financial fraud finally blows up. China spends $25 in debt for every $1 in GDP growth. And its economy is growing, at best, by 2% per year.

The market similarly knows this which is why China has broken in 20+ year bull market trendline.  The Chinese stock market has been in a series of successive bubbles followed by spectacular crashes for the last two decades. This time around, the Crash will be something truly astonishing to behold.

GPC27192.png

This leaves the US, where despite all the fanfare, the economy is almost certainly contracting if not already in a full-blown recession.

Maxing out your credit card is very different from getting a raise. What’s happened in the US in the last two years is the country maxing out its credit card on a personal, state, and national level.

Here again the market knows this, which is why we’ve broken the bull market trendline from the 2009 lows. The ultimate downside for this collapse is at best 2,000, and more likely than not we’ll go to the high 1,000s (think 1,750-1,800).

GPC27193.png

A Crash is coming…

end

 

Another indicator of a global slowdown:  Advertising giant Publicis, suffers an historic rout as USA consumer brand spending tumbles

 

(courtesy zero hedge)

Ad Industry Suffers Historic Rout As US Consumer Brand Spending Tumbles

While search and social network companies, most of the funded by advertising, have left the bruising selloff of December far in the rearview mirror, as investors rush to bid up the high beta, high growth sector once again, the broader advertising market is suffering from a sharp repricing which today manifested itself in the world’s biggest advertising companies losing more than $5 billion in market value in under 24 hours.

The rout, as Bloomberg notes, began Wednesday around midday in New York and spread around the globe after Paris-based ad giant Publicis Groupe said Q4 sales fell “unexpectedly” because of a decline in business with consumer goods brands in the U.S. Publicis shares plunged as much as 15%, their biggest intraday drop since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.

News of the unexpected industry slowdown promptly sent shares of Publicis’ biggest rivals tumbling as much as 9% once the implications for the wider industry sank in: after all, if consumer goods makers had less need for Publicis’ services, the same applies to WPP, Omnicom Group, Dentsu and Interpublic. Worse, Publicis has been seen as an early mover in shifting to the new digitally-driven advertising that’s supposed to keep corporate marketing departments loyal to the old ad firms. The fact that it had gotten no traction was clearly dismal news for the entire sector.

In emailed comments to Bloomberg, Mirabaud analyst Neil Campling said consumer goods companies can have as many as 25 ad agencies working for them and that looks inefficient. The alternative: just use Amazon and “connect directly to consumers”

“The key area hit is North America,” Campling said. “The combination of consumer packaged goods and North America for us points to the rise of Amazon more than anything else, offering a brand new channel for brands to connect directly to consumers.”

Meanwhile, in addition to an relentless shift to pure-play digital names such as Google and Facebook, Amazon has also been profiting from the shift away from legacy businesses; as a result its advertising revenue has been growing almost as fast as AWS as the company starts to give more prominent placement to sponsored products in search results, rather than those offering the lowest prices, while charging generously for said placement. Investors see the area as even more profitable than its main e-commerce business.

end

 

7  OIL ISSUES

8. EMERGING MARKETS

Venezuela/USA

Admiral states that the USA is now military ready to protect uSA personnel in Venezuela.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Admiral Says US Military Ready To Protect US Personnel In Venezuela

Here we go.

As Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro continues to cling to power even as more countries recognize the legitimacy of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who will soon benefit from a fund of Venezuelan oil revenue being set up by the US, a US Navy Admiral has offered the first hint that the US might be moving toward boots-on-the-ground military intervention in Latin America’s floundering socialist paradise.

Trading News@4xInsight

[RTRS] – U.S. MILITARY PREPARED TO PROTECT U.S. PERSONNEL AND DIPLOMATIC FACILITIES IN VENEZUELA IF NECESSARY: U.S. ADMIRAL

According to Reuters, the admiral said the US military is prepared to protect US personnel and diplomatic facilities in Venezuela “if necessary.”

“We are prepared to protect US personnel and diplomatic facilities if necessary,” Navy Admiral Craig Faller, the head of US Southern Command, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

This even after Maduro backed down from threats to forcefully expel all US personnel in the days after Guaido dramatically declared himself the legitimate acting president of Venezuela late last month and called for new elections to be held.

Reuters

US embassy building in Caracas

We’ve been warning all along that despite assurances from Guaido that the situation in Venezuela wouldn’t devolve into an all-out civil war, that some kind of conflict still appeared imminent.

And President Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton have maintained that the door remained open to a possible US military intervention.

end
Pompeo makes the ridiculous claim that Hezbollah has active cells in Venezuela and this will no doubt justify possible USA intervention
( zero hedge)

Pompeo Claims Hezbollah “Active In Venezuela” To Justify Possible US Intervention

Two weeks ago, when remarking sarcastically about the upcoming “requirement” for a US military presence in or around Venezuela where the situation is increasingly looking like a replay of events in Syria pitting the US and “western powers” on one said and Russia and China (and Turkey) on the other, we said that it’s only a matter of time before ISIS made a dramatic appearance in Latin America.

zerohedge@zerohedge

Time for ISIS to make a dramatic appearance in Latin America

We thought we were joking.

It turns out the joke was on us, because – in an apparent failure to come up with an even remotely original narrative for another imminent American intervention – US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday night that, drumroll, “Hezbollah has active cells in Venezuela.” Well, we were wrong about ISIS at least.

Embedded video

Trish Regan

@trish_regan

.@SecPompeo confirms to me exclusively that is active in – WATCH:

As the Trump administration has continued to ratchet up pressure on the Latin American nation amid a crippling political and economic crisis, and hinted on several occasions that US troops would be deployed, Mike Pompeo told Fox Business that “people don’t recognize that Hezbollah has active cells” in the country, adding that “the Iranians are impacting the people of Venezuela and throughout South America. We have an obligation to take down that risk for America” he said, quoted by the Independent.

Sigh.

Ironically or not, when it comes to Hezbollah, which the US has long considered a terrorist organisation, sanctions on people in Venezuela linked to the Iranian-backed Lebanese group have been imposed as far back as the George W Bush administration, seemingly in anticipation for just such an event.

Washington also believes Latin America has served as a base of fund-gathering for the group for some years, including through drugs and money-laundering schemes, according to past reports and to justify said close link, the media notes that Venezuela’s former president Hugo Chavez formed tight links with Iran under Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s leadership. Supposedly that is a sufficient and necessary condition to conclude that Maduro is now harboring terrorists, which in turn would require a US “peacekeeping” mission.

And just so the US population does not lose plot, later in his Fox interview, the former CIA director described Maduro as “evil” and insisted the US was intervening on behalf of ordinary Venezuelans who have suffered under his rule.

In other words, yet another “humantiarian” coup under US auspices.

“We should not permit a country in our hemisphere to treat its own people this way,” he said, despite Washington’s – and the CIA’s – dismal track record of fomenting government overhauls in the region. “American values – America’s, not only our interests but our values – are at stake here.”

It wasn’t clear just which values he was referring to.

end

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

Euro/USA 1.1335 DOWN .0031 REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:///ITALIAN CHAOS /AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA RISING INTEREST RATES /FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES RED 

 

 

 

 

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 109.79  DOWN 0.171 (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 1.2885    DOWN   0.0058  (Brexit March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED

USA/CAN 1.3247 UP .0032 CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA/CANADA HAS A HUGE HOUSEHOLD DEBT/GDP PROBLEM)

Early THIS THURSDAY morning in Europe, the Euro FELL by 31 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level FALLING to 1.1394/ Last night Shanghai composite closed /OFF FOR THE WEEK/CHINESE NEW YEAR 

 

 

//Hang Sang CLOSED CHINESE NEW YEAR 

 

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP 1.10%  /EUROPEAN BOURSES RED

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NIKKEI: this THURSDAY morning CLOSED DOWN 122.78 POINTS OR 0.59%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED RED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED CHINESE NEW YEAR 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 1.10%

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED DOWN 122.78 PTS OR 0.59%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE GREEN

Gold very early morning trading: 1306.20

silver:$15.66

Early THURSDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.67% !!! DOWN 2 IN POINTS from WEDNESDAY’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 3.01 DOWN 2  IN BASIS POINTS from WEDNESDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

USA dollar index early THURSDAY morning: 96.63 UP 24 CENT(S) from  WEDNESDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers THURSDAY MORNING

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

And now your closing THURSDAY NUMBERS \12: 00 PM

 

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

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

 

 

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.24% DOWN 2   IN basis point yield from WEDNESDAY

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.96 UP 10     POINTS in basis point yield from WEDNESDAY/

 

 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 172 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: FALLS UP TO +.11%   IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY//

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.85% 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 THURSDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1358 DOWN   .0008 or 8 basis points

 

 

USA/Japan: 109.70 DOWN  0.007 OR 7 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.2971 UP.0038( POUND UP 38  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar DOWN 72 basis points to 1.3287

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

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

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  6.7844(  YUAN DOWN)

TURKISH LIRA:  5.2600

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

 

 

 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield DOWN 3 IN basis points from WEDNESDAY at 2.66 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.01 DOWN 1  in basis points on the day /

THE RISE IN BOTH THE 10 YR AND THE 30 YR ARE VERY PROBLEMATIC FOR VALUATIONS

Your closing USA dollar index, 96.43 UP 4 CENT(S) ON THE DAY/1.00 PM/

 

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

London: CLOSED DOWN 79.51 OR 1.11%

German Dax : DOWN 302.70 POINTS OR 2.67%

Paris Cac CLOSED DOWN 93.49 POINTS OR 1.84%

Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 162.60 POINTS OR  1.79%

Italian MIB: CLOSED DOWN 518,15 POINTS OR 2.59%

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 52.24 12:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 61.13 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   ROUBLE CROSS:    66.08  THE CROSS HIGHER BY 0.21 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE LOWER BY214 BASIS PTS)

 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD FALLS +.11 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 :  52.64

 

 

BRENT :  61.68

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: … 2.66..

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.00

 

 

 

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1346 ( DOWN 20    BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:109.84 DOWN.145 (YEN UP 15   BASIS POINTS/..

 

.

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 96.56 UP 17 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA:1.2952  UP 18 POINTS FROM YESTERDAY

the Turkish lira close: 5.2645

the Russian rouble 65.97:   DOWN .10 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( down 10 BASIS POINTS)

 

Canadian dollar:  1.3301 DOWN 86 BASIS pts

USA/CHINESE YUAN (CNY) :  6.7422  (ONSHORE)/CLOSED FOR THE WEEK

USA/CHINESE YUAN(CNH): 6.7847  (OFFSHORE)

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: ,0.11%

 

The Dow closed down 220.77 POINTS OR 0.87%

 

NASDAQ closed down 86.893 POINTS OR 1.18%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  16.54 CLOSED UP 1.16 

 

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.737%  .LIBOR  RATES ARE FALLING/

 

FROM 2.738

 

 

 

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, Bond Yields Tumble On Global Growth, China Talks Anxiety

European economies are collapsing along with global sovereign bond yields… but stocks seem to have found something to love (hint rhymes with Schmentral Schmank Schmiquidty)… how long are they willing to let this decoupling from reality last?

Total desperation to ensure the world thinks…

When in fact its circling the drain.

China remains closed for the lunar new year celebrations but Yuan tumbled on the Kudlow comments...

 

Worst day of the year for German and Italian stocks as the parade of terrible economic data finally breaks the bad news is good news meme…

 

Larry Kudlow spoiled the party early on after stocks rebounded magically at the cash open…

 

But we did see dip-buying after Europe closed – Nasdaq was worst, Trannies best…

 

S&P failed to break its 200DMA for the second day and broke down below its 100DMA…

 

Nasdaq and S&P ended the day giving up all their February gains…

 

US equities also started to play catch down to crude’s recent demise…

 

Equity and Credit protection costs spiked… IG spreads spiked the most since mid-December…

 

And stocks started top catch down to bond yields’ reality…

 

Treasury Yields tumbled across the curve…

 

30Y broke back below 3.00%…

 

And the market is repricing the uber-dovish Fed (expecting rates to drop 10bps in 2019!)…

 

The dollar is up for the 6th day in a row – the longest win streak since Dec 2017…but note that it rolled over at what looks like key resistance…

We wonder what happens when the Chinese come back from their lunar new year celebrations.

Notably, EM FX has been tumbling as the USD surged and EM sovereign debt was hit today…

 

Cryptos were quiet again after yesterday’s chaos…

 

Despite dollar gains, PMs managed to rally (safe haven), copper was flat, and crude tumbled…

 

Gold dipped and ripped back to unchanged…

 

WTI tested $51 handle intraday…

 

Finally, we note that, while it’s surely just a coincidence but, US equity markets suffered their biggest drop since the start of the year on the day when AOC unveiled her full-socialist-utopia “Green New Deal”…

market trading/

stocks tumble after Kudlow warns on poor trade talks

a)S&P

Stocks Tumble Through Key Technical Level After Kudlow Warns On Trade Talks

It appears White House advisor Larry Kudlow is today’s ‘bad cop’ as he just told Fox Business that “there is a pretty sizable distance to go” in US-China trade talks (adding that Xi and Trump “will meet at some point”). That has taken the shine off the latest algo BTFD ramp…

Dow is down over 200 points…

And all major US equity indices are at the lows of the day…

 

Perhaps most critically, having failed twice at the 200DMA, the S&P 5000 has just broken back below the 100DMA…

end
b) Then: stocks further collapse on reports that Trump and Xi will not meet
(courtesy zerohedge)

Stocks Erase February Gains On Reports Trump-Xi Won’t Meet

The S&P and Nasdaq are now in the red for Februaru after Larry Kudlow’s comments on the US-China talks and a further story from CNBC that Trump is ‘highly unlikely’ to meet Chinese President Xi before March 1 trade deadline, sources say (via @kaylatausche).

The Dow is down 340 points and S&P, Nasdaq, and Small Caps are now red for February…

That escalated quickly…

Offshore yuan is also tumbling on the news…

 

 

 

MARKET DATA

USA ECONOMIC STORIES OF INTEREST

Another good indicator to suggest the economy is faltering:  Class  8 heavy truck orders just crashed by 68% in January

(courtesy zerohedge)

Class 8 Heavy Truck Orders Crash 68% in January

Among the latest dismal news about the strength of the US economy, on Tuesday ACT Research released preliminary truck orders for January 2019 which showed that Class 8 truck orders collapsed an astounding 68% for January. The decline is being attributed to a 300,000+ vehicle backlog potentially prompting fleets to halt purchases in the near term.

Specifically, in January Class 8 net orders were 15,800 units (14,700 SA; 176,400 SAAR), down 68% YoY and down 26% MoM. Class 5- 7 January net orders were 23,400 units, down 24% YoY but up 3% MoM.

Class 8 trucks are one of the more common heavy trucks on the road, used for transport, logistics and occasionally (some dump trucks) for industrial purposes. Typical 18 wheelers on the road are generally all Class 8 vehicles, and traditionally are seen as an accurate coincident indicator of trade and logistics trends in the economy.

Stephen Volkmann of Jefferies told Bloomberg that the collapse “should not be a surprise, but is likely to feed the bears”. He also guessed that upgrade demand could continue to “support high production through 2020”. We’ll believe that when we see it.

According to Neil Frohnapple at Buckingham, January is the third month in a row of year over year declines after Q3 of 2018 proved to be better than expectations. Frohnapple told Bloomberg he was “a little surprised” that net orders for January came in at just ~16,000.

According to JPMorgan, the New Orders component of the ISM Manufacturing Index tends to be the best leading indicator of future freight trends and truck demand. Specifically, the year-over-year change in New Orders has historically led the year-over-year change in the Cass Freight Index (the bank’s preferred broad-based indicator of  freight trends) by 6-9 months. The ISM New Orders index was 58.2 in January, down 11.0% YoY but still well above 50. The Cass Freight Index was down 0.8% YoY in December (the latest month available).

Despite this latest collapse in the trucking market, ACT Research commented: “Regarding Class 8, recall that January 2018 marked the point at which orders went vertical. We view this January’s order softness as having more to do with pulled-forward orders and a very large Class 8 backlog than with the current supply-demand balance. Softening freight growth and strong Class 8 capacity additions suggest that the supply-demand balance will become a story in 2019, but January seems a premature start to that tale.”

This news comes on the back of a terrible December for heavy truck orders, which we discussed about last month, when we noted that the exponential surge in transportation prices as a result of an acute scarcity of truck drivers sent trucking prices soaring last year, and led to a historic spike in Class 8 truck orders as supply had scrambled to keep up with demand. That was, until November, when Class 8 orders started their precipitous drop.

Back in December, BMO analyst Joel Tiss said that while “there is no doubt that freight and freight-rate growth have slowed, we do not think that it is time to panic just yet” after December’s sharp 43% plunge.

With January’s collapse now in the books, we ask “how about now?”

end
My goodness:  P G and E exposed to another catastrophe as one of gas lines explodes engulfing San Francisco buildings  near the Presidio on Geary Ave and Parker.  The good news for PG and E is that they have already filed for bankruptcy.  The bad news is for the inflicted as they will have no hope of recovery.
(courtesy zerohedge)

PG&E Gas Line Explosion Engulfs San Francisco Buildings In Flames

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for bankrupt California utility PG&E, it got worse.

On Wednesday afternoon, PG&E – which filed for bankruptcy last week as a result of $30 billion in legal liabilities resulting from California’s massive 2017 and 2018 wildfires its equipment may have ignited – was working to contain a natural gas leak from a pipeline that exploded on Wednesday along a major thoroughfare in San Francisco, setting fire to five buildings and leaving thousands without power in Inner Richmond, while prompting people in nearby restaurants to run for their lives as fire crews worked to get a handle on the soaring flames.

The fire erupted just before 1:30 p.m. in front of Hong Kong Lounge II by the intersection of Geary Boulevard and Parker Avenue, officials said according to the SF Chronicle.

The fire triggered an evacuation order for people within a block of the site on Geary Boulevard, a major artery that leads into downtown San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Fire Department. According to Bloomberg, which quoted San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, eight workers near the explosion have been accounted for and no injuries were reported.

Eight construction workers, hired by an unidentified third-party contractor, were digging in the ground to install fiber optic cables when they hit a gas main, Hayes-White said.

PG&E’s stock plunged as much as 6.3 percent following this latest accident which threatens to pile up even more legal bills on the insolvent utility, which in addition to wildfire costs, is still dealing with the consequences of the San Bruno gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people and leveled 38 homes.

“I’m confident that it’ll be contained soon,” Hayes-White told reporters at the scene. “As soon as the gas leak is tamped down, we’ll have it under control.” The alternative, of course, being that a section of San Francisco burns down is probably too dire for PG&E’s management to even consider.

Hayes-White described the explosion and ensuing fire as extensive but noted that it’s “not as extensive” as the San Bruno blast.

Alas, flames continued to tower above nearby buildings more than an hour after the blast was first reported, when Hayes-White said PG&E was still working to contain the leak. She called the company’s response time to the blast “pretty good.”

For its part, PG&E said on Twitter that it’s working with first responders and urged people to avoid the area.

Bloomberg adds that at least five PG&E workers could be seen digging into the pavement in a crosswalk near the flames more than an hour after the blast. Helicopter footage of the fire scene showed a blackened backhoe near the source of the flames.

Meanwhile, the NTSB didn’t immediately say whether the agency is sending a team to the incident, while the U.S. Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which regulates pipeline safety, said it was gathering information on the blast to determine whether it will dispatch investigators.

“PHMSA recognizes the seriousness of this incident and appreciates the work of the San Francisco Fire Department and all first responders,” the agency said.

In the six years after the San Bruno explosion, PG&E installed more than 230 automatic or remote-controlled valves on its natural gas network, so workers wouldn’t need to manually shut off the flow of gas in an emergency. The company also replaced all the remaining cast-iron pipes in its system with modern plastic and steel pipes, Bloomberg adds. Unfortunately, today – just days after the company’s bankruptcy filing resulting from its sloppy operations and lack of precautions – it appears that whatever PG&E did was not enough.

The good news for PG&E, and we use the term loosely, is that it has already filed for bankruptcy. So for all those who just suffered millions in losses, get in line.

END

Bricks and mortar operations continue to falter.  Here is a list of chains in big trouble led by Neiman Marcus

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

The “Retail Apocalypse” Isn’t Over: It Is Only Just Getting Started

Last year’s holiday sales season was one of the strongest in years. But unfortunately for America’s struggling retailers, many missed out on the sales bonanza as Amazon and other e-commerce platforms accrued nearly all of the sales growth while foot traffic at US malls was stagnant. Already, Kohl’s and Macy’s have helped crush the narrative of the strong consumer by slashing their earnings guidance, something that doesn’t bode well for Q4 GDP, thanks to what we warned would be an unsustainable inventory build up that has inflated growth numbers in recent quarters.

GDP

The retail space has already seen the first headline-grabbing retail bankruptcy of the year (see: Gymboree). And as Bloomberg warned in a story published this week, even after high-profile bankruptcies including Sears and Toys R’ Usthe “retail apocalypse” is far from over.

Though the Fed has capitulated to the whims of the market, retailers still make up about one-fifth of the universe of distresses borrowers. And on Friday, the head of the biggest mall owner in the US warned that more bankruptcies are coming this year. Economists are increasingly worried about a recession this year or next.

Simon Property Group CEO David Simon told investors on Friday during a conference call that there are chains that his company is “nervous” about. Anybody who has traveled to a US mall recently may have noticed this change: Where once there were shoppers, now they halls look disconcertingly empty.

Eyes

Mall

As Barry Bobrow and Lynn Whitmore at Wells Fargo Capital Finance warned, the industry is likely heading for a “prolonged restructuring” as the pre-crisis debt binge undertaken by retailers continues to haunt the broader industry. Retailers who are already weighed down with debt are also facing pressure to innovate and pivot to e-commerce. But their financial pressures are leaving them little wiggle room. Put another way, the problems facing Sears are effectively an extremely acute version of the problems facing the broader industry.

“We’re heading more and more into a distressed market,” said Bobrow, managing director at Wells Fargo Capital Finance. Whitmore, managing director of retail finance, says retailers are laboring under debt levels that “just eclipses anything we saw in the recession.”

Still, there are some reasons to be optimistic. Some chains have improved online sales, which Moody’s said could increase operating income by 5% or 6% this year. The ratings firm raised its outlook from stable to positive in October, the first shift since 2015. Only about 4.9% of retail mortgages were overdue in January, down from more than 6% at the start of 2018. However, these sunnier data points can largely be attributed to the fact that many of the biggest struggling retailers have already failed.

And defaults continue to be a problem.Default rates on retail junk bonds have risen to 10.2% as of December, according to Fitch Ratings, more than double the level from the same period in 2017.

GDP

With that in mind, Bloomberg has published a list of some of the most troubled large retailers who could be at risk of bankruptcy during the year ahead.

Neiman Marcus

The luxury retailer is saddled with nearly $5 billion of debt after its 2005 leveraged buyout and its 2013 sale to another set of private equity owners. The retailer has a $2.8 billion loan due next year, and has too much debt relative to its earnings, Moody’s analyst Christina Boni said in an interview. “If we had a magic wand and could get rid of their balance sheet issues, Neiman could move forward, focused on its core operations,” she said.

The retailer’s 8 percent notes due October 2021 trade at less than 50 cents on the dollar. Its first round of talks with its lenders ended last year in stalemate. The company is trying to talk to creditors again to cut its borrowings. A representative for the Dallas-based retailer said the company is confident it can come to a “mutually beneficial solution” with stakeholders. Neiman Marcus is in full compliance with debt agreements and has ample time to refinance its debt, the representative said.

NM is facing a veritable “debt wall” that will be almost impossible for the company to surmount without new financing.

Debt

Petsmart & Petco

Two of the largest pet supply stores continue to face competitive pressures from mega-retailers like Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. Both PetSmart and Petco have struggled to improve their online sales to help keep competitors at bay.

PetSmart acquired Chewy.com in 2017, taking on $2 billion of additional borrowings in the process. Unfortunately, PetSmart’s earnings are declining, making it harder to carry its debt, Moody’s analyst Mickey Chadha said.

A representative for PetSmart said, “The pet category continues to grow. While we continue to experience customer channel shift to online at PetSmart, we feel we are well positioned to capture and benefit from the growth in online through Chewy, and we are gaining market share on an aggregate basis.”

Petco has less debt, Chadha said, but it remains to be seen whether its own online platform can stay competitive, and both chains are at risk of losing exclusive products that draw shoppers.

A representative for Petco said the company rebuilt momentum last year and returned to growth. The company focused on improving nutrition in their pet food, expanded its grooming, training and veterinary services businesses, and achieved “double-digit growth” in e-commerce, the representative said.

J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney has been through it all: boardroom battles, lawsuits, management turnover, activist battles — and that was just in 2013. In the five years since, it has had three CEOs. The current head, Jill Soltau, took over in October and said the retailer is on track to generate free cash flow in the latest fiscal year and reduce its bloated inventory.

To do so, it may have to shutter a whole lot more outlets. The global retail think tank Coresight Research predicted one fifth of U.S. department stores — about 1,150 — will close between 2017 and 2023 no matter what they do. “The U.S. has far too many department stores,” said Deborah Weinswig, Coresight’s CEO. “In particular, it has far too many midmarket department stores that are competing in a similar, and highly challenged, space.”

A spokeswoman for J.C. Penney said that credit rating firms have maintained their highest liquidity rating for the retailer, and it has only $160 million of its more than $4 billion of debt coming due in the next four years.

Iconix Brand Group

Over the past four years, the owner of brands such as London Fog and Mossimo has endured a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accounting investigation, which isn’t over, and the departure of its founder as sales steadily slid. Now, Iconix has around $700 million of debt, including more than $100 million of busted convertible notes due 2023, which trade at about 44 cents on the dollar.

It’s even fighting with Jay-Z over his Rocawear brand, which it acquired in 2007. Eric Rosenthal, senior director of leveraged finance at Fitch Ratings, says the company is a “likely default” this year. Representatives for Iconix didn’t return requests for comment.

As if the situation wasn’t already dire enough, just imagine what the impact could be when the next recession finally arrives, or trade talks fail and Trump moves ahead with the next round of sanctions – or both happen simultaneously.

END

Marriage rates are down, while cohabiting rates are up.  Young adults refuse to marry because mainly their student debt is just too high. Also family formations is in decline and again due to the high student and auto debt

(courtesy Mishtalk,Mish Shedlock)

Marriage Rates Down, Cohabiting Rates Up: It’s Not Just Student Debt To Blame

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

Young adults are delaying marriage longer than ever. Student debt is a key reason…

A St. Louis Fed study shows As Fewer Young Adults Wed, Married Couples’ Wealth Surpasses Others’.

Since the 1960s, the median age at first marriage has steadily increased for both women and men. The last three decades were no different for young adults: The age at first marriage went from 26.2 for men and 23.8 for women in 1989 to 29.5 and 27.4, respectively, in 2016. As marriage rates decline in young adulthood, more young adults are choosing to cohabitate (reside with an unmarried partner) and are doing so at earlier ages. The increase in unmarried partnered young adult couples is evident. The share of married households dropped steadily from around 57 percent in 1989 to 37 percent by 2016, while partnered households grew from about 7 percent to 21 percent.

Wealth Effect

As the share of married young adult households declines, their median net worth (both total and when omitting housing-related assets and debts) has remained consistently higher than that of single households. From 1989 to 2016, the typical married household had around three times as much wealth as a partnered or single household.

Student Loan Debt Is Widespread across Young Households’ Balance Sheets

The shifting share of married versus unmarried young adult households is also associated with changes in the composition of debt. This shift is most pronounced when examining the rise of student loan debt. Recent research suggests that growth in student debt levels is associated with marriage delays or avoidance. This suggests that young adults increasingly feel that their debt is an economic barrier to transitioning to adulthood and forming a family.

In 2013, the share of young adult households with student loan debt, 42.1 percent, surpassed the credit card debt rate, 40.1 percent, for the first time. By 2016, 46 percent of young adult households had student loan debt, triple the 1989 percentage.

Heavy Student Loan Debt Forces Many Millennials To Delay Buying Homes

NPR reports Heavy Student Loan Debt Forces Many Millennials To Delay Buying Homes

Homeownership rates for people ages 24 to 32 dropped nearly 9 percentage points between 2005 and 2014 — effectively driving down homeownership rates overall. In January, the Fed estimated 20 percent of that decline is attributable to student loan debt.

“It’s not that they’re not going to buy homes. It’s just that they’ll purchase these homes later in life,” says Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at real estate research firm First American.

Baby boomers were 25, on average, when they purchased their first homes; millennials, by comparison, are waiting almost a decade longer, Kushi says.

“Approximately 40 percent of those who start college do not finish within six years. … That’s a huge number,” says Laurie Goodman, co-director of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute.

For those people, it is the worst of all worlds — they have the school debt without the higher wages to show for it.

Attitudes, Attitudes, Attitudes

Homeownership rates may rise, but not to the same rate as boomers. Student debt is only one pf the reasons. Attitudes about marriage, having kids, mobility, and debt have all changed.

This is not 1960 or 1971.

To top it off, houses simply are not affordable. That’s what the cohabitation rate shows. Wages have not kept up with home prices even without the burden of student debt.

end

Quite a stat:  The total debt of Americans that still have student loans and are over 60 years of age is a whopping $86 billion dollars.

(courtesy zerohedge)

It “Haunts My Life”: Americans Over-60 Owe $86 Billion In Student Loan Debt They Can’t Discharge In Bankruptcy

A generation of Americans over 60 years old owe $86 billion in student loan debt, according to a new write-upby the Wall Street Journal. This stunning sum is comprised not only of older people who took out loans for their children, but also some who took out loans for themselves during the last recession, under the guise that it would bolster their employment prospects.

About 93% of all new private student loan money to undergrads during the current academic year included parent or adult signatures, which is up from 74% in 2008. Federal loans account for more than 90% of student debt, but the private market for these loans is also growing.

According to the report, borrowers in their 60s owed an average of $33,800 in 2017, which is up 44% from 2010. Total student loan debt was up 161% for people aged 60 and older in the seven years preceding 2017. This was the biggest increase for any age group over that span of time.

The result has been the monetary suffocation of a generation. Some people are even having their Social Security checks garnished. The federal government, who also happens to be the largest student loan lender, garnished the Social Security benefits or tax refunds of more than 40,000 people aged 65 or older in 2015 because of defaulting on student loan debt. That figure is up an astounding 362% from the decade prior.

The article profiles people like Anmte Grgas-Cice, who is 66 years old and owes about $29,000 in student loans. His only income is $1600 a month that he gets from Social Security, which he saw garnished for some of last year because he wasn’t paying his student loans.

He says that his decision to go back to school continues to “haunt his life”. In 2003 and 2004, he signed up for loans to go to the Art Institute in New York to study culinary art and restaurant design. His plans in the industry fell through and he is currently unemployed.

He limits himself to about $7 a day for food and relies on financial help from family to survive. “I put all my money to better myself,” he stated.

Student loan debt makes up one of the biggest chunks of the overall increasing debt burden of this generation. People 60 and older in the United States owe around $615 billion combined in credit cards, auto loans, personal loans and student loans as of 2017. That figure is up 84% since 2010.

The debt, made available by low interest rates and monetary policy that puts the stock market before common sense, is not fixing the problems created by the 2008 recession, but rather it’s making them worse for people of this generation. Between 2010 and 2017, people in their 60s accelerated their borrowing in nearly every category.

This has resulted in seniors having to work longer and harder just to service the debt they have taken on. And even though this generation is also accounting for a larger share of US bankruptcy filings, student loan debt is rarely dischargeable in bankruptcy.

end

Moody’s warns the new Illinois Governor that his state is in dire shape. He warns that any new taxes will make more residents to flee and thus less citizens to pay the taxes and purchase goods to stimulate their economy

(courtesy Dabroski/Klingner/WirePoints.com

Moody’s Warns Illinois Governor: New Taxes Will Make More Residents Flee

Authored by Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner via WirePoints.com,

New Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker got a warning of sorts from Moody’s ahead of the governor’s first budget address. The rating agency’s most recent report  highlighted the usual crises Pritzker must tackle: ballooning pension debts and chronic budget deficits. Moody’s rates Illinois just one notch above junk largely due to the state’s finances and malgovernance.

Moody’s says new revenue likely will be required to achieve stability, as you’d expect, because rating agencies love higher taxes. But for the first time, the agency has included outmigration among its top-three credit concerns. That matters because Pritzker’s number one prescription to “fix” Illinois is tax hikes, something that’s sure to accelerate Illinois’ out-migration trend and further erode the state’s tax base.

Moody’s calls it a “conundrum” for Illinois. From their report:

“… the population loss and relatively sluggish employment trends suggest a degree of economic vulnerability that poses a conundrum: revenue growth from existing sources will be too tepid to offset escalating fixed costs, while new taxes could threaten to increase the outflow of residents.”

These new comments are significant because Moody’s has long considered tax hikes a budget-balancing option for the state. That’s not surprising since Moody’s priority is the well-being of bondholders, not taxpayers. The agency’s ratings reflect the likelihood that bondholders get repaid – and tax hikes make repayment more likely.

But that’s only true as long as tax hikes don’t destroy the tax base and, ultimately, make the repayment of bonds less likely. It appears the flight of Illinoisans has gotten so big that Moody’s can no longer ignore it.

Moody’s reported:

“From 2013 through 2018, Illinois lost 544,541 residents through migration to other states (net of people who migrated into the state). This number amounted to 4.2% of Illinois’ 2013 population, the third-highest ratio among states [see Wirepoints graphic below]. These figures, though partly offset by foreign immigration and births, made Illinois one of only two states to lose population in each of the past five years.”

Which bring us back to Illinois’ usual problems.

Moody’s writes that Illinois is already stretched to the limit paying for pensions – yet the plans require still more just to keep the debt from growing:

“Illinois faces burdensome – and growing – pension contribution requirements under state law, even though its annual pension payments are insufficient from an actuarial perspective.”

The ratings agency paints a grim picture, especially considering Illinois taxpayers have seen state pension debts grow by $80 billion over the decade despite a quadrupling in the amount of money they’re putting in.

Illinois’ high tax rates, increasing out-migration, enormous debts and a near-junk credit rating should force Pritzker to pursue a constitutional amendment for pensions. A reduction in retirement debts – for both pensions and retiree health insurance – is Illinois’ only true option. But all indications show the governor is loathe to pursue an amendment.

Instead, look for Pritzker to ignore Illinois’ conundrum and the flight of Illinoisans to continue.

Read more from Wirepoints about Illinois’ budget and pension crisis:

end

The following is an important read:  Brandon Smith is still in the camp that the Fed will raise rates

(courtesy Brandon Smith)

Will Government Shutdown Return Just As The Trade War Expands?

Authored by Brandon Smith via Birch Gold Group,

The mainstream economic community has a notoriously short attention span and a lack of long-term perspective.After the longest government shutdown in American history subsided, the mainstream proclaimed the fight well and over – in other words, nothing to see here, Trump “folded” and all is well. Of course, what they consistently seem to ignore is the fact that the shutdown was only placed on a three week hiatus. This is hardly any assurance of a return to “normalcy”.

As I write this, the Trump Administration has yet to make its State Of The Union Address, and it is possible we will know more afterwards on the shutdown issue. Trump’s propensity for saying one thing and doing another makes it difficult to discern the future on policy actions. We don’t have long to wait, however, as this March is set to be possibly one of the most tumultuous times for the modern U.S. economy.

It should be noted that the timing of the possible return of the shutdown is set just before the Trump Administration’s decision on expanded tariffs against China. The trade war “pause” is yet another event which was wrongly heralded by the mainstream as the “end of uncertainty”. Along with the propaganda surrounding the Fed “pause” in policy tightening, I am starting to see a pattern here.

For the past month, it has seemed as though market risk sentiment is being manipulated to the positive side through numerous promises – The promise that the shutdown has been averted, the promise that the trade war will be over by March, and the promise that the Fed has “capitulated” on raising interest rates and cutting the balance sheet. Perhaps all of these promises will turn out true, but my suspicion is that most, if not all, of them will be found false.

In terms of the shutdown, I see little indication that there has been a change in narrative. Keeping the false left/right paradigm in mind, as well as the fact that Trump works closely with elitist banking and think tank interests within his own cabinet, the screenplay for our little drama continues to present a staunchly divided political arena. Democrats are unlikely to budge on their opposition to the southern border wall, and Trump is unlikely to budge either.

This can culminate in one of two waysEither Trump will re-initiate the government shutdown fight by the end of February, or, he will declare a state of emergency, bypassing the shutdown altogether and using the military to build the wall through funding at the executive level.

Another possibility, which I personally subscribe to, is that BOTH events could occur simultaneously – a shutdown and a declaration of emergency. There is the potential for obstruction by Democrats in the Senate or by the military itself in a declaration of emergency, which would add considerable confusion to the matter.

A shutdown in this case would be unavoidable. But some liberty activists might ask, why should we care? Don’t we prefer a government shutdown? Ideally, yes, but there are consequences for the venture that need to be addressed.

First, it is important to realize that the government is the largest employer in the U.S. The federal government employs approximately 2.7 million civilians; its closest competitor is Walmart with 2.3 million employees. But if we take into account every person that takes home a government paycheck from the state and federal level, including school teachers, police officers, DMV workers etc., the number rises dramatically to over 22 million people.

Some people might argue that state workers would be unaffected by a government shutdown, but this is not necessarily true. With most states utterly dependent on federal funding to operate public programs and entitlement programs, states can in fact be affected by a long-term shutdown.

The near panic that ensued over the last shutdown was motivated by some legitimate concerns. It is not just the millions of government employees which represent the largest part of the American economy, but the millions of people (families) dependent on those employees for their survival. In an economy which is around 70% retail and service based, the removal of ANY existing pillar of consumerism can have negative reverberations through the entire system.

Beyond a freeze in pay to America’s largest employment base, there is also the issue of welfare programs like EBT, which were already on the verge of being cut off this month if not for early payments. A return to the shutdown is likely to last much longer, and with EBT payments delayed through March, a panic would ensue.

This is why it is important to take the shutdown into account, as a trigger event as well as a mass distraction from central bank activity.

The “pause” in the trade war with China also represents a kind of non-event that is driving false optimism. With the trade deficit only expanding further with China, one must question what the goal of the conflict actually is. The potential extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou does not help matters, as well as the series of unproductive trade meetings ending with more declarations of progress but no written deal.

The U.S. economy is like a massive Jenga tower in which most of the vital supporting pieces have already been removed. Pull even one more, and the whole structure will collapse. Before we get too focused on a shutdown scenario or the trade war, though, we should ask, who removed all the other supporting pieces?

The Federal Reserve has done this expertly through the inflation of the ‘everything bubble‘ and the subsequent and deliberate deflating of that bubble, all while using Trump’s ventures into government shutdown and the trade war as cover for their activities.

Recent changes in language to Fed statements have led to an astonishing sea change in the views of the economic world. Within a month’s time market sentiment has gone from fears over Fed tightening to euphoria over assumed capitulation. I would remind the people embracing this sentiment, though, that the Fed pulled this same con only two months ago.

In November of last year Jerome Powell changed minor language to his statements, which was broadly interpreted as “dovish” by markets. This led many to believe that Fed rate hikes and cuts were over. Only a month later in December, Powell stunned investors with aggressively “hawkish” language on top of an interest rate hike and more asset dumps. I mention this event because I believe it is dangerous and foolish for analysts to now proclaim the Fed has capitulated when all we have to go on is mere rhetoric that the Fed can change any moment it wishes.

So far there is little indication beyond changes to Fed speech that tightening will stop anytime soon. Balance sheet cuts continue, and the Fed dot plot for interest rates still calls for at least two more hikes this year. Stock markets for now are driven by pure blind optimism that the Fed will step in with stimulus, not to mention the hundreds of billions of dollars in liquidity that the Chinese have been pumping into global assets in the past month.

The fact is, nothing fundamental has changed. The effects of Fed tightening are currently evident in housing markets as overall home sales continue to plunge, auto markets see the most dismal sales in years, credit markets continue to tighten, and corporate earnings have been mostly disappointing.

As a reader recently reminded me, Fed excess reserves are also falling rapidly. Financial institutions have kept excess reserves with the Fed for years because it offered a separate, higher interest rate as it lowered the Fed funds rate to near zero during Quantitative Easing. The Fed used these excess reserves for “overnight lending” to numerous domestic and foreign corporations during the credit crisis.

As the Fed has raised the funds rate, the outflow of banks funds from the Fed’s excess reserves has increased dramatically in the past several months. While normal economic logic would say that this is a good thing because it would encourage banks to lend that money to get a better return, this has not been the case.

Bank lending has not improved to keep pace with the repatriation of excess reserves once held at the Fed. So, the question is, if banks are not holding that money with the Fed, and they aren’t lending it, then where are the trillions of dollars going? My theory – probably into stock buybacks, which would explain the bull rally despite all reason during the first half of 2018.

The continued outflow of excess reserves stands as more proof that the Fed is continuing to tighten policy while the mainstream wrongly convinces itself that the Fed is planning to reverse.

Of course, as excess reserves dwindle and the Fed raises interest rates, making corporate debt more expensive, one wonders what will be left to artificially support stocks? The systemic crash of December will return with a vengeance if Fed language on dovish “accommodation” doesn’t pan out with action.

The next major Fed meeting with a potential for a rate hike is set for March, and perhaps it is just a coincidence that both the trade war and the shutdown fight are poised to explode at the exact same time. If the Fed goes hawkish once again, or makes a move which surprises markets in any way, the shutdown and the trade war would provide more than enough distraction in the event that stocks plummet as they did in December.

That said, it is possible that there will be no shutdown or declaration of emergency. Maybe the trade war will end in March with an equitable deal that makes China and the U.S. happy rather than another non-deal that both sides claim is “optimistic” while escalating the confrontation with more tariffs. And, maybe the Fed will reverse course on balance sheet cuts and interest rates, admitting policy failure and taking responsibility for lying about economic recovery. This would be quite a miracle, but miracles do happen.

end
Credit card debt hits a high of 1.045 trillion dollars.  This is in December but the increase was only 16.6 billion dollars just below the $17 billion expected. The Christmas season was not as big as expected.  Also student loans hit a record 1.593 trillion dollars and auto loans: 1.155 trillion dollars.  Total credit now exceeds $4 trillion for the first time.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Consumer Credit Hits $4 Trillion As Student, Auto Loans Hit All Time High

After a few months of wild swings, in December US consumer credit normalized rising by $16.6 billion, just below the $17 billion expected, after November’s whopping $22.5 billion. The surge in borrowing in November brought the total to just above $4 trillion for the first time ever on the back of a America’s ongoing love affair with auto and student loans.

Revolving credit increased by $1.7 billion to $1.045 trillion, a modest slowdown since November’s $4.8 billion.

Perhaps more notably, the lowest increase in December credit card usage since 2012.

There was barely a change in the monthly increase in non-revolving credit, i.e. student and auto loans, which jumped by $14.8 billion, bringing the non revolving total to a new all time high of $2.965 trillion.

And while slowdown in December credit card use may prompt fresh questions about the strength of the US consumer during the all-important holiday spending season, the recent dramatic upward revision to personal savings notwithstanding, one place where there were no surprises, was in the total amount of student and auto loans: here as expected, both numbers hit fresh all time highs, with a record $1.593 trillion in student loans outstanding, an impressive increase of $10.3 billion in the quarter, while auto debt also hit a new all time high of $1.155 trillion, an increase of $9.5 billion in the quarter.

In short, whether they want to or not, Americans continue to drown even deeper in debt, and enjoying every minute of it.

SWAMP STORIES

TRUMP is furious as Schiff hires former National Security Council to trying and find stuff on him.  These guys are deep staters and will stop on nothing.  This is going to be a huge witch hunt

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Furious As Schiff Hires Former NSC Staffers To Work On Investigation

In the latest annoyance for President Trump as Adam “showboat” Schiff ramps up his Intelligence Committee investigations into whether foreign governments (Russia) exerted improper influence on the president, as well any financial conflicts and, we imagine, every other thread the California Congressman can think to pursue, Bloomberg and CNN reported on Thursday that Schiff and his investigators on the House Intelligence Committee have been hiring former staff members at the National Security Council, enraging the president in the process.

But these aren’t just any staffers. According to the reports, the people who have been hired to work on the Democrat-led investigation are all part of a group of Obama administration holdovers who are believed to have been part of a “deep state” cabal that sought to undermine Trump with a flurry of embarrassing leaks during the early days of his administration.

Trump

So far, the only confirmed hire is Abigail Grace, an Asia expertwho served on the NSC during the tail end of the Obama Administration and only left last year. Another former NSC employee is considering joining the Committee, per BBG.

Schiff has hired one former career official at the National Security Council, Abigail Grace, who left the White House last year. She has a congressional email address and is listed in a directory as working for the Intelligence Committee’s Democratic majority.

A second career employee detailed to the Trump White House is also considering joining Schiff’s staff, according to people familiar with the matter. They didn’t identify the person.

Grace didn’t respond to an email requesting comment and her duties under Schiff aren’t known. But the California Democrat’s attempts to hire people with experience working under Trump have led to speculation among Trump’s aides and allies that Schiff is looking for insider knowledge of the White House as he probes whether the business dealings of the president and his family have made them vulnerable to espionage.

While none of the employees were hired directly from the NSC, that didn’t stop Trump from fuming about Schiff’s “raid” on White House staff during a flurry of tweets this morning.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

So now Congressman Adam Schiff announces, after having found zero Russian Collusion, that he is going to be looking at every aspect of my life, both financial and personal, even though there is no reason to be doing so. Never happened before! Unlimited Presidential Harassment….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….The Dems and their committees are going “nuts.” The Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government. I hear other committee heads will do the same thing. Even stealing people who work at White House! A continuation of Witch Hunt!

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT! It should never be allowed to happen again!

By hiring these former employees, Schiff is helping to confirm what Trump and many close to him long feared: That the Obama holdovers have been deliberately trying to sabotage his administration.

Holdover White House staff from the Obama administration, particularly those working on the National Security Council, have long been a concern of some Trump aides and supporters. They’ve coined the term “Deep State” to describe what they suspect to be a large faction of government employees opposed to the president’s agenda.

Schiff’s office declined to comment on the new hires and interviewees, but the Congressman defended his actions by saying it’s standard practice for the intelligence committee to hire out of the intelligence community, and sought to portray the hires as just another example of Washington’s “revolving door”, according to CNN.

A House Intelligence Committee aide responded, telling CNN the panel has hired individuals with experience on the NSC staff and that it would not discriminate about hiring individuals from the current administration. An aide to Schiff clarified that no one has been hired directly from the White House.

“We have hired staff for a variety of positions, including the committee’s oversight work and its investigation,” the aide said. “Although none of our staff has come directly from the White House, we have hired people with prior experience on the National Security Council staff for oversight of the agencies, and will continue to do so at our discretion. We do not discriminate against potential hires on the basis of their prior work experience, including the administration.”

[…]

Schiff himself declined to confirm any new hires on Thursday, but said the intelligence committee had a “long tradition of hiring out of the intelligence community, out of the National Security Council.”

“If the President is worried about our hiring any former administration people, maybe he should work on being a better employer,” Schiff said.

The reason for concern is obvious: Trump is worried that these Washington hacks, angry with the president for booting them out of the West Wing, might try to exact their revenge on the president by revealing damaging information during the investigation – that is, if they have anything to share that hasn’t already been leaked.

And for any members of the Trump administration who sympathize with the anonymous saboteur who published that infamous op-ed in the NYT, they might finally have an opportunity to do more damage on the outside than from within.

END

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

 

Janet Yellen says global slowdown in places like China and Europe is a growing threat to US https://t.co/UiPZanAu1z

Former Fed Chief Yellen Says Rates Next Move Could Be Up or Down [depending on stocks?]

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-06/former-fed-chief-yellen-says-rates-could-next-move-up-or-down

Justice Department opens probe into Jeffrey Epstein plea deal [not Epstein, the DoJ attorneys involved in the disturbing deal – Google “Lolita Express”; Mueller was FBI Dir.] https://hrld.us/2RJXqwW

How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime [in 2007]

Facing a 53-page federal indictment, Epstein could have ended up in federal prison for the rest of his life.

     Not only would Epstein serve just 13 months in the county jail, but the deal… essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes…  https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article220097825.html

Solomon: Mueller hauled before secret FISA court to address FBI abuses in 2002, Congress told

Most of the omissions occurred in FBI work that pre-dated Mueller’s arrival, the sources said. But the court wanted assurances the new sheriff in town was going to stop such widespread abuses…

    Thanks to Anderson’s recounting of the episode from 16-plus years ago, we now know the FISA judges don’t tolerate omissions of material facts and were angry enough in an earlier time to haul the FBI director into court to make their point. Anderson testified Mueller got to see that lesson up close and personal.  The question now is, do the current FISC judges and Justice Department supervisors — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray among them —care the same about the integrity of the FISA process?…

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/428755-mueller-hauled-before-secret-fisa-court-to-address-fbi-abuses-in-2002#.XFtHUMEuZHt.twitter

@ABC: Pres. Trump calls House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff a “partisan hack” and dismisses his plans to launch broad new intel probe. “He has no basis to do that…It’s called presidential harassment.”     https://t.co/GiLzWOe0WU

Adam Schiff Showboats, Republicans Call His Bluff on Russia Probe

Republicans with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Tuesday submitted a motion to immediately publish dozens of witness transcripts in the Russia Trump investigation that were turned over for declassification review, stating it is “part of the process of publishing them for the American people to see.”… The Republican motion was in response to now Democratic Chairman Adam Schiff’s proposal to turn over all the witness interviews to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office for review. Those witness interviews, however, are already available to Mueller

https://saraacarter.com/adam-schiff-showboats-republicans-call-his-bluff-on-russia-probe/

NYT: Firms Recruited by Paul Manafort Are Investigated Over Foreign Payments

Key figures who worked at the three firms — Mercury Public Affairs, the Podesta Group and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom… former Obama White House counsel Gregory B. Craig…

    The case has drawn intense interest in Washington in part because of theprominence of the three main figures, each of whom has played high-profile roles in politics and lobbying…

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/05/us/politics/paul-manafort-news-ukraine.html

Liz Warren is finished as a national candidate.  The WaPo discovered that when she applied to the Texas Bar Association on April 11, 1986, she designated her race as ‘American Indian’.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/elizabeth-warren-apologizes-for-calling-herself-native-american/2019/02/05/1627df76-2962-11e9-984d-9b8fba003e81_story.html

Socialism and late-term abortion, thanks to some blue-state near-birth abortion initiatives, are emerging as key issues for 2020.  This is why DJT addressed both issues in his SOTU address.

Trump shows he’s playing to win with bold State of the Union address

The state of the union is frighteningly divided and hostile… He derided the rising calls on the far left for a socialist approach to economics, declaring, “America will never be a socialist country.”…

    The heart of the speech, of course, was the battle over immigration… Pols and their donors have walls and guards, he said, while “working-class Americans are left to pay the price of illegal immigration.”

     While most of his remarks were necessarily aimed at people watching at home, that one was a right hook to the Democrats — and some squishy Republicans — in front of him…

https://nypost.com/2019/02/06/trump-shows-hes-playing-to-win-with-bold-state-of-the-union-address/

WSJ’s @KimStrassel: Democrats, including all those women in white, sit motionless at the call to restrict late-term abortion–which polls show 70-80% of public disapproves. Who is out of step with the country?

The media has been proven again to be extremely thin-skinned and hypocritical.

Twitter Locks Daily Caller EIC’s Account Over Traumatizing “Learn To Code” Tweet

The phrase “learn to code” went viral last month after hundreds of journalists were laid off at the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed.  Said outlets notably insulted laid-off middle American coal-miners by recommending they “learn to code” – which 4chan users then turned around on the journalists. Thus, the meme was born… [The media gives it out 24/7 but when they are snarked, it’s snowflake city!]

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-06/twitter-locks-daily-caller-eics-account-over-traumatizing-learn-code-tweet

 

 

end

I WILL SEE YOU FRIDAY NIGHT
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