FEB 11/ITALY’S SALVINI THROWS AN ATOMB BOMB DEMANDING ITALY’S GOLD RETURNED TO ITALY/GOLD DOWN $6.25 TO $1308.40/SILVER DOWN 13 CENTS TO $15.69/TWO MAJOR DEFAULTS IN CHINA WITH DEVASTATING EFFECTS/BALTIC DRY INDEX COLLAPSING SIGNIFYING POOR GLOBAL ECONOMIC CONDITIONS/CHINA OFFICIALLY ADDS 11 TONNES TO ITS RESERVES//EGON VON GREYERZ: A MUST READ!!/HUGE SWAMP STORIES FOR YOU TONIGHT/

 

 

 

GOLD: $1308.40 DOWN $6.25 (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Silver:   $15.69 DOWN 13 CENTS (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Closing access prices:

Gold :  1308.30

 

silver: $15.71

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For comex gold and silver:

FEBRUARY

 

 

 

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR  FEB CONTRACT: 55 NOTICE(S) FOR 5500 OZ (0.171 tonnes)

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  9136 NOTICES FOR 913600 OZ  (28.416 TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR FEBRUARY

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

7 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR 35,000  OZ/

 

total number of notices filed so far this month: 535 for 2,675,000

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: OPENING MORNING TRADE $3431:DOWN $49

 

Bitcoin: FINAL EVENING TRADE: $3441 DOWN $38.

 

end

 

XXXX

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

today  28/55

EXCHANGE: COMEX
CONTRACT: FEBRUARY 2019 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,313.700000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 02/08/2019 DELIVERY DATE: 02/12/2019
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED
____________________________________________________________________________________________
323 H HSBC 5
657 C MORGAN STANLEY 1
661 C JP MORGAN 5
661 H JP MORGAN 23
690 C ABN AMRO 20 2
737 C ADVANTAGE 22 12
800 C MAREX SPEC 8
880 H CITIGROUP 12
____________________________________________________________________________________________

TOTAL: 55 55
MONTH TO DATE: 9,136

 

 

 

 

 

Let us have a look at the data for today

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In silver, the total OPEN INTEREST ROSE BY A GOOD SIZED 2945 CONTRACTS FROM 210,110 UP TO 213,055 WITH FRIDAY’S 11 CENT GAIN  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:

667 EFP’S FOR MARCH,  0 FOR APRIL, FOR MAY, 0 FOR DECEMBER AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE: OF 667 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 667 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 667 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 3.335 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 11 CENT GAIN 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  AND

21.925 MILLION OZ FINALLY STAND FOR DECEMBER.

5.845 MILLION OZ STAND IN JANUARY.

AND NOW 2.680 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: 6210 CONTRACTS (FOR 7 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 6210 CONTRACTS) OR 31.050 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 887 CONTRACTS OR 4.435 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF FEB:  31.050 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 4.43% 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:           248.51    MILLION OZ. (CORRECTED)

JANUARY 2019 EFP TOTALS:                                                      217.455. MILLION OZ.

 

 

RESULT: WE HAD A STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 2945 WITH THE 11 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX //YESTERDAY..THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD  SMALL SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 667 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: 3622 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

i.e 667 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH INCREASE OF 2921 OI COMEX CONTRACTSAND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 11 CENT GAIN IN PRICE OF SILVER  AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $15.82 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. 1.065 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: 7 NOTICE(S) FOR 35,000 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:  2.680 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 CONSIDERABLE SIZED 2702 CONTRACTS UP TO 479,337 WITH THE GAIN IN THE COMEX GOLD PRICE/(A GAIN IN PRICE OF $4.00//FRIDAY’S TRADING).

 

 

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A FAIR  SIZED 2549 CONTRACTS:

 

MARCH HAD AN ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTACTS  APRIL 2549 CONTRACTS, DECEMBER: 0 CONTRACTS AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 479,337. 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 5251 CONTRACTS: 2702 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX AND 2549 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN: 5251 CONTRACTS OR 525100 OZ = 16.33 TONNES. AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A GAIN IN THE PRICE OF GOLD/ YESTERDAY TO THE TUNE OF $4.00.

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY, WE HAD 4530 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY : 38,860 CONTRACTS OR 3,886,000 OZ  OR 120.87 TONNES (7 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 5551 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 7 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 120.87 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 120.87/2550 x 100% TONNES = 4.74% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN DECEMBER ALONE.***

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2019 TO DATE:     641.01  TONNES  (CORRECTED)

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 CONSIDERABLE SIZED INCREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 2702 WITH THE GAIN IN PRICING ($4.00) THAT GOLD UNDERTOOK YESTERDAY) //.WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 2549 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 2549 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A GOOD GAIN OF 5722 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

2549 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 2702 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (IN TONNES, THE GAIN IN TOTAL OI EQUATES TO 16.33 TONNES). ..AND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND OCCURRED WITH THE GAIN OF $4.00 IN FRIDAY’S TRADING AT THE COMEX

 

 

we had:  55 notice(s) filed upon for 5500 oz of gold at the comex.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

GLD...

 

WITH GOLD DOWN $6.25 TODAY

 

 

THE FRAUD CONTINUES:

 

ANOTHER STRONG PAPER WITHDRAWAL OF 1.17 TONNES

IT SURE LOOKS LIKE THIS IS THE ONLY SOURCE OF PAPER GOLD THAT THE CROOKS CAN USE TO STOP GOLD’S ASCENT.

 

 

 

/GLD INVENTORY   802.12 TONNES

Inventory rests tonight: 802.12 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 13 CENTS  IN PRICE  TODAY:

ANOTHER BIG CHANGE IN INVENTORY AT THE SLV.

A PAPER WITHDRAWAL OF 1.126 MILLION OZ FROM THE SLV

 

 

 

 

 

 

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.873 MILLION OZ.

 

 

end

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in SILVER ROSE BY A STRONG SIZED 2945 CONTRACTS from 210,110 UP TO 213,055  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:

 

667 CONTRACTS FOR MARCH. 0 CONTRACTS FOR MAY., FOR DECEMBER AND  AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 667 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 2955 CONTRACTS TO THE 667 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE OBTAIN A STRONG GAIN  OF 3588  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 18.06 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 2.680 MILLION OZ STANDING IN FEBRUARY.

 

 

RESULT: A STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 11 CENT PRICING GAIN THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// YESTERDAY.BUT WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED 667 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE STRONG  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR SEPTEMBER, DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL SILVER CONTINUES TO INTENSIFY AS WE WITNESS SEVERE BACKWARDATION IN SILVER IN LONDON.

 

 

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY: Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)MONDAY MORNING/ SUNDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 35.66 POINTS OR 1.36% //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 197.52 POINTS OR .71%  /The Nikkei closed /HOLIDAY/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.12%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 6.7891 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil UP to 52.29 dollars per barrel for WTI and 61.96 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED GREEN //.

 ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED // LAST AT 6.7891 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7987: / 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

Trump states that North Korea could become an economic power if talks succeed

( zerohedge)

 

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

 

 

 

3 C/  CHINA

 

 

i) CHINA/USA

Total Chinese i.phone sales plummet by a huge 20% while domestic iphone sales plummet by 10%. However Huawei’s sales rose by 23% cementing them as market dominance in China.

(zerohedge)

A biggy
ii)China is rocked with two huge corporate defaults both in the energy field.  The biggy Minsheng has defaulted on the equivalent of $34 billion.
( zerohedge)
iii)Our resident expert on Chinese affairs warns Trump not to take the easy way out when dealing with China.  China has a GDP of 13 trillion uSA but a total debt of $48 trillion.  It  total debt/GDP is 370% vs the USA’s total debt of 24 trillion dollars with a GDP of 20 trillion dollars.  He claims that China needs to make a deal as its economy is faltering
(courtesy Kyle Bass)

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

 

i)GERMANY

a)We brought you data on this last week.  Wolf Richter comments that the engine for growth in the EU is faltering i.e. Germany

( Wolf Richter/WolfStreet)

b)No 1 derivative player in the world Deutsche bank is drowning in soaring funding costs as they had to offer yields on bonds equal to 180 basis points over benchmark issuers.  This is going to have a devastating effect on their income statement going forward.

( zerohedge)

ii)FRANCE

 

13TH STRAIGHT WEEKEND OF YELLOW VEST PROTEST!

( zerohedge)

iii)Italy

Very popular, Salvini calls for the elimination of the Central Bank of Italy and he called its head honchos: “fraudsters”

the populist movement is gaining strength in Italy

( zerohedge)

iv)Wait until Salvini finds out that the Italian gold, held at the Bank of England is gone

(courtesy zerohedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

Iran

Iran seems hell-bent on using all of its money to produce missiles.  This morning Iran filmed an underground city of ballistic missiles capable of traveling 1000 kilometers. Iran is a very dangerous player in the mIddle east

( zerohedge)

Iran threatens to raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground if the uSA attacks Iran. I think that they should let Iran’s economy implode by itself..however they should blow up all Iranian weapons etc stored in Syria and Lebanon
( zerohedge)

 

 

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

Despite taking out seasonality, the Baltic Dry index is collapsing. John Rubino cautions that this may not be just a blip but the end of globalization

( John Rubino)

7. OIL ISSUES

Tom Luongo describes how the uSA is losing its dominance in the energy field especially with the watershed moment where Germany demands and gets acceptance of the Nordstream II project against the wishes of Trump

( Tom Luongo).

 

 

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

 

 

i)VENEZUELA/USA

The inside story of how Juan Guaido became “the new President” of Venezuela with the backing of the uSA

(courtesy zerohedge)

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)Soaring palladium prices  are driving thieves to steal catalytic converters from cars..
(Hodari/Wall Street Journal)
ii)Italy is worried about its commerce on a Brexit no deal.  It feels that it could trigger its own economic crisis( Ambrose Evans Pritchard/GATA)

iii)A must read:  Gold will break the $1350 Maginot Line in 2019.  Von Greyerz is a super analyst and we must pay close attention to what he says.  Even though gold is manipulated we have had 5 and 1/2 years of gold pricing held in its tracks. That level is 1350 dollars and it will be penetrated…

a must read/and a good historical lesson

(courtesy Egon Von Greyerz/KingworldNews)

 

iv)A federal judge tells traders that they can combine cases (with the other 6 banks) as they accused JPMorgan of rigging the precious metals market

( CNBC)

v)We have on a monthly basis provided this data to you. As a summary of last year, Turkey bought a large 51.5 tonnes of gold to add to its official reserves.( Scrap Register)

vi)The Indian government is finally catching on to the idea that gold is money. The are now going to allow bullion banking as they assist citizens/jewellers buying gold

( Scrap Register)

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

 

 

MARKET TRADING

ii)Market data/

 

 

 

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

a)This did not take long:  Payless is preparing for its second bankruptcy in just under two years

( zerohedge)

b)A good look at the food supply crisis in the USA as farmers struggle to make a living.  The tariffs and a lack of exports are killing the food supply

( Mac Slavo/SHTFplan.com)

c)New Jersey, is the one of the highest taxed states in the union. Now New Jersey voters are furious as the Governor (Murphy) is preparing to sign in a “rain tax” into law

( zerohedge)

d)this is very dangerous for California as this state is just one fire away from its two remaining utilities declaring bankruptcy

( zerohedge)

iv)SWAMP STORIES

a)Quite a piece:  We now have transcripts of former top FBI lawyer, James Baker who details pervasive abnormalities in the Trump probe as well as state that Hillary Clinton should have been charged

( Epoch Times/Jeff Carlson)

b)Predictably, they are going nowhere: a government shutdown looms as border wall stalks stall again

( zerohedge)

b  1)I am afraid that the USA is a totally divided country and I sure hope that civil war does not start:  California’s new Governor defies Trump by pulling troops from the border(courtesy zerohedge)

c)Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners are going to be quite interesting in the Sanchez household.  It was the brother that leaked the photos and it seems that the pictures were not “stolen” but retrieved through other means.  (government surveillance?)

( 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 2702 CONTRACTS UP TO A LEVEL OF 479,808 WITH THE GAIN IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($4.00) IN FRIDAY’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 2549 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

FOR MARCH:  0. FOR APRIL 2549, FOR DECEMBER: 0 AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  2549 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:  5251 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 2549 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE GAINED A GOOD SIZED 2702 COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:5251 contracts OR 525100  OZ OR 16.33 TONNES.

 

We are now in the active contract month of FEBRUARY and here the open interest stands at 689 contracts, and thus undergoing a loss of 200 contracts.  We had 191 contracts stand for delivery yesterday so we LOST 9 contracts or 900 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 LOST 226 contracts to stand at 1670.  After March, the next big delivery month is April and here the OI ROSE by 1401 contracts UP to 342,316 contracts.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NOTICES FILED:

WE HAD 55 NOTICES FILED TODAY AT THE COMEX FOR 5,500 OZ. (0.1710 tonnes)

 

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total COMEX silver OI ROSE BY A STRONG SIZED 2955  CONTRACTS FROM 210,110 UP TO 213,055(AND CLOSER TO THE NEW RECORD OI FOR SILVER SET ON AUGUST 22.2018.  (THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET APRIL 9.2018/ 243,411 CONTRACTS) AND TODAY’S OI COMEX GAIN  OCCURRED WITH A 11 CENT GAIN IN PRICING.

 

WE ARE NOW INTO THE NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF FEBRUARY AND THE  AMOUNT OF OPEN INTEREST READY TO STAND IS  8 CONTRACTS, HAVING LOST 6 CONTRACTS FROM FRIDAY.  WE HAD 8 NOTICES FILED YESTERDAY SO WE GAINED 2 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 10,000 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 2562 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 125,906 CONTRACTS. AFTER MARCH, APRIL ROSE TO 58 CONTRACTS FOR A GAIN OF 19 CONTRACTS.  AFTER APRIL, THE NEXT BIG ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH IS MAY AND HERE THE OI ADVANCED BY 4392 CONTRACTS UP TO 52,821 CONTRACTS.

 

 

 

 

ON A NET BASIS WE GAINED 3612 SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AS WE OBTAINED A 2945 CONTRACT GAIN AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 667 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  3612 CONTRACTS...AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A 11 CENT GAIN IN PRICING// YESTERDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED:

 

We, today, had 7 notice(s) filed for 35,000 OZ for the FEB, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

 

 

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY:  150,959 CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  147,559  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 11 /2019.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
113,350.300
oz
brinks
JPMorgan
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz NIL oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  

 

 

nil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
55 notice(s)
 5500 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
634 contracts
(63400 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
9136 notices
913600 OZ
28.416 TONNES
Total accumulative withdrawals of gold from the Dealers inventory this month NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month xxx oz

 

we had 0 dealer entries:

 

 

total dealer deposits: NIL oz

total dealer withdrawals: 0 oz

We had 1 kilobar entries

 

we had 0 deposit into the customer account

 

total gold deposits: nil oz

we had 2 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

i) out of Brinks:  47,155.957 oz

ii) Out of JPMorgan; 64,194.313 oz

the removals are close in value to the adjustments I noted to you on Thursday as probable settlements.

 

 

 

total gold withdrawing from the customer;  113,350.300 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 55 contract(s) of which 23 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 5 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 (9136) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (689 contract) minus the number of notices served upon today (55 x 100 oz per contract) equals 977,000 OZ OR 30.388 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 (9136 x 100 oz)  + {689)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (55 x 100 oz )which equals 977,000 oz standing OR 30.388 TONNES in this active delivery month of FEBRUARY.

WE LOST CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 900 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 30.388 TONNES STANDING FOR FEBRUARY

OF WHICH 28.416 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;   8,354,317.091 oz 259.85 tonnes

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.

IN THE LAST 27 MONTHS 95 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

 

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE NOV DELIVERY MONTH

FEB INITIAL standings/SILVER

FEB 11 2019
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
958.600  oz
Delaware

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
473,546.990
oz
JPMorgan
No of oz served today (contracts)
7
CONTRACT(S)
35,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
1 contracts
5,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 535 contracts

(2,675,000 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  1 deposits into the customer account

 

i) Into JPMorgan: 473,546.990  oz

 

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

JPMorgan now has 150.26 million oz of  total silver inventory or 50.61% of all official comex silver. (150.26 million/296 million)

 

i) Into everybody else:  zero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total customer deposits today: 473,546.990   oz

 

we had 1 withdrawals out of the customer account:

 

i) Out of Delaware:  958.600  oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total withdrawals: 958.600     oz

 

we had 0 adjustment..

 

 

 

 

 

total dealer silver:  88.636 million

total dealer + customer silver:  297.355 million oz

 

 

 

 

The total number of notices filed today for the FEBRUARY 2019. contract month is represented by 7 contract(s) FOR  35,000  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 535 x 5,000 oz = 2,675,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (8) and the number of notices served upon today (7x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the FEBRUARY/2019 contract month: 535(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of FEB( 8) -number of notices served upon today (7)x 5000 oz equals 2,680,000 oz of silver standing for the FEBRUARY contract month.  This is a strong number of oz standing for an off delivery month.

WE GAINED 2 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 10,000 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.

 

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 STAND FOR DELIVERY.  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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

TODAY’S SILVER VOLUME:  61,380 CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 673,708 CONTRACTS… 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 73,708 CONTRACTS EQUATES to 368 million OZ  52.6% 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 -3.63% (FEB 11/2019)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -.64% to NAV (FEB 11 /2019 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -3.63%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

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

NAV 13.27/TRADING 12.82/DISCOUNT 3.41

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

FEB 11/WITH GOLD DOWN $6.25 TODAY: ANOTHER PAPER WITHDRAWAL OF 1.17 TONNES OF GOLD AND THIS GOLD WAS USED TO WHACK OUR PRECIOUS METAL TODAY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 802.12 TONNES

FEB 8/WITH GOLD UP $4.00/THE CROOKS WITHDREW ANOTHER HUGE 6.59 TONNES OF PAPER GOLD AND THIS GOLD WAS USED TO CONTAIN THE PRICE OF GOLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 803.29 TONNES

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 14/2019/ Inventory rests tonight at 802.12 tonnes

*IN LAST 544 TRADING DAYS: 132.93 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 444 TRADING DAYS: A NET 27.06 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO THE GLD INVENTORY.

 

end

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

FEB 11/WITH SILVER DOWN 13 CENTS TODAY:A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY; A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.126 MILLION OZ FROM THE SLV INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.873 MILLION OZ/

FEB 8/WITH SILVER UP 11 CENTS: ANOTHER WITHDRAWAL OF 657,000 OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.999  MILLION OZ/

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 11/2019:

 

Inventory 307.873 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 2.18/ and libor 6 month duration 2.74

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

G0LD LENDING RATE: + .56

 

 

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.53%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.94

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.41

end

 

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES

end
i) GOLDCORE BLOG/Mark O’Byrne

Large Gold Bullion Shipment Moves From London to Dublin Gold Vaults As Brexit Concerns Deepen

Large Gold Bullion Shipment Moves From London to Dublin Gold Vaults As Brexit Concerns Deepen
– Growing demand from investors to relocate tangible assets out of the UK
– “Zurich continues to be the most sought-after location for storage, but Dublin has already surpassed Hong Kong and will likely usurp the second spot from London”

Gold bars sit across a one kilo gold bar at precious metals storage specialist GoldCore. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Ireland’s longest established gold broker, GoldCore has transported what is believed to be the largest legitimate movement of gold bullion – investment grade gold coins an bars – into Ireland in decades, possibly since the foundation of the State.

The movement of gold bullion from London to Dublin follows the opening of GoldCore’s gold vaults in Ireland and reflects a growing demand from UK and Irish investors in particular to relocate tangible assets out of the UK.

The first consignment into the new institutional vaults was of gold bullion coins and bars weighing nearly 2,000 troy ounces (over 60 kilos) worth more than €2 million.

GoldCore expects ongoing consignments of gold bullion to be transported and securely stored in the vaults in the run up to the Brexit deadline on March 29th.

As Brexit comes to a head, GoldCore are reporting a growing preference amongst Irish investors to store their gold domestically in Ireland rather than Perth, Zurich, Singapore, Hong Kong, Singapore and especially London.

Commenting on this trend GoldCore Research Director, Mark O’Byrne said

“To date, the demand for gold storage in Dublin has been strong. However, in the run up to Brexit, we expect this demand to strengthen even further and Dublin may surpass London in terms of the amount of gold assets in the vaults in the coming months. There is strong interest from British but especially Irish retail, HNW and pension investors.

Gold held in GoldCore’s Dublin vaults is a fraction of our client holdings in other jurisdictions. Yet, it is growing rapidly from a zero base, and has already surpassed Hong Kong as a favoured jurisdiction for storing gold with clients. They now own €150 million worth of gold and silver stored in some of the safest vaults in the world. Zurich remains the favourite location with client bullion holdings there worth nearly €40 million. Zurich is followed by Singapore, then London, Dublin and Hong Kong.

This is a good news story, as Ireland is now attracting investment capital and “safe haven” gold flows” both from the UK and internationally. Many Irish investors are expressing a preference for having their assets “closer to home.”

The Gold Delivery

Nearly 2,000 troy ounces of gold, worth over €2m, was air freighted from London into Dublin and delivered to GoldCore’s new institutional grade gold. While sensitive logistics information cannot be divulged for obvious security reasons, Goldcore has reported that the gold bullion was air-freighted from Heathrow across the Irish Sea to Dublin, fully insured and securely deposited in the new GoldCore vaults where it was inspected, audited and reported to GoldCore storage clients.

Ireland’s first institutional gold storage facility is being managed by GoldCore in collaboration with Loomis International, in fully insured, modern state of the art, ultra-secure vaults in south county Dublin. The vault providers have good relationships with key freight companies, airports, airlines and the Irish police force, An Garda Siochána.

Stability in a volatile environment

Mr. O’Byrne spoke of the stability of gold and it’s growing popularity as a safe-haven in an uncertain global investment landscape.

Gold has an excellent track record in maintaining its purchasing power relative to currencies and other assets. There is also a significant body of empirical evidence in the form of academic research and research from independent asset allocation experts which shows that gold is an important diversification for investors which reduces portfolio volatility and enhances returns.

Gold is a hedge and a safe haven in an uncertain political and economic world”.

Note to the Editor

About GoldCore

– Founded in October 2003, GoldCore are Ireland’s leading gold broker and are expert in the trading, delivery and storage of gold coins and bars and have transacted over $1 billion worth of precious metals in the last 15 years.

– GoldCore have over 16,000 private, pension and corporate clients in over 150 countries, with over $150 million in precious metals under management. Gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion storage services in Zurich, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dublin and London are offered to mass affluent, pension and HNW investors and to financial advisers, brokers, family offices and other institutional investors.

– GoldCore’s bullion trading platform is one of the most sophisticated and safest in the industry. Client’s bullion coins and bars are individually allocated & segregated ensuring direct and outright asset ownership for the client. Gold bullion is owned strictly outside the global banking system, in ultra-safe vaults in some of the safest jurisdictions in the world.

– GoldCore’s research is quoted and featured in international media – on CNBC, CNN, Reuters, the Financial Times and Bloomberg. It provides insights into the importance of diversification and the importance of owning precious metals as part of diversified investment and pension portfolios and as financial insurance

– GoldCore, which was established in Dublin in 2003 and is now a global gold storage specialist, has long offered storage in some of the safest vaults, in the safer jurisdictions in the world. They began offering storage in the Perth Mint of Western Australia in 2005 and introduced GoldCore Secure Storage in 2009.  GoldCore Secure Storage has grown to include specialist vaults in Zurich, London, Singapore, Hong Kong and now Dublin through vault partners Loomis International and Brinks. GoldCore is set to expand the storage offering to other locations in the coming months including Dubai and New Zealand.

For further information, please contact: Mark O’Byrne, Director of Research
T: +44 (0)203 086 9200 / +353 1 6325010   E: mark.obyrne@goldcore.com

 

Store Gold Bullion In The Safest Ways Possible – Learning from Tragic Venezuela Today – Watch Video Here

 

News and Commentary

U.K. Economy Wilts as Brexit Jitters Hit Business Investment (Bloomberg.com)

Gold slips as trade tensions buoy dollar; U.S-China talks in focus (Reuters.com)

Following the money in commodities leads to gold mines: Russell (Reuters.com)

Italy minister never heard talk about using Bank of Italy gold (Reuters.com)

European shares recover from one-week low as trade talks resume (Reuters.com)

Gold is money, everything else is credit (GoldTelegraph.com)

Italy explores bilateral Brexit deal with Britain as its own economic crisis nears danger point (Telegraph.co.uk)

World has had enough of billionaires (MoneyWeek.com)

Russia Mulls Eliminating Gold Tax to Boost Investment Demand (GoldSeek.com)

Pricing Power – Intellectual Property (EpsilonTheory.com)

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

Gold Prices (LBMA PM)

08 Feb: USD 1,311.10, GBP 1012.04 & EUR 1,156.65 per ounce
07 Feb: USD 1,310.00, GBP 1009.49 & EUR 1,154.11 per ounce
06 Feb: USD 1,313.35, GBP 1013.51 & EUR 1,152.86 per ounce
05 Feb: USD 1,314.00, GBP 1009.15 & EUR 1,150.67 per ounce
04 Feb: USD 1,311.00, GBP 1004.36 & EUR 1,145.55 per ounce
01 Feb: USD 1,320.75, GBP 1008.54 & EUR 1,150.83 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

08 Feb: USD 15.78, GBP 12.18 & EUR 13.92 per ounce
07 Feb: USD 15.71, GBP 12.20 & EUR 13.87 per ounce
06 Feb: USD 15.73, GBP 12.15 & EUR 13.82 per ounce
05 Feb: USD 15.86, GBP 12.19 & EUR 13.89 per ounce
04 Feb: USD 15.74, GBP 12.05 & EUR 13.75 per ounce
01 Feb: USD 16.01, GBP 12.26 & EUR 13.96 per ounce

Recent Market Updates

– Gold Surges In Aussie Dollars as Aussie Property Market Declines Sharply
– “Right” Trump and “Left” Ocasio-Cortez Will Join Forces And Debase The Dollar
– 7 Financial Truths In An Uncertain 2019
– Central Banks Buy More Gold In 2018 Than Any Year Since 1967
– Gold Breaks Out of Range After Dovish Fed – Further 1% Gain to $1,321/oz
– U.S.-China War May Be “Just A Shot Away”
– Buy Bitcoin or Gold? Bitcoin Buyers Investing In Gold In 2019
– Gold Consolidates Above $1,300 After 1.2% Gain Last Week
– Gold Bullion Will Protect From Politicians, Brexit and Increasing Market Volatility In 2019
– Brexit – The Pin That Bursts London Property Bubble
– Davos: David Attenborough Warns We Are Damaging The World ‘Beyond Repair’
– Gold May Return 25% In 2019 Given Brexit, Trump and Other Risks – IG TV Interview GoldCore
– Brexit, EU, Germany, China and Yellow Vests In 2019 – Something Wicked This Way Comes

Mark O’Byrne
Executive Director
GATA STORIES AS IT RELATES TO PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER
Soaring palladium prices  are driving thieves to steal catalytic converters from cars..
(Hodari/Wall Street Journal

Thieves mine catalytic converters for metal more valuable than gold

 Section: 

By David Hodari
The Wall Street Journal
Sunday, February 10, 2019

Soaring palladium prices are inspiring an unusual band of criminals: catalytic converter thieves.

The exhaust-control devices common in most cars contain the silvery white precious metal, whose prices have climbed more than 50 percent since mid-August. Palladium is now more expensive than gold.

… 

A supply squeeze, stricter environmental standards, and the increased demand for cleaner-burning gasoline engines — which require converters with more palladium — mean demand for the metal both among auto makers and thieves is likely to remain high.

Police in Chicago say perpetrators, who harvest the devices and sell the scrap metal, have converter theft down to a fine art.

“What tends to happen is that in the middle of the night, a group of guys come by with a truck and a reciprocating saw. They cut out the converter, throw it in the truck and drive away,” said Howard Ludwig, public information officer at the Chicago Police Department. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/thieves-mine-catalytic-converters-for-metal…

-END-

Italy is worried about its commerce on a Brexit no deal.  It feels that it could trigger its own economic crisis

(courtesy Ambrose Rvans Pritchard/GATA)

Italy explores bilateral Brexit deal with Britain as its own economic crisis nears danger point

 Section: 

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Telegraph, London
Sunday, February 10, 2019

Italy is drawing up emergency plans to safeguard financial stability and keep trade with the UK flowing even if there is a no-deal Brexit, if necessary through a bilateral deal between Rome and London.

The country’s insurgent Lega-Five Star coalition is increasingly worried that a mishandling of the EU’s Brexit crisis could push Italy’s fragile economy into a dangerous downward slide and risk a funding crisis for its sovereign debt at a treacherous moment.

… 

 

Premier Giuseppe Conte has told his Brexit Task Force to focus urgently on ports, airports, customs, and the handling of food trade, as well as the status of Italians living in the UK.

Palazzo Chigi, the prime minister’s inner machine, is exploring what Italy can do under its own authority to defuse the stand-off with Britain. While this is relatively straightforward for issues such as citizens’ rights, it is unclear how it would work in trade and finance where the EU sets the rules.

Both the Lega and Five Star movement have Eurosceptic roots and are irked by the Brexit strategy of the European Commission, seen as rigid, ideological, and potentially explosive.

“We want the closest possible bilateral ties with the UK and certainly don’t agree with any idea of punishment. You are our customer,” said Claudio Borghi, the Lega’s economics spokesman and chairman of the budget committee in parliament.

“Unfortunately we are not in charge of Europe, at least not yet,” he said.

It is a perilous time for Italy. The economy is in a protracted recession. Risk spreads on its 10-year bonds are again nearing the threshold of 300 basis points, the level where trouble has begun in the past. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/02/10/italy-explores-bilateral…

* * *

end

A must read:  Gold will break the $1350 Maginot Line in 2019.  Von Greyerz is a super analyst and we must pay close attention to what he says.  Even though gold is manipulated we have had 5 and 1/2 years of gold pricing held in its tracks. That level is 1350 dollars and it will be penetrated…

a must read/and a good historical lesson

(courtesy Egon Von Greyerz/KingworldNews)

Gold will break the Maginot Line soon, von Greyerz tells KWN

 Section: 

7:15p ET Sunday, February 10, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

The Maginot Line for the gold price suppressors of the Western financial system, Swiss gold fund manager Egon von Greyerz tells King World News tonight, is US$1,350, where gold has been stopped for 5 1/2 years. But the West is almost out of metal, having sent much of it to Asia, and Greyerz predicts that $1,350 will be penetrated soon, upending the financial system.

Greyerz’s analysis is posted at KWN here:

https://kingworldnews.com/greyerz-one-of-the-most-shocking-stories-you-w…

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

 

A Change In The World For Years To Come

 


February 10 (King World News) –Egon von Greyerz: There are critical moments in time that can change history. This week I will talk about two lines which are extremely important, as these two lines will change the world for years to come. The first is a ‘Chinese Line’ which is strongly linked to China’s history. That line has an important connection with what will happen in the world in coming years. The second line is a ‘Gold Maginot Line’ which will also shape the world for many years or even decades…


Listen to the greatest Egon von Greyerz audio interview ever
by CLICKING HERE OR ON THE IMAGE BELOW.

Sponsored


Japan Looted More Than 6,600 Tonnes Of Gold From China


Egon von Greyerz continues:“
The history of China and gold is fascinating, and even more so when Japan’s looting of Chinese gold is added to the story. Japan was interested in the Chinese gold since the Sino-Japanese war in 1894. Japan spent time and resources on the Manchurian gold exploration from that time to the end of WWII. Japan is said to have looted a considerable amount of gold from mines in northeastern China. Not only that, but in 1937 as the Civil War in China was raging and Mao and the communists pushed Chiang Kai Shek out, the Japanese invaders stole 6,600 tonnes of gold from the Chinese capital Nanking. This is a lot of gold! The value today would be $280 billion.

The West Will Never Get Its Gold Back


The US is allegedly the biggest gold holder in the world with 8,000 tonnes. But as I wrote in a recent KWN article,most of that gold is probably in China and the rest spread throughout Asia as the US has disposed of or leased most of its gold. The US will never get back the gold, and whatever they have leased is also gone forever. The Fed and most central banks lease gold into the market in order to earn a return as well as to unnaturally suppress the gold price. This gold used to stay in London or New York with the LBMA bullion banks. But today, Silk Road countries, including Russia, buy all the gold they can vacuum out of the West. Thus, the LBMA banks give the central banks an IOU and then sell the physical gold to the East. For the central banks, that gold is gone forever. The LBMA will never find sufficient gold to hand the gold back to them, so that paper gold IOU is totally worthless. This means that the LBMA banks will fail as they can’t make good on their physical gold commitments. Meanwhile, the central banks’ vaults will remain empty, leading to a collapse of the country’s currency and a surge in the gold price.

The US Used The Looted Gold For Black Operations Around The World


Circling back to the looted gold, the 6,600 tonnes that Japan stole from China became part of the Yamashita gold. This was gold and treasures that Japan looted all over Asia from China, Korea, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
The gold was hidden mainly in the Philippines and Japan. Yamashita was the Japanese general in charge of constructing massive and very intricate tunnels to hide the stolen gold and the other treasures. The looting and hiding of the gold involved massive atrocities committed by the Japanese army.

Major parts of this gold have been found by the US and reportedly used for black operations all around the world.

The Chinese people have learned the hard way the importance of gold. China was the first country to introduce fiat money during the Tang Dynasty circa 740 BC. The value of the Chinese fiat money remained stable until the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th and 14th centuries. This was the first period of Chinese hyperinflation as they printed vast amounts of money to fund their wars.

China’s Tragic And Terrifying Hyperinflation


Later, in the 1930s and 40s, Chinese money lost its value completely as the Chiang Kai Shek rule was coming to an end. He was was the president of Mainland China from 1928 to 1949. Chiang started in grand style. Loans made up 49% of the government revenue in 1929. The finances deteriorated further after the Japanese invasion in 1932. In the final years of Chiang’s rule, the Chinese economy was collapsing and money printing was rampant. One US dollar was worth 3.4 yuan in 1937. But by 1949, one US dollar was worth 23 million yuan.

China’s inflation rate reached a maximum monthly rate of 2178% in May 1949 with an equivalent daily inflation rate of 11%, according to the Cato Journal. The highest denomination at the time was 6 billion yuan.

Why: China’s nationalist government took over the nation’s banks and switched from silver standard to fiat currency. It then used the currency to monetize its debt (sound familiar) and continued printing money during the war with Japan and the civil war fought against Mao’s communist forces (see chart below).

Cue The Panic


The Chinese understanding of the importance of gold started during this hyperinflationary period as economic conditions deteriorated severely. The photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson captured, in the famous picture below, a proper Chinese gold run. In December 1948, as the currency became worthless, the Nationalist government decided to issue 40 grams of gold per person. As the photo shows, there was total panic to get hold of the life saving gold and many people were literally crushed to death during the mayhem.

This would be an anathema to anyone in the West. Virtually no individual saves any of his money in gold. Instead, the average American or European spends all of his income and then borrows a lot more for consumption, studies, cars, and housing.

The Chinese Gold Line


The Chinese Gold Line is the first line which I mentioned at the beginning of the article. Virtually nobody in the West understands the significance of this line. The line signifies the desperation of people after a period of severe mismanagement of a country’s finances. The whole world today is in a similar situation. After over 100 years of destruction of paper money through the buildup of massive credit and money printing, we will soon get to the point when people around the world will be desperate to get hold of real money (gold). But at that point it will be too late.

Today There Are Virtually No Gold Shops In The West


Interestingly, there are virtually no gold shops to be found in the West. London has two specialized shops where gold bars and coins can be purchased. In Zurich there is one in the centre and one outside. The same goes for most cities. A few decades ago, virtually every Swiss bank sold gold and had gold in the windows. That is all gone. And UBS used to have specialist gold counters in many places but they are also gone. Admittedly there are a number of online gold sellers.

No Gold Available During The Coming Panic


Within the next few years, we will see similar panic lines in front of the few gold shops that still exist today. The panic will be worse because these shops will have no stock to sell, not even the 40 grams ($1,800 today) that the Chinese got in 1938. When the masses wake up to the fact that gold is the only way to survive the coming crisis, there will be no gold available at any price. The paper gold dealers like Comex or the LBMA banks will have defaulted on their commitments since they have no gold to deliver against massive amount of paper claims, which are many 100s of times larger than the available gold stock.

So for anyone who wants to own some gold, now is the time to buy it, not when the papers start writing about gold or the television broadcasts the panic in the gold market. Then it is too late and you will not get any gold at any price.Again, today is the time to get your gold because tomorrow will be too late. And if I am slightly off on my timing, all you have done is to buy life saving insurance a few days too early.

The Gold (Maginot) Line

 


The second line is what I call the Gold Maginot Line. Maginot was the French minister of war before WWII started. He built a very intricate line of fortifications to protect France from attack by Germany. The line was impervious to most forms of attacks and had underground garrisons, railways etc.

Still, the Germans attacked north of the line through Holland and Belgium and eventually managed to break through in the Ardennes forest.The modern use of the Maginot line expression is a strategy which inspires a false sense of security.

The Maginot Line, or Gold Maginot Line, I refer to is the line of resistance in the gold price since August of 2013. As the chart below shows, the gold price has been held below the $1,350 level for the last 5 1/2 years.

Western Gold Maginot Line Will Be Overrun In 2019

Western Gold Maginot Line Will Fall Shortly


The Gold Maginot Line was attacked in 2016 and 2018, but was successfully defended both times by an increasingly desperate West. Regardless, whether the line just represents 5 years of consolidation or whether it has been actively defended by the BIS and bullion banks doesn’t really matter. No one must believe that the line will hold. It is extremely likely to be decisively penetrated in 2019, and most likely
within the next 90 days. And once it is broken, the lengthy gold correction will finally be viewed as being over and the price of gold will be well on its way to new all-time highs and beyond.

Once the Gold Maginot line is broken, that creates the conditions for the Chinese Line, which means a panic in the West to get hold of gold that will be met with permanent shortages. So the current belief in the West that gold has lost its luster, which has led to complacency since the peak in 2011, is extremely dangerous.

CAUTION: Do Not Wait Any Longer
But as I said previously, don’t wait for either of these lines to be penetrated, triggering panic. Because when that happens, it will soon become extremely difficult to get hold of physical gold at any price.
And remember, you are not buying gold for investment. Instead, you are buying gold for wealth preservation or insurance purposes, which means for financial and physical survival. Without that you could end up like the Venezuelans or any other historic victims of hyperinflation…For those who would like to read more of Egon von Greyerz’s fantastic articlesCLICK HERE.





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 federal judge tells traders that they can combine cases (with the other 6 banks) as they accused JPMorgan of rigging the precious metals market
(courtesy CNBC)

Federal judge tells traders they can combine cases accusing JP Morgan of rigging metals market

  • Litigation in a separate civil case has been put on hold until at least May at the behest of the Justice Department, which is investigating a “related criminal case” that involves alleged market manipulation by precious metals traders at J. P. Morgan.
  • Judge John Koeltl of the Southern District of New York appointed the White Plains, N.Y., law firm Lowey Dannenberg as interim lead counsel for the proposed class action.

71671201

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

A group of traders from across the U.S. who allege that J. P. Morgan Chase manipulated precious metals markets for years are one step closer to bringing a class action suit against the nation’s largest bank.

Earlier this month, a federal judge said five separate lawsuits making similar allegations against the bank could be combined, potentially including thousands of people who traded in the precious metals market from Jan. 2009 through Dec. 2015.

Litigation in a separate civil case has been put on hold until at least May at the behest of the Justice Department, which is investigating a “related criminal case” that involves alleged market manipulation by precious metals traders at J. P. Morgan.

LIVE, NEWS-MAKING DISCUSSIONS
UNIQUE, IN-PERSON EXPERIENCES

J. P. Morgan declined to comment on this story.

Judge John Koeltl of the Southern District of New York appointed the White Plains, N.Y., law firm Lowey Dannenberg as interim lead counsel for the proposed class action.

Vincent Briganti, a partner at the firm, filed the first suit seeking class action status in November on behalf of Dominick Cognata, a trader who alleges he suffered losses due to J.P. Morgan’s illegal trading conduct in the silver and gold futures and options markets.

That was after the federal court in Connecticut unsealed a criminal plea agreement by John Edmonds, a former J.P. Morgan metals trader. In his guilty plea, Edmonds, who is 36-years old, admitted that he and other “unnamed co-conspirators” fraudulently manipulated the precious metals markets while they were employed at J. P. Morgan from 2009 to 2015.

Edmonds said he had learned the illegal trading tactics from senior traders, and then used them hundreds of times with the knowledge of and consent of his immediate supervisors.

Briganti’s lawsuit also names John Edmonds and a group of yet-to-be-identified precious metals traders and the bank as defendants.

On Wednesday, the lawyers sent a letter to Judge Koeltl saying they were having difficulty locating Edmonds to serve him legal papers and requested a 30-day extension to do so, which the judge granted on Thursday. Briganti noted that they have been in contact with Edmonds’ attorney in the criminal case. Edmonds’ attorney and Briganti could not be reached for comment.

“We are hopeful that this extension will result in completing service on Mr. Edmonds without formal motion practice and a request for alternative means of service,” Briganti said in the letter.

The next step in the civil case is for the plaintiffs to file an amended class action complaint and set a schedule for defendants to respond.

In addition to the proposed class action, J. P. Morgan also faces a separate civil suit which also accuses the bank of rigging precious metals markets.

end

We have on a monthly basis provided this data to you. As a summary of last year, Turkey bought a large 51.5 tonnes of gold to add to its official reserves.

(courtesy Scrap Register)

Turkish Central Bank increases Gold reserves by 51.5 tons in 2018

ANKARA (Scrap Register): The Central Bank of Turkey increased gold reserves by 51.5 tons during last year, according to the World Gold Council.

This is the second consecutive year of net purchases, 40 % lower than the 85.9 t it bought in 2017, when it re- entered the market after a nearly 25 year absence.

This y-o-y decline was exacerbated by a 16t reduction in gold reserves in November. Since May 2017 Turkish gold reserves have increased by 137.4 tons.

Kazakhstan’s gold reserves rose 50.6t in 2018, to 350.4t. 2018 marks the eighth consecutive annual increase. On a monthly basis, gold reserves have risen for 75 consecutive months, with net purchases totalling an impressive 246.4t over that period.

And having been dormant since October 2016, China announced that its gold reserves had increased by just under 10t in December, to 1,852.2t.4 Gold accounted for 2.4% of total reserves at year-end, up from 2.3% at the end of 2017, while FX reserves fell US$67bn over the year to US$3.1tn.

-END-

The Indian government is finally catching on to the idea that gold is money. The are now going to allow bullion banking as they assist citizens/jewellers buying gold

(courtesy Scrap Register)

India to roll out comprehensive Gold policy this year

MUMBAI (Scrap Register): India is likely to unveil its proposed comprehensive Gold policy this year. This will have positive impact on exports.

According to the new policy, banks will be allowed to do ‘Bullion Banking’ (take risk in bullion) and new infrastructure such as spot exchanges would be a reality, ushering in transparency and thereby benefiting consumers and small jewellers in particular.

Bullion banking will enable consumers to do bullion- related transactions with banks with ease. Spot exchange will solve for liquidity in the market.

Meanwhile, the World Gold Council (WGC) has upped its Gold consumption forecast for the Indian market for calendar year 2019 to 750-850 tons from the 700-800 tons projected earlier. This demand forecast is also higher than last year’s average demand of about 760.4 tons. India’s Gold demand has averaged about 838 tons in the last decade.

Annual Gold demand gained 4 per cent in 2018, on highest central bank buying in 50 years. Gold demand had reached 4,345 tons, up from 4,160 tons in 2017 and in line with the five-year average of 4,347.5 tons. A multi-decade high in central bank buying (651.5 tons) drove growth.

-END-

China adds 380,000 oz of gold ot its official reserves.  This is the second month in a row for increases by China. In tonnage:  11.819 tonnes. CHINA’S OFFICIAL RESERVES NOW STAND AT 1864.38 TONNES

China joins global central bank gold rush as its foreign exchange reserves stabilise

*The country’s official gold reserves have risen in January for a second straight month

*Its forex reserves also rose slightly last month despite the start of the annual foreign currency purchase quota for individuals

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 February, 2019, 8:49pm

China has joined a global central bank gold rush in the last two months by increasing its official gold reserves, even though the purchase remains modest compared to the volume of the mainland’s foreign exchange reserves, according to data released by the People’s Bank of China on Monday.

The country’s gold reserves rose slightly to 59.94 million ounces at the end of January from 59.56 million ounces at the end of December 2018, marking a second straight month of increase.

The latest gold purchase by the world’s second-largest economy came at a time when global central banks are hoarding the precious metal. According to the World Gold Council, the amount of gold bought by central banks in 2018 reached the highest annual volume on record since 1971, the year that former US President Nixon Richard scrapped the dollar’s peg to bullion.

PBOC data released on Monday showed China’s gold reserves rose to 59.94 million ounces in January. Photo: Reuters

China, the world’s largest foreign exchange reserve holder, has been reluctant in diversifying its US$3 trillion foreign exchanges into gold. Official gold reserves have remained unchanged for 26 months at 59.24 million ounces from October 2016 to November 2018.

China’s foreign exchange reserves rise for second month as yuan expectations stabilise

Yi Gang, the current central bank governor, said in 2013 when he headed the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) that Beijing was unable to diversify significantly into gold because the gold market is too small for China’s US$3 trillion foreign reserves.

But things may start to change – though it remained to be seen whether the modest gold purchases in the last two months represented a fundamental shift in China’s attitude towards the precious metal, analysts said.

-END-

and taxes should be removed from gold and silver/  These precious metals are money everything else is nothing but credit

Siegner/Money Metals News Service

U.S. Congressman Introduces Bill to Remove Income Taxation from Gold and Silver

by: Clint Siegner

Money Metals News Service
February 11th, 2019

The battle to end taxation of constitutional money has reached the federal level as U.S. Representative Alex Mooney (R-WV) today re-introduced sound money legislation to remove all federal income taxation from gold and silver coins and bullion.

The Monetary Metals Tax Neutrality Act (H.R. 1089) backed by the Sound Money Defense League and free-market activists – would clarify that the sale or exchange of precious metals bullion and coins are not to be included in capital gains, losses, or any other type of federal income calculation.

“My view, which is backed up by language in the U.S. Constitution, is that gold and silver coins are money and are legal tender,” Rep. Mooney said.

Congressman Alex X. Mooney (R-WV)

Congressman Alex X. Mooney (R-WV)

“If they’re indeed U.S. money, it seems there should be no taxes on them at all. So, why are we taxing these coins as collectibles?”

Acting unilaterally, Internal Revenue Service bureaucrats have placed gold and silver in the same “collectibles” category as artwork, Beanie Babies, and baseball cards – a classification that subjects the monetary metals to a discriminatorily high long-term capital gains tax rate of 28%.

Sound money activists have long pointed out it is inappropriate to apply any federal income tax, regardless of the rate, against the only kind of money named in the U.S. Constitution. And the IRS has never defended how its position squares up with current law.

Furthermore, the U.S. Mint continuously mints coins of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium and gives each of these coins a legal tender value denominated in U.S. dollars. This formal status as U.S. money further underscores the peculiarity of the IRS’s tax treatment.

A tax neutral measure, the Monetary Metals Tax Neutrality Act states that “no gain or loss shall be recognized on the sale or exchange of (1) gold, silver, platinum, or palladium coins minted and issued by the Secretary at any time or (2), refined gold or silver bullion, coins, bars, rounds, or ingots which are valued primarily based on their metal content and not their form.”

Under current IRS policy, a taxpayer who sells his precious metals may end up with a capital “gain” in terms of Federal Reserve Notes and must pay federal income taxes on this “gain.”

But the capital “gain” is not necessarily a real gain. It is often a nominal gain that simply results from the inflation created by the Federal Reserve and the attendant decline in the Federal Reserve Note dollar’s purchasing power.

Under Rep. Mooney’s bill, precious metals gains and losses would not be included in any calculations of a taxpayer’s federal taxable income.

“Inflation is a regressive tax that especially harms wage earners, savers, and retirees on a fixed income,” said Jp Cortez, policy director at the Sound Money Defense League. “We are encouraged to see legislation targeting the evils of the Federal Reserve System.”

“The IRS does not let taxpayers deduct the staggering capital losses they suffer when holding Federal Reserve Notes over time,” said Stefan Gleason, president of Money Metals Exchange, a precious metals dealer recently named “Best in the USA” by a global industry ratings group.

“So it’s grossly unfair for the IRS to assess a capital gains tax when citizens hold gold and silver to protect them from the Fed’s policy of currency devaluation.”

-END-

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

i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/CLOSED/ LAST AT: 6.7891/

 

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  6.7987   /shanghai bourse CLOSED UP 35.66 POINTS OR 1.36% /

 

HANG SANG CLOSED UP 197.52 POINTS OR .71%

 

 

2. Nikkei closed /HOLIDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED GREEN 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/USA dollar index RISES TO 96.82/Euro FALLS TO 1.1306

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO. –.03/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 110.18/ 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:: 52.29 and Brent: 61.96

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

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO +.11%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP to 2.91% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD UP TO 1.26%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.80: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES TO : 4.00

3k Gold at $1306.35 silver at:15.71   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 24/100 in roubles/dollar) 65.67

3m oil into the 52 dollar handle for WTI and 61 handle for Brent/

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

JAPAN ON JAN 29.2016 INITIATES NIRP. THIS MORNING THEY SIGNAL THEY MAY END NIRP. TODAY THE USA/YEN TRADES TO 110.18 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 1.0038 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1305 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 +0.11%

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 2.65% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 2.98%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 5.2732

 

Global Stocks, US Futures Jump On Fresh Trade Optimism, Dollar Surge Enters 8th Day

It is a sea of green in capital markets to start the week as global stocks and US index futures bounced amid boosted risk sentiment as investors eyed the resumption of trade talks between the United States and China, albeit guardedly now that Trump and Xi are not expected to meet until after the March 1 “springing tariff” deadline, while watching for signs of progress on Brexit. Safe havens such as Treasurys dropped as the dollar strengthened for an eighth day, its best run in three years.

While it remains highly unlikely that anything definitive will emerge from this week’s latest trade walks, risk sentiment was boosted after Axios reported on Sunday night that Trump’s advisers discussed holding a summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping next month, meanwhile China said Vice Premier Liu He will join U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in trade talks in Beijing on Feb. 14-15.

“We still have concerns about global growth and that centers on those U.S.-China negotiations,” Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV from Melbourne. “We’re unlikely to see any massive moves this week saying we’re going to get a deal on that.”

As such, the trade dynamic remains brutally simple and is summarized best by the following diagram:

:

 

“There will be important events this week connected to two of the key global uncertainties: high-level trade talks between the U.S. and China in Beijing and UK-EU talks in Brussels. But neither looks set to produce a breakthrough, prolonging the uncertainty,” Societe Generale told clients in a note.

The renewed trade optimism came amid growing worries about a slowdown in global growth and U.S. politics which have been foremost in investors’ minds. Safe-haven bonds and the dollar have gained amid the prolonged uncertainty. Still, stocks have had a good year so far with MSCI’S All-Country World Index up nearly 10% since the start of the year. The index was nearly 0.2% higher on Monday.

The rising threat to growth means equity markets will partly depend on earnings from major U.S. companies for clues about the health of consumer shares. These include Coca-Cola Co, PepsiCo Inc, Walmart Inc, Home Depot Inc, Macy’s Inc and Gap Inc. Analysts now expect first-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies to decline 0.1 percent from a year earlier. That would be the first such quarterly profit decline since 2016.

Asia was led by a rebound in Chinese shares, which resumed trading after a week-long Lunar New Year holiday, led by gains in small caps, while the Shanghai Composite closed 1.4% higher. The rest of Asia traded mixed while Japan’s securities markets are shut for a holiday. While China struck an upbeat note as talks resumed, it also expressed anger at a U.S. Navy mission through the disputed South China Sea, casting a shadow over the prospect for improved Beijing-Washington ties. Australian stocks recouped some losses to end 0.2 percent lower. South Korea’s KOSPI index was up 0.2 percent. Indonesian and Indian benchmarks were in the red. That left MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slightly higher after it fell from a four-month high on Friday. Trading volumes were generally light, with Japan on public holiday.

Europe’s STOXX 600 index rebounded from one-week lows, helped by some deal-making and gains in mining and banking shares, rising as much as 1%, with all sectors in the green as banks and miners lead advance. Banks rose over 1% as lenders from Italy, Spain said their capital is above the ECB’s requirement. Basic resources rose +1.2% as miners and steelmakers in demand following soaring iron ore and as rebar futures spike in China, while defensive healthcare (+0.3%) is the laggard of the gauge.

Last week, the European Commission downgraded euro zone growth forecasts for this year. Adding to worries, a collapse in talks between U.S. Democrat and Republican lawmakers over the weekend raised fears of another government shutdown.

“Trade talks and shut-down (worries) are really weighing on markets,” said Sebastian Fellechner, rates strategist at DZ Bank. “We don’t see any major movements because of the general and global uncertainty.”

In currencies, Bloomberg dollar index firmer for eighth straight day, its longest winning streak since 2016 while China’s yuan extended its decline sliding 0.9% to 6.7952 per dollar, its biggest drop since Feb. 8, 2018.

There was no trading in the onshore yuan all of last week due to Lunar New Year holidays in China as the dollar strengthened 0.9% over the break. The Dollar also saw support from U.K. data that keeps sterling under pressure, options demand for euro downside exposure and a mini “flash crash” in the Swiss franc.

 

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced as much as 0.3% to touch its strongest level since Jan. 4; there was no trading in cash Treasuries in Asia as Japan’s financial markets are shut on Monday for a holiday.

The yen dropped against all of its Group-of-10 peers following the previously mentioned report that Trump-Xi advisers discussed holding a summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping next month. USD/JPY gained 0.5% as much as 110.28, with steady demand from macro and leveraged accounts, a trader said; stop entries triggered above 110.00 and 110.20, according to a Europe-based trader

EURUSD slipped 0.2% to 1.1297, lowest since Jan. 24; tests key three-month trendline support as risk reversals rally amid euro-area political risks. Cable also dropped, sliding -0.4% to 1.2895, before steadying near 1.2900 handle; low came after data showed gross domestic product growth missed expectations at 0.2%, compared with 0.6% in the third quarter. The Swiss franc flash crashed, plunging almost one percent at the start of Asian trading before quickly rebounding to trade near unchanged; the Swiss franc was sold against the dollar and yen as dealers exploited thin holiday liquidity to execute a stop-loss run, traders said. The Australian dollar inched up from Friday’s one-month lows, although sentiment was still cautious after the country’s central bank opened the door to a possible rate cut.

In rates, fears of economic slowdown in Europe and plunging inflation expectations dominated morning trade on Monday. Germany’s 10-year government bond yield remained close to 0.10. T-note futures were quiet with cash Treasuries closed for Japan holiday. The yield on Germany’s 10-year Bund, considered the risk-free benchmark for the region, fell as low as 0.77 percent on Friday, its lowest since October 2016, reflecting concern in bond markets about economic conditions. Aussie curve flattens as 3-year yield jumps two basis points. Yields on Treasuries and core European sovereign bonds edged higher.

In the latest Brexit news, British Prime Minister Theresa May has rejected the idea of a customs union with the European Union, ending hopes she would shift her Brexit policy to win over the opposition Labour Party. May will promise lawmakers a second opportunity to influence the Brexit talks later in the month in a bid to stave off any rebellion from within her own party by those who fear Britain could end up leaving without a deal.

In commodities oil prices slipped on concern about slowing global demand and a pick-up in U.S. drilling activity, while gold headed for its first drop in three sessions. U.S. crude was 0.6% lower at $52.42 per barrel. Brent was flat $62.12. Dalian iron ore opens limit up to catch up with last week’s ex-China rally.

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • U.S. President Donald Trump’s advisers discussed holding a summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping next month, Axios reported. China said Vice Premier Liu He will join U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in trade talks in Beijing on Feb. 14-15
  • The head of the Irish central bank, Philip Lane, is the only candidate to replace ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet. Euro-area finance ministers are set to discuss his nomination Monday, before approving it on Tuesday
  • Tens of thousands clogged streets in central Madrid on Sunday, demanding an early vote and accusing Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of being soft in talks with Catalan separatists
  • The European Parliament elections in May will be the most important in the legislative body’s history, with anti-European parties poised to win more than a third of the assembly’s seats, a new study has found
  • ECB officials are reviewing all incoming data on the euro-area economy “carefully,” according to the institution’s vice president Luis de Guindos, and will be prudent in setting monetary policy
  • Swiss franc’s move may have been initially triggered by a data entry error that triggered off computer trades based on pre- entered algorithms, said Rodrigo Catril, a senior FX strategist at National Australia Bank. GBP/USD drifts down 0.1% in a second day of declines.
  • Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index extends its winning streak to the longest since January 2016. NZD/USD rises as funds fine-tune positions before Wednesday’s policy statement, according to an FX trader who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.4% at 2,716.25
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.9% to 361.16
  • MXAP down 0.06% to 154.79
  • MXAPJ up 0.2% to 511.68
  • Nikkei down 2% to 20,333.17
  • Topix down 1.9% to 1,539.40
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.7% to 28,143.84
  • Shanghai Composite up 1.4% to 2,653.90
  • Sensex down 0.6% to 36,334.10
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.2% to 6,060.85
  • Kospi up 0.2% to 2,180.73
  • German 10Y yield rose 2.1 bps to 0.108%
  • Euro down 0.08% to $1.1314
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 0.7 bps to 2.596%
  • Spanish 10Y yield unchanged at 1.232%
  • Brent futures up 0.2% at $62.21/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.5% at $1,307.68
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.2% at 96.78

Asia equity markets began the week mixed following the similar performance of their US peers on Friday and with participants also cautious ahead of this week’s US-China trade discussions, while a stalemate regarding border wall funding also spurred fresh US government shutdown fears. ASX 200 (-0.2%) was negative with the index dragged by losses in the top-weighted financials sector and with focus on several corporate updates, while the absence of Japanese markets for National Founding Day has contributed to the uninspiring tone. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+0.7%) and Shanghai Comp. (+1.3%) were initially choppy on China’s return from the week-long closure amid trade-related uncertainty and expectations of a drain in liquidity which is typically the case following the Lunar New Year holidays, although mainland stocks later found support in tandem with outperformance in Shenzhen. PBoC skipped open market operations for a net daily drain of CNY 20bln, while there were separate reports that over CNY 1.0tln of PBoC lending operations will expire this week

Top Asian News

  • Kuwait Petroleum Is Said to Reassess $500 Billion Spending Plan
  • China Denies Turkish Claim That Uighur Poet Died in Xinjiang
  • UBS Is Said to Cut Asia Investment Banking Bonus Pool by 8%
  • UBS Sees $121 Billion of EM Flows Amid ‘Seismic’ Index Shifts

All Major European Indices are in the green [Euro Stoxx 50 +0.8%], strengthening from the mixed trade seen in Asia overnight. FTSE MIB (+1.5%) is the outperforming index largely due to strength in banking names, with Banco BPM (+7.2%), BPER Banca (+5.6%), UBI Banca (+3.5%) and Intesa Sanpaolo (+1.9%) in the green following ECB SREP capital requirement updates. Following this, all sectors are higher with some outperformance seen in the financial sector. Other notable movers include Smith & Nephew (-4.8%) who are towards the bottom of the Stoxx 600, after reports that the Co. are to acquire NuVasive in a deal worth over USD 3bln. Elsewhere, Euronext (+0.6%) have been choppy after they increased their offer for Oslo Bors; who have stated they still prefer a takeover by Nasdaq. Just Eat (+2.1%) are in the green as shareholder Cat Rock Capital have stated the Co. should engage in merger discussions. In terms of US premarket news, Apple’s iPhone shipments to China decreased by an estimated 20% in Q4 as Huawei’s grip on the market strengthened; the Co. are up by around 0.3% in the pre-market.

Top European News

  • Oslo Bors Bidding War Heats Up With $790 Million Euronext Bid
  • Just Eat Urged to Seek Merger by Shareholder Cat Rock
  • Spanish Premier Is Running Out of Options Ahead of Key Vote
  • Salvini’s League Leads in Abruzzo Election as Five Star Fades

In FX, the Dollar remains underpinned heading in to the next round of US-China trade talks, and with further impetus derived from ongoing weakness in rival currencies. The DXY has inched higher as a result and is now testing nearest resistance around 96.809 ahead of 97.000 and the next upside chart target at 97.116.

  • JPY – The G10 underperformer and major mover, partly due to thinner trading conditions overnight as Japanese markets were shut for National Foundation Day. However, the Jpy was also hit by cross demand and the headline pair has subsequently cleared last Monday’s 110.16 high that had been containing gains to trade up at 110.27.
  • CHF/GBP/NOK– Also considerably weaker, but the Franc has recovered relatively well from an abrupt slide to almost 1.1000 vs the Usd and back through 1.1400 vs the Eur as a combination of stops and model-driven buy orders were triggered in the aforementioned illiquid holiday impacted Asian session, with some talk that the move could have been prompted by an erroneous trade. Note, the Chf largely shrugged off in line Swiss CPI in stark contrast to Sterling and the Norwegian Krona that both extended losses in wake of data (GDP, IP, manufacturing and construction output in the case of the former, and inflation for the latter). Indeed, Cable fell from circa 1.2955 to around 1.2895 and only a few pips from the 100 DMA (1.2892), while Eur/Nok climbed to just shy of 9.8400 vs sub-9.7700 at one stage.
  • EUR – Notwithstanding the cross Jpy demand noted above, the single currency has dipped under 1.1300 vs the Greenback to test bids/support around key downside chart levels at 1.1296 (30 DMA) and 1.1289 (current 2019 low). No fresh bearish catalyst or new driver, but the Eur is still being undermined by slowing Eurozone growth, inflation and political jitters.
  • RUB – The Rouble has been choppy between 65.3975 and 65.7655, with initial strength seen following Moody’s ratings upgrade whittled away by the generally bid Usd and another dip in Brent crude prices.

In commodities, Brent (-0.3%) and WTI (-0.9%) prices have weakened on the cautious risk tone ahead of this week’s US-China trade talks. In terms of recent news flow UAE Energy Minister Al Mazroui has stated that the OPEC+ compliance was excellent in January, he sees a balanced oil market in Q1 2019 and no further action is required by OPEC+. In spite of Friday’s Baker Hughes Rig Count which saw oil rigs increase by 7, adding to the concern that record US production will hamper the OPEC+ production cuts. Separately, the Venezuelan Oil Minister stated that their oil output is currently at 1.57mln BPD, and the country are looking to expand their cooperation with India. Looking ahead OPEC are due to release their monthly oil report tomorrow, which includes January production estimates; separately, the IEA are to release their report on Wednesday. Gold (-0.5%) prices are weighed on by dollar strength, in spite of the uncertain risk tone seen overnight ahead of US-China trade talks. Elsewhere, iron ore futures have jumped up by over 8% today as China returns to the market following the holiday period for Chinese New Year. Separately, UBS say the iron ore market faces a deficit of 30mln tonnes due to the Vale dam collapse.

Looking at the day ahead, there is no data due in the US however we will get revisions to the CPI index. We’re also due to get China’s January foreign reserves data at some stage. Away from that, the ECB’s Guindos is due to speak while UK Brexit Secretary Barclay is expected to meet with EU Chief Brexit negotiator Barnier for talks on negotiating a new Irish backstop. Earnings highlights include Chegg, NorthWestern Corp and Michelin.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Revisions: Consumer Price Index
  • 11:15am: Fed’s Bowman Speaks on Community Banking

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Morning from Riyadh where it’s raining. I’ve been here a handful times before and have never previously seen a cloud. I was in Dubai yesterday presenting at two conferences and being at the airport made me nostalgic. Indeed 10-12 years ago the Dubai airport and malls would be resplendent in British people buying cheap duty-free goods and buying bigger and bigger suitcases to take them back in. Fast forward to today and my rough calculations suggested that the British Pound doesn’t get very far here these days with a number of items more expensive than at home. Where did it all go wrong?

So I’m already well into my week and after a quiet one last week for newsflow, the next few days sees a number of events that should attract more attention after what was a nervous end to the slow past week. European growth downgrades and concerns that the US/China trade war might not get resolved by the March 1st deadline saw a negative end to the week for risk as you’ll see if you scroll down.

First let’s look at the highlights ahead. US CPI (Wednesday) and a first look at Q4 GDP in Germany (Thursday) might get the most headlines data wise. Trade (Thursday), credit and CPI (Friday) data in China will also be worth a watch as will UK GDP (today) and inflation (Wednesday). Another busy week for UK Parliament on Brexit awaits while the threat of a US government shutdown is still in play for the end of the week. Does it matter? During the 35-day shutdown that ended last month the S&P 500 was up +10.27%. Elsewhere, expect trade headlines to not stray too far from the market’s view while earnings and a busy week for central bank speak should also keep us busy.

Digging into some of the above in more detail now. The US CPI report on Wednesday is probably most notable for a round of BLS revisions where history could be rewritten a bit. The last time the BLS made a quality adjustment, wireless telephone plan amendments had the impact of lowering core CPI yoy by around 20bps. The BLS has indicated that starting this January standalone and bundled packages of residential telecommunications services, which are comprised of land-line telephone services, internet services and electronic information providers, and cable and satellite television service, will begin to be quality adjusted to account for the rapid technological change in these products. So, watch this space. Assuming neutral adjustments, the consensus is for a +0.2% mom core reading with base effects expected to result in a decline in the annual rate to +2.1% yoy from +2.2%.

Other US highlights are the delayed December retail sales report (+0.4% mom core expected) on Thursday, initial jobless claims on Thursday (which have spiked in the last couple weeks so worth a watch), and January industrial production report (+0.1% mom expected) on Friday. PPI (Thursday) merits attention as the health care component feeds into core PCE the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge.

In Europe, with increasing talk of a slowdown, all eyes will be on the flash Q4 GDP report in Germany on Thursday. The consensus is for a +0.1% qoq reading which as a reminder follows a negative reading in Q3 (-0.2% qoq). It’s not impossible that Germany could be in a technical recession.

Along with that data, Brexit will almost certainly remain a talking point next week with weekend press reports suggesting that PM May is going to request more time before she puts her deal to a fresh vote while she has more talks with the EU. It seems that if she hasn’t had a fresh meaningful vote by February 27th then she’ll allow Parliament to vote on alternatives. The compromise two weeks ago saw many Tory lawmakers back the PM but many of the soft or no-Brexit Tories will likely rebel in favour of trying to remove no-deal Brexit from the table if she doesn’t soon succeed in these last chance saloon talks. We have another motion from May put to Parliament on Thursday with many MPs scrutinising the wording so as to see whether they can give her one last chance to salvage her deal before they effectively take over the process. Finally, it’s worth noting that UK Brexit Secretary Barclay is expected to meet with EU Chief Brexit negotiator Barnier for talks on negotiating a new Irish backstop today, so expect further headlines then.

Staying with politics, Friday marks the deadline that stopgap funding for the US government expires. That means that if there is no resolution on the border wall issue, President Trump could potentially shut parts of the US government again. Talks broke down again over the weekend supposedly over immigration detention beds but we’ll see if they get resurrected early this week. The latest update appears that the Republicans and Democrats are not communicating for now.

Elsewhere, earnings season is starting to wind down now in the US with about 66% of companies in the S&P 500 having reported. There are 63 companies due report this week including Chegg and NorthWestern on Monday, Sabre on Tuesday, Cisco and Paramount on Wednesday, Coca-Cola and Nvidia on Thursday, and Pepsi on Friday. In Europe we’re due to hear from Michelin, Thyssenkrup, Metro, Akzo Noblel, Heineken, Nestle, Credit Suisse and RBS next week.

Other potentially interesting events to keep an eye on this week include Euro Area finance ministers meeting on Tuesday to discuss the European Commission’s economic forecasts and the EMU and EU budget in Brussels. Italian PM Conte is also speaking on Tuesday to the European Parliament as part of a series of debates on the future of Europe while OPEC’s monthly oil report is out on the same day.

As for the ever important and market sensitive trade talks, while Trump has suggested that he won’t meet Xi before March 1st, US Trade Representative Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin are leading a delegation to Beijing this week. Deputy-level negotiations are expected to start as soon as today before meetings with Lighthizer and Mnuchin start on Thursday and Friday. So, expect headline watching in markets again. In the meantime, Axios reported over the weekend that White House officials have informally discussed the prospect of having a summit between Trump and Xi Jinping around mid-March.

Speaking of China, markets have reopened this morning following the Lunar New Year holiday last week and they’ve made a strong start with the Shanghai Comp and CSI 300 up +0.77% and +1.16% respectively. The Hang Seng (+0.23%) is also slightly higher along with the Kospi (+0.04%). We should add that markets in Japan are closed today which means Treasuries haven’t started trading yet while futures in the US are down ever so slightly.

As for last week, equity markets took a roundtrip, with the S&P 500 initially gaining as much as +1.20% before dropping to as much as -0.91% for the week – but ultimately closing near flat at +0.05% (+0.07% on Friday). Other markets had similar volatility, with the NASDAQ paring gains of over 2% to end the week +0.47% (+0.14% Friday). In Europe, equities performed slightly worse, with the STOXX 600 ending -0.46% (-0.56% Friday) and the DAX shedding -2.45% (-1.05% Friday). Chinese markets were closed for the lunar new year holiday, but the MSCI EM index shed -1.40% (-0.57% Friday). Volatility actually declined on the week despite the big moves, with the VIX down -0.4pts (-0.7pts Friday).

Data in Europe continued to deteriorate and DB and the European Commission downgraded their 2019 growth forecasts across the euro area. The most notable downgrade from the EC was Italy, from 1.2% to 0.2%. 10-year BTP yields rose +21.1bps (+0.8bps Friday). Bunds rallied -7.9bps (-2.8bps Friday) to close below 9bps for the first time since October 2016, leading the 10-year Italian spread to widen by the most since last September. Treasuries also rallied, by -5.2bps (-2.5bps Friday), while the dollar rallied +1.09% (+0.13% Friday) for its best week since last August. Credit was mixed, as HY cash spreads widened +3.4bps (+4.7bps Friday) in the US, but tightened -0.2bps (+5.5bps Friday) in Europe.

Looking at the day ahead, there is no data due in the US however we will get revisions to the CPI index. We’re also due to get China’s January foreign reserves data at some stage. Away from that, the ECB’s Guindos is due to speak while UK Brexit Secretary Barclay is expected to meet with EU Chief Brexit negotiator Barnier for talks on negotiating a new Irish backstop. Earnings highlights include Chegg, NorthWestern Corp and Michelin.

 

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)MONDAY MORNING/ SUNDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 35.66 POINTS OR 1.36% //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 197.52 POINTS OR .71%  /The Nikkei closed /HOLIDAY/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.12%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 6.7891 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil UP to 52.29 dollars per barrel for WTI and 61.96 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED GREEN //.

 ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED // LAST AT 6.7891 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7987: / 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

Trump states that North Korea could become an economic power if talks succeed

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Says “North Korea Will Become A Different Kind Of Rocket – An Economic One” If Talks Succeed

Ahead of a second US-NK summit in Hanoi later this month, President Trump has continued praise the brutal North Korean dictator whom he once derided as “rocket man” – despite persistent warnings from the intelligence community that Kim Jong Un has no intention of surrendering his country’s nuclear arsenal, and that his conciliatory rhetoric is merely a ruse.

In a series of tweets sent Friday night, Trump affirmed that the summit would take place on Feb. 27 and 28, something he had previously suggested during his State of the Union speech, and once again asserted that North Korea under KJU has the potential to become ” a great Economic Powerhouse” which might “surprise some but won’t surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is.”

Assuming that the North complies with US demands to abandon its nuclear arsenal, “North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket – an Economic one!”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

My representatives have just left North Korea after a very productive meeting and an agreed upon time and date for the second Summit with Kim Jong Un. It will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 & 28. I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim & advancing the cause of peace!

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse. He may surprise some but he won’t surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is. North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket – an Economic one!

The implication here is clear: Trump has some serious leverage over Kim, as he holds the key to admitting North Korea into the global economy, which could lavish immense economic benefits on the extremely impoverished countryThat should be a pretty powerful incentive: Currently, half of NK’s 25 million people live in extreme poverty, and 70% of its people depend on government assistance for food.

Prior to the SOTU, reports suggested that the Vietnamese city of Danang would be the venue for the second historic summit. But BBG‘s anonymous sources said the Vietnamese wanted to hold the summit in their capital instead because it would be a “more prestigious” location.

During the speech Trump said that while “much work remains to be done,” he was hopeful his “good” relationship with the North Korean leader would yield results in ongoing nuclear talks.

“We continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Trump said.

All of this belies the fact that astonishingly little progress has been made between the US and NK since their first historic summit in Singapore last year. The main point of conflict is this: the US insists that NK finish abandoning its nuclear stockpile before economic sanctions are lifted, while the North wants a gradual schedule of sanctions relief to coincide with a gradual reduction in its nuclear holdings.

But the US intelligence community has repeatedly warned that North Korea has no intention of giving up its nukes, which the Kim regime views as essential to its survival.

Meanwhile, with US trade talks with China looking like they will continue past the Trump Administration’s March 1 deadline, the possibility of renewed tensions between China and the US is another complicating factor. President Xi is Kim’s puppetmaster, and he retains the ability to jerk Kim’s leash at any time, especially once trade talks fail to reach the outcome desired by Beijing.

 

end

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

3 C CHINA

Total Chinese i.phone sales plummet by a huge 20% while domestic iphone sales plummet by 10%. However Huawei’s sales rose by 23% cementing them as market dominance in China.

(zerohedge)

Chinese iPhone Sales Plummet 20% As Huawei Cements Market Dominance

After offering ample, market-rattling warnings that its Q1 (a quarter that encompasses the holiday sales season) sales wouldn’t live up to the expectations set in prior years, Apple confirmed in its earnings report that its holiday-quarter revenue declined for the first time since 2001, thanks largely to an unprecedented slowdown in China (long identified as a key growth market for the American consumer-tech giant), as the weaker yuan and a widespread aversion to American companies amid a burgeoning trade spat weighed on sales.

China

As China struggled with its most severe economic slowdown since 2009, Apple’s sales revenue from Greater China slumped 27% in the most recent quarter.

Apple

However, since Apple stopped breaking out sales figures for its iPhone, iPad and Mac beginning in Q1, investors were left to assume that the bulk of the decline was due to slowing iPhone sales, an assumption supported by reports of suppliers slashing production to reflect lower shipment volumes, as well as Apple’s own warnings.

But on Monday, research firm IDC issued a comprehensive report on Q4 smartphone sales in China, where offered a clearer picture on the magnitude of the slowdown. And according to a summary published by Bloomberg, the research firmed estimated thatiPhone sales in China plunged 20% during the final quarter of 2018the worst slump on record, suggesting that the slowdown was even more dire than many had believed. But Apple wasn’t alone in reporting slowing sales: As the Chinese smartphone market plateaued, total domestic smartphone sales dropped by nearly 10%,and sales of phones produced by domestic smartphone maker Xiaomi recorded a drop that was nearly twice the size of Apple’s, at 35%.

The domestic market contracted 9.7 percent in the quarter, but Apple declined at about twice that pace, research firm IDC said in a report on Monday. A slowing economy, lengthening replacement times and the iPhone’s hefty price tag contributed to the U.S. giant’s decline, it said. Xiaomi Corp. fared even worse in the final months of last year, when shipments plunged almost 35 percent, the consultancy estimates.

This would explain Apple’s decision to slash iPhone prices by as much as 20% in certain foreign markets, including China.

Apple

But though a “lack of innovation” across the smartphone universe has inspired consumers to hang on to their handsets for longer, the bigger challenge facing Apple is the rise of Huawei, which briefly overtook Apple as the world’s second-largest shipper of smartphones last year. Given its deep roots in China and close ties to the state, Huawei understands the shifting Chinese market in a way that Apple doesn’t. While shipments of most other smartphones slumped, Huawei sales soared by 23.3% in the December quarter, leading major brands, according to IDC.

“Apple doesn’t have a good go-to market strategy that fits the rapidly changing Chinese market,” said Nicole Peng, a senior director at Canalys. “It also seemed to be slow in reacting to China’s economic slowdown and changes in consumption structure.”

As iPhone sales revenue slid 15% during the last quarter, Apple has been trying to make up for the sales slowdown with increased revenue from its services business, which grew roughly 20% yoy during the quarter – something CEO Tim Cook has sought to emphasize. All told, according to IDC’s calculations, Apple was ranked fourth by shipments in China during the quarter behind Huawei, as well as China’s Oppo and Vivo.

But with so many “complexifiers”, to use the parlance of our times, that could threaten sales during the coming quarters – not the least of which is the recent news that Trump and Xi won’t meet before the trade talks deadline on March 1 – it remains unclear whether Apple will be able to boost sales ahead of the advent of 5G-enabled smartphones, which aren’t expected to be widely available until late next year.

END
A biggy
China is rocked with two huge corporate defaults both in the energy field.  The biggy Minsheng has defaulted on the equivalent of $34 billion.
(courtesy zerohedge)

China Rocked By Two Biggest Corporate Defaults Yet

Ever since Beijing allowed Chinese companies (even certain state-owned enterprises) to officially fail for the first time in 2016, and file for bankruptcy to restructure their unsustainable debt loads, it’s been a one-way street of corporate bankruptcies, one which we profiled last June in “Is It Time To Start Worrying About China’s Debt Default Avalanche“, and which culminated with a record number of Chinese onshore bond defaults in 2018, as a liquidity crunch sparked a record 119.6 billion yuan in defaults on local Chinese debt in 2018. 

And by the early look of things, 2019 won’t be any better after two large Chinese borrowers missed payment deadlines this month according to Bloomberg, setting the scene for even more corporate defaults, and “underscoring the risks piling up in a credit market that’s witnessing the most company failures on record.

The first one was China Minsheng Investment Group, a private investment group with interests in renewable energy and real estate, which failed to make a Feb. 1 bond payment to creditors. The Shanghai-based financial conglomerate didn’t repay investors in a 3 billion yuan bond that matured Jan. 29, then pledged to give them their money back three days late, Bloomberg News reported previously. But that didn’t happen.

The firm, one of the largest private investment champions in China, was backed by 59 non-state companies and obtained an operating license in 2014, it said in a November bond prospectus. China Minsheng Investment had 232 billion yuan in total debt and 310 billion yuan of assets as of June 30, according to Shanghai Brilliance Credit Rating & Investor Service Co.

The second name is familiar ever since its woes first emerged in 2018: Wintime Energy,which defaulted last year, also didn’t honor part of a restructured debt repayment plan last week.

What is notable about these two latest payment failures is that both companies are “big borrowers” as Bloomberg put it, and their problems accessing financing suggest that “government efforts to smooth over cracks in the $11 trillion bond market aren’t benefiting all firms.”

In fact, when China Minsheng ends up defaulting, it would rank alongside Wintime Energy as one of China’s biggest failures, with 232 billion yuan ($34.3 billion) of debt as of June 30.

“Chinese corporations’ expansion in the past few years has often been fueled by debt issuance, usually short-term borrowings, but their investment cycles are typically longer term,” said Shen Chen, a partner at Shanghai Maoliang Investment Management LLP. “The recent failures show that companies are still struggling to roll over their debt despite the recent easing measures.”

Making matters worse is that while that amount of corporate defaults so far has been relatively small to China’s economy or outstanding debt, it has sent “shockwaves” through a market where inconsistent government appetite for bailouts and the prevalence of shadow financing “can make it hard to tell who’s on the hook for losses.”

For now, Wintime Energy is trying to keep the dream alive, telling investors that it’s still seeking financing to repay 20% of the principal on a 3.8 billion yuan delinquent bond, which however is already in default as it was meant to be returned on Feb. 6. The coal miner made the headlines in 2018, when it became China’s second-largest bond defaulter after it found itself incapable of servicing debt that had quadrupled in less than five years.

Meanwhile Beijing, having let the bankruptcy genie out of the bottle some three years ago, has found itself seeking to limit the fallout from its deleveraging campaign by adding cash to the financial system and unveiling stimulus such as increased infrastructure spending, a boon to indebted property and local government borrowers. While that’s restored demand for some risky debt, the impact has been uneven and corporate bankruptcies have accelerated.

Making matters worse, the bond maturity schedule is staggering with trillions in corporate bonds set to mature in coming quarter, assuring even more defaults to come.

Meanwhile, as we discussed last week in “Seven Reasons Why China Is Facing A Hard Landing In 2019” and confirming the rising market stress and inability of companies to fund themselves at permissive rates, the yield spread on five-year AA- rated notes, which in China is considered “junk”, is still more than 300 basis points over AAA-rated peers, more than twice the level of a year earlier.

The “market is clearly pricing in a lot of credit differentiation as access to refinance remains firmly shut for certain issuers yet widely open for others,” said Anne Zhang, executive director for fixed income, currencies and commodities at JPMorgan Private Bank. “Defaults will become more frequent yet more idiosyncratic.”

And while so far Beijing has watched from the sidelines, should the falling dominoes accelerate or take down a particularly large piece, China’s leadership will have to make a big decision: let the deleveraging process progress, even as it increasingly threatens financial stability, or once again step in and confirm to the world that there is no centrally planned financial system quite like a Chinese financial system.

end
Our resident expert on Chinese affairs warns Trump not to take the easy way out when dealing with China.  China has a GDP of 13 trillion uSA but a total debt of $48 trillion.  It  total debt/GDP is 370% vs the USA’s total debt of 24 trillion dollars with a GDP of 20 trillion dollars.  He claims that China needs to make a deal as its economy is faltering
(courtesy Kyle Bass)

Kyle Bass Warns Trump: Don’t Take The Easy Way Out With China

Authored by Kyle Bass and Daniel Babich, op-ed via Bloomberg.,com,

China’s pernicious debt load and rapidly weakening economy mean the U.S. has more leverage in trade talks now than it ever had before…

When it comes to the trade talks with China, President Donald Trump and his negotiators have more leverage than any U.S. administration has ever had. Chinese policy makers are desperate for a trade truce with the U.S. in order to avoid more damage to China’s economy by further pressuring its trade surplus and export industries.

There is speculation that Trump has told his negotiators to “get a deal done” in order to put an end to recent market volatility, but that would mean foregoing a historic opportunity to come to a major restructuring of America’s relationship with China at a moment when China is most inclined to agree to concessions. We have come too far for Trump to take the easy way out.

“Water keeps the boat afloat but can also sink it” is a Chinese proverb that neatly summarizes the nation’s current economic predicament. The debt that has hydrated the Chinese financial system for the past 10 years is now drowning it. During the darkest days of the financial crisis in 2008, China launched a 4 trillion renminbi ($593 billion in today’s dollars) infrastructure plan that was accurately described as pulling the global economy out of recession. This infrastructure stimulus plan never ceased, and by 2017 the 4 trillion of spending ballooned to 14 trillion, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

At first, China benefited from the economic reforms of the 1990s, its ascension into the World Trade Organization and the resultant inflow of foreign investment by Western companies. By 2009, the previous decade of strong growth meant wages and price levels had risen such that China was no longer a low-cost manufacturer. This made it implausible that exports could drive economic growth. Therefore, China’s central bank printed money to fund a gargantuan stimulus program.

History tells us that growth that is funded by excessively rapid credit and money creation can lead to a variety of asset bubbles and to financial, credit and currency crises. A broad measure based on data from the People’s Bank of China and other agencies that includes both bank assets and shadow banking assets such as wealth management products, trust beneficiary rights and trust loans, places China’s total credit at $48 trillion, about 3.7 times its gross domestic product. That compares with $24 trillion for the U.S. despite China having an economy that is 37 percent smaller. China’s decade of rapid credit creation and investment spending has led to soaring property values, despite high vacancy, and low wage levels. These led to tepid export growth and a stagnating economy as the export industry lost competitiveness.

The last 12 months have seen key Chinese economic indicators such as industrial production, car sales, retail sales and investment all decline to multi-year lows as the previous round of stimulus abated and China’s debt burden continued to cause a downward economic spiral. The world is finally waking up to the risks to the precarious position of the overleveraged Chinese financial system, which is why we have seen its stock market fall as much as 25 percent over the last year.(Disclosure: Hayman Capital Management, where the author is chief investment officer, has positions in the Chinese currency.)

U.S. negotiators are focused on asking China to make two changes:

1) buy more U.S. goods, and

2) abandon an industrial policy that grants unique advantages, namely widespread government subsidies, protected domestic markets and regulatory preferences, to Chinese government-affiliated national champions.

Primarily focusing on the first objective is a mistake because it will ultimately erode the advanced parts of the U.S. economy which support the most valuable jobs in the U.S. This does not advance America’s long-term interest and is only a short-term fix for a very complex problem.

Reducing tariff rates and adjusting foreign ownership rules would be a good thing, but this would not end China’s long-standing policy of bulk economic espionage and theft, which annually costs America’s economy at least $300 billion,according to U.S. government estimates. Multiple U.S. administrations have sought to engage China on these issues for more than two decades, and the commitments made to the U.S. have rarely been fulfilled. America needs a commitment from China’s government that it will put an end to espionage and theft and agree to legal and financial repercussions for their theft. Trump’s administration should continue to push for this and not end talks until there is permanent change in China’s behavior.

For China to be a constructive member of the multilateral world trading system it must grant foreign companies, operating either inside China or outside, the same rights and privileges as Party affiliated national champions. The current mercantilist system, based on subsidies and preferences, needs to be dismantled, but the concessions offered to date lack commitment.

The Trump administration needs to fully understand the leverage it has today – and the increased leverage that it will have after March 1, the end of the 90-day reprieve from the imposition of additional tariffs – is the most the U.S. will ever have. To squander this opportunity would be a catastrophe not only for Trump’s administration but for the West.

 

END

 

4.EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

GERMANY

We brought you data on this last week.  Wolf Richter comments that the engine for growth in the EU is faltering i.e. Germany

(courtesy Wolf Richter/WolfStreet)

German Industrial Production Falls the Most Since 2009. New Orders Plummet

by Wolf Richter •  • 43 Comments

Q4 is falling apart before everyone’s astonished eyes, and a “technical recession” beckons.

“Unexpectedly,” German industrial production fell 3.9% in December 2018 compared to December 2017, after having fallen by a revised 4.0% in November, according to German statistics agency Destatis Thursday morning. These two drops were steepest year-over-year drops since 2009.

Even during the European Debt Crisis in 2011 and 2012 – it hit Germany’s industry hard as many European countries weaved in and out of a recession, with some countries sinking into a depression — German industrial production never fell as fast on a year-over-year basis as in November and December:

The declines on a year-over-year basis were broad: Without construction, industrial production fell 3.9% year-over-year in December, after having fallen 4.5% in November. And just manufacturing production, which includes mining and quarrying, fell 4.0% year-over-year in December, after having fallen 4.6% in November.

On a longer-term scale, the industrial production index peaked in May 2018 and has since fallen 4.6%. It is now back where it had first been in February 2017:

And industrial production is not getting a whole lot better any time soon as new orders for the manufacturing sector have plunged – according to data released by Destatis on Wednesday.

New orders dropped 7.0% year-over-year in December (adjusted for calendar differences), after having fallen 3.4% in November and 3.0% in October. In fact, orders have fallen seven months in a row on a year-over year basis in ever larger drops. The chart below shows the decline in each month compared to the same month a year earlier — with a sharp deterioration at the end of the year:

Orders from within Germany aren’t the biggest problem: They fell by “only” 2.6% year-over-year, though it was the fifth straight month of year-over-year declines.

The real problem is this: Orders from foreign countries plunged by 9.7% year-over-year in December, and within that group orders from non-Euro countries fell 8.5%, while orders from the Euro countries plummeted 11.6% year-over-year in December. It’s the Eurozone again. Note that the chart above and the chart below are on the same scale:

This puts Germany’s fourth quarter GDP one step closer to a “negative growth” number, which would be the second quarter in a row of declines, and thus a “technical recession.” Hopes are resting on consumers and services – but they too have been weakening toward the end of 2018.

The German government has already serially lowered its projections for GDP growth for the whole year 2018 to just 1.0%, after a solid first half. But with Q3 already on the books as a decline and Q4 falling apart before everyone’s astonished eyes, the government’s projection may still be too optimistic.

A big problem within that bunch is the vast and coddled German auto industry — the automakers and their suppliers in Germany. The German auto industry has been hit hard by the plunge in auto sales in China in Q4, and by the serious drop in auto sales in Europe over the last four months of the year. Read…  4 Months of Carmageddon in the EU Wipe Out Gains for 2018 

 

end

No 1 derivative player in the world Deutsche bank is drowning in soaring funding costs as they had to offer yields on bonds equal to 180 basis points over benchmark issuers.  This is going to have a devastating effect on their income statement going forward.

(courtesy zerohedge)

“Insane” Deutsche Bank Drowning Under Soaring Funding Costs

Following years of dismal performance, uncovered attempts at market manipulation and fraudulent activities, and painful corporate reorganizations which its latest earnings report showed have “cut deeply into the muscle”, Deutsche Bank is a shadow of its former self, with its stock price trading just shy of all time lows.

But an even bigger problem for Germany’s biggest lender is that it is now forced to pay the highest financing rates on the euro debt market for a leading international bank this year according to the FT, and also the highest rates among large banks to raise debt this year according to Bloomberg, in a further sign of the German lender’s uphill struggle to turn its operations around and reduce its funding costs.

As the FT first reported, followed promptly by Bloomberg, the bank raised eyebrows last week when it sold a total of €3.6BN in euro-denominated debt, paying 180 bps over the benchmarks for a two-year bond, a steep rate for short-term funding. Deutsche Bank also paid 230 bps over benchmarks for a senior seven-year bond that can absorb losses in a crisis. By comparison, French banking giant BNP Paribas SA last month offered 50 bps less for equally-ranked notes that mature one year later. More embarrassing, Deutsche Bank paid a higher rate than Spanish lender CaixaBank, which recently raised five-year bonds at 225bp.

In a latest note to clients, Corinna Dröse, a Frankfurt-based bond analyst at DZ Bank, said: “The high spreads reflect [Deutsche’s] high idiosyncratic risk, which is rooted in the lender’s chronic weakness in earnings.”

“Deutsche has to pay significantly higher risk premiums than almost all other large European banks . . . [the] high spreads express severe doubts, mainly triggered by its poor revenue,” said Michael Hünseler, head of credit portfolio management at Assenagon.

Intimately linked with the bank’s deteriorating fortunes – and stock price – investors are increasingly demanding that Deutsche Bank pay higher rates of return than even some of Europe’s “most troubled banks” as the firm grapples with a prolonged decline in revenue. Finance chief James von Moltke said last year that the bank was caught in a “vicious circle” of declining revenue, sticky expenses, a lowered credit rating and rising funding costs. While the firm cut expenses, revenue and the price of funding remain a concern.

“A key priority for us now is lowering our funding costs and improving our credit ratings,” von Moltke said during a call with fixed-income investors last week. “We must not compromise on the strength of our capital, funding, or liquidity, but we have to prove that we can generate long-term, sustainable profitability.”

Ironically, DB’s recent funding challenges are a far cry from its “fortress balance sheet” days, as for decades, cheap financing had been the cornerstone of Deutsche’s competitive advantage, with its perception as a “de facto” extension of the German state guaranteeing rock-bottom funding costs that helped it break into the top ranks of global investment banking.

However, Europe’s post-crisis regulations to protect taxpayers from “too big to fail” lenders have eliminated this edge and more recent capital rule changes now require even senior bondholders to take losses if a bank fails, further pushing up costs.

Indeed, the surging interest rate payments could price Deutsche out of transactions with some of its most important institutional and corporate clients, analysts quoted by the FT said, exacerbating market share declines in key businesses. The financing cost rises were another headwind for Deutsche, said Barclays analyst Amit Goel in a report, adding that in an “adverse scenario” for funding, “the bank could face a 35 per cent hit to its pre-tax profit, significantly more than any other European lender.”

Adding insult to injury, there were questions over Deutsche’s decision to tap the debt market with such high rates, despite there being no immediate financing need. One person close to the bank’s supervisory board called the move “insane” although one banker suggested that the lender needed to demonstrate that it had access to the bond markets.

Well, it does… it just cost it a ton of money to “prove it.”

* * *

Even more ironically, last week’s spread-busting bond sale was part of a combined €3.6 billion in bonds issued by Deutsche Bank to bolster capital ratios, i.e. to “appear” safer.

There was a silver lining: DB’s funding costs are still lower than those of Italy’s UniCredit SpA, which paid the equivalent of 420 basis points over the euro benchmark for a private sale in November, at the height of the nation’s budget dispute with European Union officials, as we noted at the time.

Since then however, UniCredit’s spreads have collapsed as traders have wagered that the ECB will not allow either Italy, or its banks to go under. Alas, Deutsche Bank’s future remains far more nebulous, especially since Angela Merkel has vowed taxpayer funds will not be used to rescue the bank.

Deutsche Bank will issue as much as 6 billion euros in covered bonds, as much as 8 billion euros in senior preferred bonds and as much as 11 billion euros in senior non-preferred bonds this year, treasurer Dixit Joshi said.

Finally, the bank’s growing troubles have also lit a fire under Deutsche’s CDS: while credit-default swap contracts insuring against a DB bankruptcy have dropped from a two-year high, they’re still more expensive than that of peers like Commerzbank AG.  The company’s five-year CDS now trades 20bp wider than Italy’s UniCredit, which is saddled with billions of euros of bad loans.

Last week, Deutsche Bank said that it expects that a contract on its new preferred bonds, which can’t be bailed in in a crisis, will be available to use soon and should be significantly cheaper. Whether or not the market sees through this sleight of hand, and agrees that by raising even more quasi equity, DB will somehow be perceived as safer, remains to be seen.

FRANCE

 

13TH STRAIGHT WEEKEND OF YELLOW VEST PROTEST!

(courtesy zerohedge)

GRAPHIC: Photographer’s Hand Blown Off By Police Grenade During Yellow Vest Mayhem

A man’s hand was blown off by a police grenade in Paris on Saturday during the 13th straight week of Yellow Vest protests.

Capturing the graphic aftermath of the incident was Ruptly – the video agency of Russia’s RT. 

The Ruptly crew who filmed the horrific aftermath of the blast injury say they rushed over after hearing an explosion, and found the injured protester surrounded by paramedics.

Police fired tear gas and flash grenades to deter protesters, while demonstrators threw the canisters back towards police and lobbed signs and pieces of boarding as projectiles.

An eyewitness told the AFP that the grenade which obliterated the protester’s hand was fired by police to disperse the crowd. –RT

GRAPHIC: 

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Serial Tweeper@serialTweeper

: Horrific photos of a man’s hand torn off by police fire at the protests in today. , the endure this abhorrent treatment yet the global is silent. Had this been this would be all you’d see

An eyewitness said that the injured man is a photographer for the Yellow Vests who was taking photos of people outside the National Assembly as several protesters tried to force their way inside.

Citoyen_français@AnalysteI

: Le manifestant qui a eu la main arrachée a également été blessé à l’œil.

Embedded video

Clément Lanot

@ClementLanot

PARIS – Tensions en cours. Des individus tentent de forcer un chantier pour rentrer dans l’Assemblée Nationale. Un blessé grave.

Clashes broke out again between protesters and police on Saturday, while cars were torched near the Eiffel Tower:

Embedded video

LINE PRESS@LinePress

manifestation sur les des tensions, un commissaire de prend un coup de pied en plein visage.

Embedded video

LINE PRESS@LinePress

manifestation violents incidents. Voitures de la mission en feu aux pieds de la

Yahoo Actualités

@YahooActuFR

🔴 Des casseurs mettent le feu à une voiture hybride, à proximité de la Tour Eiffel

Embedded video

Yahoo Actualités

@YahooActuFR

🔴 Les pompiers s’occupent du véhicule incendié à proximité de la Tour Eiffel pic.twitter.com/KYfy6FZfrT

Embedded video

See Yahoo Actualités’s other Tweets

Watch live:

 
END
EU/Brussels
Bizarre warning from the EU: it warns diplomats of “no go zones in Brussels due to an influx of Russian and Chinese spies
(courtesy zero hedge)

EU Warns Diplomats Of “No-Go” Zones In Brussels, Cites Influx Of Russian And Chinese Spies

EU officials have issued a bizarre warning to government, military and diplomatic staff working in Brussels, alleging that the European Union’s unofficial capital has become a major hub of Russian and Chinese espionage and spying.

The EU authorities have reportedly advised European diplomats and other personnel to avoid specific areas of the city, especially night life entertainment venues, near EU institutions which have seen an uptick in foreign snooping and surveillance. 

European Parliament’s main building in Brussels, via EPA

EU diplomats told German paper Welt am Sonntag they received a formal alert from the  European External Action Service (EEAS), warning them of the presence of “around 250 Chinese and 200 Russian spies,”according to the report.

The German report identifies Brussels’ popular European Quarter, where the majority of the key EU institutions are based, as a key area being targeted by spies, specifically social hubs like bars and restaurants frequented by EU employees. The “no-go” places included a popular steakhouse and cafe near a building housing the European Commission headquarters, for example.

Brussels neighborhood pub close to the European Parliament. via The Bulletin

But in place of evidence for the claims, which seems more aimed at ensuring EU officials take precautionary measures, the alert referenced patterns of prior decades:

According to the security service, in earlier times Russian agents were most frequently represented in the European capital. Concrete figures were not mentioned in this context. According to internal security services, the Chinese and Russian intelligence agents work in Brussels primarily at the embassies or commercial representations of their home countries, WELT went on to learn.

The report called Russian, Chinese, and even American spying inside Brussels “an open secret” which is run out of local embassies involving “attachés accompanying diplomats” at social events.

Concerning Beijing’s attempts to gather information, often related to pressing geopolitical issues like the west’s stance on Taiwan, the report said – according to a rough translation: “China seems to be increasingly expanding its spying activities in Europe.”

It cited a new Lithuanian intelligence services review published this week, which found“As China’s economic and political ambitions in Lithuania and other NATO and EU countries increase, the activities of Chinese intelligence and security services become increasingly aggressive.”

But we doubt that declaring local pubs as “no-go” spots for EU staff will actually do much to mitigate the types of “random” social encounters that foreign intelligence agencies capitalize on to gain information.

 

end

Italy

Very popular, Salvini calls for the elimination of the Central Bank of Italy and he called its head honchos: “fraudsters”

the populist movement is gaining strength in Italy

(courtesy zerohedge)

Salvini Calls For Elimination Of Italy’s Central Bank, “Prison Time For Fraudsters”

On Friday, in a moment of predictive insight, Bank of America correctly warned that the greatest threat to EPS – i.e., markets – in the next 3 years “is an acceleration of global populism via taxation, regulation & government intervention.” Just one day later, this warning to the financial establishment was starkly manifest in that ground zero for Europe’s populist revolt, Italy, where the country’s coalition government hinted at where the global populist wave is headed next when he slammed the country’s central bank leadership and stock market regulator, escalating its attacks on establishment figures ahead of the European parliamentary vote in May.

Matteo Salvini, the outspoken head of the anti-immigrant League party, said the Bank of Italy and Consob, the country’s stock market regulator, should be “reduced to zero, more than changing one or two people, reduced to zero”, or in other words eliminated,and that “fraudsters” who inflicted losses on Italian savers should “end up in prison for a long time.

As the FT notes, this latest broadside against Italy’s financial establishment comes as the two parties which are increasingly at odds with each other amid speculation Salvini may hold elections to become the sole leader of Italy, prepare to run against each other in the European parliamentary elections in May, a contest widely seen as a proxy for national polls. Meanwhile, both leaders have also increased their attacks against targets including the EU and French president Emmanuel Macron.

Confirming the rising animosity between the two coalition partners, the League and Five Star have openly squabbled over the future of an Alpine rail line and migration, while the two leaders’ repeated attacks against France which culminated with Di Maio meeting the leaders of the anti-Macron Yellow Vest moment, triggered a diplomatic crisis which last week saw Paris recall its ambassador from Rome.

Saturday’s latest verbal crackdown targeting of the Bank of Italy comes after central bankers issued more pessimistic economic growth forecasts for this year compared with the numbers underpinning the government’s budget. As we reported last month, Italy entered into a technical recession in the second half of 2018, with the Bank of Italy cutting its GDP forecast for 2019 to 0.6% compared with a 1% forecast made by the government. At the same time, the European Commission slashed Italy’s GDP forecast from 1.2% to a borderline recessionary 0.2% for the full year, hinting that Italy’s budget deficit forecast will not only be missed, but could re-emerge as a focal point of renewed tensions between Rome and Brussels in the coming months.

Meanwhile, ECB head Mario Draghi, an Italian and former former governor of the Bank of Italy, last year warned that central bank independence was under threat by populist governments, while not making a direct reference to Italy. Should Salvini cement his de facto Italian leadership in upcoming elections, it would make life for the local central bank especially complicated.

Separately, Di Maio and other Five Star ministers said they want to block Luigi Federico Signorini, the deputy director-general of the Bank of Italy, from renewing his term, according to La Repubblica. The newspaper reported that the Italian cabinet was divided on the issue.

As previously reported, in the latest anti-establishment shot across the bow, several days ago the government nominated Paolo Savona, a veteran economist and prominent Eurosceptic who had previously served as minister for European affairs, as the new president of Consob. Savona was last year been blocked as the coalition’s first choice as economy minister by Italian president Sergio Mattarella, following strong pressure from Brussels and a revolt in the Italian bond market.

end
Wait until Salvini finds out that the Italian gold, held at the Bank of England is gone
(courtesy zerohedge)

Salvini Proposes Seizing Control Of Italy’s Gold Reserves From Central Bank

Italy’s populist de facto leader Matteo Salvini seems set on shaking Europe’s financial establishment to the core.

One day after the Italian deputy prime minister and leader of the League party, called for the elimination of Italy’s central bank and the country’s financial regulator, Consob, saying the two institutions should be “reduced to zero, more than changing one or two people, reduced to zero”, or in other words eliminated, and that “fraudsters” who inflicted losses on Italian savers should “end up in prison for a long time”, Salvini prompted fresh shocked gasps in Brussels and Frankfurt when he raised the possibility of seizing Italy’s massive gold reserves away from the country’s central bank.

“The gold is the property of the Italian people, not of anyone else,” Salvini said in comments to reporters on Monday, according to the FT.

The controversial comments, which were seen as threatening the “independence” of the Italian central bank, whose one-time head was none other than Mario Draghi, prompted Giovanni Tria, Italy’s economy minister, to defend the independence of the central bank.

Earlier in the day, Italy’s populists called on lawmakers to pass legislation stating that its gold holdings belong to the state, Bloomberg reported.

The gold ownership bill presented by euroskeptic lawmaker Claudio Borghi of the League adds to an already tense relationship between the Bank of Italy and the coalition government. It’s also sparked criticism from opposition politicians, and some national media argue that it may allow the government to raid the gold reserves to fund spending promises.

Borghi has rejected the accusation and said he’ll ensure Parliament has ultimate power. His concern is that ambiguity of ownership means that a victorious legal action against the central bank — for inadequate supervision, for example — leaves open the possibility of a claimant getting compensation in gold.

“My bill only aims at making clear that the gold belongs to the state, not to the government,” he said in a telephone interview on Monday. “If there are doubts on our intentions, we can also pass another law saying none of the gold reserves can be sold unless there is a majority of two thirds or more of both houses of Parliament.”

According to Bloomberg, Borghi’s bill, being examined by the Lower House’s Finance Committee, calls for an explicit interpretation of legislation that the institute “holds and manages as deposits” the gold, while the state has ownership.

* * *

So why is Salvini seeking to seize the gold and use it “on behalf of the Italian people”? While there was no clear cut answer, the Italian media reported that the coalition government of Salvini’s anti-migration League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, may be considering using part of the central bank’s gold to fund their spending plans.

Salvini countered that while he had not studied the notion of selling Bank of Italy reserves to fund additional government spending in detail, he conceded that “it may be an interesting idea.”

Meanwhile, the close economic adviser of Salvini and Eurosceptic League member of parliament, Claudio Borghi, has proposed a law to ensure that the Italian state was recognised as the ultimate owner of Italy’s gold reserves rather than the Bank of Italy.

“Nobody wants to sell the ingots, in fact, quite the opposite, we want to prevent others from having their hands on it,” Mr Borghi wrote on Twitter after Mr Salvini’s comments according to the FT.

The idea to liquidate Italy’s gold in order to fund higher state spending appears to have emerged from Beppe Grillo, the co-founder of Five Star, who last September wrote that “It would allow us to finally put an end to this annoying story about the fact that ‘there is no money’”, adding “why do citizens have to sell their necklaces and not the state?”

If Salvini is indeed serious to monetize its gold, it would bring in a healthy chunk of change for Italy’s populist leadership: the Bank of Italy has the third-largest central bank holding of gold reserves in the world after the US and Germany, owning 2,452 tonnes according to the World Gold Council, which at today’s prices would amount to just over $103 billion.

Of course, even that amount pales in comparison with Italy’s total debt load of €2.35 trillion, which would suggest that if Salvini is indeed focused on tearing up the legacy constraints of his country with some financial establishment, the next step would be declaring the country’s sovereign debt “odious” or null and void, followed ultimately by the Italeave, and the the return of the Italian lira.

5.RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

Iran seems hell-bent on using all of its money to produce missiles.  This morning Iran filmed an underground city of ballistic missiles capable of traveling 1000 kilometers. Iran is a very dangerous player in themddle east

(courtesy zerohedge)

Iran Films “Underground City” Of Ballistic Missiles In Provocative Snub Of US And EU

Late last week Iran’s Revolutionary Guard unveiled a new surface-to-surface ballistic missile that Iran’s military touts as possessing a range of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles), according to the elite force’s Sepah News.

Image source: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard via Sepah News/AFP

The IRGC released footage of the new missile stored deep inside what state media called an “underground” ballistic missile production facility in what appears the latest provocative snub to US and European leaders, who’ve recently demanded Iran halt all missile development and tests, but which Tehran has said is for defensive reasons and therefore legal within the framework of the 2015 JCPOA.

Fars News published video of IRGC commander-in-chief Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari and aerospace commander Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh showcasing the new missile, called Dezful, described as having “twice the destructive power” of the older Zolfaghar model, which had a range of 700 kilometers, according to statements by Hajizadeh.

And in comments aimed directly at the West, IRGC chief Jafari said,“Displaying this missile production facility deep underground is an answer to Westerners… who think they can stop us from reaching our goals through sanctions and threats,” according to the AFP. The location of the facility, which appeared to show multiple rockets, was undisclosed.

Embedded video

خبرگزاری فارس

@FarsNews_Agency

🎥اولین تصاویر از کارخانه زیر زمینی تولید موشک بالستیک نیروی هوافضای

“Europeans talk of limiting our defensive capability while they have the audacity [to allow] their offensive power be used to attack innocent people all over the world,” he added.

This came within the same week the European Union issued a formal statement urging Iran to abandon all ballistic missile activity, and to further cease “intervention” in regional conflicts. The EU was reacting to a recent successful test of a new cruise missile named Hoveizeh, which has a purported range of 1,350 kilometers.

Meanwhile, Gen. Hajizadeh said at a separate event in Tehran that Iran’s “missile power is not negotiable.” He said, “This deterrence power has been created for the country and we do not hold talks about it with anyone at all.”

As the AFP reports, Iran is still within the guidelines of the JCPOA despite the recent cruise missile tests and touting its new Dezful missile: “Iran has voluntarily limited the range of its missiles to 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles), but that is still enough to hit its arch-enemy Israel and US bases in the Middle East,” according to the report.

The White House has continued to point to Tehran’s expanding ballistic missile program as it builds a case for international pressures to increase and as it seeks to enforce sanctions, so the Iranian military’s publicizing footage of what’s been described as an entire “underground city” for missile development is certainly not going to help the Iranians.

Some reports described “vast corridors, full of various missile parts, including warheads, all at different stages of assembly” as well as an army of engineers at the plant “fulfilling tasks, from merely spinning nuts to fine-tuning some tiny electronic devices, thought to be parts of the missiles’ guidance system.”

Thus Iran’s leadership shouldn’t be surprised in the future with the US administration uses its own footage against it in building the case for potential future military intervention.

end
Iran threatens to raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground if the uSA attacks Iran. I think that they should let Iran’s economy implode by itself..however they should blow up all Iranian weapons etc stored in Syria and Lebanon
(courtesy zerohedge)

Revolutionary Guard Threatens To “Raze Tel Aviv And Haifa To The Ground” If US Attacks Iran

As Iran celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that led to the overthrow of the Shah back in 1979, and the establishment of the country’s current Ayatollah-led government, citizens took to the streets on Monday for a day of nation-wide rallies. And amid the celebration. And of course, it wouldn’t be a celebration of Iran’s greatest gesture of contempt against the US without a healthy dose of belligerent rhetoric courtesy of members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Shah

To that end, according to reports on Iranian television cited by Sputnik, an IRGC commander warned that Tehran “will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa” to the ground if Washington attacks Iran.

“The United States does not have the courage to shoot a single bullet at us despite all its defensive and military assets. But if they attack us, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” said Yadollah Javani, the Guards’ deputy head for political affairs said during a rally celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

The commander’s statement comes after an IRGC spokesman said earlier in the day that Tehran’s military would “firmly punish” any aggressor who attacks Iran.

“Islamic Iran has reached a level…to protect its borders by effective military capabilities, and firmly punish any aggressor,” Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif, spokesman for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said during a rally celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

On Feb. 11, 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei rose to power in Iran after ousting Shah Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi’s Western-backed government, transforming Iran into an Islamic Republic, which has persisted to this day.

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

Despite taking out seasonality, the Baltic Dry index is collapsing. Jophn Rubino cautions that this may not be just a blip but the end of globalization

(courtesy John Rubino)

Ocean Shipping Rates Plunge: Just A Blip Or The End Of Globalization?

Authored by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com,

The Baltic Dry Index represents the cost of renting an ocean-going container ship to move goods from, say, Chinese factories to the Port of Los Angeles. The more stuff being made and sold, the higher the demand for such ships, and thus the higher the price to rent one. And vice versa.

This is definitely one of the vice versa times. After rising to robust levels in mid-2018 the Baltic Dry Index has since plunged by about two-thirds.

[ZH: we are well aware of the seasonality within the global shipping markets but even adjusted for that, this is the worst collapse in shipping rates since 2012 (which prompted Bernanke to unleash Operation Twist and QE3)…]

Here’s a brief article on the subject from today’s Wall Street Journal:

Free-Falling Freight Rates Spell Trouble For Shipping

Dry bulk shipowners face a long period of uncertainty as spot prices collapse and China shipments shrink.

A slowing global economy, coupled with weak demand from China over the Lunar New Year and from Brazil after Vale SA’s iron ore disaster, is dragging shipping rates to near record lows, and few in the industry expect things to improve any time soon.

Brokers in Singapore and London said capesize vessels, the largest ships that move bulk commodities like iron ore, coal and aluminum, were chartered in the spot market for as low as $8,200 a day on Thursday, a $500 decline from Wednesday. Break-even costs for carriers can be as high as $15,000 a day, and daily rates in the capesize market hovered above $20,000 last year.

“Everyone is looking for a catalyst to push the market up, but it’s not there,” said a Singapore broker.

The Baltic Dry Index, which tracks the cost of moving bulk commodities and is considered a leading indicator of global trade, is down more than 50% since the start of the year.

The long Lunar New Year holiday in early February is one of the slowest periods in commodities trading as factories in China, the world’s biggest importer of raw materials, shut down. But ship executives say the bulk seaborne freight business is more broadly suffering from the lowest demand in two years, while China’s trade tussle with the U.S. is making the market more volatile.

“A long slowdown in the Chinese economy will hurt commodity demand and send shipping rates sharply lower,” Bloomberg Intelligence industry analyst Rahul Kapoor said.

The Vale iron ore disaster in Brazil in January, in which a mining dam burst, triggering a flood that killed at least 150 people and left close to 200 more missing and feared dead, created a new source of uncertainty.

Vale has suspended production at a number of sites, removing 40 million tons of annual output, or 11% of the giant miner’s total production in 2017.

The reduced sailings could affect dry bulk owners, including China Cosco Bulk Shipping Co. Ltd, Norway’s Golden Ocean Group and Greece’s Diana Shipping Inc.

“The Vale void will be largely covered by iron ore shipments out of Australia,” the Singapore broker said, “but Brazil generally commands higher freight rates so there is no good news.”

China has resumed importing soybeans from the U.S., a sign of progress in talks between Washington and Beijing. But the 540,000 metric tons of shipments from the U.S. in January were less than half the monthly average last year.

“If you are a bulk owner, you can no longer depend solely on China to make money, and that’s a seismic shift,” said a London broker.

So there are some specific, possibly temporary things going on here. The US/China trade war is slowing shipments between those countries while a Brazilian iron ore mine disaster is cutting shipments of that commodity for the time being.

Assuming the trade war ends and Vale’s Brazilian mine recovers, it’s reasonable to see this as the bottom for shipping rates – a forecast that shippers who need to double current prices just to break even fervently hope is true.

But there are also broader forces at work. The trade war isn’t just a piece of political theater for the US. We really do need factories to come back home if we want to avoid a populist and/or socialist revolution. And next generation manufacturing tech like 3D printers will in any event move production closer to end users, lowering the need for at least some of today’s shipping.

It’s possible, in other words, that the whole free trade/mobile capital/cheap labor/long supply chain Age of Globalization, with its assumption of unlimited rich-country demand and plentiful cheap energy for transport was just an artifact of a very specific time. It was so cheap and easy to move things around that building toys or TVs wherever labor was cheapest and shipping them to wherever the money resided made financial sense.

That might not be a permanent state of affairs, and if it’s not, those giant ships won’t be the only stranded capital out there.

end

7  OIL ISSUES

Tom Luongo describes how the uSA is losing its dominance in the energy field especially with the watershed moment where Germany demands and gets acceptance of the Nordstream II project against the wishes of Trump

(courtesy Tom Luongo).

Energy Dominance Isn’t Just A Trump Obsession

Authored by Tom Luongo,

Energy Dominance should be the catchphrase of the day. It’s on the minds of every political figure, and the focus of every economy.

This is especially true of those vulnerable to a change in the status quo, namely Saudi Arabia.

While some continue to believe the gyrations of the oil market over the past few months are evidence of our running up against the limit of the petroleum based global economy, I disagree.

The world is awash in decades of easily-extracted oil and gas. The supply of it has been kept off the market due to its centrality in the grand game of geopolitics. But, it has nothing to do with the amount of oil and gas out there.

Peak oil has become a religion among its adherents. Decrying the U.S. shale boom, rightly, for its profligacy has more to do with it being a consequence of disastrous central bank inflation rather than some grand plan of the ‘cabal’ because we passed peak EROEI some time ago.

When you drop interest rates to zero and flood the world with liquidity that can only find a home in equity markets, the natural result is malinvestment into unsustainable business practices.

The first wave of the shale boom in the U.S. occurred during this period and created the dynamic we have today. It’s groundwork was laid when oil prices spiked during Greenspan’s post-9/11 reflation and the Iraq War took a lot of marginal supply off the table.

That sparked a gold rush mentality and a huge boom occurred as oil prices kept rising after “Bernanke saved the world” with trillions in liquidity and multiple rounds of QE.

Properties were bought based on sky-high valuations which were the result of searching for yield in a yield-free world.

Does anyone think fracking would have happened post-2008 with the 10 year at 6%? If so, then you are, frankly, a religious fanatic.

Once the financial juice runs out the bust occurs. Financing costs are always the story with the pigs at the easy money trough. But, that’s the same in any industry. It doesn’t mean the oil isn’t there or extractable at prices which are relevant.

But, much of the second wave of fracking has removed a lot of that financial froth. Liquidation of the first wave means a lot a the unconventional wells in Eagle Ford and the Permian are being fracked profitably at $35 to $45 per barrel or, in some cases, lower.

Sure, there are still plenty that are not. But, no new well goes into production today without using plug and perf, which results in more oil over a longer period of time with a much lower initial rate.

Add in pulsed plasma technology to revitalize legacy conventional wells, tie-back schemes for offshore drilling and what was once too expensive and terrible EROEI now become profitable.

Malthusians come in many forms, including adherents to Peak Oil. It’s nothing new. It’s simply people who falsely apply linear models to cyclical processes that the market understands implicitly and compensates for through investment in new technologies.

So, the Peak Oil crowd kept thinking it was rising EROEI and the world would crash because of it. But oil prices cannot be analyzed in the vacuum of the Gibbs Free Energy Equation. I wish it could be.

Oil is political. And artificial restrictions on supply are part and parcel of what we euphemistically call foreign policy.

That’s why everyone is playing the Energy Dominance game. Russia and Germany are playing it over Nordstream 2, the pipeline that will guarantee German industry cheap gas and Germany some secondary political leverage to countries defying her edicts within the EU, namely Poland.

Poland is playing that game by trying to stop Nordstream 2, cozy up to the U.S. and Donald Trump (who loves the flattery) while refusing to negotiate with Russia.

The Saudis continue to try and wriggle out of the trap of their own devising, by trying to sell bigger, better OPEC to Russia while trading an alliance with Israel for long-term protection from the U.S.

India and Turkey dance around U.S. sanctions by defying the U.S. over Iranian sanctions and horse-trading for other concessions.

Even eastern Europe realizes that they have to play their part in this game if they are going to survive. Bulgaria just green-lighted a spur off the Turkstream pipeline which crosses Serbia. Serbia is ready to begin construction next month.

Hungary is also part of that discussion while they actively court Exxon-Mobil to develop assets in the Black Sea off the Romanian coast.

Trump’s Energy Dominance plan is predicated on keeping control of the flow and pricing of oil around the world. This is why he’s meddling around in Venezuela, a project more than twenty years in the making by the U.S. but which he philosophically agrees with.

He has no ability to stop the drive within our government to keep the Middle East a powder keg because Israel acts as if peace is an existential threat.

But none of that will change the trend that now dominates, which is that the U.S., despite Trump’s spastic flailing about, is losing control of the world’s oil pricing. From the petroyuan contract in Shanghai to the strong relationships Russia is building across Europe and Asia there is little the U.S. can do that it already hasn’t done to alter this trend.

Every day we see small instances of defiance. From Iran creating a gold-backed cryptocurrency to transact oil business outside of the U.S. dominated SWIFT system to the EU’s flawed but symbolic INSTEX vehicle to keep trade relations between Europe and Iran open.

But, the biggest slap to Trump is Germany’s insistence on the Nordstream 2 pipeline. Under Angela Merkel Nordstream 2 is a purely EU-centric project, designed to strengthen Germany and weaken the rest of Europe by bypassing Ukraine.

But in the larger picture it is the watershed moment where Germany begins throwing off the yoke of the post-WWII institutional order created and maintained by the United States and the U.K.

Nordstream 2 will likely outlive the European Union and maybe even the U.S. itself. It will certainly outlast Trump. And the energy it provides will be the means by which Europe will make the choice between its neighbors to the east or its overlords to the west.

For 2019, oil will be trapped between the political flux of Europe, the paralysis of Washington D.C. and the comeuppance of putting off the effects of the 2008 financial crisis for eleven years.

With the Fed punting on normalizing rates to placate the market you can expect the shale drillers to go right back to the trough of low debt and low equity cost of capital. It won’t do them any good in the long run but it’ll keep their personal ponzi schemes running a little while longer.

But that too will come to a bad end as the political promises of the past two generations catches up with the reality of what they actually cost. And then we’ll find out who truly dominates the energy markets.

*  *  *

Please support the production of independent and alternative political and financial commentary by joining my Patreon and subscribing to the Gold Goats ‘n Guns Investment Newsletter for just $12/month.

end

8. EMERGING MARKETS

Venezuela/USA

The inside story of how Juan Guaido became “the new President” of Venezuela with the backing of the uSA

(courtesy zerohedge)

The Inside Story Of Juan Guaido’s Big Gamble For Venezuela 

A new WSJ report asks what the Hell is going on? in Venezuela and provides new information behind How a Small Group Seized Control of Venezuela’s Oppositionto make the extremely risky move of pushing forward 35-year old opposition leader and National Assembly head Juan Guaido to declare himself “Interim President” — precipitating the crisis that’s seen the noose tighten around President Nicolas Maduro’s rule as over a dozen countries led by the US have declared him “illegitimate”.

For starters, the report paints current events as having started with a “big gamble” that was largely unplanned and unexpected within even the political opposition itself, and which further had the hidden hand of the White House and State Department behind it from the very beginning, pushing the opposition forward at the most critical juncture.

Edgar Zambrano, left, with Mr. Guaidó, center, on Jan. 5, via the WSJ. Source: AP

Outlining the past difficulties of Venezuela’s “notoriously fractious opposition” and the deep divide over the question of whether to enter direct negotiations or take more aggressive action to undermine Maduro, the WSJ describes:

When Juan Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s interim president on Jan. 23 in front of a crowd of 100,000 people under a broiling sun, some leading opposition figures had no idea he would do so, say people who work with Mr. Guaidó and other top leaders. That included a few standing alongside him. A stern look of shock crossed their faces. Some quietly left the stage.

“What the hell is going on?” one member of a group of politicians wrote to the others in a WhatsApp group chat. “How come we didn’t know about this.”

The plan was so risky — especially to Guaido personally as he had been arrested and briefly detained after his vehicle was rushed by secret police only less than two weeks prior — that the final decision of public confrontation with the Maduro regime was left entirely up to him in the hours leading up to the Jan.23 rally.

Not everyone agreed that Guaido and his Popular Will party should be the one to be pushed forward as “Interim President” but the moment it happened, this forced the opposition to immediately unify behind him, based on the no turning back momentum created:

Mr. Guaidó himself only agreed to act the day before he declared himself interim president, his aides said. Some politicians—including those in the traditional Democratic Action Party, the largest opposition party—weren’t told of the plan.

“We didn’t want them to mess it up,” said one opposition leader who knew of the strategy.

The results of that fateful decision are still being played out in the streets, and on the international stage as countries line up for and against Maduro (China, Russia and Turkey among Maduro supporters, with the US and European countries backing Guaido as legitimate leader).

The high stakes maneuver “was largely devised by a group of four opposition leaders—two in exile, one under house arrest and one barred from leaving the country” and was predictably immediately denounced by Maduro “as part of a U.S.-backed coup to overthrow his government.” But as the WSJ concludes, “The act of political skulduggery paid off. The crowd reacted ecstatically to Mr. Guaidó, and one nation after another recognized him within hours.” Among the “plotters” included Guaido’s political mentor Leopoldo López, now under house arrest in Caracas, and Edgar Zambrano, vice president of the National Assembly of power allied opposition party Democratic Action.

Image via Venezuelan Presidency/AFP/Getty

Zambrano related to the WSJ that the risk was so high that in the end the “final decision” to pull the trigger laid with Guaido:

Mr. Zambrano, one of the opposition leaders who appeared surprised on stage on Jan. 23, said the possibility of Mr. Guaidó assuming the presidency had been discussed in the weeks before, but that the final decision was in the hands of the young leader because of the risks it entailed.

However, the WSJ report closes with crucial bombshell information regarding what it took for the opposition to cross that line, and for Guaido to step out in confidence.

What was the key factor in the final push? First, Canada and US allies in Latin America initiated something dramatic…

A breakthrough came on Jan. 4, when the Lima Group of 14 Latin American countries and Canada issued a letter calling on Mr. Maduro to hand over power to the National Assembly. The near-bellicose nature of the letter surprised opposition leaders, reinforcing the idea they should take action.

But most importantly, Washington came calling at a key moment the opposition was fractured and still indecisive and divided, in what is a central revelation concerning the anti-Maduro movement’s calculations:

When Mr. Guaidó should try to assume the interim presidency was up for debate. Some argued that it should happen before Mr. Maduro took the oath. Others proposed creating a commission to challenge Mr. Maduro’s claim to office.

As late as Jan. 22, the day before it happened, Mr. Guaidó wasn’t fully convincedHe came around after Vice President Mike Pence called to assure that, if he were to invoke the Venezuelan constitution in being sworn in as the country’s rightful leader, the U.S. would back the opposition.

And there it is  a stunning mainstream media admission that the political drama and crisis now unfolding in Venezuela, now quickly turning into a global geopolitical pressure spot and conflagration — was pushed forward and given assistance directly from the White House from the very beginning.

 

end

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

Euro/USA 1.1306 DOWN .0013 REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:///ITALIAN CHAOS /AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA RISING INTEREST RATES /FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES GREEN 

 

 

 

 

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 110.18  UP .379 (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…

GBP/USA 1.2901    DOWN   0.0019  (Brexit March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED

USA/CAN 1.3278 UP .0006 CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA/CANADA HAS A HUGE HOUSEHOLD DEBT/GDP PROBLEM)

Early THIS MONDAY morning in Europe, the Euro FELL by 13 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level FALLING to 1.1306/ Last night Shanghai composite closed UP 35.66 POINTS OR 1.36%/

 

 

 

//Hang Sang CLOSED UP 197.52  POINTS OR .71% 

 

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED DOWN .12%  /EUROPEAN BOURSES GREEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NIKKEI: this MONDAY morning CLOSED/HOLIDAY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED GREEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang Sang CLOSED UP 197.52 POINTS OR .71%

 

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 35.66 POINTS OR 1.36% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED DOWN 0.12%

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED/HOLIDAY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1306.70

silver:$15.71

Early MONDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.65% !!! UP 2 IN POINTS from THURSDAY’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 2.98 UP 1  IN BASIS POINTS from FRIDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

USA dollar index early MONDAY morning: 96.82 UP 16 CENT(S) from  FRIDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers MONDAY MORNING

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

And now your closing MONDAY NUMBERS \12: 00 PM

 

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.66% UP 1     in basis point(s) yield from FRIDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: -.03%  DOWN 0   BASIS POINTS from FRIDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

 

 

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.24% UP 1   IN basis point yield from FRIDAY

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.90 DOWN 6     POINTS in basis point yield from FRIDAY/

 

 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 167 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: RISES UP TO +.12%   IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY//

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.78% AND NOW ABOVE THE  THE 3.00% LEVEL WHICH WILL IMPLODE THE ENTIRE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM. AT 4% SPREAD THERE WILL BE A MASSIVE BANK RUN…

 

END

IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR MONDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1278 DOWN   .0040 or 40 basis points

 

 

USA/Japan: 110.39 UP  0.688 OR 69 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.2863 DOWN.0055( POUND DOWN 55  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar DOWN 23 basis points to 1.3295

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

The USA/Yuan,CNY closed HOLIDAY AT 6.79232 0N SHORE

 

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  6.8020(  YUAN DOWN)

TURKISH LIRA:  5.2852

the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at -.03%

 

 

 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 2 IN basis points from FRIDAY at 2.66 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.00 UP 2  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, 97.04 UP 40 CENT(S) ON THE DAY/1.00 PM/

 

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

London: CLOSED UP 57.93 OR 0.82%

German Dax : UP 107,81 POINTS OR 0.99%

Paris Cac CLOSED UP 52.83 POINTS OR  1.06%

Spain IBEX CLOSED UP 79.60 POINTS OR  0.90%

Italian MIB: CLOSED UP 234.66 POINTS OR 1.21%

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 51.76 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 61.29 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   ROUBLE CROSS:    65.83  THE CROSS HIGHER BY 0.40 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE LOWER BY 40 BASIS PTS)

 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES TO +.12 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 :  52.39

 

 

BRENT :  61.46

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: … 2.66..

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: .300

 

 

 

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1276 ( DOWN 42    BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:110.39 UP.690 (YEN DOWN 69   BASIS POINTS/..

 

.

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 97,07 UP 43 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA:1.2861  DOWN 60 POINTS FROM YESTERDAY

the Turkish lira close: 5.2760

the Russian rouble 65.79   down .28 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( UP 28 BASIS POINTS)

 

Canadian dollar:  1.3300 down 28 BASIS pts

USA/CHINESE YUAN (CNY) :  6.7923  (ONSHORE)/CLOSED FOR THE WEEK

USA/CHINESE YUAN(CNH): 6.7979  (OFFSHORE)

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: ,0.12%

 

The Dow closed down 50.92 POINTS OR 0.20%

 

NASDAQ closed UP 10.28 POINTS OR 0.14%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  16.03 CLOSED DOWN .34 

 

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.698%  .LIBOR  RATES ARE FALLING/

 

FROM 2.737

 

 

 

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

Dollar Jumps, Yuan Dumps, Dow Slumps As Chinese Return To Work

The Lunar New Year celebrations are over – China was up… Europe was up… But The Dow closed down – is that even allowed?

 

Chinese traders returned from their week-long vacation and played catch up to global stocks, with tech-heavy CHINEXT soaring 3.5%…

 

Having drifted lower during the lunar new year celebrations, Offshore Yuan spiked at the open, but then plunged as the day wore on…

 

European markets surged out of the gate after China’s gains…

 

US equities surged overnight as Europe opened then dumped it all back as the US cash markets opened…Futures show the late-Friday-close panic-buying gains evaporated…

 

In cash markets, Trannies soared, Nasdaq and S&P struggled all day and The Dow was red…

 

“Most Shorted” stocks were squeezed again – erasing the drop from last Thursday

 

S&P is holding just above its 100DMA…

 

Equity and credit protection costs were higher on the day but faded (improved) into the close…

 

Treasury yields ended the day higher, despite equity weakness (and dollar gains)…

Chatter of a huge investment grade calendar likely prompted the marginal weakness in bonds as rate-locks set

However, 30Y held just below 3.00%…

 

The dollar index surged by the most in 3 months for its 8th daily gain in a row into the green for 2019 – the longest win streak since Jan 2016…

This is the biggest 8-day gain in the dollar since June 2018.

The last few times that the dollar has surged at this pace, things reversed rather quickly…

 

Ugly day for cable today…

 

Emerging Market FX was hammered also…

 

In cryptos, Litecoin continues to rise (admittedly with plenty of vol) along with Ethereum…Bitcoin was deadstick…

 

Commodities and Bonds have already started to reject the rampant buying panic in stocks…

 

Commodities were all lower on the strong dollar but gold dropped the least…

 

Magical comeback in WTI rescued it from a $51 handle…

 

Gold was down on the day as the dollar spiked but the precious metal managed to bounce…

 

As the dollar has surged back into the green for 2019, Platinum has been punished most (but Palladium remains the best performer of the year)…

 

Finally, we note that the fun-durr-mentals are not getting any better…

Even The Fed’s model is starting to signal recession looms…

 

 

MARKET TRADING

ii)Market data/

 

 

 

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

This did not take long:  Payless is preparing for its second bankruptcy in just under two years

(courtesy zerohedge)

Payless Prepares Second Bankruptcy In Under Two Years

It feels like it was just yesterday that we wrote about Payless (ShoeSource) Inc. filing for bankruptcy back in 2017. Well, it’s deja vu time because less than two years after emerging from its first Chapter 11, Payless is is preparing for its second trip to bankruptcy court with a plan to shrink the size of the discount shoe chain even further, according to Bloomberg.

It’s unclear if this filing will be a Chapter 11 or a Chapter 7 liquidation: the retailer, which is seeking a DIP loan, is said to be discussing plans to shutter a significant portion, and potentially all of its North American stores.

Once it files – again – Payless will be the latest in a wave of retail bankruptcies (and re-bankruptcies) during the past two years as online rivals and heavy debt overtake once-iconic brands like Toys “R” Us and Sears.

And, as we wrote earlier this week, there is no end to the pain in sight, with at least half a dozen names going bust so far this year, including Shopko, FullBeauty Brands, Charlotte Russe, Things Remembered and Gymboree, which like Payless, also filed for bankruptcy last month and is also liquidating most of its operations. In total, since 2016, some 35 retail chains have filed for chapter 11 reporting more than $100M in debt according to Reorg First Day.

Reorg First Day@ReorgFirstDay

Since 2016, 35 retail chains have filed for chapter 11 relief reporting more than $100M in liabilities on their bankruptcy petitions:

Payless, which employs more than 18,000 globally and operates about 3,600 outlets worldwide, with more than 2,700 in North America, was founded in 1956 with the goal of selling affordable shoes in a self-service setting and is, or rather was the largest specialty footwear chain in the Western Hemisphere; it was doing great until its 2012 LBO by Golden Gate Capital and Blum Capital Partners, which saddled it with untenable debt, and ended up filing for bankruptcy protection in April 2017.

A few months later, it emerged with fewer stores, half the debt load, creditors owning the equity.

Just over a year later, it will be filing again in a world where bricks and mortar retailers are now doomed to extinction thanks to an online retailing monopoly whose owner’s naked selfies are about to appear in a tabloid.

And with Payless set to files its first, and last, Chapter 22, Bloomberg recently 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.

Finally, as if the situation wasn’t already dire enough, just imagine what will happen to the US legacy retail sector when the next recession finally arrives.

END

A good look at the food supply crisis in the USA as farmers struggle to make a living.  The tariffs and a lack of exports are killing the food supply

(courtesy Mac Slavo/SHTFplan.com)

The U.S. Faces A Catastrophic Food Supply Crisis In America As Farmers Struggle

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

American farmers are battling several issues when it comes to producing our food.  Regulated low prices, tariffs, and the inability to export have all cut into the salaries of farmers.  They are officially in crisis mode, just like the United States’ food supply.

“The farm economy’s in pretty tough shape,” said John Newton, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“When you look out on the horizon of things to come, you start to see some cracks.”

Average farm income has fallen to near 15-year lowsunder president Donald Trump’s policies, and in some areas of the country, farm bankruptcies are soaring.  And with slightly higher interest rates, many don’t see borrowing more money as an option.  “A lot of farmers are going to give the president the benefit of the doubt, and have to date. But the longer the trade war goes on, the more that dynamic changes,” said Brian Kuehl, executive director of Farmers for Free Trade, according to Politico.

With no end to the disastrous trade war in sight, many farmers have traveled to Washington to share their plights with the president himself hoping that he’ll end the trade war that’s exacerbating an already precarious food crisis.  Farmers make up a fairly large chunk of president Trump’s base, andan unwillingness to put food production in the United States first could be detrimental for Trump reelection chances in 2020. It could also be the beginning of a catastrophic food shortage.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis warned back in November of rising Chapter 12 bankruptcies used by family farmers to restructure massive amounts of debt. The Fed said that the strain of low commodity prices “is starting to show up not just in bottom-line profitability, but in simple viability.” The increase in bankruptcies was driven by woes in Wisconsin’s dairy sector, which shrunk by about 1,200 operations, or 13 percent, from 2016 to October 2018.

“You’ve had farms that have gone out of business, that have gone bankrupt because of this trade war,” said Kuehl of Farmers for Free Trade.

“There’s a lot of farmers going through tough conversations right now with their lenders.”

And so far, the government’s solution to the problem they created is to give more welfare to farmers, placing the burden on the backs of taxpayers.

As the government continues to pass the burden onto others while destroying the food industry, things could very well reach apocalyptic levels.  Nothing will see this country spiral into complete disarray like a lack of food.Alarmingly, scientists have already said that the global food supply system is broken.

To put it simply, government interference in the agriculture industry is responsible for the food crisis we all are about to face.

end

New Jersey, is the one of the highest taxed states in the union. Now New Jersey voters are furious as the Governor (Murphy) is preparing to sign in a “rain tax” into law

(courtesy zerohedge)

NJ Voters Furious As Governor Murphy Prepares To Sign ‘Rain Tax’ Into Law

Just when frustrated residents of New Jersey, one of the most heavily taxed states in the US, thought Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy had already brought the state into the ninth circle of taxation hell with new taxes to save the state’s ailing pension system, middle class voters in one of the least affordable states in the country have now been given one more thing to complain about: A tax on the rain.

After a bill authorizing the new local taxes was passed by the state late last month, Murphy is preparing to sign it into law, over the objections of the state’s Republicans, according to the New York Post.

Murphy

Gov. Phil Murphy

As one state lawmaker told the post, just when NJ residents thought the state had already laid claim to every revenue stream imaginable, Democrats have found one more thing to tax.

“Every time you think there’s nothing left to tax, we come up with something else,”Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R-Morris-Sussex) exploded during a debate on the measure.

“It’s just never-ending down here.”

And voters are understandably furious.

phil ramos@philramos66

What! Its gets crazier my Jersey friends, the bill passed and now it goes to the Governor to sign. https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/02/04/rain-tax-likely-to-become-reality-in-new-jersey/?fbclid=IwAR0Oi5CB6zmhM55566Mo74xtIj0FqGxL-Aoj8fzW5Uy9fEqausvw1bREtRo 

‘Rain Tax’ Likely To Become Reality In New Jersey

New Jersey is one of the highest taxed states in the country. Now, residents and businesses could be taxed extra … when it rains.

newyork.cbslocal.com

The insane asylum known as is now charging people because it rains. You cannot make this stop up. https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/02/04/rain-tax-likely-to-become-reality-in-new-jersey/ 

‘Rain Tax’ Likely To Become Reality In New Jersey

New Jersey is one of the highest taxed states in the country. Now, residents and businesses could be taxed extra … when it rains.

newyork.cbslocal.com

New Jersey residents face possible ‘rain tax’

New Jersey residents could soon be hit with what Republicans are calling a “rain tax,” if Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signs newly passed legislation.

foxnews.com

See Thomas D. Boley, Esq’s other Tweets

The ‘rain tax’, which is largely supported by Democrats and largely opposed by Republicans, would allow towns, counties and local authorities to set up their own storm water utilities. These newly created arms of local bureaucracy would be empowered to charge property owners a fee based on the amount of non-permeable surface they own (think: parking lots and driveways). The logic behind this is that non-permeable surfaces create runoff when it rains, and that runoff gets polluted as it travels from these surfaces into local sewers, and then on to the state’s water ways. The revenue generated by these taxes would be used to upgrade the state’s storm water systems, and save the state’s already polluted waters from further pollution (though the state would step in and scoop up 5% of all revenues).

The EPA, according to an op-ed published by North Jersey.com, has estimated that a complete overhaul of NJ’s stormwater systems would cost $15.6 billion.

But unfortunately for Democrats, while taxing the rich might be in vogue among 2020 presidential contenders (because focus groups have suggested that raising taxes on other people remains a politically popular position), very few middle-class voters in a state that is already one of the most heavily taxed in the country want another massive tax levied on their driveway.

To illustrate just how politically radioactive the rain tax has become, it’s worth a look back at Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s upset victory in the state’s 2014 gubernatorial race. In a scenario that might sound familiar to many of our readers, Hogan was believed to be so far behind Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown that media didn’t even bother to conduct exit polling on election day.

But when Hogan unexpected came from behind and clinched the governor’s mansion, stunned pundits started casting about for an explanation. And through a hodge-podge of anecdotal reports, they settled on the rain tax, which Hogan had vociferously campaigned against (Maryland passed the law in 2012, two years before the election).

Alec MacGillis

@AlecMacGillis

Two words for anyone wondering how Brown lost : “Rain tax.” What every voter in a swing precinct today mentioned to me.

The rain tax was so hated by Maryland voters, that it effectively ceded control of the governor’s mansion in a deep-blue state to a Republican.

Maybe Gov. Murphy is already setting himself up for a similar upset during the state’s next gubernatorial election in 2021.

 

end

this is very dangerous for California as this state is just one fire away from its two remaining utilities declaring bankruptcy

(courtesy zerohedge)

California’s Two Remaining Utilities Are One Fire Away From Bankruptcy

Two weeks after California’s largest utility PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection (marking its second bankruptcy in 20 years), Bloomberg is sounding the alarm that California’s two other large electric utilities are just one wildfire away from bankruptcy filings of their own – a fact that was underscored last month when S&P slashed their credit ratings to near-junk status.

And to the chagrin of California residents, Gov. Gavin Newsom has done nothing to ease these anxieties, leaving large swaths of the largest state in the union without solvent utility companies (a situation that would likely lead to massive rate hikes on California’s already heavily taxed consumers).

Land Management

The two utilities in question are Edison International’s Southern California Edison Co. and Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric Co. Both utilities have begged California lawmakers to reconsider the state’s view on the legal concept of inverse condemnation. Put simply, this legal principle allows utilities to be held liable for any wildfires caused by their equipment – even if the utilities have followed every safety rule. But so far, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears (for the record, the changes being requested wouldn’t affect the distribution of liability if the utilities are found to be negligent).

“This is a really serious issue that could absolutely impair the health of utilities in this state,” Pedro Pizarro, Edison’s chief executive officer, said in an interview. “I don’t want to speculate about bankruptcy, but this is serious. And the current approach is just not sustainable.”

But as Bloomberg points out, there are several easy solutions that wouldn’t be difficult for the legislature and governor’s mansion to pursue. The legislature has the power to change the standard. But so far, they have opted to do nothing.

Here’s a rundown of the options (text courtesy of Bloomberg):

Legislation

California lawmakers spent much of last year hunting for a solution. In August, they passed a bill designed to help utilities cover liabilities from a wave of fires in 2017. But it doesn’t offer aid for 2018 fires, a critical issue after November’s Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history. With PG&E’s equipment seen as a possible ignition source, the company estimated it was facing $30 billion in wildfire liabilities when it filed for bankruptcy.

California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, assembled an advisory panel and told them to fast-track their efforts; he wants a report before July. Utilities and legislators are all offering ideas, but there’s no guarantee they’ll find a solution that will help the power companies without becoming a financial burden to the state, or raise the ire of ratepayers and voters.

The inverse condemnation doctrine is rooted in California’s constitution, so any direct changes would require a constitutional amendment, according to the state’s legislative counsel office. An amendment would need to win two-thirds majorities in both the state Assembly and Senate, and then be approved by voters. Given the public anger at PG&E, that avenue is closed, legislators say.

“There’s no sense of anyone planning to do that, at least in the Democratic caucus,” said state Senator Jerry Hill.

New Standard

The utilities say another option is for the legislature to change the way inverse condemnation is applied. Instead of using a standard of strict liability, the state could instead look at whether the utility acted reasonably in running its equipment. There’s a precedent for this: a 1997 state Supreme Court ruling that used this standard in a water-district case.

“We’ve actually looked at this really closely, and we believe that under the law, yes, the legislature has the power to change that standard,” Pizarro said. “We’re not looking to get off the hook here if we’re negligent. If we’re negligent, we should be held accountable.”

However, utilities already pitched this idea to Sacramento last year, with no success. Lawmakers said electric utilities and water districts were too different to make this a plausible connection.

Compensation Fund

Some legislators are focusing on alternative ways to compensate fire victims, easing the financial pressure on utilities.

Assemblyman Chad Mayes in January introduced a bill to create a California Wildfire Catastrophe Fund. Utilities would pay into the fund annually, and a public authority would oversee it. The money would back bonds, and utilities could use the proceeds to settle wildfire claims.

Many of the details need to be worked out, Mayes said. Can utilities pass on some of the costs to customers? If so, how much? Should the state seed the fund with money from its greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program? Still, Sacramento is committed to resolving the issue, “because we’ve got to keep the lights on,” he said.

“The idea is to pre-fund the disaster, not post-fund the disaster,” said Mayes, a Republican representing desert communities around Palm Springs. With the law passed last year, “we tried to post-fund the disaster.”

But for some reason, the political will to safeguard the state’s utilities is virtually non-existent. And the only solution lawmakers and the state’s utility regulator have latched on to so far – at least as far as PG&E is concerned – is breaking up utilities found liable for the wildfires and bringing them under state control. And while the utilities have taken the brunt of the blame in the press, the fact remains that 95% of the state’s wildfires are caused by careless human errors, and amplified – not by factors linked to climate change – but by the state’s abysmal land-management policies.

end

iv)SWAMP STORIES

Quite a piece:  We now have transcripts of former top FBI lawyer, James Baker who details pervasive abnormalities in the Trump probe as well as state that Hillary Clinton should have been charged

 

(courtesy Epoch Times/Jeff Carlson)

 

EXCLUSIVE: Transcripts of Former Top FBI Lawyer Detail Pervasive Abnormalities in Trump Probe

 

Former FBI General Counsel James Baker testified before the House judiciary and oversight committees on Oct. 3 and Oct. 18, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
Former FBI General Counsel James Baker testified before the House judiciary and

EXCLUSIVE: Transcripts of Former Top FBI Lawyer Detail Pervasive Abnormalities in Trump Probe

January 18, 2019 Updated: January 27, 2019

Share

Former top FBI attorney James Baker admitted to House lawmakers in October last year that the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russia was riddled with abnormalities.

Confronted with a damning summary of abnormalities, bias, and omissions that transpired during the investigation, Baker told Congress that the investigation was indeed “highly unusual.”

“I had a jaundiced eye about everything, yes. I had skepticism about all this stuff. I was concerned about all of this. This whole situation was horrible, and it was novel and we were trying to figure out what to do, and it was highly unusual,” Baker told lawmakers.

Members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees conducted the interviews in an unclassified setting, with agency counsel present to ensure that classified information didn’t enter into the unclassified setting. The transcripts of the interviews haven’t been publicly released, but were obtained for this article.

Baker served as the FBI’s general counsel when the bureau investigated the Trump campaign, and also Hillary Clinton’s use of an unauthorized private email server. During two days of testimony on Oct. 3 and Oct. 18, he told lawmakers that he believed even toward the end of the Clinton investigation that she should have been charged over her “alarming, appalling” mishandling of classified information.

He argued with others, including then-FBI Director James Comey, about the issue all the way toward the end of the investigation, but was ultimately persuaded that Clinton should be exonerated.

“My original belief … after having conducted the investigation and towards the end of it, then sitting down and reading a binder of her materials, I thought that it was alarming, appalling, whatever words I said, and argued with others about why they thought she shouldn’t be charged,” Baker told lawmakers.

As of October 2018, almost two years after the Clinton probe concluded, Baker still believed that the conduct of the former secretary of state and her associates was “appalling,” with regard to the handling of classified information.

As general counsel, Baker advised senior FBI leaders on the legal aspects of key investigations and served as the liaison with the Department of Justice (DOJ). In testimony, he detailed a series of unusual steps he took in the Trump–Russia investigation, including serving as the conduit between Perkins Coie—the firm working for the Clinton 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC)—and the FBI.

Baker left his position as general counsel in early January 2018, and resigned from the FBI in early May 2018.

Baker testified that it was Michael Sussmann, a partner at Perkins Coie, who shared with him information that detailed alleged communications between servers in Trump Tower and servers located in Russia at Alfa Bank—an allegation that eventually was debunked. Sussmann was also the lawyer who spearheaded the handling of the alleged hack of the DNC servers. Baker admitted that it was highly unusual to interact with an outside counsel.

Mr. Jordan: [This] is the first time and to your recollection the only time an outside counsel had information and was wanting to make sure it got to the general counsel of the FBI, and it happened to deal with the Russia investigation.

Mr. Baker: I that that’s correct. Sitting here today, that’s the only one I can remember.

Baker had at least three meetings with Sussmann—the first in person and the following two by phone. During the subsequent meetings, Baker discovered that Sussmann was speaking to the media regarding the same information he shared with Baker.

Baker admitted during his testimony that he knew Sussmann had professional involvement with the DNC.

Baker acknowledged that he soon discovered that Sussmann was also speaking to The New York Times regarding that same information. The FBI later contacted The New York Times and asked the newspaper to hold off on publishing while the bureau investigated the matter.

The information that Sussmann passed to Baker also appeared in the so-called Steele dossier, in a memo dated Sept. 14, 2016. Notably, Sussmann met with Baker five days later, on Sept. 19, 2016. Baker had initially testified he believed the meeting took place sometime before the election. Lawmakers later provided a specific date.

The server and Alfa Bank were investigated by the FBI, and were also the subject of a journalistic investigation by The New York Times. Nothing was found.

The server in question wasn’t operated by the Trump Organization, but “run and managed by Cendyn, a vendor that organizes email marketing campaigns for hotels and resorts,” according to a Nov. 2, 2016, article by Slate. The traffic was simply “mass emails, related to loyalty programs, discount offers, and the like.”

During lawmaker questioning of Baker’s interactions with Mother Jones reporter David Corn, it was revealed that Baker was the subject of an ongoing criminal leak investigation by the DOJ. Baker admitted to having received parts of the Steele dossier from Corn. Baker testified that these sections were different than the ones already in the FBI’s possession.

Mr. Baker: My recollection is that he had part of the dossier, that we had other parts already, and that we got still other parts from other people, and that — and nevertheless some of the parts that David Corn gave us were parts that we did not have from another source.

Baker said he either knew or assumed at the time that Corn had gotten the dossier from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, whom Steele was working for.

Simpson had been hired by the DNC and the Clinton campaign through Perkins Coie to produce the dossier on then-candidate Trump. Former British spy Christopher Steele compiled the dossier, which the FBI later used as the core of the FISA application to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Baker told investigators that he personally reviewed portions of the Page FISA application, adding that this wasn’t something he would usually get involved in. He also admitted that he didn’t review the Woods file, which provides underlying documentation for the accuracy of facts represented in the FISA application.

Baker testified that he told Comey at some point that he thought the FISA “was legally sufficient.” Baker, however, appears not to have been aware of the politicized nature of some the information. He also acknowledged he had only read part of the FISA.

DOJ official Bruce Ohr, who was a key conduit between Steele and the FBI, previously testified to the joint committee that he had informed the bureau of Steele’s anti-Trump bias, and that the dossier was tied to the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Neither fact appeared in the final FISA application before it was approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Baker also said that he only became aware of the fact that Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS—which had also employed Steele—from public reporting.

Mr. Ratcliffe: When did you become aware that the wife of the number four person at the Department of Justice was helping in the creation of the Steele dossier? …

Mr. Baker: To the best of my recollection, I think I learned about that through public reporting.

When asked whether he was aware of Bruce Ohr’s warning to the FBI, Baker responded, “I don’t recall ever hearing that before just right now.” Baker told lawmakers he was aware Ohr served as Steele’s back-channel to the FBI, but said he was unaware, however, that Ohr’s FBI handler, agent Joe Pientka, funneled the intelligence to FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page.

Strzok and Page exchanged dozens of text messages expressing bias against Trump and support for Clinton, while playing key roles on the investigations related to both candidates. The discovery of the text messages led to the removal of Strzok from the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Baker told lawmakers he ordered an investigation into the messages shortly after reading them.

“I only read like a couple, literally a couple. But that was enough for me to hear, that it freaked me out. And I was worried and I thought we need to get on top of this quickly,” Baker said.

Baker said that, despite an ongoing investigation by the DOJ inspector general, he “consulted with other folks” at the FBI to put together a team to do a review the text messages.

The House Judiciary and Oversight committees—which interviewed nearly two dozen witnesses—concluded in December last year that the DOJ under President Barack Obama had treated Trump and Clinton unequally by affording Clinton and her associates extraordinary accommodations, while potentially abusing surveillance powers to investigate Trump’s associates.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Baker thought his meeting with Michael Sussmann took place after the FISA application on Carter Page was approved. Baker in his testimony said the meeting took place sometime before the election. The Epoch Times regrets the error.

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

 end
Predictably, they are going nowhere: a government shutdown looms as border wall stalks stall again
(courtesy zerohedge)

Government Shutdown Looms As Border Wall Talks Break Down, Again

File this under “Who could have seen that coming?”

Just two weeks after the longest government shutdown on record, and following 48 hours of narrative-molding declarations that a border security deal was “imminent” or “expected before the end of the weekend”, The Hill and Bloomberg now report that talks to avert a second government shutdown over border wall funding have broken downand Republicans and Democrats have stopped communicating for now.

As of Saturday it seemed that negotiators were homing in on a proposal with border barrier funding of between $1.3 billion and $2 billion, a “person familiar with the talks” told Bloomberg, however the main sticking point – whether Trump’s border wall will get the funding the president has been demanding for months – remains as Democrats told GOP negotiators that they won’t agree to spend more than $2 billion on border barriers, well below the $5.7 billion that Trump has called for. In addition, a new issue has roiled the talks: a dispute over the number of beds at immigrant detention centers, an issue that would typically be regarded as a side-note to the broader talks on the level of funding for border security. Democrats want to limit the number of people detained at the border, while Republicans oppose restricting the capacity of detention centers.

“I’ll say 50/50 we’ll get a deal,” Shelby said.  “We’ve got some problems with the Democrats” over funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations.

According to Republican senator Richard Shelby, the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman and a key negotiator on President Trump’s demand for a border wall, congressional talks have stalled with Republicans and Democrats yet to reach agreement on how much money should be spent on border barriers, raising the prospect of another government shutdown at week’s end.

“I think the talks are stalled right now. I’m hoping we can get off the dime later today or in the morning because time is ticking away but we’ve got some problems with the Democrats dealing with ICE, that is detaining criminals that come into the U.S. and they want a cap on them. We don’t want a cap on that,” Shelby said on “Fox News Sunday,” referring to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Embedded video

FoxNewsSunday

@FoxNewsSunday

Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) on getting a deal for a wall

In an attempt to downplaying shutdown concerns, earlier on Sunday, Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s acting White House chief of staff, said that a shutdown isn’t the most likely option but that he “absolutely cannot” rule it out. “He’s going to do whatever he legally can to secure the border,” Mulvaney said of President Donald Trump on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” one of two scheduled appearances on Sunday talk shows.

“You cannot take a shutdown off the table, and you cannot take $5.7 (billion) off the table,” he said, referring to the level of funds Trump has been demanding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.

Mulvaney also said that Trump will take whatever money Congress agrees to allocate for border barriers, which is likely to be an amount between $1.3 billion and $2 billion, and supplement that by reprogramming other federal lines.

“We’ll take as much money as you can give us and then we’ll go off and find the money someplace else, legally, in order to secure that Southern barrier [sic] but this is going to get built with or without Congress,” he said.

Mulvaney spoke as Congressional negotiators continue talks on a security plan that includes some sort of barrier on the border, hoping to complete a deal to avert another government shutdown. It wasn’t fair to say that Trump would sign whatever Congress comes up with, Mulvaney said,

Finally, in what really matters after all, Mulvaney confirmedthe level of proposed border wall funding “all over the map.”

Which is perhaps what prompted Trump to tweet this yesterday:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The Democrats just don’t seem to want Border Security. They are fighting Border Agents recommendations. If you believe news reports, they are not offering much for the Wall. They look to be making this a campaign issue. The Wall will get built one way or the other!

And follow up today with more of the same…

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Gallup Poll: “Open Borders will potentially attract 42 million Latin Americans.” This would be a disaster for the U.S. We need the Wall now!

Then pointing the blame at Democrats…

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I don’t think the Dems on the Border Committee are being allowed by their leaders to make a deal. They are offering very little money for the desperately needed Border Wall & now, out of the blue, want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

It was a very bad week for the Democrats, with the GREAT economic numbers, The Virginia disaster and the State of the Union address. Now, with the terrible offers being made by them to the Border Committee, I actually believe they want a Shutdown. They want a new subject!

Bottom line: another government shutdown looms.

end

I am afraid that the USA is a totally divided country and I sure hope that civil war does not start:  California’s new Governor defies Trump by pulling troops from the border

(courtesy zerohedge)

California’s New Governor To Pull Troops From Border To Protest Trump’s “Manufactured Crisis”

In the ultimate signaling of virtue – in favor of illegal immigrants and against the safety of Americans – newly-elected Democrat California Governor Gavin Newsom, desperate for some distraction from the state’s likely bailout of PG&E, has decided to withdraw nearly 400 of his state’s National Guard troops from deployment along the border with Mexico and assign them to other duties, according to aides to the governor.

As The NY Times reports, the step to rescind state authorization for the border deployment is a sharp rebuke of President Trump’s continued warnings that undocumented migrants present a national security risk to the United States.

It follows a similar move last week by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico.

Under a “general order” that Mr. Newsom plans to sign on Monday, 110 California National Guard troops will be redirected to support the state’s central fire agency, Cal Fire, and another 100 will work on statewide “intelligence operations” aimed at international criminal drug gangs.

Fox News reports that Newsom is preparing to blast Trump on Tuesday when the governor delivers a State of the State address that will belittle Trump’s warnings of a border crisis as a “manufactured crisis” while declaring that “California will not be a part of this political theater.”

The move comes despite his predecessor’s agreement – along with other past and current border state governors – to send troops to the border at the Trump administration’s request. Former California Gov. Jerry Brown originally approved the mission through the end of March, but qualified that the state’s troops “will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”

What could go wrong? What’s the worst that could happen?

Let’s ask Dan Ferguson, an angel dad whose daughter Amanda was killed in a hit-and-run accident in November 2018 by Joel Velazquez, 24, who was in the U.S. illegally and had been drinking the night he allegedly ran several red lights and hit and killed Amanda.

And then there are the 42 million other reasons…

Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners are going to be quite interesting in the Sanchez household.  It was the brother that leaked the photos and it seems that the pictures were not “stolen” but retrieved through other means.  (government surveillance?)

(courtesy zerohedge)

It Was The Brother: Michael Sanchez Identified As Source Of Leaked Bezos “Dick Pic”

Last week, we reported that Jeff Bezos’ investigation into who leaked steamy text messages exchanged between himself and his mistress, former “So You Think You Can Dance?” host Lauren Sanchez, had zeroed in on a likely – if unfortunate – source: Sanchez’s brother, Hollywood manager Michael Sanchez. Sanchez supported President Trump during the 2016 race, and at the time, sources from within Bezos’ camp were saying that they believed Sanchez had leaked the texts for “political” reasons.

Well, one week later, and the story of the investigation has been blown wide open by Bezos’ publication of emails exchanged between lawyers for AMI and the lead attorney for his investigators, where not only did AMI detail the contents of the unpublished texts (which apparently included what millennials would call a “dick pic” sent by the world’s richest man), but Bezos accused the owner of the National Enquirer of trying to blackmail him into dropping his investigation, as well as walking back allegations that the Enquirer’s campaign was politically motivated (either by its allegiance to Trump, or the Saudi government).

Sanchez

And now, the Daily Beast, which has led the pack on scoops related to Bezos’ investigation, has seemingly confirmed that investigators’ initial suspicions about the source of the leak were correct: According to several AMI insiders, Sanchez was in fact the tabloid’s source.

The brother of Jeff Bezos’ mistress, Lauren Sanchez, supplied the couple’s racy texts to the National Enquirer, multiple sources inside AMI, the tabloid’s parent company, told The Daily Beast. Another source who has been in extensive communication with senior leaders at AMI confirmed that Michael Sanchez first supplied Bezos’ texts to the Enquirer.

AMI has previously refused to identify the source of the texts, but a lawyer for the company strongly hinted at Sanchez’s role during a Sunday morning interview on ABC. “The story was given to the National Enquirer by a reliable source that had given information to the National Enquirer for seven years prior to this story. It was a source that was well known to both Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez,” attorney Elkan Abramowitz told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Asked directly whether Sanchez was the source, Abramowitz said, “I can’t discuss who the source was. It’s confidential within AMI.” An AMI spokesperson declined to comment for this story. Asked directly more than a half-dozen times whether or not he supplied the texts to the Enquirer, Sanchez declined to do so.

The report also suggests that, to Bezos, at least, this isn’t news: A source from within AMI said that Bezos’ team had likely already identified the source of the leak, and that Sanchez didn’t steal the texts, but obtained them by some other, likely legitimate, means.

Sanchez is reportedly close with several Trumpworld figures, including Roger Stone and pro-Trump pundit Scottie Nell Hughes (whose private emails were once leaked to AMI).

His tweets indicate that Sanchez has also been a vocal supporter of the president:

Embedded video

Michael Sanchez@mikey2go

For anyone too stupid or too bitter to admit Mueller’s pack of @POTUS-hating @TheDemocrats is leading an out-of-control witch hunt, read about @jerome_corsi.

Muellerism = McCarthyism@realDonaldTrump @AlanDersh @JudgeJeanine @TuckerCarlson@CNN @FoxNews @MSNBC @RTAmericaNews

See Michael Sanchez’s other Tweets

Though he also denied the allegations that he was the source of the leak:

Michael Sanchez@mikey2go

Gavin de Becker, @JeffBezos right hand man, spreads fake, unhinged conservative conspiracy theories, “dog whistle” smears, with on-the-record quotes to trashy tabloids; all while his boss owns @washingtonpost & @Amazon. Huh? Remind me, who was in charge of security?

The jury is still out on whether a “government entity” was involved in the leak of Bezos’ intimates, as his lead investigator reportedly believes. But whether it’s true or not, Sanchez’s reported involvement will likely make for an awkward Thanksgiving in the Sanchez household this year.

Now, we wait to learn how Bezos and his mistress are going to handle this stunning betrayal…

end

 

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

Dec Italian Industrial Production declined 0.8% m/m and 5/5% y/y.  +0.4% & -2.7% were expected.

@Schuldensuehner: Barclays has cut Italy 2019 growth forecast to 0% from +0.2% following disastrous industrial production data. Further deterioration of business sentiment in Jan suggests that capex is unlikely to expand much in Q1. Barclays GDP tracker points to another growth contraction in Q1

@dlacalle_IA: Eurozone economic surprise, six months deteriorating, and now at 2015 levels.  Only after more than €2 trillion stimulus.0]

The WSJ’s @KimStrassel: The Green New Deal is a GOP dream, a set-piece example of everything terrifying Ds would do if they took control–from running sectors of the economy to micromanaging what planes you can take….     https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-socialist-that-could-11549583738

@RealSaavedra: Democrat Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) tries to define socialism: “Well, it is a society coming together to increase the standard of living of our seniors, and that is pretty much the definition. And the president’s attacking it.”

Sen. @TomCottonAR: The Democrats’ “Green New Deal” brings to mind an insight from Churchill: Socialism may begin with the best of intentions, but it always ends with the Gestapo

WaPo: Talks to resolve border wall dispute and avert government shutdown on Friday have broken down, officials say – Trump has demanded $5.7 billion, but lawmakers were trying to find a number between $1.3 billion and $2 billion…

@realDonaldTrump: “President is on sound legal ground to declare a National Emergency. There have been 58 National Emergencies declared since the law was enacted in 1976, and 31 right now that are currently active, so this is hardly unprecedented.” Congressman @tommcclintock

    It was a very bad week for the Democrats, with the GREAT economic numbers, The Virginia disaster and the State of the Union address. Now, with the terrible offers being made by them to the Border Committee, I actually believe they want a Shutdown. They want a new subject!

Deutsche Bank’s funding woes deepen

Lender pays highest rates on euro bond market this year for a leading international bank

https://www.ft.com/content/cb739552-2c5d-11e9-8744-e7016697f225

John Solomon: The case for Russia collusion … against the Democrats

There is clear evidence now that shows Hillary Clinton’s family and charity profited from Moscow and simultaneously facilitated official government actions benefiting Russia that have raised security concerns…  https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/429292-the-case-for-russia-collusion-against-the-democrats#.XGAq8MclQhc.twitter

 

@LisaMei62: Huber & Horowitz’s team of 470 investigators have been very busy. AAG Whitaker’s confirmation of this yesterday is very likely why Dems were freaking out and being so hostile to him.

 

@drawandstrike: If Whitaker got the OK to roll out publicly…that Huber’s team of US Attorneys has been investigating the Carter Page/Steele Dossier FISA warrant stuff that means we’re almost at ‘go’ stage.

 

Fox: Hearing for Acting AG Whitaker erupts in fireworks, as top Republican alleges ‘character assassination’ – A House hearing for Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker erupted in fireworks Friday morning, as the top Republican on the judiciary committee accused Democratic Chairman Jerrold Nadler of “character assassination” against the temporary head of the Justice Department and called the hearing a pointless “dog and pony show.”… [The ex-Iowa tight end won’t take crap from Nadler.]

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/hearing-for-acting-ag-whitaker-erupts-in-fireworks-as-top-republican-alleges-character-assassination

 

@julie_kelly2: Whitaker, with nothing to lose [Barr will replace him next week], scolds the committee for not discussing issues Americans care about including violent crime, opioid crisis, religious liberty, etc…

   Whitaker confirmed Page FISA process under investigation by both Horowitz and Huber.

 

Whitaker Draws Gasps after Telling House Judiciary Chair His Time Is Up during Testy Hearing

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-08/acting-ag-whitaker-tells-house-judiciary-chair-stfu

 

@Peoples_Pundit: Republicans are cowards [For allowing Dems to ‘dog & pony’ Whitaker]. Democrats would lock hands and sing Kumbaya to obstruct a charade like this

 

Mike Lee [R-UT] Slams Senate Judiciary Democrats for ‘Wildly Inappropriate’ Questions on Religion – Marie Hirono [D-HI] Fires Back an Accusation

The Hawaii senator further defended probing nominees on their religious beliefs in order to determine if it will “not enable them to be objective,” and called it a “legitimate area of inquiry.”…

https://dailycaller.com/2019/02/07/mike-lee-hirono-religious-nominees/

 

McCarthy vows ‘action’ against Democrats for anti-Semitic remarks

Minority leader says Democratic leaders’ silence makes them ‘just as guilty’

http://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/mccarthy-vows-action-democrats-anti-semitic-remarks

 

Because DJT campaigned on halting immigration from Islamic countries, Dems and the MSM went hard in the other direction.  This dynamic has Dems in conflict with at least two core groups.

 

@realDonaldTrump: Well, it happened again. Amy Klobuchar announced that she is running for President, talking proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing. By the end of her speech she looked like a Snowman(woman)!

 

@CBSNews: Sen. Amy Klobuchar braved a heavy Minnesota snowfall to announce that she’s the latest Democrat running for president in 2020  https://cbsn.ws/2MXdNW9 [Unintentionally hilarious video]

 

@PoliticalShort: Telling journalists they need to learn to take a joke before learning how to code will now get you locked out of your Twitter account. You won’t be able to access your account either until you remove the tweet in violation of their ever expanding rules.

 

“I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.” – Gen. William T. Sherman

-END-

I WILL SEE YOU TUESDAY NIGHT
HARVEY
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: