FEB 21/OPTIONS EXPIRY WEEK BEGINS AND AS USUAL THE CROOKS RAID GOLD DOWNWARD BY $19.50 TO $1325.45//SILVER IS WHACKED BY 37 CENTS DOWN TO $15.87//FOR THE THIRD CONSECUTIVE DAY A MASSIVE QUEUE JUMP IN THE GOLD COMEX CASINO: TODAY OVER 1.5 TONNES JUMPED QUEUE //EUROPE CONTINUES TO DISAPPOINT AS ITS EXPORT ECONOMY IS GRINDING TO A HALT..//SHIPPING GIANT MAERSK WARNS THAT 2019 WILL BE WORSE THAN 2018//FROM THE USA: BAD NUMBERS FROM DURABLE GOODS/EXISTING HOME SALES AND A TERRIBLE PHILLY MFG REPORT//MORE SWAMP STORIES FOR YOU TONIGHT///

 

 

 

GOLD: $1325.45 DOWN $19.50 (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Silver:   $15.87 DOWN 37 CENTS (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Closing access prices:

Gold :  1323.10

 

silver: $15.81

 

 

We begin options expiry week.

The comex options expire on Monday and the London/LBMA expires one week from today.

That is the reason the crooks whacked today. It is interesting that the crooks supplied a massive amount of paper silver but were rather reluctant to  supply the same ratio in gold. Maybe they are afraid that too many investors are turning their paper gold into real physical gold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For comex gold and silver:

FEBRUARY

 

 

 

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR  FEB CONTRACT: 143 NOTICE(S) FOR 14300 OZ (0.4447 tonnes)

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  10,466 NOTICES FOR 1,046600 OZ  (32.5536 TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR FEBRUARY

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

2 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR 10,000  OZ/

 

total number of notices filed so far this month: 567 for 2,835,000

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: OPENING MORNING TRADE $3942:DOWN $42

 

Bitcoin: FINAL EVENING TRADE: $3941  DOWN $44.

 

end

 

XXXX

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

today 103/143

EXCHANGE: COMEX
CONTRACT: FEBRUARY 2019 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,343.300000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 02/20/2019 DELIVERY DATE: 02/22/2019
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED
____________________________________________________________________________________________
365 C ED&F MAN CAPITA 1
555 H BNP PARIBAS SEC 11
657 C MORGAN STANLEY 45
661 C JP MORGAN 30 103
661 H JP MORGAN 6
685 C RJ OBRIEN 25
690 C ABN AMRO 2
737 C ADVANTAGE 18 18
800 C MAREX SPEC 1 3
905 C ADM 23
____________________________________________________________________________________________

TOTAL: 143 143
MONTH TO DATE: 10,466

 

 

 

Let us have a look at the data for today

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In silver, the total OPEN INTEREST ROSE BY A HUMONGOUS SIZED 5067 CONTRACTS FROM 220,822 UP TO 225,889 WITH YESTERDAY’S STRONG 19 CENT GAIN  IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX. TODAY WE ARRIVED FURTHER FROM  AUGUST’S 2018  RECORD SETTING OPEN INTEREST OF 244,196 CONTRACTS.

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

1924 EFP’S FOR MARCH,  120 FOR APRIL, 0 FOR MAY, 600 FOR DECEMBER AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE: OF 2644 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 2644 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 2644 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 13.22 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 19 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 2.840 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: 22,432 CONTRACTS (FOR 14 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 22432 CONTRACTS) OR 112.16 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 1602 CONTRACTS OR 8.011 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF FEB:  112.16 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 16.08% 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:          320.685    MILLION OZ. (CORRECTED)

JANUARY 2019 EFP TOTALS:                                                      217.455. MILLION OZ.

 

 

RESULT: WE HAD A HUMONGOUS SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 5067 WITH THE 19 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX //YESTERDAY..THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD  STRONG SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 2644 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 GIGANTIC SIZED: 7711 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

i.e 2644 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH INCREASE OF 5067 OI COMEX CONTRACTSAND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 19 CENT GAIN IN PRICE OF SILVER  AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $16.20 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. 1.131 BILLION OZ TO BE EXACT or 158% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT FEBRUARY MONTH/ THEY FILED AT THE COMEX: 2 NOTICE(S) FOR 10,000 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:  2.840 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 STRONG SIZED 5914 CONTRACTS UP TO 510,553 WITH THE GAIN IN THE COMEX GOLD PRICE/(A GAIN IN PRICE OF $3.10//YESTERDAY’S TRADING).

 

 

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A  STRONG  SIZED 6689 CONTRACTS:

 

MARCH HAD AN ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTACTS  APRIL 6689 CONTRACTS,JUNE: 0 CONTRACTS DECEMBER: 0 CONTRACTS AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 510,533. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THERE WILL BE A DELAY IN THE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S.  THE BANKERS REMOVE LONG POSITIONS OF COMEX GOLD IMMEDIATELY.  THEN THEY ORCHESTRATE THEIR PRIVATE EFP DEAL WITH THE LONGS AND THAT COULD TAKE AN ADDITIONAL, 48 HRS SO WE GENERALLY DO NOT GET A MATCH WITH RESPECT TO DEPARTING COMEX LONGS AND NEW EFP LONG TRANSFERS. . EVEN THOUGH THE BANKERS ISSUED THESE MONSTROUS EFPS, THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS TO SUPPLY METAL BUT IT TRANSFERS THE RISK TO A LONDON BANKER OBLIGATION AND NOT A NEW YORK COMEX OBLIGATION. LONGS RECEIVE A FIAT BONUS TOGETHER WITH A LONG LONDON FORWARD. THUS, BY THESE ACTIONS, THE BANKERS AT THE COMEX HAVE JUST STATED THAT THEY HAVE NO APPRECIABLE METAL!! THIS IS A MASSIVE FRAUD: THEY CANNOT SUPPLY ANY METAL TO OUR COMEX LONGS BUT THEY ARE QUITE WILLING TO SUPPLY MASSIVE NON BACKED GOLD (AND SILVER) PAPER KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE NO METAL TO SATISFY OUR LONGS. LONDON IS NOW SEVERELY BACKWARD IN BOTH GOLD AND SILVER  AND WE ARE WITNESSING DELAYS IN ACTUAL DELIVERIES.

IN ESSENCE WE HAVE AN A VERY STRONG SIZED GAIN IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 12,603 CONTRACTS: 5914 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX AND 6689 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN: 12,603 CONTRACTS OR 1,260,300 OZ = 39.20 TONNES. AND ALL OF THIS POWERFUL DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD/ YESTERDAY TO THE TUNE OF $3.10.

 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 10,210 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY : 82,789 CONTRACTS OR 8,278,900 OZ  OR 257.50 TONNES (14 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 5,913 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE STRONG SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 14 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 257.50 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 257.50/2550 x 100% TONNES = 10.00% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN DECEMBER ALONE.***

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2019 TO DATE:     777,63  TONNES

JANUARY 2019 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE;   531.20 TONNES

 

 

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

 

 

Result: A STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 5914 WITH THE GAIN IN PRICING ($3.10) THAT GOLD UNDERTOOK YESTERDAY) //.WE ALSO HAD A STRONG SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 6689 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 6689 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A VERY STRONG 12,603 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

6689 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 5914 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (IN TONNES, THE GAIN IN TOTAL OI EQUATES TO 39.20 TONNES). ..AND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND OCCURRED WITH THE GAIN OF $3.10 IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING AT THE COMEX

 

 

we had:  143 notice(s) filed upon for 14,300 oz of gold at the comex.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

GLD...

 

WITH GOLD DOWN $19.50 TODAY

SURPRISE: A BIG CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY TODAY TO THE UPSIDE:

 

A DEPOSIT OF 2.05 TONNES

 

 

 

/GLD INVENTORY   794.50 TONNES

Inventory rests tonight: 792.50 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 37 CENTS  IN PRICE  TODAY:

SURPRISE:  A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY/ A DEPOSIT OF 1.688 MILLION OZ

THESE GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT FRAUDSTERS.

 

 

 

 

 

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.984 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 HUMONGOUS SIZED 5067 CONTRACTS from 220,822 UP TO 225,889  AND CLOSER T0 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:

 

1924 CONTRACTS FOR MARCH. 120 CONTRACTS FOR APRIL., 600 FOR DECEMBER AND  AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 2644 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 5067 CONTRACTS TO THE 2644 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE OBTAIN A HUMONGOUS GAIN  OF 7711  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 38.55 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 2.840 MILLION OZ STANDING IN FEBRUARY.

 

 

RESULT: A POWERFUL SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 19 CENT GAIN IN PRICING THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// YESTERDAY.BUT WE ALSO HAD A VERY STRONG SIZED 2644 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

)THURSDAY MORNING/ WEDNESDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 9.42 POINTS OR 0.34% //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 115.87 POINTS OR 0.41%  /The Nikkei closed UP 32.74 POINTS OR 0.150%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.63%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP  at 6.7182 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil DOWN to 55.56 dollars per barrel for WTI and 66.00 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED GREEN//.

ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP // LAST AT 6.7182 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7151: / TRADE TALKS NOW ON/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED  : /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING BELOW LEVEL OF OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING STRONGER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR /CHINA RETALIATES WITH TARIFFS/ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW TARIFFS AND IT NOW A FULL TRADE WAR COMMENCED

 

 

 

3A/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA

 

 

i)North Korea//USA

 

 

 

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

 

 

 

3 C/  CHINA

 

 

i) CHINA/USA//TAIWAN

Taiwan’s leader is very worried about a Chinese invasion.  The threat is ‘growing every day”

( zerohedge)

ii)China/USA
Until he hear about a deal of forced transfer of USA technology and the protection of USA intellectual property, these trade talks will go nowhere.
( zerohedge)

 

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

i)DEUTSCHE BANK/GERMANY

Our good friends over at the world’s largest derivative player Deutsche bank hid a 10 yr loss from regulators.  Eventually the loss mushroomed 4 x its original loss as 1.6 billion dollars was hidden.

( zerohedge)

ii)GERMANY/RUSSIA/NATO

Despite providing less than 1% of its GDP for defense, Merkel defends her gas deal for Russian gas…mainly becuase it is much cheaper than the USA.  Trump is not a happy camper

( zerohedge)

iii)GERMANY/SAUDI ARABIA

This has consequences for NATO as Germany rebuffs the UK call to back off Saudi arms freeze.  Germany wants to export these fighter jets to the Saudis and if rebuffed it will hurt their export markets terribly

( zerohedge)

 

iv)GERMANY/RUSSIA/NATO

Despite providing less than 1% of its GDP for defense, Merkel defends her gas deal for Russian gas…mainly because it is much cheaper than the USA.  Trump is not a happy camper

( zerohedge)

v)HUNGARY/EU

Euroskeptic Prime Minister Orban attacked the drunkard Juncker and Soros in a billboard ad

(courtesy Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk)

vi)Europe

Europe continues to disappoint as factory orders are dragging the 27 EU economy to a near halt

( Reuters/)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

 

i)Russia/TURKEY/USA

NATO and uSA ally Turkey totally defies the Americans as they set to receive the Russian S 400 surface to air defense missile system in July.  They rejected the uSA patriot system

( zerohedge)

ii)Russia continues with its rhetoric against the USA.  Trump ignores Putin.

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

 

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

i)And they are close to a Memorandum of Understanding???  the trade war goes ballistic as China indefinitely bans the importation of Australian coal..a staple of the Australian economy

( zerohedge)

ii)Whenever these guys (Maersk) issues a warning, pay attention:  They state that the 2019 global economic outlooks is worse than last year

(courtesy zerohedge)

7. OIL ISSUES

 

 

 

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

 

 

i)VENEZUELA/USA

Our resident expert on the Deep State explains why Venezuela may be on the verge of becoming another Syria as Russia and China will enter the scene if the USA tries to give their version of “humanitarian aid…

(courtesy Brandon Smith)

 

ii)Not good: Protesters executed as they protest.

( zerohedge)

iii)Maduro closes the Venezuelan border with Brazil:

( zerohedge)

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)Ren,  states that it is not China but the USA is a currency manipulator

( Bloomberg/GATA)

ii)Now Asia does a sharp turn as it seems that monetary policy is easing across the globe

( Reuters/Zaharia/GATA)

iii)Palladium has a huge short position and it’s prices are in constant backwardation.  Will Palladium break the bank?

Platinum is very low and i will bet that the car manufacturers are ready to switch to Pt from Palladium

( Craig Hemke/Sprott/GATA)

iv)Barrick may be allowed to export gold dore from its subsidiary Acacia gold

(McGee/Globe and Mail/GATA

v)This will be good for the gold industry:  Trump is ready to allow the controversial Alaska Pebble project to proceed

(Anchorage Daily News//GATA)

vi)We brought this story to your attention yesterday but it is worth repeating.  The criminal Deutsche bank continues to defraud whenever they can.  It is their destiny ….

( Wall Street Journal/GATA)

 

vii)A real joke:  the shareholder’s gold council has no interest in finding out how gold/silver being manipulated by the bullion banks

( GATA/)

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

 

 

MARKET TRADING

 

ii)Market data

 

a)Durable goods rose less than expected at just 1.2% instead of 1.7% from Nov 1.2018.  The report is for two months and data continues to show the USA economy contracting

( zerohedge)

b)This is quite interesting:  soft data Philly Fed (Mfg) index drops big time, the largest drop since 2011 and it falls into the negative category  i.e. a drop to +17.0 to – 4.1.  The data continues to show that the USA economy is faltering badly.

( zerohedge)

c)A biggy!~! USA manufacturing PMI tumbles to a 17 month low..continual numbers showing that the uSA is contracting.

( zerohedge)

d)Existing home sales in freefall as obviously new buyers cannot afford to purchase a home

( zerohedge)

e)JPMorgan now estimates first quarter GDP 2019 at only 1.5%

(JPMorgan/Reuters)

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

a)As we have pointed out to you on several occasions: the real reason for the trade war with China is technology and the USA is far behind the Chinese telecom giants

( zerohedge)

b)And today, senior level talks begin in Washington and technology is the key stumbling block

( zerohedge)

iv)SWAMP STORIES

a)Smollet charged with felony after falsely reporting a hate crime

( zerohedge

b)the FBI admits to infiltrating the Trump campaign and the fellow who actually started the hoax Russian collusion scandal was Stefan Halper.  The FBI does not like us to use the term spying.. he was just an informant…

( zerohedge)

c)Roger Stone is gagged by the Obama appointed judge after he threatened her with a “death threat”.  He was very lucky
( zerohedge)
E)SWAMP STORIES/MAJOR STORIES//THE KING REPORT

 

end

 

 

 

Let us head over to the comex:

 

THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN ROSE BY A STRONG SIZED 5914 CONTRACTS UP TO A LEVEL OF 510,533 WITH THE GAIN IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($3.10) IN YESTERDAY’S COMEX TRADING).FOR THREE YEARS STRAIGHT WE HAVE NOTICED THAT ONE WEEK PRIOR TO FIRST DAY NOTICE OF AN ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AND EFP’S NOTICES EXPONENTIALLY INCREASE AS WELL AS WE WITNESS THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST COLLAPSE. ONCE WE GET TO FIRST DAY NOTICE, THEN THE OPEN INTEREST RISES., THE REASON FOR THE COLLAPSE IN OPEN INTEREST IS THE FORCED LIQUIDATION OF THE SPREADERS.

 

 

WE ARE NOW IN THE  ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF FEBRUARY..  THE CME REPORTS THAT THE BANKERS ISSUED A STRONG SIZED COMEX TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS., THAT IS 6689 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

FOR MARCH:  0. FOR APRIL 6689, FOR JUNE: 0 CONTRACTS AND FINALLY DECEMBER: 0 AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  6689 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: 12,603 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 6689 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE GAINED A STRONG SIZED 5914 COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:12,603 contracts OR 1,260,300  OZ OR 39.20 TONNES.

 

We are now in the active contract month of FEBRUARY and here the open interest stands at 1074 contracts, and thus gaining 396 contracts. . We had 90 contracts stand for delivery yesterday so we AGAIN GAINED ANOTHER UNBELIEVABLY STRONG 486 contracts or 48,600 additional oz (ADDITIONAL 1.526 TONNES) will stand for delivery in this very active delivery month of February as they refused to morph into London based forwards as well as negating a sizable fiat bonus. The comex is out of gold!@! as the crooks scrounge around the comex looking for metal trying to put out fires elsewhere. This is the 3RD trading day in a row that we have witnessed a  massive gain in total amount of gold ounces standing at the gold comex with pronounced queue jumping. Queue jumping has been the norm in silver for almost 3 years but this is the first time that we have witnessed continual and strong queue jumping in gold.

 

 

 

The next non active delivery month after February is  March and here we lost 81 contracts to stand at 1706.  After March, the next big delivery month is April and here the OI ROSE by 3786 contracts UP to 366,241 contracts.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NOTICES FILED:

WE HAD 143 NOTICES FILED TODAY AT THE COMEX FOR 14300 OZ. (0.4447 tonnes)

 

 

 

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total COMEX silver OI ROSE BY A HUMONGOUS SIZED 5067 CONTRACTS FROM 220,822 UP TO 225,889(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 POWERFUL OI COMEX GAIN  OCCURRED WITH A STRONG 19 CENT GAIN IN PRICING. (LOOKS LIKE THE BANKERS ARE NERVOUS AND ARE DESPERATE TO CUT THEIR SHORT POSITIONS)

 

WE ARE NOW INTO THE NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF FEBRUARY AND THE  AMOUNT OF OPEN INTEREST READY TO STAND IS 3 CONTRACTS, HAVING GAINED 2 CONTRACTS FROM YESTERDAY.  WE HAD 0 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 AS THESE GUYS REFUSED TO MORPH INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS AS WELL AS NEGATING A FIAT BONUS.

 

.

 

 

 

THE NEXT NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH AFTER FEBRUARY IS THE VERY BIG AND ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MARCH AND HERE THE OI FELL BY 16.563 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 70,821 CONTRACTS. AFTER MARCH, APRIL ADVANCES TO 353 CONTRACTS FOR A GAIN OF 105 CONTRACTS.  AFTER APRIL, THE NEXT BIG ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH IS MAY AND HERE THE OI ADVANCED BY 19,548 CONTRACTS UP TO 111,837 CONTRACTS.

FIRST DAY NOTICE IS THURSDAY FEB 28.2019

 

 

 

 

ON A NET BASIS WE GAINED 7711 SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AS WE OBTAINED A 5390 AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 2644 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  7711 CONTRACTS...AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A 19 CENT GAIN IN PRICING// YESTERDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED:

 

We, today, had 2 notice(s) filed for 10,000 OZ for the FEB, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

 

 

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY:  133,250  CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  162,750  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 21 /2019.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
2250.50
oz
Scotia
70 kilobars
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz 2500.000 oz

 

???

not kilobars

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  

 

 

nil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
143 notice(s)
 14,300 OZ
(0.4447 TONNES)
No of oz to be served (notices)
931 contracts
(93,100 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
10,466 notices
1,046,600 OZ
32.5536 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 1 dealer entries:

Into Delaware:  exactly 2500.00000 oz  ???

 

 

total dealer deposits: 2500.000 oz

total dealer withdrawals: 0 oz

We had 0 kilobar entries

 

we had 0 deposit into the customer account

 

total gold deposits: nil oz

we had 0 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

 

 

 

 

total gold withdrawing from the customer;   oz

we had 1  adjustments…
i) Out of Delaware:  69993.557 oz was removed from the customer account and this entered the dealer account of Delaware

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 143 contract(s) of which 5 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 103 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account and 0 notices by the squid  (Goldman Sachs)

 

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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 (10,466) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (1074 contract) minus the number of notices served upon today (143 x 100 oz per contract) equals 1,139,700 OZ OR 35.449 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 (10466 x 100 oz)  + {1074)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (143 x 100 oz )which equals 1,139,700 oz standing OR 35.449 TONNES in this active delivery month of FEBRUARY.

WE GAINED A MASSIVE 486 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 48600 OZ WILL STAND AT THE COMEX AS THEY REFUSED TO MORPH INTO A LONDON BASED FORWARD AS WELL AS NEGATING A FIAT BONUS. THE COMEX MUST BE VOID AS OUR BANKERS ARE SCOURING THE PLANET LOOKING FOR PHYSICAL GOLD./ THIS IS THE THIRD DAY IN A ROW THAT WE HAVE WITNESSED MASSIVE QUEUE JUMPING IN GOLD. I CANNOT RECALL AT ANY TIME WITNESSING SUCH A MASSIVE GAIN IN GOLD OZ STANDING THIS LATE IN THE DELIVERY CYCLE.

 

 

 

 

 

THERE ARE ONLY 21.559 TONNES OF REGISTERED COMEX GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY AGAINST 35.449 TONNES STANDING FOR FEBRUARY

OF WHICH 32.5566 TONNES OF GOLD HAVE ALREADY BEEN SERVED UPON SO FAR THIS MONTH.

THE NEXT FEW DAYS WILL BE QUITE INTERESTING TO WATCH AT THE COMEX AS THERE IS MORE GOLD STANDING THAN REGISTERED.

 

 

 

total registered or dealer gold:  693,140.521 oz or  21.559 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   8,221,762.495 oz 255.73 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 28 MONTHS 99 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

 

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE NOV DELIVERY MONTH

FEB INITIAL standings/SILVER

FEB 21 2019
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
30,313.261 oz
CNT

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
585,723.500
oz
CNT
No of oz served today (contracts)
2
CONTRACT(S)
10,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
1 contracts
5,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 567 contracts

(2,835,000 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: nil  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 CNT  585,723.500 oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total customer deposits today: 585,723.500   oz

 

we had 1 withdrawals out of the customer account:

 

i) out of CNT::  30,313.261 oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total withdrawals: 30,313.261     oz

 

we had 1 adjustment..

i) Out of Brinks:  4888.100 oz was adjusted out of the customer and this landed into the dealer account of Brinks

 

 

 

 

total dealer silver:  87.812 million

total dealer + customer silver:  296.849 million oz

 

 

 

 

The total number of notices filed today for the FEBRUARY 2019. contract month is represented by 2 contract(s) FOR  10,000  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 567 x 5,000 oz = 2,835,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (3) and the number of notices served upon today (2x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the FEBRUARY/2019 contract month: 567(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of FEB( 3) -number of notices served upon today (2)x 5000 oz equals 2,840,000 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 AS WELL AS  NEGATING A FIAT BONUS

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S SILVER VOLUME:  133,250 CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 162,750 CONTRACTS… 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 162,750 CONTRACTS EQUATES to 813 million OZ  116% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER

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

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

end

NPV for Sprott 

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV RISES TO -2.86% (FEB 21/2019)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -.59% to NAV (FEB 21 /2019 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -2.86%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

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

NAV 13.40/TRADING 12.94/DISCOUNT 3.44

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

FEB 21/WITH GOLD DOWN $19.50/ A SURPRISE GAIN (DEPOSIT) OF 2.05 TONNES INTO THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 794.50 TONNES

FEB 20/WITH GOLD UP $3.10 TODAY: SURPRISINGLY NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY/GLD INVENTORY RESTS AT 792.45 TONNES

FEB 19/WITH GOLD UP $22.95/ TWO TRANSACTIONS: A HUGE 3.82 TONNES OF GOLD WITHDRAWAL FROM THE GLD THIS MORNING AND THEN  0.58 TONNES THIS AFTERNOON///INVENTORY RESTS AT 792,45 TONNES. FROM FEB 1/2019 UNTIL TODAY, GOLD IS UP $24.25 AND YET GOLD WITHDRAWALS ARE A HUGE 31.42 TONNES/THIS IS CRIMINAL!!

FEB 15/WITH GOLD UP $8.00 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 796.85 TONNES

FEB 14//WITH GOLD DOWN $1.10: WE HAD ANOTHER PAPER RAID (WITHDRAWAL) OF 2.04 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 796.85 TONNES/

FEB 13:/WITH GOLD UP $1.40 TODAY: ANOTHER PAPER RAID BY OUR CROOKED BANKERS AS THEY WITHDREW ANOTHER 2.23 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD. INVENTORY RESTS AT 798.89 TONNES

FEB 12: WITH GOLD UP $2.20 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 802.12 TONNES

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

 

 

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FEB 21/2019/ Inventory rests tonight at 794.50 tonnes

*IN LAST 547 TRADING DAYS: 139.55 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 447 TRADING DAYS: A NET 20.40 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO THE GLD INVENTORY.

 

end

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

FEB 21/WITH SILVER DOWN 37 CENTS: SURPRISINGLY A DEPOSIT OF 1.688 MILLION OZ OF SILVER INVENTORY/ INTO THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.984 MILLION OZ///

FEB 20/WITH SILVER UP 19 CENTS AND ON A TEAR: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.296 MILLION OZ/

FEB 19/WITH SILVER UIP 25 CENTS TODAY: A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 938,000 OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.296 MILLION OZ/

FEB 15/WITH SILVER UP 19 CENTS: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.358 MILLION OZ/

FEB 14/WITH SILVER DOWN 11 CENTS: A DEPOSIT OF 423,000 OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.358 MILLION OZ

FEB 13/WITH SILVER DOWN 4 CENTS TODAY: ANOTHER BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 938,000 OZ FROM THE SLV./INVENTORY RESTS AT 306.935 MILLION OZ/

FEB 12 WITH SILVER UP 3 CENTS TODAY:  NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT TH SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307.873 MILLION OZ/

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 21/2019:

 

Inventory 308.296 MILLION OZ

LIBOR SCHEDULE AND GOFO RATES:

 

 

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

YOUR DATA…..

6 Month MM GOFO 2.21/ and libor 6 month duration 2.69

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

G0LD LENDING RATE: + .48

 

 

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.49%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.87

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.38

end

 

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES

end
i) GOLDCORE BLOG/Mark O’Byrne

Global Fina

 

Executive Director
GATA STORIES AS IT RELATES TO PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER
Ren,  states that it is not China but the USA is a currency manipulator
(courtesy Bloomberg/GATA)

Shuli Ren: U.S., not China, is the currency manipulator

 Section: 

The Yuan Has Been Tracking the Dollar, So Any Volatility Begins at Home in Washington.

By Shuli Ren
Bloomberg News
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

President Donald Trump should take a look in the mirror. China isn’t the currency manipulator.

The U.S. is asking Beijing to keep the value of the yuan stable as part of trade negotiations between the world’s two largest economies, Saleha Mohsin and Katherine Greifeld of Bloomberg News reported. Washington fears that China could weaken its currency to counteract the effect of higher American tariffs on imports from the nation

That perception is unfair. Despite the trade conflict, the People’s Bank of China has effectively pegged the yuan to the dollar, loyally following the greenback’s cycle. …

… For the remainder of the commentary:

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-20/the-u-s-not-china-…

* * *

Help keep GATA going:

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

http://www.gata.org

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

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

end

Now Asia does a sharp turn as it seems that monetary policy is easing across the globe

(courtesy Reuters/Zaharia/GATA)

In sharp U-turn, monetary policy easing is back in play across Asia

 Section: 

By Marius Zaharia
Reuters
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

HONG KONG — A slowing global economy and increasing strain on businesses from a year-long Sino-U.S. trade war are tilting central banks from Japan to Australia toward monetary easing in a remarkable 180-degree turn.

Late last year the debate in Japan was focused on the demerits of printing money and the Reserve Bank of Australia was adamant the next likely move in rates will be up. An emerging market currency selloff was seen forcing externally vulnerable economies such as India, Indonesia and the Philippines to keep tightening their policy rates.

But even they are now subject to rate cut bets.

A softer dollar and lower oil prices played an important role in the turnaround. But crucially for Asia, regional growth engine China is having a worse than expected start to the year and is exporting disinflation to the rest of the region. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-asia-economy-rates/in-sharp-u-turn-mo…

* * *

END

Palladium has a huge short position and it’s prices are in constant backwardation.  Will Palladium break the bank?

Platinum is very low and i will bet that the car manufacturers are ready to switch to Pt from Palladium

(courtesy Craig Hemke/Sprott/GATA)

Is palladium the magic bullet against the banking cartel, or is it about to crash?

 Section: 

9:13p ET Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Because palladium’s lease rates are high, its futures prices are uniformly in backwardation against its spot price, and its short position in Comex futures contracts is so much larger than the metal available in Comex vaults, the TF Metals Report’s Craig Hemke writes today that the metal is the best bet for breaking the banking cartel’s lid on metal prices.

Hemke’s analysis is headlined “The Magic Palladium Bullet” and it’s posted at Sprott Money here:

https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/the-magic-palladium-bullet-craig-hemke

Meanwhile 321Gold’s Bob Moriarty disagrees, arguing — when he’s done promoting his new book — that palladium will soon crash because sentiment about the metal is way too bullish. Moriarty’s analysis is headlined “Basic Investing in Resource Stocks, or Why Palladium is about to Fall Off a Cliff” and it’s posted at 321Gold here:

http://www.321gold.com/editorials/moriarty/moriarty022019.html

Your secretary/treasurer is no investment adviser but has seen enough intervention in the markets during GATA’s 20 years to suspect that, since governments and central banks are always surreptitiously trading all futures markets —

http://www.gata.org/node/14385

http://www.gata.org/node/14411

— theirs is the only sentiment that really matters most of the time, at least until a commodity is on the verge of running out and can’t effectively be shorted anymore.

Exhaustion of supply doesn’t happen often, but it happens, as it did with gold in 1968 upon the collapse of the London Gold Pool:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Gold_Pool

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

END

Barrick may be allowed to export gold dore from its subsidiary Acacia gold

(McGee/Globe and Mail/GATA)

Barrick outlines agreement with Tanzania aimed at ending Acacia gold export ban

 Section: 

By Niall McGee
The Globe and Mail, Toronto
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-barrick-outlines-agreem…

Barrick Gold Corp. has reached a new agreement with Tanzania that may end a punishing multiyear gold-export ban at its subsidiary Acacia Mining that has weighed heavily on the share prices of both companies.

The development comes about six weeks after skilled African operator Mark Bristow took over as the new chief executive officer of Toronto-based Barrick.

… 

 

The latest proposal would see Acacia split “economic benefits,” including taxes and royalties from its Tanzanian mines, 50/50 with the East African country. Acacia would also pay Tanzania US$300-million to resolve a long-running tax dispute. While the agreement is similar to one announced in late 2017, the tax penalty can be paid over time, instead of up front. Barrick says it will present a proposal to Acacia in the “near future.”

Unusually, Barrick, which owns 63.9 percent of London-based Acacia, has been negotiating with the Tanzanian government on its behalf. Acacia’s management team was locked out of discussions partly because of its poor relationship with Tanzania.

“Significant amounts of real value have been destroyed by this dispute,” Mr. Bristow said in a statement today.

“This proposal will allow the business to focus on rebuilding its mining operations in partnership with their respective stakeholders, and, most importantly, long-suffering investors, including Barrick.”

In a statement today, Acacia said that an independent committee of its board of directors must review any proposal. A shareholder vote at Acacia must also take place before the agreement could take effect and the Tanzanian government would have to give its stamp of approval.

“Whilst crunching the numbers on all of this is hard to do right now, if it allows operations to return to normal, it could be a net positive for Acacia,” RBC Dominion Securities analyst James Bell wrote in a note to clients.

Shares in Barrick, which owns 63.9 percent of Acacia, rose by just more than 1 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while Acacia’s stock shot up by 12.8 percent on the London Stock Exchange, the biggest increase in 16 months.

After Barrick’s US$6-billion acquisition of Randgold Resources Ltd. was announced in September, there was hope that Mr. Bristow, who joined the company as CEO, might be able to end the Acacia impasse considering his long history of operating successfully in Africa.

Over the past few years a number African countries, including Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia, have introduced punitive tax measures that have driven up the cost of doing business abroad for Canadian miners.

The Acacia tax fracas can be traced back to the election in 2015 of Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who promised to go after a bigger share of the mineral wealth. Tanzania historically had a relatively light tax code in place for Western miners. In 2017 Mr. Magufuli zeroed in on Acacia, accusing the company of US$200 billion in tax fraud and rolling out a crippling gold-concentrate export ban. While Acacia maintains it has paid a significant amount in taxes to Tanzania over time, both Mr. Bristow and Barrick’s executive chairman John Thornton have argued it needs to pay more.

“Despite all the promises,” Acacia hasn’t delivered real taxable profits,” Mr. Bristow said in an interview last week.

He also said that a 50/50 split in the economics between Tanzania and Acacia is “reasonable” when compared with current tax rates imposed by other African countries on Western miners.

After a tentative agreement was reached in October 2017, talks between Barrick and Tanzania hit a stalemate, with neither side revealing what had gone wrong. Late last year relations between Acacia and Tanzania deteriorated further with criminal money-laundering charges laid against three employees and one ex-employee. Three of the individuals are still being detained in Tanzania under non-bailable offences. Mr. Bristow characterized the situation as “a product of the fallout of the relationship between Acacia and the government.”

END

This will be good for the gold industry:  Trump is ready to allow the controversial Alaska Pebble project to proceed

(Anchorage Daily News//GATA)

Feds advance Alaska’s Pebble gold and copper project with release of draft environmental review

 Section: 

By Alex DeMarban
Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage, Alaska
Wednesday, February 20,2019

The Trump administration today unveiled the first draft environmental review of the controversial Pebble gold and copper project.

The report is a key step in the regulatory process and will lead to a 90-day public comment period for the southwest Alaska mine that has been in the works for more than a decade, the U.S. Army Corps said.

… 

The agency is expected to release a final environmental report and make a final decision in 2020 to help determine how development should proceed at the giant prospect in the Bristol Bay region. Other state and federal agencies must also weigh in before mining can begin, and the Environmental Protection Agency still holds the option to essentially veto the project, Corps officials said.

The 1,400-page report, including hundreds more pages in supporting documents, is broken down into several chapters and is available at the federal agency’s Pebble Project website, pebbleprojecteis.com.

If built, the open-pit mine would be about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage, straddling salmon-producing headwaters of the valuable Bristol Bay fishery. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2019/02/20/feds-release-draft-envir…

END

We brought this story to your attention yesterday but it is worth repeating.  The criminal Deutsche bank continues to defraud whenever they can.  It is their destiny ….

(courtesy Wall Street Journal/GATA)

Deutsche Bank lost $1.6 billion on municipal bond bet, concealed it

 Section: 

By Jenny Strasburg and Gretchen Morgenson
The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Deutsche Bank racked up a loss of $1.6 billion over nearly a decade on a complex municipal-bond investment that it bought in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis and failed to confront even as markets were upended and regulations tightened.

The loss, which hasn’t previously been reported, represents one of Deutsche Bank’s largest ever from a single wager — roughly quadruple its entire 2018 profit — and ranks as one of the banking industry’s biggest soured bets in the last decade.

… 

The prolonged struggle over how to handle the investment sheds light on cultural and financial challenges inside one of Europe’s biggest banks that have hampered its ability to compete with stronger U.S. rivals.

Deutsche Bank resisted for years reducing the value of those bonds and related derivatives on its books to a level that markets suggested they were worth, and it brushed aside concerns raised by the bank’s financial auditors about how it was valuing the trade, according to internal bank documents and people involved in discussions about the investment.

During that time period, the bank was telling investors its internal financial controls were sound, and it raised billions of dollars in the capital markets without any disclosure of the bond valuation issue. Behind the scenes, the badly timed bet exerted a sustained drag on the bank’s finances. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/deutsche-bank-lost-1-6-billion-on-a-bond-be…

END

A real joke:  the shareholder’s gold council has no interest in finding out how gold/silver being manipulated by the bullion banks

(courtesy GATA/)

Shareholders’ Gold Council doesn’t want to hear about market rigging

 Section: 

10a ET Thursday, February 21, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

The Shareholders’ Gold Council, started last year by fund manager John Paulson “to conduct research reports and studies of interest to investors in the gold industry” (https://www.goldcouncil.net/), has rejected GATA’s requests for membership and to make a presentation about manipulation of the gold market by central banks and their bullion bank agents.

A representative of the council has told GATA that “our focus is on the companies themselves, not the gold market.”

Of course that’s not quite how the council’s internet site describes it, but the council is entitled to what seems to be its opinion that the manipulation of the price of the metal produced by gold-mining companies is of no interest to the companies themselves.

Shareholders in gold-mining companies might be equally entitled to some puzzlement about this.

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A 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.

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

END

 

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

i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/CLOSED/ LAST AT: 6.7182/

 

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  6.7151   /shanghai bourse CLOSED DOWN 9.42 POINTS OR 0.34% /

 

HANG SANG CLOSED UP 115.87 POINTS OR 0.41%

 

 

2. Nikkei closed  UP 32.74 POINTS OR 0.15%

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED MIXED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/USA dollar index RISES TO 96.46/Euro RISES TO 1.1353

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO. –.04/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 110.71/ 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:: 57.24 and Brent: 66.95

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

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

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

3h Oil 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 RISES TO +.13%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN to 2.84% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD DOWN TO 1.20%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.71: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS TO : 3.77

3k Gold at $1335.40 silver at:15.93   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 19/100 in roubles/dollar) 65.74

3m oil into the 57 dollar handle for WTI and 66 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 110.71 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 1.0007 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1361 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year RISING to +0.13%

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

4. USA 10 year treasury bond at 2.67% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 3.01%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 5.3114

 

Market Rally Fizzles As New Front Breaks Out In Global Trade War Amid Dismal Econ Data

Another strong overnight market rally, built on the back of – what else – trade deal optimism, fizzled with US futures paring gains, European stocks edging lower and Asian shares rising as initial optimism was dented following more revelations that for all pompous talk, and now multiple MoUs, the trade war is actually escalating behind the scenes.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index drifted lower, weighed down by bank shares as individual companies including Centrica and shipping giant Maersk also underperformed after disappointing earnings. Over in the US, futures on all three main indexes levitated higher following Fed minutes that merely added to dovish sentiment, after a late Wednesday report that negotiators are working on multiple memorandums of understanding that would form the basis of a final trade deal; however the latest trade deal optimism – which has now become a daily joke as the market now prices in a successful outcome to the trade war every single day – faded, Chinese stocks dropped the yuan pared an advance and the Aussie plunged after a report that China’s Dalian port banned coal imports from Australia while Westpac, called for two RBA rate cuts this year.

The Aussie was last trading at $0.7105, down 0.8 percent on the day but it was not the only one struggling. The Kiwi dollar got  bundled down 0.5 percent and the euro had given back its early gains to stand at $1.1320. The slide in the Aussie dollar had helped its share market close at a six-month high. Japan’s Nikkei had ended 0.1% stronger too and though Chinese shares sagged, the “offshore” yuan firmed to its strongest level since July on the trade hopes.

MSCI’s main Asia-Pacific index rose to a 4-1/2 month high, lifted by the initial, more optimistic trade reports, while generally ignoring the new trade war between Australia and China.

As noted earlier, the reported banning of Australian coal imports at the Chinese port of Dalian is seen as a sign that Beijing is flexing its economic muscles and warning nations not to bar its next-generation, 5G wireless technology or Huawei for that matter. The indefinite coal restrictions started this month and are part of an overall plan to cap imports into the customs region this year, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed Dalian Port official.

How China blocking Australian exports is conducive to a trade deal is beyond any rational thinking person, however, since algos are neither, they merely digested the “optimistic” headlines and futures are still higher, but fading gains fast.

In any case, the “steady” progress toward a trade agreement between the world’s biggest economies – one which could take years sending the S&P above 3,000 on “optimism” a deal is coming any moment, could give further impetus to a risk rally with the MSCI world index up about 15 percent since Christmas Day. But the new front in the global spat, this time between China and Australia, risks denting investor sentiment before concrete progress is seen in Washington.

Meanwhile, the global economic picture is going from bad to abysmal, with manufacturing PMIs in Germany, Japan and the Eurozone all now officially in contraction, i.e. recession, territory.

“The euro zone economy remained close to stagnation in February. The general picture remained one of a more subdued business environment than seen throughout much of last year,” Chris Williamson, IHS Markit’s chief business economist said. Williamson said the results pointed to first-quarter euro zone growth of just 0.1 percent, below the latest Reuters poll estimate for 0.4 percent. They come soon after the European Central Bank ended its more than 2.6 trillion euro asset purchase stimulus program.

Elsewhere, Treasuries drifted lower with the 10Y yield rising 3bps to 2.67% while European bonds were mixed and the euro fluctuated.

Today’s trading session follows a muted day in the markets yesterday, following a FOMC Minutes release that had something in it for everyone: the overall tone of Fed rhetoric should “help to keep financial markets relatively steady as we head toward the weekend, all in the context of the recent risk asset roller coaster that has resulted from overly hawkish miscommunication from the Fed late last year, followed in January by an apparent overly-dovish policy U-turn,” Simon Ballard, a macro strategist at First Abu Dhabi Bank, wrote in a note.

In other FX, the dollar relinquished an Asia-session advance as the pound reversed losses amid growing Brexit optimism, only to tumble after an official said a deal was not coming. Sterling also shrugged off Fitch putting its UK credit rating on a formal downgrade warning amid uncertainty about whether the country’s parliament will be able to agree a transition deal before next month’s planned Brexit date.

Europe’s common currency swung between gains and losses and euro-area bonds traded mixed amid concerns over a slump in manufacturing in the region. Treasuries traded in the red, while European stocks were mixed and U.S. futures pointed to a higher open.

In the commodity market, crude prices rose more than 1 percent on Wednesday to their highest in 2019 on hopes that oil markets will balance later this year. U.S. crude was last up 0.3 percent, or 17 cents, at $57.33 per barrel. Brent was 0.1 percent, or 5 cents, higher at $67.13.

Initial jobless claims, durable goods orders and Markit PMI data are due. Scheduled earnings include Intuit and Hormel Foods

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 2,790.25
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.06% to 371.23
  • MXAP up 0.2% to 159.07
  • MXAPJ up 0.3% to 521.17
  • Nikkei up 0.2% to 21,464.23
  • Topix unchanged at 1,613.50
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.4% to 28,629.92
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 2,751.80
  • Sensex up 0.4% to 35,908.47
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 6,139.25
  • Kospi down 0.05% to 2,228.66
  • German 10Y yield rose 1.0 bps to 0.11%
  • Euro down 0.04% to $1.1333
  • Brent Futures down 0.09% to $67.02/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 7.0 bps to 2.499%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.5 bps to 1.185%
  • Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,334.15
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 96.56

Top Overnight News

  • The reported banning of Australian coal imports at the Chinese port of Dalian is maybe a sign that Beijing is flexing its economic muscles and warning nations not to bar its next- generation wireless technology. The indefinite coal restrictions started this month and are part of an overall plan to cap imports into the customs region this year, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed Dalian Port official.
  • U.S. and Chinese negotiators are working on multiple memorandums of understanding that would form the basis of a final trade deal, according to a person briefed on the talks. The MoUs would cover areas including agriculture, non-tariff barriers, services, technology transfer and intellectual property, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private
  • Federal Reserve policy makers see 2019 marking the end of their balance sheet run-off, but not necessarily their interest-rate increases, according to minutes of the central bank’s Jan. 29-30 policy meeting released Wednesday
  • Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox are due in Brussels Thursday with proposed changes the U.K. is seeking to the divorce deal to make it acceptable to the House of Commons. Fitch placed the U.K.’s AA grade on rating watch negative, citing concerns over Brexit
  • President Donald Trump reiterated his threat to impose tariffs on cars imported from the European Union if the U.S. can’t reach a trade deal with the EU
  • Activity in Japan’s manufacturing sector contracted in February for the first time in two and a half years, as production and new orders fell, according to preliminary data that will strengthen concerns about a global economic slowdown
  • Oil extended gains from a three-month high as industry data signaled a limited increase in American crude stockpiles
  • U.K.’s Hammond said deadline pressure in the Brexit talks was helping officials to make progress and British lawmakers could vote on a revised deal next week. He said there were positive signs coming from Brussels that the EU is moving its position and giving ground on the Irish border backstop, and it was “significant” that the EU is now promising “guarantees” that the contentious backstop will be temporary
  • In a sign of the challenge that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May faces next week, as many as 15 government ministers are debating voting against her Brexit strategy and then challenging her to fire them in next week’s planned ballots, three people familiar with the matter said. The senior officials want to back a cross- party effort to stop Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal

Asian equity markets eventually traded mostly higher with the region supported by US-China trade hopes after reports that negotiators were drafting MOUs on key structural issues and are looking at a list of measures to address the trade imbalance. This helped the region shake off the early cautious tone brought on by another marginal performance of their US counterparts and a mixed-perceived FOMC minutes. ASX 200 (+0.7%) was underpinned by strength in Financials as well as outperformance in Consumer Discretionary after Wesfarmers shares rallied post-earnings, while the trade hopes inspired a turnaround for the Nikkei 225 (+0.2%) which was initially dampened by currency effects and after Nikkei Manufacturing PMI data slipped into contraction territory for the 1st time since August 2016. Elsewhere, the KOSPI (+0.1%) lagged with index heavyweight Samsung Electronics lacklustre after it unveiled its ground-breaking foldable smartphone which comes with an eye-watering price of nearly USD 2000, while Hang Seng (+0.4%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.3%) were also initially choppy before the trade-related optimism provided a rising tide across the region. Finally, 10yr JGBs found support from the early cautious tone and after disappointing Nikkei Manufacturing PMI data, but then reversed course as risk sentiment improved and after weaker results in the enhanced liquidity auction for longer-dated bonds.

Top Asian News

  • Top PC Maker Lenovo Gains Most in a Decade as Turnaround Sticks
  • Goldman Says Asian Funds Positioned All Wrong for 2019’s Rally
  • Hong Kong Monetary Authority Chief Norman Chan to Retire Oct. 1

Major European indices are mixed [Euro Stoxx 50 +0.1%] in spite of the firmer trade seen in Asia following reports that negotiators are drafting MOU’s. The FTSE 100 (-0.6%) is underperforming its peers, weighed on by BAE Systems (-7.0%) and Centrica (-11.8%) following earnings for both Co’s; additional downward pressure is applied by Anglo American (-0.1%) after earnings and Glencore (-1.5%) who are in the red following a tax demand and mine production cut. Sectors are mixed, with some mild outperformance in consumer discretionaries. Other notable movers include Bouygues (+3.4%) near the top of the Stoxx 600 as their FY profit came in above the prior. Also performing well after earnings are Barclays (+0.2%), with the Co. stating they are considering additional returns which include buybacks. Of note are Maersk (-9.6%) in the red after stating that 2019 guidance is subject to considerable uncertainty from trade risks, also the Co. and Maersk Drilling are to trade separately from April 4th.

Top European News

  • Telecoms Trail in Europe as Results From Heavyweights Fall Flat
  • European Banks Caught Between Nordic Contagion and Barclays Joy
  • Just Eat Drops on Report Uber Eats Eyes U.K. Marketplace Service

In FX, it was a really rough night for the Antipodean Dollars, and especially the Aud that failed to glean any lasting benefit from a robust if not stellar January jobs report, as Westpac delivered an extremely dovish RBA outlook with not just one, but two rate cuts pencilled in for this year (August and November). Aud/Usd recoiled from just over 0.7200 in response and then reversed even more sharply on headlines reporting that China was blocking coal imports as several ports including the main Dalian hub, hitting lows under 0.7100. Meanwhile, Aud/Nzd fell from around 1.0490 to circa 1.0400, but is holding above the base as Nzd/Usd suffers knock-on losses towards 0.6800 vs 0.6875 at one stage.

  • CAD/CHF/EUR – All on a softer footing vs the Greenback, as the DXY recovers from its post-FOMC minutes lows and with the overall take from the release not as dovish as many anticipated or were positioned for (end of balance sheet reduction by end 2019 favoured by most, but prospect of further rate normalisation this year left on the table) – index straddling 96.500 vs 96.390 at one stage. The Loonie is close to the bottom of a 1.3207-1.3163 range, while the Franc is back below parity, albeit just, and the single currency is pivoting 1.1350 amidst mixed Eurozone flash PMIs, volatile trade on stops and near term technical with some hefty option expiries also thrown in for good measure. Specifically, 1.1365, 1.1371-73 represent resistance, with the latter zone incorporating Wednesday’s high and the 30 DMA, while 1.2 bn rolls off at the 1.1300 strike and almost 3 bn at 1.1400.
  • GBP/JPY – Relative G10 outperformers as Cable holds firmly above 1.3000, after a few wobbles, and not far from overnight peaks just over 1.3100 following a record UK public finance haul in January, a well received 2057 Gilt auction and comments from Chancellor Hammond suggesting the EU is showing some willingness to budge on the Irish backstop. Meanwhile, the Jpy has pared some losses within a 110.60-87 range in wake of another drop in the PBoC’s mid-point Usd/Cny fixing rate.
  • NOK/SEK – The Scandi Crowns are both back under pressure, with Eur/Nok nudging above 9.7900 against the backdrop of stagnating oil prices and a somewhat disappointing Norwegian energy investment report, while Eur/Sek has rebounded to 10.6000+ from around 10.5600 following the IMF’s annual report that revealed a downward revision to Sweden’s 2019 GDP forecast and urged the Riksbank to hold off from another repo rate hike.

In commodities, Brent (+0.1%) and WTI (+0.5%) prices are largely unchanged after a mixed overnight session, with both Brent and WTI trading within a narrow USD 1/bbl range. Yesterday’s delayed API release showed a crude oil inventories build of 1.26mln barrels, although this was less than the expectation for a 3.1mln barrel build. EIA’s delayed weekly report is to be published later today where expectations are for a crude stock build of 3.1mln, which would make it the fifth consecutive week of builds. Elsewhere, reports show that Venezuela are paying large premiums for Russian and European fuel imports due to a limited number of available sellers, following US sanctions against PDVSA. Gold (-0.2%) is weaker after trading largely sideways overnight, with the yellow metal approaching the bottom of its USD 10/oz range. Elsewhere, Barrick Gold have outlined a deal reached with the Tanzania government, which features a USD 300mln payment, regarding disputes with Acacia Mining. Separately, China’s northern Dalian port bans imports of Australian coal and are to cap overall imports for the year at 12mln tonnes; this ban follows other Chinese ports taking 40 days to clear Australian coal. China’s Dalian customs bans Australian coal imports indefinitely and sets 12mln tons overall coal import quota for this year, according to sources.

Looking at the day ahead, we get the delayed December durable and capital goods orders data which should help to further sharpen Q4 GDP expectations. The consensus expects a +0.3% mom pickup in core durable goods orders and +0.2% mom core capex orders reading. Also due out is the October Philly Fed survey which will be worth watching for a mid-quarter update on the factor sector. The consensus expects a 3pt decline to +14.0. Away from that we’ll also get the latest weekly initial jobless claims print – where the four-week moving average has ticked up in recent weeks – the flash February PMIs, January leading index and January existing home sales. Other than data, we’ll also hear from more central bank speakers with the ECB’s Praet due to speak this morning and afternoon, and the Fed’s Bostic this afternoon. The ECB is also due to publish the accounts of the January meeting while EU trade ministers are due to meet. Today also see’s China’s Vice Premier Liu He join trade talks in Washington with Lighthizer and Mnuchin.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook, est. 14, prior 17
  • 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, est. 228,235, prior 239,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.74m, prior 1.77m
  • 8:30am: Durable Goods Orders, est. 1.7%, prior 0.7%; Durables Ex Transportation, est. 0.25%, prior -0.4%
  • 8:30am: Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.2%, prior -0.6%; Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.0%, prior -0.2%
  • 9:45am: Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 54.8, prior 54.9; Markit US Services PMI, est. 54.3, prior 54.2
  • 10am: Existing Home Sales, est. 5m, prior 4.99m; Existing Home Sales MoM, est. 0.2%, prior -6.4%

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Ahead of today’s important flash PMIs (preview later), I was in Frankfurt last night for a macro dinner and it’s fair to say that whilst nervous, most investors thought the pain trade was a further tightening of spreads and higher equity markets – in-line with my thought. In a show of hands no-one thought we’d get a hard Brexit and the vast majority thought we’d get some kind of supportive US-China trade deal in the coming weeks. So that’s the bias of views. There was less certainty beyond the next few months but some who previously were worried about the US cycle, like me, were a little less pessimistic about 2020 now due to the Fed 180 degree pivot in 2019. A lot of the conversation was taken up by the bubbling momentum of socialism in US politics. I think this could be a huge topic as we hit the primaries ahead of the 2020 election. So it’s something I’m going to write about in more depth soon.

Politics remains highly changeable at a global level and in an otherwise quiet week it’s the reshuffling of UK political lines which is proving to be the most interesting story at the moment. Yesterday’s news that three Conservative MPs had quit to join a new Independent Parliamentary Group might not have an immediate direct Brexit read-through but it does mean that May is becoming perilously close to losing her majority, especially with one of the defectors – Heidi Allen – saying that she expects more Tories to quit. This means the medium term risk of a new election is surely rising even if the gang of three made it clear that they would likely support the government outside of Brexit votes. Yesterday’s YouGov poll – while a little less meaningful at this stage and covering Feb 18-19 just before the Tory defections – put support for the Tories at 38% versus 26% for Labour. This is a remarkable collapse for the opposition party and only a small decline for the Tories. Whatever you think of Tory party tactics and handling of Brexit there is only one party that is pursuing Brexit as per the voter mandate and I think they are keeping support for them high because of this. Back to the poll and the new Independent Group scored 14%, followed by the Lib Dems at 7%. Could this be the start of a significant change in UK politics like the en Marche movement in France? The problem for them is that the U.K. has a constituency system and is “first past the post”. Indeed in the UK, winning a vote share in the low-20s has not historically been high enough to make much progress in Parliament. In 2010 the Lib Dems got 23% of the vote but fewer than 10% of the seats in Parliament. In 1983 the SDP-Liberal Alliance got 25% of the vote but didn’t even manage 5% of the seats. Indeed at a general election people usually vote tactically and unless a party can win, voters will often vote for one of the two main parties to ensure the one they don’t want to win has a better chance of losing. So a long road ahead for a centrist movement but unusual things are happening all over the world.

The pound took a roundtrip yesterday, initially depreciating -0.38% versus the dollar on the above resignations, before reversing to trade +0.36% stronger on possibly positive Brexit stories. Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell told reporters that “I think the accord is being hammered out now,” helping the pound to jump higher. His office subsequently walked back those comments, and the currency ultimately ended the session close to flat. There were also reports that the EU would want the UK Parliament to formally vote on any new agreement before the EU leaders considered it themselves. This would be new sequencing, which could indicate a subtle shift in positions that might allow a breakthrough, though it’s also an indictment of May’s inability to make promises given her fractured caucus. Elsewhere, the UK PM May and the EU President Juncker released a joint statement post their meeting saying that they discussed which guarantees could be given to underline once more the “temporary nature” of the Irish border backstop while adding that they have tasked chief Brexit negotiators of both sides – EU’s Michel Barnier and UK’s Stephen Barclay – with considering role for “alternative arrangements” in replacing backstop in future. They also discussed on any amendments that could be made to the political declaration consistent with their respective positions. In the meantime, yesterday Fitch placed the UK’s AA long term rating on a negative watch citing the “heightened uncertainty over the outcome of the Brexit process.”

Markets are a lot less complicated than Brexit at the moment with incremental positive returns the name of the game for now. That was the case last night even after the FOMC minutes with the S&P 500, DOW and NASDAQ turning in gains of +0.19%, +0.24% and +0.03% respectively. Treasuries closed around +1bp higher across maturities and the 2s10s yield curve remains steady at 14bps. HY spreads were -4bps in the US and the dollar also closed flat on the session.

Just on the minutes, the main highlights were confirmation that the FOMC is likely to end its balance sheet runoff later this year and a reaffirmation that rate hikes remain on hold for now. Due to a snow storm in Washington, DC, reporters did not receive embargoed access to the minutes before the official release, so the details trickled out as everyone read through the details. The market reaction was somewhat more muddled than usual, with the S&P 500 dropping -0.38% in the 20 minutes after the release but subsequently fully retracing. Perhaps investors initially focused on hawkish excerpts like “participants continued to view a sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective as the most likely outcomes over the next few years.” However, the minutes also said that “maintaining the current target range for the federal funds rate for a time posed few risks at this point” which suggests no imminent change in policy and “almost all participants thought that it would be desirable to announce before too long a plan to stop reducing the Federal Reserve’s asset holdings later this year.” That’s a very clear confirmation that we should expect a formal announcement and an end to the balance sheet runoff by year-end.

Meanwhile, overnight Bloomberg reported that the US and Chinese negotiators are working on multiple memorandums (6 in total as per Reuters) of understanding that would form the basis of a final trade deal and the MoUs are likely to cover areas including agriculture, non-tariff barriers, services, technology transfer and intellectual property. The report also added that the enforcement mechanism for the MoUs remains unclear as of now, but would likely be a threat of re-imposition of tariffs if conditions aren’t met and also indicated that China’s Vice Premier Liu He is likely to meet with President Trump on Friday. As a reminder China Vice Premier Liu He is set to meet Lighthizer and Mnuchin today. Elsewhere, President Trump reiterated his threat to impose tariffs on cars imported from the EU if the US can’t reach a trade deal with the EU. He said that “If we don’t make the deal we’ll do the tariffs. We’re trying to make a deal. They’re very tough to make a deal with, the EU.”

Asian markets pared losses on the above positive US-China trade headlines and are heading higher. The Nikkei (+0.49%), Hang Seng (+0.53%) and Shanghai Comp (+0.36%) are all up while the Kospi (-0.06%) is trading flattish. China’s onshore yuan also rose (+0.39%) on positive trade headlines to 6.6950, highest since July 2018. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.31% while 10y treasury yields are up +1.9bps this morning. In terms of overnight data releases, and a bit worrying ahead of today’s other flash numbers, Japan’s preliminary February manufacturing PMI was in contractionary territory at 48.5 (vs. 50.3 last month) for the first time since September 2016. The subindex for production fell to 47.0 (vs. 49.4 last month), indicating that actual output declined further. Joe Hayes, an economist at IHS Markit, said that “unless service sector activity can offset manufacturing weakness, the chance of Japan entering a recession in 2019 looks set to rise.”

In Europe, the STOXX 600 rallied +0.67% yesterday, closing above its 200-day moving average for the first time since September. Bunds were little changed and BTPs weakened a further +7.1bps after the ECB’s Praet confirmed that while the ECB will discuss a new TLTRO, it’s unclear that a decision will actually be made. Along with Lane and Rehn, that is 3 senior figures who have suggested that a new TLTRO might not come as soon as the next ECB meeting on March 7.

In other news from yesterday , the US Trade Representative Lighthizer is to testify about China trade matters before the House Ways and Means Committee on February 27th according to CNBC. As for the S232 report, it was interesting to note yesterday’s Politico report which suggested that there are rising calls for the White House to release the report with a source suggesting that it does find a threat and recommends tariffs of up to 25%. Despite those rumours, automaker stocks rallied +2.30% and +1.08% in Europe and the US, respectively.

Moving on. While it’s not been the most exciting of weeks in markets this week we do have the flash February PMIs to look forward to today in Europe. A reminder that we’ve seen the composite Euro Area PMI decline in 10 of the last 12 months to a five-and-a-half year low of 51.0 in January. The consensus is for a very modest pick-up to 51.1 this month. The services reading is expected to rise to 51.3 (from 51.2) however the manufacturing reading is expected to slide a little further, to 50.3 from 50.5 in January. That print has fallen in 12 of the last 13 months and last month hit the lowest since November 2014. As for the country level data, there will be plenty of focus on the data out of France given the recent slide with only a modest pick-up in the composite to 48.9 expected (from 48.2 in January). Germany’s composite reading is expected to nudge down slightly to 52.0 from 52.1.

Back to yesterday, where in EM land it was a bit of a roundabout session for South African assets following the release of the latest budget deficit forecasts. The Rand weakened as much as -2.28% at one stage and bonds blew wider with the National Treasury forecasting a budget deficit of 4.5% for the year starting April 1 which would be the widest since 2010. Growth rates were also cut, however the announcement of an operational overhaul of Eskom and discussions about privatising part of the transmission business helped assets to pretty much fully recover by the end of play. Wider EM FX was flat yesterday while the MSCI EM index finished +0.57%.

Looking at the day ahead, this morning we’ll get the final January CPI revisions in Germany and France, as well as February confidence indicators in the latter. The PMIs are out just after that before we can get a look at January public finances data in the UK. Over in the US this afternoon we’re due to get the delayed December durable and capital goods orders data which should help to further sharpen Q4 GDP expectations. The consensus expects a +0.3% mom pickup in core durable goods orders and +0.2% mom core capex orders reading. Also due out is the October Philly Fed survey which will be worth watching for a mid-quarter update on the factor sector. The consensus expects a 3pt decline to +14.0. Away from that we’ll also get the latest weekly initial jobless claims print – where the four-week moving average has ticked up in recent weeks – the flash February PMIs, January leading index and January existing home sales. Other than data, we’ll also hear from more central bank speakers with the ECB’s Praet due to speak this morning and afternoon, and the Fed’s Bostic this afternoon. The ECB is also due to publish the accounts of the January meeting while EU trade ministers are due to meet. Today also see’s China’s Vice Premier Liu He join trade talks in Washington with Lighthizer and Mnuchin.

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)THURSDAY MORNING/ WEDNESDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 9.42 POINTS OR 0.34% //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 115.87 POINTS OR 0.41%  /The Nikkei closed UP 32.74 POINTS OR 0.150%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.63%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP  at 6.7182 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil DOWN to 55.56 dollars per barrel for WTI and 66.00 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED GREEN//.

ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP // LAST AT 6.7182 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7151: / TRADE TALKS NOW ON/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED  : /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING BELOW LEVEL OF OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING STRONGER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR /CHINA RETALIATES WITH TARIFFS/ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW TARIFFS AND IT NOW A FULL TRADE WAR COMMENCED

 

3 a NORTH KOREA/USA

 

 

 

 

i)North Korea//USA

 

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

3 C CHINA

i) CHINA/USA//TAIWAN

Taiwan’s leader is very worried about a Chinese invasion.  The threat is ‘growing every day”

(courtesy zerohedge)

Taiwan’s Leader Says Threat Of Chinese Invasion “Growing Every Day”

President Trump’s at times warm, at times contentious relationship with his Chinese counterpart has been an exercise in cognitive dissonance that’s reflective of a broader truth about the relationship between the world’s two largest economies. The veneer of economic cooperation belies deeper military tensions as China’s expansionist military aims threaten US security in the Pacific.

Just last week, the top US Navy commander in the Pacific warned that China represents the “greatest long-term strategic threat to a free and open Indo-Pacific and to the United States.” And the country’s insistence on carrying on with its military buildup in the South China Sea, one of the most vital waterways for global trade, has angered the US and nearly all of its neighbors. But while the US public labors under the illusion that a military conflict with the Chinese is only a vague possibility somewhere off in the indeterminate future, for the island of Taiwan, China’s increasing muscular military presence in the region is a daily threat that requires 24/7 vigilance, according to CNN.

Tsai

As she struggles with waning poll numbers ahead of an election later this year, Taiwan’s pro-independence leader Tsai Ing-wen claimed in yet another interview with a western media organization that the world is underestimating the growing threat posed by Beijing.

After President Xi claimed during a landmark speech early this year that Taiwan would eventually be re-unified with the mainland in an arrangement similar to that of Hong Kong or Macau – something the Taiwanese people popularly oppose – and threatened any meddling foreign powers (ie the US) who dare to interfere), Tsai said that China crushing Taiwan would be a “setback for global democracy.”

In response to Xi’s threat, Tsai said earlier this year that Taiwan “would never accept” reunification with Beijing.

“If it’s Taiwan today, people should ask who’s next?” she said. “Any country in the region – if it no longer wants to submit to the will of China, they would face similar military threats.”

[…]

“If a vibrant democracy that champions universal values and follows international rules were destroyed by China, it would be a huge setback for global democracy,” she said.

[…]

“With China becoming increasingly strong and ambitious, we are faced with growing threats,” Tsai said.

In the face of the growing threat (Beijing has carried out military exercises in the Strait of Taiwan to try and intimidate Tsai) the president said that she was strengthening Taiwan’s military capabilities in the face of China’s rapid modernization, and that Taiwan would be “on alert 24/7” for the first sign of a Chinese strike.

“What we are expecting is, after withstanding the first wave of Chinese attacks ourselves, the rest of the world would stand up to exert strong pressure on China,” she said.

Indeed, the biggest challenge facing Taiwan, in Tsai’s view, is its “continued existence.”

“Our challenge is whether our independent existence, security, prosperity and democracy can be maintained. This is the biggest issue for Taiwan.”

After the interview, Tsai reiterated to a group of reporters that the island would not accept any deal that “threatens democracy,” according to Al Jazeera.

“Taiwan society will not accept any treaty that harms Taiwan’s national sovereignty and democracy,” Tsai told reporters in Taipei on Wednesday, adding that there would not be real peace unless China ruled out using force to bring Taiwan under its control.

Meanwhile, an editor for the Beijing-backed Global Times accused Tsai of warmongering.

Hu Xijin 胡锡进@HuXijin_GT

You can run for re-election. But please don’t turn your campaign into a crazy process of escalating cross-Straits tensions. Don’t let people on both sides of the straits pay for your selfish political interests.

蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen

@iingwen

As I told @MattRiversCNN this morning, I’m confident about my re-election in 2020. Protecting #Taiwan‘s freedom & democracy whilst building a brighter future for my 23 million fellow citizens is a goal worth fighting for.

Embedded video

END
China/USA
Until he hear about a deal of forced transfer of USA technology and the protection of USA intellectual property, these trade talks will go nowhere.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Trade Talks Update: China, US Working On 6 Memorandums As Deal Takes Shape

After a week of trade headlines that has been dominated by President Trump’s insistence that talks are seeing “their most significant progress yet” and that the US has been pressing Beijing to commit to keeping the yuan “stable” to preclude any tariff-offsetting devaluations, the progress on a “memorandums of understanding” has emerged as a primary point of interest for Wall Street.

But amid conflicting reports about Beijing’s willingness to bend to US demands about its currency (on Thursday morning, the PBOC affirmed that they would keep the yuan “basically stable”), Bloomberg reported late Wednesday evening that the two sides are actually working on multiple MoUs that could cover agriculture, non-tariff barriers, services, technology transfer and IP. While the details are still unclear, it’s believed that the agreements would include an “enforcement mechanism” that would lead to tariffs automatically being reimposed should China violate the agreement. It is worth reminding that a MoU tends to not be worth the paper it is printed on absent a separate broader deal, which is still sorely lacking.

Trump

Reuters reported that the two sides were working on “six broad agreements that aim to resolve the most contentious issues in their seven-month trade war,” as well as a “10-item list of shorter-term measures, largely purchases of commodities and other goods.”

Meanwhile, don’t expect more than MoUs as BBG reiterated that no breakthrough is expected during this week’s talks, which are focusing on major structural issues. But both sides are discussing an extension of the March 1 deadline. Whatever happens, Liu He, China’s chief negotiator, is expected to meet again with President Trump on Friday.

In response to the US’s demands that the agreement focus on “fair and reciprocal” trade, China has repeatedly offered to increase purchases of agricultural and energy products to shrink the deficit, and has already resumed imports of some agricultural products.

However, the main sticking point, according to Bloomberg, technology transfers and protection for US intellectual property have been two of the most contentious topics, with the US accusing China of stealing US R&D from US companies, while forcing firms to hand over their IP to access the Chinese market. Beijing has reportedly bristled at the US’s characterization of these policies as institutionalized “stealing” of US technology. Still, while China denies that it carries out systematic cyberespionage and denies that it requires companies to hand over IP, Beijing has also started debating a law to make that illegal. The US is also taking aim at “China 2025” and other government initiatives that offer subsidies to domestic firms, which the US sees as unfair non-tariff barriers.

Access to Chinese markets for US services companies like Mastercard and Visa is another contentious issue that is currently being discussed. It’s just another sign that, while China has promised to treat all firms fairly, there are still vast sectors of the economy, generally those which are controlled by China’s giant SOEs, that remain off-limits.

end

4.EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

DEUTSCHE BANK/GERMANY

Our good friends over at the world’s largest derivative player Deutsche bank hid a 10 yr loss from regulators.  Eventually the loss mushroomed 4 x its original loss as 1.6 billion dollars was hidden.

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

“The Berkshire Trade”: How Deutsche Bank Conspired To Conceal A $1.6 Billion Loss

On a day when Frankfurt’s most problematic lender was already in the headlines  for its internal deliberations about how to shield itself from the operational and reputational blowback should the President of the United States default on $340 million in loans, a team of investigative reporters from the Wall Street Journal stunned readers by publishing a fascinating, if embarrassing for the German lender, story about a losing bond trade that cost the bank some $1.6 billion over ten years, and would have never been disclosed had it not been for some impressive financial sleuthing.

DB

According to the WSJ, not only did Deutsche magnify its losses by waffling over what to do about the trade, but senior managers at the bank also signed off on efforts to try and conceal losses from regulators and the public by shuffling what insiders at the bank nicknamed “the Berkshire Trade” off of the bank’s trading books and concealing it in the opaque “non-core operations unit” – aka Deutsche’s “bad bank,” a sort of Pet Cemetary for the bank’s most toxic assets. Because the trade involved illiquid municipal bonds, the bank had a lot of leeway in how to value the position and whether to even disclose it (it didn’t). But when insiders started to question the bank’s internal figures, and managers were finally forced to recokn with the magnitude of the losses, panic apparently set in, and attention immediately shifted to how the bank could cover it up. Soon, KPMG, the bank’s auditor, also started asking questions, and the bank hatched a plan to “reclassify” the trade to free up reserve capital – though it was scuttled by legal.

Eventually, the bank arrived at a “Godfather”-style solution: Moving all its toxic assets to the “bad bank.”

Around that time, Deutsche Bank’s financial auditors from KPMG LLP raised questions about whether the bank had set aside sufficient reserves for the bond positions, according to people involved in the matter. In December 2011, Deutsche Bank managers reassured KPMG, partly through a 14-page white paper. The paper, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, argued that the bank was doing a good job surveying the market and estimating municipal-bond recovery and default probabilities. A KPMG spokesman declined to comment.

Within months, the valuation debates sparked an internal bank investigation. Some executives hatched “Project Marla,” a plan to reclassify the bond investment as a “financial guarantee,” eliminating its day-to-day price volatility on the bank’s books. The bank would move the bond portfolio out of its trading book and into loans and receivables. Legal and accounting objections inside the bank scuttled the plan.

In the fall of 2012, an assessment by Deutsche Bank of other Berkshire-insured municipal holdings suggested the bank’s valuation was off-base. The bank boosted reserves to about $161 million at year-end.

Late that year, Deutsche Bank unveiled a so-called bad bank, called the noncore operations unit, to wind down or sell positions that were troubled or expensive to maintain. It contained hard-to-sell assets including the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas casino, structured real-estate loans and many opaque derivative positions. The municipal-bond investment went onto the pile.

When the position was finally liquidated in 2016, the resulting loss was nearly four times its entire 2018 profit – and the biggest loss in the bank’s history. And – most shocking of all –  neither the bank’s auditors, nor regulators, nor management forced the bank to disclose it to the public and its shareholders aside from some casual mentions.

The bet, a package of municipal bonds and associated derivatives that the bank bought during the runup to the financial crisis, was referred to as “the Berkshire Trade” by insiders because, in March 2008, the bank bought $150 million in additional default protection from Berkshire Hathaway as a hedge.

WSJ’s account of the investment is based on interviews with more than a dozen insiders and hundreds of pages of documents related to bank valuation policies. Despite all of that research, the reporters weren’t able to pinpoint the exact nature of the “Berkshire Trade”.

Though they offered a few hints: Back in 2007, while Greg “I am short your house” Lippman was putting on the big housing-market short that would one day make him famous, Deutsche was buying a portfolio of muni bonds that reads like a laundry list of some of the most regrettable muni-bond market blowups (though, of course, hindsight is 2020): New Jersey public transit, California public schools, public works in Puerto Rico.

In 2007, Deutsche Bank bought the roughly $7.8 billion portfolio of 500 municipal bonds, which funded schools in California, public works in Puerto Rico and transportation projects in New Jersey, among hundreds of other uses. The bonds were insured by specialized “monoline” insurers to protect the bank against defaults by the issuers.

Then the financial crisis took hold, sowing concerns about whether municipalities would make good on their bond obligations—and whether insurers would be strong enough to cover potential defaults.

The trade, which was soaking up hundreds of millions in capital every quarter, eventually became a major headache for former DB CEO John Cryan.

On May 17, 2016, top Deutsche Bank executives met in Frankfurt, Germany, for an update on the noncore unit. The biggest obstacle to lessening risk was the municipal-bond portfolio. It was tying up at least $400 million in capital that could have been used elsewhere, and getting worse, according to internal estimates. Executives including then-CEO John Cryan wanted the position gone by the end of June, when the bank would close its books on the second quarter.

Mr. Cryan privately fumed about the position, citing it as a prime example of trades that tied Deutsche Bank’s hands and demanded precious capital and attention from traders, lawyers and accountants long after any hope of profit had evaporated, according to people involved in discussions about the position.

That summer, the bank finally dumped the position. On its second-quarter earnings call that July, Mr. Cryan referred obliquely to the transaction. “In early July, we successfully unwound a particularly long-dated and complicated structured trade, which was the largest single legacy trade” in the noncore unit, he said. He didn’t specify the amount of the loss.

When the position was liquidated and the bank started a discussion with regulators about whether it should restate past quarterly results, it was eventually decided that no revisions were necessary.

Bank executives, the supervisory board’s audit committee and external advisers all were involved in the decision not to restate financial results, and the bank shared results of the review with regulators, said one person briefed on the process.

Setting aside the fact that the WSJ has exposed bank executives – including the now-departed Cryan – dissembling in their efforts to conceal the losses from public scrutiny, the story may also shed some light on Deutsche’s involvement in all of those interest-rate and FX-rigging scandals: Deutsche can’t trade its way out of a paper bag.

 

end

GERMANY/SAUDI ARABIA

This has consequences for NATO as Germany rebuffs the UK call to back off Saudi arms freeze.  Germany wants to export these fighter jets to the Saudis and if rebuffed it will hurt their export markets terribly

(courtesy zerohedge)

“Consequences for NATO”: Germany Rebuffs UK Call To Back Off Saudi Arms Freeze

Germany is feeling the pressure from western allies over its weapons exports freeze in the wake of the Saudi killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a freeze first announced in November, which included plans to reject any future export licences to Riyadh, but not previously approved deals.

German allies like the UK have lately implored the German government to soften its stance, noting the potential broader economic impact on Europe. British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, currently in Berlin to discuss the terms of Brexit, reportedly wrote to the German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, in a private letter first revealed by Der Spiegel that UK defense companies would be hindered in contractual obligations related to Eurofighter Typhoon and the Tornado fighter jet delivery, namely to supply parts affected by the German arms freeze.

F-5E J-3065 and Eurofighter Typhoon. Image source: Eurofighter Gmbh-Austrian AF

Hunt told Maas in the letter published in German press: “I am very concerned about the impact of the German government’s decision on the British and European defence industry and the consequences for Europe’s ability to fulfil its Nato commitments.”

This follows comments by German chancellor Angela Merkel at the past weekend’s Munich Security Conference acknowledging the need for “common export controls guidelines” across Europe. She said during a question-and-answer session after her speech at the conference:

We have because of our history very good reasons to have very strict arms export guidelines, but we have just as good reasons in our defense community to stand together in a joint defense policy. And if we want … to develop joint fighter planes, joint tanks, then there’s no other way but to move step-by-step towards common export controls guidelines.

However, German Economy Ministry spokeswoman indicated that no change was imminent when questioned by Reuters. “The view of the government is clear and there is no new situation. There is at the moment no basis for further approvals,” she said.

Germany has further said the decision to halt new arms sales is connected to the worsening humanitarian catastrophe still unfolding in Yemen, led by the Saudis and its gulf and US/UK allies.

On Wednesday Mass reaffirmed while speaking to reporters following the meeting with Hunt: “We are not delivering any weapons to Saudi Arabia at the moment and we will make future decisions depend on how the Yemen conflict develops and whether what has been agreed in the peace talks in Stockholm is being implemented,” according to Reuters.

Interestingly, the UK also appears ready to play the Russia and China card, warning Germany that Riyadh could turn to Russia and Chinese defense companies should Europe prove an unwilling partner.

But the most pressing and immediate UK concern remains the pending jet deal. Reuters notes that this week’s meeting in Berlin “followed complaints last week from a top Airbus official who told Reuters that the halt was preventing Britain from completing the sale of 48 Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes to Riyadh. He said the issue was also affecting potential sales of other weapons such as the A400M military transporter.”

The four countries involved in the production of the Eurofighter include Germany, Britain, Italy, and Spain, involving the companies Airbus, BAE and Italy’s Leonardo.

end

 

GERMANY/RUSSIA/NATO

Despite providing less than 1% of its GDP for defense, Merkel defends her gas deal for Russian gas…mainly becuase it is much cheaper than the USA.  Trump is not a happy camper

(courtesy zerohedge)

Merkel Defends Deal For Putin’s Gas; Fumes Over Taunts By Trump Admin

Donald Trump is really starting to ruffle Angela Merkel’s feathers, as the German chancellor continues to fend off attacks by the Trump administration over the $10.8 billion (9.5 billion-euro) 758-mile (1,220 km) ‘Nord Stream 2’ undersea gas pipeline between Germany and Russia, according to Bloomberg.

U.S. diplomats leaned on officials in Paris and Brussels to join their opposition to the Nord Stream 2 project over the past 10 days as Merkel thrashed out an agreement over the plan with France, the people said. –Bloomberg

In January, the US ambassador to Berlin, Richard Grenell, sent letters to German companies working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline warning them of “significant risk of sanctions” if they don’t abandon the project. The letter suggested that the pipeline would make Europe dependent on Moscow, increasing the threat of Russian interventions.

The Nord Stream 2 project is headed up by former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who is also a consultant to bank Rothschild.

The 1,220 kilometer (758-mile) Nord Stream 2 undersea link to Germany initiated by Russia in 2015.

On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence urged EU nations to reject the undersea pipeline during a speech in front of Merkel and other world leaders at the Munich Security Conference.

Merkel fought back

The German chancellor had harsh words for the Trump administration – delivering an impassioned speech to Security Conference attendees defending the multilateral order “challenged by Trump,” according to Bloomberg, earning a standing ovation from the audienced filled with presidents, prime ministers and senior defense officials.

“Merkel was on fire,” said former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt via Twitter.

Carl Bildt

@carlbildt

Angela Merkel was on fire! Her speech had force and conviction as seldom before. A tour de force on the global issue and a strong plea for partnerships and multilateralism.

Merkel was apparently “pleased” with the response to her address according to her chief spokesman, Steffen Seibert, who said she also had some “really very good discussions afterward” with allies from other nations.

Trump’s criticism of Germany for relying on Russian gas is nothing new. In July, he slammed Germany for being “captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia.”

Embedded video

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Bilateral Breakfast with NATO Secretary General in Brussels, Belgium…

It’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump said before meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday morning, according to a Bloomberg report from last year.

Trump’s criticisms have threatened to leave Merkel isolated among her European allies, where many leaders have expressed concern over their increasing reliance on Russia, as well as risks of undermining Ukraine – which earns $2 billion a year in transit fees for Russian gas delivered through a competing pipeline.

U.S. opposition appeared to gain traction on Feb. 6 with a report in Sueddeutsche Zeitung that France would oppose Germany and back EU regulations that would pose a hurdle to the pipeline. That prompted a flurry of talks leading to a French-German agreement on Feb. 8, diluting the restrictions in an EU directive.

A French official said President Emmanuel Macron had faced enormous U.S. pressure on Nord Stream, but rejected charges that it had influenced its position. –Bloomberg

In response to a question from a Ukrainian lawmaker on Saturday, Merkel promised that the Baltic pipeline won’t undermine Ukraine’s status as a gas-transit nation.

“Consciously shutting Russia out politically, I think that’s also wrong,” said Merkel – of the project led by the former German chancellor. “Europe can’t have a geopolitical interest in halting all relations to Russia.”

end

HUNGARY/EU

Euroskeptic Prime Minister Orban attacked the drunkard Juncker and Soros in a billboard ad

(courtesy Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk)

Hungary Prime Minister Attacks Juncker And Soros In Billboard Ad

Submitted by Mish Shedlock of MishTalk

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán attacked EC President Jean Claude Jucker and George Soros in a billboard ad.

The EU has never seen anything quite like this. Orbán has a billboard campaign that claims European Commission president Juncker and and George Soros are “Endangering Hungary’s Safety”.

Opening a new front against Brussels a few months before European [parliament] elections, the poster shows the European commission president alongside the Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros, a familiar target in Hungary.

“You have the right to know what Brussels is planning to do,” the poster says. On its official Facebook page, the Hungarian government says the poster is part of an information campaign to tell the public about Brussels’ migration plans, which it claims “fundamentally endangered Hungary’s safety”.

Although the government has previously run a “Stop Brussels” campaign, the decision to use an image of Junker is an escalation in the Orbán government’s public relations war with the EU’s most senior leaders.

It also exposes the rift in the centre-right European People’s party in the European parliament, which counts Juncker and Orbán, as members.

Orbán was re-elected for a third straight term last April, after a campaign dominated by immigration. A long-term critic of the EU, Orbán has accused NGOs and critical media of being part of a plot orchestrated by Soros to send millions of people to Hungary.

In recent weeks, Orbán has spoken of his hopes that the next European parliament will be dominated by anti-immigration parties.

Birds of a Feather Not

​Juncker once met Orbán with the jokey greeting “hello, dictator” and playfully tapped his face.

Today, Juncker responded Orban Should Leave Europe’s Centre-Right.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has said Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban’s ruling Fidesz party should leave the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament (EP).

“Against lies there’s not much you can do,” Juncker was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency, adding that he had called for Fidesz’s expulsion from the EPP.

​”They didn’t vote for me in the European Parliament,” he said in Stuttgart, Germany, in a speech. “The far right didn’t either. I remember Ms. Le Pen, she said: ‘I’m not voting for you.’ I said: ‘I don’t want your vote.’ There are certain votes you just don’t want,” Juncker said, referring to the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Eurointelligence Comments

Looking at Orbán’s previous record, and noting that one cannot of be sure, we continue doubt that Hungary’s Prime Minister has changed his European strategy and is now working to provoke the exclusion of his party from the EPP. Rather, Orbán seems to be doing one his classic hit-and-runs.

There is little doubt that the new smear campaign will make life on the campaign trail much more difficult for Manfred Weber, the CSU MEP and EPP spitzenkandidat. Juncker himself has now declared more forcefully than ever before that the EPP values are not consistent with keeping Fidesz in.

But we note that the CSU leadership in Munich has in the past consistently worked to maintain close and even warm ties with Orban.

Spitzenkandidat

US readers no doubt need an explanation of Spitzenkandidat. The following video explains.

In short, the term refers to an election process instead of an appointment process to determine the head of the European Commission.

63% of Europeans want the commission president determined by vote. Those in power still support the behind closed doors process for obvious reasons.

Orbán’s mission

Orbán’s mission is to weaken the EU from within. Italy has the same mission, for different reasons, as does President Trump.

EU Splintering

Two days ago I reported a Commerce Study Deems “European Cars a Threat to US National Security”. That’s nonsensical, of course. But Trump’s mission is easy to spot. He is doing his best to bust up the EU.

And now Trump has a lot of help on the inside: Marine Le Pen in France, Victor Orbán in Hungary, and Matteo Salvini in Italy.

I response to Trump, I noted, EU Pokes Trump Again, This Time Over Huawei’ s 5G Technology.

In the UK, Seven UK MPs Split from Labour Party Over Brexit. More MPs joined that parade today.

The splintering of the EU continues with escalating infighting at unprecedented levels.

It is illogical for the UK to want to part of this mess. Yet, the UK Remainers want to stay in.

end.

Europe

Europe continues to disappoint as factory orders are dragging the 27 EU economy to a near halt

(courtesy Reuters/)

Shrinking euro zone factories drag bloc’s economy to near-halt

* PMI points to Q1 GDP growth of 0.1 pct – IHS Markit

* Factory growth declines for first time since mid- 2013

* Euro zone manufacturing PMI below all Reuters poll f’casts (Adds comment, details)

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Factories across the euro zone unexpectedly shunted into reverse this month as activity in manufacturing powerhouse Germany declined again amid trade tensions and struggles in the auto sector, surveys showed.

While that downturn was offset by a much faster than expected acceleration in services activity – which meant overall private sector growth picked up modestly – it will likely worry policymakers as factories also drive the bloc’s dominant service industry.

IHS Markit’s Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, which is seen as a good guide to economic health, rose to 51.4 this month from a final January reading of 51.0, above a Reuters poll median expectation for 51.1 but still below where it has been for much of the past four years.

“This does not mean that growth worries are over as the manufacturing output index dropped to below 50, signalling contraction for euro zone industry for the first time in almost six years,” said Bert Colijn at ING.

The flash manufacturing PMI tumbled to 49.2 this month, its lowest since mid-2013 and substantially below the 50- mark that separates growth from contraction.

A Reuters poll had predicted a modest dip to 50.3 from January’s final reading of 50.5. The lowest forecast in the poll of 38 economists was 49.6.

An index measuring output, which feeds into a composite PMI, dropped to 49.2 from 50.5, its lowest reading since May 2013. In a further sign of how manufacturers are struggling, the new orders index fell to a near six-year low of 46.2 from 47.8.

Adding to that gloomy picture, factories ran down old orders faster while also building up a stock of completed products…

https://www.reuters.com/article/eurozone-economy- pmi/update-1-shrinking-eu
ro-zone-factories-drag-blocs- economy-to-near-halt-idUSL5N20G2ZL

5.RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

Russia/TURKEY/USA

NATO and uSA ally Turkey totally defies the Americans as they set to receive the Russian S 400 surface to air defense missile system in July.  They rejected the uSA patriot system

(courtesy zerohedge)

Turkey To Receive Russian S-400 Delivery in July, Rejects US Patriot Systems Offer

Turkey is now venting its wrath as its F-35 standoff with Washington is thrust to the next level, and after Friday President Trump signed a spending bill that blocks further F-35 transfers until November 1st of 2019, which gives the White House a window of time to evaluate if Ankara will indeed move forward with transfer of Russia’s S-400 air defense system to Turkey. Amidst the Pastor Andrew Brunson detention affair which drew widespread media attention last summer Congressional leaders demanded that the over 100 Lockheed Martin-made F-35 stealth jets purchased by Turkey be blocked from delivery. Following Brunson’s release, the bigger security issue became Turkey’s seeking the S-400.

On Wednesday the chairman of Turkey’s Defense Industry Directorate Ismail Demir addressed this more pressing and latest issue to hold up the F-35 sale — the question of reception of the Russian S-400 while simultaneously rejecting the US offer to sell American-made  Patriot defense systems.

US Army’s Patriot Surface-to-Air missile system

“There is need to talk about conditions, there are a series of issues that must be clarified” he told pro-government news channel NTV. He further ruled out the American Patriot defense systems as it currently stands, according to Turkish media reports. He further stated that “delivery process of S-400 to Turkey will start by July 2019 and the system will be active by October of 2019” in a staunch assertion sure to be noticed by the Pentagon.

The advanced S-400 air defense system purchased by Turkey has been seen as a threat by the United States, given the potential for compromising the F-35 advanced radar evading and electronics capabilities. The main argument for blocking the F-35 transfer is the fear that Russia would get access to the extremely advanced Joint Strike Fighter stealth aircraft, enabling Moscow to detect and exploit its vulnerabilities. Russia would ultimately learn how the S-400 could take out an F-35.

Beginning early last summer the US State Department threatened that Turkey would be targeted by sanctions if it receives the S-400 from Russia under a contract finalized between Ankara and Moscow at the end of 2017, said to be worth $2.5 billion. Coupled with that threat has remained the blockage of the over 100 F-35’s.

During his Wednesday comments, Ismail Demir also confirmed that Turkey received two F-35 jets from the US and it hopes to receive the next pair by next month. Earlier in the week Turkish President Erdogan said during a speech that three unmet conditions for the purchase of the Patriots must be deciding factors: technology transfer, co-production and financial support.

Russia’s S-400 Missile System could make the F-35 Stealth Fighter obsolete

Erdogan reaffirmed that his country is moving forward at full speed to receive and install the Russian S-400, saying Monday: “We asked Western allies for the delivery of air defense systems, but the existing systems were withdrawn let alone giving a new one,” he said in reference to the US’s Patriot systems deployed in southern Turkey to protect its borders from threats of the Syria war.

While not naming the United States, he said “Turkey’s ally” was pressuring it to change its mind. He pointed out that the S-400 would in no way compromise its role in NATO, and that Washington was dealing unfairly with unreasonable expectations. At this point it appears each side is digging in its heals, likely leading to a future greater blowup in US-Turkey relations.

end

Russia continues with its rhetoric against the USA.  Trump ignores Putin.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Russia “Prepared For Another Cuban Missile Crisis”, Putin Warns US

Russia is militarily ready for a “Cuban Missile-style crisis” President Putin said late on Wednesday, commenting on nuclear first strike capability amidst growing tensions with the US. The remarks were given to Russian media following a prior speech wherein he warned Moscow will match any attempt by the US to station intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe in the wake of the now collapsing INF treaty.

Putin specifically threatened deployment of hypersonic missiles on ships and submarines which could enter US territorial waters without detection if American intermediate-range missiles move into Europe. 

“(We’re talking about) naval delivery vehicles: submarines or surface ships. And we can put them, given the speed and range (of our missiles)… in neutral waters. Plus they are not stationary, they move and they will have to find them,” Putin said, according to a Kremlin transcript. “You work it out. Mach nine [the speed of the missiles] and over 1,000 km [their range],” he boasted of the Kremlin’s latest claimed capabilities.

He urged an easing of tensions after last week the Russian Foreign Ministry left the door open for talks to rescue the INF treaty as well as extend the New START nuclear reduction treaty, set to expire in 2021. Speaking of the current stand off and ratcheting tensions with Washington, Putin said“They [the tensions] are not a reason to ratchet up confrontation to the levels of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s. In any case that’s not what we want.” He said further, “If someone wants that, well OK they are welcome. I have set out today what that would mean. Let them count [the missile flight times].”

Emphasizing that Moscow doesn’t want to enter a new arms race with the United States, Russia would be left with “no choice” but to escalate if US advanced missiles were moved to Europe.

Putin noted such intermediate missiles could strike Moscow within 10-12 minutes. However, Russia’s developing hypersonic capabilities would give his military the edge, Putin said, delivered through its advanced submarine and other stealth capable vessels.

Speaking of US strike capabilities, Putin added: “It [the calculation] would not be in their favor, at least as things stand today. That’s for sure,” according to Reuters.

In the past weeks Russia has emphasized it is open for talks but will not continue to knock on closed doors, referencing the White House’s pulling out of the INF while blaming Russia for long being in violation of the Reagan-era treaty.

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

And they are close to a Memorandum of Understanding???  the trade war goes ballistic as China indefinitely bans the importation of Australian coal..a staple of the Australian economy

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trade War Goes Global: China “Indefinitely” Bans Australian Coal Imports

Just days after it warned its citizens against traveling to New Zealand, Beijing has reportedly cracked down on imports of coal from Australia, cutting off the country’s miners from their biggest export market and threatening the island nation’s economy at a time when it and its fellow “Five Eyes” members who have sided with the US by blocking or banning Huawei’s 5G network technology.

Aussie

Customs agents at the port of Dalian have banned imports of Australian coal “indefinitely” while reportedly capping all coal imports from all sources at 12 million tonnes per day, Reuters reported overnight. Elsewhere in China, Australian coal – the combustible rock is the country’s biggest export – has faced customs delays of up to 40 days, just as Rabobank analyst Michael Every anticipated when he pondered earlier this month whether Australian coal might face “bureaucratic delays” at Chinese ports following the country’s “Huawei moment.” This is what Every said two weeks ago:

Billionaire political donor Huang Xiangmo, Beijing’s former top lobbyist/fixer in Australia has just had his long-standing application for Aussie citizenship rejected and his permanent residency cancelled while travelling overseas, leaving him stranded and locked out of his USD10m Sydney mansion. The citizenship application refusal apparently comes on both character grounds and concerns about the reliability of his answers in interviews and correspondence with authorities including ASIO, the Australian intelligence service. Note that Mr. Huang has donated AUD2.7m to both major political parties over the last five years and also funds former foreign minister Bob Carr’s Sydney think tank – Carr himself having made several recent public statements arguing for Australia to side with China due to their economic links.

Does this smell like a real US-China trade deal is on the cards? And is this Australia’s Huawei momentMight Aussie exports to China suddenly run slap-bang into bureaucratic delays or boycotts? And should we add Australia to the list of nationalities that might want to rethink visits to China? But silly me: China is already holding one captive. Germany might be about to push the EU onto that China hit-list too, as it is apparently setting the following standard for Huawei to operate: “A guarantee its data will not be shared with Beijing”. So that’s nein then, nicht war

And while at least one Wall Street analyst had anticipated some form of retaliation, the ban apparently took Australian diplomatic officials by surprise. Here’s more from Reuters:

Five harbors overseen by Dalian customs – Dalian, Bayuquan, Panjin, Dandong and Beiliang – will not allow Australian coal to clear through customs, said the official. Coal imports from Russia and Indonesia will not be affected.

“I’m aware of unconfirmed and unsourced media reports and have asked our Ambassador in Beijing to urgently clarify their veracity,” said Australia’s Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham.

“We continue to engage closely with industry on matters of market access…China is a valued partner of Australia and we trust that our free trade agreement commitments to each other will continue to be honored.”

It would be hard to understate how big of a problem this is for Australia. The ramifications will be felt, not only by the country’s miners, but by the broader Australian economy, and as economist Robert Rennie notes, a ban would have a major impact on Australian exports as 22% of Australian coking coal exports  in 2018 went to China (39mt). 24% of Australian thermal coal exports  in 2018 went to China (49mt).

… which is why the Aussie, and shares of Australian miners, tumbled on the news…

… while the Chinese Yuan dropped as well, which prior to the report had hit a 7 month high.

Meanwhile, shares of Chinese coal miners climbed.

Which brings us to our next point. Aside from showing the international community what they stand to lose if they side with the US in the dispute over Huawei (the DOJ recently filed two criminal indictments against the company alleging both IP theft and sanctions violations, and the US has been pressing its allies to ban Huawei 5G network equipment over security concerns), Beijing may have an ulterior motive in cracking down on coal imports: Support domestic prices.

As Reuters adds, Beijing has been trying to restrict imports of coal more generally to support domestic prices. A Beijing-based coal trader said Dalian had cleared about 6 million tonnes of coal in January that had been delayed since late 2018 as China slowed customs clearance to curb imports.

The delayed cargoes would not be included in the 12 million tonnes under the 2019 quota, he added, citing customs information. Dalian handles both thermal and coking coal imports but the clamp down is expected to have a bigger impact on coking coal, used in steel making, than thermal coal, used to generate electricity.

Spot Australian coking coal at the northern Chinese port of Jingtang is 200 yuan ($29.85) cheaper per tonne than domestic prices, according to data tracked by Orient Futures. The price difference for thermal coal is about the same.

“It is hard to find a replacement for Australian coking coal since its sulfur content is very low,” said a purchasing manager at a large plant in Hebei province that produces coke, used in the steelmaking process, from coking coal. “Current inventory at ports should be sufficient to support usage for one or two months, but it could be a problem in the long term, especially if other ports also tighten imports,” he added.

So far, at least, the ban has apparently had the desired effect. Diplomats in Canberra don’t know what the hell is going on. The Aussie is sliding, as are shares of the country’s miners. Soon enough, we will probably hear from economists and maybe even the RBA for an analysis of what the impact might be on Australian GDP.

So will Australia capitulate on its decision to ban Huawei from building a 5G network in the country on national security grounds. Given Germany and the UK’s decisions to begrudgingly allow Huawei access following demands from their telecoms industries, and with the threat of losing one of its biggest trading partners, it at least has a convenient excuse.

END
Whenever these guys (Maersk) issues a warning, pay attention:  They state that the 2019 global economic outlooks is worse than last year
(courtesy zerohedge)

World’s Largest Shipping Company Warns 2019 Global Economic Outlook Is Worse Than 2018

Denmark’s shipping Maersk is the world’s largest shipping company, and it is thus safe to say that what it sees in terms of global trade is indicative of real trade conditions around the globe. Which is bad news, because in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Thursday, shortly after reported dismal earnings, CEO Soren Skou said the global economic outlook for this year is looking bleaker than in 2018, which is affecting his business.

Skou said other factors impacting Maersk include the rising oil price, which affects input costs, adding that he sees no good reason why the price of oil might drop.

The reason behind Skou’s pessimism is that trade tensions had led to a lot of front-loading of trade in 2018, and that effect is now disappearing, which means that the fallout of trade tensions will be far bigger this year, even as the balance between supply and demand in the industry is improving.

Earlier in the day, Maersk reported full year earnings, with the company’s forecast EBITDA for 2019 understandably, coming in weak, and in fact the guidance missed the lowest analyst estimate, and now sees 2019 EBITDA of only $4 billion, far below the consensus estimate of $4.77 billion (range $4.11 billion to $5.40 billion).

The historical data was mixed, with full year 2018 EBITDA printing at $3.81 billion, below the $3.83 billion expected, while revenue of $39 billion was slightly above the estimated $38.82 billion; meanwhile the company’s underlying profit was $220 million, also below the estimate of $291.1 million.

As a result, the company’s stock tumbled as much as 10%, before stabilizing down 8.6%. The drop was the biggest one-day plunge in Maersk stock since June 2016.

7  OIL ISSUES

end

8. EMERGING MARKETS

 

Venezuela

Our resident expert on the Deep State explains why Venezuela may be on the verge of becoming another Syria as Russia and China will enter the scene if the USA tries to give their version of “humanitarian aid…

(courtesy Brandon Smith)

Is Venezuela On The Verge Of Becoming Another Syria?

Submitted by Brandon Smith from AltMarket

Establishment elites have always had a predilection for regime change. Obviously, this strategy helps weed out nation states that might be uncooperative with their future plans for a fully centralized global economic and political order. We have also seen regime change occur when former puppet leaders go rogue and refuse to follow the script they have been given. Most of these men have acted as dictators and are not very empathetic public figures, so we rarely care when they get overthrown or murdered. That said, there are always wider implications to such events.

I believe the reasons for regime change and the destabilization of particular countries have evolved in recent years. In the past it was about bringing each countries under the new world order umbrella. Today, the goal seems to be an attempt to create points of global contention. That is to say, the elites want to draw much of the world into various forms of conflict, and they are using special regions of the globe as nexus points for these conflicts.

Syria was and still is one of those nexus points. The transmutation of Syria began as an extension of the Arab Spring. Western funded and organized coups in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt inspired even more extremism as well as a vast flow of black market military grade armaments. The CIA under the Obama Administration in particular took advantage of this chaos to fill training camps in Jordan with “moderate rebels”, the same rebels that would go on to launch ISIS and start a civil war in Syria.

While the billion dollar program to arm and supply Syrian rebel groups, many of which were closely tied to ISIS, was finally “officially ended” under the Trump administration in 2017, more covert US support continued for these groups as well support for Israeli incursions into sovereign Syrian air space.

Syria has had the potential to draw multiple nations into close and hostile proximity with each other, including the US, Russia, Israel and Iran. This was not a mistake, it was entirely deliberate.

I warned of the potential exploitation of Syria as a global point of contention for years before the actual insurgency took place because of the unique military alliances in the region. The only reason Syria has not yet been exploited to its full potential is because of the effective exposure of the conspiracy by the alternative media. The establishment push to use American troops to help ISIS extremists overthrow Bashar al-Assad presidency was thwarted. The mainstream media originally portrayed ISIS groups as courageous clean cut rebels fighting for freedom. This ended after the alternative media flooded the web with evidence of rebel led genocide and atrocities.

Had the American public and American troops been tricked into even deeper involvement in Syria as well as helping ISIS overthrow Assad, this could have potentially pushed us into direct confrontation with either Russia or Iran or both. We would be seen as the villains, supporting monsters as they commit war crimes in the name of an ideology many Americans despise.

Those unfamiliar with the concept of the False East/West Paradigm will probably be at a loss as to why the establishment would WANT to deliberately undermine America’s geopolitical or economic position. Once they understand that both China and Russia maintain close ties to the globalist framework, and that they represent false opposition to the “new world order”, the reality of the situation becomes more clear.

I recommend my article ‘In The New “Multipolar World” The Globalists Still Control All The Players’ for facts and evidence on this dynamic. The engineered destabilization of the US and parts of Europe and the rise of the East is intended to cause the removal of the current economic model of sovereign nations and currencies led by the US dollar as the world reserve. This would leave quite a void in the global economic structure, a void which the elites plan to fill with a new centralized one world currency system.

This system, to be managed by the IMF, has been openly supported by both the Chinese and Russian governments. The delusion that the East is somehow opposed to the NWO melts away when we examine their long time alliances to the banking cabal, as well as the IMF programs the East now champions. But how do the elites plan to get the masses to go along with such a historic and painful shift in global economic architecture?

In my view, the confrontations in regions of confluence like Syria are intended to lead to World War; not in the form of a nuclear war, but in the form of a full spectrum economic war and smaller regional wars. There is another nation beyond Syria that I have also been warning about for many years as a potential nexus, or what the elites might call a “linchpin”. That region is Venezuela.

In my article ‘How A Collapse In Venezuela Could Trigger Martial Law In the US’, published in May of 2016, I outlined how the socialist structure of Venezuela in particular was so unstable that the slightest push could cause the entire country to topple. Venezuela did indeed crash economically to the point that martial law is the only mainstay holding the system together.

I have also warned that a collapse in Venezuela could spread into surrounding countries, already weakened by fiscal uncertainty and debt. Such a collapse in South America rather strangely matches the scenario described in Operation Garden Plot and Rex 84, a secret Pentagon plan exposed during the Iran/Contra affair which would use mass migrations from South or Central America as a rationale to enforce martial law measures within the United States.

In recent months, however, the Trump Administration has added a new dimension to the problem. Expanding sanctions against Venezuela are adding fire to the flames of economic collapse. With an even more aggressive stance against Nicolas Madruro including possible military action, the prospect of a direct US led coup is now on the table.

One would think that if the US government wanted a breakdown in Venezuela, all they would have to do is sit back and wait as the socialist nation imploded under it’s own faulty economic policies. But apparently the country was not collapsing fast enough for the elites. My theory – the goal is to create another Syria, but this time much closer to US borders.

Venezuela has close ties to not only Russia, but also China. Venezuela’s military ties to Russia are well known. Their military is supplied to this day by Russia, and Russia has been very vocal in their opposition to any US military involvement in the region.

Both China and Russia continue to support Nicolas Madruro as the president of Venezuela in the face of opposition from assembly leader Juan Guaido. The US and a number of European nations support Guaido. The question is, how far will a confrontation in Venezuela go?

US involvement in South and Central America does not paint a pretty picture. Reagan era coups in countries like El Salvador in the name of stopping communism created not only civil war, but also the installation of more violent dictators and regimes (look up the White Hand death squads in El Salvador for the ugly details). Not coincidentally, we also saw the use of death squads and extremists in the destabilization of Syria.

I find it interesting that extreme leftists like Ilhan Omar are suddenly interested in exposing the underhanded nature of such tactics. They remain decidedly quiet on the same kind of subversion in Syria, and aggressively push for a continued American presence there. My suspicion is that this might be an establishment attempt to gain conservative support for a US led coup in Venezuela. Whatever their leftist puppets attack, we are supposed to defend, right?

But in this case, the Trump Administration is just as insidious as the leftists in its activities, and support for such a coup would be an affront to true conservative principles.

It should be noted that the arming and training of insurgents in Syria started out undercover. At the time it was labeled “humanitarian aid”. In Venezuela, the US is once again offering “aid” to the people of Venezuela and the opposition party, backed by a US military aircraft. The establishment is not generally very creative in their tactics; they simply use the same methods over and over again because historically they succeed more than they fail.

If this dynamic happens again in Venezuela, I predict immediate and aggressive economic response from Russia and China, including yet another excuse for China to dump its US Treasury Bond holdings and dollar reserves, effectively killing the dollar’s world reserve status. The US would be hit the hardest by this reset, and with the Trump Administration driven by globalist warmongers like John Bolton, there would be little sympathy from the rest of the world when the consequences land on our doorstep.

It should not be considered a coincidence that the situation with Venezuela is being accelerated at the same time as tensions between the US , China and Russia are hitting a crescendo. Add yet another regional conflict similar to Syria on top of the trade war, and the potential for a financial “World War III” is high. If allowed to play out uninterrupted, such an event provides even more cover for the “global reset” and the shift to a one world economic model.  Not only this, but a collapse epidemic in South America could lead to vast migrant caravans swarming to the southern US border far beyond what we have already seen.  As Operation Garden Plot outlines, this would inevitably be used as a rationale for martial law measures.

end

Not good: Protesters executed as they protest.

(courtesy zerohedge)

“Protesters Executed For Social Media Posts”: Amnesty Issues Scathing Venezuela Report

On Wednesday Amnesty International issued formal condemnation of the Venezuelan government for what it described as a pattern of shocking human rights abuses and state repression under President Nicolas Maduro, including the execution of several people, as well as using live fire to put down anti-Maduro protests, killing dozens according to Amnesty.

The respected international human rights monitoring body issued a report titled “Hunger, punishment and fear, the formula for repression in Venezuela,” which analyzed government repression during the height of recent unrest. Over 5 days, from Jan 21 to Jan 25, the report found that “dozens died… almost all from gunshot wounds” along with 900 arrests.

Further, in a move that seems straight out of the “Arab Spring” playbook, which resulted in direct as well as covert military intervention in places like Libya, Syria, and Yemen, Amnesty International didn’t just call on Caracas to cease its oppression, but called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to take action to address the “total impunity that prevails in Venezuela”. Specifically it urged that an independent investigative body be formed by the UN to spotlight human rights abuses in the Latin American country.

“The authorities under Nicolas Maduro are trying to use fear and punishment to impose a repulsive strategy of social control against those who demand change,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty. “His government is attacking the most impoverished people that it claims to defend, but instead it murders, detains and threatens them.”

Amnesty sent an information gathering team to investigate on the ground during the height of the protests, according to the report:

In just five days, at least 41 people died during these protests, all of them from gunshot wounds. More than 900 were arbitrarily detained, and just on 23 January (the day that demonstrations were held across the country), 770 arbitrary arrests were reported.

During a research mission in the states of Lara, Yaracuy, Vargas, and different locations in Caracas, from 31 January to 17 February, Amnesty International gathered more than 50 testimonies and documented 15 emblematic cases, including some of serious human rights violations and crimes under international law. The findings of this investigation will soon be fully expanded on in a public report.

And further the report documented “typical patterns” of state oppression:

The evidence gathered in these different locations shows typical patterns. These indicate that the state authorities carried out selective extrajudicial executions as a method of social control using the Bolivarian National Police (PNB), mainly through its Special Actions Force (FAES), against people who participated in some way in the protests. The more impoverished areas of Caracas and other parts of the country were particularly affected and stigmatized, registering the highest numbers of victims, who were later presented as “criminals” killed in clashes with the authorities.

In addition to repression by armed forces, the report found that especially in the most aid-dependent areas government repression tended to be carried out by pro-Maduro civilian gangs that weren’t part of the formal military structure.

In these deeply impoverished areas, the report found, “There is a strong presence of pro-Nicolás Maduro armed groups (commonly known as colectivos) in these areas, where residents depend to a large extent on the currently limited state programs to distribute staple foods.”

News From Amnesty

@NewsFromAmnesty

Venezuela crisis mission: Protesters executed for social media postshttps://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/venezuela-crisis-mission-protesters-executed-s

Venezuela crisis mission: Protesters executed for social media posts

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has imposed a ‘repulsive strategy of social control’ against his people Amnesty International said today

amnesty.org.uk

The report also detailed what it described extrajudicial executions as a method of social control, in some cases merely for making anti-Maduro social media posts that went viral:

Amnesty International documented six extrajudicial executions at the hands of the FAES in several locations across the country, all with a similar modus operandi. In each case, the victims were in some way linked to the protests that had been held in previous days and the criticism that several of them had made against Nicolás Maduro had gone viral on social networks.

The six victims were all young men whom authorities publicly described as having been killed in clashes with the FAES. This public security force tampered with the crime scenes and portrayed the victims as delinquents, saying that several of them had a criminal record, in an attempt to justify their deaths.

Based on this section of the report, Amnesty International UK headlined its press release with Venezuela crisis mission: Protesters executed for social media posts.

Amnesty UK

@AmnestyUK

The UN Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court must lead the fight.

Amnesty spokespersons have described the Nicolas Maduro government as painting all regime opponents as “criminals” that are “ravaging communities” in order to justify an uptick in deadly military and police raids in recent weeks.

One particularly heinous case involved a raid in the city of Carora, where Amnesty said police beat up 29-year old Luis Enrique Ramos Suarez in front of ten relatives before shooting him dead, after they staged a mock shoot out in order to claim self-defense and paint the man as a terrorist.

The timing of Amnesty’s report is interesting, considering it coincides with what appears to be the White House paving the way for some kind of potential US military intervention in favor of US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.

 

end

Maduro closes the Venezuelan border with Brazil:

(courtesy zerohedge)

Maduro Closes Border With Brazil To “Protect The People”

Venezuela’s embattled President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the border with Brazil to be closed in response to opposition leaders vowing to facilitate entry of foreign humanitarian aid, especially US aid shipments, from neighboring nations.

Maduro declared closure of the border during a state television address, in which he also said he’s considering shutting down Venezuela’s border with Colombia as well. The opposition, led by US-backed Juan Guaido, has said it plans to mount caravans to ensure aid is brought in from both Colombia and Brazil, in order to undermine and otherthrow the Maduro government.

Venezuelan Bolivarian Guardsmen stand guard at the Tienditas International Bridge that links Colombia and Venezuela, near Urena, Venezuela. Image source: AP/Washington Post

The drastic action is being taken tonight, Maduro said, in order to “protect the people” while further repeating his charge that American attempts to send aid into the country is a US-orchestrated “political show” in order to foment coup against his elected government.

National Assembly head Guaido, meanwhile, has personally vowed to lead a convoy to receive aid shipments from across the Colombian border. “On February 23, humanitarian aid will enter Venezuela one way or another,” the self-declared president said earlier this month.

The provocative move to undermine Maduro’s power has been acknowledged as just that by the opposition, who’ve recently openly stated that the “humanitarian channel” is a direct political jab at Caracas. Though the tons of much needed aid, including food and medicine supplies, is reportedly piling up along border points especially in Colombia, it’s anything but merely “benevolent” – the opposition acknowledges.

“The impact of the humanitarian aid is highly political,” Juan Miguel Matheus, an MP for the opposition told CNN this week. “Our first and primary goal is to provide relief for the Venezuelan population, but after that, with this move we want to checkmate Maduro.”

“If the aid gets in, Maduro is shown to have lost control of the situation; if it doesn’t get in, we show that Maduro doesn’t care for the suffering of the people,” he added.

Meanwhile Maduro has stationed troops along the Colombian border at sensitive areas and control points, while also vowing to defend against any unlawful incursions. This as American military planes have over the past days been coming and going, ostensibly with further humanitarian deliveries.

Should Maduro close both borders with Colombia and Brazil, however, it will isolate Venezuela further both economically and politically, which will likely increase both internal and external international pressures on the regime.

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

Euro/USA 1.1353 UP .0007 REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:///ITALIAN CHAOS /AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA RISING INTEREST RATES /FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES MIXED /TILTING RED

 

 

 

 

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 110.71  DOWN .041 (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 1.3064    UP   0.0021  (Brexit March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED

USA/CAN 1.3178 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 THURSDAY morning in Europe, the Euro ROSE by 7 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level RISING to 1.1353/ Last night Shanghai composite closed DOWN 9.42 POINTS OR 0.34%/

 

 

 

//Hang Sang CLOSED UP 115.87  POINTS OR 0.41% 

 

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP .63%  /EUROPEAN BOURSES MIXED/TILTING RED..

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NIKKEI: this THURSDAY morning CLOSED UP 32.74 POINTS OR 0.15% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED MIXED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang Sang CLOSED UP 115.87 POINTS OR 0.41%

 

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 9.42 POINTS OR 0.34% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP .63%

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED UP 32.74 POINTS OR 0.15%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE GREEN

Gold very early morning trading: 1335.90

silver:$15.93

Early THURSDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.67% !!! UP 1 IN POINTS from WEDNESDAY’S night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

 

The 30 yr bond yield 3.01 UP 1  IN BASIS POINTS from WEDNESDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

USA dollar index early THURSDAY morning: 96.47 UP 1 CENT(S) from  WEDNESDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers THURSDAY MORNING

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And now your closing THURSDAY NUMBERS \12: 00 PM

 

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.51% DOWN 1   in basis point(s) yield from WEDNESDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: -.04%  DOWN 1   BASIS POINTS from WEDNESDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

 

 

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.20% DOWN 0   IN basis point yield from WEDNESDAY

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.83 DOWN 3    POINTS in basis point yield from WEDNESDAY/

 

 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 163 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: RISES  TO +.13%   IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY//

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.70% AND NOW ABOVE THE  THE 3.00% LEVEL WHICH WILL IMPLODE THE ENTIRE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM. AT 4% SPREAD THERE WILL BE A MASSIVE BANK RUN…

 

END

IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR THURSDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1336 DOWN   .0011 or 11 basis points

 

 

USA/Japan: 110.73 DOWN  0.024 OR YEN UP 2 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3052 UP.0007( POUND UP 7  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar DOWN 60 basis points to 1.3193

 

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The USA/Yuan,CNY closed AT 6.7226    0N SHORE  (UP)

 

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  6.7254(  YUAN DOWN)

TURKISH LIRA:  5.3266

the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at -.04%

 

 

 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 3 IN basis points from WEDNESDAY at 2.69 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.04 UP 4  in basis points on the day /

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

Your closing USA dollar index, 96.56 UP 11 CENT(S) ON THE DAY/1.00 PM/

 

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

London: CLOSED DOWN  61.23 OR 0.85%

German Dax : UP 21.31 POINTS OR .19%

Paris Cac CLOSED UP 0.16 POINTS OR  0.00%

Spain IBEX CLOSED UP 10.10 POINTS OR  0.11%

Italian MIB: CLOSED DOWN 94.49 POINTS OR 0.47%

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 56.82 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 66.85 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   ROUBLE CROSS:    65.49  THE CROSS LOWER BY 0.16 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE HIGHER BY 16 BASIS PTS)

 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES  TO +.13 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 :  56.86

 

 

BRENT :  66.93

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: … 2.68.. bond market did not buy the FOMC

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.04

 

 

 

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1339 ( DOWN 7   BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:110.68 DOWN .069 (YEN UP 7   BASIS POINTS/..

 

.

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 96.61 UP 16 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA:1.037  DOWN 7 POINTS FROM YESTERDAY

the Turkish lira close: 5.3266

the Russian rouble 65.58   UP .08 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( UP 8 BASIS POINTS)

 

Canadian dollar:  1.3221 DOWN 49 BASIS pts

USA/CHINESE YUAN (CNY) :  6.7213  (ONSHORE)/CLOSED FOR THE WEEK

USA/CHINESE YUAN(CNH): 6.7159  (OFFSHORE)

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: ,0.13%

 

The Dow closed DOWN 103.01 POINTS OR 0.40%

 

NASDAQ closed DOWN 29.36 POINTS OR 0.39%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  14.66 CLOSED UP .64 

 

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.663%   BIG JUMP TODAY.

 

 

FROM 2.641

 

 

 

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

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

Stocks Slide As “Bad News Is Bad News” Again

After a seemingly endless series of trading days in which the market would spike higher as either the US or China would release some “trade deal optimism, today was a stark disappointment for the bulls because while the latest round of trade talks started in DC between the US and Chinese delegations, there were no “optimistic” leaks or Trump tweets. Instead, overnight in a surprising twist, reports hit that China had “indefinitely” banned Australian coal imports, a report which send AUD traders in for a rollercoaster of a day, stopping out both longs and short, with the currency first jumping on good economic data, then sliding on a bank’s forecast for an RBA rate cut, then tumbling on the China export halt, and sliding for the rest of the day.

The news also hit the Chinese Yuan, which first jumped to a seven month high against the dollar, only to sink subsequently, ending the day at the lows, while the Bloomberg dollar index predictably rose for much of the day, reversing all of yesterday’s losses.

It wasn’t just the latest developments in the trade war saga that hit investor sentiment: the latest economic data also hurt, with PMIs out of Japan, Germany and the Eurozone, all sliding into contraction territory…

… and while the US manufacturing PMI remained above 50, it printed at a fresh 17 month low today, sparking more fears about a manufacturing contraction.

The fears only rose after the Philadelphia Fed tumbled by the most since the August 2011 US sovereign rating downgrade…

… ominously led by the biggest drop in the New Orders index since the Lehman bankruptcy.

There was more bad economic news out of the US which saw core capex in the form of Capital Goods Orders non-def ex. Air unexpectedly declining for a third consecutive month, the longest stretch in the red since late 2015.

Meanwhile, the latest existing housing data also confirmed that the US economy is broadly slowing, with the first sub-5 million (annualized) housing print since 2015 as increasingly more potential homebuyers find themselves priced out of the market.

And with no “trade optimism” to fall back on, bad news was for once bad news, which meant that stocks sold off for much of the day, and after rising briefly into the green in the morning session, drifted lower in a subdued manner, with today’s best and worst sectors a mirror image of yesterday, as homebuilders were in the green while energy and tech in the red.

Meanwhile, Treasurys sold off across the curve as yields rose in a parallel curve shift.

And while there was little to write home about, precious metals which had posted impressive gains in recent days, tumbled today, with gold tumbling 1.1%, its biggest drop since early November.

So with earnings season almost done and no economic news tomorrow, can traders relax for a bit? Hardly: expect headlines from the ongoing US China trade talks to start leaking over the next few hours, while tomorrow’s barrage of Fed speakers virtually assures that the market will be talked higher come hell or high water:

  • 08:15 AM Atlanta Fed President Bostic (FOMC non-voter) speaks
  • 10:15 AM New York Fed President Williams (FOMC voter) and San Francisco Fed President Daly (FOMC non-voter) speak
  • 12:00 PM Fed Vice Chairman Clarida (FOMC voter) speaks
  • 12:30 PM New York Fed Executive Vice President Potter speaks
  • 01:30 PM Vice Chairman for Supervision Quarles (FOMC voter) speaks
  • 01:30 PM St. Louis Fed President Bullard (FOMC voter) speaks
  • 01:30 PM Philadelphia Fed President Harker (FOMC non-voter) speaks
  • 05:30 PM New York Fed President Williams (FOMC voter) speaks

end

MARKET TRADING

ii)Market data/

Durable goods rose less than expected at just 1.2% instead of 1.7% from Nov 1.2018.  The report is for two months and data continues to show the USA economy contracting

(courtesy zerohedge)

Business Spending Suffers Longest Contraction Since 2015

After no January Durable Goods report as the government was shut down one month ago, today we got a double whammy of a Durables report, with both November and December data, and as many had warned, it was disappointing, rising just 1.2%, below the 1.7% expectations, if up from 1.0% in November (revised up from 0.7%).

However, much of the upside was once again due to transportation orders, read Boeing defense and airplane spending. Indeed, new orders for nondefense aircraft and parts soared 28.4%, by far the biggest contributor of December spending. Ex airplanes, under the hood things were even uglier:

  • New orders ex-trans. rose 0.1% in Dec. after 0.2% fall
  • New orders ex-defense rose 1.8% in Dec. after being unchanged

Most importantly for those following the buyback vs capex debate, non-defense capital goods orders ex- aircraft, i.e. core capex spending, fell 0.7% in Dec. after falling 1.0% in Nov (revised lower from -0.7%).

This was the third consecutive month of declines, the longest stretch of contraction since late 2015 when China nearly dragged the entire world into a recession and only the early 2016 Shanghai accord saved the world from what would have been a certain contraction.

end

This is quite interesting:  soft data Philly Fed (Mfg) index drops big time, the largest drop since 2011 and it falls into the negative category  i.e. a drop to +17.0 to – 4.1.  The data continues to show that the USA economy is faltering badly.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Shocking Philly Fed Collapse: Biggest Drop Since 2011 US Rating Downgrade

Just in case US stocks needed some more shitty data to surge on, they got it this morning when first the Durable Goods report disappointed, printing below expectations while core CapEx declined for the 3rd consecutive month – its longest stretch below zero since late 2015 – and then the latest Philly Fed print was an absolute shocker, as the regional manufacturing Business Idnex collapsed from 17.0 to -4.1, the first negative and the lowest print since May 2016…

… and the biggest drop in point terms since the US downgrade in August 2011.

Both the new orders and shipments indexes also fell this month. The current new orders index decreased nearly 24 points to -2.4, and the current shipments index decreased 17 points to -5.3. In fact, the monthly drop in the New Orders index was the biggest since the Lehman bankruptcy.

In the latest sign that peak inflationary pressures have passed, price pressures originating from purchased inputs continued to abate the Philly Fed reported. The prices paid index tumbled 11 points to 21.8, and has been trending down since last July and is now at its lowest reading since July 2017. Over 28 percent of the firms reported higher input prices this month, down from 40 percent last month. With respect to prices received for firms’ own manufactured goods, almost 33 percent of the firms reported higher prices, and 5 percent reported lower prices. The prices received index increased 3 points to 27.7, which is good news for profit margins as the smaller the delta between prices paid and received, the more the company gets to pocket.

In employment news, firms continued to add to their payrolls this month, with the current employment index improved from a reading of 9.6 in January to 14.5 this month. Nearly 24 percent of the responding firms reported increases in employment, while 9 percent of the firms reported decreases in employment. The current workweek index also remained positive but decreased 1 point to a reading of 4.7. This bizarre divergence between economic sentiment and a very strong labor market continues to surprise and puzzle economists.

Finally, while the current reading collapsed, the outlook remained buoyant, and the survey’s indexes for future conditions were mostly steady, with firms remaining generally optimistic about growth over the next six months.

end

A biggy!~! USA manufacturing PMI tumbles to a 17 month low..continual numbers showing that the uSA is contracting.

(courtesy zerohedge)

US Manufacturing PMI Tumbles To 17 Month Low: Weather, Trade Cited

Following a dismal Philly Fed print and disappointing Durable Goods, moments ago the Markit Manufacturing PMI made it a trifecta of trouble, when the closely watched index printed at 53.7, down from 54.9, and missing expectations of 54.3. This was the lowest Manufacturing index print in 17 months, since Sept 2017, and indicates that the recent rebound in the Manufacturing ISM, which rose to 56.6 last month, won’t last.

The output index fell to to 53.7 from 55.7 in Jan (also the lowest reading since Sept. 2017) while New Orders also fell.

While the Service PMI posted a modest rebound from 54.2 to 56.2, the latest manufacturing survey signalled a loss of momentum across the manufacturing sector.  Anecdotal evidence from survey respondents cited a soft patch for client demand, partly linked to uncertainty across manufacturing supply chains and concerns about the global trade outlook. According to the report, there were also some reports that adverse weather conditions had disrupted production schedules in February.

Curiously, just like with the strong employment components in the Philly Fed, despite a slowdown in production and new order growth, the latest Markit data signalled another solid upturn in manufacturing employment. Moreover, input buying continued to rise at a relatively strong pace in February, which added to signs that manufacturers remain in expansion mode despite concerns about gathering storm clouds.

Meanwhile, and also like in the Philly Fed instance, input price inflation eased for the fourth month running and reached its lowest since August 2017. Survey respondents still noted that trade tariffs had pushed up the cost of imported materials, although there were some reports that prices charged by domestic steel producers had begun to moderate.

Commenting on the flash PMI data, Tim Moore, Associate Director at IHS Markit said: “The main worrying development was the loss of momentum reported by manufacturing companies in February. Businesses that experienced a soft patch for production cited a range of factors holding back growth, including adverse weather, worries about the global economic outlook and ongoing international supply chain uncertainty.

The silver lining: at least the US isn’t Europe or Asia. “Nonetheless, relatively strong domestic business conditions mean that US manufacturers remain on a much more positive trajectory than the recent downbeat production trends signalled by IHS Markit’s Manufacturing PMI surveys across Europe and Asia.”

end
JPMorgan now estimates first quarter GDP 2019 at only 1.5%
(JPMorgan/Reuters)

J.P. Morgan pares U.S. Q1 GDP growth view to 1.5 pct

NEW YORK, Feb 21 (Reuters) – J.P. Morgan on Thursday lowered its tracking estimate on U.S. economic growth in the first quarter as durable goods orders rose less than forecast in December with core capital orders posting a surprise drop.

U.S. gross domestic product likely grew at a 1.50 percent annualized pace in the first three months of the year based on the latest durable goods data, slower than an earlier calculated rate of 1.75 percent, J.P. Morgan economist Michael Feroli wrote in a research note.

J.P. Morgan also reduced its estimate on gross domestic product in the final quarter of 2018 to 1.4 percent from an earlier estimate of 1.6 percent.

Despite the GDP downgrades for previous and current quarters, Feroli said he expects economic growth to rebound to 2.25 percent in the second quarter on a likely pickup in consumer and government spending.

“We continue to see modestly better times ahead,” Feroli wrote. “Much of this (is) from the normalization of consumer and government spending from, respectively, the shocks of the December retail sales report and the federal government shutdown.”

-END-

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

As we have pointed out to you on several occasions: the real reason for the trade war with China is technology and the USA is far behind the Chinese telecom giants

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump: “I Want 5G, Or Even 6G, Tech In The US As Soon As Possible”

President Trump has finally hit upon the real issue at the center of the US government’s battle with Huawei: It’s all about the technology. To wit, one reason why US allies and the UK and Germany have been so hesitant to cut ties with the Chinese telecoms giant is that, as its founder pointed out in a recent interview with Western media, there is no real alternative. US telecoms like Verizon still lag their Chinese rivals when it comes to 5G.

So, in a series of tweets sent Thursday morning, President Trump exclaimed that “I want 5G, and even 6G technology in the United States as soon as possible” and demanded that “American companies must step up their efforts.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on………

And in what sounded like a concession to Huawei (and a tacit acknowledgement of the real motives behind the US’s anti-Huawei campaign), Trump said he would like US companies to “win through competition”…implying that this isn’t the case presently.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….something that is so obviously the future. I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies. We must always be the leader in everything we do, especially when it comes to the very exciting world of technology!

Now, will Beijing appreciate this burst of honesty? Or, more importantly, will the outburst help inspire US allies like Australia and New Zealand – allies who are feeling the brunt of Beijing’s wrath over their decision to side with the US – to change their minds?

 

end

And today, senior level talks begin in Washington and technology is the key stumbling block

(courtesy zerohedge)

Senior-Level Trade Talks Begin In Washington As Deal Deadline Looms

As investors watch with baited breath to see whether a deal to extend a trade-talk deadline can be struck, Bloomberg reported Thursday that Vice Premier Liu He has arrived at the White House campus to meet with Robert Lighthizer and Steven Mnuchin – and that, beginning with a breakfast in the Indian Treaty Room in the EEOB, the latest round of cabinet-level talks have finally gotten underway.

Jennifer Jacobs

@JenniferJJacobs

Trump officials and China’s Vice Premier Liu He are meeting on White House campus today for last-ditch trade talks.

Breakfast in the Indian Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

So far, at least, US officials are refusing to comment on the possibility of an extension to the March 1 “hard” deadline, though the White House has reportedly been considering a 60-day delay to give time to meet with President Xi.

Jennifer Jacobs

@JenniferJJacobs

I asked Mnuchin and Lighthizer when they will announce an extension for the China tariffs. No answer.

Over the past week, leaks from people “close to the talks” have indicated that the two sides are working on up to six memorandums of understanding, while the US seeks reassurances that Beijing will keep the yuan “stable”. The US’s insistence that Beijing adopt structural economic reforms and end the forced transfers of US companies’ IP has met with resistance from Beijing, while Beijing has reportedly promised to buy an additional $30 billion in US agricultural products to help shrink the US-China trade deficit, which would hand Trump a concrete “win”. Trump will reportedly meet with Liu on Friday.

end

Existing home sales in freefall as obviously new buyers cannot afford to purchase a home

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

US Housing Market In Freefall As New Buyers Can’t Afford A Home

After NAHB’s optimism rebounded sharply earlier this week, all eyes are on this morning’s existing home sales data for any signs of optimism. Alas, with consensus expecting a tiny rebounding in January following December’s sharp drop, the deterioration in the US home market continued continued, and January existing home unexpectedly dropped 1.2% (exp. +0.2%), to 4.94 million, missing expectations of a rebound to 5.00 million.

After December’s revision higher to 5.00 million, the January SAAR of 4.94 million was the first sub-5MM print since 2015, while the parallel pending home sales series confirms even more weakness is in store.

Needless to say, it is very troubling that Americans are unable to afford home purchases with the 30% mortgage at just 4.5%, and suggests that even if inflation picks up, the Fed may have no choice but to keep rates flat to avoid a housing market crash.

As usual, NAR chief economist Larry Yun was optimistic, saying that he does not expect the numbers to decline further going forward. “Existing home sales in January were weak compared to historical norms; however, they are likely to have reached a cyclical low. Moderating home prices combined with gains in household income will boost housing affordability, bringing more buyers to the market in the coming months.”

One wonders what “gains in household income” he is talking about.

Meanwhile, properties are failing to sell as the slowdown spreads: Properties remained on the market for an average of 49 days in January, up from 46 days in December and 42 days a year ago. Thirty-eight percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month.

Still, despite the ongoing slowdown, or perhaps adding to it, the median existing-home price rose once again, hitting $247,500, up 2.8% from January 2018 ($240,800). January’s price increase marks the 83rd straight month of year-over-year gains.

Even so, Yun noted that this median home price growth was the slowest since February 2012, and is cautions that the figures do not yet tell the full story for the month of January. “Lower mortgage rates from December 2018 had little impact on January sales, however, the lower rates will inevitably lead to more home sales.”

Regional breakdown:

  • January existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 2.9 percent to an annual rate of 700,000, 1.4 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $270,000, which is up 0.4 percent from January 2018.
  • the Midwest, existing-home sales fell 2.5 percent from last month to an annual rate of 1.16 million in January, down 7.9 percent overall from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $189,700, which is up 1.4 percent from last year.
  • Existing-home sales in the South dropped 1.0 percent to an annual rate of 2.08 million in January, down 8.4 percent from last year. The median price in the South was $214,800, up 2.5 percent from a year ago.
  • Existing-home sales in the West dipped 2.9 percent to an annual rate of 1.00 million in January, 13.8 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $374,600, up 2.9 percent from January 2018.

While total inventory grew for the sixth straight month, Yun says the market is still suffering from an inventory shortage. “In particular, the lower end of the market is experiencing a greater shortage, and more home construction is needed,” says Yun.

“Taking steps to lower construction costs would be a tremendous help. Local zoning ordinances should also be reformed, while the housing permitting process must be expedited; these simple acts would immediately increase homeownership opportunities and boost local economies.”

With existing-home sales accounting for about 90% of U.S. housing, it would seem Jay Powell’s dovish tilt just got more support, but at what point does bad news flip to being ‘bad news’ as growth hopes get hammered.

 end

SWAMP STORIES

Smollet charged with felony after falsely reporting a hate crime

(courtesy zerohedge)

Jussie Smollett Charged With Felony After Falsely Reporting “Hate Crime”

Days after media leaks exposed him for allegedly faking a highly publicized hate crime that he said was explicitly carried out by Trump supporters near his apartment in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, Empire actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false report and disorderly conduct.

The charge came just hours after police confirmed that Smollett was a suspect in a criminal investigation, and that they were looking into whether Smollett may have paid two brothers who were initially questioned in the attack to fake the crime.

According to the Chicago Tribune, attorneys for Smollett met with prosecutors on Wednesday before the charges were announced.

Attorneys for Smollett, 36, met with prosecutors and detectives Wednesday but it was unclear if the actor was present, according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. The lawyers, Todd Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, could not be reached for comment. They have been joined by high-profile, Los Angeles-based lawyer Mark Geragos who has represented numerous celebrities, including pop star Michael Jackson, R&B singer Chris Brown and actress Winona Ryder.

And the Cook County States Attorney has already recused herself from the case out of what she said was an “abundance of caution.”

Earlier Wednesday, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced she had recused herself from the case last week “out of an abundance of caution” because she spoke to one of Smollett’s relatives after the alleged attack and acted as a go-between with police, one of Foxx’s aides told the Tribune. “State’s Attorney Foxx had conversations with a family member of Jussie Smollett about the incident and their concerns, and facilitated a connection to the Chicago Police Department who were investigating the incident,” said Robert Foley, a senior adviser to Foxx. “Based on those prior conversations and out of an abundance of caution, last week State’s Attorney Foxx decided to remove herself from the decision-making,” he said.

Shortly before news of the charges broke, this footage leaked to the media showing the two Nigerian-American brothers whom Smollett allegedly paid $3,500 to carry out the “attack” buying a red hat and masks.

Andy Ngo

@MrAndyNgo

Video leaked to media shows the Nigerian-American brothers buying a red hat & masks. Sources tell CBS Smollett paid them $3500 to fake the attack & they rehearsed it. Meanwhile @EmpireFOX says Smollett is still part of the set & show. https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/02/20/jussie-smollett-video-shows-brothers-red-hat-ski-mask/ 

Video Shows Brothers Linked To Jussie Smollett Attack Buying Items Allegedly Worn In Assault

CBS 2 has obtained video of two men linked to the attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett buying a red hat and ski masks from an Uptown store the day before the assault.

According to media reports, Smollett is also suspected of sending a threatening letter to himself which was delivered on the set of his show, Empire, though police have said they’re still looking into the issue. For what its worth, Fox, the network on which ‘Empire’ airs, has expressed its full support for Smollett and denied reports that his role on the show was being diminished.

Many powerful liberals and Democrats – including Nancy Pelosi – who decried the attack against Smollett and used it as a platform to label all Trump supporters as racists have already deleted their tweets.

For those who haven’t, well, this would probably be a good time.

 

end

McCabe Slammed By FBI Coworker For Discussing Classified Briefing

Former FBI deputy general counsel Greg Bower slammed former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for revealing the details of a classified briefing during which the Gang of Eight was notified of an investigation into President Trump, reports theDaily Caller‘s Chuck Ross.

“I’ve been a little surprised at how much he’s saying about the ongoing investigation, about the Gang of Eight briefing he has described,” Bower told CNN on Wednesday, adding “He’s clearly trying to sell a book, and he’s on a book tour.”

Embedded video

CNN Newsroom

@CNNnewsroom

Fmr. FBI Deputy General Counsel, Greg Brower, says he’s “surprised that Andy McCabe is going as far as he is in talking about what we all know to be an ongoing investigation.”

“He’s clearly trying to sell a book and he’s on a book tour.” http://cnn.it/2U1mjGo

McCabe, who says he opened the investigation into whether Trump was acting as a Russian Agent, claimed that none of the Republican members of the Gang of Eight pushed back on the DOJ’s counterintelligence investigation.

Bower – who had daily contact with McCabe, said he isn’t surprised that the Gang of Eight allowed the investigation to proceed.

“I’m not sure it’s all that interesting, to be honest with you,” said Bower. “I’ve been in many Gang of Eight briefings, they are very sober affairs. Questions are asked sometimes, but the senators and House members are, for a change, are more in ‘listen mode’ more than anything else.”

McCabe came under fire earlier this week after it emerged that he may have been part of a discussion to wire tap President Trump and try to remove him from office under the 25th Amendment.

In a Sunday night “60 Minutes” interview, McCabe said that Rosenstein was concerned about Trump’s “capacity.”

According to McCabe, Rosenstein “raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort,” adding that Rosenstein was “definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity and about his intent at that point in time.”

“Rosenstein was actually openly talking about whether there was a majority of the cabinet who would vote to remove the president?” asks CBS News anchor Scott Pelly, to which McCabe replied: “That’s correct. Counting votes or possible votes.

The New York Times first reported last year that McCabe alleged in memos that Rosenstein had talked about using the 25th Amendment to oust Trump — or wearing a wire to surreptitiously monitor the president — in the hectic days in May 2017 after Trump fired James B. Comey as FBI director. At the time, Rosenstein disputed the reporting. –WaPo

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the 25th Amendment scheme a “bureaucratic coup” led by enemies of President Trump. On Sunday morning, Graham said he would subpoena McCabe and Rosenstein “if that’s what it takes” to get to the bottom of the 25th Amendment claim

 

.@LindseyGrahamSC says he’ll subpoena Fmr. Acting FBI Dir. McCabe & DAG Rod Rosenstein if “that’s what it takes” to get them to testify regarding McCabe’s claim that Rosenstein brought up the 25th amendment.

The DOJ issued a statement last thursday rejecting McCabe’s comments, while McCabe walked back some of the statements he made on “60 Minutes.”

On Friday a spokeswoman for the former Deputy Director said: “Certain statements made by Mr. McCabe, in interviews associated with the release of his book, have been taken out of context and misrepresented,” adding “To clarify, at no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions.”

end

the FBI admits to infiltrating the Trump campaign and the fellow who actually started the hoax Russian collusion scandal was Stefan Halper.  The FBI does not like us to use the term spying.. he was just an informant…

(courtesy zerohedge)

FBI Official Admits To Infiltrating Trump Campaign – Just Don’t Call It Spying

A top FBI official admitted to Congressional investigators last year that the agency had contacts within the Trump campaign as part of operation “Crossfire Hurricane,” which sounds a lot like FBI “informant” Stefan Halper – a former Oxford University professor who was paid over $1 million by the Obama Department of Defense between 2012 and 2018, with nearly half of it surrounding the 2016 US election.

According to portions of transcripts published on Tuesday by the Epoch Times of a Aug. 31, 2018 deposition by Trisha Anderson, the FBI relied on sources who “already had campaign contacts” in order to surveil the Trump team.

“To my knowledge, the FBI did not place anybody within a campaign but, rather, relied upon its network of sources, some of whom already had campaign contacts, including the source that has been discussed in the media at some length beyond Christopher Steele,” said Anderson – who was the #2 attorney at the FBI’s Office of General Counsel, and had extensive involvement with the Trump counterintelligence investigation.

Halper is reportedly a longtime CIA and FBI informant, and has been involved in US politics at the highest levels for decades, becoming George H.W. Bush’s National Director for Policy Development during his presidential campaign. After Bush lost to Reagan, Halper worked as Reagan’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State – where he served under three different Secretaries.

 

He then became a senior advisor to the Department of Defense and DOJ between 1984 and 2001. Halper’s former father-in-law was Ray Cline, former Deputy Director of the CIA. He also allegedly spied on the Carter administration – collecting information on foreign policy (an account disputed by Ray Cline).

The_War_Economy@The_War_Economy

Apparently while working on H. W. Bush’s Presidential campaign, a member of Halper’s research staff was Robert Gambino, a veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency.https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pqevDQAAQBAJ&pg=PT183&lpg=PT183&dq=ray+cline+stefan+halper&source=bl&ots=-s6iYgH4r5&sig=hsr9mKK7ehVvu_cvmV0EnlmJaRs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiUno-mpYraAhWDsaQKHTekBQYQ6AEIVDAK#v=onepage&q=ray%20cline%20stefan%20halper&f=false 

View image on Twitter

The_War_Economy@The_War_Economy

Stefan Halper was indeed married to Ray Cline’s daughter, Sibyl Cline, now known as Sibyl MacKenzie.https://www.nytimes.com/1996/03/16/us/ray-s-cline-chief-cia-analyst-is-dead-at-77.html https://www.whitepages.com/name/Sibyl-Mackenzie  pic.twitter.com/n2IuDC9FId

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
20 people are talking about this

The_War_Economy@The_War_Economy

Apparently Halper and his team of Central Intelligence Agency people during the Reagan / Bush ticket actually collected inside information on the Carter Administration’s foreign policy – with Halper in charge – although Ray Cline rejected this account.https://www.nytimes.com/1983/07/07/us/reagan-aides-describe-operation-to-gather-inside-data-on-carter.html 

Halper’s involvement in surveilling the Trump campaign was exposed by the Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross, who reported that the 74-year-old spook was enlisted by the FBI to befriend and spy on three members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election.

Halper received a DoD contract from the Obama administration for $411,575 – made in two payments, and had a start date of September 26, 2016 – three days after a September 23 Yahoo! News article by Michael Isikoff about Trump aide Carter Page, which used information fed to Isikoff by “pissgate” dossier creator Christopher Steele. The FBI would use the Yahoo! article along with the unverified “pissgate” dossier as supporting evidence in an FISA warrant application for Page.

Halper approached Page during an election-themed conference at Cambridge on July 11, 2016, six weeks after the September 26 DoD award start date. The two would stay in contact for the next 14 months, frequently meeting and exchanging emails.

He said that he first encountered the informant during a conference in mid-July of 2016 and that they stayed in touch. The two later met several times in the Washington area. Mr. Page said their interactions were benign. –New York Times

And as the Daily Caller reports, Halper used a decades-old association with Paul Manafort to break the ice with Page.

In September 2016, the FBI would send Halper to further probe Trump aide George Papadopoulos on an allegation he made that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. According to Papadopoulos in an interview with Dan Bongino, Halper angrily accused him of working with Russia before storming out of a meeting.

Halper essentially began interrogating Papadopoulos, saying that it’s “obviously in your interest to be working with the Russians” and to “hack emails.” “You’re complicit with Russia in this, isn’t that right George” Halper told him. Halper also inquired about Hillary’s hacked emails, insinuating that Papadopoulos possessed them. Papadopoulos denied knowing anything about this and asked to be left alone. –Bongino.com

Just don’t call Halper a spy…

end
Roger Stone is gagged by the Obama appointed judge after he threatened her with a “death threat”.  He was very lucky
(courtesy zerohedge)

Stone Gagged Again As Judge Threatens Jail During ‘Death Threat’ Court Hearing

Former Trump adviser Roger Stone was given an epic slap on the wrist by a D.C. judge on Thursday after Judge Amy Berman Jackson slapped him with another gag order following an Instagram ‘death threat’ levied at the Judge.

Stone posted a photo to Instagram featuring Berman Jackson with a crosshair next to her head, for which he was ordered to explain himself in court on Thursday.

Apologizing for violating her previous gag order, Stone said on Thursday: “I abused the order for which I’m heartfully sorry,” adding “I’m kicking myself over my own stupidity but not more than my wife is kicking me.”

Darren Samuelsohn

@dsamuelsohn

Stone: “I am kicking myself over my own stupidity but not more than my wife is kicking me.”

241 people are talking about this

Darren Samuelsohn

@dsamuelsohn

Stone: “I recognize that I let the court down. I let you down. I let myself down. I let my family down. I let my attorneys down. I can only say I’m sorry. it was a momentary lapse in judgement. Perhaps I talk too much.”

291 people are talking about this

Stone then blamed one of his five volunteers for downloading the image he posted.

Darren Samuelsohn

@dsamuelsohn

Stone says he’s asked his volunteers who was it who got the at-issue image. “Nobody will own up to it,” he says.

63 people are talking about this

Mr. Stone, I’m not giving you another chance. I have serious doubts about whether you’ve learned any lesson at all,” said Berman Jackson, who added that she wasn’t buying Stone’s apology – and would throw him in jail if he violates the new gag order.

Darren Samuelsohn

@dsamuelsohn

Judge Jackson not taking Stone’s apology. Says it looks like it came from his lawyers: “So thank you, but the apology rings quite hollow.”

144 people are talking about this

Darren Samuelsohn

@dsamuelsohn

Judge Jackson in backing up the gag order, which limits Stone from speaking at all about the case: “So no, Mr. Stone I’m not giving you another chance. I have serious doubts about whether you’ve learned any lesson at all.”

83 people are talking about this

Darren Samuelsohn

@dsamuelsohn

Judge Jackson says any more mess ups and Stone may be sent to jail. “I want to be clear today. I gave you a second chance. But this is not baseball. There will not be a third chance.”

144 people are talking about this

In short, much ado about nothing.

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

New US tariffs on Chinese goods will be ‘catastrophic’ for global stocks: China media

A Chinese state-run newspaper claimed in an editorial published late Tuesday that the U.S. faces greater pressure to resolve its ongoing trade war with China because failed negotiations would likely have major consequences for stocks worldwide

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/20/any-new-us-tariffs-catastrophic-for-stocks-china-state-media.html

John Solomon: The family secret Bruce Ohr told Rod Rosenstein about Russia case

“She (Nellie Ohr) provided me with a memory stick that included research she had done for Fusion GPS on various Russian figures,” Ohr told congressional investigators.

     “And the reason she provided that information to me is, my understanding was, it related to some of the same — it related to the FBI’s Russia investigation. And she gave me that stick to give to the FBI.”

      Ohr’s revelation about his wife adds yet another example of people connected to the Clinton machine flooding the FBI with anti-Trump Russia research during the 2016 election

https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/430717-the-family-secret-bruce-ohr-told-rod-rosenstein-about-russia-case#.XG15-tOe1_E.twitter

 

Ex-fed prosecutor: @SidneyPowell1: What if Nellie Ohr and FusionGPS actually wrote Steele Dossier from the illegal access Comey deliberately gave them to NSA data & about queries? Imagine that! Clinton DNC “oppo research” via NSA database

 

CNN reported yesterday that Mueller’s report might be finalized next week.  Barr will review it.

 

Mueller report may be ‘anti-climactic,’ says ex-intelligence director [Clapper would have known!]

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Wednesday that he’s far from sure that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will clear up questions about President Trump and Russia… “The strange thing I think that has bothered a lot of people both in and out of the intelligence community is this strange personal deference to Putin by the president. I’ve speculated in the past that the way Putin behaves is to treat President Trump as an asset,” Clapper said Wednesday…

https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/430720-former-director-of-national-intelligence-mueller-report-may-be-anti

 

No US president was more deferential to a Russian despot than FDR was to his buddy Uncle Joe Stalin.

 

No US intel chief had taken a TV gig until Clapper; and no ex-intel chief had bashed a president like Clapper.  Will Clapper soon have to address perjury and unlawful unmasking charges?

 

Chase Bank Suspends Conservative Jewish Activist Laura Loomer from Her Online Banking Account – after Laura attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar on her own record and beliefs…

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/02/now-this-chase-bank-suspends-conservative-jewish-activist-laura-loomer-from-her-online-banking-account/

 

WaPo: Supreme Court, in unanimous ruling, moves to limit state and local governments’ power to impose fines and seize property [A needed rebuke of police-state tactics that had proliferated in the US]

     The court on Wednesday ruled in favor of Tyson Timbs of Marion, Ind., whose $42,000 Land Rover SUV was seized after his arrest for selling a couple hundred dollars’ worth of heroin. Timbs drew wide support from civil liberties organizations that want to limit civil forfeitures, which they say empower localities and law enforcement to seize property of someone suspected of a crime as a revenue stream…

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2019/02/20/supreme-court-in-unanimous-ruling-moves-to-limit-state-and-local-governments-power-to-impose-fines-and-seize-property/

 

Once again, ex-FBI #2 McCabe is trying to walk back a previous comment.

 

@tomselliott: McCabe on 60 Minutes: Rosenstein was “counting votes or possible votes” on using the 25th Amendment.  McCabe today on if Rosenstein was counting votes: “Not that I’m aware of.”

 

Chicago Tribune’s top columnist @John_Kass: The one-year-old in Chicago isn’t a star like #JussieSmollett. 2 dozen detectives weren’t assigned to his case. The Democratic left & media handmaidens didn’t bend his narrative.  He’s just a little boy from Chicago, shot in the head.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/ct-met-jussie-smollett-kass-20190219-story.html

-END-

I WILL SEE YOU FRIDAY NIGHT
HARVEY

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