FEB 22/GOLD UP $5.15 TO $1330.60//SILVER UP 7 CENTS TO $15.96//4 CONSECUTIVE MASSIVE QUEUE JUMPING AT THE GOLD COMEX AS BANKERS DESPERATE TO OBTAIN PHYSICAL GOLD//AT THE COMEX: 36 TONNES OF GOLD STANDING AND ONLY 21 TONNES REGISTERED//THE KRAFT NAME HAD A BAD HAIR DAY TODAY: KRAFT FOODS DOWN 25% AS A SUBPOENA WAS ISSUED AGAINST THE FIRM AND ROBERT KRAFT ARRESTED FOR SOLICITING PROSTITUTES// A MUST READ KIM STRASSEL ON PHASE II OF THE RUSSIAN PROBE//

 

 

 

GOLD: $1330.60 UP $5.15 (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Silver:   $15.96 UP 7 CENTS (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Closing access prices:

Gold :  1328.30

 

silver: $15.92

 

 

 

 

The comex options expire on Monday and the London/LBMA expires on Thursday, the 28th of February..

Expect extreme volatility until first day notice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For comex gold and silver:

FEBRUARY

 

 

 

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR  FEB CONTRACT: 830 NOTICE(S) FOR 83000 OZ (2.5866 tonnes)

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  11,296 NOTICES FOR 1,129,600 OZ  (35.135 TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR FEBRUARY

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

3 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR 15,000  OZ/

 

total number of notices filed so far this month: 570 for 2,850,000

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: OPENING MORNING TRADE $3964:UP $25

 

Bitcoin: FINAL EVENING TRADE: $3963  UP 27

 

end

 

XXXX

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

today 708/830

EXCHANGE: COMEX
CONTRACT: FEBRUARY 2019 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,323.500000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 02/21/2019 DELIVERY DATE: 02/25/2019
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED
____________________________________________________________________________________________
555 H BNP PARIBAS SEC 11
657 C MORGAN STANLEY 21
661 C JP MORGAN 681
661 H JP MORGAN 27
690 C ABN AMRO 2
737 C ADVANTAGE 18 109
800 C MAREX SPEC 3 11
880 H CITIGROUP 740
905 C ADM 35 2
____________________________________________________________________________________________

TOTAL: 830 830
MONTH TO DATE: 11,296

 

 

Let us have a look at the data for today

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In silver, the total OPEN INTEREST FELL BY A HUMONGOUS SIZED 4542 CONTRACTS FROM 225,889 DOWN TO 221,347 WITH YESTERDAY’S 37 CENT LOSS 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:

2260 EFP’S FOR MARCH,  0 FOR APRIL, 0 FOR MAY, 0 FOR DECEMBER AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE: OF 2644 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 2260 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 2260 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 11.30 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 37 CENT LOSS IN SILVER PRICE AT THE COMEX AND

2. THE STRONG AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES WHICH STOOD FOR DELIVERY IN THE LAST NINE 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 2.855 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: 24,692 CONTRACTS (FOR 15 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 24,692 CONTRACTS) OR 123.46 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 1646 CONTRACTS OR 8.230 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF FEB:  123.46 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 17.63% 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:          331.985    MILLION OZ. (CORRECTED)

JANUARY 2019 EFP TOTALS:                                                      217.455. MILLION OZ.

 

 

RESULT: WE HAD A HUMONGOUS SIZED DECREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 4542 WITH THE 37 CENT LOSS IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX //YESTERDAY..THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD  STRONG SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 2260 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 LOST A CONSIDERABLE SIZED: 2282 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

i.e 2260 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH DECREASE OF 4542 OI COMEX CONTRACTSAND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 37 CENT LOSS IN PRICE OF SILVER  AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $15.83 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. 1.106 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: 3 NOTICE(S) FOR 15,000 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:  2.855 MILLION OZ/
  2. HUGE RECORD OPEN INTEREST IN SILVER 243,411 CONTRACTS (OR 1.217 BILLION OZ/ SET APRIL 9/2018) AND NOW AUGUST 22/2018:  244,196 CONTRACTS,  WITH A SILVER PRICE OF $14.78.
  3. HUGE ANNUAL EFP’S ISSUANCE EQUAL TO 2.9 BILLION OZ OR 400% OF SILVER ANNUAL PRODUCTION/2017
  4. RECORD SETTING EFP ISSUANCE FOR ANY MONTH IN SILVER; APRIL/2018/ 385.75 MILLION OZ/  AND THE SECOND HIGHEST RECORDED EFP ISSUANCE JUNE 2018 345.43 MILLION OZ

AND YET, WITH THE EXTREMELY HIGH EFP ISSUANCE, WE HAVE A CONTINUAL LOW PRICE OF SILVER DESPITE THE ABOVE HUGE DEMAND.  TO ME THE ONLY ANSWER IS THAT WE HAVE SOVEREIGN  (CHINA) WHO IS ENDEAVOURING TO GOBBLE UP ALL AVAILABLE PHYSICAL SILVER NO MATTER WHERE, EXACTLY WHAT J.P.MORGAN IS DOING. AND IT IS MY BELIEF THAT J.P.MORGAN IS HOLDING ITS SILVER FOR ITS BENEFICIAL OWNER..THE USA GOVERNMENT WHO IN TURN IS HOLDING THAT SILVER FOR CHINA.(FOR A SILVER LOAN REPAYMENT).

 

IN GOLD, THE OPEN INTEREST FELL BY A STRONG SIZED 6221 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 504,332 WITH THE FALL IN THE COMEX GOLD PRICE/(A LOSS IN PRICE OF $19.50//YESTERDAY’S TRADING).

 

 

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A  STRONG  SIZED 6559 CONTRACTS:

 

MARCH HAD AN ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTACTS  APRIL 6559 CONTRACTS,JUNE: 0 CONTRACTS DECEMBER: 0 CONTRACTS AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 505,070. 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 CONSIDERABLE SIZED GAIN IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 338 CONTRACTS: 6221 OI CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND 6559 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN: 338 CONTRACTS OR 107,600 OZ = 3.3468 TONNES. AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND OCCURRED DESPITE A NASTY FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD/ YESTERDAY TO THE TUNE OF $19.50.

 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 6689 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY : 89,348 CONTRACTS OR 8,934,800 OZ  OR 277.90 TONNES (15 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 5,956 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE STRONG SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 15 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 277.90 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 277.90/2550 x 100% TONNES = 10.89% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN DECEMBER ALONE.***

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2019 TO DATE:     798,03  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 DECREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 6221 WITH THE LOSS IN PRICING ($19.50) THAT GOLD UNDERTOOK YESTERDAY) //.WE ALSO HAD A STRONG SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 6559 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 6559 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE SURPRISINGLY HAD A GOOD 1076 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

6559 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 6221 CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX. (IN TONNES, THE GAIN IN TOTAL OI EQUATES TO 1.05 TONNES). ..AND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND OCCURRED WITH THE LOSS OF $19.50 IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING AT THE COMEX

 

 

we had:  830 notice(s) filed upon for 83000 oz of gold at the comex.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

GLD...

 

WITH GOLD UP $5.15 TODAY

A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 4.99 TONNES OF PAPER GOLD AND THIS WAS USED IN THE WHACKING OF GOLD YESTERDAY/TODAY.

 

 

 

/GLD INVENTORY   789.51 TONNES

Inventory rests tonight: 789.51 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 UP 7 CENTS  IN PRICE  TODAY:

 

NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV..///

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 FELL BY A HUMONGOUS SIZED 4542 CONTRACTS from 225,889 DOWN TO 221,347 AND FURTHER FROM 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:

 

2260 CONTRACTS FOR MARCH. 0 CONTRACTS FOR APRIL., 0 FOR DECEMBER AND  AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 2260 CONTRACTS. EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON.  IF WE TAKE THE  OI LOSS AT THE COMEX OF 4542 CONTRACTS TO THE 2260 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE OBTAIN A LOSS  OF 2282  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 11.41 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 2.855 MILLION OZ STANDING IN FEBRUARY.

 

 

RESULT: A POWERFUL SIZED DECREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 37 CENT LOSS IN PRICING THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// YESTERDAY.BUT WE ALSO HAD A VERY STRONG SIZED 2260 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE STRONG  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR SEPTEMBER, DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL SILVER CONTINUES TO INTENSIFY AS WE WITNESS SEVERE BACKWARDATION IN SILVER IN LONDON.

 

 

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY: Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)FRIDAY MORNING/ THURSDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 52.43 POINTS OR 1.91% //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 186.38 POINTS OR 0.65%  /The Nikkei closed DOWN 38.72 POINTS OR 0.18%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.44%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP  at 6.7197 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 6.7197 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7197: / 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

 

 

 

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

I)EU/GREAT BRITAIN

The EU expects Theresa May to request an extension of 3 months. Not sure if the crooks will agree to it

( zerohedge)

ii)FRANCE

French bank, Soc Generale is set to fire thousands of bankers.  Business must be really good

( zerohedge)

 

 

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

 

SYRIA/ISRAEL/RUSSIA

A good explanation as to why the S 300 defense shield has not been used against Israel as their bomb Iranian warehouses

( SouthFront)

 

 

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

i)CANADA

This report shows how Canadians are borrowing against the equity in the homes.  An economic downturn in Canada will be deadly especially if home prices go below the net debt

( zerohedge)

ii)Most Americans and Europeans are terrified about retirement because they have not saved anything. This is what inflation will do.

(courtesy zerohedge)

7. OIL ISSUES

 

 

 

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

 

 

i)VENEZUELA/

Not good:  1 dead and 15 injured as Venezuelan soldiers open fire on civilians near the Brazil border according to the Washington Post. There is urgent need to get rid of former bus driver Maduro.

( zerohedge)

 

 

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)Citibank asks the Treasury what to do with the $1.1 billion loan backed by  Maduro gold that Venezuela has defaulted on.  They want to avoid sanctions.  If given to the Fed, then they will lease.(or hypothecate) it out

( Bloomberg news/GATA)
ii)Only a return to the gold standard can save the world’s economic system( Alasdair Macleod/GATA)

iii)Ted Butler..on the huge short positions by our criminal banking operations

( Ted Butler/GATA)

iv)Australia reports on where it’s gold is stored:

(Wright Sydney Herald/GATA)

v)A good one@!! What happened to Australia’s 80 tonnes of stored gold?

( Manly/Bullionstar)

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

 

 

MARKET TRADING

 

ii)Market data

 

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

a)Ford finds problem with ’emission testing but it was not involve defeat devices

( zerohedge)

b)This is fascinating:  Kraft shares plunge after the company discloses that the SEC has issued a subpoena against them.  There seems to be accounting irregularities

( zerohedge)

c)Warren Buffet is hurt bad as Kraft crashes 25%

( zerohedge)

d)Yellowstone’s supervolcano eruption is on the rise again

(Mac Slavo/SHTPlanF.com)

e)This is going to be a huge problem as USA cities face a moment of reckoning as China halts its importation of USA trash.

( zerohedge)

iv)SWAMP STORIES

a)This is fascinating:  The FBI’s top lawyer James Baker thought that Hillary Clinton should have been criminally prosecuted

( zerohedge)

b)This is going to be fun:  McConnell is going to fast track AOC’s “Green New Deal”.  This should show the world which democrats are supporting this crazy proposal

( zerohedge)

c)Former correspondent Lara Logan explains how the media is coming after her after she told the world about liberal bias.
( zerohedge)

d) the true cost of Eliz Warren’s childcare program. It is not 70 billion dollars.  It is more than 174 billion dollars

( zerohedge).

e)The following is very important as we will now enter Phase II of the Mueller /Russian election interference probe

( Kim Strassel, Wall Street Journal)
E)SWAMP STORIES/MAJOR STORIES//THE KING REPORT

 

end

 

 

 

Let us head over to the comex:

 

THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN FELL BY A STRONG SIZED 6559 CONTRACTS DOWN TO A LEVEL OF 504,332 WITH THE LOSS IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($19.50) 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 6559 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

FOR MARCH:  0. FOR APRIL 66559, FOR JUNE: 0 CONTRACTS AND FINALLY DECEMBER: 0 AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  6559 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: 338 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 6559 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE LOST A CONSIDERABLE SIZED 6221 COMEX CONTRACTS.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:338 contracts OR 33800  OZ OR 1.05 TONNES.

 

We are now in the active contract month of FEBRUARY and here the open interest stands at 1151 contracts, and thus gaining 77 contracts. . We had 143 contracts stand for delivery yesterday so we AGAIN GAINED ANOTHER UNBELIEVABLY STRONG 220 contracts or 22,000 additional oz (ADDITIONAL 0.684 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 4TH 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 351 contracts to stand at 1355.  After March, the next big delivery month is April and here the OI FELL by 7168 contracts UP to 359,073 contracts.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NOTICES FILED:

WE HAD 830 NOTICES FILED TODAY AT THE COMEX FOR 83000 OZ. (2.5866 tonnes)

 

 

 

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total COMEX silver OI FELL BY A HUMONGOUS SIZED 4542 CONTRACTS FROM 225,889 DOWN TO 221,347(AND FURTHER FROM  THE NEW RECORD OI FOR SILVER SET ON AUGUST 22.2018.  (THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET APRIL 9.2018/ 243,411 CONTRACTS) AND TODAY’S STRONG OI COMEX LOSS  OCCURRED WITH A STRONG 37 CENT LOSS IN PRICING. 

 

 

WE ARE NOW INTO THE NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF FEBRUARY AND THE  AMOUNT OF OPEN INTEREST READY TO STAND IS 4 CONTRACTS, HAVING GAINED 1 CONTRACT FROM YESTERDAY.  WE HAD 2 NOTICES FILED YESTERDAY SO WE GAINED 3 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 15,000 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 17,738 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 53,083 CONTRACTS. AFTER MARCH, APRIL ADVANCES TO 515 CONTRACTS FOR A GAIN OF 162 CONTRACTS.  AFTER APRIL, THE NEXT BIG ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH IS MAY AND HERE THE OI ADVANCED BY 12,785 CONTRACTS UP TO 124,622 CONTRACTS.

FIRST DAY NOTICE IS THURSDAY FEB 28.2019

 

 

 

 

ON A NET BASIS WE LOST 2532 SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AS WE OBTAINED A 4792 CONTRACT LOSS AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 2260 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  2532 CONTRACTS...AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A 37 CENT LOSS IN PRICING// YESTERDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED:

 

We, today, had 3 notice(s) filed for 15,000 OZ for the FEB, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

 

 

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY:  237,150  CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  299,005  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 22 /2019.

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

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  

 

 

9,364.962

 

oz

 

Delaware

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
830 notice(s)
 83000 OZ
(2.5866 TONNES)
No of oz to be served (notices)
321 contracts
(32100 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
11,296 notices
1,129,600 OZ
35.135 TONNES
Total accumulative withdrawals of gold from the Dealers inventory this month NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month xxx oz

 

we had 0 dealer entries:

 

 

total dealer deposits: nil oz

total dealer withdrawals: 0 oz

We had 0 kilobar entries

 

we had 1 deposit into the customer account

i) Into Delaware: 9364.962 oz

total gold deposits: 9364.962 oz

we had 0 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

 

 

 

 

total gold withdrawing from the customer; nil  oz

we had 1  adjustments…
i) Out of Delaware:  9,364.962 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 820 contract(s) of which 27 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 681 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account and 0 notices by the squid  (Goldman Sachs)

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To calculate the INITIAL total number of gold ounces standing for the FEBRUARY/2019. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (11,296) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (1151 contract) minus the number of notices served upon today (830 x 100 oz per contract) equals 1,161,700 OZ OR 36/133 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 (11,296 x 100 oz)  + {1151)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (830 x 100 oz )which equals 1,161,700 oz standing OR 36.133 TONNES in this active delivery month of FEBRUARY.

WE GAINED A MASSIVE 220 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 22000 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 4TH 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 21.634 TONNES OF REGISTERED COMEX GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY AGAINST 36.113 TONNES STANDING FOR FEBRUARY

OF WHICH 35.135 TONNES OF GOLD HAVE ALREADY BEEN SERVED UPON SO FAR THIS MONTH.

NO SIGN OF SETTLEMENTS FOR THE GOLD THAT IS STANDING:

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:  695,556.838 oz or  21.634 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   8,231,127.457 oz 256.02 tonnes

FOR COMPARISON FEBRUARY 2019 TO THE  FEBRUARY 2018 COMEX GOLD CONTRACT MONTH & MARCH 2018 VS MARCH 2019 CONTRACTS

 

 

 

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.

ON FEB 22.2018 WE HAD 1496 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS STANDING  VS FEB 22.2019:  1362 CONTRACTS.

ON FIRST DAY NOTICE MARCH 1/2018: TOTAL GOLD TONNAGE STANDING FOR DELIVERY: 2.1524 TONNES

THE FINAL AMOUNT OF GOLD TONNAGE: MARCH 31/2018:  1.6114 TONNES 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 22 2019
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
730,922.832 oz
CNT
BRINKS

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
1,191,222.770
oz
CNT
Scotia
No of oz served today (contracts)
4
CONTRACT(S)
20,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
1 contracts
5,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 570 contracts

(2,850,000 oz)

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

we had 0 inventory movement at the dealer side of things

 

 

total dealer deposits: nil  oz

total dealer withdrawals: 0 oz

we had  2 deposits into the customer account

 

i) Into JPMorgan: nil  oz

 

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

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

 

i) Into CNT  590,310.700 oz

ii) Into Scotia:  600,912.070 oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total customer deposits today: 1,191,222.770   oz

 

we had 2 withdrawals out of the customer account:

 

i) out of CNT::  716,027.512 oz

ii) Out of Brinks; 14,895.320 oz/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total withdrawals: 730,922.832     oz

 

we had 0 adjustment..

 

 

total dealer silver:  87.812 million

total dealer + customer silver:  297.309 million oz

 

 

 

 

The total number of notices filed today for the FEBRUARY 2019. contract month is represented by 3 contract(s) FOR  15,000  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 570 x 5,000 oz = 2,850,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (4) and the number of notices served upon today (3x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the FEBRUARY/2019 contract month: 570(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of FEB( 3) -number of notices served upon today (3)x 5000 oz equals 2,855,000 oz of silver standing for the FEBRUARY contract month.  This is a strong number of oz standing for an off delivery month.

WE GAINED 3 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 15,000 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.

ON FEB 22.2018 WE HAD 53,370 OPEN INTEREST MARCH CONTRACTS STILL LEFT STANDING WITH 4 DAYS LEFT BEFORE FIRST DAY NOTICE VS FEB 22.2019: 52,945  MARCH CONTRACTS WITH 4 DAYS LEFT BEFORE FIRST DAY NOTICE.

ON MARCH 1.2018 WE HAD 24.670 MILLION OZ OF SILVER STAND FOR DELIVERY. BY THE CONCLUSION OF THE DELIVERY MONTH, 27.190 MILLION OZ STOOD AS QUEUE JUMPING IN THE SILVER COMEX ARENA HAD BEEN THE NORM FOR QUITE A WHILE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

TODAY’S SILVER VOLUME:  97,124 CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 147,955 CONTRACTS… 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 147.955 CONTRACTS EQUATES to 739 million OZ  106% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER

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

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

end

NPV for Sprott 

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV FALLS TO -2.89% (FEB 22/2019)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV FALLS TO -.83% to NAV (FEB 22 /2019 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -2.89%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

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

NAV 13.47/TRADING 13.02/DISCOUNT 3.31

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

FEB 22/WITH GOLD UP $5.15 A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 4.99 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 789.51 TONNES

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

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

FEB 22/2019/ Inventory rests tonight at 789.51 tonnes

*IN LAST 548 TRADING DAYS: 144.54 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 448 TRADING DAYS: A NET 15.41 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO THE GLD INVENTORY.

 

end

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

FEB 22/WITH SILVER UP 7 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.984 MILLION OZ///

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 22/2019:

 

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 2.18/ and libor 6 month duration 2.70

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

G0LD LENDING RATE: + .52

 

 

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.47%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.89

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.42

end

 

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES

end
i) GOLDCORE BLOG/Mark O’Byrne

The Utterly Unbelievable Scale of U.S. Debt Right Now

– Last week, the United States national debt ticked above US$22 trillion for the first time, an amount equivalent to $67,000 per U.S. citizen

– The U.S. federal government owes more money than any other institution in the history of human civilization and it’s just getting worse

– Below, a few factoids about just how eye-wateringly, bone-chillingly large the U.S. debt has become

– The U.S. debt is now higher than the combined market value of the Fortune 500 and just with the money it spends on interest, the U.S. could run Canada or Mexico

– Debt from one Trump term could pay for another WWII and all the gold ever mined would only pay off the debt accumulated under Obama

– All the gold in the world mined since the dawn of time adds to about 190,040 tonnes or 6.7 billion ounces. At the current per-ounce price of about $1,300, the world’s goal hoard worth over $8.5 trillion would be not enough to pay off the U.S. debt accumulated between 2009 and 2016

by Tristan Hopper in National Post


Gold bars worth a small fortune that would only cover a few hours’ worth of U.S. debt accumulation

U.S. debt is now higher than the combined market value of the Fortune 500

The Fortune 500 list includes all the recognizable titans of American business from Apple to Amazon to Exxon-Mobil to the list’s ranking 500th spot, the uniform and laundry company Cintas. Taken together, they basically constitute every major consumer, media, industrial and entertainment product in the United States. If you are the average westerner, the Fortune 500 is responsible for most of your wardrobe, your diet, your home and your leisure pursuits.

The sheer size of Amazon alone is difficult to picture: Millions of products, thousands of employees, hundreds of buildings. And yet, add up the market values of all 500 companies and it’s equivalent to just $21.7 trillion.

Thus, even if the United States nationalized the most profitable segment of its private sector and immediately auctioned them off for cash, it would still have $300 billion owing on its debt. (This would also destroy the world economy. Don’t nationalize things to pay off debts, everybody).


Every second, the U.S. national debt grows by about $46,000. In the time it takes you to look at this photo, the debt will have swelled much more than $46,000

Holding a $22 trillion pile of debt is not cheap. Although the United States benefits from ludicrously cheap interest rates on its treasury bills, in 2019 it will spend $383 billion just to service its debt. By 2023, interest payments are expected to be larger even than the U.S. defence budget. Even now, $383 billion dwarfs the entire federal budget of Canada. Even at a time of its own unprecedented government spending, Ottawa will burn through the equivalent of only US$254.35 billion in 2019. This means that, merely with the money it uses to service the debt, the United States could run the entire Canadian government and still have enough left over to run most provinces. And if the Americans don’t feel like running Canada with their debt servicing money, they could also run Mexico.

Their southern neighbour has a federal budget of only $291.5 billion for 2019.

All the gold ever mined would only pay off the debt accumulated under Obama

U.S. debt has been steadily climbing ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, but under Obama it was sent into overdrive. Not all of this was Obama’s fault; the Great Recession, ongoing Asian wars and a boom in entitlement spending on retiring Baby Boomers all helped swell the tab. But still, in eight years of the Obama presidency, the U.S. national debt jumped from $11.1 trillion to $19.85 trillion. Coincidentally, this $8.75 trillion debt surge is the same as the combined value of all the gold ever mined. Every nugget pulled out of the Klondike, every ounce plundered from the Aztecs, every gold bar leach-mined out of Australia: It all adds to about 190,040 tonnes or 6.7 billion ounces. At the current per-ounce price of about $1,300, the world’s goal hoard would be just enough to pay off the U.S. debt accumulated between 2009 and 2016.

Debt from one Trump term could pay for another WWII

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has only accelerated the Obama-era debt accumulation. In the 25 months since Trump was inaugurated, his administration has overseen a $2 trillion increase to the debt. Given current conditions, that figure is likely to surpass $4 trillion by the end of Trump’s first term. According to the Congressional Research Service, $4 trillion also happens to be the inflation-adjusted cost of U.S. involvement in the Second World War. And let’s take a moment to remember how expensive that war was for the United States. American forces led efforts to defeat two major military powers simultaneously while spearheading the greatest military industrial buildup in history. Every single automotive factory in the United States was retooled to produce equipment for the government. Total wartime aircraft production was almost 300,000, with the Manhattan Project alone costing the modern-day equivalent of $22 billion. At the time, the U.S. contribution to World War II was the most shockingly exorbitant expenditure of resources ever seen, with government spending in some years of the war being equivalent to more than 50 per cent of GDP. But now, an extra $4 trillion in debt is simply budgetary routine.

One year of debt could pay for everything NASA has ever done

Since 1958, NASA has landed six manned missions on the moon, sent 26 probes to Mars, launched 135 shuttle missions and blasted two spacecraft into interstellar space. And that’s just its space stuff: NASA has also spent years dominating aircraft and earth science research, including some of the most critical data confirming the existence of anthropogenic climate change. Add it all up, and the combined cost for 61 years of NASA is an inflation-adjusted $1.16 trillion. For context, over just the last 12 months (from Jan. 31, 2018 to Jan. 31, 2019), the United States piled up an extra $1.5 trillion in debt.

Jeff Bezos’ fortune would cover only 34 days of debt accumulation

There’s a lot of talk lately about how rich people should pay more taxes. However, given the sheer scale of U.S. spending right now it would take an awful lot of these extra taxes to come close to running a balanced budget. For example, consider Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world. His net worth is roughly $136 billion. Right now, the U.S. adds another $4 billion to its debt every day. Thus, if Bezos gave his entire fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover 34 days of debt accumulation. And this is just new debt. If Bezos’ fortune was used to cover all U.S. federal spending, it would run out in only 11 days. Bezos is one among 26 billionaires who collectively control $1.4 trillion – a wealth equivalent to that owned by nearly four billion of the world’s poorest. Still, even that $1.4 trillion would only cover a year’s worth of U.S. debt accumulation and about four months’ worth of federal spending overall.

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In one year, the per-household share of the debt could buy a new car

According to its most recent census figures, the United States has 118,825,921 households. This means that the $1.5 trillion in debt accumulated over just the past year is equal to about $12,605 per household. This would be just enough for every single household in the United States to buy a brand-new Nissan Versa. When accounting for the total $22 trillion debt, that per-household share jumps to $185,000, enough to buy a new Ferrari or Bentley. The per capita share of the debt is particularly dramatic when compared to the U.S.’ northern neighbour. As recently as the 1990s, Canada was so debt-ridden that it was considered one of the worst economic basketcases in the G20. Today, per-capita Canadian federal debt is equal to US$13,588.51. In the U.S., the same figure is nearly five times higher at $67,000 per American.

The U.S. just built history’s most expensive warship. It cost five days’ worth of deficit.

The USS Gerald R. Ford, an aircraft carrier commissioned in 2017, is the largest and most expensive warship ever built at US$12.9 billion. For context, HMS Dreadnought, the super-powerful 1906 battleship that revolutionized naval warfare, only cost the modern equivalent of about $273 million. For 2019, the U.S. budget deficit is expected to be $897 billion. This means that only five days’ worth of deficit would be enough to fully cover the cost of the USS Gerald Ford. And the deficit merely represents new instances of the government spending money it doesn’t have. Total debt accumulation is even higher, since the existing debt continues to balloon on its own if it’s not being paid off (and the Americans haven’t even tried to pay down their debt since 2000).

The vast majority of this is entitlement spending

It would be tempting to assume that the United States is piling up all this debt because of big, tangible budget items: Battleships, fighter jets, highways, disaster relief, etc. But the majority of U.S. spending is eaten up by cheques: Millions of relatively small-denomination cheques handed out as entitlement spending. The U.S. government will spend $4.4 trillion in 2019, of which only $3.5 trillion will be covered by tax revenues. Of that $4.4 trillion, $2.7 trillion is spent on what is known as “mandatory spending”: Social security, Medicare, Medicaid and the like. As a result, much of the expansion in U.S. spending is due to factors beyond the government’s control: Higher healthcare costs and more retired Baby Boomers collecting pension cheques.

This is all happening during good times
Throughout U.S. history, periods of massive debt accumulation have usually coincided with bad times: The Great Depression, the Civil War, etc. By any economic measure, however, the United States is currently doing fantastic. Major foreign wars have been stepped down. The jobless rate is at a 49-year low. Economic growth has been topping four per cent. The last time the U.S. economy was this good, the federal government was running budget surpluses to pay down the debt, rather than piling up debt faster than ever. The implication is that when the boom inevitably ends, U.S. deficits are set to explode even faster. “The economy is going well and we are looking at deficits that are four per cent of GDP going forward,” Congressional Budget Office director Keith Hall said in late January.

“That is an unusual thing.”

Courtesy of the National Post

 

 

 

News and Commentary

Gold falls off 10-month peak after Fed stance; palladium retreats (Reuters.com)

Gold sinks, set to snap 3-day string of gains (MarketWatch.com)

U.S. stocks sag on poor economic outlook; oil, gold slip (Reuters.com)

Stocks fall as weak economic data overshadow trade-talk optimism (MarketWatch.com)

Philly Fed manufacturing index slumps into negative territory for the first time in nearly three years (MarketWatch.com)

Australia’s Gold … Safely in the Hands of the Bank of England (SMH.com)

CFTC and Justice Dept. overlook manipulative short position in silver (Gata.org)

Gold: Will “America First” End America’s Dominance? (Gold-Eagle.com)

For The First Time Since 2000, Most Assets Are Overbought (ZeroHedge.com)

Most Americans & Europeans Are Terrified About Retirement (ZeroHedge.com)

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

Gold Prices (LBMA PM)

21 Feb: USD 1,335.05, GBP 1021.85 & EUR 1,177.78 per ounce
20 Feb: USD 1,345.75, GBP 1032.86 & EUR 1,186.82 per ounce
19 Feb: USD 1,329.55, GBP 1028.81 & EUR 1,175.72 per ounce
18 Feb: USD 1,323.95, GBP 1025.13 & EUR 1,169.58 per ounce
15 Feb: USD 1,319.00, GBP 1027.64 & EUR 1,168.17 per ounce
14 Feb: USD 1,305.65, GBP 1017.49 & EUR 1,158.50 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

21 Feb: USD 15.91, GBP 12.19 & EUR 14.02 per ounce
20 Feb: USD 16.03, GBP 12.31 & EUR 14.15 per ounce
19 Feb: USD 15.78, GBP 12.22 & EUR 13.99 per ounce
18 Feb: USD 15.76, GBP 12.19 & EUR 13.91 per ounce
15 Feb: USD 15.67, GBP 12.23 & EUR 13.90 per ounce
14 Feb: USD 15.58, GBP 12.17 & EUR 13.83 per ounce

Recent Market Updates

– The Best Time In History To Buy GOLD
– Jim Willie Interviews Mark O’Byrne – Prepare Now For Global Financial Crisis II
– 7 Major Flaws Of The Global Financial System – Excellent Infographic
– The Case for Gold In 2019 – The Economist
– Invest In Gold As a Hedge In Cashless Society – Ex IMF Rogoff
– Valentine’s Day Record Spending Due to Gold Love Trade?
– Gold Prices In Pounds and Euros Gain More as Economic Growth Falters in the UK and EU
– Irish Investors Storing Their Gold Bullion In Ireland
– Large Gold Bullion Shipment Moves From London to Dublin Gold Vaults As Brexit Concerns Deepen

Mark O’Byrne
Executive Director

 

Executive Director
GATA STORIES AS IT RELATES TO PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER
Citibank asks the Treasury what to do with the $1.1 billion loan backed by  Maduro gold that Venezuela has defaulted on.  They want to avoid sanctions.  If given to the Fed, then they will lease.(or hypothecate) it out
(courtesy Bloomberg news/GATA)

Citigroup asks Treasury what to do with $1.1 billion Maduro gold deal

 Section: 

By Patricia Laya
Bloomberg News
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Citigroup bankers have been holding talks with U.S. Treasury officials to figure out how to handle a gold deal they had arranged with Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela, people familiar with the matter said.

The deal — a $1.1 billion swaps contract backed by gold held by the Venezuelan central bank — was struck before the U.S. stepped up sanctions on Maduro’s government. But it’s due to expire early next month and Citigroup bankers are seeking to make sure they avoid making a move now that would violate the sanctions, according to Senator Marco Rubio and other U.S. and Venezuelan officials familiar with the matter.

… 

 

The one thing, no banker, global or financial institution is going to do is run the risk of secondary sanctions,” Rubio, who’s been helping drive the U.S. push to oust Maduro, said in a telephone interview late Wednesday. “The sale of gold is another revenue source that the Maduro regime is using and I know for a fact that Citibank has had multiple meetings with Treasury seeking guidance, trying to figure out how to avoid exposure.” …

The four-year swaps contract — which handed Venezuela a loan in exchange for putting the gold up as collateral — matures on March 11. Because the cash-strapped Maduro regime is unlikely to come up with the money it had received in the deal, Citigroup could wind up getting the gold. Allies of Juan Guaido, the legislator who’s trying to take power from Maduro with the help of the U.S. and other countries, are lobbying the bank to not take possession of it as part of their effort to safeguard the nation’s dwindling assets.

“Citi hasn’t responded publicly, but they understand the situation and are willing to collaborate and we’re asking them not to execute the guarantee,” said Angel Alvarado, who’s a member of the National Assembly’s finance commission. “We’re waiting to see what mechanisms will be used. The strategy is to protect assets.”

Under the contract’s current terms, if Venezuela does not pay next month, Citi would keep the gold and only pay the central bank the difference in value since the metal’s price has increased since it was signed in 2015. In the meantime, the gold would remain inside the Bank of England’s vaults, according to one person familiar with the issue.

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-21/citigroup-huddles-wit…

* * *

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END

Only a return to the gold standard can save the world’s economic system

(courtesy Alasdair Macleod/GATA)

Alasdair Macleod: The return to a gold exchange standard

 Section: 

4:17p ET Thursday, February 21, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

GoldMoney research director Alasdair Macleod argues today that only reimposition of a gold standard can save Western countries from the hyperinflationary collapse made inevitable by their welfare-state model of government. The example of Germany during and just after World War I, Macleod writes, shows how quickly a fiat currency can crash once people apprehend its devaluation, though he acknowledges that through market rigging and data doctoring Western welfare states have prolonged the process of recognition.

Macleod’s commentary is headlined “The Return to a Gold Exchange Standard” and it’s posted at GoldMoney here:

https://www.goldmoney.com/research/goldmoney-insights/the-return-to-a-go…

GATA does not advocate returning to a gold standard, as it’s all the organization can do simply to discern and expose what sort of systems are being operated largely surreptitiously by central banks. But we’re generally of the opinion that if the monetary metals markets are ever liberated from central bank intervention, the world will remonetize them all by itself in less than a week — which is precisely why central banks intervene so relentlessly against the monetary metals.

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

END

Ted Butler..on the huge short positions by our criminal banking operations

(courtesy Ted Butler/GATA)

Ted Butler: CFTC and Justice Dept. overlook manipulative short position in silver

 Section: 

8:28p ET Thursday, February 21, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

At the urging of Jim Cook of Investment Rarities and with the assistance of 24hGold, silver market analyst Ted Butler’s most recent proprietary letter has been posted in the clear.

This edition examines the failure of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Justice Department to investigate the concentrated and manipulative short position in the silver futures market.

… 

Butler writes: “An underground mine in Peru that digs out of the earth 4 million ounces in a year was just shut down due to low silver prices. Yet at the same time and price, eight crooked banks have increased their net speculative short position to more than 100 times that mine’s annual production.

“If the Justice Department doesn’t see something drastically wrong with that, then all hope for the rule of law is lost. Remember, concentration is the one absolute requirement in any manipulation. In silver, the concentration is off the charts.”

Butler’s letter is headlined “Mr. Butler’s Silver Newsletter — Icing on the Cake” and it’s posted at 24hGold here:

http://www.24hgold.com/english/news-gold-silver-mr-butler-s-silver-newsl…

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

 

MR. BUTLER’S SILVER NEWSLETTER
By James Cook

Silver analyst Theodore Butler writes a twice weekly newsletter on precious metals. Only a few people get to read this important newsletter. I’ve been talking to Ted about releasing one full issue for people to read. It’s important for investors to see the scope of his analysis. Mr. Butler has been a paid consultant to my company Investment Rarities for almost 20 years. I can vouch for his absolute integrity and his cautious approach in analyzing silver and gold. He relies on evidence and facts in arriving on his conclusions. He analyzes every known fact about silver and his knowledge of the silver market is unsurpassed. It’s no exaggeration to call him a silver genius. He has agreed to release the following current newsletter which gives insight into the thoroughness of his approach.

ICING ON THE CAKE

Unbeknownst to me when I wrote last week’s article, “A New Silver Issue for the Justice Department”, was the near simultaneous news that a leading silver mining company, Hochschild, had announced the closing of one of its Peruvian silver mines due to low silver prices. The Arcata mine, first put into production 55 years ago and reported to contain over 100 million ounces in reserves, was said to produce around 4 million ounces annually. There was little doubt that the decision to put the mine on care and maintenance was the result of continued depressed silver prices, despite the ten percent increase in price since Nov 13.
https://www.reuters.com/article/hochschild-min-operations/update-1-hochschild-mining-shuts-down-arcata-mine-in-peru-idUSL3N2082KY

The news announcement resonates for a number of reasons. In attempting to convince the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division to take up the matter of concentrated short selling on the COMEX silver futures market as being responsible for depressed silver prices, I made the point that it was absurd to conclude that the concentrated short selling was due to legitimate hedging by silver miners. Hochschild’s announcement underscores my point in that it proves silver prices are too low for legitimate producers to consider locking in by short sale on the COMEX. Instead, Hochschild took the painful but logical step of shutting down the mine until silver prices rise enough.

Since it’s clear that silver miners are not engaged in widespread bona fide hedging at current depressed silver prices to warrant their inclusion among the concentrated short sellers on the COMEX, then it’s imperative to ask then who is responsible. Thanks to unmistakably clear data from the CFTC in the form of disaggregated Commitments of Traders (COT) and Bank Participation reports, there can be little doubt that the concentrated short sellers are domestic and foreign banks – not miners.

The way it works is like this – the speculating banks (which are merely betting against the managed money speculators) pretend to be hedging and the CFTC accommodates this subterfuge by agreeing to classify the banks in the Producer/Merchant/User/Processor or Swap Dealers categories despite the obvious fact that the banks are speculating. Since there is always an ample supply of observers (not a one with hands on professional futures experience) who will glibly agree that anyone classified as a commercial is automatically engaged in legitimate hedging, regardless of clear evidence to the contrary, the con lives on.

What makes the silver manipulation con of speculative concentrated short selling so egregious is that the short sellers pretending to be legitimate commercial hedgers are hurting the very participants which should be hedging, the miners. That would likely occur if the price of silver was anywhere near where it should be in true free market conditions. Our regulated commodity futures markets were created and designed for legitimate hedgers to lay off risk through bona fide hedging. Instead, a handful of speculating banks and managed money traders have completely usurped the legitimate hedging function and have taken control of the pricing process. Not only is the price being set artificially by outsiders, the resultant price is most damaging to the market participants that futures trading was intended to benefit.

One of the reasons the matter of concentrated short selling in COMEX silver futures has gone by almost unnoticed all these years and is rarely commented on, even to this day, is because most commentators and observers don’t know how to calculate the concentration data. I believe that’s because it takes a bit of hand-calculating to derive at the concentration statistics. While the data are precise to the exact contract, the COT report doesn’t present the data in contract form, only as a percentage of total open interest; leaving it to the observer to multiply the total open interest by the percentage of concentration given. As I’ve written previously, the percentages given for the net short positions of the 4 and 8 traders are the only numbers that matter.

A reason the concentrated short position in COMEX silver futures may have escaped the notice of the Antitrust Division of the DOJ is because most price-fixing and monopolistic activities it deals with are of the variety that artificially boost prices to the detriment of the consuming public. But the reason that the statue of Lady Justice is blindfolded is because the law shouldn’t distinguish between artificial price-setting of either the higher or lower variety. The efficient functioning of free markets depends on the law of supply and demand not being distorted by artificial pricing of any kind. Any market artificially depressed in price may give users and consumers some advantage in the short term, but the eventual end to the illegal artificiality will lead to much higher prices in the long run.

In fact, it’s quite understandable that the Antitrust Division has not focused on the monopolistic pricing in COMEX silver futures. After all, there was created and exists a specific primary federal regulator, the CFTC, whose main mission is to prevent manipulation. In addition, there exists a designated self-regulating organization (SRO), the CME Group, also charged with the preventing of market manipulation.  Normal protocol would suggest that matters pertaining to allegations of manipulation would be the province of the CFTC and the CME.  If either regulator had fulfilled their prime responsibilities, there would be no need for Antitrust Division intervention. Sadly, that’s not the case.

In any event, it is particularly pernicious when prices are set artificially by participants not involved with or even interested in the actual production or consumption of silver. Speculating banks or managed money traders couldn’t care less about the plight of actual silver producers, consumers or investors – they are just out to make a quick buck off each other in some massive private betting game on the COMEX sanctioned by the CFTC and CME Group. The problem is the private betting game is what sets prices and that “outsiders”, not actual producers and consumers run the game.

The closing of a not insignificant silver mine that has produced for more than half a century and appears capable of producing for another 50 years due to low prices is a timely reminder and confirmation that silver prices are unreasonably depressed. That’s why it is so potentially significant that the Department of Justice has stepped into the matter with an ongoing investigation by its Criminal Division, the FBI and the US Attorneys Division of COMEX precious metals trading. The Antitrust Division has every reason to join in as well.

As if to underscore the matter, yesterday’s release of the still delayed Commitments of Traders (COT) report featured notable increases in the concentrated short positions of the 8 largest traders in both COMEX gold and silver. The increases demonstrate beyond a doubt that concentrated short selling is all that prevents sharply higher prices for both gold and, particularly silver. It’s not just that the reporting week ended Jan 29 featured managed money buying and commercial selling, which was fully expected given the sharp price rallies that took place, but it has become increasingly clear that without concentrated commercial short selling prices would have rallied much more.

As of the close of business Jan 29, the commercials increased their total net short position by 26,500 contracts to 118,600 contracts, as the price of gold traded and closed decisively above $1300 for the first time in ten months, trading as high as $1310 on the cutoff day. Considering that the reporting week’s close was up $110 from the price lows of Nov 13, the overall COMEX gold market structure was still much more bullish than I would have imagined at this stage. But the standout feature of the report was the sharp increase in concentrated short selling.

The 8 largest concentrated gold shorts, apparently all commercials, accounted for 20,000 contracts of the total commercial net selling during the reporting week. As of Jan 29, the 8 largest gold shorts hold a concentrated net short position of 187,072 contracts (18.7 million ounces) versus a total commercial net short position of 118,600 contracts. While it is certainly typical and even “normal” for the concentrated short position of the 8 largest traders to be much higher than the total commercial net short position, it is only normal in a manipulated market, which is a state the COMEX gold futures market has been in for many years. That’s because COT data prove that without the concentrated short selling by 8 speculating banks, there would be no net commercial short position at all (since away from the 8 largest traders, the commercials are net long).

One doesn’t even need to prove that these 8 big short banks have actively colluded to depress and contain gold prices – their documented short positions speak for themselves. If these 8 crooked banks hadn’t sold short 187,000 net contracts, gold prices would be much higher. That’s because all futures contracts need both a buyer and seller; so if the 8 crooked banks needed to be replaced by other sellers, unless one could find another 8 short sellers to replace them at current prices (an impossibility), then it would take many more traders for replacement. The only way to do that (conceivably) is through much higher prices. This is the central theme, but let me finish the COT report before coming back to this.

The managed money traders in gold bought far fewer net gold contracts than the commercial sold (always a good sign); 16,187 contracts to be precise, consisting of new longs of  21,109 and the new short sale of 4992 contracts. Explaining why managed money buying was less than commercial selling, was the nearly 9000 contracts of net buying by other large speculative traders. The net long position of the managed money traders of 32,000 contracts as of Jan 29, while higher by around 110,000 net contracts from the Nov 13 price lows, still leaves room for as many as 200,000 additional net contracts to reach the extremes seen in both 2016 and 2017.

In COMEX silver futures as of Jan 29, the commercials increased their total net short position by 7500 contracts to 72,500 contracts. This was in the expected range given silver’s three day price jump of as much as 60 cents into Jan 29. However, silver had yet to penetrate $16 by reporting week’s end (it would do so in the report to be published on Friday). The short position of JPMorgan appears to have increased to 21,000 to 22,000 net contracts, while the concentrated short position of the 8 largest traders (definitely now all commercials) increased by 3000 contracts to 96,278 contracts, the equivalent of more than 481 million ounces.

Please consider this. An underground mine in Peru that digs out of the earth 4 million ounces in a year was just shut down due to low silver prices; yet at the same time and price, 8 crooked banks have increased their net speculative short position to more than 100 times that mine’s annual production. If the Justice Department doesn’t see something drastically wrong with that, then all hope for the rule of law is lost. Remember, concentration is the one absolute requirement in any manipulation. In silver, the concentration is off the charts.

You have to go back to last summer to find a larger concentrated short position in silver, but even when you do, some big differences are obvious. For one, JPMorgan’s short position was larger then, while the short position of other commercial traders (swap dealers) back then was smaller than it is now.  What I think this reflects is JPMorgan’s move to be done with manipulating the price of silver and it quietly passing the hot potato to the other big commercial shorts. I further believe this could prove to be the ruin of the other big commercial shorts that will soon be evident in an explosive price move higher. Dead men walking, indeed.

The managed money silver traders bought less than the commercials sold (same as in gold), in buying 4746 net contracts, consisting of 3230 new long contracts and the buy back and covering of 1516 short contracts. Even though the managed money traders in silver have bought more than 80,000 net contracts (400 million ounces) since Nov 13, much more proportionately than the 110,000 net contracts they purchase in gold, there is still room for as many as 60,000 net contracts of additional managed money buying (and, admittedly, even more room for selling to get back to Nov 13 levels).

If you hadn’t noticed, I keep referring to price and market structure levels since Nov 13. The reason is because I think the world of silver and gold may have changed because of the shocking announcement by the DOJ on Nov 6 that it was investigating precious metals manipulation on the COMEX. Let’s face it – as of today, just over three months later, gold has now rallied by as much as $150 and silver by more than $2, with nary a spoofing price take down in the interim. It’s either a remarkable coincidence or something more. Count me in the “something more” category.

I continue to believe that the fate of the 8 concentrated shorts in COMEX silver and gold holds the key to what occurs next, namely, these big manipulative traders will, yet again, succeed in knocking down prices and buying back added shorts at lower and profitable (to them) prices or they will fail spectacularly for the first time ever. While this is a clear either or circumstance, the consequences of the big shorts failing for the very first time loom larger in my opinion than ever before. The only way in which I can explain that is by my money scoreboard tabulation, which I hadn’t raised very recently because prices hadn’t done much since my calculation on Feb 2.

Just to be clear, I include JPMorgan in the calculation for how the big 8 shorts are doing in gold and silver on a combined basis, but I hope you know that JPMorgan, by virtue of its massive physical holdings of silver and gold (800 million ounces and 20 million ounces respectively), is completely immune from real losses on its short positions on an explosion in gold or silver prices.  JPMorgan is in great jeopardy from Justice Department findings, just not market losses from higher gold and silver prices.

It’s a much different situation for the other big gold and silver shorts, which are completely exposed to unlimited losses on the short positions they hold. Certainly, JPMorgan is nowhere near as short as it has been in the past and that’s an indication to me that the big remaining commercial shorts are no longer the cohesive “all for one, one for all” unit that existed in the past. In fact, the only question in my mind is if these other big shorts actually realize the danger they are in or are they about to learn it ahead on a first hand basis. I think I do understand why these big shorts would have put themselves in such a dangerous situation, namely, it always worked for them before. But that was before JPMorgan abandoned ship and the DOJ began nosing around (likely one and the same). But COT data indicate clearly that the big shorts have committed themselves to the short side, wittingly or unwittingly.

So now the question is how much financial damage the big shorts, ex-JPM, can and will take before one or two (to start) break ranks and, in turn, weaken the collective death-grip on prices always held by the big 8 shorts. This is where the money scoreboard calculations come in handy. Back on Feb 2, when I resumed the calculations after a long absence, I calculated that the big 8 shorts, on a combined basis in silver and gold, were out $1.3 billion. That was based upon a 20 million ounces short position (200,000 contract) in gold and a 400 million ounces short position (80,000 contracts) in silver and using a gold price of $1322 and silver price of $15.92. I had calculated on Feb 2 that the average price (cost basis) for the big 8 short position to be $1275 in gold and $15 in silver.

Updating the variables for latest reported positions (19 million ounces in gold and 480 million ounces in silver and the slightly higher average shorting price ($1280 in gold and $15.20 in silver), at today’s prices ($1345 in gold and $16.10 in silver), the combined open loss for the big 8 traders in both gold and silver is just under $1.8 billion, up nearly a half billion dollars since Feb 2.

The previous high-water mark for the maximum dollar amount the big 8 shorts were in the hole for on an open and unrealized basis was approximately $4 billion in the summer of 2016, when gold hit $1385 and silver was over $21. That time, the big commercial shorts prevailed and just after Election Day 2016, the commercial shorts recouped all their open losses. While that possibility must be said to exist today, there are some important differences between the summer of 2016 and now. What are those differences?

For one, the current move higher is relatively young, just over three months in existence, while the move in 2016 was two or three times more mature. In addition, gold prices are not that far from its peak prices of 2016, while silver is still miles below its $21 former high. Also, the concentrated gold short position in back at the peak in 2016 was 100,000 contracts (10 million ounces) larger than it is now; I believe due to the much larger rally that took place in 2016, when gold rose around $300 to the peak (versus $150 in the current move).

However, the biggest differences today are that JPMorgan is no longer the stalwart and backbone of the concentrated short position as it was back in 2016, meaning there is a greater propensity for the remaining shorts to panic and rush to cover at some point than they were back then; plus one other thing. That “other thing,” of course, is that there was no Department of Justice ongoing investigation in place back then, as there surely is now.

I don’t think the big shorts, away from JPMorgan, have a clue as to what type of exposure they have placed themselves in by virtue of what they have shorted to date – otherwise they wouldn’t have shorted in the first place. I believe, as is customary in any DOJ investigation that subpoenas have been issued and depositions have occurred; but that those subpoenas and depositions have been confined to JPMorgan and do not include the other banks wildly speculating in COMEX gold and silver futures. Yet.

That leaves open the distinct possibility that the other big shorts might learn the hard way about what a predicament they are in. The “hard way” involves a sudden recognition that the gold and silver rally have run far enough for them to do anything but starting to buy back and cover shorts to limit losses as quickly as possible. That translates into sudden and aggressive buying in markets in which they have been the primary short sellers. That leaves open the question of who the heck might sell to the newly panicky shorts desperate to buy and at what price? Yes, I’m talking about the possibility of a price explosion and the mechanics for why it might happen.

Finally, a month ago, in the weekly review of Jan 19, I mentioned the futures market structure of a number of markets, including copper, palladium and crude oil. In copper, I mentioned that the managed money short position was likely near a record and most likely to unfold in a “hellacious” rally. Over the next week, copper prices fell anew (making me feel like a jerk for bringing it up). However, after the subsequent price low of $2.63, copper prices have rallied to over $2.92 today. I don’t know if that meets the definition of hellacious, but it is the highest price copper has seen since last July. I do know that the prime driver for the rally has most likely been managed money short covering. It sure hasn’t been economic reports indicating an uptick in actual copper consumption.

In mentioning palladium, I commented how the managed money net long position had likely hardly changed since Dec 18, since total open interest had not changed much. The COT report of Jan 29 confirms that the net and gross long position of the managed money traders has hardly budged in NYMEX palladium futures. This means that whatever drove palladium prices to new highs (up more than $250) was something other than managed money buying. The most likely “something other” was physical buying by industrial users, not speculators. I’m not predicting what palladium prices may do, just that there is scant evidence that the rally is being driven by speculative buying in futures markets.

As for crude oil, I mentioned that the managed money long position looked historically low and most likely to increase in time, driving prices higher. While crude oil prices are a few dollars higher amid some signs of managed money buying (mostly short covering), it’s far too early to conclude whether my take will be correct. But, hopefully, the Justice Department will take a strong look at what really sets the price of many commodities.

Ted Butler
February 20, 2019
https://www.butlerresearch.com/

More from Jim Cook: I was in the silver and gold business for 25 years before I ran across Mr. Butler. I’ve learned more from him than everyone else combined. If you have an interest in silver and gold, I’m certain you will learn as well. Butler’s service is like an intensive college course on silver and gold. For $35 a month, I recommend you give it a try.

Also, if you would like to hear my comments on Ted and his case for silver Google Chris Marcus interviews Jim Cook.

END

Australia reports on where it’s gold is stored:

(Wright Sydney Herald/GATA)

Australia’s central bank reports on its gold reserves …

 Section: 

… just days after Bullion Star’s Ronan Manly questions bank’s custody of them:

http://www.gata.org/node/18882

* * *

Australia’s Gold … Safely in the Hands of the Bank of England

By Shane Wright
Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia
Friday, February 22, 2019

Those looking to break into the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Sydney headquarters looking for a stash of gold are going to be disappointed.

The bank explained to a parliamentary committee today that its store of gold — all 80 tonnes of it — is 17,000 kilometres away in the Bank of England.

… 

About 6,400 bars of the precious metal, which according to RBA governor Philip Lowe is worth about $4 billion, is sitting with 400,000 other bars in special vaults in the world’s gold-trading capital.

Later this year a special audit will be conducted to ensure all these bars are there and that they weigh the 80 tonnes the Reserve Bank has on its ledger. …

Last financial year about 10 tonnes of the precious metal was leased. In the early parts of the 2000s, almost all of it was being borrowed. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/australia-s-gold-safely-in-the-h…





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

A good one@!! What happened to Australia’s 80 tonnes of stored gold?

(courtesy Manly/Bullionstar)

 

What’s Up With Australia’s 80 Tonnes Of Gold At The Bank Of England?

Submitted by Ronan Manly of BullionStar

Recently, news network RT.com asked for comments on the question of the 80 tonnes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) gold reserves and their supposed storage location at the Bank of England’s gold vaults in London. Based on some of those comments I made, RT has now published an article in its English language news website at www.rt.com about this Australian gold that the RBA claims is held in London.

The RT.com article, which was published on 18 February 2018, is titled “Hey UK! It’s not just Venezuela, what happened to Australia’s gold?“, and can be read in full here on the RT website.

For the commentary, RT actually asked me quite a few interesting questions on both the Australian gold and other related gold topics. Since both the extended questions and the answers might be of interest to readers, we have decided to publish below the full set of questions and answers in Q&A format, which are as follows:

1) What happened to Australia’s gold? What’s your opinion?

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) claims to have 80 tonnes of gold bars stored in a bailment arrangement, in an allocated gold account, at the Bank of England vaults in London. Bailment means the Bank of England is custodian, and the RBA owns and has title to specific serial numbered gold bars.

However, there have never been any independent physical audits of this gold, which means that there is no way to verify the RBA’s claim that it has all the gold that it claims to have.

In 2013, the Bank of England allowed the RBA to do a partial audit of some of  the claimed RBA gold holdings, but the results of this audit remain secret, and even after FOIA requests, the documents from this audit were blocked by both the Bank of England and the RBA and never released. This also raises a red flag.

Most importantly, the critical document to any gold holding held under bailment is a proper weight list of the gold bar holdings (including refiner serial numbers), and such a list has also never been published by the RBA. Such a weight list is fundamental to any claimed gold holding (for example, think about the gold-backed Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) which publish their full gold bar weight lists online on a daily basis).

The RBA has not made any gold purchases or sales over the last 20 years, so apart from gold lending, the RBA gold should be the same bars that it has held over at least the last 20 years. It would therefore be a simple matter to publish in a single zipped file all of the versions of the gold bar weight list that this 80 tonnes of gold has represented over the last 20 years. The Bank of England’s gold bar accounting system has all of this information and it would be simple to extract it.

Throughout the last 20 years, the RBA also admits that a lot of its claimed gold holdings have been lent out in the secretive London Gold Lending Market, but there is no information whatsoever available on any of these lending transactions or the serial numbers of the gold bars involved. In other words, there has never even been one snapshot publication of a proper industry standard weight list for these RBA gold bars (by refiner serial numbers), let alone an updated weight list every time the RBA lent out or closed a gold lending deal.

During the years 1999 – 2004, the RBA says that almost all of it’s gold was on loan, and the RBA is still in the gold lending market to this day, for example, 10 tonnes of its claimed 80 tonnes at the Bank of England were said to be on loan during 2018. The important point here is that the gold bars that the RBA would have title to at the completion of a gold lending deal would not be the same bars that it held prior to this gold being lent to a bullion bank in London.

Independent physical audits, full and proper weight lists, details of gold lending transactions, and above all a transparent attitude, would all allow instant verification of the RBA’s claims about the sovereign Australian gold holdings. That the RBA and Bank of England refuse to do any of these things is highly suspicious. Therefore, there is no black and white way to say that the RBA has the 80 tonnes of gold it claims to have.

2) Why are countries like Australia and Canada willing to part with physical gold assets? Is that a good idea in your opinion? How much gold does Australia really have?

Up until late 1996, the Australian central bank held nearly 247 tonnes of gold, a considerable amount of gold by any measurement. However, it then went on a gold selling spree during the first half of 1997 and sold 167 tonnes, leaving it with the current claimed 80 tonnes.So why did the RBA sell this gold? At the time, the usual justifications were wheeled out by the RBA such as that the proceeds of gold sales could be better invested in financial assets, and that other countries were also selling gold at that time, including Canada, Netherlands and Belgium. But, these reasons have always stinked. Firstly, the RBA gold sales occurred just before a huge bull market run-up the gold price between 2000 and 2011, so the RBA made a huge opportunity loss on the gold sales.

Secondly, selling gold just because another central bank is doing is nonsensical and void of investment rationale. The same goes for Canada which basically sold all of its gold, about 500 tonnes, in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Again, there was no investment rationale for doing so and the Canadians seem to have been coaxed into these sales by external parties. It’s also interesting that in hindsight, no one in the Canadian Department of Finance ever wanted to talk about these gold sales later on when asked by the media or investigative journalists.

Of course, it was not a good idea for Australia to sell most of its gold and for Canada to sell all of its gold. The timing of these sales was also some of the worst ever. Beyond this, these central banks acted irresponsibly and had no accountability to the populations of their nations. Gold is the Wealth of Ages, the sovereign wealth of a nation. It is not some securitized financial asset to be sold and squandered by statist central bankers who answer to no one.

3) Some experts believe that western central banks are “covertly disposing” of their gold or otherwise leasing it to China and India through bullion banks. Do you believe in that? Do you believe there’s some grand, global gold conspiracy involving the world’s central banks?

There is a mountain of evidence that Western central banks despise the power of gold and will go to great lengths at the highest levels to contain the gold price through coordinated interventions and anti-gold policies. From the London Gold Pool of the 1960s, to the US and IMF gold sales in the 1970s, to the 1980s Gold Pool discussions at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), to the Bank of England intervening into the London Gold Fixes in the 1980s, G10 central bank governors have often been personally involved in committing to gold market manipulation.

This continued through the 1980s and 1990s with the growth of the secretive gold lending market and central bank gold leasing, the various European central bank gold “agreements” which did the opposite of what they claimed to do, the sabotage of transparent IMF gold accounting policies by the main European central banks in 1999, and the gold price fix manipulation by bullion banks in London where regulators looked the other way. All of this evidence and more is available if anyone wants to look, such as on the GATA website and elsewhere.

As regards the Australian and Canadian gold sales, the more logical explanation for both of these was that they were coordinated gold sales by G10 central banks as part of a plan to fire-fight the physical gold market or to bail out gold short bullion banks, or that the sales were part of secretive gold re-distributions to other countries, such as to China. While this may seem far-fetched, you have to realize that central banks never tell the truth, especially when it comes to the gold market, and that the sheer numbers of central bank gold sales around that time in the 1990s and 2000s, including by the UK and Switzerland, point to something collusive about the sales rationales.

All of these sales were also secretive, with nothing revealed about the identities of the buyers. Any lists of such central bank gold sales, for example in an FOIA connected to the UK’s gold sales, have the identities of the buyers redacted. So its totally possible that a central bank, such as China, was on the receiving end of these gold sales. There is evidence that the UK Treasury gold sales in 1999 done for bullion bank bailout purposes, so this could be true with the RBA sales.

At a broader level, there seems to be collusive policy behind the scenes of western central banks offloading physical gold in a coordinated manner through secretive sales and leasing it to achieve various policy objectives. These objectives include inducing extra gold supply to dampening down the gold price, fire fighting physical shortages, at times bailing out bullion banks, and most intriguingly, redistributing some of the West’s central bank gold holdings to central banks such as the People’s Bank of China. Gold Pools (central bank syndicates) don’t have to take the form of advertised arrangements as in the 1960s. A central bank gold pool exists any time two or more central banks clandestinely use some of their gold holdings in a coordinated way.

You can call this a conspiracy if you want. Try to ask central banks simple questions about their gold and you will see that not one central bank will ever divulge important information about its gold, or its gold operations, or its gold related policy discussions with other central banks. The Bundesbank, the Bank of England, the New York Fed, the Bank for International Settlements, the European Central Bank, the IMF, the Swiss National bank, De Nederlandsche bank, the Swedish Riksbank, the Banque de France, Banca d’Italia. The list is endless. All of these central banks keep a lid on revealing anything substantive about their gold holdings and their gold activities, and none produce proper weights lists of their gold bars.

Due to the secrecy of the gold lending market, there is zero confidence that the Western central banks have the amount of gold that they claim to have.

The secretive Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Basel

4) What or who is behind the thinking in the West that after 5,000 years gold is now become obsolete as a store of value?

Gold is the ultimate form of money and a 5000 year old store of value. Gold is no one else’s liability and is the antithesis of central bank fiat currency regimes. Gold is the world’s best inflation barometer and a long term inflation hedge. It is for these reasons that central bankers run in fear of gold and want to disparage gold’s image at every turn and to make gold obsolete as a form of savings and investment.

Who is responsible for this? Those who have been running the Anglo and American and Western European central banks and their London and New York commercial bank counterparts for the last 50 years, the same people who congregate at the BIS in Basel and are represented on the Group of Thirty and the Bretton Woods Committee, i.e. the elitist central bankers and their investment bank backers.

5) If Western countries are disposing of physical gold where does it go?

Physical gold has flown from West to East. Some of these flows have been through normal channels where gold has been sold in the market and moved from London to the Swiss precious metals refineries to be transformed from 400 oz gold bars into smaller higher purity 1 kg and 100 oz gold bars, and onward shipped to India, Hong Kong and China.

Gold has also moved directly to the East via mining exports of South Africa, Australia, Canada, the US and elsewhere, and imported directly into China, Hong Kong and India. Western central bank gold disposals will only show up in these gold flows to the extent that the gold has been classified as non-monetary gold. Any cross-border movements of ‘monetary gold’ (which is central bank gold), will not show up in trade statistics, which is what the central banks like, as they want to keep these transactions in the shadows.

India has imported about 15,000 tonnes of gold since 2001. There are more than 25,000 tonnes of private gold held in India. There are at least 17,000 tonnes of gold held in China, not including the gold holdings of the Chinese central bank. Gold has flowed from the West into India and China, sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly.

Some of the gold that the Western central banks still claim that they hold is in fact not there at all. It has been leased out in London, sold and shipped abroad, and now sits in China or India, and all the while the Western central banks still claim that this gold is on their balance sheets as they maintain the fiction that ‘gold receivables’ are in fact the same as physically held gold.

6) Australian economist John Adams said: “In the last 20 years we’ve only seen the gold once.” According to Adams, the RBA audit was so flawed it was basically meaningless. Is there any chance that the BoE could manufacture bars with fake serial numbers?

The Bank of England allowed Australia’s central bank to do its own partial gold audit in 2013, and to inspect a random sample of the RBA gold bars, This audit was basically meaningless, yes, and was flawed from start to finish.

Knowledge of this gold audit kept out of the public domain and the results of the audit were totally censored and buried. Only via FOIA requests did the Australian public even get a glimpse into what was going on. The FOIA emails and correspondence that the RBA did release were heavily redacted without any details of how many gold bars were selected and what the sample size was, and the results of the audit were not published. No one in any industry would accept such conditions for an audit nor of the so-called audit results.

At no time did the Bank of England supply a proper weight list to the RBA with the refiner serial numbers of the claimed gold holding. The RBA had to select some bars a month in advance and advise the Bank of England of the bars its wanted to examine. This in itself is ridiculous. For example, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) has full annual audits of all of its gold holdings (of nearly 800 tonnes), i.e. 10 times more than the RBA holds. Since the GLD can get its gold physically audited twice per year, there is no reason why the RBA cannot.

In July 2013, just before the RBA’s flawed and partial audit, the RBA didn’t even have formal ‘gold safe-custody arrangements’ in place with the Bank of England since it had to ask for “gold safe-custody arrangements between the RBA and the BoE to be formally clarified”. That’s according to a glimpse of some RBA – Bank of England correspondence that did make it out in one of the FOIA emails released.

One of the basement levels of the Bank of England, London

After the audit, the RBA blocked publication of the audit results document stating that it “would, or could reasonably be expected to, cause damage to’ the relationship between the RBA and the BoE” and that it could “render less effective of procedures or methods for the conduct of tests, examinations or audits’ by the Bank”. This is complete nonsense.

The real reasons that the Bank of England does not allow proper gold bar audits and the real reason that it will never provide central bank customers with proper weight lists of refiner serial numbers is that the Bank of England wants total secrecy about gold lending and where the lent gold goes to. Revealing the refiner serial numbers would blow open the entire central bank – bullion bank gold lending scheme, as the lent gold bars could be identified wherever they turn up. The Bank of England does not need to manufacture fake serial numbers. All it needs to do is prevent any serial numbers of gold bars going into the public domain by keeping the entire inventory of central bank gold bar weight lists a secret.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that all central bank gold audits are basically meaningless, not just the gold audit of the RBA. Physical gold audits are only credible if they are unconditional, without any restrictions, and if they are undertaken by independent auditors.

7) The Bank of England is globally recognized as one of, if not the primary destination of choice, for central banks to store their gold reserves. Do you think it’s the right place for Australian gold to be?

No, there is absolutely no need for Australian gold to be in London. Its ridiculous. Australian gold should be stored in Australia. Australia has a sophisticated gold industry and perfectly good infrastructure for storing and handling gold, in fact better than most other countries.

The rationale claimed by the RBA that it stores its gold in London so as to be in proximity to the London Gold Trading market is also wearing thin given that the Bank of England has now confiscated the gold of Venezuela’s central bank, the Banco Central do Venezuela (BCV). This is sovereign gold of another nation which was placed into custody storage by a foreign central bank. It is also absolutely extraordinary that the Bank of England has

All central banks that store gold bars at the Bank of England should now sit up and take note that storing gold at the Bank of England is a wealth hazard  fraught with political and confiscational risk. And if any central bank gold custody customer of the Bank of England is too embarrassed to actually ask for its gold back straight up due to heightened confiscational risk factors, the current uncertainty over Brexit can act as a good cover story for worried central banks.

Wisely, for example, all of the Bank of Russia’s gold is held in Russia, in Moscow and St Petersburg. The RBA should do likwise, and store its gold in somewhere such as Canberra, Sydney or Perth.

Bank of Russia gold storage, Moscow

7) ..continued ….Maybe it’s time for Australia to get it’s gold back? Is that possible?

The Australian central bank could request it’s gold back at any time. Australia has vast logistical experience shipping gold around the world. Likewise, the Bank of England has vast logistical experience shipping physical gold around the world.

Assuming the RBA’s gold is actually in custody in London, the RBA could withdraw this gold at any time. The Perth Mint in Western Australia flies gold around the world all the time. Its entirely feasible that the the Bank of England could contract a company such as Brinks to fly the RBA gold back to Australia in less than 2 days. It should take a maximum of 2-3 weeks to arrange insurance and transport and fly the gold out of Heathrow or one of the other London commercial airports, or even from a military air base such as RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk which the Bank of England has used many times in the past.

8) Do you think the Reserve Bank of Australia has to start building its gold reserves again?

Yes, it is irresponsible that Australia not only sold a majority of its gold at fire sale prices in 1997, but that it has since done nothing to rebuild its strategic monetary gold reserves. All the while, the Asian powers of China and Russia have been doing just that. As one of world’s largest gold mining producers, Australia also has the means at its disposal to rebuild its gold by tapping into primary gold production in the way that the Russian Federation has been doing.

9) Gold has been traditionally recognized as a safe haven asset but its price action has raised some questions. Do you think gold is still worth to be accumulated or maybe it’s time to switch to something else, for example, to silver or palladium?

Gold is money. Gold is a monetary metal with 5000 years of history. The global fiat currency experiment which has been in practice since 1971 is just a blip in time compared to gold’s long and important history. It is therefore dangerous to fixate on the US dollar gold price or the ‘international’ gold price.

This US dollar gold price is set in the fractionally-backed London over-the-counter (OTC) and via COMEX gold futures trading. Both of these markets are essentially trading synthetic paper gold, unallocated gold, cash-settled gold, or screen gold. Call it what you will. The price action of this US dollar quoted gold price does not mean that gold is not a safe haven. Far from it. Physical gold is and always will be a safe haven. Gold demand is still very strong despite what the Western financial media would have you believe. Just look at Asian retail and wholesale gold demand and central bank gold demand in countries such as China, India, Russia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan.

END
Obviously, the mining companies know we are coming to an end of gold/silver manipulation. The perennial crooked Barrick is considering the hostile takeover for Newmont.
(courtesy Reuters)

Canada’s Barrick Gold considers hostile $19 billion bid for Newmont Mining: media

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp is considering a hostile bid for Newmont Mining Corp for about $19 billion in stock, in what would potentially be one of the largest-ever mining deals, the country’s Globe and Mail newspaper reported.

The paper, which also reported that Barrick would flip some of Newmont’s assets to Australia’s Newcrest Mining, cited industry sources familiar with the situation.

Under the potential terms, Barrick would keep Newmont’s Nevada and African mines, while Newcrest was considering taking over its Australian operations, according to the report.

Barrick, which spent $6.1 billion on buying rival Randgold Resources last month, has formed new management teams and cut administrative costs as part of new Chief Executive Mark Bristow’s plan to set the combined company firmly apart from peers.

Bristow had said on a post-earnings call that Barrick Gold would continue to look at opportunities for mergers or acquisitions.

Barrick and U.S. company Newmont have long been touted as a potential match, as they have plenty of overlap around their North American operations, said an Australia- based banker.

“(But) there’s a danger that Barrick is biting off more than it can chew (by making another large acquisition),” he said, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Without such a deal, Barrick could cede its crown as the world’s largest gold producer to Newmont, which is due to close its $10 billion buyout of smaller rival Goldcorp Inc next quarter.

If Barrick were to be successful, the merger between Newmont and Goldcorp would not go ahead, and Barrick would be liable for a $650 million break fee, the newspaper reported.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Barrick had studied a bid for Newmont as it looks for ways to boost production, citing people familiar with the matter.

Newmont declined a request from Reuters for comment, while Barrick did not immediately respond to request for comment.

A Newcrest spokesperson said the firm did not comment on M&A speculation. Goldcorp was not immediately available for comment.

AUSTRALIAN FIT?

Newmont has three gold mines in Australia, which have a net present value of $4.5 billion according to AME Group, but none of those are seen as the kind of large ‘tier one’ developments that Newcrest has said are a prerequisite for any major buys.

Weak economic data drag down Wall Street

“Newcrest has a production hole in a couple of years’ time with Cadia going offline,” said one fund source based in Melbourne, referring to one of Australia’s largest gold mines.

“It makes sense that they would be looking, but I would question the ‘tier one’ nature of the asset.”

Any deal for the assets would hinge on price and the manner of payment, two other bankers and a fund manager said.

“I wouldn’t care if they are not ‘tier one’ assets,” said Simon Mawhinney of Allan Gray in Melbourne, which is the top shareholder in Newcrest with a stake of around 9 percent.

“But I would care if they were overpaid for, that would be a big issue.

end

Your early FRIDAY 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: 6.7197/

 

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  6.7197   /shanghai bourse CLOSED UP 52.43 POINTS OR 1.91% /

 

HANG SANG CLOSED UP 186.38 POINTS OR 0.65%

 

 

2. Nikkei closed  DOWN 38.72 POINTS OR 0.18%

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED GREEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/USA dollar index RISES TO 96.69/Euro FALLS TO 1.1331

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:: 57.51 and Brent: 67.48

3f Gold DOWN/JAPANESE Yen DOWN 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 +.10%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP to 2.88% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD DOWN TO 1.17%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.78: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES TO : 3.81

3k Gold at $1323.40 silver at:15.86   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 9/100 in roubles/dollar) 65.53

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 110.85 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 1.0014 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1346 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year FALLING to +0.10%

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 2.68% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 3.04%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 5.3283

 

“Sea Of Green” Across World Markets As Trade Talk Optimism Storms Back

One day after Bad economic news was briefly bad news again – when a barrage of US economic data misses hammered the S&P – the trusty old “trade talk optimism” is back with a vengeance, and the result is a sea of green in global markets, with European stocks and US equity futures trading at session highs ahead of today’s main event, President Trump’s scheduled, and apparently quite bullish, meeting with China’s top trade negotiator in Washington. Also helping is the avalanche of Fed speakers, which today will see no less than 8 Fed speeches spreading the dovish gospel among BTFD algos everywhere.

  • 8:15 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
  • 1:30 PM Vice Chairman for Supervision Quarles (FOMC voter) speaks
  • 1:30 PM St. Louis Fed President Bullard (FOMC voter) speaks
  • 1:30 PM Philadelphia Fed President Harker (FOMC non-voter) speaks
  • 5:30 PM New York Fed President Williams (FOMC voter) speaks

And so one day after markets perplexingly closed in the red, US markets are set for a higher open, following similar moves across the world.

Following a mixed session in Asia, European stocks, bonds and FX markets traded near session highs in anticipation of more optimistic headlines from top-level trade talks between America and China, while ignoring the latest disappointing German data, where all February IFO survey components (business confidence, current assessment, expectations) fell from prior month, and missing forecasts while Germany’s final Q4 GDP of 0.0% was unrevised from the preliminary print.

Mining and technology shares led the advance in the Europe Stoxx 600 Index as Bloomberg’s industrial-metals subindex headed for its highest level since October, as positive earnings from companies drove big stock swings as European markets opened, with traders now awaiting European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s a speech later Friday.

In the final Euro-area CPI data, both core (1.1%) and headline (1.4%) were unrevised from preliminary readings. More notably, ECB’s Nowotny said the central bank has no conclusions yet on TLTROs, and expects a decision on targeted loans to come later than March, adding that the Governing Council has until summer to reach a decision. Over in Sweden, central bank head Ingves says risks are now mostly on the downside, noting that if risks were to materialize Riksbank policy would need to be adjusted.

Across the Atlantic, futures on the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes all climbed, even as Buffett darling Kraft Heinz plunged to the lowest on record after announcing a $15.4 billion writedown late Thursday. The S&P is now up 8 of the past 9 weeks

Emerging-market stocks rose for a fifth day, the longest streak since May, and a gauge of smaller Chinese stocks entered a bull market. Japanese shares slipped,

Earlier in Asia, shares were buoyed by a late rally in Chinese shares, with the Shanghai Composite closing 1.9% higher. Chinese shares had faltered earlier amid concern about slowing domestic growth and indications that China would cut its benchmark interest rate only as a last resort to boost the economy. Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.2% lower after data showed core consumer inflation accelerated in January but remained far from the central bank’s 2 percent target. Elsewhere, Australian shares gained 0.5 percent and Seoul’s Kospi ended up 0.1 percent.

As Bloomberg summarizes the narrative that has prevailed every day for weeks, markets were cautiously optimistic as U.S. President Donald Trump was set to meet with China’s top trade negotiator in Washington Friday, with the two sides facing a March 1 deadline to avoid a further escalation in tariffs. Optimism for an accord between the world’s economic superpowers combined with a less-hawkish stance from some of the biggest central banks has sent an MSCI global gauge of stocks surging 15% in less than two months. Still, concerns about global growth persist.

“Central banks will take center stage in March, and we believe their appetite to continue with tighter monetary policy will be scaled back,” Nedbank Group Ltd. strategists Mehul Daya and Walter de Wet said in a note. “Once again the global economy and especially financial markets cannot endure tighter monetary policy and would have to rely on policy makers to stimulate economic growth. These are symptoms of a fragile global economy and financial system.”

Still, it’s all about trade, as trade talks and a growing number of policy U-turns by global central banks have propped up equities in recent weeks. Trade talks between U.S. and Chinese negotiators continued in Washington, with little more than a week left before a U.S.-imposed deadline expires, triggering higher tariffs. Reuters reported on Wednesday the two sides were drafting language for six memoranda of understanding on proposed Chinese reforms, progress that had helped to lift investor sentiment.

Meanwhile, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday, the White House said. “Given that enough headway seems to have been made to warrant a meeting between Trump and the Chinese negotiator today, it appears more likely that the U.S. will not raise the levies, which should help high-beta currencies and equities push higher,” said Konstantinos Anthis, head of research at ADSS.

In FX, the Australian dollar recovered after falling more than 1% on Thursday, when Reuters reported the Chinese port of Dalian had banned imports of Australian coal indefinitely. China’s foreign ministry said on Friday coal imports continued but customs had stepped up inspections environment and safety checks on foreign cargoes. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe cautioned against seeing restrictions as being directed at Australia, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the ban does not indicate a souring relationship between the countries. Separate comments by Lowe that a rate increase may be appropriate next year also helped to boost the Aussie dollar. It was last up 0.35 percent at $0.71120.

Elsewhere, the dollar gained for a third day as traders awaited the outcome of U.S.-China trade talks and a series of speeches from Fed policy makers; the euro was 0.1 percent higher at $1.1346, nearing a two-week high. German business morale fell for a sixth time in a row, to its lowest in over four years, a survey showed. European Central Bank policymakers asked for swift preparations to give banks more long-term loans, minutes of its last meeting showed on Thursday.

New Zealand’s dollar weakened against all its major peers after the central bank said proposals to increase lenders’ capital requirements could eventually lead to an interest-rate cut. Sweden’s krona advanced versus all Group-of-10 peers after minutes of the Riksbank’s February meeting showed that “some board members discussed the recent depreciation of the krona and Deputy Governor Martin Floden even suggested that a weaker currency could play a part in him advocating for another rate increase already in two months

In rates, Italian government bond yields crept up on Friday, reflecting caution among investors before a Fitch ratings review. US Treasurys were generally unchanged, with the 10Y TSY trading at 2.68%.

The dollar and gold were flat, while West Texas oil traded rose above $57 a barrel in New York. Brent (+0.5%) and WTI (+0.5%) prices were firmer after a lacklustre overnight session, ahead of US President Trump meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. Goldman Sachs revised their 2019 US oil supply growth expectations to 1.4mln BPD from 1.2mln BPD. Looking ahead, we have the Baker Hughes rig count which last week saw oil rigs increase by 3 to 857, as such the total rig count figure was 1051 from the prior 1049. Gold (U/C) has been largely unchanged taking the lead from an uneventful dollar ahead of multiple key Fed speakers today, including Federal Reserve Vice Chair Clarida.

No major economic data are expected today, while several Fed representatives are due to speak. Cabot Oil, Magna International and Royal Bank of Canada are among companies reporting earnings

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.3% to 2,782.50
  • MXAP up 0.2% to 159.29
  • MXAPJ up 0.5% to 523.30
  • Nikkei down 0.2% to 21,425.51
  • Topix down 0.3% to 1,609.52
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.7% to 28,816.30
  • Shanghai Composite up 1.9% to 2,804.23
  • Sensex down 0.05% to 35,881.89
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 6,167.31
  • Kospi up 0.08% to 2,230.50
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.1% to 370.86
  • German 10Y yield fell 1.1 bps to 0.116%
  • Euro up 0.03% to $1.1339
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 2.6 bps to 2.473%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 2.0 bps to 1.183%
  • Brent futures up 0.1% to $67.16/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.1% to $1,322.72
  • U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 96.64

Top Overnight News

  • Germany stagnated in the fourth quarter as an inventory slump wiped out support from consumption and investment, and business sentiment suggests the weak phase will continue as Ifo business confidence came in at 98.5 in Feb., vs est. 98.9
  • China’s top leaders said they will work to keep the economy operating within a “proper range,” and reiterated that monetary policy will remain “prudent” and fiscal policy will remain “pro-active,” state-run Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday
  • Chinese officials are jamming up imports of Australian coal, with at least one major port suspending customs clearance, but Beijing has denied a report of an official ban
  • The U.K. said Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox discussed with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier “the positions of both sides and agreed to focus on what we can do to conclude a successful deal as soon as possible”
  • EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said a trans-Atlantic trade deal could be achieved before year-end, stressing a readiness to work speedily as the bloc tries to keep at bay the threat of U.S. automotive tariffs

Asian stocks were mixed following the weak lead from their peers in the US where all US major indices declined and the Nasdaq snapped its 8-day win streak, with sentiment weighed by uninspiring data. ASX 200 (+0.5%) and Nikkei 225 (-0.2%) were mixed with the Australian benchmark resilient as participants took a breather from the recent deluge of earnings and as financials remained afloat, but with upside capped by weakness in Energy following similar underperformance by the sector stateside and with Woodside Petroleum shares down by over 4% as it traded ex-dividend. Conversely, Japanese stocks were lacklustre after the recent flows into the JPY, while Hang Seng (+0.6%) and Shanghai Comp. (+1.9%) initially conformed to the indecisive tone but with losses in the mainland eventually reversed after a tepid liquidity injection by the PBoC and as focus remained on US-China trade talks with President Trump set to meet China Vice Premier Liu He later today. Finally, 10yr JGBs were initially underpinned by the weak risk sentiment and BoJ’s presence in the market for a total JPY 685bln of JGBs, but then pared a majority of the gains after hitting resistance at 153.00 and as the regional stock markets bounced off intraday lows.

Top Asian News

  • Korea’s Oldest Conglomerate Hit by Weak Economy, Shares Drop
  • Spreading African Swine Fever Hits Wilmar Earnings in China
  • Philippine Central Bank Stays Hawkish on Policy, Deputy Says
  • China Said to Slow Australian Coal Imports as Beijing Denies Ban

All major European indices are seeing mild gains [Euro Stoxx 50 +0.3%] after a mixed Asia session which took the lead from the US where all US major indices declined. Sectors are mixed, there is some slight outperformance in material names, with the likes of Thyssenkrupp (+2.0%) and Anglo American (+2.7%) in the green. Other notable movers include Wirecard (+3.4%) at the top of the Dax (0.4%) after the Co’s CEO stated that business remains strong. Sartorius (-2.3%) are towards the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after being downgraded to sell. Elsewhere, firmly in the green are Telecom Italia (+3.0%) after the Co. reported earnings with revenue broadly in-line with expectations; the Co. have also announced that they are to launch a partnership with Vodafone (+1.2%) to share their 5G mobile network. Nestle (-0.5%), the largest Co. in the Stoxx 600 which has a 3% weighting, in the red due to Kraft-Heinz being down 20% in the pre-market following downbeat earnings, a USD 15.4bln write-down and being subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Top European News

  • Inventory Slump Hits Germany as Business Outlook Slides Further
  • European Food Stocks Slide After Kraft Heinz SEC Investigation
  • Telecom Italia Pledges 2020 Return to Growth With New Plan
  • Non-Standard Finance Makes All-Share Bid For Provident Financial
  • Swedbank CEO Still Has Board’s Support Amid Laundering Shock

In FX, AUD,NZD,SEK More volatile trade down under, as the Aussie receives a welcome reprieve from China that has now categorically refuted reports that it blocked coal imports having initially claimed no knowledge rather than issuing a firm denial. However, Aud/Usd still seems top heavy amidst recent more dovish RBA calls, even though the Kiwi has been rattled by similar RBNZ impulses, and from the horse’s mouth as it were given comments from Bascand overnight about proposed rises in bank capital requirements heightening easing prospects, in time. Aud/Nzd has rebounded further from sub-1.0400 lows in response, as Nzd/Usd reversed through 0.6800 to circa 0.6760 at one stage. Conversely, Eur/Sek is around 10.6000 in wake of Riksbank minutes and accompanying statements from Governor Ingves in the main, playing down weaker than forecast Swedish inflation in January and keeping guidance for H2 tightening in place, albeit conditional on economic developments and unless downside risks (largely due to external factors) do not materialise.

  • EUR,GBP The single currency and Sterling remain relatively rangebound on the 1.1300 and 1.3000 handles vs the Dollar respectively, but both currencies are getting indirect support from the Greenback’s failure to muster/sustain any positive momentum of its own. Eur/Usd continues to hit resistance above 1.1350 and a downbeat German Ifo survey has not helped, while Brexit is a constant weight for the Pound along with related fall-out on the domestic political front. From a tech perspective, 1.3000 is obvious support, especially as the 200 DMA is just 2 pips below, while for Eur/Usd a decent 1.6 bn expiry at the 1.1300 strike may underpin vs a 1.1362 Fib and the 30 DMA in close proximity at 1.1369.
  • CAD, JPY Not much action in the Loonie or the Japanese currency, though the former is marginally benefiting from gains in the oil complex, mostly driven by market sentiment. Similarly, risk appetite has marginally weakened the JPY, with USD/JPY currently residing just below the top of the 110.65-90 intraday range. Back to the CAD, retail sales may spur some action in the Loonie with the headline expected at -0.3%, up from the prior -0.9%.

In commodities, Brent (+0.5%) and WTI (+0.5%) prices are firmer after a lacklustre overnight session, ahead of US President Trump meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at 19:30GMT. Of note Goldman Sachs have revised their 2019 US oil supply growth expectations to 1.4mln BPD from 1.2mln BPD. Looking ahead, we have the Baker Hughes rig count which last week saw oil rigs increase by 3 to 857, as such the total rig count figure was 1051 from the prior 1049. Gold (U/C) has been largely unchanged taking the lead from an uneventful dollar ahead of multiple key Fed speakers today, including Federal Reserve Vice Chair Clarida at 17:00 GMT. Elsewhere, recent newsflow has seen China’s foreign ministry denying reports that some ports in China have halted Australian coal imports; stating that Chinese customs are quality and environmental checks surrounding coal. Barrick Gold is reportedly considering a hostile bid for Newmont Mining Corp, at around USD 19bln in stock; which has the possibility of being one of the largest mining-deals ever

Looking at the day ahead, there’s no data due in the US, however it is a busy day for Fedspeak with Bostic, Williams, Daly, Clarida, Potter, Bullard, Harker and Quarles are scheduled to speak. The ECB’s Draghi is also due to speak at a ceremonial event this afternoon.

US Event Calendar

  • Nothing major scheduled
  • 8:15am: Atlanta Fed’s Bostic Delivers Opening Remarks in New York
  • 10:15am: Fed’s Williams, Daly Discuss Inflation at Forum in New York
  • 12pm: Clarida Speaks in New York on Fed Tools, Communications
  • 12:30pm: New York Fed’s Potter Discusses Quantitative Tools
  • 1:30pm: Fed’s Bullard to Speak on Balance Sheet in New York
  • 1:30pm: Fed’s Harker Takes Part in Panel Discussion on Balance Sheet
  • 1:30pm: Quarles Speaks in New York on Future of Fed Balance Sheet
  • 5:30pm: New York Fed’s Williams Gives Closing Remarks at Fed Event

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

I got home from Frankfurt yesterday to find windows open and duvets abandoned. Summer has temporarily arrived. However we forgot to close the window after dark and it was freezing going to bed. As could have easily been predicted, my eyes and nose have started to react horribly to the change in weather. Hay Fever is showing its ugly head again with a vengeance. One of the rare side effects of taking too many of my prescribed anti-histamines is apparently hair growing in usual places. For me that would mean my head. So if the corporate picture of me on this email looks different on Monday you’ll know what’s happened. Before the heatwave continues here in Europe over the weekend, a reminder that you can download our new podcast series “Podzept” on sites like Spotify. More details on this page http://www.dbresearch.com/podzept . This series includes one from me on what the history of populism can teach us.

Before you plug in your headphones for the weekend, markets have lost a bit of momentum over the last 24 hours. Indeed equity markets traded lower yesterday as a slew of mostly negative economic data, some signs of more intense trade disruptions, and a slight hawkish lean from the ECB combined to weigh on sentiment. The S&P 500, DOW, and NASDAQ fell -0.34%, -0.40%, and -0.39%, respectively, and the moves had a distinctly defensive tinge to them, with S&P 500 utilities and consumer staples (+0.75% and +0.28%) rising. In Europe, the STOXX 600 retreated -0.28% and Sweden’s OMX Stockholm 30 index underperformed sharply after Swedish regulators opened a money laundering investigation of its banking system. Swedbank (-9.34%), Nordea (-4.49%), and SEB (-4.04%) led declines.

Despite the mild selloff in equities, safe havens failed to rally much either. Treasury yields rose +4.1bps and bunds were up +2.7bps. Gold fell -1.15% and the dollar was close to flat. In fact, some of the only assets to rally yesterday were peripheral European spreads, which tightened -5.4bps, -3.5bps, and -2.5bps in Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

Data didn’t help yesterday with the big story being the flash February PMIs in Europe. To be honest we’ve had easier PMIs to summarise. In a nutshell a big jump in the services data more than offset a worrying decline in the manufacturing sector. The dilemma for markets is that modern economies are far more serviced based but asset prices tend to be correlated more to the manufacturing cycle – something that rung true yesterday.

In aggregate the Euro Area composite nudged up a bit more than expected, by +0.4pts to 51.4 (vs. consensus forecast for 51.1). The services reading jumped +1.1pts to 52.3 (vs. 51.3) however the flip side was the manufacturing print sliding below 50 and to the lowest in 68 months at 49.2 (vs. 50.3 expected and 50.5 previously). The data throws open the question of which way the gap may be closed – up to the services reading or down to the manufacturing reading?

Yesterday’s divergence was most stark in Germany. The services reading jumped +2.1pts to 55.1 (vs. 52.9) and the highest in five months while the manufacturing fell -2.1pts to 47.6 (vs. 49.8 expected) and the lowest in 74 months. The gap of 7.5pts between the two is the biggest since 2009. Like the broader Euro Area reading, the surprising increase in the services component did help the composite lift to 52.7 from 52.1. As our economists put it however, the overall data in Germany did little to provide any evidence of a normalization let alone a rebound. Indeed they note that on the contrary, the weak development in the industrial component points to negative GDP growth in Q1.

On the trade front, news was mixed, as Secretary of State Pompeo said in an interview that “real progress” is being made by negotiators. A subsequent report by Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail said that the two sides are making “the most significant progress yet toward ending a seven-month trade war.” That progress reportedly includes an offer from China to increase its imports of US agriculture products by $30 billion, which would be substantive but insufficient since the US is pushing for more commitments on intellectual property and other non-trade issues. Overnight, Bloomberg has reported that the US President Trump plans to meet China’s Vice Premier Liu He today afternoon (US time) while, the FT reported that the US and China negotiators are attempting to resolve disputes involving semiconductor companies – Micron and Fujian Jinhua – as part of the larger trade agreement as solid agreements on long-running commercial disputes may help the US sell a broader trade deal. The FT report further added that other measures being discussed include easing China’s restrictions on US polysilicone imports and final approval by the PBOC for Visa and MasterCard to provide domestic payment services in China.

Despite the more positive headlines on trade overnight, Asian markets are largely heading lower following Wall Street’s lead with the exception of China – the Shanghai Comp (+0.19%) is up while the Nikkei (-0.28%), Hang Seng (-0.34%) and Kospi (-0.26%) are all down. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 (-0.07%) are trading flattish.

Somewhat related to trade, Reuters reported yesterday that China has blocked all coal imports from Australia at its Dalian port. While not a major destination for Australian coal (around 2% of exports), it may indicate that China is coercively flexing its trade power, and the Australian dollar weakened -1.05% (trading flat this morning). Separately, Maersk, the world’s largest shipping firm, announced a very low profit forecast for 2019 of $4bn, versus consensus estimates for $4.77bn. The CEO cited trade disruptions and macro slowdown as key factors, and the company’s shares slide -10.12% in Copenhagen.

To wrap up the PMIs, the data in France was a bit less exciting but all the same we did see the composite nudge up to 49.9 from 48.9, boosted also by an increase in the services reading of +2pts to 49.8 (vs. 48.5 expected), as the effect of the ‘Yellow Vest’ protests fades. The manufacturing reading rose +0.2pts to 51.4 (vs. 51.0 expected). So some big divergence across countries and sectors in the Europe PMIs which is only going to make it harder to build an ECB consensus. Next month’s meeting should be an interesting watch.

The PMIs weren’t the only developments in Europe yesterday with the ECB minutes and comments from Rehn and Nowotny also garnering attention. On the former, the minutes highlighted that “technical analyses” is required to prepare policy options for future liquidity operations and that this is needed to “proceed swiftly”. That reinforces the clearly converging sense of urgency amongst governing council members and is clearly no longer the big secret that it once was. The minutes also flagged that policy makers will assess the growth outlook “in more depth” in March when new forecasts are available.

As for Rehn’s comments, given his position as a contender to succeed Draghi later this year, it was notable to hear his use of the famous phrase “whatever it takes” which would clearly signal some form of policy continuity. Meanwhile Nowotny was at the margin a bit hawkish, saying specifically that “I personally can’t identify a need for additional liquidity”. DB’s Mark Wall did make the important point however that “no further liquidity” could just be consistent with a TLTRO2 solution that allows existing net exposures to be rolled over. Indeed, that policy option was explicitly referenced in a later MNI report, citing eurosystem sources, that policymakers are considering an extension of existing TLTROs for up to two years, with less generous terms than prior facilities. Overall, that would be toward the less-accommodative end of the spectrum of policy options.

Over on the other side of the Atlantic, the US chose not to be outdone on the data front. Of particular note was the plunge in the Philly Fed survey in February by 21.1pts to -4.1 (vs. +14.0 expected). That was the largest single month drop since August 2011 and notably new orders were also very soft (-2.4 vs. +21.3 previously). The good news was that the six-month ahead component was a lot more positive which perhaps lends an argument to the government shutdown impact. In better news, the latest jobless claims reading declined 23k to 216k. That followed three straight weeks of >235k prints so we were running out of time to blame the shutdown. As for the December orders data, ex transportation (+0.1% mom vs. +0.3% expected) and core capex orders (-0.7% mom vs. +0.2% expected) both missed which is significant for Q4 GDP, while the flash February PMIs also diverged (as with elsewhere around the world) with services +2pts to 56.2 and manufacturing -1.2pts to 53.7. Finally the January leading index (-0.1% mom vs. +0.1% expected) and existing home sales (-1.2% mom vs. +0.2% expected) data both missed.

Over to Brexit and the UK Parliament vote was confirmed for the 27th. In all likelihood the newsflow suggests that the vote won’t be on a new withdrawal agreement according to DB’s Oli Harvey and so therefore remains to be seen what May can offer MPs to stave off a Boles/Cooper revolt which would force the government to extend Article 50 (though the amendment is now technically called Letwin-Cooper). So a delicate few days of negotiation ahead at home and in Brussels but it seems any concession from the latter isn’t going to come ahead of next week so for May’s strategy to work she seemingly needs to take Parliament with her well into March. Challenging!! Moreover, Bloomberg has reported that the EU sees PM May asking for a three-month extension to Brexit assuming that a deal is reached in March to give the UK parliament enough time to pass necessary legislation related to its departure from the EU while adding that both sides are keen to avoid an extension of longer than three months as it would put the UK under pressure to take part in European elections on May 23-26. Elsewhere, the Telegraph reported yesterday that a group of 100 conservative lawmakers have signed a letter addressed to Julian Smith, the chief whip of the party, indicating that they’d vote against May to force her to delay Brexit and take no deal off the table in case she is not able to reach a deal and have called for a free vote next week on a backbench bid to take no deal off the table. In part this gives more legs to the Letwin/Cooper amendment. Sterling finished -0.11% weaker yesterday.

In other news, CNN reported that the US Justice Department is preparing to announce as soon as next week the completion of Mueller’s Russia investigation. On this, Bloomberg reported yesterday that Democrats were seeking to potentially subpoena Mueller if the results aren’t publically released. Expect this to be a big topic next week.

Finally to the day ahead where this morning we get the final Q4 GDP revisions in Germany. A reminder that the preliminary reading came in at +0.02% qoq and therefore implied that Germany had avoided a recession by the thinnest of margins. As we stated last week it was a margin roughly equivalent to the EuroMillions winner’s cheque from last week. So even the smallest of downward revisions could see Germany tip into a technical recession with Q1 also not looking great so far (see earlier). Also due out will be the February IFO survey in Germany before we get the final January CPI revisions for the Euro Area and February CBI survey in the UK. There’s no data due in the US, however it is a busy day for Fedspeak with Bostic, Williams, Daly, Clarida, Potter, Bullard, Harker and Quarles are scheduled to speak. The ECB’s Draghi is also due to speak at a ceremonial event this afternoon.

 

 

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)FRIDAY MORNING/ THURSDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 52.43 POINTS OR 1.91% //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 186.38 POINTS OR 0.65%  /The Nikkei closed DOWN 38.72 POINTS OR 0.18%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.44%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP  at 6.7197 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 6.7197 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7197: / 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

4.EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

EU/GREAT BRITAIN

The EU expects Theresa May to request an extension of 3 months. Not sure if the crooks will agree to it

(courtesy zerohedge)

EU Expects May To Request 3-Month “Brexit Day” Extension

Theresa May once again failed to extract concessions from the EU27 on Wednesday after yet another meeting with Juncker (surprise, surprise) as the Continent refuses to budge on May’s demands for “legally binding changes” to the deal – specifically to the troublesome Irish backstop, which many Brexiteers fear could result in the UK being reduced to a “vassal state” of the EU by becoming interminably trapped in the customs union, with zero say over its rules. Talks between Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and EU27 chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday were similarly inconclusive.

And with only 36 days left until “Brexit Day”, it’s becoming increasingly clear that May will need to ask her EU colleagues for an extension to the two-year negotiating period, something that would cut against her commitment to take the UK out of the EU “as scheduled”, though she has never explicitly ruled it out. According to Bloombergthe EU expects May to request a 3-month “technical extension,” which would be the first, and hopefully only, delay, (because anything further would ratchet up the pressure for the UK to participate in the upcoming European Parliament elections…an unnecessary complication).

May

Still, without meaningful concessions on the backstop, it’s difficult to see a way forward. Rebellious Tories and the “Independent Group” have so far focused their efforts on securing a legally-binding commitment to take a “no-deal” exit off the table. And with the deadline unlikely to be extended past this point, if a deal isn’t reached during the March 21-22 UK-EU summit, he way forward will appear impossibly vague.

But with dozens of Tories reportedly ready to rebel unless the PM offers concrete reassurances that ‘no deal’ isn’t an option, and that rebellion will likely take the form of support for an amendment tabled by former minister Sir Oliver Letwin and Labour’s Yvette Cooper to give Parliament the power to delay Brexit Day if no deal is reached by mid-March.

Meanwhile, thanks to the latest round of defections, the “Independent Group” has become the fourth-largest party in Parliament.

Nrexit

 

But all of these threats likely won’t take on real significance until the March summit with the EU, thanks to the Continent’s reputation for holding out until the last minute. Meanwhile, MPs have told the media that a vote on May’s Brexit “Plan B” deal – which had been set for next week – is unlikely.

END

French bank, Soc Generale is set to fire thousands of bankers.  Business must be really good

(courtesy zerohedge)

SocGen To Fire Thousands Of Bankers

As restrictive regulations (MiFid II forced the separation of banks’ trading and research businesses) and intensifying competition from American rivals continues to hamstring once-proud European investment banks, SocGen is reportedly the latest continental titan preparing to dramatically reduce the size of its Global Banking and Investor Solutions unit – cuts that could include thousands of jobs – while the bank searches for a partner for its cash equity business (a strategy that has been embraced by other European banks as MiFid has changed the rules surrounding research and other typical i-banking functions).

One of the bank’s unions said the bank’s traders are bracing for some of these cuts, though the bank is still reportedly weighing which businesses will bear the brunt of the cuts. Shareholders who have punished the company over the past year – the bank’s shares have largely missed out on the STOXX 600’s 2019 rebound – bid its shares higher on Friday, with SocGen shares rallying more than 2% on the news.

SocGen

More from Bloomberg:

The bank could cut hundreds or even thousands of jobs at its global banking and investor solutions unit, including roles in support functions such as finance and human resources, one person familiar with the situation said, ask not to be identified because the matter is confidential. SocGen is still weighing up which parts of the business would bear the reductions, the person added.

Societe Generale declined to comment.

SocGen’s GBIS unit has more than 20,000 employees. One of SocGen’s main French labor unions said Feb. 8 that the bank is bracing for “important” cuts to trading jobs. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea has said it’s too soon to comment on any headcount decisions.

The cuts would be part of CEO Frederic Oudea’s drive to cut 500 million euros ($567 million) of costs and place all less-profitable investment-banking business lines under review. Oudea promised the cuts after the bank reported brutal Q4 earnings (it has already slashed trader bonuses and said it would eliminate the last vestiges of its prop trading unit).

Cuts would also be part of the efforts by the i-bank’s new leader, Deputy CEO Severin Cabannes, to readjust a business plan developed by his predecessor.

While news of the bank’s plans was well-received by investors, we can’t help but wonder how Jeffrey Gundlach, who lashed Oudea on twitter earlier this month when SocGen’s shares touched a five-year low.

Jeffrey Gundlach

@TruthGundlach

Fresh 5 year low share price for tanking SocGen as Oudea continues to have no idea what he is doing except running the bank into the ground.

end

5.RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

SYRIA/ISRAEL/RUSSIA

A good explanation as to why the S 300 defense shield has not been used against Israel as their bomb Iranian warehouses

(courtesy SouthFront)

Why S-300s In Syria Are Not Being Used Against Israeli Aircraft

Submitted by SouthFront

https://southfront.org/wp-content/plugins/fwduvp/content/video.php?path=https%3A%2F%2Fsouthfront.org%2Fwhy-s-300-in-syria-not-being-used-against-israeli-aircraft%2F&pid=1577

There has been considerable speculation in recent months concerning reasons why the S-300 air defense systems supplied to the Syrian Arab Army by the Russian Federation have yet to fire a shot in anger at Israeli aircraft encroaching on its airspace and launching ordnance against a variety of targets on Syria’s territory. This video attempts to explore a reasonably complete range of explanations. On the one hand, the S-300 batteries in Syria operate under a handicap of operational and political restrictions. However, it would be a mistake to believe that just because missiles are not being launched, that the weapons in question are ineffective.

Israel’s Human Shields

One crucial aspect of Israeli aerial operations is their use of civilian air traffic and also US-led coalition operations to shield their aircraft against Syrian air defenses. It is noteworthy that Russian cruise missile strikes, for example, are invariably preceded by international notifications and closures of relevant airspace in order to prevent tragedies. Israel has not followed similar procedures and has frequently sent its combat aircraft into airspace used by civilian airliners over the Mediterranean and Lebanon. Considering the “international reaction” that would have inevitably followed in the event of a Syrian or Russian air defense shoot-down of a civilian airliner, it is rather likely that rules of engagement used by the Russia-led coalition forces in Syria include strict prohibitions against engaging hostile aircraft when there is even a remote danger to civilian aircraft. The loss of Russian Il-20 with its entire crew to a Syrian air defense missile clearly shows the dangers of engaging remote targets in a crowded airspace.

The Lebanese Doormat

Few examples illustrate the hypocrisy of Western powers’ supposed belief in the sanctity of national sovereignty better than its condoning of near-constant Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace. While that country’s territorial sovereignty is rarely challenged by Israel largely thanks to Hezbollah’s ability to inflict severe casualties on the IDF, neither Hezbollah nor the Lebanese military possess an air force or an air defense system capable of doing the same for the country’s airspace. This allows Israeli aircraft to use Lebanon’s terrain features, specifically the mountain ranges flanking the Bekaa Valley, as a shield against long-range air defense systems. Israeli aircraft using stand-off munitions such as the SDB or Delilah are able to position themselves close to their targets by flying below the Syrian radar horizon, then popping up to launch their GPS-guided weapons before dropping down below the horizon to return to base. In order to deny Israel that ability, Syria and Russia would have to extend their air defense network to the Bekaa Valley and/or patrol it using their own fighter aircraft, a measure that would likely provoke “international condemnation” and risk a massive escalation of the conflict. By the same token, the “international community” has imposed a de-facto embargo on the provision of modern weapons systems of any kind to the state of Lebanon, rendering it unable to defend itself against Israeli incursions.

Russian “Equidistance”

Further complicating matters is the fact that the Russian foreign policy is attempting an extremely difficult task of maintaining reasonably good relations with both Israel and Iran in order to achieve its foreign policy objectives and bring the war in Syria to a successful conclusion. It really is a testimony to the skill and perseverance of Russian diplomats that it has managed to remain in good standing with both of these states. No other major power can claim a similar success. But the downside of this kind of diplomacy is that it makes Russia, and therefore, by extension Syria (over whose national air defense system Russia exercises considerable control simply in order to safely operate its own aircraft) unwilling to engage Israeli aircraft except in the extreme cases of Israel attacking Russian bases or assets in the area. Israel, for its part, has refrained from striking Russian and high-value Syrian targets which does suggest there exists something akin to an understanding between Russia and Israel that was reached in the wake of the aforementioned loss of the Il-20. That loss led to a serious, though apparently temporary, deterioration of Russia-Israel relations. Fortunately Israel’s leaders value Russia’s good will, which is evidenced by Netanyahu’s nine meetings with Vladimir Putin in the space of 3 years and so far have been unwilling to risk even their brand-new F-35s against the S-300s. The combination of these political factors has limited Israel’s attacks against Syrian territory, which is also a contributing factor to the apparent idleness of the S-300 batteries.

The Iran Factor

As if these problems were not enough, it doesn’t help matters that Iran is pursuing a range of objectives of its own, which may not be consistent with Syrian and Russian interests. One visible example of the relatively low level of trilateral cooperation was the abrupt cancellation of the permission given to the Russian Aerospace Forces to use an airbase on Iranian territory to enhance the effectiveness of bombers operating from Russia against targets in Syria. While Iran’s efforts to ensure its security vis-à-vis the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel are understandable, given the brutal nature of the power struggle in the region, in practical terms it means that Russia’s leadership does not feel an obligation to protect Iranian assets in Syria every time Israel attacks them. There certainly is no evidence of any security agreement between Russia and Iran suggesting a commitment to mutual defense. The dependence on Iran-provided or Iran-supported manpower in the form of IRGC troops, Hezbollah, or Shia militias has moreover meant that Russia had relatively few levers of influence over Iranian policies in the region, since Iran’s ability and willingness to put “boots on the ground” in Syria made it an indispensable part of that loose alliance. To the extent that there exists an understanding between Russia and Iran in matters regarding Syria, it seems to consist of Russia giving Iran a more or less free hand to do as it pleases, in return for Iran not expecting Russian air cover for its activities which in turn allows Russia to remain on good terms with Israel whose goodwill it definitely needs to end the war in Syria.

Conclusion

While the situation remains relatively stable with few escalation risks, it cannot be said it is a satisfactory state of affairs because considerable ambiguities remain and will remain for the foreseeable future. Iranian forces in Syria will remain indispensable to that country’s security for as long as US forces remain in Syria and the status of Syria’s northern provinces controlled by insurgent groups supported by Turkey remains unresolved. Until these issues are addressed, the S-300 batteries in Syria will continue to play their part in maintaining this uneasy equilibrium.

end

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

Most Americans and Europeans are terrified about retirement because they have not saved anything. This is what inflation will do.

(courtsy zerohedge)

“Sleepwalking Into A Crisis”: Most Americans & Europeans Are Terrified About Retirement

The ING International Survey Savings 2019, the eighth in an annual series, surveyed 14,695 people in Europe, the US, and Australia, and discovered the majority worry about not having enough money in retirement. The findings show that many people are “sleepwalking” into a financial crisis with little or no savings toward their golden years.

Half of the retirees in Europe tell ING that their standard of living has dramatically declined due to their underfunded retirement plan. Two in five of those in Europe who have not yet retired say they expect to get less in retirement than they paid into their pension.

And more than half of Europeans who have not yet retired tell ING they expect to work in the gig-economy to continue generating income streams well into their retirement.

The shocker: One in four Europeans had no savings at the end of 2018 when this report was conducted, making it virtually impossible to save towards retirement. Beyond Europe, a similar ratio of non-savers existed in the US and Australia.

ING said the worst outlooks for people were in Spain and France, where more than two-thirds of people said they might not have enough money for retirement. The survey notes that the Dutch are the most optimistic about their retirement. In the US, two-thirds of respondents said they worried about not having enough savings for retirement.

The Bloomberg chart shows the Dutch have the brightest outlook on retirement because they are saving much longer. The average respondent in the Netherland retires around 67 years old.

The survey suggested that working longer makes retirement much more comfortable to live.

Bloomberg warns that individuals and governments could have trouble covering costs related to old age, as the demographic apocalypse is upon the Western world. Cutting pensions for seniors can trigger social destabilization for politicians who attempt to reign in costs. And for ordinary people who want to delay retirement, it is challenging to understand if their job will still exist in the next 24 to 48 months, considering the rapid integration of artificial intelligence and automation in the economy.

People’s attitudes toward retirement reflect the economic realities they face in a global economy that is rapidly slowing, headed for a near term trade recession that is going to strain pension funds and government coffers. Take, for example, France, a majority of current retirees say they do not “enjoy the same standard of living they had when working.” In the US, less than one-third of American retirees say their retirement life is economically depressing.

 

With the expectation of government budget cuts, low saving rates, out of control inequality, and volatile markets, retirement for future generations will be a financial nightmare.

END

CANADA

This report shows how Canadians are borrowing against the equity in the homes.  An economic downturn in Canada will be deadly especially if home prices go below the net debt

(courtesy zerohedge)

As The Real Estate Market Slows, Canadians Continue To Plunder Equity From Their Homes

Canadians are accelerating the rate at which they borrow cash against their homes, despite the fact that the real estate market is slumping in the country. This exposes the country’s financial system to obvious vulnerabilities, according to rating company DBRS and Bloomberg.

Home equity lines of credit in Canada reached a record $184.5 billion (USD) as of October 31, which equates to 11.3% of total household credit. This is the highest share since mid 2015, according to a report released last Thursday. Canadians are drawing on their home’s equity to fund everything from home renovations to car purchases.

And they’re doing it so quickly that borrowing has grown faster than mortgages since 2017.

Analyst Robert Colangelo, who published the report on Thursday, commented: “The flexibility of Helocs could increase financial system vulnerabilities. In the event of a correction, borrowers could find themselves with a debt load that exceeds the value of their home, which is often referred to as negative equity.”

Obviously, home equity lines of credit can decrease visibility for lenders to identify credit problems as consumers use the equity in their homes to consolidate high interest loans and unsecured debt into one lump sum at a lower rate.

Out of all of the Canadian banks, Toronto Dominion bank has the largest exposure to Helocs at about 39%, followed by Royal Bank of Canada which has 18% exposure. Other large banks are averaging 11% exposure, according to the report.

And the timing for Helocs to grow couldn’t be worse. Toronto’s real estate market continues to feel pain. Sales of new homes in the city fell to the lowest in almost 2 decades in 2018 and a glut of unsold condominiums continue to pile up, according to a Building Industry and Land Development Association report released February 1. Vancouver, still feeling the deflationary effects of a foreign real estate bubble popping, saw home sales fall about 40% in January from the same month a year earlier.

In early January, we reported that Canadian mortgage credit growth had dropped to 22 year lows, signalling the end of the housing boom. Per a report from RBC, mortgage credit growth had decelerated to 3.2%.

In late December, we reported that Canadian household debt to income levels were near record highs. In addition, we pointed out that principal repayment share has been increasing and that mortgages were the main contributor to Canada’s total debt burden.

 

7  OIL ISSUES

end

8. EMERGING MARKETS

 

Venezuela

Not good:  1 dead and 15 injured as Venezuelan soldiers open fire on civilians near the Brazil border according to the Washington Post. There is urgent need to get rid of former bus driver Maduro.

(courtesy zerohedge)

1 Dead, 15 Injured As Venezuelan Soldiers Open Fire On Civilians Near Brazil Border: WaPo

Just hours after Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said a U.S. humanitarian aid convoy for Venezuela could provoke clashes and create a pretext for removing President Nicolas Maduro, a staunch Russian ally, from power by force,  The Washington Post reports, according to an eye-witnesses and community leaders, that Venezuelan soldiers opened fire on a group of civilians attempting to keep open a segment of the southern border with Brazil for deliveries of humanitarian aid, leading to multiple injuries and the first fatality.

President Nicolas Maduro had warned that the aid is a pretext for a U.S. intervention and had locked down his nation.

The Washington Post details the deadly events started at 6:30 a.m. on Friday, a military convoy approached a checkpoint set up by an indigenous community in the southern village of Kumarakapai, that rests on the main artery linking Venezuela to Brazil. When the volunteers sought to block the military vehicles by standing in front of them, soldiers began firing assault rifles, wounding at least 12 people, four of them seriously. One woman, Zorayda Rodriguez, 42, was killed.

“I ask the armed forces , is it constitutional for them to fire against unarmed indigenous people?” said Jorge Perez, a local councilman in Gran Sabana, the district where the town is located who said he was present when the soldiers opened fire. “Is it constitutional to kill indigenous people?”

At least 30 neighbors took to the streets following the shootings, kidnapping three soldiers, according to Carmen Elena Silva, 48, who had joined in the roadblock, and George Bello, a spokesperson for the indigenous community.

“The majority of the people support the entrance of humanitarian aid, and we want to keep our border open,” Silva said. “This is help, not war…Every day more children die.”

The activists belonged to the Pemones indigenous tribe that has joined the opposition effort to haul in aid donated by the United States and other countries from bordering nations on Saturday.

A spokesmen for Venezuela’s Communications Ministry said it could not yet comment on the incident.

The word “Peace” is painted on a shipping container on the Tienditas International Bridge to Venezeula in Cucuta.

Notably, Reuters reports that Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday accused the United States and its NATO allies of discussing how to arm the opposition in Venezuela and alleged Washington was deploying special forces and equipment near the South American nation. Moscow cited unspecified information to back its assertion about the plans to arm the opposition, but did not say what that information was or present it.

Of course this now opens the door to more direct US intervention. How long until we get the tweet from Trump that “Maduro is ‘massacring’ his people so US has an obligation to intervene”?

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

Euro/USA 1.1331 UDOWN .0009 REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:///ITALIAN CHAOS /AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA RISING INTEREST RATES /FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES GREEN /

 

 

 

 

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 110.85  UP .145 (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 1.2988    DOWN   0.0052  (Brexit March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED

USA/CAN 1.3219 UDOWN .0007 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 FRIDAY 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 186.38  POINTS OR 0.65% 

 

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP .44%  /EUROPEAN BOURSES GREEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NIKKEI: this FRIDAY morning CLOSED DOWN 38.72 POINTS OR 0.18% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED GREEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang Sang CLOSED UP 186.38 POINTS OR 0.65%

 

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 52.43 POINTS OR 1.91% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP .44%

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED DOWN 38.72 POINTS OR 0.18%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE GREEN

Gold very early morning trading: 1323.25

silver:$15.85

Early FRIDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.68% !!! UP 0 IN POINTS from THURSDAY’S night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

 

The 30 yr bond yield 3.04 UP 0  IN BASIS POINTS from THURSDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

USA dollar index early FRIDAY morning: 96.69 UP 8 CENT(S) from  THURSDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers FRIDAY MORNING

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And now your closing FRIDAY NUMBERS \12: 00 PM

 

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.49% DOWN 2   in basis point(s) yield from THURSDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: -.04%  DOWN 0   BASIS POINTS from THURSDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

 

 

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.18% DOWN 2   IN basis point yield from THURSDAY

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.85 UP 2    POINTS in basis point yield from THURSDAY/

 

 

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

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

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.75% 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 FRIDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1344 UP   .0004 or 4 basis points

 

 

USA/Japan: 110.69 DOWN  0.013 OR YEN UP 1 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3062 UP.0022( POUND UP 22  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar UP 39 basis points to 1.3187

 

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The USA/Yuan,CNY closed AT 6.7137    0N SHORE  (UP)

 

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  6.7099(  YUAN UP)

TURKISH LIRA:  5.3151

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

 

 

 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield DOWN 4 IN basis points from THURSDAY at 2.65 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.01 DOWN 3  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, 96.52 DOWN 9 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 FRIDAY: 12:00 PM 

London: CLOSED UP  11.21 OR 0.16%

German Dax : UP 34.42 POINTS OR .30%

Paris Cac CLOSED UP 19.74 POINTS OR  0.38%

Spain IBEX CLOSED UP 18.30 POINTS OR  0.20%

Italian MIB: CLOSED UP 52.79 POINTS OR 0.20%

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 57.36 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 67.16 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   ROUBLE CROSS:    65.36  THE CROSS LOWER BY 0.26 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE HIGHER BY 26 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 :  57.19

 

 

BRENT :  66.99

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: … 2.65.. bond market did not buy the DOW/NASDAQ GAINS

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.02..AGAIN BOND MARKET DID NOT BUY THE EQUITY GAINS TODAY.

 

 

 

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1332 ( DOWN 8   BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:110.64 DOWN .062 (YEN UP 6   BASIS POINTS/..

 

.

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 96.55 DOWN 5 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA:1.3055  UP 14 POINTS FROM YESTERDAY

the Turkish lira close: 5.3151

the Russian rouble 65.37   UP .25 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( UP 25 BASIS POINTS)

 

Canadian dollar:  1.3146 UP 80 BASIS pts

USA/CHINESE YUAN (CNY) :  6.7137  (ONSHORE)/CLOSED FOR THE WEEK

USA/CHINESE YUAN(CNH): 6.7041  (OFFSHORE)

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: ,0.10%

 

The Dow closed UP 181.18 POINTS OR 0.70%

 

NASDAQ closed UP 67.84 POINTS OR 0.91%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  13.51 CLOSED DOWN .95 

 

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.651%   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

Dow Rallies To Best Start In 55 Years As Earnings, Economic Data Collapse

The Dow is up 9 weeks in a row (longest win streak since 1995) and is up 8 straight weeks to start a year for the first time since 1964.

The S&P 500 is having its best start to a year since 1987

 

Both of which are odd given that earnings are collapsing…

And macro data is crashing…

All of which reminds us of…

China had another huge week…

 

But Europe was mixed with the FTSE lower and Dax higher…

 

Another (holiday-shortened) week of gains for US equities led by Small Caps…

 

Buybacks dominated the week once again…

 

But today saw a huge short-squeeze…

 

 

Seems like RP strategies are back in control as Stocks and Bonds are bought and sold together…

 

Treasury yields were mixed this week with the long-end higher (30Y +2bps) and the rest of the curve lower in yield…

 

The dollar weakened on the week

 

Strong week for Yuan again…

 

Huge week for cryptos with Ether up over 20%, Bitcoin up over 10%…best week for Bitcoin since Mid-Dec 2018.

 

Copper gained the most on the week – amid China optimism – but all the major commodities gained on the week…

Copper is at its highest since July 2018…

But Baltic Dry is collapsing…

 

Gold gained in USD terms but was weaker in Yuan terms…

 

 

We give the last word to The Onion, who seemed to sum things up perfectly:

Attributing the gains this morning to them being “just kinda in the mood,” top Wall Street investors confirmed the U.S. stock market soared in early trading Friday after they decided it would be a fun thing to make happen.

“Often, you’ll see the S&P 500 rise because of a jobs report or international trade news, but other times it happens just because making the market go way up is what we felt like doing that day,” said veteran fund manager Jack Malcolm, who, like hundreds of his colleagues nationwide, reportedly woke up “feeling sorta blah” and chose to send all major U.S. indices climbing as a “nice little pick-me-up.”

“To be sure, the catalysts for strong market performance can be complex, and it’s not always easy to put your finger on the factors pushing growth. But this morning we made the Dow rise, like, hundreds of points for no particular reason beyond wanting to see a big spike go way up to the top of the chart. And it did! It looked pretty awesome.”

At press time, sources confirmed the entire global economy had entered a major recession after investors thought it would be cool to do that for a while.

As Gluskin Sheff’s David Rosenberg notes, the Citi Global Economic Surprise index, at -21.6, is nearly the same as it was at the Dec 24th market low. It’s now 227 days below zero — only exceeded by the Great Recession of 2008-09.

“Markets are totally devoid of economic realities.”

MARKET TRADING

late trading this afternoon:

 

Stocks Slide After Trump, Xi Fail To Deliver Trade Deal Progress

Following a closed door meeting with reporters with Vice Premier Liu He at his side, Trump confirmed that he and Xi would likely meet in the near future to hammer out the final details of the deal, and that maybe they would strike a deal…and maybe not. In a letter sent from Xi to Trump that was cited at the press conference, Xi praised the “significant progress” made during talks so far and said he hoped that both sides could meet one another “half way.”

To try and overcome the remaining hurdles to a deal, Liu and his team have agreed to extend their visit by two days.

Stocks dropped on the headlines as both sides sounded non-committal about a deal. Traders also appeared frustrated by the lack of details. In another surprise for markets, Trump gave no indication that an extension to the tariff deadline had already been decided, saying instead that an extension would depend on how the next few days would go.

Chart

The yuan also moved higher on Mnuchin’s comments that a deal on currency had been reached (after reports earlier in the week revealed that the White House had asked Beijing to commit to keeping its currency “stable”.

Stocks

The headlines from the closed-door remarks are rolling in…

  • TRUMP SAYS HE AND XI WILL PERHAPS WORK OUT THE FINAL POINTS AND PERHAPS NOT
  • TRUMP SAYS HE EXPECTS MEETING WITH XI IN NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE
  • TRUMP SAYS HE AND CHINA’S XI WILL ULTIMATELY MAKE THE BIGGEST DECISIONS ON TRADE
  • XI SAYS, IN LETTER TO TRUMP READ ALOUD IN OVAL OFFICE, THAT NEGOTIATORS HAVE MADE SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS
  • XI SAYS HE HOPES THE TWO SIDES WILL REDOUBLE EFFORTS TO MEET EACH OTHER HALF WAY
  • TRUMP SAYS U.S. AND CHINA ARE HAVING VERY GOOD TALKS ON TRADE
  • TRUMP SAYS PROGRESS MADE ON STRUCTURAL ISSUES WITH CHINA
  • U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE LIGHTHIZER SAYS THERE ARE SOME GREAT HURDLES LEFT
  • U.S. TREASURY’S MNUCHIN SAYS LIU AND HIS TEAM HAVE AGREED TO EXTEND THEIR TRIP BY TWO DAYS TO CONTINUE TALKING
  • MNUCHIN SAYS THEY HAVE CONCLUDED A STRONG AGREEMENT ON CURRENCY
  • U.S. COMMERCE SECRETARY ROSS SAYS THERE IS A BLOT MORE THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO GET DEAL ON TRADE WITH CHINA
  • TRUMP SAYS THE RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN GOOD, BUT WHO KNOWS WHETHER A DEAL WILL BE MADE
  • TRUMP SAYS IF HE SEES PROGRESS BEING MADE, IT WOULD NOT BE INAPPROPRIATE TO EXTEND THE MARCH 1 DEADLINE AND HE WOULD BE INCLINED TO DO THAT
  • MNUCHIN SAYS DEPENDING ON HOW THE NEXT FEW DAYS GO, HE MAY RECOMMEND A MEETING WITH XI IN MARCH
  • MORE LIKELY THAN NOT THAT A TRADE DEAL WILL HAPPEN
  • CHINA’S LIU SAYS DEAL WITH U.S. VERY LIKELY TO HAPPEN
  • TRUMP SAYS DROPPING CHARGES ON HUAWEI NOT BEING DISCUSSED
  • TRUMP SAYS MEETING WITH XI MAY TAKE PLACE IN MAR-A-LAGO
  • TRUMP SAYS WE HAVE A DEAL WITH CHINA ON CURRENCY MANIPULATION

Trump is expected to speak publicly at a Black History Month event after his meeting with reporters.

Watch that live below:

Earlier, CNBC reported that Trump and President Xi have been in talks to hold a summit next month at Mar-a-Lago, which would suggest that the March 1 deadline for the US to hike tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods might be extended (though that’s hardly a guarantee). This after the administration insisted after the trade truce had been struck that March 1 would be a “hard” deadline.

ii)Market data/

 

-END-

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

Ford finds problem with ’emission testing but it was not involve defeat devices

(courtesy zerohedge)

Step Aside Volkswagen: Ford Finds “Problem” With Emissions Testing; Stock Slides

Regardless of whether overt fraud is suspected or not, after the numerous emissions scandals that have rocked the global auto industry over the past ten years (Volkswagen diesel-fuel emissions scandal being the most memorable and probably the most egregious), headline-scanning algos are bound to react to the word “emissions” in a headline – and that’s exactly what happened late Thursday when Ford announced that its workers had discovered an unspecified issue with the techniques used by the company to test whether its cars meet emissions standards.

Ford

But there’s no obvious reason to panic – at least, not yet. In a statement, Ford claimed that the problems didn’t involve “defeat devices” like those Volkswagen admitted were deliberately installed in its cars to circumvent federal regulations – a scandal that resulted in billions of dollars in fines and mass recalls. Some of the company’s executives even faced criminal charges.

Ford also said none of its fuel economy ratings had been found to be inaccurate (again, at least not yet).

The issue was reported to the company by employees back in September, prompting an internal probe. The company then reported the issue to the EPA and California regulators this week. An explanation for the lag was not offered.

Ford has hired an outside firm to investigate road load specifications used in its testing, according to a statement.

Ari Natter

@AriNatter

Breaking: @Ford says it has “become aware of a potential concern involving its U.S. emissions certification process,” has voluntarily disclosed it to the EPA.

Ari Natter

@AriNatter

Ford says they have hired an outside firm to conduct an investigation into the vehicle road load specifications used in our testing and applications to certify emissions and fuel economy.

Ari Natter

@AriNatter

Company statement: “In September, a handful of employees raised a concern through our Speak Up employee reporting channel regarding the analytical modeling that is part of our U.S. fuel economy and emissions compliance process.”

Again, so far, there’s no need to panic – yet. But the EPA confirmed Ford’s disclosure and said the investigation was “too incomplete” to arrive at any preliminary conclusions. And after a rough year for auto stocks as global sales slumped and Ford said it would shutter production on some poor-selling brands, the last thing the company needs is another scandal.

 end
This is fascinating:  Kraft shares plunge after the company discloses that the SEC has issued a subpoena against them.  There seems to be accounting irregularities
(courtesy zerohedge)

Kraft Shares Plunge To Record Low After Company Discloses SEC Subpoena

Kraft Heinz shares plunged more than 18% in after-hours trading on Thursday after the company disclosed that it had received a subpoena from the SEC. The whiff of the accounting scandal drove the company’s shares below $40 a share, to their lowest level ever.

Kraft said the subpoena was part of an investigation into the company’s procurement accounting policies, and that, after it received the subpoena, it launched an internal investigation and as a result posted a $25 million increase to the cost of products sold after determining it was “immaterial to the fourth quarter of 2018 and its previously reported 2018 and 2017 interim and year to date periods.” It also posted a $15.4 billion impairment charge, as the company cautioned that “the fair values of certain goodwill and intangible assets” were “below their carrying amount.”

Kraft

Kraft added that it was cooperating in the probe and has been taking steps to improve its internal controls and procedures. The subpoena, which was disclosed in the company’s Q4 earnings report, isn’t expected to have a material impact on its financial statements, the company said, according to CNBC.

Kraft Heinz cautioned that “the fair values of certain goodwill and intangible assets” was “below their carrying amount.”

On top of the subpoena, Kraft Heinz posted a miss on its earnings, reporting EPS of 84 cents on $6.89 billion in revenue. Those results fell short of Wall Street expectations for EPS of 94 cents on revenue of $6.93 billion, according to Refinitive consensus estimates.

end
Warren Buffet is hurt bad as Kraft crashes 25%
(courtesy zerohedge)

Buffett Bruised As Kraft Crashes To Record Low After “Barrage Of Bad News”

Kraft Heinz has crashed 25% ahead of today’s open after writing down the value of some of its best-known brands in an acknowledgment that changing consumer tastes have destroyed the value of some of the company’s most iconic products.

This is not your typical “reset the base and everything will be fine” story;the earnings report was “disastrous”

Analysts at JPMorgan, Stifel, Piper Jaffray, Barclays and UBS cut their ratings on the stock following what Stifel described as a barrage of bad news: Quarterly profit missed estimates, the outlook for 2019 was disappointing, and Kraft Heinz cut its dividend, lowered profit-margin expectations and took a $15.4 billion writedown on key brands.”

Bear in mind that before this “disaster” 13 analysts had buy reccs, 7 holds, and only 4 sells…

But apart from that, everything is awesome right? Well no…

The company also admitted it had received a subpoena in October “associated with an investigation into” its accounting policies, procedures and internal controls related to its “procurement function.”

This includes “agreements, side agreements, and changes or modifications to its agreements with its vendors,” said Kraft.

“Following this initial SEC document request, the Company together with external counsel launched an investigation into the procurement area,” said Kraft. As a result of the probe’s finding, the company had $25 million more in costs of products sold during the fourth quarter, said the company, “as an out of period correction.”

Kraft is now implementing “certain improvements” to its internal controls and has take other “rel measures,” it said.

“We continue to cooperate fully with the SEC and at this time the Company does not expect matters subject to the investigation to be material. For context, this $25 million increase to costs of products sold compares an annual procurement spend of over $11 billion annually for the total company,” Kraft Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen told TheStreet in an email.

The result was a 20% drop oven right which has extended this morning to a 25% collapse to a record low for the stock…

Bloomberg’s Kenneth Shea, global food and beverage analyst, notes that

“Persistently weak organic sales growth generated by Kraft Heinz’s stable of branded cheeses, meats and coffee products has begun to weigh on its industry-leading operating margins. Management’s plan to shore up sagging cash flow and reduce debt leverage through reduced dividend payout and asset sales is a sign of the urgency to restore growth.”

And finally, Warren Buffett is feeling the pain this morning as Berkshire Hathaway’s investment in Kraft declined from a valuation of about $15.7 billion to $11.7 billion as the stock plunged below $36 at this morning. Thursday’s announcement marks the second time this year that a Berkshire holding has disclosed unfavorable news after the markets closed, hurting its stock. Apple trimmed its revenue outlook in January, which pummeled shareholders.

The big question is – as Doug Kass so eloquently explains – Will Berkshire Hathaway buy more (or all) of Kraft Heinz?

The competitive landscape for consumer packaged goods has been deteriorating over the last several years – a position I introduced back in 2017 with “Buyer Beware of Consumer Staples Sellers Amid the Emerging Retail Monopsony”   (though my thesis hasnt helped me not to lose money in CPB and KHC – while making a lot of money in PG).

The above adverse events, have historically been a call to investment arms by Warren Buffett.

Consider GEICO and American Express – in the former case the investment was made under fundamental business duress, the later during the salad oil crisis.

Other investments, in GE, BAC, GS, etc. were made during economic and specific business crises – when, like Kraft, their “moats” were being challenged.

Warren “knows” Kraft Heinz well (he had been on the Board for several years) and is capable of making a quick decision (remember the decision to invest in BankAmerica in the bath tub?).  

He certainly is emboldened with a (record) large and burgeoning cash horde.

Given the fundamental company uncertainty, a call play might make sense and I plan to ask Tim “Not Judy or Phil” Collins for some options ideas.

Note: CNBC’s Becky Quick will be interviewing Warren Buffett on Squawk Box on Monday (following the publication of his letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders on Saturday) – and should will certainly ask about his Kraft investment. Stay tuned.

end
Yellowstone’s supervolcano eruption is on the rise again
(Mac Slavo/SHTPlanF.com)

Yellowstone Supervolcano Eruption Fears Rise As Geysers Become More Active

Submitted by Mac Slavo of SHTFPlan.com

Some of Yellowstone’s geysers have been more active lately reigniting fears that the massive supervolcano will erupt. The sudden bursts of steaming hot water highlight the dramatic nature of Yellowstone while reminding us we are all at the caldera’s mercy.

While average people seemed concerned, geologists seemed excited and thrilled when Yellowstone’s steamboat geyser began erupting again in 2018. It has been erupting as often as once a week since last March, according to National Geographic, and scientists continue to say the volatile activity is not a sign of an imminent eruption.  The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory reported that Steamboat has now set a record by erupting a whopping 32 times in 2018, a personal best for the geyser for a single calendar year.  It’s the world’s tallest active geyser, and at the best of times, it can shoot hot water 300 feet into the air. However, it isn’t just the Steamboat Geyser that has been concerning people.

Ear Spring Geyser, for example, has been almost since 1957, but it erupted spectacularly a few months back and sprayed human garbage from the 1930s all over the national park. But scientists insist this doesn’t mean an eruption is pending. “It’s a good lesson in how geysers actually work,” said Michael Poland, the scientist-in-charge at Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. “As soon as you start to recognize a pattern [in a geyser’s eruption], it changes.”

“As [far as] geysers go, Steamboat is sort of typical in terms of having these sporadic, unpredictable eruptions,” Poland notes. “But because it’s this really tall geyser and it has this name recognition, it makes it that much more interesting.” But again, it’s not just Steamboat Geyser that has people concerned.  “But back in 2007 to 2008, Giant [geyser] went bananas,” Poland says. “It erupted many, many more times than it had in the past year—and Steamboat didn’t do anything of the sort.”

Poland says that because there have been no underlying changes to the heat source which propels geysers, not have there been any geological changes, we should not be concerned about Yellowstone erupting in a cataclysmic event.  But Poland is either wrong on one front, or he’s being intentionally misleading. There has been a major geological change that could literally affect the entire globe, one which he conveniently left out for unknown reasons: Earth’s Magnetic North Pole Has Been Shifting Radpily In The Past 40 Years

But have no fear, anyone who is worried about an eruption has fears which are “unfounded” according to a report by National GeographicThe scientists and media outlets who wish to control public thought and opinion would like for anyone concerned to take off their tin foil hat. Sometimes it feels like we are being conditioned and told what to care about and which things we should fear as opposed to allowing us the freedom to decide on our own. Is Yellowstone a threat? Maybe, maybe not. It’s not our place to tell you what to think, we ask that you take your own thoughts into your hands and decide for yourself if Yellowstone is a viable threat.

end
This is going to be a huge problem as USA cities face a moment of reckoning as China halts its importation of USA trash.
(courtesy zerohedge)

US Cities Face “Moment Of Reckoning” As China Halts Trash Imports

In the Trump era, the American garbage business is changing in ways that Tony Soprano never could have anticipated. And it’s creating serious problems for American cities, who might soon find themselves with nowhere to turn to export their trash and recyclables (most of which have almost no value above rubbish due to contamination, and are typically disposed of in the same fashion).

And while an unrelenting river of garbage with nowhere to go might be a mafioso’s dream, small towns like Chester City, PA., a small town in Delaware County that is best known as Philly’s waste pit, is demanding that something be done since China’s sleeper ban on recycling imports – which arose from Beijing’s desire “not to be the world’s landfill” – has led to a host of new deadly contaminants polluting the impoverished town’s air as its incinerators now burn more of the plastics that China will no longer accept.

As we explained last year, since 1992, China and Hong Kong have taken in approximately 72% of global plastic waste according to a study in the journal Science Advances. However, since January 2018, Beijing stopped accepting most paper and plastic waste in accordance with new environmental policies.

Garbage

What they do still accept: cardboard and metal, now has an extremely low contamination threshold of just 0.5% – a level far too low for current US recycling technology to handle. Where China used to take 40% of the US’s paper plastics and other trash, that trade has now ground to a halt.

It is “virtually impossible to meet the stringent contamination standards established in China”, according to a spokeswoman for the Philly city government. Because of this, the city’s garbage problem has become a “major impact on the city’s budget”, at around $78 a ton. Now, half of the city’s recycling is going to the Covanta plant.

Making matters worse is that US waste handlers believe that China is on track to close its doors to all recycled materials by 2020, an impossibly short deadline to build new incinerators or find somewhere else to dump America’s garbage (other than the ocean).

Trump

Since China implemented the ban last year, about 200 tons of recycling material are incinerated every day at the Covanta plant in Chester, according to the Guardian.

The incinerator’s impact on public health in Chester is already staggering: Nearly four in 10 children in the city have asthma, while the rate of ovarian cancer is 64% higher than the rest of Pennsylvania and lung cancer rates are 24% higher. And community activists worry that could get worse: Experts believe the burning of the “recyclable” plastics could unleash a new fog of toxic dioxins in to the town’s air.

So they’re organizing to do something about it, as one local told the Guardian.

“People want to do the right thing by recycling but they have no idea where it goes and who it impacts,” said Zulene Mayfield, who was born and raised in Chester and now spearheads a community group against the incinerator, called Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living.

“People in Chester feel hopeless – all they want is for their kids to get out, escape. Why should we be expendable? Why should this place have to be burdened by people’s trash and shit?”

Of course, this dilemma isn’t unique to Philly and Chester. The problem of what to do with the growing backlog of American waste is playing out across the country.

Contrary to the common wisdom that recycling will save the sea turtles, the reality is that most of the recyclables collected in the US are incinerated or thrown in a landfill (sorry, turtles).

Ironically, while China has a reputation for being inundated with pollution and smog according to the American popular perception, now that the Chinese aren’t taking our trash, we have no idea what to do with it.

“The unfortunate thing in the United States is that when people recycle they think it’s taken care of, when it was largely taken care of by China,” said Gilman. “When that stopped, it became clear we just aren’t able to deal with it.”

To make waste disposal in the US more palatable for small towns, incinerators will need to be reengineered to meet higher environmental standards, and the whole US recycling system will need to be overhauled.

There isn’t much of a domestic market for US recyclables – materials such as steel or high-density plastics can be sold on but much of the rest holds little more value than rubbish – meaning that local authorities are hurling it into landfills or burning it in huge incinerators like the one in Chester, which already torches around 3,510 tons of trash, the weight equivalent of more than 17 blue whales, every day.

“This is a real moment of reckoning for the US because of a lot of these incinerators are aging, on their last legs, without the latest pollution controls,” said Claire Arkin, campaign associate at Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. “You may think burning plastic means ‘poof, it’s gone’ but it puts some very nasty pollution into the air for communities that are already dealing with high rates of asthma and cancers.”

If a solution isn’t found soon, garbage will continue to eat up a larger share of city budgets, pushing them further toward financial instability.

Or towns like Chester might follow the example set by Sopranos antagonist Richie Aprile.

SWAMP STORIES

This is fascinating:  The FBI’s top lawyer James Baker thought that Hillary Clinton should have been criminally prosecuted

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

FBI’s Top Lawyer Thought Hillary Clinton Should Be Criminally Prosecuted – Was “Persuaded” To Change His Mind

The FBI’s top lawyer, General Counsel James Baker, initially thought that Hillary Clinton should face criminal charges for transmitting classified information over her insecure, private email server, according to transcripts from a 2018 closed-door Congressional testimony reviewed by The Hill‘s John Solomon.

James Baker

While being questioned by Rep. John Radcliffe (R-TX), Baker was clear that he thought Clinton should face criminal charges.

“I have reason to believe that you originally believed it was appropriate to charge Hillary Clinton with regard to violations of law – various laws, with regard to mishandling of classified information. Is that accurate?” asked Ratcliffe, a former federal prosecutor.

After a brief pause to consult with his attorney, Baker responded: “Yes.” 

Baker later explained how he arrived at his conclusion, and how he was “persuaded” to change his mind.

“So, I had that belief initially after reviewing, you know, a large binder of her emails that had classified information in them,” said Baker. “And I discussed it internally with a number of different folks, and eventually became persuaded that charging her was not appropriate because we could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that – we, the government, could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that – she had the intent necessary to violate (the law).

Baker says he was persuaded to change his mind “pretty late in the process, because we were arguing about it, I think, up until the end.

Recall that in December, 2017 we learned that James Comey’s original exoneration letter was drafted in a way that would have required criminal charges – changing Clinton’s conduct from the legally significant “gross negligence” to “extremely careless” – which is not a legal term of art. This language – along with several other incriminating components was altered by former FBI counterintelligence agent and attorney, Peter Strzok.

Baker made clear that he did not like the activity Clinton had engaged in: “My original belief after – well, after having conducted the investigation and towards the end of it, then sitting down and reading a binder of her materials –I thought that it was alarming, appalling, whatever words I said, and argued with others about why they thought she shouldn’t be charged.

His boss, Comey, announced on July 5, 2016, that he would not recommend criminal charges. He did so without consulting the Department of Justice, a decision the department’s inspector general (IG) later concluded was misguided and likely usurped the power of the attorney general to make prosecutorial decisions. Comey has said, in retrospect, he accepts that finding but took the actions he did because he thought “they were in the country’s best interest.” –The Hill

Baker noted that had he been more convinced that there was evidence that Clinton intended to violate the law, “I would have argued that vociferously with him [Comey] and maybe changed his view.”

END

This is going to be fun:  McConnell is going to fast track AOC’s “Green New Deal”.  This should show the world which democrats are supporting this crazy proposal

(courtesy zerohedge)

McConnell Fast-Tracks Vote On Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal”

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could toss a major stinkbomb into the 2020 Democratic Primary as soon as next week.

According to the Hill, the Republican leader is planning to call a vote on the “Green New Deal” resolution championed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey.

McConnell

Though no Republicans have expressed support for the deal, McConnell’s wants to fast-track a vote on the resolution as a ploy to divide Democrats between supporters and opponents and force 2020 primary contenders to go on the record either supporting or opposing the non-binding resolution. So far, most of the contenders have spoken favorably of the deal, including Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, while others, including Amy Klobuchar, have been somewhat more tentative.

As a reminder, here are some of the more “radical” proposals included in the original GND (or “Green Dream”, as Nancy Pelosi once called it), at least before some major rewrites when even the GND’s advocates balked at the lunacy that was presented before them.

  • Rebuild every single building in the U.S.

“Upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency.”

  • Will end all traditional forms of energy in the next ten years.

The Green New Deal is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

  • Plans to ban nuclear energy within 10 years if possible.

It’s unclear if we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant within 10 years, but the plan is to transition off of nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible.”

  • Build trains across oceans and end all air travel.

“Build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.”

  • Don’t invest in new technology of Carbon Capture and Storage, just plant trees instead.

We believe the right way to capture carbon is to plant trees and restore our natural ecosystems. CCUS technology to date has not proven effective.”

  • Mandates all new jobs be unionized.

“Ensure that all GND jobs are union jobs that pay prevailing wages and hire local.”

  • May include a carbon tax.

We’re not ruling a carbon tax out, but a carbon tax would be a tiny part of a Green New Deal.”

  • May include cap and trade.

The Hill included a litany of critical comments about the GND from Republicans and Democrats.

  • “It is difficult to support the resolution right now when one of the lead sponsors says one of the intentions is to make air travel unnecessary,” Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, said in a statement in early February.
  • “I’m looking forward to voting against the Green New Deal because it’s just so bad for the economy and we’ll have an opportunity for the Democrats to see if they want to rubber stamp this lurch to the left, this hard left turn that their party seems to be taking right now,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
  • Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who faces a tough reelection race next year, equated the plan to socialism. “This idea is about socialism. That’s what this is. Look at it. Read it,” Gardner said. “And it’s important that we tell the American people what it is.”
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), another centrist in the Democratic caucus, characterized the plan in an interview with CNN last week as a “dream,” suggesting he’d vote against it.
  • “I’ll vote on the motion to proceed and then we’ll see after that,” Manchin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Natural Resources Committee, told The Hill.

But Chuck Schumer, who has refused to explicitly support the resolution, brushed aside questions about McConnell’s decision and told reporters that he would welcome a vote on the resolution, saying “bring it on.”

“You think it might embarrass Democrats to vote on a nonbinding resolution that some of us may support but not others?” Schumer asked. “Trust me, we’ll be fine, because the American people know that our entire party believes that climate change is happening and it’s caused by humans.”

Maybe Schumer will change his tune after his office conducts a few rounds of polling about Americans’ support for air travel and beef.

END
Former correspondent Lara Logan explains how the media is coming after her after she told the world about liberal bias.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Lara Logan: Media Is “Coming After Me” For Telling The Truth About Liberal Bias

Just as she had anticipated, former CBS News 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan has been inundated with criticism both personal and professional after breaking ranks and admitting during an interview on the Mike Drop podcast that the mainstream media is “85% Democrat” and that allegations of a pervasive left-wing bias in the media are sadly justified (what is for many a self-evident truth that many on the left are still somehow unwilling to accept).

Logan

And in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Wednesday night, Logan expanded on her point and also share some of the backlash she faced after her interview went viral.

“I am braced for fire and fury,” she said. “I can give you the script now…It’s the same people all the time, and who say the same thing…They can’t take down the substance,” she said “they can’t go after the things that matter, so they smear you personally, they go after your integrity, they go after your reputation as a person and as a professional and they’ll stop at nothing.”

[…]

“If there are any independent voices out there, if there are any journalists that are not beating the same drum and giving the same talking points, then we pay the price.”

Logan also wasn’t afraid to name names.

“Michael Calderone, who was at the Huffington Post. I can literally give you the script now, I can tell you who the players are. Joe Hagan, Brian Stelter, it’s the same people all the time and they’re all saying the same things and they come after Cheryl Atkinson, they come after you, they come after me.”

During her original interview, Logan explained to Brietbart’s Mike Ritland how viewers can tell that the media is biased.

“85% of journalists are registered Democrats,” Logan said. “How do you know you’re being lied to? How do you know you’re being manipulated? How do you know there’s something not right with the coverage? When they simplify it all [and] there’s no grey. It’s all one way. Well, life isn’t like that. If it doesn’t match real life, it’s probably not. Something’s wrong. For example, all the coverage on Trump all the time is negative…That’s a distortion of the way things go in real life.”

“There’s no grey. It’s all one way,” said Logan.

In response, Hannity wondered aloud if Logan had maybe low-balled that number, and if the true figure was closer to 90%.

Watch the full Hannity below:

 
END
the true cost of Eliz Warren’s childcare program. It is not 70 billion dollars.  It is more than 174 billion dollars
(courtsy zerohedge.

Breaking Down Elizabeth Warren’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Math Behind “Childcare For All”

This week Elizabeth Warren proposed a fantastical entitlement program to provide free or affordable childcare to every single American family with a young child – suggesting that the program would cost $70 billion a year.

As Breitbart‘s John Carney notes – the whole plan is absurd; not because the price tag is so expensive, but because it’s way too cheap.

Start with the basics. There are around four million babies born in the U.S. every year. That means there are approximately 20 million children under school age who could be enrolled in a national childcare program. Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi and Sophia Koropeckyj, the economists behind Warren’s figures, estimate that the cost of each child in the Warren Centers—or Baby Warrens, as we would inevitably call them–would be $14,500. –Breitbart

At $14,500 times 20 million children, a national childcare program could cost up to $290 billion per year – or an extra 2 trillion per decade over her original estimate. That said, not every family qualifies, nor would every family take advantage of such a program as some people prefer to raise their own children or place them in the care of relatives.

That said, Warren’s proposal promises free childcare to any family with an income under 200% of the poverty line – or around $51,000 for a family of four. All other families would pay no more than 7% of their income on childcare.

Zandi and Koropeckyj estimate that 1/3 of American households will choose to forego professional childcare; around the same percentage as today. This is magical thinking, suggests Carney – as it assumes that stay-at-home parents won’t change their preferences in light of a massive government program.

Warren’s plan assumes that the number of children in childcare centers would rise from 6.8 million to 12 million – however due to shifting preferences, that number would likely be much higher.

That said – the math behind Warren’s plan is still wrong at 12 million children. At $14,500 per head, the program would cost approximately $174 billion per year, not $90 billion.

How they shave that $100 billion off the cost is partly redistribution and mostly voodoo economics, magical thinking disguised as macroeconomics. Because families earning more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level would have to pay for some of their childcare–but never really more than half–the cost would be reduced. But the size of the subsidy for even very wealthy families is large enough that this doesn’t shave much off the total cost.

The heavy lifting here is in the rosy economic forecasts Zandi and Koropeckyj produce. They predict that the childcare for all program will “quickly lift economic growth” by transferring wealth from the rich—Warren wants to pay for the program with a tax on ultra-millionaires. In the longer term, they see it boosting economic  growth because they foresee it boosting workforce participation and the number of hours worked. –Breitbart

In short, the plan only works if economic growth is “quickly lifted” because of a massive wealth transfer from ultra-millionaires, and if the free childcare results in more parents leaving the home in search of jobs amid already-low unemployment. The analysis fails to consider that a flood of additional workers who aren’t at home raising their own kids would put downward pressure on wages.

“Cheapening labor costs while raising taxes on wealth would also diminish the return on capital investment, which would be a drag on productivity—the best driver of economic growth,” notes Carney.

“In the end, we may end up with a diminished economy, families working more hours than before and spending less time with children, and an entitlement program that is much more expensive than anticipated (as entitlement programs tend to be).

That said, encouraging Americans to have more children by making it more affordable is not a bad idea, concludes Carney. It should just be done in a way that doesn’t require magical math – such as a much larger, fully refundable child tax credit, and allowing families to pay less in entitlement taxes when they have more than two children. After all, they will be supplying the next generation of workers who will pay for Social Security and Medicare, should it still exist by then.

“Childcare Deserts”

While Carney points out the crappy assumptions behind Warren’s plan, there may be another major problem; accessibility. According to the Center for American Progress, more than half of American households live in what are known as “childcare deserts” – places where there are up to 3 children for every available childcare slot, or no childcare options at all.

Warren addresses this in a blog post, suggesting that her plan would “establish and support a network of locally-run Child Care and Early Learning Centers and Family Child Care Homes so that every family, regardless of their income or employment, can access high-quality, affordable child care options.”

The problem, as New Republic reports, “There are simply not enough providers in operation, either in formal centers or in informal home settings, with enough openings to meet current demand.”

That demand is only likely to increase if Warren’s plan makes childcare far more affordable and better quality than it is today. Significantly increasing the funding available to provide care and compensate providers adequately will certainly entice more people to jump into the business. But there is nothing in the plan that absolutely ensures that enough providers open up shop and create new slots so that all families can take advantage of it. –New Republic

In short, the federal government would need to become directly involved in solving the infrastructure problem – vastly expanding child development centers, which would add an entirely new set of costs to the proposal.

The Week‘s Ryan Cooper points out four flaws in Warren’s plan.

The limitations of Warren’s proposal are clearly driven in part by the desire to keep the headline price down, but somebody, in this case middle- and upper-class parents, will still have to make up the difference. Designing it in this way could easily increase the total cost (that is, including both state and private spending) of child care. The government could counter this problem by fixing prices, but there are no such controls mentioned in the proposal outline.

Second is wasteful bureaucracy. Giving out subsidies based on income will require an administrative/surveillance apparatus to calculate payments and make sure that people aren’t cheating the system. That’s a lot of paperwork and very likely a lot of mistakes and headaches.

Third is lower political durability. Families only eligible for smaller subsidies will be naturally resentful of the downscale families paying nothing, so there will be less resistance to a future Republican administration attempting to roll back the program. (Witness the last GOP Congress coming within a hair’s breadth of repealing ObamaCare, but largely leaving Medicare alone.)

A fourth problem is that families in the phase-out zone of the subsidy will potentially face a high effective marginal tax rate, as a large portion of any additional income will be eaten up by reduced subsidies — especially when combined with other proposals for means-tested tax credits that would phase out in a similar way, like Kamala Harris’s LIFT Act.

Any way you cut it, Warren’s plan – like so many before them, appears to be nothing more than a great sounding promise that would end up like California’s ill-fated bullet train.

end

I have now seen just about everything:  New England Patriots owner and billionaire Robert Kraft charged with soliciting hookers

(courtesy zerohedge)

New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Charged With Soliciting Hookers

Update: A spokesperson for Robert Kraft has released the following statement:

We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.

The video that the police have: must be a ‘deep fake’ then?

*  *  *

Just when you thought the day couldn’t get any worse for the Kraft family name – with Kraft Heinz’ share price down 25% to a new record low this morning – it just did…

As part of a takedown of a human trafficking ring, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was busted in Florida on two counts of soliciting prostitution at a spa.

As DeadSpin.com reports, in a press conference Friday morning, Jupiter Police chief Daniel Kerr said Kraft was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution roughly a month ago, and that a warrant for his arrest is with the state’s attorney’s office.

https://cdnapisec.kaltura.com/p/591531/sp/59153100/embedIframeJs/uiconf_id/6740162/partner_id/591531?iframeembed=true&playerId=kaltura-player-9999999999-84764621280747180&entry_id=1_gnkdda3k

Chief Kerr says he was “stunned as everybody else” when he saw Kraft’s name as a suspect.

Twenty-five people total were charged with soliciting prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Spa in Jupiter.

Additionally, Kerr said there is video evidence of Kraft involved in sex acts in a massage parlor on two occasions.

Officials say Kraft was driven to the spa by a chauffeur.

The average cost per visit for services is $59 or $79 per hour, according to police.

Kraft will be charged with a misdemeanor and will have to appear in court.

end
The following is very important as we will now enter Phase II of the Mueller /Russian election interference probe
(courtesy Kim Strassel, Wall Street Journal)

Schiffting To Phase 2: The Mueller Report ‘Disappointment’ Will Be Just The Beginning

James Howard Kunstler notes that the #Resistance has been losing bigly in recent days as each new “bombshell” it manufactures turns out only to reveal its modus operandi, which is that the end justifies the means – the end being to evict the wicked Mr. Trump from office and the means being dishonesty and bad faith in its use of the government’s prosecutorial machinery.

The New York Times has a Friday op-ed, The Mueller Report Is Coming. Here’s What to Expect, declaring, “A concise report will probably act a a ‘road map’ to investigation for the Democratic House — and to further criminal investigation by other prosecutors.”

Translation: prepare to be disappointed by Mr. Mueller’s report and microwave a giant tub of popcorn for an extravaganza of sequels and re-boots. Beware of what you wish for. If the baton is passed to House committee chairs Jerrold Nadler, Maxine Waters, and Elijah Cummings, then in Act Two of the show, the country will be treated to something like the Spanish Inquisition as performed by Moe, Larry, and Curly.

But, as The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel notes, there’s been no more reliable regurgitator of fantastical Trump-Russia collusion theories than Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff. So when the House Intelligence Committee chairman sits down to describe a “new phase” of the Trump investigation, pay attention. These are the fever swamps into which we will descend after Robert Mueller’s probe.

Kim Strassel…

The collusionists need a “new phase” as signs grow that the special counsel won’t help realize their reveries of a Donald Trump takedown. They had said Mr. Mueller would provide all the answers. Now that it seems they won’t like his answers, Democrats and media insist that any report will likely prove “anticlimactic” and “inconclusive.” “This is merely the end of Chapter 1,” said Renato Mariotti, a CNN legal “analyst.”

Mr. Schiff turned this week to a dependable scribe—the Washington Post’s David Ignatius—to lay out the next chapter of the penny dreadful. Mr. Ignatius was the original conduit for the leak about former national security adviser Mike Flynn’s conversations with a Russian ambassador, and the far-fetched claims that Mr. Flynn had violated the Logan Act of 1799. Mr. Schiff has now dictated to Mr. Ignatius a whole new collusion theory. Forget Carter Page, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos—whoever. The real Trump-Russia canoodling rests in “Trump’s finances.” The future president was “doing business with Russia” and “seeking Kremlin help.”

So, no apologies. No acknowledgment that Mr. Schiff & Co. for years have pushed fake stories that accused innocent men and women of being Russian agents. No relieved hope that the country might finally put this behind us. Just a smooth transition—using Russia as a hook—into Mr. Trump’s finances. Mueller who?

What’s mind-boggling is that reporters would continue to take Mr. Schiff seriously, given his extraordinary record of incorrect and misleading pronouncements. This is the man who, on March 22, 2017, helped launch full-blown hysteria when he said on “Meet the Press” that his committee already had the goods on Trump-Russia collusion.

“I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now,” Mr. Schiff declared then. Almost two years later, he’s provided no such evidence and stopped making the claim—undoubtedly because, as the Senate Intelligence Committee has said publicly, no such evidence has been found.

At an open House Intelligence Committee hearing on March 20, 2017, Mr. Schiff stated as fact numerous crazy accusations from the infamous Steele dossier—giving them early currency and credence. He claimed that former Trump campaign aide Carter Page secretly met with a Vladimir Putin crony and was offered the brokerage of a 19% share in a Russian company. That Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort tapped Mr. Page as a go-between. That the Russians offered the Trump campaign damaging documents on Hillary Clinton in return for a blind eye to Moscow’s Ukraine policy. Mr. Schiff has never acknowledged that all these allegations have been debunked or remain unproved.

There was Mr. Schiff’s role in plumping the discredited January BuzzFeed story claiming Mr. Mueller had evidence the president directed his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. The special counsel’s office issued a rare statement denying the report. There was Mr. Schiff’s theory that the mysterious phone calls Donald Trump Jr. placed before his 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower were to Candidate Trump. Senate Intel shot that down. And don’t forget Mr. Schiff’s February 2018 memo claiming the Steele dossier “did not inform” the FBI probe, because the bureau didn’t obtain it until long after the probe’s start. Testimony from Justice Department officials shot that one down, too.

With a track record like this, who wouldn’t believe Mr. Schiff’s new claim, in the Ignatius interview, that the key to collusion rests in Trump finances—in particular something to do with Deutsche Bank ? But hold on. Where did we first hear that Deutsche Bank theory? That’s right. See pages 64 and 117 of the wild House testimony of Glenn Simpson—head of Fusion GPS, the organization behind the Steele dossier. It’s right there, stuffed in between Mr. Simpson’s musings that Ivanka Trump might be involved with a “Russian Central Asian organized crime nexus,” that there is something nefarious happening on the “island of St. Martin in the Caribbean,” and that Roger Stone is part of a “Turkey-Russia” plot.

Mr. Schiff is taking his cue for Phase 2 of his investigation from the same Democrat-hired opposition-research group that launched the failed Phase 1.

At the start of all the Russia craziness, Mr. Schiff had a choice: maintain the bipartisan integrity of his committee by working with Republicans to find honest answers, or take on the role of resident conspiracy theorist. He chose his path. The rest of us should know better than to follow him.

Meanwhile, as Jim Kunstler continues,  ths antics of Waters, Schiff et al., may be eclipsed by the now inevitable inquiry around the misdeeds carried out by public officials in Act I of the show: the Russia Collusion Ruse. Based just on the current Andy McCabe book tour, there will be an awful lot to get to, and it is liable to be far more compelling than the nonsense conjured up by the Three Stooges. Mr. McCabe, in his quest to hand off the hot potato of culpability to his former colleagues, and to sell enough books to pay his lawyers’ retainers, has neatly laid out the case for his orchestrating a coup d’etat within the FBI.

It’s an ugly story, and it’s all out there now, like so much spaghetti hurled against the wall, and it won’t be ignored. There are many other spaghetti wads already plastered on that wall ranging from Hillary Clinton’s Fusion GPS hijinks, to Loretta Lynn’s written assurances to the Clinton campaign that the email server matter would be dropped, to the rather complete failure of the FISA process, and much much more that needs to be ventilated in a court of law.

I suspect that Barack Obama and his White House confidantes will enter the picture, too, sooner later, and to the great dismay of his partisans who do not want to see his legacy tarnished. Whatever your view of all these dark events, it would be pretty awful for the country to have to see him in a witness chair, but it may be unavoidable. Ditto Hillary, who is liable to go all Captain Queeg-y when she finally has to answer for her campaign’s turpitudes.

Most of this cast of characters has seemingly gone-to-ground in recent months, laying low, staying out of the news, probably spending much of their time conferring with their attorneys – Brennan, Clapper, Comey, et al, all keeping their traps shut in recent days as Andy McCabe takes his hangdog road-show around the Cable Networks and the NPR fluff chamber, spelling out the “stress” that prompted the FBI’s desperate attempt to cover its ass following the unbelievable 2016 election results.

I don’t pretend to know what the new Attorney General William Barr might do. He must realize that if he lets all this slide, the institutional damage will be permanent and severe. He is reputed to be a good friend of Special Prosecutor Mueller. Mr. Mueller’s reputation as the straightest of straight arrows seems at odds with the actual exercise of his office: generating rinky-dink “process” crimes against bit-players in the story, often via malicious prosecutorial tactics. The likely truth is that he was brought into the scene to protect the very characters who misused the terrible powers of the FBI and the Department of Justice. His investigation has been hermetically sealed against leakage. For all I or anyone else knows, he has spent some time preparing a case against the very officers who cooked up the Russia story in the first place. Perhaps not a high-percentage bet, but there it is for consideration.

It’s going to be an interesting month. Have you forgotten that General Michael Flynn will be returning to Judge Emmet Sullivan’s courtroom after three months in the doghouse that the judge sent him to for the purpose of reconsidering his guilty plea? Perhaps Gen. Flynn rediscovered that he has a spine this winter and will venture into a trial of the Mickey Mouse charge against him: that, as incoming National Security Advisor to the President, he had preliminary discussions with the Russian ambassador — in all other transitions-of-power, a completely normal procedure — and supposedly lied about it to the FBI. To the very people orchestrating a coup against his boss, the chief executive.

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

Atlanta Fed: Latest [Q1 GDP] forecast: 1.4 percent — February 21, 2019

https://www.frbatlanta.org/cqer/research/gdpnow.aspx

More leaks about the Trump investigation/Spygate are appearing as vested interests are accelerating their leaking ahead of Mueller’s report.

 

Testimony by FBI Lawyer Trisha Anderson Reveals Extensive Role in Trump, Clinton Investigations – she was one of only about 10 people who had known about the Trump–Russia investigation prior to its official opening… she personally signed off on the original application for a warrant to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page without having read it

https://www.theepochtimes.com/exclusive-testimony-by-fbi-lawyer-trisha-anderson-reveals-extensive-role-in-trump-clinton-investigations_2806982.html

 

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

Fry, an investigative analyst with the IRS’s law-enforcement arm, is accused of turning over the reports in the spring of 2018 to an attorney, Michael Avenatti, and of confirming confidential banking information in them to a reporter for The New Yorker, according to the complaint, which was filed under seal earlier this month… [Will Fry make a deal and snitch?]

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-20/fbi-official-admits-infiltrating-trump-campaign-just-dont-call-it-spying

 

A huge story: Federal prosecutors broke law in Jeffrey Epstein case, judge rules

U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra, in a 33-page opinion, said that the evidence he reviewed showed that Jeffrey Epstein had been operating an international sex operation in which he and others recruited underage girls — not only in Florida — but from overseas, in violation of federal law…

[Allegedly there are some very big political names involved in this.]

    Acosta agreed to seal the deal, which meant that none of Epstein’s victims, who were mostly 13 to 16 years old at the time of the abuse, were told about it until it was too late for them to appear at his sentencing and possibly reject the deal…

    Victims’ rights advocates say that other charges can still be brought against Epstein if more victims come forward in other jurisdictions. There has been no statute of limitations for sex trafficking since 2002…   https://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article226577419.html

 

Feds deceived us about billionaire sex offender’s ‘sweetheart deal,’ teen victims say

In a Sept. 21, 2007, email from then-Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer, whose office prosecuted Epstein, wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Marie Villafana, who was the prosecutor handling the federal matter: “Glad we could get this worked out for reasons I won’t put in writing. After this is resolved I would love to buy you a cup at Starbucks and have a conversation.”…

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-jeffrey-epstein-victims-20160210-story.html

 

Most legal eagles believe Epstein’s sentence cannot be overturned.  However, in 1996, the Illinois Appellate Court ruled that a Chicago Mob hitman that was exonerated in a fixed bench trial could be retried because he was not in jeopardy at the fixed trial.  The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the ruling in 1998.

 

If a new Epstein trial appears, from any means, some very big-name politicians will be in huge trouble.

 

@RyanGirdusky: According to CNN exit polls, Trump won American born voters 49-45% but lost foreign-born citizens 64-31%. Unless Trump reduces legal immigration soon, there will never be a Republican president again.

end

Let’s conclude the week as usual with this offering courtesy of Greg Hunter:

Smollett Distraction, Trump Coup Confirmed, Economy Tanking

By Greg Hunter On February 22, 2019

Jussie Smollett may be a liar, but he certainly is a huge distraction for the real stories that should be getting coverage. The only reason why the Left is trashing Smollett now is he screwed up the false narrative of racism from MAGA voters.

The real story that was revealed is the total confirmation of the Russian hoax and failed coup by none other than former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe on national television. CBS did an “accidental public service” by exposing what a former top federal prosecutor says is “sedition and subversion against the President of the United States.” Many top Obama Administration officials are going to jail over this crime, and do not think otherwise. This is the biggest treason perpetrated on a duly elected President in history.

The economy is tanking. You can see it in a number of metrics. Car sales, home sales, new orders are all turning down. The only question is when will the Fed start a new round of money printing to save the day?

Join Greg Hunter as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.

-END-

 

-END-

I WILL SEE YOU MONDAY NIGHT
I WILL NOT PROVIDE A COMMENTARY ON TUESDAY
HARVEY
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