FEB 27/LONDON’S OPTIONS EXPIRE TOMORROW AND THEN GOLD/SILVER RISES://GOLD DOWN $6.80 TO $1319.60//SILVER DOWN 14 CENTS TO $15.73//COMEX GOLD ENDS WITH A HUGE 38.4 TONNES OF GOLD STANDING//TWO NUCLEAR NATIONS START ANOTHER CONFLICT WITH PAKISTAN SHOOTING DOWN 2 INDIAN FIGHTER JETS//USA TRADE DEFICIT SKYROCKETS TO ALMOST 80 BILLION DOLLARS IN DECEMBER///SWAMP STORIES///

 

 

 

GOLD: $1319.60 DOWN $6.80 (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Silver:   $15.73 DOWN 14 CENTS (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Closing access prices:

Gold :  1319.75

 

silver: $15.74

 

 

 

 

 

/LBMA options will expire  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: 152 NOTICE(S) FOR 15200 OZ (0.4727 tonnes)

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  12,352 NOTICES FOR 1,235,200 OZ  (38.419TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR FEBRUARY

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

19 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR 95,000  OZ/

 

total number of notices filed so far this month: 591 for 2,955,000

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: OPENING MORNING TRADE $3820:UP $10

 

Bitcoin: FINAL EVENING TRADE: $3803  DOWN 77

 

end

 

XXXX

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

today 100/152

EXCHANGE: COMEX
CONTRACT: FEBRUARY 2019 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,325.100000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 02/26/2019 DELIVERY DATE: 02/28/2019
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED
____________________________________________________________________________________________
661 C JP MORGAN 59
661 H JP MORGAN 100
737 C ADVANTAGE 53
880 H CITIGROUP 40
991 H CME 52
____________________________________________________________________________________________

TOTAL: 152 152
MONTH TO DATE: 12,352

Let us have a look at the data for today

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In silver, the total OPEN INTEREST FELL BY A HUGE SIZED 7899 CONTRACTS FROM 214,346 DOWN TO 206,447 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S TINY 1 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 ALWAYS WITNESS A CONTRACTION IN TOTAL OI AS WE APPROACH FIRST DAY NOTICE AND IT SEEMS THE CULPRIT IS THE FORCED LIQUIDATION OF SPREADERS.

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

250 EFP’S FOR MARCH,  0 FOR APRIL,  450 FOR MAY, 0 FOR DECEMBER AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE: OF 730 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 730 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 730 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 3.6510MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 1 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 2.860 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: 26,637 CONTRACTS (FOR 18 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 26,637 CONTRACTS) OR 133.185 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 1479 CONTRACTS OR 7.399 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF FEB:  133.185 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 19.00% 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:          338.20    MILLION OZ. (CORRECTED)

JANUARY 2019 EFP TOTALS:                                                      217.455. MILLION OZ.

 

 

RESULT: WE HAD A HUGE SIZED DECREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 7899 WITH THE 1 CENT LOSS IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX /YESTERDAY..THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD  SMALL SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 730 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: 7169 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

i.e 730 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH DECREASE OF 7899 OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 1 CENT LOSS IN PRICE OF SILVER  AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $15.87 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. 1.099 BILLION OZ TO BE EXACT or 157% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT FEBRUARY MONTH/ THEY FILED AT THE COMEX: 19 NOTICE(S) FOR 95,000 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:  2.860 MILLION OZ/
  2. HUGE RECORD OPEN INTEREST IN SILVER 243,411 CONTRACTS (OR 1.217 BILLION OZ/ SET APRIL 9/2018) AND NOW AUGUST 22/2018:  244,196 CONTRACTS,  WITH A SILVER PRICE OF $14.78.
  3. HUGE ANNUAL EFP’S ISSUANCE EQUAL TO 2.9 BILLION OZ OR 400% OF SILVER ANNUAL PRODUCTION/2017
  4. RECORD SETTING EFP ISSUANCE FOR ANY MONTH IN SILVER; APRIL/2018/ 385.75 MILLION OZ/  AND THE SECOND HIGHEST RECORDED EFP ISSUANCE JUNE 2018 345.43 MILLION OZ

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

 

IN GOLD, THE OPEN INTEREST ROSE BY A CONSIDERABLE SIZED 3695 CONTRACTS UP TO 502,543 DESPITE THE FALL IN THE COMEX GOLD PRICE/(A LOSS IN PRICE OF $1.10//YESTERDAY’S TRADING).

 

 

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A  GOOD SIZED 4593 CONTRACTS:

 

MARCH HAD AN ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTACTS  APRIL 4593 CONTRACTS,JUNE: 0 CONTRACTS DECEMBER: 0 CONTRACTS AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 501,286. 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  A STRONG SIZED GAIN IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 8286 CONTRACTS: 3695 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX AND 4593 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN 8286 CONTRACTS OR 828,600 = 25.77 TONNES. AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A LOSS IN THE PRICE OF GOLD/ YESTERDAY TO THE TUNE OF $1.10.

 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 3323 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY : 100,661 CONTRACTS OR 10,055100 OZ  OR 313.09 TONNES (18 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 5,592 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE STRONG SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 18 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 313.09 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 313.09/2550 x 100% TONNES = 12.277% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN DECEMBER ALONE.***

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2019 TO DATE:     832.16  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 CONSIDERABLE SIZED INCREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 3695 DESPITE THE LOSS IN PRICING ($1.10) THAT GOLD UNDERTOOK YESTERDAY) //.WE ALSO HAD A CONSIDERABLE SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 4593 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 4593 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE  HAD A STRONG GAIN OF 9563 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

4593 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 3695 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (IN TONNES, THE GAIN IN TOTAL OI EQUATES TO 25.77TONNES). ..AND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND OCCURRED WITH THE LOSS OF $1.10 IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING AT THE COMEX??

 

 

we had:  152 notice(s) filed upon for 15200 oz of gold at the comex.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

GLD...

 

WITH GOLD DOWN $6.80 TODAY 

 

 

NO  CHANGES IN INVENTORY AT THE GLD:

 

 

 

/GLD INVENTORY   788.33 TONNES

Inventory rests tonight: 788.31 tonnes.

 

TO ALL INVESTORS THINKING OF BUYING GOLD THROUGH THE GLD ROUTE: YOU ARE MAKING A TERRIBLE MISTAKE AS THE CROOKS ARE USING WHATEVER GOLD COMES IN TO ATTACK BY SELLING THAT GOLD.  IT SURE SEEMS TO ME THAT THE GOLD OBLIGATIONS AT THE GLD EXCEED THEIR INVENTORY

 

SLV/

WITH SILVER DOWN 14 CENTS  IN PRICE  TODAY:

 

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

 

 

 

 

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.374 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 HUGE SIZED 7899 CONTRACTS from 214,346 DOWN TO 206447 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:

 

250 CONTRACTS FOR MARCH. 0 CONTRACTS FOR APRIL., 450 FOR MAY AND  AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 730 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 7899 CONTRACTS TO THE 730 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE OBTAIN A LOSS  OF 7169  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 35.85 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 2.955 MILLION OZ STANDING IN FEBRUARY.

 

 

RESULT: A FAIR SIZED DECREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 1 CENT LOSS IN PRICING THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// YESTERDAY.BUT WE ALSO HAD A FAIR SIZED 730 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. THE LOSS IN OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS IN SILVER WAS CAUSED BY THE FORCED LIQUIDATION OF SPREADERS…IT HAD NO EFFECT ON PRICE..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)WEDNESDAY MORNING/ TUESDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 12.31 POINTS OR 0.42% //Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 14.42 POINTS OR 0.05%  /The Nikkei closed UP 107.12 POINTS OR 0.50%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.40%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP  at 6.6786 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 6.6786 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.6781: / 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/

Wolf Richter describes the huge plunge in imports coming from China and the emerging nations..the most since 2008. )He explains that this is the steepest two month plunge in 11 years).  This portends danger to the world’s economic growth

( Wolf Richter/WolfStreet)

ii)Huawei chairman mocks the USA “security threat” as the USA is doing the same

( zerohedge)

 

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

 

i)UK

UK banks Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations

( Sara Carter)_

 

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

 

DUBAI/UAE

Properties values are imploding in that mecca paradise of Dubai

( zerohedge)

 

 

 

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

Pakistan shoots down 2 Indian fighters jets

( zerohedge)

 

 

7. OIL ISSUES

 

 

 

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

 

 

i)VENEZUELA/

 

 

 

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

a)Turk claims that gold and silver pricing are resisting somewhat  as we approach options expiration
( kingworldnews/)
b)Do not pay any attention to this man( Market Watch/GATA

c)Goldberg is probably correct: Barrick’s move to takeover Newmont is a desperate move:

( Hammond/Bloomberg)

d)Simon Black believes that the Barrick deal means a rise in the price of gold

He explains why.

( Simon Black/SovereignMan)

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

 

 

MARKET TRADING

a)Suddenly, the 10 yr treasury yield rises by a huge 4 basis points coupled with a loss on USA markets..not good!

(zerohedge)

b)Signals getting louder and louder: the 5 year inverts with the 3 month yield…funny looking yield curve

(Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk)

 

ii)Market data

a)WOW!!! The USA trade deficit widened to a whopping 79.5 billion dollars from November’s 70.5 billion.  Exports fell 2.8% which is bad and imports rose 2.4%.  Not very good. Does not seem that Trump is winning this battle.

 

( zerohedge)

b)USA pending home sales tumble for the 13th consecutive month

(courtesy zerohedge)-

c)Another lousy economic input number:  USA factory orders suffer worst slump in over 3 years.
( zerohedge)

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

a)If implemented, the Republic dies.  Colorado moves to bypass the electoral college to stop Trump

 

( Mac Slavo/

b)Goldman Sachs;  the Fed to end balance sheet runoff at the end of QE3 and will make the announcement at the March meeting
(courtesy zerohedge)

iv)SWAMP STORIES

Cohen states that  Trump is a racist, a conman and a cheat…

(zerohedge)

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

 

end

 

 

 

Let us head over to the comex:

 

THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN ROSE BY A CONSIDERABLE SIZED 3695 CONTRACTS UP TO A LEVEL OF 501,266 DESPITE THE LOSS IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($1.10) IN YESTERDAY’S COMEX TRADING).FOR THREE YEARS STRAIGHT WE HAVE NOTICED THAT ONE WEEK PRIOR TO FIRST DAY NOTICE OF AN ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AND EFP’S NOTICES EXPONENTIALLY INCREASE AS WELL AS WE WITNESS THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST COLLAPSE. ONCE WE GET TO FIRST DAY NOTICE, THEN THE OPEN INTEREST RISES., THE REASON FOR THE COLLAPSE IN OPEN INTEREST IS THE FORCED LIQUIDATION OF THE SPREADERS. WE WITNESSED THE ABOVE PHENOMENA IN SILVER STARTING TODAY.

 

 

WE ARE NOW IN THE  ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF FEBRUARY..  THE CME REPORTS THAT THE BANKERS ISSUED A CONSIDERABLE SIZED COMEX TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS., THAT IS 4593 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

FOR MARCH:  0. FOR APRIL 4593, FOR JUNE: 0 CONTRACTS AND FINALLY DECEMBER: 0 AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  4593 CONTRACTS.

THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS ON THESE TRANSFERS. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THERE IS NO DOUBT A HUGE DELAY IN THE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S AND IT PROBABLY TAKES AT LEAST  48 HRS AFTER LONGS GIVE UP THEIR COMEX CONTRACTS FOR THEM TO RECEIVE THEIR EFP’S AS THEY ARE NEGOTIATING THIS CONTRACT WITH THE BANKS FOR A FIAT BONUS PLUS THEIR TRANSFER TO A LONDON BASED FORWARD.

ON A NET BASIS IN OPEN INTEREST WE GAINED THE FOLLOWING TODAY ON OUR TWO EXCHANGES: 8286 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 4593 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE GAINED A STRONG SIZED 3695 COMEX CONTRACTS.

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

 

We are now in the active contract month of FEBRUARY and here the open interest stands at 152 contracts, and thus losing 25 contracts. . We had 135 contracts stand for delivery yesterday so we gained a whopping 110 contracts or 11,000 additional oz  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.

 

 

The next non active delivery month after February is  March and here we lost 403 contracts to stand at 537.  After March, the next big delivery month is April and here the OI FELL by 210 contracts UP to 350,595 contracts.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NOTICES FILED:

WE HAD 152 NOTICES FILED TODAY AT THE COMEX FOR 15200 OZ. (0.4149 tonnes)

 

 

 

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total COMEX silver OI FELL BY A HUGE SIZED 7899 CONTRACTS FROM 214,346 DOWN TO 206,447(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 FAIR OI COMEX LOSS  OCCURRED WITH A 1 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 19 CONTRACTS, HAVING GAINED 18 CONTRACTS FROM FRIDAY.  WE HAD 1 NOTICES FILED YESTERDAY SO WE GAINED 19 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 95,000 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 14,419 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 15,317 CONTRACTS. AFTER MARCH, APRIL ADVANCES TO 662 CONTRACTS FOR A GAIN OF 86 CONTRACTS.  AFTER APRIL, THE NEXT BIG ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH IS MAY AND HERE THE OI ADVANCED BY 2252 CONTRACTS UP TO 143291 CONTRACTS.

FIRST DAY NOTICE IS THURSDAY FEB 28.2019

 

 

 

 

ON A NET BASIS WE LOST 7899 SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AS WE OBTAINED A 7899 CONTRACT LOSS AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 730 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  7899 CONTRACTS...AND ALL OF THIS LOSS OF DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A 1 CENT LOSS IN PRICING// YESTERDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED:

 

We, today, had 19 notice(s) filed for 95,000 OZ for the FEB, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

 

 

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY:  202,593  CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  198,534  contracts

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINAL standings for  FEB/GOLD

FEB 26 /2019.

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

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  

 

 

 

 

nil

 

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
152 notice(s)
 15200 OZ
(0.4727 TONNES)
No of oz to be served (notices)
0 contracts
(NIL oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
12,352 notices
1,235,200 OZ
38.419 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 0 deposit into the customer account

 

total gold deposits: nil oz

we had 0 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

i

 

 

 

total gold withdrawing from the customer; nil  oz

we had 0  adjustments…

FOR THE FEB 2019 CONTRACT MONTH)

Today, 0 notice(s) were issued from JPMorgan dealer account and 0 notices were issued from their client or customer account. The total of all issuance by all participants equates to 152 contract(s) of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 100 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 (12,352) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (152 contract) minus the number of notices served upon today (152 x 100 oz per contract) equals 1,235,200 OZ OR 38.419 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 (12,352 x 100 oz)  + {152)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (152 x 100 oz )which equals 1,235,200 oz standing OR 38.419 TONNES in this active delivery month of FEBRUARY.

WE GAINED 110  CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 11,000 OZ WILL STAND AT THE COMEX AS THEY REFUSED TO MORPH INTO A LONDON BASED FORWARD AS WELL AS NEGATING A FIAT BONUS. QUEUE JUMPING AT ITS FINEST AT THE GOLD AND SILVER COMEX TODAY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THERE ARE ONLY 20.236 TONNES OF REGISTERED COMEX GOLD AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY AGAINST 38,419 TONNES STANDING FOR FEBRUARY

OF WHICH 38.419 TONNES OF GOLD HAVE ALREADY BEEN SERVED UPON SO FAR THIS MONTH.

 

 

 

 

total registered or dealer gold:  650,612.009 oz or  20.236 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   8,162,488 .910 oz 253.88 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 27.2018 WE HAD 995 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS STANDING (2 DAYS BEFORE FIRST DAY NOTICE)  VS FEB 26.2019:  539 CONTRACTS.(2 DAYS BEFORE FDN)

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 29 MONTHS 101 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

 

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE NOV DELIVERY MONTH

FEB FINAL standings/SILVER

FEB 26 2019
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
296,041.302 oz
CNT
Delaware
HSBC
Int.Delaware

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
nil
oz
No of oz served today (contracts)
19
CONTRACT(S)
95,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
0 contracts
5NIL oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 591 contracts

(2,955,000 oz)

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

we had 0 inventory movement at the dealer side of things

 

 

total dealer deposits: nil  oz

total dealer withdrawals: 0 oz

we had  0 deposits into the customer account

 

i) Into JPMorgan: nil  oz

 

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

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

 

i) Into everybody else: 0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total customer deposits today: nil   oz

 

we had 4 withdrawals out of the customer account:

 

i) out of CNT:: 60,101.407 oz

ii) out of Delaware: 6,058.653 oz

iii) Out of HSBC: 205,292.300 oz

iv) Out of Int. Delaware:   24,588.963 oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total withdrawals: 296,041.303     oz

 

we had 2 adjustments

 

i) Out of Brinks; 1,135,046.070 oz was adjusted out of the customer account and this landed into the dealer account

ii) out of HSBC: 14,504.600 oz was adjusted out of the customer account and this landed into the dealer account..

 

 

total dealer silver:  88.962 million

total dealer + customer silver:  297.682 million oz

 

 

 

 

The total number of notices filed today for the FEBRUARY 2019. contract month is represented by 19 contract(s) FOR  95,000  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 591 x 5,000 oz = 2,955,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of FEB. (19) and the number of notices served upon today (1x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the FEBRUARY/2019 contract month: 571(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of FEB( 1) -number of notices served upon today (1)x 5000 oz equals 2,955,000 oz of silver standing for the FEBRUARY contract month.  This is a strong number of oz standing for an off delivery month.

WE GAINED 0 CONTRACT OR AN ADDITIONAL 5NIL 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 26.2018 WE HAD 14,703 OPEN INTEREST MARCH CONTRACTS STILL LEFT STANDING WITH 2 DAYS LEFT BEFORE FIRST DAY NOTICE VS FEB 25.2019: 15,596  MARCH CONTRACTS WITH 2 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:  84,581 CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 107,589 CONTRACTS… 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 107,589 CONTRACTS EQUATES to 537 million OZ  76.8% 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 FALL;S TO -3.28% (FEB 27/2019)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV FALLS TO -1.04% to NAV (FEB 27 /2019 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -3.28%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

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

NAV 13.36/TRADING 12.90/DISCOUNT 3.41

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

FEB 27/WITH GOLD DOWN $6.80: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 788.33 TONNES

FEB 26  WITH GOLD DOWN $1.10: A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.18 TONNES FROM THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 788.33

FEB 25/WITH GOLD DOWN $3.10: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 789.51 TONNES

 

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 26/2019/ Inventory rests tonight at 788.31 tonnes

*IN LAST 551 TRADING DAYS: 145,72 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 451 TRADING DAYS: A NET 14.23 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO THE GLD INVENTORY.

 

end

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

FEB 27/WITH SILVER DOWN 14 CENTS//A  SMALL CHANGE IN INVENTORY: A WITHDRAWAL OF 610,000 OZ//SLV INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.984 MILLION OZ/

FEB 26/WITH SILVER DOWN ONE CENT; NO CHANGE IN INVENTORY/RESTS AT 309.984

FEB 25./WITH SILVER DOWN 7 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.984 MILLION OZ/

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 27/2019:

 

Inventory 309.374 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 2.19/ and libor 6 month duration 2.69

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

G0LD LENDING RATE: + .50

 

 

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.47%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.88

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.41

end

 

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES

end
i) GOLDCORE BLOG/Mark O’Byrne

 

MMT: Modern Monetary Madness Will Lead To Higher Taxes and Inflation

– MMT: Modern monetary madness and pet economists
– Can this really be a thing? Actually printing money as an economic policy?
– Begin structuring portfolios and lives to avoid being in a tunnel with an oncoming train

by John Mauldin via Mauldin Economics

More than 10 years ago some Australian readers begin regaling me with the ideas of economist Bill Mitchell of the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. He was teaching about something he called (and he coined the term) Modern Monetary Theory. I looked into it and fairly quickly dismissed it as silly.

Actually printing money as an economic policy? Get serious.

MMT is a revival of an early 1900s idea called chartalism. Now it is influencing the thinking of new socialist-like movements in the US and other places and cited by politicians. MMT is increasingly appearing in mainstream media like this sobering Financial Times article.

Since it is increasingly discussed in more public venues, you should know more about it and that will be today’s topic.

Modern Monetary Madness

Essentially, MMT espouses that the public through the government owns the process of money creation, and that in addition to borrowing and taxing, should simply issue currency as payment for its obligations. This is not the sleight-of-hand that quantitative easing was. This is direct monetization in lieu of borrowing.

If that sounds like printing money, that’s because it is. Upfront and in-your-face as a serious economic proposal. Most of the time when I am talking with my fellow writers and economists, when somebody mentions MMT, everybody smiles, maybe chuckles, and shakes their heads. The problem is, what seems like a joke is actually getting traction.

Let’s get the official definition of MMT from Wikipedia. My comments inserted are in brackets.

 In MMT, “vertical” money (money created by the government and spent in the private sector) enters circulation through government spending. Taxation and its legal tender enable power to discharge debt and establish the fiat money as currency, giving it value by creating demand for it in the form of a private tax obligation that must be met. [And thus higher taxes create more demand for the currency and help to maintain the value thereof.]

In addition, fines, fees and licenses create demand for the currency. An ongoing tax obligation, in concert with private confidence and acceptance of the currency, maintains its value. Because the government can issue its own currency at will, MMT maintains that the level of taxation relative to government spending (the government’s deficit spending or budget surplus) is in reality a policy tool that regulates inflation and unemployment, and not a means of funding the government’s activities by itself. [The more you want the government to spend, the higher the taxes have to be in order to keep from creating inflation, or so the theory goes.]

Proponents argue that unemployment is caused by lack of demand and lack of demand is caused by insufficient money entering the private sector, a problem the government can solve by creating money and spending it in the private sector. Voilà, demand is created and unemployment goes down. Inflation? That can be controlled by higher taxes. Hey, it’s their theory. Don’t ask me to explain it.

Economists advising major presidential and congressional candidates on the progressive and even “moderate” left are more and more openly talking about MMT and its practical applications.

Free Registration (including Research Reports) for 2019 Gold Summit here

Pet Economists

I have said before that economists are the modern-day equivalent of shamans and priests. Rather than looking at sheep entrails, economists look at “data” and tell the politician (king, emperor, or chief…) what they want to hear. I have been in more than one meeting where a politician is clearly shopping for a rationale for something that they would like to propose and do. Any serious politician is going to have more than a few economic advisors attached in one form or another to their campaign.

Let me quickly state that I am not disparaging the role of economists when they act as political advisors. I have done that myself. It is actually one of the rationales for the discipline. Indeed, it would be strange if that were not the case.

Can This Really Be a Thing?

90% of readers may wonder why we are even talking about this in a serious letter. The rest of you may tell me how I’m wrong and it really will work. Let me hasten to say that 10 years ago it was much less than 1%. And it is beginning to come from readers that I recognize to be fairly serious.

There are multiple and growing motivations and rationales for adopting MMT into your own philosophical base.

Why should this be on your radar? Let me give you just a few scenarios…

Politicians are increasingly talking about “free stuff.” Free college, guaranteed basic income, more total healthcare paid for by the public, basic housing, and more. It is almost like there will be an auction to see who can promise the most free benefits, paid for by taxes on the rich. They will cite economic advisors who say it is completely doable and even necessary for the general welfare.

“The richest country in the history of rich countries can easily afford to spend more on its citizens ensuring basic income and wealth equality.” More or less a direct quote from several interviews. Forget mere income taxes. The new political ante will be a wealth tax.

That means these ideas will be increasingly promoted in the public space. More politicians will argue for increased spending and/or at least different spending priorities. Guns and butter.

Over the next few years this will enter the national mindset. An increasingly large group of voters, especially younger voters, will feel a natural affinity with the idealism. Why shouldn’t a rich nation help those who are less advantaged?

Then somewhere, while we are having this conversation, there will be a recession. Unemployment will rise and deficits increase until we are on our way to a $30-trillion debt in just a few years. This will crowd out private investment, slowing whatever recovery there might be and making us vulnerable to a quick second recession, not unlike the recessions of 1980 and 1982.

But it will also produce the potential for a true “change” election. The frustration noted among Trump voters will still be there, but it will also be shared by many on the left who will see the promises as a way to change things. It is hard to argue in the middle of financial crisis and recession that we don’t need change.

There won’t be a President Warren Harding who essentially decided to do nothing in one of the deepest recessions/depressions in American history in the early 1920s. In that case, severe austerity allowed markets to clear but the recovery gave us the Roaring 1920s. Cause and effect? Numerous scholarly books have been written to suggest that.

But that will not be the case 100 years later as we face the 2020s. There will be an increasing drumbeat for “doing something.” Change will be the mantra.

It is not far-fetched to imagine a White House and Congress beginning to work around the principles of MMT, if not adopt it outright with sharply higher taxes and spending.

Now here’s where it gets a little bit murkier. The Federal Reserve, even if a new president could pack the board with members philosophically attuned to a new president’s desire to increase public spending through monetary creation, does not have the legal authority to directly create money. That is a right reserved strictly for the federal government and specifically the US Treasury. The Treasury can issue all the debt into the private sector it wants. The Federal Reserve can then go into the private market and buy all the debt it wants, adding that debt to its balance sheet. This is called quantitative easing. It is technically not the same thing.

Congress has tried to create agencies which would use the Federal Reserve to directly create money. These agencies and methods have all been ruled overwhelmingly unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. For the Federal Reserve to create money as MMT advocates want, you would have to amend the Federal Reserve Act. Certainly a possibility, but not easy.

Sound Bite Economics

Proponents of MMT point to how successful Japan has been in implementing what essentially looks to be the same policy. They have moved 140% of their GDP under the balance sheet of the Bank of Japan—essentially buying every bond available in the private markets. Their balance sheet is growing because they are buying stocks and carrying Japan’s entire annual deficit, which is large.

Why can’t we do the same? Japan and the US are both modern countries and economies. Europe, though not to the extent of Japan, also engaged in a large amount of quantitative easing. If it didn’t cause problems the last time, why not try it again on a larger scale? Especially if there is a crisis?

The explanation for Japan not having inflation or hyperinflation doesn’t fit into a sound bite and MMT proponents can answer it with dismissive sound bites that will be readily consumed and believed by a public wanting change, coupled with automation increasingly taking jobs and depressing wages. It will be a firestorm of political backlash and calls for change.

Do Deficits Matter?

The only way to really tackle the increasing deficits is to:

  1. Reduce Medicare and Medicaid benefits, means-test Social Security and at the same time raise the age of eligibility. But few politicians will run on a platform of cutting Medicare and Social Security, because no matter how they propose it, that will be what it means.
  1. Raise Medicare and Social Security taxes, or simply increase taxes on everyone or at least “the rich.” A lot. The definition of “the rich” would have to be lower than you might think. Most of my readers will be seen as the rich. Whether you feel rich is beside the point. That will still not balance the budget but there’s a high probability that it will send us into yet another recession, bringing calls for more direct spending and some form of money creation as the answer. That’s what MMT says we should do.

Any politician who proposes to limit entitlement spending to balance the budget will be accused of forcing austerity on those least able to afford it. That is not a winning platform. There will be no Clinton/Gingrich compromise. Austerity has no fun and simple sound bites. It requires a certain amount of pain, which is generally not politically popular.

Oh, a segment of the population will embrace such, but we must remember that elections are won on the margin. President Trump won by razor-thin margins in a few Midwest states. A change election in the middle of a recession or its aftermath could not only see those margins evaporate, but bring a wave of progressive and socialist politicians to join AOC and her friends.

Think 1932. The country was in true turmoil and there was a huge shift to the left. FDR didn’t get every policy he wanted, but he got a lot of them. It was truly transformational and has impacted the US for the last 100 years.

What would this look like? How do we get there? We are going to have several sessions at the Strategic Investment Conference to specifically address these issues. Is all this going to happen next year? No, but something along the above line is my base case for the 1920s. That means you need to begin structuring your life and your portfolios to avoid being in a tunnel with an oncoming train.

These are not simple changes, like simple buy and sell instructions, but will require much deeper structural change in not just your portfolios but perhaps your lives. It is something you want to think very seriously about while you have the luxury of time and not wait to the last minute. Waiting too long may mean you won’t be as prepared as you will wish.

Think about how you would deal with taxes 20 or 30% higher (or more!) than today’s, and potentially more. How would that change your lifestyle? What can you do today to deal with whatever may come? It may mean adjusting your lifestyle, saving more and getting out of debt, which takes time. For most families these are not quick decisions. But I think they will become necessary ones, especially if the first wave of a change election happens in 2020. Bluntly, Shane and I have already begun our own changes.

If somehow there is eventually a change back to austerity? Or a crisis forces it? That will mean even more change you need to be prepared for. And unfortunately, it’s not clear what will happen. We will have to get much closer to the actual events and elections to get a feel for the way actual events may develop.

GATA STORIES AS IT RELATES TO PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER
Turk claims that gold and silver pricing are resisting somewhat  as we approach options expiration
(courtesy kingworldnews/)

Gold and silver are resisting options expiration smashes, Turk says

 Section: 

7:55p ET Monday, February 25, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

GoldMoney founder and GATA consultant James Turk, interviewed today by King World News, says the monetary metals are fending off pretty well the usual smashes tied to options expiration.

“The central planners are having a hard time pushing gold and silver around as they have often done in the past,” Turk says. “That’s good news, but it looks like 2019 is a year in which the precious metals are going to face some very important tests, which I expect them to pass.”

The interview is excerpted at KWN here:

https://kingworldnews.com/james-turk-expect-rocket-launch-off-huge-gold-…

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

END

Goldberg is probably correct: Barrick’s move to takeover Newmont is a desperate move:

(courtesy Hammond/Bloomberg)

Newmont CEO calls Barrick move ‘desperate’

 Section: 

By Ed Hammond
Bloomberg News
Sunday, February 24, 2019

The chief executive officer of Newmont Mining Corp. labeled a potential takeover attempt by rival gold miner Barrick Gold Corp. as a “desperate” and “bizarre” move aimed at complicating his company’s pending deal to acquire Goldcorp Inc.

In his first interview since Barrick confirmed Friday it has considered a bid for Newmont, Gary Goldberg said he is focused on completing the Goldcorp takeover and questioned whether Barrick’s management is equipped to run a combined Newmont-Barrick.

… 

 

“They haven’t delivered,” Goldberg said.

“It’s a desperate and bizarre attempt to muddle up our deal,” he said, “And it’s certainly not the sort of behavior that will appeal to investors who want to invest in serious, well-run companies.” …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-25/newmont-ceo-calls-bar…

* * *

Help keep GATA going:

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

http://www.gata.org

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

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

end

Craig Hemke at Sprott Money: Gold and silver 2019 status report

 Section: 

10:55p ET Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Writing for Sprott Money, the TF Metals Report’s Craig Hemke predicts tonight that 2019 will be good for gold and silver but that the investment banks that control the monetary metals futures markets will not be dislodged, at least not as long as speculators seek exposure to the monetary metals by purchasing paper claims to imaginary metal.

Hemke’s analysis is headlined “Gold and Silver 2019 Status Report” and it’s posted at Sprott Money here:

https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/gold-and-silver-2019-status-report-crai…

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

end

Do not pay any attention to this man

(courtesy Market Watch/GATA)

If gold doesn’t correlate as it should, how about inquiring why?

 Section: 

10:22a ET Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Financial letter writer Mark Hulbert never offers a good word about gold, which is fine, but then never offers a relevant one either. This practice has turned him into a mere propagandist.

In his essay today at MarketWatch, headlined “Why Gold Won’t Save Your Portfolio from Inflation’s Bite” —

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-gold-wont-save-your-portfolio-from…

— Hulbert notes that gold often fails to correlate with inflation, though it is widely supposed to. Indeed, gold’s underperformance of inflation in recent decades has been a major disparagement of the monetary metal.

… 

 

But Hulbert fails to inquire into this anomaly, though possible explanations are obvious.

After all, even some mainstrem financial analysts now acknowledge that government’s official inflation metrics are constantly revised and rigged to underreport inflation. Does anyone who buys his own groceries or pays medical insurance premiums or taxes still believe that, as officials long have been proclaiming, there is no inflation?

And what about surreptitious intervention by government in the gold market? Hulbert hasn’t denied it but then he hasn’t ever mentioned it. Documentation and admissions of it abound —

http://www.gata.org/taxonomy/term/21

— but Hulbert never gets past the supposed sentiment of retail investors as the primary determinant of the gold price.

“For gold to justify its current price in terms of inflation,” Hulbert writes today, “the Consumer Price Index either needs to be 47 percent higher or gold needs to trade for $902.”

But what if the CPI itself is completely invalid? And what if central banks have surreptitiously supplied or underwritten vast amounts of imaginary “paper gold” in the futures markets?

Those questions invite financial journalism. Hulbert’s propaganda only deflects them.

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

71671201

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

end

Simon Black believes that the Barrick deal means a rise in the price of gold

He explains why.

(courtesy Simon Black/SovereignMan)

Why The Barrick Deal Could Mean The Mega-Melt-Up Is Here For Gold

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

In 1986, Peter Munk bought a gold mine in northeastern Nevada for $62 million.

The mine was only producing 40,000 ounces of gold a year back then (around $16 million annually) … and the sellers believed the land held 600,000 ounces easily minable gold.

But those estimates were woefully short.

By 1992, the mine yielded 1.1 million ounces of gold. Today, the mine, known as Goldstrike, is the richest mine in North America – producing over two million ounces per year. And it has reserves of over 21 million ounces of gold.

Although the Goldstrike acquisition proved to be his best, Munk bought many other successful gold mines.

He was the founder of the world’s largest gold producer, Barrick Gold. And his company earned the top spot through deal making…

Before buying Goldstrike, Munk bought half the Renabie mine in Ontario… then the Camflo mine in Quebec.

But it was Barrick’s 2005 acquisition of Placer Dome that gave the company its title as the world’s largest gold producer and cemented its place at the top of the food chain.

It’s been over a decade since Barrick’s blockbuster deal. And the gold sector has gone quiet. Low prices for both the metal and mining stocks caused investors to completely ignore the sector.

But the commodities markets are cyclical… As our friend Rick Rule says, “the cure for low prices is low prices.”

And we’re starting to see signs of life.

We’ve been writing about a number of tailwinds for the yellow metal, including a lack of major discoveries, which we argued would lead to higher gold prices and frenzied takeover activity as gold demand increased.

Well, the gold price has increased from a 2018 low of $1,175 to $1,340 – a ten month high.

And we’ve started to see M&A (merger & acquisition) activity among the largest miners…

Barrick made headlines late last year when it announced it would acquire Randgold Resources in a $6 billion deal. It was a major sign of life in a sector that was left for dead.

Then, in January, another mining giant, Newmont, announced it would buy Goldcorp for $10 billion.

But last week, we got a sign that merger mania in the gold sector is officially on…

Barrick announced its intention to make its largest acquisition yet – a $17.8 billion deal for Newmont Mining.

Newmont rejected Barrick’s offer and intends to pursue its merger with Goldcorp. Barrick is turning its bid hostile.

And the miners are publicly trashing each other, with Barrick calling Newmont “desperate” and Newmont in turn calling Barrick “inferior.”

But despite the theatrics, this deal tells us one thing – the gold sector is gearing up for a spate of M&A activity.

We’re seeing the largest companies consolidate first. They’re merging to try to further cut redundant costs and bolster reserves (gold companies have been slashing costs for years to improve margins in a down market).

But these mergers don’t solve the problem of no major new gold discoveries in the past 15 years.

Next, we should see the gold giants start acquiring the junior mining companies. As the name implies, these companies are much smaller. And they raise equity capital to find new gold deposits. These juniors take the big risks to find new deposits. And the successful ones see their share prices soar or get acquired by a larger miner – or both.

It’s not just the economics of the gold sector that make an M&A boom likely. We saw record M&A activity across the board last year, as cheap money and record profits sent companies on a buying spree.

And we’ve got the same backdrop today. The Fed and other central banks around the world have already backed off their plans to tighten monetary policy.

We’re even seeing some very powerful people calling for negative interest rates in the US.

On its own, monetary easing (the continued destruction of fiat money) and record debt around the globe make gold an incredibly attractive asset class.

But in this, coming gold bull market… low rates and an excessive appetite for debt will also continue fueling the gold company merger frenzy.

The stage is being set for a mega melt-up in gold and gold stocks right now.

And we continue to be quite bullish on the sector.

And to continue learning how to ensure you thrive no matter what happens next in the world, I encourage you to download our free Perfect Plan B Guide.

end

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

i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/CLOSED/ LAST AT: 6.6786/

 

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  6.6781   /shanghai bourse CLOSED UP 12.31 POINTS OR 0.42% /

 

HANG SANG CLOSED DOWN 14.62 POINTS OR 0.05%

 

 

2. Nikkei closed UP 107.12 POINTS OR 0.50%

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED RED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/USA dollar index FALLS TO 95.91/Euro RISES TO 1.1392

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO. –.03/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 110.51/ 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:: 56.55 and Brent: 66.14

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 +.11%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP to 2.74% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD DOWN TO 1.15%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.68: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS TO : 3.72

3k Gold at $1326.75 silver at:15.85   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 1/100 in roubles/dollar) 65.32

3m oil into the 56 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 110.51 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 0.9970 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1353 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year RISING to +0.11%

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

4. USA 10 year treasury bond at 2.63% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 3.01%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 5.2922

 

Stocks Slide On India-Pakistan Hostilities As Traders Brace For Day Of Fireworks

After two days of surprising weakness in US cash stocks in the last hour of trading, and following an overnight session in which S&P futures were offline for two hours following a “glitch” at the CME Globex exchange, world markets are a sea of red as stocks fell in Europe alongside US equity futures pressured by disappointing corporate earnings and a dramatic escalation in India-Pakistan hostilities after Pakistan reportedly shot down two Indian fighter jets even as traders brace for a barrage of news including the latest Trump-Kim summit, the Congressional testimony by Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, and the second day of Powell’s testimony on the hill this time before Maxine Waters and AOC. Treasuries yields dropped, as did the dollar.

The European Stoxx 600 index was down about 0.5%, with all the main regional indexes were in the red as Air France-KLM dropped the most ever and Nivea hand-cream maker Beiersdorf cut guidance, sparking a selloff in consumer stocks.

Earlier, all eyes were on the latest Asian geopolitical conflict: S&P futures fell, Japan equities came off their highs, Hong Kong faded an advance after Pakistan said it had downed two Indian jets, sending Indian and Pakistan bonds and currencies lower and MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan sliding 0.1% as the threat of conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors grew. Australia’s ASX 200 (+0.4%) gains were led by energy names following the rebound in the complex after sources stated that OPEC are to stick to their output curb agreement coupled with bullish API inventory data, while Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) benefitted from the strength in the healthcare sector. Elsewhere, Shanghai Comp (+0.4%) benefited from gains in IT names whilst the latter profited from the strong performance in heavyweight energy and financial names.

Meanwhile, just as 2800 has emerged as an uncrossable resistance line for the S&P, China is having the same issue with the 3000 level on the Shanghai Composite as Chinese stocks erased a gain in the afternoon, with the Composite again failing to cross the 3,000-point level after climbing into bull market earlier in week. The Shanghai benchmark climbed as much as 1.9% earlier in day before seeing much of its gains fade and close up just 0.4%.

“It was purely a liquidity-driven rebound without the support of fundamentals, so nobody expected the market to embark on another bull run to hit 5,000 points,” said Yin Ming, vice president of Shanghai- based investment firm Baptized Capital. “When the index nears the technically important 3,000-point level, investors will choose to exit first and wait for bargains after the correction. With gains in recent sessions, shareholders of firms are finally able to close out their share-pledge positions to repay loans.”

India’s rupee reversed gains and Pakistan’s benchmark stock index plunged more than 3 percent in Karachi before recovering after the latest escalation in tensions. The Pakistani action came a day after India’s Air Force jets bombed what it said was a terrorist training camp inside Pakistan.

“This adds another layer of risks for investors”, said Charles St-Arnaud, a strategist at Lombard Odier, although he noted the market moves remained limited for now.

US Secretary of State Pompeo spoke to the Indian and Pakistani Foreign Minister separately according to the US State Department. The Secretary of State urged Pakistan to avoid military action against India following the previously reported Indian air strike on a terrorist camp on Pakistan. Furthermore, at least three Pakistan fighter jets have entered the Indian side of Kashmir, Indian Air Forces intercepted the Pakistani planes; according to an Indian Official. It was later reported that an Indian Air Force jet has crashed in Jammu & Kashmir, according to PTI. Pakistan Foreign Ministry confirms they have shot down two Indian planes and arrested a pilot, states that we have no intention of escalation, but are prepared to do so if forced into that situation.

As Bloomberg notes, investors have added the India-Pakistan conflict to a host of other uncertainties from China trade talks to Brexit, that could rein in a recovery in global equities from December lows. U.S. President Donald Trump is in Hanoi for a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with the outcome uncertain. Powell’s testimony on Tuesday helped steady the ship, though, as he gave no indication that the Fed is ready to alter policy any time soon.

S&P500 futures were down 0.2%, after earlier a Globex malfunction around 740pm ET halted trading in ES, Treasury and commodity futures, prompting trader anguish for nearly two hours before the “glitch” was eventually resolved.

Markets are also watching the U.S.-North Korean summit, which began shortly after 6am ET in Hanoi. President Trump is meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for their second summit, with the United States pushing North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

The heightened geopolitical risks helped assets considered safer than stocks, such as the Japanese yen, which gained against the dollar. Paradoxically, while news of the worst escalation between the two nations since the 1971 war moved the yen higher and India’s rupee lower, volatility across currencies continued on its downward trend as traders continue to sell vol in droves.

In political news, overnight the US House voted to block President Trump’s national emergency declaration regarding a Mexican border wall, as expected. The bill will now be passed onto Senate before eventually being vetoed by the president.

Of note, also today Trumps’s former lawyer Michael Cohen will testify publicly that Trump is a racist, conman & cheat, and that Trump knew ahead of time that Wikeleaks were to release Democratic Committee emails hurting Hilary Clinton’s election campaign; draft statement.

In the latest Brexit news, UK PM May said she is close to winning concessions from the EU that could persuade Eurosceptic MPs to back her deal. More notably, Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has softened his stance on PM May’s Brexit deal; he is no longer insisting the Irish backstop be scrapped and he is prepared to consider other legal fixes to make sure it does not become permanent. Cabinet Ministers warned PM May that Brexit could be delayed by up to two years after she announced a series of votes on her deal, no deal and a Brexit delay to be held in a fortnight. Meanwhile, the newly-formed Independent Group has tabled an amendment demanding the government to commence preparations for a second EU referendum. The amendment reportedly has support from the SNP, LibDems, and Plaid Cymru and is said to be aimed at provoking a fresh split in the Labour party by tempting MPs who are seeking a new vote.

In FX, the dollar hovered around a three-week low after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated on Tuesday the Fed had shifted to a more “patient” policy approach regarding changes to interest rates. “We didn’t learn much new,” St-Arnaud said. The new dovish stance of U.S. monetary policy had not weakened the dollar much, notably against the euro.

Elsewhere, the British pound continued to rise after Prime Minister Theresa May offered lawmakers a chance to vote on delaying Brexit. The pound approached $1.3300 as leveraged accounts bought the currency as it dipped earlier in the day, while gilts declined. The euro recovered from a loss as the dollar erased an Asian session advance; the pound was up a fourth day, its longest winning streak since September amid continued Brexit optimism after Prime Minister Theresa May bought herself more time to secure a Brexit agreement. Scandinavian currencies led the advance after better- than-forecast data; unemployment unexpectedly fell in Norway and retail sales beat estimates, while a Swedish economic tendency survey rose. Australia’s dollar surrendered early gains on disappointing building data.

In rates, bunds were little changed, Treasuries were steady after earlier whipsawing and U.S. equity futures drifted lower; the previously noted technical error at CME Group Inc. disrupted trading of contracts tied to Treasuries and commodities.

Today’s Data include factory orders, pending home sales and mortgage applications. Lowe’s, Square and American Tower are due to report earnings

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 2,782.50
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.5% to 371.76
  • MXAP up 0.1% to 160.43
  • MXAPJ down 0.1% to 526.18
  • Nikkei up 0.5% to 21,556.51
  • Topix up 0.2% to 1,620.42
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.05% to 28,757.44
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 2,953.82
  • Sensex down 0.1% to 35,927.20
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 6,150.27
  • Kospi up 0.4% to 2,234.79
  • German 10Y yield rose 0.4 bps to 0.122%
  • Euro up 0.02% to $1.1391
  • Brent Futures up 0.8% to $65.70/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 6.8 bps to 2.346%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 0.5 bps to 1.143%
  • Brent Futures up 0.8% to $65.70/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,326.29
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.01% to 96.00

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • U.S. President Donald Trump plans to hold a one-on-one meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday before the two leaders dine together with aides as they kick off their second summit aimed at a deal for Pyongyang to surrender its nuclear arsenal
  • Donald Trump’s administration regularly denounces Nicolas Maduro as an autocratic Cuban puppet and may hit the Caribbean island with new sanctions over its support for the Venezuelan leader
  • Leading Brexit purist Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has opposed Theresa May’s exit deal, appears to be softening his stance, making it more likely that the divorce agreement could win Parliamentary approval next month
  • The European Union is unlikely to offer concessions to the U.K. on its Brexit deal until just before the British Parliament votes on it, triggering a frantic two-week period that culminates in a critical summit of leaders
  • U.K. financial firms were dealt a blow after EU policy makers agreed to tighten the rules governing the City of London’s access to the bloc after Brexit
  • Bank of Japan board member Goushi Kataoka says the central bank should try to widen the gap between supply and demand by ramping up its easing measures in pursuit of 2% inflation. BOJ may resort to more QE if yen jumps, according to Takahide Kiuchi, a former policy board member
  • A Bloomberg Economics gauge indicates that China’s economy is showing the first signs of recovery after months of slowdown, as stock and commodity rallies lift confidence
  • A technical error at CME Group Inc. prompted a lengthy trading halt at the world’s largest exchange operator, preventing the buying and selling of contracts tied to U.S. Treasuries, stock-futures and commodities
  • The House voted to block President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border, sending the measure to the Senate where the GOP majority will be forced to take a stand on whether to defy their president
  • Greece’s foot-dragging on some key economic reforms is raising creditor concern, putting at risk a planned debt relief measure next month and a rebound in its stock and bond markets
  • Italian business and economic confidence fell, signaling a possible continuation of the recession that started late last year

Asian equities were higher across the board following a subdued lead from Wall Street where the Dow dipped into the red following disappointing earnings from Home Depot and the S&P retreated further below the 2800 level. ASX 200 (+0.4%) gains were led by energy names following the rebound in the complex after sources stated that OPEC are to stick to their output curb agreement coupled with bullish API inventory data, while Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) benefitted from the strength in the healthcare sector. Elsewhere, Shanghai Comp (+0.4%) and Hang Seng (U/C) extended on gains from the open with the former supported by IT names whilst the latter profited from the strong performance in heavyweight energy and financial names. Furthermore, Morgan Stanley raised its targets for Chinese equities, citing policy stimulus alongside positive trade developments. BoJ Governor Kuroda said the chance of Japanese inflation to hit the 2% target during FY 2020 is low and any exit from the BoJ’s ultra-easy policy will be very gradual. BoJ Board Member Kataoka disagrees with the BoJ’s view of persistently easing policy to reach price goal and added that longer monetary easing will bring more side effects. Kataoka also added that the BoJ is still far from ending its ultra-easy policy. He expects any sales-tax hike driven pickup in Japan’s economy to be moderate and said Japan’s inflation expectations remain weak whilst also acknowledging that global growth has slowed compared to the prior year.

Top Asian News

  • China Is Studying Plan to Restructure Vaccine Sector: CSJ
  • H.K. Govt ‘Gravely Concerned’ Over Claims Against H.K. Airlines
  • Here’s What You Need to Know About Asia’s Stock Markets Today

Major European equities are in the red [Euro Stoxx 50 -0.5%], following a subdued lead from Wall Street and modest gains in Asia overnight, as traders are mindful of growing tensions between India and Pakistan. There is some mild underperformance in the Dax (-0.7%) where only 3 companies are in the green; although losses are limited by strong performance in Bayer (+4.5%) after the Co. posted a beat on their Q4 sales. Sectors are similarly broadly in the red, with underperformance seen in consumer staples. Other notable movers include, Marks & Spencer (-9.5%) who are at the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after the Co. are considering a rights offering to fund their joint venture with Ocado (+4.7%). Air France (-11.7%) are down as the Dutch government has taken a 12.7% shareholding in the Co. in an attempt to protect their interests; which may lead to tensions with France who hold a 14.3% stake in the Co. Rio Tinto (+0.4%) are in the green after posting a significant increase in FY net earnings of USD 13.64bln vs. Prev. USD 8.76bln alongside the announcement of a special dividend.

Top European News

  • Air France-KLM Tumbles After Dutch State Builds Surprise Stake
  • Britain’s Winter Heat Wave Means Wildfires and Chronic Pollution
  • Ted Baker Plunges After Profit Warning Adds to Clothier’s Woes
  • Brexiteer Rees-Mogg Softens Stance on May’s Deal: Brexit Update

In FX, the Dollar continues to sag in wake of Fed chair Powell’s reinforcement of the new patient policy stance and on portfolio rebalancing for the turn of the month. The DXY has retreated below 96.000 as a result, and with additional downside pressure coming from the escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan that has prompted greater demand for safer currency havens relative to the Greenback.

  • CHF/GBP The Franc and Pound are vying for pole position within the G10 ranks, as the former benefits from defensive positioning amidst the aforementioned rise in Indian-Pakistani hostilities, with Usd/Chf reversing more definitively from par-plus levels to around 0.9970. Meanwhile, Sterling has extended gains on the back of Tuesday’s marked turnaround on Brexit from UK PM May that raises the prospect of a delay to Article 50 and odds on a no deal or cliff edge conclusion to the already protracted withdrawal process. Cable is now probing 1.3300 after eclipsing resistance just shy of the big figure (1.3298 high from September 2018), while Eur/Gbp is hovering around 0.8570 and eyeing chart support a few pips below, like a Fib at 0.8548.
  • CAD/JPY The next best majors, with the Loonie drawing comfort/support from a rebound in crude prices and the more pronounced downturn in the Usd, to rebound firmly over 1.3200 again and pivot 1.3150, while Usd/Jpy has now breached its 100 DMA more convincingly to trade under 110.40. Note, 110.00 should be well supported given the 30 DMA at 110.02, and with hefty expiries looming at the strike on Thursday (2 bn), and next up for the CAD top-tier Canadian CPI data and avg. earnings.
  • AUD/NZD/NOK/SEK Contrasting fortunes for the more high-beta and risk sensitive Antipodean Dollars and Scandi Crowns, as the Aussie and Kiwi underperform in wake of disappointing data overnight (Q4 construction and January trade respectively), but the Nok and Sek glean protection from the overall risk averse environment with the aid of upbeat macro releases (retail sales, manufacturing and overall industry sentiment, plus trade). Aud/Usd is currently near the bottom of a 0.7198-65 range, Nzd/Usd close to 0.6874 vs 0.6901 at one stage, while Eur/Nok is under 9.7200 and Eur/Sek around 10.5500.
  • EUR The single currency is also gaining at the expense of the Greenback, with one prominent bank flagging strongest month end Usd sell signals against the Eur. However, technical obstacles around 1.1400 are proving tough to overcome and the decline in Eur/Gbp noted above is also hampering the single currency to a degree

In commodities, Brent (+1.3%) and WTI (+1.6%) prices are higher and trading towards the top of the sessions range, after yesterday’s unexpected -4.2mln draw in API Weekly Crude Inventories compared with the expectations for a +2.8mln build. Recent newsflow has seen comments from Saudi Energy Minister Al Falih saying that he sees a likelihood of an output cuts extension in H2 and are aiming for March oil exports of 7mln BPD. Separately, the Russian Energy ministry is reportedly planning to meet with Russian oil companies on March 1st in order to discuss the OPEC+ deal. Elsewhere, Nigerian President Buhari has won the re-election, which is to be contested in court and oil prices were little affected by the CME group’s technical issues which resulted in WTI live prices being unavailable for a time. Gold is flat as it follows the dollar after the first testimony by Fed’s Chair Powell yesterday to the Senate and ahead of his testimony to the house today at GMT 15:00. Elsewhere, Freeport’s CEO has instructed his employees to immediately report any safety concerns regarding dams the Co. operate; following January’s Vale mine disaster. Separately, Copper has slipped slightly from it’s 7-month high which was spurred by falling supply and dollar weakness.

In terms of the day ahead, we’re due to get the December advance goods trade balance, and final revisions to December wholesale inventories, durable goods and capital goods orders. Away from that, Powell will speak again, this time testifying to the House Financial Services Committee Panel, while the ECB’s Coeure and Weidmann are due to speak. In the UK the House of Commons will be voting today however it’s unlikely to be significant in light of yesterday’s developments, The other potentially important event to watch is US Trade Representative Lighthizer testifying to the House Ways and Mean Committee’s hearing on the US-China trade talks.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Advance Goods Trade Balance, est. $73.9b deficit, prior $70.5b deficit
  • 8:30am: Retail Inventories MoM, est. 0.2%, prior -0.4%; Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 1.1%
  • 10am: Pending Home Sales MoM, est. 1.0%, prior -2.2%; Pending Home Sales NSA YoY, est. -4.55%, prior -9.5%
  • 10am: Factory Orders, est. 0.6%, prior -0.6%; Factory Orders Ex Trans, prior -1.3%
  • 10am: Durable Goods Orders, prior 1.2%; Durables Ex Transportation, prior 0.1%
  • 10am: Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, prior -0.7%; Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, prior 0.5%

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

If you’re looking for the next box set to binge on and are happy to suspend any semblance of belief then I can give a wholehearted recommendation to watch Ozark (Netflix). It’s in the mould of Breaking Bad for the uninitiated. Over the last month we have watched the two available series back to back and are now at a loss as to what to do with our evenings again. More time for stressing about kitchens, bathrooms, carpets, new windows, boilers, guttering and the like.

After watching last night’s tense finale, markets seem positively mundane at the moment. Mr Powell might have ignited the flame for positive sentiment at the start of the year but 8 weeks on markets weren’t particularly fussed by the first of his semi-annual testimonies yesterday in front of the Senate. We’ll touch on what he said shortly however 10y Treasuries traded in a range of just a few of basis points as Powell spoke, before ending the day down -2.5bps at 2.638%. We went back and looked at the range since Powell spoke in early January and found that on a closing basis, the range has been just 15.5bps which is the smallest since June last year, and the second smallest since October 2017. The MOVE index (implied vol of 1-month treasury options) is back down slightly above the all time lows (data back to 1988) so central banks have killed vol again for now. As for the response in equites yesterday, reaction to the testimony was mixed as US stocks oscillated between losses and gains with the S&P 500 and NASDAQ indexes retreating -0.08% and -0.09%, respectively, at the close. They do remain +14.13% and +16.80% off their Jan 3 levels before Powell’s initial policy U-turn sparked a rebound in markets. US HY spreads are -122bps tighter over the same period, having tightened -3bps yesterday.

So the change in message has worked for markets in 2019 but there wasn’t much more to give yesterday as it was mostly a repeat of the recent mantra in favour of patience before any further rate hikes are seen. Powell repeated that “our policy decisions will continue to be data dependent” and that “we’re in no rush to make a judgment about changes in policy.” So the Fed continues to be on the sidelines for now. Powell justified his position by citing “muted” inflation pressures and the fact that “growth has slowed in some major foreign economies, particularly China and Europe.” Finally, he also noted that “uncertainty is elevated around several unresolved government policy issues, including Brexit and ongoing trade negotiations.”

Before that, European markets had closed mostly higher, with the STOXX 600 gaining +0.39%, and indexes across the continent advancing as well. The main exception was the FTSE 100, which retreated -0.45% amid a large rally in the pound on positive Brexit developments (details below). Bund yields rose +0.8bps, while peripheral spreads tightened with Italian BTPs yields -6.9bps lower. European HY credit spreads tightened -4.9bps to their tightest level since November.

The other main piece of news yesterday surrounded Brexit with a few more dates for your diaries. PM May confirmed that should her deal be rejected by March 12, then the PM will put forward the choice to MPs of a no-deal Brexit vote on March 13 and should that be rejected, then a vote on extending Article 50 will be put forward on March 14. We know that May would ask for a short and one-off extension (not beyond June) but we don’t know what the EU will agree to and we won’t know for sure until the EU engage on the issue. Bloomberg has previously reported some EU officials as saying they would back an extension of as much as 21 months but the truth is we won’t really know until closer to the above dates. GBP/USD rallied throughout the session yesterday, ending +1.21% stronger, its best performance since last November. We’re reading at $1.3248 overnight which is the highest since last July. EUR/GBP is now at 0.857 and the strongest since May 2017. We should add that our FX strategists yesterday reinstated their Sterling long trade in light of recent developments and target 0.84 in EUR/GBP. More in their note here . Overnight the FT has carried interesting quotes from the de facto leader of the eurosceptic Tory wing Jacob Rees-Mogg. He is suggesting that he is no longer looking to scrap the Irish backstop and will instead consider other legal fixes to it. So the mood music continues to move in favour of Mrs May’s deal albeit without yet having the necessary legal concessions from the EU.

Overnight markets are heading higher with the Nikkei (+0.49%), Hang Seng (+0.60%), Shanghai Comp (+0.79%) and Kospi (+0.24%) all up. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are trading flat (-0.02%). President Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un are meeting today and tomorrow, with President Trump set to meet North Korea’s Kim at 11:40am GMT. In the meantime, S&P has said that even if the US and North Korea make a formal declaration of an end to the Korean War, it is unlikely to impact South Korea’s rating as the security posed by North Korea will continue to weigh on South Korea’s ratings for the foreseeable future.

In other news, after Italy’s ruling coalition partner M5S lost c. 75% of its vote share in Sardinia (11.18% in 2019 down from 42.5% previously), it’s leader Luigi Di Maio is facing fresh dissent from party members with majority of them calling on him to return the party to its roots and give more power back to the rank-and-file members. M5S trails its other coalition partner League by more than 10% in the most recent polls as the two leaders gear up for May’s European parliamentary elections. In the meantime, Di Maio appeared to recognise the internal dissent yesterday by signaling that he is ready to give some concessions to the party dissenters but added that “we need to have better structure, but my political leadership will only be up for discussion four years from now” (per Bloomberg). This could lead to renewed turbulence in Italian politics but Italian PM Conte and both the ruling coalition leaders have played down the risk of regional and European parliament elections impacting the sustainability of the Italian government by saying that Italy’s current coalition government will govern for its complete term. 91 governments in around the last 117 years might suggest otherwise. One to continue to watch.

Also interesting yesterday was the US data. The most headline grabbing were the February surveys where the Richmond Fed manufacturing index rose 18pts to +16 (vs. +5 expected) – and included a big jump in new orders – and the Conference Board consumer confidence reading jumped 9.7pts to 131.4 (vs. 124.9 expected) and the highest since November last year. Both the expectations and present situations components ticked up and it was noticeable again that the chart highlighting the gap between the two (expectations minus present situations) did the rounds again yesterday- albeit with the gap narrowing slightly to -70 from -82. A negative numbers has been billed as a leading indicator of recessions in the past and the only time it’s been more negative than now was in 2001 when it hit -96 just before the recession. Given that the thought was the government shutdown may have impacted the data the fact that there hasn’t been a huge change in the latest reading is certainly noteworthy.

As for the other data, December housing starts surprisingly fell -200k to 1.08m, versus expectations for 1.26m, reaching their lowest level since September 2016. That figure may have been affected by wildfires in the western US, as new permits were strong at 1.33m, close to flat on the month but beating consensus expectations. Overall, the print suggests that the US housing market may indeed be turning a corner after a tepid 2018. The -45bps drop in mortgage rates over the last four months should help too. The FHFA house price index rose 0.3% mom for December and the S&P CoreLogic 20-city house price index rose +0.19% mom, both a touch softer than expected.

In terms of the day ahead, this morning it’s quiet with the January M3 money supply print due for the Euro Area followed by February confidence indicators. In the US we’re due to get the December advance goods trade balance, and final revisions to December wholesale inventories, durable goods and capital goods orders. Away from that, Powell will speak again, this time testifying to the House Financial Services Committee Panel, while the ECB’s Coeure and Weidmann are due to speak. In the UK the House of Commons will be voting today however it’s unlikely to be significant in light of yesterday’s developments, The other potentially important event to watch is US Trade Representative Lighthizer testifying to the House Ways and Mean Committee’s hearing on the US-China trade talks.

 

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)WEDNESDAY MORNING/ TUESDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 12.31 POINTS OR 0.42% //Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 14.42 POINTS OR 0.05%  /The Nikkei closed UP 107.12 POINTS OR 0.50%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.40%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP  at 6.6786 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 6.6786 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.6781: / 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/

Wolf Richter describes the huge plunge in imports coming from China and the emerging nations..the most since 2008. )He explains that this is the steepest two month plunge in 11 years).  This portends danger to the world’s economic growth

(courtesy Wolf Richter/WolfStreet)

Oops, Imports by China, Emerging Asia Plunge Most Since 2008

by Wolf Richter •  • 15 Comments • Email to a friend

These unsettling tidbits about sudden problems on the demand-side in China.

Imports by China and other emerging Asian economies in December plunged to the lowest level in two years, in the steepest one-month plunge since 2008, after having already plunged in November, according to the Merchandise World Trade Monitor, released on Monday by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, a division of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

For November and December combined, imports by China and other Emerging Asian Economies plunged 13%, the steepest two-month plunge since November and December 2008 (-18%). In point terms, it was the largest plunge in the data going back to 2000:

“Emerging Asia” includes China, Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Singapore. But China is by far the largest economy in the group, and by far the largest importer in the group.

If the term “plunge” shows up a lot in discussions about certain aspects of the Chinese economy, it’s because that’s the kind of sudden wild moves now cropping up.

The fact that imports into Emerging Asia are plunging is a sign of suddenly and sharply weakening demand in China. This type of abrupt demand-downturn was clearly visible in the double-digit plunge in new-vehicle sales in China over the last four months of 2018, plunging demand in many other sectors in China, and record defaults by Chinese companies. When it comes to China, “plunge is no longer an exaggeration.

So the US trade actions against China – the variously implemented, threatened, or delayed tariffs – was largely geared toward hitting exports by China to the US. But it was imports that plunged!

Exports from Emerging Asia too dropped in November and December, but not nearly as brutally as imports, down by 6.7% over the two months combined. And these drops were not all that unusual in the export index:

To compile the data for its World Trade Monitor, the CBP gathers data from official data providers in the individual countries (technical description). Because US import and export data for December was not available due to the partial government shutdown, the CBP estimated the data for December by assuming it was the same as in November.

The overall World Trade Monitor — for trade in all directions by all economies it covers –dropped 1.9% year-over-year in December, largely due to the plunge in imports and exports in Emerging Asia.

In the advanced economies – US, Japan, the Euro Area, and “other” – imports in December were about flat year-over-year, while exports fell 1.2% year-over-year.

In the other emerging economies without Asia, imports inched down and exports rose on a year-over-year basis in December. Imports: Latin America (-1.3%), Eastern Europe and CIS (-1%), and Africa and Middle East (-1%). Exports: Latin America (+8%); Africa and Middle East (+2.2%); Eastern Europe and CIS (+0.6%).

So the global trade situation outside of Emerging Asia is not exactly hunky dory but not totally alarming.

But the situation in Emerging Asia, and mostly China, is alarming. There is something big transpiring on the demand side, for imports to plunge like this.

Whatever it is, it must be rattling the nerves of the leadership. The New York Times just reported that President Xi Jinping “abruptly summoned hundreds of officials to Beijing recently, forcing some to reschedule long-planned local assemblies. The meeting seemed orchestrated to convey anxious urgency. The Communist Party, Mr. Xi told the officials, faces major risks on all fronts and must batten down the hatches.”

Whether dealing with foreign policy, trade, unemployment, or property prices, he declared, officials would be held responsible if they slipped up and let dangers spiral into real threats.

“Globally, sources of turmoil and points of risk are multiplying,” he told the gathering in January at the Central Party School. At home, he added, “the party is at risk from indolence, incompetence and of becoming divorced from the public.”

Mr. Xi made clear that the economy was a major concern, telling officials to beware of “black swans” and “gray rhinos” — investor jargon for surprise economic shocks and financial risks hiding in plain sight.

Clearly, something is up in China, and it bubbles to the surface in unsettling bits and pieces on the demand side. The official data on the economy still look blindingly rosy, with the GDP-growth-by-fiat-numbers still at over 6%, copy-and-paste with slight variations to make it look natural. But the relentless accumulation of awful tidbits on the demand side are starting to paint a different picture.

A painful moment of truth for banks and investors, hammered by “uncertainty over the accuracy of the companies’ books and disclosure of pertinent information,” according to Fitch. Read...  Record Defaults by Chinese Companies: Fake “Cash” & Fake Accounting

END

Huawei chairman mocks the USA “security threat” as the USA is doing the same

(courtesy zerohedge)

Huawei Chairman Mocks US “Security Threat” Claims With Jab At Snowden

Huawei executives took advantage of this week’s Mobile World Conference in Barcelona – one of the global telecom industry’s biggest trade events – to mock US allegations that Chinese telecom giant represents a possible security threat for the US’s western allies, when he correctly pointed out that US law requires the same type of security cooperation for which Huawei is allegedly complicit.

In remarks that touched a nerve for the US, Huawei Chairman Guo Ping offered what Bloomberg described as “his boldest defense yet” against allegations that Huawei is complicit in espionage during a presentation in Barcelona, where he also brought up the NSA domestic mass-surveillance programs exposed by former contractor Edward Snowden. Many of these programs – like the infamous PRISM program – involved the mandatory cooperation of the US’s biggest tech and telecoms firms in the collection of digital communications. Guo pointed out that US federal law requires companies to hand over data to the government, even when that data is stored on foreign servers.

Huawei

Guo’s macabre sense of humor elicited a few laughs from his audience.

“Prism, prism on the wall, who is the most trustworthy of them all?” Ping asked, drawing laughter and scattered applause. “It is a very important question and if you don’t answer that, you can go and ask Edward Snowden.”

In an editorial published by the FT on Wednesday, Guo hit upon what he said was the real source of the US’s anxieties about Huawei: The Chinese telecoms giant threatens the US’s “digital dominance” and has stoked fears of falling behind in the race for becoming the dominant power in 5G technology. Another consideration: As Snowden revealed, the US intelligence agencies are hell-bent on “collecting it all”, and obedient domestic companies have been more than happy to oblige. But the growing dominance of Huawei, which operates in 170 countries and isn’t beholden to Washington, makes that task much more difficult.

Here’s more from the FT:

Clearly, the more Huawei gear is installed in the world’s telecommunications networks, the harder it becomes for the NSA to “collect it all”. Huawei, in other words, hampers US efforts to spy on whomever it wants. This is the first reason for the campaign against us. The second reason has to do with 5G. This latest generation of mobile technology will provide data connections for everything from smart factories to electric power grids.

Huawei has invested heavily in 5G research for the past 10 years, putting us roughly a year ahead of our competitors. That makes us attractive to countries that are preparing to upgrade to 5G in the next few months. If the US can keep Huawei out of the world’s 5G networks by portraying us as a security threat, it can retain its ability to spy on whomever it wants. America also directly benefits if it can quash a company that curtails its digital dominance. Hobbling a leader in 5G technology would erode the economic and social benefits that would otherwise accrue to the countries that roll it out early. Meanwhile, a range of US laws, including most recently the Cloud Act, empowers the US government to compel telecom companies to assist America’s programme of global surveillance, as long as the order is framed as an investigation involving counter-intelligence or counter-terrorism.

And to Washington’s chagrin, other telecoms executives appeared to defend Huawei in their remarks, insisting that global carriers needed “a degree of choice” when selecting suppliers.

Vodafone Chief Executive Officer Nick Read, speaking on stage Monday, said carriers need “a degree of choice” when buying equipment. In an interview, Orange SA’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer and Deputy CEO Mari-Noelle Jego-Laveissiere said that any ban on the Chinese company’s equipment would be “damaging” for the region.

It isn’t clear how much of an impact the U.S. delegation is having. Vodafone’s Read said Monday he had no meeting planned with U.S. officials on Huawei and would rather talk to national regulators if needed. Deutsche Telekom Board Member Claudia Nemat said she hadn’t been approached by the U.S. for meetings.

Rebutting Guo’s claims, one State Department official quoted by Bloomberg insisted that, even if international telecoms firms don’t trust the US, there are plenty of options aside from Huawei that don’t involve the same security risks. But, it’s worth pointing out, they also don’t offer the same cutting-edge 5G technology or low price.

4.EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

UK

UK banks Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations

(courtesy Sara Carter)_

UK To Ban Hezbollah, Ansaroul Islam, & JNIM As Terrorist Organizations

Authored by Sara Carter,

In a draft order, presented to the British Parliament, will proscribe Hezbollah in its entirety alongside Ansaroul Islam and Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam Wal-Muslimin (JNIM) who operate in the Sahel region in Africa.

Subject to Parliament’s approval, from Friday when the order comes into effect, being a member, or inviting support for Hezbollah (Hizballah), Ansaroul Islam and JNIM will be a criminal offence, carrying a sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:

My priority as Home Secretary is to protect the British people. As part of this, we identify and ban any terrorist organisation which threatens our safety and security, whatever their motivations or ideology which is why I am taking action against several organisations today.

Hizballah is continuing in its attempts to destabilase the fragile situation in the Middle East – and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

We are staunch supporters of a stable and prosperous Lebanon. We cannot however be complacent when it comes to terrorism – it is clear the distinction between Hizballah’s military and political wings does not exist, and by proscribing Hizballah in all its forms, the government is sending a clear signal that its destabilising activities in the region are totally unacceptable and detrimental to the UK’s national security.

This does not change our ongoing commitment to Lebanon, with whom we have a broad and strong relationship.

The British government has taken the decision to proscribe Hezbollah in its entirety on the basis that it is no longer tenable to distinguish between the military and political wings of Hezbollah.

Read full announcement at the UK Government Website

end

5.RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

DUBAI/UAE

Properties values are imploding in that mecca paradise of Dubai

(courtesy zerohedge)

Bubble Warning: Property Prices In Dubai Continue To Plummet

The strategy of investing in Dubai property in the hope of doubling or even tripling your money is now over, according to a new report.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Property Report by Savills Middle East has revealed that home prices in the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area fell in 2018 as inventory flooded the market.

Prices plummeted in Downtown Dubai, down 16%, prices at the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa, known as the Burj Dubai, down nearly 12% and the Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marine down by 5% to 7%.

Steven Morgan, chief executive officer of Savills Middle East, said the UAE government has addressed the housing slowdown and made some policy changes to stimulate growth.

“There is no doubt that 2018 was a challenging year for the global economy, so it was perhaps inevitable that the UAE would feel a certain ripple effect of pressures beyond its own borders,” he said.

“The real estate industry in the UAE is very much a place of opportunity for the committed investor. The various proactive measures adopted by the Government in 2018 will have a positive impact on housing demand and help the maturing real estate market,” he explained.

“Along with mainstream investors comprising Emiratis, Indians, Pakistanis and British, we anticipate demand from other nationalities such as Chinese, Americans and others to increase on the back of Dubai Land Department’s investor outreach programme,’ he added.

The report also shows that two-bedroom condo prices in Business Bay crashed 18%, while three bedroom condos in The Greens declined by 11%, as did one-bedroom condos in Downtown Dubai.

There was also a decline in the single-family home and townhouse markets. Four-bedroom homes in Al Furjan and three bedroom townhouses in Springs dropped by 9%, while prices fell by 8% for three bedroom townhouses in Mira. The price of four bedroom homes in Arabian Ranches fell by 8%.

Home sales in Dubai also collapsed, with a decline of 22% YoY in 2018, with the report indicating that buyers are sidelined – waiting for the housing market too trough.

According to another report from Property Finder, UAE government data shows there are currently 3,680 remaining real estate brokerages that “stand strong in a market that is consolidating,” which represents an 11% drop YoY in 2018.

“This is a sign of much-needed consolidation in the industry,” said Lukman Hajje, Property Finder’s chief commercial officer. “Fly-by-night operators who realised that their business model is no longer viable have been weeded out.”

Lynette Abad, Property Finder’s research director, said the consolidation of brokerages is a sign of a maturing market in Dubai.

“We have always had an exorbitant number of agencies in this market,” he added. “Therefore the fact that the number of agencies is reducing is a positive sign, leaving opportunity for the more experienced and professional companies to grow.”

Dubai is in danger of another real estate bubble imploding. Real estate prices are once again over-inflated as the world is on the cusp of a trade recession. Back in 2009 to 2010, prices crashed by more than 50%.

end

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

Pakistan shoots down 2 Indian fighters jets

(courtesy zerohedge)

“This Is Unprecedented Territory” – Pakistan Shoots Down 2 Indian Fighter Jets In Dramatic Border Conflict Escalation

Update 2: Pakistan is now saying that only one Indian pilot is in custody…and India has confirmed that only one pilot is missing. Meanwhile, there have been reports of “heavy exchange of fire” in multiple areas along the border.

Regarding the detained pilot, India’s Ministry of External Affairs has lodged a “strong protest” after summoning Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner. In a statement, India accused Pakistan of violating the Geneva Convention by shooting down its planes, and said that it expects the “safe return” of the detained pilot.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Aditya Raj Kaul

@AdityaRajKaul

: Pakistan demarched on the act of aggression against India. India also strongly objected to the vulgar display of an injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law & Geneva Convention. India expects his safe return.

Theresa May took a break from the ongoing Brexit negotiations to “urge restraint” in the conflict, according to Reuters.

* * *

Update and recap: After some initial confusion and conflicting statements about the number of aircraft involved in Wednesday’s hostilities, Bloomberg has produced this roundup of remarks from both sides that helps to clear things up. The follow-up included Pakistan’s description of shooting down Indian jets.

  • Indian and Pakistani fighter jets engaged each other, resulting in the worst escalation since the war between the two in 1971.
  • Pakistan said it engaged six targets across the de facto border between the nuclear-armed neighbors. Pakistan said its fighter planes shot down two Indian fighter aircraft that entered its airspace. Two Indian pilots were in its custody, one of them in hospital.
  • India admitted to losing one MiG 21 fighter jet in the aerial engagement. India’s Kumar said the pilot of the plane is “missing in action,” and the government is ascertaining Pakistan’s claim of their custody. India said it shot down a Pakistani fighter jet today.
  • Pakistan PM Imran Khan in his address to the nation sounded conciliatory, saying he was willing to investigate the Feb. 14 terror attack in Kashmir. He said a war won’t be in his or in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s control and called for a dialogue between the two.
  • China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and offered to play a “constructive role,” while U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the two nations to “avoid escalation at any cost.”

* * *

Markets had already been bracing for an insanely busy session – with risks ranging from Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, to Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony, to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s second testimony before the House Financial Services Committee (including Maxine Waters and AOC) – when they were confronted in the early morning hours on Wednesday with the prospect for nuclear war along one of the world’s most volatile borders.

One day after Indian fighter jets crossed into Pakistani territory to destroy a training camp purportedly belonging to the militant group that carried out one of the deadliest terror attacks in the 30-year history of the Kashmiri insurgency (Pakistan offered a different version of events), two Indian fighter jets have been shot down over Pakistani territory in what analysts described as the biggest escalation in tensions between the feuding neighbors since the end of the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war (which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh).

Screenshot from video reportedly showing the wreckage of the MiG-21 plane downed by Pakistan

India

Both countries responded by shutting down large swaths of air space.

Pakistan

One Indian aircraft landed inside Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, and the other crashed on India’s side of the Line of Control, the border that runs across Kashmir, according to military spokesman Asif Ghafoor. Pakistan said one of the Indian pilots was injured and had received medical treatment, while the other had been taken into custody. “Both are under arrest and we are treating them with dignity,” he said during a press conference in Islamabad. India offered a contradictory version of events, saying it lost one MiG 21 fighter jet, and that one of its pilots was missing in action. It also said it shot down one Pakistani plane, though Pakistani has said no such plane was in service.

India’s ANI news agency is reporting that a Pakistan F-16 which violated Indian air space was shot down three kilometers within Pakistan territory in Lam Valley. Ghafoor said Pakistan didn’t use F-16 planes in the operation.

Meanwhile, Indian paramilitary forces clashed with Kashmir militants in India-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday. Two militants were killed. One analyst told Bloomberg that we are now in “unprecedented territory.”

“This is unprecedented territory – we haven’t had tit-for-tat air strikes between India and Pakistan since the 1971 war,” said Anit Mukherjee, a former Indian Army major and assistant professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, by phone. “We don’t know what will come from this. But it seems like Pakistan has given a response. And there have been casualties — captures, deaths.”

The eruption of open conflict was a surprise as both sides had been seeking to deescalate the conflict only hours before. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo encouraged both sides to “exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost.” He noted that Pakistan’s priority was to avoid military action and take “meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil.”

Pakistan has sought help from the UN to dial back the tensions, while India – which is facing a major election in the coming weeks – has reportedly reached out to the US, UK, China, France and Russia.

Pakistan has sought help from the United Nations to de-escalate the situation, while India – which is facing national elections in a few weeks – reached out to countries including the US, UK, China, France and Russia and urged the government in Islamabad to take action against terror groups based in the country.

The incident immediately reverberated across domestic financial markets, with India’s rupee reversing gains, while Pakistan’s benchmark stock index plunged as much as 3.8% in Karachi. Across the border, India’s S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.2% in Mumbai after gaining as much as 1.1 percent earlier in the day. Pakistan’s sovereign dollar bond due 2027 fell 1.7 cents on the dollar.

But assets rebounded after Pakistani Prime Minister (and former cricket star) Imran Khan struck a conciliatory tone, saying he was willing to investigate the terror attack in Kashmir.

“I again invite you, if we are ready for a dialogue on terrorism. We are ready but I will again say better sense should prevail. We should resolve our problems through dialogue.”

Numerous cell-phone videos circulating on social media recorded the aftermath as Pakistani jawans took one of the pilots of the downed Indian planes into custody.

Embedded video

Mansoor Ali Khan

@_Mansoor_Ali

That moment when Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhi Nandan was captured. Pakistan Army Jawans protecting him from angry crowd

Another video purported to show one of the jets being shot down, as well as the smouldering wreckage that resulted.

Embedded video

SAMAA TV

@SAMAATV

خصوصی ویڈیو: پاک فضائیہ کے طیاروں کی کارروائی کے بعد 2 بھارتی طیارے تباہ ہوگئے

Embedded video

SAMAA TV

@SAMAATV

پاکستان نے بھارت کے 2 جنگی طیارے مار گرائے،شاہ محمود کی تصدیق https://www.samaa.tv/urdu/international/2019/02/1464777/ 

As we pointed out yesterday, while the Indian military enjoys vast tactical superiority over Pakistan’s, at least as far as conventional weapons are concerned, the Pakistani nuclear doctrine allows for the use of tactical nuclear weapons in a preemptive or offensive attack.

Graph

While it’s true that both sides are facing tremendous pressure to not allow the situation to spiral out of control, merely the whiff of nuclear conflict – which hasn’t been a front-and-center risk for financial markets since the summer of 2017 during the standoff between Trump and Kim Jong Un – might be enough to send global risk assets reeling.

end

7  OIL ISSUES

 

8. EMERGING MARKETS

 

Venezuela

 

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

Euro/USA 1.1392 DOWN .0002 REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:///ITALIAN CHAOS /AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA RISING INTEREST RATES /FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES RED 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 110.51  DOWN .0937 (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 1.3315    UP   0.0057  (Brexit March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED

USA/CAN 1.3132 DOWN .0032 CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA/CANADA HAS A HUGE HOUSEHOLD DEBT/GDP PROBLEM)

Early THIS WEDNESDAY morning in Europe, the Euro FELL by 4 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level FALLING to 1.1392 Last night Shanghai composite closed UP 12.31 POINTS OR 0.42%/

 

 

 

//Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 14.62   POINTS OR 0.05% 

 

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP .40%/EUROPEAN BOURSES RED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NIKKEI: this WEDNESDAY morning CLOSED UP 107.12 POINTS OR 0.50% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED  RED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 14.42 POINTS OR 0.05%

 

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 12.31 POINTS OR 0.42% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP .40%

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED UP 107.12 POINTS OR 0.50%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1327.20

silver:$15.86

Early WEDNESDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.63% !!! DOWN 4 IN POINTS from TUESDAY’S night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

 

The 30 yr bond yield 3.01 DOWN 2  IN BASIS POINTS from TUESDAY night. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

USA dollar index early WEDNESDAY morning: 95.91 DOWN 9 CENT(S) from  FRIDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers WEDNESDAY MORNING

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

And now your closing WEDNESDAY NUMBERS \12: 00 PM

 

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.45% DOWN 2   in basis point(s) yield from TUESDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: -.03%  DOWN 1   BASIS POINTS from TUESDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

 

 

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.16% DOWN 2   IN basis point yield from TUESDAY

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.79 up 2    POINTS in basis point yield from TUESDAY/

 

 

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

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

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.64% AND NOW ABOVE THE  THE 3.00% LEVEL WHICH WILL IMPLODE THE ENTIRE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM. AT 4% SPREAD THERE WILL BE A MASSIVE BANK RUN…

 

END

IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR TUESDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1371 DOWN   .0023 or 23 basis points

 

 

USA/Japan: 110.92 UP .369 OR YEN DOWN 37 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3318 UP.0018( POUND UP 61  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar UP 19 basis points to 1.3146

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

The USA/Yuan,CNY closed AT 6.6872    0N SHORE  (UP)

 

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  6.6859(  YUAN UP)

TURKISH LIRA:  5.3135

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

 

 

 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 0 IN basis points from TUESDAY at 2.68 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 3.06 UP2  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, 96.15 UP 14 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 WEDNESDAY: 12:00 PM 

London: CLOSED DOWN  43.92 OR 0.61%

German Dax : DOWN 53.46 POINTS OR .46%

Paris Cac CLOSED DOWN 13.37 POINTS OR  0.26%

Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 15.50 POINTS OR  0.17%

Italian MIB: CLOSED UP 39.20POINTS OR 0.19%

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 57.13 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 66.64 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   ROUBLE CROSS:    65.80  THE CROSS HIGHER BY 0.10 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE LOWER BY 10 BASIS PTS)

 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES  TO +.11 FOR THE 10 YR BOND 1.00 PM EST EST

END

 

This ends the stock indices, oil price, currency crosses and interest rate closes for today 4:30 PM

Closing Price for Oil, 4:00 pm/and 10 year USA interest rate:

WTI CRUDE OIL PRICE 4:30 PM :  57.02

 

 

BRENT :  66.28

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: … 2.68.. bond market

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 3.07..

 

 

 

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.13712 ( DOWN 22   BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:111.00 UP .445 (YEN DOWN 45   BASIS POINTS/..

 

.

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 96.15 UP 14 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA:1.3305  UP 47 POINTS FROM YESTERDAY

the Turkish lira close: 5.3135

the Russian rouble 65.80   DOWN .09 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( DOWN 25 BASIS POINTS)

 

Canadian dollar:  1.3152 UP 12 BASIS pts

USA/CHINESE YUAN (CNY) :  6.6872  (ONSHORE)/CLOSED FOR THE WEEK

USA/CHINESE YUAN(CNH): 6.6826  (OFFSHORE)

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

 

The Dow closed DOWN 72.82POINTS OR 0.28%

 

NASDAQ closed UP 5.21 POINTS OR 0.07%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  14.99 CLOSED DOWN .18 

 

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.628%   BIG JUMP TODAY.

 

 

FROM 2.646

 

 

 

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

Bonds, Stocks, & Bullion Crumble Amid Kashmir, Kim, & Cohen Chaos

What a day…

China limped lower overnight for the second day in a row…but remains dramatically higher on the week still...

 

UK’s FTSE fell once again (3-week lows) as Italy outperformed...

 

US Futures were halted overnight for a surprisingly long period due to a CME glitch, tumbled on Lighthizer, ramped after the European close… (3rd day of weakness into the close)

 

Dow and Trannies were worst, Small Caps outperformed (thanks to the short-squeeze once again)...Nasdaq was ramped back into the green at the last minute...

 

Bob Lighthizer sparked an early dump in stocks after he poured cold water on President Trump’s more optimistic outlook on trade… but that dip was quickly panic bid after Europe closed…

 

S&P cash was unable to get back above 2,800 for the 3rd day in a row…

 

Another day, another major short-squeeze…

 

And buybacks rescued stocks from the Lighhizer dip…

 

Treasury yields spiked across the board, triggered by a major IG calendar and rate-locks…

 

10Y ramped all the way up to a key trendline level and stalled…

 

And 30Y Yields pushed all the way up to 5-week highs…

 

The 3m5Y curve inverted once again today…

 

The dollar rebounded from overnight weakness to close green…

 

Yuan ended unchanged despite a dip on Lighthizer comments…

 

Bitcoin flatlined for much of the day before cryptos suddenly puked around 330ET…

 

WTI rallied back to unchanged on a big surprise crude draw, PMs limped lower as copper gained…

 

Gold prices tumbled (erasing the month’s gains) – which makes perfect sense as Kashmir turns up the rhetoric to ’11’...

 

WTI recovered Monday’s losses then faded modestly…

 

Finally, as the month of February nears an end, with stocks soaring, we note that US Macro data just suffered its worst monthly disappointments since April 2017…

It could never happen again, right?

END

MARKET TRADING

Suddenly, the 10 yr treasury yield rises by a huge 4 basis points coupled with a loss on USA markets..not good!

(zerohedge)

10Y Treasurys Suddenly Tumble Amid Rate-Lock Curve Selloff

Having traded near the multi-month low of 2.63% for much of the overnight session, and within the descending triangle observed over the past 6 weeks where a breakout either higher or lower appears imminent…

… the 10Y Treasury has suddenly seen a sharp selloff, with yields spiking by over 4bps to over 2.6734%, in a move that has dragged the entire curve higher in parallel.

The move has so far failed to have an impact on stocks, which are modestly lower in early trading, in line with pre-market expectations.

While there has been no specific catalyst behind the move, traders ascribe the move to two potential drivers: one is the wider sell-off across the Atlantic, where bunds and gilts have been weighing notably across the back-end of the curve, with Bloomberg noting a sudden weakness across core European fixed-income and a jump in bund futures volume on breach of earlier lows, suggesting this was an algo-driven stop-led activity.

As Bloomberg notes, there were around 12k RXH9 contracts traded in the drop from 166.14 to 166.06, a move that breached the earlier 166.10 lows; contract bottomed at 166.05 as 10-year Germany yields topped above 13bp. Total 35k RXH9 traded over 5-minute period between 166.23 to 166.05 lows.

A second, and arguably more relevant reason for the move, is a jump in rate locks as a result of a ramp up in IG issuance today with no less than 8 deals slated, of which at least 6 have 10-and/or 30-year tenors, which are also weighing on the long-end.

The question now is whether the selloff will persist beyond the 2.680% trendline, which has been set by the descending higher in the past month, in which case the much anticipated move higher in yields which Credit Suisse noted earlier, may finally be here.

This is turn bring us to the point made by Bloomberg commentator Richard Breslow, who earlier today said that “the most interesting chart to watch today isn’t whether 2,800 and change will hold or not in the S&P 500. It isn’t about deciding if the Dollar Index is setting up for a probe lower. Although both are well worth following. For my money, it is the much discussed, and now highly relevant, descending triangle from the end of January in 10-year Treasury yields. The bottom of the formation comes in at 2.62%, just below the overnight low. A break will get a lot of people talking about having another look at the January lows. Quite a compelling situation as we head into GDP and PCE over the balance of the week where it seems the whisper numbers keep slipping lower. This should be something worthy of being high up on your priority list.”

end
Signals getting louder and louder: the 5 year inverts with the 3 month yield…funny looking yield curve
(Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk)

Recession Signal Getting Louder: 5-Year Yield Inverts With 3-Month Yield

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

The yield curve is inverted in 11 different spots. The latest is 5-year to 3-month inversion.

The yield curve recession signal is louder and louder. Inversions are persistent and growing.

Let’s compare the spreads today to that of December 18, the start of the December 2018 FOMC meeting.

Yield Curve 2019-02-26 vs December and October 2018

Yield Curve Spread Analysis

Spread Changes

  • Yellow: Spreads Collapsed Since October (1 Month to 5 Years)
  • Pink: Spreads Remained Roughly the Same (7 Year)
  • Blue: Spreads Increased (30-Year and 10-Year)

Something Happening

Something is happening. What is it?

Possibilities

  1. The bond market is staring to worry about trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see
  2. The bond market has stagflation worries
  3. The bond bull market is over or approaching

My take is number one and possibly all three.

An in regards to recession the economy is weakening fast.

ii)Market data/

WOW!!! The USA trade deficit widened to a whopping 79.5 billion dollars from November’s 70.5 billion.  Exports fell 2.8% which is bad and imports rose 2.4%.  Not very good. Does not seem that Trump is winning this battle.

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

Don’t Show President Trump This Record-Breaking Trade Deficit Chart

The US trade deficit of goods widened to $79.5b in December from $70.5b in November as exports fell 2.8% and imports rose 2.4%.

That compared with the median estimate of economists for $73.6 billion.

Exports of Industrial Supplies and Capital Goods plunged in December and imports of food & beverage surged.

This is the widest goods trade deficit in US history.

Trump is not winning on this on

-END

 

USA pending home sales tumble for the 13th consecutive month

(courtesy zerohedge)-

US Pending Homes Sales Tumble YoY For 13th Straight Month

After plunging further in December, January Pending Home Sales rebounded more than expected (+4.6% MoM vs +1.0% MoM exp) but remains lower YoY for the 13th straight month.

“A change in Federal Reserve policy and the reopening of the government were very beneficial to the market,”NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

“Homebuyers are now returning and taking advantage of lower interest rates, while a boost in inventory is also providing more choices for consumers.”

On a Year-over-year basis, the rebound left Pending Home Sales down just 2.27% YoY, but that is still the 13th annual drop in a row…

The improvement signals buyers are returning to the market to take advantage of borrowing costs that have declined from an eight-year high in November, while the end of the partial government shutdown in late January may be encouraging buyers who were otherwise hesitant.

Bloomberg notes that the data also are in line with a jump in mortgage applications in January, and the Federal Reserve’s decision to be patient on interest-rate hikes may help sustain demand. U.S. employers in January also added jobs at the fastest rate in almost a year, supporting demand for major purchases such as homes.

end
Another lousy economic input number:  USA factory orders suffer worst slump in over 3 years.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Core US Factory Orders Suffer Worst Slump In 3 Years

US core factory orders (ex transports) fell for the second month in a row in December. This is the worst sequential drop since Feb 2016.

New orders ex-trans fell 0.6% in Dec. after falling 1.3% the prior month.

 

The headline factory orders rose 0.1% MoM (well below the 0.6% MoM gain expected).

Capital goods non-defense ex aircraft new orders for Dec. fall 1% after falling 1.1% in Nov.

Non-durables shipments for Dec. fall 1% after falling 2% in Nov.

Not a pretty picture, but it was an 8.0% drop in Defense spending that triggered the weakness – so we’re gonna need moar war.

END

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

If implemented, the Republic dies.  Colorado moves to bypass the electoral college to stop Trump

 

(courtesy Mac Slavo/

Colorado Moves To Bypass Electoral College To Stop Trump: Will Assign Electoral Votes To Popular Vote Winner

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Certain political elements within the United States simply can’t deal with the fact that our Founders created a voting system that ensured limitations on mob rule stemming from a handful of cities throughout the country. To protect the rights of all Americans, including those living in smaller rural counties, they came up with the electoral college, a method by which all Americans from varying backgrounds and ideologies can be represented during a Presidential election.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton officially won the Popular Vote, garnering more total votes than Donald Trump, but because of an Electoral College victory, Trump ultimately became President.

Every time a Republican happens to win a Presidency, Democrats argue that the Electoral College is an archaic election method not representative of a democratic government.

Up until now there was nothing they can do about it, but Colorado has come up with a plan that, at the very least, will likely wind up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the next election, Colorado aims to assign all electoral votes to the winner of the national Popular Vote, rather than then to the individual who brings in the most votes in their State, essentially invalidating the will of their own State citizens. Somehow, this makes sense to Colorado governor Jared Polis:

“I’ve long supported electing the president by who gets the most votes,” Polis told The Hill. “It’s a way to move towards direct election of the president.”

Colorado will become the 12th state to join the national popular vote interstate compact. Those 12 states and the District of Columbia, which has also passed a popular-vote bill, account for 181 electoral votes, just under 90 shy of the 270 votes a presidential candidate needs to win the White House.

The compact will not go into effect until the coalition includes states that add up to 270 electoral votes or more. Once it does go into effect, states that are part of the coalition would award their electoral votes en masse to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Source: The Hill

Eleven more states are currently working through similar legislation. If successful, some 261 electoral college votes would end up being decided by the national popular vote rather than the traditional electoral voting system used in previous elections.

While the U.S. Constitution establishes the Electoral College as the method by which a President is elected, it does not specify how each state chooses to assign its Electoral votes.

This will likely lead to Constitutional challenges from both sides.

Our view: This is how a Republic dies, should the Supreme Court fail to uphold current laws surrounding how votes are assigned and calculated.

(Pictured: 2016 Electoral map by county)

The electoral map above shows exactly why Democrats, once again, have to move the goal posts to win.

END

‘Father Of Reaganonomics’ Warns “Get Out Of The Market… And Put Your Money In Cash”

“We need to wake up and smell the roses here…”

That’s the ominous-sounding warning from David Stockman, the so-called “Father of Reaganomics,” as he told Fox Business’s Neil Cavuto this week that investors ought to get out of the market and retreat to the presumed safety of Treasury bills and cold, hard cash.

“We’re in year 10 of the longest business expansion in history. We’re increasing the deficit at the very wrong time. They say it’s $900 billion this year it’ll be $1.2 trillion of borrowing at the same time that the Fed is beginning to shrink its balance sheet, which means they’ll be dumping bonds into the market,” he said.

As MarketWatch’s Mark Decambre notes, here’s an exchange between Cavuto and Stockman during the nearly 8-minute segment, in which the businessman cautioned that the end of easy-money policies by the Federal Reserve would ultimately augur ill for a country hopped up on debt and boasting a growing trillion-dollar deficit:

Cavuto: When is that day of reckoning? I’d like to know

Stockman: I think we’re here. I think we’re here because the Fed stopped buying bonds two years ago.

Cavuto: What would you invest in?

Stockman: I think you get out of the market. The bond market, the stock market, put your money in cash, put your money in Treasury bills, wait for the collapse to come because it’s going to happen

Stockman argues that easy-money days cannot last and that has ramifications for all, arguing that the Fed must normalize its policy, at some point:

My point is, it’s finally catching up with us. We’ve gotten by with this for 30 years ‘cause the Fed has been monetizing the debt — buying bonds hand over fist. When Greenspan arrived, the balance sheet of the Fed was $200 billion; at the peak it was $4.5 trillion,” he told Cavuto, referring to former Fed boss Alan Greenspan.

 

END
Goldman Sachs;  the Fed to end balance sheet runoff at the end of QE3 and will make the announcement at the March meeting
(courtesy zerohedge)

Fed To End Balance Sheet Runoff At End Of Q3; Will Make Announcement In March Meeting: Goldman

When even Maxine Waters asks the Fed Chairman what the expected level of the Fed’s balance sheet is and when its runoff is projected to end, you know that it’s serious.

While there was little new ground covered in the second day of Powell’s second day of his semiannual Humphrey Hawkins Congressional testimony, the Fed Chair told lawmakers that he’ll soon announce a plan to stop shrinking the $4 trillion balance sheet which exploded from under $1 trillion before the financial crisis, to $4.5 trillion over the duration of QE1 through QE3, and which after shrinking by roughly half a trillion dollars, prompted a market quake and exasperated demands for the shrinkage to end.

“We’ve worked out, I think, the framework of a plan that we hope to be able to announce soon, that will light the way all the way to the end of balance sheet normalization,” which will come sometime later this year, Powell said during today’s testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, cited by Bloomberg. The next meeting of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee is March 19-20.

While the Fed’s bond portfolio amounted to about 6% of GDP before the crisis, the new data point unveiled by Powell on Wednesday is that the balance sheet will likely settle around 16 or 17% of GDP. It is currently about 19.5%,.so roughly 3 more GDP points of shrinkage and it will be over.

As the latest FOMC Minutes revealed, there is now near-unanimous support among FOMC members for halting the balance-sheet runoff, with a plan for halting the shrinkage expected by year end. Meanwhile, officials have agreed to continue operating with an “ample supply” of reserves, without spelling out what that meant for the size of Fed holdings. And confirming what most traders already knew, Powell said that “there is a lot of uncertainty around the actual level.”

Repeating what he said previously, Powell said that the Fed “can’t go back to that very small balance sheet,” because shrinking it means draining the reserves demanded by banks, which are required to hold high-quality and liquid assets; of course, in a normal world those assets would be bank loans and/or Treasuries, which however the Fed’s perversion of bank incentives means that the “fortress” balance sheet of America’s banks will rely in perpetuity on a little over $1 trillion in reserves. He added that the Fed has learned that it’s “good to be very careful with the balance sheet.”

Also repeating what the Fed has said before, namely that the Fed wants a balance sheet primarily comprised of Treasuries, Powell noted that Fed officials still haven’t decided whether to sell the central bank’s agency mortgage-backed securities holdings at some stage, adding that that choice is “closer to the back of the line,” and that “we have to decide about the maturity composition, and things like that.”

So while traders await more details on how and when the Fed’s balance sheet runoff will end, Goldman commented after Powell’s testimony that the bank now expects the FOMC to conclude its balance sheet runoff program at the end of the third quarter of 2019, and adding that according to today’s testimony that announcement will come at the March meeting.

At the end of Q3, the Fed’s assets are likely to total $3.7-$3.8tn, with bank reserves at $1.3-$1.4tn. From that point on, we expect reserves to decrease gradually further via the growth of nonreserve liabilities (i.e., currency outstanding) until they reach $1.2tn in 2020 H2. While an earlier end to runoff will temporarily lead to a larger balance sheet relative to a later end, it should not have a large effect on the long-run size, which is largely pinned down by equilibrium reserves and currency outstanding.

Specifically, at the end of Q3, the Fed’s assets are likely to total $3.7-$3.8tn, with bank reserves at $1.3-$1.4tn, or well above the Fed’s soft target of $1 trillion, a number which likely will never be reached due to concerns over more market turbulence. From that point on, Goldman expect reserves to decrease gradually further via the growth of nonreserve liabilities (mostly in the form of currency outstanding) until they reach $1.2tn in 2020 H2. Goldman explains that while an earlier end to runoff – until recently consensus expected the balance sheet rolloff to end in mid-2020 – will temporarily lead to a larger balance sheet relative to a later end, “it should not have a large effect on the long-run size, which is largely pinned down by equilibrium reserves and currency outstanding.”

Goldman also touches on the other open topic, namely how the Fed will approach the remaining holdings of MBS. According to Jan Hatzius, while Governor Quarles recently stated that the Fed would be open to “limited sales” of “residual holdings” after balance sheet normalization, it is unlikely that they will do so while they keep the size of the balance sheet flat. As a result, Goldman expects the Fed to maintain its current approach to MBS runoff as its base case in the near-term, even though eventual small sales of MBS of roughly $3-$5bn per month are quite possible. At the same time, Fed purchases of Treasury securities to replace MBS are likely to occur at the front end of the curve, and in the secondary market where purchases to replace other securities must occur. This dynamic is shown in the chart below, with Goldman’s baseline scenario leading to a net increase in Treasury holdings after 2019Q3 while MBS holdings passively shrink, in order to keep the total size of the balance sheet flat.

Finally, a consequence of this is that as some other analysts have suggested, a deliberate shift toward shorter Treasury maturities is likely, i.e. a reverse Operation Twist. This would provide the Fed greater flexibility in a potential downturn to ease via maturity extension, in the same vein of Operation Twist.

END

SWAMP STORIES

Cohen states that  Trump is a racist, a conman and a cheat…I guess a Presidential pardon is out of the question!!

(zerohedge)

Watch Live: “Ashamed” Cohen Tells House Oversight Committee Trump Is “Racist, Conman, Cheat”

Update: Before Chairman Elijah Cummings could even finish his introductory statement, Republican Mark Meadows interrupted him to try and push through a motion to delay the hearing, claiming that Cohen broke committee rules by intentionally holding back his testimony.

The Times said Republican committee members will likely try this several times during the hearing to “break up the flow of the hearing” and “voice their objections” to the fact that Cohen was even allowed to appear.

In other words, strap in. It’s going to be a long day.

* * *

Update: Cohen’s testimony will begin at 10 am ET.

Watch live below:

* * *

After Tuesday’s closed door testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded without any explosive leaks, disgraced former Trump Attorney Michael Cohen is ready for his prime time moment when he testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

Cohen

By now, many have already read about some of the most outrageous claims from Cohen’s testimony, which was largely previewed in a series of leaks to the press published earlier in the week. And true to those reports, Cohen accused the president of being a “racist, a conman and a cheat” and offered a series of anecdotes from his time with Trump – as well as a slew of exhibits and documents – to try and back up his claims.

I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is.

He is a racist.

He is a conman.

He is a cheat.

Later on, Cohen alleged that, while Trump has the capacity to act kind, he is not a kind or generous person, and that, since taking office, Trump “has become the worst version of himself.”

Mr. Trump is an enigma. He is complicated, as am I. He has both good and bad, as do we all. But the bad far outweighs the good, and since taking office, he has become the worst version of himself. He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind. He is capable of committing acts of generosity, but he is not generous. He is capable of being loyal, but he is fundamentally disloyal

Some of Cohen’s allegations go beyond what has been publicly disclosed by the Mueller probe so far: These include Cohen’s claim that Trump knew Roger Stone was working with Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, and that Stone alerted him to the impending publication of hacked DNC emails.

He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails.

[…]

A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of time. The answer is yes.

[…]

As I earlier stated, Mr. Trump knew from Roger Stone in advance about the WikiLeaks drop of emails. In July 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr. Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of “wouldn’t that be great.”

As for the “bombshell” documents that Cohen is bringing to the hearing as “evidence” to corroborate his long-winded character assassination, they include:

I am providing the Committee today with several documents. These include:

  • A copy of a check Mr. Trump wrote from his personal bank account – after he became president – to reimburse me for the hush money payments I made to cover up his affair with an adult film star and prevent damage to his campaign;
  • Copies of financial statements for 2011 – 2013 that he gave to such institutions as Deutsche Bank;
  • A copy of an article with Mr. Trump’s handwriting on it that reported on the auction of a portrait of himself – he arranged for the bidder ahead of time and then reimbursed the bidder from the account of his non-profit charitable foundation, with the picture now hanging in one of his country clubs; and
  • Copies of letters I wrote at Mr. Trump’s direction that threatened his high school, colleges, and the College Board not to release his grades or SAT scores.

While most of these are simply mildly embarrassing, the check reimbursing Cohen for the payoffs could pose legal risks for the president since it was cut from his personal bank account.

Focusing on Trump’s MO in weaving this illicit web of deceit, Cohen said that while Trump didn’t explicitly instruct him to lie. However, Trump’s lawyers, according to Cohen, reviewed his Congressional testimony before Cohen delivered it (Cohen later pleaded guilty to lying during this testimony).

I lied to Congress about when Mr. Trump stopped negotiating the Moscow Tower project in Russia. I stated that we stopped negotiating in January 2016. That was false – our negotiations continued for months later during the campaign. Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates. In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing. In his way, he was telling me to lie. There were at least a half-dozen times between the Iowa Caucus in January 2016 and the end of June when he would ask me “How’s it going in Russia?” – referring to the Moscow Tower project.

You need to know that Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower negotiations before I gave it.

Trump has already acknowledged that the Trump Tower Moscow talks continued even after his inauguration, but the president has largely shrugged off allegations of impropriety by pointing out that nothing ever came of the deal. In his testimony, Cohen tries to take these already public revelations and frame them as something new:

To be clear: Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project. And so I lied about it, too – because Mr. Trump had made clear to me, through his personal statements to me that we both knew were false and through his lies to the country, that he wanted me to lie. And he made it clear to me because his personal attorneys reviewed my statement before I gave it to Congress.

During the section of his testimony where Cohen tries to win sympathy by portraying himself as a well-intentioned family man who fell in with a bad crowd and lost his way, the now-disbarred attorney revealed in a suspicious, apropos-of-nothing boast that his friends regarded him as so trustworthy, that the parents of his kids’ friends allowed them to list Cohen as their emergency contact “because their parents knew that I would drop everything and care for them as if they were my own,”

As many people that know me best would say, I am the person they would call at 3AM if they needed help. I proudly remember being the emergency contact for many of my children’s friends when they were growing up because their parents knew that I would drop everything and care for them as if they were my own.

Also, in case it hadn’t already been made abundantly clear by a fusillade of media leaks regarding Cohen’s plea agreement with Mueller, Cohen states for the record that the “Individual 1” discussed in the agreement was, in fact, President Trump.

For the record: Individual #1 is President Donald J. Trump.

In what appears to be another bid to shore up his credibility, Cohen took another widely-accepted observation about the Trump Campaign and tried to spin it as something new: The notion that Trump never expected to win the election, and only ran to “make his brand great.” And to add another dollop of truthiness, Cohen inserted a line that Trump would allegedly repeat from time to time: That his campaign would be “the greatest infomercial in political history.”

Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great. He had no desire or intention to lead this nation – only to market himself and to build his wealth and power. Mr. Trump would often say, this campaign was going to be the “greatest infomercial in political history.” He never expected to win the primary. He never expected to win the general election. The campaign – for him – was always a marketing opportunity.

And while Trump’s public remarks have often been criticized as racist by the mainstream press, Cohen claimed that, in private, his remarks were “even worse.”

He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a “shithole.” This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States.

While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way.

And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid. And yet I continued to work for him.

As was previewed in leaks ahead of the testimony, Cohen used the financial statements submitted as evidence to support his claim that Trump repeatedly tried to inflate his personal wealth when trying to increase his rankings on the Forbes list of wealthiest people, and tried to minimize them when paying taxes.

It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.

But in the second half of Cohen’s testimony, the claims get truly outrageous. In one memorable anecdote, Cohen describes how Trump instructed him to set up a straw bidder to ensure that a portrait of him sold at a charity auction would fetch the highest price. That piece of art, according to Cohen (and, again, widely acknowledged media reports) was purchased with money from Trump’s charitable foundation.

Mr. Trump directed me to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons Event. The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon. The portrait was purchased by the fake bidder for $60,000. Mr. Trump directed the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organization, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself. Please see Exhibit 3B to my testimony.

Offering what he described as evidence that Trump “doesn’t love our nation”, Cohen recounted how, after cutting the salaries of his employees – including Cohen’s – in half, Trump allegedly showed Cohen a $10 million IRS tax-refund check and joked about how dumb the government was for giving “someone like him” his money back.

When telling me in 2008 that he was cutting employees’ salaries in half – including mine – he showed me what he claimed was a $10 million IRS tax refund, and he said that he could not believe how stupid the government was for giving “someone like him” that much money back.

After tasking Cohen with handling press inquiries about his deferment from Vietnam, the president allegedly acknowledged that the “medical deferment” he received was, pardon the pun, spurious.

Mr. Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery. He told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment. He finished the conversation with the following comment. “You think I’m stupid, I wasn’t going to Vietnam.”

I find it ironic, President Trump, that you are in Vietnam right now.

When it comes to direct evidence that Trump colluded with Russia, Cohen professed that he did not have direct knowledge of Trump’s involvement in any efforts to cooperate. But he did have his suspicions.

Cohen recounted an incident from June 2016 when he Don Jr. walked behind Trump’s desk – something that people, even his children, just didn’t do – and whispered something about a meeting into the president’s ear. Cohen went on to imply that Trump almost certainly knew about the Trump Tower meeting because Trump believed Don Jr. “had the worst judgment of anyone in the world” and that his son would never arrange anything on his father’s behalf without checking with him first.

Sometime in the summer of 2017, I read all over the media that there had been a meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016 involving Don Jr. and others from the campaign with Russians, including a representative of the Russian government, and an email setting up the meeting with the subject line, “Dirt on Hillary Clinton.” Something clicked in my mind. I remember being in the room with Mr. Trump, probably in early June 2016, when something peculiar happened. Don Jr. came into the room and walked behind his father’s desk – which in itself was unusual. People didn’t just walk behind Mr. Trump’s desk to talk to him. I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which I could clearly hear, and saying: “The meeting is all set.” I remember Mr. Trump saying, “Ok good…let me know.” What struck me as I looked back and thought about that exchange between Don Jr. and his father was, first, that Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world. And also, that Don Jr. would never set up any meeting of any significance alone – and certainly not without checking with his father.

Cohen concluded his testimony with a litany of thank-yous and apologies, affirming that he was grateful for the opportunity to clear his name. Of course, after he delivers his statement during Wednesday’s hearing, which is slated to begin at 10 am ET, lawmakers will be allowed several hours to ask questions.

Read the full prepared remarks below:

END

Carter: Michael Cohen’s Testimony Is Filled With Speculation, Reads Like A Jilted Lover

Authored by Sara Carter,

Michael Cohen’s testimony isn’t exactly the bombshell Democrats professed it to be.

It is filled with speculationThe testimony he is providing the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday reads like a jilted lover whose been damaged by a past relationship and one in which the other party, that being President Donald Trump, never fully respected or considered as important.

For Cohen, who was hired by Trump in 2007, this appears to be too much to take. His working relationship with Trump dragged him into the bowels of Washington D.C.’s most brutal investigations into a President and his campaign that Americans have ever witnessed.

Senior officials within the Obama Administration launched an investigation that targeted Trump and everyone around him nearly three years ago. And for the past two years with the appointment of a Special Counsel it has consumed U.S. politics and national media.

Cohen became one of Mueller’s targets. Why? Because he is a flawed man. He had a past history of lying and took shortcuts in his business dealings that may have never been discovered if he didn’t work for Trump.

Cohen is an extremely flawed witness.

The Special Counsel’s office knew this and took advantage of this situation.

This is what Robert Mueller wanted. It was a strategy. Mueller and his team, like all government prosecutors, want to shake the vines all around Trump. They want to make Trump’s life and those around him as uncomfortable as possible. That means anyone who worked on the Trump campaign was a target and Mueller picked the best targets.

The Special Counsel did this hoping to find the smoking gun to prove that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election. Virginia Federal Judge T.S. Ellis III’s said it perfectly last May with regard to the trial on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was indicted on tax evasion and fraud:

“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” said Ellis to prosecutors. “You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment.”

Ellis added, that they wanted Manafort “to sing.” He also said Mueller’s team wanted to “turn the screws and get the information you really want.”

A Prosecution in Search of A Crime

It is a prosecution in search of a crime. It is a Special Counsel that is desperate to validate its own existence. There is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia or conspired in the 2016 election but Mueller’s team is desperate and have dragged in those close to Trump hoping to find the smoking gun and isolating the president.

Cohen is an extremely flawed witness. He is desperately trying to find the smoking gun that he knows does not exist. In fact, Republican lawmakers discovered that Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis, a long time friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, ‘pushed’ him to testify before the committee.

He believes his “speculation” about his former boss will be enough to save him.

Under Mueller’s investigation Cohen has become a broken man. The Special Counsel’s office shook Cohen’s weak vines with a vengeance. What dropped from those branches did not reveal a conspiracy with Russia during the campaign but Cohen’s own personal criminal misconduct.

Cohen’s Past Haunts Him

Cohen couldn’t hide his past and Mueller went through everything.

What did Mueller discover? He discovered Cohen had lied to financial institutions to receive large loans and is convicted of five counts of tax evasion.

So Cohen has been desperately fishing. He is one of Mueller’s fishermen. However, he has only caught small fish of speculation. He is not a victim but a cunning businessman who broke the law and has been caught. He has found himself in the mess of a lifetime and desperation has sunk in.

He blames Trump, like a child blaming other children around them for their own transgressions.

Can we believe a man who has been known to lie to save himself from his own criminal misconduct with the hope of reducing his sentence?

In his testimony Cohen admits he has no smoking gun but “suspicions.”

“Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia,” Cohen says in his written testimony. “I do not. I want to be clear. But, I have my suspicions.”

Suspicions? That’s not enough.

Cohen is jilted. Why? Because it appears — based on his 20 page testimony — that he blames Trump for everything Mueller has done to him.

Cohen says in his testimony regarding the infamous Trump Tower meeting that “sometime in the summer of 2017…Something clicked in my mind. I remember being in the room with Mr. Trump, probably in early June 2016, when something peculiar happened. Don Jr. came into the room and walked behind his father’s desk – which in itself was unusual. People didn’t just walk behind Mr. Trump’s desk to talk to him. I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which I could clearly hear, and saying: ‘The meeting is all set.’ I remember Mr. Trump saying, ‘Ok good…let me know.’

Cohen’s Speculation

This is Cohen’s speculation that Trump was talking to Don Jr. about the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia V. Veselnitskaya. She is also tied to the embattled research firm Fusion GPS, which was paid for by a the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee to investigate Trump during the campaign. Veselnitskaya had met with the research firm’s founder Glen Simpson before and after the meeting.

Simpson said he and the Russian lawyer never discussed the Don Jr. meeting but anyone with common sense knows that this is highly questionable.

Further Cohen then speculates and spreads rumors about Trump’s relationship with his son Don Jr. Again, why? This testimony is not based on facts. It sounds like the rantings of broken man caught in his own misdeeds and deflecting.

“What struck me as I looked back and thought about that exchange between Don Jr. and his father was, first, that Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world,” said Cohen. “And also, that Don Jr. would never set up any meeting of any significance alone – and certainly not without checking with his father.”

“I also knew that nothing went on in Trump world, especially the campaign, without Mr. Trump’s knowledge and approval,” added Cohen.

This is all speculation and bad mouthing a family that he worked for in confidence for decades. Cohen says himself that it is speculation. His testimony is based on hypotheticals, information already known and his own feelings about Trump.

No New Bombshell

There is no new bombshell in Cohen’s testimony. He calls Trump a cheat, a racist and a conman.

Cohen is throwing a temper tantrum. He is hoping to damage the man he worked for with the hope that the Mueller team will throw him a lifeline.

But the hearings won’t save Cohen. He made his own bad business decisions throughout his life and it appears he doesn’t stop making them.

His testimony against Trump is one of them.

Cohen is a proven conman and a liar.

There is nothing he can say to Congress that will change who is was or is.

end
Then: this afternoon

Cohen Slapped With Criminal Referral Mid-Testimony Over FARA Violation

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was hit with a criminal referral for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) following a heated exchange during Cohen’s Wednesday testimony in front of the House Oversight Committee. 

Meadows pressed Cohen over his apparent failure to list contracts with foreign companies that paid him for access to the Trump administration, including Novartis, which paid Cohen $1.2 million to act as a consultant on the Trump administration, as well as $150,000 from South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and a payment from Kazakhstan BTA bank.

Cohen claimed that since the

Meadows: “I’m going to back to the question I asked before with regards to your false statement that you submitted to Congress. On here it was very clear that it asks for contracts with foreign entities over the last two years. Have you had any foreign contracts with foreign entities whether it’s Novartis or the Korean Airline or Kazakhstan BTA bank? Your testimony earlier said that you had contracts with them. In fact, you went into detail.

Cohen: “They are not government agencies, they are privately and publicly traded companies.”

Meadows: “Did you have foreign contracts over the last two years?”

Cohen: “Foreign contracts?”

Meadows: “Contracts with foreign entities?”

Cohen: “Yes.

Shortly after the exchange, Meadows tweeted: “I just entered a referral for criminal investigation of Michael Cohen, who violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by illegally lobbying on behalf of foreign entities without registering,” adding “Cohen talks about “blind loyalty.” His real blind loyalty? It’s to the almighty dollar.”

Mark Meadows

@RepMarkMeadows

I just entered a referral for criminal investigation of Michael Cohen, who violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by illegally lobbying on behalf of foreign entities without registering

Cohen talks about “blind loyalty.” His real blind loyalty? It’s to the almighty dollar.

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

 

India bombs remote Pakistan region in latest sign of tension

Jets dropped bombs on terrorist group’s training camp: Indian media

https://www.ft.com/content/7c158bbc-397a-11e9-b72b-2c7f526ca5d0

The disappointing US trading session on Monday plus the India-Pakistan tensions induced traders to sell ESHs on Monday night.  The S&P 500 eMini futures for March fell to an overnight low of 2783.25 near the end of the Nikkei’s first session.  A modest rally appeared during the Nikkei’s second session.

Jerome Powell Says the Concept of MMT Is ‘Just Wrong’

MMT — as the concept is dubbed — argues that because America borrows in its own currency, it can always print more dollars to cover its obligations…

     “And to the extent that people are talking about using the Fed — our role is not to provide support for particular policies,” Powell said. “Decisions about spending, and controlling spending and paying for it, are really for you.”…’   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-26/jay-powell-is-no-fan-of-mmt-says-the-concept-is-just-wrong

Fed Chief Powell on mounting US deficit: It would be a ‘very big deal’ to not pay our bills when due

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/26/fed-chief-powell-on-mounting-us-deficit-it-would-be-a-very-big-deal-to-not-pay-our-bills-when-due.html

Powell Comments

It’s a good time to be patient, to wait and watch

Strong labor market pulling people into the workplace

More slack in labor market as people re-entered the workforce

Yield curve is flattening

Patient policy still warranted despite solid US growth

Sees solid but slower growth in 2019 due to crosscurrents

The Fed will use all its tools to sustain growth

Healthcare delivery is a big source of inflation/costs

The Fed will adjust its balance sheet rundown

The Fed cannot impact social issues

US debt on unsustainable path

The decline during Powell’s not as dovish as expected testimony ended precisely at 11:00 ET.  Then, someone juiced ESH into the European close.  ESHs ran from 2789.50 to 2799.25 at 11:29 ET.

Caterpillar double-downgraded from Buy to Sell by UBS, shares tumble

“We believe ~55% of CAT’s end markets will peak in 2019, pressuring revenue and margins in 2020 as demand declines,” analyst Steven Fisher wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. “We expect Construction Industries revenue to grow ~4% in 2019 and then decline ~8% YoY in 2020, driven by lower demand in North America, Europe and China, partially offset by a continued recovery in Latin America.”…

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ubs-double-downgrade-sell-caterpillar-140358631.html

Swamp creature elder, Mitch McConnell, is again undermining Trump.  Abhorrently, Mitch’s treachery is occurring while the president is out of the country negotiating a critical nuclear deal with North Korea.

GOP leader unsure on legality of Trump’s emergency declaration

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/431658-gop-leader-unsure-on-legality-of-trumps-emergency-declaration

What is even worse about McConnell is that he begged Trump to sign the distasteful spending bill.  Mitch vowed to not oppose a Trump National Emergency declaration to build the wall if the president would sign the spending bill that infuriated much of Trump’s base.

CNN: The series of events was set in motion earlier Thursday in the Senate floor announcement from McConnell, who said he would drop his opposition to the national emergency move in order to advance the government funding measure…  https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/14/politics/donald-trump-wall-funding-bill/index.html

@seanmdav: A top DOJ official sexually assaulted at least one female subordinate, sexually harassed several other women, and lied about it.  The DOJ Inspector General determined the senior official committed criminal sexual assault. DOJ refused to prosecute him. https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2018/f181204.pdf

@NateOnTheHill: House Democrats scheduled a subcommittee hearing on climate change. Not enough of them showed up to outvote the Republicans. @replouiegohmert called to adjourn the meeting. The motion succeeded (4-2). The hearing adjourned.

The dumbing down of America is still in a Grand Super Cycle bull market.

NC lawmakers consider bill that would change school grades

  • A: 100 to 85 percent  [Our high school 93-100]
  • B: 84 to 70 percent    [Our high school 92-86]
  • C: 69 to 55 percent    [Our high school 78-85]
  • D: 54 to 40 percent    [Our high school 70-77]
  • F: Anything below 40 percent  [Our high school below 70]

https://www.wral.com/nc-lawmakers-consider-bill-that-would-change-school-grades/18219266/?fbclid=IwAR3Wew236TTDP7lTuuLXx2InagVMOq8uMEgz6mjPLOTLfqSjCUCq1PdXj3Y

-END-

I WILL SEE YOU THURSDAY NIGHT
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