MARCH 21/PLUNGE PROTECTION TEAM GOES ALL OUT TO KEEP MARKETS HIGH AND GOLD/SILVER DOWN: GOLD STILL UP $7.00 TO $1307.75//SILVER UP 15 CENTS TO $15.48//USA 10 YR BOND CLOSES AT 2.53 % AND THUS DID NOT BUY THE DOW RISE!!//RUSSIA ADDS A STRONG 31.1 TONNES OF GOLD TO ITS OFFICIAL RESERVES///

 

 

 

 

GOLD: $1307.75  UP $6.00 (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Silver:  $15.48 UP 15 CENTS (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Closing access prices:

Gold :  $1309.10

 

silver: $15.46

 

 

Comex options expire next week:  Wednesday March 27

London/LBMA expires Monday March 31/2019.

The crooks continue with their whacking right in front of the authorities/regulators despite the criminal probe of precious metals manipulations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For comex gold and silver:

MARCH

 

 

 

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR  MAR CONTRACT: 2 NOTICE(S) FOR 200 OZ (0.00622 tonnes)

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  384 NOTICES FOR 38400 OZ  (1.944 TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR MARCH

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

56 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR 280,000  OZ/

 

total number of notices filed so far this month: 5379 for 26,895,000

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: OPENING MORNING TRADE $4042:UP $1

 

Bitcoin: FINAL EVENING TRADE: $3976  DOWN 63

 

end

 

XXXX

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

today0/2

EXCHANGE: COMEX
CONTRACT: MARCH 2019 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,300.500000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 03/20/2019 DELIVERY DATE: 03/22/2019
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED
____________________________________________________________________________________________
657 C MORGAN STANLEY 1
737 C ADVANTAGE 1
905 C ADM 2
____________________________________________________________________________________________

TOTAL: 2 2
MONTH TO DATE: 384

Let us have a look at the data for today

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In silver, the total OPEN INTEREST CONTINUES TO RISE FOR THE THIRD CONSECUTIVE TIME:  THIS TIME BY A CONSIDERABLE SIZED 1211 CONTRACTS FROM 189,124 UP TO 190,335 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S  4 CENT FALL IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX.  TODAY WE ARRIVED CLOSER TO AUGUST’S 2018  RECORD SETTING OPEN INTEREST OF 244,196 CONTRACTS. WE MUST HAVE HAD  CONSIDERABLE SHORT COVERING AGAIN TODAY.

 

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 CONSIDERABLE SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP:

0 EFP’S FOR MARCH,  0 FOR APRIL,  675 FOR MAY, 0 FOR DECEMBER AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE: OF 675 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 675 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 675 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 3.375 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 4 CENT FALL 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.

2.955 MILLION OZ STANDING FOR FEBRUARY.

AND NOW: 27.120 MILLION OZ STANDING IN MARCH.

 

 

ACCUMULATION FOR EFP’S/SILVER/J.P.MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES, / STARTING FROM FIRST DAY NOTICE/FOR MONTH OF MARCH:

29,282 CONTRACTS (FOR 15 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 29,282 CONTRACTS) OR 146.410 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 1952 CONTRACTS OR 9.761 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF MAR:  146.410 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 20.91% 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:          511.80    MILLION OZ.

JANUARY 2019 EFP TOTALS:                                                      217.455. MILLION OZ

FEB 2019 TOTALS:                                                                       147.4       MILLION OZ/

 

 

RESULT: WE HAD A STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 1211 DESPITE THE 4 CENT FALL IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX /YESTERDAY..THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD   A FAIR SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 675 CONTRACTS WHICH EXITED OUT OF THE SILVER COMEX AND TRANSFERRED THEIR OI TO LONDON AS FORWARDS. SPECULATORS CONTINUED THEIR INTEREST IN ATTACKING THE SILVER COMEX FOR PHYSICAL SILVER (SEE COMEX DATA) .

TODAY WE GAINED A STRONG SIZED: 1886 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 

i.e 675 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH INCREASE OF 1211 OI COMEX CONTRACTSAND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 4 CENT FALL IN PRICE OF SILVER  AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $15.33 WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING. YET WE HAVE A GIGANTIC AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX FOR DELIVERY 

 

 

In ounces AT THE COMEX, the OI is still represented by JUST UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 0.936 BILLION OZ TO BE EXACT or 134% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT FEBRUARY MONTH/ THEY FILED AT THE COMEX: 56 NOTICE(S) FOR  280,000 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 FEB 2019:  2.955 MILLION OZ/AND NOW MARCH: 27.120 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 REVERSED COURSE  BY RISING 1953 CONTRACTS, TO 516,116 DESPITE THE FALL IN THE COMEX GOLD PRICE/(A DROP IN PRICE OF $5.15//YESTERDAY’S TRADING). THE GOLD COMEX HAS BEEN WITNESSING SOME VERY STRANGE BEHAVIOUR. WITH GOLD RISING IN THE PREVIOUS SESSIONS, THE OPEN INTEREST COLLAPSED AS IT SEEMS THAT WE STARTED THE SPREADING LIQUIDATION EARLY. THEN LAST NIGHT, INSTEAD OF FALLING ESPECIALLY WITH A LOWER PRICE, IT ROSE AND STRANGELY BY THE EXACT AMOUNT IT FELL ON TUESDAY. IT IS ANYBODY’S GUESS AS TO WHAT IS TRULY GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES OTHER THAN THE CROOKS ARE SCARED OUT OF THEIR MINDS…. 

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A GIGANTIC SIZED 12,450 CONTRACTS:

 

MARCH HAD AN ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTACTS  APRIL 12,315 CONTRACTS,JUNE: 85 CONTRACTS DECEMBER: 0 CONTRACTS AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 516,116. 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 GIGANTIC SIZED GAIN IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 14,403 CONTRACTS: 1,953OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX AND 12,450 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN OF 14,403 CONTRACTS OR 1,440,300 OR  44.79 TONNES.

YESTERDAY WE HAD A LOSS IN THE PRICE OF GOLD TO THE TUNE OF $5.15....AND WITH THAT, WE HAD A  HUGE GAIN IN TONNAGE OF 44.79 TONNES?????!!!!!!.

 

 

 

 

 

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH : 103,587 CONTRACTS OR 10,358,700 OZ OR 322.199 TONNES (15 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 6905 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE STRONG SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 15 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 322.195 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 322.195/2550 x 100% TONNES = 12.63% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN DECEMBER ALONE.***

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2019 TO DATE:     1191.18 TONNES

JANUARY 2019 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE;   531.20 TONNES

FEB 2019 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:             344.36 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 SIZED INCREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 1953 DESPITE THE LOSS IN PRICING ($5.15) THAT GOLD UNDERTOOK YESTERDAY) //.WE ALSO HAD A HUGE SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 12,450 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 12,450 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE  HAD A GIGANTIC GAIN OF 14,403 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

12,450 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 1953 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (IN TONNES, THE GAIN IN TOTAL OI EQUATES TO 44.79 TONNES). ..AND ALL OF THIS HUGE DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A FALL OF $5.15 IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING AT THE COMEX???????!!!!!

 

 

 

we had:  2 notice(s) filed upon for 200 oz of gold at the comex.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

GLD...

 

WITH GOLD UP $7.00  TODAY 

 

NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/

 

 

 

 

 

INVENTORY RESTS AT 778.09 TONNES

 

 

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

 

SLV/

WITH SILVER UP 15 CENTS  IN PRICE  TODAY:

NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT  THE SLV//

 

 

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 310.848 MILLION OZ.

 

 

end

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in SILVER ROSE BY A CONSIDERABLE SIZED 1211 CONTRACTS from 189,124 UPTO 190,335 AND CLOSER TO THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET LAST IN AUG.2018 AT 244,196 WITH A SILVER PRICE OF $14.78/(AUGUST 22/2018)..THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET ON APRIL 9/2018 AT 243,411 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS WITH THE SILVER PRICE AT THAT DAY: $16.53). AND PREVIOUS TO THAT, THE RECORD  WAS ESTABLISHED AT: 234,787 CONTRACTS, SET ON APRIL 21.2017 OVER  1 1/3 YEARS AGO.  THE PRICE OF SILVER ON THAT DAY: $17.89.  AS YOU CAN SEE, WE HAVE RECORD HIGH OPEN INTERESTS IN SILVER  ACCOMPANIED BY A CONTINUAL LOWER PRICE WHEN THAT RECORD WAS SET…..

 

.

OUR CUSTOMARY MIGRATION OF COMEX LONGS CONTINUE TO MORPH INTO LONDON FORWARDS  AS OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE:

 

0 CONTRACTS FOR MARCH. 0 CONTRACTS FOR APRIL., 675 FOR MAY AND  AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 675 CONTRACTS. EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON.  IF WE TAKE THE  OI GAIN AT THE COMEX OF 1211 CONTRACTS TO THE 675 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE  OBTAIN A GAIN OF 1886  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 9.43 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. 2.955 MILLION OZ STANDING IN FEBRUARY AND NOW 27.120 MILLION OZ FOR MARCH.

 

 

RESULT: A CONSIDERABLE SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX DESPITE THE 4 CENT FALL IN PRICING THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// YESTERDAY.BUT WE ALSO HAD A FAIR SIZED 675 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE STRONG  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR SEPTEMBER, DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL SILVER CONTINUES TO INTENSIFY AS WE WITNESS SEVERE BACKWARDATION IN SILVER IN LONDON.

BOTH THE SILVER COMEX AND THE GOLD COMEX ARE IN STRESS AS THE BANKERS SCOUR THE BOWELS OF THE EXCHANGE FOR METAL

 

 

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY: Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)THURSDAY MORNING/ WEDNESDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 10.82 POINTS OR 0.01% //Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 249.41 POINTS OR 0.85%  /The Nikkei closed HOLIDAY/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP .03%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP  at 6.6917 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil DOWN to 58.40 dollars per barrel for WTI and 67/28 for Brent. Stocks inEurope OPENED RED 

ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP // LAST AT 6.6917 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.6946 / TRADE TALKS NOW ON/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED  : /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING ABOVE 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

 

i

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3A//SOUTH KOREA

A good indicator telling us that the global economy is drying up:  South Korean chip exports collapse by 25%

( zerohedge)

 

 

 

 

 

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

 

 

 

3 C/  CHINA

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

i)We may get our “no deal” Brexit if the EU will not allow an extension.  England is in a mess right now

( zerohedge)

ii)An extremely important commentary from Mises as they state that a Hard Brexit would be good for the country and I agree with the author..so does Tom Luongo

(courtesy Patrick Barron/Mises Institute)
iii)Holland
After a deadly attack in Utrecht were a Turkish man went on a driving spree killing 3 citizens and injuring three, the populist party shocks in a provincial election.
(courtesy zerohedge)

iv)Switzerland

Pay attention to this one:  The Central Bank of Switzerland  (Swiss National Bank) warns of global trade problems on top of Brexit. Thus all of the major central banks are signalling troubles in the global economy.
(courtesy zerohedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

IRAN/USA/Lebanon/Iraq

Tom Luongo explains the inner workings of middle east developments with respect to Iran and its relationship with Iraq, Lebanon and other eastern nations.  Iran seems to be withstanding the huge attack on it from the USA

( Tom Luongo)

ISRAEL/SYRIA
This is going to provide quite a stir in Syria.  The USA now backs Israel sovereignty over the Golan Heights.  They obtained the Golan in 1967 and they would never give it up anyway.
( zerohedge)

 

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

i)Mexico/Mt Popocatepetl

This is dangerous: Mt. Popocatepet has just erupted and could devastate vegetation for miles and on top of that kill millions of people

( Michael Snyder/)

ii)CANADA
This is interesting.  Eisman (the Big Short) is increasing his bet against the 6 Canadian banks due to their heavy exposure to real estate.  Canada has the highest household debt per GDP in the world
( zerohedge)

 

 

 

7. OIL ISSUES

 

 

 

 

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

 

Venezuela

Guido’s chief of staff detained by Venezuelan intelligence in a pre dawn raid

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

Brazil

The Real tumbled this morning after former President Temer has been arrested as the part of the “car wash” scandal

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

 

 

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

citigroup to sell 1.3 billion dollars worth of gold to repay 1.1 billion dollar loan.  The excess will be placed into an account in NY..totally away from Maduro

(see article below)

 

 

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

 

 

MARKET TRADING//early this morning

i)The 10 yr bond yield just collapsed to 2.495% ; the 7 yr bond yield inverts to the Federal fund rate as well. This shows how bad the USA economy is performing

( zerohedge)

late morning:

ii)stocks rise this morning in a buying panic but bonds are not buying it

( zerohedge)

 

 

ii)Market data

 

ii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

a)_An outline of yesterday’s Fed decision to return the punchbowl to investors.

Please read carefully

(courtesy zerohedge)

b)To all our good friends in New Jersey:  you are about to see your property tax rise due to a rain tax.

(courtesy Mac Slavo/SHTFplan.com)
c)Pay attention to Steen Jakobsen/former chief huncho of Saxobank
(courtesy Steen Jakobsen/Saxobank)

 

iv)SWAMP STORIES

The real collusion.  Ukraine launches a criminal investigation into the Pro Hillary election meddling scandal

( zerohedge)

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

 

end

 

 

 

Let us head over to the comex:

 

THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN REVERSED COURSE AND ROSE 1953 CONTRACTS UP TO A LEVEL OF 517,342 DESPITE THE LOSS IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($5.15) IN YESTERDAY’S // COMEX TRADING).

WE ARE NOW IN THE  NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MARCH..  THE CME REPORTS THAT THE BANKERS ISSUED A GIGANTIC SIZED  TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS., THAT IS 12,450 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

FOR MARCH:  0. FOR APRIL 12,315, FOR JUNE: 85 CONTRACTS AND FINALLY DECEMBER: 0 AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  12,450 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: 14,403 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 12,450 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE GAINED A CONSIDERABLE SIZED 1953 COMEX CONTRACTS.  VERY STRANGE BEHAVIOUR AT THE GOLD COMEX

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES ONLY::14,403 contracts OR 1,440,300 OZ OR 44.79 TONNES.

 

We are now in the NON active contract month of MARCH and here the open interest stands at 17 contracts  for a  loss of 19 contracts.We had 20 notices served upon yesterday so we  GAINED ANOTHER  1 contract or AN ADDITIONAL 100 oz will stand at the comex as these guys refused to morph into London based forwards as well as negating a fiat bonus for their effort. QUEUE JUMPING RETURNS IN EARNEST AT THE GOLD COMEX!!!

 

 

 

The next non active delivery month after  March is the  active delivery month is April and here the OI lost by 16.118 contracts down to 201,837 contracts. The non active month of May GAINED 177 contracts UP to 978 open interest.  After May, the next active delivery month is June and here the OI stands at 219,795 having gained 15,427 contracts. IT SEEMS THAT OUR WASHINGTON GENERALS KNEW SOMETHING WAS UP PRIOR TO THE FOMC ANNOUNCEMENT AT 2 PM EST.  ALL OF THESE READING OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE ANNOUNCEMENT.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NOTICES FILED:

WE HAD 2 NOTICES FILED TODAY AT THE COMEX FOR 200 OZ. (0.00622 tonnes)

 

 

 

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total COMEX silver OI ROSE BY A CONSIDERABLE SIZED 1211 CONTRACTS FROM 189,124 up TO 190,335(AND CLOSER TO THE NEW RECORD OI FOR SILVER SET ON AUGUST 22.2018.  THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET APRIL 9.2018/ 243,411 CONTRACTS) AND TODAY’S CONSIDERABLE OI COMEX GAIN  OCCURRED DESPITE A 4 CENT LOSS IN PRICING.//YESTERDAY 

 

 

WE ARE NOW INTO THE ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MARCH AND THE  OPEN INTEREST IN THIS FRONT MONTH RESTS AT 101 HAVING GAINED 17 CONTRACTS.

WE HAD 20 NOTICES FILED YESTERDAY SO WE GAINED A STRONG 37 CONTRACTS OR 185,000 ADDITIONAL OZ WILL STAND AT THE SILVER COMEX AS THESE GUYS REFUSED TO MORPH INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS AS WELL AS NEGATING A FIAT BONUS. WE HAVE BEEN WITNESSING QUEUE JUMPING IN SILVER FOR OVER 3 YEARS IN THAT THE TOTAL OZ STANDING INCREASES FROM FIRST DAY NOTICE STANDING.

 

 

 

 

AFTER MARCH, WE HAVE THE NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF APRIL.  HERE: APRIL FELL TO 798 CONTRACTS FOR A LOSS OF 20 CONTRACTS.  AFTER APRIL, THE NEXT BIG ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH IS MAY AND HERE THE OI ROSE BY 640 CONTRACTS UP TO 136,712 CONTRACTS.  TODAY THE BANKERS RESUMED WITH THEIR QUEUE JUMPING..AS THE SILVER COMEX SEEMS TO BE IN SEVERE STRESS…

 

 

 

 

 

ON A NET BASIS WE GAINED A GOOD 1886 SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AS WE OBTAINED A 1211 CONTRACT GAIN AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 675 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  1886 CONTRACTS...AND ALL OF THIS STRONG  DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A 4 CENT LOSS IN PRICING// YESTERDAY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED:

 

We, today, had 56 notice(s) filed for 280,000 OZ for the MARCH, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

 

 

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY:  341,963  CONTRACTS (volume increased dramatically)

 

 

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  435,809  contracts (volume dramatically increased)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initial standings for  MAR/GOLD

MAR 21 /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  

 

 

 

 

 

 

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
2 notice(s)
 2000 OZ
(0.0622 TONNES)
No of oz to be served (notices)
15 contracts
(1500 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
384 notices
38400 OZ
1.1944 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

i) Into JPMorgan:  nil oz

 

 

total gold deposits: nil oz

 

 very little gold arrives from outside/today zero.

we had 0 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

 

 

 

total gold withdrawals;  nil oz

 

we had 1  adjustments…and this is what I want to see:
4932.05 oz was adjusted out of the dealer JPMorgan and this landed into the customer account of JPMorgan
this wold be a settlement

FOR THE MAR 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  2 contract(s) of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 0 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 MARCH/2019. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (384) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAR. (17 contract) minus the number of notices served upon today (2 x 100 oz per contract) equals 39,900 OZ OR 1.2410 TONNES) the number of ounces standing in this active month of MARCH

Thus the INITIAL standings for gold for the MAR/2019 contract month:

No of notices served (384 x 100 oz)  + {17)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (2 x 100 oz )which equals 39,900 oz standing OR 1.2410 TONNES in this active delivery month of MARCH.

We GAINED 1 contracts or an additional 100 OZ ADDITIONAL oz WILL STAND AT THE COMEX AS THEY REFUSED TO MORPH INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS AS WELL AS NEGATING TO ACCEPT A FIAT BONUS.

 

HOWEVER, THE GOLD COMEX (AND SILVER COMEX) ARE NOW IN STRESS AS THE CROOKS ARE DESPERATE TO FIND PHYSICAL METAL.

SURPRISINGLY NO GOLD HAS BEEN ENTERING THE COMEX VAULTS AND WE HAVE WITNESSED THIS FOR THE PAST YEAR!!  WE HAVE ONLY 11.388 TONNES OF REGISTERED (  GOLD OFFERED FOR SALE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total registered or dealer gold:  361.155.865 oz or  11.234 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   8,037,536.411 oz 250.000 tonnes

FOR COMPARISON

MARCH 2018 VS MARCH 2019 CONTRACTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

THE FINAL AMOUNT OF GOLD TONNAGE: MARCH 31/2018:  1.6114 TONNES AS THE REST MORPHED INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS.

IN THE LAST 30 MONTHS 105 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.

 

THE GOLD COMEX IS NOW IN STRESS AS
1. GOLD IS LEAVING THE COMEX
2. GOLD IS LEAVING THE REGISTERED CATEGORY OF THE COMEX.

end

And now for silver

AND NOW THE  DELIVERY MONTH

MAR INITIAL standings/SILVER

MAR 21 2019
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
nil oz

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
600,297.490
oz
CNT
No of oz served today (contracts)
56
CONTRACT(S)
280,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
45 contracts
225,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 5379 contracts

(26,895,000 oz)

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

we had 0 inventory movement at the dealer side of things

 

 

total dealer deposits: nil  oz

total dealer withdrawals: 0 oz

we had  1 deposits into the customer account

 

i) Into JPMorgan:  nil  oz

 

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

JPMorgan now has 147.825 million oz of  total silver inventory or 49.12% of all official comex silver. (147 million/300.8 million)

 

i) Into CNT:   600,297.490  oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total customer deposits today:  600,297.490   oz

 

we had 0 withdrawals out of the customer account:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total withdrawals: nil   oz

 

we had 0 adjustment

 

total dealer silver:  95.669 million

total dealer + customer silver:  303.183 million oz

 

 

 

 

The total number of notices filed today for the MARCH 2019. contract month is represented by 56 contract(s) FOR  280,,000  oz

To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in MAR, we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 5379 x 5,000 oz = 26,895,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAR. (101) and the number of notices served upon today (56 x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the MAR/2019 contract month: 5379(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of MAR( 101) -number of notices served upon today (56)x 5000 oz equals 27,120,000 oz of silver standing for the MAR contract month.  This is a strong number of oz standing for an off delivery month.

We gained  37 contracts or an additional 185,000 oz will stand as investors continue to shun morphing into London based EFP’s  as well as negating a fiat bonus.

 

 

 

 

 

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:  71,570 CONTRACTS (volume dramatically increased)

 

 

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 70,426 CONTRACTS… (volume dramatically increased.

volumes are dropping for both gold/and silver

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 70,426 CONTRACTS EQUATES to 352 million OZ  50.3% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER

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

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

end

NPV for Sprott 

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV RISES TO -2.78% (MAR21/2019)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV FALLS TO -0.88% to NAV (MAR21/2019 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -2.78%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

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

NAV 13.20/TRADING 12.85/DISCOUNT 2.69

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

MARCH 21/WITH GOLD UP $7.00 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 778.09 TONNES

March 20/WITH GOLD DOWN $5.15 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 778.09 TONNES

MARCH 19/WITH GOLD UP $4.60 TODAY: A MASSIVE 8.23 TONNES OF PAPER GOLD ADDED TO THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 779.27 TONNES AND THEN A WITHDRAWAL OF 1..18 TONNES OF GOLD REMOVED:  TOTAL GLD INVENTORY REMAINING:  778.09 TONNES

MARCH 18/WITH GOLD DOWN  $0.70: A BIG CHANGE TODAY: A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.32 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 771.04 TONNES

MARCH 15/WITH GOLD UP $7.50 TODAY; NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 772.46 TONNES

MARCH 14/WITH GOLD DOWN $13.60 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 772.46 TONNES

MARCH 13/WITH GOLD UP $11.10 TODAY: A HUGE DEPOSIT AGAIN OF 2.93 TONNES INTO THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 772.46 TONNES

MARCH 12/WITH GOLD UP $7.00: A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 2.94 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 769.53 TONNES

MARCH 11/WITH GOLD DOWN $8.00 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 766.59 TONNES

MARCH 8/WITH GOLD UP $13.40: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 766.59 TONNES

MARCH 7/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.40 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 766.59 TONNES

MARCH 6/WITH GOLD UP $3.30 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 766.59 TONNES

MARCH 5/WITH GOLD DOWN ONLY $1.70: A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 5.87 TONNES FROM THE GLD INVENTORY AND THIS GOLD HAS BEEN USED IN THE WHACKING PROCESS YESTERDAY AND TODAY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 766.59 TONNES

MARCH 4/WITH GOLD ANOTHER $12.50 TODAY: A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 11.76 TONNES FROM THE GLD INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 772.46 TONNES

MAR 1/WITH GOLD DOWN $16.90 TODAY; A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 4.11 TONNES FROM THE GLD INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 784.22 TONNES

FEB 28/WITH GOLD DOWN $4.80: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 788.33

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

 

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

MAR 21/2019/ Inventory rests tonight at 778.09 tonnes

*IN LAST 563 TRADING DAYS: 156.86 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 463 TRADING DAYS: A NET 9.96TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO THE GLD INVENTORY.

 

end

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

MARCH 21/WITH SILVER UP 15 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 310.848 MILLION OZ/

March 20/WITH SILVER DOWN 4 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES  IN SILVER INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 310.848 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 19/WITH SILVER UP 6 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 310.848 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 18/WITH SILVER DOWN 2 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 310.848 MILLION OZ///

MARCH 15/WITH SILVER UP 16 CENTS: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS TODAY AT 310.848 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 14/WITH SILVER DOWN 30 CENTS: A SURPRISING DEPOSIT OF 1.17 MILLION OZ OF SILVER INTO THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 310.848 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 13/WITH SILVER UP 6 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY/INVENTORY AT THE SLV RESTS AT 309.676 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 12/WITH SILVER UP 14 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY/INVENTORY AT THE SLV RESTS AT 309.676 MILLION OZ////

MARCH 11/WITH SILVER DOWN 7 CENTS: A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 516,000 OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.676 MILLION OZ///

MARCH 8/WITH SILVER UP 34 CENTS: STRANGE!! TWO TRANSACTIONS!!  IN THE MORNING A WITHDRAWAL OF 703,000 OZ FROM THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 307,800 OZ/ IN THE AFTERNOON: A DEPOSIT OF 1.56 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY FINALLY RESTS AT 309.160 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 7/WITH SILVER DOWN 4 CENTS: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.503 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 6/WITH SILVER DOWN 2 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.503 MILLION OZ

MARCH 5/WITH SILVER UP ONE CENT: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.503 MILLION OZ///

MARCH 4/WITH SILVER DOWN 14 CENTS TODAY: A SMALL CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV; A WITHDRAWAL OF 871,000 OZ OF SILVER FROM THE SLV///INVENTORY RESTS AT 308.503 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 1/ WITH SILVER DOWN 38 CENTS/NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY

FEB 28/WITH SILVER DOWN 12 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.374

FEB 27/WITH SILVER DOWN 14 CENTS//A  SMALL CHANGE IN INVENTORY: A WITHDRAWAL OF 610,000 OZ//SLV INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.374 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/

 

MAR 21/2019:

 

Inventory 310.848 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 2.17/ and libor 6 month duration 2.68

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

G0LD LENDING RATE: + .51

 

 

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.47%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.81

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.34

end

 

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES

end
i) GOLDCORE BLOG/Mark O’Byrne

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5 Ways to Prosper In the Coming Crisis – Goldnomics Podcast


The systemic challenges facing our planet and the five key ways to prosper in the coming global crisis are considered in our latest podcast.
– Political, financial, economic and monetary systems are failing and will collapse
– Our human built economic systems are dependent on the environment and ecology of the planet is threatened and in crisis
– Medical, religious, belief paradigms are being questioned and in crisis
– Old systems are collapsing in the age of information as we enter a new era of consciousness
– Read, learn, develop skills and yourself
– Health is wealth – Don’t worry, be happy

What are the 5 ways to prosper in the coming crisis?

1.  Diversify Your Investments and Savings
2.  Invest and Own Gold and Silver in Safest Ways
3.  Avoid Excessive Debt or Leverage
4.  Prepare For Investment Opportunities
5.  Invest In Your Education, Learn, Grow and Contribute

News and Commentary

Gold climbs as Fed signals no 2019 rate hikes (MarketWatch.com)

Gold, the Federal Reserve, and the dollar – what’s driving up precious metal prices? (CityAM.com)

Citigroup to sell Venezuelan gold in setback to President Maduro (Reuters.com)

Trump says tariffs on Chinese goods may stay for ‘substantial period’ (Reuters.com)

Dovish Fed shift lifts Asian shares, dollar nurses losses sending gold higher (EuroNews.com)

Only Fools and Horses star backs campaign to build giant Del Boy statue in front of show’s iconic tower block (RadioTimes.com)


Source: Bloomberg

Buy Gold, Sell Stocks Is the ‘Trade of Century’ Says One Hedge Fund (Bloomberg.com)

Why the EU holds all the cards on Brexit (TheTimes.co.uk)

‘I’m single, I’ve not become attractive overnight, just my WALLET!’: Bachelor factory worker, 58, scoops £71m on EuroMillions – but warns off gold-diggers as he vows windfall ‘bloody well WILL change him’ (MSN.com)

Warren Buffet Data Mines Again When Making Anti-Gold Argument (TheStreet.com)

Inside the Fed’s balance sheet in four charts (reuters.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA PM)

20 Mar: USD 1,303.00, GBP 985.07 & EUR 1,147.81 per ounce
19 Mar: USD 1,308.35, GBP 985.06 & EUR 1,152.53 per ounce
18 Mar: USD 1,305.35, GBP 986.19 & EUR 1,150.01 per ounce
15 Mar: USD 1,302.35, GBP 981.55 & EUR 1,150.55 per ounce
14 Mar: USD 1,299.20, GBP 982.84 & EUR 1,148.88 per ounce
13 Mar: USD 1,308.40, GBP 994.25 & EUR 1,158.20 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

20 Mar: USD 15.32, GBP 11.58 & EUR 13.49 per ounce
19 Mar: USD 15.41, GBP 11.61 & EUR 13.57 per ounce
18 Mar: USD 15.38, GBP 11.60 & EUR 13.54 per ounce
15 Mar: USD 15.35, GBP 11.58 & EUR 13.56 per ounce
14 Mar: USD 15.23, GBP 11.52 & EUR 13.48 per ounce
13 Mar: USD 15.52, GBP 11.80 & EUR 13.73 per ounce

Recent Market Updates

– 5 Ways to Prosper In the Coming Crisis – Goldnomics Podcast
– Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank May Become EU’s “Too Big To Fail” Bank
– Happy Saint Patrick’s Day from GoldCore
– 188 Internet Shutdowns In 2018 Show Why Physical Gold Is Ultimate Protection
– Buy Gold as Basel III Means “Central Banks and Banks Are Going To Be Buying Gold”
– Invest In Gold Or Bitcoin – Which Is The True Store Of Value?
– Silver Bullion Is The Portfolio Insurance To Buy Now
– EU Isn’t Ready for the Next Recession
–  JPMorgan Is Bullish on Gold as a Hedge Against Rising Inflation

Mark O’Byrne
Executive Directo
 

GATA STORIES WITH RESPECT TO GOLD/PRECIOUS METALS.

citigroup to sell 1.3 billion dollars worth of gold to repay 1.1 billion dollar loan.  The excess will be placed into an account in NY..totally away from Maduro

(see article below)

Citigroup to sell Venezuelan gold in setback to President Maduro, sources tell Reuters

 Section: 

Looks like the Western central banks need the metal pretty badly. Otherwise wouldn’t Citigroup keep the metal for itself, now that the price is rising?

* * *

By Mayela Armas and Corina Pons
Reuters
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

CARACAS, Venezuela — Citigroup Inc. plans to sell several tons of gold placed as collateral by Venezuela’s central bank on a $1.6 billion loan after the deadline for repurchasing them expired this month, sources said, a setback for President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts to hold onto the country’s fast-shrinking reserves.

Maduro’s government has since 2014 used financial operations known as gold swaps to use its international reserves to gain access to cash after a slump in oil revenues left it struggling to obtain hard currency.

In the past two years, however, it has struggled to recover its collateral.

Under the terms of the 2015 deal with Citigroup’s Citibank, Venezuela was due to repay $1.1 billion of the loan on March 11, according to four sources familiar with the situation. The remainder of the loan comes due next year.

Citibank plans to sell the gold held as a guarantee — which has a market value of roughly $1.358 billion — to recover the first tranche of the loan and will deposit the excess of roughly $258 million in a bank account in New York, two of the sources said. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-gold/citigroup-to-…

* * *

Join GATA here:

Mining Investment Asia
InterContinental Singapore Bugis Hotel
Singapore
Tuesday-Thursday, March 26-28

https://www.mininginvestmentasia.com/

Mines and Money Asia
Hong Kong Conference and Exhibition Center
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tuesday-Thursday, April 2-4

https://asia.minesandmoney.com/

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iii) Other Physical stories
Nicholas discusses the comex situation with respect to Palladium!!

Good Morning Bill/Harvey

We in GATA have been waiting for the emancipation of physical gold for at least 15 years now (or is it a score of years- time passes so quickly?)
Any kind of COMEX default might be a significant event.I have turned my attention to Palladium and here are the most recent CME statistics.
Open Interest=27,130 contracts at 100 troy ounces per contract=2,713,000 troy ounces.
Warehouse inventory:. Registered=14,878 troy ounces.Eligible= 27,704 troy ounces.
Registered inventory as % of open interest=0.55%
Does any counter party ever take delivery of this metal? If so, the situation could get interesting.Maybe a  dribbling of regulation would be in order here. Have I spelt regulation correctly;it is such an archaic,seldom encountered concept?
Regards
Nicholas

Citi To Sell Confiscated Venezuelan Gold From Maduro Deal

While Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has resiliently stood his ground amid Washington’s surprisingly transparent coup attempt, today has been a tough one for the embattled leader of the socialist utopia.

It began with confirmation that the US has now – for the first time ever – reduced all Venezuelan crude oil imports to zero.

Squeezing off yet another source of revenue for the sanction-riddled economy.

But Maduro then suffered another blow, as Reuters reports that Citigroup plans to sell several tons of gold placed as collateral by Venezuela’s central bank on a $1.6 billion loan after the deadline for repurchasing them expired this month.

As we detailed in February, back in April 2015, when Venezuela still had a somewhat functioning economy and hyperinflation was not yet rampant, the cash-strapped country quietly conducted a little-noticed gold-for-cash swap with Citigroup as part of which president Nicolas Maduro converted part of his nation’s gold reserves into at least $1 billion in cash through a swap with Citibank.

As Reuters reported then, the deal would make more foreign currency available to President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government as the OPEC nation struggled with soaring consumer prices, chronic shortages and a shrinking economy worsened by low oil prices.

As Reuters further added:

“former central bank director Jose Guerra and economist Asdrubal Oliveros of Caracas-based consultancy Ecoanalitica said in separate interviews that the operation had been carried out.  A source at the central bank told Reuters last month it would provide 1.4 million troy ounces of gold in exchange for cash. Venezuela would have to pay interest on the funds, but the bank would most likely be able to maintain the gold as part of its foreign currency reserves.”

Under the terms of the 2015 deal with Citigroup’s Citibank, Venezuela was due to repay $1.1 billion of the loan on March 11 2019according to four sources familiar with the situation. The remainder of the loan comes due next year.

Needless to say, the socialist country’s economic situation is orders of magnitude worse now, and in addition to a full-blown blockade of the country’s only key export – see above – Washington’s not-so-stealthy coup, and financial system sanctions, making it impossible for Maduro to repay the loan and claim back his nation’s gold collateral.

A Venezuelan government source familiar with the matter confirmed that the country’s Central Bank did not transfer the money to Citibank this month.

And so, as Reuters reports, Citibank plans to sell the gold held as a guarantee – which has a market value of roughly $1.358 billion – to recover the first tranche of the loan.

Additionally, under the likely guidance of Washington’s coup-leaders, Citi will deposit the excess of roughly $258 million in a bank account in New York, two of the sources said; which is out of the reach of Maduro but very much available to Trump’s chosen one – Juan Guaido.

Meanwhile, far from pushing to reclaim its gold, Maduro has only been selling more of it, as Abu Dhabi investment firm Noor Capital confirmed when it said earlier this month that it bought 3 tons of gold from Venezuela’s central bank, but would halt further transactions until the country’s situation stabilizes.

Guaido has also asked British authorities to prevent Maduro from gaining access to gold reserves held in the Bank of England, which holds around $1.2 billion in bullion for Maduro’s government. So far the British central bank has refused to comply with Maduro’s demands to remit the gold back to Venezuela, although when asked for comment, the BOE said it does not comment on client operations.

Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez, who spent the last years of his life repatriating Venezuela’s gold is spinning in his grave.

 

 

 

 

Russia is the world’s second leading gold producer after China with a production of 328 tonnes. Thus each month roughly  27 tonnes is added to official reserves.  However they added 31.1 tonnes.  Thus 4 tonnes of gold was purchased from the west and added to its official reserves.

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: Russia back on gold reserve track. Adds another million.oz

After two months of adding relatively small amounts of gold to its forex reserves, Russia appears to be back on track in adding 1 million ounces (31.1 tonnes) of gold to its reserves in February according to the latest figures from the country’s central bank. Russia, according to the IMF’s official statistics, moved ahead of China as the world’s fifth largest national gold holder in January 2018 and has extended its lead over China almost every month since – at least as far as figures reported to the IMF suggest, although officially reported Chinese gold reserve figures are thought to substantially under- represent the true picture!

With the latest addition to its reserves, Russia holds around 2,144 tonnes of gold in its fores reserves as compared with China’s 1,862 tonnes. If the former keeps adding to its reserves at around 30 tonnes a month it could move ahead of France’s fourth placed 2,436 tonnes by the end of this year and surpass Italy’s 2,451.8 tonnes a month later! Whether this will then be sufficient to end the country’s gold reserve building exercise, or whether it will then have Germany’s 3,369.7 tonne gold reserve in its sights, remains to be seen.

Russia has all but eliminated U.S. dollar related holdings from its reserve total as a defensive measure against current and potential U.S. economic sanction. It would appear that expanding its gold holdings, alongside other strong currencies in place of the dollar, is an integral part of its reserve diversification policy.

We commented in a post early last year – citing one of the most accurate gold analysts, Dr Martin Murenbeeld – that the U.S.’s aggressive foreign policy stance (in this respect over trade tariffs) was likely to drive other central banks to increase gold reserves and reduce their dependence on the U.S. Dollar as a reserve currency to the long term detriment of the U.S. This has already come about with the Trump policies building resentment against the U.S. exerting its financial and military muscle in a perhaps unprecedented manner. According to the World Gold Council 2018 was comfortably the biggest year yet for global central bank gold purchases since President Nixon took the U.S. off dollar to gold convertibility in 1971. This has already confirmed Murenbeeld’s analysis. And 2019 could well be another year of strong gold purchases by central banks with Russia again leading the way.

China too is now announcing monthly increases in its gold reserve at a rate of around 120 tonnes a year, while the suspicion remains it had already been building its gold reserves at at least this kind of level through the years it was reporting zero increases to the IMF. With a track record of reporting zero monthly increases and then announcing massive rises at five or six year intervals, the past lack of transparency in Chinese gold reserve reporting lays the overall total amount reported as held open to substantial doubt. Speculation persists that the true level of China’s gold holdings is far higher than reported which could make the IMF ‘league table’ of national gold holdings open to question. There could well be other nations reporting ‘no change’ to the IMF while withholding sales out of, or purchases into, their gold reserves for various political reasons. The IMF does not require national reported gold reserve figures to be independently but relies on the figures given to it so there is plenty of scope for misleading figures to be presented for whatever reason.

21 Mar 2019

-END-

Fed Statement Commentary

By: Peter Schiff

Thursday, 21 March 2019

The Fed’s tightening campaign, which was supposed to restore a semblance of monetary normalcy, after a decade of extraordinary stimulus, is officially over. The curtain came down far earlier than just about anyone in the mainstream had predicted. Given that the Fed’s sounded the retreat before any real blood was shed, should put into question whether they will ever be able to stand tough again.

According to most analysts, the economy is still strong and the financial markets are healthy. Yet despite this, yesterday the Fed announced no rate hikes for 2019 (and perhaps just one in 2020) and a premature September ending of its $50 billion per month balance sheet reduction program. When announced just last year, that program was supposed to cut the Fed’s $4.5 trillion bond portfolio by at least half. Instead we will be lucky to get below $4 trillion. Barely a dent.

Their rapid reversal should cause many to wonder if the economy is far weaker than the common wisdom suggests. But that would require investors to look past the gift of a dovish Fed. That’s not going to happen in today’s market hysteria.

The first real evidence that Fed tightening was making an impact on financial markets and the economy came in December of last year, when rising interest rates led to a downward repricing of stocks, setting off alarm bells on Wall Street. Since then, the Fed has rolled back prior commitments to raise rates and pare down their balance sheet. Yesterday’s statement brings that process to a close. The Fed is done. I believe It’s next move will be to stimulate not to tighten.

The new normal is that monetary policy will never be neutral or tight again. We are in the age of permanent stimulus. But investors still don’t seem to understand the ramifications. If they did, gold would be soaring and the dollar would be tanking. Perhaps surprise easing from the Fed, which may not be far off, will finally get the markets attention.

But once investors finally figure out the new normal, a currency crises far worse than the 2008 financial crisis could bring that to a quick end. So it won’t be normal for long.

The commentary below is from Peter Schiff, Chief Economist and Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital and author of the The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy.

-END-

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

March 4.2019

Parker City News

JP Morgan faces potential class action lawsuit after guilty pleas by a former metals trader

Traders from across the U.S. are banding together to accuse J. P. Morgan Chase of manipulating precious metals markets for years.

At least six lawsuits, all making similar allegations against the nation‘s largest bank, have been filed in New York federal court in the past month, since federal prosecutors in Connecticut with a former J. P. Morgan Chase metals trader.

The cases could potentially include thousands of people who traded in the precious metals market. The White Plains, N.Y., law firm Lowey Dannenberg is asking the court to combine the cases and name it as the lead.

The law firm‘s commodities group is led by Vincent Briganti, the attorney who filed the first lawsuit on behalf of Dominick Cognata, a New York resident who alleges he suffered losses due to J. P. Morgan‘s trading conduct in the silver and gold futures and options markets.

A combined case, seeking class action status, would include anyone who purchased or sold futures contracts or an option on NYMEX platinum or palladium or COMEX silver or gold between at least Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2015. The lawyers believe that “at least hundreds, if not thousands” of traders would be eligible to join the case.

Named as defendants in all of the lawsuits are John Edmonds, a 36-year old former metals trader at J. P. Morgan, a group of yet-to-be-identified precious metals traders and the bank.

Edmonds, a New York resident, pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to defraud the market and manipulate prices of precious metals futures contracts and one count of commodities fraud. In the criminal plea, Edmonds admitted that he and other “unnamed co- conspirators” at J. P. Morgan, fraudulently manipulated precious metals markets from 2009 to 2015, the same time frame covered in the class action suits.

Briganti filed the initial class action on Nov. 7, just one day after the Justice Department unsealed Edmonds‘ plea in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut.

Edmonds admitted in his guilty plea that he deployed the illegal trading scheme hundreds of times with the direct knowledge and consent of his immediate supervisors. Plaintiffs say they have suffered economic injury, including monetary losses, as a direct result of actions by Edmonds and the other unnamed J. P. Morgan metals traders in the futures and options contracts.

One of the suits alleges that “the number of unlawful trades that JP Morgan traders executed in precious metals futures markets is at least in the thousands.”

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

The Justice Department‘s criminal investigation is still ongoing and recently caused a separate related civil case to be put on hold for at least six months while the government continues its investigation. That civil lawsuit, which also accuses J. P. Morgan of rigging the precious metals market, was filed in 2015 by hedge fund manager Daniel Shak and two commodity traders.

After reviewing the details of the plea agreement, David Kovel, the attorney for Shak‘s suit, sought to re- interview Edmonds, along with two other current and former senior traders at the bank. However, the government argued that reopening questioning would be detrimental to the ongoing criminal investigation. The federal judge overseeing the proceedings ordered a six-month stay in the civil case.

Kovel declined to comment.

Edmonds was originally scheduled to be sentenced in Hartford, Conn., on Wednesday, Dec. 19, but a court filing on Nov. 27 shows the sentencing has been postponed until June. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut could not elaborate on why the sentencing was postponed since the court filing is under seal.

-END-

Justice Department stalls another class action in gold market rigging, this one against JPM

 Section: 

9:47a ET Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Proceedings in the federal class-action anti-trust lawsuit against JPMorganChase charging the investment bank with manipulating the gold and silver futures markets —

http://www.gata.org/node/18844

— have been suspended for three months at the request of the U.S. Justice Department, just as the department has arranged suspension of proceedings in the class-action anti-trust lawsuit against Deutsche Bank charging similar market manipulation.

… 

In both cases the Justice Department has told U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that proceedings would jeopardize its criminal investigation into market rigging, which has been admitted by a former JPMorganChase trader, John Edmonds, who awaits sentencing.

According to court filings, the White Plains, New York, law firm representing the plaintiffs against JPMorganChase, Lowey Dannenberg, concurred in the government’s request to suspend proceedings. The stay is to continue for three months and may be extended.

The Justice Department’s motion, granted by the court on February 26 —

http://www.gata.org/files/JPMorganChaseClassActionStay.pdf

— said “the government is not seeking an open-ended stay that could indefinitely postpone this matter and thus jeopardize the parties’ interests in a timely resolution.” The motion added, “Any developments in the criminal case during the period the consolidated action is stayed may reduce or completely resolve the need to litigate certain issues in the consolidated action.”

Much of the Justice Department’s motion is redacted to conceal from the public evidence still under investigation. Edmonds has said he and other traders manipulated the gold and silver markets for years with the knowledge of their supervisors at JPMorganChase. In its motion to conceal that evidence, also granted by the court on February 26, the Justice Department said disclosure “could lead to destruction of evidence, flight from prosecution, and otherwise interfere with the government’s ability to conduct its investigation”:

http://www.gata.org/files/JPMorganChaseClassActionStaySeal.pdf

Monetary metals investors may be skeptical of the Justice Department’s stalling the Deutsche Bank and JPMorganChase cases, since the department and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission do not seem ever to have responded conscientiously to complaints of gold and silver market rigging until the class actions commenced.

How much time will the court give the Justice Department to delay getting to the bottom of the issue? The court might hasten matters if enough monetary metals mining companies protested the harm done to them and their shareholders by market rigging, but of course most monetary metals mining companies don’t mind at all.

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

* * *

 

-END-

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

i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/CLOSED/ LAST AT: 6.6917/

 

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  6.6946   /shanghai bourse CLOSED UP 10.82 POINTS OR 0.35% /

 

HANG SANG CLOSED DOWN 249.41 POINTS OR 0.85%

 

 

2. Nikkei closed //HOLIDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED RED EXCEPT LONDON 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/USA dollar index RISES TO 96.23/Euro FALLS TO 1.1386

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO. –.04/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 110.53/ 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:: 59.74 and Brent: 68.11

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

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO +.04%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP to 2.46% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD UP TO 1.11%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.42: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES TO : 3.76

3k Gold at $1315.40 silver at:15.54   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 10/100 in roubles/dollar) 64.76

3m oil into the 59 dollar handle for WTI and 68 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 110.53 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 0.9941 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1318 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year FALLING to +0.04%

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 2.51% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 2.96%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 5.4566

 

Stocks Slide, Bonds Soars, Dollar Rebounds As Traders Have A Question For Powell

Something is off.

Over the past decade, any time the Fed, BOJ or ECB surprised the market dovishly, risk assets surged. And yet, when the ECB did just that on March 9, when Draghi unveiled TLTRO prematurely, the Stoxx slumped. And, more concerningly, after a brief rally yesterday at 2pm in kneejerk response to a Fed that has now fully capitulated on normalizing monetary policy and announced it will end its balance sheet runoff by September, US markets not only faded all gains, but closed sharply lower.

When commenting on the Fed’s decision, and the market’s surprising reaction, we said that it was too early to draw conclusions from the S&P’s reaction, where a blast of selling took place at precisely 3:30pm setting the dour mood into the last 30 minutes of trading. However, the overnight session which saw both European stocks struggle and U.S. equity futures slide despite some bullish sentiment in Asia, it appears that investors still have a some questions for Powell, among which the most important one: “What does the Fed know that nobody else does for it to capitulate so abruptly”, and what might be lurking in the shadows.

So far that answer is missing, and it explains why US equity futures have continued to sink despite a Fed which is now all in on reflating if not the economy, which by now it is clear it has little control over, then at least capital markets. Meanwhile, as risk assets are shunned, investors are plowing into safe havens as the yield on 10-year Treasuries extended Wednesday’s drop, rates slumped across Europe and gold jumped.

As European shares wilted and futures faltered, banks suffered the brunt of selling from the dovish doubling down, expressing traders’ usual worries about low borrowing rates, and dragging the European STOXX 600 down 0.2%, though London’s FTSE edged up as its miners were lifted by higher copper and metals prices.

But the real action was in the bond markets, where the stampede into safety continued, with the 7Y inches away from inverting below the effective Fed Funds rate.

With investors rushing to price in the prospect of US rate cuts later this year, which traditionally have been followed by a recession 3 months later, Treasury yields dived to their lowest since early 2018 and those on German Bunds – Europe’s benchmark – to the lowest since October 2016. Ten-year Bund were offering buyers virtually nothing again at just 0.048%. Alongside widespread ‘curve’ flattening – where shorter and longer-term borrowing costs converge – there were alarm bells ringing.

Rabobank strategist Philip Marey said the worry is that, having cut rates to the bone and already tried full-scale money printing, many central banks are now low on traditionally ammunition to fight recessions.

“The Fed has the most leeway because it has raised rates nine times so it could cuts rates nine times,” Marey said. “But it will be much more difficult for other central banks which haven’t even started to hike yet.”

Earlier in Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.5%. Chinese blue-chips, which spent the morning swinging between small losses and gains, were up 0.4% in afternoon trade, while Seoul’s Kospi also added 0.4% as regulators announced plans to cut the stock transaction tax this year. Australian shares ended flat after see-sawing throughout the day. A drop in the jobless rate tempered market expectations of a rate cut. Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday.

Meanwhile, in FX, after The Fed’s swerve sent the dollar sliding as far as 110.47 yen, with its 0.6 percent loss overnight the biggest drop since the flash crash of early January, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rebounded sharply for the first time in five days as the greenback recovered some of the previous days losses as investors realized that if things are “this bad” in the US, they can only be far worse everywhere else, with the rest of the world only now starting to cut rates.

Despite the dollar’s rebound, it remains poised precariously on its 200-day moving average, and a sustained break would be taken as technically ‘bearish’, resulting in a slide that virtually every bank is expecting. “The downward pressure on U.S. yields continues to support our outlook for a weaker U.S. dollar this year,” said MUFG analysts in a note.

The pound saw the biggest decline as pressure built on Theresa May to gather a majority for her Brexit deal. The U.K. prime minister asked the European Union for a three-month extension to the March 29 deadline in a move that increases the risks of a no-deal departure. The Norwegian krone surged higher as Thursday’s top-performing G-10 currency after the Norges Bank followed the Federal Reserve in catching the market by surprise, but with a decision that was more hawkish than expected. The Norwegian krone rallied by the most since December versus the euro to touch a four-month high, after the Norges Bank hiked rates from 0.75% to 1.00%

The euro flew to a seven-week peak before things started to reverse in Europe. It was last trading at $1.1410, a world away from its recent low of $1.1177 while Brexit woes kept the pound down at $1.3175.

In other central bank news, also overnight, the Swiss National Bank kept rates on hold, cut its inflation forecast and said it will remain active in the currency market to curb any appreciation in the Swiss franc

Meanwhile, with the Fed now in the rearview mirror, trade concerns have returned, after President Trump on Wednesday warned that Washington may leave tariffs on Chinese goods for a “substantial period” to ensure Beijing’s compliance with any trade deal. China-U.S. trade talks are set to resume next week. Global growth worries extended to commodity markets, where oil prices, which had jumped Wednesday on supply concerns, retreated.

Brent (-0.3%) and WTI (-0.3%) are softer, and trade within a $1/bbl range. WTI did surpass the USD 60.0/bbl level overnight on the back of a dovish FOMC, however the complex has since drifted somewhat with WTI now trading just below the key level as fears about the global economy are dominating. Gold (+0.4%) is firmer, although off of session highs of around USD 1320/oz, on the back of dollar weakness after yesterdays dovish Fed, base metals more broadly have garnered support from the weaker dollar with copper rising 0.9 percent to $6,517 a tonne, having touched a near three-week high earlier in the session.

Elsewhere, Barclays note that the risks surrounding iron ore have not dissipated following the reopening of Vale’s Brucutu mine as two others have been temporarily closed recently and there is a risk of further mine closures.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures little changed at 2,826.75
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 380.25
  • MXAP up 0.5% to 161.13
  • MXAPJ up 0.3% to 530.58
  • Nikkei up 0.2% to 21,608.92
  • Topix up 0.3% to 1,614.39
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.9% to 29,071.56
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,101.46
  • Sensex up 0.06% to 38,386.75
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.03% to 6,167.17
  • Kospi up 0.4% to 2,184.88
  • German 10Y yield fell 4.2 bps to 0.042%
  • Euro down 0.2% to $1.1395
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 3.2 bps to 2.172%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 4.9 bps to 1.115%
  • Brent futures up 0.1% to $68.59/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,318.32
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.3% to 96.06

Top Overnight News

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said interest rates could be on hold for “some time” as global risks weigh on the economic outlook and inflation remains muted. Officials also decided to slow the drawdown of the U.S. central bank’s bond holdings starting in May, then end them in September
  • In a dramatic address to the nation from her 10 Downing Street office on Wednesday, Theresa May hinted that she could even resign rather than agree to a lengthy postponement that would keep the U.K. in the bloc beyond the middle of the year. An emergency summit has already been penciled in for next week when the EU could propose a long extension to the negotiations, but with conditions attached, potentially including ripping up May’s proposal, calling a British election and even a second referendum
  • Bank of England policy makers face more paralysis amid turmoil over the date of Britain’s departure from the European Union. Officials are likely to vote unanimously to hold the benchmark interest rate at 0.75 percent when they announce their decision at noon in London Thursday
  • President Donald Trump said he’ll keep tariffs on China until he’s sure Beijing is complying with any trade deal, refuting expectations that the two nations will agree to roll back duties as part of a lasting truce to their trade war
  • Australian unemployment dropped to a decade-low in February, defying the worst housing slump in a generation that’s forced a sharp slowdown in economic growth
  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s coalition government is set to lose its majority in the Senate, with anti-EU party Forum for Democracy making a strong debut, highlighting the challenge leaders face in tackling populism two months before key European Parliament elections
  • New Zealand has banned military style semi-automatics and assault rifles and will establish a nationwide buyback of the weapons in the wake of a terrorist attack on two mosques that left 50 people dead
  • Norway’s central bank raised its main interest rate for a second time since September and signaled there’s more tightening to come, as western Europe’s biggest oil exporter lets a rebound in crude prices steer monetary policy. The krone appreciated as much as 1.1 percent against the euro after the decision
  • The Swiss National Bank kept rates on hold, cut its inflation forecast and said it will remain active in the currency market to curb any appreciation in the Swiss franc

Asian equity markets eventually traded mostly higher in the aftermath of a dovish FOMC, which immediately supported risk sentiment, although the gains in the major US indices were later pared due to underlying growth and trade concerns. ASX 200 (Unch) was subdued as financials tracked the underperformance of their US counterparts post-FOMC and with a broad subdued tone across most sectors aside from commodity-related names. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (-0.8%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) remained afloat with CITIC Securities suggesting increased possibility of a PBoC rate cut following the dovish Fed stance, although gains were capped amid lingering trade uncertainty as US President Trump recently suggested tariffs on China will be kept in place for a “substantial” amount of time after a trade agreement is struck to ensure Beijing holds up its end of the bargain. As a reminder, Japanese and Indian markets were shut for Vernal Equinox and Holi respectively.

Top Asian News

  • China Closes in on Plane Order From Africa Amid Overseas Push
  • Fed’s Longer Pause Opens Door for Asian Central Banks to Cut
  • Philippines Holds Benchmark Rate as Inflation Eases Into Target
  • China Mobile Slides to Biggest Loss Since October After Earnings

Major European indices are mixed, but are generally little changed [Euro Stoxx 50 U/C], following the dovish FOMC; which has led to underperformance in financial names with the sector significantly lagging its peers and the likes of Lloyds (-2.8%) and RBS (-5.3%) underperforming (RBS are trading ex-dividends). The FTSE 100 (+0.3%) has been supported from the open by a rebound in material names such as Fresnillo (+5.3%), Antofagasta (+2.6%) and Glencore (+2.2%); with the broader sector outperforming its peers in a turn around from the significant underperformance seen yesterday in the material sector which was attributed to Vale surpassing a key milestone in resuming production. Other notable movers include, Inmarsat (+2.1%) in the green after speculation surrounding a counterbid for the Co. after reports yesterday that investors made a bid valued at GBP 2.5bln. At the bottom of the Stoxx 600 are IG Group (-7.6%) after poor earnings figures and the Co. stating they expect FY revenue to be lower than the priors. Separately, Skanska (-2.6%) are lower as the Co. states that they are not likely to hit their 2019-20 construction margin target.

Top European News

  • Feud Erupts at EssilorLuxottica After Del Vecchio Cries Foul
  • Deutsche Bank Vows More Wealth Management Hires to Reverse Flows
  • Ted Baker Falls After Meeting Lowered Full-Year Estimates
  • Sweden Moves Closer to Divesting $7.5 Billion Telia Stake

In FX, In stark contrast to the dovish FOMC and steady SNB, the Norges Bank delivered the 25 bp hike flagged at the start of the year and signalled another ¼ point tightening for the 2nd half of 2019 before 2 more next year. The accompanying statement was also more upbeat/hawkish than most expected, with upgrades to growth forecasts and 2019 core CPI, while the Board added that the domestic economy may even expand faster than previously envisaged. Moreover, Governor Olsen went one step further by assigning better than even odds of a 25 bp hike in June, and Eur/Nok has slumped in response from around 9.6900 to just over 9.5900 at one stage.

  • DXY – The broad Dollar and index have pared some post-Fed losses, albeit mainly due to several rival G10 currencies failing to build on gains at the expense of the Greenback. Indeed, Usd/majors are somewhat mixed as the DXY reclaims 96.000 status, just. To recap, the FOMC was more dovish than expected given no further policy normalisation this year vs 2 hikes previously and confirmation that QT will end sooner than planned, with a slower monthly run-off from May and end by September.
  • NZD/AUD/JPY – The other big beneficiaries of Usd weakness, with the Kiwi reclaiming the 0.6900 handle and gleaning independent support to a mostly solid NZ Q4 GDP update, while the Aussie is firmly back above 0.7100 as sub-forecast jobs growth in February was countered by a near 8 year low unemployment rate. Elsewhere, Usd/Jpy has reversed sharply through 111.00 and to the lower end of a 110.75-30 range as US Treasury yields recoil in wake of the aforementioned Fed policy shift.
  • CAD/CHF/EUR/GBP – All underperforming to varying degrees, as the Loonie failed to sustain momentum through 1.3300 and the Franc resists advances towards 0.9900 in wake of the SNB quarterly policy review that maintained a high value assessment of the Chf amidst still fragile FX market conditions and the ongoing need for NIRP alongside close monitoring and intervention if needed. Meanwhile, the single currency has faded ahead of 1.1450 having cleared a Fib level at 1.1420 temporarily, and now looks prone to hefty option expiries at 1.1400 in 2.8 bn, with further upside attempts potentially capped by similar size between 1.1415-30 (2.9 bn). Turning to the Pound, Brexit remains the overriding issue and currently a mainly negative factor given even more uncertainty surrounding the conclusion and whether the EU is willing to grant an A 50 extension. Indeed, Cable only got a knee-jerk lift from better than forecast UK retail sales data before extending losses from 1.3200+ to circa 1.3135.

In commodities, Brent (-0.3%) and WTI (-0.3%) are marginally softer, and remain affixed within a USD 1/bbl range. WTI did surpass the USD 60.0/bbl level overnight on the back of a dovish FOMC, however the complex has since drifted somewhat with WTI now trading just below the key level. Regarding the 9.6mln draw in EIA Crude Inventories reported yesterday, UBS note that this is bullish in respect to both the API’s 2.1mln draw and compared to the 5yr average for this period; of around +5.4mln. Gold (+0.4%) is firmer, although off of session highs of around USD 1320/oz, on the back of dollar weakness after yesterdays dovish Fed, base metals more broadly have garnered support from the weaker dollar with copper rising to around a 3-week high overnight. Elsewhere, Barclays note that the risks surrounding iron ore have not dissipated following the reopening of Vale’s Brucutu mine as two others have been temporarily closed recently and there is a risk of further mine closures.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook, est. 4.8, prior -4.1
  • 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, est. 225,000, prior 229,000
  • 8:30am: Continuing Claims, est. 1.77m, prior 1.78m
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, prior 60.8
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Economic Expectations, prior 54.5
  • 10am: Leading Index, est. 0.1%, prior -0.1%

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

This week’s serenity in markets was broken yesterday by a dovish FOMC outcome and the latest Brexit developments. It’s hard to call anything surprising in Brexit terms unless we discovered that Aliens had landed on top of the Houses of Parliament and had taken over proceedings. Anything other than this might raise an eyebrow or two but not have much shock value given all the surprises seen in recent months.

Anyway, first the Fed. They lowered their interest rate projections for this year and next, with the median forecast now calling for zero hikes in 2019 and one in 2020. That was below the consensus expectation, and two- and ten-year treasury yields fell -7.3bps and -9.0bps respectively. That pushed 10-year yields to their lowest level since January 2018, with yesterday’s fall the sharpest since last May. Also helping this move was growth and inflation being revised down and UST bullish news on the balance sheet (more below). The sharp rally didn’t stop the MOVE treasury volatility index reaching a new all-time low last night. The dollar weakened steeply, falling -0.42% and to its lowest level since February 4. Equities had been trading much weaker, mirroring the moves in Europe (more below), but rebounded sharply and into positive territory after the dovish outcome but then faded again into the close. The S&P 500 and DOW were -0.29% and -0.55% weaker, respectively, while the NASDAQ eked out a +0.07% gain. That leaves Mr Powell 8-1 down in terms of US equities on FOMC days under his leadership. 7-0 in 2018 and 1-1 in 2019. Elsewhere Emerging markets outperformed after the Fed though, with equities up +0.16% and currencies gaining +0.69%.

Apart from the headline change in the Fed’s interest rate projections, they also lowered their growth and headline inflation forecasts. The median expectation is now for growth of 2.1% and 1.9% for 2019 and 2020, down from 2.3% and 2.0%. Headline inflation projections are at 1.8% and 1.9%, from 1.9% and 2.1%. So overall a slightly less optimistic baseline to underlie the lower interest rate path. At the press conference, Chair Powell maintained his recent rhetoric, noting that “growth is slowing somewhat more than expected” and “financial conditions remain less supportive.” He also cited the persistent inflation undershoot and downside risks from Brexit and trade as reasons for the pause in rate hikes. In light of these dovish changes, our US economics team has updated their Fed call, and now think that the Fed will remain on hold through end-2020. However, their economic forecasts are still a bit more robust than the Fed’s, so they think the risks to their new view are still skewed toward the next move being another hike rather than a cut. Their full meeting review is available here .

Finally, the Fed also announced updates to their balance sheet policy, with a gradual taper in the runoff now planned. The caps on Treasury runoff will fall from $30bn to $15bn in May, which will entail more reinvestments each month. The MBS portfolio will be rolled into Treasuries as they mature, which will provide a further boost to the Fed’s Treasury purchases. New purchases will match the existing maturity structure of the Treasury’s outstanding debt stock, so it should be neutral for the curve. The balance sheet will thefore stabilize starting in October, though the Fed will re-examine the policy again over the course of this year. At some point, they will resume asset purchases as well, to accommodate increased demand for currency while maintaining the same level of excess reserves.

Overnight, sentiment has improved in Asia with markets making modest advances after the dovish tilt from the Fed. The Hang Seng (+0.18%), Shanghai Comp (+0.61%) and Kospi (+0.28%) are all up. China’s onshore yuan is up +0.18% at 6.6825, marking the strongest level since July 2018. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are also up +0.08%. Japanese markets are closed for a holiday.

After the FOMC and press conference was over, all of us in the U.K. crowded round our TVs and stopped what we were doing as she made a planned televised address to the nation. To be fair there wasn’t much she hadn’t said before and she continues to double, triple and quadruple down on her strategy. She has asked the EU to extend the Brexit deadline until June 30, but was pretty insistent that she would not be willing to go beyond that date. It’s therefore hard to see her continuing in office beyond that date, if her deal can’t pass before then. Election risks must have risen in recent days.

Before this, PM May sent the EU a letter formally asking for an extension of the Brexit deadline to June 30th. European Council President Tusk said in a press conference that a short extension would be possible, conditional on the UK Parliament passing a deal. If the UK does not pass a deal, it appears that Parliament will face a choice of either a long extension, or a no-deal exit. Reuters also reported that a Commission document stated that the EU only wanted to offer one extension (as opposed to an extension of the extension situation). We’ll find out more after the EU council meeting today and tomorrow. EU officials confirmed that May’s request came too late to make a full decision on it at today’s EU council meeting which makes it likely that it won’t be approved by the EU today. It’s likely that the option is left open until at an emergency Council meeting next week with the duration of any extension contingent on whether or not May passes the MV next week. A reminder that the U.K. is currently still on course to leave a week tomorrow 1001 days after the original vote.

Sterling weakened as much as -0.91% as the various developments took place yesterday, but ultimately ended the session -0.59% weaker at $1.3190 partly as the FOMC weakened the dollar. Oliver Harvey published his latest update yesterday (available here ), where he turned neutral on the pound. He thinks the odds of a no-deal Brexit have risen to 20%, and now views a long extension of Article 50 as a net negative for the currency. Such an extension would alleviate the near-term risks around Brexit, but would raise the odds of a new election and would therefore inject new political and policy uncertainty into the UK.

Elsewhere yesterday, Brent crude oil prices rose +1.85% to a new four-month high at $59.83 per barrel after US inventories fell by 9.59million barrels. That takes the cumulative decline in US stockpiles this year to -1.9mn barrels, which is the biggest drop since 2003. Usually, inventories rise in the winter, with the 25-year average for this point in the calendar at +16mn. The move helped US energy stocks advance +0.89%.

Markets in Europe yesterday were broadly lower on the back of a number of stock specific stories. The CEO of UBS (-2.41%) called Q1 “one of the worst” in recent history, BMW (-4.94%) warned that earnings will decline “well below” last year’s level, and Bayer (-9.61%) lost a ruling over a weed killer case. A big slump for FedEx (-3.51%) following a profit warning Tuesday evening also contributed to the early weakness yesterday morning. The STOXX 600 eventually ended -0.90% while the DAX ended -1.57%, both with their biggest one-day declines since February 7th. In rates, Bunds nudged down another -1.3bps also.

Before we wrap up, the only data that was out yesterday of any note came in the UK where core CPI in February printed slightly below expectations at +1.8% yoy (vs. +1.9% expected), and down one-tenth from January. Headline CPI has a touch higher than expected but at 1.9% YOY its still below 2%. The March CBI total orders data was also slightly on the softer side having fallen 5pts to +1 (vs. +5 expected).

Looking at the day ahead, this morning in the UK we’ve got February retail sales and public-sector net borrowing due out. That comes before the BoE meeting where no policy change is expected and given all the Brexit developments it’s hard to imagine being much of a game changer. This afternoon we’ve also got the March consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area while in the US we’ve get the March Philly Fed business outlook print, latest weekly initial jobless claims reading and February leading index. In all likelihood, the biggest event for markets today will be the EU Council meeting.

 

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)THURSDAY MORNING/ WEDNESDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 10.82 POINTS OR 0.01% //Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 249.41 POINTS OR 0.85%  /The Nikkei closed HOLIDAY/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP .03%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP  at 6.6917 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil DOWN to 58.40 dollars per barrel for WTI and 67/28 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED 

ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP // LAST AT 6.6917 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.6946 / TRADE TALKS NOW ON/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED  : /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING ABOVE 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 SOUTH KOREA/

A good indicator telling us that the global economy is drying up:  South Korean chip exports collapse by 25%

(courtesy zerohedge)

South Korean Chip Exports Collapse 25% – Worst Since 2009

South Korea’s exports are headed for another monthly drop amid slowing economic growth in China and weak demand for semiconductors, preliminary trade data for March shows.

The preliminary data – for the first 20 days of the month – saw exports fell 4.9% from a year earlier, putting them on course for a fourth consecutive monthly decline.

 

Imports in the first 20 days of March fell 3.4%, from a year earlier.

Shipments to China slid 12.6% while overall sales of semiconductors, a key driver of Korea’s economy, decreased by 25& – the biggest YoY decline since March 2009…

 

South Korea is one of the world’s key component suppliers in the tech sector and the continued slowdown in the expansion of semiconductor exports deepens concerns about the outlook for the global technology industry.

Not helped by the plunge in DRAM prices…

 

As a reminder, South Korea releases its trade data earlier than most other major economies and is a key link in the global supply chain, making it a bellwether for trade.

“Beijing is Seoul’s largest trading partner, with exports to China amounting to about 10 percent of Korea’s GDP,” said Bloomberg Economics’ Justin Jimenez.

“Our base case is that a continued cool down in Sino-U.S. tensions will provide some relief to China’s economy — and in turn, South Korea’s. A breakdown in talks though, remains the key risk.”

Bloomberg’s Justin Jimenez notes that “a double-digit drop in South Korea’s exports in February highlights risks for the trade-oriented economy…” but offers a glimpse at a potential green shoot – based on actual data – “…though a potential recovery in semiconductor demand and signs of stabilization in China’s economy may help to support South Korea’s exports in 2H.”

South Korea’s economic growth rate has been slowing and is likely to continue to do so unless there is a pickup in exports. A delegation from the International Monetary Fund said last week that Korea’s economy faces headwinds and should consider a “substantial” supplementary budget to meet its growth target of 2.6 percent to 2.7 percent for this year.

end

 

 

 

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

3 C CHINA

4.EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

We may get our “no deal” Brexit if the EU will not allow an extension.  England is in a mess right now

(courtesy zerohedge)

Cable Slides As Civil War Looms – 17.4 Million Voted For Brexit & Are Being Denied It

Theresa May is meeting with EU leaders in Brussels, “working extremely hard,” according to her spokesperson, as a standoff between the UK PM and the EU over a Brexit delay has put the prospect of a cliff-edge departure back in play for British companies.

If you’re a business now thinking no-deal was off the table,” Wednesday’s events “will be a bit of a shocker,” said Mats Persson, head of Brexit strategy at EY in London.

“If the EU doesn’t grant Parliament an extension, no-deal happens.”

This has put pressure on cable this morning…

May asked the EU for a three-month delay of the Brexit deadline to June 30. While she makes her case to EU leaders at a summit today, European Council President Donald Tusk has already said such a short extension would only be possible if the U.K. Parliament agrees to enact the existing divorce deal – which it’s twice rejected – by the current exit day of March 29.

But, as George Galloway fears below, the ongoing chaos could be a recipe for civil war…

I’ve known Speaker Bercow since he was a young man, wore a ‘Hang Nelson Mandela’ t-shirt, and was a secretary of the Monday Club – a conservative group so conservative that they’re probably wearing ‘Hang Bercow’ t-shirts today.

By all objective standards Bercow has been a poor speaker of the Commons. What you perhaps don’t know is that is testimony to the chilling effect of laid back liberalism.

Bercow has had an easy ride because he’s biased against a government so incompetent that if it were a “Carry-On” film you wouldn’t want it to end. But it isn’t and most people want it to end as swiftly as possible.

Thus, his devastating “pronunciamento” against the prime minister this week has proved wildly popular on the simple basis that anything which devastates this government must be right. But it is wrong.

Britain famously lives in the past, but basing parliamentary maneuvers on a 1604 precedent last used in 1920 is comedy gold but not 21st century governance. Even Jacob Rees-Mogg wasn’t around in 1604 (though he may have voted ‘against’ in the 1920 debate).

It’s simply not true that no matter can be brought back in the same form, in the same parliamentary session. If it were, Mrs. May would not have suffered her second defeat on her Brexit plan.

Not having a constitution, as Britain doesn’t, has at least the compensation of flexibility, of adapting to new situations. Of not being hidebound. Speaker Bercow just bound Mrs. May’s hide like it was 1599.

Because there was a new situation. Very new, since her second defeat parliament had taken ‘no deal’ off the table and sought an extension to Article 50, thus postponing Brexit. That’s pretty big news.

Moreover, and consequently, May’s Brexit deal now has a 50/50 chance of going through. That’s a new situation alright!

Having stared down the barrel of no Brexit at all, both the DUP allies and the ERG enemy within her party were beginning to decamp back under her tent. It cannot be right that one single man can pervert the course of governance on an entirely bogus basis when that man cannot be removed and doesn’t seek election.

The English fought a Civil War over that kind of thing not that long after 1604 and long before 1920. It ended with the parting of the king’s head from his shoulders.

17.4 million people voted for Brexit and are being denied it. That sounds like a recipe for civil war to me and the British rulers should remember what happened as a result of the last one.

Now, I am wholly against Theresa May’s Brexit deal on the simple basis that it isn’t Brexit at all. It is Brexit in name only. I may have been the first to give it a name, BRINO. I may have been the first to state also that I would rather be IN the EU and carry on the fight than OUT of the EU on Mrs May’s terms.

I am wholly against the British government on everything else too. I seek a general election and the sweeping of this gang that couldn’t shoot straight off the stage altogether. But I can’t associate with Bonapartism. And little Johnny Bercow is a “Poundland” Napoleon who isn’t even as nice as he looks. Watch out, sparks are about to fly!

end
An extremely important commentary from Mises as they state that a Hard Brexit would be good for the country and I agree with the author..so does Tom Luongo
(courtesy Patrick Barron/Mises Institute)

Forget ‘Project Fear’, This Is What A “Hard Brexit” Could Mean For The UK

Authored by Patrick Barron via The Mises Institute,

When Britons voted on June 23, 2016 on whether or not to leave the EU there was no discussion of a “hard or soft Brexit”. These terms were invented after Brexit passed by a surprisingly large margin and the mostly anti-Brexit Tory Party government, especially its leadership, decided that it needed to negotiate the terms of leaving. Brexit supporters regard such terms as betraying the 2016 Brexit referendum itself. These 17.4 million Britons undoubtedly believed that Brexit would mean exactly that: Britain would no longer be governed by any EU laws, regulations, etcNevertheless, all that the world has heard since that day in June 2016 is a debate over the terms of leaving, with any so-called terms being labeled as a “soft Brexit” and leaving without any agreement as a “hard Brexit”.

In a “hard Brexit,” Britain just leaves and all EU regulations, etc. are null and void. It’s pretty clear cut. A “soft Brexit” can mean almost anything that is not a “hard Brexit”; i.e., Britain would agree to continue some or all of the manufacturing regulations, tariffs, and intergovernmental agreements — such as ceding jurisdiction to the European Court of Justice — that apply to EU countries. The list is almost endless and the time frame very nebulous, a perfect playground for those who wish to have a Brexit In Name Only. If there is to be Brexit of any sort, however, Parliament must act. Experts in British constitutional law claim that only Parliament can actually take Britain out of the EU and only Parliament can decide under what terms, if any, it will do so. Of course, one of the terms of separation could be that there are no terms of separation — thus, a “hard Brexit.”

The Effect on Imports

The current government has been exploring the possibility of dropping all import tariffs to zero except on “sensitive industries”. This would be very good for consumers, because the EU imposes tariffs on almost all imports from nations not in the EU itself. Most notably in its attempt to insulate inefficient European farms from worldwide competition, the EU imposes onerous tariffs on non-EU agricultural products via the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Eliminating these and many other tariffs would significantly lower the cost of living for the British people.The success of Brexit may depend entirely on whether Britain does in fact eliminate tariffs on most goods. It is a golden opportunity. The EU itself is very export oriented, so it is unlikely that it would impose any restrictions on member countries selling goods to Britain. So far so good!

The Effect on British Exports

Exports are another matter entirely. No longer in the tariff free customs union, it is assumed that the EU would impose tariffs on British products as it does on any other non-EU country, raising their cost to EU buyers, which one must assume would result in fewer British sales. The real harm would not fall on British exporters but on Britain’s EU customers, who now are forcibly prohibited from buying British goods at the previously advantageous price. On the other hand since it no longer must meet onerous EU manufacturing regulations, British industry might enjoy lower manufacturing costs which would enable it to sell more to non-EU countries. Although it might take time for Britain to develop new markets for its goods, some countries, led by the U.S. itself, have stated that they are ready to sign free trade agreements with Britain as soon as it leaves the EU.

The Effect on the City of London

The City of London is a massive global hub. Its banking and insurance companies are dominant in the EU and likely to remain so for reasons of depth of market knowledge and a high reputation for honesty and fair dealing. Although some companies have moved some operations to Frankfurt, it is unclear if these moves are significant in number and may be simply part of normal market flux. The same fears about the fate of the City were raised when Britain secured an opt-out from the 1992 Maastricht Treaty which formally created the euro. Unless the EU imposes some special tax or regulation prohibiting EU members from utilizing London firms, it is unlikely that the City will be much affected by a “hard Brexit”.

The Effect on Controlling borders

Uncontrolled illegal Immigration into the EU became a key issue for passing the Brexit referendum. There had been much concern for decades over loss of British sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and the economic cost of belonging to a closed customs union with high tariffs and onerous regulations, but the movement to leave came to a head over border controls or lack thereof. One of the four pillars of the EU is freedom of movement of people within the EU. (The other three were freedom of movement for goods, services, and capital.) Illegal immigration came to a head following the crisis of refugees from the Arab world. Once inside the EU, these refugees could migrate anywhere within the bloc, including Britain, raising the cost of providing social services and disrupting settled life. Britain was not the only EU country that opposed this unforeseen migration. In fact immigration control may yet break apart the EU, as the elite in Brussels insist that every EU country not only accept a dictated number of refugees but also that every country then allow refugees to migrate freely within the EU. A “hard Brexit” would remove the requirement that Britain accept more refugees than it believes it can assimilate. Uncontrolled border crossings would end as modest checkpoints are reinstated.

A separate border issue pertains to the relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland over goods. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and there has been much concern over continuing the free flow of goods into and out of the Republic of Ireland. This seems to be much ado about little. Most probably goods to and from the Republic of Ireland would be subject to random checks with very little hindrance on tradeThe EU has lobbied for an “Irish backstop”, whereby Northern Ireland would remain in the EU for some period of time. Naturally this has incensed loyal British subjects, especially in Northern Ireland, and has almost no chance of being part of a “soft Brexit” deal.

A Positive Conclusion

In conclusion the effect of a “hard Brexit” on Britain itself should be overwhelmingly positive, especially if Britain does in fact remove all tariffs and conclude free trade pacts with the rest of the world fairly quickly. Naturally my advice to Britain is to unilaterally remove all tariffs on all goods, including “sensitive industries.” Free trade deals then become irrelevant. Britain could lead the way in showing the world the benefits of unilateral free trade, just as it did in the nineteenth century with the abolition of the Corn Laws. Perhaps this outcome is what the EU fears the most, because it would call into question the benefit of belonging to a closed customs union and would spell the end of the EU itself.

end
Holland
After a deadly attack in Utrecht were a Turkish man went on a driving spree killing 3 citizens and injuring three, the populist party shocks in a provincial election.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Upstart Populist Party Shocks In Dutch Election Upset, 2 Days After Utrecht Attack

Dutch voters have sent shock waves through Europe at the polls on Wednesday in the wake of Monday’s deadly Utrecht terror shooting, in which a now detained 37-year old Turkish man went on a terrifying tram killing spree which left three dead and three injured.

Euroskeptic party, Forum for Democracy (FvD), has emerged victorious in key provincial elections this week, paving the way to making it one of the two largest groups in the Dutch Senate, and representing growing Dutch frustration with the recent unprecedented refugee influx in Europe.

 

Newcomer Forum for Democracy party is led by 36-year-old Thierry Baudet, who is a critic of the EU and of the Netherlands’ immigration policies, via EPA

International reports have described the FvD as receiving “a surge of last-minute support” in the days following the Utrecht attack, which investigators have since described as having a “terror motive” based on a letter found in shooter Gokmen Tanis’ possession.

Forum for Democracy party leader Thierry Baudet had immediately placed ultimate blame  for the incident on the government’s “lax immigration policies” and provocatively stated a day before the elections (referencing his political rival)

If people want more deadly shootings like the one in Utrecht, then they have to vote for the VVD.

Baudet, riding a wave of renewed Euroskeptic sentiment, and whose party also wants to see more military spending, green initiatives, and an easing on income tax while greatly restricting the borders, said in the aftermath of Wednesday’s vote: “The voters in the Netherlands have spread their wings and shown their true power.”

Referencing the Utrecht attack and other deadly terror incidents on European soil, he added: “We have been called to the front because we have to. Because the country needs us.”

 

Three were killed and several injured in Monday’s Dutch tram terror attack, which raised the country’s emergency threat level to five as it was unfolding, its highest level. 

Interestingly, the 36-year old Baudet and his party continued campaigning down to the last moments even as others stopped in the wake of Monday’s attack which rocked the Netherlands. According to Al Jazeera:

Following the lead of US President Donald Trump, Baudet opposes immigration and emphasises “Dutch first” cultural and economic themes. He opposes the euro and thinks the Netherlands should leave the European Union.

Baudet had continued campaigning when other parties stopped after Monday’s attack in Utrecht, in which a gunman shot three people dead on a tram. The populist leader blamed the incident on the government’s lax immigration policies.

The FvD is now set to take 12 seats in the upper house of parliament, which is equal to Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservative VVD Party, a scenario before this week considered unlikely according to many observers.

The FvD slightly outscoring the VVD means Rutte’s government has lost its majority for the 75-seat Senate ahead of upcoming May elections.

In a post-election speech on Wednesday, Baudet described further that what’s now being described in international media as “an upstart populist party [that has] shocked the Dutch political establishment” as punishing the arrogance of elites.

In his pro-Western civilization themed remarks, Baudet added, “We are standing in the rubble of what was once the most beautiful civilization in the world.”

end
Switzerland
Pay attention to this one:  The Central Bank of Switzerland  (Swiss National Bank) warns of global trade problems on top of Brexit. Thus all of the major central banks are signalling troubles in the global economy.
(courtesy zerohedge)

A Dovish Swiss National Bank raises global trade and Brexit worries

* Swiss National Bank keeps expansive monetary policy in place

* Lower inflation forecasts point to long-term low rates

* Swiss negative rates to remain in place for foreseeable future (Rewrites, adding chairman comment, analyst)

ZURICH, March 21 (Reuters) – Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan said increasing global economic risks such as Brexit and U.S.-Chinese trade tensions meant the central bank will stick to its ultra-loose monetary policy for the foreseeable future.

Interest rates internationally are likely to remain very low, Jordan said on Thursday as the SNB retained its own expansive stance to guard against fallout from the “highly valued” Swiss franc.

“We have seen the downside risks have increased. We still have the conflict between America and China, we have the whole Brexit issue and the conflict between the European Commision and Italy,” Jordan told broadcaster SRF.

“These are all disruptive factors that could suddenly throw a spanner in the works and cause a global economic slowdown or even a recession.”

The SNB’s dovish stance mirrored those of the European Central Bank, which has delayed its first post-crisis interest rate rise, and the U.S. Federal Reserve, which has halted a three-year drive to hike borrowing costs.

“If you look at all latest developments in America, the signals from Europe and from Japan — they all point to monetary policy normalisation being shifted into the future,” Jordan said.

The SNB remains committed to negative rates it has deployed to ward off demand for the safe-haven Swiss franc, Jordan said, adding that without them, the currency would again come under appreciation pressure.

Earlier the SNB said the “fragile” exchange rate situation and the “highly valued” franc supported keeping the stance the central bank has adopted for four years.

It kept its target range for the three-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) at -1.25 to -0.25 percent, as unanimously expected by 32 economists polled by Reuters.

The bank also kept the negative interest rate of 0.75 percent it charges on sight deposits and said it remained ready to intervene in the currency markets if necessary to restrain the franc, which has gained roughly 3 percent in value against the euro in the last 12 months.

It bought a “modest” 2.3 billion francs worth of foreign currency in 2018 as it drastically scaled back intervention.

-END-

5.RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

IRAN/USA/Lebanon/Iraq

Tom Luongo explains the inner workings of middle east developments with respect to Iran and its relationship with Iraq, Lebanon and other eastern nations.  Iran seems to be withstanding the huge attack on it from the USA

(courtesy Tom Luongo)

Empire Of Chaos Crumbles As Iran Outflanks US In Iraq & Beyond

Authored by Tom Luongo,

Iran has successfully navigated the first phase of its resistance to U.S. sanctions pressure. The U.S. State Department has admitted it’s goal of reducing Iran’s oil exports to zero is not feasible.

The goal now is a 25% drop to 800,000 barrel per day. And that is no joke. It’s a big drop from where Iran was looking to produce in the coming years under the auspice of the JCPOA.

The U.S. will not stop until all avenues have been exhausted or Trump fires his current cabinet.

Iran’s total non-oil exports have suffered as well, since gas condensate exports have also dropped along with the crude oil numbers.

But Iran is finding friends in other places. They are currently finalizing a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with Belarus leading the talks at the 15th meeting between their Joint Economic Committee.

Iran’s non-oil exports, however, are still just one-fifth of their peak exports. Like Russia it is working quickly with regional partners to change that dynamic.

It won’t be enough to overcome the U.S.’s economic pressure in the short term.

But as I always say if it survives the initial onslaught then market forces open up opportunities for change. Things like INSTEX, the EU special purpose vehicle for getting around U.S. sanctions, is a perfect example.

Bilateral trade outside of the U.S. dollar is another.

North-South Trade Routes

The completion of the North South Transport Corridor (NSTC) is also helping. For example, trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran rose more than 70% last year.

Speaking in the event, [Azeri Trade Minister] Mustafayev mentioned the 12 meetings between the two countries’ presidents during the past five years and said “that is an indication of how good the relations between the two countries are.”

“In 2018, trade between the two countries increased by 74 percent. Azerbaijan hasn’t had such a boost in trade with any other country.” The official said.

The Azeri minister referred to energy, transportation, industry and tourism as good areas for developing bilateral relations with Iran, and called for Tehran to strengthen relations in these areas.

He further mentioned the friendly relations between his country, Iran and Russia and called for the strengthening of trilateral relationship between Tehran, Baku and Moscow.

Lurking in the background of this meeting is EAEU membership and U.S. influence in Baku. Vladimir Putin, for his part, has been very successful making in-roads with President Ilham Aliyev.

Without that work by Putin the five countries bordering the Caspian Sea wouldn’t have settled on a treaty. This caught the U.S. flat-footed who used Azerbaijan for years to keep the status of the Caspian in flux.

Once Russia relented on a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Azerbaijan to Europe things changed. Again, people respond to incentives and new data.

The Main Leg of the North South Transport Corridor

And that bodes well for Iran because it also secures the maritime portion of the NSTC by shoring up, legally, the status of ships crossing Azeri waters between Iran and Russia. It also paves the way for the two countries to develop gas resources jointly.

The North South Transport Corridor is changing the landscape of central Asia. Russian goods no longer have to go by boat all the way around the world to reach Iran and India.

It bypasses important choke points, like the Mediterranean and the Suez.

Most infuriating for Trump, Bolton and the rest of the neocon cretins, it puts Iran at the center of opening up the whole of the Middle East and Central Asia.

Because the NSTC is now active, we’re seeing movement on Eurasian integration which will only accelerate. It is clear Trump is hopeless as a force for change of the traditional U.S. policy of chaos.

Lost in Iraqi Translation

But the bigger news is President Rouhani’s very successful three-day visit to Baghdad last week. Rouhani was hailed as a national hero to the new Iraqi government, a government less in the thrall of its U.S. occupiers.

Rouhani met with every major political and religious figure in Iraq this week. The two countries agreed to new economic projects set to swell bilateral trade to $20 billion from the current $12 billion.

They signed deals to invest in energy as well as increase sales of Iranian gas and electricity to Iraq. The big issue being that Iraq will be a major source of dollars for Iran, still needed as it winds down domestic use of our currency.

These are both very important given the Trump administration’s very public goal of shutting down Iranian oil exports and desire for regime change in Tehran

Iraq is in no mood to knuckle under to Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s bloviating about the evils of Iran.

Remember it was Trump who made a secret visit to Iraq at Christmas and left after three hours because the Iraqi Prime Minister refused to be summoned like some lackey.

According to Elijah Magnier there are two factions now in Iraqi politics.

Iraq today is divided between a large faction of politicians calling for the total withdrawal of US forces from the country, and another which wants to maintain a reduced US force in charge of training and intelligence exchange.

Both factions want to see most US forces leave the country, and can likely reach an agreement on accepting a small specialized force on the ground. The Iraqi government would like to strike a balance and maintain both a fair relationship with the US and excellent ties with Iran.

But a fair relationship with Iraq is not something the U.S. is interested in. There will come a point in the near future when our relationship with Iraq changes dramatically.

Iran and Russia are both playing for time for that to develop.

Lebanese Fire Drill

This is why Mike Pompeo is in Lebanon this week. He will threaten the Lebanese to give up support for Hezbollah or else they will be treated like Iran and Venezuela.

He’s also there to assist war criminal and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu get re-elected next month. How Pompeo is treated by Lebanon will be telling as to where things are headed from here.

I suspect he’ll be treated with the same thinly-veneered disdain that German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed both Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence at the Munich Security Conference last month.

Lebanon can no more comply with Pompeo’s stated goals of excising Hezbollah from Lebanon’s state affairs then he can distance himself from the siren’s call of a Chinese buffet table.

So, expect after the visit the U.S. follows the U.K. in fully sanctioning Lebanon as a terrorist state, refusing travel, seizing assets. The whole nine yards. All in the name of human rights and fighting terrorism, of course.

Meanwhile, Lebanon is struggling with housing more than 1 million Syrian refugees while the U.S. actively blocks their return home.

Bolton keeps the military situation unsettled and the Treasury Dept. blocks aid through the threat of sanctions helping to rebuild Syria.

It’s like the reverse Marshall Plan. Wage a war on a foreign country. But this time lose and block rebuilding by declaring anyone that does so to be an ‘enemy of peace.’

This heavy-handed strategy is obviously meant as blackmail to accept Jared Kushner’s idiotic, dead-on-arrival but still unveiled peace plan. The goal is advancing greater Israel in the face of massive opposition. It also paves the way for Genie Energy to take the oil and gas under the Golan Heights.

There is a limit to what sanctions and threats can accomplish. And the U.S. is about to find out what that limit is. Chaos only works in the short-term and its expensive.

The costs are written all over the balance sheet of Pax Americana. The moves the U.S. makes today create tomorrow’s headlines. If maintaining this Empire of Chaos, as Pepe Escobar calls it, was so efficient the U.S. wouldn’t be complaining about its cost.

Iran, Russia and China understand this. Arrogant men like Pompeo, Trump and Bolton never will.

END
ISRAEL/SYRIA
This is going to provide quite a stir in Syria.  The USA now backs Israel sovereignty over the Golan Heights.  They obtained the Golan in 1967 and they would never give it up anyway.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump’s Mideast Bombshell: US Must Back Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

President Trump has with a single bombshell tweet rattled an already tense and war-torn region by announcing “it is time” for the US to “fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty” over the Golan Heights.

“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability,” Trump tweeted midday Thursday, marking a dramatic reversal of US policy which has historically alongside global international allies seen it as occupied territory.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!

The impact has been immediately felt in Israeli politics, where politically embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands less than three weeks away from his toughest election yet — after a campaign marred by multiple formal charges of corruption and ongoing state investigations.

Trump’s tweet, and apparent willingness to move forward on the White House’s long signaling that it would dramatically shift policy from prior administrations, hands Netanyahu a huge foreign policy victory and boosts his stature domestically, after he recently renewed a diplomatic push with Trump for the US to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel.

Netanyahu was quick to thank Trump, tweeting: “At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump! @realDonaldTrump.”

Benjamin Netanyahu

@netanyahu

At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump! @realDonaldTrump

Beyond Trump’s shock Thursday tweet, it’s unclear if the White House will release additional specifics or a timeline on any formal recognition. Israel fully annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 after capturing it from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967. The United Nations has never recognized Israeli annexation and settlement there, but has repeatedly condemned it.

The American Conservative’s Daniel Larison points out the near-term impact of Trump’s words:

Perhaps most dangerous of all is the signal that it sends to Israeli hard-liners that want to annex some or all of the West Bank. It tells them that illegal occupation will eventually be rewarded with full U.S. recognition, and it also tells them that the U.S. isn’t going to pay any attention to international law when it comes to making decisions regarding Israeli control over occupied territories.

And more broadly, it is sure to inflame tensions between Israel, Syria, Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah after weeks of relative calm following last year’s dangerous uptick in (dozens of) Israeli airstrikes on Syria and sporadic fire across the contested Golan region.

 

Israeli forces at border fence along Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights and Syria, via Reuters

A mere weeks ago Syria also notified Israel through United Nations diplomatic channels that it is prepared to go to war if Israel does not leave the Golan Heights.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad reportedly sent the threatening war message through the head of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), Christine Lund, earlier this month, according to a World Israel News report and later picked up other major Israeli sources, including The Jerusalem Post. “Syria will attack Israel if it does not leave the Golan Heights,” Mikdad told the UN representative.

Damascus’ firm warning came in response to a controversial bill recently under renewed consideration by US Congress, co-sponsored by Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton, and Democratic Rep. Mike Gallagher, which aims to give formal US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights region.

No doubt, Trump’s tweet will give this Congressional effort huge bipartisan momentum, even if national security experts and pundits attempt to throw caution against interrupting the tenuous status quo.

END

6.GLOBAL ISSUES

Mexico/Mt Popocatepetl

This is dangerous: Mt. Popocatepet has just erupted and could devastate vegetation for miles and on top of that kill millions of people

(courtesy Michael Snyder/)

 

It’s Happening: Most Dangerous Volcano In North America Just Erupted, Shot Ash A Mile Into Sky

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

A lot of us have been watching Mt. Popocatepetl for a very long time.  Could it be possible that we are now on the verge of the most destructive volcanic eruption in the modern history of North America?  On Monday night at precisely 9:38 PM, a massive explosion at Mt. Popocatepetl sent a column of volcanic ash nearly a mile into the sky.  A “yellow alert warning” has been issued by the authorities, and they are ordering everyone to stay at least 12 kilometers away from the crater.  They are stressing that the threat has not passed, and as you will see below, an evacuation plan is in place in case an even larger eruption follows.  And if a much larger eruption does follow, the devastation could be off the charts.  Mexico City is only 43 miles away from Mt. Popocatepetl, and approximately 25 million people live within a 60 mile radius of the crater.

The explosion on Monday night was definitely a wake up call.  According to media reports, it was “loud enough to shake doors and windows of houses in the city of Puebla”

Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano erupted late on Monday, hurling incandescent rock about 1.5 miles down its slopes and sending ash into the night sky near the nation’s capital.

The explosion, one of the volcano’s largest eruptions in years, was heard from nearby communities and was loud enough to shake doors and windows of houses in the city of Puebla, according to local media.

Mt. Popocatepetl has been increasingly active in recent months, and authorities are concerned that all of this activity could be leading up to something really big.

In fact, it is being reported that they are “currently preparing for the worst case scenarios”

Local authorities are currently preparing for the worst case scenarios and haven’t ruled out more eruptions in the near future.

In preparations, they have drafted a special operational plan allowing for quick evacuation of locals in case of any future emergencies.

Popocatepetl exploded earlier this week but had remained calm over the past several days as it only emitted water vapour, gas and a small amount of ash.

So what would a “worst case scenario” for Mt. Popocatepetl look like?

Well, scientists tell us that the volcano is capable of producing a “catastrophic Plinian eruption”

Popocatépetl is considered the most threatening volcano in North America, in terms of explosive activity and population threatIts current low- or moderate-scale eruptive behavior can switch relatively quickly to a large, catastrophic Plinian eruption, the largest and most violent of all the types of volcanic eruptions, according to the volcanologists at the National History Museum.

If you have never heard of a “Plinian eruption” before, here is Wikipedia’s definition

Plinian eruptions or Vesuvian eruptions are volcaniceruptions marked by their similarity to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, which destroyed the ancient Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. The eruption was described in a letter written by Pliny the Younger, after the death of his uncle Pliny the Elder.

Plinian/Vesuvian eruptions are marked by columns of volcanic debris and hot gases ejected high into the stratosphere, the second layer of Earth’s atmosphere. The key characteristics are ejection of large amount of pumice and very powerful continuous gas-driven eruptions. According to the Volcanic Explosivity Index, Plinian eruptions have a VEI of 4, 5 or 6, sub-Plinian 3 or 4, and ultra-Plinian 6, 7 or 8.

Short eruptions can end in less than a day, but longer events can take several days or even months. The longer eruptions begin with production of clouds of volcanic ash, sometimes with pyroclastic surges. The amount of magma erupted can be so large that it depletes the magma chamber below, causing the top of the volcano to collapse, resulting in a caldera.

We are talking about a disaster that could potentially kill millions.

In the Aztec language, Popocatepetl literally means “smoking mountain”, but to most of the locals the volcano is simply known as “Don Goyo”.  In ancient times, it produced giant tsunamis of super heated mud that completely buried entire Aztec cities.  The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles

Historians tell us that Popocatepetl had a dramatic impact on the ancient Aztecs. Giant mud flows produced by massive eruptions covered entire Aztec cities. In fact, some of these mud flows were so large that they buried entire pyramids in super-heated mud.

But we haven’t witnessed anything like that in any of our lifetimes, so it is hard to even imagine devastation of that magnitude.

In addition to Mexico City’s mammoth population, there are millions of others that live in the surrounding region. Overall, there are about 25 million people that live in the immediate vicinity of Popocatepetl. Thankfully, we haven’t seen a major eruption of the volcano in modern times, but at some point that will change.

Considering what this volcano is capable of doing, I simply don’t understand why there was so little coverage of this massive explosion on Monday by the mainstream media in the United States.

I guess they didn’t have any room after allocating front page space to the powerball jackpot and the ongoing drama surrounding Wendy Williams.

We live at a time when our planet is becoming increasingly unstable, and many believe that the shaking is only going to get worse.

Mt. Popocatepetl had been dormant for a very long time before it started becoming active again in the 1990s.

Now it has apparently entered an extremely active phase, and we know that it is capable of producing a catastrophic Plinian eruption.

So let’s keep a very close eye on Mt. Popocatepetl, because a Plinian eruption so close to Mexico City would be a disaster far worse than anything that any of us have ever seen.

end
CANADA
This is interesting.  Eisman (the Big Short) is increasing his bet against the 6 Canadian banks due to their heavy exposure to real estate.  Canada has the highest household debt per GDP in the world
(courtesy zerohedge)

The ‘Big Short’ In Canada: Eisman Ups Bets Against “Big Six” Canadian Banks

Over the last year, Neuberger Berman portfolio manager Steve Eisman – who gained notoriety beyond Wall Street thanks to ‘The Big Short’ and his portrayal by Steve Carrell in the movie adaptation – has taken seemingly every opportunity to talk his book, which apparently consists of concentrated bets against the financial systems of two developed nations: The UK and Canada.

Though UK banks largely bottomed out in October and have managed only a tepid rebound since, their Canadian peers have clawed back much of their losses from late last year. But this hasn’t shaken Eisman’s faith in his bet against Canadian banks, which is effectively a bet against the Canadian housing market (though Eisman doubts the fallout will be anywhere near as intense as the US housing market collapse that minted his reputation).

Eisman

During an interview with the FT that was published on Thursday, Eisman explained that he’s simply betting on a “normalization of credit” in the Canadian economy, where lax lending terms fueled a housing bubble that has been tentatively acknowledged as a systemic risk by the Bank of Canada. For the first time ever, the central bank late last year even started buying mortgage bonds late last year to prop up the sliding Canadian housing market help increase the tradeable float of its benchmark securities

“I’m calling for a simple normalisation of credit that hasn’t happened in 20 years,” Mr Eisman told the FT, while declining to name the banks he is shorting, or the full extent of his positions. He said the effects would hurt banks and the real estate sector, but would not be as intense as the financial crisis a decade ago in the US, when he and others saw huge profits from the implosion of the subprime mortgage market. “This is not ‘The Big Short: Canada’ – I’m not calling for a housing collapse,” he said.

Adding to the already precarious finances of Canadian households, more Canadians are plundering their home equity to finance everything from renovations to car purchases.

Brexit

Meanwhile, Canadian home sales crashed in January…

CAD

…while new home prices dipped for the first time in a decade.

Screen

Fortunately for Eisman – who hasn’t disclosed specifics about his bets against Canadian or UK banks – more investors are piling into bets against the “big six” Canadian banks, which have seen their profits sag as they have raised their loan-loss provisions.

Mr Eisman is not alone: collective wagers against Canadian banks have risen 19 per cent since the start of the year to positions worth US$12.3bn, according to S3 Partners, a data provider based in New York. The activity is largely driven by falls in the country’s property market after years of rapid growth, according to Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director of predictive analytics at S3 Partners.

“Unsold inventories are beginning to stack up,” said Mr Dusaniwsky. “Even the turbocharged markets of Vancouver and Toronto are experiencing slowing demand and price fragility.” Toronto’s TD Bank has emerged as the most popular target for the short sellers, with bets against its stock up 17 per cent to a total of $3bn since January. Bets against CIBC, also based in Toronto, have jumped 26 per cent to $2.3bn, while those against Bank of Montreal are up 37 per cent to $1.3bn, according to S3 Partners.

But as the Canadian economy continues to slow, Eisman believes a day of reckoning for the country’s banks is inevitable, and its housing market, is inevitable. “Canadian banks are an oligopoly,” he said. “They’re not mentally prepared.”

7  OIL ISSUES

 

8. EMERGING MARKETS

 

Venezuela

Guido’s chief of staff detained by Venezuelan intelligence in a pre dawn raid

(courtesy zerohedge)

Guaido’s Chief Of Staff Detained By Venezuelan Intelligence In Pre-Dawn Raid

Two days after Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s “government-in-waiting” forcibly took possession of three diplomatic facilities in the United States with the blessing of Washington, and following what many observers speculate are a series of US aggressive maneuvers paving the way for military interventionMaduro’s security forces have begun arresting members of Guaido’s staff.

According to ReutersVenezuelan intelligence agents have arrested and detained Guaido’s own chief of staff, Roberto Marrero, as well as opposition legislator Sergio Vergara.

 

Roberto Marrero next to opposition leader Juan Guaido, via Instagram/Roberto Marrero

Guaido’s press team confirmed their detentions by security forces in what’s been described as a pre-dawn raid on their Caracas residences on Thursday. And in confirmation Guaido tweeted an “Alert” — saying the two men are “currently being held hostage” since 2:24 am by the SEBIN, or the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service.

The AP described in its reporting:

Venezuelan intelligence agents early Thursday entered the homes of opposition lawmaker Sergio Vergara and of Roberto Marrero, a lawyer who heads Guaido’s office. Both men accompanied Guaido on a recent Latin American tour to build international support for his efforts to remove Maduro.

A video also emerged online purporting to show Maduro security force vehicles speeding off from one of the Caracas homes in the dead of night.

Embedded video

President Nicolas Maduro and his officials have repeatedly threatened to arrest both Guaido and his staff following his return last month from neighboring US ally Colombia where he met with US Vice President Mike Pence.

“He can leave and come back and will have to see the face of justice because justice had prohibited him from him leaving the country… He has to respect the laws,” Maduro told ABC News in an interview last month. Guaido had violated a Maduro imposed “ban” on his ever leaving the country.

Meanwhile Trump administration officials have threatened severe repercussions if Guaido is ever touched or harmed by pro-Maduro forces.

Thus far the threat has appeared to work, however, this could be the start of security forces going after Guaido’s top aides one by one, which will no doubt result in significant threats of action from Washington.

 

 

end

Brazil

The Real tumbled this morning after former President Temer has been arrested as the part of the “car wash” scandal

(courtesy zerohedge)

Brazilian Real Tumbles After Former President Temer Arrested As Part Of “Car Wash”

The latest shock to Brazilian politics makes for a new bizarre reality — that pretty much every former Brazilian president still living has either been impeached or went to prison, leaving open the question of if there is really any politician left in Brazil who has not been tainted by the multiple years running so-called ‘Car Wash scandal’ that has long rattled and decimated the Brazilian establishment. As Latin American journalist Filipe Domingues observes“Now Brazil has a record of 2 impeached presidents + 2 former presidents in jail: Lula and Temer.”

Brazil’s former president Michel Temer been arrested on Thursday as part of the sweeping and years-running ‘Operation Car Wash’ anti-corruption probe, regional media reports say, after the predecessor to Jair Bolsonaro left office on January 1. Temer has reportedly been sought by police, who reportedly have been trying to trace him since he left office.

 

Former Brazilian President Michel Temer, via Reuters

Temer, who served as president from 2016 to 2018 after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, has consistently denied any wrongdoing when he was first named as one among the dozens of politicians and business executives rounded up and convicted as part of the multi-billion dollar corruption scandal dubbed Operation Car Wash — named so because it was first uncovered at a car wash in Brasilia. The allegations first came against Temer during his presidency in 2017, but which were blocked by allies in Brazil’s congress.

The sprawling investigation, involving at least 6.4 billion reais ($2.0 billion) in bribes for contracts with state-run enterprises, has charged 200 people and convicted more than 80 executives and politicians.

Temer’s long-time-in-coming arrest happened Thursday morning in a police raid on his house in Sao Paulo, after which he was transferred to federal police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian news portal Globo further reports former energy minister Moreira Franco is also being sought by federal police, who is also facing graft charges.

Per Reuters Brazil’s currency slipped as much as 1% on the news, with the Bovespa stock index quickly falling 1.5 percent.

Filipe Domingues@filipedomingues

Former Brazilian president Michel arrested under corruption charges. He was Ms Roussef’s vice-president and took office after supporting her impeachment. Now Brazil has a record of 2 impeached presidents + 2 former presidents in jail: Lula and Temerhttps://g1.globo.com/rj/rio-de-janeiro/noticia/2019/03/21/forca-tarefa-da-lava-jato-faz-operacao-para-prender-michel-temer-e-moreira-franco.ghtml 

Força-tarefa da Lava Jato prende Michel Temer

Mandados foram expedidos pelo juiz Marcelo Bretas, da Justiça Federal do Rio.

g1.globo.com

See Filipe Domingues’s other Tweets

What is Operation Car Wash? 

Since 2014 Brazil has been gripped by a scandal that started with a state-owned oil company and grew to encapsulate people at the very top of business – and even presidents.

On the face of it, it is a straightforward corruption scandal – albeit one involving millions of dollars in kickbacks and more than 80 politicians and members of the business elite.

But as the tentacles of the investigation dubbed Operation Car Wash fanned out, other scandals emerged.

It has led to some of those who have found themselves accused claiming they are the victims of political plots, designed to bar them from office. — BBC

Specifically prosecutors have told international media outlets that their charges against former president Temer have centered on alleged graft in the construction of nuclear plant Angra 3.

Meanwhile two former presidents who have found themselves under investigation since 2014  close allies Dilma Rousseff and Lula — were also famously brought down over Operation Car Wash and similar corruption-related charges, with the former impeached and the latter spending time in prison.

* * *

After jumping yesterday following the Fed’s dovish doubling down, the Brazilian Real has sold off hard on the report, although as Bloomberg suggests, the kneejerk reaction will soon reverse as Temer “doesn’t have much credibility left to lose, and his party has just 34 of 513 seats in the lower house, so it’s not obvious that this would hurt pension reform efforts.”

However, according to Bloomberg’s Sebastian Boyd, markets should be more concerned about a recent Ibope poll showing that President Jair Bolsonaro’s approval rating fell 16% since January, which is likely “to have more effect than Temer’s legal problems.”

 

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

Euro/USA 1.1386 DOWN .0043 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  (except London)

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 110.53  DOWN .126 (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 1.3121    DOWN   0.0083  (Brexit March 29/ 2019/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED

USA/CAN 1.3336 UP .0046 CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA/CANADA HAS A HUGE HOUSEHOLD DEBT/GDP PROBLEM)

Early THIS THURSDAY morning in Europe, the Euro FELL by 43 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level  FALLING to 1.1386 Last night Shanghai composite closed UP 10.82 POINTS OR 0.35%/

 

 

 

//Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 249.41  POINTS OR 0.85% 

 

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP 0.03% EUROPEAN BOURSES RED//(EXCEPT LONDON)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NIKKEI: this THURSDAY morning CLOSED UP 42.07 POINTS OR 0.20%  (ON HOLIDAY)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED RED EXCEPT LONDON 

 

 

 

 

 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 249.71 POINTS OR 0.85%

 

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 10.82 POINTS OR 0.35% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP .03%

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED UP 42.07 POINTS OR 0.20% (ON HOLIDAY)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1315.65

silver:$15.55

Early THURSDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.60% !!! DOWN 1 IN POINTS from WEDNESDAY’S night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%. (POLICY FED ERROR)/

 

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

USA dollar index early THURSDAY morning: 96.45 UP 9 CENT(S) from  WEDNESDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers THURSDAY MORNING

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And now your closing  THURSDAY NUMBERS \12: 00 PM

 

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.28% DOWN 3  in basis point(s) yield from WEDNESDAY/

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

 

 

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.10% DOWN 6   IN basis point yield from WEDNESDAY

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.44 DOWN 6    POINTS in basis point yield from WEDNESDAY/

 

 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 134 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: FALLS  TO +.04%   IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY//

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.40% AND NOW ABOVE THE  THE 3.00% LEVEL WHICH WILL IMPLODE THE ENTIRE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM. AT 4% SPREAD THERE WILL BE A MASSIVE BANK RUN…

 

END

IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR THURSDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1362 DOWN    .0066 or 66 basis points

 

 

USA/Japan: 110.89 UP .223 OR YEN DOWN 22 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3079 DOWN .0124( POUND DOWN 124  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar DOWN 80 basis points to 1.3371

 

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The USA/Yuan,CNY closed AT 6.6993    0N SHORE  (DOWN)

 

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  6.7060(  YUAN DOWN)

TURKISH LIRA:  5.4709

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

 

 

 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield DOWN 7 IN basis points from WEDNESDAY at 2.52 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 2/96 DOWN 6  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, 96.47 UP 71 CENT(S) ON THE DAY/1.00 PM/

 

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

London: CLOSED UP 62.37 OR 0.86%

German Dax : DOWN 48.24 POINTS OR 0.42%

Paris Cac CLOSED UP 0.04 POINTS OR  0.00%

Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 38.60 POINTS OR  0.41%

Italian MIB: CLOSED UP 88.64 POINTS OR 0.42%

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 60.11 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 68.25 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   ROUBLE CROSS:    63.84  THE CROSS LOWER BY 0.02 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE HIGHER BY 2 BASIS PTS)

 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD FALLS  TO +.04 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 :  59.85

 

 

BRENT :  67.66

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: … 2.54… VERY DEADLY// DID NOT BUY THE DOW/NASDAQ RISE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 2.96..DID NOT BUY THE DOW RISE/..

 

 

 

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1365 ( DOWN 62   BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:110.81 DOWN .146 (YEN UP 15 BASIS POINTS/..

 

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 96.41 UP 65 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA:1.3091  DOWN 113 POINTS FROM YESTERDAY

the Turkish lira close: 5.4740

the Russian rouble 63.88   DOWN .02 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( DOWN 2 BASIS POINTS)

 

Canadian dollar:  1.3372  DOWN 83 BASIS pts

USA/CHINESE YUAN (CNY) :  6.6993  (ONSHORE)/

 

USA/CHINESE YUAN(CNH): 6.7072  (OFFSHORE)

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: ,0.08%

 

The Dow closed UP 216.84 POINTS OR 0.84%

 

NASDAQ closed UP 109.90 POINTS OR 1.42%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  13.62 CLOSED DOWN 0.29 

 

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.607%//

 

 

 

FROM 2.613

 

 

 

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

Plunge-Protectors Rescue Stocks & The Dollar; Bonds & Bullion Not Buying It

After The Fed folded in the most aggressively dovish manner ever, the dollar and stocks rebounded heroically today – as if nothing had happened – while Treasury yields shrugged off the plunge protection team’s plans and reflected Powell’s clearly dismal economic expectations…

We just have a feeling that this won’t end well…

 

Overnight saw China stocks shrug off US weakness…

 

UK’s FTSE managed gains but European markets generally lagged – despite gains after US opened…

 

US Equity markets were panic bid all day as buybacks, short-squeezes, and AAPL sent stocks soaring above pre-Powell levels…Trannies and Nasdaq are up 1.8% from pre-Powell…

 

 

Dow futures are up 440 points from the pre-open lows…

 

 

And here is the catalyst that ignited today’s momentum…the same analyst who upgraded AAPL today to 260 (with it trading at 220) only to see the stock plunge to 140…

 

Big short-squeeze today…

 

And buybacks dominated…

 

Biogen was battered…

 

But Semi stocks (SOX Index) soared to a new record high, seemingly knowing something that South Korean exports don’t…

 

 

Growth stocks soared and while Value stocks were bid today, they remain lower from Tuesday’s close…

 

Financials kept falling…

 

Credit markets did rally today but not very impressively…

 

Japan was closed overnight (hence the flatline) but we note barely any rebound in bond yields (despite the surge in stocks)…

 

30Y Yields refused to play along with the equity market buying panic…

 

The market is now pricing in 22bps of rate-cuts in 2019…

 

The Dollar soared higher after China closed, retracing all the post-Powell losses…

 

Cable traded lower on the day as fears on a no-deal brexit rose…

 

Cryptos were dumped shortly after the US equity open…

 

 

Commodities were all lower on the day as USD surged but only copper is lower post-Powell…

 

Gold dumped back to pre-Powell levels, holding above $1300 though and managed a late-day rally..

 

WTI oscillated around $60 all day…

 

Finally, we offer the following from reader KW: A pre-market Kudlow conversation

Larry : You guys need to upgrade something big to turn the negative futures

Wall Street : Larry , what do you have in mind ?

Larry : Upgrade BA.

Wall Street : Larry ! Give us a stock that won’t fall out of the sky ! We can’t manipulate that .

Larry : okay , AAPL

Wall Street : Good one !

Larry : gotta run , I’m on PPT duty today . Steven has off .

Wall Street : shit Larry ! Last time you bought too fast at open ?

Larry : get ready !

And that might have been how this happens…

Apple added over $36 billion market cap today, topping its 200DMA for the first time since Nov 19th.

end

 

MARKET TRADING/  ear;y morning

The 10 yr bond yield just collapsed to 2.495% ; the 7 yr bond yield inverts to the Federal fund rate as well. This shows how bad the USA economy is performing

(courtesy zerohedge)

The bond bull market is alive and well with yesterday’s bond-bear-battering by The Fed extending this morning.

10Y Yields are back below 2.50% for the first time since Jan 2018…

…completely decoupled from equity markets….

 

The yield is now massively inverted to Fed Funds…

 

With 7Y yields now below effective fed funds rate…

Finally, we note that Nasdaq futures have erased all the post-Fed gains…

 

end

late morning:

stocks rise this morning in a buying panic but bonds are not buying it

(courtesy zerohedge)

US Market Open Sparks Stock-Buying-Panic – Everything Green Post-Powell

With Treasury yields tumbling and the dollar still down from Powell’s big flip-flop, why would it be surprising to anyone that the machines have gone wild at the US cash market open, panic-buying stocks back into the green post-Powell…

 

But bonds and the dollar are not buying it…

 

 

 

ii)Market data/

 

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

An outline of yesterday’s Fed decision to return the punchbowl to investors.

Please read carefully

(courtesy zerohedge)

“Fed Returns To The Punchbowl”: The Biggest Surprises In Today’s Fed Decision

The Fed is returning to the punchbowl.

That’s how Bank of America summarized today’s second consecutive dovish surprise by the FOMC regarding rates and balance sheet policy. As we noted earlier, there were two major developments in today’s FOMC decision:

  1. the dots dropped substantially to show no further hikes this year and only one hike in 2020. This means that the increasingly “patient” Fed is signaling that policy will remain accommodative relative to the long-run rate expectation.
  2. the balance sheet unwind will start in May and be completed by the end of September.

As before, the Fed doubled down on patience and a strong desire to allow inflation to run “hot” and above the 2.0% target (it remains unclear just which inflation the Fed is targeting as tuition, medical, rent and food inflation, not to mention assets of all shapes and sizes, are already increasing at a far greater pace than 2% annually). Ultimately, as Powell said in his opening remarks, the Fed’s overarching goal is to sustain the economic expansion. The latest unprecedented dovish turn “clearly shows such commitment” according to BofA’s chief economist Michelle Meyer.

For those who missed our earlier recap, here are the main highlights again, starting with…

The Dots

As Powell said during the press conference, he is comfortable “watching and waiting”, and he is hardly alone: the FOMC consensus for such a position was telegraphed with the dots shifting dramatically lower in today’s moment of sheer Fed humiliation (which we previewed over the weekend), and now expects no more rates hikes for this year (down from an expectation of 2 hikes in December) and just one hike in 2020. Drilling down, 11 FOMC officials expected no hikes this year with 4 for 1 hike and 2 for 2 hikes. A confirming of just how doved up the Fed has become is that 2020 was also very close with only 2 FOMC officials away from moving to no hikes in 2020. The expectation for long-term rates did not shift, holding at 2.75%. This means that the consensus of the FOMC does not anticipate reaching the long-run expectation for rates, which implies an undershoot in policy and an overshoot in inflation over the next two years, even if the Fed actually dropped its PCE inflation forecast to 2.0% from 2.1% for both 2020 and 2021. Remarkably, in just six months, the Fed has gone from an outlook with rates in restrictive territory to rates still somewhat accommodative by the end of 2021

The Fed’s Balance Sheet

While the market was not expecting any major announcements on the balance sheet, it got them nonetheless, providing more specificity and detail than most had expected. The Fed announced that they would:

  • End the securities portfolio unwind at end Sept ’19.
  • Taper the Treasury unwind by reducing the cap on monthly redemptions from the current level of $30 billion to $15 billion beginning in May ’19.
  • Reinvest maturing MBS across the UST curve, not towards the front end as we expected.
  • Cap MBS redemptions at $20 bn/month, which would limit impact of a large pre-pay wave.
  • Prepayments above this amount would be reinvested into MBS.
  • Hold their aggregate securities holdings constant for a time and allow for a continued shrinking of reserves via non-reserve liability growth (i.e. currency in circulation).

As a result of the early end to the runoff, BofA now projects that the Fed’s total balance sheet size will end the normalization experiment at $3.76trillion with $1.22 tn in reserves. As a reference, the balance sheet peaked at $4.5 trillion, rising from well under $1 trillion prior to the financial crisis. While overall, the balance sheet announcements were consistent with what consensus had anticipated (would be revealed in June, with Goldman previously correctly predicting the September end date), the biggest surprise was the decision to reinvest US Treasuries across the curve as opposed to concentrating these reinvestments at the front end, meaning that there are no plans to launch a reverse Operation Twist at this time.

Does the Fed know something Others don’t?

The biggest question on most traders’ minds (in addition to another one to be discussed below, is why is the Fed so incredibly patient?Powell shared a few reasons including i) the slowdown in growth in China and Europe, ii) the market disruptions in Q4, iii) mixed data at the start of the year and, iv) the fact that they believe that they have not met the inflation mandate. With inflation running below 2%, the Fed believes it is not meeting the mandate in “a symmetric way”, i.e., it will overshoot on inflation without tightening if CPI comes in hot. The policy prescription is therefore for the Fed to hold policy and be “patient” for inflation to move up. This also means that the only gating factor for a reversal to a more hawkish Fed will be a jump in inflation, something Morgan Stanley expects will take place in late 2019 and early 2020, at which point the Fed will resume hiking an additional three times in 2020.

The Fed also tweaked its projection forecasts, looking for weaker growth this year and next and a slightly higher unemployment rate. The forecast for inflation did not change as the Fed looks for core PCE to hold at 2.0% through the forecast horizon. This shows that the Fed believes that the Phillips Curve is flat, penciling in no inflation response despite the unemployment rate persistently sub-NAIRU and easy monetary policy.

On financial stability risks, i.e., an asset bubble, Powell once again downplayed concerns arguing that the Fed does not see vulnerabilities as elevated. They are monitoring certain aspects of financial markets but they are not allowing it to alter their policy for interest rates. As Powell said, the key tools for managing financial stability are “regulatory” rather than rates. How regulation will bail out the financial system once this current bubble pops, remains unclear.

Market implications

Since this was an unexpectedly dovish statement, the reaction was abrupt and violent: the rates market viewed Fed communications, especially through the SEP fed funds projections, as signaling a very dovish stance by the FOMC. This was manifest in the rates market rallying sharply following the release of the SEP led by the front end given the expectation the Fed will not hike rates any time in the near future. In fact, the yield curve is now inverted between the effective Fed Funds rate (2.40%) all the way to the 5 Year.

At the same time, the curve steepened by 5 bps between 5 – 30Y tenors given the Fed did not lower its longer-run dot but used the SEP medians in ’19 – ’21 to signal an undershoot of the expected fed funds rate path. Breakeven rates of inflation also rose following the more dovish Fed policy stance. Overall, today’s Fed communications reinforce a view of a steeper US rates curve (which incidentally is bad news for momentum and growth stocks as Nomura’s Charlie Mcelligott has been repeating often in recent months) and wider breakevens. What is surprising, is that despite the Fed’s express desire to increase future growth and potentially allow the economy/inflation to run hot, the 10Y yield also tumbled, as the bond market is now growing concerned the Fed committed another policy error, with a curve inversion once again imminent.

Meanwhile, as noted above, the biggest surprise was the decision to reinvest Treasuries across the curve as opposed to concentrating at the front end, suggesting greater potential for belly USTs to richen vs OIS. In the press conference there was also a notable lack of communication on any potential Fed ceiling tool. We expect the March FOMC meeting minutes to have greater discussion of such a possible tool which will likely be introduced later this year as despite the $1.3 trillion in reserves, it is all too likely that banks will find themselves starved for liquidity as the US Treasury issuance spree picks up.

One place where there was no surprise is that the dollar sharply weakened after the dovish FOMC decision. According to BofA, given the possibility of an unchanged Fed this year, with external growth now showing signs of stabilization, that US growth convergence should eventually translate to monetary policy convergence as global central banks follow through with the policy normalization process. This should, at least in theory, drive the next leg lower in USD as long as global risks are contained. Yet while BofA remains bearish USD in 2019 as the topping process may now be under way, many other banks have also opined on the dollar as being very rich and yet the greenback refuses to drop appreciably, suggesting that the market is concerned that other banks may engage in even more aggressive easing as the global economy stalls in the coming months.

Finally, and perhaps related to this, was the surprise reaction in stocks: after initially spiking higher, as risks always does when the Fed surprises dovishly, the market then sold off, and while the drop wasn’t substantial, the fact that the day’s biggest sell program hit at precisely 3:30pm and pulled stocks sharply lower, indicates that at least one player decided that – for one reason or another – the top was in. Whether that has to do with the recurrent concern of “what does the Fed know about the economy if it is doubling down on dovish”, and is signaling an imminent recession, or because of growing conviction that the Fed is now powerless and has committed a policy error will be revealed in due time.

However, the most disturbing feature of today’s late-day selloff, is that after the aggressive seller emerged, not only major investor had the conviction to reverse the late-day drop in what appears to have been a major hit to the “dovish Fed is bullish” narrative.

If today’s late day swing lower is not reversed tomorrow now that traders have had time to digest the FOMC decision, it will be a concerning indication that all the market upside that can be extracted from monetary policy has now been priced in, and would suggest that another retest of the December lows would be required to force Powell to commence rate cuts or even launch QE4.

END
Pay attention to Steen Jakobsen/former chief huncho of Saxobank
(courtesy Steen Jakobsen/Saxobank)

“The Fed Has Surrendered” – Jakobsen Explains What Comes Next

Authored by Steen Jakobsen via Saxobank,

Last night’s FOMC meeting made it official: the Fed has thrown in the towel, and central banks are committed to defying the business cycle. But where does this leave us in terms of positioning for 2019, 2020 and beyond?

If you are familiar with my research over the last 20 years, you know that I am no fan of central banks; they are glorified bureaucrats with an academic sense of infallibility who believe they have a supreme power’s insight into the economy and markets. But yesterday marked a new low for world central bankers as the US Federal Open Market Committee completely threw in the towel.

Anyone who ever thought the Fed or other central banks are truly ‘independent’ should spend $20 on the great 2018 Paul Volcker book “Keeping at It”. In it, Volcker tells the story of how both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan tried (with partial success) to force easing on him and the Fed in the 1980s.

(Also have a look at Nixon and his relationship with Volcker’s predecessor as Fed chair, Arthur Burns…)

Current chair Jerome Powell saw himself as a new Volcker, but last night he cemented his panicky shift since the December FOMC meeting, and instead cut the figure of Alan “the Maestro” Greenspan, who set our whole sorry era of central bank serial bubble blowing in motion.

The Fed’s mission ever since has been a determined exercise in defying the business cycle, and replacing it with an ever-expanding credit cycle.

This latest FOMC meeting has set in motion a race to the bottom, with the European Central bank currently in the lead, but the Fed and the Bank of England are gaining fast.

I am presently in London, and on my way to China and Hong Kong with Saxo’s Gateway to China events. I am joined at these events by the impressive Dr. Charles Su of CIB Research, China. He and I agree on many things, but one in particular:

Monetary policy is dead.

My view has long been that monetary policy is misguided and unproductive, but the difference now is that we are reaching the most major inflection point since the global financial crisis as central bank policy medicine rapidly loses what little potency it had.

In the meantime, the harm to the patient has only been adding up: the economic system is suffering fatigue from QE-driven inequality, malinvestment, a lack of productivity, never-ending cheap money and a total lack of accountability.

The next policy steps will see central banks operating as mere auxiliaries to governments’ fiscal impulse. The policy framework is dressed up as “Modern Monetary Theory”, and it will be arriving soon and in force, perhaps after a summer of non-improvement or worse to the current economic landscape. What would this mean? No real improvement in data, a credit impulse too weak and small to do anything but to stabilise said data and a geopolitical agenda that continues to move away from a multilateral framework and devolves into a range of haphazard nationalistic agendas.

For the record, MMT is neither modern, monetary nor a theory. It is a the political narrative for use by central bankers and politicians alike. The orthodox version of MMT aims to maintain full employment as its prime policy objective, with tax rates modulated to cool off any inflation threat that comes from spending beyond revenue constraints (in MMT, a government doesn’t have to worry about balanced budgets, as the central bank is merely there to maintain targeted interest rates all along the curve if necessary).

Most importantly, however, MMT is the natural policy response to the imbalances of QE and to the cries of populists. Given the rise of Trumpism and democratic socialism in the US and populist revolts of all stripes across Europe, we know that when budget talks start in May (in Europe, after the Parliamentary elections) and October (in the US), governments around the world will be talking up the MMT agenda: infrastructure investment, reducing inequality, and reforming the tax code to favour more employment at the low end.

We also know that the labour market is very tight as it is and if there is another push on fiscal spending, the supply of labour and resources will come up short. Tor Svelland of Svelland Capital, who joins Charles and I at the Gateway to China event, has made exactly this point. The assumption of a continuous flow of resources stands at odds with the reality of massive underinvestment.

Central bankers and indirect politicians are hoping/wishing for inflation, and in 2020 they will get it – in spades. Unfortunately, it will be the wrong kind: headline inflation with no real growth or productivity. A repeat of the 1970s, maybe?

Get ready for bigger government and massive policy interventions on a new level and of a new nature. These will be driven by a fiscal impulse to stimulate demand rather than to pump up asset prices. It will lead to stagflation of either the light or even the heavy type, depending on how far MMT is taken. With all of these ’70s throwbacks preparing to take the stage, we can’t help but wonder if ‘Paul Breitner hair’ is ready for a comeback as well!

Last night, a client asked an excellent question: how much of this scenario is already priced in? Here is my take: Saxo’s macro theme since December has been the coming global policy panic, and this has now been fully realised. The Fed proved slower to cave than even the ECB, but last night saw them give up entirely. The US-China trade deal, another key uncertainty, is priced for perfection despite plenty of things that can go wrong.

The Brexit deal, however, is extremely mispriced. The UK’s biggest challenge may not even be the circus act known as Brexit, but rather the collapsing UK credit cycle which our economist Christopher Dembik has put at risking a 2% drop in UK GDP. If nothing changes over the next six to nine months, and nothing will change, the UK economy will be in free fall. Forget Brexit, UK assets are simply mispriced from the lack of credit juice in the pipeline.

China is also misunderstood and mispriced. If our two talks so far with clients on China and its opening up of its markets have taught me anything, it is that the western ‘reservation’ on anything Chinese is entirely built on bias. Governance is the word that keeps coming back in discussions. I am no fan of Chinese-style governance, but… less than 10% of global AUM is currently in China. This year alone will see the inclusion of China’s bonds in global indices like Barclays, Russell, and S&P and the allocation to China in the MSCI’s emerging markets index will quadruple from 5% to 20%. The overall China-bound inflow over the next three to five years will exceed $1 trillion using very conservative estimates.

China is perhaps the country in the world least likely to treat inbound capital poorly. It has transitioned from being a capital exporter to now being an importer. It has a semi-closed capital account, which means little money flows out, but a massive inflow is beginning to stream in as global investors acquire Chinese assets.

China and its growth model now need to share the burden of becoming an industrialised country, and Beijing knows that only the only way keep the capital flowing in 2019 is to treat investors well. On the domestic front, meanwhile, the CPC seems to be signaling that it wants domestic investors to move excess savings from the ‘frothy’ and less productive housing market to the equity market, where capital can flow to more productive enterprises. Foreign investors are more likely to want to participate in the more liquid and familiar equity market.

2019 for China is like 2018 for the US. The first 10 months of 2018 saw the US stock market near-entirely driven by the buy-back programmes fueled by Trump’s tax reform. US companies plowed over $1 trillion into buybacks over the year. This year, the Chinese government is telling its 90 million domestic retail investors to raise their allocation to the stock market while global capital allocators/investors will need to increase their exposure to China as its capital markets are reweighted.

But where does this leave me on asset allocation at the moment?

Equities: the Fed, ECB, BOE and BOJ have all given up because they only believe in credit cycles. The price of money going down is not enough for growth as it’s only the second derivative of the growth engine; the first derivative is quantity of money. This is stabilising but because of base effects (a very high starting point), it will not be enough. For now, however, the market is euphoric due to the usual lack of integrity from merry bureaucrats. A new high could be on the cards, but… slowly change overweight to China from the US mainly, but also MSCI.

Fixed income: 250 bps in 10-year maturities… where are all the sell side analysts calling for 400 bps? The FOMC panic took out the 260 bps floor – is 200 next? Probably. Observe how the two/10-year yield curve is now attacking 10 bps. My economic studies really only taught me three useful things (but then, I’m a terrible economist):

  • The yield curve is never wrong.
  • Say’s law (supply creates its own demand).
  • Productivity is everything.

An inversion of the 2/10 is coming, I don’t see 200 bps before the late summer, however, when concern about the lack of growth overtakes the global policy panic in place.

Commodities: it’s all structural – Tor Svelland taught me that. We like all commodities, especially all sectors that have a foot in infrastructure. This is due to the coming of MMT, partly, but its mainly due to widespread underinvestment.

Cash: love it!

Forex: Underweight the two credit monsters: GBP and AUD. Overweight the US dollar, NOK, CHF, JPY. I like carry (for the summer) in TRY, ZAR and BRL.

end
To all our good friends in New Jersey:  you are about to see your property tax rise due to a rain tax.
(courtesy Mac Slavo/SHTFplan.com)

NJ Governor Signs “Rain Tax” Bill; Residents’ Property Rates Rise “Based On The Weather”

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

In what is one of the most corrupt and vile things to have ever happened to the American political system, residents of New Jersey will now be taxed when something 100% out of their control happens. New Jersey’s governor Phil Murphy signed 19 bills into law on Monday, one of which, was the so-called “rain tax.”

Unfortunately, there were supporters of this tyrannical and wholly dictatorial law. Dubbed S-1073, supporters call it “flood defense,” and say it will serve as a long-needed tool to manage flooding and dirty runoff from rainwater.  So there are actually human beings on earth who want others and themselves stolen from because it rains.  There is nothing more disturbing that the current political path the United States is currently one.  It’s downright horrifying, actually.

Government is downright evil and shameless when it comes to taxation. These pillagers of the public just sit around all day thinking and dreaming of events and things to tax. – Judy Morris Report

“Most importantly, it gives communities a way to access new resources in a fair and equitable manner, and invest in related benefits such as additional green space. We urge the governor to sign it,” said New Jersey Future’s Chris Sturm, who serves as the advocacy group’s managing director for policy and water, according to a report by Patch.

Some have criticized the bill (albeit, now enough) saying that it would impose taxes “based on the weather” which is an unfair system of stealing the money of others. Obviously, if you have any heart at all.  It also gives the government much more power and more authority to steal more money by expanding what’s already an overly unfair burden (all taxation is “unfair”) on New Jersey residents who were saddled with several new taxes in 2019.

Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips has said the “rain-tax” bill permits local communities to tax “based on the weather,” and allows unlimited bonding and debt to be placed on the backs of property taxpayers. Not that bonding and debt aren’t already on the backs of the taxpayer, it is, but now New Jersey gets to carry the financial burden when it rains.  “The last thing this state needs is more debt and another runaway tax. Especially one that taxes the weather” said DePhillips.

The so-called soft socialism of western nations is just an illusion. Western nations are bankrupt, their economies are disintegrating before their very eyes and the promises of lifetime pensions, welfare and healthcare are nothing more than propaganda lies that voters willingly drink. In the end, they will have nothing and be much worse off. Such is the fate of a person who votes for the police powers of the state to steal from another to give them what they want but never earned. –Judy Morris Report

SWAMP STORIES

The real collusion.  Ukraine launches a criminal investigation into the Pro Hillary election meddling scandal

(courtesy zerohedge)

Real Collusion: Ukraine Launches Criminal Investigation Into Pro-Hillary Election Meddling

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

 

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – who has been discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan – who has been closely monitoring this case.

[T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

𝙻𝚎𝚎 𝚂𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚊𝚑𝚊𝚗 ⏳

@stranahan

ALERT for learn wut @FoxNews Dan Bongino @JSolomonReports @SaraACarter are HIDING from you. https://www.pscp.tv/w/b2KCtTUxNzIyMzh8MWxEeExNUE5wbmFLbdM4dWytGPvgtuievyLPs3o8YRL5LPyhS7GPDWenkYw5 

stranahan @stranahan

#LieGate ALERT for #MAGA learn wut @FoxNews Dan Bongino @JSolomonReports @SaraACarter are HIDING from you.

pscp.tv

 

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

FOMC Communique Highlights

  • No change in rates
  • Downgraded economic assessment: “Economic activity slowed from its solid rate.”
  • GDP of 2.1% in 2019 from 2.3% in prior communique
  • Inflation has declined to energy [But energy prices have soared in the past two months, kids!]
  • Balance sheet runoff will taper to $15B in May; end in September
  • Median hike to 2.4%, down from 2.9%
  • Median estimate for neutral funds rate unchanged at 2.8%
  • Fed DOTS: 11 for zero 2019 rate hikes from 2, four for one rate hike; 10 for one hike in 2020
  • The Fed will remain patient

How the Fed statement changed from January to March

https://www.ft.com/content/272186e6-4b3c-11e9-bbc9-6917dce3dc62

BBG’s @lisaabramowicz1: Futures traders are now pricing in a 47% chance of a rate cut by January 2020, up from a 36% chance ahead of today’s 2pm Fed release.

Powell Press Conference Highlights

  • Job market is strong; wages are rising
  • Unemployment near historic lows
  • Solid growth, at slower pace, in 2019
  • Fiscal stimulus abetted 2018 growth, but it slowed in September
  • Business fixed investment is slowing
  • Brexit, trade negotiations present risks to economy
  • Rate projections per DOTS plot are not a committee decision
  • Household, business confidence at attractive levels
  • Economy in good place, want to keep it there
  • The data are not currently sending a signal that we should move in one direction or another.”
  • Uncertainty about tariffs, prominent concern about biz contacts [Big biz, of course]
  • Chinese and European economies have slowed ‘substantially’
  • Doesn’t see a recession for Europe

Chairman Powell’s opening statement from the FOMC press conferencehttp://go.usa.gov/xEerh

No reporter asked Powell to square his statement, “The data are not currently sending a signal that we should move in one direction or another” with the very dovish communique.

Mohamed A. El-Erian @elerianm: In his press conference, Fed Chair Powell is trying to reconcile the FOMC having solidified its remarkable dovish policy U-turn with his view that ” the underlying growth fundamentals for the economy are very favorable,”  Europe doesn’t face a recession…

A reporter did ask Powell about the risks posed by rising stocks prices.  Powell said the Fed carefully monitors financial conditions.  “It’s very much on our radar screen.”  Powell said he sees no financial instability risks; but he did NOT directly address the risks of soaring stock prices.  Powell claimed the Fed’s main tool to manage financial stability is regulations.  Powell adheres to the Easy Al Doctrine: Don’t fight asset bubbles; pick up the pieces after the burst with even easier credit schemes.

Later, a different reporter asked Powell if he was concerned about the market impact of tightening down the line.  Powell responded with his mantra about being patient, awaiting data and acting responsibly.  He then exited.  The Fed Chair appears to be extremely sensitive to questions about his and the Fed’s stock market obeisa

Senior Ukrainian official says he’s opened probe into US election interference [to aid Hillary]

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” he continued…

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/434892-senior-ukrainian-justice-official-says-hes-opened-probe-into-us-election

Top Prosecutor [Zainab Ahmad] Leaves Mueller’s Team after GOP Lawmakers Complain to AG Bill Barr about Her Anti-Trump Bias

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/03/top-prosecutor-leaves-muellers-team-after-gop-lawmakers-complain-to-ag-bill-barr-about-her-anti-trump-bias/

Rep. Jim Jordan @Jim_Jordan: Ahmad AND Weissmann leaving the Mueller team. We sent a letter to AG William Barr on March 1st outlining that Bruce Ohr told them both in August 2016 that Chris Steele was “desperate to stop Trump.” But the FBI didn’t tell the FISA Court this critical information.

Ted Koppel: “Establishment Press” Decided That Trump Is Bad for the United States, “Out To Get Him”

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/03/19/ted_koppel_establishment_press_decided_that_trump_is_bad_for_the_united_states_out_to_get_him.html

Trump-Russia 2.0: Dossier-Tied Firm Pitching Journalists Daily on ‘Collusion’

TDIP is led by Daniel J. Jones, a former FBI investigator, Clinton administration volunteer and top staffer to California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. It employs the key opposition-research figures behind the salacious and unverified dossier: Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Its financial backers include the actor/director Rob Reiner and billionaire activist George Soros

     Five days a week, TDIP emails a newsletter to influential Democrats and prominent Beltway journalists under the heading “TDIP Research” – which summarizes the latest “collusion” news, and offers “points of interest” to inspire fresh stories regarding President Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow…

    In 2017, Reiner started the Committee to Investigate Russia with James Clapper and several other former Obama officials… Tom Steyer has donated $2.1 million to TDIP…

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2019/03/11/trump-russia_20_dossier-tied_firm_sending_dc_journalists_daily_collusion_briefings.html

   

The dash to the left for Dem presidential candidates continues.  NY Sen. Gillibrand wants to expand Social Security to cover all illegal immigrants.  Why stop there?  Why not cover all the Americas?

https://saraacarter.com/kirsten-gillibrand-says-illegal-aliens-should-have-social-security-benefits/

Polls show Bernie Sanders popularity among all voters is plummeting

[Biden 28, Sanders 20, Harris 12, O’Rourke 11, Warren 6]

https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/20/politics/bernie-sanders-favorable-unfavorable-rating/index.html

 

end

I WILL SEE YOU FRIDAY NIGHT
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