MARCH 28/2019//THE BANKERS ORCHESTRATE A PAPER RAID ON GOLD/SILVER TRYING TO LOOSEN SOME PHYSICAL FOR THEMSELVES: GOLD DOWN $20.60 TO $1290.65/SILVER DOWN 31 CENTS TO $15.00//OPTIONS EXPIRY ON LBMA/OTC IS OVER TOMORROW//THE BRITISH POUND STUMBLES AS IT LOOKS LIKE WE ARE GOING TO GET A NO DEAL BREXIT//TURKEY IS THE BIG NEWS OF THE DAY AS CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS SKYROCKET ON NEWS THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT BURNT THROUGH 1/3 OF THE OFFICIAL RESERVES IN JUST ONE MONTH: WATCH FOR CONTAGION///TRUMP TO DECLASSIFY FISA DOCUMENTS//MANY MORE SWAMP STORIES FOR YOU TONIGHT///

 

 

 

 

GOLD: $1290.65  DOWN $20.60 (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Silver:  $15.00 DOWN 31 CENTS (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Closing access prices:

Gold :  $1290.70

 

silver: $15.01

 

 

 

 

 

London/LBMA expires Friday March 29/2019.

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: 0 NOTICE(S) FOR 100 OZ (0.0000 tonnes)

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  396 NOTICES FOR 39600 OZ  (1.23176 TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR MARCH

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

0 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR NIL  OZ/

 

total number of notices filed so far this month: 5424 for 27,120,000

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: OPENING MORNING TRADE $4009:DOWN $26

 

Bitcoin: FINAL EVENING TRADE: $4022  DOWN 14

 

end

 

XXXX

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

today 0/0

 

 

 

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total OPEN INTEREST WENT UP AGAIN  :  THIS TIME BY A STRONG  SIZED 1406 CONTRACTS FROM 192,676 UP TO 194,082 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S 12 CENT FALL IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEXTODAY 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 STRONG SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP:

0 EFP’S FOR MARCH,  0 FOR APRIL,  0 FOR MAY, 1684 FOR MARCH 2020  200 AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE: OF 1884 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 1884 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 1884 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 9.42 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 12 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:

35,928 CONTRACTS (FOR 20 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 35,928 CONTRACTS) OR 179.640 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 1796 CONTRACTS OR 8.982 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF MAR:  179.640 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 25.57% 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:          544.94    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 1406 DESPITE THE 12 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX /YESTERDAY..THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD   A STRONG SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 1884 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 VERY STRONG SIZED: 3290 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 

i.e 1884 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH INCREASE OF 1406 OI COMEX CONTRACTSAND ALL OF THIS  DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 12 CENT FALL IN PRICE OF SILVER  AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $15.31 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. 0.970 BILLION OZ TO BE EXACT or 139% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MARCH MONTH/ THEY FILED AT THE COMEX: 0 NOTICE(S) FOR  0 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 FELL BY A CONSIDERABLE SIZED 4831 CONTRACTS, TO 504,744 WITH THE  FALL IN THE COMEX GOLD PRICE/(A DROP IN PRICE OF $4.05//YESTERDAY’S TRADING).  

I THINK WE JUST HAD OUR SECOND DAY OF  OPEN INTEREST FALL DUE TO THE ANTICS OF THE SPREADERS. IT LOOKS LIKE THE SPREADERS LIQUIDATE THEIR CONTRACTS NOT SIMULTANEOUSLY BUT AT DIFFERENT TIMES DURING THE DAY TO CAUSE THE CASCADE OF PRICING IN OUR PRECIOUS METALS AND THAT IS HOW THEY ALWAYS WIN ON OPTION EXPIRY..THEY ARE SO CROOKED.

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A STRONG SIZED 9166 CONTRACTS:

MARCH HAD AN ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTACTS  APRIL 5831 CONTRACTS,JUNE: 3335 CONTRACTS DECEMBER: 0 CONTRACTS AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 504,744. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THERE WILL BE A DELAY IN THE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S.  THE BANKERS REMOVE LONG POSITIONS OF COMEX GOLD IMMEDIATELY.  THEN THEY ORCHESTRATE THEIR PRIVATE EFP DEAL WITH THE LONGS AND THAT COULD TAKE AN ADDITIONAL, 48 HRS SO WE GENERALLY DO NOT GET A MATCH WITH RESPECT TO DEPARTING COMEX LONGS AND NEW EFP LONG TRANSFERS. . EVEN THOUGH THE BANKERS ISSUED THESE MONSTROUS EFPS, THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS TO SUPPLY METAL BUT IT TRANSFERS THE RISK TO A LONDON BANKER OBLIGATION AND NOT A NEW YORK COMEX OBLIGATION. LONGS RECEIVE A FIAT BONUS TOGETHER WITH A LONG LONDON FORWARD. THUS, BY THESE ACTIONS, THE BANKERS AT THE COMEX HAVE JUST STATED THAT THEY HAVE NO APPRECIABLE METAL!! THIS IS A MASSIVE FRAUD: THEY CANNOT SUPPLY ANY METAL TO OUR COMEX LONGS BUT THEY ARE QUITE WILLING TO SUPPLY MASSIVE NON BACKED GOLD (AND SILVER) PAPER KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE NO METAL TO SATISFY OUR LONGS. LONDON IS NOW SEVERELY BACKWARD IN BOTH GOLD AND SILVER  AND WE ARE WITNESSING DELAYS IN ACTUAL DELIVERIES.

IN ESSENCE WE HAVE A STRONG SIZED GAIN IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 4335 CONTRACTS: 4831 OI CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND 9166 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN OF 4335 CONTRACTS OR 433500 OR  13.48 TONNES.

YESTERDAY WE HAD A FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD TO THE TUNE OF $4.05....AND YET WITH THAT, WE HAD A CONSIDERABLE GAIN IN TONNAGE OF 14.38 TONNES!!!!!!. (HOWEVER ALL OF THE COMEX LOSS IS NO DOUBT DUE TO THE LIQUIDATION OF THE SPREADERS)

 

 

 

 

 

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH : 143,664 CONTRACTS OR 14,366,400 OR 446.85 TONNES (20 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 7183 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE STRONG SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 20 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 446.85 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 446.85/2550 x 100% TONNES = 17.52% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN DECEMBER ALONE.***

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2019 TO DATE:     1315.81 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  DECREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 4831 WITH THE LOSS IN PRICING ($4.05) THAT GOLD UNDERTOOK YESTERDAY) //.WE ALSO HAD A STRONG SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 9166 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 9166 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE  HAD A GOOD GAIN OF 5318 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

9682 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 4831 CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX. (IN TONNES, THE GAIN IN TOTAL OI EQUATES TO 13.48 TONNES). ..AND ALL OF THIS STRONG  DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A FALL IN PRICE OF $4.05 IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING AT THE COMEX!!!!! HOWEVER THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT AGAIN WE HAVE LIQUIDATION OF SPREADERS AS WE HEAD INTO AN ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH AND IT IS THEIR ACTION THAT LEADS TO A FALL IN PRICE SO UNDERWRITTEN CONTRACTS WOULD NOT BE EXERCISED. THIS IS HOW THE CROOKS WIN ALWAYS ON OPTIONS EXPIRY.

 

 

 

we had:  0 notice(s) filed upon for NIL oz of gold at the comex.

 

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

GLD...

 

WITH GOLD DOWN $20.60  TODAY 

 

VERY STRANGE!!  NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INVENTORY RESTS AT 784.26 TONNES

 

 

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

 

SLV/

WITH SILVER DOWN 31 CENTS  IN PRICE  TODAY:

STRANGE!!!

A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV TODAY

 

A DEPOSIT OF 469,000 OZ (WITH SILVER DOWN?)

 

 

 

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.957 MILLION OZ.

 

 

end

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in SILVER ROSE BY A STRONG SIZED 1406 CONTRACTS from 192,676 UPTO 194,082 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., 1684 FOR MAY AND MARCH 2020: 200 CONTRACTS  AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 1844 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 1406 CONTRACTS TO THE 1884 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE  OBTAIN A STRONG GAIN OF 3290  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 16.45 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 STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX DESPITE THE 12 CENT FALL IN PRICING THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// YESTERDAY. WE ALSO HAD A STRONG SIZED 1884 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE STRONG  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR THIS MONTH, 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 DOWN 27.78 POINTS OR 0.92% //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 46.96 POINTS OR 0.16%  /The Nikkei closed UO 344.97 POINTS OR 1.61%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.63%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 6.7344 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil DOWN to 58.52 dollars per barrel for WTI and 67.05 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED MIXED

ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN // LAST AT 6.7344 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7450 / TRADE TALKS NOW ON/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED  : /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING ABOVE LEVEL OF OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST THE DOLLAR /CHINA RETALIATES WITH TARIFFS/ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW TARIFFS AND IT NOW A FULL TRADE WAR COMMENCED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3A//NORTH KOREA

 

 

 

 

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

 

 

 

3 C/  CHINA

I will believe this when I see Xi make these statements. Strangely the markets did not respond on these “major” concessions:

i) movement on forced technology transfers

ii) movement on China ready to engage the west’s cloud computing

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

 

i)GERMANY

The kingpin of derivatives, Deutsche bank is discussing raising up to $10 billion dollars to secure the Commerzbank  deal.  Who in the right frame of mind would lend to this hopeless basket case.

( zerohedge)

ii)UK/MORNING

The pound tumbles as leading Brexiteers have said no to May’s stupid deal.
( zerohedge)

ii b)UK /AFTERNOONAnother vote this afternoon and no doubt another failure. It looks like we will have a no deal BREXIT

(courtesy zerohedge)

iii)EUROPE

This is interesting:  how the Europe is going to destroy us on internet usage

( Tom Luongo)

 

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

i)Turkey

The big news of the day:  The Turkish lira collapses after news that the country burned through 1/3 of their USA (foreign reserves) in one month. Overnight swaps collapsed to just 40% from 1,338%.  Remember also that Turkey has a huge amount of gold in their reserves and Erdogan will never part with the yellow stuff.  This is becoming a full blown currency crisis as Turkey is massively short dollars and cannot find any on the markets

( zerohedge)

 

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

 

CANADA

Canadians are proud to the have the highest debt per GDP in the world and it is for this reason that many are shorting the Canadian banks due to their huge exposure to real estate

(courtesy zerohedge)

SWEDEN

Talk about timing:  Swedbank fires its CEO one hour prior to the start of its annual meeting. It’s shares have been halted. They are being accused of huge moneylaundering

( zerohedge)

 

7. OIL ISSUES

 

 

 

 

 

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

 

 

 

INDIA

Congratulations to India:  they shot down a satellite and thus join an elite club of “Space Powers”

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

 

 

 

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)Truly amazing how the South African government is indifferent to gold..the main driver of their economy

( Bloomberg/GATA)

ii)Kevin W. reports to us on how Gold being a Tier one asset will play havoc to our banks

(courtesy Kevin Wallien)

iii)Why you invest in gold

( Simon Black)

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

 

 

MARKET TRADING//early this morning

 

 

 

 

ii)Market data

a)The USA 4th quarter has now been lowered to 2.2% from 2.6%. However the full year 2018 rises to 3.0% and thus Trump can boast that he engineered a 3% growth something that Obama never achieved in his 8 years

( zerohedge)

b)Housing is such a huge component of GDP..pending sales tumble 4.9% year over year..the 14th straight month of declines

( zerohedge)

ii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

Trump correctly warns OPEC and the world that the markets are fragile and cannot stand 60 dollar oil

( zerohedge)

 

 

iv)SWAMP STORIES

a)State attorney General Foxx claims files “inadvertently” sealed.  What an absolute joke. The FBI and the DOJ are reviewing the case and no doubt these guys will file charges.

(courtesy zero hedge)

b)TRUMP:  the FBI and DOJ will investigate the case after a leaked email reveals a scramble to cover tracks

(courtesy zerohedge)

c)All nine Republicans demand the resignation of Schiff

(courtesy zerohedge)

end

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

 

end

 

 

 

Let us head over to the comex:

 

THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN REVERSED COURSE AND FELL BY 4831 CONTRACTS DOWN TO A LEVEL OF 504,744 WITH THE LOSS IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($4.05) IN YESTERDAY’S // COMEX TRADING) AND NO DOUBT WE WITNESSED OUR USUAL AND CUSTOMARY DEPLETION OF SPREADERS AS WE HEAD INTO FIRST DAY NOTICE OF AN ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH!! THEIR MODUS OPERANDI IN THEIR LIQUIDATION CAUSES PRICES TO FALL AND MAKE OPTIONS EXPIRE WORTHLESS!!

WE ARE NOW IN THE  NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MARCH..  THE CME REPORTS THAT THE BANKERS ISSUED A STRONG SIZED  TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS., THAT IS 9166 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

FOR MARCH:  0. FOR APRIL 5831 FOR JUNE: 3335 CONTRACTS AND FINALLY DECEMBER: 0 AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  9166 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: 4335 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 9166 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE LOST A FAIR SIZED 4831 COMEX CONTRACTS.  

 

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES ONLY::4335 contracts OR 433500 OZ OR 13.48 TONNES.

 

We are now in the NON active contract month of MARCH and here the open interest stands at 0 contracts  for a  loss of 1 contracts.We had 1 notices served upon yesterday so we  LOST 0 contracts or AN ADDITIONAL NIL 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.

 

 

 

 

The next non active delivery month after  March is the  active delivery month is April and here the OI lost by 44,067 contracts down to 58,192 contracts. The non active month of May gained 566 contracts UP to 1780 open interest.  After May, the next active delivery month is June and here the OI stands at 333,123 having gained 37,201 contracts.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NOTICES FILED:

WE HAD 0 NOTICES FILED TODAY AT THE COMEX FOR NIL OZ. (0.00 tonnes)

 

 

 

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total COMEX silver OI ROSE BY A STRONG SIZED 1406 CONTRACTS FROM 192,250 UP TO 194,082(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 STRONG OI COMEX GAIN  OCCURRED DESPITE A 12 CENT FALL IN PRICING.//YESTERDAY 

 

 

WE ARE NOW INTO THE ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MARCH AND THE  OPEN INTEREST IN THIS FRONT MONTH RESTS AT 0 HAVING LOST 40 CONTRACTS.

WE HAD 40 NOTICES FILED YESTERDAY SO WE GAINED 0 CONTRACTS OR NIL 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 LOWERS TO  666 CONTRACTS FOR A LOSS OF 101 CONTRACTS.  AFTER APRIL, THE NEXT BIG ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH IS MAY AND HERE THE OI GAINED 653 CONTRACTS UP TO 134,637 CONTRACTS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON A NET BASIS WE GAINED A STRONG 3290 SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS AS WE OBTAINED A 1406 CONTRACT GAIN AT THE COMEX COMBINING WITH THE ADDITION OF 1884 OI CONTRACTS NAVIGATING OVER TO LONDON.

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  3290 CONTRACTS...AND ALL OF THIS STRONG  DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A 12 CENT LOSS IN PRICING// YESTERDAY 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED:

 

We, today, had 0 notice(s) filed for NILOZ for the MARCH, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

 

 

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY:  492,656  CONTRACTS

 

 

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  417,084  contracts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINAL standings for  MAR/GOLD

MAR 28 /2019.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
2057.60
oz
Scotia
64 kilobars
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz 1799.999

oz

Delaware

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  

 

 

 

nil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
0 notice(s)
 nil OZ
(0.00315 TONNES)
No of oz to be served (notices)
0 contracts
(NIL oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
396 notices
39600 OZ
1.23176 TONNES
Total accumulative withdrawals of gold from the Dealers inventory this month NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month xxx oz

 

we had 1 dealer entries:

i) Into the dealer: Delaware: 1799.99 oz

total dealer deposits: 1799.99 oz

total dealer withdrawals: 0 oz

We had 0 kilobar entries

 

we had 0 deposit into the customer account

i) Into JPMorgan:  nil oz

 

ii) Into everybody else:  zero

 

total gold deposits: nil oz

 

 very little gold arrives from outside/ small amount today

we had 0 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

 

 

 

total gold withdrawals;  nil oz

 

we had 0 adjustments…

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  0 contract(s) of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 1 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account and 0 notices by the squid  (Goldman Sachs)

 

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To calculate the FINAL 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 (396) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAR. (0 contract) minus the number of notices served upon today (0 x 100 oz per contract) equals 39,600 OZ OR 1.2317 TONNES) the number of ounces standing in this active month of MARCH

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

No of notices served (385 x 100 oz)  + {0)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (0 x 100 oz )which equals 39,600oz standing OR 1.2317 TONNES in this active delivery month of MARCH.

We LOST 0 contracts or an ADDITIONAL NIL OZ WILL STAND AT THE COMEX AS THEY REFUSED TO  MORPH INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS AS WELL AS  NEGATING 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:  364,203.265 oz or  11.328 tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   8,034,231.591 oz 249.80 tonnes

FOR COMPARISON FIRST DAY NOTICE FOR APRIL 2018 AND FINAL STANDING APRIL 30 2018

AT FIRST DAY NOTICE APRIL 1.201819.897 TONNES STOOD FOR DELIVERY

AT CONCLUSION APRIL 30/2018:  ONLY 4.6407 TONNES STOOD AS THE REST MIGRATED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S

ON MARCH 28.2018 WE HAD 37,534 CONTRACTS LEFT TO BE SERVED UPON WITH 1 DAY BEFORE FIRST DAY NOTICE FOR THE FRONT APRIL CONTRACT.

ON MARCH 28: 2019 WE HAVE 61,173 CONTRACTS LEFT TO BE SERVED UPON WITH  1 DAYS LEFT BEFORE FIRST DAY NOTICE (March 29/2019)

WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A DANDY AMOUNT OF GOLD STAND FOR DELIVERY ON FIRST DAY NOTICE FOR THE UPCOMING APRIL CONTRACT MONTH.

 

 

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

THE FINAL AMOUNT OF GOLD TONNAGE: MARCH 31/20181.6114 TONNES AS THE REST MORPHED INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS. (COMPARES TO 1.23 TONNES THIS YEAR)

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 FINAL standings/SILVER

MAR 28 2019
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
44,750.628 oz
CNT
Brinks

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
599,658.436
oz
CNT’
No of oz served today (contracts)
0
CONTRACT(S)
200,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
0 contracts
NIL oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 5424 contracts

(27,120,000 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 :  599,658.436 oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total customer deposits today:  599,658.436   oz

 

we had 2 withdrawals out of the customer account:
i) Out of CNT: 34,977.628 oz
ii) Out of Brinks: 9773.000oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total withdrawals: 44,750.628  oz

 

we had 0 adjustments

 

 

 

total dealer silver:  91.112 million

total dealer + customer silver:  304.947 million oz

 

 

 

 

The total number of notices filed today for the MARCH 2019. contract month is represented by 0 contract(s) FOR  NIL  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 5424 x 5,000 oz = 27,120,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAR. (0) and the number of notices served upon today (0 x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the FINAL standings for silver for the MAR/2019 contract month: 5424(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of MAR( 0) -number of notices served upon today (0)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 0 contracts or an additional NIL oz will stand as investors continue to shun morphing into London based EFP’s  as well as negating a fiat bonus.

 

 

 

FOR COMPARISON VS LAST YEAR:

 

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. (MARCH IS AN ACTIVE MONTH) AND THIS COMPARES TO A FINAL STANDING THIS YEAR OF 27.120 MILLION OZ///

ON  FIRST DAY NOTICE MARCH 29/2018: WE HAD 1,805,000 OZ STAND FOR DELIVERY FOR THE  APRIL 2018 DELIVERY MONTH

AT CONCLUSION OF APRIL 2018: 2,485,000 OZ STOOD FOR DELIVERY AS QUEUE JUMPING WAS ALREADY WELL DEVELOPED IN SILVER. (APRIL IS A NON ACTIVE SILVER DELIVERY MONTH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S SILVER VOLUME:  84,211 CONTRACTS

 

 

 

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 63,563 CONTRACTS… (

 

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 63,563 CONTRACTS EQUATES to 317 million OZ  45.40% 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 -2.13% (MAR28/2019)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES TO -0.56% to NAV (MAR28/2019 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -2.13%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

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

NAV 12.94/TRADING 12.47/DISCOUNT 3.66

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

MARCH 28/WITH GOLD DOWN $20.60: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTOR RESTS AT 784.26 TONNES

 

MARCH 27/SURPRISING! WITH GOLD DOWN AGAIN BY $4.05, THE CROOKS NEEDED TO PUT GOLD BACK INTO THE GLD: THEY ADDED 3.23 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 784.26 TONNES

MARCH 26/WITH GOLD DOWN $7.30 TODAY: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 781.03 TONNES

MARCH 25/WITH GOLD UP $9.85: A STRONG 2.94 TONNES DEPOSIT INTO THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 781.03 TONNES

MARCH 22/WITH GOLD UP $5.00 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 778.09 TONNES

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

 

 

 

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MAR 28/2019/ Inventory rests tonight at 784.26 tonnes

*IN LAST 568 TRADING DAYS: 150.69 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 468 TRADING DAYS: A NET 16.13 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO THE GLD INVENTORY.

 

end

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

MARCH 28/WITH SILVER DOWN 31 CENTS TODAY: A BIG CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 469,000 OZ INTO THE SLV INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.957 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 27/WITH SILVER DOWN 12 CENTS; NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.488 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 26/WITH SILVER DOWN 13 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.488 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 25/WITH SILVER UP 15 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.488 MILLION OZ////

MARCH 22/WITH SILVER DOWN 7 CENTS TODAY: A BIG CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.356 MILLION OZ///INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.488 MILLION OZ///

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 28/2019:

 

Inventory 309.957 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 2.20/ and libor 6 month duration 2.65

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

G0LD LENDING RATE: + .45

 

 

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.45%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.68

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.23

end

 

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES

end
i) GOLDCORE BLOG/Mark O’Byrne

Brexit and Learning To “Live With Boom and Bust Economic Cycles”

by John Downing via Independent.ie

Generations of people have learned to live with boom and bust economic cycles.

Years of relative plenty were followed, as night follows day, by grief including high unemployment and forced emigration on a large scale.

In fact, if you go back much beyond the late 1960s, it would not be too cynical to say the cycles were often more about going from bust to really busted, as for decades the country was hit by crippling rates of largely enforced emigration.

The 1980s into the 1990s saw politicians across the western world, including Ireland, adopt the mantra: “We need to end that cycle of boom and bust.”

Ireland’s inexorable moves to joining the EU single currency began with voters endorsing the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. They were sealed with promises of “Brussels billions” at a fateful EU leaders’ summit in Edinburgh in December 1992.

Looking back now, the decision was sold by our political leaders as getting huge EU grant aid. But the move was also in part about pursuing a period of more prolonged, if not permanent, economic stability.

The so-called Maastricht criteria, effectively the single currency membership rules, fixed limits on national deficits and long-term debt as a proportion of national wealth. Well before Ireland’s final decision to join the euro, as launched on international money markets on January 1, 1999, we were told the single currency membership rules were a good thing in themselves.

The rules could help “end the cycle of boom and bust”. Since those days of relative innocence, Ireland’s economy has soared to the heights in the mid-2000s, plumbed the depths from 2008 onwards, and then surprised many by bouncing back again to fretful prosperity today.

The experience makes “ending the cycle of boom and bust” far more than a slogan.

When you consider that one in seven Irish people was out of work as recently as February 2012, also a time of high emigration, then you know that we have a yearning never to return to the days of bust.

But the reality is that things were motoring very well until Brexit hit us like a bucket of iced water in the early morning of June 24, 2016. Up to then, we had lived with the assumption that Brexit would be defeated and we would continue in a hopefully moderated and realistic “boomward direction”.

Over three years, we have watched the UK’s politics deteriorate at a distressing rate.

We have looked in vain for signs that a reasonable outcome would cushion Ireland’s economic Brexit fallout, which quickly became clear to most Irish citizens. Now we sit on the edge of another Brexit cliff, 16 days from a potential no-deal exit.

Yesterday, the ESRI spelt out the grim fallout from such an eventuality. The Taoiseach responded by saying it was not good news but we were not headed for bust. Then we learned the no-Brexit plan smacks of saying “sure, it’ll never happen at all”.

Via Independent.ie

Editors note: Gold will again be an important way for people to protect their investments and savings in the inevitable boom and bust cycle.

 


Complimentary Storage In Zurich For 6 Month when you purchase the minimum amount of 10,000 ($€£) in physical gold and or silver for a limited time only

 

 

News and Commentary

Gold futures retreat from March highs as U.S. stocks and yields (MorningStar.com)

Gold retreats as dollar rebounds, risk appetite grows (BRecorder.com)

World stocks rebound, U.S. yields above 15-month lows (BRecorder.com)

Russia adds more than 1,000,000 ounces of gold to country’s vast stockpile (RT.com)

China, Europe slowdown’s scale to determine impact on Fed policy: Evans (Reuters.com)


Source: Jim Willie via GoldSeek.com

GLD Fund: Divergence Signals Shortage (GoldSeek.com)

Gold Set To Shine – Grandich (PeterGrandich.com)

SWOT Analysis: Hedge Funds Boosting Their Long Position on Platinum (GoldSeek.com)

U.S. should do a ‘soft’ default on its debt by devaluing dollar (FoxBusiness.com)

Europe is glued to energy-rich Russia (DavidMCWilliams.ie)

Gold Prices (LBMA PM)

26 Mar: USD 1,315.25, GBP 993.15 & EUR 1,162.02 per ounce
25 Mar: USD 1,319.35, GBP 1001.39 & EUR 1,165.82 per ounce
22 Mar: USD 1,311.10, GBP 998.80 & EUR 1,159.41 per ounce
21 Mar: USD 1,317.30, GBP 1002.99 & EUR 1,155.80 per ounce
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

Silver Prices (LBMA)

26 Mar: USD 15.44, GBP 11.66 & EUR 13.65 per ounce
25 Mar: USD 15.52, GBP 11.77 & EUR 13.72 per ounce
22 Mar: USD 15.46, GBP 11.75 & EUR 13.68 per ounce
21 Mar: USD 15.54, GBP 11.85 & EUR 13.64 per ounce
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

Recent Market Updates

– ‘No Deal’ Brexit Risk Impacting UK and Irish Economies – Gold Gains On Recession Concerns
– America’s “Debt Crisis Is Coming Soon”
– Russia Buys 1 Million Ounces Of Gold In February – Become Your Own Central Bank
– 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?

Mark O’Byrne
Executive Director
 

GATA STORIES WITH RESPECT TO GOLD/PRECIOUS METALS.

Truly amazing how the South African government is indifferent to gold..the main driver of their economy

(courtesy Bloomberg)

Indifferent to price suppression, South Africa remains a rich country insisting on being poor

 Section: 

Bell Tolls for Gold Mine That Once Powered South African Economy

By Felix Njini
Bloomberg News
Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The final demise of South Africa’s gold industry came a step nearer on Wednesday with the announcement that Sibanye Gold Ltd. won’t extend the life of Driefontein, once the biggest mine on the continent.

Last year the mine, more than 2 miles (3,200 meters) deep, produced about 300,000 ounces of gold, just a fifth of its peak output two decades ago. Now Sibanye will wind down Driefontein’s operations within 10 years, with plans to cut thousands of jobs as it shuts unprofitable shafts.

… 

South Africa’s gold industry employs just over 100,000 people, less than a fifth of the number that used to drive the apartheid economy. With most of the nation’s gold operations unprofitable, more job cuts are inevitable. Moreover, the geological challenges faced by the world’s deepest mines saw fatalities at Sibanye’s gold operations soar last year. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-27/sibanye-s-driefontein…

* * *

end


iii) Other Physical stories
Kevin W. reports to us on how Gold being a Tier one asset will play havoc to our banks
(courtesy Kevin Wallien)

Brexit, Gold Tier 1, QFC Stay Rules and MIFID II

 

To all of Harvey’s quite amazing group of followers, please apologize for e-mailing any of you. The “but” is because so many of you are tuned in more than me, I thought maybe someone could take the thought to a higher level. It has to do with Brexit, Gold Tier 1, QFC Stay Rules and MIFID II.

 

Although lengthy but maybe very significant. Tier 1 collateral of physical allocated, segregated, 99.99% assayed Gold just may be the bull’s eye after all.

 

The first link below came into effect just after January 1, 2019. The 2nd and 3rd links below came out just prior to Brexit in June 2016. They all deal with “Covered” QFC’s that are “centrally cleared” through an exchange. For Brexit 2016, the UK had just recently passed this ruling relating to QFC’s that are “covered & centrally” cleared. It brings back memories to me of the post-Brexit trading after the June 2016 vote on how the markets all recovered miraculously. This time around with so many institutions that have moved funds out of the UK, it makes me wonder if this time around the markets will be so lucky if a long Brexit delay is not agreed to before March 29. The European Union, a single political and economic bloc, has faced multiple challenges since 2016 that brought its viability into question not to mention China and Russia gaining so many inroads into Eurasian trade with European trade with US in decline led by Germany also appearing to lead the way south in economic activity in Europe. If after March 29, Brexit puts the fear that the U.K. actually leaves the bloc, it remains to be seen whether the EU still has the ability to withstand more shocks. Not even Q-Anon and MAGA sheeples will be able to keep from focusing on these shocks. And whereas most analyst appear to believe that Brexit will never happen, if along Brexit delay does not occur markets will react sharply.

 

http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/787040/Commodities+Derivatives+Stock+Exchanges/An+End+Users+Practical+Guide+to+the+QFC+Stay+Rules

 

https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/tarullo-opening-statement-qfr-20160503.htm

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-03/fed-expected-to-drag-hedge-funds-into-plan-to-halt-next-lehman (Unfortunately the Bloomberg link now requires subscriber access.)

 

As March 29 is significant again in Brexit as well as in reclassifying physical gold as Tier 1, maybe there is something significant in the protocol that will affect non-centrally cleared derivatives which in the US and UK have grown significantly since 2016. Now as of January 1, 2019 in the U.S. and June 106 in the UK, any and all “centrally” cleared QFC’s with ‘covered” counterparties in in effect. “Covered” institution are global systemically important banking organizations. “Centrally” cleared QFC’s of course are cleared through the ISDA system for all to see. These rulings prevents a “take your money from your counterparty and run” causing bankruptcy and market chaos whereas all centrally cleared QFC’s appear to have a 24-48 hour hold on allowing the “covered” winning entity from collecting from its “covered” losing counterparty if they can secretly enter a resolution proceeding and permit the transfer of the relevant obligations under the QFC to the solvent party

out of the public’s view in order to prevent a crash yet simultaneously redistribute assets. By hell or high water behind the curtain they will force, steal, threaten, or otherwise convince that losing counter party to enter into stay and transfer provisions even though the losing party hasn’t formally declared bankruptcy. The end result is making deals behind the table out of the public’s view preventing market chaos like we had in Lehman.

 

But to my knowledge because MFID ii in the Europe its own mammoth set of OTC Derivatives and CCP regulations are only 58% implemented in EU. MIFID ii applies to centrally cleared derivatives that unlike other financial instruments, have never really had a product identifier. MIFID ii assigns an identifier “ISIN” that makes “all” centrally cleared OTC derivatives easy to regulate by authorities, and market participants to identify collateral and thereby accurately re-price risk  for “all” OTC centrally cleared derivatives. CCPs will be required to have a substantial minimum amount of “skin in the game.” Also relating to MIFID ii, in January 2018, the LBMA flatly rejected that OTC Gold would be included in that MFID II legislation. It makes me wonder if those same parties in the centrally cleared QFC’s have their eye on physical gold at the LBMA or elsewhere knowing behind the door resolutions will be made that permit the transfer of the relevant obligations under the QFC to the solvent party all the while gold is simultaneously getting Tier 1 status.

 

https://www.itiviti.com/insights/mifid-ii-turning-challenges-opportunities

 

It also makes we wonder if March 29 Brexit date could actually see a plethora of CCP’s in Europe, US. And UK whose QFC’s are notcentrally cleared take some swift action in the market after hard Brexit is confirmed without further delays. “In the first quarter of 2015, banks began reporting their volumes of cleared and non-cleared derivative transactions, as well as risk weights for counterparties in each of these categories. In the fourth quarter of 2018, 39.8 percent of banks’ derivative holdings were centrally cleared (see table 12). https://www.occ.gov/topics/capital-markets/financial-markets/derivatives/pub-derivatives-quarterly-qtr4-2018.pdf That means 60.1% of US financial institutions’ $176T in derivatives are not centrally cleared and do not have to abide by Fed QFC’s rules or MIFID ii guidelines. Considering in the US that the amount in non-centrally cleared derivatives of about $100T and centrally cleared of about $76T are about the same as in June 2016 and the current state of the EU banking system, some real havoc may ensue for those failing institutions with a Brexit trigger.

 

Tier 1 collateral of physical allocated, segregated, 99.99% assayed Gold just may be the bull’s eye after all.

 

 

https://www.occ.gov/topics/capital-markets/financial-markets/derivatives/pub-derivatives-quarterly-qtr2-2016.pdf

 

 

Kevin Wallien

end

 

Why you invest in gold

(courtesy Simon Black)

If Donald Trump Is The King Of Debt, These Guys Were The Kings Of Inflation

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

Maximilian Bern had saved up 100,000 German marks for what should have been a modest, but comfortable retirement.

But in 1923, he withdrew every last cent, and spent it all on one purchase: a subway ticket.

He rode around his city one last time before returning home, and locking himself in his home, where he died.

He didn’t kill himself. Hestarved to death… simply because he could no longer afford food. A single egg at the market would cost millions of marks, more than Maximilian Bern had saved over his entire life.

This was one of the most famous episodes of hyperinflation, certainly in modern history.

In the wake of World War One, Germany (known as the Weimar Republic) was completely broke.

The War to end all Wars had bankrupted them; and on top of losing the war, Germany was forced to make ‘reparation payments’ to the victors, including France, the UK, etc.

That took Germany’s overall war debt to impossible levels. So in a feeble attempt to keep the economy afloat and meet its war debt obligations, the German government printed massive amounts of paper money.

Prior to World War I, one US dollar was worth 4.2 German marks.

By 1923, a single US dollar was worth 4.2 TRILLION marks.

We’ve seen this in our own lifetime in places like Zimbabwe, and now Venezuela.

I remember the first time I went to Venezuela the official exchange rate was four bolivars to the US dollar—and the black market rate was eight to one.

The next time I went it was hundreds, then thousands and then tens of thousands of bolivars to just one US dollar.

Around two years ago when I was in Caracas, I changed a few hundred dollars and received an entire suitcase full of money in return. (I didn’t get to keep the suitcase).

The rate of inflation now in Venezuela was as high as 1.6 million percent last year. It’s difficult to even imagine what that means.

But we’ve all heard these horror stories of hyperinflation. Everyone seems to understand the horrible effects it has on the economy and individuals.

But somehow we’re supposed to believe that a little bit of inflation is somehow good for the economy. I find that absurd.

The Federal Reserve tries to keep the inflation rate between 2% and 3% per year. That might seem like chump change, but it adds up.

Even John Maynard Keynes, whose works underpin the foundation of modern central banking, once wrote:

“By continuing the process of inflation governments can confiscate secretly and unobserved an important part of the wealth of their citizens.”

It’s so subtle because it only steals a little at a time from you, over the course of many years.

But again, over time, it adds up.

As we’ve seen over the last couple decades, wages have not kept pace with inflation. So year after year, the average workers loses a little bit of prosperity.

1-2% per year doesn’t really matter. A decade or two of this, however, really has an impact.

We keep hearing these Bolshevik politicians calling for a Wealth Tax. They obviously fail to realize that a wealth tax already exists. It’s called inflation.

Ironically, Keynes continued to write about inflation, saving, “And while the process [of inflation] impoverishes many, it actually enriches some.”

And that’s true. Back in Germany’s hyperinflation days, there were a handful of sophisticated people who saw the writing on the wall. They knew that the government could never pay its debts, and that they would print money and debase the currency.

These guys set up their investments in a way to actually profit from hyperinflation.

Donald Trump famously referred to himself during the 2016 Presidential campaign as the “King of Debt” because he has been able to profit by borrowing money.

These investors in the Weimar Republic were known as the Kings of Inflation. And Hugo Stinnes was the King of Kings.

Stinnes had positioned himself perfectly for when hyperinflation hit.

He borrowed vast amounts of German marks and poured them into his coal, steel, and shipping companies.

He also kept gold in Switzerland, and made investments in foreign markets.

When hyperinflation hit, Stinnes was able to pay back his debts with the massively devalued German mark.

But Stinnes’ hard assets weren’t affected by the hyperinflation. They held their value. His businesses and investments flourished, making him one of the wealthiest men in the world.

This is just a reminder that, no matter what happens in financial markets or the global economy, there are always winners and losers.

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

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-
The raid on gold and silver explained by Dave Kranzler
(courtesy Dave Kranzler)
The Paper Raid On The Gold Price Financial MarketsGoldMarket ManipulationPrecious Metals 

Gold was smacked $22 from top to bottom overnight and this morning.  It was a classic paper derivative raid on the gold price, which was implemented after the large physical gold buyers in the eastern hemisphere had closed shop for the day.  This is what it looks like visually:

As you can see, as each key physical gold trading/delivery market closes, the price of gold is taken lower. The coup de grace occurs when the Comex gold pit opens. The Comex is a pure paper market, as very little physical gold is ever removed from the vaults and the paper derivative open interest far exceeds the amount gold that is reported to be held in the Comex vaults (note: the warehouse reports compiled by the banks that control the Comex are never independently audited).

Today technically is first notice day for April gold contracts despite March 29th as the official designation. Any account with a long position that does not intend to take delivery naturally sells its long position in April contracts. Any account not funded to accommodate a delivery is liquidated by 5 p.m. the day before first notice. This dynamic contributes to the ease with which a paper raid on the gold price can be successfully implemented.

In all probability the price of gold (June gold basis) will likely not stay below $1300 for long. China’s demand has been picking up and India’s importation of gold is running quite heavy for this time of the year. Soon India will be entering a seasonal festival period and gold imports will increase even more. Today’s price hit will likely stimulate more buying from India on Friday.

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: 6.7344/

 

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  6.7450   /shanghai bourse CLOSED DOWN 27.78 POINTS OR 0.92% /

 

HANG SANG CLOSED UP 46.96 POINTS OR 0.16%

 

 

2. Nikkei closed //UP 344.97 POINTS OR 1.61%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED MIZED 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/USA dollar index RISES TO 97.14/Euro FALLS TO 1.1228

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO. –.09/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 110.31/ 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//CARRY TRADERS GETTING KILLED

 

3c Nikkei now JUST BELOW 17,000

3d USA/Yen rate now well below the important 120 barrier this morning

3e WTI:: 58.52 and Brent: 67.05

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

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO –.09%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP to 2.50% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD DOWN TO 1.08%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.59: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES TO : 3.80

3k Gold at $1304.25 silver at:15.20   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 31/100 in roubles/dollar) 65.16

3m oil into the 58 dollar handle for WTI and 67 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 110.31 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 0.9958 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1181 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 NEGATIVE territory with the 10 year FALLING to –0.09%

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 2.36% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 2.81%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 5.5897

 

Stocks Slide As Rate Drop Continues, Dollar Spikes

While global markets showed tentative signs of a rebound in sentiment in early Thursday trading, as the global bond rally showed signs of easing, with Treasuries turning lower alongside most sovereign debt in Europe, this quickly reversed around the time US traders start showing up at their desks, and European stocks faded almost all of their earlier gains, while U.S. equity futures drifted, once again within striking distance of the 2,800 key level.

 

After the 10-year US Treasury yield crept back above 2.37% during Asia trading, a renewed flight to safety saw the yield on the benchmark paper slide in the red again, as global bond yields continued to spiral lower on Thursday as recession fears fed expectations of more policy easing by major central banks, with the 10Y trading below 2.36% at last check.

 

After shares slumped in Japan and fell in China and South Korea at the start of trading, contracts on the S&P 500 pointed to a modestly red open fading an earlier rebound, while the Stoxx Europe 600 paring earlier gains of as much as 0.4 percent, with banking stocks the regional benchmark’s weakest sector. The Stoxx 600 was steady as of 11:36am in London, with the index tracking banking stocks dropping 1.3% following fresh turmoil in Sweden over money-laundering, while healthcare gauge climbs 0.8%. Rating agency S&P became the latest to cut its euro zone growth forecasts while a Reuters report that the United States and China had made progress in all areas in trade talks seemed to bolster sentiment a little, though sticking points still remained and there was no definite timetable for a deal.

 

Worries that the inversion of the U.S. Treasury curve signaled a future recession only deepened as 10-year yields fell to a fresh 15-month low at 2.34% on Wednesday. “We think that the ongoing flattening, or outright inversion, of the curve is a bad sign for equities, as it usually has been in the past,” said Oliver Jones, markets economist at Capital Economics. “Arguments that the yield curve is no longer a reliable indicator seem to resurface every time it inverts, only to be subsequently proved wrong.”

Meanwhile, Chinese Premier Li said world economy faces slower growth and increasing uncertainties, while he added that some fluctuation in quarterly economic growth this year cannot be ruled out. Chinese Premier Li further commented that China must achieve goal of tax and fee cuts this year, while it will also publish a revised negative list for foreign investors and will treat domestic and foreign companies equally. Separately, adding that changes in their economy in March have exceeded expectations, adds that China’s economic operations were steady in Q1.

US administration official said US and China made progress in all areas of trade talks but enforcement and intellectual property remain sticking points, while China was also said to have made proposals on trade including tech transfers that are more specific and with wider scope than ever before. However, the official added that there is no specific timeframe for a trade deal with talks to conclude anytime from April-June and whether to lift current US tariffs on China is a sticking point and will be worked out as part of a deal. Subsequently, Chinese Premier Li said China must protect IP to support China’s transformation, adding that he does not think there is a trust deficit between US and China.

As the flight to safety accelerated, so did the rise in the dollar, which headed for a fifth gain in six sessions, while Britain’s pound weakened after the U.K. Parliament rejected eight possible options for a new Brexit strategy.

 

But it was the Turkish lira, one of the currencies at the heart of last year’s emerging market meltdown, which was once again the overnight highlight as plunged as much as 5% against after the central bank unveiled that it had burned through a third of its reserves in 1 month and the attempt to crush shorts had ended, inviting a fresh wave of bears. As Reuters notes, authorities were showing the first sign of easing a draconian squeeze put on international lira traders ahead of local elections this weekend but a day after the country’s stock market also slumped there was little good will. Ugras Ulku at the International Institute of Finance in Washington said the question was, when the dust settles, whether portfolio managers want to continue to invest in Turkey or not “we will have to wait and see,” he said

Elsewhere, hints of rate cuts from New Zealand’s central bank had the desired effect on its currency, which was pinned at $0.6816 after diving 1.6 percent overnight. The Aussie was on the defensive at $0.7090. Draghi’s comments likewise kept the euro back at $1.1250, and left the U.S. dollar a fraction firmer against a basket of its competitors at 96.874. Only the yen held its own thanks to its safe-haven status and firmed to 110.00 per dollar.

The Swiss franc’s surge to a 20-month high hasn’t spooked strategists at Credit Agricole CIB out of their bearish view. The Swiss National Bank is unlikely to tolerate further franc strength, which would threaten policy makers’ battle against deflation, and may rein in the exchange rate via currency interventions, according to the bank

In commodity markets, palladium was the focus of attention after sliding 7 percent on Wednesday as its meteoric rally finally ran into profit-taking. It was down 0.4 percent on Thursday. Gold was relatively sedate at $1,310.85 per ounce. Oil prices nursed modest losses after data showed U.S. crude inventories grew more than expected last week as a Texas chemical spill hampered exports.

Economic data include initial jobless claims and the final print of quarterly GDP. Accenture is due to report earnings.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures little changed at to 2,811.50
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.06% to 377.51
  • MXAP down 0.4% to 158.73
  • MXAPJ up 0.1% to 523.64
  • Nikkei down 1.6% to 21,033.76
  • Topix down 1.7% to 1,582.85
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 28,775.21
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.9% to 2,994.94
  • Sensex up 0.9% to 38,457.70
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 6,176.08
  • Kospi down 0.8% to 2,128.10
  • German 10Y yield rose 0.4 bps to -0.077%
  • Euro down 0.03% to $1.1241
  • Brent Futures down 0.7% to $67.37/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 1.4 bps to 2.1%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 1.4 bps to 1.07%
  • Brent Futures down 0.7% to $67.37/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,308.46
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.3% to 97.02

Top Overnight News

  • Britain’s political standoff over Brexit escalated further, with even Theresa May’s announcement that she’ll quit as prime minister doing nothing to move closer to a resolution
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George says it was appropriate to put policy on hold after the central bank’s interest-rate increases last year. Asked if the Fed’s quarter- point hikes in September and December had been mistakes, George replied: “No, I do not think we made a mistake in September. I was one who advocated for a long time concern about low-for-long interest rates”
  • Investors dumped Turkish bonds and stocks on Wednesday after the nation orchestrated a currency crunch to prevent the lira from sliding days before an election that will test support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule. The cost of borrowing liras overnight on the offshore swap market soared past 1,000 percent at one point on Wednesday
  • China’s economy is showing further signs of recovery after months of slowdown, though downward pressures still persist. That’s according to a Bloomberg Economics gauge aggregating the earliest available indicators on market sentiment and business conditions
  • U.S. and China have made progress in focus areas under the trade talks, Reuters reports, citing four senior U.S. administration officials. One official said China had come up with proposals on forced tech transfers that went further than in the past in terms of scope and specifics
  • The European Central Bank’s chief economist says there needs to be a solid monetary-policy case before officials act to mitigate the side effects of negative interest rates on banks. ECB staff are examining the issue of tiering — where some of banks’ excess reserves are exempt from the lowest rate — but action isn’t a done deal, Peter Praet says
  • Thailand’s pro-military party won the most votes in Sunday’s election, authorities confirmed on Thursday, bolstering its claim to legitimacy as it competes with an anti-junta alliance to form a government

Asian equity markets traded mostly negative as the downbeat sentiment rolled over from US where all major indices finished lower amid lingering growth concerns and as the yield curve inversion deepened. As such, ASX 200 (+0.7%) opened subdued but with losses eventually pared by resilience across nearly all sectors, while Nikkei 225 (-1.6%) underperformed and briefly slipped below the 21000 level with selling exacerbated by a firmer currency and rotation into bonds. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+0.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.9%) were also cautious with weakness in financials due to earnings in which China’s 2nd largest lender China Construction Bank missed on FY net forecasts and posted its first quarterly Y/Y profit decline since 2015 which doesn’t bode well for the other Big 4 banks to report this week, while China Life Insurance also posted a near-65% drop in FY net. Nonetheless, sentiment in China slightly improved as US and China senior trade negotiators began the latest round of trade talks in Beijing and a Trump administration official suggested progress was made in all areas of trade talks but some sticking points remained. Finally, 10yr JGBs were supported by the negative risk tone in Japan and amid the recent bond market rally as global yields declined in which the US 10yr yield fell to a fresh 15-month low and the Aussie 3yr yield printed its lowest on record, while the results of today’s 2yr auction were also bullish as all metric improved from the prior month, albeit marginally.

Top Asian News

  • Sony’s Turnaround Architect Retires as Tech Giant’s Growth Slows
  • Guinigundo Sees Flexibility to Consider Philippine Policy Easing
  • China’s Economy Shows More Signs of Recovery, Earliest Data Show
  • Thai Pro-Military Party Won Most Votes in General Election

Major European indices have gained some traction following a subdued start to the session [Eurostoxx 50 +0.2%] as the region diverges from the downbeat sentiment experienced in Asia. UK’s FTSE 100 (+0.6%) outperforms its peers as the weaker domestic currency bolsters the export-heavy index. Sector-wise, material stocks lead the gains as base metals benefit from recent turnaround in the risk sentiment whilst utility names lag as investors move away from defensive sectors. In terms of notable movers, Swedbank (-3.7%) shares took another hit amid the slew of open investigations in relation to money laundering. As the bank’s AGM gets underway, it announced that CFO Anders Karlsson has replaced Birgitte Bonnesen as acting President and CEO.  Company shares are halted until further notice. Elsewhere, chip names remain pressured in a continuation of yesterday’s sell-off after DAX-listed Infineon (-1.1%) announced a profit warning due to rising global tensions.

Top European News

  • Iliad Chairman Lombardini Faces French Market-Abuse Case
  • Iceland’s Wow Air Says It Has Ceased Operations
  • Hochtief Shares Drop After Atlantia Sells a Quarter of its Stake
  • Euro Hits 10-Week Low Versus Yen as German Inflation in Focus

In FX, JPY/NZD were the best G10 performers, albeit off best levels as the Usd retains a firm underlying bid in its own right as a safe-haven amidst a tentative and intermittent revival in broad risk appetite. Usd/Jpy is holding above 110.00 within a 110.03-53 range having tested bids/support just ahead of the big figure where decent option expiry interest resides (1 bn) and is back above daily chart resistance between 110.07-12, while Eur/Jpy has also rebounded from sub-124.00 lows and heavy Japanese selling that pushed the cross down through a key Fib (123.81) at one stage. Meanwhile, the Kiwi has regained some composure after its post-RBNZ rout to reclaim 0.6800 status, but Nzd/Usd remains vulnerable following a marked deterioration in NZ business sentiment and expectations according to ANZ’s March survey, which provides more justification for the change in rate guidance towards an ease vs a neutral stance previously. Note, RBNZ Governor Orr is due to orate later on the new framework for monetary policy.

  • AUD/EUR – Also weathering a bout of downside pressure relatively well, as the Aussie keeps tabs on the 0.7100 handle vs its US counterpart and remains above 1.0400 against the Nzd, however Aud/Usd could be hampered by a 1 bn expiry ahead of the NY cut along with dovish positioning for next week’s RBA on the notion that the balance of risks could shift towards cutting benchmark rates from a balanced prognosis at present, ala the RBNZ. Meanwhile, the single currency succumbed to spill-over Jpy cross sales vs the Usd that forced the headline pair through recent lows and chart support (at 1.1241), but not much further as it consolidates back above the 76.4% Fib retracement of the 1.1177-1.1448 move.
  • GBP/SEK/NOK/CAD/CHF – All lagging their major peers, and especially the Pound, Swedish and Norwegian Crowns. Cable has fallen below a fairly resilient 1.3150 mark following the latest UK Parliamentary votes on Brexit ended with no majority support for any of the 8 options tabled, and in fact resounding rejection in 6 instances, leaving the situation even more uncertain than it was before the HoC took the baton from PM May. Meanwhile, Eur/Nok and Eur/Sek have both bounced further in wake of yesterday’s worse than expected Norwegian jobs data and as Swedbank suffers more investor angst over money laundering allegations, with the former up to 9.7465 and latter at 10.4935 before easing back. The Loonie is also weaker post-data, between 1.3400-30 vs its US rival, with the Franc still somewhat mixed as it pivots 0.9950 vs the Greenback and 1.1200 against the Euro in advance of a speech from SNB’s Maechler that could fan speculation about intervention to curb excess Chf strength/demand.
  • DXY – The index has climbed into a higher range after recent declines amidst falling US Treasury yields and deeper curve inversion to probe above 97.000, and from a technical perspective the Buck may be able to overcome residual month end flows that are said to be mildly bearish.
  • Brazil’s Economy Minister Guedes said that if the pension reform bill of BRL 1tln passes, interest rates would naturally decline by 2 percentage points. (Newswires)
  • New Zealand ANZ Business Confidence (Mar) -38.0 (Prev. -30.9). (Newswires) New Zealand ANZ Activity Outlook (Mar) 6.3 (Prev. 10.5)

In commodities, WTI (-0.6%) and Brent (-0.6%) futures languish following yesterday’s pullback, although the benchmarks remain off worst levels amid an improvement in market sentiment. Despite this week’s builds in API and DoE crude inventories (API +1.9mln, DoE +2.8mln), UBS analysts note that both weekly data and for the year thus far are more bullish than usual. Meanwhile, WSJ reported that Saudi Aramco plans to issue a USD 10bln bond, to be used as part of a payment for their 70% purchase of Sabic which is valued at USD 69.1bln, according to sources. On the OPEC+ front, Russian Energy Minister Novak told RIA newspaper that the OPEC+ Charter could be signed in either May or June. Elsewhere, precious metals are pressured by firmer buck with gold (-0.2%) hovering close to its 50 DMA at 1307/oz. Meanwhile, base metals are faring better, with risk-gauge copper bouncing off lows as the risk appetite supports the red metal.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: GDP Annualized QoQ, est. 2.3%, prior 2.6%
  • Personal Consumption, est. 2.6%, prior 2.8%
  • GDP Price Index, est. 1.8%, prior 1.8%
  • Core PCE QoQ, est. 1.7%, prior 1.7%
  • 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, est. 220,000, prior 221,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.78m, prior 1.75m
  • 10am: Pending Home Sales MoM, est. -0.5%, prior 4.6%; Pending Home Sales NSA YoY, est. -3.0%, prior -3.2%
  • 11am: Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 0, prior 1

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Last night saw the most exciting European vote in the U.K. since Bucks Fizz won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981. MPs spent the evening making their minds up on 8 options in relation to Brexit although as expected no majority was found for any path. The vote occurred soon after Mrs May announced to backbench Conservative MPs that she would step down as PM after her Brexit deal was delivered and would not lead the next stage of negotiations. This was aimed at increasing the chances that her WA (MV3) can rise like Lazarus and pass, although as we’ll see later the speaker and the DUP have made it more difficult for the government to try again. Anyway, back to the votes, it is perhaps easiest to list the options available and show the scores on the doors in order of most votes in support of a particular pathway. There were no nul points.

  1. Putting any deal agreed to a second referendum. Defeated 295-268.
  2. Permanent customs union. Defeated 272-264.
  3. Labour’s plan (which includes a permanent customs union, but also involves alignment in a number of other areas). Defeated 307-237.
  4. Common Market 2.0. (stay in the single market, negotiate a customs union “at least until alternative arrangements” to avoid a hard border in Ireland have been found. Defeated 283-188.
  5. Revoking Article 50 if a deal has not been ratified and the House does not approve leaving without a deal. Defeated 293-184.
  6. Leaving with no-deal on 12 April. Defeated 400-160.
  7. Version of the Malthouse plan (UK offers EU payments for two years in return for market access). Defeated 422-139.
  8. Seek to remain a member of the EEA and reapply to join EFTA (so single market but not customs union). Defeated 377-65.

In terms of votes in favour, the amendment for a second referendum led the pack, while the customs union proposal was the closest vote, losing by a margin of only 8 votes. Indeed, both amendments achieved more positive votes than May’s deal did the second time round, when it achieved only 242 yes-votes. The pound depreciated -0.58% versus the dollar after the votes were taken, as the odds of continued stalemate and an eventual general election seem to be rising. The plan now is for a possible MV3 on May’s deal before the end of the week, followed by, assuming MV3 fails again, an additional set of indicative votes on Monday. Speaker Bercow said he would eliminate the less popular options and leave only the top few, to see if a majority can be achieved from a shorter list.

In terms of whether there’ll be a third meaningful vote soon, it’s obviously in the PM’s plan this week. However, this will have to circumnavigate Speaker Bercow’s further intervention that said any further vote would still have to comply with his ruling from March 18 that the House couldn’t vote on the same motion again and would require some form of change. Interestingly, he said that the government couldn’t seek to get round this using a ‘paving motion’, which blocks off a route the government could have possibly used to get round his ruling. Also the DUP said (late last night) at this stage they still can’t support the deal. Whether that changes or whether that just means an abstention is not clear although DUP Dodds said that with regards to the Union they don’t abstain. Before this there were signs that Prime Minister May is making some progress in winning over MPs to the deal, with a number of Conservative MPs who opposed the deal on the last meaningful vote saying they would now be willing to support the deal (generally out of a fear from pro-Brexit MPs that any alternative would only be a softer Brexit than the PM’s deal, or possibly no Brexit at all). However, without the DUP they will likely need a fair amount of Labour MPs on their side. Also, one wonders that with Mrs May now going, will loyal remain Tory MPs be fearful of a harder Brexit replacement PM and decide to vote against it to stop a Brexit that might then get handed over to the hard Brexiteers.

Outside of Brexit, the biggest story was the interaction of Draghi’s comments, European bank stocks, deposit tiering, and a big rates rally. On page 6-7 of our recent “How to fix European banks… and why it matters” (see here ) we explained how strange it was that of all the central banks operating with negative rates, the ECB were the only one not offering deposit tiering. Implementing this was a small part of our policy recommendation list. Recent news hasn’t suggested they were close to this, but things moved quite quickly yesterday. First, we had an early morning Reuters story which said that the ECB were looking at the idea of a tiered deposit rate and then at lunchtime Draghi said that “if necessary, we need to reflect on possible measures that can preserve the favourable implications of negative rates for the economy, while mitigating the side effects, if any.” The ECB have been worried that moving to such a system would lead to concerns that this signals rates staying low or negative for much longer. To be fair, this was what happened yesterday as Bunds rallied -6.6 bps to -0.081% with the front end of the curve flattening even more. Euribor futures for December 2019 and 2020 rallied by -4 and -7bps to their lowest levels ever, leaving the curve as flat as a pancake through the next six quarters. A 10bps hike is not fully priced in until March 2021.

This morning ECB’s Chief Economist Peter Praet has said that the tiered rate would need a monetary-policy case while adding that the lending conditions are not impaired and there is no need to rush for tiering. On TLTRO, he said that the ECB could decide on pricing at its June meeting while adding that the conditions could change during the program.

European banks made strong advances on the news though, albeit on a risk-off day with the STOXX Banks index up +1.85% with Italian banks +1.59%. Another side effect was a rally in 10yr BTPs, -1.4bps lower on the day and -10.2bps from the morning highs. Delving deeper into the bond move we also saw 10-year bund yields falling below 10-year Japanese government bond yields for the first time since October 2016. However, this morning in Asia the yield on 10yr JGBs (-1.2bps to -0.091%) is again below that of 10yr bund as the race to the bottom continues. In the US, yields continued to rally yesterday as well, with 2- and 10-year yields dropping -6.6bps and -5.7bps, respectively. That meant the 2s10s curve steepend again to 16.3bps, back to slightly above its year-to-date average. The 2yr and 10yr treasury yields are both down a further c. -1.2bps this morning with 10yr treasury yields now hovering at 2.355%, the lowest since December 2017.

Overnight, Asian markets are following Wall Street’s lead with the Nikkei (-1.45%), Hang Seng (-0.08%), Shanghai Comp (-0.26%) and Kospi (-0.78%) all down. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are down -0.24% while the Japanese yen is up +0.32%, alongside most G10 currencies.

Back to Mr Draghi, he also talked about inflation and said “we therefore remain confident that the sustained convergence of inflation to our aim has been delayed rather than derailed”. He nevertheless maintained his stance that “uncertainty remains high” and “the risks remain tilted to the downside.” The euro weakened after the speech, falling -0.17% versus the dollar. Staying with FX, we also saw the Swiss Franc climb to its strongest level against the euro since July 2017 yesterday to 1.1195. DB’s strategists don’t think intervention to prevent appreciation is likely until we approach 1.10, so there’s a bit more room to run before that becomes a risk.

It was a bad day for Turkish assets, with the BIST 100 index closing down -5.67% yesterday, its biggest fall since July 2016, while Turkish bond yields also rose dramatically, with local 10-year yields up +114bps to 17.93% and USD up +19.3bps to 7.74%. The overnight implied yield continued to blow out, rising to as high as 1,350% before ending the day at 750%. The market turmoil comes before local elections on Sunday, with the government likely hoping to maintain FX stability ahead of the votes. This morning the Turkish Lira is -1.94% as sentiment continues to be weak

The S&P 500, DOW, and NASDAQ retreated -0.46%, -0.13%, and -0.63% respectively. All sub-sectors fell except for industrials, which were boosted by a positive day for airlines (+1.92%). Southwest, a major operator of the grounded Boeing 737 Max, announced that the impact on first quarter revenue would be smaller than feared at only $150million. The dollar strengthened +0.19%, weighing on multinationals and exporters, after US trade data showed a smaller-than-expected deficit for January. The bilateral deficit with China narrowed by $2.4bn to -$34.4bn, providing a somewhat more positive backdrop as USTR Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin travel to Beijing today for trade negotiations.

In spite of the strong performance from financials, European equity markets fell back before the close, in line with a falling US market, with the STOXX 600 paring their gains to close flat. The DAX, CAC, and FTSE 100 also all closed flat on the session, although southern European equities put in a stronger performance, with the FTSE MIB (+0.26%) and the IBEX 35 (+0.51%) outperforming. This came despite unconfirmed reports in Italian newspaper Il Sole that the Italian government plans to lower its 2019 growth forecast to 0.1% and raise its deficit to 2.4% of GDP.

Looking at the European data, French consumer confidence was in line with expectations at 96, a seven-month high, but the readings from Italy were more negative, with the consumer confidence indicator falling to 111.2 (vs. 112.5 expected) to reach its lowest since August 2017, while the manufacturing confidence indicator fell to 100.8 (vs. 101.4 expected), its lowest since February 2015. The UK also saw some negative data, with the CBI’s reported retail sales index falling to -18 (vs 4 expected) in March, its lowest since October 2017.

In terms of the day ahead, we have a number of data readings, including German March CPI data, Eurozone M3 money supply data for February, and the final Eurozone consumer confidence reading for March. From the US, we’ll get the third reading of Q4 GDP, personal consumption and core PCE, along with pending home sales for February, the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing activity index for March and weekly initial jobless claims. From central banks, both Federal Reserve Vice Chair Quarles and Vice Chair Clarida will be speaking, along with Bowman, Bostic and Bullard. From the ECB, we have Vice President de Guindos, while Villeroy de Galhau, Knot and Nowotny will also be making remarks.

Last but not least, we have the aforementioned Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin trip to Beijing today for trade negotiations.

 

 

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)THURSDAY MORNING/ WEDNESDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 27.78 POINTS OR 0.92% //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 46.96 POINTS OR 0.16%  /The Nikkei closed UO 344.97 POINTS OR 1.61%/ Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.63%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 6.7344 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil DOWN to 58.52 dollars per barrel for WTI and 67.05 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED MIXED

ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN // LAST AT 6.7344 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.7450 / TRADE TALKS NOW ON/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED  : /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING ABOVE LEVEL OF OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST USA DOLLAR/OFFSHORE YUAN TRADING WEAKER AGAINST THE DOLLAR /CHINA RETALIATES WITH TARIFFS/ TRUMP RESPONDS TO NEW TARIFFS AND IT NOW A FULL TRADE WAR COMMENCED

 

3 a NORTH KOREA/

 

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

3 C CHINA

I will believe this when I see Xi make these statements. Strangely the markets did not respond on these “major” concessions:

i) movement on forced technology transfers

ii) movement on China ready to engage the west’s cloud computing

(courtesy zerohedge)

Beijing Reportedly Open To “Major Concessions” On Technology Transfers, Cloud Computing

President Trump can still hammer crude prices lower with a tweet, but unfortunately for Larry Kudlow and Steven Mnuchin, optimistic trade headlines just don’t pack the same market “oomph” that they once did. Proof of this arrived Thursday morning, when a pair of ostensibly bullish stories from Reuters and WSJ failed to revive the market’s appetite for risk, even as anonymous US officials teased what they heralded as a “major concession” from Beijing on forced technology transfers, and a top Chinese official told a group of American tech CEOs about a proposal to lift restrictions on foreign cloud-computing companies.

First came the Reuters report, sourced to anonymous US officials, who claimed the Chinese were “talking about forced technology transfers in a way they’ve never wanted to talk about it before.” Though differences on IP and enforcement still exist, proposals from the Chinese “went further than in the past” on a range of issues, including the technology transfers, according to the senior officials.

Trade

And while this doesn’t guarantee that a deal would be reached, the officials said it’s enough to support President Trump’s claims that talks have been going “very, very well.” The officials added that talks would continue for as long as necessary – perhaps until May, or even June – so long as the progress was being made on the “core issues.”

Yet, when it comes to the US lifting tariffs, the officials confirmed that “some tariffs” would need to remain in place to ensure compliance, and that this remained a potential obstacle to a final deal.

“Some tariffs will stay,” the second official said. “There’s going to be some give on that, but we’re not going to get rid of all the tariffs. We can’t.”

[…]

“Obviously that is an issue that we need to resolve … and will be an important part of a final deal,” the first official said. He said there was some agreement on enforcement on what he termed the “backend” once a deal was in place: a structure in which both sides could raise grievances and implement tariffs if there were violations to the agreement.

Finally, the officials insisted that Trump had enough political support at home to allow him to hold out for a good deal. “Who would he be pleasing by…selling out?”

Moving on to the WSJ report, the paper said Premier Li Keqiang had disclosed a proposal during a Monday meeting with about three-dozen corporate CEOs to allow foreign cloud service providers to open “trial operations” in China. Executives from IBM Corp. , Pfizer Inc., Rio Tinto PLC, BMW AG and Daimler AG had attended the meeting. As we noted over thee weekend, access for US cloud companies has recently emerged as a major issue in the talks.

During a Q&A session, Li offered more details about what this arrangement would look like.

In response to a question about cloud computing from IBM Chief Executive Ginni Rometty during Monday’s meeting, Premier Li said Beijing is considering a “liberalization pilot” in a free-trade zone to open cloud computing to foreign companies, according to the people briefed on the matter. A key hurdle foreign providers of cloud services need to overcome, Mr. Li said, is to offer adequate “privacy protection” to their Chinese customers.

Under the cloud proposal, foreign providers would be allowed to own data centers in the free trade zone. The most likely one is in the southern city of Guiyang that’s a center for big data, people with knowledge of China’s plans said.

Still, as WSJ pointed out, there are still questions about how the flow of data out of the country would be treated.

Key questions remain: Would China allow free flow of data from the operations in the zone to the rest of the country? What kind of data services can foreign firms setting up data operations in the zone provide? What kind of customers can they offer such services to?

By offering the pilot program, Beijing is showing that it understands there will need to be some movement on this issue. However, the proposed changes might be “too piecemeal” to win Washington’s support.

“It shows that, at the minimum, they get the idea that they’ll have to show some movement in this area and they can’t stonewall the U.S. completely on this,” said Paul Triolo, an analyst specializing in global technology policy at Eurasia Group, a New York-based consulting firm. “But the devil is in the details.”

The pilot proposal, which would still allow the government to keep control of the sector, is also likely to be met with skepticism in Washington that China is moving too slowly to make any meaningful changes to what it sees as Beijing’s unfair trade practices. But Beijing officials argue China has traditionally experimented with reforms in pilot zones before ultimately implementing them nationwide.

The cloud proposal “fits China’s habit of making discretionary, piecemeal adjustments rather than outright liberalization,” said Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

Larry Kudlow affirmed many of the revelations made in these stories during a statement in Washington later Thursday morning, affirming that the talks were not “time dependent”. Though he did say that he expects the final deal to include “100% ownership” for foreign firms operating in China, which goes beyond the proposals discussed above.

Elsewhere, an earlier trade deal update published by the FT wasn’t nearly as positive. According to the story, talks have effectively been going around in circles, with the US handing written proposals to China, and China handing them back covered in red ink. This, per the FT, shows how successful China has been at resisting American demands, as even agreements on relatively minor details have been incredibly hard fought.

According to people briefed on the process, US officials sent proposed drafts of what could become China’s most consequential trade agreement since it acceded to the World Trade Organization 18 years ago. Then the Chinese side sent the drafts back with strike-out marks and alternative clauses, all in red.

The “red-line” documents sent back by Chinese negotiators, led by vice-premier Liu He, highlight their success thus far in resisting US demands for far-reaching structural reforms to Beijing’s state-led development model. But even agreement in less controversial areas – such as increased purchases of US exports and improved market access for foreign investors – is proving difficult to pin down.

That last report sounds more like what we have heard so far. And it raises just enough doubt that the US officials quoted by Reuters are being unduly optimistic, and the proposal shared by Li is simply that – a proposal. The only solid new piece of information is that the US now expects the talks to drag on for months, but many analysts had expected as much, anyway.

We now wait to see if China dashes the optimistic narrative with a series of its own leaks once they realize the US delegation won’t agree to lift all of the tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese exports that have been imposed over the past year since the start of the trade war.

4.EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

GERMANY

The kingpin of derivatives, Deutsche bank is discussing raising up to $10 billion dollars to secure the Commerzbank  deal.  Who in the right frame of mind would lend to this hopeless basket case.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Deutsche Shares Plunge As Bank Discusses Raising Up To 10 Billion For Commerzbank Deal

Deutsche Bank shares sank on Thursday after the Financial Times reported that the troubled German lender had been discussing tapping equity markets to raise as much as €10 billion ($11.2 billion) in what would be the bank’s fifth return to the equity well in under a decade. At the higher end of the range, the raise – which would help facilitated a “merger of weakquals” with fellow struggling German lender Commerzbank – would be equivalent to roughly two-thirds of Deutsche’s €16 billion market cap, and about 40% of the combined market value of Deutsche and Commerzbank.

The news sent Deutsche’s shares spiraling lower, nearing the all-time lows reached late last year:

DB

Developing…

end
UK/MORNING
The pound tumbles as leading Brexiteers have said no to May’s stupid deal.
(courtesy zerohedge)

Pound Tumbles As Leading Brexiteers Walk Back Support For Brexit Deal

For a brief moment earlier this week, it looked as if Theresa May’s supremely unpopular Brexit withdrawal deal might actually pass on the third go. But after the DUP reaffirmed its opposition to the deal last night, and a group of Brexiteers calling themselves “the spartans” said they wouldn’t follow ERG leaders like Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson in accepting Theresa May’s “back me then sack me” deal gambit, support for the deal is crumbling once again.

Both Johnson and Rees-Mogg have reportedly rescinded their support for the deal, and though No. 10 insists talks with the DUP are ongoing, it’s unlikely we’ll see them relent, unless May can succeed in securing “material changes” to the agreement, which the EU has already made clear isn’t an option.

The pound broke below a critical resistance level at $1.3125 Thursday morning, as last night’s indicative vote failed spectacularly, with MPs rejecting every alternative to May’s deal. This was a moot point anyway, since the EU has made clear that it’s either the withdrawal agreement, or no deal.

GBP

While Parliament is expected to debate May’s Brexit deal tomorrow, it’s unclear whether it will be brought for a third  vote, since May must still pass Speaker Bercow’s “significantly different” test.

 

end

UK /AFTERNOON

Another vote this afternoon and no doubt another failure. It looks like we will have a no deal BREXIT

(courtesy zerohedge)

Pound Hits Session Low As May Queues Up Third Vote On Brexit Plan

Is this it? Are we finally almost done here?

Intransigent Brexiteers have managed to convince Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson to walk back their support for May’s withdrawal agreement, and the DUP – the 10 Irish Unionist MPs who shore up the Tories majority in Parliament – has declared that it will once again oppose the deal, and insists that it has broken off talks with the government (though May’s side insists negotiations are ongoing). Yet, May has apparently managed to find a way to meet Speaker John Bercow’s “substantially different” test and is now hoping to bring her wildly unpopular withdrawal agreement back for a third meaningful vote on Friday.

To satisfy Bercow’s ruling, May has separated the withdrawal agreement from a nonbinding political declaration setting out the terms for the next stage of negotiations.

The pound slid to its LoD on reports that the government was laying down a motion to call for a Friday evening vote, erasing all of its gains from earlier in the week.

GBP

If the deal fails, May’s government has intimated that MPs will risk a longer delay of Brexit or possibly parliamentary elections which could hand control of the Commons to Labour. Of course, a longer delay would be contingent on the EU’s approval, so it’s probably equally likely that the UK would leave without a deal on April 12.

EUROPE

This is interesting:  how the Europe is going to destroy us on internet usage

(courtesy Tom Luongo)

Can The EU Survive Its Own Censorship?

Authored by Tom Luongo,

The EU’s new, comprehensive new Copyright Directive passed the European Parliament ensuring the way we use the Internet will change in the future.

And not for the better.

The controversial parts are Articles 11 and 13, the “link tax” and the “upload filter” requirements. For a good run down of how terrible these new rules are look anywhere on the internet but this article at Gizmodo (who I hope doesn’t charge me a link tax for doing so!) will do.

I would also watch this video from Dave Cullen, a resident of Ireland, i.e. the EU, as to what he thinks this means.

Dave makes a number of fantastic points about the ramifications of Articles 11 and 13 which I will not dispute.

The arrogance and pig-headedness of EU MEPs to push this through without even listening to arguments for Amendments speaks volumes as to how much this legislation was bought and paid for.

And you know who was doing the buying. The same folks currently behind destroying Brexit — The Davos Crowd. I don’t want to put too fine a point on this now, since I’ve covered all this recently (here) and in the past (here ).

Controlling The Wire

But there are very valid reasons why this push for control of information flow from the EU is yet another example of their desperations to keep control of what I’ve in the past called The Wire:

In short, The Wire is the main conduit through which we communicate with each other. Even money is The Wire. What are prices if not information about what we are willing to part with our money in exchange for?
Without The Wire modern society fails. So, government can’t shut it down but neither can it allow unrestrained access to it.

Electricity, commerce, communications, everything, goes over The Wire. 
This isn’t a radical concept but like all important ideas, once it is presented to you you can’t unsee it.

Control of The Wire is the only fight that matters or has ever mattered in society. The Internet is The Wire writ large. Therefore, it only makes sense that control of it is paramount to maintaining any control over society at large.

The corporate oligarchs are in fear for their projects. They want desperately to maintain control. They’ve worked for decades to evolve the nation-state into the new shiny transnational superstate the EU exemplifies.

The new Copyright Directive is designed to erect barriers-to-entry and shut down opposition speech by outsourcing the enforcement to the platforms hosting the material.

And those platforms are only too happy to do this because they get to crowd out any potential competition. So, while their costs increase slightly, they are now immune to the competition which would grind out their margins to zero over time, as any unfettered market would.

Remember, that in all human endeavors profit is an ever-elusive thing. With incentives properly aligned someone is always attracted to the profit someone else is achieving and will figure out a way to build a better mousetrap, as it were, grinding out that profit.

If you can short-circuit this process via control of The Wire then you can guarantee a profit for your past work for far longer than you would otherwise.

This is known as rent.

Fake Property, False Choices

This is why the music and film industry want their IP protected from ‘fair use’ policies. They see the plummeting margins and want to continue charging on a per use/listen/view basis things they retain the copyright to far beyond the public’s willingness to pay them.

It’s too expensive for these companies to go after us individually. That doesn’t work except in very limited ways. Yes, they can de-platform Alex Jones or Sargon of Akkad ad hoc but with predictable backlash against it.

Enshrining it in law takes this, however, to another level. And it is a yet another Hobson’s Choice put before people to either accept regulation of these companies as public utilities — ensuring their monopoly status — or render the internet unusable.

This Directive is pure protectionism of legacy media producers be it news, music, film, etc. whose business models haven’t just collapsed they’re literally now subsidized by other profitable industries, i.e. the Washington Post is, effectively, an Amazon company.

So, in effect, Article 11 and 13 are just typical corporatist honey pots, at least in theory.

But it is all bad? Is the future to be this and more laws and controls like this?

Likely not.

IP Deflation

Let’s look specifically at the link tax. To do this we have to look at a worst-case scenario where the EU disregards all cross-border treaty and tax-enforcement issues and our governments go along with this nonsense.

So, I want to link to an article in Der Speigel to make some point about Angela Merkel.

To do so now, under Article 13, I have to get a license to link from them and pay a fee. Let’s call that fee €100. Instead of paying that fee my natural reaction would be to not link to it and just make reference to it.

I’ll quote it and not put in a link.

If that doesn’t work and WordPress takes my post down, I’ll screencap the relevant section of the article (4chan-style) and then not link to it. This requires a more sophisticated sniffer to figure out what I did.

And in the worst case if they figure that out, I’ll simply not even quote them anymore. And I’ll write the article in such a way that I don’t need to. They don’t get the traffic anymore. They never got the license fee.

The result is they fall in the Google search rankings.

And I get to keep my traffic up and my audience happy.

Who wins here? Me or them?

Me.

Especially if I keep my link license fee set for my content at what it’s worth, zero.

To me a link is free advertising. I know that each one is a gift that pays huge dividends. I cherish people who contact me for permission to scrape my work.

The whole point of what I do is to reach as wide an audience as possible. Why would I put up barriers to that?

You have to put this in perspective. Ninety five percent of the news you read is a restatement of a government or corporate press release. If you think someone can’t reprint government or corporate press releases for less than €100 a head you are crazy.

Just like it is in retail sales. Amazon is killing local retailers because easily cross-shopped items are simply more efficiently delivered without a brick and mortar storefront. The costs of maintaining it and people going to the central location is a waste of scarce, precious capital.

It’s an old model without a future.

News organizations that don’t add anything but only disseminate the same stuff but with a slightly different spin on it won’t be able to charge a dime for links. Functionally, for 95% of news, is there any difference between Yahoo!, MSN, CNN or FOX?

No.

If you produce something that is value-added people will figure out a way to justify to themselves paying for it. Advertising covers some of that cost. If they don’t it isn’t lost revenue, it was revenue you never had in the first place at that price.

In the Internet business eyeballs are everything. Losing eyeballs for link taxes is just bad business.

The Last War

So the EU just gave these sclerotic, dying industries everything they’ve ever wanted. But, in the long run, it will be their undoing as it will incentivize an entire generation of citizen journalists to fill in the niches and do primary research.

Moreover, it will be unenforceable at any practical level, as Dave Cullen points out. The EU will itself cause a cratering of traffic to and from its IP ranges.

As the cost of The Wire drops on a per megabyte basis, think 5G, so too does the cost to resist control of it. Lower bandwidth costs makes possible peer-to-peer networking and decentralized autonomous organizations that even the most hardened crypto-enthusiast haven’t conceived of yet.

And once there are no middle men to go after and turn into the copyright police, we’re back to them going after individuals again. At that point it’s game over.

That’s a long way off at this point and the present will be difficult, at best, to navigate. But we’re not flat-footed here. I do feel for guys like Dave Cullen who build great content and now are looking at real constraints.

I don’t envy them in the slightest.

But to me this feels like just another desperation move by old men fighting the last war to hold onto The Wire that’s slipping out of their fingers, writing laws out of date before they are even implemented.

*  *  *

Please consider joining my Patreon to keep content flowing which steadfastly refuses to play their game of content-control through advertiser slavery.

 

END

5.RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

TURKEY

The big news of the day:  The Turkish lira collapses after news that the country burned through 1/3 of their USA (foreign reserves) in one month. Overnight swaps collapsed to just 40% from 1,338%.  Remember also that Turkey has a huge amount of gold in their reserves and Erdogan will never part with the yellow stuff.  This is becoming a full blown currency crisis as Turkey is massively short dollars and cannot find any on the markets

(courtesy zerohedge)

On The Edge Of Collapse: Turkish Lira Plummets As Central Bank Burns Through A Third Of Reserves

The Turkish lira resumed its plunge on Thursday following a sharp rebound on Tuesday when Turkish authorities unleashed an unprecedented assault on lira shorts, helping push the TRY briefly higher ahead of regional elections, after a disappointing reading on the central bank’s net FX reserves stoked fears that the country was even closer to a full-blown currency crisis than investors had feared, while local accounts continued to accumulate foreign currency after overnight swaps on the Turkish Lira collapsed to just 40% from a historic high around 1,338% on Tuesday.

After nearly a week of chaos that one trader described as unprecedented in his two decades in the market (“I’ve never seen a move like this in the 21 years I’ve been watching the market“), it appears President Erdogan has relented, and following a vocal outcry from the international community which was effectively trapped in lira positions, both long and short, after overnight swaps hit rates well above 1,000%, on Tuesday the swap plunged as low as 18.5%, in line with recent historical prints, and an indication that after doing everything in its power to squeeze shorts (and longs) the central bank appears to have capitulated.

As we reported previously, bankers and analysts at large international banks reported that Turkish lenders appeared unable or unwilling to provide lira in exchange for currency this week, in an attempt to prevent short selling. While Turkey’s banking association (TBB) on Wednesday night denied claims that the country’s lenders had been limiting or halting sales of lira to foreign banks, one London-based analyst told the FT on Tuesday that Turkish banks told him they had been ordered “not to lend even a single lira to foreign counterparties” That squeeze sent the cost of borrowing lira soaring for foreign banks and hedge funds, although as shown above, it has since tumbled.

Meanwhile, the underlying pressures facing Turkey accelerated, and on Thursday data showed another dizzying drop in Turkey’s foreign exchange reserves brought the total decline for the first three weeks of March to 45.1 billion lira, or about $10 billion. According to FT calculations, Turkey has now burnt through at least a third of its foreign reserves this month in an effort to stem a plunge in the lira ahead of local elections at the weekend, putting the country on path to a full-blown currency and funding crisisAccording to the central bank, reserves now stood at about $24.7 billion, down from $28.5 billion a week earlier, a 13% drop in one week.

The latest currency sell-off added to deepening turmoil on Turkish financial markets, which have been in flux for almost a week in a deja vu of last summer’s crisis that sent the lira tumbling to record lows, with lasting effects on the economy.

In a push to reassure the market, Central bank governor Murat Cetinkaya told the state-run Anadolu news agency that net foreign-currency reserves had risen in the final week of the month, rising by $2.4 billion during the past week, although this could have been due to a simple accounting trick: on Thursday, the Turkish central bank raised the limit on Turkish lenders’ FX-lira swaps with the monetary policy authority. The limit was raised to 30% of so-called FX Markets Transaction Limits determined by the CBRT for commercial lenders from 20%. The increase to the swaps limits comes after the central bank raised the maximum amount to 20% from 10% on Monday and was made in an attempt to increase its FX reserves, at least optically.

What is even more concerning than the collapse in reserves, however, is that even locals now appear to have lost faith in a currency which the government is forced to defend at any cost – literally – and on Thursday the Lira fell 5% to 5.5914 per dollar amid a sell-off that’s roiling the nation’s markets, as the very same measures designed to deter short-sellers from selling the currency before municipal elections on Sunday achieved the opposite outcome and spooked investors, both foreign and domestic.

According to a trader quoted by Bloomberg, Turkish investors bought an estimated $3.5 billion worth so far this week as locals have bought at least $1 billion a day. As a result, the latest central bank data reveals that Turkish investors now hold a record $176 billion worth of hard currency after buying around $25 billion since early September.

Meanwhile, as Erdogan has focused on the currency, other market indicators are screaming full-blown crisis and on Thursday, Turkey’s five-year credit default swaps widened for an eighth day to 462, the highest since September, while the yield on the nation’s benchmark 10-year lira bond jumped 91bps to over 19%. As Bloomberg notes, the cost of protection on Turkish sovereign notes has jumped above that for Iraq, Greece, Angola and Pakistan. Governments with costlier CDS include Ukraine, Argentina and Lebanon… for now. The turnaround in market perceptions for Turkey was especially striking because its CDS had been calmly declining even as the economy sank into recession. It wasn’t until recent fears about the plunge in reserves, that the CDS rout accelerated. If only assumes the historical correlation holds, the Turkish Lira will soon tumble to about 6.00 vs the dollar.

So with Turkey now once again in a full-blown financial crisis and this time with the added kicker of its reserves dwindling to dangerous levels yesterday’s quasi capital controls notwithstanding, traders’ attention turns to what happens next week after the local elections are out of the way.

For some idea of how much the Turkish lira may weaken next week, Bloomberg’s Mark Cudmore says to check out the 1 week USD/TRY implied volatility, which has exploded above 48% from 9.4% a week ago:

The expectation in the market is that offshore lira liquidity will be relaxed after the weekend elections, resulting in FX swap rates collapsing and enabling trapped lira longs to exit their positions. In fact, it appears that this has already happened, and the selling in the lira has resumed.

Finally, confirming that Erdogan has already lost the war with “evil speculators”, on Thursday the Turkish executive president made it clear that he sees nothing wrong with his economy, and instead the fluctuations in the exchange rate are due to “operations by the U.S. and the West to corner Turkey” (perhaps headed by JPMorgan):

  • ERDOGAN SAYS LIRA FLUCTUATIONS ABOUT OPERATION TO CORNER TURKEY
  • ERDOGAN: THE REAL PROBLEM IS INTEREST RATES, I’M AN ECONOMIST

Adding to the comedy, the president said that a “cornering operation targeting foreign exchange and interest rates were foiled”, ignoring to add that as a result of this operation, the last trace of confidence investors may have had in his increasingly banana republic may have now evaporated.

And while Erdogan also said that speculators should be tamed, the greatest worry for lira bulls should be that Erdogan is once again also targeting high interest rates as the source of the country’s woes, saying that “they”, i.e. the central bank, “have to cut interest rates or the inflation problem will carry on.”

Of course, whatever Erdogan wants, Erdogan gets so as soon as the local elections are over, expect a coordinated attack by the Turkish executive branch on the central bank of the country which is now mired in a deep recession where prices are soaring, urging for much lower rates, which in turn will soon send the lira plunging to new all time lows.

end

One week forwards are now 280% interest rate making it impossible for foreigners to sell their lira. Credit defaults swaps have risen to almost 500 making these guys likely to default

The situation in Turkey is very bad and could lead to contagion something that we have not witnessed since the Indonesian/Thailand crisis of 1997

(courtesy zerohedge)

How Turkey Committed Financial Suicide

We have extensively documented the ongoing collapse of Turkey’s financial system in the last few days as Reserves plunge, credit risk soars, and the currency plummets…

…but Bloomberg macro strategist Mark Cudmore warns this is far more than just a ‘Turkey’ issue:

“The extraordinary stress currently seen in Turkey’s lira funding market may appear to be a niche issue, but the repercussions will be far-reaching.”

Via Bloomberg,

Many commentators expressed surprise or even disbelief that auctions in the lira swap market caused knock-on effects from Sao Paulo to Jakarta. Yet the transmission is real. And it will persist, thanks to value-at-risk (VAR) limits and volatility targeting
Due to recent policy measures making Turkish lira funding prohibitively expensive — one-week lira implied yields closed at 280% Wednesday — it’s become almost impossible for many foreign investors to sell the lira.

This isn’t just about making it too expensive for short-sellers to borrow the currency. The problem also applies to those who are long lira and wish to exit their positions; they are trapped as it’s too costly to unwind their FX swaps.

This lack of liquidity has effectively prevented the lira depreciating even more significantly. But this isn’t a sustainable equilibrium, as VAR metrics and risk departments will be screaming to cut Turkey exposure.

Illustrating the pressure for exodus: Wednesday was the worst session for the benchmark equity index since July 2016 and Turkey’s bonds have also been walloped.

The contagion comes from these long lira positions that are essentially stuck. If funds don’t want to pay the cost to exit, the Turkey-induced jump in VAR measures force them to reduce positions elsewhere.

This mainly applies to EM funds, given that Turkey’s well-known challenges would have kept away a broader set of investors.

Local Turkish elections are looming, and there’s speculation that funding rates will subside once they are done, allowing investors an easier exit.

The anticipation of how things will play out can be seen in one-week lira volatility, which is at 53% today, up from 9.4% a week ago. (Moves have been exacerbated as some attempted to start covering lira exposure through options).

This creates a feedback loop. The jump in volatility bets based on expectations of a looming exit causes a secondary impulse to feed through to VAR and volatility-risk metrics, putting yet more pressure for investors to reduce positions.

And there’s a longer-term wave to this as well. Turkey has a large weighting in various EM bond indexes. So passive funds are staying invested for now. But what happens when retail investors see the size of their losses on this exposure?

Longer-term, the consequences of declining lira trading liquidity may spur views on Turkey’s membership in EM bond indexes.

This Turkey story is big enough that all global investors should get on top of what’s happening. Lira swap and volatility tickers will soon be on Bloomberg launchpads globally

6.GLOBAL ISSUES

SWEDEN

Talk about timing:  Swedbank fires its CEO one hour prior to the start of its annual meeting. It’s shares have been halted. They are being accused of huge mone ylaundering

(courtesy zerohedge)

Swedbank Fires CEO Minutes Before Start Of Annual Investor Meeting; Shares Halted

Talk about bad timing.

Shares of troubled Swedish lender Swedbank were halted in Stockholm a little over an hour before the bank’s annual shareholder meeting was set to begin after sliding another 4% and dragging down the broader European banking sector, which led markets lower on Thursday.

Following initial reports that shareholders had been planning to confront CEO Birgitte Bonnesen at Thursday’s meeting, the bank’s board acquiesced to mounting investor fury and fired the CEO just minutes before the meeting was set to start over a snowballing €135 billion ($152 billion) money laundering scandal with ties to felonious former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich. The latest in a series of increasingly incriminating reports had been published by  a Swedish news channel on Wednesday.

Bonnessen

Birgitte Bonnesen

Before becoming CEO, Bonnesen had been in charge of the bank’s operations in the Baltics, where many of the suspicious transactions, many of which involved the bank’s dealings with Danske Bank’s Estonian branch, occurred.

The board said Bonnesen was fired as several of the bank’s major shareholders made clear that they would likely vote against her. CFO Anders Karlsson will temporarily fill in for Bonnesen, the board said. On Wednesday, Swedish police raided Swedbank over allegations of aggravated fraud. Following reports that the bank may have lied to US authorities over money laundering tied to the Panama Papers scandal, the FT reported that the US is investigating the bank over “a number of money laundering issues”, suggesting that Swedbank, Sweden’s oldest lender, could face potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in fines.

“The developments during the past days have created an enormous pressure for the bank. Therefore, the board has decided to dismiss Birgitte Bonnesen from her position,” said chairman Lars Idermark.

[…]

Johan Sidenmark, chief executive of Swedish pension fund AMF, justified the vote against Ms Bonnesen by saying: “Even if so far it is only a question of suspicions and nobody should be regarded as guilty until she or he is convicted, this is a case of such serious allegations that it would be irresponsible to [vote in favour of discharge] at today’s meeting.”

Swedbank shares were halted after three of the bank’s biggest shareholders, Folksam, Alecta and AMF, said they would vote against a proposal to absolve Bonnesen of liability for 2018, the FT reports.

The scandal has raised questions about whether Sweden’s banking and regulatory elite have been “too clubby” with one another. Shares of Swedbank have shed more than a quarter of their value since the bank’s involvement in a sweeping Baltic money laundering scandal was revealed in media reports. The scandal has ensnared several other Nordic and European lenders, as the allegations, which centered on Danish lender Danske Bank’s Estonian branch, have tarnished some of the region’s largest banks.

end

CANADA

Canadians are proud to the have the highest debt per GDP in the world and it is for this reason that many are shorting the Canadian banks due to their huge exposure to real estate

(courtesy zerohedge)

Low Rates Have Buried Canadians Under A Mountain Of Debt

Household debt in Canada is now bordering on excessive, catalyzed by low rates setting off a boom of borrowing over the last decade.  Canadians now collectively owe C$2.16 trillion, which as a share of GDP is the highest debt load in G-7 economies. At the same time, the housing market is starting to cool in the country and people are “freaking out”, even with rates not far above historical lows, according to Bloomberg.

The article profiled one citizen, Kieran Maxwell, a 43 year old single mom who is about C$100,000 in debt primarily from student loans and credit cards. In 2017, she realized she couldn’t even keep up with the minimum payments on her credit cards after using them to take care of her 14 year old son, who has learning disabilities.  She flinches when her phone rings with an 800 number, fearing debt collectors.

She said:

“You go to bed thinking about it. You wake up thinking about it. I wouldn’t even want to answer the phone because I didn’t want to know who was asking for what.”

Due to low rates, the once financially sound country has found itself on a recent borrowing binge. The country’s ratio of debt to disposable income rose to a record 174% in the fourth quarter, from 148% a decade earlier.

Now, everyone is waiting to see what will happen next. The Bank of Canada has raised rates 5 times since 2017, resulting in current rates of 1.75%. Federal rules put into place have curbed speculation in the housing market. Home values are falling for the first time in three decades. In other words, the chickens could soon be coming home to roost.

Individual households are also feeling the pain. For instance, the debt service ratio, which measures how much disposable income goes to principal and interest payments, was up to 14.9 in the forth quarter, nearly matching the 2007 record high.

Delinquencies in auto loans hit 0.97 in the last quarter of 2018, which is the highest number since the aftermath of the 2008 recession. Data is also showing a “pronounced shift” to leasing, as higher rates make it less economical to offer cheap longer term loans. Leases made up 36% of the C$7.85 billion in new auto loans in the fourth quarter, the largest share since before the financial crisis.

These loan delinquencies could mean that further trouble for housing is on the way.

Jodi Letkiewicz, an associate professor at York University said:

“The last thing to go is the mortgage. Before then, people stop making car payments or they begin making smaller credit card payments. By then, they’re already in a lot of trouble.”

In Canada, borrowing from home equity lines of credit, or Helocs, is also growing “faster than residential mortgages”. In other words, more people are tapping the equity on their already existing homes than are taking on new mortgages. Helocs totaled C$243 billion in October, or 11.3 percent of total household debt. Heloc balances, per capita, in Canada were $4,849 in October, more than quadruple the $1,080 in the U.S., according to Bloomberg.

The article also notes that a total of 31,900 Canadians filed for insolvency in the three months through December, the most since 2010.

We have been watching Canadian bankruptcies closely. Earlier this month we reported about how soaring insolvencies were crippling local banks. This news camejust weeks after we reported that insolvency filings had skyrocketed in almost all Canadian provinces.

Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada both posted ugly first quarter results that included higher provisions for loan losses as a key contributor to missing analyst expectations. TD Bank saw its provision for loan losses move to C$850 million, which was up 23% from the year prior. It also marked the highest level for such provisions in at least two years, mainly split between the bank’s U.S. and Canadian retail divisions (36% each), followed by the bank’s corporate division.

CIBC also saw its provisions rise – more than doubling across the bank to C$338 million, which also marked the highest level in at least two years.

END

 

7  OIL ISSUES

 

8. EMERGING MARKETS

INDIA

Congratulations to India:  they shot down a satellite and thus join an elite club of “Space Powers”

(courtesy zerohedge)

India Shoots Down Satellite, Joining Elite Club Of “Space Powers”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is truly pulling out all of the stops to ensure victory in the “biggest election in human history”, which begins in two weeks when Indians take to the polls to elect their government.

In an announcement that took the world by surprise, Modi announced on Wednesday that India had successfully shot down a satellite during a missile test. If accurate (his claims have yet to be verified), this would mean that India has joined an elite group of nations, including Russia, China and the US, that have the ability to shoot down enemies’ communication satellites. It also raises questions about the weaponization of space just as India’s regional rivalry with China, which it is struggling against for regional supremacy, is heating up.

Millions of Indians stopped what they were doing to watch Modi’s speech, according to the New York Times.

Modi

During a speech announcing the test, Modi hailed India’s arrival as a “space power,” and heralded the country’s “unprecedented achievement.” According to the PM, the satellite, which was in low-Earth orbit, was shot down from 300 kilometers away in space.

“Our scientists shot down a live satellite 300 kilometers away in space, in low-Earth orbit,” Modi said in a television broadcast.

“India has made an unprecedented achievement today,” he added, speaking in Hindi. “India registered its name as a space power.”

And in a series of tweets extolling the successful test, Modi claimed that the “indigenous” effort (it was accomplished solely by Indians), would send a message to India’s adversaries and anyone threatening the country’s “peace and harmony.”

Chowkidar Narendra Modi

@narendramodi

is special for 2 reasons:
(1) India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised & modern capability.
(2) Entire effort is indigenous.
India stands tall as a space power!
It will make India stronger, even more secure and will further peace and harmony.

Chowkidar Narendra Modi

@narendramodi

Indeed, a proud moment for the whole nation.

Just like you smash the bad deliveries out of the park, our scientists have given India the capability to smash those forces who threaten our peace and harmony.

Shikhar Dhawan

@SDhawan25

Great achievement for our country as we become the fourth nation in the world to acquire the capability of the Anti-Satellite Missile System. Congratulations to @isro and @narendramodi for #MissionShakti Proud moment!

India has been building its space program since its first satellite launch in 1975. It joined a manned space mission with Russia in 1984 and launched a Mars orbiter in 2013. India launched its heaviest communication satellite so far into space in December. The satellite weighed nearly 5,000 pounds, into space.

Analysts warned that the test would ratchet up tensions between India and China, while others said they were surprised by Modi’s willingness to do whatever it takes to prevail in the elections next month. Though his poll numbers had been sagging before the skirmish with Pakistan last month, he has been riding a crest of popular support in recent weeks.

 

end

 

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

Euro/USA 1.1228 DOWN .0024 REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:///ITALIAN CHAOS /AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA RISING INTEREST RATES /FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES  MIXED 

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 110.31  DOWN .185 (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 1.3114    DOWN   0.0038  (Brexit March 29/ 2019/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED

USA/CAN 1.3436 UP .0022 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 24 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level  FALLING to 1.1228 Last night Shanghai composite closed DOWN 27.78 POINTS OR 0.92%/

 

 

 

//Hang Sang CLOSED UP 46.96  POINTS OR 0.16% 

 

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP 0.63%// EUROPEAN BOURSES  MIXED/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NIKKEI: this THURSDAY morning CLOSED UP 244.97 POINTS OR 1.61%  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED MIXED 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang Sang CLOSED UP 46.96 POINTS OR 0.16%

 

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 27.78 POINTS OR 0.92% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 0.63%

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED UP 344.97 POINTS OR .16% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE GREEN

Gold very early morning trading: 1304.20

silver:$15.20

Early THURSDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.36% !!! DOWN 0 IN POINTS from WEDNESDAY’S night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%.

 

The 30 yr bond yield 2.81 DOWN 1  IN BASIS POINTS from WEDNESDAY night.

USA dollar index early WEDNESDAY morning: 97.14 UP 36 CENT(S) from  WEDNESDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers THURSDAY MORNING

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

And now your closing  THURSDAY NUMBERS \12: 00 PM

 

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.27% UP 2  in basis point(s) yield from WEDNESDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: -.09%  DOWN 2   BASIS POINTS from WEDNESDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

 

 

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.09% UP 4   IN basis point yield from WEDNESDAY

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.47 UP  3    POINTS in basis point yield from WEDNESDAY/

 

 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 138 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: RISES  TO –.07%   IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY//

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.54% AND NOW ABOVE THE  THE 3.00% LEVEL WHICH WILL IMPLODE THE ENTIRE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM. AT 4% SPREAD THERE WILL BE A MASSIVE BANK RUN…

 

END

IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR THURSDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1232 DOWN    .0021 or  21 basis points

 

 

USA/Japan: 110.59 UP 0.080 OR YEN DOWN 8 basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3081 DOWN .71( POUND DOWN 71  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar DOWN 14 basis points to 1.3428

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

The USA/Yuan,CNY closed AT 6.7390    0N SHORE  (DOWN)

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  6.7411  YUAN DOWN)

TURKISH LIRA:  5.5352

the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at -.09%

 

 

 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 3 IN basis points from WEDNESDAY at 2.39 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 2,82 UP 1  in basis points on the day /

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

Your closing USA dollar index, 97.12 UP 35 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 47.69  0664%

German Dax : UP 19.50 POINTS OR 0.17%

Paris Cac CLOSED UP 1.81 POINTS OR  0.03%

Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 35.60 POINTS OR  0.39%

Italian MIB: CLOSED DOWN 94.26 POINTS OR 0.44%

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 58.98 1:00 pm;

Brent Oil: 67.06 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   ROUBLE CROSS:    65.03  THE CROSS HIGHER BY 0.18 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE LOWER BY 18 BASIS PTS)

 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD FALLS  TO –.07 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 :  59.39

 

 

BRENT :  67.67

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: … 2.38… VERY DEADLY//

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 2.81..VERY DEADLY

 

 

 

 

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1222 ( DOWN 31   BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:110.60 UP .098 (YEN DOWN 10 BASIS POINTS/..

 

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 97.24 UP  47 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA:1.3053  DOWN 98 POINTS FROM YESTERDAY

the Turkish lira close: 5.5676

the Russian rouble 64.85   DOWN .43 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( DOWN 43 BASIS POINTS)

 

Canadian dollar:  1.3444  DOWN 28 BASIS pts

USA/CHINESE YUAN (CNY) :  6.7390  (ONSHORE)/

 

USA/CHINESE YUAN(CNH): 6.7385  (OFFSHORE)

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: ,-0.07%

 

The Dow closed UP 91.87 POINTS OR 0.36%

 

NASDAQ closed UP 25.79 POINTS OR 0.34%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  14.58 CLOSED DOWN .57 

 

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.601%//

 

 

 

FROM 2.597

 

 

 

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

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

Stocks & Bond Yields Rise With Dollar As Gold Breaks Key Technical Support

Never saw that coming…

 

Chinese stocks trod water early on but faded into the close…

 

UK’s FTSE 100 was Europe’s outperformer while Spain and Italy were down 0.5% on the day…

 

US equities pumped at the open once again and then faded into the EU close (once again), only to reverse trend (once again)…Trannies outperformed, followed by Small Caps…

 

4th day of pump-n-dumps into the EU close and afternoon bid…

 

S&P tested back below 2800 once again today (and bounced)…

 

FANG stocks were flat on the day with no bounce after yesterday’s tumble…

 

Credit and equity protection costs plunged again today…

 

As opposed to yesterday’s ugly 5Y auction, today’s 7Y auction saw major demand, but that was not enough to cover the selling which saw yields up 2-4bps (except 30Y which was unchanged)…

 

30Y yields dropped below 2.80% for the first time since Jan 2018…

 

Bond vol exploded in the last week – the biggest spike since 2014…

Spiking to an important resistance level relative to stocks…

 

The dollar index spiked back above 97.00…

 

Trending higher in 2019…

 

The dollar gains were extended by cable weakness…

 

The Turkish Lira tumbled…

 

Leading EM FX into the red for 2019…

 

Cryptos were a snoozefest today…

 

Ugly day in PMs while copper and crude managed gains despite the stronger dollar…

 

Following up on yesterday’s data, Permian Nat Gas prices have plummeted into negative territory – yes, drillers are force to pay end-users to take the natgas off their hands…

 

Gold fell on the day (against the dollar and yuan) – biggest drop against Yuan since June 2018…

 

But Gold in dollars broke below its 200DMA…

And back below $1300…

And silver slipped to its lowest since Boxing Day (12/26/18)…

 

Finally though, the gap between reality and perception remains near record highs…

And don’t forget, a year after the yield on three-month Treasury bills rose above the yield on 10-year notes…

The S&P 500 was little changed on average.

Eighteen months later, the index had an average loss of 8 percent — typically because earnings turned lower, Andrew Garthwaite, a global strategist at Credit Suisse, wrote.

MARKET TRADING/ LATE MORNING TRADING

Stocks Slump Into Red As Pre-Open Pump Fails For 3rd Day

For the third day in a row, the pre-open pump in US equity futures failed to hold and was sold…

 

Trannies remain green…

 

Notably, stocks are sliding along with bonds (prices down, yields up) and dollar strength today…

 

end

ii)Market data/

The USA 4th quarter has now been lowered to 2.2% from 2.6%. However the full year 2018 rises to 3.0% and thus Trump can boast that he engineered a 3% growth something that Obama never achieved in his 8 years

(courtesy zerohedge)

Q4 GDP Revised Lower To 2.2% from 2.6%; Full Year GDP Rises 3.0%

After one month ago the BEA reported that the US economy ended 2018 stronger than expected, with US GDP rising at a 2.6% annualized rate, moments ago the BEA released its third revision to the GDP which was revised modestly lower to just 2.2%, below the 2.3% expected.

 

The downward revision to real GDP growth was primarily accounted for by revisions to consumer spending, state and local government spending, and business investment that were partly offset by a downward revision to imports. For additional information see the technical note. Here are the specific revisions:

  • Personal Consumption contribution to the bottom line: 1.66% from 1.92%. On an annualized basis, however, the number was 2.5%, which was down from the 2.8% pre-revision, and just below the 2.6% expected.
  • Fixed investment was also revised lower, contributing 0.54% to the bottom line, down from 0.69% a month ago
  • Private inventories, while barely changed, were also revised lower from 0.13% to 0.11%
  • Net trade (exports less imports) shrank less than initially reported, reducing GDP by 0.08%, down from -0.22% as initially reported
  • Finally, government consumption ended up being a drag to growth, shrinking by -0.07% vs the initial estimate of 0.07% growth.

Visually:

More importantly for Trump, despite the downward revision, the president can still boast of the first 3% GDP print (on a year over year basis). As the BEA notes, measured from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 3.0 percent during the period. That compared with an increase of 2.5 percent during 2017.

On the inflation front, the GDP Price Index rose 1.7%, below the 1.8% expected, even though core PCE actually surprised to the upside, rising by 1.8% from 1.7% pre-revision, and also above the 1.7% expected.

Separately, the BEA reported that corporate profits fell -0.4% after rising 3.5% in prior quarter, with corporate profits up 7.4% on a year over year basis,  in 4Q after rising 10.4% prior quarter.

Meanwhile, financial industry profits declined 5.6% Q/q in 4Q after falling 1.3% prior quarter; nonfinancial sector profits rose 1% Q/q in 4Q after rising 6.4% prior quarter. Finally, corporate profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments increased 7.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017.

end
Housing is such a huge component of GDP..pending sales tumble 4.9% year over year..the 14th straight month of declines
(courtesy zerohedge)

Pending Home Sales Tumble 4.9% YoY – 14th Straight Month Of Declines

With home price growth at the slowest rate since 2012, rates falling, and existing home sales having rebounded notably, pending home sales are expected to slow very modestly in February after rebounding in January, but they fell more than expected.

Pending Home Sales fell 1.0% MoM (against expectations of a 0.5% decline)

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, is (surprise, surprise) optimistic…

In January, pending contracts were up close to 5 percent, so this month’s 1 percent drop is not a significant concern,” he said.

“As a whole, these numbers indicate that a cyclical low in sales is in the past but activity is not matching the frenzied pace of last spring.”

Yun added that despite the growth in the West, the region’s current sales are well below the sales activity from 2018.

“There is a lack of inventory in the West and prices have risen too fast. Job creation in the West is solid, but there is still a desperate need for more home construction.”

Yun pointed to year-over-year increases in active listings from data at realtor.com to illustrate the potential rise in inventory.

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif., Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash., and Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn., saw the largest increase in active listings in February compared to a year ago. Yun added that he does not anticipate any interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve in 2019.

“If there is a change at all, I would say the Fed will lower interest rates in 2019 or 2020. That would stimulate the economy and the housing market,” he said.

“But the expectation is no change at all in the current monetary policy, which will help mortgage rates stay at attractive levels.”

However, this is the 14th month in a row of annual declines in pending home sales…

This is the longest stretch of declines since 2008.

END

 

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

Trump correctly warns OPEC and the world that the markets are fragile and cannot stand 60 dollar oil

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Warns “World Markets Are Fragile,” Demands OPEC “Increase Flow Of Oil”

After topping $60 a barrel – the highest since Nov 2018 – oil prices slid Thursday morning after President Trump tweeted his latest plea for OPEC to increase oil production, saying that “oil markets are fragile…and the price of oil is getting too high. Thank you!”

WTI fell to its lows of the session after the tweet:

Oil

But will OPEC respond to Trump’s polite demands?…

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Very important that OPEC increase the flow of Oil. World Markets are fragile, price of Oil getting too high. Thank you!

…As one twitter wit pointed out.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Ed van der Walt 🇿🇦🇬🇧

@EdVanDerWalt

Last time he said please, and this time he says thank you.
Why is Trump so polite when it comes to OPEC?

Of course, this isn’t the first (or even, the secondor third…) time that Trump has tried to dictate OPEC’s production agreements via Tweet. Every time he does it, there’s a favorable (for Trump) reaction in the crude complex, so, like a lab rat who gets rewarded with a food pellet every time it presses a button, Trump will presumably keep tweeting until it stops working.

But given the stunning rise in US shale production, OPEC’s ability to set global oil prices has been greatly diminished, a fact that has not been lost on the Saudis, who have proposed a new formal alliance that would incorporate a group of producers led by Russia. The expanded group, informally referred to as OPEC+, has attended OPEC’s recent meetings, and was part of December’s accord to reset the bloc’s production cuts. Since then, OPEC’s overall compliance has hit 106% as Saudi Arabia has overshot with its cuts, compensating for the majority of the bloc’s members, who have not yet fully complied, per BBG.

end
This is a very important commentary.  Michael Snyder notes that inventory to sales ratio has climbed to a height of 1.68…something that we have not seen since 2015 before the huge Chinese stimulus.  We have now reached this level again with mountains of unsold goods piling up
(courtesy Michael Snyder)

SWAMP STORIES

State attorney General Foxx claims files “inadvertently” sealed.  What an absolute joke. The FBI and the DOJ are reviewing the case and no doubt these guys will file charges.

(courtesy zero hedge)

Foxx Claims Smollett Files Sealed “Inadvertently” Says “In Process Of Being Unsealed”.

Update: Whether due to pressure from the entire world or simply deciding that her office’s position would act judicially, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told ABC during an interview this evening that her office did not ask that the court file be sealed, says it was done inadvertently and she believes it is in the process of being unsealed”

Craig Wall ABC 7

@craigrwall

BREAKING: State’s Attorney Kim Foxx says her office did not ask that the court file be sealed, says it was done inadvertently and she believes it is in the process of being unsealed ⁦@ABC7Chicago

*  *  *

The outpouring of anger, disbelief, and frustration over Jussie Smollett’s release debacle has brought many sides of the political spectrum together in questioning just WTF happened and how does a 16-count felony indictment get resolved with the lightest of wrist slaps? Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fumed:

Embedded video

Good Morning America

@GMA

FULL INTERVIEW: @ChicagosMayor speaks with our @GStephanopoulos about the investigation regarding “Empire” star Jussie Smollett. https://gma.abc/2YqLwg3

With all eyes focused on State’s Attorney Kim Foxx:

John Cardillo

@johncardillo

1/ Cook County @SAKimFoxx must show us several other cases from her office in which 16 felony charges were dropped post indictment on non-celebrity defendants as she did for

If she cannot, there must be an investigation into her misconduct.

Chicago police are dumbfounded and furious…

Embedded video

America’s Newsroom

@AmericaNewsroom

WATCH: @SandraSmithFox spoke with Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham as Chicago prosecutors face backlash for dropping all charges against Jussie Smollett

And even David Axelrod took to Twitter to express his disgust: “Unless some better explanation surfaces, here’s the lesson of this weird turn in the Smollett case: You can contrive a hate crime, make it a national news, get caught and-if you are a well-connected celebrity-get off for $10K and have your record expunged and files sealed.”

David Axelrod

@davidaxelrod

No. Sorry, folks. The brief statement offered by the prosecutor didn’t dispute the basic facts in the original charge. That’s why he was compelled to sacrifice his bond. They simply said that in light of his voluntary work in the community, this was a just resolution.

David Axelrod

@davidaxelrod

Hate crimes are loathsome. Faking them is insidious and shouldn’t be excused. Despite Smollett’s denials, nothing the prosecutor said in dismissing the case supports that. If prosecutors have evidence that contradicts the indictment THEY brought, they should share it today.

“The fact that (Smollett) feels that we have exonerated him, we have not. I can’t make it any clearer than that.” So says the lead prosecutor in Smollett case. So why allow Smollett to get off for $10K and have his records expunged and case files sealed?

David Axelrod

@davidaxelrod

Smollett repaid the city $10k, ostensibly as an offset for the investigation his phony charges ignited that cost the City of Chicago in the millions.
It really is outrageous.

Simply put, as Crain’s Chicago Business’ Greg Hinz fumes belowthe state’s attorney must look Chicago in the eye and say justice was served.

Few things are more fundamental to democracy than the perception that the criminal justice system operates without taint or slant, that decisions as to how to protect the public and who to send to prison are made regardless of political or personal considerations.

Unfortunately, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx – a self-styled “reformer” who gained office largely by riding the wave of justified outrage over the Laquan McDonald scandal – appears to have pretty much botched that task in her office’s handling of the high-profile Jussie Smollett case. By first intervening with police on Smollett’s behalf and now allowing her top assistant to dismiss a 16-count felony indictment against the tall-tale-telling “Empire” actor with the lightest of slaps on the wrist, Foxx has endangered her political future and, more important, faith in the local justice system.

“The office owes the public an explanation,” former Foxx chief deputy Eric Sussman told me in a phone interview late today.

“I agree with the mayor. It looks like a whitewash.”

It sure does.

The Smollett case has been worldwide news since January. The country and city were rightly horrified by the actor’s story that he’d been accosted by two MAGA hat-wearing attackers he didn’t know who put a rope around his neck, poured a toxic chemical on him and yelled racist and homophobic slurs when he went out for a late-night snack in Streeterville.

Police always suspected something was not right with that story. So did I. What are the odds that an urban resident would be stupid enough to walk through an empty viaduct and just happen to run into two people in a relatively well-to-do neighborhood of Chicago who not only know him but happened to hate gays and would be Donald Trump fans to boot?

So, police went all out to find out what happened, assigning what I hear is a mind-boggling 12 detectives full time for weeks to scour tape from remote cameras and other clues. Police finally concluded that the whole thing was a fake and that Smollett’s attackers were actually two body-building acquaintances who’d been hired to do their own acting job. Foxx’s office charged him with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct, counts that came in the form of a grand jury indictment.

By that time, the case already had taken another strange turn.

Without detailing why, Foxx recused herself from the case, turning over the matter to her top aide, First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats. Her recusal came after reports that, after receiving calls on Smollett’s behalf from former top Barack and Michelle Obama aide Tina Tchen, Foxx called Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and urged him to turn over the case to the FBI. 

That’s basically where things stood until today, when in an unexpected and nearly unreported court appearance—the press was tipped by a publicist – Foxx’s office dropped the charges and agreed to seal all of the evidence from public view.

What did Foxx’s office get in return?

Not a confession or even grudging admission of guilt or regret. 

In fact, Smollett thanked the state for “attempting to do what’s right” and said he has been “truthful and consistent from day one.” Smollett’s attorney bragged that Smollett’s “record has been wiped clean. . . .He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks.”

How about compensation to the city for the hundreds and maybe thousands of hours of police time—time that was badly needed to solve real crimes? Nope.

Smollett did a bit a community service—a whole 16 hours doing something or other at Operation Push—and forfeited a $10,000 bond. But Smollett’s lawyer suggested the $10,000 was a token price to uncomplicate his client’s life.

In a statement, Magats, the lawyer Foxx assigned to the Smollett case, termed the development “a just disposition and appropriate resolution to the case,” given that Smollett had no prior record. Continued the statement: “We did not exonerate Mr. Smollett. The charges were dropped in exchange for Mr. Smollett’s agreement to do community service and forfeit his bond.”

So then why did Smollett and his attorney dispute that there was any deal, and act as if, as Donald Trump might put it, he was “COMPLETELY VINDICATED”?

Why weren’t city police notified until the last minute? Why is there to be no follow through, no extended conditions to prevent another stunt?

In a later interview, Magats insisted the decision to drop the charges was his and his alone. Further, he says, the judge was required to seal the evidence once the defense so requested, state law generally caps compensation in cases like this at $10,000 and the deferred prosecution Smollett’s case involved does not require a confession of guilt.

I’m not a lawyer. But now we’ll never know all of the evidence police collected in this case because it’s locked up. And we’ll never see how Smollett would have handled himself at trial, what he would have said under oath, or how he would have explained paying the body builders thousands of dollars.

Back to Sussman, who is a lawyer and held Magats’ exact job. (A Foxx press aide pointed out that Sussman, a federal prosecutor, was with the office only two years, compared to Magats’ 29).

“The prosecution says they have rock-solid evidence, and then they just suddenly drop it?” Sussman asks.

“It makes you think there’s some evidence or something that they don’t want out” – perhaps questioning from Foxx about who called her on Smollett’s behalf and what she did about it.

In all his time as first assistant, Sussman says he never saw a multiple-felony case resolved like this.

There you have it.

But the next time police are reluctant to prosecute a case of gay-bashing… the next time people are afraid to testify against someone with clout… the next time average citizens let gangbangers go free because they’re scared to cooperate… the next time police just don’t want to put in extra effort because they think it’s not worth it… the next time people laugh when you say you’re from Chicago… remember this case.

It’s time for Foxx to say lots, lots more about how and why this came down the way it did. I want her to look Chicago in the eye and say justice was served.

But we will give the final word to Georgetown Law professor Randy Barnett who asks the question everyone is considering: “None of this is normal – even for Crook County where I was an Assistant State’s Attorney. Educated guess: this hoax implicated someone very important who had pull with the State’s Attorney, and who very badly did not want to be implicated.

Randy Barnett

@RandyEBarnett

None of this is normal—even for Crook County where I was an Assistant State’s Attorney. Educated guess: this hoax implicated someone very important who had pull with the State’s Attorney, and who very badly did not want to be implicated.

Terry Moran

@TerryMoran

Celebrity justice:

Cook County clerk’s office tells @ABC they were shocked that no written motions were filed with the court in connection with today’s surprising dismissal in the Smollett case. On top of that, the case has been wiped off their database as if it never existed.

View image on Twitter

end

TRUMP:  the FBI and DOJ will investigate the case after a leaked email reveals a scramble to cover tracks

(courtesy zerohedge)

Smollett Case: Trump Vows “FBI & DOJ” Investigation As Leaked Email Reveals Scramble To Cover Tracks

President Trump says the FBI and Justice Department will investigate the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of 16 felony charges against Empire star Jussie Smollett, who Chicago PD accused of staging his own hate crime.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!

Two Nigerian-born brothers caught on surveillance camera buying ski masks and red hats were ready to testify that Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the January 29 attack, and that the 36-year-oldactor was behind a threating letter received a week prior.

After Michelle Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen contacted State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, however, charges against Smollett were dropped. Prosecutors said that Smollett’s debt to society had been paid in the form of $10,000 and 16 hours of community service he had already performed over two days at Rev. Jesse Jackson’s human rights coalition.

Smollett, meanwhile, maintains his innocence.

The sudden dismissal enraged Chicago PD, while drawing a harsh rebuke from Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel – who called it a “whitewash of justice.”

Embedded video

Alana Mastrangelo

@ARmastrangelo

Rahm Emanuel on Jussie Smollett case:

“This is without a doubt a whitewash of justice, and sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power, you’ll get treated one way—there is no accountability—it is wrong, full stop.”

Wow.

Prosecutors scramble to cover their tracks

A leaked email from the Cook County prosecutor’s office reveals that they sent out a call for “examples of cases, felony preferable, where we, in exercising our discretion, have entered into verbal agreements with defense attorneys to dismiss charges against an offender if certain conditions are met.”

Andy Ngo

@MrAndyNgo

Update: The FBI is now reviewing circumstances of why all the criminal charges against Smollett were dropped. Update 2: a leaked email from the prosecutor’s office show them scrambling to find other cases where charges were suddenly dropped under conditions like Smollett’s.

According to journalist Andy Ngo, “Source inside CPD relays that it is absolutely NOT NORMAL to have an alternative prosecution where the defendant doesn’t admit guilt.”

Andy Ngo

@MrAndyNgo

“Do you consider him guilty?” State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is questioned by ABC 7 Chicago on why the charges were dropped against Jussie Smollett. She hesitates to answer. It was revealed through a FOIA that she privately communicated w/his friend & family.

Embedded video

Andy Ngo

@MrAndyNgo

Source inside CPD relays that it is absolutely NOT NORMAL to have an alternative prosecution where the defendant doesn’t admit guilt. (Jussie Smollett actually gave a victory presser proclaiming innocence.)

The FBI is reportedly also working with the US Postal Service to determine whether Smollett had a hand in sending the racist letter he received a week before the hate-crime hoax.

end

All nine Republicans demand the resignation of Schiff

(courtesy zerohedge)

Adam Schiff Furious After GOP Calls For His Resignation In “Explosive” Hearing

Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who made Donald Trump’s now debunked Russiagate “witch hunt” his one mission in life, furiously pushed back as all nine Committee Republicans demanded his resignation, defending his past comments by lighting into the president and his family and campaign over its contacts with Russia.

Calls from Republicans and president Trump for the Russiagate-obsessed Schiff to resign as head of the House Intelligence Committee have been loud in the days following the release of the four-page Mueller report summary. And on Thursday, the call was made right to the Congressman’s face in what Mediate described was an “explosive” clash, and The Hill dubbed a “striking display.”

At the start of the House intel hearing on Thursday morning, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) called for Schiff to step down — a call which he said was supported by all nine Republican members of the committee.

“Your actions, both past, and present are incompatible with your duty of the chairman of this committee — which alone, in the House of Representatives — has the obligation and authority to provide effective oversight of the U.S. Intelligence community,” Conaway said. “As such we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as chairman of the committee. Mr. Chairman, this letter is signed by all nine members of the Republican side of the committee, and I ask unanimous consent that it be entered into the record at today’s hearing.”

Embedded video

Ryan Saavedra

@RealSaavedra

All 9 Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee demand Democrat Chairman Adam Schiff resign: “we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation”

A visibly angry Schiff responded immediately after, at which point the “clash exploded” as the Russiagate-obssessed Democrat aggressively pushed back defending his past comments by lighting into the president and his family and campaign over its contacts with Russia.

“My colleagues may think it is OK the president’s son was offered dirt as part of an effort to help Trump,” Schiff said in his statement.

“You might think it is OK. I don’t,” Schiff added, his voice rising as he went on.

Embedded video

Brett Edkins@Brettkins

.@RepAdamSchiff ticks off all the public evidence of collusion between Russians and the Trump campaign.

In their letter, Republicans impiled that Schiff was involved in or aware of leaks of committee information that fueled speculation about collusion.

“Your repeated public statements, which implied knowledge of classified facts supporting the collusion allegations, occurred at the same time anonymous leaks of alleged intelligence and law enforcement information were appearing in the media,” the letter reads.

“These leaks, often sources to current or former Administration or intelligence officials, appeared to support the collusion allegations and were purported to be related to ongoing investigations of President Trump and his associates.”

The letter also notes that committee Republicans also found no evidence of collusion involving the campaign. They released a report April 27, 2018, that laid out the results of the investigation, however, Schiff has vowed to resume the investigation, with a focus on Trump’s financial dealings and whether Trump associates have worked under the influence of Russia.

“Despite these findings, you continue to proclaim in the media that there is ‘significant evidence of collusion,’” reads the letter.

And while Schiff, or as Donald Trump Jr calls him “FullOfSchiff” may plan to keep kicking a dead horse for a long time, the social media response was quick and was largely split along party lines:

Sara A. Carter

@SaraCarterDC

@ConawayTX11 introduced a letter signed by all the Republicans of the House Intel Committee calling on @AdamSchiff to resign…what do you think?

Embedded video

Donald Trump Jr.

@DonaldJTrumpJr

WATCH: GOP House Intel members call on truther Adam Schiff to resign as Chairman of the House Intel Committee for knowingly and repeatedly lying to the American people about collusion. He has been exposed as the fraud he truly is!

Buck Sexton

@BuckSexton

If Adam Schiff does not resign from this intel committee post, there is no level of incompetence and cynicism that could ever warrant resignation from it

Ryan Saavedra

@RealSaavedra

All 9 Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee demand Democrat Chairman Adam Schiff resign: “we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation”

Embedded video

Scott Dworkin

@funder

.@RepAdamSchiff-Thank you for speaking out for the American people. Thank you for reminding Republicans on your Committee that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and that there’s indisputable evidence backing that up. Well done, Chairman. You’re a patriot. We got your back.

Eric Garland

@ericgarland

Oh Dear Beelzebub the GOP is trying to get Adam Schiff to resign because he says Russia exists. https://www.c-span.org/video/?459258-1/house-intelligence-committee-examines-russian-election-i

The full letter from the committee Republicans is below:https://www.scribd.com/embeds/403484228/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=false&access_key=key-yQT7SN27OWMojsLotga8

end
And now the fun begins; all FISA documents to be declassified
(courtesy zerohedge/Sara Carter)

Trump: I Plan To Declassify And Release All FISA Docs

Via SaraCarter.com,

President Trump, in an exclusive wide-ranging interview Wednesday night with Fox News’ “Hannity,” vowed to release the full and unredacted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants and related documents used by the FBI to probe his campaign, saying he wants to “get to the bottom” of how the long-running Russia collusion narrative began.

Trump told anchor Sean Hannity that his lawyers previously had advised him not to take that dramatic step out of fear that it could be considered obstruction of justice.

“I do, I have plans to declassify and release. I have plans to absolutely release,” Trump said. “I have some very talented people working for me, lawyers, they really didn’t want me to do it early on.”

Trump also accused FBI officials of committing “treason” — slamming former FBI Director James Comey as a “terrible guy,” former CIA Director John Brennan as potentially mentally ill, and Democrat House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff as a criminal.

Redacted versions of FISA documents already released have revealed that the FBI extensively relied on documents produced by Christopher Steele, an anti-Trump British ex-spy working for a firm funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, to surveil Trump aide Carter Page.

At least one senior DOJ official had apparent concerns Steele was unreliable, according to text messages exclusively obtained last week by Fox News.

end

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

On Wednesday, China reported a 14% y/y decline in industrial profits for January-February.  This pushed Asian bourses and ESMs lower.  Later, the ECB tried to ride to the rescue.

China’s industrial profits shrink most since late 2011 as economy cools

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-industrial-profits/chinas-industrial-profits-shrink-most-since-late-2011-as-economy-cools-idUSKCN1R804O

 

 

Draghi Sees Risks on Downside as ECB Analysis Negative Rates (3:16 ET)

“If necessary, we need to reflect on possible measures that can preserve the favorable implications of negative rates for the economy, while mitigating the side effects, if any,’ Draghi said. “That said, low bank profitability is not an inevitable consequence of negative rates.”…

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-27/draghi-sees-risks-on-downside-as-ecb-analyzes-negative-rates

 

European Central Bank Ready to Act if Trouble Hits Economy

Draghi said the bank would take “all the monetary policy actions that are necessary and proportionate” in addition to steps taken at its March 7 meeting, when it extended the earliest date for rate increases and announced new cheap loans for banks…  https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article228470274.html

After an initial upward burst on Draghi’s dovish comments, European stocks and ESMs tumbled, with ESMs tanking to 2814 at 7:11 ET.  The ECB then rode to the rescue of bulls and Q1 performance gamers.

ECB studying tiered deposit rate to alleviate banks’ plight: sources

The European Central Bank is studying options to lower the charge that banks pay on some of their excess cash as a possible way to offset the side-effects of its ultra-easy policy…

    A so-called tiered deposit rate would mean banks are exempted in part from paying the ECB’s 0.40 percent annual charge on their excess reserves, boosting their profits as they struggle with an unexpected growth slowdown… it would sign that rates are going to stay low for a very long time

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecb-policy-rates-idUSKCN1R81B3

ECB can delay rate hike again, mitigate negative rates if needed – Draghi

While Draghi did not name any specific measures, two sources close to the discussion said ECB staff are studying options for a multi-tier deposit facility, which would shield lenders from at least some of the extra cost of maintaining excess liquidity.  Euro zone banking stocks rallied and Italian government bond yields pared gains after the Reuters report…

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecb-policy-draghi/as-growth-risks-rise-draghi-says-ecb-can-delay-rate-hike-again-idUSKCN1R80PT

U.S. January Trade Gap Narrows as Imports from China Plummet – suggesting American companies had been rushing shipments the prior month to beat an expected tariff boost.

    The deficit in goods and services narrowed to $51.1 billion, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, smaller than the median estimate of economists. Imports fell 2.6 percent while exports rose 0.9 percent. The merchandise-trade gap with China — the target of President Donald Trump’s trade war — shrank to $33.2 billion as imports from the nation dropped 12.3 percent…

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-27/u-s-january-trade-gap-narrows-as-imports-from-china-plummet

@BEA_News: U.S. exports were the highest on record at $70 billion in Januaryhttps://go.usa.gov/xEJjY

We mentioned a few missives ago that the Semiconductor Index hit an all-time high despite a horrid fundamental outlook for the industry.  This is more proof that the stock market is no longer a reliable gauge of economics or fundamentals.  Partial credit for: corrupted and perverted by central banks

German Semiconductor Giant Slashes Revenue Growth Outlook By 50%

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-27/german-semiconductor-giant-slashes-revenue-growth-outlook-50

Semiconductor Equipment Revenues to Drop 17% in 2019 on 29% Capex Spend Cuts

  • As memory companies curb capex spend in 2019, revenue of semiconductor equipment companies is forecast to drop from 37% in 2018 to -17% in 2019.
  • Applied Materials led the equipment market in 2018, but its market share dropped from 21.2% in 2017 to 18.8% as revenues increased only 1.1% YoY.
  • Billings of Japanese equipment suppliers are down 4.5% YoY for the first two months of 2019, while billings of North American equipment suppliers are down 21.5% in the same period.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4251198-semiconductor-equipment-revenues-drop-17-percent-2019-29-percent-capex-spend-cuts

The DUP [Dem Unionist Party] will not support May’s Brexit plan because “the necessary changes we seek to the backstop have not been secured.”  MPs voted to delay Brexit by 441 to 105 – pretty obvious without Northern Ireland [DUP] not on board.

 

Today should contain the peak intensity of Q1 performance gaming.  The usual suspects want to push stocks higher to close out Q1 with a good report card.  Barring unexpected negative news, manipulators will make a concerted effort to boost stocks, especially late in the European and US sessions.

 

A key question: Who has more incentive to mark up their holdings: Bond or equity types?  If bond holders are aggressive in marking up stuff, it could induce traders to reflexively sell ESMs and stocks.

END-

 

I WILL SEE YOU FRIDAY NIGHT
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