MAY 8/GOLD DOWN $3.70 TO $1280.60//SILVER DOWN 3 CENTS TO $14.86//MARKETS VERY VOLATILE AS THE GLOBE IS WORRIED THAT TRUMP WILL FINALIZE AN INCREASE IN TARIFFS ON FRIDAY//THE DOW AFTER BEING UP HUGELY DURING THE DAY PLUMMETS TO A NEAR ZERO GAIN/NASDAQ FALLS 20 POINTS//CHINA RESPONDS ANGRILY TO THE POTENTIAL INCREASE IN TARIFFS BY SHUNNING THE 10 YR AUCTION//TRUMP BANS COMPANIES DEALING WITH IRAN WITH RESPECT TO COPPER AND ALUMINUM///SOME HUGE BREAKING SWAMP STORIES ON THE STEELE DOSSIER PLUS OTHER GOODIES FOR YOU TONIGHT//

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOLD: $1280.60  DOWN $3.70 (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Silver:  $14.86 DOWN 3 CENTS  (COMEX TO COMEX CLOSING)

Closing access prices:

Gold : 1284.60

 

 

 

silver:  $14.91

 

 

 

JPMorgan has been receiving gold with reckless abandon and sometimes supplying (stopping)

today RECEIVING:  5/7

EXCHANGE: COMEX
CONTRACT: MAY 2019 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,283.500000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 05/07/2019 DELIVERY DATE: 05/09/2019
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED
____________________________________________________________________________________________
661 C JP MORGAN 5
737 C ADVANTAGE 2 2
905 C ADM 5
____________________________________________________________________________________________

TOTAL: 7 7
MONTH TO DATE: 171

 

 

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR  MAY CONTRACT: 7 NOTICE(S) FOR 700 OZ (0.0217 tonnes)

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  171 NOTICES FOR 17100 OZ  (.5318 TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR MAY

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

152 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR 760,000  OZ/

 

total number of notices filed so far this month: 3279 for 16,395,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: OPENING MORNING TRADE :$5930  UP 79.00

 

 

Bitcoin: FINAL EVENING TRADE: $5953 UP 101

 

 

end

 

XXXX

 

 

 

 

 

Let us have a look at the data for today

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

IN SILVER THE COMEX OI FELL BY A TINY SIZED 705 CONTRACTS FROM 199,591 DOWN TO 199,467 ACCOMPANYING YESTERDAY’S  3 CENT FALL IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX. ,LIQUIDATION OF THE SPREADERS HAVE STOPPED FOR SILVER BUT IT NOW COMMENCES FOR GOLD. TODAY WE705RRIVED FURTHER FROM AUGUST’S 2018  RECORD SETTING OPEN INTEREST OF 244,196 CONTRACTS.

WE HAVE ALSO WITNESSED A LARGE AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL METAL STAND FOR COMEX DELIVERY AS 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 FAIR SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP:

 0 FOR MAY, 0 FOR JUNE, 529 FOR JULY AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE  529 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 529 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 529 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 2.645 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 3 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.:

27.120 MILLION OZ STANDING IN MARCH.

3.875 MILLION OZ STANDING FOR SILVER IN APRIL.

AND NOW 18.1 MILLION OZ STANDING FOR SILVER IN MAY.

 

 

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

8808 CONTRACTS (FOR 6 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 8808 CONTRACTS) OR 44.01 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 1468 CONTRACTS OR 7.34 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF MAY:  44.01 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 6.28% 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:          784.87    MILLION OZ.

JANUARY 2019 EFP TOTALS:                                                      217.455. MILLION OZ

FEB 2019 TOTALS:                                                                       147.4     MILLION OZ/

MARCH 2019 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:                                          207.835 MILLION OZ

APRIL 2019 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:                                              182.87  MILLION OZ.

 

 

RESULT: WE HAD A TINY SIZED 176 INCREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 705 WITH THE  3 CENT FALL IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX /YESTERDAY... THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD A FAIR SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 529 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) . OUR BANKERS RESUMED THEIR LIQUIDATION OF THE SPREAD TRADES TODAY.

 

TODAY WE LOST A TINY SIZED: 176 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 

i.e 529 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH DECREASE OF 705 OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 3 CENT FALL IN PRICE OF SILVER AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $14.89 WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING. YET WE STILL HAVE A STRONG AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX FOR DELIVERY!! 

 

 

In ounces AT THE COMEX, the OI is still represented by JUST OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.008 BILLION OZ TO BE EXACT or 144% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MARCH MONTH/ THEY FILED AT THE COMEX: 152 NOTICE(S) FOR  760,000 OZ OF SILVER

IN SILVER,PRIOR TO TODAY, WE  SET THE NEW COMEX RECORD OF OPEN INTEREST AT 243,411 CONTRACTS ON APRIL 9.2018 AND AGAIN THIS HAS BEEN SET WITH A LOW PRICE OF $16.51.  

AND NOW WE RECORD FOR POSTERITY ANOTHER ALL TIME RECORD OPEN INTEREST AT THE COMEX OF 244,196 CONTRACTS ON AUGUST 22/2018 AND AGAIN WHEN THIS RECORD WAS SET, THE PRICE OF SILVER WAS $14.78 AND LOWER IN PRICE THAN PREVIOUS RECORDS.

ON THE DEMAND SIDE WE HAVE THE FOLLOWING:

  1. HUGE AMOUNTS OF SILVER STANDING FOR DELIVERY  (MARCH/2018: 27 MILLION OZ , APRIL/2018 : 2.485 MILLION OZ  MAY: 36.285 MILLION OZ ; JUNE/2018  (5.420 MILLION OZ) , JULY 2018 FINAL AMOUNT STANDING: 30.370 MILLION OZ   )  FOR AUGUST 6.065 MILLION OZ. , SEPT:  A HUGE 39.505 MILLION OZ./ OCTOBER: 2,520,000 oz  NOV AT 7.440 MILLION OZ./ DEC. AT 21.925 MILLION OZ   JANUARY AT  5.825 MILLION OZ.AND FEB 2019:  2.955 MILLION OZ/ MARCH: 27.120 MILLION OZ/  APRIL AT 3.875 MILLION OZ/ AND NOW MAY:  18.1 MILLION OZ ..
  2. HUGE RECORD OPEN INTEREST IN SILVER 243,411 CONTRACTS (OR 1.217 BILLION OZ/ SET APRIL 9/2018) AND NOW AUGUST 22/2018:  244,196 CONTRACTS,  WITH A SILVER PRICE OF $14.78.
  3. HUGE ANNUAL EFP’S ISSUANCE EQUAL TO 2.9 BILLION OZ OR 400% OF SILVER ANNUAL PRODUCTION/2017
  4. RECORD SETTING EFP ISSUANCE FOR ANY MONTH IN SILVER; APRIL/2018/ 385.75 MILLION OZ/  AND THE SECOND HIGHEST RECORDED EFP ISSUANCE JUNE 2018 345.43 MILLION OZ

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

 

IN GOLD, THE OPEN INTEREST ROSE BY A HUGE SIZED 7551 CONTRACTS, TO 450,039 WITH THE  TINY RISE IN THE COMEX GOLD PRICE/(AN INCREASE IN PRICE OF $1.85//YESTERDAY’S TRADING).  

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A SMALL SIZED 3268 CONTRACTS:

APRIL 0 CONTRACTS,JUNE: 3268 CONTRACTS DECEMBER: 0 CONTRACTS, JUNE 2020  0 CONTRACTS AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 450,039.  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 VERY STRONG SIZED GAIN IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 10,819 CONTRACTS: 7551 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX  AND 3268 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN OF 10,819 CONTRACTS OR 1,081,900 OZ OR 33.65 TONNES.  YESTERDAY WE HAD A GAIN IN THE PRICE OF GOLD TO THE TUNE OF ONLY  $1.85….AND WITH THAT TINY RISE, WE  HAD A HUGE GAIN IN TONNAGE OF 33.65 TONNES!!!!!!.?????????????????????????????????????????? 

AS YOU WILL SEE, THE CROOKS HAVE NOW SWITCHED TO GOLD AS THEY INCREASE THE OPEN INTEREST FOR THE SPREADERS. THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN INTEREST WILL RISE FROM NOW ON UNTIL ONE WEEK PRIOR TO FIRST DAY NOTICE AND THAT IS WHEN THEY START THEIR CRIMINAL LIQUIDATION.

 

HERE IS HOW THE CROOKS USED SPREADING AS WE ENTER A NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MAY HEADING TOWARDS THE VERY ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF JUNE.

AS I HAVE MENTIONED IN PREVIOUS COMMENTARIES, HERE IS THE BANKERS MODUS OPERANDI: 

“YOU WILL ALSO NOTICE THAT THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST IS STARTING TO RISE IN THIS NON ACTIVE MONTH OF MAY BUT SO IS THE OPEN INTEREST OF  SPREADERS. THE OPEN INTEREST IN GOLD WILL CONTINUE TO RISE UNTIL ONE WEEK BEFORE FIRST DAY NOTICE OF AN UPCOMING ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH (JUNE), AND THAT IS WHEN THE CROOKS SELL THEIR SPREAD POSITIONS BUT NOT AT THE SAME TIME OF THE DAY.  THEY WILL USE THE SELL SIDE OF THE EQUATION TO CREATE THE CASCADE (ALONG WITH THEIR COLLUSIVE FRIENDS) AND THEN COVER ON THE BUY SIDE OF THE SPREAD SITUATION AT THE END OF THE DAY. THEY DO THIS TO AVOID POSITION LIMIT DETECTION. THE LIQUIDATION OF THE SPREADING FORMATION CONTINUES FOR EXACTLY ONE WEEK AND ENDS ON FIRST DAY NOTICE.”

 

 

 

 

 

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF MAY : 33,418 CONTRACTS OR 3,341,800 OR 103.44 TONNES (6 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 6030 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE STRONG SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 6 TRADING DAYS IN  TONNES: 103.45 TONNES

TOTAL ANNUAL GOLD PRODUCTION, 2018, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD EX CHINA EX RUSSIA: 3555 TONNES

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 103.45/3550 x 100% TONNES =2.91% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN DECEMBER ALONE.***

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2019 TO DATE:     1919.51 TONNES

JANUARY 2019 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE;   531.20 TONNES

FEB 2019 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:             344.36 TONNES

MARCH 2019 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:       497.16 TONNES

APRIL 2019 TOTAL ISSUANCE:                 456.10 TONNES

 

 

WHAT IS ALARMING TO ME, ACCORDING TO OUR LONDON EXPERT ANDREW MAGUIRE IS THAT THESE EFP’S ARE BEING TRANSFERRED TO WHAT ARE CALLEDRIAL 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 HUGE SIZED INCREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX OF 7551 WITH THE RISE IN PRICING ($1.85) THAT GOLD UNDERTOOK YESTERDAY) //.WE ALSO HAD A  SMALL SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 3268 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 3268 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE  HAD AN VERY STRONG GAIN OF 10,819 CONTRACTS IN TOTAL OPEN INTEREST  ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

3268 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 7551 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (IN TONNES, THE GAIN IN TOTAL OI EQUATES TO 33.65 TONNES). ..AND THIS HUGE DEMAND OCCURRED WITH A TINY RISE IN PRICE OF $1.85 IN YESTERDAY’S TRADING AT THE COMEX. NO DOUBT THAT A STRONG  PERCENTAGE OF OI GAIN WAS DUE TO THE CONTINUING OF THE SPREADING OPERATION AS I HAVE OUTLINED ABOVE.

 

 

 

we had:  7 notice(s) filed upon for 700 oz of gold at the comex.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

GLD...

 

WITH GOLD DOWN $3.70  TODAY 

 

NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//

 

 

 

INVENTORY RESTS AT 739.64 TONNES

IT LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE REACHED THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL FOR PHYSICAL GOLD BEING SUPPLIED TO THE CROOKS.

 

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 3 CENTS TODAY:

NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.582 MILLION OZ.

 

 

end

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in SILVER FELL BY A TINY SIZED 705 CONTRACTS from 200,172 DOWN TO 199,467 AND FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET LAST IN AUG.2018 AT 244,196 WITH A SILVER PRICE OF $14.78/(AUGUST 22/2018)..THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET ON APRIL 9/2018 AT 243,411 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS WITH THE SILVER PRICE AT THAT DAY: $16.53). AND PREVIOUS TO THAT, THE RECORD  WAS ESTABLISHED AT: 234,787 CONTRACTS, SET ON APRIL 21.2017 OVER  1 1/3 YEARS AGO.  THE PRICE OF SILVER ON THAT DAY: $17.89.  AS YOU CAN SEE, WE HAVE RECORD HIGH OPEN INTERESTS IN SILVER  ACCOMPANIED BY A CONTINUAL LOWER PRICE WHEN THAT RECORD WAS SET…..THE SPREADERS HAVE STOPPED THEIR LIQUIDATION IN SILVER BUT HAVE NOW MORPHED INTO GOLD..

 

 

 

 

EFP ISSUANCE:

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

 

0 CONTRACTS FOR APRIL., 0 FOR MAY, FOR JUNE 0 CONTRACTS AND JULY: 581 CONTRACTS  AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 581 CONTRACTS. EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON.  IF WE TAKE THE  OI LOSS AT THE COMEX OF 705 CONTRACTS TO THE 529 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE OBTAIN A SMALL LOSS OF 176 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  THUS IN OUNCES, THE LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 0.300 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 7.475 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,  27.120 MILLION OZ FOR MARCH., 3.875 MILLION OZ FOR APRIL AND NOW 18.1 MILLION OZ FOR MAY

 

 

RESULT: A TINY SIZED DECREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 3 CENT GAIN IN PRICING THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// YESTERDAY. WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED 529 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)WEDNESDAY MORNING/ TUESDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED  DOWN 32.63 POINTS OR 1.12%  //Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 359.82 POINTS OR 1.23%   /The Nikkei closed DOWN 321.13 POINTS OR 1.46%//Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN .50%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 6.7824 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil DOWN to 61.22 dollars per barrel for WTI and 69.56 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED//  ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN // LAST AT 6.7824 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.8005 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 /TRADE DEAL NOW DEAD..TRUMP THREATENS TO RAISE RATES TO 25%

 

 

 

 

3A//NORTH KOREA/ SOUTH KOREA

NORTH KOREA

 

 

 

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

 

3 China/Chinese affairs

i)China/USA

China responds to Trump as they are fully prepared for an escalated trade war:

(courtesy zerohedge)

ii)Then: bang!!

China boycotts the 10 yr auction as indirects  (which is usually China) plunges.  The bankers took up double to make up for the loss

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

iii)Goldman capitulates and now sees a greater chance that we will see a tariff increase on Friday

( zerohedge)

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

i)ITALY

Major problems with the Italian coalition partners as well as Italian budget chaos brings the Italian 10 yr yield much higher to 2.69% and the spread between the German bund and Italian funds rise to 2.75%

( zerohedge)

ii)UK

The tories have had enough of Theresa May who really does not want a proper Brexit.   They demand to pick her resignation date or they will do it themselves. The message is clear;  deliver a Brexit
( Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk)

 

 

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

i)IRAQ/USA/IRAN

Pompeo makes a surprise Iraqi visit as they site Iranian escalation.

( zerohedge)

ii)Iran

Iran reneges on its JCPOA agreement  (with Europe) and thus an unprecedented escalation from Tehran.  Europe now has a big problem
( zerohedge)

 

6. GLOBAL ISSUES

 

7. OIL ISSUES

 

 

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

 

 

 

 

9. PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)These two days will go down in infamy as they were the May Day  massacre of silver in 2011 and the Bank of England’s gold sales in 19999

( zerohedge)

ii)China adds 14.93 tonnes of gold to its official reserves.  it produces around 33 tonnes of gold per month and no gold ever leaves China so these figures are again still muted
( zerohedge)

 

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

 

 

MARKET TRADING//

a)Market trading: last night

 

 

b)This morning

 

 

ii)Market data

Credit card defaults climb as banks are hoarding the riskiest accounts.

(courtesy zerohedge)

ii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

a)California’s mandatory minimum wage at $15.00 is already starting to backfire.

( zerohedge)

b)We have been highlighting to you on several occasions that Trump’s new tariffs hurt the USA as much as China because it is the USA citizen that must pay for thee higher cost of goods.

( Tom Luongo)

c)I guess when it rains it pours:  Baltimore is paralyzed with a ransomware attack

good luck to them..

(courtesy zerohedge)

SWAMP STORIES

i)The following is a huge story:  Steel made a damning pre fisa confession that the dossier is political and must be out before Nov 8.  Also the FBI retroactively classified this document.

my goodness.

( zerohedge)

i b)former FBI official states that James Comey is in a heap of trouble

(courtesy zerohedge)

ii) a  Trump asserts executive privilege over the Mueller report and its underlying documents even though Barr released the report already to the public at large save the redacted stuff.

( zerohedge)

iib)Ridiculous!! The House Judiciary committee votes to hold Barr in contempt over the Mueller report which Barr refuses to hand over.  This will end up in court and the Dems will lose

(courtesy zerohedge)

iii)The Democrats are now taking aim at corporations that pay zero Federal taxes (even though they probably have loses.

( zerohedge)

iv)trump had severe losses in his New York Times report. The losses stem from his casinos and airline endeavours.

He has done nothing wrong.

(courtesy New York Times/zerohedge)

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

 

Let us head over to the comex:

 

THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN INTEREST ROSE BY A STRONG SIZED 7551 CONTRACTS.TO A LEVEL OF 450,039 DESPITE THE TINY GAIN IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($1.85) IN YESTERDAY’S // COMEX TRADING) 

WE ARE NOW IN THE NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MAY..  THE CME REPORTS THAT THE BANKERS ISSUED A SMALL SIZED  TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS., THAT IS 3268 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

0 FOR JUNE ’19: 3268 CONTRACTS , DEC; 0 CONTRACTS: 0 AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  3268 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: 10,819 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 3268 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE GAINED A STRONG SIZED 7551 COMEX CONTRACTS.

 

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES : 10,819 contracts OR 1,081,900 OZ OR 33.65 TONNES.

 

We are now in the NON active contract month of MAY and here the open interest stands at 130 contracts, having GAINED 3 contracts. We had 6 notices served yesterday so we gained 9 contracts or an additional 900  oz will stand as they guys refused to morph into a London based forward as well as negating a fiat bonus

The next contract month after May is June and here the open interest FELL by 5629 contracts DOWN to 283,304.  July LOST 1 contracts to stand at 52.  After July the next active month is August and here the OI rose by 11,422 contracts up to 93,578 contracts.

 

 

 

TODAY’S NOTICES FILED:

WE HAD 7 NOTICES FILED TODAY AT THE COMEX FOR  700  OZ. (0.0217 TONNES)

 

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And now for the wild silver comex results.

Total COMEX silver OI FELL BY A TINY SIZED 705 CONTRACTS FROM 200,172 DOWN TO 199,467(AND FURTHER FROM THE NEW RECORD OI FOR SILVER SET ON AUGUST 22.2018.  THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET APRIL 9.2018/ 243,411 CONTRACTS) AND TODAY’S TINY OI COMEX LOSS OCCURRED WITH A  3 CENT GAIN IN PRICING.//YESTERDAY.

 

 

WE ARE NOW INTO THE  ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MAY.  HERE WE HAVE 499 OPEN INTEREST STAND SO FAR FOR A LOSS OF ONLY 122 CONTRACTS.  WE HAD 150 NOTICES SERVED UPON YESTERDAY SO IN ESSENCE WE GAINED ANOTHER  28 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 140,000 OZ WILL STAND FOR DELIVERY AS THESE GUYS REFUSED TO MORPH INTO LONDON BASED FORWARDS AND AS WELL THEY NEGATING A FIAT BONUS. SILVER MUST BE SCARCE AT THE COMEX. QUEUE JUMPING RETURNS WITH A VENGEANCE. WE HAVE NOW SURPASSED THE INITIAL AMOUNT STANDING WHICH OCCURED ON APRIL 30.2019

 

 

 

THE NEXT MONTH AFTER MAY IS THE NON ACTIVE MONTH OF  JUNE.  HERE THIS MONTH LOST 3 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 699. AFTER JUNE IS THE ACTIVE MONTH OF JULY, (THE SECOND LARGEST DELIVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR FOR SILVER) AND HERE THIS MONTH LOST 741 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 151,801 CONTRACTS.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED:

 

We, today, had 152 notice(s) filed for 760,000 OZ for the MARCH, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

 

 

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY:  310,659  CONTRACTS 

 

 

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY:  292,012  contracts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INITIAL standings for  MAY/GOLD

MAY 8 /2019.

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
46,630.620
oz
JPM
Scotia
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz nil

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  

 

 

 

nil oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
7 notice(s)
 700 OZ
(0.0217TONNES)
No of oz to be served (notices)
123 contracts
(12300 oz)
0.3825 TONNES
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
171 notices
17100 OZ
.5318 TONNES
Total accumulative withdrawals of gold from the Dealers inventory this month NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month xxx oz

 

we had 0 dealer entries:

 

 

total dealer deposits: nil oz

total dealer withdrawals: nil oz

We had 0 kilobar entries

 

we had 0 deposit into the customer account

i) Into JPMorgan:  nil oz

 

ii) Into everybody else:  zero oz

 

 

total gold deposits: nil  oz

 

 very little gold arrives from outside/ again zero amount arrived  today

we had 0 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

(maybe investors are taking our advice by not storing their gold at the comex.)

this will hurt our bankers as they need to replace leased gold as all gold stored at the gold comex is unallocated.

IT LOOKS LIKE THE RATS ARE FLEEING A SINKING SHIP!

Gold withdrawals;

i)  We had 2 withdrawals:

Out of JPMorgan: 40,629.560 oz

ii) Out of Scotia:  6,001.06 oz

 

.

total gold withdrawals; 46,630.620 oz

 

 

i) we had 0 adjustments today

FOR THE MAY 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 7 contract(s) of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 5 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account and 0 notices by the squid  (Goldman Sachs)

 

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To calculate the INITIAL total number of gold ounces standing for the MAY /2019. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (171) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAY. (130 contract) minus the number of notices served upon today (7 x 100 oz per contract) equals 29,400 OZ OR 0.9144 TONNES) the number of ounces standing in this NON active month of MAY

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

No of notices served (171 x 100 oz)  + (130)OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (7 x 100 oz )which equals 29,400 oz standing OR 0.9144 TONNES in this NON active delivery month of MAY.

We gained 9 contracts or an additional 900 oz will stand for delivery as they refused to morph into a London based forwards. Queue jumping continues where we left off last month in gold and for that matter in silver.  We now have two precious metals undergoing queue jumping as the bankers scramble to obtain physical metal.

 

 

 

 

 

SURPRISINGLY LITTLE GOLD HAS BEEN ENTERING THE COMEX VAULTS AND WE HAVE WITNESSED THIS FOR THE PAST YEAR!!  WE HAVE ONLY 6.604 TONNES OF REGISTERED (  GOLD OFFERED FOR SALE) VS 0.9144 TONNES OF GOLD STANDING// THEY SEEM TO BE USING CONSIDERABLE GOLD VAPOUR TO SETTLE UPON UNSUSPECTING LONGS.

 

 

 

 

 

total registered or dealer gold:  212,322.479 oz or  6.604tonnes
total registered and eligible (customer) gold;   7,702,775.662 oz 239.58 tonnes

 

 

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

 

 

AT FIRST DAY NOTICE MAY 1 2018: WE HAD 1.284 TONNES OF GOLD STAND.  BY MONTH’S END:  2.27 TONNES AS WE HAD ONE QUEUE JUMPING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MONTH.

IN THE LAST 31 MONTHS 116 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 OF APRIL

INITIAL  standings/SILVER

MAY 8 2019
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
984,748.412 oz
Brinks
CNT
Scotia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory
2923,700 oz
Delaware
No of oz served today (contracts)
152
CONTRACT(S)
(760,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
347 contracts
1,735,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 3279 contracts

16,395,000 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: nil oz

we had  1 deposits into the customer account

into JPMorgan:  nil

 

 

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

JPMorgan now has 149.469 million oz of  total silver inventory or 48.80% of all official comex silver. (149 million/305 million)

 

into  Delaware:  2923.700  oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total customer deposits today:  2923.700 oz

 

we had 3 withdrawals out of the customer account:

 

i) Out of CNT: 73107.062  oz

ii) Out of Brinks:  906,752.85 oz

iii) Out of Scotia:  4888.500 oz

 

 

 

total withdrawals: 984,748.412 oz

 

we had 2 adjustment :

out of CNT:  168,114.02 oz was adjusted out of the customer account and this landed into the dealer account of CNT

ii) out of Brinks: 112,819.88 oz was adjusted out of the dealer and this landed into the customer account of Brinks

 

 

total dealer silver:  95.093 million

total dealer + customer silver:  307 348 million oz

 

The total number of notices filed today for the MAY 2019. contract month is represented by 152 contract(s) FOR  760,000  oz

To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in MAY, we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 3279 x 5,000 oz = 16,395,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAY. (499) and the number of notices served upon today (152 x 5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the MAY/2019 contract month: 3279(notices served so far)x 5000 oz + OI for front month of MAY( 499) -number of notices served upon today (152)x 5000 oz equals 18,130,000 oz of silver standing for the MAY contract month.

We GAINED 28 contracts or an additional 140,000 oz will stand as these guys refused to morph into London based forwards as well as negating a fiat bonus for their efforts.

 

 

 

FOR COMPARISON VS LAST YEAR:

 

 

 

 

ON FIRST DAY NOTICE APRIL 30/2018 (FOR THE MAY 2018 CONTRACT MONTH) WE HAD 24.11 MILLION OZ STAND FOR DELIVERY.  BY MONTH END WE HAD HUGE QUEUE JUMPING AND THUS 36.285 MILLION OZ EVENTUALLY STOOD FOR DELIVERY.

 

 

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TODAY’S ESTIMATED SILVER VOLUME:  58,050 CONTRACTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMED VOLUME FOR YESTERDAY: 62,463 CONTRACTS..

 

..

 

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 62,463 CONTRACTS EQUATES to 312 million  OZ 44.6% 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

 

 

 

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NPV for Sprott 

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV FALLS TO -4.24% (MAY 8/2019)
2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV FALLS TO -2.20% to NAV (MAY 8/2019 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at -4.24%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

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

NAV 12.86 TRADING 12.29/DISCOUNT 4.44

END

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

MAY 8/WITH GOLD DOWN $3.70 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 739.64 TONNES

MAY 7/ WITH GOLD UP $1.80: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 739.64 TONNES

MAY 6/WITH GOLD UP $2.35: ANOTHER WITHDRAWAL OF 5.88 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 739.64 TONNES

MAY 3/WITH GOLD UP $9.35 TODAY: A WITHDRAWAL  OF 1.17 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 745.52

MAY 2/WITH GOLD DOWN $12.30 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 746.69 TONNES

MAY 1/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.20 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 746.69 TONNES

APRIL 30/WITH GOLD UP $4.30 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 746.69 TONNES//

APRIL 29/WITH GOLD DOWN $7.00: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 746.69 TONNES

APRIL 26/WITH GOLD UP $9.2//ANOTHER BIG CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD; A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.18 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD.//INVENTORY LOWERS TO 746.69 TONNES TONNES

APRIL 25//WITH GOLD UP $.05 TODAY  (BASICALLY FLAT) NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 747.87 TONNES

 

APRIL 24 WITH GOLD UP  $6.00 TODAY// TWO TRANSACTIONS: 1)A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 2.05 TONNES FROM THE GLD AND THEN II) ANOTHER WITHDRAWAL OF 1.76 TONNES//INVENTORY RESTS AT 747.87 TONNES

APRIL 23./WITH GOLD DOWN $4.45 TODAY: NO CHANGES AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 751.68 TONNES//

APRIL 22/WITH GOLD UP $1.75//A SMALL WITHDRAWAL OF .59 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 751.68 TONNES

APRIL 18/WITH GOLD DOWN $.45 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT752.27 TONNES

APRIL 17/WITH GOLD DOWN $0.10 TODAY: ANOTHER HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 1.76 TONNES AT THE GLD WHICH WAS USED IN YESTERDAY’S RAID/INVENTORY RESTS AT 752.27 TONNES

APRIL 16/WITH GOLD DOWN $13.60 TODAY: A HUGE WITHDRAWAL OF 3.82 TONNES AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 754.03

APRIL 15/WITH GOLD DOWN $3.70 TODAY: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 757.85 TONNES

APRIL 12/WITH GOLD UP $2.10 TODAY:NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 757..85 TONNES

APRIL 11/WITH GOLD DOWN $19.85 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 757.85 TONNES

APRIL 10/WITH GOLD UP $5.45 AGAIN TODAY, THE CROOKS AGAIN RAIDED THE COOKE JAR BY 2.64 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 757.85 TONNES

APRIL 9/WITH GOLD UP AGAIN BY $6.40/THE CROOKS RAIDED THE COOKIE JAR AGAIN BY 1.18 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 760.49 TONNES

APRIL 8/WITH GOLD UP AGAIN BY $6.40: THE CROOKS RAIDED THE COOKIE JAR AGAIN BY .88 TONNES//INVENTORY RESTS TONIGHT AT 761.67 TONNES.

APRIL 5/WITH GOLD UP$1.35: ANOTHER WITHDRAWAL OF 1.74 TONNES OF PHYSICAL GOLD FROM THE GLD INVENTORY: INVENTORY RESTS AT 762.55 TONNES

APRIL 4/WITH GOLD DOWN 90 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 764.29 TONNES

APRIL 3:WITH GOLD DOWN 20 CENTS: ANOTHER WHOPPER OF A WITHDRAWAL: 3.81 TONNES FROM THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT  764.29 TONNES

APRIL 2//WOW! WE LOST A WHOPPING 16.16 TONNES OF GOLD WITH A RISE IN PRICE OF $1.80//INVENTORY RESTS AT 768.10

 

 

 

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MAY 8/2019/ Inventory rests tonight at 739.64 tonnes

*IN LAST 592 TRADING DAYS: 194.33 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 492 TRADING DAYS: A NET 28.49 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN LOST INTO THE GLD INVENTORY.

IT LOOKS LIKE WE REACHED THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL FOR PHYSICAL GOLD AT THE GLD.

 

end

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

MAY 8/WITH SILVER DOWN 3 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.582 MILLION OZ///

MAY 7/WITH SILVER DOWN 3 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.582 MILLION OZ//

MAY 6/WITH SILVER DOWN 3 CENTS WE HAD ANOTHER DEPOSIT OF 891,000 OZ OF SILVER INTO THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 316.582 MILLION OZ/

MAY 3//WITH SILVER UP 34 CENTS TODAY: A DEPOSIT OF 843,000 OZ INTO THE SLV/TOTAL INVENTORY RESTS AT 315.691 MILLION OZ//

MAY 2/WITH SILVER DOWN ANOTHER 13 CENTS, MIRACUOUSLY THE AUTHORITIES ADD 2.869 MILLION OZ OF SILVER BACK INTO THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.848 MILLION OZ//

MAY 1/WITH SILVER DOWN 23 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 311.979 MILLION OZ////

APRIL 30/WITH SILVER UP 5 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 311.979 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 29/ WITH SILVER DOWN 13 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 311.979 MILLION OZ.

APRIL 26//WITH SILVER UP 12 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 311.979 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 25/WITH SILVER DOWN 4 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 311.979 MILLION OZ///

APRIL 24/WITH SILVER UP 15 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 311.979 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 23./WITH SILVER DOWN 21 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 311.979 MILLION OZ///

APRIL 22/WITH SILVER UP 4 CENTS TODAY; NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 311.979 MILLION OZ///

APRIL 18/WITH SILVER FLAT TODAY: A SHOCKING 2.8122 MILLION PAPER OZ WERE ADDED INTO SLV INVENTORY: INVENTORY RESTS AT 311.979 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 17/WITH SILVER UP ONE CENT TODAY; NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.167 MILLION OZ///

APRIL 16/WITH SILVER DOWN 3 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.167 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 15: WITH SILVER DOWN ONE CENT TODAY: A SMALL CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 750,000 OZ//INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.167 MILLION OZ.

APRIL 12 WITH SILVER UP 11 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.917 MILLION OZ.

APRIL 11/WITH SILVER DOWN 37 CENTS TODAY: A DEPOSIT OF 750,000 OZ INTO THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.917 MILLION OZ//

April 10/WITH SILVER UP 4 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.167 MILLION OZ.

APRIL 9/WITH SILVER DOWN ONE CENT: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV.INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.167 MILLION OZ///

APRIL 8/WITH SILVER UP 14 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV.INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.167 MILLION OZ///

APRIL 5/WITH SILVER DOWN 2 CENTS: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY:  THE CROOKS CANNOT RAID ANY SILVER BECAUSE THERE IS NONE: INVENTORY RETS AT 309.167 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 4/WITH SILVER FLAT TODAY; NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.167 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 3/WITH SILVER UP TWO CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.167 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 2/ WITH SILVER DOWN ONE CENT TODAY: A SMALL WITHDRAWAL OF 134,000 OZ FROM THE SLV TO PAY FOR FEES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 309.167

 

 

 

MAY 8/2019:

 

Inventory 316.582 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 2.11/ and libor 6 month duration 2.64

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

G0LD LENDING RATE: + .53/

 

 

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.48%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 2.75

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = +.27

end

 

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES

 

end
i) GOLDCORE BLOG/Mark O’Byrne

 

Deutsche Bank’s Crisis Will Likely Lead To U.S. and Global Banking Crisis

by Christopher Whalen, via TheAmericanConservative.com

Americans generally think of Europe first as a wonderful place to visit. They rarely ponder the economic and financial ties between the United States and European Union, but in fact these ties are extensive and significant to the stability of both economies.

Deutsche Bank Share Collapse – From €116 in 2007 to €7 Today (Google)

One area of particular connection involves the large banks and companies that provide services on both sides of the Atlantic. It is this area of commercial finance that risks are actually growing to the United States—in large part due to political gridlock in Europe stemming from the 2008 financial crisis.

Credit market professionals have been aware of problems among the European banks for many years. Their lack of profitability, combined with high credit losses and a lack of transparency have created a minefield for global investors going back decades. Whereas the United States has a bankruptcy court system to protect investors, in Europe the process of resolving insolvency is an opaque muddle that leans heavily in favor of corporate debtors and their political sponsors.

When we talk about true mediocrity among European banks, one of the leading example are, surprisingly, German institutions. Germany, after all, has a reputation for being the economic leader of Europe and a global industrial power, thus the continued failures in the financial sector are truly remarkable.

The biggest example, Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, has had problems with capital and profitability going back decades.

But Deutsche Banks’s problems are not unique.

What is troubling and indeed significant for American policy makers, however, is the nearly complete failure of our friends in Europe to address their banking sector, either in terms of cleaning up bad assets or raising capital to enable the cleanup.

One of the political understandings that came out of the Basel III process (a regulatory regime first introduced in 2013 to promote stability in the international financial system) was that the United States would take a harder view on mortgage related exposures and particularly intangible assets like mortgage servicing rights. The Europeans, it is said by participants, agreed to take a tougher line on bad assets loitering inside banks and to particularly require banks to take a reserve against bad credits immediately.

Prior to 2018, when the president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, directed EU banks to start recognizing bad credits, international accounting rules essentially allowed EU banks to ignore bad credits. Indeed, EU banks could pretend that loan payments were still being received. Loans that defaulted prior to 2018 were not included in the directive. Thus Europe has a decade of detritus sitting in the loan portfolios of many banks that is neither disclosed nor properly valued. Whereas in the United States banks must charge-off bad assets down to some expected recovery value, in Europe we extend and pretend.

Many observers were surprised several years ago when Chinese airline conglomerate HNA arrived on the scene as the new shareholder of Deutsche Bank, a significant global investment bank that provides a range of services in the United States. The German lender had been marketing an offering of new equity shares for years without luck, thus the arrival of the high-flying and highly-leveraged HNA was greeted with quiet gratitude in European capitals. No European politician wants to be caught dead talking about large banks in anything but the most responsible tones, thus nobody asked any questions about HNA or its owners.

Sadly the HNA equity investment in Deutsche Bank was financed with a lot of debt.When the Chinese firm started to literally implode two years ago due to massive debt payments on its $40 billion in obligations, it began to sell its shares in Deutsche Bank, creating the latest crisis for the chronically underperforming bank. Today HNA is being liquidated under the supervision of the Chinese government. And to this day, nobody among United States or European bank regulators really knows who owns the company that was briefly the largest shareholder of Deutsche Bank

The setback with HNA led to discussions of merging Deutsche Bank with Germany’s Commerbank, another poor performer among the country’s banking sector.

Again, German politicians led by Chancellor Angela Merkel refuse to even hint at public assistance for Deutsche Bank, but the mounting troubles with banks across Europe may force Merkel’s hand as it has in Italy.

Bank earnings in Europe are weak, notes veteran bank consultant Mayra Rodriguez Valladares. As she exlains in a recent Forbes column:

Unfortunately, many of European banks’ woes are of their own making. A host of regulatory and legal fines and ongoing money laundering investigations of several banks do not bode well for European earnings. According to a Moody’s Investors Services report: ‘European banks were fined over $16 billion from 2012 to 2018 related to money laundering and trade sanction breaches.’

Rodriguez Valladares notes that U.S. and EU banks are enormously intertwined, particularly in terms of funding and derivatives—two areas of keen interest to U.S. regulators. But the fact of the matter is that the EU banking system and the EU economy are still too weak to shoulder the burden of a general cleanup of bad credits in EU banks.

The economic reality and ugly politics are both too daunting for EU leaders to engage publicly on these issues. Indeed, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholtz, who is touted as a possible successor to Merkel, was attacked by opposition politicians because of the prospective job losses in a Deutsche-Commerzbank merger.

But sadly the union of two zombie banks was not to be. “Banking giant Deutsche Bank and its crosstown rival Commerzbank ended merger talks, leaving in tatters the German government’s hope to shore up both banks and create a banking powerhouse,” The Wall Street Journal reported on April 25.

So now the German government must try to identify another politically expedient way to hide the Deutsche Bank problem without resorting to an explicit state bailout. Not only is financial help for EU banks problematic politically, but the EU simply lacks the economic resources to clean up the broader asset quality problems affecting European banks.

The tendency of EU politicians to stick their heads in the sand when it comes to these issues represents a smoldering threat to global financial stability. Troubles affecting Deutsche Bank and other EU lenders could easily explode into financial contagion if markets decide to turn away from these banks à la Lehman Brothers. For American business leaders and political leaders, the festering problems in European banks are a source of potential risk that could cause significant economic problems for all of us. Stay tuned.

Avoid Digital and ETF Gold: 7 Real Risks to Your Gold Ownership

News & Commentary

“Poor seasonal time for gold is over as we move into May and June and…increasing volatility and risk-off sentiment in the wider financial markets should support gold and see it trade back above $1,300 in the near future” – GoldCore

Stocks Resume Slide on Tariff Worries; Dollar Dips

China vice premier going to U.S. for trade talks despite Trump threatsGold glitters in India during key festival as prices dip

Gold ends higher on U.S.-China trade-induced jittersWatch Video Here

Global Stock Sell-Off Exposes Stretched Valuations

A Synchronized Global Downturn Intensifies As JPM Global Manufacturing PMI Plunges

Silver Backwardation Signals Rally – Maguire

When The S&P Hit A Record High, The Only Buyer Was Buybacks; Everyone Else Was Selling

What’s Wrong With Mainstream Economics? Werner

American Scholars Say The Real Threat To The U.S. Is Russophobia

Recent Market Updates

– Global Gold Demand Gains In Q1, 2019: Central Banks Buy Gold Bullion and ETFs See Inflows

– Newstalk Interview: Investors Looking To Store Gold In Dublin Rather Than London

– Australia and Many Property Markets To Crash Like Ireland?

– Death of Inflation and the Death of Equities?

– SWOT Analysis: Venezuela Sells $400 Million Worth Of Gold Bullion

– World’s Central Banks Want More Gold – India May Buy 1.5M Ounces In 2019

– Russia’s 2019 Gold Rush Continues: Buys 600,000 Ounces of Gold In March

– When Should You Sell Your Gold and Silver? (GoldCore Video)

– Understanding Gold: A Step By Step Guide To Gold As An Asset Class

Mark OByrne

 
end

GATA STORIES WITH RESPECT TO GOLD/PRECIOUS METALS.

These two days will go down in infamy as they were the May Day  massacre of silver in 2011 and the Bank of England’s gold sales in 1999

(courtesy zerohedge)



iii) Other Physical stories
China adds 14.93 tonnes of gold to its official reserves.  it produces around 33 tonnes of gold per month and no gold ever leaves China so these figures are again still muted
(courtesy zerohedge)

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: Equities dive, gold up, China buys more

Yesterday tended was an interesting one markets- wise. U.S. equities all fell sharply, followed overnight by their Asian counterparts, as President Trump’s belligerent statement on raising tariffs on some $200 billion of Chinese imports with a deadline on Friday re- ignited trade war fears. As Warren Buffett stated following the U.S. President’s announcement, a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies would be ‘bad for the whole world’.

Gold, on the other hand, after a fairly dismal start, began to trade upwards and was some $3 higher by the New York close, and then moved higher still after hours This morning it hit $1,290 in European trade and, interestingly with palladium falling sharply to below $1,300 the price differential between the two precious metals had come back to around $10. We predicted earlier this year that the gold price could exceed that of palladium again this year, and it wouldn’t now take much of a move in either metal’s price to bring this about. Sharp falls in auto sales globally, palladium’s biggest market, won’t be helping the catalytic metal’s demand picture.

Whether gold’s rise and the fall in equities was connected is uncertai, but probably the two were connected in some respects. However, there were a couple of other factors seen as gold price supportive. Indian demand and imports are reported by Bloomberg to have risen sharply in April, ahead of the Akshaya Tritya Festival. This is seen as an auspicious time to buy gold and silver in the sub- continent and, coupled with lower gold prices over the past few weeks, seems to have boosted demand. India used to be the world’s largest gold consumer, but has been comfortably overtaken in this position by China in recent years.

But there was also positive news for gold out of China as well. The nation’s central bank has been announcing monthly gold purchases again since December last year and in April it reported it added 14.93 tonnes of gold to its reserves– its highest monthly total since it commenced re-reporting monthly increases and the fifth successive month of reported increases. Of course we have always been of the opinion that the reporting of Chinese central bank gold increases is likely something of a fiction and that the nation’s true gold reserves are substantially higher than the estimated 1.911 tonnes if we take the IMF’s latest figures and add in the central bank’s reported monthly increases for March and April. This reported figure still puts China in 6th place among national holders of gold, almost 280 tonnes behind Russia in fifth pace, but we think China’s true gold reserve figure could be far higher, if one takes into account the nation’s track record of holding substantial amounts of gold in accounts it has, in the past, deemed not reportable to the IMF.

To set against these positives, global gold ETFs have seen some gold being liquidated out of their holdings – particularly from the largest of all, GLD in the USA. But at the moment central bank purchases do seem to be more than matching the gold ETF liquidations. It should be remembered though that big gold reductions in the gold ETF holdings back in 2011-2013 accompanied the gold price fall from its 2011 US dollar peak, although gold is riding high in some other currencies even now like the Australian dollar today.

According to the latest figures from the World Gold Council it is estimated that gold ETFs bled 16.3 tonnes in the first 4 months of 2019, led by GLD which shed 41 tonnes on its own. Since the beginning of May, GLD has seen liquidations of a further 6.75 tonnes, although yesterday saw a very small net deposit.

New gold supply is pretty flat at the moment given that there are few signifinant new gold miniing projects coming on stream and the price has not been high enough to stimulate amy additional scrap sales. If anything the global gold sector is going through a consolidation phase and our view is that global production is still increasing, albeit at a tiny rate – maybe 1% at most. Others consider peak gold is already with us, but however the global situation pans out, there is unlikely to be any significant boost in supply over the next few tears. Even if the gold price rises sharply the lead time taken to bring new projects into production is long. Indeed higher gold prices could conversely lead temporarily to a production downturn as miners open up lower grade sections to prolong mine lives. And lower grades at unchanged mill throughputs means lower output.

08 May 2019

-END-

-END-

Gold trading/

 

end

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

71671201

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

end

March 4.2019

Parker City News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kovel declined to comment.

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

-END-

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

 Section: 

9:47a ET Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

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

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

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

… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

 

end

* * *

Your early WEDNESDAY 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: 6.7824/

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  6.8005   /shanghai bourse CLOSED DOWN 32.63 POINTS OR 1.12%

HANG SANG CLOSED DOWN 359.82 POINTS OR 1.23%

 

2. Nikkei closed DOWN 321.13 POINTS OR 1.46%

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED RED /EXCEPT GERMAN DAX

 

 

USA dollar index RISES TO 97.57/Euro RISES TO 1.1202

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO. –.05/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 109.97/ 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:: 61.22 and Brent: 69.56

3f Gold UP/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 06%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP to 2.69% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD DOWN TO 0.95%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.75: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield RISES TO : 3.45

3k Gold at $1289.15 silver at: 14.93   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 20/100 in roubles/dollar) 65.29

3m oil into the 61 dollar handle for WTI and 69 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 109.97 DESTROYING JAPANESE CITIZENS WITH HIGHER FOOD INFLATION

30 SNB (Swiss National Bank) still intervening again in the markets driving down the SF. It is not working: USA/SF this morning 1.0171 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.1390 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 0.06%

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 2.43% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 2.84%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 6.1884..they are toast

Futures, Bond Yields Tumble As Traders Brace For Trade Talks Collapse

6 months of “trade talk optimism” is being unwound in hours before our eyes.

World shares dropped to five-week lows on Wednesday as S&P futures and European stocks continued their slide following steep declines in Asia, as markets started to accept that a deal with China now appears impossible, at least in the short term. Bond yields slumped, the dollar jumped, the safe haven yen surged to a six-week high against the dollar, the pound slipped as Brexit breakthrough hopes faded, the Kiwi tumbled after New Zealand unexpectedly cut interest rates overnight, while Chinese stocks dropped after China reported an unexpected contraction in exports.

As Bloomberg notes, Trump’s unexpected escalation on trade in the past few days caught global equity markets off-guard. Many had been testing record highs, seemingly priced to perfection on the assumption a deal between the U.S. and China would get done. Still, many refuse to give up hope, and JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon still put the odds of that at 80%, and the S&P 500 has only fallen to levels seen a month ago – nonetheless investors will be on edge as China’s top trade negotiator visits Washington this week.

The two largest economic powerhouses, the U.S. and China, either will be at a trade war or a trade peace and in reality there’s only a couple of people who know the answer to that and it isn’t those of us on Wall Street,” Larry Robbins, Glenview Capital Management’s CEO, told Bloomberg TV in New York. “It’s to be expected that there’s some volatility into this critical week.”

“I think it’s a major risk that Trump raises tariffs,” said Christophe Barraud, chief strategist at the Market Securities brokerage in Paris. “If that happens we can imagine that negotiations will break down, implying another few months of uncertainty… All-in all, bonds as well as other safe-havens such as yen, look set to benefit from this situation in the short-term.”

European stocks pared early gains, with the Stoxx 600 trading as low as -0.4% and down for 5 of the past 6 days, as China reiterated its position on trade negotiations ahead of potential U.S. imposition of additional tariffs on Friday. Risk sentiment deteriorated after Reuters cited sources saying China backtracked on nearly all aspects of U.S. trade deal last week even as it added that “U.S. officials have little hope that Liu will come bearing any offer that can get talks back on track, said two of the sources.”

While macro concerns and broader market moves eclipsed corporate results this week, earnings season continues apace. Commerzbank results were in line with estimates, while Siemens posted a beat. Toyota and Honda forecast profit and sales short of analysts’ estimates. Lyft exceeded sales expectations after the close on Tuesday but reported a staggering net loss and disappointed some in its tepid (lack of) profit outlook.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) trimmed its growth forecast for its region on Wednesday, citing a slowdown in global trade as well as the sharp economic deceleration in Turkey. Growth is forecast to recover in 2020 to 2.6%, the bank said, noting however that the outlook is still clouded by risks such as trade tensions between the United States and its major trading partners. “A widespread escalation of global protectionism remains a major concern,” the EBRD wrote in its report.

There are concerns also for Germany, the euro zone’s largest economy. While industrial output rose unexpectedly in March, the economy ministry warned that the outlook remained subdued.  The data also follows weak industrial orders figures, and the downward revision of euro zone growth by the European Commission. All that reinforces a weak backdrop for the euro zone economy and a perception that the European Central Bank will keep rates at record low levels for longer than expected.

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell for a third day, with MSCI’s Asia-Pacific share index excluding Japan falling almost one percent to touch its lowest level since late-March, driven by healthcare and consumer staples firms. Almost all markets in the region were down, with Japan and China leading losses. The Nikkei dropped -1.5% and the Topix closed 1.7% lower, with Hoya Corp. and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. among the biggest drags. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.1%, as large banks and insurers drove declines. In India, the S&P BSE Sensex Index retreated 0.8%, led by Reliance Industries Ltd. and HDFC Bank Ltd. Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped -1.2%; Hang Seng China Enterprises -1.5%; the CSI 300 dipped -1.4%, South Korea’s Kospi Index -0.4%; Kospi 200 -0.4%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 -0.4%; New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 +0.4%, India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index -0.8%; NSE Nifty 50 -0.7%.

Overnight, the yuan edged lower as data showed Chinese exports unexpectedly fell in April and imports rose. The latest Chinese trade data added to market jitters after it showed solid imports but an unexpected fall in April exports. Commenting on the latest Chinese trada data, Goldman writes that China’s export growth dropped to -2.7% yoy in April from +13.8% year-on-year in March, primarily on the fading of Chinese New Year distortions. The figure was below both consensus expectations and our below-consensus forecast. In contrast, imports rebounded +4.0% yoy in April, above consensus but roughly in line with our forecast. Distortions from the VAT cut effective on April 1 probably contributed to the rebound.

 

China exports growth down notably while imports growth up in April

“Chinese exports were negative which suggests the world economy remains weak,” Barraud said noting that the latest manufacturing surveys had painted a subdued picture of new export orders worldwide. “As we saw with New Zealand today, central banks will remain tilted to the dovish side. They are trying to buy some kind of insurance against negative shocks.”

In rates, German yields steady, with 10-year BTP/Bund spread 3bps tighter at 263bps. In the US, yields dropped in 2-yr through 10-yr tenors, with the benchmark 10Y rate sliding to 2.42%, the lowest since the end of March. Germany’s 10-year bund yields hovered near five-week lows at -0.04 percent, not far from the 2-1/2 year low of -0.094 percent while Japan’s 10-year yield burrowed deeper into negative territory and last stood at minus 0.055 percent.

In currencies, demand for safe-havens boosted the Japanese yen which firmed 0.2 percent against the dollar at 110.07 yen, taking its gains to more than 1 percent this month and briefly rising above 110 vs the USD. The big move overnight was from the New Zealand kiwi which slumped more than 1% to a six-month low after New Zealand became the first country in the developed world to cut interest rates since the Fed turned tail on policy earlier this year, though other central banks, from Sweden to Canada have hinted at policy easing. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand lowered its official cash rate, before it pared most of the decline amid speculation that the central bank will refrain from easing policy further. The U.S. dollar was stronger versus most Group-of-10 peers as Treasuries edged lower, while sterling led losses as U.K. cross-party Brexit talks were inconclusive
New Zealand’s central bank governor Adrian Orr cited the U.S.-China trade dispute as a major risk for his country’s economy.

In emerging markets, the lira extended losses against the dollar amid the fallout from Turkey’s decision to re-run municipal elections in Istanbul. The South African rand strengthened as the country headed to the polls for a national election.

In commodities, Brent crude oil futures at $70.31 per barrel, 43 cents, or 0.6 percent above their last close.

On today’s calendar, Disney, Marathon Petroleum are among companies reporting earnings; the only economic data is the mortgage applications which rose 2.7% after dropping -4.3%

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures 2,873, down -0.6%
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.1% to 382.11
  • MXAP down 1% to 159.02
  • MXAPJ down 0.7% to 526.12
  • Nikkei down 1.5% to 21,602.59
  • Topix down 1.7% to 1,572.33
  • Hang Seng Index down 1.2% to 29,003.20
  • Shanghai Composite down 1.1% to 2,893.76
  • Sensex down 0.7% to 38,009.06
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 6,269.15
  • Kospi down 0.4% to 2,168.01
  • German 10Y yield rose 0.7 bps to -0.031%
  • Euro up 0.1% to $1.1206
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 3.9 bps to 2.247%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.4 bps to 0.95%
  • Brent Futures up 0.1% to $69.95/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,287.12
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.2% to 97.47

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • China, in a diplomatic cable on Friday, removed its commitments in the draft trade deal to alter laws to resolve key complaints made by the U.S., Reuters reported, citing three unidentified people in the U.S. government and private sector briefed on talks
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon put the odds of the U.S. and China reaching a trade deal at 80%, sounding a note of optimism even after the rising specter of tariffs roiled global markets
  • Iran is scaling back its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal in response to U.S. sanctions and will resume uranium enrichment beyond agreed limits in 60 days if European signatories don’t find a way to ensure it can sell oil and trade with the world
  • President Donald Trump’s advisers are pushing him to defy congressional investigations in hopes of luring Democrats into escalating a fight that they say will turn voters against the party in the 2020 elections. The advisers are counting on news coverage of the battle with Congress distracting attention from candidates vying to replace Trump
  • Spin, bluster and outright hostility marked the Italian government’s reaction to the latest European Union warning that the country’s fiscal situation is set to worsen this year and next. The backlash sets the stage for a replay of the budget conflict between Rome and Brussels that roiled markets last year

Asian equity markets were mostly negative as ongoing US-China trade uncertainty continued to take its toll on risk sentiment which resulted to heavy losses on Wall St and underperformance of the trade-sensitive sectors such as tech, industrials and materials, while the region also digested mixed Chinese trade data. ASX 200 (-0.4%) was led lower by weakness in tech, as well as disappointing corporate updates including CSR and Treasury Wine Estates. Nikkei 225 (-1.4%) was weighed by currency strength and with index heavyweight Fast Retailing subdued after a decline in April same store sales. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (-1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (-1.1%) conformed to the downbeat tone due to the US-China trade tensions as some reports noted the possibility of an escalation is seriously increasing (potential retaliatory tariffs by China on US imports) and as Chinese media also suggested China is not afraid to fight and will do so if necessary. However, mainland markets have nearly fully recovered on some optimism from confirmation Premier Liu He will travel to Washington for trade talks this week and after the mixed trade data. Finally, 10yr JGBs were mildly higher due to the risk averse sentiment in the region but with gains later pared amid a softer 10yr auction result

Top Asian News

  • Thailand Keeps Key Rate Unchanged as Economic Growth Risks Mount
  • Bank of Thailand Holds Rate as It Forecasts Weaker Growth
  • Apple Preps Push in India With Short List for First Retail Store
  • Jokowi Set to Reboot Cabinet as Graft Probe Engulfs Ministers

Major European bourses have given up their early gains [Eurostoxx 50 -0.3%%] following on from a mostly downbeat Asia-Pac session, as sources released details regarding the break-down in US-China trade talks. Sentiment deteriorated as China reportedly backtracked on legal issues throughout text of proposed US trade agreement, affecting nearly every chapter. Furthermore, the sources stated that China looked for changes in the text of intellectual property protection and theft, technology transfer, financial service access and competition policy. Nonetheless, DAX (-0.3%) whilst in negative territory is modestly firmer than its peers, buoyed by optimistic German industrial output, whilst heavyweight Siemens (+4.7%) alongside Wirecard (+2.4%) also underpinned the index amid optimistic earnings, with the latter upgrading guidance. Sectors are relatively mixed with no stand-out out/underperformers. In terms of individual movers, Imperial Brands (-4.6%) shares fell despite optimistic earnings as its e-cigarette sales in the US were disappointing.

Top European News

  • German Industrial Output Unexpectedly Gains in Euro-Zone Boost
  • Steel Giant Flags Risks If Trade Deal ‘Doesn’t Get Sorted Out’
  • May Faces Parliament With Labour Talks Stalling: Brexit Update
  • Greece Lowers Surplus Targets in Test to Deal With Creditors

In FX, a relatively constrained 97.589-409 range in the DXY index is fairly reflective of the tentative tone in currencies ahead of the pivotal and potentially game-changing talks in Washington between top level US and Chinese trade negotiators as sourced headlines intimate that China retracted legal pledges in virtually all sections of the proposal document. Looking at a breakdown of the basket, the Dollar is mixed vs major counterparts with the safer-havens outperforming in contrast to high betas, predictably.

  • NZD/AUD – The Kiwi has been the most volatile G10 unit for obvious reasons, with a swoon to circa 0.6530 lows vs its US peer and 1.0720 against the Aussie in the immediate aftermath of the 25 bp RBNZ rate cut that was rated as roughly 50-50 in terms of probability and was accompanied by a lower projected profile going forward. However, Nzd/Usd and Aud/Nzd have both reversed course rather sharply to around 0.6590 and 1.0640 respectively as RBNZ Governor Orr revealed in the post-meeting press conference and subsequent comments that the outlook appears more balanced than prior to the ease, with the Bank now inclined to monitor data as it unfolds. Meanwhile, Aud/Usd is sitting tight within a 0.7025-00 post-on hold RBA range and awaiting the SOMP on Friday in addition to the aforementioned US-China trade situation.
  • GBP – Sterling remains vulnerable amidst the overall cautious risk environment and on Brexit uncertainty, as talks continue between the Conservative and Labour Parties, and while UK PM May battles to fend off latest leadership challenges. Indeed, Cable is now testing support ahead of 1.3000, such as the 30 DMA and a Fib (1.3036/1.3021), with Eur/Gbp nudging higher towards 0.8600 and the Pound not gleaning any support from firm Halifax house prices or decent BRC and Barclaycard retail surveys.
  • CHF/JPY – As noted above, the Franc and Yen are both benefiting from risk-off flows, as Usd/Chf retreats from 1.0200+ to revisit recent lows near 1.0170 and Eur/Chf slips back below 1.1400. Meanwhile, Usd/Jpy is just hovering around 110.00 after breaching Fib and daily support at 110.44 and 110.31 respectively, and a dip to 109.90, with stops said to be sitting between 109.75-70.
  • EUR – The single currency remains resilient either side of 1.1200 and 30 DMA resistance at 1.1224 vs Fib support at 1.1186 and lows seen earlier this week around 1.1160. A decent beat vs consensus in German ip has provided some traction against more Italian fiscal largesse.
  • NOK – In contrast to the above, weak Norwegian manufacturing output has undermined the Nok and pushed the Eur cross back over 9.8000 vs Eur/Sek that remains sub-10.7500.

In commodities, choppy trade in the energy complex with Brent and WTI futures straddling just above USD 69.40/bbl and USD 61/bbl respectively amid the release of details regarding the deterioration of US-Sino trade discussions. The release of the a wider-than-forecast build in API stocks did little to sway prices in the immediate aftermath as the sector was overshadowed supply woes emanating from Libyan and Iranian tensions, Venezuelan sanctions and scope for OPEC to curb output till year-end.  Yesterday also saw the release of the EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook which showed a raise in 2019 global oil demand expectations by 20K to 1.38mln, whilst 2020 demand forecasts were increased by 80K. Elsewhere, China’s trade balance showed that the country imported a record 10.7mln BPD of crude in April, +11%Y/Y and +15% M/M, albeit, ING notes that the strong oil numbers were likely due to heavy stockpiling ahead of Iranian waiver expiries. From a technical point, the benchmarks remain above their respective 50 and 200 DMAs (WTI: 60.95 and 60.75; Brent: 69.29 and 69.16 respectively, having formed a golden cross yesterday. Gold (+0.3%) largely benefits from the safe-haven flows amid the step-backs in US-China trade discussions and as US are set to hike tariffs on USD 200bln worth of Chinese goods at 12:01 ET tomorrow. Meanwhile, copper came off highs after sources reported that China’s backtracking in talks affected every chapter in the trade accord. The red metal did gain some impetus during Asia-Pac hours as imports from China topped estimates. Finally, iron ore prices rose to near five-year highs on supply woes after Vale, the worlds largest iron ore producer, lowered its production forecasts for the base metal.

US event calendar

  • 7am: MBA Mortgage Applications, prior -4.3%

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

As regular readers know, when I’m not travelling my wife and I try to bond for an hour a night in front of the telly with a good box set. Last night given that Liverpool were already 3-0 down to Barcelona from the first leg in the Champions League semi-final I said to my wife that I probably wouldn’t bother watching it and as such she’d lined up “Billions”. However at the last minute I said I’d watch the first 5 minutes while she ran a couple of errands. Luckily her errands took at least 7 minutes and an early goal left me postponing her. 90 minutes later she was still waiting to watch Billions as Liverpool mounted one of the greatest comebacks of all time winning 4-0 and reaching the Champions League final again in the most remarkable game I’ve seen given the context and remember I was at Istanbul in 2005. I still can’t believe what I watched. At least I know the soundproofing we put in so we couldn’t hear the kids banging on the non-insulated 100 year floorboards upstairs does work as I was screaming with joy at the telly in the 2nd half and no child stirred. Bronte the dog was a bit scared though and kept clawing me to make sure I was ok after each goal. So I’m a bit shattered and emotional this morning. Am looking forward to Billions tonight and will forgo the 2nd semi-final to get back in the family good books!!

Markets seem dull relative to the above but the reality is that there’s a lot going. The last 24 hours has seen a bit of a delayed reaction to Trump’s China tariff tweet from Sunday as markets decided to take the glass half empty view as opposed to Monday’s more half full take. Indeed the S&P 500 fell -1.65% for its biggest decline in over six weeks, though stocks again bounced into the close, rallying +0.75% in the final 20 minutes of trading to prevent yesterday from being the worst day since January 3. The moves still put the index below the lows of early Monday morning and -2.09% below Friday’s close. It wasn’t any better for the NASDAQ (-1.96%) or the DOW (-1.79%) with tech leading losses at a sector level – although the reality is that all sectors closed in the red. In fact, only 7% of S&P 500 companies advanced, the lowest rate of the year.

It was similarly bleak in Europe where the STOXX 600 fell -1.37% to cap a two-day decline of -2.24% which is the most since December 7. Bunds closed down at -0.038% after dropping 4.4bps yesterday while 10y Treasuries closed -1.6bps lower at 2.453% – although they were as much as -5.7bps off the morning highs. BTP yields rose +4.2bps (+8.4bps to Germany) on the general risk off and perhaps also as a result of the European Commission’s dreary new economic and budgetary forecasts. The details are below, but the most eye-catching headline concerned Italy’s government deficit, which the Commission now expects at 2.5% of GDP this year before rising to 3.5% of GDP next year, barring a policy change. Northern League head Salvini responded by insisting that the government will proceed with tax cuts, regardless of whether it causes the deficit to breach the treaty limit.

The VIX closed up over +3.88pts at 19.32, the sharpest move since December 24 and the suddenly back to the highest level since January 23. Similarly, the V2X in Europe is at the highest since January 10. High yield spreads also widened by +9bps and +7bps in Europe and the US, respectively. Meanwhile EM FX was down -0.34% with a basket of currencies now down at the lowest since December last year. WTI Oil also slumped -1.62%, not helped by news of increased supply out of Saudi Arabia.

Overnight markets in Asia are trading in a sea of red (a bit like Anfield last night) with the Nikkei (-1.63%), Hang Seng (-0.70%), Shanghai Comp (-0.11%) and Kospi (-0.38%) all down. The South China Morning Post this morning suggested that President Xi vetoed the further concessions demanded by the US negotiators last week and this is not helping sentiment. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 (+0.03%) are trading flat suggesting a break in the declines for now. The New Zealand dollar is down -0.27% this morning as the central bank cut the key rate by 25bps to 1.50%.

Also in Asia we’ve had the conveniently timed April trade data released in China with the trade surplus standing at $13.84bn (vs. $34.56bn expected). This was driven by a drop in exports (-2.7% yoy vs. +3% expected) while imports rose (+4% yoy vs. -2.1% expected). Speaking in terms of trade with the US, exports declined -13.1% yoy in April; however, the decline in imports was larger at -25.7% yoy bringing the trade balance to $21bn (-5.1% yoy). The YtD 2019 surplus with the US stands at $83.5bn (+3.8% yoy) as exports to the US declined -10.1% yoy while imports dropped -30.2%. China’s onshore yuan is trading broadly unchanged (+0.07%).

To be fair there wasn’t a lot of new news to report yesterday besides the ongoing trade-related rumbles. As of right now, China’s top trade negotiator Liu He is still due to travel to Washington tomorrow to meet with Lighthizer and Mnuchin. The suggestion is though that China is planning retaliatory tariffs immediately after the US increases theirs. This makes tomorrow and Friday’s meetings of critical importance and ultimately will dictate whether the threat is real or just hard ball negotiating tactics. Chinese state media has intensified its rhetoric, saying that “we will not take any step (that is) unfavourable to us (…) Do not even think about it.” MNI also reported yesterday that talks between China and the US could drag into 2020. Maybe the lessons learned from the long, drawn out and exhausting Brexit process will come in handy after all.

On a related note the auto tariffs deadline is suddenly just eleven days away so that is still lingering in the background, though there is certainly the possibility that a decision could slip beyond the deadline. There is some suggestion in the market that Trump is now less likely to move on auto tariffs if he’s renewing the trade battle with China, the view being there are only so many battles one can take on at once. On the other hand we have Mr Trump’s unpredictability to weigh up. We’ll see in the next couple of weeks.

Also fitting in with the negative sentiment yesterday were the latest European Commission forecasts that although just moved closer to market’s expectations seemed to weigh on the overall market mood. The highlights were a -0.1pp downgrade to the euro area growth forecast for this year (to 1.2%), driven by a -0.6pp cut to Germany’s forecast to 0.5% and a -0.1pp to Italy’s to 0.1%. The inflation forecast for this year stayed steady at 1.4%, but the 2020 figure was revised down -0.1pp to 1.4%.

Elsewhere planned comments from the Fed’s Clarida were on many people’s radar but they didn’t appear to diverge too much from the message from last week’s Fed meeting. He agreed with Powell’s assessment that soft inflation is “temporary” and spoke positively about global growth. He did note that there could be downside risks if trade discussion resolve negatively. Perhaps most interestingly, he emphasized that the Fed’s goal is to get inflation back to 2%, tacitly pushing back against the argument that the Fed should run the economy hot to make up for prior downside misses. As the Fed continues toward its highly-anticipated policy review, Clarida seems to be positioning himself as in favour of the status quo. He said that average inflation targeting or other make-up strategies “look great in the textbooks” but that there are “important implementation challenges that we would have to look at seriously before we would move away from our existing framework.”

Here in the UK it was a busy day for Sterling which closed down -0.17% after paring an early advance in the morning. The change in tone followed a steady release of Brexit headlines which included confirmation that a deal will not be agreed in time in order for the UK to avoid taking part in the European Parliament elections later this month. Headlines also confirmed what most expected and that is that cross party talks have still yet to yield any sort of consensus on moving forward. In addition, reports suggested (per Guardian) that the 1922 Committee is ever-closer to rewriting the rules to unseat PM May, with the latest unconfirmed reports saying that the committee is deadlocked at a vote of 8-8, so one more defection would be enough allow a challenge to May.

As for yesterday’s data, in the US the March JOLTS survey revealed that the number of job openings rose by 346k in March to 7.49 million, and more than expected. The quits rate did however hold steady at 2.3%. In Germany, factory orders in March were disappointing at just +0.6% mom (vs. +1.4% expected), albeit rising for the first time in three months.

Yesterday, Nick and Craig published a joint USD/EUR HY note revisiting Bs vs BBs in light of the spread ratio being at an extreme wide. The note argues that while the ratio alone optically favours Bs, further analysis suggests that both the yield environment and dispersion make this a more complicated topic. See the link here . A reminder that our global monthly credit chartbook was out last week in my absence (link here ) along with our monthly US credit strategy excel data release (link here ). Michal Jezek has also published a few IG/CDS note recently. 1) Rising Inequality among Corporate Bonds (Tue 7 May) – a deep dive into IG bond spread dispersions over time, demonstrating stronger preference for quality in the recent rally vs. comparable periods last year (“quality” includes CSPP eligibility). 2) Carving Carry-Neutral Macro Credit Shorts (Mon 6 May) – a macro credit piece with most recent views, recommending efficient shorts that do not consume carry. 3) Global Issuance and Fund Flows (Fri 3 May) – big picture of global supply and demand in credit across currencies. So plenty of stuff from the team for those interested in credit.

To the day ahead now, where this morning we’ll get March industrial production data out of Germany and April house price data in the UK. There is nothing of note in the US this afternoon however the Fed’s Brainard is due to speak just after lunch. Prior to that we’re due to hear from the ECB’s Draghi in Frankfurt at a student’s event, while the BoE’s Ramsden speaks this morning. South Africa’s national and provincial legislative elections are also due today, while US Secretary of State Pompeo is due to travel to London and meet with PM May.

end

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)WEDNESDAY MORNING/ TUESDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED  DOWN 32.63 POINTS OR 1.12%  //Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 359.82 POINTS OR 1.23%   /The Nikkei closed DOWN 321.13 POINTS OR 1.46%//Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN .50%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 6.7824 AS TRUCE DECLARED FOR 3 MONTHS /Oil DOWN to 61.22 dollars per barrel for WTI and 69.56 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED/ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN // LAST AT 6.7824 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.8005 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 /TRADE DEAL NOW DEAD..TRUMP THREATENS TO RAISE RATES TO 25%

 

3 a NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA

NORTH KOREA
end

3 b JAPAN AFFAIRS

 

end

3 C CHINA/CHINESE AFFAIRS

i)China/USA

China responds to Trump as they are fully prepared for an escalated trade war:

(courtesy zerohedge)

China Responds To Trump: “We Are Fully Prepared For An Escalated Trade War”

Though Steven Mnuchin insisted on Monday that the White House’s plan to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods was free from market-related considerations, after another punishing session for markets on Tuesday, it’s looking like the White House has reverted to its strategy of using optimistic trade rhetoric to jawbone the markets higher.

Trump

But this time around, Beijing has apparently lost its willingness to play along. To wit, an editor from the Global Times, seen as a mouthpiece for the Communist Party, responded to Trump’s claim that China wants a deal by insisting that the exact opposite is true.

China is “fully prepared for an escalated trade war” he said, and added that Beijing is betting on the fact that its political system will ultimately give China more leverage over Trump (the opposite of the market consensus).

Hu Xijin 胡锡进@HuXijin_GT

China has fully prepared for an escalated trade war. It is a new strategy of China to engage in trade talks while fighting a trade war. I think China bets on the fact its politics is more powerful than US politics. Trade war will be decided by domestic politics eventually.

Traders largely ignored the tweet, as the market continued to ramp ahead of the arrival of China’s trade delegation in Washington.

Markets also appeared to ignore reports in Chinese media published earlier in the session warning that Beijing is already preparing retaliatory tariffs should Trump follow through with his promise to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese exports on Friday.

end

Then: bang!!

China boycotts the 10 yr auction as indirects  (which is usually China) plunges.  The bankers took up double to make up for the loss

(courtesy zerohedge)

China Boycotts Shockingly Ugly, Tailing 10Y Auction: Indirects Plunge, Lowest Bid/Cover In 10 Years

There is just one word to describe today’s just concluded sale of $27 billion in 10Y notes: disastrous.

Sparking immediate speculation if China simply decided not to show up for today’s budget deficit funding operations, the 10Y auction was ugly from top to bottom. The high yield of 2.479% tailed the When Issued 2.465% by a whopping 1.4bps, the biggest tail since August 2016. The tail was so big that whereas the auction was initially expected to price at the lowest yield since December 2018, as the WI was below last month’s 2.476%, the disappointing reception meant that the yield actually rose compared to last month.

But if the tail was bad, the internals were far worse, starting with the Bid to Cover, which plunged from 2.55 to 2.17. There is no point in comparing this to the recent average, because this was the lowest BTC going all the way back to March 209, or a decade earlier.

As for the reason for speculation if China bailed, one look at the Indirects, or foreign official authorities were China traditionally dominates, showed it tumbling from 68.4% to 53.3%, the lowest since November 2016. And with Directs doing their best to offset the collapse in Indirects, and taking down 11.5%, or in line with last month, Dealers were forced to hold 35.2%, almost double April’s 19.6%, and the highest since April 2018.

Overall, a very ugly auction, and if China wanted to send a message to the US, it clearly succeeded judging by the violent repricing in the 10Y whose immediately yield promptly blew out by over 2 bps.

END
Goldman capitulates and now sees a greater chance that we will see a tariff increase on Friday
(courtesy zerohedge)

Goldman Capitulates, Now Sees Tariff Increase As The Base Case

Just call it Gartman Sachs.

The past 12 months have been a catastrophe for anyone who followed Goldman’s advice or trade recommendations. And for the bank which until last December predicted 4 rate hikes in 2019 (and now barely sees one more, some time in late 2020), and has been pitching a dollar short for as long as we can remember, resulting in substantial losses to anyone who listened as the greenback has continued to rise, it’s time to admit it has been wrong on arguably the most important issue facing the market.

As Goldman’s chief political economist, Alec Phillips writes, when President Trump “surprised” those gullible enough to believe a trade deal with China was imminent, and announced on Sunday (May 5) his intention to increase tariffs on $200bn of imports from China starting on Friday (May 10), Goldman “believed that there was a 40% probability that the increase would take place and that it was instead slightly more likely that the tariff increase would be narrowly avoided.

Since then however, Phillips writes that two key developments suggest the outlook has worsened incrementally.

  • First, on Monday (May 6) and again yesterday (May 8), USTR indicated that the 25% tariff rate would be imposed on imports starting Friday, May 10. USTR then released this morning a formal notice to implement the tariff increase. Separately, US officials have indicated that USTR will soon release an additional notice to impose a 25% tariff on all remaining imports from China not covered by the first three rounds of tariffs already imposed. In addition, the justification US officials have given for the move—reversal of what the US believed were commitments to change Chinese law in several policy areas—suggests that the proposed tariff increase is more than just a negotiating tactic.
  • Second, while Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He and a delegation of Chinese officials are still scheduled to meet with US Trade Representative Lighthizer and other US officials on Thursday and Friday (May 9 and 10), this visit has been scaled back somewhat from original plans, which called for three days of meetings starting Wednesday. This is clearly a more positive outcome than if the meetings had been canceled entirely but it nevertheless suggests the Chinese side may have lowered its expectations for an agreement.

As a result, Phillips has capitulated on his optimistic take, which until this morning had erroneously inspired Goldman clients with confidence that a deal is imminent – after all Goldman says it is – and notes that while he still views the outcome of this Friday’s new tariff deadline as a close call, “the odds are somewhat higher (60%) that the tariffs will take effect as President Trump and other US officials have indicated.” Ironically, reversing its base case to one of “no deal” is insufficient for Goldman, which still is eager to hedge its flip-flopping and notes that since Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He is still scheduled to meet with US officials on Thursday and Friday (May 9-10), “there is a fair chance (40%) that the tariff increase this week will be avoided.”

Of course, the very fact that Goldman now expects no deal, just hours before the fateful meeting, virtually assures that some agreement, however superficial,  will be ironed out.

* * *

With all that said, and echoing Steven Englander’s view of the possible outcomes from Friday’s meeting, here according to Goldman, are the three potential scenarios that could play out heading into the Friday tariff deadline:

  • A deal (10%): It is possible, albeit not very likely, that US and Chinese negotiators could bridge differences and reach the deal that most observers believed last week that they might reach by May 10. Until very recently, the two sides had appeared to be genuinely close to reaching an agreement. Our understanding is that most of the key issues had been resolved and that, as Treasury Secretary Mnuchin recently put it, the negotiations were “90% complete.” If so, reaching an agreement on the remaining issues might be possible in a fairly short period. That said, we do not believe this is a particularly likely outcome, as US negotiators seem unwilling to accept the terms Chinese officials recently offered and Chinese officials might be wary of the appearance of succumbing to US pressure.
  • A temporary reprieve (30%): While a full-fledged deal seems unlikely, a higher probability scenario would be for Chinese officials to offer enough incremental concessions to convince US officials that there has been no backsliding while stopping short of a formal agreement. In this scenario, we would expect that the US might delay the implementation of tariffs for a short period—two or three weeks perhaps—to allow remaining issues to be resolved. Such a delay would have a similar precedent: on April 30 last year, the Administration issued a last-minute order extending steel and aluminum tariff exclusions for Canada, Mexico, and the EU just hours before tariffs were set to take effect. This seems like the most likely scenario to avoid tariffs, but given the delicate balance that would be required between competing objectives and the short time—just one day—negotiators would have to reach an agreement, this does not appear to be the most likely outcome.
  • An increase in tariffs (60%): Now that USTR has submitted its notice to be published in the Federal Register, the increase in the tariff rate on $200bn of imports from China should take effect automatically on Friday, May 10, unless the President issues an order to prevent it. In the event that US and Chinese negotiators are unable to reach a last-minute understanding on Thursday (May 9), we expect that the tariff increase would take effect as planned. That said, with the short time between the announcement and implementation, it seems likely that while the tariff increase would technically take effect Friday under this scenario, actual tariff revenue might not start to be collected until next week.

So what happens if and when the higher tariffs do kick in, and how long could or would they last, especially since the reversal in the optimistic narrative means that the world’s best performing stock market in 2019, that of China’s, has been the worst this month?

Here are some additional thoughts from Goldman:

Concerns about the economic outlook and a softening equity market might have been partly responsible for a more conciliatory stance with China in late 2018 and early 2019. With recent strength in economic data and US equity markets recently at new highs, the Administration might now feel more flexibility to impose tariffs even if they create temporary economic and market disruption. We also note that while the White House appeared to be pushing toward a near-term agreement with China, there is no particular deadline for a deal, so the Trump Administration might feel they have more time to strike an agreement.

That said, tariff escalation would not come without costs. Moving forward with the 25% tariff would likely set back the talks further and might threaten to reverse some of the progress that has already been made. US businesses who import affected products would face increased costs and US exporters would face disruptions from retaliatory tariffs. We note that Chinese retaliatory tariffs on soybeans and other US agricultural exports have negatively impacted the politically important farm sector, for example. While this might be a political price the Administration is willing to pay, it is likely something the White House would like to avoid, if possible.

While tariff escalation on Friday appears to have become more likely than not, we do not think there is a high probability that the US will impose the 25% tariff on the final tranche of $300bn or so of imports from China that President Trump suggested on Sunday (May 5), for two reasons. First, as shown below, the final round of tariffs would hit consumer products in particular, which would have even greater negative political implications than the earlier rounds of tariffs already implemented. Second, while we do expect that the US Trade Representative’s office will soon release a proposal to begin the process of implementing those tariffs, that process is likely to take at least a couple of months before implementation. Given that we still think an eventual agreement is likely, we believe the odds of the tariff increase on the remaining $300bn in imports from China are therefore fairly low (25%).

Finally, for what it’s worth (not much), Goldman does not believe that the latest developments change the outlook for auto tariffs very much (coming from Goldman, we would be very worried about auto tariffs). As a reminder, the White House faces a May 18 deadline to announce a decision on auto tariffs, but that decision may be postponed. This seems even more likely now that trade tensions between the US and China have escalated further. Regardless, Goldman views the probably of implementation of auto tariffs in the near term “to be quite low mainly because doing so would make it nearly impossible, in our view, to pass USMCA in Congress, as many Republicans whose support would be needed to pass USMCA strongly oppose the tariffs.” However, later this year, once USMCA has likely passed, the probability of auto tariffs rises somewhat even according to Goldman, “and the recent renewal of trade tensions suggests that the President is more willing than we had expected to disrupt markets and risk retaliation with trade actions.”

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

ITALY

Major problems with the Italian coalition partners as well as Italian budget chaos brings the Italian 10 yr yield much higher to 2.69% and the spread between the German bund and Italian funds rise to 2.75%

(courtesy zerohedge)

Italian Spreads Blow Out As Budget Chaos Returns, War Among Populist Coalition Escalates

After the Italian government ‘revised’ its 2019 budget projections and admitted that its expected deficit would be much wider than the 2.04% it had promised Brussels, it was only a matter of time before tensions with the EU reemerged to push yields on Italy’s sovereign debt higher.

And on Wednesday morning, that’s exactly what happened, as the yield on 10-year Italian bonds pushed back toward the April highs, moving ever-closer to the multi-year highs reached during the most acute phase of the budget crisis from late last year.

Italy

On Tuesday, the European Commission confirmed that the Italian budget is set to breach EU rules by a ride margin. A day later, il Sole 24 reported that EU forecasts suggested that the Italian government might be forced to “find” €35 billion to €40 billion to make up for past budget shortfalls.

But as if the budget drama wasn’t enough to rattle bondholders, the simmering feud between the League and the Five Star Movement – the two partners in Italy’s ruling populist coalition – exploded into open hostility on Wednesday after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte moved to oust Armando Siri, a League junior minister who is facing a corruption investigation. The League’s steadfast defense of Siri had angered Five Star and its leader, Luigi Di Maio, who had insisted that Siri “take a step back” and resign.

Siri is being investigated for allegedly taking a bribe from a mafia-linked businessman.

Salvini has steadfastly defended Siri, an undersecretary for transport and an advisor to the Deputy PM, and criticized M5S for inflaming tensions by trying to oust him. Now that he has been pushed out, Salvini has one more reason to acquiesce to League hardliners who have been calling for another general election, which they hope might allow the League to oust Five Star from the coalition and set up a new government backed by the League’s conservative allies.

END
What on earth is going on here?
(courtesy zerohedge)

Italian Secret Agent Found Suspiciously Dead In Paris Hotel; Had Encrypted Key, Classified Docs

French authorities are investigating the suspicious death of an Italian intelligence agent after he was found lying in a pool of his own blood and vomit with a serious wound to his chin.

According to French magazine Le Pointthe agent – identified only as 50-year-old Massimo I – had been living at the hotel in the Montmartre district since May 3, arriving from Rome that day. He was carrying a business card in his name mentioning his employer as “Presidenza Del Consiglio Dei ministri,” or the Presidency of the Italian Council off Ministers, currently headed by Giuseppe Conte.

According to the report, the agent was in France on a language course.

French security sources told Le Point that Massimo I was a member of the Italian intelligence services, while the Italian Embassy in Paris says it believes he died of natural causes – and that the gaping wound could have been caused during a fall. Firefighters attempted to resuscitate him around 1:30 a.m.

 

Photo: Mary Quincy

The hotel room safe contained an encrypted security key, 1700 Euros ($1,900 US), a USB key, an SD card adapter and an SD card. Agence France Presse also reported that classified documents were found. AFP also added that Massimo was identified as a “high-ranking civil servant in Italian intelligence.”

UK
The tories have had enough of Theresa May who really does not want a proper Brexit.   They demand to pick her resignation date or they will do it themselves. The message is clear;  deliver a Brexit
(courtesy Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk)

Theresa May Faces Tory Ultimatum: Pick Your Resignation Date Or We Will

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

The Tory leadership has finally had enough of Theresa May. She needs to pick a day to stand down, or Tories will.

I was disappointed the 1922 Tory Leadership Committee refused to give May the boot last month.

Under party rules, a leadership challenge can only happen once in 365 days. May survived a challenge in December.

Months ago I proposed a rules change. The leadership committee met to discuss that action, but came to the wrong conclusion.

On April 22, I noted Tories Reject Rules Change But Ask May to Clarify When She Will Stand Down

80% of Tories Want May Out

The Independent reported 80% of Conservative supporters want Theresa May to stand down before next general election, survey finds.

Despite that unprecedented sentiment, May still hangs on. However, the 1922 committee is reconsidering after devastating local elections were Tories were clobbered. Even Labour lost seats, but only a handful.

The message is “deliver Brexit”.

EU Parliament Elections

The Guardian Live Blog reports today that Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn failed to reach agreement in time to stop European Parliament elections.

Theresa May “deeply regrets” that Britain will have to take part in European elections on 23 May, and is pinning her hopes on completing the Brexit process in time to avoid MEPs having to take their seats.

New Brexit Target Date

Theresa May now targets July 1 as the New Brexit Date for Britain Leaving the EU.

May originally said Britain would leave on March 29, then April 12, and then May 22 – the eve of the European elections.

Although the elections will be held, May now hopes, as does the EU that the MPs will not take their seats when the new parliament meets in July.

Otherwise, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party plans to make a mess of things.

1922 Committee Meets Again

Earlier today, the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, led by Sir Graham Brady, met to discuss May’s future.

A source would not comment on the meeting, though it was understood to have included discussions on setting a detailed timetable for when May would step down as Conservative leader.

Long Overdue

Telegraph writer Rob Wilson says Graham Brady must do his duty and force the PM’s long-overdue departure.

Graham Brady’s big political moment has arrived as he has an unenviable and lonely, albeit necessary, task, over which he cannot procrastinate. He must force the Prime Minister’s hand and wrench the end date of Theresa May’s premiership from her; the alternative is the now substantial likelihood of losing not only his own seat but those of large swathes of his backbench colleagues. The Conservative Party will therefore be praying that the Chairman of the 1922 Committee is able to fulfil his historic duty.

I said that months ago, and even proposed the way, a rules change.

Brexit Compromise

Finally, please consider Tory MPs ‘Will Move to Oust Theresa May this Week’ if She Agrees Brexit Deal with Labour.

Theresa May has been warned her MPs will begin moves to oust her as soon as this week if she agrees a Brexit deal with Labour.

Rivals in the race to succeed Mrs May are on a state of high alert in case a compromise deal with Labour becomes the trigger for a leadership election.

Senior sources within the Conservative Party said on Monday that Mrs May will be “gone very quickly” if she moves towards Labour’s demands for a post-Brexit customs union with the EU.

People Want Brexit

UK citizens are tired of this nonsense. The majority still wants Brexit, but they cannot agree on the form.

However, a group of avid remainer fools coupled with Theresa May’s incompetent leadership threaten a Brexit outcome.

There was further talk today of another referendum if May cannot reach a deal with Corbyn. This is just what the remainers want.

The outcome would depend on the wording of the referendum. Suppose it was May’s deal, no deal, or remain. Those wanting to remain would vote in a block. The rest of the vote would be split.

However, it is highly likely that the EU, led by France would not be willing to wait long enough for such a referendum to take place.

end
Germany/ Volkswagen
It looks like Volkswagen will try and make a run at Tesla and take them down:
(courtesy zerohedge)

“We Are Not Playing”: VW Introduces EV Hatchback In $34 Billion Plan To Take Down Tesla

With Tesla already facing stiff competition from high end retailers like Audi and Jaguar – both of whom have introduced luxury performance electric vehicles – Volkswagen is now posing an additional threat that could impact middle market buyers of Tesla’s Model 3.

In fact, Volkswagen has invested $34 billion in a strategy to try and take down Tesla as the leader in electric vehicles, according to Bloomberg. The company is now taking €1000 deposits for its new ID.3 hatchback, which Volkswagen is hoping will be the electric successor to its iconic Beetle. The vehicle will start at less than €30,000, which is about the same price as the diesel variant of its Golf hatchback.

VW sales chief Juergen Stackmann said recently:

“We are not playing. This is the car to beat for the future, for all our competitors.”

The ID.3 marks the beginning of a roll out of more than 20 battery powered models over the coming years for Volkswagen. Their target is to sell more than 1 million electric cars annually by 2025 and the company’s effort will undoubtedly continue to stoke the fire of competition in electric vehicles. Unlike Tesla, profitability remains paramount for VW. Stackmann continued, saying that VW’s EVs “must make money.”

The introduction of the ID.3 comes on the precipice of electric vehicles breaking through to the mass market, which still hasn’t happened in full yet.

VW is offering a special edition of the vehicle, limited to 30,000 vehicles and inclusive of a year of free charging at certain stations. Reservations have been opened for customers in 29 countries across Europe, including Germany, Norway and the Netherlands. The car will be officially unveiled in September, and Stackmann expects the company reservation book to be full ahead of the event.

The first “limited-edition” run of the vehicle will cost less than €40,000 and have a range of ~260 miles. The basic version will have a range of ~180 miles and the top-of-the-line model will have a range ~330 miles.

Tesla has tacitly acknowledged the rivalry, sending an email to prospective German customers on Wednesday reminding them that its Model S and Model X both have the best range of electric cars in production. The assembly of the ID.3 will start later this year and first deliveries are planned for mid 2020. The company is targeting 100,000 sales per year of the new model.

“Volkswagen is a big player, and when we go, a lot of people follow,” Stackmann concluded.

end

5.RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

IRAQ/USA/IRAN

Pompeo makes a surprise Iraqi visit as they site Iranian escalation.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Pompeo Snubs Germany’s Merkel To Make Surprise Iraq Visit, Cites Iran “Escalation”

It seems the White House’s “maximum pressure” campaign is now in overdrive following John Bolton’s announced carrier strike group and bomber deployment to the Persian Gulf region based on “troubling and escalatory” threats from Iran.

On Tuesday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unexpectedly cancelled a meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Maas in order to make an urgent trip to Iraq, where he landed in Baghdad hours later due to reports that Iran was “escalating their activity” against US troops and assets in the region.

“I wanted to go to Baghdad to speak with the leadership there, to assure them that we stood ready to continue to ensure that Iraq was a sovereign, independent nation, and that the United States would continue to help build out partners in the region — the Jordanians, the Saudis, the Emiratis, all of the Gulf states — who want to see a free, independent, sovereign Iraq,” Pompeo said as he flew to Baghdad.

 

Image source: Associated Press

When pressed on precise nature of the Iran threat which warranted the last minute canceling his German engagements, he responded that he couldn’t go into details. But clearly he was there to press Iraqi leaders on ensuring the protection of American troops, especially given Baghdad’s closeness to Iran and pro-Shia militias which cooperate closely with Iraqi national forces.

However, Pompeo did note he would press the Iraqi government on pending business deals, including “big energy deals that can disconnect them from Iranian energy.” He reportedly met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi in Baghdad soon after touching down Tuesday night, and then separately with President Barham Salih.

He told reporters after the meeting (and without a hint of irony) that:

“We don’t want anyone interfering in their country.”

According to Reuters:

“The message that we’ve sent to the Iranians, I hope, puts us in a position where we can deter and the Iranians will think twice about attacking American interests,” Pompeo said, noting that the U.S. intelligence was “very specific” about “attacks that were imminent.”

Crucially, it was to be Secretary of State Pompeo’s first official trip to Berlin, where policy connected with Ukraine, Russia, China and Syria was to be discussed. The New York Times noted that the sudden cancellation was received as a snub of Merkel’s government in Germany.

Currently the Pentagon has confirmed deployment of four B-52 bombers to the Middle East CENTCOM region of operations as well as the USS Abraham Lincoln Nimitz-class carrier group in what Bolton previously described as “a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime”.

Iran’s leaders dismissed Bolton’s words and western media hyping the ramping up of American readiness in the region as mere “psychological warfare” meant to scare and intimidate Tehran, noting further that US was using a pre-scheduled routine deployment as a mere pretext for its heightened pressure campaign.

 

6.GLOBAL ISSUES

 

7  OIL ISSUES

 

8. EMERGING MARKETS

VENEZUELA

 

end

 

end

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

Euro/USA 1.1202 UP .0012 REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems ///ITALIAN CHAOS /AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA RISING INTEREST RATES /FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES /RED EXCEPT GERMAN DAX

 

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 109.97 DOWN 0.287 (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 1.3010   DOWN   0.0057  (Brexit March 29/ 2019/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED/BREXIT EXTENDED TO OCT 31/2019//

USA/CAN 1.3479 UP .0007 CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/(TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA/CANADA HAS A HUGE HOUSEHOLD DEBT/GDP PROBLEM)

Early THIS WEDNESDAY morning in Europe, the Euro ROSE BY 12 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level  RISING to 1.1202 Last night Shanghai COMPOSITE CLOSED DOWN 32.63 POINTS OR 1.12% 

 

 

 

 

 

//Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 359.82 POINTS OR 1.23%

 

 

 

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED DOWN .50%// EUROPEAN BOURSES RED EXCEPT GERMAN DAX 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NIKKEI: this WEDNESDAY morning CLOSED DOWN 321.13 POINTS OR 1.46% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

1/EUROPE OPENED RED EXCEPT GERMAN DAX

 

 

 

 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 359.82 POINTS OF 1.23% 

 

 

 

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 32.63 POINTS OR 1.12% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED DOWN .50% 

 

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED DOWN 321.13 POINTS OR 1.46%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1290.00

silver:$14.93

Early WEDNESDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.43% !!! DOWN 6 IN POINTS from TUESDAY’S night in basis points and it is trading WELL ABOVE resistance at 2.27-2.32%.

 

The 30 yr bond yield 2.84 DOWN 5  IN BASIS POINTS from YESTERDAY night.

USA dollar index early TUESDAY morning: 97.57 DOWN 10 CENT(S) from  TUESDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers WEDNESDAY MORNING

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And now your closing  WEDNESDAY NUMBERS \12: 00 PM

 

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.09%  DOWN 0 in basis point(s) yield from TUESDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: -.05%  DOWN 1   B0SIS POINTS from TUESDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

 

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 0.96% DOWN 2   IN basis point yield from TUESDAY

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.61 DOWN 1  POINT in basis point yield from TUESDAY/

 

 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 165 points HIGHER than Spain.

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

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.65% AND NOW ABOVE THE  THE 3.00% LEVEL WHICH WILL IMPLODE THE ENTIRE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM. AT 4% SPREAD THERE WILL BE A HUGE BANK RUN…

 

END

IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR WEDNESDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1200  DOWN     .0011 or 11 basis points

USA/Japan: 110.11 DOWN .150 OR YEN UP 15  basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3006 DOWN .0062 POUND DOWN 62  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar UP 3 basis points to 1.3468

 

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The USA/Yuan,CNY closed AT 6.7829    0N SHORE  (DOWN)

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  6.8090  (YUAN DOWN)

TURKISH LIRA:  6.1928 EXTREMELY DANGEROUS LEVEL/DEATH WISH.

the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at -.05%

 

 

 

Your closing 10 yr US bond yield DOWN 1 IN basis points from TUESDAY at 2.45 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 2.86 DOWN 3 in basis points on the day

Your closing USA dollar index, 97.50  DOWN 13  CENT(S) ON THE DAY/1.00 PM/

 

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

London: CLOSED UP 10,53  0.19%

German Dax :  CLOSED UP 87.19 POINTS OR 0.72%

Paris Cac CLOSED UP 21.84 POINTS OR 0.40%

Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 8.10 POINTS or 0.09%

Italian MIB: CLOSED DOWN 15.28 POINTS OR 0.07%

 

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 62.09 1:00 33

Brent Oil: 70.16 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   ROUBLE CROSS:    65.05  THE CROSS LOWER BY 0.33 ROUBLES/DOLLAR (ROUBLE HIGHER BY 33 BASIS PTS)

 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD FALLS  TO –.05 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 :  62.09

 

 

BRENT :  70.63

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: … 2.48…   STILL DEADLY//

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 2.89..VERY DEADLY

 

 

 

 

EURO/USA 1.1195 ( UP 5   BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:110.06 DOWN .205 (YEN UP 21 BASIS POINTS/..

 

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 97.61 DOWN 2 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA:1.3005 DOWN 62  POINTS

 

the Turkish lira close: 6.1868

 

the Russian rouble 65.07   UP 32 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( UP 32 BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar:  1.3484 DOWN 12 BASIS pts

USA/CHINESE YUAN (CNY) :  6.7829  (ONSHORE)/

 

USA/CHINESE YUAN(CNH): 6.8103 (OFFSHORE)

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: ,+0.04%

 

The Dow closed  UP 2.51 POINTS OR 0.01%

 

NASDAQ closed DOWN 20.44 POINTS OR 0.20%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  19.43 CLOSED UP 0.11

 

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 2.559%//

 

 

 

FROM 2.575

 

 

 

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

 

Ugly Close Erases Early Stock Gains As Algos Chase Trade Headlines All Day

A day full of hope, and in the end…

.

Chinese markets started off weak but that drop

Chinese markets started off weak but that drop was met with a wall of National Team buying, only to see more selling pressure stocks lower into the afternoon session close…

 

European markets were mixed with DAX leading  and Spain and Italy flat, though well of the intraday lows…

 

US Futures show the roller-coaster ride today with overnight headlines of China’s reneging starting the decline, Trump tweets and Sanders reiteration prompted hope-filled gains, and then China’s retaliation headlines sparked selling…

Stocks were holding hopeful gains until the last 15 minutes which – as opposed to yesterday’s panic-bid – dumped…

With a major sell program hitting…

The Dow fell back below its 200DMA

 

 

LYFT was clubbed like a baby seal after a brief spike on earnings…

 

VIX slipped lower on the day, but remains at an 18 handle…

VIX Term Structure remains inverted for a 3rd day in a row…

 

Treasury yields started the day off lower but after an ugly 10Y auction spiked higher…

We also note a large $20bn IBM bond sale likely put upward (rate-lock) pressure on yields all day.

10Y Yields spiked after the ugly auction, reaching up to its Monday opening levels…

 

The dollar trod water for a 3rd day as the European market buying continues…

 

And while the dollar flip-flopped all day, yuan slid lower all day…

 

Cryptos were hit again overnight on Binance hack headlines, but Bitcoin rallied back…

 

Commodities were largely lower on the day but crude managed gains after a surprise crude inventory draw…

 

Brent Crude futures just achieved a ‘bullish’ golden cross…

 

Finally, FX, Credit, Oil, and Gold vols appear to be shrugging off this week’s sudden outburst of vol while bonds and stocks are seeing volatility expectations explode…

END

Market trading: early this morning

Futures Spike After Trump Says China Coming To Washington “To Make A Deal”

Update (8:53 am ET): Almost immediately after Trump sent futures higher with a series of tweets touting the possibility of a deal with Beijing, the US Trade Rep’s office appeared to pour cold water on Trump’s claims by publishing a notice suggesting that Washington is sticking to its guns and raise tariffs on Friday.

  • U.S. ISSUES NOTE ON INCREASING TARIFFS ON $200B OF CHINA GOOD
  • U.S. NOTICE SAYS TARIFFS ON $200B OF CHINA GOODS GO UP FRIDAY

The notice confirmed that new tariffs would take effect on the tenth of May, and caused futures to pare some gains.

Trump

Futures are still well above their lows of the session, but have pared gains somewhat.

* * *

Futures are spiking after President Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that Vice Premier Liu He would be coming to Washington to make a deal.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The reason for the China pullback & attempted renegotiation of the Trade Deal is the sincere HOPE that they will be able to “negotiate” with Joe Biden or one of the very weak Democrats, and thereby continue to ripoff the United States (($500 Billion a year)) for years to come….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….Guess what, that’s not going to happen! China has just informed us that they (Vice-Premier) are now coming to the U.S. to make a deal. We’ll see, but I am very happy with over $100 Billion a year in Tariffs filling U.S. coffers…great for U.S., not good for China!

Trump also accused Beijing of trying to stall negotiations in the hopes that they might be able to negotiate a more favorable deal with Joe Biden or another “weak” Democrat. Futures and the dollar jerked higher after trending lower for most of the morning.

Trade

end

ii)Market data/

Credit card defaults climb as banks are hoarding the riskiest accounts.

(courtesy zerohedge)

As Credit-Card Defaults Climb, Banks Are Hoarding The Riskiest Accounts

As each of the seven largest credit-card issuers in the US reported a troubling jump in default rates to levels not seen in the better part of a decade, we noted last week that relaxed lending standards combined with ‘Non-GAAP’ FICO scores suggest that the American consumer is in far worse shape than many had realized – which could seriously threaten stability during the next recession (if the Fed ever allows one to happen).

Credit Cards

But as analysts dug into the implications of this trend for the ABS market, Barclays’ securitized credit strategist Alin Florea told the bank’s clients not to worry about the trend, because credit-card-backed ABS is protected by issuers stuffing these securities with only the highest quality borrowers.

But while Florea’s findings might reassure her clients, most of whom presumably own these consumer-credit-backed securities, those who own shares of US banks – for whom consumer banking has been a relatively consistent profit-center in the years since the financial crisis – might see things differently.

When they were bundling mislabeled subprime mortgages into ‘investment grade’ MBS during the run-up to the financial crisis, banks were all too happy to pass the shakiest loans off to their clients. But perhaps because they’re trying to lobby a now-divided Congress to roll back some of the more restrictive Dodd-Frank protections. Or perhaps because they feel the federal government will always backstop them should losses pile up to an untenable level, banks are opting to hold on to the accounts of some of the riskiest credit-card borrowers, As Florea explained.

Indeed, as Florea showed, charge-off rates for the banks’ portfolios are significantly higher than the rates for the portfolios that have been sliced up and sold off.

Barclays

Moving on from charge-off rates, which include borrowers who have effectively stopped paying their bills, sticking their lenders with the tab, Florea writes that a better indicator of near-term stress would be delinquency rates, which, though they have increased marginally since bottoming out in 2016, have still improved considerably since the years immediately after the crisis.

Two

But by far the riskiest flavor of credit-card debt – that is, cards issued in partnership with retailers – has experienced a deterioration that is both more notable, and more sustained.

Three

Still, Florea cautions that outstanding issues have amble credit enhancement to withstand delinquencies even if they continue to accelerate by a much larger margin. And even if things do go south, holders of these typically less-liquid securities can at least find some comfort in the fact that rising issuance and trading volumes have helped to improve liquidity – which means if they start to get cold feet later, they can at least bail on their positions without selling them at a discount.

In summary: While a blowup in credit card debt – which has eclipsed mortgage debt and auto-loan debt – isn’t an immediate danger, if signs of economic stress re-emerge, banks’ decision to relax their lending standards during one of the most robust economic recoveries on record could come back to bite them.

end

iii)USA ECONOMIC/GENERAL STORIES

California’s mandatory minimum wage at $15.00 is already starting to backfire.

(courtesy zerohedge)

California’s Mandatory Minimum Wage-Hikes Are Starting To Backfire

According to a recent study conducted by the University of California Riverside, California’s minimum wage hikes have slowed job growth among restaurant workers.

The golden state instituted a series of minimum wage hikes – set to reach $15 by 2022, or 50% over 2012 levels, according to Forbes.

“Data analysis suggests that while the restaurant industry in California has grown significantly as the minimum wage has increased, employment in the industry has grown more slowly than it would have without minimum wage hikes,” according to the study. “The slower employment is nevertheless real for those workers who may have found a career in the industry.”

Some of the findings:

  • The model suggests that there would be30,000 fewer jobs in the industry from 2017 – 2022 as a result of the higher minimum wage.
  • The impact of the minimum wage hike is greater in lower income communities than higher income communities, presumably because restaurants in high-income areas can pass on the additional costs to customers more easily.
  • If the U.S. economy were to slip into a recession this year, we would expect the industry to lose about 8,000 more jobs than it otherwise would have because of the higher minimum wage.
  • The higher minimum wage has consequences for the types of workers employed in the industry. Specifically, we see a decline in the employment share of low-skilled workers, disabled workers and part-time workers in the sector.

“The minimum wage increases could have major ramifications for California restaurants and more broadly, the state’s economy,” says Phil Kafarakis – President of the  Specialty Food Association and former Chief Innovation & Member Advancement Officer at the National Restaurant Association.

“There are some 1.83 million restaurant jobs in the state (National Restaurant Association) that represent about 11% of California’s employment base. Given that labor is one of the restaurant industry’s biggest costs, there’s a real danger that the higher minimum wage will stifle job growth, currently projected at 9% through 2020 and adding 164,000 new jobs.”

Moreover, according to Forbes, Kafarakis sees “the implications to California reach beyond restaurant tables given that for every dollar spent in table-service restaurants provides a $2.03 impact to state revenue compared to the same dollar spent in limited-service outlets, that contribute $1.75 to state revenue per dollar spent.”

To be fair, minimum wage hikes aren’t the only challenge the California restaurant Industry is facing these days. “For Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs), labor challenges have been brewing for some time,” says Corey Chafin, a principal in global strategy and management firm A.T. Kearney. “Though minimum wage hikes only deepen these challenges, it is not their sole challenge. Low unemployment has created cutthroat “labor wars” as QSRs compete to maintain a full workforce amongst a shrinking pool of available labor. (Just this week one QSR announced a partnership with AARP in an effort to hire older workers.).”

The problem, of course, is a strong economy, which gives workers more job options. “As individual workers have more options, restaurant turnover remains high and subsequently operational risks are plentiful from ensuring consistent service levels, product quality, and food safety.” –Forbes

What is the solution? According to Chafin – robots and other technological improvements.

“Battling these headwinds requires QSRs to adopt a long-term view to reduce labor reliance through technology. Kiosk ordering, kitchen automation, central prep, smarter scheduling, and automated delivery are in various phases of the R&D cycle and expected to ease labor risks in the years ahead.”

The pressure to replace technology with labor will differ across industry segments. “Near-term wage hikes may shift where QSRs prioritize the roll-out of these labor optimization programs,” adds Chafin. “Notably, delivery-based QSRs (e.g., pizza) will face higher long-term pressures from wage hikes than brick and mortar QSRs due to limited options to automate delivery; these QSRs can be expected to trim operations where automated delivery remains uncertain and wage increases extinguish favorable profitability.” –Forbes

As the report’s authors conclude, “This report reveals that the worst effects of minimum wage increases can be hidden in the context of a strong economy, but will be felt more intensely in the event of an economic downturn. Minimum wages should be set relative to local incomes, and there should be a specific exemption for tipped employees. In both cases it can reduce the impact of the higher minimum wage on the local industry and still achieve higher incomes in the broader economy.”

END

We have been highlighting to you on several occasions that Trump’s new tariffs hurt the USA as much as China because it is the USA citizen that must pay for thee higher cost of goods.

(courtesy Tom Luongo)

Luongo: ‘Economic-Warfare-Man’ Strikes Again

Authored by Tom Luongo,

It’s getting tiresome watching Donald Trump’s bipolar presidency. It seems he can’t let a day go by without making some massive announcement to raise tariffs, threaten sanctions or overthrow a government.

Every 24 hours is another exercise in chasing the Trump Reality Show around. Every lull in the perpetual news cycle has to be seized upon to create more chaos so he can validate his insanity.

Trump has so many plates spinning there’s no way he’s actually thinking anything through. Take the latest fiasco, Chinese trade talks.

One day “Talks are going well,” the next “We’re raising tariffs to 25%.”

That’s where we are today. Because Trump thinks he’s winning the trade war and China won’t give him what he wants so he’ll disrupt global trade until he does.

It doesn’t matter how many times he’s told. Tariffs don’t work. The costs are not paid by the exporter. They are paid by the consumer. Tariffs don’t shift manufacturing of the goods imported onshore, they are supplied by other countries or substituted for lesser goods.

The consumer pays higher prices for end-user goods. The domestic members of the supply chain pay higher input prices while sclerotic domestic producers are subsidized to stay non-competitive.

Warfare is Welfare

The problems with threatening these tariffs are myriad but the main ones are:

  1. Trump is an economic ignoramus. Who only likes to look at one side of the trade ledger.
  2. His advisors are all paranoid neoconservatives who can only see the world in terms of power.

Because these ‘advisors’ are who they are they all push Trump to his worst decisions by feeding him exactly what he wants to hear. It doesn’t matter if it’s intelligence about the potential for a Venezuelan coup or the efficacy of sanctioning everyone who buys a drop of Iranian oil.

Trump likes punishing people he thinks have wronged him.

The National Security Council played a key role in driving the argument to end the waiver program — especially Richard Goldberg, a new member of the Trump administration and a longtime advocate for confronting Iran, according to the two sources. He was “instrumental,” one of the sources said.

National Security Adviser John Bolton added Goldberg to the NSC in January.

Previously, Goldberg was an adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) think-tank headed by Mark Dubowitz, a leading advocate for tougher handling of Iran since the United States’ first round of sanctions against the country under former President Barack Obama.

In 2012, Goldberg was an aide to then-Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican, and delivered a blow to Tehran by writing legislation that closed Iran’s last legal loophole in selling oil under the Obama sanctions. That legislation targeted the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging system over which Iran was conducting billions of dollars in oil trade.

Bolton was in charge of the failed Venezuela operation and is the architect of both the Iran sanctions plan as well as scuttling peace talks with North Korea.

Do you really think he’s not involved in telling Trump to up the pressure on China by giving them an ultimatum to deal or see tariffs raised to 25%?

This, the same day that Bolton announces moving an aircraft carrier group to the Persian Gulf as a message to Iran.

Never forget that all of this can be avoided by Trump having one shred of courage to stop this welfare for the merchants of death.

Dollars Locked and Loaded

That the impetus to weaponize the U.S. dollar through trade and hybrid warfare comes from this corner of Trump’s administration is not news. Neither is Trump’s impulsiveness, cravenness and inability to think systemically.

What is news, however, is that Trump thinks he has the leverage here because the S&P 500 is flirting with a new all-time high. As I said above, Trump is an economic ignoramus.

He refuses to see the opposite side of the trade ledger. We export trillions in debt, which fuels our trade deficit with China and receive goods in return. Those funds created out of thin air aren’t used for domestic investment, they simply goose GDP — Gross National Spending — as that money flows through the economy.

Tariffs won’t solve this.

Trump lowered corporate tax rates to 20%, a good thing certainly, and is trying to cut through regulatory red tape, also a good thing, but it isn’t enough if he doesn’t cut government spending at the same time.

What’s never admitted by mainstream economists is that GDP can fall and economic value created by the economy can rise. Boosting GDP with fake spending fueled by new debt at artificially low rates isn’t wealth creation.

In fact, it is, ultimately, capital destructive. It is malinvestment that shows up everywhere as ghost cities, empty malls, crumbling infrastructure and cultural malaise which leads to political degradation.

This is why Trump is a coward. He doesn’t have the courage to confront this. He just blames everyone else for not paying their fair share. He’s focused the anger and frustration of Americans impoverished by these policies on everyone else.

There is no issue that gets people more angry with me among Trump supporters ripping him on tariffs. It’s insane how deeply this idea is embedded.

It’s economic warfare in which the bombs go up and come straight back down.

A courageous President, however, would level with the American people and say:

“We’ve spent beyond our means. We in Washington with our insane policies have destroyed your communities.

“Government can’t solve these problems. Only you can. We’ve cut taxes and and now we’re cutting spending and I will veto any budget that doesn’t do so.”

“The best way to improve the American economy is to get real and put the money back into your hands. Government doesn’t produce wealth, at best it shuffles it around. You produce wealth.

“It will be tough. But I have faith in you the American People.”

Stephen Miller will never write that speech.

That’s the fight he won’t have. Instead he does what every other crackpot politician has ever done, guns AND butter. And then sells that as a trade war with China.

No one is ever to blame for their economic messes. Blame the other guy. Blame the corporations. Blame everyone except the people who actually did it and compound the problem by taking it out on the rest of the world.

Trump’s Market Problem

He thinks the stock market is the weather vane of his presidency and that when it’s rising he can make outrageous demands and when it’s falling he has to tack against it.

It’s why everything is so bipolar and we’re being pushed every day in a different direction. A quick look at the Dow Jones Industrials on a weekly basis since Trump embarked on his trade and tariff war should give you an idea of how much volatility has increased.

In case the picture itself is unclear, the numbers are. Since hitting a peak in January 2017 volatility as measured by the difference in closing prices week to week and the range of each week has more than doubled.

For move of the second half of 2018 we saw got used to three sigma or grater movements in the Dow. This is the real effect of political and policy uncertainty. And if Trump’s goal is a rising stock market someone should show him this chart. 2017 is what you want, Don, not 2018.

Because, for all intents and purposes, it hasn’t gone anywhere in over a year.

Not that I think Trump is the only reason for this volatility, but his pressure on dollar liquidity and his consistent scaring capital markets with shutting down trade isn’t helping anything.

The Fed is helping this along, no doubt.

He helped break the eurodollar system last year with his overnight tariffs on aluminum and his pullout from the JCPOA.

The U.S. share market is rising precisely because he has embarked on a mad policy of weaponizing the dollar. He thinks there is no possible way anyone can get out of using the dollar and therefore this won’t hurt him or the U.S. in the long run.

In the short run he’s right. Dollar liquidity is causing massive capital flight into U.S. assets. But it isn’t coming here necessarily as long-term investment.

Tariffs Have Consequences

The problem is he forgets that he’s the one subject to an election while China’s leadership is not. Everything China has done politically under Xi Jinping has been to safeguard the Chinese state in the event of a crisis.

Back here we have one major party, half of the President’s party, his own staff and the permanent bureaucracy actively plotting a coup against him.

Oh, and there’s an election in eighteen months. But his advisers keep telling him China is a paper tiger, squeeze them and they will capitulate. But it hasn’t happened yet and it won’t.

China’s not going to implode over these tariffs. It will give Xi and his central bank the opportunity to devalue the yuan in response to the slower flow of dollars. It has to protect the lion’s share of its trade with Southeast Asia and Europe whose currencies are already in trouble.

And it will bail out the most strategically-sensitive banks and businesses over-exposed to them. It’s what they did last year in response to the 10% tariff and it is what will happen this time.

So, if Trump doesn’t want a stronger dollar he can’t look to the Fed to give it to him. The structure of the offshore dollar markets is not under their control. As always, markets are bigger than central planners.

If global trade is the M0 of the world then restricting it at a time of maximal dollar-based debt capacity is the stupidest thing you can do if your goal is a lower dollar and trade balance with China.

We don’t need a lower dollar. We need a dollar that buys more value at home. And that can’t happen with the Fed and Treasury pumping money in while choking us with the debt behind it.

But don’t worry folks Economic Warfare Man has a plan for that too.

END

I guess when it rains it pours:  Baltimore is paralyzed with a ransomware attack

good luck to them..

(courtesy zerohedge)

SWAMP STORIES

The following is a huge story:  Steel made a damning pre fisa confession that the dossier is political and must be out before Nov 8.  Also the FBI retroactively classified this document.

my goodness.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Christopher Steele Made Damning Pre-FISA Confession That The FBI Retroactively Classified

Former British spy Christopher Steele made a stunning admission during an October 11, 2016 meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec, just 10 days before the FBI used his now-discredited dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page and the campaign’s ties to Russia, according to The Hill‘s John Solomon.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline. –The Hill

According a typed summary of the meeting – which sat buried for over  2 1/2 years until an open-records litigation by Citizens United – Steele said that his client “is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8,” the date of the 2016 US election. Also in the meeting was an employee of Steele’s Orbis Security firm, Tatyana Duran.

And according to The Hill, Kavalec’s notes of the meeting – including this stunning admission – do not appear to have been provided to the House Intelligence Committee for its Russia probe, according to former Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA). 

“They tried to hide a lot of documents from us during our investigation, and it usually turns out there’s a reason for it,” Nunes told The Hill‘s Solomon, who notes that One member of Congress had transmitted the memos to the DOJ’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz out of concern that the IG’s office had never seen it either. 

The FBI has retroactively classified Kavalec’s notes on 4/25/2019, despite the fact that it was originally marked unclassified in 2016. It is set to “Declassify on 12/31/2041,” 25 years after the 2016 election.

The apparent effort to hide Kavalec’s notes from her contact with Steele has persisted for some time.

State officials acknowledged a year ago they received a copy of the Steele dossier in July 2016, and got a more detailed briefing in October 2016 and referred the information to the FBI.

But what was discussed was not revealed. Sources told me more than a year ago that Kavalec had the most important (and memorialized) interaction with Steele before the FISA warrant was issued, but FBI and State officials refused to discuss it, or even confirm it.

The encounter, and Kavalec’s memos, were forced into public view through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation by Citizens United. Yet, all but a few lines have been redacted after the fact. Officials are citing as the reason national security, in the name of the FBI and a half-century-old intelligence law. –The Hill

“This new information proves why the attorney general must conduct a thorough investigation of the investigators,” said Citizens United president and informal Trump adviser David Bossie, adding that Kavalec’s notes suggest there was an illegal effort to “frame” Trump with bogus collusion allegations

According to one source who has seen the notes, they also contain information on Steele’s political ties which have not been given to Congress. “There’s a connection to Hillary Clinton in the notes,” said the source.

Two days after the meeting with Steele, Kavalec sent an email alerting others – with the only unredacted portion of import reading: “You may already have this information but wanted to pass it on just in case.”

Meanwhile, the memo also sheds light on the DNC’s role in hiring Steele:

The three sentences visible in her memo show that U.S. officials had good reason to suspect Steele’s client and motive in alleging Trump-Russia collusion because they were election-related and facilitated by the Clinton-funded Fusion GPS founder, Glenn Simpson.

“Orbis undertook the investigation into the Russia/Trump connection at the behest of an institution he declined to identify that had been hacked,” Kavalec wrote.

At the time, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was the highest-profile victim of election-year hacking.

“The institution approached them based on the recommendation of Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch (specialists in economic crime, formerly of the WSJ) and is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8,” Kavalec wrote. “Orbis undertook the investigation in June of 2016.” Steele’s firm Orbis was a subcontractor to Fusion GPS, and WSJ refers to The Wall Street Journal. –The Hill

The significance of Kavalec’s notes is monumental, even with redactions, as it is definitive proof that the US government had full knowledge that the foundation of their FISA warrant had a political motive and an Election Day deadline to make public. We also know, according to the report, that this information was transmitted before the Page FISA warrant to people whose job is so sensitive their identity had to be protected. In short, there’s virtually no way the FBI didn’t know what they were dealing with.

Documents and testimony from Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie worked for Fusion GPS, show he told the FBI in August 2016 that Steele was “desperate” to defeat Trump and his work had something to do with Clinton’s campaign.

Kavalec’s notes make clear the DNC was a likely client and the election was Steele’s deadline to smear Trump.

Likewise, there is little chance the FBI didn’t know that Steele, then a bureau informant, had broken protocol and gone to the State Department in an effort to make the Trump dirt public. –The Hill

Meanwhile, former FBI Director James Comey continues to maintain his pious routine as he peddles his lucrative book, while his Deputy Andrew McCabe’s book deal just went to print in February.

end

Trump asserts executive privilege over the Mueller report and its underlying documents even though Barr released the report already to the public at large save the redacted stuff.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump Asserts Executive Privilege Over Mueller Report And Underlying Documents

President Trump asserted executive privilege over the Mueller report and its underlying evidence on Wednesday in order to prevent Democratic lawmakers from obtaining an unredacted version, according to Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd in a letter to House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler.

“We are disappointed that you have rejected the Department of Justice’s request to delay the vote of the Committee on the Judiciary on a contempt finding against the Attorney General this morning,” wrote Boyd. “Accordingly, this is to advise you that the President has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials.”

The panel is voting on Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress over his refusal to provide the unredacted report, which Nadler has called a “constitution crisis.”

Zoe Tillman

@ZoeTillman

The House Judiciary Committee markup on the Barr contempt resolution is underway, you can watch live here: https://judiciary.house.gov/legislation/markups 
And follow @pdmcleod, who is in the room –> https://twitter.com/pdmcleod/status/1126126965336027136 

Markups

judiciary.house.gov

Paul McLeod

@pdmcleod

Hello from the House Judiciary Committee where the Democratic majority may in a few moments vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for refusing to hand over an unredacted copy of the Mueller report.

Zoe Tillman

@ZoeTillman

NOW: Per new DOJ letter, Trump has asserted executive privilege over all of the documents that the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed from AG Bill Barr re: Mueller’s unredacted report and underlying evidence/records pic.twitter.com/zBauWgI9sU

View image on Twitter
78 people are talking about this

The assertion of executive privilege is Trump’s first use of secrecy powers as president, according to the New York Times, which follows a Tuesday evening letter from the Justice Department to Nadler notifying him that they would advise Trump to protect the report.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Andrew Desiderio

@desiderioDC

NEWS: DOJ says it will advise Trump to invoke executive privilege to block compliance with the Judiciary Committee’s subpoena

“Such unreasonable demands, together with the Committee’s precipitous threat to hold the Attorney General in contempt, are a transparent attempt to short-circuit the constitutionally mandated accommodation process and provoke an unnecessary conflict between our respective branches of government,” reads the letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd.

“If the Committee decides to proceed in spite of this request … the Attorney General will advise the President to make a protective assertion of executive privilege over the subpoenaed material,” the letter adds.

In response to the letter, Nadler said “The White House waived these privileges long ago, and the Department seemed open to sharing these materials with us earlier today. The Department’s legal arguments are without credibility, merit, or legal or factual basis.”

Andrew Desiderio

@desiderioDC

A committee aide says the contempt markup is still on for tomorrow.

Below is the Judiciary Committee’s counter-offer to DOJ for greater access to the Mueller report

View image on Twitter

Andrew Desiderio

@desiderioDC

Nadler: “The White House waived these privileges long ago, and the Department seemed open to sharing these materials with us earlier today. The Department’s legal arguments are without credibility, merit, or legal or factual basis.” pic.twitter.com/GawQUieCrv

View image on Twitter
(courtesy zerohedge)

House Judiciary Committee Votes To Hold Barr In Contempt Over Unredacted Mueller Report

In a vote that came as no surprise, the Democratic controlled House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for his refusal to hand over an unredacted copy of the Mueller report.

In a vote that followed party lines, the panel chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) made a formal recommendation to the lower chamber which would hold Barr in contempt for failing to comply with the committee’s congressional subpoena.

In order to prevent the unredacted version of the Mueller report to fall into the hands of a very leaky Congress, President Trump asserted executive privilege over the entire report and its underlying evidence on Wednesday, after Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd recommended the action Thursday night.

“We are disappointed that you have rejected the Department of Justice’s request to delay the vote of the Committee on the Judiciary on a contempt finding against the Attorney General this morning,” wrote Boyd. “Accordingly, this is to advise you that the President has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials.”

Developing…

former FBI official states that James Comey is in a heap of trouble
(courtesy zerohedge)

“James Comey Is In Trouble And He Knows It”: Former FBI Official

As the establishment trots out James Comey to slam Attorney General William Barr out on national television – on the day of Barr’s Congressional contempt vote for refusing to hand over an unredacted version of the Mueller report – pressure continues to mount on the former FBI Director who oversaw investigations into both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US election.

During a Wednesday appearance on “CBS This Morning,” Comey said of Barr’s four-page summary of the Mueller report: “I’m not suggesting it was intentionally misleading, but it was inadequate to summarize that work.”

Mark Knoller

@markknoller

On @CBSThisMorning, former FBI Dir James Comey said Atty Gen Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report was misleading. “I’m not suggesting it was intentionally misleading, but it was inadequate to summarize that work.”

Comey also said that the FBI does not spy – it “investigates” – referring to the agency’s decision to send in noted spy Stefan Halper and an FBI employee posing as his assistant, “Azra Turk, to approach Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos under false pretenses for the purposes of espionage investigating.

“I have no idea what [Barr’s]) talking about. The FBI doesn’t spy. The FBI investigates,” said Comey. “The Republicans need to breathe into a paper bag. If we had confronted the same facts with a different candidate, say a Democrat candidate … they would be screaming for the FBI to investigate, and that’s all we did.”

Embedded video

CBS This Morning

@CBSThisMorning

“The FBI doesn’t spy, the FBI investigates.” — James @Comey

FBI Director Christopher Wray came out on Tuesday said that spying is “not the term I would use” to describe the agency’s probe into President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸

@JackPosobiec

PosoCheck: Wray is a lawyer who worked under Comey and Mueller in the 2000s and never spent a day in his life as a special agent or intelligence officer

Eric Tucker@etuckerAP

Wray says “spying” is not the word he’d use when it comes to court-authorized intelligence gathering. “To me the key question is making sure it’s done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities. That’s the key question, different people use different colloquial terms”

The CIA’s former head of counterintelligence, James Olson, disagrees – telling The Hill‘s Saagar Enjeti this week “Yeah, I’d call that spying.”

As the Obama administration’s intelligence comes under increasing scrutiny for their actions during the 2016 election, the FBI’s former Assistant Director of Intelligence – Kevin R. Brock – suggests in an Op-Ed for The Hill that James Comey is in trouble and he knows it.

***

Authored by Kevin R. Brock via The Hill

James Comey is in trouble and he knows it

James Comey’s planet is getting noticeably warmer. Attorney General William Barr’s emissions are the suspected cause.

Barr has made plain that he intends to examine carefully how and why Comey, as FBI director, decided that the bureau should investigate two presidential campaigns and if, in so doing, any rules or laws were broken.

In light of this, the fired former FBI director apparently has decided that photos of him on Twitter standing amid tall trees and in the middle of empty country roads, acting all metaphysical, is no longer a sufficient strategy.

No, Comey has realized, probably too late, that he has to try to counter, more directly, the narrative being set by the unsparing attorney general whose words in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week landed in the Trump-opposition world like holy water on Linda Blair. Shrieking heads haven’t stopped spinning since.

And so we’ve seen Comey get real busy lately. First he penned a curious op-ed in The New York Times. Then a Times reporter, with whom Comey has cooperated in the past, wrote a news article exposing an early, controversial investigative technique against the Trump campaign in an attempt to get out front and excuse it. Next, Comey is scheduled to be encouraged on a friendly cable news “town hall.”

In the op-ed, Comey trotted out his now-familiar St. James schtick, freely pronouncing on the morality of others. He sees himself as a kind of Pontiff-of-the-Potomac working his beads, but comes across more like an unraveling Captain Queeg working his ball bearings.

Comey adjudged the president as “amoral.” He declared the attorney general to be “formidable” but “lacking inner strength” unlike — the inference is clear — Comey himself. A strategy of insulting the executioner right before he swings his ax is an odd one but, then, Comey has a long record of odd decisions and questionable judgment.

“Amoral leaders [referring to the president] have a way of revealing the character of those around them,” wrote Comey without a hint of irony or self-awareness. Those whom the former FBI director assembled around him probably rue the day they ever met the man. Most are now fired or disgraced for appalling behaviors that Comey found easy to manipulate to advance his decisions.

Then, just to make sure his op-ed was odd-salted to the max, Comey mused that the president “eats your soul in small bites.” OK, let’s step back for a moment: James Comey appears to be in trouble. His strange, desperate statements and behaviors betray his nervousness and apprehension. In a way, it’s hard to watch.

Comey will claim that everything he did in the FBI was by the book. But after the investigations by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and U.S. Attorney John Huber, along with Barr’s promised examination, are completed, Comey’s mishandling of the FBI and legal processes likely will be fully exposed.

Ideally, Barr’s examination will aggregate information that addresses three primary streams.

The first will be whether the investigations into both presidential nominees and the Trump campaign were adequately, in Barr’s words, “predicated.” This means he will examine whether there was sufficient justification under existing guidelines for the FBI to have started an investigation in the first place.

The Mueller report’s conclusions make this a fair question for the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign. Comey’s own pronouncement, that the Clinton email case was unprosecutable, makes it a fair question for that investigation.

The second will be whether Comey’s team obeyed long-established investigative guidelines while conducting the investigations and, specifically, if there was sufficient, truthful justification to lawfully conduct electronic surveillance of an American citizen.

The third will be an examination of whether Comey was unduly influenced by political agendas emanating from the previous White House and its director of national intelligence, CIA director and attorney general. This, above all, is what’s causing the 360-degree head spins.

There are early indicators that troubling behaviors may have occurred in all three scenarios. Barr will want to zero in on a particular area of concern: the use by the FBI of confidential human sources, whether its own or those offered up by the then-CIA director.

Without diving into the weeds, it’s important to understand that FBI counterintelligence investigations generally proceed sequentially from what is called a preliminary investigation or inquiry (PI) to a full investigation (FI). To move from a PI to an FI requires substantial information — predication — indicating investigative targets acted as agents of a foreign power.

This is problematic for Comey in light of Mueller’s findings. There are strict guidelines governing when the FBI can task a confidential source or a government undercover operative to collect against a U.S. citizen. Normally this is restricted to a full investigation, and normally restricted to the United States, not overseas.

There is a sense that Comey’s team was not checking the boxes, did not have adequate predication, and may have tasked sources before an investigation was even officially opened.  Barr should pull case files and dig in on this.

In addition, the cast of characters leveraged by the FBI against the Trump campaign all appear to have their genesis as CIA sources (“assets,” in agency vernacular) shared at times with the FBI. From Stefan Halper and possibly Joseph Mifsud, to Christopher Steele, to Carter Page himself, and now a mysterious “government investigator” posing as Halper’s assistant and cited in The New York Times article, legitimate questions arise as to whether Comey was manipulated into furthering a CIA political operation more than an FBI counterintelligence case.

Some in the media have suggested that the Times article was an attempt by the FBI to justify its early confidential source actions. But current FBI Director Christopher Wray has shown that he would like to excise the cancerous tumor that grew during Comey’s time and not just keep smoking. It’s hard to imagine current FBI executives trying to justify past malfeasance.

James Comey is right to be apprehensive. He himself ate away at the soul of the FBI, not in small bites but in dangerously large ones. It was a dinner for one, though: His actions are not indicative of the real FBI. The attorney general’s comprehensive examination is welcome and, if done honestly and dispassionately, it will protect future presidential candidates of both parties and redeem the valuable soul of the FBI.

Kevin R. Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, was an FBI special agent for 24 years and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He is a founder and principal of NewStreet Global Solutions, which consults with private companies and public-safety agencies on strategic mission technologies.

end

The Democrats are now taking aim at corporations that pay zero Federal taxes (even though they probably have loses.

(courtesy zerohedge)

In 2020 Race, Democrats Taking Aim At Corporations That Pay $0 In Federal Taxes

Voters are starting to wonder why massive corporations like Amazon pay zero in corporate taxes, in what is likely going to be one of the major hot-button issues of the upcoming election, according to the New York Times.

A recent piece by the paper highlighted a growing group of people like Colin Robertson, who wonders why he pays taxes on the $18,000 a year he makes cleaning carpets, while companies like Amazon got a tax rebate. The confusion led him to join the Akron chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, where at a gathering this month, members discussed Karl Marx and corporate greed over chocolate chip cookies. 

Robertson said of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: “One of the benefits of taxation is taking it and using it for the collective good. He could be taxed at 99.9 percent and still have millions left over, and I’d be homeless.”

It’s an issue that Democrats like Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have made, or likely will make, cornerstones to their campaigns, especially after a recent report showed 60 Fortune 500 companies paid no federal taxes on $79 billion in corporate income last year. Last year, Amazon got a rebate on income of $10.8 billion.

Bernie Sanders said this month: “Amazon, Netflix and dozens of major corporations, as a result of Trump’s tax bill, pay nothing in federal taxes. I think that’s a disgrace.”

Warren has proposed that corporations pay a 7% tax on every dollar over $100 million in profits they earn anywhere in the world. She estimated this would apply to 1,200 companies and net about $1 trillion over a decade. Amazon would have paid $698 million, instead of $0, in taxes for 2018 under her plan. Joe Biden has yet to issue a formal corporate tax reform proposal. Last May, he stated: “We have to deal with this tax code. It’s wildly skewed toward taking care of those at the very top.”

Corporate taxes have been – and will continue to be – a target of criticism by Democrats. In 2020, Democrats will argue that corporations should be accountable for wage inequality, despite the fact that both parties have tried to lower the top corporate tax rate over the last 10 yearsObama proposed lowering it from 35% to 28% before Republicans in 2017 lowered it to 21%. The new law also allows immediate expensing of capital expenditures, which is a key factor in many corporations not paying federal taxes.

The GOP has argued that the tax changes would stimulate investment and economic growth, which has happened mostly in the form of additional stock buybacks in an already inflated stock market. In Ohio, where Colin Robertson is from, the story is slightly different. The state has seen some counties with unemployment at 4.4%, a 600bps spread to the national rate of 3.8%, as a result of factory closures that have taken place over the past few years. Dems will seek to use this to their advantage in a state that Trump won by 8% in 2016.

David Betras, the Democratic chairman in Mahoning County said: “Democrats [have] not yet figured out how to use the economic angst of laid-off employees and minimum-wage workers to defeat Mr. Trump in Ohio in 2020.”

He continued, conceding that Trump has done a good job addressing the issue: “Believe it or not, if you listen to the president, he addresses that issue. He does it with a lot of smoke and very many mirrors, but he’s at least talking about how good the economy is and what I’ve done for you. ‘I’m with you. I have your back.’”

Ultimately, Betras said the issue didn’t resonate as much with voters as health care or immigration, especially because taxes are much more of a resonant issue for Republicans than for Democrats, traditionally. Tyler Savin, a real estate agent in the area who has seen home prices fall as a result of the closure of some plants, said: “I think corporations should pay their taxes, like Amazon, but health care and support for abortion rights [are] more important.”

Thomas Chhay, a Republican student at the University of Akron said: “I lean Republican. I agree with corporate tax cuts unless the companies ship the jobs overseas.”

In addition to Amazon, Goodyear and FirstEnergy, two other Ohio companies, also paid no taxes. FirstEnergy paid no taxes last year on $1.5 billion in income and instead received tax credits that can be used in the future. General Motors recently idled a large plant near Youngstown and, in 2018, paid no federal taxes on $4.32 billion in income. Lordstown, where one GM plant is located, is buried in a county with an unemployment rate stuck at 6.6%. 

David Green, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112 said: “What was promised to these people was more jobs. When you give them the tax break and they take the jobs away, that’s like a double whammy. That’s a lose-lose.”

And the truly worrisome thing is the “solutions” that these policies are driving Democrats to. For instance, Robertson told the NYT that he believes “nationalizing the companies” would be an answer. “I think forcing them to pay higher alone is inefficient, and taxation alone is inefficient,” he said.

end

trump had severe losses in his New York Times report. The losses stem from his casinos and airline endeavours.

He has done nothing wrong.

(courtesy New York Times/zerohedge)

Trump Slams NYT “Hit Job” – “You Always Wanted To Show Losses For Tax Purposes”

President Trump hit back at the New York Times Wednesday morning after the Grey Lady published excerpts from nearly a decade’s worth of Trump tax returns (the first dump of sensitive Trump tax records since the paper revealed during the final stretch of the campaign that Trump had claimed a $916 million loss in 1995), explaining that it was very common for real estate developers to claim “massive write offs and depreciation” 30 years ago before blasting the entire story as “inaccurate” and “Fake News”.

Trump

As we explained in our analysis of the NYT story, nothing Trump did was illegal. The world’s rich take advantage of net operating loss tax planning all the time, and in fact acquiring companies for their NOL tax benefits has been a common corporate strategy for a long time.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Real estate developers in the 1980’s & 1990’s, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases. Much was non monetary. Sometimes considered “tax shelter,” ……

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….you would get it by building, or even buying. You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes….almost all real estate developers did – and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport. Additionally, the very old information put out is a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!

Though the NYT used the story to impugn Trump’s business acumen, the president pointed out that many of the losses were non-monetary, adding that taking advantage of what would sometimes be considered “tax shelters” was considered “sport” among big developers. NYT further faulted Trump for retaining his wealth and lifestyle during the bankruptcies of the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino, while sticking investors with the losses, which, last time we checked, was a widely accepted reality of free enterprise.

As the Hill pointed out, the president’s response mirrors comments from a senior administration official who told the newspaper several weeks ago that Trump “got massive depreciation and tax shelter because of large-scale construction and subsidized developments.”

A lawyer for Trump was quoted in the story denouncing the tax information as “demonstrably false.”

SWAMP STORIES/KEY STORIES/KING REPORT

(COURTESY OF CHRIS POWELL OF GATA)

Fed’s Clarida pushes back on Trump, Pence call for rate cuts because of low inflation

“We don’t see a strong case to move rates in either direction,” Clarida said, in an interview on Bloomberg TV…    https://www.marketwatch.com/discover

Fed’s Harker Expects One More Rate Hike in 2019 and another in 2020 [11:29 ET]

Bank of Philadelphia president suspects recent inflation weakness is transitory

https://www.wsj.com/articles/feds-harker-expects-one-more-rate-hike-in-2019-and-another-in-2020-11557151277

Fed’s Bullard Says He Isn’t Ready for Rate Cuts – Central banker says shift in Fed policy guidance made financial conditions significantly easier, in a development akin to lowering rates [12:12 ET]

https://www.wsj.com/articles/feds-bullard-says-he-isnt-ready-for-rate-cuts-11556899972?mod=e2twcb

U.S. to impose tariffs on Mexican tomatoes as new pact remains elusive

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-tomatoes-mexico-idUKKCN1SD07Y

John Solomon’s latest bombshell – and it’s a big one: Steele’s stunning pre-FISA confession: Informant needed to air Trump dirt before election

    Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline.

    And that confession occurred 10 days before the FBI used Steele’s now-discredited dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s ties to Russia…

      Steele’s client “is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8,” the date of the 2016 election, Kavalec wrote in a typed summary of her meeting with Steele and Tatyana Duran, a colleague from Steele’s Orbis Security firm…

      For the first time, we have written proof the U.S. government knew well before the FBI secured the FISA warrant that Steele had a political motive and Election Day deadline to make his dossier public…

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/442592-steeles-stunning-pre-fisa-confession-informant-needed-to-air-trump-dirt#.XNIAVvr8PT0.twitter

 

Mueller’s ex-FBI intel chief: James Comey is in trouble and he knows it

Comey adjudged the president as “amoral.” He declared the attorney general to be “formidable” but “lacking inner strength” unlike — the inference is clear — Comey himself. A strategy of insulting the executioner right before he swings his ax is an odd one but, then, Comey has a long record of odd decisions and questionable judgment

     Barr will want to zero in on a particular area of concern: the use by the FBI of confidential human sources, whether its own or those offered up by the then-CIA director…

     The cast of characters leveraged by the FBI against the Trump campaign all appear to have their genesis as CIA sources (“assets,” in agency vernacular) shared at times with the FBI…

https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/442278-james-comey-is-in-trouble-and-he-knows-it#.XNGZHITBkIk.twitter

 

@paulsperry_: Congressional investigators are looking into “a number of false statements” made by Mueller in Volume I of his report where he misrepresented the underlying evidence ostensibly to mirror the FBI’s stated pretext for opening investigations on Trump campaign figures

     Mueller Report states Joseph Mifsud interviewed Feb 10 2017. Yet no citation of an FBI 302 for interview. Mueller also states he has docs proving Mifsud made “false” statements to investigators. Yet he never prosecuted him for lying like Papa-D. Why was Mifsud protected?

    NYT & WaPo knew of “govt investigator” Strzok sent to spy on Papa-D w Halper since at least May 2018. They know “Aza Turk’s” identity just like knew Halper’s & won’t divulge not to protect them but FBI handlers/leakers. Just like knew Steele’s ID & HRC behind dossier

 

In April Former DNI James Clapper Said Bill Barr’s Accusations of Spying was “Stunning and Scary” – On Monday Clapper Admitted They Were Spying

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/05/in-april-former-dni-james-clapper-said-bill-barrs-accusations-of-spying-was-stunning-and-scary-on-monday-clapper-admitted-they-were-spying-video/

 

Dem Rep. Al Green: “If we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected.”  [Where is the outrage?]

 

@JackPosobiec: Twitter suspends clearly marked AOC parody account with 85k followers, igniting conservative outrage @AOCPress

 

“We Will Lose Every Election Going Forward if We Don’t Stop This” – Tucker Carlson and Harmeet Dhillon Discuss Tech Media Crackdown on Conservatives

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/05/we-will-lose-every-election-going-forward-if-we-dont-stop-this-tucker-carlson-and-harmeet-dhillon-discuss-tech-media-crackdown-on-conservatives-video/

 

@Barnes_Law: A segment of Trump-hating Saudi elites own large shares of Twitter.Twitter is now colluding with the left to interfere in the elections with discriminatory application of its terms of service. Isn’t that foreign collusion?

 

Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.” – Noam Chomsky, leftist icon & scholar

 

I WILL SEE YOU THURSDAY NIGHT

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