APRIL 27//GOLD CLOSED DOWN $12.75 TO $1712.00 //SILVER UP ONE CENT TO $15.15 ON COMEX OPTION EXPIRY DAY//A HUGE 98 TONNES OF GOLD STANDING FOR DELIVERY IN THE MONTH OF APRIL //MAY LOOKS LIKE A HUGE 25 TONNES WILL STAND//REP MOONEY’S LETTER TO THE CFTC ON GOLD MANIPULATION//CORONAVIRUS UPDATES, SAT SUN AND MONDAY//JAPAN GOES FULL TILT ON QE//GEORGE FRIEDMAN..A MUST READ (RUSSIAN OIL)//MORE OIL STORIES FOR YOU TONIGHT//HUGE AMERICAN FALLOUT FROM THE CORONAVIRUS//TED SPREAD ACTING UP AGAIN SPELLING ECONOMIC TROUBLE FOR THE GLOBE//SWAMP STORIES FOR YOU TONIGHT///

GOLD$1712.00  DOWN $12.75   The quote is London spot price

 

 

 

 

 

Silver:$15.15  UP 1 CENT

 

Today is comex options expiry so again the crooks whack.  

This Thursday is OTC/LBMA options expiry

 

 

Closing access prices:  London spot

 

i)Gold : $1715.50  LONDON SPOT  4:30 pm

 

ii)SILVER:  $15.19//LONDON SPOT  4:30 pm

CLOSING FUTURES PRICES:  KEY MONTHS

APRIL comex gold price CLOSE 1.30 PM:  $XX

MAY COMEX GOLD:  1710.80 1:30 PM

JUNE GOLD:  $1723.20  CLOSE 1.30 PM//   SPREAD SPOT/FUTURE JUNE: $11.20.//PREMIUMS WENT DOWN AGAIN

 

CLOSING SILVER FUTURE MONTH

SILVER APRIL COMEX CLOSE: XXX

SILVER MAY COMEX CLOSE;   $15.23…1:30 PM.//SPREAD SPOT/FUTURE MAY:  8 CENTS  PER OZ//PREMIUMS DOWN AGAIN

 

 

the gold market continues to be broken as future prices are much higher than spot prices.  The comex is desperate to fix things but they have no available gold.

If one is to buy gold and or gold coins, the price is around $2800. usa per oz

and silver; $31.00 per oz//

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: YOU ARE NOW WITNESSING FIRST HAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAPER GOLD/SILVER AND THE REAL PHYSICAL STUFF!!

DO NOT PAY ANY ATTENTION TO WHAT THE CROOKS ARE DOING AT THE COMEX AND LONDON LBMA..PHYSICAL IS THE NAME OF THE GAME AND NOTHING ELSE

 

COMEX DATA

 

 

 

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

today RECEIVING: 49/151

issued 40

EXCHANGE: COMEX
CONTRACT: APRIL 2020 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,723.500000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 04/24/2020 DELIVERY DATE: 04/28/2020
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED
____________________________________________________________________________________________
132 C SG AMERICAS 38
159 C ED&F MAN CAP 1
357 C WEDBUSH 1
657 C MORGAN STANLEY 9
661 C JP MORGAN 40 49
686 C INTL FCSTONE 14 5
690 C ABN AMRO 85 2
737 C ADVANTAGE 4
905 C ADM 3
991 H CME 51
____________________________________________________________________________________________

TOTAL: 151 151
MONTH TO DATE: 31,442

 

 

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR  APRIL CONTRACT: 151 NOTICE(S) FOR 15,100 OZ (0.4696 tonnes)

 

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  31,442 NOTICES FOR 3,144,200 OZ  (97.79 TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR APRIL

 

 

6 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR  30,000  OZ/

total number of notices filed so far this month: 832 for 4,160,000 oz

 

BITCOIN MORNING QUOTE  $7718 UP  29 

 

BITCOIN AFTERNOON QUOTE.: $7702 UP $7

 

GLD AND SLV INVENTORIES:

WITH GOLD DOWN $12.75: AND NO PHYSICAL TO BE FOUND ANYWHERE:

WITH ALL REFINERS CLOSED//MEXICO ORDERING ALL MINES SHUT:   WHERE ARE THEY GETTING THE “PHYSICAL”?

WE HAD ANOTHER HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//

A PHONY PAPER GOLD DEPOSIT OF 5.85 TONNES

 

 

GLD: 1,048.31 TONNES OF GOLD//

 

 

WITH SILVER UP 1 CENT TODAY: AND WITH NO SILVER AROUND

 

 

TWO SMALL PAPER WITHDRAWALS IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV:  373,000 OZ AND LATE IN THE AFTERNOON:  466,000 OZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESTING SLV INVENTORY TONIGHT:

SLV: 412.826  MILLION OZ./

 

 

 

 

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Let us have a look at the data for today

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

IN SILVER THE COMEX OI ROSE  BY A SMALL SIZED 323 CONTRACTS FROM 142,976 UP TO 143,299 AND CLOSER TO OUR NEW RECORD OF 244,710, (FEB 25/2020. THE SMALL SIZED GAIN IN OI OCCURRED WITH  OUR 3 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX. IT SEEMS THAT THE GAIN IN COMEX OI IS DUE TO SOME  BANKER SHORT COVERING PLUS A CONSIDERABLE EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL ISSUANCE, ZERO LONG LIQUIDATION ALONG WITH OUR ZERO GAIN IN SILVER OZ STANDING. WE HAD A VERY GOOD NET GAIN IN OUR TWO EXCHANGES OF 2,108 CONTRACTS  (SEE CALCULATIONS BELOW).

 

 

 

WE HAVE ALSO WITNESSED A STRONG AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL METAL STAND FOR COMEX DELIVERY AS WELL WE ARE WITNESSING CONSIDERABLE LONGS PACKING THEIR BAGS AND MIGRATING OVER TO LONDON IN GREATER NUMBERS IN THE FORM OF EFP’S.  WE WERE  NOTIFIED  THAT WE HAD A  STRONG SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE:   MARCH:  00 AND MAY: 1192 AND JULY: 0  AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE  1192 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 1192 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 1192 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 5.96 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 3 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICE AT THE COMEX AND

2. THE STRONG AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES WHICH STOOD FOR DELIVERY IN THE LAST 12 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.

18.845 MILLION OZ STANDING FOR SILVER IN MAY.

2.660 MILLION OZ STANDING FOR SILVER IN JUNE//

22.605 MILLION OZ  STANDING FOR JULY

10.025   MILLION OZ INITIAL STANDING IN AUGUST.

43.030   MILLION OZ INITIALLY STANDING IN SEPT. (HUGE)

7.32     MILLION OZ INITIALLY STANDING IN OCT

2.630     MILLION OZ STANDING FOR NOV.

20.970   MILLION OZ  FINAL STANDING IN DEC

5.075     MILLION OZ FINAL STANDING IN JAN

1.480    MILLION OZ FINAL STANDING IN FEB

23.005  MILLION OZ FINAL STANDING FOR MAR

4.160  MILLION OZ INITIALLY STANDING FOR APRIL

 

FRIDAY, AGAIN OUR CROOKS USED COPIOUS PAPER IN ORDER TO LIQUIDATE SILVER’S PRICE…AND THEY WERE UNSUCCESSFUL IN KNOCKING THE PRICE OF SILVER DOWN (IT ROSE 3 CENTS).. BUT, OUR OFFICIAL SECTOR/BANKERS WERE  UNSUCCESSFUL IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO FLEECE SOME  SILVER LONGS FROM THEIR POSITIONS, AS WE DID HAVE A VERY GOOD NET GAIN OF 1515 CONTRACTS OR 7.575 MILLION OZ ON THE TWO EXCHANGES! YOU CAN BET THE FARM THAT OUR BANKER  ARE DESPERATE TO LIQUIDATE THEIR HUGE SHORT POSITIONS IN SILVER

 

OUR SPREADING OPERATION HAS NOW SWITCHED INTO SILVER…..

SPREADING OPERATION FOR OUR NEWCOMERS:

WE HAVE NOW COMMENCED IN SILVER THE ILLEGAL SPREADING OPERATION \ FOR NEWCOMERS, HERE ARE THE DETAILS:

 

SPREADING LIQUIDATION HAS NOW STOPPED IN GOLD AS THEY NOW BEGIN TO MORPH INTO SILVER AS WE HEAD TOWARDS THE NEW FRONT MONTH WILL BE MAY.

 

 

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE NEW, HERE IS THE MODUS OPERANDI OF THE SPREADERS AND THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT BEHIND IT:

 HERE IS A BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF HOW THE CROOKS FLEECE UNSUSPECTING LONGS IN THE SPREADING ENDEAVOUR;

 

THE SPREADING LIQUIDATION OPERATION IS NOW OVER FOR GOLD..AND WE WILL NOW MORPH INTO AN ACCUMULATION PHASE OF SPREADING CONTRACTS FOR SILVER.  THEY WILL ACCUMULATE CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF THE CONTRACTS AND THEN LIQUIDATE ONE WEEK PRIOR TO FIRST DAY NOTICE

 

MODUS OPERANDI OF THE CORRUPT BANKERS AS TO HOW THEY HANDLE THEIR SPREAD OPEN INTERESTS:

.

 

 

AS I HAVE MENTIONED IN PREVIOUS COMMENTARIES:

 

 

“AS YOU WILL SEE, THE CROOKS WILL NOW SWITCH TO SILVER AS THEY INCREASE THE OPEN INTEREST FOR THE SPREADERS. THE TOTAL COMEX SILVER 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 ARE NOW INTO THE NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF APRIL HEADING TOWARDS THE  ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MAY FOR SILVER:

 

YOU WILL ALSO NOTICE THAT THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST  STARTS TO RISE IN THIS NON ACTIVE MONTH OF APRIL. 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 (MAY), 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 FOR EFP’S/SILVER/J.P.MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES, / STARTING FROM FIRST DAY NOTICE/FOR MONTH OF APRIL:

17,218 CONTRACTS (FOR 17 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 17,218 CONTRACTS) OR 86.09 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 1001 CONTRACTS OR 5.008 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF APRIL: 86.09 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 12.29% 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 2020 TO DATE SILVER EFP’S:          979,58 MILLION OZ.

JANUARY 2020 EFP TOTALS SO FAR: 181.61 MILLION OZ

FEB 2020 EFP’S TOTAL :  ……     259.600 MILLION OZ

MARCH EFP’S …..                     452.280 MILLION OZ  //TOTALS//AND A NEW RECORD FOR THE MONTH)

APRIL EFP SO FAR                   86.09 MILLION OZ.  (EX. FOR PHYSICALS BECOMING A LOT LESS)

EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL ISSUANCE THIS MONTH IS A LOT LESS.  NO DOUBT THAT THE COST TO CARRY THESE THINGS HAS EXPLODED AND AS SUCH CANNOT BE DONE AS FREQUENTLY AS BEFORE.

 

RESULT: WE HAD A SMALL SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 323, WITH OUR 3 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX ///FRIDAY THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD A GOOD SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 1192 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

 

TODAY WE GAINED A STRONG SIZED OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  1515 CONTRACTS (WITH OUR 3 CENT GAIN IN PRICE)

 

THE TALLY//EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS

i.e 1192 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A GOOD INCREASE OF 323 OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 3 CENT GAIN IN PRICE OF SILVER/ AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $15.17 // FRIDAY’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 UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 0.7050 BILLION OZ TO BE EXACT or 100.7% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW  MAR DELIVERY MONTH/ THEY FILED AT THE COMEX: 6 NOTICE(S) FOR   30,000 OZ OF SILVER.

IN SILVER,PRIOR TO TODAY, WE  SET THE NEW COMEX RECORD OF OPEN INTEREST AT 244,196 CONTRACTS ON AUG 22.2018. AND AGAIN THIS HAS BEEN SET WITH A LOW PRICE OF $14.70//TODAY’S RECORD OF 244,705 IS SET WITH A PRICE OF: 18.91 (FEB 25/2020)

 

.

 

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/ A MAY:  18.845 MILLION OZ ..JUNE 2.660 MILLION OZ//JULY 22.605 MILLION OZ; AUGUST 10.025 MILLION OZ/ SEPT 43.030 MILLION OZ//OCT: 7.665 MILLION OZ//   NOV: 2.630 MILLION OZ//DEC:  20.970 MILLION OZ; JAN:  5.075 MILLION OZ.//FEB 1.480 MILLION OZ//MAR: 23.005 MILLION OZ/APRIL 4.160 MILLION OZ//
  2. THE  RECORD PRIOR TO TODAY WAS SET IN FEB 25/2018:  244,710 CONTRACTS,  WITH A SILVER PRICE OF $18.90//.
  3. HUGE ANNUAL EFP’S ISSUANCE EQUAL TO 2.9 BILLION OZ OR 400% OF SILVER ANNUAL PRODUCTION/2017 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)

 

GOLD

 

IN GOLD, THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST FELL BY A TINY SIZED 114 CONTRACTS TO 498,089 AND FURTHER FROM OUR NEW RECORD (SET JAN 24/2020) AT 799,541 AND  PREVIOUS TO THAT: (SET JAN 6/2020) AT 797,110.

THE TINY LOSS OF COMEX OI OCCURRED DESPITE OUR CONSIDERABLE COMEX LOSS IN PRICE  OF $4.90 /// COMEX GOLD TRADING// FRIDAY// WE  HAD CONSIDERABLE BANKER SHORT COVERING , A GOOD INCREASE IN GOLD OZ STANDING AT THE COMEX, ALONG WITH ZERO LONG LIQUIDATION ACCOMPANYING A GOOD  EX. FOR PHYSICAL ISSUANCE. THIS ALL HAPPENED DESPITE  OUR LOSS IN THE PAPER PRICE OF GOLD.

WE HAD NO ISSUANCE OF OUR NEW 4 GC CONTRACT

 

WE GAINED A GOOD 2698 CONTRACTS  (8.3919 TONNES) ON OUR TWO EXCHANGES.

 

E.F.P. ISSUANCE

 

 

 

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A GOOD SIZED 2812 CONTRACTS:

CONTRACTS, FEB>  CONTRACTS; MARCH 00 APRIL: 0. MAY: 0, AND JUNE 2812.; DEC 0 AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO//TOTAL: 2812.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 498,089. 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 GOOD SIZED INCREASE IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 2698 CONTRACTS: 114 CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND 2812 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN OF 2698 CONTRACTS OR 8.3919 TONNES. FRIDAY, WE HAD A CONSIDERABLE LOSS OF $4.90 IN GOLD TRADING

AND WITH THAT LOSS IN  PRICE, WE HAD A STRONG SIZED GAIN IN  TOTAL/TWO EXCHANGES GOLD TONNAGE OF 8.3919 TONNES!!!!!! THE BANKERS/OFFICIAL SECTOR WERE SUPPLYING INFINITE SUPPLIES OF SHORT GOLD COMEX PAPER WITH RECKLESS ABANDON. THE BANKERS WERE SUCCESSFUL IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO LOWER GOLD’S PRICE (IT FELL $4.90). AND IT ALSO SEEMS THAT THEIR ATTEMPT TO FLEECE ANY GOLD LONGS FROM THE GOLD ARENA WERE UNSUCCESSFUL  (SEE BELOW).

4 GC ISSUANCE:  ZERO

 

CALCULATIONS ON GAIN/LOSS ON OUR TWO EXCHANGES:

WE HAD  A GOOD SIZED INCREASE IN EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS  (2812) ACCOMPANYING THE LOSS IN COMEX OI  (114 OI): TOTAL GAIN IN THE TWO EXCHANGES:  2698 CONTRACTS.  WE NO DOUBT HAD 1 )HUGE BANKER SHORT COVERING, 2.)A STRONG INCREASE IN  STANDING AT THE GOLD COMEX FOR THE FRONT APRIL MONTH,  3) ZERO LONG LIQUIDATION AND  …ALL OF THIS WAS COUPLED WITH THAT CONSIDERABLE LOSS IN GOLD PRICE TRADING//FRIDAY

 

 

 

HISTORICAL ACCUMULATION OF EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS IN 2020 INCLUDING TODAY

 

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL : 73,484 CONTRACTS OR 7,348,400 oz OR 228.56 TONNES (17 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 4322 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

 

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE STRONG SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 17 TRADING DAY(S) IN  TONNES: 228.56 TONNES

TOTAL ANNUAL GOLD PRODUCTION, 2019, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD EX CHINA EX RUSSIA: 3555 TONNES

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 228.56/3550 x 100% TONNES =6.43% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION

ISSUANCE OF EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL GOLD HAS DISSIPATED THIS MONTH…THE COST TO THE BANKERS TO CARRY THESE CONTRACTS IN LONDON IS BECOMING TOO GREAT FOR THEM.

 

 

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2020 TO DATE   2551.46  TONNES

JANUARY 2220 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE; : 570.19 TONNES

FEB 2020 TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE :            653.78 TONNES

 

MARCH TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE                1,098.93  TONNES  (*AND A NEW ALL TIME RECORD ISSUANCE//22 DAYS)

APRIL TOTAL EFP. ISSUANCE:               228.56  TONNES  (EFP ISSUANCE BECOMING A LOT LESS)

 

 

WHAT IS ALARMING TO ME, ACCORDING TO OUR LONDON EXPERT ANDREW MAGUIRE IS THAT THESE EFP’S ARE BEING TRANSFERRED TO WHAT ARE CALLED SERIAL FORWARD CONTRACT OBLIGATIONS AND THESE CONTRACTS ARE LESS THAN 14 DAYS.  ANYTHING GREATER THAN 14 DAYS, THESE MUST BE RECORDED AND SENT TO THE COMPTROLLER, GREAT BRITAIN TO MONITOR RISK TO THE BANKING SYSTEM.  IF THIS IS INDEED TRUE, THEN THIS IS A MASSIVE CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD AS WE NOW WITNESS A MONSTROUS TOTAL EFP’S ISSUANCE AS IT HEADS INTO THE STRATOSPHERE

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

1.Today, we had the open interest at the comex, in SILVER, ROSE BY A SMALL SIZED 323 CONTRACTS FROM 142,976 UP TO 143,299 AND CLOSER TO OUR COMEX RECORD //244,710(SET FEB 25/2020).  THE LAST RECORDS WERE SET  IN AUG.2018 AT 244,196 WITH A SILVER PRICE OF $14.78/(AUGUST 22/2018)..THE PREVIOUS RECORD TO THAT 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  2 3/4 YEARS AGO.  THE PRICE OF SILVER ON THAT DAY: $17.89.

ALL OF THE GAIN IN COMEX OI WAS DUE TO 1) SOME BANKER SHORT COVERING , 2) THE ISSUANCE OF A GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS (SEE BELOW), 3) A SMALL INCREASE IN SILVER OZ STANDING AT THE COMEX FOR APRIL AND 4) ZERO LONG LIQUIDATION

 

 

EFP ISSUANCE 1192 CONTRACTS

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

 FOR FEB. 0; FOR MAR  0:  AND MAY: 1192; JULY: 0 CONTRACTS   AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 1192 CONTRACTS. EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON.  IF WE TAKE THE GOOD COMEX OI GAIN  OF 916 CONTRACTS TO THE 1192 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE OBTAIN A STRONG GAIN OF 1515 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS FROM OUR TWO EXCHANGES. THUS IN OUNCES, THE GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES  7.574 MILLION  OZ!!! WITH THE 3 GAIN IN PRICE///

 

 

RESULT: A GOOD SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 3 CENT GAIN IN PRICING THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// FRIDAY. WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED 1192 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 ) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY: Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

I)MONDAY MORNING/ SUNDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 6.97 POINTS OR 0.25%  //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 448.81 POINTS OR 1.88%   /The Nikkei closed UP 521.22 POINTS OR 2.71%//Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 1.65%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 7.0832 /Oil DOWN TO 14.04 dollars per barrel for WTI and 20.35 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED GREEN//  ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN // LAST AT 7.0832 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT  7.0883 TRADE TALKS STALL//YUAN LEVELS GETTING DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO 7:1//TRUMP INITIATES A NEW 25% TARIFFS FRIDAY/MAY 10/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED//CORONAVIRUS  : /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  RAISED RATES TO 25%//FED INITIATES MASSIVE QE

 

COMEX DATA//AMOUNTS STANDING//VOLUME OF TRADING/INVENTORY MOVEMENTS

GOLD

LET US BEGIN:

THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN INTEREST FELL BY A TINY 114 CONTRACTS TO 498,089 MOVING CLOSER TO OUR  RECORD THAT WAS SET IN JANUARY/2020: {799,541  OI(SET JAN 16/2020)} AND  PREVIOUS TO THAT: 797,110 (SET JAN 7/2020).  AND THIS TINY COMEX OI LOSS WAS SET DESPITE OUR CONSIDERABLE LOSS OF $4.90 IN GOLD PRICING /FRIDAY’S COMEX TRADING//). WE ALSO HAD A GOOD EFP ISSUANCE (2812 CONTRACTS),.  THUS WE HAD 1) HUGE BANKER SHORT COVERING AT THE COMEX AND 2)   ZERO LONG LIQUIDATION AND 3)  ANOTHER STRONG INCREASE IN GOLD OZ STANDING AT THE COMEX WITH THAT HUGE STANDING  APRIL/GOLD…  AS WE ENGINEERED A GOOD GAIN ON TWO EXCHANGES OF 4037 CONTRACTS.

WE AGAIN HAD ZERO 4- GC CONTRACT ISSUANCE

 

 

EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL ISSUANCE

WE ARE NOW IN THE  ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF APRIL..  THE CME REPORTS THAT THE BANKERS ISSUED A GOOD SIZED  TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS., THAT IS 2812 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

 FEB: 0; MARCH 00 AND APRIL: 0, MAY: 0  JUNE : 2812 AND 0 FOR DEC AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 2812 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 OUR 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:  2698 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 2812 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE LOST A TINY SIZED 114 COMEX CONTRACTS.  THE BANKERS PROVIDED ALL THE NECESSARY SHORT PAPER TO WHICH OUR LONGS DUTIFULLY ACCEPTED AS THEY GOBBLED UP A GOOD AMOUNT OF EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS WITH A HUGE BANKER SHORT COVERING, ACCOMPANYING OUR STRONG COMEX GOLD TONNAGE STANDING FOR DELIVERY……(SEE CALCULATIONS BELOW)

 

THE BANKERS WERE SUCCESSFUL IN LOWERING GOLD’S PRICE  //// (IT FELL BY $4.90).  BUT, THEY WERE UNSUCCESSFUL IN FLEECING ANY LONGS, AS THE TOTAL GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES REGISTERED 8.3919 TONNES.

 

 

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES :: 2698 CONTRACTS OR 169800 OZ OR 8.3919 TONNES. 

 

COMMODITY LAW SUGGESTS THAT COMMODITY FUTURES OPEN INTEREST SHOULD APPROXIMATE 3% OF TOTAL PRODUCTION.  IN GOLD THE WORLD PRODUCES AROUND 3500 TONNES PER YEAR BUT ONLY 2200 TONNES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE WEST (THUS EXCLUDING RUSSIA, CHINA ETC..WHO KEEP 100% OF THEIR PRODUCTION)

THUS IN GOLD WE HAVE THE FOLLOWING:  498,089 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS X 100 OZ PER CONTRACT = 49.80 MILLION OZ/32,150 OZ PER TONNE =  1548 TONNES

THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST REPRESENTS 1548/2200 OR 70,40% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF GOLD.

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY: 145,762 contracts

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY192,544 contracts//

APRIL 27

APRIL GOLD CONTRACT MONTH

 

 

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
339,258.402 oz
BRINKS
HSBC
( ENHANCED)
JPMORGAN
(ENHANCED)
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz 83,713.093 oz

 

 

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  

721,495.787

OZ

BRINKS

JPMORGAN

JPMORGAN

ENHANCE

LOOMIS

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
151 notice(s)
 15100 OZ
(0.4696 TONNES)
No of oz to be served (notices)
52 contracts
(5200 oz)
0.1617 TONNES
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
31,442 notices
3,144,200 OZ
97.79 TONNES
Total accumulative withdrawals of gold from the Dealers inventory this month NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month xxx oz

We had 1 deposits into the dealer

I) Into the dealer Brinks: 83,713.093 OZ

 

 

total dealer deposits: 83,713.093  oz

total dealer withdrawals: NIL oz

we had 5 deposit into the customer account

i) Into Brinks:  3,368.328 oz

 

ii) Into HSBC:: 38,741.955 OZ   (1205 kilobars)

 

iii) into LOOMIS:  26,491.600 oz  (824 kilobars)

 

iv) Into JPMorgan enhanced:  35,669.006 oz (89.17 London good delivery bars..)…fraud!!

 

 

 

 

 

total deposits:  721,495.787   oz

 

 

we had 3 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

i) Out of Brinks:  868.077 oz

ii) Out of HSBC enhanced:  11,679.95 oz  =  29.19 good London delivery bars????  a fraud

iii) out of JPMorgan enhanced removal;  326,720.375 oz  (816.77  good London delivery bar removal??? fraud…

 

 

total gold withdrawals; 339,258.40   oz

We had 2  kilobar transactions  +

 

We had zero  4 KC bar transaction

we had 3 huge good London delivery bar removals//additions from JPM/HSBC which do not add up to an even number 400 oz.

 

ADJUSTMENTS: 0

 

 

The front month of APRIL saw its open interest register 203 contracts for a LOSS of 204 contacts. We had 284 notices filed yesterday so we GAINED A VERY STRONG 80 contracts or AN ADDITIONAL 8,000 oz will  stand at the comex as these guys refused to morph into London based forwards and they also negated a fiat bonus

 

 

May saw its ANOTHER GAIN of 62 contracts to stand at  7968…this has been relentless…May does not want to go down in oi//

we have 4 more reading days before first day notice and a huge 24.78 tonnes of gold is so far standing.

June saw a  loss OF 52 contracts DOWN to 336,389

 

 

We had 151 notices filed today for 15100 oz

 

FOR THE  APRIL 2020 CONTRACT MONTH)Today, 0 notice(s) were issued from JPMorgan dealer account and 40 notices were issued from their client or customer account. The total of all issuance by all participants equates to 151 contract(s) of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 49 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account and 0 notices by the squid  (Goldman Sachs)

To calculate the INITIAL total number of gold ounces standing for the APRIL /2020. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (31,442) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of  APRIL. (203 CONTRACTS ) minus the number of notices served upon today (151 x 100 oz per contract) equals 3,149,400 OZ OR 97.95 TONNES) the number of ounces standing in this  active month of APRIL

thus the INITIAL standings for gold for the APRIL/2020 contract month:

No of notices served (31,442)x 100 oz + (205 OI) for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (151) x 100 oz which equals 3,149,400 oz standing OR 97.95 TONNES in this active delivery month which is  a great amount for gold standing for a APRIL. delivery month.

THIS GREATLY SURPASSES THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 42. TONES OF GOLD STANDING IN ANY MONTH

We gained 80 contracts OR an additional 8,000 OZ WILL  STAND AT THE COMEX as these guys decided it best to look for metal on the this side of the pond, first before travelling to London..

NEW PLEDGED GOLD:  BRINKS

3027.500 OZ  REMOVED TO THE PLEDGED ACCOUNT JAN 10.2020/Brinks

144,088.952 oz NOW PLEDGED  JAN 21.2020/HSBC  5.4807 TONNES

322,144.443 oz PLEDGED  MARCH 2020  JPMORGAN:  10.02 TONNES

42,548.308.00 PLEDGED  APRIL 3/2020: SCOTIA:            1.3234 tonnes

TOTAL PLEDGED GOLD NOW IN EFFECT:  508,78,.743  OZ OR 15.825  TONNES

SURPRISINGLY WE HAVE BEEN WITNESSING NO REAL PHYSICAL GOLD ENTERING THE COMEX VAULTS FOR THE PAST YEAR!! ..ONLY PHONY KILOBAR ENTRIES…. WE HAVE 139.855 TONNES OF REGISTERED GOLD WHICH CAN SETTLE UPON LONGS ie. 97.75 tonnes

CALCULATION OF REGISTERED GOLD THAT CAN BE SETTLED UPON:

total registered or dealer  5,005,123.438 oz or 155.68  tonnes
which  includes the following:
a) pledged gold held at HSBC   which cannot settled upon   144,088.952 oz x ( 4.4817 TONNES)//
b) pledged gold held at JPMorgan (added March 2020) which cannot be settled upon:  322,144.443 oz (or 10.0200 tonnes)
total pledged gold:
c)  pledged gold at Scotia: 1.3234 tonnes or 42,548.308 oz which cannot be settled  (1.3234 tonnes)
total weight of pledged:  508,781.703 oz or 15.825 tonnes
thus:
registered gold that can be used to settle upon: 4,49634.17  (139.855 tonnes)
true registered gold  (total registered – pledged tonnes  4,49634.17 (139.855 tonnes)
total eligible gold:  14,461,062.149 oz (449.799 tonnes)

total registered, pledged  and eligible (customer) gold;   19,466.185 oz 605.49 tonnes (INCLUDES 4 GC GOLD)

total 4 GC gold:   128.613 tonnes

total gold net of 4 GC:  476.877 tonnes

 

THE GOLD COMEX SEEMS TO BE  UNDER SEVERE ASSAULT FOR PHYSICAL

END

April 27/2019

And now for the wild silver comex results

Total COMEX silver OI ROSE BY A TINY SIZED 323 CONTRACTS FROM 142,976  UP TO 143,299 (AND CLOSER TO OUR NEW ALL TIME RECORD OI FOR SILVER SET ON FEB 25.2020(244,710) ECLIPSING OUR PREVIOUS RECORD, AUGUST 25/2018 RECORD (244,196).  THE PREVIOUS RECORD TO THAT WAS SET ON APRIL 9.2018/ 243,411 CONTRACTS) . OUR STRONG OI COMEX GAIN TODAY OCCURRED WITH OUR TINY 3 CENT INCREASE IN PRICING//FRIDAY.  THE GAIN IN TOTAL OI (TWO EXCHANGES) OCCURRED WITH 1)  A GOOD ISSUANCE OF EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS 2) A SMALL INCREASE IN SILVER OZ STANDING AT THE COMEX, 3)  SOME BANKER SHORT COVERING AND ZERO LONG LIQUIDATION OCCURRING WITH OUR SMALL SILVER GAIN IN PRICE. 

WE ARE NOW INTO THE  ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF APRIL

.APRIL ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH.

 

THE FRONT MONTH OF APRIL HAS A TOTAL OPEN INTEREST OF 6 CONTRACTS, AND AS SUCH WE LOST 15 CONTRACTS.  WE HAD 19 NOTICES SERVED UPON YESTERDAY SO WE GAINED 4 CONTRACTS OR 20,000 ADDITIONAL OZ WILL  STAND AT THE COMEX AS THEY REFUSED TO MORPH INTO LONDON BASED CONTRACTS AS THEY LOOK FOR METAL ON THE THIS SIDE OF THE POND.

 

THE BIG CONTRACT OF MAY SAW ITS OI FALL  BY 4983  DOWN TO 28,209.

JUNE SAW A LOSS OF 3 CONTRACTS FALLING TO 162.

 

 

We, today, had  6 notice(s) FILED  for 30,000, OZ for the APRIL, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

April 27/2019

Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
 1,080,254.333 oz
BRINKS
CNT
DELAWARE

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory
637,430.100 oz
Delaware
Scotia
No of oz served today (contracts)
6
CONTRACT(S)
(30,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
0 contracts
 NIL oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts)  832 contracts

4,160,000 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

total dealer deposits: nil oz

total dealer withdrawals: nil oz

i)we had 2 deposits into the customer account

into JPMorgan:   0

ii)into DELAWARE: 31,036.000

III) Into Scotia: 606,504.100 oz

 

 

 

 

 

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

JPMorgan now has 160.819 million oz of  total silver inventory or 50.04% of all official comex silver. (160.819 million/321.170 million

 

total customer deposits today: 637,540.100   oz

we had 3 withdrawals:

i Out of Brinks: 812,812.02 oz

ii) Out of CNT: 242,078.120

iii) Out of Delaware: 25,364.193 oz

 

 

total withdrawals;  1,080 ,254.333   oz

We had 0 adjustments: and all from the dealer to the customer:

 

 

total dealer silver:  81.137 million

total dealer + customer silver:  316.103 million oz

 

 

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The total number of notices filed today for the APRIL 2020. contract month is represented by 6 contract(s) FOR 30,000 oz

 

To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in APRIL we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 832 x 5,000 oz = 4,160,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of APRIL.(6) and the number of notices served upon today 6 x (5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the APRIL/2019 contract month: 832 (notices served so far) x 5000 oz + OI for front month of APRIL (6)- number of notices served upon today (6) x 5000 oz of silver standing for the APRIL contract month.equals 4,160,000 oz.

WE GAINED 4 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 20,000 OZ  WILL NOT STAND AT THE COMEX..

 

TODAY’S ESTIMATED SILVER VOLUME: 48,908 CONTRACTS //

 

 

 

 

FOR YESTERDAY: 60,579 CONTRACTS..,CONFIRMED VOLUME

 

 

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 60,579 CONTRACTS EQUATES to 302 million  OZ  43.2% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER..

 

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

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

end

 

NPV for Sprott

1. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): NAV RISES TO +1.19% ((APRIL 27/2020)

2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV  RISES TO +0.19% to NAV:   (APRIL 27/2020 )

Note: Sprott silver trust back into POSITIVE territory at +%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into POSITIVE/ 1.19%

(courtesy Sprott/GATA

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

NAV 15.66 TRADING 15.62///DISCOUNT 0.25

END

 

 

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

APRIL 27/WITH GOLD DOWN $12.75//NA HUGE  CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A PAPER DEPOSIT OF 5.85 TONNES INTO THE GLD////INVENTORY RESTS TONIGHT AT 1048.31 TONNES

APRIL 24/WITH GOLD DOWN $4.90 TODAY: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS TONIGHT AT 1042.46 TONNES

APRIL 23/WITH GOLD UP $10.00 TODAY:  NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD///INVENTORY RESTS TONIGHT AT 1042.46 TONNES

APRIL 22/WITH GOLD UP $40.75 TODAY:; TWO HUGE CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//A)A MONSTROUS  3.8 PAPER TONNES WERE ADDED TO THE GLD INVENTORY AND B) ANOTHER HUGE 9.07 TONNES OF PAPER GOLD ADDED LATE IN THE DAY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1042.46 TONNES

APRIL 21/WITH GOLD DOWN $21.60 TODAY: A HUGE CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A MONSTROUS ADDITION OF 7.9 PAPER TONNES TO THE GLD INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1029.59 TONNES

APRIL 20//WITH GOLD UP $10.00 TODAY; NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1021.69 TONNES

APRIL 17/WITH GOLD DOWN $27.80 TODAY: SURPRISINGLY NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD///INVENTORY RESTS AT 1021.69 TONNES TONNES..THE STRING OF 12 STRAIGHT STRONG DEPOSITS ENDS..

APRIL 16/WITH GOLD DOWN $4.50 TODAY: ANOTHER HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY: A STRONG DEPOSIT OF 4.10 TONNES WAS ADDED TO THE GLD INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1021.69 TONNES/12TH STRAIGHT STRONG DEPOSIT

APRIL 15//WITH GOLD DOWN $19.10 TODAY; ANOTHER HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY; A STRONG 7.89 TONNES WAS ADDED TO THE GLD INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1117.59 TONNES.//11TH STRAIGHT STRONG DEPOSIT

APRIL 14/WITH GOLD UP $23.55 TODAY: ANOTHER HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY: A STRONG 15.51 TONNES WAS ADDED TO THE GLD INVENTORY/INVENTORY RESTS AT 1009.70 TONNES//THIS IS THE 10TH STRAIGHT STRONG DEPOSIT//THIS IS A FRAUDULENT VEHICLE..THEY HAVE NO PHYSICAL GOLD IN THE TRUST..

APRIL 13//WITH GOLD UP $27.65 TODAY: ANOTHER HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY: A STRONG 5.36 TONNES WAS ADDED TO THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 994.19 TONNES

APRIL 9 WITH GOLD UP $37.30 TODAY: ANOTHER HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY: A STRONG 2.92 TONNES WAS ADDED TO THE GLD//GOLD INVENTORY RESTS TONIGHT AT..988.63 TONNES

APRIL 8/WITH GOLD DOWN $.60//ANOTHER HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY/;; A STRONG 1.45 TONNES WAS ADDED TO THE GLD/GOLD INVENTORY RESTS AT 985.71 TONNES

APRIL 7/WITH GOLD UP $.30: ANOTHER HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 5.27 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 984.26 TONNES

APRIL 6//WITH GOLD UP $32.00//ANOTHER STRONG DEPOSIT INTO THE GLD; A HUGE 7.02 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD////INVENTORY RESTS AT : 978.99 TONNES

APRIL 3//WITH GOLD UP $7.80 TODAY//ANOTHER STRONG DEPOSIT OF 3.22 TONNES INTO THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 971.97 TONNES

APRIL 2//WITH GOLD UP $31.80 TODAY: ANOTHER STRONG DEPOSIT OF 1.75 TONNES INTO THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 968.75 TONNES

APRIL 1/WITH GOLD DOWN $7.70 TODAY: ANOTHER CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 2.62 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD////INVENTORY RESTS AT 967.00 TONNES

MARCH 31//WITH GOLD DOWN $32.70//A MONSTROUS PAPER DEPOSIT OF 10.84 TONNES INTO THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 964.38 TONNES

MARCH 30/WITH GOLD DOWN $6.10 TODAY: NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 953.54 TONNES

MARCH 27.WITH GOLD DOWN $16.40: A BIG  CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD  A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 4.39 TONES INTO THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 953.54 TONES

MARCH 26//WITH GOLD UP $24.00 TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 13.17 TONNES INTO THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 949.15 TONNES

MARCH 25/WITH GOLD DOWN $11.40 TODAY//A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 11.99 TONES INTO THE GLD INVENTORY////INVENTORY RESTS AT 935.98 TONNES

MARCH 24//WITH GOLD UP $67.00 TODAY: A HUGE  CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A PAPER DEPOSIT OF 15.80 TONNES OF GOLD INTO GLD////INVENTORY RESTS AT 923.99 TONNES..THIS PROVES THAT THE GLD IS A FRAUD AS LONDON SUSPENDED DELIVERY AS WELL AS ALL REFINERS.  THEY HAD NO WAY OF GETTING ANY PHYSICAL OZ INTO ITS INVENTORY//

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Inventory rests tonight at

APRIL 27/ GLD INV 1048.31 tonnes*

IN LAST 807 TRADING DAYS:   +101.97 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD

 

LAST 707 TRADING DAYS;+276.95  TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO  THE GLD INVENTORY.

 

 

end

 

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

APRIL 27/WITH SILVER UP ONE CENT TODAY: TWO SMALL  CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV:a) A WITHDRAWAL OF 373,000 OZ FORM THE SLV// b) A SECOND WITHDRAWAL OF 466,000: ////INVENTORY RESTS AT 412.826 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 24//WITH SILVER UP 3 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 413.665 MILLION OZ

APRIL23/WITH SILVER UP 0 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 2.891 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV/////INVENTORY RESTS AT 413.665 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 22/WITH SILVER UP 42 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY: A PAPER WITHDRAWAL OF 1.865 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 410.774 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 21//WITH SILVER DOWN 60 CENTS TODAY; A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A PAPER ADDITION OF 1.398 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV INVENTORY//INVENTORY RESTS AT 412.639 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 20//WITH SILVER UP 16 CENTS TODAY: A BIG CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 2.797 MILLION OZ FROM THE SLV////INVENTORY RESTS AT 414.038 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 17/WITH SILVER DOWN 24 CENTS TODAY; A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.3999 MILLION OZ FROM THE SLV////INVENTORY RESTS AT 415.437 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 16/WITH SILVER UP 5 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV////INVENTORY RESTS AT 415.437 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 15//WITH SILVER DOWN 45 CENTS TODAY: TWO HUGE CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV TWO HUGE DEPOSITS: A DEPOSIT OF 1.679 MILLION OZ AND ANOTHER 5.222 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV////INVENTORY RESTS AT 415.437 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 14./WITH SILVER UP 51 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//A MASSIVE PAPER DEPOSIT OF XXX MILLION OZ//INVENTORY RESTS AT 408.536 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 13//WITH SILVER DOWN 29 CENTS TODAY;  A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A MASSIVE PAPER DEPOSIT OF 6.155 MILLION OZ////INVENTORY RESTS AT 408.536 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 9/WITH SILVER UP 60 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A HUGE DEPOSIT OF 1.84 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV///INVENTORY RESTS AT 402.381 MILLION OZ.

APRIL 8//WITH SILVER DOWN 21 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 401.541 MILLION OZ///

APRIL 7/WITH SILVER UP 26 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 5.766 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV..//INVENTORY RESTS AT 395.826 MILLION OZ

APRIL 6/WITH SILVER UP 50 CENTS TODAY: ANOTHER BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 395.826 MILLION OZ.

APRIL 3//WITH SILVER DOWN 15 CENTS TODAY: A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 746,000 OZ INTO THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 395.826 MILLION OZ

APRIL 2/WITH SILVER UP 65 CENTS;  A SMALL CHANGE TODAY..A WITHDRAWAL OF .335 MILLION OZ TO PAY FOR FEES//INVENTORY RESTS AT 394.826 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 1/WITH SILVER DOWN 11 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 395.181 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 31/WITH SILVER UP 2 CENTS TODAY: A BIG CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY: A DEPOSIT OF 1.679 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 375.181 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 30/WITH SILVER DOWN 44 CENTS TODAY; NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 393.502 MILLION OZ.

MARCH 27/WITH SILVER DOWN 5 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A MONSTROUS PAPER DEPOSIT OF 8.115 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV../INVENTORY RESTS AT 393.502  MILLION OZ//

MARCH 26/WITH SILVER DOWN 11 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 385.387 MILLION OZ///

MARCH 25/WITH SILVER UP 44 CENTS TODAY: TWO HUGE CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: TWO DEPOSITS OF 7.369 MILLION OZ AND 2.239 MILLION OZ OF PAPER SILVER INTO THE SLV////INVENTORY RESTS AT 385.387 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 24//WITH SILVER UP 100 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 375.779 MILLION OZ///

 

 

APRIL 27.2020:

SLV INVENTORY RESTS TONIGHT AT

412.826 MILLION OZ.

END

 

 

 

LIBOR SCHEDULE AND GOFO RATES:

 

 

YOUR DATA…..

6 Month MM GOFO 3.56/ and libor 6 month duration 0.92

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

G0LD LENDING RATE: – 2.64

GOLD’S LEASE RATES PLUMMET TO HUGE NEGATIVE

CENTRAL BANKS CALLING IN THEIR LEASES.

GOLD NON  EXISTENT.

 

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 1.92%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION: 0.94

 

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = -.98

GOLD’S LEASE RATES PLUMMET TO HUGE NEGATIVE

CENTRAL BANKS CALLING IN THEIR LEASES.

GOLD NON  EXISTENT.

end

 

 

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES
i) GOLDCORE BLOG/Mark O’Byrne

 

 

ii) Important gold commentaries courtesy of GATA/Chris Powell

A must read…Mooney presses again the CFTC on jurisdiction over manipulative trading by the Governments/
(Chris Powell/Mooney)

CFTC: Does it have jurisdiction over manipulative trading by
government?

Submitted by cpowell on 03:54PM ET Saturday, April 25, 2020.
Section: Daily Dispatches
11:57a ET Saturday, April 25, 2020

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

U.S. Rep. Alex X. Mooney, R-West Virginia, is pressing the U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission to answer the critical
questions about market manipulation the commission long has
refused to answer lest it expose the U.S. government’s rigging
of the futures markets and especially the gold and silver
futures markets.

 

In a letter dated April 13 and made public this week, Mooney
reminded the commission that it had evaded the key questions
asked in his previous letter and that the questions are capable
of yes-or-no answers:
1) Does the commission have jurisdiction over manipulative
futures trading by the U.S. government or its brokers or agents
or other governments?

2) Is the commission aware of futures trading by the U.S.
government, its brokers, or agents?

Of course these are the questions that long should have been
pressed on the commission by those who pose as financial
journalists and market analysts. That the commission refuses to
answer them would be big financial news in itself if there was
any serious financial journalism.

GATA urges those market analysts who have been skeptical of our
claims of surreptitious manipulation of the monetary metals
markets by governments and particularly the U.S. government —
claims extensively documented here —

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

— to put the two critical questions to the CFTC themselves and
then report the commission’s refusal to answer. No one has any
authority to dispute gold and silver market manipulation
without having attempted such research himself.

Mooney’s new letter to the CFTC is here:

http://gata.org/files/MooneyLetter-CFTC-04-13-2020.pdf

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

* * *

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

http://www.gata.org/node/16

end

 

With so much registered and eligible gold why is it necessary for gold bars to be flying from the Perth Mint in Australia to the comex in New to easy supply squeeze?

(Bloomberg/GATA)

Gold bars are flying from Perth Mint to New York to ease supply squeeze

 Section: 

And still the Comex’s recently touted contract for a quarter claim on a 400-ounce London Good Delivery bar hasn’t traded even once yet — and the Comex won’t say why and the news organizations that hailed the contract won’t even ask, being only propagandists, not journalists.

* * *

By David Stringer
Bloomberg News
Friday, April 24, 2020

Australia’s largest gold refinery has ramped up production of one kilogram bars to ease the supply squeeze in the United States that helped propel a surge in the premium for New York futures.

The collapse in air travel that has grounded passenger jets — frequently used to transport gold products — and virus-related disruptions to some refining capacity has tightened availability of the rectangular bars, typically used to settle the Comex futures contracts.

“We’re producing as many kilobars as we can. We’re probably churning out 7 1/2 tons of them a week at the moment and we are forward-sold well into May,” Richard Hayes, chief executive officer of the Perth Mint, said in an interview. “A very large portion of those kilobars are ending up as Comex deliveries.” …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-24/gold-bars-heading-11-…

* * *

end

Kim collectedly states that coin demand/pricing has relevance when we have no delivery at the London spot//fx facility.

(Kim/GATA)

John Kim: The persistent gold and silver price illusion

 Section: 

12:23p ET Sunday, April 25, 2020

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

While Voima Gold’s researcher Jan Nieuwenhuijs argued last week that coin demand has little relevance to the prices of gold and silver —

http://gata.org/node/20078

market analyst John Kim argues today that the commonly quoted “spot” prices of the monetary metals have no relevance at all when metal really isn’t available to the public at those prices and that coin prices are the only relevant monetary metals prices if coins are the only form of metal the public can obtain.

As a result, Kim adds, the real gold price is above $1,900 per ounce, the real silver price is nearly $26 per ounce, and the gold-to-silver price ratio is not the 125-1 ratio derived from “spot” prices but the 74-1 ratio derived from coin prices.

Kim’s commentary is headlined “The Persistent Gold and Silver Price Illusion” and it’s posted at his internet site, Maalamalama.com, here:

https://maalamalama.com/wordpress/the-persistent-gold-and-silver-price-i…

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

end

iii) Other physical stories:

 

https://www.jsmineset.com/2020/04/27/nothing-but-crickets-from-the-cme-lords-of-common-core/

 

Nothing But Crickets From The CME Lords Of Common Core

 

Posted April 27th, 2020 at 9:11 AM (CST) by J. Johnson & filed under General Editorial.

 

Great and Wonderful Monday Morning Folks,

 

Gold is recovering from a British hangover but only after a high of $1,745.80 was reached with the London low at $1,728.80 with the “now” price at $1,734.40, down $1.20. Silver is still trading in the positive, even after hitting the side of my screen to see if the price was stuck, with the trade at $15.50, up 5.5 cents after reaching a high of $15.635 with the London low at $15.410. The US Dollar broke below par with the trade at 99.970, down 46.4 points, recovering from a low at 99.84 with the high start at 100.370. Of course all this happened already, before 5 am pst, the Comex open, the London lows, and after 21+ years of absolute proof that the EuroCurrency has retained only 15% of what it was worth when it was conceived against the price of Gold. I’m quite certain the Euro-leaders are patting themselves on the back for this too.

 

In Venezuela, Gold’s price now sits at 17,322.32, showing a 233.7 Bolivar pullback with Silver’s price reduced by 1.249 with its current value at 154.806 Bolivar. Argentina’s Peso now has Gold valued at 115,096.11 Pesos, offering those that delayed their buying a 1,411.80 discount from Friday’s quote with Silver at 1,028.78 Peso’s, a reduction of only 6.64. Turkey’s Lira price for Gold is trading at 12,114.65 showing a 138.56 T-Lira pullback with Silver losing 0.657 Lira with the price set at 108.261.

 

April Silver Delivery Demands now sit at 6 fully paid for contracts waiting for receipts and with No Volume up on the board so far this morning. This proves 15 out of 21 demands for physical, were finally fulfilled on Friday even after the Comex Lords of Math posted a Volume of 10 on Friday but gave no price for that 10-lot trade. We are forced to believe this is an exit/entry spread trade because that is what the CME-people tell us it is. As a reminder, we have spoken at length to these people, including real former licensed pit brokers. They all tell us the prices of spread trades are not necessary to post because they only profit off the differences, with my query, “how can anyone have a profit or loss if there is no price to post?” How can I do that in my account?  We always get nothing but crickets from the CME Lords of Common Core. Silver’s Overall Open Interest gained another 805 more short contracts in order to control the price with the count now at 143,893 Overnighters. What a coincidence it is to see the Open Interest always gain on the day the Sellers of Calls need a lower price in order to not pay. Especially since today is that day the sellers of these derivatives, settle out by buying back their sold May Call Options. The day this turns, will be a day to remember.

 

April Gold’s Delivery Demands now sit at 203 fully paid for contracts waiting for receipts and with a Volume of 66 up on the board with a trading range between $1,731.90 and $1,720.00 with the last single lot sell order, so far today, at the low. Friday’s final trading range for the delivery month was between $1,744.00 and $1,714.40 with the last registered trade at $1,723.50 yet that famous “adjusted close” was done at the low, as usual, and with a total Volume count at 221. Gold’s Overall Open Interest also gained more shorts in order to keep things under control with the count now at 499,428 Overnighters showing a gain of 472 more shorts, as we wait for tomorrows count to “not show” any manipulations on the Precious Metals Options Expiration Day. Maybe more concerning is the spread between the COMEX spot price and the next few month’s trades, which should be looked at and with suspicion, with April’s discounted price being $1,720.00 with May’s price at $1,724.30, with June’s price way up at $1,735.80 showing a huge spread of $15.80, between the 2 big delivery months. We are now being led to believe that these past 2 months of staying in place, with a large portion of the mining industry being shuttered because of the airborne CCP19, is giving everyone a better deal as the supplies are being dried up. Only in an Algo trading world can this occur, because it goes against all common sense!

 

Not only are the precious metals numbers way off kilter, so is the rest of the central banking system, as their print promoters tell everyone they need more cash as the BOJ Launches another round of Unlimited QE, as we see more supertankers off our California coast and as our nations real estate market has had nothing to show with everyone staying in place. Tom Barrack, whose Colony Capital owns $50 billion in a real estate portfolio, used the word “chaos”, but we think the better term would be “Funny you Ask, there’s No Bid”.

 

Tomorrow is the last day to buy into the April Delivery system for both Silver and Gold. I’ve always thought that when Mr. Resolute wanted to make a real hard statement, it would be on the last day of delivery of any given month. Yeah, I’m waiting for it, and I would wager the shorts in $40k suites are phinkstering about it too. Alas, Mr. Resolute(s) may want to survive this too, so I guess it depends on your level of continence or is it confidence? Let’s find out what the future holds, so in the meantime, hold on tight to the real. Lose no sleep over being away from the markets while the world rushes into bankruptcy. Keep that smile on your face and a positive attitude in your head no matter what, and as always…

 

Stay Strong!

Jeremiah Johnson

end

Since Inception, The Euro Has Devalued 85% Against Gold

Authored by Jan Nieuwenhuijs for Voima Insight,

Technically, the euro was launched on January 1, 1999, although euro notes and coins started circulating in January of 2002.

The first gold price recorded in 1999 was €7,879 euros per Kg – or €7.88 euros per gram (we’ll use euros per gram as the gold price in the remainder of this article). By now, the gold price has crossed €51 euros per gram. A new all-time high.

Over the course of 20 years, the price of gold in euros has increased by 555%. From a historic perspective the euro is a young currency, but already lost 85% of its value against gold. This reveals the instability of fiat money.

To evaluate by how much the euro has devalued against gold, it must be measured in gold terms (because a currency can’t devalue by more than 100%). In 1999 it took 0.13 gram to buy one euro; today only 0.02 gram. The result is that the euro lost 85% of its value versus gold. In the chart below you can see the euro’s descent versus gold since 1999.

Measuring the value of currencies against each other is interesting, but most important is what this means for the purchasing power of currencies locally. The end goal of every participant in the economy is goods and services. What truly matters for a currency is its purchasing power. We will compare the purchasing power of euros versus gold in the eurozone.

Many people think that euros only lose purchasing power when a bank needs to be paid to store the euros. In other words, if the interest rate on a bank account is negative. This is called “the money illusion.” In reality, one has to subtract consumer price inflation from the interest rate, to arrive at the real interest rate. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say the current interest rate for most savers is zero, minus one percent inflation, is -1%. Currently, euros approximately lose 1% of their purchasing power per year.

Jan Nieuwenhuijs@JanGold_

A friend just told me his bank account might be charged with “negative interest rates” in the future. Outraged he was. I told him inflation was eating away his money for years now, with interest rates at zero. It seemed he didn’t “want” to understand this is the same thing.

70 people are talking about this

Now, let’s have a look at gold. Over the past 12 months the gold price has increased by 39%. Subtracted by 1% inflation, is 38%. In one year the purchasing power of gold has increased by 38% in the eurozone (minus storage costs, that is). However, the gold price doesn’t go up by 39% every year, it can even go down for some years. Nevertheless, gold’s purchasing power has greatly increased over the past 20 years. Which is why physical gold should be seen as a long-term reserve asset.

To reveal gold’s purchasing power in the eurozone I have adopted an index. First, I divided the gold price by consumer prices, and then created an index with a base of 100 in the year 1999. I have computed gold’s purchasing power index for Finland, Germany and Italy. Because consumer prices slightly differ for the selected countries, the purchasing power of gold in these countries is not exactly equal. Though, I found gold’s purchasing power is roughly the same for the entire eurozone.

First and foremost, you can see gold’s purchasing power has increased in the eurozone since 1999. This means that the price of gold has outpaced consumer prices. From the index number you can see that gold’s purchasing power, on average, has increased by a staggering 350% (450 – 100) over 20 years. The gold price can be volatile, at times, but over longer periods of time it preserves its purchasing power, with the benefit that it doesn’t have any counterparty risk, so it withstands every crisis.

*  *  *

Stay up to date, subscribe to Voima Insight—click here

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

* * *

Your early MONDAY morning currency, Asian stock market results,  important USA/Asian currency crosses, gold/silver pricing overnight along with the price of oil Major stories overnight/7 AM EST

i) Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/CLOSED / LAST AT: 7.0832/ GETTING VERY DANGEROUSLY PAST 7:1

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  7.0883   /shanghai bourse CLOSED UP 6.97 POINTS OR 0.25%

HANG SANG CLOSED UP 448.81 POINTS OR 1.88%

 

2. Nikkei closed UP 521.22 POINTS OR 2.71%

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED ALL GREEN/

 

 

 

USA dollar index DOWN TO 99.98/Euro RISES TO 1.0848

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO. –.04/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 107.14/ 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:: 14.04 and Brent: 20.35

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

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

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

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

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund RISES TO -.46%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN to 1.75% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD DOWN TO 0.89%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.11: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS TO : 2.19

3k Gold at $1717.20 silver at: 15.21   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 48/100 in roubles/dollar) 74.11

3m oil into the 14 dollar handle for WTI and 20 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 107.14 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 .9738 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.0562 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 0.46%

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 0.62% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 1.20%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 6.9827..

Futures Surge As BOJ Goes Full Brrr, States Reopen While Oil Craters

S&P futures climbed alongside stocks in Europe and Asia to start the week after the BOJ went full Brrr earlier when the central bank announced it would buy unlimited amount of bonds (even though nobody actually wants to sell to the BOJ) as more state and countries edged toward reopening, even as earnings season is shaping up to be an even greater disaster than expected (US EPS of -24% yoy is coming in some 9% lower than consensus expectations), while oil prices plunged again, with the June WTI contract plunging below $13.

Futures for the three main US benchmarks all pointed to a second day of gains with the Emini approaching its resistance level around 2850 amid continued talk of easing the lockdowns that have been used to help contain the coronavirus…

… and as investors turned to quarterly earnings reports from marquee companies including Apple and Microsoft later this week, which however Goldman warned over the weekend have surged too much, too fast and that will result in the next market crash.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index also rose after missing out on a late Wall Street rally on Friday. Deutsche Bank AG rallied after joining other investment banks by beating first quarter earnings expectations, even as it warned about looming loan defaults. Bayer AG raised the specter of “considerable liquidity challenges” as it continues to deal with litigation related to Roundup weedkiller. Still, shares gained as the company said its core earnings per share target is unchanged for now, with the effect of Covid-19 impossible to assess. Adidas AG fluctuated after forecasting the first quarterly loss in over four years as more than two-thirds of the German athletic wear maker’s stores remain closed.

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks gained, led by industrials and materials, after falling in the last session. The Topix gained 1.8%, with Mitani Sangyo and eBook Initiative rising the most after the BOJ announced earlier that it would go “full BRRRR” as it removed limits on its purchases of government bonds and ramped up its scope for buying corporate debt and commercial paper. And in delightful irony to this “all in” easing move, the yen strengthened.

David Ingles

@DavidInglesTV

The Bank of Japan going all in pretty much:

– removes limits on JGB buys
– raises limits on corporate bond, CP buys
– removes price momentum from forward guidance

Looks like one of the world’s biggest “bond funds” is about to get bigger.

View image on Twitter

David Ingles

@DavidInglesTV

Relative to the size of its economy, the BOJ’s pretty much gone “hold my biru”

View image on Twitter

Elsewhere, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2%, with Kingswood Enterprise and China First Heavy Industries posting the biggest advances.

Data over the weekend showed coronavirus deaths slowed the most in more than a month in Spain, Italy and France, and all three countries have signaled tentative moves to reopen their economies. Italian stocks were among the biggest winners and its bonds outperformed after the nation dodged a credit rating downgrade late on Friday.

In the US too, many more U.S. states have looked to reopen businesses as the health crisis wreaks havoc on the economy, with the White House forecasting a staggering jump in the nation’s monthly jobless rate.  Although trillions of dollars in stimulus have helped the benchmark S&P 500 recover nearly 30% from its March trough, analysts say further gains might be limited unless there is progress on developing treatments for the deadly disease.

In commodities, as noted earlier, the big mover was again oil which did buckled the general risk on mood and plunged below $14, which as noted over the weekend is a problem as “The Oil Price Is A Rare Indicator Of What Is Still Real In This Market

It’s a busy week, with the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank due to announce policy decisions following the BOJ as the battle against the pandemic continues. Several major economies will release GDP numbers, while corporate earnings will keep flooding in.

“This coming week will be huge from a macro data perspective and the extent to which the global economy has been floored by Covid-19,” said Simon Ballard, chief economist at First Abu Dhabi Bank. “Until we are clearly past the peak of the outbreak, on a global scale, and can feasibly deem the pathogen to be contained and there to be no meaningful risk of a second wave of infection, we believe a defensive investment strategy will remain the most appropriate.”

Focus this week will also be on a two-day Federal Reserve meeting ending on Wednesday, although expectations are low for more easing by the central bank. About a third, or some 173 companies in the S&P 500 are scheduled to report quarterly earnings later in the week, including Apple, Amazon.com, Microsoft, Boeing, Ford, General Electric and Chevron. Overall analysts expect a decline of nearly 15% in first-quarter earnings of S&P 500 companies –  a number which so far is roughly 25% – with profits for the energy sector estimated to have slumped 68%.

In FX, the dollar weakened broadly and Treasuries slipped as risk sentiment improved on the prospect of an easing of lockdown restrictions around the globe. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dropped the most in more than a week, with the greenback weakening against all Group-of-10 peers; EUR/USD rose a second day. Bunds slipped while European peripheral debt continued to lead euro-area gains; Italian bonds and stocks climbed after S&P Global Ratings left the nation’s credit rating unchanged, delaying the risk of a downgrade toward junk to later this year. The pound rose in its longest winning streak in a month as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s return to work fueled speculation he may consider moving toward lifting the lockdown. The Australian dollar outperformed all G-10 peers and rose to a 6-week high versus the greenback as easing coronavirus-related restrictions in two states spurred optimism that the outbreak was slowing in the nation. The New Zealand dollar also advanced, partly by cross flows versus Aussie amid thin liquidity due to public holiday. Japan’s bonds advanced, led by five- and 10-year maturities, as the Bank of Japan scrapped the limitation on its JGB purchases to support the economy; the BOJ also ramped up its purchases of corporate debt

Expected data include Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity. F5 Networks and Universal Health are among companies reporting earnings.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.9% to 2,855.00
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 1.4% to 334.34
  • MXAP up 1.9% to 144.33
  • MXAPJ up 1.8% to 464.18
  • Nikkei up 2.7% to 19,783.22
  • Topix up 1.8% to 1,447.25
  • Hang Seng Index up 1.9% to 24,280.14
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.3% to 2,815.50
  • Sensex up 1.9% to 31,910.86
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.5% to 5,321.40
  • Kospi up 1.8% to 1,922.77
  • German 10Y yield rose 0.5 bps to -0.468%
  • Euro up 0.2% to $1.0842
  • Brent Futures down 4.3% to $20.52/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 14.6 bps to 1.664%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 6.5 bps to 0.887%
  • Brent Futures down 2.5% to $20.90/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,721.49
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.4% to 99.94

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Italy will start easing lockdown restrictions next week and Germany reopened some schools on Monday as new cases and fatalities drop in Europe. In Britain, Premier Johnson returned to work and urged the public not to let up on social distancing measures
  • Despite the Bank of Japan ramping up its stimulus measures on Monday, the dollar-yen has slid into a bearish death cross technical pattern. The currency pair’s 50-day moving average dropped below its 200-day equivalent, which could signal more downside if the move holds
  • Nearly one-third of U.S. business economists expect operations at their companies will return to normal within five to eight weeks, though almost as many say it’s likely to be three to six months before coronavirus- mitigation efforts wind down in earnest
  • The top two trade groups representing major retailers such as Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and Best Buy Co. are calling on U.S. governors to adopt uniform reopening standards as the pandemic subsides
  • Market manipulation is still on the rise in the U.K. even after a decade of crackdowns onschemes to rig foreign-exchange rates and other key benchmarks. And the coronavirus pandemic could make things worse
  • A collapse in the volume of short-term IOUs issued by European companies and a dramatic shortening in their maturities show the region’s commercial paper market remains under stress

Asian equity markets were mostly positive with sentiment underpinned by optimism regarding the reopening of global economies after some US states began to reopen businesses and with Italy, Spain and France preparing to ease restrictions after recording their lowest death tolls in a month. ASX 200 (+1.5%) was led higher by tech and industrials with sentiment also supported by loosening of lockdown measures after Queensland announced to permit some outings from next Saturday. However, upside was initially restricted by weakness in the largest weighted financials sector after big 4 bank NAB posted a 51% slump in cash profit and unveiled plans for a substantial share placement, while Nikkei 225 (+2.7%) outperformed amid a weaker currency and the BoJ policy announcement where the central bank announced further measures including a shift to unlimited bond buying as widely speculated. Hang Seng (+1.9%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.3%) were also higher with Hong Kong surging as its government was said to consider easing social distancing controls and the mainland somewhat lagged after weak Chinese Industrial Profits which contracted by almost 35% Y/Y. Finally, 10yr JGBs were initially lower amid the gains in stocks and similar pressure in T-notes, although JGBs prices were later boosted after the BoJ policy announcement in which the central bank also upped its corporate bond and commercial paper purchases with the maximum limits of purchases from a single issuer upped to JPY 500bln and JPY 300bln respectively from JPY 100bln.

Top Asian News

  • BOJ Vows to Buy as Many Bonds as Needed in Stimulus Move
  • China Industrial Profits Dropped by More Than a Third in March
  • Alibaba Is Said to Demote Top Exec After Probe into Scandal
  • India Will Probably Miss Deficit Goal, RBI Chief Tells Cogencis

European equities trade comfortably on a firmer footing [Euro Stoxx 50 +2.2%], as the risk-appetite from the APAC session followed through and intensifies as European economies near an easing lockdown measures – with Italy to begin its lifting from May 4th, Spain relieving some of its strictest measures and UK to reportedly update on measures as early as this week. Bourses see broad-based gains but Italy’s FTSE MIB (+2.5%) modestly outperforms after S&P refrained from downgrading the country’s rating on Friday. Sectors all reside in positive territory, with Financials leading the gains – propped up by Deutsche Bank (+11.2%) earnings – whilst energy underperforms amid price action in the oil complex. This performance is also reflected in the sector breakdown with Banks the outperformer and Oil & Gas the laggard, Travel & Leisure resides towards the top amid lockdown lifts across Europe and US. In terms of individual movers, earnings see more focus on German firms; DAX-giant Bayer (+2.7%) sees impetus from Q1 revenue and adj. EBITDA topping analyst estimates, and improvement in EPS and gains across all its units – the Co. accounts for 6.8% of the DAX 30. Adidas (+2.5%) conformed to the broad risk-appetite after nursing opening losses of over 3%, which initially emanated from dismal earnings alongside a failure to provide FY20 guidance. Adidas noted that 70% of its global stores remain shut. Deutsche Bank (+11.2%) shares soar on an early earnings release in which Q1 pre-tax posted a profit of EUR 206mln vs. Exp. loss 269mln, albeit the group notes that it is unlikely to meet its FY20 leverage ratio target of 4.5%. A spokesman said the release of key metrics was due to a significant divergence with analyst forecasts – Commerzbank (+6.5%) rises in sympathy. Elsewhere, Lufthansa (+7.2%) was propelled at the open after Germany’s Economy Minister stated the group must get a chance to return to profitability, whilst the Co. is also seeking a EUR 290mln loan from the Belgium gov’t for its Belgian subsidiary. Similarly, Air France-KLM (+4.7%) and Renault (+5%) see upside after the French gov’t announced a EUR 7bln package for the former, whilst mulling a EUR 5bln loan guarantee for the latter. On the flip side, Airbus (-1.5%) is pressured amid comments from its CEO regarding the severity of the group’s position – stating that the Co. is “bleeding cash” at a rate which threatens the Co’s existence, adding that a third of its business has been lost in the past few weeks.

Top European News

  • Why the World’s Highest Virus Death Rate Is in Europe’s Capital
  • Deutsche Bank Warns of Loan Defaults After Surprise Profit
  • Johnson Returns to Work Urging Britain to Maintain Lockdown
  • Rally in Italy’s Bonds Is Only Knee-Jerk Reprieve: Markets Live

In FX, the Greenback has retreated further against G10 counterparts and almost across the board, with the DXY struggling to retain grip or sight of the 100.000 mark within a 100.320-99.847 range amidst an upturn in broad risk sentiment that is only really being tainted by more weakness in crude oil on bearish supply/storage-demand dynamics.

  • AUD/NZD – The Aussie and Kiwi are both seemingly reaping the rewards of relative progress and success on the coronavirus front as the respective Governments eye reopening schedules. Aud/Usd is now firmly back above 0.6400 and pivoting 0.6450, while Nzd/Usd is straddling 0.6050 and Aud/Nzd is probing above 1.0650 on Anzac Day. Note, NZ markets return on Tuesday and will be looking towards trade data for some fundamental direction/impetus in the same vein as Australia’s preliminary report last week.
  • GBP – The next best major and the Pound could well be receiving another Boris boost as the UK PM returns to his official residence to resume duties with an encouraging update on Britain’s battle to combat COVID-19. Cable has reclaimed 1.2400+ status and Eur/Gbp is meandering between 0.8754-10 parameters with the cross retreating below its 200 DMA again.
  • CAD/JPY/EUR – The Loonie is also outpacing its US peer even though oil prices are tanking again, with Usd/Cad under 1.4100 ahead of somewhat dated Canadian securities balances for February, while the Yen has strengthened in wake of the BoJ policy meeting despite further stimulus via QE as speculated ahead of the event. Usd/Jpy got close to 107.00 before a mild bounce that could have been option expiry related given 1.2 bn rolling off at the strike, but also technical as strong chart support sits just beneath the round number circa 106.93/92 (April 15th and 1st lows). On the flip-side, 2 bn expiries from 107.50 to 107.60 may cap the headline pair, while the Euro has 1.1 bn at 1.0800 to provide a cushion alongside a raft of options in to the Fed and ECB on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
  • CHF/NOK/SEK – The Swiss Franc and Norwegian Krona are marginal underperformers following latest weekly sight deposits revealing another significant rise in bank coffers, while the latter is eyeing the aforementioned weakness in crude, like the Russian Rouble. However, the Swedish Crown continues to hold up better on the premise that the Riksbank will stick to its guns on rates tomorrow in favour of non-standard policy measures should the situation warrant more than already implemented. Hence, Usd/Chf idling within a 0.9744-13 band, Eur/Chf off recent near 1.0500 lows between 1.0532-58, Eur/Nok rotating around 11.5000, Usd/RUB encircling 74.5000 and Eur/Sek still suppressed sub-10.9000.
  • EM – Some much needed respite for the Rand that has pared declines from 19.1000+ amidst the aforementioned revival in risk appetite, but Usd/Zar may be impacted by thinner than normal volumes due to SA’s Freedom Day holiday, while the Hong Dollar remains close to the top of its peg vs the Dollar prompting the HKMA to intervene again.

Inn commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures have resumed selling off as storage scarcity continues to weigh on investor sentiment – with the former underperforming amid reports that Cushing, Oklahoma, may hit full capacity soon.  Goldman Sachs believes that storage capacity limits could be tested in as little as three weeks. This week also sees the official implementation of the OPEC+ reduction pact, but some members, including Saudi, have brought forward cuts in a bid to somewhat stabilise the price rout. ING, among other desks, believes that the move is “helpful, [but] it will have little impact on the oil balance in the short term.” Nonetheless, despite the recent geopolitically induced upside in prices – underlying fundamentals remain unchanged. That being said, with major economies set to loosen lockdown restrictions, pressure on demand could start to ease – early signs could be seen in China as refinery activity at independent refiners has been hitting record levels in the Shandong region. WTI June briefly dipped below USD 14.50/bbl to a current base at USD 14.18/bbl (vs. high USD 16.98/bbl), whilst its Brent counterpart sees declines in tandem having tested USD 20/bbl to the downside in early trade (vs. high USD 21.91/bbl). Elsewhere, spot gold sees losses despite a softer Buck, with desks attributing the pressure to improved risk appetite on countries lifting COVID-19 measures. The yellow metal remains comfortably north of USD 1700/oz, having waned off highs of around USD 1720/oz. Copper prices meanwhile remain in the green but somewhat subdued amid a slump in Chinese Industrial profits – prices edging towards USD 2.37/lb vs. high of around USD 2.39/lb. Finally, Dalian iron ore futures recovered as stocks of the raw material fell to their lowest in over 9 months.

US Event Calendar

  • 10am: Revisions: Retail Trade
  • 10:30am: Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. -75, prior -70

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

It’s hard to believe it’ll be May on Friday. It only feel like yesterday that it was January and the age of innocence. This week we’ll be bombarded with a peak week of Q1 earnings, the big 3 central banks having policy meetings, China PMIs and Q1 GDP growth in Europe/US. Our annual 2020 Default Study has also just been published so please keep an eye out for that.

Before we preview all of the above, one of the most interesting things I read this weekend was a fairly simple piece that explained that the saviour of the world’s health services – namely PPE – is a product of polypropylene and thus the oil and gas sector. It is in effect single-use plastic. Yet I’ve not heard anyone complain about the impact on the environment of trying to produce as much of it as possible. When we discussed in our 2020 climate change related Davos note (link here ) about the difficult global warming dilemmas ahead, we noted that the very things that have helped pollute the atmosphere over the last couple of centuries have also improved the health and wealth of all humans beyond recognition relative to our forefathers. Before the industrial revolutions being a human was a bleak existence for the vast majority. In the Davos note we speculated as to whether humans would soon realise the economic trade-offs necessary if they really wanted to halt global warming. The covid-19 experience has kicked the debate into the long grass for now but I suppose we’re learning a bit more about what life would be like without growth during these lockdowns and also interestingly that single use plastics can be worshiped if used to save lives. Fascinating to see and think about.

Onto slightly less deep things. This morning we have published our annual default study. This is the 22nd year I’ve published the note (with my colleague Nick Burns helping to co-author most of this time) and this one is entitled “Defaults seem to be the hardest word”. Although we’re about to hit the worst economic crash since either WWII or the Great Depression, after many arguments within the team we think that HY defaults (US at 11% and Europe at 7%) will be lower than their previous three modern day recessionary peaks and noticeably so in Europe. With all the intervention out there, authorities are clearly loathed to see companies go to the wall. So 2020/21 will be a supercharged version of the last 17 years where the default beta to GDP has become lower and lower as explicit intervention and ultra-low yields have made it pretty tough for companies issuing in the capital markets to fall over. The risks are if there is a rolling pandemic that lasts say 12-36 months and where governments run out of balance sheet. At this point sovereign default risk could be realistic especially if central banks can’t intervene for some reason at this point. Then the sky could fall in for many companies. See the note here.

Onto this week and central banks can be expected to dominate the headlines even if for now they are more in reflective mode, and waiting to see the impact of their various spectacular interventions so far. The Bank of Japan have got the ball rolling this morning and has removed the limit on buying of JGBs (previously JPY 80tn per year) thereby confirming last week’s news. The BoJ also ramped up its scope for buying corporate bonds and commercial paper by raising its ceiling on holdings to JPY 20tn while keeping its short- and long-term interest rate targets unchanged.

In other weekend news, the US Small Business Administration announced that it is limiting the maximum dollar amount of loans each bank can issue to $60 billion, or 10% of $600 billion allocated so far in two rounds of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. The cap is intended to help all lenders have equal access for their small business clients. Meanwhile, the EU Economy and Financial Affairs Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said in a weekend interview with Italy’s Rai 3 television that an EU recovery fund worth around 1.5 trillion euros ($1.62 trillion) needs to be available by mid-September and include loans as well as a portion of non-repayable money.

We also heard from the PBoC governor Yi overnight and he said that “too aggressive” macro stimulus may bring inflation risks and cause too rapid an increase in the macro leverage ratio, in an article on China’s financial assets structure. He added that China should strike a balance between stabilizing growth and preventing risks while, keeping the leverage ratio basically stable is a proper choice.

Asian markets have kicked off the week on the front foot this morning with the Nikkei (+2.21%), Hang Seng (+1.64%), Shanghai Comp (+0.70%) and Kospi (+1.71%) all up. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.35% while yields on 10y USTs are up +2.8bps to 0.630% and the US dollar index is down -0.28%. WTI oil prices are down -7.91% this morning to $15.60.

Late on Friday S&P decide to affirm Italy’s BBB rating and not downgrade as most would have expected. They cited the country’s diversified and wealthy economy, net external creditor position and low levels of private debt in partly offsetting the higher public finances. Importantly they also said the ECB were “backstopping this additional public borrowing”. This followed an earlier affirmation of the Baa3 rating from Moody’s who said that the rating should be “broadly unaffected” by the pandemic. Given that their debt/GDP is likely to go up 15-25% over the next 18 months depending on the severity of the shock this is an impressive statement. However it should give the market confidence that Italy will not be downgraded to HY now unless the facts change. The most likely would be a big market led spread widening or a break down in domestic politics.

Back to central banks and we’ll hear from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday and the ECB on Thursday). Our US economists (link here) are expecting that this meeting will primarily provide a status update on the Fed’s actions to date and the Committee’s evolving views about the economic outlook. Attention will then turn to the ECB the following day. While they have been super active of late, the last time they met near the start of the market sell-off there was a big communication error with the ‘we’re not here to close spreads’ type comment. So expect this to be a very carefully worded statement and press conference. Some attention will be as to whether they include fallen angels in their list of purchases following the Fed earlier this com month.

Turning to economic data, this week sees a number of high profile releases that will be of interest to investors. The first look at Q1 GDP readings will be closely watched, with the US (DB at -2.3%) reporting on Wednesday, and the Euro Area then following on Thursday. Even though lockdowns only started in March expect the numbers to help shape economists as they refine their 2020 and 2021 growth forecasts.

Also of interest will be a number of PMI readings out towards the end of the week. On Thursday we’ll get the composite, manufacturing and nonmanufacturing PMIs from China, which will give us an indication of how their economy has recovered as lockdown measures have been eased, and what that might mean for elsewhere. Friday sees the release of the final PMIs from Japan, the UK and the US, and there’s also the ISM manufacturing reading from the US on Friday as well. Europe is on holiday so its PMIs are delayed until next week. The rest of the data is in the day by day guide at the end. China is also on holiday on Friday.

Earnings season kicks up another gear this week, with 173 companies in the S&P 500 reporting, along with a further 95 in the STOXX 600. Looking at the highlights we begin today with Adidas. Then tomorrow things move into full flow, with Alphabet, Novartis, Merck & Co., Pfizer, PepsiCo, HSBC, Starbucks, BP, Caterpillar, UBS, Santander and Ford all reporting. Then on Wednesday, we’ll hear from Microsoft, Facebook, Mastercard, AstraZeneca, American Tower, GlaxoSmithKline, Boeing, Volkswagen, General Electric, Daimler, Barclays, Samsung and Tesla. Thursday sees Apple, Amazon, Visa, Comcast, McDonald’s, Amgen, Royal Dutch Shell, Gilead Sciences, Lloyds Banking Group, Nokia, Twitter all reporting. And finally on Friday, we’ll get ExxonMobil, Chevron, Charter Communications, AbbVie, Honeywell International and RBS.

Recapping last week and it was truly one for the history books. In a year that has seen markets move in once-in-a-generation fashion across asset classes, oil’s move into negative territory stands out. May WTI futures, which expired this past Tuesday, closed in negative territory on Monday. Due to the global demand shock and the lack of prompt storage capacity, the oversupply manifested in negative futures prices – with holders effectively paying to not take delivery. WTI ended Monday at -$37.63/barrel. WTI recovered +$54.57 by the end of the week to finish the down ‘just’ -7.28% (+2.67% Friday) over the five days, this follows two weeks of over -19% drops. Brent crude fell -23.65% on the week (+0.52% Friday).

Global equities retreated on the week with the S&P 500 falling -1.32% (+1.39% Friday), after rising over 15% over the previous two weeks. It was the smallest absolute weekly move for the index since the first week in March. Technology stocks continue to outperform as earning season progresses with the NASDAQ falling just -0.18% (+1.65% Friday) on the week. European equities also fell, with the Stoxx 600 down -1.16% (-1.10% Friday). Equity performance across Europe was fairly correlated. The DAX fell -2.73% (-1.69% Friday), the Italian FTSE MIB fell -1.15% (-0.89% Friday) and the FTSE fell -0.60% (-1.28% Friday). In Asia the Nikkei declined -3.19% (-0.86% Friday), while the CSI 300 fell -1.11% (-0.86% Friday) and the Kospi lost -1.33% (-1.34% Friday) on the week. It was the first weekly decline for Chinese equities – using the CSI 300 – since March 20.

In a sign that equity markets are calming down for now, equity index volatility fell on the week even as spot prices fell. The VIX fell -2.22pts to finish at 35.93 (-5.45 Friday), the lowest closing weekly level for the index since February. On the other hand credit spreads widened on the week. US HY cash spreads were +72bps wider on the week (+16bps Friday), while IG was +2bps wider on the week (unchanged Friday). In Europe, HY cash spreads were +12bps wider over the 5days (+3bps Friday), while IG was -5bps tighter on the week (-2bps Thursday).

Core sovereign bond yields fell slightly in both Europe and the US. US 10yr Treasury yields fell -4.1bps (-0.1bps Friday) to finish at 0.60%, just 6bps from all-time lows. 10yr Bund yields were essentially unchanged (-4.9bps Friday) at -0.47%. Meanwhile, Gilt yields fell -1.3 bps over the 5 days (-0.1 bps Friday). With European leaders unable to reach agreement on the EU Recovery Fund late in the week peripheral spreads widened on the week. Italian yields widened +4.6bps over the 5 days (-9.8bps Friday), and the Bund spread to Spanish 10yr bonds grew +13.7bps (-4.8bps Friday).

On the economic data front last Friday, UK retail sales fell by -5.1% in March, the largest monthly decline since the series began. The German Ifo business climate indicator fell to 74.3 in April, a record low and well below consensus expectations of a 79.7 reading. In the US, the University of Michigan Sentiment survey came in better than expected at 71.8, compared to the expected 68.0 and slightly better than the prior reading of 71.0. US durable goods orders for March fell -14.4% versus the -12.0% expected and 1.2% the prior month, the biggest one month drop since August 2014.

 

3A/ASIAN AFFAIRS

I)MONDAY MORNING/ SUNDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 6.97 POINTS OR 0.25%  //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 448.81 POINTS OR 1.88%   /The Nikkei closed UP 521.22 POINTS OR 2.71%//Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 1.65%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 7.0832 /Oil DOWN TO 14.04 dollars per barrel for WTI and 20.35 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED GREEN//  ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN // LAST AT 7.0832 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT  7.0883 TRADE TALKS STALL//YUAN LEVELS GETTING DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO 7:1//TRUMP INITIATES A NEW 25% TARIFFS FRIDAY/MAY 10/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED//CORONAVIRUS  : /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  RAISED RATES TO 25%

 

 

3 a./NORTH KOREA/ SOUTH KOREA

South Korea

 

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

JAPAN

Japan officially goes unlimited QE and expands its corporate bond buying..huge helicopter money spree…

(zerohedge)

Japan Printer Go Brrr As BOJ Launches Unlimited QE, Expands Corporate Bond Buying

As was purposefully leaked last week to avoid any chance of market surprise, that giant monetary chemistry lab that is the Bank of Japan did precisely as had been reported, and on Monday morning the BOJ joined the Fed’s and announced it would launch unlimited QE, or rather that it would purchase “a necessary amount of JGBs without setting an upper limit so that 10-year JGB yields will remain at around zero percent.” Previously, the BOJ’s guideline on government debt was to increase holdings by around 80 trillion yen ($743 billion) per year, which is ironic as the BOJ was having trouble monetizing a far smaller percentage of this amount.

While we wish Kuroda the best of luck in overtaking the Fed and ECB in nationalizing the market, we will remind the central banker that it is not an issue of monetization demand, but rather supply, that has shrank the impact of Japan’s QE on devaluing the Japanese Yen, with the annual amount of bonds purchased by the central bank declining consistently every year as there are simply not enough bonds available in the open market for the central bankto buy, and is also one of the reasons why Japan has been urged by various entities to boost its fiscal stimulus to provide the BOJ with the “helicopter money” ammo it so desperately needs to keep the Japanese economy running.

 

Monday’s decision signals that the BOJ’s concern over the pandemic has intensified quickly with Bloomberg reporting that “unlimited bond buying was not an ideal option to take, in the view of some officials, as it further narrows bank’s policy choices at a time of heightened uncertainty.” On the other hand, it underscores that central banks are now fresh out of any original ideas and will keep doubling down on policies that crashed the system until the entire fiat edifice crashes.

As was also leaked before, the central bank also increased its scope for buying corporate bond and commercial paper by raising its ceiling on holdings to 20 trillion yen, according to its statement Monday in Tokyo.

In keeping with the now default gibberish of the past few years, Kuroda’s central bank said it will “conduct further active purchases of both JGBs and T-Bills for the time being, with a view to maintaining stability in the bond market and stabilizing the entire yield curve at a low level.”

The BOJ said that it would keep negative rate and yield target for 10-year JGB unchanged, and added that it will continue to closely monitor the impact of coronavirus and won’t hesitate to take additional easing measures if necessary although what the BOJ can do after launching unlimited QE while it is also massively monetizing the entire stock market- short of actively starting short squeezes – was unclear.

As Bloomberg notes, a return to relative stability in stock markets and reduced concern over the possibility of a sudden strengthening of the yen have given the BOJ some breathing space to leave its main interest rate policy levers untouched. Furthermore, the BOJ also likely saw a need to take action before the Fed and the European Central Bank meet later this week, so as not to be seen lagging behind its peers, which too have become deranged chemical labs.

The bank had come under increasing pressure to take more action as the declaration of a nationwide state of emergency this month brought more shutdowns and a growing need for financial support.

The central bank also said it “expects short- and long-term policy interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels,” removing a reference to a need to “pay close attention to the possibility that the momentum toward achieving the price stability target will be lost.”

The additional measures announced by Governor Haruhiko Kuroda also show a greater degree of fiscal-monetary policy coordination, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiling more than $1 trillion in stimulus this month and an accompanying plan to issue more bonds.

“The BOJ must be aggressive as Japan’s virus situation is getting worse,” Yoshimasa Maruyama, chief market economist at SMBC Nikko Securities, said before today’s decision. “The BOJ will continue to be walking on a tight rope with few tools left.”

And speaking of few tools, with the BOJ decision leaked so far in advance today’s announcement was just a formality, there wasn’t even a trace of a reaction in the market.

3 C CHINA

CHINA

China continues to flood the world with defective medical supplies and also they are gauging as well

(Kern/Gatestone Institute)

China Continues To Flood The World With Defective Medical Supplies

Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute,

More than a dozen countries on four continents recently disclosed problems with Chinese-made coronavirus tests and personal protective equipment. The problems range from test kits tainted with the coronavirus to medical garments contaminated with insects. Defective Chinese face masks, purchased by Spain’s Ministry of Health, were distributed to hospitals and nursing homes across the country, and more than 100 healthcare workers who used them tested positive for Covid-19.

A shipment from China of 8.6 million protective face masks and 150 tons of sanitary equipment arrives at Paris-Vatry Airport in France, on April 19, 2020. (Photo by Francois Nascimbeni/AFP via Getty Images)

Gatestone Institute recently reported that millions of pieces of medical equipment purchased from China by European governments to combat the coronavirus pandemic are defective and unusable.

Since that report, more than a dozen countries on four continents have disclosed problems with Chinese-made coronavirus tests and personal protective equipment. The problems range from test kits tainted with the coronavirus to medical garments contaminated with insects.

Chinese authorities have refused to take responsibility for the defective equipment and in many instances have cast blame on the countries that purchased the material. They have also called on nations of the world to stop “politicizing” the problem — at the same time that Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Communist Party have sought to leverage the pandemic to assert a claim to global leadership.

Spain, the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in Europe, has experienced the greatest number of problems with medical equipment purchased from China.

After the epidemic hit Spain, the Spanish government purchased medical supplies from China in the amount of €432 million ($470 million). Chinese vendors demanded they be paid up front before making any deliveries. It now appears that much of the material being supplied by China is substandard.

In late March, for instance, the Spanish Ministry of Health revealed that more than a half million coronavirus tests it had purchased from a Chinese vendor were defective. The tests, manufactured by Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology, a company based in China’s Guangdong Province, had an accurate detection rate of less than 30%. Bioeasy had claimed, in writing, that its tests had an accurate detection rate of 92%.

After the swindle made international headlines, Bioeasy agreed to replace the tests. On April 21, however, the Spanish newspaper El País reported that all 640,000 replacement tests were also useless. The Spanish government is now seeking a refund.

The Chinese Embassy in Madrid blamed the Spanish government for purchasing the tests from an unauthorized vendor. Bioeasy, apparently, does not have a license to sell coronavirus tests. Spain, however, has also reported problems with material purchased from vendors that are authorized by the Chinese government.

On April 15, Spain’s Ministry of Health recalled 350,000 so-called FFP2 masks after laboratory tests determined that they were substandard. The defective masks were manufactured by Garry Galaxy Biotechnology, a company included on the Chinese government’s list of approved manufacturers of personal protective equipment. FFP2 masks are required to filter at least 94% of aerosols, but those delivered to Spain filtered only between 71% and 82% of aerosols.

The defective masks were purchased by the Spanish Ministry of Health and distributed to hospitals and nursing homes across the country. After the defective masks were recalled, more than a hundred healthcare workers who had used them tested positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

In the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia, local health officials on April 18 recalled 180,000 Covid-19 antibody tests — also known as serological tests — because of their low rate of detection. The tests, produced by the Chinese manufacturer Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech, were purchased by the central government in Madrid and distributed to regional health authorities to detect Covid-19 in two priority groups: healthcare personnel and elderly people in nursing homes. The Wondfo tests reportedly gave negative results to people who had previously tested positive for Covid-19, and also failed to distinguish between two types of antibodies, including those that confer immunity.

In the eastern city of Alicante, the General Hospital recalled 640 disposable medical garments after one of the boxes from China contained cockroaches. The hospital said that it had received a total of 3,000 garments in 75 boxes and that it found two insects inside one of the boxes. It added that given the shortage of medical supplies, the garments would be sterilized, not destroyed.

Other countries — in Europe and beyond — have also criticized the quality of Chinese medical supplies:

  • Australia. On April 1, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported that the Australian Border Force (ABF) had seized nearly one million Chinese-made faulty face masks and other protective clothing that was exported to Australia to help halt the spread of coronavirus. The material was valued at A$1.2 million (US$760,000). “We started seeing this stuff arriving roughly three weeks ago when news of the pandemic was really taking off,” an ABF official told ABC. “The dodgy material is coming via air cargo because there is a backlog of sea freight at Australian ports.”
  • Austria. On April 6, the Ministry of Economic Affairs confirmed that 500,000 masks ordered from China for use in South Tyrol were “completely unusable” because they did not meet safety standards: “The result of the quality control check showed that the masks do not meet an FFP standard. When putting on the masks, it is impossible to obtain a tight fit in the area of ​​the chin and cheeks.” Minister of Economics Margarete Schramböck complained that international providers of the urgently needed FFP2 and FFP3 masks had not delivered the required quality in nine out of ten cases. On April 9, Austrian media reported that the defective mask problem was far greater than initially thought. The Austrian Red Cross ordered 20 million masks from the same Chinese manufacturer that made the defective masks for South Tyrol.
  • Belgium. On March 31, the University Hospital of Leuven rejected a shipment of 3,000 masks from China because the equipment was substandard.
  • Canada. On April 7, the City of Toronto recalled more than 60,000 surgical masks made in China. The masks, valued at more than $200,000, were provided to staff at long-term care facilities. Toronto health authorities were investigating whether caregivers were exposed to Covid-19 while wearing the equipment. The masks represented around 50% of Toronto’s inventory of surgical masks, according to Matthew Pegg, Toronto’s fire chief and general manager of emergency management.
  • Czech Republic. On March 23, the Czech news site iRozhlas reported that 300,000 coronavirus test kits delivered by China had an error rate of 80%. The Czech Ministry of Interior had paid $2.1 million for the defective kits.
  • Finland. On April 10, the Managing Director of Finland’s National Emergency Supply Agency, Tomi Lounema, resigned after he admitted to spending €10 million ($11 million) on defective protective equipment from China.
  • Georgia. On March 27, Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze cancelled an order for 200,000 coronavirus tests manufactured by the China-based Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology Company. The move came after Spain reported that 640,000 tests that it purchased from the company were defective. She said: “Georgia had a contract with this company, but today it has been canceled. The money has not been transferred. We are negotiating with another company and at first, they will send two thousand tests. If the reliability of those is approved by us, we will purchase an additional quantity.”
  • India. On April 16, the Mumbai-based Economic Times reported that 50,000 pieces of personal protective equipment donated by China were defective and unusable.
  • Ireland. On April 6, the Health Service Executive (HSE) revealed that a large portion of the €200 million delivery of personal protective equipment supplied by China was found to be unusable for health care workers. The HSE told the Chinese company responsible for the delivery that unless the quality of the equipment being sent is guaranteed, there will not be any more deals between the two nations with regards to PPE. The government said that it was seeking a refund.
  • Malaysia. On April 16, Malaysian authorities approved the use of coronavirus test kits from South Korea after similar kits from China were found to be defective. A senior official in the Ministry of Health, Noor Hisham Abdullah, said that the accuracy of the Chinese tests was “not very good.” He expressed optimism over the South Korean tests: “Now that we have a test kit that is fast, portable and is cheap, that will make the difference.”
  • Netherlands. On March 28, the Netherlands recalled 1.3 million face masks produced in China because they did not meet the minimum safety standards for medical personnel. The so-called KN95 masks are a less expensive Chinese alternative to the American-standard N95 mask, which currently is in short supply around the world. The KN95 does not fit on the face as tightly as the N95, thus potentially exposing medical personnel to the coronavirus.
  • Philippines. On March 29, the Department of Health apologized for comments it made a day earlier that two batches of coronavirus test kits provided by China were substandard. Undersecretary for Health Maria Rosario Vergeire had said that kits made by Chinese manufacturers BGI Group and Sansure Biotech were only 40% accurate in diagnosing Covid-19 and that some of them would have to be discarded. The Chinese Embassy in Manila rejected those accusations and claimed that the kits complied with standards established by the World Health Organization. “The Chinese Embassy firmly rejects any irresponsible remarks and any attempts to undermine our cooperation in this regard,” a spokesman tweeted.
  • Slovakia. On April 1, Prime Minister Igor Matovič disclosed that more than a million coronavirus tests supplied by China for a cash payment of €15 million ($16 million) were inaccurate and unable to detect Covid-19. “We have a ton of tests and no use for them,” he said. “They should just be thrown straight into the Danube.” China accused Slovakian medical personnel of using the tests incorrectly.
  • Turkey. On March 27, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that Turkey had tried Chinese-made coronavirus tests but authorities “weren’t happy about them.” Professor Ateş Kara, a member of the Turkish Health Ministry’s coronavirus task force, added that the batch of testing kits were only 30 to 35% accurate: “We have tried them. They don’t work. Spain has made a huge mistake by using them.”
  • United Kingdom. On April 6, the London-based newspaper The Times reported that 17.5 million coronavirus antibody tests supplied by China were defective. The Chinese manufacturers of the tests blamed British officials and politicians for misunderstanding or exaggerating the utility of the tests. The British government, which reportedly paid at least $20 million (£16 million) for the tests, said that it was seeking a refund. Meanwhile, other coronavirus tests destined for the UK were found to be tainted with coronavirus.
  • United States. On April 17, the director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, Sandy Karsten, revealed that 3.9 million KN95 masks manufactured in China were defective. The State of Missouri had signed a $16.5 million contract with an unidentified vendor for the masks and paid half in advance. The vendor is refusing to return the $8.25 million. Missouri Governor Mike Parson said: “We got cheated here in this state and we are going to go out there and try to get our money back and hold people accountable.” In neighboring Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker said that the state had spent $17 million on KN95 masks that may be unusable: “You know things come in shipments of a million — you can’t go through one mask at a time and so you try to take samples from the shipments that come in, make sure you got what you are paying for.” In Washington State, 12,000 coronavirus testing kits produced in China were recalled after some of them were found to be contaminated with the coronavirus.

On March 30, China urged European countries not to “politicize” concerns about the quality of medical supplies from China. “Problems should be properly solved based on facts, not political interpretations,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

On April 1, the Chinese government reversed course and announced that it was increasing its oversight of exports of coronavirus test kits made in China. Chinese exporters of coronavirus tests must now obtain a certificate from the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) in order to be cleared by China’s customs agency.

On April 16, the Wall Street Journal reported that millions of pieces of medical equipment destined for the United States were being held in warehouses in China due to the new export restrictions imposed by the Chinese government. “We appreciate the efforts to ensure quality control,” the U.S. State Department said. “But we do not want this to serve as an obstacle for the timely export of important supplies.”

U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler from Georgia accused China of holding up shipments of test kits: “Testing is core to opening our country back up. I’m concerned that China’s holding up test kits. They’re playing games with trade policy to prevent us, the United States, from getting the testing that we need.”

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the flaws of globalization by laying bare how the West has allowed itself to become dangerously dependent on Communist China for the supply of essential health care and medical products.

Andrew Michta, Dean of the College of International and Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, explained:

“The Wuhan Virus and the attendant misery that the Chinese communist state has unleashed upon the world (very much including its own people) has laid bare a core structural flaw in the assumptions underpinning globalization. It turns out that the radical interweaving of markets — which was supposed to lead to the ‘complex interdependence’ that international relations theorists have been predicting for the better part of the century would lead to an increase in global stability… has instead created an inherently fragile and teetering structure that is exacerbating uncertainty in a time of crisis….

“If there is any good to come from the devastating impact on our nation of this pandemic brought about by the Chinese communist regime through its malice and incompetence, it will be the likely demise of enthusiasm for globalization as we know it across the West. After three decades of intellectual gymnastics aimed at convincing Americans that the off-shoring of manufacturing and the attendant deindustrialization of the country are good for us, the time has come for a reckoning.

“Since the end of the Cold War, Western elites seem to have been in thrall to the idea that various ‘natural forces’ in the economy and politics were propelling us forward to a digitally interconnected brave new world, one in which traditional considerations of national interest, national economic policy, national security, and national culture would soon be eclipsed by an emergent peaceful global reality. This virus crisis is a wake-up call, and while some argue we are waking up too late to effectively counter current trends, my money is on the ability of the American people to rally in a crisis and on the resilience of Western democratic institutions.

“Today, while battling the Wuhan Virus consumes the attention of our government agencies and health care systems, we should not lose sight of the foundational strategic challenge confronting the West in the emerging post-globalization era: We are in a long twilight competition with the Chinese communist regime, a struggle we cannot escape, whether we like it or not. Now is the time to wake up, develop a new strategy for victory, and to move forward.”

 

end

Now Australia is looking closely into the Wuhan Level 4 lab as to the origins of the pandemic. They are studying not only Shi but also Peng Zhou

(zerohedge)

Western Spy Agencies Investigating Wuhan Scientist Highlighted By Zero Hedge In January

Western intelligence agencies are “looking closely at the work of a senior scientist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Peng Zhou,” as part of a joint international investigation into the origins of COVID-19, according to the Daily Telegraph.

In a stunning expose, the Australian newspaper reports that “the Five Eyes intelligence agencies of Australia, Canada, NZ, UK and US, are understood to be looking closely at the work of a senior scientist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Peng Zhou, as they examine whether COVID-19 originated from a wet market or whether the naturally-­occurring virus may have been released from the level four laboratory in Wuhan that was studying deadly coronavirus pathogens from bats.”

Of course, the name of Peng has been long familiar to our readers, and would have been familiar to far more people had Twitter not decided to arbitrarily suspend the Zero Hedge account over a report exposing Mr. Zhou.

As we reported in January – posting publicly available professional contact information and suggesting people ask him about the outbreak near his lab – Peng, head of the Bat Virus Infection and Immunization Group, sought to hire two post-doc fellows last November, who would be tasked with using bats “to research the molecular mechanism that allows Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses to lie dormant for a long time without causing diseases.”

One press release from his lab was titled: “How bats carry viruses without getting sick.” Via the Telegraph:

It can be revealed that Zhou — the head of the Bat Virus Infection and Immunity Project at the Wuhan Institute of Virology — spent three years at the bio-containment facility, Australian Animal Health Laboratory between 2011 and 2014, where he was sent by China to complete his doctorate.

During this time, Zhou arranged for wild-caught bats to be transported alive by air from Queensland to the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Victoria where they were euthanised for dissection and studied for deadly viruses.

His work was funded jointly by the CSIRO and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

It examined bat immunology and the role of interferons and how “bats are rich reservoirs for emerging viruses, including many that are highly pathogenic to humans and other mammals” and “many of which cause significant morbidity and mortality in humans and other mammals.

Western intelligence is also looking into the work of the original “Bat Woman” Shi Zhengli, a colleague of Zhou who is the director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

As we reported in February, Shi notably co-authored a controversial paper in 2015  which described the creation of a new virus by combining a coronavirus found in Chinese horseshoe bats with another that causes human-like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in mice. This research sparked a huge debate at the time over whether engineering lab variants of viruses with possible pandemic potential is worth the risks.

As Nature.com reported in 2015, the findings reinforce suspicions that bat coronaviruses capable of directly infecting humans (rather than first needing to evolve in an intermediate animal host) may be more common than previously thought, the researchers say.

Zhengli also spent time in Australia as a visiting scientist for three months from February 22 to May 21, 2006 where she worked at the CSIRO’s top-level Australian Animal Health Laboratory.

She used faecal samples of horseshoe bats to identify that they were the natural host for SARS-like coronaviruses. -Daily Telegraph

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that researchers at the WIV had collected bats in a cave over 1,000 miles away in Yunnan which carried COVID-19.

Also disturbing is that the lab had been operating in part on a $3.7 million grant from the US government.

The Mail on Sunday has learned that scientists there experimented on bats as part of a project funded by the US National Institutes of Health, which continues to licence the Wuhan laboratory to receive American money for experiments. –Daily Mail

In mid-April, the Washington Post reported that the US State Department received two cables from US Embassy officials in 2018 warning of inadequate safety at Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was conducting ‘risky studies’ on bat coronaviruses, according to the report – which notes that the cables have “fueled discussions inside the U.S. government about whether this or another Wuhan lab was the source of the virus.”

According to the Telegraph, the revelation comes as Australian politicians are ramping up pressure on China to cooperate with the international investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus. Accroding to Andrew Hastie, Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, “The Chinese Communist Party must take responsibility for the virus that began inside their borders and work with the rest of the world to prevent it from happening again. We are simply asking for transparency and co-operation.”

Australia’s official position is that the virus likely originated in the Wuhan wet market, however they are now considering whether the virus escaped fom the Wuhan Institute of Virology due to human error – a theory which US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo endorsed last week when he told Fox News: Look, we know it began at one [lab], but we need to figure this out.”

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

Italy

Somehow Italy who is mired in debt (over 150% debt/GDP) is saved by S and P as they refuse to downgrade the sovereign to junk

(zerohedge)

Italy Stick Saved As S&P Refuses To Downgrade To Junk

Heading into Friday’s close, everyone – even the ECB, which earlier this week changed its criteria for bonds it can purchase to include potential fallen angels a move that was clearly meant to provide cover for BBB-rated Italy – expected Italy to finally lose its investment grade rating when S&P was fully expected to downgrade the troubled European nation which is facing a catastrophic recession, to junk. However, “surprising” everyone, S&P did not do that, and instead just after the close it affirmed Italy’s BBB rating (with negative outlook), saying “we could lower the ratings if government debt to GDP fails to shift onto a clearly discernible downward path over the next three years, or if there is a marked deterioration in borrowing conditions that jeopardizes the sovereign’s public finance sustainability, including for example due to insufficiently supportive policy measures at the eurozone level.”

Yes, the S&P really said that it expect Italian debt – which is about to go parabolic – to “shift onto a clearly discernible downward part.” We wonder which ECB staffer wrote that particular part of the rating agency report.

That said, the risk of a junking by S&P is now off the table even though the covid crisis assures that Italy will not only be hit with the biggest recession in decades, but since the Eurozone failed to endorse and implement coronabonds or any other joint-funding mechanisms, will scramble to obtain the needed fiscal stimulus even if the ECB provides a critical backstop to the country’s bonds which earlier this week were hit amid fears of the upcoming downgrade.

One can only wonder how much behind the scenes negotiations took place (and who was involved) to keep Italy from losing its  investment grade rating, or frankly, for the S&P to once again punt even as the rating agency had no problem with downgrading Mexico just a few days earlier.

The full S&P report is below:

Italy ‘BBB/A-2’ Ratings Affirmed; Outlook Negative

Overview

  • To mitigate the economic consequences of the public health emergency, Italian authorities have launched budgetary stimulus measures worth 1.5% of GDP, and provided guarantees to small and midsize enterprise (SMEs) and exporters worth 25% of GDP.
  • These measures, in tandem with pre-existing automatic stabilizers, will push Italy’s general government deficit to an estimated 6.3% of GDP this year, and increase public debt to close to 153% of GDP by end-2020, according to our projections.
  • The ECB is backstopping this additional public borrowing under its pre-existing and newly launched asset purchase programs, together worth over 9% of eurozone GDP.
  • Italy’s other credit strengths–its diversified and wealthy economy, net external creditor position, and the lowest levels of private debt in the G7–partly offset the drag from high public leverage on Italy’s creditworthiness, in our opinion.
  • We are affirming the sovereign credit ratings on Italy at ‘BBB/A-2’ with a negative outlook.

Rating Action

On April 24, 2020, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its unsolicited long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Italy at ‘BBB/A-2’. The outlook is negative.

Outlook

We could lower the ratings if government debt to GDP fails to shift onto a clearly discernible downward path over the next three years, or if there is a marked deterioration in borrowing conditions that jeopardizes the sovereign’s public finance sustainability, including for example due to insufficiently supportive policy measures at the eurozone level. At present, the ECB’s current financing backstop enables Italy to refinance its debt at real interest rates of around 0%.

We could revise the outlook to stable if we see Italy’s economy performing better than our current prognosis, leading to fiscal outcomes stronger than we are currently forecasting.

We could also revise the outlook to stable if Italy’s banking system weathers the shock to the real economy from COVID-19, without a material increase in nonperforming loans (NPLs) or a depletion of its capital base.

Rationale

On March 9, government authorities put Italy on a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. Encouragingly, the last two weeks of data indicate progress in lowering hospitalization and mortality rates.

To mitigate the economic fallout from the lockdown, the Italian authorities have launched budgetary stimulus measures worth 1.5% of GDP, over and above the budget’s automatic stabilizers, as well as providing guarantees to SMEs and exporters equivalent to 25% of GDP.

These measures, in tandem with pre-existing automatic stabilizers, are likely to push Italy’s general government deficit to an estimated 6.3% of GDP this year compared to 2019’s fiscal deficit of 1.6%, which was the lowest budgetary gap since 2007. On the back of this year’s expected near 10% contraction of GDP, we project that Italian gross general government debt will increase to 153% of GDP by end-2020, before declining toward 140% of GDP by 2023 as the economy stages a comeback.

We expect that most of the Italian sovereign debt newly created this year as a consequence of the pandemic will be purchased by the ECB under pre-existing and new initiatives, including a new €750 billion asset purchase program called the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP). We expect that the ECB’s net asset purchases during 2020 will comfortably exceed 9% of eurozone GDP. The ECB’s governing board has emphasized its willingness to increase the size of its asset purchase programs and to widen its criteria for acquiring public and private bonds so as to support the euro area economy throughout 2020. In our view, that commitment means that the Italian government will be able to finance itself at nominal rates of around 0.8% on average this year compared to the 2.5% average borrowing rate on its existing debt stock. In nominal terms, and absent a significant deterioration in borrowing costs, Italy will pay less to service its total debt stock this year and into 2021-2023, than it paid in 2019.

While public debt stocks are high and rising, Italian private debt levels are the lowest in both the G7 and Western Europe. As of end-2019, Italian household plus corporate debt levels totaled 110% of GDP versus 114% in Germany, 150% in Spain, and 250% in the Netherlands. Including financial sector debt, Italian private debt has declined by more than public debt has increased since the global financial crisis. As of fourth-quarter 2019, Italy became a net external creditor to the rest of the world. The economy is, moreover, running a current account surplus of around 3% of GDP, the eighth highest external surplus in the world in absolute terms.

Though we believe even higher public debt levels may be sustainable in economies like Italy’s, where private debt continues to decline, the current policy settings within the euro area are not optimal. Specifically, the eurozone appears hampered, compared with the U.S. and U.K., by the lack of a central fiscal capacity capable of handling economic shocks, such as those following the pandemic. Indeed, the absence of private and public cross-border risk sharing–and the vigorous disagreements around mutualizing debt issuance–appears to place the eurozone and its individual economies at a disadvantage compared with older monetary areas such as the U.S. and the U.K., which issue common risk-free instruments.

Institutional and economic profile: Backed by the ECB, Italian authorities have delivered a coherent response to a public health emergency

  • Italy has been in lockdown since March 9, with negative implications for growth, and public finances.
  • Employment protection policies should limit the rise in unemployment to around 1.3 percentage points (ppts) on average this year, considerably less than most of its European peers.
  • Italy’s economy is diversified and rich, with household savings in excess of 10% of disposable income and notably low private sector debt levels.

After Germany, Italy is the most open economy in the G7, with exports totaling 32% of Italian GDP. Italy remains the seventh-largest exporter in the world and is a diversified and wealthy economy, with no single export category exceeding 4.5% of the total. The economy’s openness, and its sizable current account surplus, make it sensitive to global developments including this year’s synchronized global recession.

Italy’s lockdown, in place since March 9, is already testing the resilience of its economy, including the SME sector–the source of over 75% of total nonfinancial business employment.

Our projection that GDP contracts by just under 10% this year is based on our revised assumption that the lockdown lasts for eight weeks (compared to six previously), but also that the exit from current restrictions is gradual–meaning that the Italian government will require two weeks to reopen the economy, starting with small shops, then bigger shops, then schools and restaurants. We do not expect the authorities to condone large gatherings before the end of the summer. Finally, we assume that some social distancing measures will have to stay in place for at least a year, until a vaccine is found, which could be sometime in mid-2021. Under this scenario, the size of the Italian economy will probably remain below last year’s until early 2023.

Italy’s weak economic growth performance pre-dates the pandemic, reflecting several factors:

  • A rigid labor market, where wages are set at a national rather than company level, and the high cost of redundancies tend to dissuade employers, particularly SMEs, from hiring.
  • The tax burden on the formal economy is elevated. For example, the World Bank estimates the total tax and contribution rate for businesses at 53%, versus 47% in Spain and 49% in Germany.
  • Enforcing contracts is time-consuming and expensive.
  • The population is ageing, with the working-age population declining on average by 0.4% per year since 2015.
  • Italy’s banks continue to grapple with relatively high levels of NPLs and large exposures to the public sector. The economic lockdown will almost certainly increase the number of NPLs after several years of decline.

For 2021, we project that GDP will recover by 6.4%, but the timing and shape of that recovery remains uncertain. Several factors could lend momentum to a gradual recovery beyond 2021. These include:

  • Greater certainty about the current government’s budgetary plan and its compliance with the EU Stability and Growth Pact (last year’s budget deficit was the lowest since 2007).
  • Historically low borrowing costs for both the public and private sector.
  • The potential for a rise in public and private investment, the latter on the reintroduction of the accelerated depreciation tax scheme, also reflecting lower interest rates.
  • The government’s measures to reduce the tax wedge (which is the difference between the hourly labor cost for employers and the hourly post tax earnings for employees) on labor could push up participation in Italy’s labor market.

Italy’s near-term economic outlook is uncertain. We forecast the average unemployment rate will rise to 11.2% this year versus less than 10% on average during 2019, signifying quite low elasticity of unemployment to real GDP growth. The rigidity in Italy’s labor market, particularly in manufacturing, may play a stabilizing role in the face of the global pandemic. At the same time, this rigidity may constrain the extent of the economic recovery during 2021 and 2022. Employment in many seasonal sectors such as tourism and agriculture is less protected and likely to suffer a higher pace of job destruction over the next few months.

One reason for Italy’s low growth is the private sector’s propensity to save rather than spend. Funded by these private savings, domestic banks and other financial institutions have become the Italian government’s single largest creditor, holding an estimated 45% of Italy’s debt stock as of end-January 2020 (but below their 48% share of the total at end-2018). Banca d’Italia holds another 16.7% of outstanding debt (this figure excludes the 3% of Italy’s general government debt held by the Eurosystem under the ECB’s securities markets program and public sector purchase programs). Since March 26, when the ECB began to purchase debt under the newly introduced PEPP, we expect that the Eurosystem’s holdings of Italian public debt will have increased.

The average cost of debt for 2020 is estimated at 2.5% across the entire debt profile. Despite COVID-related spread-widening, Italy’s current average yield at issuance is just under 0.8% as of mid-April.

One of Italy’s macroeconomic vulnerabilities, in our view, is its large untaxed gray economy, particularly in the south. Widespread economic informality explains why official labor participation data indicates that 65.7% only of Italy’s working-age population is active in the formal labor market. This is the fifth-lowest participation rate among the 34 members of the OECD, after Turkey, South Africa, Mexico, and North Macedonia; it is nearly 8 ppts below the 73.4% average labor participation rate in the EU.

Flexibility and performance profile: COVID-19 will push the budgetary deficit to levels beyond those during the global financial crisis

  • We expect the public health emergency to push the general government deficit to 6.3% of GDP this year, before it narrows back to 3.0% in 2021 on a recovering economy.
  • General government debt to GDP is projected to end 2020 at 153% of GDP before declining thereafter.
  • Italy is a net external creditor. Its current account surplus is the eighth-largest in the world in absolute terms.
  • The damage that the economic standstill does to the SME sector is likely to boost NPLs.

To mitigate the economic fallout from the lockdown, Italy has launched budgetary stimulus measures worth 1.5% of GDP, alongside the provision of guarantees to SMEs and exporters equivalent to 25% of GDP.

Specific measures included in the “Cura Italia” Decree of March 9 include:

  • €3 billion (0.2% of GDP) of transfers to the National Health System and Civil Protection
  • Worker Protection: A broadening of workers’ eligibility for benefits disbursed by Italy’s unemployment fund, Cassa Integrazione Guadagni (CIG). Transfers to the self-employed and other workers ineligible for CIG.
  • Tax deferrals and relief for firms, particularly those in more hard hit regions.
  • Liquidity Support: Guarantees for SME loans, as well as a moratorium on mortgage payments.

These measures, in tandem with the automatic stabilizers and an anticipated decline in tax receipts, are likely to push Italy’s general government deficit to an estimated 6.3% of GDP. That compares to 2019’s fiscal deficit of 1.6% of GDP, which was the lowest budgetary gap since 2007. A widening of the deficit on that scale would exceed the fiscal deterioration suffered in the first year of the global financial crisis (2009), but we expect the fiscal situation to improve faster in 2020 than it did in 2010. This reflects a stronger starting position in 2019, and also solid progress made in reducing VAT evasion thanks to a highly effective digitization policy.

Based on our fiscal and growth projections this year, we estimate that Italian general government debt will increase to 153% of GDP by end-2020, compared to 132.6% in 2019 before declining toward 140% by 2023 as the economy recovers. Our debt estimates exclude Italy’s portion of guarantees on European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) issuance (in contrast to Eurostat methodology). These projections are highly uncertain, hinging on a relatively smooth relaunching of the economy commending in mid-May.

Since the ECB launched its quantitative easing program in March 2015, the Italian Treasury has improved the government debt profile in several ways:

  • By lengthening the average maturity of debt to about seven years, hence reducing gross expected refinancing substantially.
  • By locking in lower average financing costs.

As a result, the lag between rising borrowing costs and increasing interest expenditure has lengthened. We estimate that a 100 basis points increase in Italy’s average funding costs would increase its interest expenditure in the first year by 0.1% of GDP compared with the base year, and by 0.3% of GDP in the second year.

Our estimates exclude guarantees given to the EFSF (see “S&P Clarifies Its Approach To Accounting For EFSF Liabilities When Rating The Sovereign Guarantors,” published Nov. 2, 2011).

Italian public and private claims on the rest of the world exceed the world’s financial claims on Italian residents. Levels of private debt (household plus corporate) are the lowest in the G7 and the lowest in advanced Europe at around 109.6% of GDP (at end-2019 according to Banca d’Italia) or less than half of levels in the Netherlands (250%). We estimate that, including financial sector debt, overall private debt levels in Italy have declined by 48 ppts of GDP, or even more than public debt has increased (27 ppts), since the onset of the global financial crisis.

We expect Italy’s net external creditor position to continue to increase over the next half decade. Moreover, we project that Italy will continue to operate current account surpluses of about 2%-3% of GDP over our forecast period. During 2020, we expect a sharp decline in goods and services exports (including tourism) to be offset by a proportional contraction in imports (including tourism, given that Italy is one of the largest importers of tourism services in the world), and lower energy prices. We calculate Italy’s net energy imports to be equivalent to 2.5% of GDP; savings due to a near 50% correction in the price of oil should exceed 1% of Italian GDP this year. That implies that Italy will continue to operate a current account surplus this year of about 2.6% of GDP compared to 3.0% last year.

We see Italy’s membership in the eurozone as an institutional strength, but we note that it entails a loss of monetary flexibility when competitiveness trends diverge from those of other large eurozone members. Despite falling short of meeting its inflation target of just below 2%, we believe the ECB maintains a credible monetary policy. This is, in our assessment, due to its overall track record on inflation, the depth of the eurozone’s capital markets, and its policy response to date in addressing risks from financial flows across the eurozone.

Between now and 2022, we expect inflation in Italy to remain significantly below the ECB’s about 2% target.

Up until February of this year, progress on NPL reduction had been steady, but the economic standstill combined with the moratorium on mortgage payments will almost certainly weigh on asset quality going forward.

END

 

The coronavirus is having a devastating effect on the EU especially the Southern Club Med boys, like Italy and Spain. It seems that Spain and Italy will now like to keep their lockdown longer in the hope for mutualization of debt.  If the Northern boys fail, then the Club Med boys will leave the EU and everything goes bonkers

(Baggus/Mises)

 

The COVID-19 Crisis Is Driving The EU To The Brink

Authored by Philipp Bagus via The Mises Institute,

The eurozone is a gigantic machine of monetary redistributionSeveral independent governments can finance their expenditures through deficits that are monetized directly or indirectly by one printing press. More specifically, the European Central Bank (ECB) may buy eurozone government bonds directly from market participants or accept them as collateral in its lending operations, effectively increasing the monetary base.

Through this monetization, a government can externalize the costs of its deficit partially onto the citizens of other eurozone countries in the form of a lower purchasing power for the euro. The setup resembles a tragedy of the commons. The commonly owned resource is the purchasing power of the euro, which is exploited by several users. These users are the eurozone governments. They issue debts resulting in an increase in the money supply. By running comparatively higher deficits than their peers, eurozone governments can attempt to live at the expense of foreigners.

It cannot be surprising that most governments have ignored the new treaty instituted in the wake of the European debt crisis to bring down debts and deficits. During the last years of moderate economic growth, with interest rates at virtually zero, highly indebted governments did not take advantage of the situation to reduce their debts. Rather they took advantage of the higher tax revenues and reduced interest spending to boost government expenditures in other areas. Governments think that they will get away with it. The rationale for this irresponsible behavior was simple: when there was another crisis someday, these governments would just print more government bonds, have their banks buy them, and make others pay in form of a loss in the euro’s purchasing power.

These governments believe that no one will put an end to the monetization, because ending this mechanism would trigger a sovereign debt default, which would harm the other eurozone governments. European banks and especially the ECB are loaded with eurozone government bonds. A government default would imply losses not only in the defaulting country, but for all eurozone banks. It would lead to cascading bankruptcies, an immense banking, sovereign debt, and economic crisis. The confidence in the euro could be severely shaken by the risk of (hyper)inflation.

Although southern governments such as Italy, France, and Spain did not use the last years to reduce their deficits, Germany and other northern countries such as the Netherlands did reduce their debts, thereby increasing, ironically, the possibility of southern government relying on Germany and the north for bailouts.

Government Deficits and Surpluses in Percentage of GDP

Government Debts in Percentage of GDP

During the COVID-19 panic and resulting lockdowns, ItalySpain, and France have vehemently demanded “solidarity” from Germany, bluffing about leaving the EU if their demands remain unfulfilled. In spite of their failure to reduce government spending and deficits in good times, they believe it to be their right to be bailed out. Their past excessive deficits can be explained by the prospect of European debt mutualization. Indeed, several bailout schemes have already been instituted during the corona panic. The ECB announced that it would buy €750 billion in bonds, and the EU has agreed upon a €540 billion bailout package.

Unfortunately, the moral hazard implied in the euro setup not only influenced excessive government spending before the corona crisis, but most likely is influencing government responses to the epidemic as well. The costs of lockdowns and government bailouts of citizens and companies are enormous. A government must carefully consider the decision to enforce a costly lockdown. But what if a government can externalize part of the lockdown costs on others through new debts or bailouts? If this possibility exists, as it does in the eurozone, it becomes more likely that a government will declare a lockdown and continue with it for longer. Instead of lifting the restrictions as fast as possible, southern governments maintain them, because they count on a bailout and the support of governments with better fiscal balance sheets. By ruining their own economies, southern governments actually increase the pressure for the institution of new redistribution schemes, and finally a European superstate.

The reasoning, as exemplified by infamous former Greece finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, is:

if you do not rescue us, we will default, leading to a European banking crisis, high losses for the ECB, and a severe depression. So, you better bail us out.

Thus, the setup of the euro may be responsible for suicidal lockdowns in some eurozone countries that will be longer than in other places, with all their detrimental social, political, health, and economic consequences. And it is possible that this crisis will lead to a final decision for the future of the euro and toward a European superstate.

end

SPAIN

Again we witness faulty Chinese products infiltrate the west..

(zerohedge)

1,000 Front-Line Medical Workers Forced Into Isolation Due To Faulty Chinese Masks

Earlier this month, we warned that Chinese companies were flooding Europe with shoddy medical supplies, including defective personal protective equipment (PPE).

Unfortunately given the mad rush for supplies as governments around the world scramble to buy them from any supplier available, no matter how shady, there hasn’t been enough time to discerningly inspect the equipment, and many dangerous lapses have accrued.

And while stories about defective equipment on the Continent have been ppearing with increasing frequency, this incident from Spain is particularly alarming:Breitbart has reported that more than 1,000 Spanish healthcare workers have gone into isolation after wearing faulty medical masks bought from China.

As Spain moves ever-closer to the May 9 reopening date, the country ordered 400,000 masks from the Chinese to help protect front-line medical workers.

Unfortunately, many of the masks were defective, forcing the workers to undergo testing and enter quarantine following being repeatedly exposed to the virus. The mass exposure will likely result in many testing positive.

The masks were purchased by Spain from a shady Chinese firm called Garry Galaxy; they were reportedly used for about ten days before it was discovered that they were defective.

Spanish newspaper El País reported that the masks have been recalled, yet as some are still believed to be in circulation.

“There are people who worked the whole day using a mask that offers ten minutes of protection,” said the General Council of Nursing Associations. Spanish healthcare workers have been particularly hard hit by coronavirus. Medical staff represent some 15% of all infections in Spain, where at least 31,000 Spanish healthcare workers have contracted coronavirus (though some say the number is likely significantly higher due to deliberate undercounting).

Spain also has the worst mortality rate and the highest number of cases per capita in Europe. The severe shortage of PPE has been cited by the Spanish Health Ministry as the main cause.

 

END
Europe/USA
USA banks are pulling away from lending to public European companies
(London;s Financial Times/zerohedge)

US Banks Are Pulling Back From Lending To European Companies: FT

One week ago we showed that the largest US commercial bank, JPMorgan, which just hiked its provisions for loan losses in anticipation of a surge in defaults…

… appeared to be “getting out of Dodge“, because after exiting (non-government guaranteed) loans and hiking mortgage standards, JPMorgan had also stopped accepting HELOCs. It now appears that the largest US bank – and its peers – are also quietly shunning all European business as well, because as the FT reports, “US banks are pulling back from lending to European companies during the coronavirus pandemic, fuelling concerns that Wall Street may be quietly withdrawing to its home market in a repeat of the last financial crisis.”

One small correction here: Wall Street is not withdrawing to its home market – as we have described before, US banks are also quietly shunning their home market as well amid rising fears of a surge in corporate defaults, suggesting that the current crisis could be far worse than 2008/2009.

We do agree with the rest of the FT note however: “bankers, advisers and company executives said American lenders had become more cautious in underwriting bilateral and syndicated loans to large corporate clients across the region in recent weeks.”

As an example of US bank reticence, the FT notes that in Germany, JPMorgan recently pulled out of talks over an additional credit line for BASF, the world’s largest chemicals group, while Bank of America lent half as much as the other six international banks that underwrote a €3bn state-backed loan to sportswear giant Adidas.

At events and publishing group Informa, JPMorgan and BofA turned down a request for a short-term loan and were not among underwriters on a £1bn share placement, even though the latter had been broker to the UK company for 10 years. BofA also turned down a potential capital raise for struggling cinema chain Cineworld.

Even Goldman Sachs – which helped underwrite a €3.5bn syndicated loan for Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler this month – is getting cold feet and did not take part in a similar €12bn facility for German rival and long-standing client Daimler, leaving other lenders to make up the difference.

“We are increasingly observing an ‘America first’ attitude among large US banks,” said an adviser directly involved in negotiations between banks and corporates in Germany. “Those are not just idiosyncratic cases: there is a clear pattern.”

That pattern is that in the first quarter, the five large US banks’ combined market share in syndicated loans in Germany fell by more than a third to 14.6%, according to Refinitiv data. It’s only gotten worse since then.

“Every bank is under the cosh of its national regulators, who in times of crisis show a huge home bias,” said Jan Pieter Krahnen, director of the Center for Financial Studies at the University of Frankfurt. “This heavily influences risk management and regional exposure, which comes at the expense of clients abroad.”

The trend has attracted the attention of European regulators. We have received many signals that foreign lenders are starting to retreat from the German market,” said a senior supervisory official. “We cannot force them to lend.”

In the UK, JPMorgan pulled out of a recent £324m debt and equity rescue package for airport concession operator SSP, despite being the company’s corporate broker. Only British banks were left in the consortium.

Amusingly, the pull back by US bank lending in Europe has caused concerns in Europe about the reliability of US banks in a crisis. One reason Berlin politicians last year endorsed merger talks between Deutsche Bank and domestic rival Commerzbank was the desire for a “national champion” that would continue to lend at times of stress.

German companies that want to tap large government-backed loans are in a particular bind because they need the support of their existing lending group to access funds from state-owned development bank KfW, which can shoulder as much as 80% of new syndicated loans. But KfW insists private-sector banks take on the remaining 20% as well as guaranteeing existing credit lines, which need to be drawn first.

Judging by the comments of one of the FT’s unnamed sources, Europe is clearly not used to getting shunned: “If one bank in an existing consortium steps out of line, it’s not only that the others have to fill in the blank, but some of them may also start to get second thoughts.”

BofA, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan declined to comment to the FT on specific clients, but stressed they had increased lending globally in recent weeks. While the data shows BofA’s share of syndicated loans has declined, the US bank pointed out it ranked second in league tables of euro-denominated bonds since March 18, when debt markets reopened after the initial coronavirus shock.

JPMorgan said: “We extended over $25bn in new credit to clients in March alone, and nearly half of that was in Europe. Our commitment to companies in the region remains unwavering.”

Senior US bank executives said that compared with American clients, European companies had drawn down more of their credit lines, reducing banks’ appetite for further lending. They also typically wanted to borrow money over longer time horizons whereas US companies saw bank loans more as a “bridge to markets”.

Indeed, one look at the recent surge in outstanding loans and leases shows that there has been roughly half a trillion dollars in new product, which may explain why US banks are now calling it a day, both in Europe and domestically.

Amusingly, some US bankers told the FT that European lenders were acting “recklessly”, loading up their weak balance sheets with more risky loans that could turn into problems in years to come. “I don’t understand why the Europeans want to do these things,” said a senior investment banker, who apparently has not looked at US balance sheets in the past five years…

END

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

a must read…

George Friedman explains why Russia is the biggest loser from oil’s crash and we must worry about it..

(George Friedman)

Opinion: Russia is the world’s biggest loser from oil’s crash, and that’s reason to worry

Russia’s economy and power is highly dependent on oil and energy prices

Associated Press

Karl Marx wrote that “history repeats itself twice, the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce.” The collapse of the Soviet Union was not a tragedy, nor is what is happening in Russia now a farce. Still, the collapse of the Soviet Union was a defining moment in human history. Russia’s current struggle with itself doesn’t begin to rise to that level.

At issue for Russia is the collapse of oil prices CLM20, +1.41% CL.1, +1.41% BRN00, +1.49% . A country that depends so heavily on any one commodity, as Russia does, will always be vulnerable. Since the price of commodities is inherently volatile, determined as it is by the robustness of industrial powers, the exporter can neither control the price nor have an opportunity to generate investment capital on a systematic basis.

There was a time when Russia could use energy sales — or energy embargoes, as the case may be — to make Europe tremble. But now the world is awash in energy, and Russia’s recent efforts to reach an entente with the Saudis failed to support oil prices. The Russians have floated conspiracy theories of U.S. and Saudi collaboration designed to cripple the Russian economy with low energy prices and few markets, but that assumes that any conspiracy would need to lower prices. The supply of energy has surged, largely because of the U.S. energy sector, and demand did not keep up.

Read: About 150 years of oil-price history in one chart illustrating crude’s spectacular plunge

Plus: His fund returned 34% as oil prices crashed, now he warns ‘extreme weakness’ may be in store

The price of oil already was declining, but now the price has collapsed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The contraction of the global economy inevitably decreased the need for energy. Attempts by OPEC, an organization that in truth is irrelevant to today’s realities, to raise prices have failed. In the 1970s, demand surged and OPEC could manage the supply. Some among us will recall the Arab oil embargo, which defined the 1970s and was the opportunity for countries like the Soviet Union and Iran to create modern economies. The oil producers assumed that their power, and therefore income, would be permanent. But high prices generated a search for new sources of oil and gas, as well as new efficiencies in energy use, and the price fell dramatically in the 1980s.

Now, the Soviet Union fell for many reasons — inefficiency and corruption had been mainstays of the system for decades — but things changed in the 1980s. For one, defense budgets soared as Moscow tried to keep pace with U.S. military development, particularly the legendary Star Wars project, as much legend as a project. For another, the price of energy fell, and the Russians were heavily dependent on energy sales. Russia was caught in a vise between defense spending and falling energy prices, and this ultimately undermined the basis of the Soviet Union.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia faced the old challenge of building a modern economy rather than a Potemkin village of modernity. The first decade after the fall was chaotic as investment bankers and oligarchs appropriated the wealth under the banner of privatization. The emergence of Vladimir Putin, the former KGB agent who was tied into the oligarchy, should have led to a surge of modernization. Energy prices were reasonably high, and investment capital for a modern economy could, in theory, have been created.

Instead, investment capital was diverted for profit and safety outside of Russia, and Putin, who depended on the oligarchs for his power, could not do what he knew had to be done. Over time, his power surged and investment was possible, but as the process began to accelerate, the price of energy declined and with it the foundation for investment. In the past few days, it has totally evaporated.

Russia’s challenge now is to avoid collapse.

Russia’s challenge is not building a new generation of hypersonic missiles, nor investing in advanced technologies. Russia’s challenge now is to avoid collapse. The Russian budget is distributed among its constituent regions, which pay the teachers and doctors and firemen. But with the decline of energy prices, Russia’s budget declines, and as it declines, the regions contract. Russia, a Third World country, has few counters to low energy prices.

Putin is a powerful leader, but his options are but two: the Stalinist one, which grips the country by the throat, or something else. The something else is essential, but urgency itself is not a solution. The Russians may muddle through, but the blow from energy prices is significant. The idea of building Nord Stream 2, for example, to bring natural gas from Russia to Germany is ancient history. Between the virus and energy prices, it is the last thing on anyone’s mind.

During my youth I worked in places that worried about Russian power. The ability of the U.S. military to exaggerate the power of Russia is in hindsight amazing. Back then, the Soviet Union was a cripple masquerading as a great power. I see that process repeating itself, both with Russia and with China (another story). It is always forgotten that the idea of the Potemkin village came from deep in the Russian soul. A czar was to tour a region, and to hide the poverty of the region from him, villages facing the railroad track were built — but only the fronts of the houses were put up. The facades gave the czar the illusion of Russian prosperity, behind which resided a far grimmer reality.

The Russian people endure, and I am always told by Russians that the ability to endure means that Russia cannot be judged by foreign standards. It is true that the Russians endure and only rarely rise. But when they rise, as they did in 1917 or against the Germans in World War II and ultimately in 1991, they can dissolve things that seem immutable. The Russians say that they know how to survive a long hard winter. But at a certain point they snap, and with the value of oil a fraction of what Russia needs it to be to make do, let alone prosper, it is hard to see how the Russians will endure this winter of disease and poverty. So I think Marx got it wrong: The farce came first. The tragedy may come second.

George Friedman is chairman of Geopolitical Futures and author of “The Storm Before the Calm: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond.”

 

end

 

6.Global Issues

THE GLOBE/CORONAVIRUS UPDATE/SATURDAY

WHO Warns Against “Immunity Passports”, US COVID-19 Cases Near 1 Million Mark: Live Updates

Summary:

  • WHO warns against “immunity passports”
  • Global case total nears 2.8 million, deaths near 200k
  • Brussels relaxes rules on state financing for companies
  • US death toll passes 50k while total cases passes 900k 
  • Oregon finds its distancing measures may have prevented 70k infections
  • Global single-day deaths declined for third-straight day on Friday
  • Internet traffic is up 20% across Europe and US as lockdowns drag on
  • Spain sees promising decline in deaths
  • Former UK Chancellor urges gov’t to share plan for reopening with the people

*       *       *

Bill Gates might want to rethink his decision to firmly defend the WHO against President Trump’s decision to defund the organization – technically an arm of the UN – over allegations that it aided China’s initial dissembling about the virus.

Gates and others have loudly cheered the expansion of surveillance methods to aid in efforts like ‘contact tracing’ and other advanced techniques to try and track who may or may not have been exposed to the virus. Many proponents of civil liberties, meanwhile, have argued that some of the more extreme measures in play offer little benefit in exchange for such a dramatic expansion of the security state.

One of this movement’s favorite proposals is the “immunity passport”, which would, in theory, allow those who are theoretically immune go about their lives while everybody else remains stuck inside.

In an announcement early Saturday in Europe, the WHO warned members against issuing so-called “immunity passports”, essentially a document allowing individuals who test positive for coronavirus antibodies to return to work. The organization explained that – as we’ve noted numerous times over the past few months – there’s no actual evidence that patients with antibodies – including those who’ve recovered from the virus, a group that includes at least 800,000 people – will be immune to reinfection.

“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” the WHO said. The health agency said it is reviewing the evidence on whether people who recover from Covid-19 become immune, but that there are no studies on whether the presence of antibodies indicates immunity in humans. It said giving people who have antibodies special rights to travel or work “may therefore increase the risks of continued transmission.”

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to expand at a roughly steady pace. Thankfully, the surge in daily fatalities observed over the past 2 weeks has finally begun to subside.

The FT reports that the worldwide COVID-19 death toll has risen by 6,182 on Friday to stand at 182,690. This is the third consecutive day where the number of new deaths has been lower than the previous day.

Still, if this pace of expansion continues, we should expect to see the global total pass the 3 million mark by Tuesday, if not earlier. Public health authorities from around the world reported 105,825 new cases yesterday, bringing the total to 2.76 million, according to data from Worldometers.

The global death toll is rapidly approaching 200k, with the US is responsible for 25% of them. As businesses in Georgia continue to reopen, the White House is debating a new legal liability shield for American businesses to prevent them from being sued over the coronavirus.

In the US, the number of deaths passed 50k on Friday while the case total passed 900k early Saturday, leaving the country well on the way to the 1 million case mark. The US would be the first country to report 1 million confirmed cases.

In Brussels, bureaucrats have rushed to relax state aid rules, and regulators have approved a series of multi-billion-euro schemes to allow member states to extend financing to companies – in some cases via direct equity injections – to help them weather the pandemic. Although leaders of both factions have told reporters that important progress was made at Thursday’s virtual summit to work out the details of a massive pan-European relief program to help the worst-hit governments in the bloc. As one might expect, German and a handful of wealthy northern states have gotten into an intense disagreement with the poorer, worst-hit southern states (Spain, Italy joined in this instance by Emmanuel Macron’s France) over how the program should be financed, and whether the loans should come in the form of loans, or outright grants.

As the country with the highest mortality rate in Europe, Spain has eased its lockdown measures only slightly, while warning that the current target date to begin reopening is May 9. But in a promising bit of news, the country reported fewer than 400 fatalities for the second consecutive day on Saturday (the count was accurate as of 9pm Madrid Time Friday) while the spread of new cases has also slowed.

Across Europe and the US, Internet traffic is up 20%, according to the FT and Media analytics group ComScore, which measured the number of unique page views and compared it with an “average” benchmark across several key markets.

With no end to a strict national lockdown in sight, millions of Britons are starting to get a little squirrely. To try to assuage these anxieties, former UK Chancellor Philip Hammond has suggested that No. 10 share its plan for reopening the economy with the public.

“The reality is that we have to start reopening the economy but we have to do it living with Covid,” Mr Hammond told BBC’s Today. “We can’t wait until a vaccine is developed… and rolled out across the population. The economy won’t survive that long.”

Now that the pace of new cases and deaths has slowed, it’s clear that lockdowns and social distancing measures are pretty effective at slowing the virus’s spread, which – remember – is the whole point of this: Eventually, scientists say, much of the global population will be exposed to this virus. It’s just a question of whether that’s going to happen over a few years, or a few months. In the latest positive indication, Oregon health officials have found that their state’s aggressive social distancing measures may have prevented more than 70,000 cases since early March.

END
CORONAVIRUS/THE GLOBE.SUNDAY./UPDATE

Surprise Cruise Ship Outbreak In Nagasaki Exposes Staggering Negligence

The story of the outbreak aboard the “Costa Atlantica” has left many readers amazed by the staggering negligence of both local officials in Nagasaki, as well as the Japanese and Italian governments. After the dozens of deaths and thousands of infections reported aboard cruise ships around the world, the notion that more than 600 crewmembers were left to live on-board this ship for months while it was being repaired is simply mind-blowing, given the obvious risk.

Then again, governments around the world from Europe to the US to Asia have largely failed to protect the most vulnerable in society, that being, in this case, patients in nursing homes. But as Bloomberg pointed out in a Friday update on the situation, there’s another familiar player involved – one that really has no excuse for allowing this to happen.

That’s right. Somehow,  the “Costa Atlantica” is a Carnival Corp ship (owned by a subsidiary). Carnival has been far and away the worst offender in the travel and leisure industry in terms of its management of the many crises and outbreaks that have unfolded aboard its cruises. It failed to act fast enough to shut down operations, and even after it did, the company and personnel made many decisions which suggested they blithely placed the company’s bottom line before the well-being of customers.

Australia has already launched a criminal investigation into Carnival over the “Ruby Princess” fiasco…

The number of confirmed Covid-19 infections on the Costa Atlantica had climbed to 91 as of Thursday from 48 a day earlier, the Nagasaki prefecture said.

The Atlantica is operated by CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping, a partnership between Carnival Corp. and state-owned China State Shipbuilding Corp. The Chinese entity is the majority owner.

Coronavirus cases at sea forced the industry to suspend new sailings in mid-March. Many ships were caught mid-voyage, leading to weeks of drama as companies hustled to get passengers to ports.

Even now, ships around the world still have crew on board.

The episode has captured the attention of Japan’s government, which already faced widespread Covid-19 on Carnival’s Diamond Princess, at one point the largest concentration of coronavirus outside of mainland China.

Japan’s Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said Thursday that all crew will now be tested on the Costa Atlantica.

Since the first case was confirmed on Monday, authorities have been investigating how the outbreak began, since the ship has been at port without passengers for weeks, and crew members weren’t supposed to have left the vessel.

Kato said some of the crew apparently got off the vessel at some point.

…will Japan, or perhaps Italy, be next to join in?

And yet, somehow, hundreds maybe thousands of crew members continue to live onboard hastily recalled cruise ships all around the world, apparently.

Let’s hope they’re at least getting some hazard pay.

 

end
This is a must view…
Stringham/American Institute fro Economic Research
(zerohedge)

Whisteblowing ER Docs Urge “Open Up Society Now” Because “Lockdowns Are Weakening Our Immune Systems”

Authored by Edward Peter Stringham via The American Institute for Economic Research,

Dr. Daniel W. Erickson of Bakersfield, California, is a former emergency-room physician who co-owns, with his partner Dr. Artin Massih, Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield.

They are experienced medical professionals who have 40 years of hands-on experience in dealing with viruses and respiratory infections.

Watching the news in China in January, they knew the virus was on its way. They ordered many COVID-19 tests because they knew they would need them. They tested many thousands of people, and discovered for themselves what epidemiologists around the world are saying:  COVID-19 came here earlier than previously believed, is more ubiquitous, and ultimately for the general population less deadly than we thought.

While this realization is gradually dawning on people around the world, they went public with their findings, which are not generated out of a predictive model but rather the actual facts of the case. In the course of their press conference, they addressed the question of whether or not California should have shut down much of its economy. Their answer is no. They conclude with the need to open up immediately, on grounds of health and human rights.

“If you’re going to dance on someone’s constitutional rights you better have a good reason, you better have a really good reason, not just a theory,” he said.

“The data is showing us it’s time to lift (the stay-at-home orders) so if we don’t lift, what is the reason?”

Here are some selected quotes from their interview with a hostile reporter (emphasis added).

We’d like to look at how we’ve responded as a nation, and why you responded. Our first initial response two months ago was a little bit of fear: [the government] decided to shut down travel to and from China. These are good ideas when you don’t have any facts. [Governments] decided to keep people at home and isolate them. Typically you quarantine the sick. When someone has measles you quarantine them. We’ve never seen where we quarantine the healthy. 

So that’s kind of how we started. We don’t know what’s going on, we see this new virus. How should we respond? So we did that initially, and over the last couple months we’ve gained a lot of data typically. We’re going to go over the numbers a little bit to kind of help you see how widespread COVID is, and see how we should be responding to it based on its prevalence throughout society—or the existence of the cases that we already know about….

So if you look at California—these numbers are from yesterday—we have 33,865 COVID cases, out of a total of 280,900 total tested. That’s 12% of Californians were positive for COVID. So we don’t, the initial—as you guys know, the initial models were woefully inaccurate. They predicted millions of cases of death – not of prevalence or incidence – but death.

That is not materializing. What is materializing is, in the state of California is 12% positives.

You have a 0.03% chance of dying from COVID in the state of California. Does that necessitate sheltering in place? Does that necessitate shutting down medical systems? Does that necessitate people being out of work?

96% of people in California who get COVID would recover, with almost no significant sequelae;  or no significant continuing medical problems. Two months ago we didn’t know this. The more you test, the more positives you get. The prevalence number goes up, and the death rate stays the same. So [the death rate] gets smaller and smaller and smaller. And as we move through this data—what I want you to see is—millions of cases, small death. Millions of cases, small death.

We extrapolate data, we test people, and then we extrapolate for the entire community based on the numbers. The initial models were so inaccurate they’re not even correct. And some of them were based on social distancing and still predicted hundreds of thousands of deaths, which has been inaccurate. In New York the ones they tested they found 39% positive. So if they tested the whole state would we indeed have 7.5 million cases? We don’t know; we will never test the entire state. So we extrapolate out; we use the data we have because it’s the most we have versus a predictive model that has been nowhere in the ballpark of accurate. How many deaths do they have? 19,410 out of 19 million people, which is a 0.1% chance of dying from COVID in the state of New York. If you are indeed diagnosed with COVID-19, 92% of you will recover.

We’ve tested over 4 million… which gives us a 19.6% positive out of those who are tested for COVID-19. So if this is a typical extrapolation 328 million people times 19.6 is 64 million. That’s a significant amount of people with COVID; it’s similar to the flu. If you study the numbers in 2017 and 2018 we had 50 to 60 million with the flu. And we had a similar death rate in the deaths the United States were 43,545—similar to the flu of 2017-2018. We always have between 37,000 and 60,000 deaths in the United States, every single year. No pandemic talk. No shelter-in-place. No shutting down businesses…

We do thousands of flu tests every year. We don’t report every one, because the flu is ubiquitous and to that note we have a flu vaccine. How many people even get the flu vaccine? The flu is dangerous, it kills people. Just because you have a vaccine doesn’t mean it’s gonna be everywhere and it doesn’t mean everyone’s going to take it… I would say probably 50% of the public doesn’t even want it. Just because you have a vaccine—unless you forced it on the public—doesn’t mean they’re going to take it.

Norway has locked down; Sweden does not have lock down. What happened in those two countries? Are they vastly different? Did Sweden have a massive outbreak of cases? Did Norway have nothing? Let’s look at the numbers. Sweden has 15,322 cases of COVID—21% of all those tested came out positive for COVID. What’s the population of Sweden? About 10.4 million. So if we extrapolate out the data about 2 million cases of COVID in Sweden. They did a little bit of social distancing; they would wear masks and separate; they went to schools; stores were open. They were almost about their normal daily life with a little bit of social distancing. They had how many deaths? 1,765. California’s had 1,220 with isolation. No isolation: 1,765. We have more people. Norway: its next-door neighbor. These are two Scandinavian nations; we can compare them as they are similar. 4.9% of all COVID tests were positive in Norway. Population of Norway: 5.4 million. So if we extrapolate the data, as we’ve been doing, which is the best we can do at this point, they have about 1.3 million cases. Now their deaths as a total number, were 182. So you have a 0.003 chance of death as a citizen of Norway and a 97% recovery. Their numbers are a little bit better. Does it necessitate shutdown, loss of jobs, destruction of the oil company, furloughing doctors?

I wanted to talk about the effects of COVID-19, the secondary effects. COVID-19 is one aspect of our health sector. What has it caused to have us be involved in social isolation?  What does it cause that we are seeing the community respond to? Child molestation is increasing at a severe rate. We could go over multiple cases of children who have been molested due to angry family members who are intoxicated, who are home, who have no paycheck. Spousal abuse: we are seeing people coming in here with black eyes and cuts on their face. It’s an obvious abuse of case. These are things that will affect them for a lifetime, not for a season. Alcoholism, anxiety, depression, suicide. Suicide is spiking; education is dropped off; economic collapse. Medical industry we’re all suffering because our staff isn’t here and we have no volume. We have clinics from Fresno to San Diego and these things are spiking in our community. These things will affect people for a lifetime, not for a season.

I’d like to go over some basic things about how the immune system functions so people have a good understanding. The immune system is built by exposure to antigens: viruses, bacteria.  When you’re a little child crawling on the ground, putting stuff in your mouth, viruses and bacteria come in. You form an antigen antibody complex. You form IgG IgM. This is how your immune system is built. You don’t take a small child put them in bubble wrap in a room and say, “go have a healthy immune system.” 

This is immunology, microbiology 101. This is the basis of what we’ve known for years. When you take human beings and you say, “go into your house, clean all your counters—Lysol them down you’re gonna kill 99% of viruses and bacteria; wear a mask; don’t go outside,” what does it do to our immune system? Our immune system is used to touching. We share bacteria. Staphylococcus, streptococcal, bacteria, viruses.

Sheltering in place decreases your immune system. And then as we all come out of shelter in place with a lower immune system and start trading viruses, bacteria—what do you think is going to happen? Disease is going to spike. And then you’ve got diseases spike—amongst a hospital system with furloughed doctors and nurses. This is not the combination we want to set up for a healthy society. It doesn’t make any sense.

…Did we respond appropriately? Initially the response, fine shut it down, but as the data comes across—and we say now, wait a second, we’ve never, ever responded like this in the history of the country why are we doing this now? Any time you have something new in the community medical community it sparks fear—and I would have done what Dr. Fauci did—so we both would have initially. Because the first thing you do is, you want to make sure you limit liability—and deaths—and I think what they did was brilliant, initially. But you know, looking at theories and models—which is what these folks use—is very different than the way the actual virus presents itself throughout communities….

Nobody talks about the fact that coronavirus lives on plastics for three days and we’re all sheltering in place. Where’d you get your water bottles from? Costco. Where did you get that plastic shovel from? Home Depot. If I swab things in your home I would likely find COVID-19. And so you think you’re protected. Do you see the lack of consistency here? Do you think you’re protected from COVID when you wear gloves that transfer disease everywhere? Those gloves have bacteria all over them. We wear masks in an acute setting to protect us. We’re not wearing masks. Why is that? Because we understand microbiology; we understand immunology; and we want strong immune systems. I don’t want to hide in my home, develop a weak immune system, and then come out and get disease.

When someone dies in this country right now they’re not talking about the high blood pressure, the diabetes, the stroke. They say they died from COVID. We’ve been to hundreds of autopsies. You don’t talk about one thing, you talk about comorbidities. COVID was part of it, it is not the reason they died folks. When I’m writing up my death report I’m being pressured to add COVID. 

Why is that? Why are we being pressured to add COVID? To maybe increase the numbers, and make it look a little bit worse than it is. We’re being pressured in-house to add COVID to the diagnostic list when we think it has nothing to do with the actual cause of death. The actual cause of death was not COVID, but it’s being reported as one of the disease processes and being added to the death list. COVID didn’t kill them, 25 years of tobacco use killed.

There’s two ways to get rid of virus: either burns itself out or herd immunity. For hundreds of years we relied on herd immunity. Viruses kill people, end of story. The flu kills people. COVID kills people. But for the rest of us we develop herd immunity. We developed the ability to take this virus in and defeat it and for the vast majority 95% of those around the globe. Do you want your immune system built or do you want it not built? The building blocks of your immune system is a virus and bacteria. There’s normal bacteria in normal flora that we have to be exposed to bacteria and viruses that are not virulent are our friends. They protect us against bad bacteria and bad viruses.

Right now, if you look at Dr. Erikson’s skin or my skin we have strep, we have stuff—they protect us against opportunistic infections. That’s why for the first three to six months [babies are] extremely vulnerable to opportunistic infection. Which is why, when we see a little baby in the ER with fever who is one month old, you do a spinal tap, you do a chest x-ray, you do blood cultures, you do urine cultures. But if you had a fever I wouldn’t do that for you. Why? Because that baby does not have the normal bacteria and flora from the community, whereas you do. I guarantee when we reopen there’s going to be a huge, huge amount of illness that’s going to be rampant because our immune systems have weakened. That’s just basic immunology.

Do we need to still shelter in place? Our answer is emphatically no. Do we need businesses to be shut down? Emphatically no. Do we need to have it, do we need to test them, and get them back to work? Yes, we do. The the secondary effects that we went over—the child abuse, alcoholism, loss of revenue—all these are, in our opinion, a significantly more detrimental thing to society than a virus that has proven similar in nature to the seasonal flu we have every year.

We also need to put measures in place so economic shutdown like this does not happen again. We want to make sure we understand that quarantining the sick is what we do, not quarantine the healthy. We need to make sure if you’re gonna dance on someone’s constitutional rights you better have a good reason. You better have a really good scientific reason, and not just theory.

One of the most important things is we need our hospitals back up. We need our furloughed doctors back. We need our nurses back. Because when we lift this thing, we’re gonna need all hands on deck. I know the local hospitals have closed two floors. Folks, that’s not the situation you want. We’re essentially setting ourselves up to have minimal staff, and we’re going to have significant disease. That’s the wrong combination.

I’ve talked to our local head of the Health Department and he’s waiting… for the powers that be to lift. Because the data is showing it’s time to lift. I would start slowly [open up schools sporting events] I think we need to open up the schools start getting kids back to the immune system you know and the major events the sporting events these are non-essential let’s get back to those slowly let’s start with schools let’s start with cafe Rio and the pizza place here… Does that make sense to you guys and I think I can go into Costco and I can shop with people and there’s probably a couple hundred people but I can’t go in Cafe Rio so big businesses are open little businesses are not….

Eventually we treat this like we treat flu. Which is if you have the flu and you’re feeling fever and body aches you just stay home if you have coughing or shortness of breath—COVID is more of a respiratory thing—you stay home. You don’t get tested, even when people come with flu a lot of times we don’t test them. We go, “you have flu. Here’s a medication.” You have COVID, go home, let it resolve and come back negative.

If you have no symptoms you should be able to return to work. Are you an asymptomatic viral spreader? Maybe, but we can’t test all of humanity. Sure we’re gonna miss cases of coronavirus, just like we miss cases of the flu. It would be nice to capture every coronavirus patient, but is that realistic? Are we gonna keep the economy shut down for two years and vaccinate everybody? That’s an unrealistic expectation. You’re going to cause financial ruin, domestic violence, suicide, rape, violence and what are you going to get out of it? You’re still going to miss a lot of cases. So we need to treat this like the flu, which is familiar, and eventually this will mutate and become less and less virulent…

I don’t need a double-blind clinically controlled trial to tell me if sheltering in place is appropriate, that is a college-level understanding of microbiology. A lot of times in medicine you have to make you have to make educated decisions with the data that you have. I can sit up in the 47th-floor in the penthouse and say we should do this, this, and this, but I haven’t seen a patient for 20 years—that’s not realistic.

If you’re healthy and you don’t have significant comorbidities and you know you’re not immunodeficient and you’re not elderly you should be able to go out without any gloves and without a mask. If you are those things you should either shelter in place or wear a mask and gloves. I don’t think everybody needs to wear the masks and gloves because it reduces your bacterial flora… and your bacterial flora and your viruses your friends that protect you from other diseases [if they] end up going away and now you’re more likely to get opportunistic infections infections that are hoping you don’t have your good bugs fighting for you.

The videos are embedded below. ..

The videos are embedded below. ..

 

Ending Lockdowns Isn’t About Saving Money; It’s About Saving Lives…

Authored by Gary Galles via The Mises Institute,

The relationship between ends and means has long been debated. For instance, the legacy of “the end justifies the means” traces back to Sophocles’s Electra four centuries before Christ, Ovid’s Heroides, and Machiavelli’s The Prince. And more recently, Leonard Read pointed out that if the ends are just hopes that will not, in fact, be achieved, they cannot justify means that infringe on others’ rights.

Currently, the draconian and often arbitrary policies that have been imposed in response to COVID-19, combined with a result far less deadly than was originally forecast, have raised a different issue about ends and means.

More and more people have begun protesting that the policies are too costly, perhaps most commonly expressed as “the cure can’t be worse than the disease.” That, in turn, has led to current policy defenders’ condemnations, such as New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s assertion that “we’re not going to put a dollar figure on human life,” the New York Times’s characterization of the issue as “a moral trade-off between saving lives and sustaining economic livability,” or even Martin Gak’s more extreme characterization that objectors believe “a few should die so the many can live.” I even heard a sermon arguing that even one COVID-19 death justifies the continued government shutdown of the economy.

Unfortunately, such lives versus money (or the economy) comparisons make the mistake of comparing a particular end (reducing COVID-19 deaths) not to another end, but to a means (additional resources) that can achieve many alternative ends.

And those alternatives include saving other lives.

Since the means (money or produced resources) are not anyone’s ultimate end, framing the issue as lives versus money makes it appear that we should stop at nothing to save a COVID-19 life, because that end is more valuable than something that is a “mere means.” And not far behind is the implication that those on the “other side” are just mean-spirited and selfish. But those are mischaracterizations.

The most recent edition of James Gwartney’s economics text addresses this issue well in its very first chapter, devoted to essential principles. “Using resources to do one thing leaves fewer resources to do another.” Using the example of mandatory airbags assumed to save four hundred lives annually a year at a cost of $50 billion dollars, Gwartney points out that “Economic thinking, however, forces us to ask ourselves if the $50 billion spent on air bags could have been used in a better way—perhaps, say, for cancer research that could have saved more than 400 lives per year….In this case, the appropriate analysis is not simply the lives saved with air bags versus dollars spent on them, but also the number of lives that could have been saved (or other things that could have been accomplished) if the $50 billion had been used differently.”

Translated to the COVID crisis, the relevant tradeoff is not lives lost versus less money (more accurately, resources) produced, as it is often portrayed. It is also a tradeoff between lives lost due to COVID and lives that will be lost from the policies adopted to reduce COVID deaths. The only real difference from the airbag example is that the COVID deaths come now, to specific people, making them more easily recognized, while the lives lost due to the costs of the policies adopted will come later, to unknown “statistical” people, and current policymakers are unlikely to be blamed.

Consequently, saving additional COVID victims today with a particular policy may result in even more avoidable deaths in the future.

If that is the case, such a policy will result in more people dying, and “we’re not going to put a dollar figure on human life” has nothing to do with it.

Is such a consequence actually conceivable? Yes.

For just one illustration, a 2016 analysis of the 2008 economic meltdown in The Lancet estimated that it “was associated with over 260,000 excess cancer deaths in the OECD alone, between 2008–2010.”

Given the magnitude of the likely COVID death toll, that alone could mean that shutting down the economy kills more people than it saves. And added cancer deaths are not the only adverse effect of the economic shutdown and other COVID policies (as with delayed diagnoses of other diseases and surgeries not done because such cases have been crowded out of hospitals).

Further, a United Nations report this month summarized the potential effects of COVID policies on children:

“Children are not the face of this pandemic. But they risk being among its biggest victims….the crisis is having a profound effect on their wellbeing. All children, of all ages, and in all countries, are being affected, in particular by the socio-economic impacts and, in some cases, by mitigation measures that may inadvertently do more harm than good. This is a universal crisis and, for some children, the impact will be lifelong.”

The Issues and Insights editorial board goes even further. They not only cite the UN study, in which “Hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths could occur in 2020,” but they remind us that “this is likely a low-ball estimate because it counts only the direct impact of a worldwide recession, not the impact shutdowns are having on access to health care, vaccines, prenatal care, food and nutrition, or mental health care.”

One of the most basic of economic principles is that of opportunity costs. Every time resources are directed to one purpose, those resources are no longer available for other purposes, which might well be more valuable. That mean we must always weigh the value of the ends accomplished by a policy against alternative ends that the resources involved could have accomplished. But when life-saving efforts are portrayed as lives versus money or production, as with current COVID policies, they are not proof that current policy choices are justified, but a rhetorical cheat that proves that questions which are essential to good policy formation are not being considered.

END

The world should have listened to this nutjob?

(Watson)

“World Should Have Listened To WHO” Claims Tedros

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Despite its complicity in helping China cover-up the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the World Health Organization today claimed “the world should have listened” to the WHO.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press briefing that the WHO told the world the COVID-19 outbreak constituted a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” on January 30, when there were only 82 cases registered outside China

“The world should have listened to WHO then carefully,” Ghebreyesus asserted.

The sheer inaccuracy of these statements would be funny if not for the fact that lives were lost due to the WHO’s mishandling of the outbreak.

At every step of the way, the WHO praised China’s actions on coronavirus, despite widespread evidence that the virus was leaked from a lab, that Beijing lied about the true fatality numbers and had known about coronavirus at least weeks before it informed the WHO.

On January 14th, the WHO amplified Chinese government propaganda that there had been no “human to human transmission” of COVID-19, despite this having actually occurred back in November.

According to sources who told Fox News that the virus was leaked from a lab in Wuhan, this represented the “costliest government coverup of all time” and “the World Health Organization (WHO) was complicit from the beginning in helping China cover its tracks.”

The WHO also blocked doctors from urging countries to impose border controls to stop the spread of coronavirus and repeatedly told countries not to close borders, despite this being an effective way of controlling the spread of the virus.

Right up until the end of February, the WHO continued “to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks,” despite the rapid spread of the disease.

A Mount Sinai study found that New York City’s record-high coronavirus cases and deaths were “predominately” due to travel from Europe, meaning that many more lives could have been saved if borders had been closed down earlier.

But instead, the WHO insisted that maintaining the globalist principle of the international traffic of people was more important than stopping a global pandemic.

The organization also repeatedly told countries not to profile Chinese people in order to avoid “stigmatization,” something that almost certainly led to a lack of screenings of Chinese people passing through airports.

Given this history, more lives would have been saved if countries had in fact listened to the World Health Organization a lot less.

*  *  *

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end

7. OIL ISSUES

Saturday/OIL//A MUST READ……

(JAVIER BLAS)

The Next Chapter of the Oil Crisis: The Industry Shuts Down

  • U.S. output set to drop significantly after negative prices
  • Oil refiners to curtail processing as fuel demand remains weak

Negative oil prices, ships dawdling at sea with unwanted cargoes, and traders getting creative about where to stash oil. The next chapter in the oil crisis is now inevitable: great swathes of the petroleum industry are about to start shutting down.

The economic impact of the coronavirus has ripped through the oil industry in dramatic phases. First it destroyed demand as lockdowns shut factories and kept drivers at home. Then storage started filling up and traders resorted to ocean-going tankers to store crude in the hope of better prices ahead.

Now shipping prices are surging to stratospheric levels as the industry runs out of tankers — a sign of just how distorted the market has become.

The specter of production shut-downs — and the impact they will have on jobs, companies, their banks, and local economies — was one of the reasons that spurred world leaders to join forces to cut production in an orderly way. But as the scale of the crisis dwarfed their efforts, failing to stop prices diving below zero last week, shut-downs are now a reality. It’s the worst-case scenario for producers and refiners.

“We are moving into the end-game,” Torbjorn Tornqvist, head of commodity trading giant Gunvor Group Ltd., said in an interview. “Early-to-mid May could be the peak. We are weeks, not months, away from it.”

Read more: The 20 Minutes That Broke the U.S. Oil Market

In theory, the first oil output cuts should have come from the OPEC+ alliance, which earlier this month agreed to reduce production from May 1. Yet after the catastrophic price plunge on Monday, when West Texas Intermediate fell to –$40 a barrel, it’s the U.S. shale patch that is leading.

U.S. drilling activity has nearly halved since January

The best indicator of how the U.S. industry is reacting is the rapid drop in the number of oil rigs in operation, which last week fell to a four-year low. Before the coronavirus crisis hit, oil companies ran about 650 rigs in the U.S. By Friday, more than 40% of them had stopped working, with only 378 left.

“Monday really focused people’s minds that production needs to slow down,” Ben Luckock, co-head of oil trading at commodity merchant Trafigura Group, said. “It’s the smack in the face the market needed to realize this is serious.”

Trafigura, one of the largest exporters of U.S. crude from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, believes that output in Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota and other states will now fall much faster than expected as companies react to negative prices, which have persisted for several days last week in the physical market.

Until prices collapsed on Monday, the consensus was that output would drop by about 1.5m barrels a day by December. Now market watchers see that loss by late June. “The severity of the price pressure is likely to act as a catalyst for the immediate turndown in activity and shut-ins,” said Roger Diwan, oil analyst at consultant IHS Markit Ltd.

WTI plunged into negative price territory

The price shock has been particularly intense in the physical market: producers of crude streams such as South Texas Sour and Eastern Kansas Common had to pay more than $50 a barrel to offload their output last week. ConocoPhillips and shale producer Continental Resources Inc. have all announced plans to shut in output. Regulators in Oklahoma voted to allow oil drillers to shut wells without losing leases; New Mexico made a similar decision.

North Dakota, which for years was synonymous with the U.S. shale revolution, is witnessing a rapid retrenchment. Oil producers have already closed more than 6,000 wells, curtailing about 405,000 barrels a day in production, or about 30% of the state’s total.

The output cuts won’t be limited to the U.S. From Chad, a poor and landlocked country in Africa, to Vietnam and Brazil, producers are now either reducing output or making plans to do so.

“I wouldn’t want to get sensational about it but yes, clearly there must be a risk of shut-ins,” Mitch Flegg, the head of North Sea oil company Serica Energy, said in an interview. “In certain parts of the world it is a real and present risk.”

In emergency board meetings last week, oil companies small and large discussed an outlook that’s the most somber any oil executive has ever witnessed. For the small firms, the next few weeks will be all about staying afloat. But even for the bigger ones, like Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc, it’s a challenge. Big Oil will offer an insight into the crisis when companies report earnings this week.

Saudi Arabia, Russia and the rest of the OPEC+ alliance will join the output cuts on Friday, slashing their output by more than 20%, or 9.7 million barrels a day. Saudi Aramco, the state-owned company, is already trimming to reach the target. And Russian oil companies have announced exports of their flagship Urals crude would drop in May to a 10-year low.

Even so, it may not be enough. Every week, 50 million barrels of crude are going into storage, enough to fuel Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. combined. At that rate, the world will run out of storage by June. What’s not stored onshore, is stashed in tankers. The U.S. Coast Guard on Friday said there were so many tankers at anchor off California that it was keeping an eye on the situation.

Javier Blas

@JavierBlas

VIDEO: US Coast Guard says it’s keeping an eye on 27 oil tankers anchored off the coast of Southern California. Another great example of floating storage build-up as demand for oil and refined products plunge | video via @USCGLosAngeles

Embedded video

Before the crisis hit, the world was consuming about 100 million barrels a day. Demand now, however, is somewhere between 65 and 70 million barrels. So, in a worst-case scenario, about a third of global output needs to be shut.

The reality is likely to be less severe as storage would continue to bridge the gap between supply and demand. Plus, oil traders say consumption has probably hit a bottom, and will start a very gentle recovery.

Refiners Shut

But before that takes hold, the great shutdown will spread through oil refining too.

Over the past week, Marathon Petroleum Corp., one of the biggest U.S. refiners, announced it would stop production at a plant near San Francisco. Royal Dutch Shell Plc has idled several units in three U.S. refineries in Alabama and Louisiana. And across Europe and Asia, many refineries are running at half rate. U.S. oil refiners processed just 12.45 million barrels a day on the week to April 17, the lowest amount in at least 30 years, except for hurricane-related closures.

More refinery shutdowns are coming, oil traders and consultants said, particularly in the U.S. where lockdowns started later than in Europe and demand is still contracting. Steve Sawyer, director of refining at Facts Global Energy, said that global refineries could halt as much as 25% of total capacity in May.

“No one is going to be able to dodge this bullet.”

— With assistance by Rachel Graham, Alex Longley, David Marino, Alaric Nightingale, Laura Hurst, Kevin Crowley, Rachel Adams-Heard, Robert Tuttle, and Barbara J Powell

END

SUNDAY/BANK OF CHINA CLIENTS LOSE BIG TIME ON OIL’S CRASH INTO NEGATIVE TERRITORY LAST WEEK

(ZEROHEDGE)

Bank Of China Clients Lose Over $1 Billion During Oil Crash, Many End Up Owing The Bank Money

It’s not just investors in the largest US oil ETF, the USO, the suffered billions in losses last week after WTI plunged, its May contract settling at minus $37.63 on Monday: the shockwave from the crash in near-dated crude prices, which has forced the USO to halt for trading on several occasions as it scrambles to rebalance daily and purchase as many longer-dated futures as it possibly can to avoid another deliverable disaster and stay in business, has also wiped out countless Chinese investors, many of whom ended up owing money to the bank.

The latest Bank of China estimates for the carnage to retail investors from the collapse in a product linked to U.S. crude oil futures has surged 11-fold to more than 7 billion yuan ($1 billion) as it consolidated reports from its nationwide network, Bloomberg reported. The fourth largest Chinese bank’s estimate of losses to customers across China increased from just 600 million yuan in the middle of last week as more information was gathered from its over 10,000 outlets, said the sources. And since the number “isn’t final and subject to further changes as the lender examines the data from its branches”, the full loss will likely be even greater.

The losses stem from the bank settling May West Texas Intermediate contracts that underpinned its very inappropriately named “Crude Oil Treasure” (Yuan You Bao in Chinese) product on April 20 at minus $37.63 a barrel, leaving Bank of China customers caught in the middle of oil’s unprecedented collapse below zero, one which some had speculated could leave clients owing money to the bank. Hundreds of investor took to the Internet to protest the lender’s handling of the contract rollover and to demand it shoulder some of the losses.

Bank of China hasn’t disclosed the size or performance of “Crude Oil Treasure” since launching the product in January 2018, although it did suspend trading in the product on Tuesday after Monday’s historic rout. China’s biggest banks including China Construction Bank and Bank of Communications also halted sales of similar vehicles that had become a popular way for individuals to speculate on swings in oil.

More than 60,000 clients have invested in Bank of China’s product, Caixin reported, adding that investors have lost their margins of 4.2 billion and owed the bank a further 5.8 billion yuan. BoC said Wednesday that investors still need to settle their positions at the Monday WTI settlement price, and the bank has completed settlement of all May contracts. Over the next few days, more investors were likely settling their losses with some strategically disappearing and hoping they can leave the bank to foot the bill. As Caixin addsone investor took a 9.2 million yuan ($1.3 million) loss on a 3.9 million yuan investment in the product, according to a document circulating online. The oil price slump left the investor owing 5.3 million yuan to the bank.

On Saturday, Bloomberg carried a vivid depiction of how some Chinese investors lost all their life savings in the blink of an eye investing in the “Crude Oil Treasure”:

26-year-old named A’Xiang Chen watched events unfold on her phone in stunned disbelief. A few weeks earlier, she and and her boyfriend had sunk their entire nest egg of about $10,000 into a product that the state-run Bank of China dubbed Yuan You Bao, or Crude Oil Treasure.

As the night wore on, A’Xiang began preparing to lose it all. At 10 p.m. in Shenzhen — 10 a.m. in New York — she checked her phone one last time before heading to bed. The price was now $11. Half their savings had been wiped out.

As the couple slept, the rout deepened. The price set new low after new low in rapid-fire succession: the lowest since the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s, the lowest since the oil crises of the 1970s, the first time ever below zero.

And then, in a 20-minute span that ranks among the most extraordinary in the history of financial markets, the price cratered to a level that few, if any, thought conceivable. Around the world, Saudi princes and Texan wildcatters and Russian oligarchs looked on with horror as the world’s most important commodity closed the trading day at a price of minus $37.63. That’s what you’d have to pay someone to take a barrel off your hands.

* * *

“It was mind-bending,” said Keith Kelly, a managing director at the energy group of Compagnie Financiere Tradition SA, a leading broker. “Are you seeing what you think you’re seeing? Are your eyes playing tricks on you?”

For A’Xiang who bet enthusiastically on oil, waking up the next day meant a new world with no life savings. She awoke to a text at 6 a.m. from Bank of China informing her that not only had their savings been lost but that she and her boyfriend may actually owe money.

“When we saw the oil price start plunging, we were prepared that our money may be all gone,” she said. They hadn’t understood, she said, what they were getting into. “It didn’t occur to us that we had to pay attention to the overseas futures price and the whole concept of contract rolling.”

Yes, well, that’s what happens when retail investors, or rather “investors” get complacent in a centrally planned market where central banks have removed all risk… except when risk makes an ugly appearance.

Naturally investors – none of whom ever expected that oil prices could turn negative and end up owing the bank money for being long a security – were livid, But multiple bank traders told Caixin that the settlement date was set well in advance, so it wasn’t as if the bank had suddenly changed it. A bank trader said this was a situation where the “trading mechanism encountered an extreme situation in the extreme.”

Several traders and market participants told Caixin that some investors in the paper crude trading products were caught up in the price plunge because they tried to “buy on the dip” when crude prices dropped to $20 a barrel… without considering that prices could sink further into negative territory. As a result buyers ended up owing money to the bank.

END

OIL/MONDAY MORNING/END GAME BEING PLAYED OUT
“Nobody will dodge this bullet”

(ZEROHEDGE)

 

“We Are Moving Into The End-Game”: 27 Tankers Anchored Off California, Hundreds Off Singapore As Oil Industry Shuts Down

Back in the late fall of 2014, when Saudi Arabia broke up OPEC for the first time and unleashed a torrent of crude oil on the world despite the protests of its fellow cartel members, oil prices crashed as a result of what then seemed to be a “calculated” move by Riyadh which hoped to put US shale out of business amid a flawed gamble betting that shale breakeven prices were around $60-80. They, however, turned out to be much lower, which coupled with Saudi misreading of the willingness of junk bond investors to keep funding US shale producers, meant that despite a 3 years stretch of low oil prices, US shale emerged stronger than ever before, with the US eventually eclipsing both Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s biggest crude oil producer.

Fast forward to March 2020, when Saudi Arabia doubled down in its attempt to crush shale, only to avoid angering long-time ally Donald Trump, the Crown Prince pretended that the latest flood of oil was an oil price war aimed at Moscow not Midland. And this time, unlike 2014, with the benefit of the global economic shutdown resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the Saudis may have finally lucked out in the ongoing crusade against US oil, because as Bloomberg writes with “negative oil prices, ships dawdling at sea with unwanted cargoes, and traders getting creative about where to stash oil”, the next chapter in the oil crisis is now inevitable: “great swathes of the petroleum industry are about to start shutting down.”

As the recent OPEC summit so vividly demonstrated, the marginal price of oil is no longer determined by supply or cuts thereof (such as the recently announced agreement by OPEC+ for a 9.7mmb/d output cut), but rather by demand, or the lack thereof, which according to some estimate is as much as 36mmb/d lower, or roughly a third of the global oil market every day, as billions of people are stuck at home instead of driving, while major corporations mothball production in a world where major economies have ground to a halt.

The economic impact of the coronavirus has ripped through the oil industry in dramatic phases, Bloomberg’s Javier Blas writes. First it destroyed demand as lockdowns shut factories and kept drivers at home. Then storage started filling up and traders resorted to ocean-going tankers to store crude in the hope of better prices ahead.

Now shipping prices are surging to stratospheric levels as the industry runs out of tankers, a sign of just how distorted the market has become.

Ironically, in its latest attempt to kill off shale, Saudi Arabia may have gone a step too far, as “the specter of production shut-downs – and the impact they will have on jobs, companies, their banks, and local economies – was one of the reasons that spurred world leaders to join forces to cut production in an orderly way. But as the scale of the crisis dwarfed their efforts, failing to stop prices diving below zero last week, shut-downs are now a reality. It’s the worst-case scenario for producers and refiners.

In short, the entire oil production industry is shutting down, not because it wants to – of course – but because it has no choice. According to Goldman, in as little as three weeks there will be literally no place left on earth to store oil, and unless oil producers want to pay “buyers” to hold the oil as happened on that historic date of April 20, they have no choice but to shut in output.

“We are moving into the end-game,” said Torbjorn Tornqvist, head of commodity trading giant Gunvor Group. “Early-to-mid May could be the peak. We are weeks, not months, away from it.”

Which brings us back to why in 2020 Riyadh has succeeded where it failed in 2014: as Bloomberg writes “in theory, the first oil output cuts should have come from the OPEC+ alliance, which earlier this month agreed to reduce production from May 1. Yet after the catastrophic price plunge on Monday, when West Texas Intermediate fell to -$40 a barrel, it’s the U.S. shale patch that is leading”

The best indicator of how the shale industry is reacting is the sudden collapse in the number of oil rigs in operation, which last week fell to a four-year low: “Before the coronavirus crisis hit, oil companies ran about 650 rigs in the US. By Friday, more than 40% of them had stopped working, with only 378 left.”

And while there is a delay between total US oil production and the rig count, it is now obvious that US production is set to collapse next:

“Monday really focused people’s minds that production needs to slow down,” said the co-head of oil trading at commodity merchant Trafigura. “It’s the smack in the face the market needed to realize this is serious.” Incidentally, Trafigura, one of the largest exporters of US crude from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, believes that output in Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota and other states will now fall much faster than expected as companies react to negative prices…

… evidence US commercial storage space for physical at Cushing has run out with what inventory is left having been called for -which have persisted for several days last week in the physical market.

Until prices collapsed on Monday, the consensus was that output would drop by about 1.5MM barrels a day by December. Now market watchers see that loss by late June. “The severity of the price pressure is likely to act as a catalyst for the immediate turndown in activity and shut-ins,” said Roger Diwan, oil analyst at consultant IHS Markit Ltd.

As detailed last week, this price shock has been especially acute in the physical market where producers of crude streams such as South Texas Sour and Eastern Kansas Common had to pay more than $50 a barrel to offload their output last week.

And so the US industry is finally shutting down as ConocoPhillips and shale producer Continental Resources have all announced plans to shut in output. Regulators in Oklahoma voted to allow oil drillers to shut wells without losing leases; New Mexico made a similar decision. Even North Dakota, which for years was synonymous with the U.S. shale revolution, is witnessing a rapid retrenchment, as Bloomberg notes that “oil producers have already closed more than 6,000 wells, curtailing about 405,000 barrels a day in production, or about 30% of the state’s total.”

However, it won’t be just the US: output cuts can be seen from Chad, a poor and landlocked country in Africa, to Vietnam and Brazil, producers are now either reducing output or making plans to do so. “I wouldn’t want to get sensational about it but yes, clearly there must be a risk of shut-ins,” Mitch Flegg, the head of North Sea oil company Serica Energy, said in an interview. “In certain parts of the world it is a real and present risk.”

In emergency board meetings last week, oil companies small and large discussed an outlook that’s the most somber any oil executive has ever witnessed. For the small firms, the next few weeks will be all about staying afloat. But even for the bigger ones, like Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc, it’s a challenge. Big Oil will offer an insight into the crisis when companies report earnings this week.

Then on Friday, May 1, Saudi Arabia, Russia and the rest of OPEC+ will join the output cuts, slashing their output by 23%, or 9.7 million barrels a day. Saudi Aramco, the state-owned company has already cut production, and Russian oil companies have announced exports of their flagship Urals crude would drop in May to a 10-year low.

And yet, as warned here repeatedly, it may still not be enough, as every week, another 50 million barrels of crude are going into storage, enough to fuel Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. combined, with estimates that the world will run out of land-based storage some time in late May or early June. Meanwhile, what’s not stored onshore, is stashed in tankers. As Bloomberg’s Blas points out, the U.S. Coast Guard on Friday said there were so many tankers at anchor off California that it was keeping an eye on the situation.

Javier Blas

@JavierBlas

VIDEO: US Coast Guard says it’s keeping an eye on 27 oil tankers anchored off the coast of Southern California. Another great example of floating storage build-up as demand for oil and refined products plunge | video via @USCGLosAngeles

Embedded video

But if the two dozen or so tankers piled up off the coast of California is bad…

… and those next to Galveston, TX is worse…

… what is going on in that tanker parking lot off of Singapore is absolutely insane.

There is some good news: oil traders say after plunging by a third, US oil consumption has probably hit a bottom, and will start a very gentle recovery, although that also depends on how fast the US economy can reopen from the coronavirus coma.

But before even a modest recovery takes hold, the great shutdown will spread through oil refining too. Over the past week, Marathon Petroleum, one of the biggest U.S. refiners, announced it would stop production at a plant near San Francisco. Royal Dutch Shell has idled several units in three U.S. refineries in Alabama and Louisiana. And across Europe and Asia, many refineries are running at half rate. U.S. oil refiners processed just 12.45 million barrels a day on the week to April 17, the lowest amount in at least 30 years, except for hurricane-related closures.

The closures have already sent thousands packing: the oil and gas industry shed nearly 51,000 drilling and refining jobs in March, a 9% reduction that will only get worse in April. March’s job losses rise by 15,000 when ancillary jobs such as construction, manufacturing of drilling equipment and shipping are included, according to BW Research Partnership, a research consultancy, which analyzed Department of Labor data combined with the firm’s own survey data of about 30,000 energy companies.

“We’re looking at anywhere between five and seven years of job growth wiped out in a month,” Philip Jordan, the company’s vice president said in an interview. “What makes it sort of scary is this really is just the beginning. April is not looking good for oil and gas.”

And so, as the oil industry shuts down – at least for a few weeks (or perhaps months) – more refinery shutdowns are coming, oil traders and consultants said, particularly in the U.S. where lockdowns started later than in Europe and demand is still contracting. Steve Sawyer, director of refining at Facts Global Energy,

END

Oil Tumbles As Traders Frontrun USO Liquidation Of Entire June Exposure

Oil tumbles as traders frontrun the selling of June oil to future months.  The future months carry a negative carry cost because of their higher future price which is causing mega grief to the USA.
(zerohedge)

While the culprits behind last week’s historic oil plunge to a negative $40/barrel have yet to be conclusively identified, with some pointing fingers at US retail traders, while others blaming tremendous losses in Chinese structured products, one clear usual suspect is the USO, the largest oil ETF and the preferred crude oil investment derivative for thousands of retail investors everywhere. As Bloomberg’s Laura Cooper writes, oil trading negative last week brought to light the risks inherent in ETF’s easy liquidity: “while the market appears to be viewing the USO episode as an outlier, proof that funds can become unhinged from their benchmark leaves risk assets exposed.”

Of particular interest remains the composition of USO’s WTI futures holdings, with some speculating that the nearly 100,000 barrels held for May delivery may have precipitated the liquidation wave observed last Monday. Well, as it turns out, the CFTC data was actually stale, because as Bloomberg writes this morning, the USO wasn’t holding May WTI futures last Monday as it began rolling its underlying assets to June futures contracts in early to mid April – by construction to avoid trading complications near the date of contract expiry.

Even so, the tumble in both May WTI and USO quickly became a mutually reinforcing – and self-fulfilling – prophecy, and as the June price tumbled towards zero as May collapsed, the risk of liquidation from a negative NAV prompted the fund to take the unprecedented step to change its structure to lessen sensitivity to the moves and shift its mandate for future flexibility.

The chart below courtesy of Bloomberg summarizes how the USO – which historically only held the forward month leading to much pain during times of contango when the USO suffered major losses as it rolled its contract into a more expensive one – changed its composition in the past three weeks,.

These color-coded changes in the USO’s exposure to carious WTI contracts reflect the ETF’s ongoing near-death experience, as the fund’s managers scramble to prevent it from going negative by having extensive exposure to a contract month that could go negative next… such as June.

Then, in the latest update published this morning, the USO got out of the June WTI contract altogether, rolling out of the June contract on April 27, 2020 through April 30, 2020, well ahead of the scheduled roll out which was supposed to take place on May 5-8th, while adding to other, longer-dated contracts:

And as it sells June, this is what the USO is buying as per the latest 8K:

  • 30% of its portfolio in the July contract,
  • 15% of its portfolio in the August contract,
  • 15% of its portfolio in the September contract,
  • 15% of its portfolio in the October contract,
  • 15% of its portfolio in the December contract,
  • 10% of its portfolio in the June 2021 contract.

And since USO manager, USCF, said it will roll the current portfolio positions into the positions described above over a three-day period with approximately 33.3% of the investment changes taking place each day on each of April 27, 2020, April 28, 2020, and April 29, 2020, that explains why the June WTI contract is tumbling this morning as traders frontrun the USO selling.

It’s not just WTI – June Brent also fell as much as 7% to take it back below $20/bbl. And unlike worst of last week’s bloodbath, the pain was also felt further along the curve, with CL3 down 9.1%, as traders now are frontrunning future USO rolls.

Looking ahead, Cooper speculates that USO is likely to shift back to 100% front-end contracts once the ‘exceptional market conditions’ ease, but last week’s events brought to retail participants’ light the negative carry paid in perpetuity by crude-tracking funds, rolling over at higher price much of the time.

Meanwhile, as Bloomberg ETF strategist Eric Balchunas notes volatility in commodity markets is still fueling the rise of sector-specific ETFs with April on track for the third-best month in past six years. But, as Cooper concludes, one has to wonder whether the cracks revealed in exchange-traded products that offer oil exposure will result in cratering ahead. One look at the surge in USO short interest should answer that question.

end

More and more retails investors in oil are being led to the slaughter house as they do not understand the delivery process

(zerohedge)

200,000 Retail Investors Hoping To Buy The F**king Dip In USO End Up Just Getting F**ked

For the second week in a row, the largest US oil ETF, the USO roiled oil markets after it unexpectedly starting selling its holdings of the most active West Texas Intermediate futures contract, triggering a massive swing in the price relationship between the June and July contracts, which – as we reported earlier – sent both the June WTI contract tumbling…

… which pushed WTI spreads even deeper into contango, as the discount between June WTI and the contract for December deepened sharply after the filing, reaching as low as $15.17 a barrel…

… while the price of USO to all time lows.

The changes, which were detailed in a Monday morning regulatory filing, represented the latest in a series that Bloomberg said “have wreaked havoc on crude prices.” The fund said it’s moving its money to contracts spread between July 2020 and June 2021 due to new limits imposed upon it by regulators and its broker. Specifically, USCF which manages the USO ETF, said it would now target the following allocation:

  • 30% of its portfolio in the July contract,
  • 15% of its portfolio in the August contract,
  • 15% of its portfolio in the September contract,
  • 15% of its portfolio in the October contract,
  • 15% of its portfolio in the December contract,
  • 10% of its portfolio in the June 2021 contract.

… and revealed that it would roll into the positions described above over a three-day period with approximately 33.3% of the investment changes taking place each day on each of April 27, 2020, April 28, 2020, and April 29, 2020, which explains why the June WTI contract is tumbling this morning as speculators frontran the USO selling.

The ETF has changed its investment policy five times in the last two weeks, as shown in the following chart which depicted the ETF’s holdings as of Friday’s close:

 

Source: Bloomberg’s Laura Cooper

It also warned investors its valuation may deviate significantly from the underlying oil price, in effect acknowledging that it’s momentarily less focused on the price of WTI crude.

“While it is USO’s expectation that at some point in the future it will be able to return to primarily investing in the Benchmark Futures Contract or other similar futures contracts of the same tenor based on light, sweet crude oil, there can be no guarantee of when, if ever, that will occur,” it said in the filing, adding that USO investors “should expect that there will be continued deviations between the performance of USO’s investments and the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, and that USO may not be able to track the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract or meet its investment objective.”

The fund listed factors including “a change in regulator accountability levels and position limits” as part of its reasons for the shift. As a result it will now struggle to meet its own investment objectives, it warned.

As Bloomberg notes, the long-only oil fund has in recent weeks become a magnet for retail investors looking to Buy The Fucking Dip and time the bottom to the historic price rout that’s pushed oil futures in New York into negative territory for the first time in history. The knock-on effects have impacted retail investors everywhere. While USO was not holding the May contract when it plunged below zero, traders pointed to retail money as having caused large gyrations in the market.

And while the USO has quickly become a rich target for speculators that are able to take advantage of the moves by trading ahead of it, thanks to its detailed regulatory disclosures, such as today’s crash, retail investors continue getting slaughtered and according to the latest Robin Hood data, there was now a record…

… even though the USO is by definition a product designed to fleece retail, offering a detailed calendar and the exact contracts that’s selling and buying, it allows others to place financial bets ahead.

Our advice: only when retail has “dumped it”, and hedge funds have to look elsewhere for sheep to fleece, will it be safe to expect a modest oil rebound.

end

Just out…

In a stunning news release, Continental Resources, the largest shale producer in the Bakken, is shutting in most of its production in the region. That is one hell of a lot of output to shut-in as Continental Resources was producing over 200,000 barrels per day in the Bakken at the end of 2019…

http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2020/04/no-this- is-not-another-1929-1973-1987.html

***

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

 

 

 

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

Euro/USA 1.0845 UP .0027 REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems ///ITALIAN CHAOS//CORONAVIRUS /AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA RISING INTEREST RATES /FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES /GREEN

 

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 107.14 DOWN 0.301 (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 1.2422   UP   0.0072  (Brexit March 29/ 2019/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED/

 

USA/CAN 1.4071 DOWN .0017 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  MONDAY morning in Europe, the Euro ROSE BY 27 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level RISING to 1.0848 Last night Shanghai COMPOSITE CLOSED UP 6.97 POINTS OR 0.25% 

 

//Hang Sang CLOSED UP 448.81 POINTS OR 1.88%

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP 1,65%// EUROPEAN BOURSES ALL GREEN

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

EUROPEAN BOURSES ALL GREEN 

 

 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang Sang CLOSED UP 448.81 POINTS OR 1.898%

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 6.97 POINTS OR 0.25%

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 1.65% 

 

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED UP 521.22  POINTS OR 2.71%

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE GREEN

Gold very early morning trading: 1715.20

silver:$15.20-

Early TUESDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 0.62% !!! U2 1 IN POINTS from FRIDAY’S night in basis points and it is trading WELL BELOW resistance at 2.27-2.32%.

 

The 30 yr bond yield 1.20 UP 3  IN BASIS POINTS from FRIDAY night.

USA dollar index early MONDAY morning: 99.98 DOWN 40 CENT(S) from  FRIDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers MONDAY MORNING

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And now your closing  MONDAY NUMBERS \1: 00 PM

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.03% DOWN 5 in basis point(s) yield from YESTERDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: -.04%  DOWN 2   BASIS POINTS from YESTERDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/56

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 0.90%//DOWN 5 in basis point yield from yesterday.

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD:1,76 DOWN 12 points in basis points yield from yesterday./

 

 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 86 points higher than Spain.

 

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: FALLS TO –.45% IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY//

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.11% 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 MONDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.0837  UP   .0015 or 15 basis points

USA/Japan: 107.21 DOWN .236 OR YEN UP 24  basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.2418 UP .0068 POUND UP 68  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar UP 41 basis points to 1.4046

 

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The USA/Yuan,CNY: AT 7.0864    ON SHORE  (DOWN)..GETTING DANGEROUS

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  7.0934  (YUAN DOWN)..GETTING REALLY DANGEROUS

TURKISH LIRA:  6/9853 EXTREMELY DANGEROUS LEVEL/DEATH WISH.

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

 

Your closing 10 yr US bond yield UP 5 IN basis points from FRIDAY at 0.65 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 1.23 UP 6 in basis points on the day

Your closing USA dollar index, 100.09 DOWN 29  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 TUESDAY: 12:00 PM

London: CLOSED UP 69.19  1.20%

German Dax :  CLOSED UP 278.38 POINTS OR 2.69%

 

Paris Cac CLOSED UP 94.60 POINTS 2.15%

Spain IBEX CLOSED UP 97.20 POINTS or 1.47%

Italian MIB: CLOSED UP 439.10 POINTS OR 2.60%

 

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 12.26 12:00  PM  EST

Brent Oil: 19.20 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   RUBLE FALLS:    74.71  THE CROSS HIGHER BY 0.13 RUBLES/DOLLAR (RUBLE LOWER BY 13 BASIS PTS)

 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD FALLS  TO –.45 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 :  13.09//

 

 

BRENT :  20.06

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: …0.66  up 7 basis points…

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 1.26..up 8 basis basis..

 

 

 

 

 

EURO/USA 1.10832 ( UP 14   BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:107.24 DOWN .208 (YEN UP 21 BASIS POINTS/..

 

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 100.10 DOWN 1 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm   Britain Pound/USA:1.2428 UP 29  POINTS

 

the Turkish lira close: 6.9885

 

 

the Russian rouble 74.38   UP 0.21 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( UP 21 BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar:  1.4031 UP 56 BASIS pts

 

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: ,-0.32%

 

The Dow closed UP 353.55 POINTS OR 1.49%

 

NASDAQ closed UP 95.64 POINTS OR 1.11%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  33.06 CLOSED DOWN 2.87

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 0.889%//libor dropping like a stone

LIBOR/OIS:  .831

TED SPREAD: .764

 

USA trading today in Graph Form

Small Caps Panic-Bid On Massive Short-Squeeze As Crude Crashes… Again

Global stocks – according to the narrative du jour – got a bid from The BoJ’s promise of yet more asset-buying…

But all that money printing did nothing for any real economy as crude prices collapsed with June WTI plunging to an $11 handle (this market is so fnorked – look at the manic ramp to $14.00 then dump)…

And so as stocks test 2-month highs, the real economy as evidenced by crude is collapsing…

Source: Bloomberg

And Earnings expectations are screaming lower…

Source: Bloomberg

Explained…

Oh that explains it… US Stocks surged on the back of another short-squeeze…

Source: Bloomberg

And a rotation into small cap as people appear to have listened to Goldman’s mega-tech warnings…YES – that is the Russell 2000 up 4.5% TODAY before the late-day tumble…

This is The Dow’s first 4-day win streak since early February.

FANG Stocks were sold as small caps soared

Source: Bloomberg

But Banks were panic-bid (GS now erased most of post-earnings losses)…

Source: Bloomberg

Russell’s surge was driven by a rip higher in small cap financials – but be very careful – look where they turned around today…

Source: Bloomberg

VIX and Vol of VIX tumbled further…

Source: Bloomberg

The VIX term structure is no longer inverted…

Source: Bloomberg

Despite all the excitement, the Virus-Fear trade refuses to ebb back to normal levels…

Source: Bloomberg

Investment Grade bonds were sold today, HY flatish…

Source: Bloomberg

Yields remain notably decoupled from stocks still…

Source: Bloomberg

Treasuries were mixed with the short-end very modestly bid as the long-end was dumped…

Source: Bloomberg

The dollar dropped back today, erasing most of last week’s gains…

Source: Bloomberg

But despite dollar weakness, the Brazilian Real collapsed…

Source: Bloomberg

Cryptos were mixed with Ethereum and Bitcoin higher and Litecoin and Bictoin Cash lower…

Source: Bloomberg

In commodity-land, gold and silver were slightly lower, copper higher and as we noted above, crude was clubbed like a baby seal…

Copper bounced off 2.32…

 

And finally, as @Not_Jim_Cramer illustrates, today’s final regional Fed survey suggests PMI is about to be a bloodbath… nope no v-shaped comeback imminent here in any hope-driven soft survey…

Source: Bloomberg

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

MARKET TRADING//USA

a)Market trading/LAST NIGHT/USA

 

b)MARKET TRADING/USA/AFTERNOON

ii)Market data/USA

Expect 2nd quarter GDP to be negative to 20 to 30

(zerohedge)

White House Economic Adviser: Q2 GDP Will Be Biggest Negative Number Since Great Depression; -20% To -30%

White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says Q2 GDP will be the ‘biggest negative number since the great depression,’

Hassett says that a lot of the unemployment insurance claims occurred after they were included in the survey for official unemployment data, and so “the really bad news that we’ve been seeing in initial claims will be spread over a couple of months.”

He then said that he expects the unemployment rate will be around 16% – 17%, and that the Q2 GDP number will be the “biggest negative number that we’ve seen since the great depression,” which could be in the -20% to -30% range.

“The question is what happens next,” Hassett concluded.

“The unemployment rate for the first week of May, we’re going to see a number that’s going to be 16, maybe 17% … for second quarter GDP it’s going to be the biggest negative number that we’ve seen since the Great Depression,” says Kevin Hassett, Senior Advisor to the President.

Embedded video

end
Freight trucking demand plunges to an all time low..as the industry deals with the lockdown
(zerohedge)

Freight Trucking Demand Plunges To All Time Lows; Rates Crash And Industry Grapples With Lockdown

Bank of America’s Truckload Diffusion Indicator for shippers continues to paint a grim picture not only of freight, but of the overall economy. Put simply, the pandemic has led to record lows and some of the ugliest survey numbers since the bank started conducting it back in 2012. 

Heavy duty trucking was already in the midst of trying to shake off the results of a bloated Class 8 order backlog that started in 2018, as we document on a month-by-month basis here on Zero Hedge. Not unlike the auto industry, it was a terrible time for the industry to be hit with demand interruption and the coronavirus has forced the sector from “bad” to “worse”.

Bank of America’s Truckload Diffusion Indicator for shippers’ 0- to 3-month freight demand outlook dropped to 33.3 from 37.2 last issue, a -10% sequential decline. It’s the fourth survey in a row that sets an all time low. 

The bank wrote in a note on Friday of last week: “The Demand Indicator is down -39% after hitting a temporary peak of 54.6 on January 30. The survey is down 43% year-over-year, its 43rd consecutive decline (its longest stretch), and posting the largest ever year-year decline, accelerating from last survey’s -39% decline.”

The note continued: “Shippers’ short-term positive outlooks was stable at 21% from last survey, neutral outlooks fell to 15% from 22%, while negative outlooks increased to 64% from 56% (the highest level in our survey history). For the week of April 23, we surveyed 39 shippers across the US to get current views on freight demand and supply.”

Meanwhile, freight supply has ballooned: “The Truck Capacity Indicator rose to 80.8, up 12% from 72.0 last issue, matching the all-time survey high, highlighting the over-supply of trucking capacity that emerged in May.”

end

Inventory has also risen while capacity frees up and prices fall: “The Inventory Indicator is at 53.8, up 13% from 47.6 last issue, indicating shipper’s inventory levels are building rapidly. With respect to rates, 44% of shippers expect rates to be flat, mirroring last issue, 54% expect rates to fall, rising from 44%, and only 3% expect rates to rise, down from 12%. On capacity, 67% of shippers expect capacity to increase, up from 56% last survey, 28% expect the fleet to remain flat, down from 32% and only 5% expect capacity to be lower, down from 12%.”

The bank is also getting pessimistic feedback from the corporations that utilize freight as an integral part of their business. For instance, a shipper from the consumer staples industry noted “there remains heightened uncertainty around the timing of resumption of non-essential businesses, and how the remaining truckload carriers will be able to manage that influx.”

Finally, there doesn’t seem to be any help coming from Class 8 producers, who produced 18,123 heavy duty trucks in March versus just 7,610 orders. The nearly 11,000 truck spread was the largest since September 2019 and will likely continue to weigh on rates.

 

iii) Important USA Economic Stories

Americans are receiving money money than before the virus and now refuse to go back to work..they are afraid of losing unemployment benefits.

(zerohedge)

 

Scared Americans Refuse Return To Work And “Risk Losing Unemployment”

Remember when the Fed said now is not the time to worry about moral hazard? That kind of thinking leads down some uncertain paths.

Like the one we’re on now – where workers who have been living a now semi-lavish life provided by increased unemployment checks aren’t exactly feeling motivated to risk their lives going back to work.

And hey, we can’t blame them. Because given the choice to work and make less money or not work and make more money – well, the decision is obvious.

Now, with the “Phase I” of the country’s reopening, more and more workers are going to face this decision. In Georgia, for instance, “barbershops, gyms, nail salons and tattoo parlors will be able to open on Friday, with restaurants able to open for sit-down service on Monday,” according to Reuters. South Carolina is following suit with Texas and Tennessee close behind.

But many workers are still scared to go back to work. Others are simply scared of losing their unemployment benefits. About 22 million people have filed for unemployment over the last 4 weeks.

 

Charleston during the coronavirus shutdown

People in states like Georgia and South Carolina could be worried about going back to work at a time when the virus hasn’t necessarily abated.

Thomas Smith, an associate professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School said: “You’re asking people to put their life on the line. These people aren’t Army Rangers – those people signed up for combat. A barber did not.”

The state has processed more than 860,000 unemployment claims since mid-March, about 17% of the state’s total workforce. The state is paying out twice as many claims in a week than they did for all of 2019. Georgia has paid out more than $500 million in benefits so far.

Georgia employment lawyer James Radford said: “I think that one of the big drivers of this decision by Kemp is to get people off unemployment rolls and having the private sector keeping these people afloat.”

But Kemp notes there is a new rule that allows people to keep collecting full benefits even if they earn up to $300 per week.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler has basically told employees and businesses they’re on their own: “If an employee is concerned about returning to work due to exposure to COVID-19, we are encouraging employees to communicate with their employers on plans to safely return to work.”

Manuel’s Tavern General Manager Steve Pitts said: “I have a daughter and I want to be around for her. It’s still too dangerous.”

END
Amazon orders warehouse employees to return to work
(zerohedge)

Amazon Orders Warehouse Employees Sheltering-At-Home To Return To Work

There is a new report that as many as 30 Amazon employees have contracted COVID-19 at a warehouse in New Jersey. Despite the transmission risk of the virus rising at some Amazon facilities, the company has requested all US warehouse workers who have sheltered at home to return to regular shifts beginning on May 1, reported Bloomberg.

Amazon has worked over the last month to mitigate the spread of the virus at its warehouse facilities across the country. We noted in late March, employees at a New York warehouse went on strike, fed up with the company’s lack of sanitation protocols to keep employees safe.

Amazon recently added thermal imaging cameras at entrances of its warehouses and Whole Foods to screen for feverish employees, a move that would hopefully reduce the spread of the virus.

In a bid to bring back some of its workers from the sidelines, the company has increased pay for warehouse employees by $2 per hour, calling it ‘hazard pay.’

“We’ve extended the increased hourly pay outlined below through May 16. We are also extending double overtime pay in the US and Canada. These extensions increase our total investment in pay during COVID-19 to nearly $700 million for our hourly employees and partners. In addition, we are providing flexibility with leave of absence options, including expanding the policy to cover COVID-19 circumstances, such as high-risk individuals or school closures. We continue to see heavy demand during this difficult time and the team is doing incredible work for our customers and the community.”

The move to get employees back into warehouses, despite the virus still spreading at some facilities, is due to the total transformation of the American economy that has shifted online. Amazon announced the hiring of an additional 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers last month to meet the new demand.

Millions Of Now-Unemployed Americans Are Making More Money Than They Did When Working

Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com,

More than 26 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits in recent weeks, and a lot of them will now be bringing home much more money than they did while they were actually working.  Needless to say, this is going to create a perverse incentive for people to stay unemployed for as long as possible.  Just think about this for a moment.  If you could earn more money sitting on your sofa gobbling down chips and watching Netflix, what possible motivation would you have to go back to work?  Many low paid workers are going to want to ride this gravy train all the way to the end, and as you will see below, this is already causing big problems for businesses all across America.

So how did we get to this point?

Well, the Democrats pushed extremely hard to get a provision into the CARES Act that would give unemployed workers an additional $600 a week on top of any normal unemployment benefits.  The following comes from USA Today

The CARES Act includes a $600-a-week bonus until July 31 for those registered as unemployed. The $600 is issued in addition to the standard unemployment benefit, which varies by state and by individuals’ record of previous earnings.

This means that for the next several months, unemployed workers all over America will be bringing home at least the equivalent of $15 an hour based on a 40 hour work week, and some Republican members of Congress were very concerned about this…

Some Republican lawmakers warned about this unintended consequence of the relief bill when it was being drafted, noting that $600 a week amounts to $15 an hour, more than twice the federal minimum wage. That’s in addition to state unemployment benefits, which vary widely, from a maximum of $235 per week in Mississippi to $795 per week in Massachusetts.

Despite those concerns, the CARES Act easily sailed through both chambers of Congress, and now we are stuck with it.

If it was just a small percentage of workers that were being overpaid not to work, we could certainly live with that on a temporary basis.

But according to one study, more than 42 percent of all workers made less than $15 an hour in 2015

According to a report by the Leadership Conference Fund and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, 42.4% of people working in the United States in 2015 earned less than $15 an hour.

So how is the economy supposed to “get back to normal” if more than 40 percent of our workers would be better off unemployed?

In a previous article, I documented the fact that Social Security Administration numbers show that half of all U.S. workers make less than $33,000 a year.  Of course if you multiply $600 by 52 weeks, you get $31,200.  The provision in the CARES Act that pays this bonus money to unemployed workers is supposed to expire on July 31st, but there is likely going to be a tremendous push to extend these benefits far beyond that date.

To some of my readers, it may sound “heartless” to want to deny unemployed workers these big checks during a global pandemic, but businesses all over America are not going to be able to “return to normal” if millions upon millions of workers simply do not want to work.

In fact, a coffee shop owner in Harlan, Kentucky named Sky Marietta just had to close her entire business down because it would cost her former employees “literally hundreds of dollars per week” to be employed.  The following comes from her personal blog

When our family opened a coffee shop in Harlan, Kentucky we had big plans for something that could contribute to the fragile economy of an Appalachian community just beginning to recover from the decades-long loss of coal jobs. We wanted to repurpose a vacant, historic downtown building to give some life to a Main Street that was beautiful but looked forgotten. We wanted to provide a safe gathering space with good internet where people could meet and work. But more than anything, we wanted to create dignified, living-wage jobs. And when we announced our first openings, it was clear that those jobs were needed: we had 96 people apply to be a barista in a town with a population of 1,425.

So perhaps one of the most shocking outcomes of the Coronavirus Pandemic – and especially of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) – is that the very people we hired have now asked us to be laid off. Not because they did not like their jobs or because they did not want to work, but because it would cost them literally hundreds of dollars per week to be employed. It is the nail in the coffin of a Main Street business, and our last day open will be Saturday. Let’s talk about why the very program that is supposed to support small businesses is currently helping their demise and take a hard look at the economic realities we are setting ourselves up for.

Are you starting to understand how serious this is?

In an article that was just posted, Zero Hedge is reporting that employees at one business in Washington State were “furious” with the owner because the owner has kept paying them during this crisis…

And now, as BizPacReview.com’s Vivek Saxena details below a Washington State business owner faced backlash from her employees after she obtained a forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loan from the federal government that has allowed her to keep them fully paid through the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with CNBC this week, salon owner Jamie Black-Lewis of the Oasis Medspa & Salon in Woodinville and Amai Day Spa in Bothell said her employees were furious because they were already “making” more money being unemployed.

For the foreseeable future, there is going to be an unprecedented stampede of people applying for unemployment benefits, and almost all of them are going to want to stay unemployed until at least July 31st.

And if the CARES Act bonuses get extended, most unemployed workers are going to want to remain on the sidelines until the bonuses finally end.

For a very long time I have been warning that economic collapse was coming, and now that it has arrived Congress is making it even worse with their meddling.

So don’t expect the unemployment rate to bounce back very much once this pandemic begins to subside.  Congress has decided to make it very financially rewarding not to work, and millions upon millions of Americans are going to be more than happy to take advantage of that opportunity for as long as it lasts.

 

END

 

Over 40% of San Diego residents are turning to food banks

(zerohedge)

Over 40% Of San Diego Residents Turned To Food Banks Last Month

Alarming reports from Reuters indicate food bank networks are quickly running out of staple goods as 26 million people in five weeks are out of work, broke and hungry, as an economic depression could result in social decay.

There’s nothing complicated about our analysis, but rather common sense, as a crashed economy and high unemployment could unleash a “social bomb.” Earlier this week, the “Pennsylvania Militia” rolled up to the state capitol building in Harrisburg in a military truck, packed with men wearing bulletproof vests and wielding rifles and shotguns, demanded the state government reopen the economy after it has led to widespread unemployment.

In the last four weeks, we have reported food banks across Pennsylvania have experienced unprecedented demand as hungry families wait in mile-long traffic jams outside of these facilities for care packages. And as we’ve explained, food banks are becoming stressed across the country.

Andrew Rush@andrewrush

Hundreds of cars wait to receive food from the Greater Community Food Bank in Duquesne. Collection begins at noon. @PghFoodBank @PittsburghPG

Embedded video

Reuters reports that the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, located in El Paso, Texas, has started to ration certain staple goods as product shortages develop.

“We really have no dry goods,” said Bonnie Escobar, chief development officer of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.

The same story is being shared in New York City as more than a third of the city’s food banks have shuttered operations because of the lack of goods. San Diego, Chicago, and Houston are other cities that have reported dwindling supplies at food banks.

Feeding America told Reuters that 1 in 7 Americans relied on food banks before the pandemic. Now demand has surged to “doubled or tripled at many organizations.”

With food banks running out of staple goods – US farmers are culling pigs, dumping dairy products, and breaking eggs as supply chains implode amid lockdowns and economic turmoil.

“And yet farmers are destroying produce, dumping milk and culling livestock because the pandemic has upended supply chains, making it impossible for many to get crops to market. Grocery stores struggle to stock shelves because suppliers can’t adjust to the sudden shift of demand away from shuttered restaurants to retailers, which requires different packaging and distribution networks,” Reuters said.

Ben Butler@BenLButler

We are dumping milk in South Florida because there is no home for it. We still have to feed and care for our cows, and our farmers are still milking cows, in hopes that we can sell that milk in the future…

View image on Twitter

Feeding America said US food banks before the pandemic relied on grocery stores for about a third of fresh food and dry goods. Nearly a quarter of meats and cheese came from government programs, and the rest were donations and purchases made by the charities.

However, grocery stores have been donating fewer products to food banks during the pandemic as their shelves have gone bare. Rapid food inflation has not helped as well, as it costs more money for food banks to purchase goods. A Nebraska food bank is set to spend upwards of $1 million on food for April, compared to regular times of around $70,000.

“This is not an anomaly” across the region, said Angie Grote, a spokesperson for Omaha’s Food Bank for the Heartland, which operates facilities that serve 93 counties in Nebraska and Western Iowa.

Lisa A. Utterback@lautterback33

Family counts on family! The weather will not stop us from hosting another Mobile Food Pantry. Continued thanks to the Food Bank and Mentor Nebraska for your ongoing collaboration and partnership.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Farmers generally donate excess products to food banks. However, overwhelmed charities don’t have labor or resources to handle bulk donations. Nor “can the government act fast enough to fill the gap left by disruptions of other sources and the sudden spike in hunger,” Reuters explains.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Fox Business last week that President Trump wants to start purchasing excess products from farmers to supply food banks and prevent a hunger crisis. Though the gap to fill a shortage could be too late.

Several years ago, the Greater Chicago Food Depository extended the capacity of its cold storage after a glut in food. Now, because of the unprecedented demand from broke and hungry Americans, its freezers have been wiped clean.

Greg Trotter, a spokesman for the Chicago food bank, said some products are unavailable to restock and could take months for delivery.

 “Food manufacturers have struggled to keep up with demand” from grocery consumers, Trotter said, “and are therefore selling less food directly to food banks.”

As food shortages develop, the San Diego Food Bank reports the number of people it fed over the last month has nearly doubled to 600,000. A similar demand surge was also reported across Fresno’s Central California Food Bank. The state’s food disruptors have seen demand collapse with restaurant closures, as the ability to deliver bulk products has come to a standstill. Food banks are not able to process bulk foods because of the lack of workers and time to repackage.

Evan Kirstel #StayHome #RemoteWork@evankirstel

Vehicles line up at a drive-thru emergency food distribution center set up at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego by the food bank Feeding San Diego on Saturday, April 5, 2020

View image on Twitter

“We don’t have the ability to unpack it and repack it in family size,” said Kym Dildine, the Central California Food Bank’s chief administrative officer.

Monica White, CEO of Food Share of Ventura County, said her food bank had to reject bulk produce due to repackaging issues.

“It’s like asking Tesla to start building gas cars,” White said.

Some farmers in the state have resorted to destroying crops as restaurant demand has collapsed, and food banks cannot accept bulk.

But there is a glimmer of hope, the San Diego food bank has ordered a half-million-dollar machine to repackage bulk supplies of staples. But, in the meantime, that will not cure current food shortages.

The “new normal” in an economic depression is where 40% of residents in San Diego have turned to food banks. The one thing the government can’t afford is a food shortage that triggers a bunch of hungry people with no jobs. The clock is ticking.

 

end
Now we witness hog culling as meatpacking plants shutter their operations stoking fears of food shortages in a couple of weeks
(zerohedge)

Hog-Culling Next As Meatpacking Plants Shutter Operations Stoking Food Shortage Fears In Weeks

We have warned that a rash of COVID-19 outbreaks at dozens of meatpacking plants across the country has quickly transformed into a crisis. Around 150 of these facilities operate within counties where virus cases and deaths are exceptionally high.

An outbreak of the virus has been reported at many of these processing plants, resulting in the closure of at least eight major ones in the last two weeks.

Every virus-related meat processing plant closure reduces the ability of local farmers to sell their animals at the market, now is leading to herd overcapacity at farms and resulting in hundreds of thousands of hogs that are about to be culled.

We noted on Thursday (April 23) that the latest closure of processing plants has shifted at least 15% of US’ hog-slaughtering capacity offline. Farmers in Minnesota are preparing to cull upwards of 200,000 pigs by the first or second week of May.

Rick Bergmann, chair of the Canadian Pork Council, said eastern Canadian farmers are preparing to euthanize hogs that were once set for slaughter. He said farmers are running out of room to store animals.

“This is an unacceptable situation and something must be done,” Bergmann told Bloomberg.

A culling wave of hogs across North America is about to be unleashed thanks to the closure of processing plants due to virus outbreaks at specific facilities. This has weighed on spot livestock prices while wholesale prices have surged.

“Hogs are the latest commodity that’s seeing supplies potentially go to waste as farmers in the US and Canada lose money, with nowhere to sell their animals. Dairy farmers are spilling milk that can’t be sold to processors, broiler operations have been breaking eggs to reduce supplies and some fruit and vegetables are rotting in fields amid labor and distribution disruptions,” Bloomberg notes.

Even before the pandemic, and mostly because of the trade war, demand for 40-pound feeder pigs has plunged since 1Q19.

The Canadian Pork Council said farmers are losing between $21 to $35 per hog. Backlogs for hog slaughter stands at 92,000 last Friday.

Western Canadian farmers who generally sell baby pigs to US processing plants have been unable to do so this month. He said the shutdowns are creating huge backlogs for animals to move through the system.

Canadian farmers are hoping for a government bailout of at least $20 per head.

“It’s backlogging and we’re fearful the problem is going to get worse,” Bergmann said.

“Farmers are starting to run out of options with what to do with market-ready pigs,” he said in a telephone interview. “There are other pigs that have been born that need to get into that barn space.”

Steve Meyer, an economist at consultant Kerns & Associates, said hog farmers don’t have extra pens and feed yards, that is why many of them are starting to cull herds. He said overcapacity is everywhere in the farming industry and resulted in the dumping of products:

“Nobody wants to do this,” Meyer said. “It’s not as easy as dumping milk on the ground like the dairy guys do. It’s not as easy as breaking eggs in a broiler operation and eight weeks later having fewer birds on the market. We have a 10 month chain from the time until the pigs hit the market.”

Food shortages could occur “two weeks from now in the retail outlets,” warned Dennis Smith, a senior account executive at Archer Financial Services.

By now, it should be obvious the evolution of the virus crisis could trigger food shortages across the country at a time when an economic depression is unfolding with 26 million people out of work in five weeks. This all means the unraveling of social fabric is ahead.

 

end
American farms cull millions of chickens due to staff shortages and supply distribution disruption
(zerohedge)

American Farms Cull Millions Of Chickens Amid Virus-Related Staff Shortages At Processing Plants

A significant concern that readers should have during an economic collapse and pandemic is food security. We’ve noted over April that troubling news is developing deep inside America’s food supply chain network, suggesting shortages and rapid food inflation could be ahead.

The reason behind the disruptions begins with meatpacking plants across the country are shuttering operations because of virus-related issues. At the moment, we’ve reported at least 10-12 large operations have gone offline in the last several weeks, which could result in pork shortages in the first or second week in May.

“Almost a third of U.S. pork capacity is down, the first big poultry plants closed on Friday and experts are warning that domestic shortages are just weeks away,” reported Bloomberg.

We also highlighted additional risks to beef and poultry capacity at processing plants that were starting to develop.

Now, more specifically, diving into the world of poultry, new developments from Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, a region known to be a top producer of chickens not just in the country but the world, is experiencing logistical issues due to coronavirus.

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that 2 million chickens are set to be culled across farms in Maryland and Delaware amid coronavirus-related staffing shortages at meatpacking plants.

We’ve heard the same story with pork, turkey, and beef processing plants across the country. Reducing operations or shutting down due to virus-related illnesses among staff.

“With reduced staffing, many plants are not able to harvest chickens at the pace they planned for when placing those chicks in chicken houses several weeks ago,” before strict social distancing rules went into effect, trade group for the Delmarva poultry industry said in a statement.

The trade group said poultry plants across the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes parts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, are struggling to keep plants operating as worker attendance plunges because of virus-related illnesses.

The group said a large farm on the peninsula has turned to “depopulation” this month after processing plants were unable to accept chickens because of reduced capacity. It said culling chickens are last-resort options.

“Depopulation has been done in the past on Delmarva and in the U.S. in response to cases of the infectious avian disease,” said James Fisher, a spokesman for Delmarva Poultry.

The American Veterinary Medical Association approved the extermination methods to cull the chickens on the peninsula.

The Sun notes farms on the peninsula are a major producer of poultry. The region grew 608 million birds last year, producing upwards of 4.3 billion pounds of processing meat.

The problem developing, is that reduced output at poultry processing plants and farmers culling flocks could trigger shortages of the meat.

end
Tyson foods warns of a huge food supply shortage as the supply chain is breaking
(zerohedge)

Tyson Foods Warns “Food Supply Chain Is Breaking”

News feeds in April have been inundated with food supply chain disruption stories due to coronavirus-related shutdowns. At least a third of US meatpacking facilities handling hogs have shifted offline this month, other plants that process cows and chickens have also shuttered operations, forcing farmers to cull herds and flocks. This is because each plant closure diminishes the ability for a farmer to sell animals at the market, leaves them with overcapacity issues similar to the turmoil facing the oil industry. Only unlike oil where pumped oil must be stored somewhere (as one can’t just dump it in the nearest river) even if that ends up costing producers money as we saw last Monday when oil prices turned negative for the first time ever, food producers have a simpler option: just killing their livestock.

We previously explained what this imbalance has created: crashing live cattle spot prices while finished meat prices are soaring, which doesn’t just affect farmers but also consumers simultaneously and could spark a shortage of meat at grocery stores as soon as the first week of May.

And in the starkest warning yet that high food prices could last for a long time, Tyson Foods warned in a full-page ad  in the New York Times on Sunday that the “food supply chain is breaking.”

“As pork, beef and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain,” wrote Tyson Chairman John Tyson, patriarch of the company’s founding family, in a Tyson Foods website post that also ran as a full-page ad in several newspapers. “The food supply chain is breaking.”

Confirming the worst fears of American pork and bacon consumers, Tyson wrote that the company has been forced to close plants, and that federal, state and local government officials needed to coordinate to allow plants to operate safely, “without fear, panic or worry” among employees. He warned that supply shortages of its products will be seen at grocery stores, as at least a dozen major meatpacking plants close operations for virus-related issues.

Brett Stuart, president of Denver-based consulting firm Global AgriTrends, calls the situation “absolutely unprecedented.”

“It’s a lose-lose situation where we have producers at the risk of losing everything and consumers at the risk of paying higher prices.” 

Last week, Smithfield Foods, one of the top pork producers in the world, closed another operation in Illinois. That news came directly after Hormel Foods closed two of its Jennie-O turkey plants in Minnesota. Then it was reported over the weekend that major poultry plants across Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia had reduced hours because of worker shortages due to virus issues. And then on Sunday, JBS USA closed a large beef production facility in Wisconsin.

“During this pandemic, our entire industry is faced with an impossible choice: continue to operate to sustain our nation’s food supply or shutter in an attempt to entirely insulate our employees from risk,” Smithfield said in a statement Friday. “It’s an awful choice; it’s not one we wish on anyone.”

Bloomberg’s map shows the latest closures of meatpacking plants:

Even before the Tyson warnings, last week we cautioned that it was appropriate to label virus outbreaks at meatpacking plants as the “next disaster zones” of the pandemic. This wasn’t just because of workers and USDA inspectors were contracting the virus, and in some cases dying – but because food shortages could also add to social instabilities during a pandemic and economic crisis.

The distress in the agricultural space has not been limited to just livestock. Dairy and produce farmers have had to dump or throw out spoiled products due to a collapse in demand for bulk products, mostly because of shifting supply chains with the closure of restaurants, cruise ships, hotels, resorts, education systems, and anyone else who is not deemed essential in a lockdown.

What this means is that farmers who generally sell bulk products do not have the means at the moment to convert product lines into individual items for direct to consumer selling. This will take time for the conversion. So, in the meantime, with no customers, farmers have to dump.

Politico has outlined some of this disruption:

“Images of farmers destroying tomatoes, piling up squash, burying onions and dumping milk shocked many Americans who remain fearful of supply shortages. At the same time, people who recently lost their jobs lined up for miles outside some food banks, raising questions about why there has been no coordinated response at the federal level to get the surplus of perishable food to more people in need, even as commodity groups, state leaders and lawmakers repeatedly urged the Agriculture Department to step in.”

Tom Vilsack, who served as agriculture secretary during the Obama administration, put it this way: “It’s not a lack of food, it’s that the food is in one place and the demand is somewhere else and they haven’t been able to connect the dots. You’ve got to galvanize people.”

The immediate outcome of this food supply chain collapse will be even more rapid food inflation, hitting Americans at a time of unprecedented economic hardships with at least 26.5 million now unemployed since the pandemic struck the US.

And with a sharp economic recession, if not outright depression unfolding, more Americans are ditching grocery stores for food banks, putting incredible stress on these charities, which has forced the government to deploy National Guard troops at many locations to ensure food security to the neediest.

end

Landlords prepare of a rent strike beginning next week
(zerohedge)

iv) Swamp commentaries)

The upper echelon of the FBI are such criminals:  they buried Brady materials from Michael Flynn. Sidney Powell, Flynn’s lawyer now has proof that Flynn never committed any crimes.  He was truthful in his statements to the FBI.   The 302’s were altered
(Sara Carter)

“What Else Has The FBI Buried?” – Stunning Newly-Disclosed Docs Exonerate Gen. Mike Flynn

Via SaraACarter.com,

Stunning documents withheld for years from former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s defense reveal that the retired three-star general did not commit any crimes, as suggested by Department of Justice prosecutors in former Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, his attorney said.

Embattled Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has hired well known defense attorney Sidney Powell to represent him before his sentencing hearing in Washington D.C.’s federal court.

Flynn, who fired his attorney’s last week, will still fully cooperate with the government in all cases pending, Powell told SaraACarter.com.

The new evidence was turned over to Sidney Powell, Flynn’s defense lawyer, by U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea, who obtained the information after an extensive review by attorneys appointed by U.S. Attorney General William Barr to review Flynn’s case. Barr’s team included United States attorney in St. Louis, Jeff Jensen, who is handling the Flynn matter, along with prosecutors from the office of the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen.

The documented evidence was sent to Powell by Shea but is under court seal.

“The enclosed documents were obtained and analyzed by USA EDMO in March and April 2020 and are provided to you as a result of this ongoing review; additional documents may be forthcoming. These materials are covered by the Protective Order entered by the Court on February 21, 2018,” Shea’s letter to Powell states.

Powell, who could not discuss the exact contents of the Brady material she has now obtained but has been fighting for since taking Flynn’s case, told SaraACarter.com the material exonerates her client.

“What else has the FBI buried,” said Powell to this reporter Friday.

“Where’s the original 302? And obviously some of the good agents are finally stepping up.”

In the supplement to Flynn’s motion to dismiss his case for egregious government misconduct Powell stated Friday that “this afternoon, the government produced to Mr. Flynn stunning Brady evidence that proves Mr. Flynn’s allegations of having been deliberately set up and framed by corrupt agents at the top of the FBI.”

“It also defeats any argument that the interview of Mr. Flynn on January 24 was material to any ‘investigation.’ The government has deliberately suppressed this evidence from the inception of this prosecution—knowing there was no crime by Mr. Flynn,” she added.

According to the documents produced by the government Powell “has found further evidence of misconduct by Mr. Van Grack specifically,” referring to the DOJ prosecutor in Flynn’s case, Brandon Van Grack.

“Not only did he make baseless threats to indict Michael G. Flynn, he made a side deal not to prosecute Michael G. Flynn as a material term of the plea agreement, but he required that it be kept secret between himself and the Covington attorneys expressly to avoid the requirement of Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972). Exs. 1, 2,” she states in the motion.

“Since August 2016 at the latest, partisan FBI and DOJ leaders conspired to destroy Mr. Flynn,” Powell argued to the court in the motion.

“These documents show in their own handwriting and emails that they intended either to create an offense they could prosecute or at least get him fired. Then came the incredible malfeasance of Mr. Van Grack’s and the SCO’s prosecution despite their knowledge there was no crime by Mr. Flynn.”

“All this new evidence, and the government has advised there is more to come, proves that the crimes were committed by the FBI officials and then the prosecutors,” Powell’s motion to dismiss Flynn’s case states.

“The government’s misconduct in this case is beyond shocking and reprehensible.  It mandates dismissal.”

“Furthermore, this Court should order the government immediately to provide the defense with unredacted copies of the documents we have filed under seal solely in an abundance of caution because the government produced them under the protective order, and we request that they be unsealed as provided herein as Exhibit 3,” the motion states.

Powell, who has had a long battle to obtain the evidence and is still fighting to obtain information from FBI Director Christopher Wray, who replaced fired FBI Director James Comey said, “this Court must dismiss this concocted prosecution of General Flynn in full recognition of the travesty of justice that it is.”

This story is developing…

end
TRUMP is taking on the poorly run democratic states like New York, New Jersey and Illinois.  He asks why should American taxpayers bail them out?
(zerohedge)

Trump Asks Why American Taxpayers Should Bail Out “Poorly Run, Democrat” States

Pouring gasoline on a fire started by Mitch McConnell last week, when the Senate Majority leader said there would be no taxpayer bailout for US states and that he is open to allowing states to declare bankruptcy – rather than sending governors more federal money to deal with their own ballooning deficits, moments ago President Trump tweeted a “question” that is sure to incite the states’ – and media’s – ire, namely why should taxpayers be bailout out mostly “poorly run, in all cases Democrat run” states.

Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help? I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help? I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?

Trump’s tweet comes just days after Nancy Pelosi insisted Friday that Congress’ next economic package would provide billions for financially reeling state and local governments, foreshadowing a sharp partisan fight ahead in lawmakers’ continuing response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There will not be a bill without state and local” aid, Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters in the Capitol. Suggesting that Democrats have leverage to address a problem that shows no signs of vanishing soon, she also said, “There will be a bill, and it will be expensive.”

While Pelosi cited no price tag, she said it could be roughly what Congress has already provided for small businesses in previous legislation, which has exceeded $500 billion. Pelosi has begun framing the battle in political terms. She has said House Democrats will include the money in legislation they will call the “Heroes Act” because it will include funds to pay the salaries of police, firefighters, transit workers, health workers in public hospitals and others battling the virus.

With a salmon-colored scarf lowered from covering her face, Pelosi told reporters at a news conference that it would be “morally wrong” to not help those workers. “We can’t defeat this pandemic if Mitch McConnell is letting our health heroes get fired, and that’s what’s happening,” she said.

That was just one of several remarks she made criticizing McConnell by name, something congressional leaders often avoid doing to one another. “Speaking of Mitch, what’s gotten into him?” she said, citing his support for letting states declare bankruptcy.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and other congressional Democrats are also demanding more aid for state and local governments.

Pelosi’s remarks put her in direct conflict with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who as we noted last week, expressed opposition to providing more local help. Indeed, in last week’s follow-up bailout bill that Trump signed Friday providing roughly $480 billion more for small businesses and hospitals, Republicans blocked all of the additional $150 billion that Democrats wanted for state and local governments.

McConnell has expressed strong opposition to providing more money for those governments. On Fox News this week, he cited concerns about the mushrooming national debt and opposition to helping states resolve pension and other problems.

“We’re not going to let them take advantage of this pandemic to let them solve problems they created for themselves,” McConnell said.

But what sparked broad democrat outrage, was McConnell’s suggestion that states be allowed to declare bankruptcy, which is not currently permitted. His suggestion drew ire from members of both parties because it would jeopardize popular state services and cause their future borrowing costs to soar. Retiring Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., tweeted this week that McConnell’s suggestion “makes McConnell the Marie Antoinette of the Senate.”

Until today, President Donald Trump has been a wild card, making comments that have wavered between support and skepticism – especially with some GOP senators and governors calling for more aid for state and local governments. Last Thursday, Trump told reporters at the White House that “we’re always going to help states,” but added, “The states that seem to have the problem happen to be Democrat.” He added that New York and New Jersey “were in a lot of trouble long before the plague came.”

In light of his latest tweet, we now know where the president stands on this debate… at least for the time being.

 end

v) King report/Courtesy of Chris Powell of GATA which includes the major swamp stories.

Bank of China Clients Said to Have $1 Billion Losses on Oil Bet

Over 60,000 customers invested in WTI-linked product: Caixin

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-26/bank-of-china-clients-said-to-have-1-billion-losses-on-oil-bet

Bank of China says main investors to settle crude oil product at -$37

BoC said on Wednesday it had confirmed with CME Group Inc that the negative settlement price of crude oil futures at -$37.63 per barrel was not an error… [Where was the US media on this!]

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-bank-of-china-oil/bank-of-china-says-main-investors-to-settle-crude-oil-product-at-37-idUSKCN2240AM

Bank of China says main investors to settle crude oil product at -$37

BoC said on Wednesday it had confirmed with CME Group Inc that the negative settlement price of crude oil futures at -$37.63 per barrel was not an error… [Where was the US media on this!]

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-bank-of-china-oil/bank-of-china-says-main-investors-to-settle-crude-oil-product-at-37-idUSKCN2240AM

If China is active in oil, it is also fooling around in other future contracts, ESMs, USMs (bonds), etc.

Where are the regulators and Congress?  Yep, financial industry bribes donations keep them at bay.  You give a cop $50 to avoid a ticket, it’s a bribe.  You give millions to Congress for a billion+ dollar benefit, it’s a donation.  Free speech, my backside, Supreme Court!

@RealSaavedra: Bill Gates claims that criticisms of how China lied and covered up the coronavirus is a “distraction”: “China did a lot of things right at the beginning … they avoided the incredible economic pain… I think there’s a lot of incorrect and unfair things said” [Gates continues to stooge for China!]

https://twitter.com/RealSaavedra/status/1254510348889026560

It’s terrifying to contemplate the magnitude of influence that China has procured with US elites.

Have you noticed that the officials and people that are the most adamant about keeping the economy closed are still getting paid, mostly by government?

DJT said he will end daily Covid-19 briefings.  This means polling shows the public is tired of him/them.

@charliebilello: With 28% of companies reported, S&P 500 Q1 GAAP earnings down 29% yr-over-yr

 

BOE Warns That Loan Charges Could Hurt Business Funding: FT

The Bank of England has warned U.K. lenders that booking large charges on bad loans could curb their ability to support struggling companies… [Is the BoE telling banks to cook their books?]

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-26/boe-warns-that-loan-charges-could-hurt-business-funding-ft

 

Icahn Says Stocks Are Overvalued, Virus May Cause ‘Downdrafts’

  • Billionaire doubts economy can be turned on ‘like a spigot’
  • He’s hoarding cash and keeping a big bet against real estate

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-25/icahn-says-stocks-are-overvalued-virus-may-cause-downdrafts

Sen] Tom Cotton Explains Why He Thinks China Allowed Flights Out of Wuhan during Outbreak

They were going to suffer an economic contraction, they were not going to allow the world to continue to prosper, and China be the only country whose economy was declining.”…

https://www.dailywire.com/news/tom-cotton-explains-why-he-thinks-china-allowed-flights-out-of-wuhan-during-outbreak

 

@ThinkTankCharts: CDC reports: Deaths in the USA per year: 2,813,508Deaths per day 7708Death rate: 863.8 deaths per 100,000 populationLife expectancy: 78.6 yearsCoronavirus hype – Media & Government 100%

 

Top Virginia health official warns state lockdown could be ‘two-year affair’

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/top-virginia-health-official-warns-state-lockdown-could-be-two-year-affair

 

Fox contributor @RCamposDuffy: Crime scene tape over park swing set in Wausau, WI park. Seriously? We have virtually no covid19 cases here. Healthy kids need to get outside and play. Time to open up rural Wisconsin.    https://twitter.com/RCamposDuffy/status/1254418585793040384

 

NYC tailor defies state order: ‘I’m opening my doors come hell or high water’ https://trib.al/kuRAOVc

 

Dallas Salon Fined after Opening in Defiance of ‘Stay-at-Home’ Order but Continues Operating

https://bigleaguepolitics.com/dallas-salon-fined-after-opening-in-defiance-of-stay-at-home-order-but-continues-operating/

 

Hamilton [NJ] teacher caught on tape telling students she hopes they ‘die’ of coronavirus

At a group of teenagers playing football in the park…  https://www.trentonian.com/news/hamilton-teacher-caught-on-tape-telling-students-she-hopes-they-die-of-coronavirus/article_3f27faf8-8750-11ea-b87f-475554a8dffd.html

   @tracybeanz: She’s outside. With her dog. With no mask or gloves or anything.

Texas cops use undercover sting operation to arrest women offering salon services at their homes https://bit.ly/355SN8V

Viral video shows large house party in Chicago amid coronavirus pandemic – “You’re literally putting everyone around you in danger:” Governor JB Pritzker says after video of house party goes viral

https://wgntv.com/news/coronavirus/viral-video-shows-large-house-party-on-south-side-amid-pandemic/

If officials don’t ‘open up’ society soon, the burgeoning revolt will intensify.

 

‘Playing Russian Roulette’: Nursing Homes Told to Take the Infected

California, New Jersey and New York have made nursing homes accept Covid-19 patients from hospitals. Residents and workers fear the policy is risking lives…

     On Saturday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York described nursing homes as a “feeding frenzy for this virus.”… New York issued a strict new rule last month: Nursing homes must readmit residents sent to hospitals with the coronavirus and accept new patients as long as they are deemed “medically stable.”… Asked about admissions of Covid-19 patients in light of nursing-home deaths at a briefing on Monday, Mr. Cuomo seemed unaware of the state rule. “It’s a good question,” he said. “I don’t know.”… On Thursday, Mr. Cuomo reiterated that nursing homes had to accept the patients — but only, he clarified, if they could do so safely…  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/24/us/nursing-homes-coronavirus.html

Why Some People Get Sicker Than Others

COVID-19 is proving to be a disease of the immune system. This could, in theory, be controlled.

  “It’s very unusual. None of this variability really fits with any other diseases we’re used to dealing with.”… This degree of uncertainty has less to do with the virus itself than how our bodies respond to it. As Murphy puts it, when doctors see this sort of variation in disease severity, “that’s not the virus; that’s the host.”…   https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/04/coronavirus-immune-response/610228/

 

Pa. removes 200 deaths from state coronavirus count as questions mount about reporting process, accuracy – spikes in numbers due to “probable deaths” included deaths that occurred days, even weeks earlier… Coroners have complained over the past month regarding discrepancies in the death figures…  https://www.foxnews.com/us/pa-removes-200-deaths-official-coronavirus-count-questions-mount-reporting-process-data-accuracy

 

Coronavirus chokes the drug trade — from Wuhan, through Mexico and onto U.S. streets

For drug traffickers interested in getting in on the fentanyl business, all roads once led to Wuhan…The biggest customers were Mexican drug cartels… it is cheaper and easier to produce than heroin…   https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-04-24/wuhan-china-coronavirus-fentanyl-global-drug-trade

 

MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace: Coronavirus ‘Silver Lining’ Is Damage to Donald Trump

https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2020/04/23/msnbcs-nicolle-wallace-coronavirus-silver-lining-is-damage-to-donald-trump/

 

Pritzker under federal investigation for property tax scheme – Removing toilets from the governor’s Gold Coast mansion saved his family more than $331,000 in property taxes…

  The ongoing federal probe will cast further doubt on one of Pritzker’s key political objectives: removing the state’s flat income tax protection in order to install a $3.4 billion progressive income tax hike…

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/pritzker-under-federal-investigation-for-property-tax-scheme/

 

Stunning Brady Docs Disclosed By Gov Exonerates Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Defense Says

The new evidence was turned over to Sidney Powell, Flynn’s defense lawyer, by U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea, who obtained the information after an extensive review by attorneys appointed by U.S. Attorney General William Barr to review Flynn’s case [The DoJ/FBI hid the exculpatory evidence for years!]

     “What else has the FBI buried… Where’s the original 302? And obviously some of the good agents are finally stepping up.”… According to the documents produced by the government Powell “has found further evidence of misconduct by Mr. Van Grack specifically,” referring to DOJ prosecutor in Flynn’s case, Brandon Van Grack…[Some top DoJ/FBI agents are in big trouble!]

https://saraacarter.com/stunning-brady-docs-disclosed-by-gov-exonerates-lt-gen-michael-flynn-defense-says/

Source Says FBI Director Christopher Wray Pushed To Withhold Exculpatory Evidence In Mike Flynn Case – FBI general counsel Dana Boente was acting in coordination with Wray…

https://dailycaller.com/2020/04/24/fbi-director-christopher-wray-fought-to-withhold-exculpatory-evidence-mike-flynn-case/

America Has a Jared Kushner Problem – President Trump’s greatest weakness now is his inability to recognize that his son-in-law is the leader of a faction within the White House whose interests come at the expense of the very people who voted for him.

    Project Airbridge, Kushner’s plan to take the reins of the Federal Emergency Management Agency supply-chain task force and partner with private companies to fly health care supplies to New York City from China… Kushner’s solution for a problem caused by China, and exacerbated by our manufacturing dependency on that country, was to turn to Beijing for “help.”…

      His immigration plan, shopped to GOP senators in a PowerPoint presentation, was dismissed as “laughably simplistic.” His plan for the Palestinian economy was lampooned by Michael J. Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum as “the Monty Python version of Israeli-Palestinian peace, where no contention is too absurd to be floated.”… After President Trump announced he would be suspending immigration to the United States to protect the jobs and wages… Sources familiar with the situation told the Spectator that Kushner “is one of the loudest voices pushing back on a full ban and is seeking to carve out exemptions for refugees, temporary workers under the H1B visa program, and farmworkers under the H-2A visa program.”… The president’s supporters may rightly wonder if they voted for Kushner or Trump at this point…  https://amgreatness.com/2020/04/24/america-has-a-jared-kushner-problem/

 

After backlash that Trump’s disinfectant ‘ingestion’ idea could be deadly, WH claims taken ‘out of context –  “So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just a very powerful light — and I think you said that hasn’t been checked because of the testing,” Trump said, looking at Bryan. “And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that too.”

    “I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that,” the president continued…

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/warnings-trump-suggesting-disinfectant-ingestion-deadly-wh-claims/story

Here’s what ABC and other MSM outlets did NOT report: ABC’s John Karl: “There’s no scenario that that could be injected into a person is there?…”  Trump: It wouldn’t be through injection.  We’re talking about through almost a cleaning, sterilization of the area.  Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t work.  But it certainly has a big effective if it’s on a stationary object.”   https://www.factcheck.org/2020/04/the-white-house-spins-trumps-disinfectant-remarks/

Chris Cuomo’s wife Cristina is mocked for saying she bathed in CLOROX to treat coronavirus while the CNN host slams Trump’s suggestion people could be infected with disinfectant

    She says it was recommended to her by an energy medicine doctor…

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8253577/Wife-CNN-host-Chris-Cuomo-mocked-saying-BATHED-Clorox-treat-coronavirus.html

 

Michigan State University: COVID-19 – Disinfecting with Bleach – CDC and the World Health Organization recommend (1, 2) using a bleach solution as one way to disinfect areas contaminated with the novel coronavirus… https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/covid-19-disinfecting-with-bleach

 

Joe Biden fuels election conspiracy theory while the media keeps quiet – He said, “Mark my words, I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow, and come up with some rationale why it cannot be held.”  https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/494632-joe-biden-fuels-election-conspiracy-theory-while-the-media-keeps-quiet

Elements within the Dem Party are making a move to oust Biden, a move many expected. Who would try to torpedo Joe now?  A DJT ally would have waited until after Labor Day [Like the DJT NBC tape in October 2016].  Someone wants Joe out ASAP.

Ex-Clinton/Kerry advisor @peterdaou: DIFFICULT THREAD — #BIDEN SHOULD WITHDRAW

I respect the will of the voters. 2. But new information has emerged supporting #TaraReade’s account of being sexually assaulted by #JoeBiden.  3. Credible rape accusations are disqualifying or we have NO moral standards.  https://twitter.com/peterdaou/status/1254047496655065088

 

The Intercept, whose owner (Pierre Omidyar) is a large Dem donor, originally broke the story.

New Evidence Supporting Credibility of Tara Reade’s Allegation against Joe Biden Emerges

https://theintercept.com/2020/04/24/new-evidence-tara-reade-joe-biden/

 

New evidence surfaces in Tara Reade allegation against Biden – A 1993 video appears to show her mother calling the Larry King Show to discuss “problems” while working for “a prominent senator.”

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/24/tara-reade-biden-video-207670

 

DJT’s weakest flank is swing voter women, which are largely professional and suburban women.  Dems cannot win in November unless they capture this demographic by a significant margin.  If Bernie Sanders does NOT get the nod, IF Biden steps aside, Bernie supporters will be livid.

[UK] Judges told to stop using ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ because jurors don’t understand what it means and ask if they’re ‘satisfied that they are sure’ instead [Can’t dumb-down enough these days]

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8257467/Judges-told-stop-using-reasonable-doubt-jurors-dont-understand-means.html

@ThomasSowell: “There is nothing so bad that politics cannot make it worse.”

Well that is all for today

I will see you TUESDAY night.

 

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