MAY 11//ANOTHER RAID/GOLD DOWN $12.65 TO $1697.00//SILVER DOWN 5 CENTS TO $15.43//GOLD TONNAGE STANDING AT THE COMEX INCREASES TO 26.26 TONNES//OVER 45 MILLION OZ OF SILVER STANDING AT THE SILVER COMEX//LACK OF ANY CELLULAR ACTIVITY AROUND THE WUHAN LAB INDICATES PROBABLY THAT A HORRIFIC ACCIDENT OCCURRED DURING OCT 6 -11//CHINA INDICATES THROUGH THE MEDIA THAT IT WANTS TO RENEGOTIATE PHASE ONE OF THE TRADE DEAL//A BIG ISSUE: EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE VS GERMAN COURT ON THE USE OF QE//CORONAVIRUS UPDATES//ECB HAS BIG PROBLEMS AS ITS DEBT IS RISING TO EXPONENTIAL HEIGHTS//THE REAL USA UNEMPLOYMENT RATE//OBAMA AT THE CENTRE OF RUSSIAGATE//MORE SWAMP STORIES FOR YOU TONIGHT///

GOLD:$1697.00  DOWN $12.65   The quote is London spot price

 

 

 

 

 

Silver:$15.43  DOWN 5 CENTS (London spot closing price)

 

 

 

Closing access prices:  London spot

 

 

i)Gold : $1698  LONDON SPOT  4:30 pm

 

ii)SILVER:  $15.48//LONDON SPOT  4:30 pm

CLOSING FUTURES PRICES:  KEY MONTHS

 

MAY COMEX GOLD:  XXX

 

JUNE GOLD:  $1699.40  CLOSE 1.30 PM//   SPREAD SPOT (LONDON) VS/FUTURE JUNE: $2.40.//PREMIUMS WENT UP AGAIN

 

CLOSING SILVER FUTURE MONTH

 

SILVER MAY COMEX CLOSE;   $15.57…1:30 PM.//SPREAD SPOT/(LONDON) VS FUTURE MAY:  14 CENTS  PER OZ//PREMIUMS UP 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:  39/104

issued:  66

EXCHANGE: COMEX
CONTRACT: MAY 2020 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,709.900000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 05/08/2020 DELIVERY DATE: 05/12/2020
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED
____________________________________________________________________________________________
072 C GOLDMAN 1
118 H MACQUARIE FUT 15
132 C SG AMERICAS 3
135 H RAND 2
323 H HSBC 3
355 C CREDIT SUISSE 2
624 C BOFA SECURITIES 2
657 C MORGAN STANLEY 7
661 C JP MORGAN 66 39
686 C INTL FCSTONE 1
690 C ABN AMRO 19
732 C RBC CAP MARKETS 1
737 C ADVANTAGE 23 4
800 C MAREX SPEC 13 1
905 C ADM 6
____________________________________________________________________________________________

TOTAL: 104 104
MONTH TO DATE: 6,281

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR  MAY CONTRACT: 104 NOTICE(S) FOR 10400 OZ (0.3234 tonnes)

 

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED SO FAR:  6281 NOTICES FOR 628100 OZ  (19.536 TONNES)

 

 

SILVER

 

FOR MAY

 

 

1479 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR  7,395,000  OZ/

total number of notices filed so far this month: 8569 for 42,845,000 oz

 

BITCOIN MORNING QUOTE  $8844 UP  238 

 

BITCOIN AFTERNOON QUOTE.: $8701 DOWN 32

 

GLD AND SLV INVENTORIES:

WITH GOLD DOWN $12.65: AND NO PHYSICAL TO BE FOUND ANYWHERE:

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

 

NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY//

 

 

GLD: 1,081.65 TONNES OF GOLD//

 

 

WITH SILVER DOWN 5 CENTS TODAY: AND WITH NO SILVER AROUND

 

NO CHANGES  IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//

RESTING SLV INVENTORY TONIGHT:

SLV: 417.785  MILLION OZ./

 

 

 

 

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Let us have a look at the data for today

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

IN SILVER THE COMEX OI ROSE  BY A STRONG SIZED 1291 CONTRACTS FROM 136,678 UP TO 137,969 AND CLOSER TO OUR NEW RECORD OF 244,710, (FEB 25/2020. THE HUGE SIZED GAIN IN OI OCCURRED WITH  OUR 11 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX. IT SEEMS THAT THE GAIN IN COMEX OI IS DUE TO STRONG  BANKER SHORT COVERING PLUS A STRONG EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL ISSUANCE, ZERO LONG LIQUIDATION, ACCOMPANYING  A HUGE INCREASE IN SILVER OZ STANDING AT THE COMEX FOR MAY. WE HAD A NET GAIN IN OUR TWO EXCHANGES OF 2683 CONTRACTS  (SEE CALCULATIONS BELOW).

 

 

 

WE HAVE ALSO WITNESSED A HUMONGOUS 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: 0 AND JULY: 1105  AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THEREFORE TOTAL ISSUANCE  1105 CONTRACTS. WITH THE TRANSFER OF 1105 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 1105 EFP CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 13.415 MILLION OZ  ACCOMPANYING:

1.THE 11 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

4.660  MILLION OZ FINAL STANDING FOR APRIL

45.410 MILLION OZ INITIALLY STANDING FOR MAY

 

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 11 CENTS).. AND, OUR OFFICIAL SECTOR/BANKERS  WERE SOMEWHAT SUCCESSFUL IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO FLEECE SOME AMOUNT OF SILVER LONGS FROM THEIR POSITIONS. THE STRONG GAIN AT THE COMEX ACCOMPANIED : i)  A SMALL ISSUANCE OF EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS 2) A SMALL GAIN IN SILVER OZ STANDING FOR MAY, HUGE BANKER SHORT COVERING  AND 4) ZERO LONG LIQUIDATION AS  WE DID HAVE A  NET GAIN OF 2396 CONTRACTS OR 11.98 MILLION OZ ON THE TWO EXCHANGES! YOU CAN BET THE FARM THAT OUR BANKER  ARE DESPERATE TO LIQUIDATE THEIR HUGE SHORT POSITIONS IN SILVER

 

 

 

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

6847 CONTRACTS (FOR 7 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 6847 CONTRACTS) OR 34.24 MILLION OZ: (AVERAGE PER DAY: 957 CONTRACTS OR 4.705 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH OF MAY: 34.24 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 4.89% 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:          1,023.08 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                               95.355 MILLION OZ.  (EX. FOR PHYSICALS BECOMING A LOT LESS)

MAY EFP SO FAR:                   34.24 MILLION OZ

EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL ISSUANCE FOR THE PAST 30 DAYS 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 STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 1291, WITH OUR 11 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX ///FRIDAY THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD A STRONG SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 1105 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 VERY STRONG SIZED OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  2396 CONTRACTS (WITH OUR 11 CENT GAIN IN PRICE)

 

THE TALLY//EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS

i.e 1105 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS HEADED FOR LONDON  (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A STRONG SIZED INCREASE OF 1291 OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS DEMAND HAPPENED WITH A 11 CENT GAIN IN PRICE OF SILVER/ AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $15.48 // 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: 1479 NOTICE(S) FOR  7,395,000 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 4.660 MILLION OZ//MAY  45.410 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 GOOD SIZED 3,228 CONTRACTS TO 500,798 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 GOOD SIZED LOSS OF COMEX OI OCCURRED WITH OUR CONSIDERABLE  COMEX LOSS IN PRICE  OF $7.00 /// COMEX GOLD TRADING// FRIDAY// WE  HAD CONSIDERABLE BANKER SHORT COVERING , A SMALL INCREASE IN GOLD OZ STANDING AT THE COMEX, ALONG WITH SOME LONG LIQUIDATION ACCOMPANYING A GOOD  EX. FOR PHYSICAL ISSUANCE. THIS ALL HAPPENED WITH OUR  LOSS  IN THE PAPER PRICE OF GOLD.

WE HAD A VOLUME OF 0  4 -GC CONTRACTS//OPEN INTEREST  7

 

WE LOST A SMALL SIZED 1118 CONTRACTS  (3.474 TONNES) ON OUR TWO EXCHANGES.

 

E.F.P. ISSUANCE

 

 

 

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCAND IT TOTALED A FAIR SIZED 2110 CONTRACTS:

CONTRACTS, FEB>  CONTRACTS; MARCH 00 APRIL: 0. MAY: 0, AND JUNE 2110.; DEC 0 AND ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO//TOTAL: 2110.  The NEW COMEX OI for the gold complex rests at 500,798. 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 FAIR SIZED DECREASE IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 1118 CONTRACTS: 3,228 CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND 2110 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI LOSS OF 1118 CONTRACTS OR 3.474 TONNES. FRIDAY, WE HAD A LOSS OF $7.00 IN GOLD TRADING..….

AND WITH THAT LOSS IN  PRICE, WE HAD A FAIR SIZED LOSS IN  TOTAL/TWO EXCHANGES GOLD TONNAGE OF 3.474 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 $7.00). AND IT ALSO SEEMS THAT THEIR ATTEMPT TO FLEECE ANY GOLD LONGS FROM THE GOLD ARENA WAS SOMEWHAT SUCCESSFUL  (SEE BELOW).

4 GC VOLUME: 0  // open interest 7 

 

 

END

 

CALCULATIONS ON GAIN/LOSS ON OUR TWO EXCHANGES:

WE HAD  A FAIR SIZED INCREASE IN EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS  (2110) ACCOMPANYING THE FAIR SIZED LOSS IN COMEX OI  (3228 OI): TOTAL LOSS IN THE TWO EXCHANGES:  1118 CONTRACTS. WE NO DOUBT HAD 1 )HUGE BANKER SHORT COVERING, 2.)A SMALL INCREASE IN OUNCES STANDING AT THE GOLD COMEX FOR THE FRONT MAY MONTH,  3) SOME LONG LIQUIDATION AND  …ALL OF THIS WAS COUPLED WITH THAT LOSS IN GOLD PRICE TRADING//FRIDAY

 

SPREADING OPERATIONS

 

OUR SPREADING OPERATION HAS NOW SWITCHED INTO GOLD…..

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 SILVER AS THEY NOW BEGIN TO MORPH INTO GOLD AS WE HEAD TOWARDS THE NEW FRONT MONTH WILL BE JUNE.

 

 

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 SILVER..AND WE WILL NOW MORPH INTO AN ACCUMULATION PHASE OF SPREADING CONTRACTS FOR GOLD.  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 GOLD 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 MAY HEADING TOWARDS THE  ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF JUNE FOR GOLD:

 

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

 

 

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 MAY : 19,745 CONTRACTS OR 1,974,500 oz OR 61.41 TONNES (7 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 2820 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

 

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE STRONG SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 7 TRADING DAY(S) IN  TONNES: 61.41 TONNES

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

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 61.41/3550 x 100% TONNES =1.72% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION

ISSUANCE OF EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL GOLD HAS DISSIPATED THIS MONTHTHE 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   2627.76  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:               243.45  TONNES  (EFP ISSUANCE BECOMING A LOT LESS)

MAY TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:                     61.41 TONNES

 

 

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

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 STRONG SIZED 1291 CONTRACTS FROM 136,678 UP TO 137,969 AND FURTHER FROM 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) STRONG 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 MAY  4) ZERO LONG LIQUIDATION 

 

EFP ISSUANCE 1105 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: 0 JULY: 1105 CONTRACTS   AND ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 1105 CONTRACTS. EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON.  IF WE TAKE THE  COMEX OI GAIN  OF 1291 CONTRACTS TO THE 1105 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,  WE OBTAIN A  STRONG GAIN OF 2396 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS FROM OUR TWO EXCHANGES. THUS IN OUNCES, THE GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES 11.98 MILLION  OZ!!! WITH THE 11 CENT GAIN IN PRICE///

 

 

RESULT: A STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 11 CENT LOSS IN PRICING THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK IN PRICING// FRIDAY. WE ALSO HAD A VERY STRONG SIZED 1105 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  0.54 POINTS OR 0.02%  //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 371.89 POINTS OR 1.53%   /The Nikkei closed UP 211.57 POINTS OR 1.05%//Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 1.30%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 7.0939 /Oil DOWN TO 23.95 dollars per barrel for WTI and 30.00 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED//  ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN // LAST AT 7.0939 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 7.1103 TRADE TALKS STALL//YUAN LEVELS GETTING DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO 7:1//TRUMP INITIATES A NEW 25% TARIFFS FRIDAY/MAY 10/2019/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED//CORONAVIRUS//PANDEMIC  : /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%

 

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

GOLD

LET US BEGIN:

THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN INTEREST FELL BY A FAIR SIZED 3228 CONTRACTS TO 500,798 MOVING FURTHER FROM  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 FAIR COMEX OI LOSS WAS SET WITH OUR LOSS OF $7.00 IN GOLD PRICING /FRIDAY’S COMEX TRADING//). WE ALSO HAD A FAIR EFP ISSUANCE (2110 CONTRACTS),.  THUS WE HAD 1) HUGE BANKER SHORT COVERING AT THE COMEX AND 2)   SOME LONG LIQUIDATION AND 3)  ANOTHER STRONG INCREASE IN GOLD OZ STANDING AT THE COMEX //  MAY/GOLD…  AS WE ENGINEERED A SMALL LOSS ON TWO EXCHANGES OF 1118 CONTRACTS.

WE AGAIN HAD 0    4 -GC VOLUME//open interest 7

 

 

 

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 2110 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:

 FEB: 0; MARCH 00 AND APRIL: 0, MAY: 0  JUNE : 2110 AND 0 FOR DEC AND  ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 2110 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 LOST THE FOLLOWING TODAY ON OUR TWO EXCHANGES:  1118 TOTAL CONTRACTS IN THAT 2110 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE LOST A FAIR SIZED 3,228 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 A STRONG INCREASE IN COMEX GOLD TONNAGE  // STANDING FOR DELIVERY (SEE CALCULATIONS BELOW)….AND MINOR LONG LIQUIDATION…… ALL OF THE ABOVE OCCURRED WITH A LARGE FALL IN PRICE

 

THE BANKERS WERE SUCCESSFUL IN LOWERING GOLD’S PRICE  //// (IT FELL BY $7.00).  BUT, THEY WERE SOMEWHAT SUCCESSFUL IN FLEECING SOME LONGS, AS THE TOTAL LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES REGISTERED 3.4774 TONNES.

 

 

NET LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES ::1118 CONTRACTS OR 111,800 OZ OR 3.474 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:  500,798 TOTAL OI CONTRACTS X 100 OZ PER CONTRACT = 50.07 MILLION OZ/32,150 OZ PER TONNE =  1557 TONNES

THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST REPRESENTS 1557/2200 OR 70.78% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF GOLD.

Trading Volumes on the COMEX TODAY: 248,739 contracts

CONFIRMED COMEX VOL. FOR YESTERDAY315,326 contracts// volumes very low

MAY11/2020

MAY GOLD CONTRACT MONTH

 

Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz 1,274.916 oz

MANFRA

Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz
18,463.879 oz
BRINKS
HSBC
(ENHANCED
INVENTORY)
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz 176,686.257 oz

Brinks

 

 

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz  

183,052.155

OZ

BRINKS

HSBC

 

 

 

No of oz served (contracts) today
104 notice(s)
 10,400 OZ
(0.3234 TONNES)
No of oz to be served (notices)
2309 contracts
(230900 oz)
7.189 TONNES
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
6281 notices
628,100 OZ
19.536 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 2 deposits into the dealer

i) Into Brinks:  176,686.257 oz

ii) Into Manfra:  6365.898 oz

total dealer deposits: 183,052.155   oz

total dealer withdrawals: 1274.916 oz

we had 2 deposit into the customer account

i) Into Brinks: 181,834.932 oz

ii) Into HSBC: 22,570.002 oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total deposits: 204,404.934   oz

 

 

we had 2 gold withdrawals from the customer account:

i) Out of Brinks:  6,462,254 oz

 

ii) Out of  HSBC Enhanced inventory:  12,001.525  oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

total gold withdrawals; 18,463.879   oz

We had 1  kilobar transactions  +

 

We had 0  4 KC bar volume transactions/7 contracts oi

 

 

 

 

ADJUSTMENTS: 1    

 

 

 dealer to customer

ii) Out of Scotia:  19,290.000 oz adjusted from to the customer to dealer account

(600 kilobars).

 

 

 

 

The front month of May registered a LARGE total of 2413 oi contracts for a loss of 964 contracts. We had 1141 notices filed upon yesterday so we GAINED 177 contracts or an additional 17,700 oz will stand as these guys REFUSED TO morph into London based forwards and thus negated a fiat bonus

The next delivery month after May is the huge delivery month of June.  Here June saw a  loss OF 17,553 contracts DOWN to 292,900 contracts. July has ANOTHER GAIN OF 45 OI contracts  and thus 236 contracts  outstanding.  Next comes August another strong delivery month and here the OI ROSE by 12,950 contracts up to 115,215 contracts.

 

 

We had 104 notices filed today for 10,400 oz

 

FOR THE  MAY 2020 CONTRACT MONTH)Today, 0 notice(s) were issued from JPMorgan dealer account and 66 notices were issued from their client or customer account. The total of all issuance by all participants equates to 104 contract(s) of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 39 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 MAY /2020. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (6281) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of  May. (2413 CONTRACTS ) minus the number of notices served upon today (104 x 100 oz per contract) equals 859,000 OZ OR 26.718 TONNES) the number of ounces standing in this  non active month of May

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

No of notices served (6281)x 100 oz + 2413 OI) for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (104) x 100 oz which equals 859,000 oz standing OR 26.718 TONNES in this non active delivery month. This is  a record amount for gold standing for any May delivery month or any non active delivery month.

We gained 177 contracts or an additional 17,700 oz will  seek out metal on this side of the pond as they refused to morph into London based forwards.

 

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:  10.020 TONNES

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

19,290.600 oz Pledged May 8/2020   INT DELAWARE:  .600 TONNES

17,853.197  oz pledged May 8.2020   MANFRA:            .553 TONNES

 

TOTAL PLEDGED GOLD NOW IN EFFECT:  545,925.500  OZ OR 16.980  TONNES

SURPRISINGLY WE HAVE BEEN WITNESSING NO REAL PHYSICAL GOLD ENTERING THE COMEX VAULTS FOR THE PAST YEAR!! ..ONLY PHONY KILOBAR ENTRIES…. WE HAVE 194.038 TONNES OF REGISTERED GOLD WHICH CAN SETTLE UPON LONGS ie. 26.718 tonnes

CALCULATION OF REGISTERED GOLD THAT CAN BE SETTLED UPON:

total registered or dealer  6,784,260.567 oz or 211.01  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)
d) pledged gold at Manfra:  17,853.197 oz  which cannot be settled:   (.5553 tonnes)
e) pledged gold at int.Del.    19,290.600 oz  which cannot be settled:   (.600 tonnes)
total weight of pledged:  545,925.500 oz or 16.905 tonnes
thus:
registered gold that can be used to settle upon: 6,238,335.1  (194.038 tonnes)
true registered gold  (total registered – pledged tonnes  6,238,335.1 (194.038 tonnes)
total eligible gold:  15,458,940.321 oz (480.83 tonnes)

total registered, pledged  and eligible (customer) gold;   22,243,200.888 oz 691.856 tonnes (INCLUDES 4 GC GOLD)

total 4 GC gold:   128.890 tonnes

total gold net of 4 GC:  562.966 tonnes

 

end

 

I have compiled  data with respect to registered (or dealer) gold taken on first day notice for each of the past 24 months

The data begins on first day notice for the May month taken on the last day of April 2018. and it continues to present day.  Thus 24 data entry points.

 

I then took, how many deliveries were recorded by the CME for each and every month.  I also included for reference the price of gold on first day notice.

 

The first graph is a logarithmic  graph and the second graph, linear.

You can see the huge explosion of registered gold at the comex along with deliveries.  Gold owners are very clear people.  They would know full well that

the gold at the comex is unallocated and that they would not be stupid enough to keep their gold at the comex especially in the registered category once deliveries are asked upon. If physical gold was present it would be have removed from the comex… It shows there is no gold at the comex.  They are just trading in sticky paper.

 

 

THE GOLD COMEX SEEMS TO BE  UNDER SEVERE ASSAULT FOR PHYSICAL

 

END

 

MAY 11/2020

And now for the wild silver comex results

Total COMEX silver OI ROSE BY A STRONG SIZED 1291 CONTRACTS FROM 136,678  UP TO 137,969(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) . THE STRONG OI COMEX GAIN TODAY OCCURRED WITH OUR 11 CENT GAIN IN PRICING//FRIDAY. WE GAINED A TOTAL OF 2683 CONTRACTS IN OUR TWO EXCHANGES.  THE GAIN IN TOTAL OI (TWO EXCHANGES) OCCURRED WITH 1)  A STRONG ISSUANCE OF EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS 2) A SMALL INCREASE IN SILVER OZ STANDING AT THE COMEX, 3)  HUGE BANKER SHORT COVERING , 4) ZERO LONG LIQUIDATION,5) STRONG COMEX GAIN IN OI AND ALL OF THIS OCCURRED WITH OUR SMALL 11 CENT GAIN IN PRICE 

 

WE ARE NOW INTO THE ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MAY

THE FRONT DELIVERY OF MAY SAW A HUGE 1992 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS STANDING  AND THUS WE HAD A LOSS OF 4 CONTRACTS.  We had 8 notices filed yesterday so we GAINED 4 contracts or an additional 20,000 oz will  stand at the comex as these guys refused to morph into London based forwards and thus they negated receiving a fiat bonus for their efforts. It sure looks like we have a Harlem Globetrotter vs Washington Generals game on our hands. It looks like there is no silver over here and thus they must travel to London to get the stuff.

 

AFTER MAY WE HAVE THE NON ACTIVE MONTH OF JUNE.  HERE JUNE SAW A GAIN OF 23 CONTRACTS FALLING TO 463.

AFTER JUNE COMES THE VERY BIG DELIVERY MONTH OF JULY AND HERE THE OI GAINED 1385 CONTRACTS UP TO 104,132 CONTRACTS

 

 

We, today, had  1479 notice(s) FILED  for 7,395,000, OZ for the APRIL, 2019 COMEX contract for silver

 

MAY 11/2020

MAY SILVER COMEX CONTRACT MONTH

<

Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory NIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
 383,401.970 oz
CNT
Brinks
Scotia

 

 

Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory
nil oz
No of oz served today (contracts)
1479
CONTRACT(S)
(7,395,000,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
513 contracts
2,565,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts)  8569 contracts

42,845,000 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 0 deposits into the customer account

into JPMorgan:   0

ii)into  everybody else: 0

 

*** 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 51.22% of all official comex silver. (160.819 million/313.893 million

 

total customer deposits today: nil    oz

we had 3 withdrawals:

i) Out of Brinks:  339,223.890 oz

ii) Out of CNT: 43,139.250 oz

iii) Out of Scotia  998.83 oz

 

 

total withdrawals; 383,401.970     oz

We had 2 adjustments both customer to dealer

Out of Delaware:  25,336.79 oz

and

Scotia:  100,048.164 oz

 

total dealer silver: 89.963 million

total dealer + customer silver:  313.893 million oz

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

The total number of notices filed today for the MAY 2020. contract month is represented by 1479 contract(s) FOR 7,395,000 oz

 

To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in MAY we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 8569 x 5,000 oz = 42,845,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAY.(1992) and the number of notices served upon today 1479 x (5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

.

Thus the INITIAL standings for silver for the MAY/2019 contract month: 8569 (notices served so far) x 5000 oz + OI for front month of MAY (1992)- number of notices served upon today (1479) x 5000 oz of silver standing for the MAY contract month.equals 45,410,000 oz.

We GAINED  4 or an additional 20,000 oz will NOT seek out metal on the London side of the pond as they refused a London based forward contract..

 

TODAY’S ESTIMATED SILVER VOLUME: 38,225 CONTRACTS //

 

 

FOR YESTERDAY: 64,910 CONTRACTS..,CONFIRMED VOLUME//extremely low volume

 

 

YESTERDAY’S CONFIRMED VOLUME OF 64,910CONTRACTS EQUATES to 324 million  OZ 46.4% 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+ 0.08% ((MAY 11/2020)

2. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV  FALLS TO +0.28% to NAV:   (MAY 11/2020 )

Note: Sprott silver trust back into NEGATIVE territory at +%-/Sprott physical gold trust is back into POSITIVE/ 0.08%

(courtesy Sprott/GATA

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

NAV 15.63 TRADING 15.49///NEGATIVE 0.90

END

 

 

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD/

MAY 11/WITH GOLD DOWN $12.65 TODAY: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY: //INVENTORY RESTS AT 1081.65 TONES..

MAY 8/WITH GOLD DOWN $7.00 TODAY; A BIG CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY: A PAPER ADDITION OF 5.85 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 1081.65 TONNES

MAY 7/WITH GOLD UP $29.65 TODAY : A SMALL CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//A PAPER ADDITION OF .41 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 1075.80 TONNES

MAY 6//WITH GOLD DOWN $17.00 TODAY/ A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//A PAPER ADDITION OF 3.68 TONNES/INVENTORY RESTS AT 1075.39 TONES

MAY 5/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.65 TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A PAPER ADDITION OF 3.81 TONNES//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1071.71 TONNES

MAY 4//WITH GOLD UP $12.00 TODAY//A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A MASSIVE PAPER DEPOSIT OF 11.4 TONNES INTO THE GLD////GOLD INVENTORY RESTS AT 1067.90 TONNES

MAY 1/WITH GOLD UP $8.45 NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1056.50 TONNES

APRIL 30/WITH GOLD DOWN $15.95 TODAY: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1056.50 TONNES

APRIL 29/WITH  GOLD DOWN $7.65/A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A PAPER DEPOSIT OF 8.19 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD////INVENTORY REST AT 1056.50 TONNES//

APRIL 28/WITH GOLD DOWN $4.50//NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1048.31 TONNES

APRIL 27/WITH GOLD DOWN $12.75//A HUGE  CHANGE 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//

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Inventory rests tonight at

MAY 11/ GLD INVENTORY 1085.61 tonnes*

IN LAST/WITH SILVER DOWN 5 CENTS TODAY;  817 TRADING DAYS:   +135.35 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD

 

LAST 717 TRADING DAYS://+310.49  TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO  THE GLD INVENTORY.

 

 

end

 

 

Now the SLV Inventory/

MAY 11.WITH SILVER DOWN 5 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 417.785 MILLION OZ//

MAY 8/WITH SILVER UP 11 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A MONSTER DEPOSIT OF 4.661 MILLION OZ OF SILVER INTO THE SLV..///INVENTORY RESTS AT 417.785 MILLION OZ//

MAY 7/WITH SILVER UP 45 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 413.124 MILLION OZ//

MAY 6/WITH SILVER DOWN 6 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 413.124 MILLION OZ//

MAY 5/WITH SILVER UP 17 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 413.124 MILLION OZ///

MAY 4//WITH SILVER DOWN 5 CENTS TODAY:2 HUGE PAPER CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV.i).A  LARGE 1.399 MILLION OZ OF PAPER SILVER REMOVED FROM THE SLV//..//INVENTORY RESTS AT 411.427 MILLION OZ and ii) A LARGE 1.647 MILLION OZ OF PAPER SILVER ADDED TO THE SLV//  INVENTORY RESTS AT 413.124 MILLION OZ//


MAY 1/WITH SILVER FLAT IN PRICE: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 412.826 MILLION OZ///

APRIL 30/WITH SILVER DOWN 26 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 412.826 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 29/WITH SILVER DOWN ONE CENT TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 412.826 MILLION OZ//

APRIL 28 /WITH SILVER DOWN 2 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 412.826 MILLION OZ..

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

APRIL 23/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///

 

 

MAY 11.2020:

SLV INVENTORY RESTS TONIGHT AT

417.785 MILLION OZ.

END

 

LIBOR SCHEDULE AND GOFO RATES//GOLD LEASE RATES:

 

 

YOUR DATA…..

6 Month MM GOFO 2.93/ and libor 6 month duration 0.69

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

GOLD LENDING RATE: -2.24

gold scarce/central banks calling in their gold leases.

XXXXXXXX

12 Month MM GOFO
+ 2.15%

LIBOR FOR 12 MONTH DURATION:  0.78

 

GOFO = LIBOR – GOLD LENDING RATE

GOLD LENDING RATE  = 1.37

gold scarce/central banks calling in their gold leases.

end

 

 

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

 

 

ii) Important gold commentaries courtesy of GATA/Chris Powell

Author of the book “Rigged” Stuart Englert is interviewed by Phil Kennedy.

The author covers the huge documentation provided by GATA

(Kennedy/Englert)

‘Rigged’ author Stuart Englert interviewed by Phil Kennedy

 Section: 

11:46a Saturday, May 9, 2020

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Journalist Stuart Englert, author of “Rigged,” a book about gold-market rigging that draws heavily on the documentation compiled by GATA, was interviewed this week by Phil Kennedy of Kennedy Financial. They discussed how defending the U.S. dollar’s role as the world reserve currency is a primary purpose of the often surreptitious but sometimes public interventions by government against the gold price.

The interview is 44 minutes long and can be viewed at YouTube here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeD9B5CQKWA

To purchase a copy of “Rigged,” see below.

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

end

USA Gold covers the news as to where we are going: inflation or deflation..the author states that gold does not care…

(USA gold/GATA)

USA Gold’s ‘News & Views’ letter: Inflation or deflation? Gold doesn’t care

 Section: 

7:22p ET Sunday, May 10, 2020

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

“Gold In the Year of the Pandemic” is the headline on the May issue of USA Gold’s “News & Views” letter, which summarizes the high expectations for gold expressed by some “smart money” people. But maybe the letter’s smartest observation is simply: “Inflation or deflation? Gold doesn’t care.”

The “News & Views” letter is posted in the clear at USA Gold’s internet site here:

https://www.usagold.com/cpmforum/nv1018may2020/

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

end

Pam and Russ explain why the stock market rose despite the huge loss of jobs in the latest job report:  Meet the Fed’s global plunge protection team

(Pam and Russ Martens/GATA)

Pam and Russ Martens: Meet the Fed’s global Plunge Protection Team

 Section: 

By Pam and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade
Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 455 points by the closing bell on Friday. It seemed sadistic to average folks. One hour before the stock market opened, the Bureau of Labor Statistics had reported the worst U.S. unemployment figure since the Great Depression (14.7 percent) along with the staggering loss of 20.5 million jobs in just April.

Within the first half hour of trading, the Dow was up more than 300 points. It then added to those gains in afternoon trading.

… 

None of the explanations offered by mainstream media to explain the incongruous stock trading were accurate.

It was not because the stock market had anticipated worse or that the market was rallying because it thought the worst of the economic fallout was behind us. It was because the one emergency funding facility that the Federal Reserve has quietly ramped up more than any other, its Foreign Central Bank Liquidity Swap Lines, was working its magic.

To understand what happened Friday, you need to understand what Fed Chair Jerome Powell was methodically setting in place in February. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://wallstreetonparade.com/2020/05/meet-the-feds-global-plunge-prote…

end

iii) Other physical stories:

The following is a must view: start on the 46 minute mark

Basically we are going to see a new physical market in London backed by the Chinese.

Andrew is putting out a regular update on the Gold markets on the Kenesis channel.

This week he goes into a number of subjects, but significantly he saying that the CME is quickly losing credibility on the street with the 4GC contract and is about to be challenged by a new market based in London.

This market will be physical based run by a large Chinese institution and will push the POG up to $2200, and this move will happen in the not so distant future.

https://youtu.be/p59H8NFA7zI?t=2679

end

An excellent paper on silver.  In my opinion the price of silver when the criminal activity against the precious metals is over will return to 10: 1

Silver inventories have been used up while all the gold that has ever been minted is still around.

(zerohedge)

 

Silver Coin Premiums Soar: Signal “Alt-Money” Demand As Re-Opening Recovery Hype Fades

Silver is the matrix of precious metals:

  • on the one hand, it is an industrial metal, critical to the production process in many of the world’s most in-demand products;
  • and on the other hand, it has been ‘money’ for millennia, playing second-fiddle as a spending ‘asset’ relative to gold’s ‘wealth’.

The question is always, which of these demand/supply attributes is more prevalent at any one time.

Right now, is it the “blue pill” of blissful ignorance that an economic recovery is imminent and v-shaped; or is it the unpleasant truth of the “red pill” that this is the beginning of the end of the current system and a post-COVID world will look very different (and require protection).

Well, we may have the answer.

The price of silver coins is surging (‘Monetary’ demand) as futures prices sink (‘industrial’ demand), somewhat shunning the hope-filled hyping of stocks’ recovery off the lows in March…

And in fact, this is the largest (physical) silver coin premium since Bernanke disappointed the markets in 2011 and since Lehman sent investors scrambling

Additionally, the demand for “monetary” silver may be driven by the fact that it has never been cheaper relative to gold

In ancient Greece during the age of Pericles, gold was valued at 14x silver. In ancient Rome, Julius Caesar valued gold at 12x silver.

It remained this way for centuries.

Even in the earliest days of the United States, eighteen centuries after Caesar, The Coinage Act of 1792 established a ratio of 15:1.

(According to the law, one US dollar is supposed to be 24.1 grams of silver, or 1.6 grams of gold. So those pieces of paper in your wallet are not dollars– they are technically “Federal Reserve Notes”.)

In modern times there is no longer a fixed ratio between gold and silver, though its long-term average over the last several decades has been between 50:1 and 80:1.

This is a lot higher than in ancient times… but the circumstances are obviously different.

Today, gold is still widely used as a reserve by central banks and governments around the world.  And investors still buy gold as a hedge against inflation and uncertainty.

Silver, on the other hand, as we detailed above, has countless industrial applications; it’s a critical component in everything from mobile phones to automobiles to solar panels.

Like gold, silver is also a hedge against inflation and uncertainty.

But silver’s demand fundamentals are more heavily influenced by overall economic health. If the economy is in recession, silver prices can fall because there’s less demand from industry.

Gold, on the other hand, doesn’t follow that pattern. In 5 out of the last 6 recessions, in fact, gold has increased in price.

That’s why recessions, and extreme turmoil, can lead to a massive spike in the gold/silver ratio. Gold goes up, and silver stays flat (or falls).

  • Just prior to World War II as Hitler launched his invasion of Poland, the ratio spiked to 98:1.
  • In 1991 as the first Gulf War began, the ratio again reached 100:1.
  • Today we’re back again in that territory; as of this morning, the ratio is 110:1, and it’s been as high as 120 or more in recent weeks.

Source: MacroTrends.net

This ratio may stay elevated for a while, or even go higher.

But in the past, the ratio has always returned to more traditional levels. Always. Even when the world was facing Adolf Hitler or the Great Depression.

So it stands to reason that, if they keep printing money (which they already are), and the ratio eventually returns to its historical range, the price of silver could really skyrocket.

…and it won’t be due to the economy.

And in case you need more reassurance that the “recovery” is not coming anytime soon, Goldman’s “re-opening” basket is significantly struggling to outperform.

Global silver demand nudged higher in 2019 thanks to a 12% increase in investment demand as retail and institutional investors focused their attention on the long-term investment appeal of the white metal according to a report highlighted in the latest edition of the Silver Institute’s Silver News.

According to the World Silver Survey 2020, total demand inched higher by 0.4% despite the trade war. Investment demand grew to 186 million ounces, the largest annual growth since 2015. Exchange-traded product holdings stood at 728.9 million ounces at year-end, up by 13%, achieving the largest annual rise since 2010. Meanwhile, silver mine supply fell for the fourth straight with output declining by 1%.

At its core, silver is a monetary metal. It tends to track with gold over time. And it has historically outperformed gold in a gold bull market.

END

Robert to me:

 

“Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz of the Socialist in Germany (SPD) is already advocating “solidarity” to convince the rich to turnover their assets to the country. He argues that citizens who “earn very, very much should make a slightly higher contribution.” Behind closed doors, he wants to raise taxes in Germany to 70%. The EU has many challenges to its’ existence including itself as sustainability of the EU is called into question by nations. The risk profile of Europe and long term investment there is growing appreciably. Unfortunately, governments and politicians rarely admit their errors and refuse to comprehend that people create lasting jobs and not governments. And thus money in the hands of people contributes far more to society and government taxation. History has amply shown the fall of many a empire that failed to understand this.

Saudi Arabia has raised taxes threefold from 5% to 15%. And this is on lower oil prices and economic activity. Looks a lot like a problem that found a home. 
Canada is whispering about the need to raise income tax dramatically. No doubt they will, further destroying entrepreneurship in the future, and diminishing future investment. In many instances the bold talk of businesses reopening is somewhat hollow, as even if all businesses were to reopen the diminished future sales will put many out of the picture over a short time with lower sales. And as it is 20-25% of all small businesses will not reopen and no one seems to want to factor in their pain and suffering, or economic drag. And we can all be very certain that climate change crowd will use this opportunity to push for more “green” with its’ cost. I suppose the onslaught of a Solar Minimum will be ignored until too late. And at that time another round of taxes will be introduced to pay for that. 
While the true cost of this needless shutdown is not yet well known or even finalized, what we all can be assured of the cost of all this will be on the backs of citizens everywhere except Sweden who had the common sense to stay open. 
And no amount of central bank printing will restart the economies as banks simply will not take the risk and will buy equities instead while small and medium businesses struggle. There is a huge vacuum of capital needed to rebuild industry and create new ones. This is especially true in light of changing supply chains. China will fight but reality is that no manager today will risk sole dependency on China for supply and in many cases China is proving itself to be an unreliable supplier of goods which calls into question many issues. This too will impact China and their debt problems having wider impact. And yes, do expect more evidence of double counting to come to light, from that side of the world, be it in companies and their operations or that of government. We have not seen the end  of these stories. 
And there already signs that struggling countries faced with debts they cannot pay are talking about straight up moratoriums on principal debt and interest for several years to give their economies and citizens time to recover. This too will create a fallout to investors who will lose out. Today, all manner of debt, especially government debt is suspect at best and there is real reasons to question the dividends of many companies who will not be able to sustain payments in the long run. 
What is clear, is that whatever the plans were going into this year for growth and stability, it is all out the window, with new plans that must remain flexible and adaptive to new changes as the variables are too many and diverse for plans to remain static. And this type of planning has not been seen for a very long time. 
Where ever we are really headed, we can be certain that yesterday will never return, so keep fond memories of times gone by. “

Cheers

Robert

https://www.jsmineset.com/2020/05/11/qs-posts-are-still-running-full-steam-ahead/

 

Q’s Posts Are Still Running Full Steam Ahead

Posted May 11th, 2020 at 8:59 AM (CST) by J. Johnson & filed under General Editorial.

 

Great and Wonderful Monday Morning Folks,

 

June Gold’s price is close to the London low with the trade at $1,702.30 down $11.80 after hitting the low price of $1,695.20 before the bounce, with the high so far at $1,713.80. Silver is also doing the London dip with the trade at $15.605 down 17.3 cents and recovering from its low at $15.510 with the high so far at $15.92. The US Dollar is still parring around with the trade at 100.135, up 36.6 points-of-print and right close to the London high at 100.175 with the low that should be much lower at 99.690. Of course, all this can only happen overseas, when we’re asleep, before 5 am pst, the Comex open, the London close, and after the president of Mexico asked Trump questions about Obama and his group of Fast and Furious deflectors.

 

In Venezuela, where Maduro’s drug runners are claiming we are the drug dealers and they are victims, and are now saying so in a fast and furious way, has Gold’s starting price for the week at 17,001.72 Bolivar showing a loss of 222.70 from Friday morning’s post with Silver at 155.855 Bolivar losing 1.758. Argentina’s Peso has Gold priced at 114,438.20 showing a Monday morning pullback of 1,300.88 Peso’s with Silver losing 8.7 Peso’s with the price at 1,048.93. The Turkish Lira’s pullback price for Gold is now at 12,047.15 Lira down 227.38 with Silver now at 110.441 losing only 1.736 T-Lira’s.

 

May Silver’s Delivery Demands are now registered at 1,992 fully paid for contracts waiting for receipts and with no trades or Volume posted so far this morning. This proves a 4 point drop in the delivery count from Friday’s trading range between $15.80 and $15.50 with the last purchase at $15.555 and an adjusted close at up at $15.740 with a final Volume of 59. If it wasn’t for the allowance of more liquidity into the markets, Silver prices would be substantially higher than they are now as the Open Interest gained another 1,174 short contracts bringing the total to 138,257 Overnighters that keeping the prices controlled (for now).

 

May Gold’s Delivery Demands are now at 2,383 fully paid for contracts and with a Volume of 647 up on the board with a trading range between $1,704.50 and $1,702.30 with the last purchase at $1,704 down $5.90 from Fridays close while the rest of the papers controlling the price is pushing the futures value much lower than they should be. Friday’s total Volume inside the delivery system reached 330 within a trading range between $1,728.90 and $1,703.80 with the adjusted close at $1,709.90 and reducing the Physical Demand Count by 994 contracts. Gold’s Overall Open Interest lost 3,575 Obligations with the total count now at 500,964 Overnighter’s as we wait it out.

 

Q’s posts are still running full steam ahead as Obama and his anointed team seem to be the only ones the media allows to speak to defend their past actions. At this point, none of their televised interviews will matter anymore (imo) because we are heading towards a military tribunal as Q Post #4196 brings forth a time lined list of accusations made by the characters in the play who tried to remove a legally elected president. Please read the Q post and consider how long this is going to take in a televised military court room setting, as the evidence strips away the façade the media and this team of unelected henchmen and women created.

 

When I was a kid, Mom and Dad made sure everyone was at home in time to watch the Watergate hearings in its entirety. The family unit made sure, dinner was served, dishes were cleaned, and everyone was sitting in front of the television every night, before the evidence was presented with the exception of the still missing 18.5 minutes of Nixon taped recordings. We watched all the way to the ending including that famous televised statement “I Am Not A Crook” which had little or nothing to do with the original accusations (a break-in, not stealing money). Let us consider what this elected official has done back in his day. He removed us from the Gold Standard and put us onto the Petro Dollar and he also opened the door to trading with China. Moving forward we now have an accused former candidate that seems to be channeling Chairman Mao in a pant suite. With Joe Biden being the one that the pant suite princess has endorsed to represent the DNC. Why the DNC supporters are not screaming that they should be the ones allowed to bring in a candidate via a majority vote, is beyond me.

 

As we move forward, nothing will change the future direction of precious metals as the world gathers around, once again, to see the who/what/when/why/where of it all. As a reminder, Q posted back in 12/12/18 Yes. Gold shall destroy FED. How big is the meaning behind the word FED? Does it also include the removal of the Petro Dollar and bringing back the Gold standard? Let the future unfold as we observe and ponder it all. So, sit back and get ready for the evidence to be presented and hold on tight to the real, as things become clearer. Keep the faith, and have a smile on the face, and as always …

 

Stay Strong!

Jeremiah Johnson

 

More J. Johnson content is available with purchase of a JSMineset subscription.

 

END

Dave Kranzler talks with Chris Marcus explaining that the lBMA is just a rigged as the comex

(Chris Marcus/Dave Kranzler)

The LBMA Is Just As Rigged As The Comex

Gold is going a lot higher, especially once India  – which has been absent from the gold market since the virus crisis started  – re-opens its economy . Silver is starting to wake-up and should outperform gold by a substantial margin going forward.

Chris Marcus (Arcadia EconomicsArcadia Economics) and I discuss the dubious credibility of the LBMA and evidence that it’s just as rigged as the Comex now:

**************

You can learn more about  Investment Research Dynamics newsletters by following these links (note: a minimum subscription period beyond the 1st month is not required):  Short Seller’s Journal subscription information–   Mining Stock Journal subscription information

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: 7.0939/ GETTING VERY DANGEROUSLY PAST 7:1

//OFFSHORE YUAN:  7.1109   /shanghai bourse CLOSED 0.54 POINTS OR 0.02%

HANG SANG CLOSED  UP 371.89 POINTS OR 1.53%

 

2. Nikkei closed UP 211.57 POINTS OR 1.05%

 

 

 

 

3. Europe stocks OPENED ALL RED/

 

 

 

USA dollar index UP TO 100.12/Euro FALLS TO 1.0817

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO. +.01/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 107.23/ 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:: 23.95 and Brent: 30.00

3f Gold DOWN/JAPANESE Yen DOWN 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 -.51%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP to 1.87% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD UP TO 0.81%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 2.38: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS TO : 2.15

3k Gold at $1703.50 silver at: 15.50   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $18.50

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble DOWN 10/100 in roubles/dollar) 62.99

3m oil into the 23 dollar handle for WTI and 30 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 107.23 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 .9723 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.0516 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 RISING to 0.51%

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 0.69% early this morning. Thirty year rate at 1.41%

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

6.  TURKISH LIRA:  UP  TO 7.0768..

Futures Slide As Markets Spooked By New Wave Of Corona Infections In Germany And Korea

US equity futures reversed overnight gains, and traded near session lows, dipping below 2,900  alongside European shares on Monday as investors turned cautious about a second wave of coronavirus infections with several countries reopening economies. Crude oil slipped, while the dollar rebounded after three days of losses.

Emini S&P futures gave up an earlier gain, with airlines including United Airlines dropping in pre-market trading after the carrier unexpectedly canceled a bond sale on Friday. Exxon Mobil and Chevron also fell more than 1% in premarket trading, as oil prices tumbled after Germany and South Korea reported a surge in COVID-19 cases after easing lockdowns. Battered cruise operators and airlines including Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings were also among the early decliners.

Hopes of a pickup in business activity powered a Wall Street rally last week, with the Nasdaq recouping all its losses for 2020 as investors looked past dire economic data, including a historic 20.5 million plunge in jobs in April. However, the S&P 500 is still more than 13% below its February record high and analysts have warned of another selloff as macroeconomic data gets worse, foreshadowing a deep and lasting global recession.

After financial markets began pricing in negative U.S. interest rates for the first time ever last week,all eyes will be on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s outlook on the economy at a webcast event on Wednesday.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index also reversed an earlier advance, with mining shares leading decliners. Equities in Japan outperformed Korean shares dipped. The

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks gained, led by industrials and consumer discretionary, after rising in the last session. Most markets in the region were up, with Thailand’s SET gaining 2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rising 1.5%, while South Korea’s Kospi Index dropped 0.5% after a jump in new Koronavirus cases. The Topix gained 1.5% and the yen sank amid growing optimism over the country restarting parts of its economy, with NichiiGakkan and Wacom rising the most. The Shanghai Composite Index was little changed even after the PBOC’s Q1 monetary policy report underscored a dovish policy stance , with Xinjiang Sailimu Modern Agriculture advancing and Kama declining the most.

Assessing investor psychology, Bloomberg notes that investors are starting the week more wary, as President Trump tries convincing Americans it’s safe to return to work and social life while he combats a coronavirus scare that’s moved closer to his own office. The U.K. will soon outline plans to ease its lockdown, which looks set to hurt airlines. Meanwhile in South Korea, a country praised for its measures to counter the pandemic, there’s a flare-up in cases tied to nightclubs in Seoul. The complex outlook is sparking questions about stock valuations after last week’s rally.

“Much of the eventual improved growth and virus news is already priced into markets,” said Bob Baur, chief global economist at Principal Global Investors LLC. “Because so much future growth and uptrend potential is priced in, we expect a period of relapse and consolidation through June.”

In rates, there was little action with U.S. Treasuries and European bonds little changed as governments took tentative steps toward easing coronavirus restrictions. Italian bonds are little changed after erasing their advance, even as peripheral debt outperforms most euro-area peers amid focus on debt sales. Italy’s 10-year yield is 1bp higher at 1.86%, leaving the spread over bunds steady at 238bps.

In FX, the dollar rose against most G-10 peers as investors worried that economic recovery might be slower than hoped and sought the safety of the U.S. currency even though more countries eased coronavirus lockdowns. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reversed an earlier loss as an advance in European equities lost momentum; it gained against all G-10 currencies apart from Norway’s krone. The euro fell, bunds edged down and peripheral spreads tightened against core bonds. The pound fell as investors wait for evidence of progress in the U.K.’s lockdown easing plans and Brexit talks. PM Johnson will flesh out his plan for lifting the U.K. lockdown in Parliament as he seeks to get more people back to work, but faces resistance from politicians and unions.

In commodities, West Texas crude dropped after a 25% advance last week, when oil capped its first back-to-back gain since February. Bitcoin tumbled as much as 16% after rising above $10,000 on Friday.

There is nothing on the economic calendar, with Marriott International among companies reporting earnings. The Fed’s Bostic speaks at 12pm ET.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 2,920.00
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.05% to 341.23
  • MXAP up 0.8% to 147.66
  • MXAPJ up 0.8% to 475.41
  • Nikkei up 1.1% to 20,390.66
  • Topix up 1.5% to 1,480.62
  • Hang Seng Index up 1.5% to 24,602.06
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.02% to 2,894.80
  • Sensex up 0.7% to 31,863.46
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.3% to 5,461.22
  • Kospi down 0.5% to 1,935.40
  • Brent futures down 3.3% to $29.95/bbl
  • Gold spot little changed at $1,703.48
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.3% to 100.04
  • German 10Y yield rose 1.5 bps to -0.522%
  • Euro down 0.2% to $1.0815
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 7.3 bps to 1.671%
  • Spanish 10Y yield unchanged at 0.795%

Top Overnight News

  • U.S. Vice President Mike Pence self-isolated after his press secretary tested positive for coronavirus, while three members of the White House task force are in quarantine. Russia reported a record number of new cases in one day and now has more confirmed infections than Italy
  • With tens of millions of Americans expected to mail in their ballots for the Nov. 3 general election, the country may not know whether President Donald Trump or Joe Biden won for days, even weeks
  • In the middle of a spat between Europe’s top courts over the limits of European Central Bank monetary stimulus, President Christine Lagarde is probably preparing to do even more
  • China’s credit provision in April was much stronger than the same period in recent years, signaling the central bank’s credit easing policy is helping revive domestic demand
  • A sell-off in China’s sovereign notes worsened, with the benchmark 10-year yield surging to its highest level since March

Asian equity markets begun the week on the front foot after last Friday’s gains on Wall St where stocks were underpinned by the easing of US-China trade tensions to help the major indices disregard the abysmal US jobs. data In addition, efforts to ease coronavirus restrictions and a slowing pace of deaths from the pandemic have added to the optimism. ASX 200 (+1.3%) and Nikkei 225 (+1.1%) were higher as earnings updates were also in focus for Australia and with risk appetite in Tokyo stoked amid reports the Japanese government will compile a 2nd extra budget to address the coronavirus and may lift the state of emergency declaration early in many prefectures. Hang Seng (+1.5%) and Shanghai Comp. (U/C) were also positive after the PBoC pledged to resort to more powerful policies and step up counter-cyclical adjustments to support the economy and fend off risks, with outperformance in Hong Kong led by a surge in tech and gambling names. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower on spillover selling from T-notes and amid the upside in risky assets, but with downside cushioned due the BoJ’s presence in the market in which the central bank upped purchases of 3yr-5yr JGBs by JPY 50bln to a total of JPY 350bln.

Top Asian News

  • Tencent’s $40 Billion Gain Masks a Deeper Long-Term Threat
  • China Liquor Giant Defies Global Slump With $60 Billion Gain
  • Rout of China’s Bonds Worsens Amid Concerns on Surge in Issuance
  • The Billionaire Club Behind China’s Most Indebted Developer
  • Gay Club Outbreak Poses Challenge to Korea’s Open Virus Strategy

European equities have given up earlier gains [Euro Stoxx 50 -0.9%] as the mostly positive APAC sentiment deteriorated throughout the session. Fundamental news-flow remain light, but initial signs of a potential resurgence of the COVID-19 outbreak in so-called “success countries” may weigh on investors’ minds. Italy’s FTSE MIB (+0.1%) currently remains the sole bourse in the green as the index is propped up by broad-based gains across Italian Banks amid reports the Italian Gov’t is said to be mulling state guarantees for up to EUR 15bln of bonds issued by banks, according to a draft decree. This would offer banks support from the economy ministry for six months, which could be extended by a further six months if needed but requires the green light from the European Commission. Sectors are mostly in the red with the exception of Consumer Stables; broad sectors reflect risk aversion, whilst Energy underperforms amid price action in the complex. The sector breakdown also paints a similar picture, with Travel & Leisure incurring losses to sit as a laggard. In terms of individual movers, Wirecard (+7.5%) holds onto a bulk of its gains after appointed a new Chief Compliance Officer and raising total board members to seven. French Auto names, namely Renault (+3.7%), see support from the French Finance Minister who said the state is ready to help the auto industry, but production must be brought back to France in exchange. Ericsson (Unch) shaved most of its gains but remains cushioned after upping its 2025 global 5G subscriptions forecast to 2.8bln vs. Prev. 2.6bln.

Top European News

  • ECB Heads for More Stimulus Even as Courts Spar Over Limits
  • European Car Stocks Rise as China Industry Group Predicts Growth
  • Riksbank Says It’s Ready to ‘Scale Up’ Crisis Measures If Needed
  • Denmark Becomes First European Stock Market to Erase 2020 Losses

In FX, risk sentiment has soured in early EU trade, but Usd/Jpy has breached resistance at the psychological 107.00 level that kept the headline pair in check during the Asia-Pac session amidst broad strength in Yen crosses and to the benefit of the Dollar in general. Indeed, the DXY edged just above 100.000 at best after stalling on Friday post-NFP, with the index also acknowledging a rebound in US Treasury yields alongside curve re-steepening as FFFs unwind negative pricing from end 2020 contracts to April next year at the earliest. Back to the Jpy, latest reports about another supplementary budget follow the BoJ’s April Summary of Opinions noting further room for coordinated fiscal and monetary policy stimulus as Japan remains at risk of deflation, and Usd/Jpy has consolidated about the 21 DMA (107.16).

  • NZD/AUD – The Kiwi is treading cautiously into the RBNZ policy meeting that is expected to see QE boosted even though NZ is preparing to scale down its lockdown status by Thursday and continue to reopen the economy, while ANZ business sentiment and the activity outlook both improved somewhat per preliminary survey readings for May. However, Nzd/Usd is testing 0.6100 from 0.6150+ at one stage overnight and the Aud/Nzd cross has bounced firmly between 1.0612-78 parameters as the Aussie derives some underlying traction from PBoC guidance pointing at stronger measures to support the Chinese economy including stepping up counter-cyclical adjustments. Nevertheless, Aud/Usd has also pulled back from best levels towards 0.6500 awaiting this week’s jobs data.
  • EUR/GBP/CHF/CAD – All conceding ground to the Greenback, with the single currency unable to clear 1.0850 and subsequently drifting back down to the low 1.0800 area, but perhaps cushioned by decent option expiry interest from 1.0810-00 ahead of the NY cut, while Cable has been unable to maintain 1.2400+ status again before the resumption of UK-EU trade talks and with little support from PM Johnson’s 3-point plan to remove COVID-19 restrictions. Elsewhere, the Franc has retreated from circa 0.9700 after commentary from SNB chief Jordan confirming that intervention has increased to curb Chf appreciation and backed up by increases in weekly sight deposits, and the Loonie has reversed from around 1.3900 alongside crude prices after outperforming its US counterpart in wake of last Friday’s Canadian-US employment report face-off.
  • SCANDI – Rather mixed starts to the new week for the Norwegian Krona and its Swedish peer as the former revisited support in Eur/Nok ahead of 11.0000 on the back of significantly firmer than forecast inflation metrics, but the latter bounced from near 10.5700 to 10.6100+ following Riksbank minutes that appear less intransigent on the subject of lowering the repo rate, if required, while maintaining that QE can be scaled up further if necessary.
  • EM – Far from out of the woods, but the Lira has managed a feat of sorts with its recovery momentum continuing (towards 7.0700 vs almost 7.2700 at the new ATH) after spill-over from the ban on 3 foreign banks trading the Try resulted in a depressed volume volatility spike stopping some of Turkey’s biggest brokers taking orders from retail customers. However, reports suggest the banking regulator may reverse the ban if the banks adhere to regulations regarding lending to local institutions.

In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures remain on the backfoot, albeit off lows seen earlier in the trade. Prices see more consolidation from last week’s rise, albeit concerns are resurfacing regarding a potential second wave in COVID-19 cases – with reported cases in Wuhan and South Korea alongside Germany’s R0 climbing to 1.1 from ~0.7. Elsewhere, following Saudi Aramco upping their OSPs across all regions – UAE’s ADNOC and Kuwait’s KPC followed suit. Otherwise, news-flow has been light for the complex in early EU trade, with eyes on this week’s monthly oil market report releases – which will incorporate reopening economies as a factor when deciding revisions to global demand forecasts. Furthermore, Oklahoma’s oil and gas regulators will be meeting later today to discuss mandated state-wide oil cuts, albeit no fireworks are expected from the confab. WTI June resides towards mid-range after printing a base under USD 23.75/bbl and a roof at USD 24.80bbl, whilst Brent July also trades towards the middle of its current intraday USD 29.80-30.96 band. Meanwhile, spot gold moves in tandem with the Buck, moving within a tight band between USD 1702-1712/oz for much of the session; however, the yellow metal has subsequently dropped beneath this and the USD 1700/oz mark. Copper remains contained around flat levels for the session amid a lack of drivers.

US Event Calendar

  • 12pm: Fed’s Bostic Discusses the Response to Covid-19

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

One thing that broke the monotony of lockdown yesterday was Bronte whelping and clawing at an old half meter high stone ornament in our garden. We went to see what all the fuss was about and through a small crack we discovered a nest with freshly hatched very tiny baby birds in it. They were possibly hours or even minutes old. I put the end of my iPhone in to investigate and got some remarkable footage. You can see it if you look at my Bloomberg header or I can send it to you if you want your heart warmed! My wife spent the whole afternoon trying to make the ornament Bronte proof as she paid no attention to us trying to get her to leave them alone. She was going crazy around the ornament. We didn’t think the mum would fly in with food while Bronte was around. So Trudi has built a moat made out of deckchairs, and garden netting. I saw the mum fly in twice after we went inside so hopefully they all got food. Why she couldn’t choose a tree like other birds I’ve no idea.

From cracks in the stone to cracks in the global economy as late last week DB published its latest World Outlook with the title “Turning gloomier”. As the title suggests we’ve downgraded what were already pretty aggressive numbers back in March. Under the base case we now see US (-7.1%), German (-9.0%), UK (-11.5%), French (-14%) and Italian (-14%) growth even weaker for 2020 with 2021 only seeing the US recover a third of this output loss with Euro Area growth a bit higher (4-6% growth) given the bigger shock in 2020 but with regional differences. Under the more negative protracted pandemic scenario France, Italy and Spain all see growth down around -20% for 2020 with less than a quarter of this loss recovered in 2021. Underpinning the base case assumptions is that a vaccine won’t be widely available over the next year and a half and that social distancing impacts large swathes of the economy as it reopens. So you could see room for upside if a vaccine is found and widely used. See the report here.

On reopenings, the U.K. last night announced a cautious phased approach as PM Boris Johnson addressed us all here. However, people who can’t work from home that can go to work seem to be being encouraged to do so immediately if they can avoid public transport. From Wednesday we’ll be able to take unlimited exercise and be able to meet one person from outside our own household as long as we stay two metres apart. Sunbathing is now allowed in parks and you can take part in sport with your own household. From June 1st the hope is to reopen some school years. I watched the whole speech to work out whether I can play golf now. It seems I can from Wednesday but only alone or with a family member (not likely).

The speech has seen a bit of a backlash for sending mixed messages but the problem is that it is really difficult to see a way of near normality emerging in the months or even quarters ahead with current public opinion (generally in favour of a safety first approach), politics (trying to balance public opinion with the destruction of the economy) and without a vaccine. Esteemed professor and famed economic historian Niall Ferguson reminded us in the U.K. Times yesterday that there is no vaccine for Malaria, HIV, Tuberculosis amongst others and that many that have arrived have taken many years. So unless we find a vaccine in record quick time or if public opinion changes on the risk/reward of the virus then we may have to get used to a long period of social distancing. Our new World Outlook showed that in the US for example, about 20% of occupations are classified as “high contact intensity” and 50% as medium contact intensity. High intensity areas include such occupations as food services, personal services, and education, as well as health care. Medium intensity areas include retail and construction, among others. So the length of time of any social distancing regime will be key to how quick or slow we reach the level of output pre-covid.

In terms of this week it’s fairly quiet data wise as it often is the week after payrolls. Fed Chair Powell’s appearance on Wednesday may be the highlight though. He will be speaking on current economic issues at a webinar hosted by the Peterson Institute. There seems to be a lot of focus on what he may say about the policy towards negative rates. Market pricing of the future fed funds rate has dipped into negative territory in recent weeks even if some of this is technical. The Fed does seem very reluctant to endorse negative rates as an option but the market is concerned that they may have no choice in the future. So the Fed may need to increasingly lay out a convincing narrative as to how they’ll avoid it for markets to not price it in.

There’ll be a few interesting data releases to look out for, including Q1 GDP readings from Germany (Friday) and the UK (Wednesday), US CPI (tomorrow – expected to see the weakest core print on record), along with the important monthly Chinese data dump for April and US Retail sales (Friday). Earnings season is starting to wind down, though there’ll still be 20 S&P 500 and 71 Stoxx 600 companies reporting. 86% of the S&P 500 has reported first quarter results for 2020 through the end of last week. 66% of those companies have beat earning-per-share estimates, which is below the historical average of 73%. The blended (actual and estimated results) earnings decline is -13.6% for the quarter. If those results hold, it will be the largest year-over-year decline since the third quarter of 2009. It would also be the fourth quarter in the past five that the S&P 500 reported a year-over-year decline in earnings. The S&P 500 doesn’t seem to be that fussed though and is now at levels it traded at in October last year just before the phase one deal was signed with China. Meanwhile the NASDAQ is now up for 2020 (+1.66%). A truly remarkable achievement in the face of something akin to an economic depression. In terms of the earnings highlights, tomorrow we’ll hear from Allianz, Duke Energy, Vodafone, Deutsche Post and ThyssenKrupp. Then on Wednesday, we’ll hear from Cisco Systems and Commerzbank. And on Thursday, there’s Deutsche Telekom, Merck and Applied Materials.

For those missing the days when major stress was thinking about Brexit, you’ll be pleased to learn that there’ll also be another round of talks between the UK and the EU on their future relationship post-Brexit starting today.

A quick check on our screens this morning show that markets in Asia have kicked off the week on the front foot. Indeed the Nikkei (+1.59%), Hang Seng (+2.00%) and ASX (+1.76%) have posted the biggest gains while the Shanghai Comp (+0.13%) and Kospi (+0.24%) have posted more modest gains. Futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.45%, WTI Oil -0.61% and 10y Treasury yields up just over 1bp.

In terms of overnight news, the PBoC said in its quarterly monetary policy report that it will resort to “more powerful” policies to counter the hit to growth due to the coronavirus pandemic and removed reference to the phrase “will avoid excess liquidity flooding the economy” from the policy outlook section. Meanwhile, Bloomberg has reported that the European Commission has threatened to sue Germany after the country’s top court questioned the legality of the ECB’s bond-buying program. The EC president Ursula von der Leyen said that “the final word on EU law is always spoken” by the European court, “nowhere else.”

Last week risk assets continued to recover as countries released reopening plans and investors seemingly looked past bad economic data and uncertain earnings forecasts. The S&P 500 rose +3.50%, (+1.69% Friday) even in the face of the worst jobs report in history. Technology stocks continued to show their resilience, with the NASDAQ rising +6.00% on the week (+1.58% Friday) – the index is now up +1.66% YTD as discussed above. European equities also rose on the week, as the Stoxx 600 gained +1.08% (+0.91% Friday). The various European indices had different reactions to a week that saw a significant divergence in economic data and plans to ease restrictions whilst the German constitutional court ruling created some risk-off. The DAX rose +0.39% (+1.35% Friday), while the Italian FTSE MIB fell -1.42% (+1.13% Friday), and the CAC slid -0.49% (+1.07% Friday). The FTSE, which was closed on Friday, was up +3.00% over the week with a rally in Oil and fall in sterling helping slightly. The Nikkei saw a shortened week as well, with Monday through Wednesday off, rising by +2.56% Friday to finish the week up +2.85%. The CSI 300 gained +1.30% (+0.99% Friday) on a 3 day week, while the Kospi fell -0.09% on a 4 day week (+0.89% Friday). In other risk markets, oil continued to rally for a second week in a row. WTI futures rose +24.97% last week (+4.97% Friday) to $24.72/barrel and Brent crude rose +17.13% on the week (+5.13% Friday), the third weekly gain in the last eleven weeks.

The VIX fell -9.2pts to 27.98 last week (-3.5pts Friday). That was the first time the volatility index fell under 30 since late February, before the rout in global equities. With equity volatility decreasing and oil prices rising, US high yield credit spreads tightened on the week. US HY cash spreads were -18bps tighter on the week (-8bps Friday), while IG was +4bps wider on the week (+1bp Friday). In Europe, HY cash spreads were +17bps wider (-3bps Friday), while IG widened +6bps (flat Friday).

Bond-equity correlations were negative on the week again, with core sovereign bond yields in the US and Europe up last week as equities rallied. US 10yr Treasury yields were up +7.1bps (+4.2bps Friday) to finish at 0.683%, 14bps from the March lows. Meanwhile, 10yr Bund yields rose +4.9bps (+0.8bps Friday) to -0.54%. Other European debt widened on the week. Spanish, Italian, and French sovereign 10yr debt was -2.4, -3.4 and -2.6 bps wider respectively to Bunds. Italian debt trading in a 30bps yield range over the week but rallying -7.5bps on Friday.

Economic data last Friday gave markets another historic moment during this covid-19 crisis. The 20.5mn decline in April nonfarm payrolls was actually slightly better than DB’s 22mn projection, as was the 14.7% unemployment rate, which was below our 17.1% estimate but was still the worst since the Great Depression (from 4.4% a month earlier and well above the 3.5% February print). Similar to last month, the U-3 unemployment rate was substantially understated, potentially by as much as five percentage points so u/e is expected to rise further. If there was one silver lining it was that the vast majority of unemployed (78%) were “on temporary layoff” compared to 11.1% who were “not on temporary layoff”. These will be key stats to follow to see evidence of the potential long-term scarring of the US economy.

end

 

 

3A/ASIAN AFFAIRS

MONDAY MORNING/ SUNDAY NIGHT: 

SHANGHAI CLOSED  0.54 POINTS OR 0.02%  //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 371.89 POINTS OR 1.53%   /The Nikkei closed UP 211.57 POINTS OR 1.05%//Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 1.30%

/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN  at 7.0939 /Oil DOWN TO 23.95 dollars per barrel for WTI and 30.00 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED//  ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN // LAST AT 7.0939 AGAINST THE DOLLAR. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 7.1103 TRADE TALKS STALL//YUAN LEVELS GETTING DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO 7:1//TRUMP INITIATES A NEW 25% TARIFFS FRIDAY/MAY 10/2019/MAJOR PROBLEMS AT HUAWEI /CFO ARRESTED//CORONAVIRUS//PANDEMIC  : /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

 

3 C CHINA

CHINA

A good reason to believe that the Wuhan Biolab was the source of the Pandemic…cellular activity basically disappeared for a two week period in Oct 7 to Oct 24 2019.  The building is huge with many workers.  If forced to close there would be no activity

(zerohedge)

Wuhan Biolab Where Coronavirus Was Studied Mysteriously Shut Down In October, Report Claims

Another leaked intelligence document has been leaked to the press to help support suspicions that the coronavirus currently ravaging the US and much of the global community may have leaked from a biolab in Wuhan.

NBC News reports that a document that has been shared among several Republican lawmakers points to evidence that the virus may have emerged even earlier than the global community believes. In recent days, the French government confirmed suspicions that the country’s first case might have arrived as early as December, while in the US, the earliest suspected COVID-19-linked death occurred on Feb. 6, weeks earlier than previously believed.

The earliest suspected case in China may have been observed as early as November, some scientists believe, though others doubt the theory. But the report obtained by NBC News cites cellphone activity data showing a complete shutdown of a high-security section of the lab for 2.5 weeks between Oct. 7 and Oct. 24.

Though it offers no insight into what might have caused the shutdown, and there could be other explanations for the data, it’s certainly some food for thought.

The report — obtained by the London-based NBC News Verification Unit — says there was no cellphone activity in a high-security portion of the Wuhan Institute of Virology from Oct. 7 through Oct. 24, 2019, and that there may have been a “hazardous event” sometime between Oct. 6 and Oct. 11.

It offers no direct evidence of a shutdown, or any proof for the theory that the virus emerged accidentally from the lab.

If there was such a shutdown, which has not been confirmed, it could be seen as evidence of a possibility being examined by US intelligence agencies and alluded to by Trump administration officials, including the president – that the novel coronavirus emerged accidentally from the lab.

But that is one of several scenarios under consideration by U.S. intelligence agencies. Many scientists are skeptical, arguing that the more likely explanation is that the virus was transmitted to humans through animals in a Wuhan live produce market. The World Health Organization said Friday it believed the “wet” market played a role in the spread of the disease.

The document asserts that if the virus truly did spread in November and December, then there is reason to suspect that it might have leaked from a lab, or been intentionally released.

The document doesn’t cite direct evidence to support that assertion. The analysis seems to account for only a tiny fraction of the cellphones that would be expected in a facility that employs hundreds of people. Dr. Just Vlak, a Dutch virologist who visited a nearby satellite facility of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in late November and met with WIV’s head of bio-security, told NBC News that the facility he visited had between 200 and 300 staff.

The document obtained by NBC News also says that an annual international conference planned for early November in the same lower-security portion of the WIV that Vlak visited appears to have been “cancelled and never took place.” The conference actually went forward as planned. A second version of the document viewed by NBC News is annotated to say that the conference did proceed. No other differences between the two versions of the document were observed.

For that and other reasons, some officials are skeptical of the analysis, which is based on commercially available cellphone location data. One U.S. official who has seen the document said the data “looks really weak to me and some of the conclusions don’t make sense.”

Though the document advises that the data it cites are “vague”, NBC notes another earlier piece of evidence purporting to show a shutdown at the lab had been obtained earlier.

Earlier, U.S. intelligence agencies received reports based on publicly available cellphone and satellite data suggesting there was a shutdown at the lab, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter say. But after examining overhead imagery and their own data, the spy agencies were unable to confirm any shutdown, and deemed the reports “inconclusive.”

But one Congressional staffer said these reports are getting “another look” by lawmakers.

Another U.S. official said intelligence agencies may give the data another look in the wake of this new report. And still another intelligence official said there may be more private cellphone location data that could shed further light on the matter.

Congressional intelligence committees have also been given the document, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R.-Fla., appeared to be alluding to it or a similar report in a tweet on Wednesday.

“Would be interesting if someone analyzed commercial telemetry data at & near Wuhan lab from Oct-Dec 2019,” Rubio tweeted. “If it shows dramatic drop off in activity compared to previous 18 months it would be a strong indication of an incident at lab & of when it happened.

At the end of the story, NBC News included a timeline of all the circumstantial evidence being used to support suspicions that the virus may have leaked from a lab. It includes:

  • A Jan. 24 study published in the medical journal The Lancet found that three of the first four cases – including the first known case – didn’t provide a documented link to the Wuhan wet market.
  • The bats that carry the family of coronaviruses linked to the new strain aren’t found within 100 miles of Wuhan — but they were studied in both labs.
  • Photos and videos have emerged of researchers at both labs collecting samples from bats without wearing protective gear, which experts say poses a risk of human infection.
  • A U.S. State Department expert who visited the WIV in 2018 wrote in a cable reported by The Washington Post: “During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, [U.S. diplomats] noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory.”
  • According to Senate Intelligence Committee member Tom Cotton, R-Ark., the Chinese military posted its top epidemiologist to the WIV in January.
  • The Shanghai laboratory where researchers published the world’s first genome sequence of the coronavirus was shut down Jan. 12, according to The South China Morning Post.
  • According to U.S. intelligence assessments, including one published by the Department of Homeland Security and reviewed by NBC News, the Chinese government initially covered up the severity of the outbreak. Government officials threatened doctors who warned their colleagues about the virus, weren’t candid about human-to-human transmission and still haven’t provided virus samples to researchers.
  • Despite all that, most scientists and researchers believe natural animal-to-human transmission is the most likely scenario.

If nothing else, it’s definitely some food for thought.

end
Part II

Mobile Phone Activity From Wuhan Lab Suggests ‘Possible Shutdown’ In October Due To ‘Hazardous Event’

An intelligence report conducted by private analysts and presented to the US Senate intelligence committee suggests that there may have been a “hazardous event” at the Wuhan Institute of Virology between October 6 and 11, during which time roadblocks were put in place to prevent traffic from coming to the facility, according to the report obtained by NBC News.

The 24-page report includes an analysis ofphone data from around the institute, including a pattern analysis of devices that frequent the WIV, show no mobile phone activityfrom October 7 to 24

The analysis shows that device traffic “in and around the WIV in the months prior to October was consistent,” but that “Beginning on October 11th, there was a substantial decrease in activity,” suggesting that the ‘window for incident’ was October 6th – 11th.

“During this time, it is believed that roadblocks were put in place to prevent traffic from coming near the facility.”

That said, NBC‘s anonymous government expert has urged caution, suggesting that the report may rely on limited commercially available mobile phone data, and that there could be any number of reasons why no activity was detected during the period in question.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee (presumably following their briefing), tweeted on May 6: “Would be interesting if someone analyzed commercial telemetry data at & near Wuhan lab from Oct-Dec 2019,” adding “If it shows dramatic drop off in activity compared to previous 18 months it would be a strong indication of an incident at lab & of when it happened.”

Marco Rubio

@marcorubio

⁦Would be interesting if someone analyzed commercial telemetry data at & near Wuhan lab from Oct-Dec 2019

If it shows dramatic drop off in activity compared to previous 18 months it would be a strong indication of an incident at lab & of when it happened https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/chinese-ambassador-cui-tiankai-blaming-china-will-not-end-this-pandemic/2020/05/05/4e1d61dc-8f03-11ea-a9c0-73b93422d691_story.html 

Opinion | Chinese ambassador: Ignoring the facts to blame China will only make things worse

An unnecessary burden has been distracting our focus and undercutting international efforts to curb the virus.

washingtonpost.com

According to the report, the first cases of the novel coronavirus were reported at the end of December, however a new paper from five infectious-disease researchers in China reports that Chinese social media platform WeChat searches for “SARS” , “Coronavirus” , “shortness of breath” , “dyspnea” , and “Diarrhea” began to spike on November 17 – suggesting that COVID-19 was circulating in China weeks before the first cases were officially diagnosed and reported.

NBC News provides the following body of evidence commonly referenced by those who suspect COVID-19 escaped from the WIV:

  • A Jan. 24 study published in the medical journal The Lancet found that three of the first four cases — including the first known case — didn’t provide a documented link to the Wuhan wet market.
  • The bats that carry the family of coronaviruses linked to the new strain aren’t found within 100 miles of Wuhan — but they were studied in both labs.
  • Photos and videos have emerged of researchers at both labs collecting samples from bats without wearing protective gear, which experts say poses a risk of human infection.
  • A U.S. State Department expert who visited the WIV in 2018 wrote in a cable reported by The Washington Post: “During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, [U.S. diplomats] noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory.”
  • According to Senate Intelligence Committee member Tom Cotton, R-Ark., the Chinese military posted its top epidemiologist to the WIV in January.
  • The Shanghai laboratory where researchers published the world’s first genome sequence of the coronavirus was shut down Jan. 12, according to The South China Morning Post.
  • According to U.S. intelligence assessments, including one published by the Department of Homeland Security and reviewed by NBC News, the Chinese government initially covered up the severity of the outbreak. Government officials threatened doctors who warned their colleagues about the virus, weren’t candid about human-to-human transmission and still haven’t provided virus samples to researchers.

 

end
CHINA/USA
After China forced out many reporters (who blamed China for the origination of the COVID 19), Trump strikes back with severe restrictions on the Chinese media
(zerohedge)

After China Forced Out Reporters, Trump Hits Back With Severe Restrictions On Chinese Media

The US-China mudslinging and tit-for-tat blame game over the COVID-19 crisis just got a lot nastier, taking the information war in a new direction, impacting journalists working on the ground.

The Trump administration has slapped new visa restrictions on Chinese journalists working in the United States in retaliation for similar actions taken against American outlets.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Friday a new rule requiring all Chinese journalists under non-American news companies to be given only 90-day work visas, as opposed to the previous open-ended visas commonly handed out.

 

Via EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Specifically officials cited that the drastic limitation is necessary to counterbalance the “suppression of independent journalism” in China. This after Beijing starting in March moved to expel reporters in what Chinese officials at the time called an “entirely necessary and reciprocal” measure that belong to The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

The DHS had condemned that prior provocative move as “an escalation of hostile measures targeting a free press within its borders.” And in this latest announced severe visa restriction it described:

“Based on the treatment by the [People’s Republic of China (PRC)] of foreign journalists, including U.S. citizens, DHS has determined that the PRC is not treating journalists in a manner that admitting … visa holders for the duration of status is sufficiently reciprocal to the treatment accorded by the PRC to U.S. journalists or in alignment with U.S. foreign policy,” the DHS said in its announcement.

All of this will certainly heightened what’s developed into a full-scale information war over the coronavirus pandemic.

Western correspondents in China fear this race to the bottom will ultimately end their ability to report from the Communist country:

David Rennie 任大伟

@DSORennie

This will further hurt US reporters in China. Trump administration talks of seeking reciprocity re. press visa rules for reporters. But this is a race to the bottom with an authoritarian state that uses short visas to punish and coerce. A democracy can’t/shouldn’t win that race1 https://twitter.com/niubi/status/1258876533487304711 

Bill Bishop

@niubi

BFD https://twitter.com/zhang_qiii/status/1258871397281079298 

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

While the White House has spotlighted the Wuhan Virology Lab for investigation, as well as other labs conducting high risk research and experiments involving SARS-like dangerous strains of viruses, China’s Foreign Ministry officials have on multiple occasions suggested the US Army was responsible for unleashing the deadly disease.

It must be noted too that just two weeks prior to China expelling a host of US journalists for major newspapers, the State Department cut the visas short for some 60 state-funded Chinese media journalists.

No doubt, China will retaliate. And given it’s not a democracy, it’s likely to hit back even harder, it’s what’s increasingly looking like a race to the bottom. This could ultimately result in zero American reporters legally in China at all.

END
CHINA/USA/MONDAY MORNING
Tensions rising as the USA deploy B 1  B, and warships into the South China Seas ..Chinese nationalists are calling for the invasion of Taiwan
(zerohedge)

US Deploys B-1Bs, Warships In South China Sea As China Nationalists Call For Invasion Of Taiwan

While the global economy remains in a state of near ubiquitous lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the US military has been busy. According to an update posted on the Pacific Air Forces website, a B-1B Lancer strategic bomber part of the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron was one of two B-1s conducting a training mission in the South China Sea in support of Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts and “strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region.

The training missions follows what Stars and Stripes described on April 30 as a “show of force” by the U.S. military in the South China Sea “with a sortie over the contested waters on Thursday by two Air Force bombers.”

The B-1B Lancers from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., flew a 32-hour round trip to conduct operations over the sea as part of a joint bomber task force by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Strategic Command, the Air Force said in news release Thursday.

The mission further demonstrated the service’s new “dynamic force employment model,” which is intended to make its global bomber presence less predictable, the Air Force said.

Meanwhile, according to a Friday report from the USNI, the US Navy “sent a pair of ships to patrol in the vicinity of a mineral rights dispute between Malaysia and China in the South China Sea for the second time in a month.”

According to the report, the Littoral Combat Ship USS Montgomery (LCS-8) and replenishment ship USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE-14) conducted a presence operation in the South China Sea on Thursday near Panamanian-flagged drill ship West Capella, in what appears to have been a show of force/deterrence. The drill ship is under contract to conduct surveying operations in Malaysia’s exclusive economic zone for Malaysian state oil company Petronas. Chinese People Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warships and China Coast Guard vessels have also operated near the Malaysian-contracted drilling ship, according to USNI.

 

USS Montgomery (LCS-8) conducts routine operations near Panamanian flagged drillship, West Capella, on May 7, 2020 in the South China Sea. US Navy Photo

Separately, in late April, guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) sailed with the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Parramatta (FFG-154) before joining the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) and guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52) to conduct combined exercises in the area where a Chinese government survey ship, Haiyang Dizhi 8, was said to be operating with an escort of several China Coast Guard ships.

On Friday, U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. John Aquilino issued a pointed statement addressing Chinese operations in the region: “We are committed to a rules-based order in the South China Sea, and we will continue to champion freedom of the seas and the rule of law,” Aquilino said in the release.

“The Chinese Communist Party must end its pattern of bullying Southeast Asians out of offshore oil, gas, and fisheries.”

Bunker Hill conducted a freedom of navigation operation through the Spratly Island chain near Gaven Reef in the South China Sea on April 29. “Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas, including the freedoms of navigation and overflight and the right of innocent passage of all ships,” reads the statement from 7th Fleet.

* * *

In response to what may be prompting these increased “shows of force” by the US military in China contested waters, today the SCMP reported that “Beijing is trying to calm rising nationalist sentiment after a growing chorus of voices called for China to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic by invading Taiwan.”

A number of commentators on social media have called for the island to be reunified by force – something Beijing has never ruled out – but some analysts believe the authorities want to play a longer game and are now trying to cool the “nationalist fever”.

According to the SCMP report, an article published earlier in the month in the magazine of the Central Party School, which trains senior officials, drew historical parallels with the Qing dynasty’s conquest of Taiwan in the 17th century to highlight the importance of patience and careful planning.

The 5,000-word article in Study Times, written by historian Deng Tao, said the Qing had spent the next 20 years preparing for the invasion and conquest of the island and argued that they had also used political, diplomatic and economic measures to achieve their goal rather than just relying on force.

The historian then went on to say that the Qing had managed to isolate the island’s rulers diplomatically and sent representatives to the island to court support among its Han Chinese residents by offering them incentives to return to the mainland and escape the heavy taxes imposed by their rulers. But in the meantime, the Kangxi emperor had been building up and training an invasion fleet that successfully took the island in 1683 and incorporated it into the Qing empire.

 

Calls from online nationalists for an invasion of Taiwan have been growing in recent weeks. Photo: Reuters

Fast forward to today, when a number of commentators and retired military commanders have called for Beijing to retake control of the island, where the defeated Nationalist forces fled in 1949 following their defeat in the civil war.

Additionally, some former military leaders have argued that the United States – which is bound by law to help the Taiwanese government defend itself – is presently unable to do so because all four of its aircraft carriers in the Pacific have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Some legal commentators, including Tian Feilong, an associate professor at Beihang University, in Beijing, have gone so far to call on the government to consider the use of force and argued that an “anti-secession” law ratified in 2005 gives it the legal authority to do so.

Tian argued in an article published on the news website guancha.cn that political and social developments on the island meant it was impossible to resolve the situation peacefully and said anti-government protests in Hong Kong showed that the “one country, two systems model” – which Beijing hoped to use as the basis for reunification with Taiwan – had failed.

Qiao Liang, a retired air force major general who is seen as a hawkish voice on the mainland, argued in a separate article published on the social media platform WeChat that now was not the right time to take Taiwan by force. Liang warned it would be “too costly and risky” and said China should wait until it had the economic and military strength to challenge the US.

A Beijing-based military source said the mainland authorities still hope the situation can be resolved peacefully and the majority of Taiwanese still want to maintain the status quo.

“Maintaining the stability and prosperity of Taiwan before and after its unification is still the top priority for the mainland,” the source continued.

Lee Chih-horng, who lectures in cross-strait relations at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said the articles by Deng and Qian indicated that the government wanted to stick to its own timetable for Taiwan unification.

The Beijing leadership has now realised that they need to cool down the nationalist fever as calls to take Taiwan by force have become too emotional, with many on mainland social media stirring up the topic for attention,” Lee said.

“As Qiao said, Beijing realises now is not a good time to take Taiwan back by force, but [President] Xi [Jinping] will come out up with the ultimate solution to solve the Taiwan issue.”

Whether China’s heightened nationalistic tendencies are behind the stepped up US “training missions” and “patrols” in the South China Sea remains unclear, but amid the heightened diplomatic tensions between the US and China over the source of the coronavirus pandemic, the rising military tensions will hardly facilitate the return of normal relations between the two superpowers.

end
CHINA/USA
TROUBLE AHEAD…
(ZEROHEDGE)

“A Tsunami Of Anger”: Chinese Officials Call For Renegotiation Of “Phase One” Trade Deal

Amid the ongoing diplomatic spat between Washington DC and Beijing, which now also includes the deployment of B-1B bombers and warships in the South China Sea, late on Monday (local time) China’s Global Times reported, citing sources close to the Chinese government, thatsome “hawkish” officials in China are calling for a renegotiation of the “phase one” trade deal with Washington as well as a “tit-for-tat approach on spiraling trade issues after US’ malicious attacks on China ignited a tsunami of anger among Chinese trade insiders.

The calls to renegotiate the current version of the deal – which has yet to be actively implemented – emerge amid  dissatisfaction because “China has made compromise for the deal to press ahead.”

While in the past, these same trade negotiators “believed that it would be worthwhile to make certain compromise to reach a partial truce in the 22-month trade war and ease escalating tensions”, given what the Global Times called “President Donald Trump’s hyping an anti-China conspiracy that aims to cover up his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic”, advisors close to the trade talks have suggested Chinese officials rekindling the possibility of invalidating the trade pact and negotiating a new one to tilt the scales more to the Chinese side, sources close the matter told the Global Times.

A former Chinese trade official told the Global Times on condition of anonymity on Monday that China could complete such procedures based on force majeure provisions in the pact.

“It’s in fact in China’s interests to terminate the current phase one deal. It is beneficial to us. The US now cannot afford to restart the trade war with China if everything goes back to the starting point,” another trade advisor to the Chinese government told the Global Times, pointing to the staggering US economy and the coming of the US presidential election this year.

“After signing the phase one deal, the US intensifies crackdown in other areas such as technology, politics and the military against China. So if we don’t retreat on trade issues, the US could be trapped,” the former official noted.

Some could disagree, and counter that Trump can certainly restart the trade war especially since it suits his pre-election agenda – after all, now that the fate of the market is entirely in the hands of the Fed which has gone full MMT, Trump is no longer afraid by the market’s response to a renewed trade war. In fact, with over 60% of the US population seeking to distance US from China, it would appear that Trump’s best bet to winning independent votes is precisely to keep hammering China.

Confirming this, Trump said on Friday that he was “very torn” about whether to end the China-US phase one deal, Fox News reported, with some observers interpreting his words as equating to a threat from the US to re-launch a trade war against China.

Meanwhile, Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who advises the government on trade issues, told the Global Times on Monday that China has “well documented” Washington’s usual threats after previous rounds of confrontation. That means if the trade war restarts, “China knows how to respond, and it is able to retaliate quickly and inflict serious harm on the US economy,” Gao said.

Still, as the Global Times concludes, analysts noted that terminating the phase one trade deal would be China’s “last option” and one that China would only resort to under extremely hostile conditions.

end
CHINA/USA/PORK AND BEEF EXPORTS TO CHINA
THIS HURTS: As wholesale beef prices exploded to record high highs, exports to China soared
(zerohedge)

Meat Exports To China Soar As US Supplies Dwindle & Workers Risk COVID-19 Infection

As wholesale beef prices exploded to record highs and President Trump ordered workers at meatpacking plants around the US to get back to work after COVID-19 outbreaks prompted ~1/3rd of them to close (as we explained at the time, meatpacking plants are veritable breeding grounds for SARS-CoV-2), the plants that were still on-line continued to churn to try and prevent the US “food-supply chain from breaking”. However, rather than doing their patriotic duty, a Reuters investigation has found that these plants have been increasingly exporting to China since the crisis began.

Of course, this shouldn’t surprise experienced analysts who have been watching China for years. Since President Xi’s rise to power, China has been taking steps to secure a growing share of American pork and other meats. Analysts warned at the time that this could create serious problems for the US food supply as China turns America’s own ‘hyper-capitalist’ system against it.

China promised to increase purchases of U.S. farm goods by at least $12.5 billion in 2020 and $19.5 billion in 2021, over the 2017 level of $24 billion. Since Jan. 1, ~31% of American pork produced has been exported, totaling about 838,000 tons, according to data from the US Meat Export Federation. 1/3rd of that went to China, accounting for more than 10% of total Q1 production, according to the MEF.

What’s more, the growing exports are actually a good thing, in a sense, since it means Beijing is technically taking steps to abide by its agreement to buy more than $200 billion in additional American goods over two years – though China has mostly limited its purchases to goods that benefit China (often these involve purchases of ag or energy commodities). But as reports published in the Chinese press on Monday raised new doubts about the viability of the US-China trade deal, it suddenly appears that perhaps President Trump has finally realized that his ‘largely-for-show’ trade deal is no longer the PR win he once believed it to be, now that ~70% of Americans are now suspicious of China.

“We know that over time exports are critically important. I think we need to focus on meeting domestic demand at this point,” said Mike Naig, the agriculture secretary in the top U.S. pork-producing state of Iowa who supported Trump’s order.

And now, it looks like that’s exactly what’s happening, as data cited by Reuters have shown:

Processors including Smithfield Foods, owned by China’s WH Group Ltd, Brazilian-owned JBS USA [JBS.UL] and Tyson Foods Inc temporarily closed about 20 U.S. meat plants as the virus infected thousands of employees, prompting meatpackers and grocers to warn of shortages. Some plants have resumed limited operations as workers afraid of getting sick stay home.

The disruptions mean consumers could see 30% less meat in supermarkets by the end of May, at prices 20% higher than last year, according to Will Sawyer, lead economist at agricultural lender CoBank.

While pork supplies tightened as the number of pigs slaughtered each day plunged by about 40% since mid-March, shipments of American pork to China more than quadrupled over the same period, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Smithfield, which China’s WH Group bought for $4.7 billion in 2013, was the biggest U.S. exporter to China from January to March, according to Panjiva, a division of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Smithfield shipped at least 13,680 tonnes by sea in March, Panjiva said, citing its most recent data.

Smithfield, the world’s biggest pork processor, said in April that U.S. plant closures were pushing retailers “perilously close to the edge” on supplies.

The company is now retooling its namesake pork plant in Smithfield, Virginia, to supply fresh pork, bacon and ham to more U.S. consumers, according to a statement. The move is an about-face after the company reconfigured the plant last year to process hog carcasses for the Chinese market, employees, local officials and industry sources told Reuters.

Of course, the owners of slaughterhouses have opposed the president’s order, claiming forcing workers back into the plants could result in unnecessary sickness and death. Of course, the falling supplies they’ve warned about could potentially benefit the bottom lines of these companies. Remember, Smithfield Foods is the biggest pork producer in the world.

Source: Reuters

On top of the coronavirus crisis, China has been struggling with a brutal outbreak of African swine fever, which wiped out roughly one-third of the country’s live hogs last year, forcing China to ratchet up imports (one reason why striking the ‘Phase 1’ deal was politically advantageous for President Xi).

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

GERMANY/CHINA

This is big..German intelligence reveals that China asked the WHO to delay Pandemic announcement and to deny human to human transmission.

This is deadly to China..

(zerohedge)

China Asked WHO To Delay Pandemic Announcement, Deny Human-To-Human Transmission: German Intelligence

German intelligence has revealed that Chinese President Xi Jinping asked World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Thebreyesus to cover up the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in January, according to Der Spiegel.

During a January 21 conversation – one week after the WHO assured the world there was ‘no clear evidenceof human-to-human transmission’ – Xi reportedly asked Tedrosnot to reveal that the virus was in fact transmissible between humans, and to delay declaring that the coronavirus had become a pandemic – despite the virus qualifying as one by the WHO’s own former guidelines.

And while the WHO announced on the 22nd that data collected through their own investigation “suggests that human-to-human transmission is taking place in Wuhan,” which they said more analysis was required “to understand the full extent,”they waited all the way until March 11 to declare the virus a pandemic.

As Brahma Chellaney of Project Syndicate wrote last month:

It is now widely recognized that China’s political culture of secrecy helped to turn a local viral outbreak into the greatest global disaster of our time. Far from sounding the alarm when the new coronavirus was detected in Wuhan, the Communist Party of China (CPC) concealed the outbreak, allowing it to spread far and wide. Months later, China continues to sow doubt about the pandemic’s origins and withhold potentially life-saving data.

In mid-January, the body tweeted that investigations by Chinese authorities had found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus. Taiwan’s December 31 warning that such transmission was likely happening in Wuhan was ignored by the WHO, even though the information had been enough to convince the Taiwanese authorities – which may have better intelligence on China than anyone else – to institute preventive measures at home before any other country, including China.

The WHO’s persistent publicizing of China’s narrative lulled other countries into a dangerous complacency, delaying their responses by weeks. In fact, the WHO actively discouraged action. On January 10, with Wuhan gripped by the outbreak, the WHO said that it did “not recommend any specific health measures for travelers to and from Wuhan,” adding that “entry screening offers little benefit.” It also advised “against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on China.”

Even after China’s most famous pulmonologist, Zhong Nanshan, confirmed human-to-human transmission on January 20, the WHO continued to undermine effective responses by downplaying the risks of asymptomatic transmission and discouraging widespread testing. Meanwhile, China was hoarding personal protective equipment – scaling back exports of Chinese-made PPE and other medical gear and importing the rest of the world’s supply. In the final week of January, the country imported 56 million respirators and masks, according to official data.

*  *  *

It’s no secret that China engaged in a massive cover-up as the Wuhan coronavirus spiraled out of control. At the same time, the CCP allowed tens of thousands of people to travel for the Chinese Lunar New Year.

As the situation continues to evolve and narratives are shaped, take a close look and remember who’s defending who.

end

Very important; Mish Shedlock weighs in on the huge decision of the German Constitutional Court where they outline that QE is unconstitutional

(Mish Shedlock/Mishtalk) Saturday

Eurozone Breakup Risk Reaches New High

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

The German Constitutional Court made an unexpected and significant ruling last week against the ECB and Quantitative Easing.

QE Deemed Illegal

In the midst of a pandemic and an important presidential election, it is very easy  to miss globally significant events.

Here is one that is way under the radar: The German Constitutional Court ruled the ECB’s QE Program Could be Illegal.

That is a landmark ruling that challenges the independence of the ECB and the authority of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

In announcing the ruling, German Chief Justice Andreas Voßkuhle said the CJEU had approved a practice that “was obviously not covered” by the ECB’s mandate. Voßkuhle spent months crafting the 77-page decision, announcing the ruling just a day before his official retirement on Wednesday. ”

Dismissing a 2018 CJEU decision to allow the bond purchases, the German court ordered the ECB to provide Germany with adequate justification for the program within the next three months. Should it fail to do so, the Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, would no longer be permitted to participate in the program.

What it Means for the Future of the EU

Eurointelligence explains What it Means for the Future of the EU.

The ruling raises complex and potentially troubling issues for the EU as a whole. The German constitutional court has accused the ECB and the CJEU, the court of Justice of the European Union, of abusing their power, and of acting beyond their assigned competences. That concept is known in German constitutional law as acting ultra viresIn the German legal interpretation of European integration, all sovereignty still rests with the member states. The EU is clearly not a federal state, but a deferred power. Member states have transferred certain rights to the EU. The German court said it accepts that it is bound by CJEU rulings, but only those that occur within the EU’s agreed competences. All bets are off it the CJEU goes ultra vires. And, crucially, the German court decides if and when that happens.

This is the most serious challenge to the EU’s legal framework we have yet come across. In the UK, the courts operated under the assumption that conflicts between EU and UK law would always be settled on the basis that EU law is supreme.

The ruling is unusually explicit about the breach of competences on the part of the CJEU. It criticised the CJEU’s positive ruling on the asset purchases as implausible, and objectively arbitrary. It accused the EU court of an evident neglect to investigate the wider consequences of the ECB’s programme. The word evident crops up many times in the ruling. It is a legally more loaded word than it appears at first sight. Moreover, the ruling accuses the CJEU of a breach of EU treaty law.

The German court’s interpretation will have important consequences if other national courts follow suit, which we think is very likely. Poland’s deputy justice minister already declared that member states have regained their position as the masters of the EU treaties. We expect the ruling to strengthen the determination by the Polish government to press ahead with judicial reform, and to resist interference by the EU into what they consider domestic legal affairs.

Surprise 7-1 Ruling

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the 7-1 ruling.

Price to Pay

In the ECB’s view, the negative effect of lower interest rates was the price to pay for keeping the euro intact.

That price to pay keeps rising and rising.

This Eurozone Crisis Will Be Even Worse Than Last Time

Please consider The shock of coronavirus could split Europe

The economic fallout of Covid-19 hits all members of the currency bloc. But no mechanism exists that allows the governments of the eurozone to respond jointly to such a shock. The result is that the policy reactions to the pandemic are so far overwhelmingly national – accentuating differences rather than bringing Europe together in a time of crisis. Even in the face of a symmetric shock, the eurozone responds asymmetrically.

Germany reacted forcefully to Covid-19. Berlin abandoned its cherished debt-brake – which sharply constrains its government borrowing – and legislated a €750bn rescue package for the German economy. Italy, the country with the highest number of infections and deaths from the virus, does not have the same fiscal leeway. Its response to Covid-19 amounts to a mere €28bn – about 4% of the size of the German package.

This substantial disparity in the policy response is exacerbated by differences in initial conditions. In 2019, Italian output was still 4% lower than in 2007 while German GDP was 16% higher. Owing to the ongoing GDP collapse, the Italian public debt ratio will soon approach 150% of GDP – even without a new support package. Yet despite their comparatively tepid response, Italian policymakers already have to nervously watch the interest rate differential between Italian and German government bonds. The spread widened substantially in recent weeks. 

The writing is on the wall: without solidarity from its fellow eurozone members, Italy will not be able to respond to the crisis in the same way that other countries can. It is at risk of an economic depression on top of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Negative Interest Rates

In March of 2015, ECB president Mario Draghi forced more reserves into the system, via a Quantitative Easing QE program.

The ECB also forced interest rates negative then required the banks to pay the ECB interest on those reserves.

In contrast, the Fed paid interest on excess reserves. In the process, the Fed slowly recapitalized US banks over time.

The ECB’s negative interest rate policy further damaged European banks that were in terrible shape to begin with. 

Why?

Before he served as ECB president, Draghi was president of the Italian central bank from 2005 through 2011.

What better way to get Eurobonds and debt commingling than cripple the entire European banking system with negative rates and massive QE programs?

If the European banking system went down, including Deutsche Bank, wouldn’t Germany be forced to go along with banking changes?

My counter-argument is on grounds of Occam’s Razor which suggests when stupidity is one of the possible answers it is highly likely to to be the correct one.

Actually, Occam’s Razor says simpler explanations are more likely to be correct, but what is simpler than stupidity?

Surprise, Surprise

The EU is not used to surprises. But the German court ruling makes three in a row.

  1. Brexit Vote
  2. Brexit Vote Success
  3. German Court Ruling

I am surprised too.

Why?

Because in every case to date, the German Constitutional Court looked the other way, There have been numerous ECB-related challenges which the German court threw to the CJEU with obvious consequences. 

And there was no indication that the German court would suddenly reverse course. 

So I am not only surprised by the ruling, I am shocked that it was 7-1.

Even Those Who Filed the Suit Were Surprised

I was surprised by how clear the ruling was,” said Peter Gauweiler, a 70-year-old Eurosceptic lawyer who has been waging a legal war against the EU and ECB for almost three decades.

Debt Mutualization

What Germany fears now and has from the outset is “debt mutualization” in which Germany would bailout Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

That is why Germany insisted the Maastricht Treaty, which founded the Eurozone, prohibit debt mutualization.

But time and time again, politicians and the ECB found ways to chip away at the treaty.

And they still do even in the wake of the German court ruling.

New Battle Cry – Step Up or Risk Extinction

Today, Spain’s Deputy PM Calls for EU to Step Up or Risk Extinction

Pablo Iglesias, Spain’s Deputy PM. says a “certain [level of] debt mutualisation is a [necessary] condition of the [continued] existence of the EU”.

He also wants Portugal and Italy to join the a pan-EU minimum income guarantee cause to “establish European standards of dignity and to protect consumption”.

Everyone now understands you need an activist state,” says Iglesias.

What “Everyone” Understands

Given the 7-1 ruling might I suggest there is a major flaw in the Iglesias’ understanding of the word “everyone”.

Germany Pays One Way or Another

I understand where Germany is coming from. And I expected this outcome all along.

But one way or another, creditor states pay through the nose. Either Germany agrees to debt mutualization or Target-2 liabilities go up in smoke.

Target-2 Imbalances

Chart from the ECB Data Warehouse Target Balances.

Target is a measure of capital flight and purchases of goods by debtor nations that cannot possibly be paid for.

Italy and Spain owe nearly a trillion euros to Germany. That’s an amount that can never be paid back. 

But everyone pretends the debt is good because the ECB guarantees the debt. And those guarantees represent a fundamental flaw in the Eurozone that allowed this debt to pile up in the first place.

If Italy were to withdraw from the eurozone, its banks’ assets and liabilities would be redenominated in its new currency. Germany would not get paid back in in euros, but rather Lira or some new currency, assuming Germany got paid back at all.

For further discussion, please see my August 2018 article, Debate Over Target2 Continues: Twilight of the Euro 

The question is not whether Italy should pay its Target2 deficit, but how it possibly could. The Bank of Italy would almost certainly default on a bill for half a trillion euros.

As long as everyone can pretend these claims are good and no one will leave the Eurozone, then everything is fine.

But what if Italy or Spain jumps ship? And what are the other options?

Three Alternative Paths

  1. Germany and the creditor nations forgive enough debt for Europe to grow 
  2. Permanently high unemployment and slow growth in Spain, Greece, Italy, with stagnation elsewhere in Europe
  3. Breakup of the eurozone 

Pick Your Poison

  • The German court signaled it has had enough of the current path towards more mutualization.
  • It is unreasonable to expect #2 to last forever.
  • The only door remaining is door #3.

Option 3 can be planned or chaos. Germany is arguably in the best shape to suffer the consequences so it would be wise for it to leave the Eurozone rather than have Spain or Italy default, setting off a cascade of defaults.

I outlined those three alternate paths in my 2016 post Michael Pettis Calls Surplus Trade Statements by German Finance Minister “Utter Lunacy”

Kick the Can – How Long Can It Last?

The court ruling comes in the midst of a pandemic, Brexit, the rise of the German Greens, a eurosceptic Italian government, and an EU judicial clash with Poland.

Yet, these can kicking episodes last far longer than anyone expects. The difference this time is the unexpected ruling by the German constitutional court.

The ECB cannot do more, nor can the CJEU, nor will there be coronabonds or eurobonds unless Germany agrees.

Undoubtedly, the path of least resistance is still door number 2: Germany will talk solidarity but act against it.

The result will be a continuation of high unemployment and slow growth in Spain, Greece, Italy, with stagnation elsewhere in Europe …. until the major unexpected happens, Italy or some other country decides it has finally had enough.

end
Monday  Germany/EU
This is trouble:  The EU might sue Germany over its QE ruling
(zerohedge)

A Legal Nightmare”: In Latest European “Freakshow”, EU Threatens To Sue Germany Over QE Ruling

In the latest European farce, the European Commission threatened to sue Germany after the country’s top court questioned the legality of the ECB’s bond-buying program, Bloomberg reported over the weekend. In what Nordea’s Andrewas Steno Larsen dubbed the “ongoing freakshow in the Euroarea”, the EC president – a German no less – Ursula von der Leyen said that “The final word in EU law is always spoken in Luxembourg. Nowhere else.”

In other words, following last week’s shocking decision by Germany’s constitutional court which found that some aspects of the ECB’s QE are not constitutional and gave the ECB a 3 month ultimatum in which to demonstrate that QE was a proportional response, “we are gearing up for a remarkable legal stand-off between EU and Germany”writes Larsen, who adds that “the German head of the EU Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, is now openly battling her mother country’s constitution as she hinted that Brussels is considering taking legal steps that could result in Germany being sued in Europe’s highest court over the ruling from its constitutional court on ECB bond buying in a letter to the German Press Agency. Never underestimate the arrogance of EUR-crats!”

And here is the German European who is tasked with leading the onslaught on the German constitution.

 

German head of the EU Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen.

And just to make sure the Germans are really pissed off, the ECB has tasked its staff to study if they should consider buying junk corporate bonds according to Reuters, “as if the ECB hasn’t manipulated credit prices enough already” as Nordea helpfully adds, noting that “ultimately, we think the EUR-ship will be glued together again – but markets are rightfully pricing in a risk of an ugly political showdown for the time being (wider spreads, relatively low EUR/USD etc).”

Going back to the EU threat to sue Germany, one which as Bloomberg notes “has major implications for the European project itself and the monetary policy that underpins it” and would be a “legal nightmare”, here is how it might play out, courtesy of Bloomberg:

1. What infringement would the EU claim?

Germany’s constitutional court decided last week it wouldn’t follow a 2018 judgment by the EU Court of Justice that cleared the central bank’s debt purchases, totaling 2.7 trillion euros ($2.9 trillion) since 2015. But under EU treaties, the top European court ranks higher. The German judges said they could deviate because the bloc’s top judges overstepped their powers when they backed the ECB’s policy in a previous ruling. It was a stinging challenge to the 68-year-old EU tribunal. That prompted a rebuke by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday. “The final word on EU law is always spoken” by the European court, she said. “Nowhere else.”

2. How can the EU sue a member country?

The European Commission, the EU’s executive and administrative body, has the task of policing whether member states are abiding by EU law. If it finds that an EU country isn’t complying, it has to take action. The commission first informs the country that it’s in breach and tries to negotiate a solution. If that goes nowhere, the commission files a court case.

3. How real is the risk of the case going to court?

This warning by the Brussels-based guardians of the EU doesn’t necessarily trigger an infringement procedure. Yet von der Leyen also has to consider the deterrent effect. “On the other hand, the commission cannot simply ignore this challenge to EU law,” Miguel Maduro, a former advocate general at the EU Court of Justice, said in an interview. Otherwise, such national challenges “might be replicated by other states. What would the commission do if the Hungarian constitutional court or the Polish constitutional court, or others, do something like this.”

4. Is there a road map for such lawsuits?

So-called infringement proceedings aren’t unusual. Most of them don’t make headline because they often address very technical questions on EU regulations. However, they’ve usually resulted in a kind of give-and-take where EU complaints are resolved with policy changes or, in extreme cases, fines. Yet it’s unlikely that Germany’s top court would reverse its ruling if the European court overturned it. That could trigger an institutional crisis for the EU. “Making this statement that they’re considering opening an infringement procedure without actually opening it is a smart, prudent approach,” Maduro said.

5. Would the EU sue the German court or the German government?

The EU can only sue member states. That kicks in if an institution in a country — even a court — allegedly breaks EU law. Under international law, countries need to ensure that their agencies are in line with the law and must fix any transgressions.

6. Which court would hear the EU’s suit – and is that a problem?

The case would be heard by the EU’s top court, the same one the German judges attacked in their May 5 ruling. A 15-judge panel handed down the December 2018 judgment on the ECB’s asset purchases. Since the court has 27 judges, that gives it some leeway to make sure that all of the same judges don’t rule on this case if it goes to court.

7. What’s the politics behind the dispute?

German opponents of euro-area bailouts and ECB bond-buying to protect the shared currency repeatedly challenged those policies in the country’s high court, which until last week broadly went along with the rescue measures. Former German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, a veteran of Europe’s bailout battles, warned that letting nations cast doubt on the EU court’s authority could eventually threaten the euro’s survival.

end

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE//GERMANY//RIOTING//CASES INCREASING

Anti-lockdown Protesters Clash With German Police As Virus Spread Accelerates 

New cases in Germany accelerated this weekend just days after the federal government loosened restrictions, raising concerns that the virus will continue terrorizing the country through late spring. The virus crisis appears not to be diminishing anytime soon, as anti-quarantine demonstrations intensify in several cities in the last two weeks. People have become furious with government-enforced lockdowns, and have taken to the streets, demanding the end to quarantines and a reopening of the crashed economy.

It’s not hard to figure out why demonstrators are out in the streets — look at the economic devastation lockdowns have created across the Germany economy. To describe what happened in one word: “unprecedented.”

Despite the government relaxing some restrictions last week, the Robert Koch Institute for disease control reported this weekend that the virus spread is accelerating across the country.

Hundreds, and maybe even thousands, of anti-quarantine protesters swarmed Alexanderplatz, a large public square and transport hub in the central Mitte district of Berlin, on Saturday, and other places in Berlin, which defied the government’s limit of 50 people for outside social gatherings, reported Daily Mail.

And the social chaos unfolds…

On Saturday, police arrested protesters in Berlin.

©halecos Amarillosᴳᴸᴼᴮᴬᴸ 🍀ʷAͤNͣOͬNͤYˡMͤOᵍUͥSͦⁿ@ChalecosAmarill

📽🆘☣ 🇩🇪

🛑Police temporarily arrested around 30 people at protest against restrictions in

Embedded video

Clashes between demonstrators and police were seen.

Ruptly

@Ruptly

Protesters scuffled with police as hundreds gathered without permission in ‘s on Saturday, to protest lockdown restrictions. Police used pepper spray and arrested several protesters.

Full coverage: https://bit.ly/2SRgBZc

Embedded video

Large crowds were seen in Berlin, lack of face masks among protesters was evident.

NBC News

@NBCNews

WATCH: Police detain several people at a protest in Berlin as thousands attend peaceful rallies, calling for the government to end restrictions on people’s movements aimed at tackling to spread of coronavirus.

Embedded video

More views of the chaos

Anti-quarantine protests were not limited to Berlin; thousands of others were seen in Munich, Stuttgart, and other German cities to protest the government’s strict stay-at-home orders. Many folks demanded the government lift restrictions, so a return to normalcy could be seen during the summer months. Protesters accused politicians and hospital workers of spreading panic and overinflating statics that has resulted in their freedoms being infringed on. Some rallies in other cities included anti-vaccination activists.

In Munich, law enforcement used loudspeakers to tell protesters to obey social distancing rules to minimize infection risk. However, many did not comply. Police did not disperse the crowds as they were peaceful. In Stuttgart, thousands participated in demonstrations, with many complying with local rules. The same was seen in other German cities.

Angela Merkel’s latest efforts to ease Germany’s lockdown could be derailed with the re-acceleration in the spread of the virus. This would likely result in a prolonged shutdown and undoubtedly lead to more angry people. As the weather gets warmer, expect more people outside which could result in larger volumes of demonstrators at future rallies.

end
Germany, South Korea/Coronavirus update

Germany, South Korea Report Surge In New COVID-19 Cases As Lockdowns Eased: Live Updates

Last night, we reported that national health officials in Beijing had confirmed the first coronavirus case in Wuhan on Monday morning since April 3, meaning this was the first case discovered in the city since the reopening began.  And just like with cockroaches, when we find one case of the virus, it’s reasonable to suspect there are more.

All of this might be besides the point – remember, it’s China we’re talking about here: Officials have been assiduously following the CCP’s propaganda protocols, even as the few foreign reporters left in the country often still manage to get word out to the international press about incidents of viral recurrence.

As Nikkei Asian Review reported on Monday morning Tokyo Time, citing Chinese authorities, that a city in northeast China has been re-classified as “high risk”, the most serious level in a new three-tiered zoning system adopted by the Chinese government. That tier should mandate a return to lock down conditions, more or less. City officials in Jilin raised the risk level of the city of Shulan to ‘high’ from ‘medium,’ having raised it from ‘low’ to ‘medium’ just a day earlier when a local woman tested positive. 11 new cases have since been detected in Shulan as of Saturday, all of them relatives or close contacts of the woman who was originally infected.

Global Times Executive Editor Hu Xijin boasted on Twitter Monday that ‘all Chinese’ had been made aware of these latest developments.

Hu Xijin 胡锡进

@HuXijin_GT

China reported 20+ new infection cases in the past two days. They came from two chains of infection in Wuhan and a county. The two new chains are made known to nearly all Chinese. The US also needs such rigorous prevention/control, otherwise it’s very risky to reopen the economy.

Here’s more from the Nikkei report:

Shulan has increased virus-control measures, including a lockdown of residential compounds, a ban on non-essential transportation and school closures, the Jilin government said.

The new cases pushed the overall number of new confirmed cases in mainland China on May 9 to 14, according to the National Health Commission on Sunday, the highest number since April 28.

Among them was the first case for more than a month in the city of Wuhan in central Hubei province where the outbreak was first detected late last year.

North Korea hasn’t confirmed even a single infection, though it’s widely suspected the virus has deeply penetrated North Korean society.

Meanwhile, as we reported earlier, Disneyland Shanghai reopened on Monday to great fanfare, even as the park could only fill the park to 20% of capacity, a level at which it might be impossible to operate the park profitably.

In other news, a cluster of new cases discovered in a glitzy nightlife district of Seoul that prompted the city to order bars and nightlife businesses to close has grown to 86 cases – qualifying it as a ‘super-spreader’ event. Those infections purportedly started with one infected clubgoer. Jung Eun-kyeong, head of the Korean CDC, said the total number of cases linked to nightclubs in Itaewon in Seoul increased to 86 as of noon Monday after the first case was confirmed on May 6. Among 86, 63 visited the clubs and 23 are family members and colleagues at work of infected people. 51 cases were reported in Seoul, 21 in Gyeonggi, 7 in Incheon, 5 in North Chungcheong, 1 in Busan and 1 in Jeju. The cases involved 78 men, and 8 women. Notably,officials said they’re expecting more cases linked to the clubs this week, given the virus’s sometimes-lengthy incubation period.

In response to this latest cluster,South Korea has opted to delay reopening schools, which it had planned to do this week, because of the Itaewon cluster.

Fortunately, they added, this latest outbreak isn’t comparable to the outbreak at the Shincheonji Church in Daegu which helped kick-start SK’s outbreak.

Elsewhere, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed 22 new cases on Sunday, the city’s lowest single-day total since March 30. However, Japanese media organization Yomiuri has reportedly found 100 cases in Tokyo that have allegedly omitted from the total.

In Europe, Switzerland became the first western European nation to reopen restaurants, cafes, shops and museums across the country as it relaxes all but the most stringent of its lockdown restrictions. Swiss health authorities reported just 39 new coronavirus infections on Monday, bringing the country’s total to 30,344. So far, 1,543 patients have died in Switzerland.

Austria will follow later this week with restaurants and cafes allowed to reopen beginning on Friday.

Spain’s daily coronavirus death toll slowed to a 2-month low on Monday as the country eased much of the lockdown restrictions in roughly 51% of the country (excluding many of its largest cities, including Madrid).

The ministry of health said on Monday that 123 people died during the prior day, the lowest death toll since March 18, which was barely three days after the lockdown was imposed. Data from a Spanish health institute have shown that ‘excess deaths’ in the country have receded, eliminating the margin between the historical average deaths and the deaths reported weekly in Spain.

In Britain, Britons are starting life under the new lockdown conditions unveiled by PM Boris Johnson last night.

Yet as dozens of US states start to take more dramatic steps to reopen their economies this week, some of the most closely-watched reopenings are hitting speed bumps. As we reported yesterday, Germany’s R number has risen to about 1.1, past the threshold of ‘1’ – which means the body of infected patients is growing, rather than shrinking – at which the German government has said it would halt, or even reverse, its reopening.

Finally, in Russia, officials reported another record jump in new infections, while the countrywide death toll topped 2k on Monday, highlighting Russia’s worsening outbreak and the reality that the government in Moscow seems mostly powerless to curb the spread.

These latest numbers pushed Russia past Italy as the country with the third-largest outbreak in the world (excluding China, of course).

After confirming another 11,656 cases on Monday, the total case number in Russia passed 220k, while 94 people died, bringing the death toll to 2,009.

Russia now has the world’s second-fastest rate of new infections after the US, according to the Moscow Times.

On Monday. President Vladimir Putin is due to meet with senior officials to discuss yet another extension of Russia’s national lockdown, which is due to end on Tuesday, while many Russian officials have whispered that the economy might not reopen until late June.

end
EU
Daniel Lacalle explains why the Euro is toast and the ECB can no longer disguise the risk much longer
(Daniel Lacalle)

The ECB Cannot Disguise Risk Much Longer

Authored by Daniel Lacalle,

Despite the unprecedented increase in the ECB’s asset purchase program, the spread of Southern Europe sovereign bonds versus German ones is rising.

The ECB balance sheet has soared to more than 42% of the eurozone’s GDP, compared to the Fed 27% vs U.S. GDP. However, at the same time, excess liquidity has ballooned to more than 2.1 trillion euros.

The ECB has been implementing aggressive asset purchases as well as negative rates for years, and the reality is that the eurozone economy has remained weak and close to stagnation already in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The main problem of the eurozone is that most governments have abandoned all structural reforms and bet all the recovery on monetary policy. The excessive government spending, high tax wedge, and burdens to growth remain, while an increasing percentage of growth came from travel and leisure (around 22% of gross added value in 2019).

The transmission mechanism of monetary policy is not the problem. Banks are eager to lend and businesses and families have no problem accessing credit. The problem is that the eurozone leaders and the central bank managers believe that the challenges of the eurozone are demand problems when there was evidence that the output gap was very small if existent at all. If there was any evidence, it is that monetary policy in the eurozone did not work as an incentive for productive investment and growth, but as a perpetrator of massive imbalances from almost-bankrupt governments.

With the crisis of Covid-19, the eurozone finds itself caught between a rock and a hard place. Its fiscal and monetary policy will perpetuate overcapacity in the wrong sectors and excessive government spending, while its tax policy will likely drive innovation, technology and productive investments further away.

The Eurozone seems to want to use the Covid-19 crisis to advance its interventionist agenda and its so-called “new green deal” strategy. The problem is that higher government intervention in the economy will likely lead to more malinvestment, higher unemployment and lower growth.

The ECB can disguise the risk for a while, but the reality of the mounting debt and tax burden ahead is probably going to end in a debt crisis that can put the entire European Union at risk as governments in the North countries receive the bill of the excess spending of some Southern members.

Monetizing risk will not eliminate it. The euro will lose importance as a global reserve currency and its utilization in cross-border transactions may fall further, leading to a currency crisis just as the debt burden soars.

end

ITALY/CHINA
This is a very important piece from Gatestone:  Hopelessly bust Italy has allowed China to purchase many Italian companies, like the giant tire company Pirelli. Italy’s government officials have not blamed China one bit for the pandemic.  Has Italy let a Trojan horse (China) into their midst?
(Meotti/Gatestone)

Italy: China’s Trojan Horse Into Europe

Authored Giulio Meotti via The Gatestone InStitute,

A few days after China had announced it was sending medical supplies to Italy, Chinese state media aired pictures of Italians on balconies and streets applauding the Chinese national anthem. “In Rome, with the Chinese anthem playing, some Italians chanted ‘Grazie, Cina!’ on their balconies, & their neighbors applauded along”, wrote Zhao Lijian, the spokesman for China’s foreign ministry who shamefully and wrongly suggested that the U.S. military had brought the Covid-19 to Wuhan.

China presented itself in the role of the savior, willing to rush to the bedside of the sick patient Italy.

Now a Financial Times investigation reveals that those videos were manipulated as part of Beijing’s coronavirus propaganda. Hashtags #ThanksChina and #GoChina&Italy were further generated by botsA report by the Carnegie Endowment called Italy “a target destination for China’s propaganda”.

An article called, “Why the Covid-19 epidemic is so politicized” and posted on the Chinese embassy website in Paris, said, “Some Westerners are beginning to lose confidence in liberal democracy” and “some [Western countries] have become psychologically weak”.

Antoine Bondaz, a researcher at France’s Foundation for Strategic Research, told Politico:

“China considers Europe the soft belly of the West. In their logic, there is the West, and in it the U.S. that will oppose China for structural and ideological reasons, and their European allies that need to be neutral in case of conflict between China and the U.S.”

According to Lt. Gen. (ret.) H.R. McMaster, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, in his new book Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free WorldChinese leaders “believe they have a narrow window of strategic opportunity to strengthen their rule and revise the international order in their favor”.

There is now a huge risk that Italy is becoming “China’s Trojan horse into Europe“.

A leading French official, Pierre-Henri d’Argenson, wrote in Le Figaro that “Europe has now become the buffer zone for the confrontation between China and the United States”. Beijing chose Italy as its soft belly in Europe and is following its script.

In April 2019, the Italian government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was the first G7 country to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” during a state visit by President Xi Jinping. According to an analysis by The Economist, the Chinese Belt and Road plan could surpass the Marshall Plan, by which the US revived Europe’s war ravaged economies.

Italy has a government coalition led by the Five Star Movement, an extremely pro-Chinese party, whose founder Beppe Grillo has been spotted frequently at the Chinese embassy in Rome. As the European Council on Foreign Relations reported, “in Italy business and political lobbies for China have been on the rise”. The former PM Matteo Renzi has visited Beijing for conferences.

Five years ago, China National Chemical Corp bought Pirelli, a 143-year-old Italian company, and the world’s fifth-largest tire maker. A study published by KPMG before the Pirelli deal revealed Chinese acquisitions in Italy have totaled 10 billion euros in five years (in a total of 13 billion euros investments). A third of foreign purchases in Italy are Chinese. The goal is to turn Italy into “Europe’s top destination for highly coveted investment from China”.

Now, China is trying to dominate southern Europe’s infrastructure. China was already granted a license to run Greece’s largest seaport, Athens’ Piraeus harbor, which Beijing plans to turn into Europe’s biggest commercial harbor. Then China started to project its expansion in Italy’s ports, where four major ports are also in line for Chinese investments. Zeno D’Agostino, the president of Trieste’s northern port, says that “China is opening because it feels strong”.

Italy’s political appeasement of China was on display during the fatal early days of the coronavirus crisis.

On January 21, Italy’s culture and tourism minister hosted a Chinese delegation for a concert at the National Academy of Santa Cecilia to inaugurate the year of Italy-China Culture and Tourism. Michele Geraci, Italy’s former undersecretary for development, was not sure that was his place. “Are we sure we want to do this?”, Geraci said looking at his colleagues. “Should we be here today?”. A few days later, in many Italian cities, such as Florence and Prato, where there is a Chinese manufacturing stronghold, mayors and local communities promoted the initiative, “hug a Chinese” to fight xenophobia and racism.

In Rome, Italy’s President, Sergio Mattarella, visited a school that has a high percentage of Chinese students to counter “discrimination” and Nicola Zingaretti, the leader of the Democratic Party, met the Chinese ambassador in Rome. Meanwhile, Italian televisions organized live tastings of Chinese products. That was Italy’s fatal initial mistake: fighting racism instead of the virus, which only a few days later would devastate the country.

China has been able to brainwash Italian public opinion. In a poll published April 17, 50% of Italians consider China a “friend” (just 17% of Italians think as much of the United States). And in the race for the global power to which Italy should be allied China is ahead of the US, 36% to 30%.

Italy’s foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, welcomed a plane-load of Chinese medical supplies on March 12. “We will remember those who were close to us in this difficult period”, Di Maio said. It is not necessary, China will remind them.

Walter Ricciardi, an advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Italian government, tweeted: “Thanks China!”.

We know now that while the Chinese regime misled the world about the contagiousness of Covid-19, it stockpiled medical supplies. As the editor of the German BILD wrote in a letter to Chinese president Xi:

“I suppose you consider it a great ‘friendship’ when you now generously send masks around the world. This isn’t friendship, I would call it imperialism hidden behind a smile – a Trojan Horse”.

Not a single Italian minister or official blamed China for the cover up of the epidemic or causing witnesses to “disappear“.

“For the first time in many years, Western countries united behind the request to China for clarifications on how Covid-19 was born and then spread”, Paolo Mieli wrote in a front-page editorial for Italy’s largest newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera. Mieli mentioned the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, France and Germany.

“Who is missing? Italy, the only country in the Western world to have welcomed half a million masks sent to us (for a fee) from China with a truly excessive blaze”.

The world-renowned Italian textile industry was one of the major victims of a globalization expansion led by Chinese dishonest economic dumping. China is now reducing Italy to a setting to help spread and implement its propaganda and will to power. As Italian analyst Francesco Galietti wrote, Italy is going to become “the target of a Chinese ‘charm offensive’, a combination of hard cash and ‘soft power’, money and influence”. He notes as an example the People’s Bank of China:

“It has steadily amassed stakes above 2 percent (the disclosure threshold in Italy) in a slew of Italy’s largest shareholder-owned companies, including FCA (the Fiat Chrysler group), Telecom Italia, and Generali Group, Italy’s largest insurer”.

China has also invested in strategic Italian energy entities such as Eni and Enel and Italian oil services group Saipem.

This economic penetration will also have immense security consequences. During the first days of the Covid-19 epidemic, Italy, which is being lured by the promise of a $3 billion Huawei investment in its telecommunications system, announced that it has no plans to stop Chinese telecom firms playing a role in the country’s future 5G network. It is a project that US Attorney General William P. Barr defined a “monumental danger“.

“The geopolitical effects of the pandemic could be significant,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

“Some allies (are) more vulnerable for situations where critical infrastructure can be sold out” in a Chinese “buying spree”.

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has also warned that China will exploit the virus “to further their own interests and try to sow division in the Alliance and in Europe”.

Italy is most vulnerable to this Chinese offensive. It is one of the most indebted countries in the world and has an economic growth close to zero. It is also one of Europe’s most unstable and fragile governments and had one of Europe’s highest coronavirus death tolls — an experience that an Italian nurse compared to a “world war“.

Italy is now Europe’s sick man. Due to the Chinese coronavirus crisis, the country will see a collapse of its GDP (-9.5%) and the explosion of its public debt which is set to 160% of gross domestic product — the highest since World War II. Beijing knows this and claims that “Italy has many economic problems, Europe is in crisis and the Belt and Road Initiative is the only major global investment plan”.

“The possibility that Europe will become a museum or a cultural amusement park for the nouveau riche of globalization is not completely out of the question”said the late historian Walter Laqueur.

Rome’s dramatic fall could mean Beijing’s equally dramatic rise. It is a huge warning for the West.

END

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

LIBYA/RUSSIA/USA

The USA blasts Russia and Assad for sending in mercenaries into Libya to support their man Haftar.

Strange bedfellows..

(zerohedge)

US Blasts Russia & Assad For Sending Mercenaries Into Libya To Support Haftar 

The long-running Libyan war 2.0 which has seen Gen. Khalifa Haftar lay siege to the capital of Tripoli throughout all of last year just grew hotter, now confirmed as a full-blown proxy conflict.

On Thursday the United States charged the Kremlin with illegally sending large numbers of Russian mercenaries to Libya in order to bolster Haftar’s Libya National Army (LNA) offensive. Further, the US claimed Russia is working with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to facilitate the transfers.

The top US administration envoy to Syria and Turkey, Jim Jeffrey, U.S. special envoy for Syria, told reporters this week: “We know that, certainly the Russians are working with Assad to transfer militia fighters, possibly third country, possibly Syrian, to Libya, as well as equipment.”

 

Khalifa Haftar, second from right greeted upon a prior trip to Russia, AFP via Getty.

At the same time US officials downplayed any links with Haftar, long said to be the “CIA’s man in Libya”, after Trump administration officials met with Haftar’s political team last November, and further after the US president himself personally thanked the Benghazi-based strongman of “securing Libya’s oil”:

“The United States does not support LNA military action against Tripoli. … The attack on the capital diverts resources from what is a priority for us, which is counterterrorism,” Henry Wooster, deputy assistant secretary at State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, said on a conference call, referring to Haftar’s Libyan National Army.

Last year it was widely reported that a private security firm with close ties to Putin, called Wagner Group, sent up to 1200 Russian mercenaries to fight alongside Haftar’s forces.

Haftar’s backers, most especially his strongest state supporter the UAE, see him as Libya’s only hope for national unity and stability after Gaddafi’s overthrow and death during the US-NATO military intervention in the Arab North African country.

BBC News Africa

@BBCAfrica

Wagner, shadowy Russian military group, ‘fighting in Libya’ https://bbc.in/2Lal8BQ

Gen Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA)

Russian group Wagner ‘fighting in Libya’

The private military group has up to 1,200 members supporting a renegade general, a leaked UN report says.

bbc.com

The State Department official further underscored Washington’s condemnation of growing Haftar-Assad ties: “There is a very troubling other element here and that is … Haftar’s establishment of so-called diplomatic relations with the Assad regime, which is very much a part of the piece of the question of Syrian mercenaries, at least on his side of the equation,” Wooster said.

Further troubling is that on the other side of the Libyan war is the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, which has seen huge support from Turkey in the form of drones, troops, Syrian jihadist mercenaries, and even naval support.

It’s an increasingly messy situation, with oil also at stake, with overlapping and confused interests. At this point it appears Washington itself is still working out where it officially stands regarding the ‘renegade general’ Haftar.

end
LIBYA
Civilian airliner and a fuel depot burst into flames in Libya after it comes under attack in Tripoli
(zerohedge)

Civilian Airliner & Fuel Depot Burst Into Flames As Libyan Airport Comes Under Attack

We reported earlier how the long-running Libyan proxy war 2.0 just got hotter given now the United States is directly blaming Russia for inflaming the conflict which has seen pro-Haftar forces lay siege to the capital of Tripoli for over the past year. Both Turkey and Russia have recently come under fire for transferring thousands of mercenaries to opposing sides of the war.

On Saturday massive explosions rocked Tripoli’s only functioning international airport after Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) fired “dozens of rockets” on the sprawling complex, reports Al Jazeera.

 

Fuel tanks on fire following Saturday’s rocket volley on Mitiga International Airport. 

Images of the attack showed huge fireballs at Mitiga International Airport reaching into the sky, also as jet fuel tanks at the airport were also directly hit, according to a statement from Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC).

At least one civilian airliner belonging to Libya Airlines was also reportedly destroyed, though surprisingly and thankfully no civilians were reported killed or injured.

Over the past years of internecine war fighting has on multiple occasions approached the airport, in some recent cases sending panicked civilians fleeing and abandoning their bags, and having to disembark aircraft.

Oded Berkowitz@Oded121351

– more photos of aftermath of shelling of Mitiga Airport in

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

 

 

Some sources reported that during Saturday’s attack up to 80 rockets were fired by the LNA.

“Haftar’s forces say that there is a drone launcher in that airport… Turkish drones to target Haftar forces’ locations in the south and many other locations,” an Al Jazeera correspondent said.

 

The aviation fuel depot at Mitiga Airport was destroyed and a Libyan Airlines plane was damaged in warlord Haftar’s systematic rocket attacks on Saturday

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

Haftar’s LNA has alleged that the Turkish Armed Forces inside Libya are using the civilian airport has a major headquarters, also from which to launch drone attacks.

Turkey has been the biggest military backer of Tripoli’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), while the UAE has been Haftar’s single largest supplier of weaponry.

end

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE SATURDAY

Seoul Closes Bars, Nightclubs After New COVID-19 Cluster Discovered In Ritzy Nightlife District Sparks Fears Of ‘2nd Wave’: Live Updates

Summary:

  • Russia nears 200k cases as country celebrates 75th anniversary of Nazi defeat
  • Belarus holds parade commemorating victory, with thousands bunched close together
  • Spain prepares to lift lockdown on Monday for vast majority of country
  • South Korea moves to contain latest cluster
  • New study finds combo of 3 powerful antivirals effective at treating COVID-19 patients
  • Aide to Ivanka Trump tests positive

*         *          *

After rejecting Madrid’s bid to move into the next phase of the lockdown, Spain’s socialist-led government is preparing to lift the most-stringent restrictions from its 2-month lockdown for most of its citizens starting Monday.

PM Pedro Sánchez pleaded with the Spanish people to take as many precautions as possible when business reopen and people pour out of their homes for the first time in months as one of the most strict lockdowns in Europe is officially wound back. Though suspicions about under-counting of cases and deaths linger, the viral tide as clearly started to wane (most of the outliers depicted in the chart below coincide with revisions).

During a speech, Sanchez said people should “take precautions as if they were infected” and called for “total caution and prudence” from those living in regions where the lockdown will be loosened. More than 50% of Spain’s ~50 million population will transition out of lockdown on Monday, when restaurants and bars will be allowed to serve clients outdoors, shops selling non-essential merchandise iwll be allowed to reopen without appointment and small private gatherings of up to 10 people can be held.

However, as we mentioned above, the country’s worst-hit areas (cities including Madrid and Barcelona) will have to wait at least another week.  Spain hopes to completely lift the lockdown for the whole country in a series of stages by mid-July.

Spain’s ministry of health said 179 people had died in the past 24 hours after contracting coronavirus, in figures released on Saturday, one of the lowest totals since the lockdown was imposed in mid-March. On Saturday, the health ministry reported a jump of just 0.27% to 223,578.

As we reported last night, the global coronavirus case total topped 4 million, while deaths topped 275k…

…Even as the single-day total yesterday came in below 90k (according to data from Johns Hopkins), marking a slowdown from earlier in the week.

Russia cancelled a military parade that had been planned to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII as its outbreak spirals out of control, with the number of confirmed cases has pushed Russia into No. 5 biggest outbreak worldwide, just behind the UK.

In a subdued celebration, President Vladimir Putin laid roses at the Eternal Flame war memorial as millions of Russians, unable to attend public processions, instead uploaded pictures of war-era family members and shared old war stories online. Moments after Putin’s speech commemorating one of the most important non-religious holidays on the Russian calendar, public health officials confirmed another 10,817 cases, bringing Russia’s total to just below 200k, with nearly 2k deaths reported.

Acting virtually alone among the members of the CIS, Belarus went ahead with a massive military parade, drawing a crowd of thousands of people despite mounting concerns about the spread of the virus in the former Soviet State. Belarus’s longtime leader Alexander Lukashenko is one of a handful of leaders who, like Brazil’s Bolsonaro, have denied the seriousness of the virus.

Putin said Russia will “certainly celebrate this anniversary extensively and solemnly, as usual”, pledging the processions will be held at a later date.

We’ve been following an outbreak in Seoul involving a 29-year-old who partied in one of the city’s most exclusive nightclub districts, eventually infecting 14 others. To try and suppress this latest cluster, the Seoul city government on Saturday ordered clubs and bars to shut after a spate of infections in the city’s popular Itaewon entertainment district, official media reported. New case confirmations in South Korea remain negligible; most of them involve travelers just arriving in the country, who must complete a 14-day quarantine.

Here’s more on the situation as some experts fear the beginning of a ‘second wave’ of the virus, courtesy of LiveMint:

A potential second wave of coronavirus infections could be possible in South Korea after confirmed cases suddenly increased after a lull, with a surge tied to nightclubs in Seoul.

The total number of cases linked to nightclubs in Itaewon in Seoul, visited by a 29-year-old patient earlier this month, increased to 40 as of noon Saturday in Seoul, the city’s Mayor Park Won-soon said in a briefing Saturday. Park ordered the closing of all nightclubs, discos, hostess bars and other similar nightlife establishments in the capital.

The sudden spike in cases has sparked memories of an outbreak at a religious sect in late February, which sent daily infections in the nation to almost 1,000.

South Korea, which in early March had the second highest number of cases globally after China, has been able to control the virus spread without having to take severe measures such as imposing a lockdown or banning overseas travel. Instead authorities have relied instead on a massive testing and tracing regime.

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun pledged to mobilize all available resources to contain a further spread of the virus. The country began easing its social distancing campaign and earlier this week announced that schools will start reopening May 13.

Before we go, a small study – the results of which have been published in the Lancet – carried out with just 127 patients in Hong Kong has found that a combination of 3 powerful antivirals showed promising results.

Here are two sections from the paper’s summary:

Findings

Between Feb 10 and March 20, 2020, 127 patients were recruited; 86 were randomly assigned to the combination group and 41 were assigned to the control group. The median number of days from symptom onset to start of study treatment was 5 days (IQR 3–7). The combination group had a significantly shorter median time from start of study treatment to negative nasopharyngeal swab (7 days [IQR 5–11]) than the control group (12 days [8–15]; hazard ratio 4·37 [95% CI 1·86–10·24], p=0·0010). Adverse events included self-limited nausea and diarrhoea with no difference between the two groups. One patient in the control group discontinued lopinavir–ritonavir because of biochemical hepatitis. No patients died during the study.

Interpretation

Early triple antiviral therapy was safe and superior to lopinavir–ritonavir alone in alleviating symptoms and shortening the duration of viral shedding and hospital stay in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Future clinical study of a double antiviral therapy with interferon beta-1b as a backbone is warranted.

Just the latest study finding that “kitchen-sinking” patients with powerful antivirals appears to be one of the most effective strategies at treating patients in serious condition.

Finally, in the US, an aide to Ivanka Trump tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Friday evening announcement. Staffers for President Trump and VP Pence have also tested positive.

END
IRAN/USA
Conditions inside Iran must be pretty bad:  they are offering an unconditional prisoner swap to which the USA is stalling. Iran is getting antsy!
(zerohedge)

Iran Offers US ‘Unconditional’ Prisoner Swap, Fears ‘Safety’ Of Citizens Amid COVID-19

On a weekend marking the second anniversary of the Trump administration’s pullout from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), Tehran has made a huge offer in the hopes of thawing tensions, which in January saw the US and Iran nearly go to war.

Iranian officials said they are prepared for an ‘unconditional’ swap of all prisoners between the countries. The same officials, however, are already blaming the US side for its slow response, noting they’ve yet to hear anything back.

“We have stated our readiness to discuss the release of all prisoners without preconditions… but Americans have not responded yet. It seems to us that Americans are more prepared than before to end this situation,” Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said Sunday, as cited in Reuters.

 

December 2019: “The American student Xiyue Wang was turned over to Brian Hook, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran, in a surprise prisoner exchange with Tehran.” Via New Yorker/AP/State Dept.

Last week the Iranians claimed that a major prisoner swap with the US was in the works, but the fact that Tehran is now so publicly crying foul suggest the deal could be stalled or even dead.

Crucially it comes as both sides are wary of how their detained citizens are faring amidst the coronavirus pandemic severely impacting both countries, especially prison systems.“We are worried about the safety and health of Iranians in jail… We hold America responsible for Iranians’ safety amid the new coronavirus outbreak,”Rabiei said further, referencing the fact that the US is the global epicenter.

Reuters describes one important US prisoner held in Iran as possibly central to the deal:

Three Iranian officials told Reuters last week that a prisoner swap between the two countries was in the works. Michael White, a U.S. navy veteran who has been detained in Iran since 2018, is a likely candidate to be swapped. He was released from prison in mid-March on medical furlough but remains in Iran.

“Washington is aware of our readiness and we think there is no need for a third country to mediate between Tehran and Washington for the prisoner exchange,” Rabiei added as part his Sunday statement.

Secretary Pompeo

@SecPompeo

Two years ago, @realDonaldTrump announced the bold decision to protect the world from ’s violence and nuclear threats by withdrawing from the Iran Deal. Today, Americans are safer and the Middle East is more peaceful than if we had remained in the .

Rabiei continued: “However, if the American side agrees, the interest section of Iran in Washington will inform the U.S. of our views on the details, including how and when the exchange will take place.”

The two sides did swap high profile prisoners last December, with the US securing the return of American graduate student Xiyue Wang, in Iranian prison from 2016 to 2019 after he was accused of espionage.

 

end

IRAN

Naval exercise turns deadly after an Iranian destroyer mistakenly fires on it own warship instead of a dummy ship

(zerohedge)

19 Killed & 40 Missing Or Wounded After Iranian Destroyer Mistakenly Fires On Own Warship

Since President Trump pulled the US out of the JCPOA (better known as “the Iran nuclear deal”), Iran has suffered one embarrassing mishap after the next. Earlier this year, the IRGC accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger airliner filled with young Iranian students. The fact that the regime ineptly lied about the shoot-down, before finally coming clean in the face of overwhelming evidence, only compounded the embarrassment.

At around the same time the coronavirus was just beginning its spread across Western Europe, Ieaked reports out of Iran revealed that the mysterious new virus was already spreading like wildfire, dropping hundreds of bodies as public health officials scrambled to jerry-rig a credible response plan, while American sanctions limited the country’s ability to import critical supplies like medicine (a problem that Iran’s sympathizers in the EU helped it solve).

And now, in the early hours of Monday morning, Iran’s military has stumbled into another epic f*ckup: The NYT reports that 19 Iranian sailors have died, 15 were injured and nearly 2 dozen more are missing after a missile test at sea went horribly awry. An Iranian ship sustained “friendly fire” as a target-seeking missile slammed into its stern instead of striking the dummy “target” thw ship had just towed out to sea.

Official details of the incident were scant, and the navy said that 15 other people were injured. But four people with knowledge of the incident said that the ship, identified as the missile boat Konarak, was hit and sunk by a missile from the frigate Jamaran by mistake. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisal from Iranian officials.

“The scope of the incident is under investigation by experts,” Iran’s Navy said in a statement.

According to the Intelligence Firm Jane’s Information Group cited by the Washington Post, the ship was struck not far from the Iranian port city of Jask, near the Strait of Hormuz by a Noor an anti-ship cruise missile that has long been a part of Iran’s anti-ship arsenal.

Notably, this latest “mishap” – which happened during a missile test in the Gulf of Oman – occurred shortly after President Trump ordered US Navy ships in the area to fire on Iranian ships if they felt threatened. Critics of the repressive, hard-line Islamic theocracy leapt at the chance to highlight the government’s ineptitude.

The reports of the latest mishap drew criticism of the government on social media.

“Firing at your own targets, whether military or civil, in such a short space of time is not human error. It’s a catastrophic failure of management and command,” tweeted Maziar Khosravi, a journalist aligned with reformist politicians.

The friendly-fire case occurred on Sunday afternoon in the Sea of Oman, near the Iranian port city of Jask. Iran routinely conducts military exercises in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman with a dual purpose: testing new domestically produced equipment and showcasing its military might as tensions between Washington and Tehran escalate and the threat of military conflict looms.

[…]

It was not immediately clear whether human error or faulty equipment was involved in Sunday’s accident.

Senior military officials in Iran were at a loss for words, with one tweeting that the accident was “very sad for all of us” (but especially for the families of the dead, right?)

“This accident is very sad for all of us,” tweeted Seyed Mohamad Razavi, a prominent media adviser to conservative politicians, including Mohamad Baqer Ghalibaf, the incoming speaker of Parliament and a former Revolutionary Guards commander.

The gunboat that fired the missile, known as the Jamaran, is one of Iran’s most prized military ships.

The Konarak

The Dutch-made vessel was in service since 1988 and usually carries a crew of 20 sailors, the AP said. The loss of the Konarak, the ship that was struck, will “not have a significant impact on the capabilities of the Iran Navy,” one analyst told WaPo.

The Konarak had not sufficiently distanced itself from the target when the missile was fired. Instead of hitting the target, the missile slammed into the tail of the Konarak, according to the Telegram channel, called SepahCybery, and Mr. Razavi.

The Jamaran is considered one of the prides of Iran’s fleet, and a triumph of homegrown naval technology. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, inaugurated the Jamaran in 2010 in unusual appearance onboard the ship.

Military analysts around the world hurriedly warned that this latest incident is just the latest example of how the next Middle Eastern war could be just one “human error” away.

Military experts said that Sunday’s episode was a significant setback for Iran’s navy and its ambitions to project itself as a power player in the Persian Gulf and beyond. Together with the downing of the Ukrainian airliner, it undermines an effort by Iran to present its military as a force capable of countering the United States and its regional allies, they said.

“This really showed that the situation with Iran is still dangerous, because accidents and miscalculations can happen,” said Fabian Hinz, an expert on Iran’s military at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. “It doesn’t give you confidence about the stability of the Persian Gulf.”

It’s also worth noting – since the American MSM almost certainly won’t – that this mishap is just the latest embarrassment that undermines the credibility of the Iranian regime abroad and, more importantly, at home. Since Trump has adopted his hard-line approach, the Iranian hardliners have been on their heels. For the first time in decades, the notion that the regime might collapse, or at the very least be forced to undertake some important domestic reforms (and capitulating on its military missile and nuclear programs). As history has repeatedly shown, appeasement of the enemy seldom succeeds in eliciting change. Only pressure can do that.

SAUDI ARABIA
The low oil price is playing havoc to the Saudi economy.  They are now running out of money as they slash spending by a huge 27 billion dollars and suspend cost of living allowances
(zerohedge)

Saudi Arabia Running Out Of Money: Riyadh To Slash Spending By $27 Billion, Suspend Cost Of Living Allowance

Last weekend we quoted Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan, who warned that the world’s biggest oil exporter hasn’t witnessed “a crisis of this severity” in decades, adding that government spending will have to be cut “very deeply”, something we touched on previously.

We didn’t have long to wait, because early on Monday, the Saudi government – which appears to be running out of money fast – ordered government spending cuts including suspending the cost of living allowance amid broad austerity measures for about $26.6 billion and a tripling of the value-added tax as part of measures aimed to shore up state finances, which have been battered by low oil prices and the coronavirus.

“Cost of living allowance will be suspended as of June first, and the value added tax will be increased to 15% from 5% as of July first,”  said the Saudi finance minister according to the state news agency, suggesting Saudi Arabia is on the verge of a full-blown fiscal crisis.

 

Saudi Finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan

Other measures includes canceling or delaying some operational and capital expenditures for a number of government agencies and reducing the credits planned for a number of state initiatives, including the Vision 2030 project, just as we predicted.

“The covid-19 challenges have led to a decline in government revenues, and pressure on public finances to levels that are difficult to deal with later without harming the kingdom’s macroeconomics and public finances in the medium and long term,” Al-Jadaan said. “Therefore more spending cuts must be achieved, and measures to support the stability of non-oil revenues.”

Already under a strict curfew to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s largest oil exporter has been affected by the oil price rout and global crude production cuts to help balance the market. The price of Brent crude crashed by more than 50% in March, contributing to a record $27 billion monthly drop in the Saudi central bank’s net foreign assets.

Adding insult to injury, last week we warned that the Kingdom may soon be dealing with a funding crisis as well: the collapse in crude prices and the government’s drop in foreign reserves, which plunged by a record $27BN in March…

… is putting more pressure on the Saudi riyal. For now, however, prices for 12-month dollar-riyal forward contracts are well short of their all-time high reached in 2016.

Commenting on the drop in reserves, Al Jazeera said that when the kingdom last stared down the crash in crude in 2014, it wielded reserves that peaked at over $735 billion. The stockpile was down by over a third just three years later, channeled almost entirely toward deficit spending.

And now, Saudi Arabia is blowing through its reserves at the fastest pace in at least two decades, even as the government is barely using the holdings to cover fiscal needs. Following its debut in international bond markets in 2016, borrowing covered most of the budget deficit in the first quarter.

As a result, with its buffers already fragile and the economy hammered by the coronavirus, Saudi Arabia is looking to scale back spending and rely more on debt.

There was some good news: recently Goldman Sachs has predicted that the central bank’s reserves, down more than 100 billion riyals ($27 billion) in March alone, will stabilize soon. “Despite a further anticipated decline in oil revenues in the second quarter, we expect the rate of reserve burn to slow,” Farouk Soussa, a Goldman Sachs economist, said in a report.

Alas, judging by the Saudi action, Riyadh is clearly far more concerned that the pain will straight well beyond the second quarter

end

 

6.Global Issues

Coronavirus update/Sunday

NY Coronavirus Deaths Lowest Since March As Cases Of Mysterious New Respiratory Syndrome Climb: Live Updates

Summary:

  • Latest UK numbers released as BoJo lays out new ‘Stay Alert’ plan
  • Italy also reports lowest cases since March
  • China reports first new case in Wuhan since April 3
  • NY reports lowest number of daily deaths since March
  • Afghanistan ends lockdown as economy collapses
  • Global new cases drop for 2nda day
  • Germany reports rise in spread rate above 1
  • Philippines reports spike in new cases
  • Local officials in Spain push government to reopen more quickly
  • UK urges reopening will be handled with caution as BoJo prepares to lay out framework
  • Turkey eases lockdown restrictions for most vulnerable people
  • UK testing of ‘contact tracing app’ going ‘well’
  • Pope Francis urges EU to work together to battle virus

*       *        *

Update (1530ET): The UK has reported a slight rise in cases, though the number of deaths reported continued to fall, on Sunday, as PM Boris Johnson unveiled his plan to gradually reopen the British economy.

Department of Health and Social Care

@DHSCgovuk

As of 9am 10 May, there have been 1,821,280 tests, with 92,837 tests on 09 May.

1,334,770 people have been tested of which 219,183 tested positive.

As of 5pm on 09 May, of those tested positive for coronavirus, across all settings, 31,855 have sadly died.

As of 9am 10 May, there have been 1,821,280 tests, with 92,837 tests on 09 May. 1,334,770 people have been tested of which 219,183 tested positive. As of 5pm on 09 May, of those tested positive for coronavirus, across all settings, 31,855 have sadly died.

Norbert Elekes@NorbertElekes

UK’s update:

– Number of new cases up
– Number of new deaths down
– Number of new people tested up

During his address, Johnson praised the British people for “showing the good sense” to abide by the lockdown restrictions, and declaring that “it is a fact that by implementing those measures we avoided a tragedy” that could have resulted in millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths. It would be “madness” to throw away that achievement now, Johnson said, before presenting his “roadmap for reopening society” and abandoned his old “stay home” slogan with a new one: “stay alert”.

Johnson boasted that the UK’s “R” rate – the measure of the virus’s spread – had dropped below one to between .5 and .9. He warned that if the rate should pop back above 1, that the UK might consider reimposing lockdown measures. As part of the reopening plan, those who can work from home are encouraged to keep doing so, while those who can’t “should go to work”, and follow the workplace guidelines, which include avoiding public transport if possible.

Britons will also be allowed to enjoy “unlimited outdoor exercise” though fines will be increased for the “small minority” who violate the public social distancing guidance that has been in place for the last 2 months. Step 2 – the phased reopening of shops and schools – likely won’t come – at the earliest – until June 1.

Boris Johnson #StayAlert

@BorisJohnson

An important update to the nation on coronavirus: https://youtu.be/bjvRhrJqNHI

Here are the broad strokes; Johnson said he’d be unveiling more details during PMQs on Monday. As part of the plan, Johnson introduced 5 “alert levels” to measure progress. As the new guidelines are imposed, Johnson said, he hopes the UK will move from “level 4” to “level 3” (with ‘level 1’ representing the complete eradication of the virus in Britain).

Boris Johnson #StayAlert

@BorisJohnson

Everyone has a role to play in helping to control the virus by staying alert and following the rules.

This is how we can continue to save lives as we start to recover from coronavirus.

View image on Twitter

In other news, California has reported its daily figures, which are down from record numbers reported Friday

  • CALIFORNIA REPORTS 67 NEW DEATHS, 2,119 NEW VIRUS CASES

*       *        *

Update (1300ET): Italy reported its lowest number of new cases since March on Sunday. Italy counted just 802 new cases and 165 new deaths during the prior day, the lowest numbers since early March. That brought its totals to 219,070 cases and 30,560 deaths.

More from BBG:

Civil protection authorities reported 802 cases for the 24-hour period — the fewest since March 6 — compared with 1,083 a day earlier
Confirmed cases now total 219,070.

Daily fatalities fell to 165 — the fewest since March 9 — from 194 on Saturday, with a total of 30,560 reported since the start of the pandemic in late February.

The latest good news comes as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte prepares to take the next steps toward easing the national lockdown.

Conte, under pressure from coalition allies to speed up the reopening as the country’s curve dramatically flattens, told an Italian newspaper that bars, restaurants and barbers would be allowed to reopen before June 1, the date previously set by the government. Shops are due to reopen on May 18.

Norbert Elekes@NorbertElekes

Italy’s update:

– Number of new cases down
– Number of new tests down
– Number of new deaths down
– Number of hospitalized down
– Number of ICU patients down
– Over 105,000 patients recovered

Meanwhile, China just reported the first case of the virus in Wuhan since April 3.

Norbert Elekes@NorbertElekes

NEW: China reports 14 new coronavirus cases and 20 new asymptomatic cases.

First new case in Wuhan since April 3.

*       *        *

Update (1240ET): For the second day in a row, New York has reported the fewest virus-linkeddeaths in a day since March. The number of deaths reported yesterday was 207.

As the number of deaths in New York nursing homes explodes, Cuomo announced a new policy Sunday: All nursing home staff must be tested for COVID-19 twice a week, no exceptions. Any nursing homes who fail to comply will lose their license, Cuomo said. He also revealed that the state is now investigating 85 cases of a mysterious respiratory syndrome affecting children that has appeared both in the UK and in the New York City area.

Hospitalizations also continued to fall.

Meanwhile, the NYT reports several cities in Afghanistan ended weeks of lockdown on Sunday, despite the continued spread of the virus, due to the dire economic reality.

The major cities of Mazar e Sharif and Kunduz in the north and Jalalabad and Mehtar Lam in the east were among those that officially ended the lockdown. Other cities such as the capital, Kabul, and Herat technically remained under lockdown, but the police appeared to be no longer enforcing it.

*       *        *

Sunday comes as the number of new cases reported over the weekend has slowed as countries around the world manage to bend their respective curves.

Sal Capone@sallydaviesjr

There are flattened curves and there are flattened curves.

View image on Twitter

Around the world, the number of new cases reported dropped for the second day in a row, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

However, the number of new cases in Germany accelerated again just days after the federal government loosened restrictions once again, acting in concert with state leaders.

The Robert Koch Institute for disease control said in a daily bulletin released Sunday morning that the number of people each sick person now infects (known as the reproduction rate, or R) has risen to 1.1.

Meanwhile, in the US, the reopening has been going more or less as well as can be expected in Georgia, Texas and the dozens of other states that have already started the process.

Any reading above 1 means the number of new cases is growing, not slowing. And the German government had previously promised to slow down, or even reverse, its reopening policies should ‘R’ linger above 1 for too long.

The institute claimed the number of new coronavirus cases had increased by 667 yesterday, bringing Germany’s total to 169,218, while the daily death toll had risen by 26 to 7,395.

Germany wasn’t the only country to report a slight acceleration in cases Sunday. Iran warned of a resurgence of its own as it reported 51 new deaths. Iran started relaxing virus-related a month ago (around the same time that Turkey surpassed it as the worst outbreak in the Muslim world) and has been reporting steady declines in new cases and deaths ever since.

While Germany considers how to respond to these troubling new data, Spain’s federal government continues to clash with several of the country’s regions over PM Pedro Sanchez’s decision to restrict the scope of the relaxation of its Spain’s extremely harsh 2-month-old lockdown.

On Sunday, as Sánchez held his weekly teleconference with the heads of the country’s regions, several local officials complained about the government’s decision to reject requests by certain, mostly urban, territories (including Madrid but also parts of Valencia and Andalusia).

“It is obvious that Madrid needs to take a step forward,” said Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the head of the region worst hit by the pandemic, citing the capital’s role as the heart of Spain’s economy. As stage one of the reopening begins tomorrow, 51% of Spain will be allowed to gather in groups of up to ten, non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen without appointment, and restaurants and bars may serve people in outside seating.

“It is important to keep everything we’ve gained up to now,” responded María Jesús Montero, government spokeswoman, who said the government’s decision was based on technical criteria.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis on Sunday called on the leaders of the EU to work together to deal with the social and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. The pope noted in his Sunday blessing that 75 years have passed since Europe began the challenging process of reconciliation after World War II. He said the process spurred both European integration and “the long period of stability and peace which we benefit from today.”

In Asia, the Philippines’ health ministry reported 184 new coronavirus cases, taking the Southeast Asian nation’s total reported infections to 10,794, while 15 more deaths related to COVID-19 were recorded, bringing the toll to 719, while 82 patients have recovered to bring total recoveries to 1,924, it said in a bulletin.

In the US, local media reported that at least 75 protestors tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a large rally against the stay-at-home order in Wisconsin.

In the UK, as BoJo prepares to lay out his plan for reopening the British economy, Housing Minister Robert Jenrick said said the economy would restart slowly and cautiously.

“The message … of staying at home now does need to be updated, we need to have a broader message because we want to slowly and cautiously restart the economy and the country,” Jenrick told Sky News.

Jenrick added that easing the lockdown would be conditional on keeping the spread of the virus under control, and if the rate of infection begins to increase in some areas, more stringent measures could be re-introduced. Elsewhere in the UK, a trial of a controversial government test-and-trace app carried out on the Isle of Wight has yielded positive results, much to the chagrin of privacy advocates.

“The trial in the Isle of Wight of that tracking app, the NHSX app designed to help assist people, is going well. People have been downloading it enthusiastically and I know that the plan is later in the month to make it more widely available as well,” a local official told the FT.

In Turkey, which is – as we mentioned above – the worst-hit country in the Muslim world by number of infections, senior citizens have been allowed to leave their homes for the first time in seven weeks Sunday under relaxed coronavirus restrictions. Those aged 65 and over, deemed most at risk from the virus, had been subjected to a curfew since March 21, but they were permitted outside Sunday for four hours as part of a rolling program of reduced controls being pushed by Ankara.

end

Sweden got it right.  They are now very close to herd immunity and they will be way ahead of the uSA

(Michael Whitney)

Whitney: Sweden Is The Model

Authored by Mike Whitney via The Unz Review,

At present, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus. That means that one of the two paths to immunity is blocked. The other path is “herd immunity,” in which a critical mass of infection occurs in lower-risk populations that ultimately thwarts transmission.

Herd immunity is the only path that is currently available. Let that sink in for a minute. The only way our species can effectively resist the infection is through the development of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells. In other words, the only way we can lick this thing is by the majority of the population getting the infection and thereby developing immunity to future outbreaks.

That being the case, one would assume that the government’s policy would try to achieve herd immunity in the least painful way possible.

(Young, low-risk people should go back to work if they so choose.)

But that is not the government’s policy, in fact, the government’s policy is the exact opposite. US policy encourages people to remain at home and self quarantine until the government decides to lift the lockdown and allow some people to return to work. This policy assumes that the infection will have vanished by then, which of course, is extremely unlikely. The more probable outcome is that– when people return to work– there will be another surge in cases and another spike in deaths. We will have shifted the curve to a future date without having flattened it. We will have inflicted catastrophic damage on the economy and gained nothing. This is an idiotic policy that goes nowhere.

After 6 weeks of this nonsense, many people are getting fed-up and demanding that the lockdowns be ended. In response to the public outcry, many governors are planning to restart their economies and lift the restrictions. What this means, is that, after wasting a month and half on a failed strategy, many states are ready to follow in Sweden’s footsteps with one critical difference, they’re not going to have a team of crack epidemiologists carefully monitoring their social interactions to see if a wave of new Covid cases is going to overwhelm the health care system. That means that things could get out of hand fast, and I expect they will. As we said in last week’s column, the lockdowns must be lifted gradually, that is crucial.

“You have to step down the ladder one rung at a time”, says Senior Swedish epidemiologist and former Chief Scientist of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Johan Giesecke. In other words, slowly ease up on the restrictions and gradually allow people to get back to work. That is the best way forward.

There is also the question of whether herd immunity will be sufficient to fight off reinfection. This question was posed to Giesecke in a recent interview in which he was asked:

“Why are you gambling that herd immunity will protect your people from re-infection?”

Giesecke answered,

“There has not been a single proven case of anyone getting a second infection from the virus….so far there have been no reinfections….If you have it once you don’t get it again….There will be herd immunity, that’s clear, and it will last over the period of this outbreak.”

The interviewer then asked Giesecke why he was so certain that surviving the infection would produce herd immunity?

Because it’s a coronavirus,” Giesecke said, “and we know about 6 other coronaviruses, so why would this one be special? ….At present, 30% of the population of Stockholm is immune or has already had the infection. We do not have herd immunity today, but to go from 30% to 50% will only take weeks.“

Giesecke candidly admits that he cannot be absolutely certain that infection survivors are immune, but he strongly believes that they are. (Please, excuse my choppy transcription o f the taped interview.)

Giesecke again:

When you (in the US and elsewhere) ease the lockdowns you will have more deaths…We will not have as many deaths because we will have herd immunity by the time the other countries start to lift their lockdown which means the virus won’t spread much more in Sweden, whereas you will have a higher number of cases and deaths.”

If Giesecke is right, then Sweden is on the path to “normal” while the US is still chasing its tail, still following a policy that is clearly counterproductive, and still listening to self-appointed pontiffs like Bill Gates who obviously want to drag this thing out forever so he can implement his vaccination-surveillance panopticon. This needs to change. The safety and well-being of the American people should take precedence over the Hodge-podge of competing interests and conflicting agendas that have shaped the current policy. Now take a look at excerpt from an article at the National Review:

“Spring is in the air, and it is increasingly found in the confident step of the people of Sweden. With a death rate significantly lower than that of France, Spain, the U.K., Belgium, Italy, and other European Union countries, Swedes can enjoy the spring without panic or fears of reigniting a new epidemic as they go about their day in a largely normal fashion.

Dr. Mike Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organization’s Emergencies Program, says: “I think if we are to reach a new normal, I think in many ways Sweden represents a future model — if we wish to get back to a society in which we don’t have lockdowns.”

The Swedish ambassador to the U.S., Karin Ulrika Olofsdotter, says: “We could reach herd immunity in the capital” of Stockholm as early as sometime in May. That would dramatically limit spread of the virus.

…Dr. Anders Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist of Sweden… heroically bucked the conventional wisdom of every other nation and carefully examined the insubstantial evidence that social-isolation controls would help reduce COVID-19 deaths over the full course of the virus.

As Tegnell told NPR in early April: “I’m not sure that there is a scientific consensus on, really, about anything when it comes to this new coronavirus, basically because we don’t have much evidence for any kind of measures we are taking.”….”To me it looks like a lot of the exit strategies that are being discussed look very much like what Sweden is already doing,” he told Canada’s Globe & Mail….

Sweden has about 2,200 reported COVID-19 cases per million population. This is lower than the number in the U.S. (3,053 per million), the U.K., France, Spain, Italy, and also lower than in many other EU countries. It’s slightly above the number in Germany, which has been hailed for its approach to the virus….

Sweden has 265 reported COVID-19 deaths per million population. That is somewhat higher than in the U.S. (204 per million) but lower than the number in many other EU countries….on an age-adjusted basis, Sweden has done significantly better than the U.S. in terms of both cases per million and deaths per million — and with no lockdowns….

Unlike its Nordic neighbors and everywhere else…Sweden doesn’t have to worry about when and how to end social isolation. They don’t have to decide who to keep locked down and who to let out. They don’t have to get into civil-liberty arguments over involuntary restrictions or whether to fine people for not wearing masks and gloves….

Now many countries and U.S. states are beginning to follow Sweden’s lead. But California and other states continue to pile up isolation-induced health costs and blow gigantic holes in their budgets with lockdowns that, nationwide, have generated more than 30 million newly unemployed.” (“Sweden Bucked Conventional Wisdom, and Other Countries Are Following“, National Review)

This is an excellent article that’s worth reading in full. And what the article shows, is that Sweden is the model. They put the right people in the right positions to do the research, read the data and make right decisions on critical issues of public health. Then they implemented the right policy which is going to make their social and economic transition much easier.

Sweden is on the path to recovery while the United States is still trying to get out of the hole it dug for itself.

END
Luxury good market crashes..no recovery for years
(zerohedge)

“Unprecedented Crisis” – Global Luxury Goods Market Collapses, No Recovery For Years

New findings published in “Bain & Company Luxury Study 2020 Spring Update” this week suggest a collapse in the global luxury goods market is underway with no recovery for several years, shredding any hope that a V-shaped recovery will be seen in the back half of 2020.

The report says the plunge of travel and tourism in all key markets has triggered “an unprecedented crisis” for companies operating in the luxury goods space. Claudia D’Arpizio, a Bain & Company partner and lead author of the report, said jewelry, watches, cosmetics, clothes, and accessory sales will drop 25% in 1Q20, and continued lockdowns across the world will lead to further declines in 2Q20. Those declines, she noted, could be in excess of 50-60% in the three months ending in June. Her full-year estimate is a contraction between 20-35%.

“There will be a recovery for the luxury market but the industry will be profoundly transformed,” she wrote. “The coronavirus crisis will force the industry to think more creatively and innovate even faster to meet a host of new consumer demands and channel constraints.”

The report notes a strong start of the year in all key regions (Mainland China, Europe, America) was eventually derailed by virus-related shutdowns of businesses and lockdowns across the world. The collapse of the travel and tourism industry, due to flight restrictions, amplified the chaos currently experienced by industry players.

Though online sales “remained resilient,” she said, adding that, traditional brick and mortar stores saw rapid declines in sales in many parts of the world. As economies reopen, luxury goods shops will have social distancing in mind:

“As consumers slowly emerge from lockdowns, the way they see the world will have changed and luxury brands will need to adapt,” said Federica Levato, Bain & Company partner and report co-author of the report. “Safety in store will be mandatory, paired with the magic of the luxury experience: creative ways to attract customers to store, or to get the product to the customer, will make the difference.”

The report anticipates that a recovery in the industry to 2019 levels might not be seen until 2022-2023. The global luxury goods market might return to growth in the years after. What the authors are saying is that there’s no V-shaped recovery for luxury goods this year – suggesting consumers will remain pressured by job losses and sagging growth in a post-corona world.

D’Arpizio said the Chinese would account for nearly 50% of all luxury goods purchases by 2025.

It’s not just luxury goods that are slumping at the moment. We noted this week that luxury real estate in many regions is experiencing slumping sales and price declines.

The decline in the luxury goods market suggests to us that Scott Minerd, the CIO of Guggenheim Investments, could be right, there’s no V-shaped recovery ahead, and it could take upwards of “four years” for a recovery phase to unfold.

It appears the world could remain in a low-growth, or even negative growth period, through the mid-point of this decade.

END
Michael Every…

Rabobank: Stocks Go Up As Everything Is Going Down In Flames

Submitted by Michael Every of Rabobank

It’s All Going to the Dogs (and Goats)

Friday’s April US payrolls report showed 20.5 million jobs lost when in an ordinary downturn 200,000 might be considered bad; the drop in March alone was larger than that seen during the worst of the global financial crisis. In short, we face a global future of mass unemployment (now 14.7% in the US and 13% in Canada) on top of mass debt, both public and private.

Last week the German Constitutional Court (GCC) ruled that it is superior to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), and that the ECB has three months to prove it is not exceeding its remit with its extraordinary monetary policy. Yesterday the President of the EU Commission von der Leyen threatened to sue Germany, stating the final word on EU law is always spoken by the ECJ. Guess which court ultimately hears the case? The ECJ. How is this going to play out if the GCC doesn’t back down? Very badly in the Eurozone periphery, to the benefit of Euroskeptics. How is it going to play out in Germany if the GCC is forced to back down? Badly in Germany, to the benefit of Euroskeptics. Given the ECJ won’t back down and the ECB has said it will ignore the GCC, and the GCC is not likely to blink either, we seem set for an institutional crisis over the scope and shape of the Eurozone financial market – albeit one that rumbles on rather than erupting immediately.

US Vice-President Mike Pence, titular head of the US virus task force, is self-isolating after figures close to the White House were diagnosed as positive for Covid.

Despite the bounce in oil prices, Saudi Arabia is slashing its budget by USD27bn, and is suspending its cost of living allowance for public employees, while VAT is to be tripled to 15%. Riyadh is also discussing if it can reduce the USD69.1bn price it already agreed for a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries. The US is also withdrawing both some troops and Patriot missile batteries from the Kingdom. In short, all is not well and socioeconomic, not to say geopolitical, tensions are likely to rise.

A new lockdown in Jilin and one new Covid case in Wuhan aside, the PBOC has recognised that after having ‘beaten the virus’ the Chinese economy is still so weak it requires “more powerful” monetary policies: its latest quarterly monetary policy report dropped the vow to “avoid excess liquidity flooding the economy.”

That’s as bearish for CNY, and hence for EM FX and inflation prospects, as it is positive for some local assets.

China is apparently following up on its “economic coercion” against Australia for pushing for an international inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 by slapping huge tariffs on Aussie barley exports. In Australia, a federal parliamentary committee set up by a maverick Queensland MP intends to summon China’s ambassador to give evidence on the matter.

Meanwhile, Pulitzer Prize, Polk, and Peabody award-winning writer @Laurie_Garrett has claimed her White House sources allege its virus response ahead will be: 1) to obfuscate on death numbers to try to ease public concern; and 2) use Executive Orders to “create demand” for US-manufactured goods by outlawing products and mandating Americans purchase replacements. Yes, this is just an allegation. However, we have seen one recent Executive Order that prohibits the acquisition or installation in the US of certain electrical equipment originating in countries designated as “foreign adversaries”. It is also entirely consistent with the pattern we predicted years ago – that, logically, ultra-loose fiscal and monetary stimulus would go hand and hand with a ring-fencing that would lock the new liquidity up at home. It is extremely USD positive if true, and equally negative for major exporters like China…and Germany, who already has a lot on its plate at home.

Likewise, now that the multi-trillion corporate bailout has been agreed, serious Washington politicians are saying that not everyone can be saved and that spending must be pruned. Indeed, the Washington Post says one such plan, from the mind of Art “I had one bad idea and made a career out of it” Laffer, is that US citizens might be offered a one-time payment of USD10,000 upfront in exchange for curbing their future Social Security and retirement benefits. It would mean a huge fiscal upfront cost and then a vast decrease in future liabilities. It’s also a kind of pay-day lending scheme which would ensure Americans in most desperate need of cash upfront having to trade their future security for just a few months’ worth of food and rent: this which would do wonders for US socioeconomic stability and political polarisation, of course.

As we go to the dogs with mass unemployment and mass debt and me-first trade policies to try to get out of it, please recall that we are only doing so because of ideas about dogs…and goats. Contemporary economists are unwittingly beholden to the ideas of Joseph Townsend (1739–1816), a British medical doctor, geologist and vicar who preceded Malthus in his 1786 treatise “A Dissertation on the Poor Laws”; this claimed helping the poor is counter-productive as “it is only hunger which can spur and goad them on to labour…hunger is not only a peaceable, silent, unremitted pressure, but as the most natural motive to industry, it calls forth the most powerful exertions….Hunger will tame the fiercest animals, it will teach decency and civility, obedience and subjugation to the most brutish, the most obstinate, and the most perverse.

Most contemporary economists hopefully disagree with that rhetoric. However, Townsend also argued that supply and demand were “natural laws” and scientific. He even illustrated his argument with an analogy of the struggle for survival between goats and dogs on a remote Pacific island. Crucially, however, in his story the dogs and goats only get to this island because they are introduced by visiting sailors: there is nothing natural about this ecosystem at all! Indeed, trying to pretend supply and demand always transcended all social or cultural context is gibberish: how much do mothers charge their kids for breakfast? Why can’t we freely buy and sell our organs, or drugs? As Polanyi argued, society always pushes back against a “free market” that has been imposed on it. Yet this 18th century fantasy is the ideological bedrock on which we built the architecture of hyper-globalisation

Ironically, while some in markets would like to build the architecture of the post-globalisation world on a similar dog-eat-dog fiscal and labour-capital dynamic, they are all-too happy to have mountains of central-bank goat meat delivered to them to gorge on.

Hence stocks go up even as everything is going down in flames. There is nothing natural about that kind of ‘demand’ being supplied by the monetary authorities: and it’s an internal inconsistency that should really get the populace’s goat.

end

7. OIL ISSUES

SAUDI ARABIA

Despite being cash strapped, the Saudis unexpectedly cut oil output by one million barrels per day.

(zerohedge)

Oil Spikes After Saudis Unexpectedly Cut Output Unilaterally By 1 Million b/d

Just hours after Saudi Arabia, which is seemingly running out of money faster than most had expected, announced broad government spending cuts including suspending the cost of living allowance amid broad austerity measures for about $26.6 billion and a tripling of the value-added tax as part of measures aimed to shore up state finances, which have been battered by low oil prices and the coronavirus, Bloomberg reported that Saudi Arabia will unilaterally cut its crude oil output by 1MMb/d in June, as it aims to pump just under 7.5 million barrels a day in June (it is unclear if the cut will extend beyond the month), compared with an official target under the most recent OPEC+ agreement of 8.5 million barrels a day. Aramco has also been instructed to cut May production if possible.

If Riyadh follows through, Saudi production would drop the lowest since mid-2002, a reflection of the continuing plunge in global oil demand.

In kneejerk reaction, WTI crude erased earlier losses, jumping as much as 3.4% to $25.58 a barrel…

… while Brent also erased earlier gains to reach an intraday high of $31.47 a barrel

While the cut was immediately seen as bullish, for Saudi Arabia to engage in such an unprecedented unilateral emergency cut, it would suggest that demand is well below optimistic V-shaped rebound expectations.

Why is Saudi Arabia pursuing this unprecedented step? According to an official at the Saudi Ministry of Energy, “the Kingdom aims through this additional cut to encourage OPEC+ participants, as well as other producing countries, to comply with the production cuts they have committed to, and to provide additional voluntary cuts, in an effort to support the stability of global oil markets.”

Needless to say, if Saudi Arabia hopes that by cutting production – and spiking prices – it will force shale producers to follow in its footsteps, it will be sorely disappointed: as oil prices rebound, the real question is at what price will shale dive right back and restart output as they seek to steal even more market share from Saudi Arabia, whose “flood the world with oil” gambit is backfiring again, just like it did in 2014.

Indeed, as Energy Intel’s Amena Bakr notes, “Iraq isn’t cutting its share of the Opec plus cuts and Saudi Arabia is now cutting an extra 1 million bpd….deja vu anyone?”

Amena Bakr@Amena__Bakr

So Iraq isn’t cutting its share of the Opec plus cuts and Saudi Arabia is now cutting an extra 1 million bpd….deja vu anyone?

end

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 1.0817 DOWN .0015 REACTING TO MERKEL’S FAILED COALITION/ REACTING TO +GERMAN ELECTION WHERE ALT RIGHT PARTY ENTERS THE BUNDESTAG/ huge Deutsche bank problems ///ITALIAN CHAOS//CORONAVIRUS//PANDEMIC// /AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/JAPAN TAPERING BOND PURCHASES /USA RISING INTEREST RATES /FLOODING/EUROPE BOURSES /GREEN

 

 

USA/JAPAN YEN 107.23 UP 0.732 (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 1.2303   DOWN   0.0062  (Brexit March 29/ 2019/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED/BREXIT FEES WILL BE CAPPED/

 

USA/CAN 1.4004 UP .0092 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 FELL BY 15 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level FALLING to 1.0817 Last night Shanghai COMPOSITE CLOSED DOWN 0.54 POINTS OR 0.02% 

 

//Hang Sang CLOSED UP 371.89 POINTS OR 1.53%

/AUSTRALIA CLOSED  UP  1,30%// EUROPEAN BOURSES ALL RED

 

Trading from Europe and Asia

EUROPEAN BOURSES ALL RED 

 

 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 131.51 POINTS OR 0.46%

 

 

/SHANGHAI CLOSED DOWN 0.54 POINTS OR 0.02%

 

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 1.30

 

Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED UP 211.57  POINTS OR 1.05%

 

 

 

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1699.50

silver:$15.40-

Early MONDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 0.69% !!! UP 0 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 1.41 UP 3  IN BASIS POINTS from FRIDAY night.

USA dollar index early MONDAY morning: 100.12 UP 39 CENT(S) from  FRIDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers MONDAY MORNING

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx6

And now your closing  MONDAY NUMBERS \1: 00 PM

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 0.94% UP 1 in basis point(s) yield from YESTERDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.01%  UP 1   BASIS POINTS from YESTERDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/56

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 0.80%//UP 1 in basis point yield from yesterday.

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD:1,88 UP 7 points in basis points yield from yesterday./

 

 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 108 points higher than Spain.

 

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: RISES TO –.51% IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY//

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 2.36% 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 1.0819  DOWN     .0022 or 22 basis points

USA/Japan: 107.69 UP 1.103 OR YEN DOWN 110  basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.2330 DOWN 35 POUND DOWN 35  BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar DOWN 113 basis points to 1.4026

 

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The USA/Yuan,CNY: AT 67.0990    ON SHORE  (DOWN)..GETTING DANGEROUS

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:  7.1077  (YUAN DOWN)..GETTING REALLY DANGEROUS

TURKISH LIRA:  7.0735 EXTREMELY DANGEROUS LEVEL/DEATH WISH.

the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.01%

 

Your closing 10 yr US bond yield UP 3 IN basis points from FRIDAY at 0.72 % //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic USA 30 yr bond yield: 1.43 UP 5 in basis points on the day

Your closing USA dollar index, 100.21 UP 48  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 MONDAY: 12:00 PM

London: CLOSED UP 3.75  0.06%

German Dax :  CLOSED DOWN 79.49 POINTS OR .73%

 

Paris Cac CLOSED DOWN 59.42 POINTS 1.31%

Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 110.90 POINTS or 1.63%

Italian MIB: CLOSED DOWN 57.94 POINTS OR 0.33%

 

 

 

 

 

WTI Oil price; 24.43 12:00  PM  EST

Brent Oil: 29.80 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN /   RUBLE FALLS:    73.58  THE CROSS HIGHER BY 0.19 RUBLES/DOLLAR (RUBLE LOWER BY 19 BASIS PTS)

 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES  TO –.51 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 :  24.49//

 

 

BRENT :  29.93

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: … 0.71..PLUS  3 basis points…

 

 

 

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 1.416..plus 3 basis points..

 

 

 

 

 

EURO/USA 1.0805 ( down 27   BASIS POINTS)

USA/JAPANESE YEN:107.61 UP 1.018 (YEN DOWN 101 BASIS POINTS/..

 

 

USA DOLLAR INDEX:100.22 UP 49 cent(s)/

The British pound at 4 pm   Britain Pound/USA:1.2321 DOWN 44  POINTS

 

the Turkish lira close: 7.0772

 

 

the Russian rouble 73.69   DOWN 0.02 Roubles against the uSA dollar.( DOWN 2 BASIS POINTS)

Canadian dollar:  1.4019 DOWN 102 BASIS pts

 

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: ,-0.51%

 

The Dow closed DOWN 109.33 POINTS OR 0.45%

 

NASDAQ closed UP 71.02 POINTS OR 0.78%

 


VOLATILITY INDEX:  27.57 CLOSED DOWN .41

LIBOR 3 MONTH DURATION: 0.434%//libor dropping like a stone

LIBOR/OIS: .374%

TED SPREAD  (LIBOR VS 3 MONTH TREASURY BILL):  .314%

 

USA trading today in Graph Form

Banks Battered, Absymal Breadth But The Big-Tech Buying-Bonanza Continues

The Nasdaq is now up over 40% off the March lows…

As Nasdaq earnings continue to collapse…

Source: Bloomberg

Valuations are soaring back near record highs…

Source: Bloomberg

As world stocks ride the ‘white pony’ of central bank narcotics…

Source: Bloomberg

Because The Fed went full “Rick Astley”…

You’re welcome!

Everything opened lower… then the bid for big tech stepped in – buybacks and robinhood’rs… but a weak closing hour left Dow and Small Caps red (very ugly last few seconds)…

There was an odd panic-puke in the last few seconds of the day – which took the S&P to perfectly unchanged…

As Nasdaq soared, the median US stock was notably lower today…

Source: Bloomberg

Breadth was abysmal…

Source: Bloomberg

Another epic short-squeeze continues (6 days in a row higher)…

Source: Bloomberg

FANG stocks surged to new record highs today (up 43% off the March lows)…

Source: Bloomberg

This is the 6th day higher in a row (and 8th day of the last 9)

Source: Bloomberg

All thanks to The SNB…

And Retail bagholdering…

Source: Robintrack

Biotech stocks soared to a new record high…

Source: Bloomberg

But Banks were battered lower today…

Source: Bloomberg

And in case you are wondering why banks are getting battered (on such a glorious day of panic-buying), here’s why! Market expectations of negative rates are soaring…

Treasury yields were higher across the curve with the long-end steepening…

Source: Bloomberg

10Y back above 70bps…

Source: Bloomberg

The dollar surged today (bets day in over 4 weeks) after a couple of days of weakness…The last two days moves look a lot like last week’s…

Source: Bloomberg

Just hours ahead of Bitcoin’s once-every-four-years ‘Halving’, the cryptocurrency chopped around after its big loss yesterday

Source: Bloomberg

The rest of the crypto space is hurting too since Friday…

Source: Bloomberg

Oil chopped around today on Saudi production headlines but all the major commodities ended lower…

Source: Bloomberg

June WTI outperformed with yet another panic-bid into the settlement…

 

Finally, Spot The Odd One Out… What do stocks “know” that bonds and commodities don’t about the re-opening of the world’s economy?

Source: Bloomberg

end

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

Here Is The Real April Jobs Report: 42 Million Unemployed, 25.5% Unemployment Rate

Friday’s job report – according to which a record 20.5 million jobs were lost in April, some 10x more than the depths of the Great Depression, resulting in a 14.7% unemployment rate – was ugly enough as is, the NYT summarizing the catastrophic nature of the economic collapse with the following creative front page.

The truth, unfortunately is even uglier.

While it is true that what the BLS reported that the April unemployment rate (UR) was less than expected (14.7% versus consensus of 16.0%) and the drop in payroll employment of 20.5 million was also less than the 22.0 million expected, Standard Chartered bank has calculated that adjustments to the headline unemployment ratepush the effective number of unemployed to 42 million and the effective UR rate to 25.5%, higher even than the U-6 underemployment rate of 22.8%. Worse, if one treats underemployed in line with the U-6 methodology, the true April unemployment number would rise to an mindblowing 27.5%.

How does one get these numbers? As the bank’s chief FX strategist Steve Englander explains, start with the 23.1 million unemployed as published by BLS. To this add 8.1mn people who have dropped out of the labor force since February (previously the labor force had been growing steadily, so these are likely unemployed).

Add back 7.5MM workers classified as ‘employed but not at work for other reasons’ – BLS states that these workers are likely misclassified as employed, when they are in fact unemployed. Involuntary part-time work for economic reasons has gone up by 6.6MM and we treat these as half-unemployed (i.e., a contribution of 3.3MM).

This totals almost 42 Million effectively unemployed. Keep the civilian labor force denominator at February’s 164.5 million, which results in a 25.5% estimate for effective unemployment, and if Englander treated involuntary part-time workers as completely unemployed, the resulting unemployment rate would be at 27.5%.

Commenting on the April BLS report, Englander writes that “bad data for the mid-March to April period is largely anticipated by investors; these data were neither good nor bad enough to force investors to adjust expectations.” He also expects the May labor data to show deterioration at a slower pace, but think that investors are looking at the balance between initial and continuing claims to assess the pace at which reopening would lead to better labor-market outcomes.

And while a slowdown in the collapse is to be expected – after all, there are only so many workers that can be fired – don’t expect it any time soon. As we first noted on Friday, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett – who said two weeks ago that Q2 GDP would be the biggest negative number since the great depression – has set the groundwork for an even scariee number next month as the statistics catch up to the reality, warning that unemployment could hit 20% in May, up from 14.7% in April, or rather down from the real 27.5% unemployment rate.

“I think just looking at the flow of initial claims, it looks like we’re probably going to get close to 20 percent in the next report ,” Hassett told CNN‘s “State of the Union” on Sunday, refusing to admit that the actual number when one eliminates the BLS fudges is already far higher.

He added that the rate will depend on whether the virus “has really abated” and if economies are “really going again.”

“I would guess middle of summer is when we’re going to start to go into the transition phase,” said Hassett, adding that he hopes the third and fourth quarters will bring “very strong” growth.

“Just looking at the flow of initial claims that it looks like we’re probably going to get close to 20% in the next report,” senior White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says about US unemployment.

Embedded video

Looking ahead at the May data, Englander is similarly gloomy and warns that initial claims have totaled 7 million since the April survey week and there is no sign that continuing claims are turning down due to rehiring or reopening, adding that at this point it does not look like May employment data will show improvement or even stability.

The incoming data look consistent with the baseline UR breaching 20% in May, especially if the responses on “employed but not at work for other reasons” change.

In summary, the Trump admin is hoping that within a few months the bottom will be in for the economy, it is also hoping that the official government reports eventually catch down to reality, and that at some point the two series – the actual economy and how the government actually represents it – will converge. The question is when, and just how massive the discrepancy between truth and the “official data” will grow until that happens.

end

Atlanta Fed now estimated a -34.9% drop in 2nd quarter USA GDP

(Global Macro Monitor/Atlanta Fed)

Fed’s Q2 GDP Estimate At -34.90%… So What Now?

Via Global Macro Monitor,

Summary

  • The Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now is estimating a -34.9 percent Q2 GDP print, which is 3.5x the largest quarterly decline in the post-WWII economy
  • If realized, the 11.3 percent non annualized first-half GDP collapse in 2020 will approach the worse year of the Great Depression, when in 1932, the economy shrank 13.1 percent for the entire year  
  • We are not paying much attention to these numbers as they reflect an economy that has been closed for two months, which should experience a relatively sharp snapback in Q3, with unemployment most likely peaking this month
  • Nonetheless, the pandemic and economic lockdown will do long-term structural damage to the economy
  • The rapid growth of the monetary aggregates alleviates much of the deflationary forces in the economy in the short-term and we perceive inflation a much bigger risk over the medium-term
  • If the GDP Now estimate holds, and even if GDP prints a record annualized 27.6 percent number in Q3, real output will still be 7 percent below the Q4 2019 level with unemployment remaining close to low double digits
  • We suspect the will recovery will come too late and not be enough to save President Trump and the Republicans though the White House will tout it as the greatest economic recovery in the history of the world
  • Investors and companies should plan for higher capital gains and corporate taxes
  • Check out the astonishing performance of our stock picker’s large-cap portfolio, which is trouncing the S&P500 this year

Since the COVID crisis hit America, many businesses are operating at limited capacity while others have ceased operations completely.  The unprecedented aggregate supply and demand shock to the U.S. economy has resulted in horrific economic data, including the 20.5 in nonfarm payroll jobs for in April and the unemployment rates shooting up over 14 percent.

The data released Friday also caused the Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now model to lower its Q2 GDP estimate to a stunning annualized -34.9 percent, which puts it at the lower end of the range of Blue Chip forecasts.  The GDP Now Q2 estimate will certainly change as new economic data is released over the next few months.

Context

It is important to keep the data in context.  The economy has been slammed shut for two months and is just starting to slowly reopen.   The data surely does not reflect the prospects for the economy over the next 12 months unless a second and more virulent wave of COVID-19 breaks out, which is not a zero probability, by the way.

Still, if the GDP Now Q2 estimate does come in at the annualized -34.9 percent, it would represent a quarterly collapse 3.5x the next largest decline of 10.0 percent during the Eisenhower recession in Q1 1958.  Even more stunning, the non annualized first-half 11.3 percent GDP collapse in 2020 would approach the worst year the Great Depression when GDP fell 13.1 percent for the entire year during a period of mass bank failures.

Depression Data But Depression Not The Base Case

We all can take a little consolation and hope, at least for now, that though we are witnessing economic data plumbing the depths of the Great Depression, the data will improve as the economy slowly reopens.  It is uncertain how much structural damage the pandemic and the temporary lockdown has done to the economy but it will be significant.

There is no doubt it will take some time for the economy to recover.  How long is anyone’s guess?

The table above illustrates for GDP  to recover its Q4’19 level by Q3 (assuming the Q2 GDP Now estimate holds),  growth would have to snap back by an annualized 61.3 percent next quarter.   To recover real output fully by the end of the year,  GDP growth would have to average an annualized 27 percent in Q3 and Q4.

We. Don’t. Think. So.

Recovery During The Great Depression

During the Great Depression, the economy didn’t recover its 1929 real output level until 1936.

Furthermore, because of the virulent deflationary forces that took hold during the Depression, the result of the 25-30 percent contraction in the monetary aggregates, caused by the massive bank failures from 1931-33, nominal GDP did not recover its 1929 level until 1941.  From 1929 to 1933,  demand deposits, which made up over 85 percent of narrow money in 1929, fell by 35 percent.

That’s not a problem today as illustrated in the following charts of the compounded rate of change in M1 and M2.  While many fret over the temporary deflationary pressures, some of which are just relative price changes as the economy begins to adjust to the post-COVID new normal,  we fear more about a coming wave of inflation over the medium-term, which absolutely nobody is prepared.

Lord have mercy on bond investors.

M1 Money Stock Compounded Rate Of Change

M2 Money Stock Compounded Rate Of Change

Go Stonks

A macro argument has and can be made when the monetary aggregates are growing faster than nominal GDP it provides the liquidity and rocket fuel for the stock market.  Just throwin’ it out there.

Q3 Economic Snapper Is Coming

We suspect the economy has already troughed and the employment data will bottom in May allowing GDP to realize a fairly sharp snapback in Q3, which will most likely exceed the 3.9 percent largest Q/Q GDP increase in the post-WWII period, which was registered in Q1 1950.    There is no doubt the Trump administration will sell it as “the greatest economic recovery in history” and tout a huge annualized GDP growth number.

White House Cheerleaders Preparing The Pom-Poms

If the economy can muster, say, a 5.0 percent Q/Q growth rate in the third quarter, which is a push but not unreasonable that translates into a 27.6 percent growth headline number, far exceeding Q1 1950 16.7 percent annualized growth rate.  Don’t you think the White House is preparing the pom-poms for such a rebound and cranking up the Tweet machine?   We suspect this will be the central focus of the President’s campaign strategy.

Even so, U.S. real output will still be down 6.8 percent from its 2019 closing high and unemployment will most likely be in low double digits.  Can Trump be re-elected with those numbers?

November Election

The body politic may give another POTUS, who is more empathetic, honest, more decisive, and popular the benefit of the doubt but that is not who Donald Trump is.

Based on our analysis, not our political bias,  our central case, assuming a fair election, is the Democrats are going to take the White House, Senate, and House by wider than expected margins in November.

Recall our post in early April,  Prepare For The Senate To Flip, when we were a lone voice crying in the wilderness.  We were also putting our money where our analysis is,

We look at the individual Senate races and can’t understand why PredictIt is still pricing the Republicans to remain in control of the Senate with a 61 percent probability.  

…We have our money where our analysis is, betting on a Blue Senate, and if we are right, we are looking at a 439.11 percent compounded annual return (CAAG) by election day.  Beat that in the stonk market, folks.

– GMM, April 13

The market is now about even money and climbing north the Dems will take the Senate. We are up 28 percent in 28 days, and everyone and their mother on Mothers Day is talking about how the Upper Chamber is now in play.   We do realize 175 days to election day is an eternity in politics and much can change but we sense a wave election is building.

Investors and businesses should plan accordingly, including for higher corporate and capital gains taxes, which are the low hanging fruit.  The markets are still obsessing over “flattening the curve” and the first-order existential effects of the pandemic.

Upshot 

There you have it, folks.  Our thoughts and best guesses.  We are all in the guessing game these days and remain at the mercy of whatever trajectory the pandemic decides to take, which will largely be determined by the efficacy of U.S. health policy, or lack thereof.

As always we reserve the right to be wrong.

iii) Important USA Economic Stories

San Diego unemployment rate an astounding 27%

(zerohedge)

San Diego Unemployment Rate Nearly 27%, Breaking County Record Set During Great Depression

With the worst jobs report in history under our belt, which saw a record 20.5 million jobs lost in April, and the stated unemployment rate at 14.7%, some cities have been hit worse than others by the economic fallout from the pandemic.

To wit, after steadily increasing 2-3% every week for the past two months, the unemployment rate in San Diego county is at an all-time high of just under 27% – exceeding the previous record from 1933 set during the Great Depression, according to a report by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).

According to the data, 35,000 people filed for unemployment insurance during the week of April 18, bringing to total number to just under 400,000 in the county, reports San Diego’s Fox5. And let’s not forget San Diego’s hourly workers who have seen their shifts cut as businesses struggle to stay afloat.

 

San Diego residents line up for emergency food distribution at SDCCU Stadium, April 5, 2020 (Photo: Brian Doll / Swinerton Renewable Energy)

It’s absolutely astounding, and this has never happened in the history of before to have this type of unemployment this quickly,” said SANDAG Chief Economist Ray Major, who added: “We will end up going into a recession because of this and so the housing sector may be hurtYou may be able to buy an automobile more cheaply but that’s because there aren’t as many people out there trying to buy automobiles.

Major says certain industries like retail and biotech companies will come back quickly. He says it’s those working in the restaurant and hospitality industries that will take a longer time to get back to normal. Major says it could be anywhere from 18 months to two years. –Fox5

On Friday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that 75% of those who have filed for unemployment are ‘temporary layoffs.’

On what scale?

end
My goodness:  11 secret service agents have  tested positive for COVID 19
(zerohedge)

White House On ‘High Alert’ As 11 Secret Service Agents Currently Positive For COVID-19

In the most alarming revelation yet that coronavirus is getting ever closer to severely impacting the White House, Yahoo News has unveiled documents showing that nearly a dozen US Secret Service members have tested positive for COVID-19.

A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) internal memo or ‘daily report’ showed the Secret Service currently has eleven active cases of the virus (as of this past Thursday night) — this after it was learned Friday that Katie Miller, a spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence, tested positive for coronavirus. And the day before, Trump’s personal military valet was confirmed positive, prompting the president to indicate he would be receiving daily tests as opposed to weekly, according to The Hill.

“According to the DHS document, along with the 11 active cases there are 23 members of the Secret Service who have recovered from COVID-19 and an additional 60 employees who are self-quarantining,” Yahoo News reports. “No details have been provided about which members of the Secret Service are infected or if any have recently been on detail with the president or vice president.”

 

File image via Reuters

All of this has reportedly put the White House on “high alert” over possible further spread of the virus. While the Secret Service is a relatively small agency compared to all other major protective law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies (chiefly monitoring threats against the president and US leaders, as well as investigating and preventing counterfeiting), it also maintains field offices and personnel across the country and even in foreign countries.

Only a single COVID-19 case among Secret Service personnel had been officially reported by the agency earlier in March, however, the new revelation of both active infections and 23 total recoveries suggests the spread was much more pervasive than previously acknowledged.

A Secret Service spokeswoman issued the following statement:

“To protect the privacy of our employees’ health information and for operational security, the Secret Service is not releasing how many of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19, Nor how many of its employees were, or currently are, quarantined.”

The statement further emphasized the Secret Service will continue to strictly adhere to CDC protocol. Last week the administration said that new precautions include that anyone coming near the president is tested.

 

Vice President Mike Pence on a Rochester, Minn. hospital tour on h April 28, where he came under fire for not wearing a mask in accord with hospital policy, via CNN.

However, there’s been growing criticism and controversy over Secret Service agents being seen working at the White House without masks, along with neither Trump nor Pence opting to wear masks.

Further precautions the White House has identified includes frequent temperature checks of personnel in and around the complex, regular reviews of symptom histories, widespread hand sanitizer usage and availability, as well as social distancing.

Meanwhile, the new report of the outbreak among Secret Service, considered the closest line of security defense immediately surrounding the president and top admin officials at all times is sure to unleash a new storm of controversy.

As separate reports from the start of this week underscored: “there are regularly held large events with unmasked attendees in close quarters at the White House — including inside the Oval Office, which is the president’s inner sanctum.Many Secret Service employees on the White House grounds are among those who are not wearing masks.”

END

 

Re opened shopping malls resemble ghost towns

(zerohedge)

American Shopping Malls Resemble Ghost Towns After Reopening 

The latest jobless print and unemployment figures are truly historic, tens of millions of Americans are out of work, and the real economy has crashed to depression levels. President Trump is attempting to reopen the severely damaged economy and force a V-shaped recovery by the time the presidential election is seen this fall. However, that is wishful thinking as the probabilities of an economic recovery are slim to none as hard data reveals the crash is one of the worst on records — it will not be until the back-half of the year that the true extent of the downturn will be realized.

This summer will be challenging for millions of folks, as high unemployment, continued economic turmoil, and household deterioration suggests a revival of the economy will likely not be seen. Morgan Stanley outlined last week that a recovery could occur in 2021 or even 2022.

In late April, Scott Minerd, the CIO of Guggenheim Investments, said a recovery in the economy could take upwards of four years and “to think that the economy is going to reaccelerate in the third quarter in a V-shaped recovery to the level where the gross domestic product (GDP) was prior to the pandemic is unrealistic.”

With several big names in the financial industry already calling a V-shaped recovery for this year “unrealistic” —  The New York Times on Saturday morning (May 9) — has just given the American people a dose of the reality of the economic devastation.

And we must note, today’s economic crash is much different than before. There’s an entirely new component to it where aggregate demand cannot be immediately switched on through intervention via government or central bank policies. Mainly because people are confined to their homes in stay-at-home public health orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. A similar instance was seen during the Hong Kong riots in late 2019 when the government attempted to stimulate its economy but failed to do so as people chose not to visit shops during the social unrest. This all suggests that traditional stimulation policies in a pandemic will likely be ineffective in driving consumers to stores for several reasons; many are broke and unemployed. Still, they haven’t received benefits, and the virus fears are driving consumer habits. Again, this is indicative of not a V-shaped recovery but more of a prolonged downturn — something equity markets fail to see at the moment.

For more color on this, Daily Mail has published photos from across America of economies that are reopening with very few people returning to shopping malls and or stores. Many are staying away from public areas because of pandemic fears.

Naples, Florida 

 

Empty parking lot at reopened shopping mall in Naples, Florida. h/t T

 

Inside the reopened shopping mall in Naples, Florida. h/t Daily Mail

Tampa, Florida 

 

Not much happening at a reopened shopping mall in Tampa, Florida. h/t Daily Mail 

Atlanta, Georgia 

 

Inside a reopened shopping mall in Atlanta, Georgia. h/t Daily Mail 

Douglasville, Georgia 

 

Low foot traffic at shopping mall in Douglasville, Georgia. h/t Daily Mail

 

Austin, Texas 

 

Reopened shopping mall in Austin, Texas. h/t Daily Mail 

Northern California 

 

Reopened shopping mall in Yuba, California. h/t Daily Mail 

Franklin, Tennessee 

 

Apple Store in Franklin, Tennessee. h/t Daily Mail 

Scottsdale, Arizona 

 

Limited foot traffic at strip mall in Scottsdale, Arizona. h/t Daily Mail 

Latest reopening map 

The bottom line is that there’s too much hope and hype of a quick return to normal, it will take years before the economy reverts to 2019 levels.

end
Daniel Lacalle: the USA recovery will be extremely difficult.  He explains why:
(Daniel Lacalle)

U.S. Depression? The V-Shaped Recovery Fades Away

Authored by Daniel Lacalle,

The recent jobless claims figures show how difficult it will be for the U.S. recovery to be as quick and strong as initially expected.

  • 7.7 million jobs were lost in Hospitality and Leisure in April, 2.5 million in Education and Health, with 2 million in Retail and another 2 million in Professional Services. These sectors are unlikely to recover fast and enough to compensate the job losses of the past month and even less likely to see the same level of wages of 2019.
  • Credit card delinquencies are rising, and retail sales are going to see a very modest recovery because household debt is increasing, wages are under pressure and most citizens are changing their consumption patterns, looking to strengthen their savings in case another shock arrives.
  • Corporate debt is rising to new records due to the collapse in operating revenues. As such, companies will likely take all possible measures to conserve cash flow, reduce expenditure and be prudent about hiring decisions. This will lead to slower job creation and investment even once the economy opens.
  • Tax increases are likely to affect the recovery. The government deficit is soaring, with the Treasury looking at $2 trillion of new debt in 2020 due to the measures implemented to combat the economic impact of coronavirus. Unfortunately, the Democrats are looking to increase taxes just when the economy needs more investment and attraction of capital. If taxes rise significantly, what is already a weak outlook for capital expenditure and job creation is likely to worsen.

All of this makes a V-shaped recovery even more challenging than before.

However, the U.S. economy is likely to recover faster than the Eurozone and suffer less in 2020.

Central banks are massively injecting liquidity, but a solvency crisis is not solved with more liquidity. Government debt spreads are already rising in the eurozone despite an unprecedented quantitative easing program from the ECB.

The combination of a rigid labor market, high government spending and rising taxes will also likely impact the eurozone recovery, which is likely to be weaker, more prolonged and with higher unemployment than the United States one.

end
Scary!! now Join Chief Members are sidelined by the coronavirus
(zerohedge)

Joint Chiefs Members Sidelined By COVID-19 As Alarm Grows Over White House Exposure

Since the devastating arrival of the pandemic in North America, the Pentagon has been preoccupied with the incredibly difficult task of finding a balance between protecting the health of the troops on the one hand, while also maintaining optimum defense readiness while rivals like China and Russia look on.

Nothing illustrates this more than the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier fiasco, which saw a public fight emerge among the Navy’s top brass over what to do when last month eventually more than 1,000 sailors tested positive for COVID-19. The ship’s commander, subsequently relieved of duty by a Secretary of the Navy who himself was fired over scathing comments regarding the Roosevelt’s leadership, also caught the virus.

And now the virus is threatening to rip through the top echelons of the Department of Defense, as over the weekend top commanders and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been sidelined by COVID-19 exposure. This also suggests — as has already long been a major concern — the virus’ closer proximity to the White House, after Pence staffers as well as Secret Service members were infected.

 

Joint Chiefs meeting at the White House on Saturday, via CNN.

First, Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Joseph Lengyel and a member of the Joint Chiefs, tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. But strangely, he actually tested negative in a follow-up test on Sunday, and is now reportedly awaiting results of a third while quarantining. The hope is that the first test as a ‘false positive’.

And further Admiral Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations and another member of the Joint Chiefs, announced he’s self-quarantining for at least a week after a close family member was infected.

Crucially the two Joint Chiefs members did not attend a Saturday meeting of top military commanders with President Trump at the White House. But it certainly raises concerns of the level of White House personnel exposure.

The White House

@WhiteHouse

President @realDonaldTrump met with Secretary @EsperDoD, @SecPompeo, senior military leadership, and national security team members in the Cabinet Room today.

View image on Twitter

In statements last week, Pentagon officials said all members of the Joint Chiefs had been tested, and would likely continue to regularly.

Here’s a brief run-down on the increasing numbers of officials and staffers now self-quarantining at the White House and on Capitol Hill after exposure, via CNN:

Several prominent government figures are self-quarantining after being exposed to a person at the White House who tested positive for Covid-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci is engaging in what he calls a “modified quarantine,” during which he will work from home. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Dr. Robert Redfield and Food and Drug Administration chief Dr. Stephen Hahn are also practicing self-quarantine measures. All three men are slated to testify remotely in a senate hearing on coronavirus response later this week. Elsewhere on the Hill, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will also self-quarantine after a staffer tested positive. Adm. Michael Gilday, the chief of naval operations, will do the same after interacting with a family member with the virus. Recently, President Trump’s personal valet, the vice president’s spokeswoman, Katie Miller, and Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant (who has been teleworking for nearly two months) all tested positive for Covid-19 as well.

Concerning Saturday’s Joint Chiefs meeting with Trump at the White House, CNN and others have noted with alarm that no official in the military meeting and briefing wore face masks. However, it did appear the generals as well as the president practiced some degree of social distancing, sitting with space between them.

Still, the White House indicated it’s on ‘high alert’ regarding the threat of the virus to personnel there after it was revealed that there are at least eleven active COVID-19 cases among the Secret Service – though it’s not known if the particular infected individuals were on the president’s security detail (given also the agency has field offices across the country).

end
AIRBNB
trouble ahead for Airbnb hosts who must now liquidate much of their vast real estate homes.
(zerohedge)

‘Seeking Immediate Liquidity’ – Overleveraged Airbnb Hosts Rush To Dump Homes, Warns Redfin CEO

Our suspicions were correct in late March when we identified Airbnb overleveraged Superhosts as the next possible forced seller to hit real estate markets as their rental income collapsed due to coronavirus lockdowns.

The slide in rental income is shown below as weekly Airbnb bookings have tumbled during the pandemic.

About a month later, in late April, sad stories of these hosts surfaced and detailed a very troubling picture of a deleveraging wave we described in March could be nearing.

Last month, Greg Hague, who runs a Phoenix real-estate firm, said Airbnb hosts he spoke with were “desperate” to unload properties as they could not pay mortgage payments with dwindling rental income.

“There’s been a flood of people. You have people coming to us saying, ‘I’m a month or two away from foreclosure. What’s it going to take to get it sold now?'” Hague said.

Now Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman says vacation real estate markets are “toast,” mostly because Airbnb hosts are set to unload properties.

Kelman spoke with MarketWatch to discuss how Redfin is navigating in a post-corona world and what changes he sees in the housing market:

MarketWatch: Redfin has announced that the company’s iBuying division, RedfinNow, will resume operations following the coronavirus-related pause. What drove that decision?

Glenn Kelman: The reason we’re reopening it is because we think it’s a reasonably good time to own a house. Inventory is down 25% year-over-year, and home-buying demand is almost back to pre-pandemic levels. So we’re willing to take a risk again. I think we’ll lower the amount we’re willing to pay for a house, just to give ourselves more margin for error.

It was a harrowing couple of months. We had to ensure that the homes we had bought before the pandemic could still be sold once the pandemic had started, and you just can’t forget that easily. So instead, you just lower your offers a little bit, and that gives you some leeway.

MW: Is RedfinNow introducing any new procedures because of the coronavirus pandemic?

Kelman: I feel like what’s changed about our approach in iBuying specifically is just more about margin. You always knew that you had to have a margin for error — that there was a possibility of a downturn and that every offer you made had to account for that. But it’s another thing to actually go through that. So I think there will be more margin for error, but also less tolerance for a real project. If it’s a piece of work and it’s going to take six months to get it back on the market, you just can’t wait that long to figure out if you offered the right price to the homeowner. The market could change.

If you took a basketball shot, and six months later somebody told you whether it went into the hoop, you’d never get to be a better basketball player, right? So I think we’re just being more disciplined about the kinds of homes we buy. If you make a mistake on five houses, you should not buy 5,000.

MW: Do you think that the pandemic could make iBuying more popular, since it eliminates a lot of the in-person interactions the home-buying process typically requires?

Kelman: That wouldn’t be my guess. The homeowner who might be more anxious to sell their home, we’re going to find out whether more of them take offers in the next few weeks. But the other part you have to consider is the money man. The people who are providing capital for iBuyers may have a different appetite for risk on the other side of this. If iBuyers all come into the market at the exact same margin they were at two or three months ago, I think our acceptance rates are going to be really high.

But my guess is that they’re going to price the risk into their offers. And I don’t know how consumers are going to react. When we make offers, if we give ourselves just a little more room for all the risks that we’re taking, will people still accept it?

MW: You mentioned earlier that there’s been a resurgence in home-buying demand — what is driving that?

Kelman: Probably the bifurcation of the American dream. It used to be that working-class folks could reasonably aspire to buy a house. And now I think buying a house has really become a privilege, and the privileged class is doing better in this pandemic than the people who work in restaurants and perform other in-person services. So unemployment is going to be bad for one part of America; for another part, it isn’t as bad. And so that’s the part that’s buying a house.

And maybe the other dimension of this is just that there’s been an affordability crisis for so long. There’s structural reasons that there aren’t enough homes for enough homes in America. There is just a large number of people who have been trying to buy a house for two, three, four years, especially in really expensive markets. And if this pandemic is an opportunity to do that, with less competition, you’re going to take it.

MW: What’s your take on the state of secondary markets and vacation markets right now?

Kelman: Toast. Those are going to be in tough shape. There’s a whole economy that was built around the liquidity there that Airbnb provided. You could get pretty deep into debt and still have somebody pay your mortgage every month because Airbnb and other travel websites were so good at finding someone to rent it out. And I don’t think many of those folks have the reserves that Marriott or that Hilton does.

Investors who own Airbnb properties are looking for immediate liquidity. At some level it’s Redfin, Zillow and Opendoor picking up where Airbnb left off. If they can’t get cash flow through one website, they’ve got to sell it through the other.

MW: Some have suggested that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a migration out of major cities, especially ones like New York that were hit hard by the outbreak. What’s your take on this?

Kelman: It’s on like Donkey Kong. There’s going to be a major move. That was already underway just because of the affordability crisis. People are leaving New York for Philadelphia and are leaving San Francisco for Sacramento and even Phoenix. Seattle was starting to lose people to Tacoma, which is just down the street.

I think some of it is about consumer wariness where we’re living in close quarters with other people. But most of it’s about employer flexibility. Employers that were really stuck on whether to let people work from home have gotten completely unstuck. And if you can work for Goldman Sachs, but not in New York, if you can work for Amazon AMZN, but not in Seattle, well, why would you pay the premium?

To sum up Kelman’s comments, overleveraged hosts are about to flood the real estate market with properties they can no longer afford because rental income to service mortgage payments has collapsed in the pandemic. He then suggests the virus will force people out of big cities, seeking suburbs and rural communities.

END
Who would have thought this to be possible?  Insurance companies are now turning Americans away trying to buy LIFE INSURANCE
(zerohedge)

Another COVID Unthinkable: Americans Being Turned Away Trying To Buy Life Insurance

In yet another unprecedented COVID historic first, insurance companies are actually turning away Americans who want to purchase a life insurance policy.

Who would have ever thought insurers would turn you away flat out? But the unthinkable is happening, details The Wall Street Journal:

The driving force behind the action: a collapse in interest rates tied to the spread of the new coronavirus and an expectation from insurers that rates won’t rebound significantly anytime soon.

Life insurers earn much of their profit by investing customers’ premiums in bonds until claims come due. In simplest terms, when they price policies, they make assumptions about how much interest income they will earn investing these premiums years into the future. The less they earn, the more they may need to collect in premium or fees to turn a profit.

 

“Denied coverage!”… via AAA Daily

The report includes stories of Americans being advised to act fast ahead of looming premium hikes.

“In 33 years, I have never seen more changes come more quickly to the life-insurance products we sell,” head of the Akron, Ohio-based ValMark Financial Group said. “It is unprecedented how fast and widespread — it is across lots of carriers.”

Another was quoted as saying: “It is difficult for consumers to have a lot of empathy for the life-insurance companies, but I can imagine they’re really getting squeezed by low rates.”

Via WSJ/A.M. Best:

WSJ summarizes:

Typically, life insurers hold about 70% of their general investment account in long-term bonds. In general, the yields on these holdings, many of them corporate securities, follow the 10-year U.S. Treasury. Its annual yield has been mostly declining since the 1980s, when it peaked at nearly 16%.

The yield dove after the 2008-09 financial crisis and was as low as 1.366% in 2016 before rebounding to about 3% in 2018. In March, it plummeted again as coronavirus sparked a rush to safer assets and investors feared interest-rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

The yield on Friday: 0.679%.

Corporate-bond yields have held up better than the 10-year of late, but the overall trend has been tough on life insurers. Life insurers’ net portfolio yield averaged 4.4% last year, down from 9.9% in the mid-1980s, according to ratings firm A.M. Best Co.

In some cases insurers are reacting directly to the trend of coronavirus’ more devastating impact on the elderly:

Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co., among others, has temporarily halted life-insurance sales to people 70 and older and who are in poor health. Insurance-industry executives say that analysis shows older people with underlying medical problems are dying at much higher rates from Covid-19 than younger people.

In a memo to brokers, Penn Mutual said it expects “to revisit these and other changes as we gain better insight into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

But in other cases even the type of 30-year “term-life” policies most often popular with young families are being temporarily suspended.

 

Image via Getty/Fortune

More specifically, Prudential halted sales of 30-year “term-life” policies, while Penn Mutual has ceased selling policies to people over 70 and in poor health.

And further, Nationwide Mutual and AIG  have capped the size of guaranteed universal-life policies. No doubt this list is set to grow amid the extended COVID-19 crisis uncertainty.

* * *

The below clip illustrates the typical relationship in more ‘normal’ times between potential customers and insurance salesman, but apparently no longer while weathering the corona-storm:

end

Economic Carnage Like We Have Never Seen Before: US Economy Will Continue To Bleed Jobs

The catastrophic job losses don’t even tell the entire story…

by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse Blog

Now we are up to 33.5 million jobs lost.  In just 7 weeks, the U.S. economy has been completely turned upside down, and the numbers are unlike anything that we have ever seen before.  On Thursday, the Labor Department announced that 3.17 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week.  That brings the grand total for this crisis up to 33.5 million, and that figure absolutely dwarfs what we witnessed during the last recession.  And as I discussed yesterday, even the mainstream media is now admitting that millions of those jobs are never coming back.

Yes, some Americans will be going back to work now that the lockdowns are being ended, but for now it is being projected that the job losses will continue to surpass any gains that are made by workers that are returning to their old jobs.

In fact, one prominent economist told CNBC that it will likely take until mid-June before the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits each week falls below a million…

At the current pace, the week claims numbers should fall below 1 million by mid-June, according to Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. “We’re very hopeful that June will see the beginnings of a rebound as states begin to reopen,” Shepherdson said.

To put that in perspective, prior to this year the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000.

So even when we get down to a million new claims each week, that will still be a catastrophic level.

And the truth is that these numbers don’t even tell the entire story.  Because state unemployment websites have been so overwhelmed, there are vast numbers of unemployed Americans that still have not been able to successfully file claims.

One of those unemployed Americans is Florida resident Roselande Guerrier

Roselande Guerrier lies in bed each night, waiting for her cellphone to display 7:30 a.m. – when the Florida unemployment office opens – and calls, aching for answers, searching for help.

“All night, my eyes are open,” she said. “Five o’clock, my eyes are open. I call at 6 o’clock and the office is closed. I call at 7:30 and boom, ‘All lines are busy.’ Every number they give me, I try, but they’re always busy.

She has been trying day after day, and she still hasn’t been successful.

So for now she doesn’t have a single penny coming in, and she has three hungry kids to feed

Guerrier, 36, has spent 13 years changing sheets, picking up dirty towels and scrubbing bathrooms as a housekeeper at the Fontainebleau hotel, the iconic Miami Beach resort. At night, she would do the same at the Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, an art deco resort a few blocks away.

Both those jobs vanished on March 23 when the hotels were forced to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With three children to care for, she hasn’t seen a nickel of unemployment benefits or federal relief money.

Could you imagine being in her situation?

When you have little ones depending on you, it can be absolutely soul crushing to have nothing to provide.

Sadly, the job losses just continue to roll on.  This week, several more big companies have publicly announced layoffs

The layoff announcements by larger companies continue on a daily basis. Yesterday, Uber announced that it would lay off 3,700 people; Haliburton announced that it would lay off 1,000 people at its corporate headquarters, after having already laid of thousands of people elsewhere; the Natural History Museum in New York City announced it would lay off 450 people; etc. etc. It’s a loud and terrible drumbeat. Thousands of smaller companies are laying off people without media attention.

If you were assuming that the U.S. economy would just bounce back to where it was before, you can forget about that right now.

In fact, Bob Michele told Bloomberg that it may be more than a decade before U.S. employment returns to the levels that we saw prior to this pandemic…

J.P. Morgan Chief Investment Officer Bob Michele predicted it will take 10-12 years after the pandemic for U.S. employment to get back to its pre-coronavirus level, insisting it won’t be as simple as turning the economy back on.

“No, it’s not that simple … it’s going to take years, or longer to get back to where we are, or where we were,” Michele said on Bloomberg when asked if reopening would be as simple as “turning on the lights.”

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what an economic depression looks like, and it is going to be with us for the foreseeable future.

Of course Congress certainly didn’t help matters when they created a big, fat juicy incentive for people to stay unemployed.  As Zero Hedge reminds us, millions of unemployed workers are now bringing home a lot more money than when they were actually working…

Worse still, the final numbers will likely be hurt even more due to the bailout itself: as a reminder, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed on March 27, could contribute to new records being reached in coming weeks as it increases eligibility for jobless claims to self-employed and gig workers, extends the maximum number of weeks that one can receive benefits, and provides an additional $600 per week until July 31. A recent WSJ article noted that this has created incentives for some businesses to temporarily furlough their employees, knowing that they will be covered financially as the economy is shutdown. Meanwhile, those making below $50k will generally be made whole and possibly be better off on unemployment benefits.

I certainly don’t understand why Congress would do such a thing.

If only we had elected at least a few people that could have brought some common sense to that institution…

Getting back to the economy, we continue to get more evidence that we are in the midst of a complete and utter economic implosion with each passing day.

For example, we just learned that orders for Class 8 trucks in April were down a whopping 73 percent compared to a year ago…

The misery in Class 8 heavy duty truck orders continues. Still struggling with the remnants of an order backlog that started almost two years ago with record orders in August 2018, the industry was unable to find an equilibrium prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Orders were sluggish and we noted numerous trucking companies that closed up shop altogether in 2019.

Post-pandemic, things look even more helpless. In April, the industry posted its worst order number on record as the economy ground to a halt as a result of the nationwide lockdown. Only 4,000 Class 8 orders were made last month, which is down 73% year over year and 44% from March.

Virtually every corner of the economy is dramatically slowing down, and that is going to force more layoffs in the months ahead.

As I discussed yesterday, one survey just found that 52 percent of all small business owners expect to be out of business in the next six months.  Traditionally, small businesses are the primary engine of job growth in this country, but now they are going to be failing at an unprecedented rate.

One of those small businesses that is in the process of failing belongs to wedding invitation designer Emily Rose Asher

Wedding plans nationwide have been shot to hell in this age of social distancing. But Chicago-based calligrapher and wedding invitation designer Emily Rose Asher still has some work creating “save the NEW date” cards that couples are now sending to guests when they decide to reschedule their big event.

Still, Asher said, whereas she used to earn thousands of dollars during wedding season, she’s now earning hundreds. And the fact that she still has any income at all likely will disqualify her for unemployment benefits. But she did apply for a PPP loan at the end of April after trying to sort through conflicting guidance from two accountants about her eligibility.

I have such respect for people that create a business out of nothing and slowly nurture it into a success.

But now fear of COVID-19 threatens to kill millions of such businesses.

In other words, millions of hard working Americans are about to see their dreams go up in smoke right in front of their eyes.

It is a tragedy of almost unimaginable proportions, and I wish that it wasn’t happening.

But it is happening, and what is truly sad is that all of this could have been avoided if we had made much different choices.

end

iv) Swamp commentaries

Durham et al has all the evidence they need.  We shall now go back to that infamous meeting on Jan 5 attended by Comey, Rice, Biden and Yates.

Rice memorialized that meeting 10 minutes before the inauguration.

In her letter and subsequent testimony by Comey, we now know for sure the following:

1.the leak of the Kislyak and Flynn discussion (late Dec 2016) was revealed to Comey

2. Comey then is the individual to released it to Obama  prior to their meeting on the 5th of January

3. Obama told Comey not to hand over details to the incoming President (criminal)

4. Obama asked Yates is there anything they can do to Flynn

As far as I am concerned the above is treason..

(zerohedge)

Flashback: Obama Ordered Comey To Conceal FBI Activities Right Before Trump Took Office

With weeks to go before Donald Trump’s inauguration, former President Obama and VP Joe Biden were briefed by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on matters related to the Russia investigation.

The January 5, 2017 meeting – also attended by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, has taken on a new significance in light of revelations of blatant misconduct by the FBI – and the fact that the agency decided not to brief then-candidate Trump that a “friendly foreign government” (Australia) advised them that Russia had offered a member of his campaign ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton.

The rumored ‘dirt’ was in fact told to Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos by Joseph Mifsud – a shadowy Maltese professor and self-described member of the Clinton Foundation. Papadopoulos then told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, who told Aussie intelligence, which tipped off the FBI, which then launched Operation Crossfire Hurricane. Papadopoulos was then surveiled by FBI spy Stefan Halper and his honeypot ‘assistant’ who went by the name “Azra Turk” – while in 2017, Papadopoulos claims a spy handed him $10,000 in what he says goes “all the way back to the DOJ, under the previous FBI under Comey, and even the Mueller team.”

Meanwhile, the Trump DOJ decided last week to drop the case against former Director of National Security, Mike Flynn, after it was revealed that the FBI was trying to ensnare him in a ‘perjury trap,’ and that Flynn was coerced into pleading guilty to lying about his very legal communications with the Russian Ambassador.

And let’s not forget that the FBI used the discredited Steele Dossier to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page – and all of his contacts. Not only did the agency lie to the FISA court to obtain the warrant, the DOJ knew the outlandish claims of Trump-Russia ties in the Steele Dossier – funded by the Clinton Campaign – had no basis in reality.

And so, it’s worth going back in time and reviewing that January 5, 2017 meeting which was oddly documented by Susan Rice in an email to herself on January 20, 2017 – inauguration day, which purports to summarize that meeting.

Rice later wrote an email to herself on January 20, 2017—Trump’s inauguration day and her last day in the White House—purporting to summarize that meeting. “On January 5, following a briefing by IC leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election,” Rice wrote, “President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present.”

According to Rice, “President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.’” But then she added a significant caveat to that “commitment”: “From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.

The next portion of the email is classified, but Rice then noted that the President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Comey said he would.”

At the time Obama suggested to Yates and Comey—who were to keep their posts under the Trump administration—that the hold-overs consider withholding information from the incoming administration, Obama knew that President Trump had named Flynn to serve as national security advisor. Obama also knew there was an ongoing FBI investigation into Flynn premised on Flynn being a Russian agent. –The Federalist

And so, instead of briefing Trump on the Flynn investigation, Comey “privately briefed Trump on the most salacious and absurd ‘pee tape’ allegation in the Christopher Steele dossier.”

The fact that Comey did so leaked to the press, which used the briefing itself as justification to report on, and publish the dossier.

What Comey didn’t brief Trump on was the FBI’s bullshit case against Michael Flynn – accusing the incoming national security adviser of being a potential Russian agent. And according to The Federalist, “Even after Obama had left office and Comey had a new commander-in-chief to report to, Comey continued to follow Obama’s prompt by withholding intel from Trump.

The Federalist also raises questions about former DNI James Clapper – specifically, whether Clapper lied to Congress in July of 2017 when he said he never briefed Obama on the substance of phone calls between Flynn and the Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

According to the report, accounts from Comey and McCabe directly contradict Clapper’s claim.

Did you ever brief President Obama on the phone call, the Flynn-Kislyak phone calls?” asked Rep. Francis Rooney (R0FL) during Congressional testimony, to which Clapper replied: “No.

Except, Comey told Congress that Clapper directly briefed Obama ahead of the January 5 meeting.

“[A]ll the Intelligence Community was trying to figure out, so what is going on here?” Comey testified. “And so we were all tasked to find out, do you have anything [redacted] that might reflect on this. That turned up these calls [between Flynn and Kislyak] at the end of December, beginning of January,” Comey testified. “And then I briefed it to the Director of National Intelligence, and Director Clapper asked me for copies [redacted], which I shared with him … In the first week of January, he briefed the President and the Vice President and then President Obama’s senior team about what we found and what we had seen to help them understand why the Russians were reacting the way they did.

And now to see if anything comes of the ongoing Durham investigation, or if Attorney General Bill Barr will simply tie a bow on the matter and call it a day.

end

Obama defense Deputy Farkas lied to protect her fraudulent Russiagate sources.

(zerohedge)

Did Obama Defense Deputy Lie To Protect Her Fraudulent Russiagate Sources?

Newly declassified congressional transcripts from the Russia investigation include testimony from former Obama administration defense official, Evelyn Farkas, who testified under oath that she lied in an MSNBCinterview when she claimed to have evidence of “the Trump staff dealing with Russians,” and said that the Obama administration was “trying to also get information to the hill” because the incoming Trump administration would try to hide the (nonexistent) evidence.

ZeroPointNow@ZeroPointNow

Former Obama DoD Deputy Evelyn Farkas reveals White House gathered intel on Trump campaign staff and then leaked it! http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2017/03/29/smoking-gun-obama-defense-deputy-slips-up-on-live-tv-reveals-spying-on-trump-team-and-leaking-of-intel/ 

Embedded video

During closed-door testimony on June 26, 2017, however, Farkas – who was the Clinton campaign’s senior foreign policy adviser –admitted she had nothing.

In an exchange with former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Farkas is pressed on why she said ‘we‘ when she said ‘if they found out how weknew what we knew about their staff dealing with Russians.’

Farkas’ response:I didn’t know anything.

In fact, Farkas shouldn’t have known anything, because she resigned from the Obama administration in September 2015.

…how did this non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, gain knowledge of intelligence regarding members of Trump’s team and their relations with Russia, when she was the senior foreign policy advisor for Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton?

Farkas was the prime driver behind the anti-Russia phobia inside the Pentagon during the Obama years — shilling hard for the Ukraine — requesting that the President send them anti-tank missiles — which, essentially, would mean outright war with Russia. –iBankCoin

Given all we now know, Occam’s razor suggests that Farkas, while working for the Clinton campaign, was fully aware of the work of Christopher Steele – the former UK spy paid by the Clinton campaign (through their lawyers and Fusion GPS) to fabricate the infamous dossier used by US intelligence to paint Donald Trump as an agent of Russia.

That said, who exactly did she mean by “we” during that interview? And who was scrambling to leak evidence to the hill?

Based on the MSNBC interview, Farkas obviously knew something. But instead of going down that particular rabbit hole during congressional testimony, she thought the best option was to simply say she lied.

end

Obama is mistaken to the fact that there is ‘no precedent: for the Flynn motion to dismiss the charges

(Jonathan Turley)

Obama May Want To Call Eric Holder After Virtue-Signaling “No Precedent” For Flynn Motion

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Former President Barack Obama is being quoted from a private call that the “rule of law is at risk” after the Justice Department moved to dismiss the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Obama reportedly told members of the Obama Alumni Association that “There is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free.” 

Without doubting the exhaustive search referenced by President Obama,he might have tried calling one “alum”: former Attorney General Eric Holder.  Holder moved to dismiss such a case based on prosecutorial errors in front of the very same judge, Judge Emmet Sullivan. [Notably, CNN covered the statements this morning without noting the clearly false claim over the lack of any precedent for the Flynn motion]

The Obama statement is curious on various levels.

First, the exhaustive search may have been hampered by the fact that Flynn was never charged with perjury. He was charged with a single count of false statements to a federal investigator under 18 U.S.C. 1001. I have previously wrote that the Justice Department should move to dismiss the case due to recently disclosed evidence and thus I was supportive of the decision of Attorney General Bill Barr.

Second, there is ample precedent for this motion even though, as I noted in the column calling for this action, such dismissals are rare.  There is a specific rule created for this purpose.  Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48(a) states the government may dismiss an indictment, information or complaint “with leave of the court.” Moreover, such dismissals are tied to other rules mandating such action when there is evidence of prosecutorial misconduct or fundamental questions about the underlying case from the view of the prosecutors.  I wrote recently about the serious concerns over the violation of Brady and standing court orders in the production and statements of the prosecutors in the case.

Third, there is also case law.  In Rinaldi v. United States, 434 U.S. 22 (1977) which addressed precedent under Petite v. United States, 361 U.S. 529 (1960) dealing with the dangers of multiple prosecutions.   There are also related cases in Bartkus v. Illinois, 359 U. S. 121 (1959), and Abbate v. United States, 359 U. S. 187 (1959).  The Rinaldi decision involved a petitioner convicted of state offenses arising out of a robbery, who believed that the government should have moved to dismiss a federal offense arising out of the same robbery under the Department’s Petite policy. The Court laid out the standard for such motions.  The thrust of that controversy concerned double jeopardy and dual jurisdictions. However, the point was that the rule is key in protecting such constitutional principles and that courts should be deferential in such moves by the Department: “In light of the parallel purposes of the Government’s Petite policy and the fundamental constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy, the federal courts should be receptive, not circumspect, when the Government seeks leave to implement that policy.”

There are also lower court decisions on this inherent authority.  For example, in the D.C. Circuit (where the Flynn case was brought), the ruling in United States v. Fokker Servs. B.V., No. 15-3016 (D.C. Cir. 2016) reaffirms the deference to prosecutors on such questions. The Court noted that this deference extends to core constitutional principles:

“The Executive’s primacy in criminal charging decisions is long settled. That authority stems from the Constitution’s delegation of “take Care” duties, U.S. Const. art. II, § 3, and the pardon power, id. § 2, to the Executive Branch. See United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456, 464 (1996); In re Aiken Cnty., 725 F.3d 255, 262-63 (D.C. Cir. 2013). Decisions to initiate charges, or to dismiss charges once brought, “lie[] at the core of the Executive’s duty to see to the faithful execution of the laws.” Cmty. for Creative Non-Violence v. Pierce, 786 F.2d 1199, 1201 (D.C. Cir. 1986). The Supreme Court thus has repeatedly emphasized that“[w]hether to prosecute and what charge to file or bring before a grand jury are decisions that generally rest in the prosecutor’s discretion.” United States v. Batchelder, 442 U.S. 114, 124 (1979); see Bordenkircher v. Hayes, 434 U.S. 357, 364 (1978).

Correspondingly, “judicial authority is . . . at its most limited” when reviewing the Executive’s exercise of discretion over charging determinations.  . . . The Executive routinely undertakes those assessments and is well equipped to do so.”

Fourth, there are cases where the Department has moved to dismiss cases on grounds of prosecutorial misconduct or other grounds touching on due process, ethical requirements or other concerns.  One that comes to mind is United States v. Stevens where President Obama’s own Attorney General, Eric Holder, asked the same judge in the Flynn case to dismiss that case.  That was just roughly ten years ago.  As with Flynn, there was an allegation of withheld evidence by prosecutors.

At the time of the motion Holder declared “The Department of Justice must always ensure that any case in which it is involved is handled fairly and consistent with its commitment to justice. Under oftentimes trying conditions, the attorneys who serve in this Department live up to those principles on a daily basis.”  What is obvious is the new guidelines issued at the time were honored in the breach during the Flynn prosecution.

While people of good faith can certainly disagree on the wisdom or basis for the Flynn motion, it is simply untrue if President Obama is claiming that there is no precedent or legal authority for the motion.

The rare statement by President Obama is also interesting in light of the new evidence. As I discussed in a column this morning in the Hill newspaper, the new material shows thatObama was following the investigation of Flynn who he previously dismissed from a high-level position and personally intervened with President Donald Trump to seek to block his appointment as National Security Adviser. Obama reportedly discussed the use of the Logan Act against Flynn. For a person concerned with precedent, that was also a curious focus.  The Logan Act is widely viewed as unconstitutional and has never been used to successfully convicted a single person since the early days of the Republic.  Now that is dubious precedent.

end

Obama knew details of the Michael Flynn call with the Russian Ambassador and he asks Yates and Comey what the White House should do to Flynn on the matter.  This puts Obama at the centre of the hoax.

 

(Breitbart)

Documents: Obama Knew Details of Michael Flynn’s Call with Russian Ambassador

lawsuit
Alex Wong/Getty Images
4:31

Then-President Barack Obama was intimately aware of the details of December 2016 intercepted phone calls between President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, and then-Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, according to court documents released Thursday.

The former president’s knowledge and role in his administration’s investigations of the Trump campaign have long been an open question. The revelation puts the former president right in the center of the last administration’s efforts to investigate and target Flynn, whom the Justice Department just dropped their case against on Thursday. Obama had appointed Flynn as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency but had fired him in 2014, and he had reportedly warned Trump not to hire Flynn.

The newly released documents from the government’s motion to dismiss their case against Flynn show, however, that at a January 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting with then-Vice President Joe Biden, then-CIA Director John Brennan, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, then-FBI Director James Comey, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Obama had asked Comey and Yates to “stay behind.”

Obama told them he had “learned of the information about Flynn” and his conversation with Kislyak, where they discussed sanctions his administration had levied against Russia. (A memo penned by then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice also showed that Biden stayed behind as well.)

Obama “specified he did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information.”

“Yates had no idea what the president was talking about, but figured it out based on the conversation. Yates recalled Comey mentioning the Logan Act, but can’t recall if he specified there was an ‘investigation.’ Comey did not talk about prosecution in the meeting,” the documents said.

“It was not clear to Yates from where the President first received the information. Yates did not recall Comey’s response to the President’s question about how to treat Flynn. She was so surprised by the information she was hearing that she was having a hard time processing it and listening to the conversation at the same time,” the documents said:

Byron York

@ByronYork

The January 5, 2017 meeting in which Sally Yates said she learned of Flynn-Kislyak call from President Obama himself–Susan Rice and VP Joe Biden were in that meeting, too, per Rice’s famous memo-to-self.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

The documents also showed how the Obama FBI justified an investigation into Flynn beginning August 2016, just a few months before the election. The reasons were that Flynn was “cited as an adviser to the Trump team on foreign policy issues February 2016; he has ties to various state-affiliated entities of the Russian Federation, as reported by open-source information; and he traveled to Russia in December 2015, as reported by open-source information.”

The FBI’s Washington office was prepared to close that investigation due to not finding “derogatory” information, but then-FBI agent Peter Strzok pushed to keep the investigation open.

Strzok and another agent interviewed Flynn at the White House on January 24, 2017, to ask him about his phone calls with Kislyak. Recently released notes from the DOJ showed agents discussing whether their goal during that interview was to get him to admit violating the Logan Act or to get him to lie so that he could be prosecuted or fired. The FBI already had transcripts of Flynn’s call, raising questions about if the FBI was simply trying to catch him in a perjury trap.

A handwritten note, presumably from then-head of FBI counterintelligence Bill Priestap, said, “What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”

According to an interview summary by Strzok and the other agent, they did not detect that Flynn was lying or believed he was lying. However, later, special counsel Robert Mueller would charge him with one count of lying to federal prosecutors, and Flynn pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal. Flynn later requested to withdraw that guilty plea, citing pressure from prosecutors.

On Thursday, the DOJ moved to drop the case against Flynn, concluding that an FBI interview of Flynn related to his calls with Kislyak that led to one charge of lying to federal investigators was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis.”

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter or on Facebook.

end

Donald Trump:  Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be implicated in the Russian Hoax:

(Breitbart)

Donald Trump: Barack Obama and Joe Biden Will Be Implicated in Russia Hoax

Obama and Biden
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
1:59

President Donald Trump said in an interview on Friday that former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden will soon be implicated in the Russia collusion investigation.

“There’s more to come from what I understand, and they’re going to be far greater than what you’ve seen so far, and what you’ve seen so far is incredible, especially as it relates to President Obama,” Trump said while speaking with Fox & Friends about Obama’s role in the Russia “hoax.”

“I believe he and Biden…Sleepy Joe was involved in this also, very much, and other people around President Obama were totally involved,” Trump said.

Trump reacted to the news after House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) released 57 interview transcripts on Thursday from the committee’s probe to see if the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

The documents show that former United States Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates testified that she was surprised when Obama told her in an Oval Office meeting about the call that Trump’s campaign adviser, Michael Flynn, had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Asked in the interview if Trump would directly confront Obama or Biden, the president said he would rather have the truth come out in documents.

I’d rather have it come out in papers. Why would I call them up?” Trump asked. “They tried to take down the President of the United States.

The president also reacted to former Senate staffer Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual assault against Biden.

“I don’t know if it’s false or not. Joe’s going to have to be able to prove whatever he has to prove, or she has to prove it, but that’s a battle he has to fight,” Trump said.

Trump recalled that he had been falsely accused of sexual harassment many times.

“Maybe it is a false accusation. Frankly, I hope it is for his sake,” he said

end

“A Cabal Of Liars” – Sara Carter Demands Top Obama Officials Need To Be Held Accountable

Via SaraACarter.com,

“This is a cabal of liars of the Obama administration senior officials,” said Sara Carter, a Fox News contributor and host of “The Sara Carter Show” on Fox News’s show “The Ingraham Angle” on Friday.

“And you have to ask yourself one question. They all stuck with the same exact propaganda, the same exact  disinformation, that the Trump administration, that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia, even though they had no evidence whatsoever, and they manufactured that evidence against the president.”

“And this is why all of them need to be investigated” explained Carter.

What they did here is not only in effect of our national security, they basically told a lie across the globe and divided our nation for more than three years, and eventually someone is going to pay the price for this. And I think this is exactly why John Durham and Attorney General William Barr are conducting this investigation so thoroughly, because what they did was a crime against the American people.

Why is it that Obama asks Comey and Yates, how should we treat Michael Flynn? Why does he ask that question to them in a private meeting in the Oval Office?” asked Raymond Arroyo, who hosted “The Ingraham Angle’ on Friday.

I think that is pretty evident, because he along with Michael Flynn had a very divisive relationship,” responded Carter.

When Michael Flynn challenged him on the narrative that he was spreading that Al Qaeda was on the run and that ISIS was just this jayvee team, Michael Flynn was not going to accept that. He also was not going to accept the fact that there were serious problems within the intelligence community, and he challenged President Obama on that. I think in the beginning it was a good relationship. I remember that, they had a good relationship, and then it broke apart.”

“A lot of people don’t remember, was that meeting that President Trump, very first meeting he had with President Obama at the White House,” continued Sara Carter.

“When President Obama put a seed in President Trump’s head, saying, I only have one person I want to warn you about, and that is Mike Flynn. And the reason they wanted Mike Flynn out was because he was the only one in the administration that really understood the intelligence community, and he was going to catch all of them and what they were doing, which was what they were trying to do was break the administration apart and remove President Trump.”

end
A biggy!!
Sidney Powell now states that Obama participated in a plot to frame Flynn
(zerohedge)

Obama Participated In Plot To Frame Flynn: Sidney Powell

Former President Barack Obama was in on the plot to frame former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, according to his lead attorney, Sidney Powell.

Flynn withdrew his guilty plea to providing a false statement to the FBI regarding his communications with a Russian ambassador, after whichnew documents in the case revealed that a cadre of bad actors within the Obama intelligence community set Flynn up.  And according to Powell, it went straight to the top.

“These agents specifically schemed and planned with each other how to not tip him off, that he was even the person being investigated,” Powell told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” adding “So they kept him relaxed and unguarded deliberately as part of their effort to set him up and frame him.”

According to recently released testimony, President Obama revealed during an Oval Office meeting weeks before the interview that he knew about Flynn’s phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, apparently surprising then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

After the meeting, Obama asked Yates and then-FBI Director James Comey to “stay behind.” Obama “specified that he did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information.”Fox News

Despite the FBI’s Washington DC field office recommending closing the case against Flynn – finding “no derogatory information” against him – fired agent Peter Strzok pushed to continue investigating, while former FBI Director James Comey admitted in December 2019 that he “sent” Strzok and agent Joe Pientka to interview Flynn without notifying the White House first.

After Strzok and Pientka interviewed Flynn, handwritten notes unsealed last month reveal that at leastone agent thought the goal was to entrap Flynn. (Bill Priestap)

What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” reads one note.

The whole thing was orchestrated and set up within the FBI, [former Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper, [Former CIA Director John] Brennan, and in the Oval Office meeting that day with President Obama,” said Powell. When asked if she thinks Flynn was the victim of a plot that extended to Obama, she said Absolutely.

Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), meanwhile, doesn’t think we need to investigate Obama, since we already have “Comey, Brennan, Clapper, McCabe, Strzok,” adding “if that’s not enough for the executive branch to be embarrassed. I mean, it doesn’t have to go all the way up to the President.

end

 

 

Durham Supercharges Investigation With Elite Prosecutors To Review ‘Witch Hunt’

John Durham has supercharged his review into the origins of the Russiagate hoax orchestrated by the Obama administration during and after the 2016 US election – adding additional top prosecutors to explore different components of the original probe, according to Fox News.

Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut tasked with by Attorney General Bill Barr with investigating the actions taken against the Trump team, has tapped Jeff Jensen – U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri who had been investigating the Michael Flynn case. Also added to the team is interim U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Timothy Shea, according to Fox‘s sources.

They farmed the investigation out because it is too much for Durham and he didn’t want to be distracted,” said one source, adding “He’s going full throttle, and they’re looking at everything.

Word of Durham’s beefed-up team comes amid worsening tensions between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats, who have been making the case that the Justice Department’s reviews have become politicized given the decision last week to drop the Flynn case – a move which House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) called “outrageous.”

The evidence against General Flynn is overwhelming,” said Nadler – who probably wasn’t referring to handwritten notes by one of the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn which exposed their perjury trap. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his perfectly legal communications with a Russian ambassador – a plea he made while under severe financial strain due to legal expenses, and to save his son from the FBI ‘witch hunt.’ Flynn would later withdraw his plea as evidence mounted that he was set up.

The DOJ determined that the bureau’s 2017 Flynn interview — which formed the basis for his guilty plea of lying to investigators — was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis.”

Breadcrumbs were being dropped in the days preceding the decision that his case could be reconsidered. Documents unsealed the prior week by the Justice Department revealed agents discussed their motivations for interviewing him in the Russia probe – questioning whether they wanted to “get him to lie” so he’d be fired or prosecuted, or get him to admit wrongdoing. Flynn allies howled over the revelations, arguing that he essentially had been set up in a perjury trap. In that interview, Flynn did not admit wrongdoing and instead was accused of lying about his contacts with the then-Russian ambassador – to which he pleaded guilty. –Fox News

Jensen, the U.S. attorney now working with Durham, was reportedly the one who recommended dropping the Flynn case to Barr.

Barr speaks

When asked whether he thought the FBI conspired against Flynn, Barr told CBS News on Thursday “I think, you know, that’s a question that really has to wait [for] an analysis of all the different episodes that occurred through the summer of 2016 and the first several months of President Trump’s administration,” adding that Durham is “still looking at all of this.”

“This is one particular episode, but we view it as part of a number of related acts … and we’re looking at the whole pattern of conduct,” Barr added, saying that they’re investigating actions taken before “and after … the election.”

And according to Fox’s source, Durham is investigating a “pattern of conduct” which includes lying to the FISA court to obtain warrants to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

President Trump has long-referred to the investigation as a “witch hunt” – which Barr and Durham are now untangling.

“Barr talks to Durham every day,” a source recently told Fox News. “The president has been briefed that the case is being pursued, and it’s serious.

President Trump on Friday offered a vague, but ominous, warning as the Durham probe proceeds.

It was a very dangerous situation what they did,” Trump said during an interview with “Fox & Friends” Friday. “These are dirty politicians and dirty cops and some horrible people and hopefully they’re going to pay a big price in the not too distant future.

Trump was specifically reacting to newly released transcripts of interviews from the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation that revealed top Obama officials acknowledged they knew of no “empirical evidence” of a conspiracy despite their concerns and suspicions. –Fox News

Durham’s probe is expected to wrap up by the end of the summer. Right as Trump is expected to face off against Joe Biden – who was VP while most of this was going on.

END

v) King report/Courtesy of Chris Powell of GATA which includes the major swamp stories.

Report says cellphone data suggests October shutdown at Wuhan lab

The report — obtained by the London-based NBC News Verification Unit — says there was no cellphone activity in a high-security portion of the Wuhan Institute of Virology from Oct. 7 through Oct. 24, 2019, and that there may have been a “hazardous event” sometime between Oct. 6 and Oct. 11…

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/report-says-cellphone-data-suggests-october-shutdown-wuhan-lab-experts-n1202716

Wuhan airport drill for passenger with a new type of coronavirus last SEPTEMBER, French athletes falling sick in the city in OCTOBER… so when did Covid first erupt in China?

China found a ‘novel type of coronavirus’ in Wuhan last year September already

    On the afternoon of September 18 last year, the customs office at Wuhan Tianhe airport received an emergency message that a passenger on an incoming flight was unwell and distressed with breathing difficulties… Several fell ill with bad flu-like symptoms during the event, which took place over nine days from October 18. ‘A lot of athletes at the World Military Games were very ill,’ said Elodie Clouvel, a world champion modern pentathlete… a team from Wuhan Centre for Disease Control published a paper in Nature Microbiology last month that mentioned swabs being taken ‘from patients in Wuhan with influenza-like illness from October 6, 2019, to January 21, 2020’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8303979/When-did-China-know-coronavirus.html

Der Spiegel citing German intelligence: “In a January 21 telephone call, Chinese President Xi Jinping asked WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to hold back information about person-to-person transmission and delay a pandemic warning,” the news weekly wrote on its website

https://www.thelocal.de/20200508/germany-shuns-trumps-claims-covid-19-outbreak-was-caused-by-chinese-lab-leak

US Covid-19 deaths peaked in mid-April.  CDC: Provisional Covid-19 Deaths as of May 8, 2020

2/29/2020: 7; 3/7/2020: 29; 3/14/2020: 50; 3/21/2020: 504; 3/28/2020: 2,771; 4/4/2020: 8,437; 4/11/2020: 13,261; 4/18/2020: 12,556; 4/25/2020: 7,875; 5/2/2020: 1,636

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htm

The usual suspects, particularly the financial media, tried to sell the sharp equity rally over the past two sessions as hope that Trump will strike a trade deal with China!  You can’t make this up!  Did the stock market have umpteen rallies over the past few years on the prospect of a trade deal with China?

Gee, we thought that there were already a couple trade deals with China.  It was in all the newspapers.  Plus, recent reports have Trump looking to blame China for Covid-19 as the center piece of his campaign.

Trump Casts Doubt on Future of China Trade Deal after Phone Call   May 7, 2020, 9:31 PM CDT

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-08/china-u-s-trade-teams-agree-to-work-to-implement-trade-deal

The April Employment Report was better than expected: -20.5m NFP; -22.0m consensus; Manufacturing jobs -1.33m; -2.5m expected; average hourly earnings +4.7% m/m; 0.4% m/m expected, +7.9% y/y, +3.3% y/y consensus [Something wrong here!]   https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.b.htm

The Household Survey shows a loss of 22.369 million, which is more in line with Continuing Jobless Claims.  Unemployment Rate 14.7%, 16% consensus; The Employed-Population Ratio tumbled to 51.3% from 60%; Labor Force Participation Rate 60.2%; 61.0% consensus.

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.a.htm

The BLS: “If the [miscounted] workers had been classified as ‘unemployed on temporary layoff,’ the overall unemployment rate would have been almost 5 percentage points higher than reported (on a not seasonally adjusted basis).”  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

Unemployed on temporary layoffs’ are in U6 Total Unemployed (Underemployment Rate) 22.8%   https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm

U.S. loses 1.4 million health-care jobs in April

Led by half a million jobs cut from dentists’ offices and nearly a quarter-million cut from physicians’ offices. Hospitals and doctors’ offices began in mid-March to postpone procedures that could wait, voluntarily or under state and local mandates… Hospitals cut nearly 135,000 jobs in April, according to the Labor Department. Hospitals and surgery centers face mounting financial pressure, and some say a number of lost jobs might notcome back…

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-loses-14-million-health-care-jobs-in-april-2020-05-08

Healthcare at -3.46% is the best S&P group over the past 3 months – despite the fact that the healthcare industry is in depression due to people avoiding surgeries and treatments out of Covid-19 contagion fears.

Businesses Struggle to Lure Workers Away From Unemployment [This was sooo predictable!]

Some workers are making more from unemployment than at their old jobs, complicating reopenings

https://www.wsj.com/articles/businesses-struggle-to-lure-workers-away-from-unemployment-11588930202

Hertz and Avis Cancel Orders in Setback for Ailing Carmakers

General Motors Co. is taking back cars it agreed to sell that were on their way to Hertz Global Holdings Inc., Avis Budget Group Inc. and closely held Enterprise Holdings Inc., a spokesman said. Hyundai Motor Co. also confirmed it has redirected some vehicles to its retailers that it was planning to produce for fleet customers… https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/hertz-and-avis-cancel-orders-in-setback-for-battered-automakers

Birx said ‘there is nothing from the CDC that I can trust’ in a White House coronavirus task force meeting – Birx and others reportedly feared that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was using inflated data on coronavirus death and case rates [And we’re supposed to ‘trust the science’?]  https://www.businessinsider.com/deborah-birx-cdc-comments-coronavirus-task-force-meeting-2020-5

Code Review of Ferguson’s Model [The model that shutdown the western economies is deeply flawed.]

Imperial [College] finally released a derivative of Ferguson’s code… It isn’t the code Ferguson ran to produce his famous Report 9. What’s been released on GitHub is a heavily modified derivative of itafter having beenupgraded for over a month by a team from Microsoft and others…

    It attempts to simulate households, schools, offices, people and their movements, etc. I won’t go further into the underlying assumptions, since that’s well explored elsewhere…

Due to bugs, the code can produce very different results given identical inputs. They routinely act as if this is unimportant.  This problem makes the code unusable for scientific purposes, given that a key part of the scientific method is the ability to replicate results. Without replication, the findings might not be real at all – as the field of psychology has been finding out to its cost…

     Why didn’t they notice? Because their code is so deeply riddled with similar bugs and they struggled so much to fix them that they got into the habit of simply averaging the results of multiple runs to cover it up… and eventually this behaviour became normalised within the team…

https://lockdownsceptics.org/code-review-of-fergusons-model/

Is the chilling truth that the decision to impose lockdown was based on crude mathematical guesswork? – In the respective words of four experienced modellers, the code is “deeply riddled” with bugs, “a fairly arbitrary Heath Robinson machine”, has “huge blocks of code – bad practice” and is “quite possibly the worst production code I have ever seen”… [Yet Dems and the MSM say ‘follow the science’, which is in this case is tantamount to following Miss Cleo.]

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/10/chilling-truth-decision-impose-lockdown-based-crude-mathematical/

Most Lancaster County [PA] coronavirus deaths are at nursing homes, long-term care facilities

The Lancaster County coroner said more than 80% of the COVID-19 deaths in Lancaster County have occurred in patients at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

https://www.wgal.com/article/coroner-most-lancaster-county-coronavirus-deaths-are-at-nursing-homes-long-term-care-facilities/32215410#

@AlexBerenson: From @UFCW – a union that represents grocery workers nationally and is unlikely to understate #COVID deaths: 1.3 million members working mostly in public-facing jobs; 72 reported deaths. Fatality rate 0.0055% over a two-month period…   https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1259486439001206784

Over half of all U.S. coronavirus deaths have occurred in just 5 states [NY, NJ, PA, MA, MI]

The majority of those have occurred in New York State

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/over-half-all-us-coronavirus-deaths-have-occurred-just-5-state

On Sunday @ZackFinkNews: @NYGovCuomo reverses March 25 directive forcing nursing homes to readmit residents who were treated at a hospital for #Covid_19.  Those residents can only come back if the test negative for the virus.

Who’s most at risk for COVID-19 and why isn’t Illinois publishing that data?

The CDC… says 90 percent of all virus hospitalizations had pre-existing conditions

Over 86 percent of Illinois’ 3,241 deaths were in the over-60 age group…Recent data from the Louisiana Department of Health “shows that only three percent of people who have died in Louisiana had no underlying health conditions.”… The city reports that 94 percent of Chicagoans who died from COVID-19 suffered a comorbidity…

https://wirepoints.org/whos-most-at-risk-for-covid-19-and-why-isnt-illinois-publishing-that-data-wirepoints

@benshapiro: If you doubt the power of the press, recognize that Gov. Ron DeSantis handled covid-19 in Florida in excellent fashion, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo handled it nearly as badly as humanly possible, yet DeSantis has dropped in polls and Cuomo is at the height of popularity.

    @RealSaavedra: Population: Florida: 21,500,000, New York: 19,500,000; Coronavirus cases: FL: 38,828, NY: 337,421Coronavirus deaths: FL: 1,600, NY: 26,365

All California voters to get mail-in ballots for November election, Newsom says

[Is the shutdown more about votes in November than the lethality of Covid-19?]

https://www.kron4.com/news/california/gov-newsom-signs-order-to-send-mail-in-ballots-to-all-registered-voters-for-november-election/

@CBSNews: Coronavirus pandemic may lead to 75,000 “deaths of despair” from suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, study says   https://cbsn.ws/3fqv489

COVID doctors challenge CDC’s rules on cause of death, concerned about inflated numbers

Doctors are doing their own research in hopes of getting more accurate information

    “If the data in our assessments included patients who have not definitively tested positive for COVID-19, that provides misleading information to policy-makers…

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/doctors-and-clinical-researchers-challenge-uns-who-cdc-and-dr-faucis

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) told Breitbart News… that American political leaders are “overstating the danger” of coronavirus to most Americans while “underestimating” the economic “carnage” that lockdowns nationwide are causing… https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/05/08/exclusive-sen-pat-toomey-calls-for-reopening-america-faster-danger-of-coronavirus-to-most-americans-overstated/

The great Trib columnist John Kass: How does Gov. J.B. Pritzker — and how do local governments — collect taxes from businesses he’s shut down – Until Pritzker shut down the state’s restaurants and bars, they employed more than 500,000 Illinois workers. The only employers with more workers are the state and local governments…

    While homeowners and businesses are hurting, you know who hasn’t felt the pinch? Government.

Government hasn’t laid off anyone…  But they want those taxes paid…Their political constituencies are dominated by public sector workers who are still getting paid…

https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/john-kass/ct-coronavirus-small-businesses-taxes-kass-20200508-p2r27biwqzaxtair6ii7beiv3e-story.html

Tribune’s John Kass: Americans are too afraid of risk. What we need in this pandemic is balance

We’re reaching Great Depression levels, with 20 million jobs lost in April alone, and the unemployment rate at 14.7%, but I figure the real unemployment rate is larger. All this economic ruin is due to the governors shutting down commerce to fight the coronavirus

You don’t start the economy up again by saying a few magic words… Already people are pushing against the shutdown, defying government orders, and the more idiotic politicians will push back with law enforcement, which will just increase the chaos

    Risk was once the very idea of America. Your parents or grandparents may have risked everything to get here, just so they could risk even more… Generations have been taught that liberty isn’t important, and that government must protect us from cradle to grave. We want safe spaces…

https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/john-kass/ct-coronavirus-back-to-work-kass-20200509-hcvnvo7r3faclhhrw7v4735ebq-story.html

Gov. Pritzker doubts fans will be at Soldier Field for Bears games in 2020 [on Thursday]

https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/bears/gov-pritzker-doubts-fans-will-be-soldier-field-bears-games-2020

On Friday @sean_hammond: @GovPritzker was asked if pro sports could resume with Chicago teams playing in other states.  Pritzker: “I want to see sports play; I think it’s good for everybody. I think they can do it here in Illinois.” [Illinois & Chgo would lose beaucoup taxes if the Bears & others flee to Indy]

Elon Musk @elonmusk: Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.

Mnuchin warns of ‘permanent economic damage’ unless US reopens  https://trib.al/tEYEM2e

‘Hidden’ Defaults Set to Soar as Recession Squeezes Companies

Companies will pursue distressed debt exchanges, in which they try to overcome liquidity problems by swapping debt or buying it back at steep discounts…   https://t.co/TWMjrXdYOC

Obama Defense Official Evelyn Farkas Admitted She Lied on MSNBC about Having Evidence of Collusion – ‘I didn’t know anything.’https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/08/obama-defense-official-evelyn-farkas-admitted-she-lied-on-msnbc-about-having-evidence-of-collusion/#.XrVhqy1PIHs.twitter

@seanmdav: What is amazing about the 53 transcripts released by ODNI yesterday is how many former Obama officials were forced to admit privately under oath that what they claimed in their TV appearances about “collusion” was nonsense and had no basis in reality.

“You know, one thing people will see when they look at the documents is how Director Comey purposely went around the Justice Department and ignored [then] Deputy Attorney General Yates.”  – AG Barr to @CBS_Herridge on the Flynn case

Obama, Biden Oval Office Meeting on January 5 Was Key to Entire Anti-Trump Operation

It was at this meeting that Obama gave guidance to key officials who would be tasked with protecting his administration’s utilization of secretly funded Clinton campaign research, which alleged Trump was involved in a treasonous plot to collude with Russia, from being discovered or stopped by the incoming administration…Shortly thereafter, high-level operatives began intensely leaking selective information supporting a supposed Russia-Trump conspiracy theory, the incoming National Security Advisor was ambushed, and the incoming Attorney General was forced to recuse himself from oversight of investigations of President Trump. At each major point in the operation,explosive media leaks were a key strategy in the operation to take down Trump

https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/08/obama-biden-oval-office-meeting-on-january-5-was-key-to-entire-anti-trump-operation/#.XrWU4HQm1PY.twitter

Trump on Friday: “If anybody thinks that President Obama and Vice President Biden did not know exactly what was going on, they have another thing coming.”

@paulsperry_: Investigators are looking into suspicions by Flynn’s legal team that President Obama directed FBI Director James Comey and Acting AG Sally Yates to investigate Flynn, using the Logan Act as predication, the day after the FBI closed a counterintelligence case on him.

Fox’s Jesse Waters on Saturday: “Sources telling Waters’ World that Attorney General Bill Barr was just given a trove ofsmoking gun documents that could point directly at former President Barack Obamarevealing his powerful connection to Spygate and the Russia hoax.”

https://twitter.com/WattersWorld/status/1259288293381816320

Obama says in private call that ‘rule of law is at risk’ in Michael Flynn case… a web talk with members of the Obama Alumni Association[Obama justifiably panics.  Some leaks to same reporter that initially reported the Trump Dossier]  https://news.yahoo.com/obama-irule-of-law-michael-flynn-case-014121045.html

Barack Obama Pardoned a Former General [James Cartwright] Who Lied to the FBI

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2020/05/10/flashback-barack-obama-pardoned-a-former-general-who-lied-to-the-fbi-n389610/amp

Petraeus leaks: Obama’s leniency reveals ‘profound double standard’, lawyer says

 The leniency shown to retired general David Petraeus for passing secrets to his lover shows the“profound double standard” of the Obama administration when it comes to leakers, a lawyer for a State Department contractor convicted of providing Fox News with classified information has said…

Under Obama and attorney general Eric Holder, the Justice Department has pursued leakers of classified information with greater vigor than all its predecessors combined: eight Espionage Act cases under Obama, compared to three since the law’s 1917 passage…

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/16/obama-double-standard-petraeus-leaks

Liberal law Prof @JonathanTurley: President Obama is being quoted on Flynn, saying “There is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free.”… First and foremost, Flynn was not charged with perjury… Second, we now know Obama discussed charging Flynn under the Logan Act which has never been used successfully to convict anyone and is flagrantly unconstitutional. Third, this reaffirms reports that Obama was personally invested in this effort. Finally, there is precedent… There are specific Supreme Court cases like Rinaldi v. United States addressing the standard for such dismissals…. The Justice Department has dismissed cases in the past including the Stevens case.   That was requested by President Obama’s own Attorney General Eric Holder for the same reason: misconduct by prosecutors. It was done before the same judge, Judge Sullivan. How is that for precedent?

John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign director, testified to the House Select Intel Cmte that there were NO successful hacks of the campaign servers!!!!  Only personal email accounts were hacked!

https://twitter.com/lawyer4laws/status/1258895293711613953/photo/1

@aaronjmate: Interesting admission in Crowdstrike CEO Shaun Henry’s testimony. Henry is asked when “the Russians” exfiltrated the data from DNC.  Henry: “We did not have concrete evidence that the data was exfiltrated from the DNC, but we have indicators that it was exfiltrated.

https://twitter.com/aaronjmate/status/1258572139504054274

@RoscoeBDavis1: The admission by Shawn Henry that they were never able to make any sort of definite conclusion that the Russians exfiltrated the material from the DNC and DCCC servers, is a bombshell in itself. Think about that.[The reported Russian hack of the DNC server was the basis of the investigation into Trump-Russia collusion!!!]

@IvanPentchoukov: Shawn Henry of CrowdStrike told Congress he was not aware of the DNC denying any request for access by the FBI related to the server hack. James Comey told Congress the DNC denied “multiple requests at different levels.”  Who is lying?

@paulsperry_: Senate investigators have formally requested the State Department make Liz Zentos available for questioning in Senate investigation of Biden and Burisma. Zentos is pictured here w ex-Obama NSC colleague Eric Ciaramella, another Biden adviser, and Ukrainian officials

https://twitter.com/paulsperry_/status/1222637173889011712

Gaetz slams Trey Gowdy over 2018 F.B.I. remarks, claims ‘failure of our Republican leadership’

‘We didn’t send out a single subpoena.’… singling out former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy for his claims that the F.B.I. behaved appropriately in its early investigations of the alleged plot…

    “Unfortunately when [Rep. Devin] Nunes and [Rep. Mark] Meadows and [Rep. Jim] Jordan and I wanted subpoena power it was Paul Ryan and Trey Gowdy that wouldn’t give us that subpoena power.Democrats sent out hundreds of subpoenas,” he said… [Gowdy also tanked the Benghazi hearings]

https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/rep-gaetz-slams-trey-gowdy-over-2018-fisa-comments

@realDonaldTrump: Governor @GavinNewsom  of California won’t let restaurants, beaches and stores open, but he installs a voting booth system in a highly Democrat area (supposed to be mail in ballots only) because our great candidate,  @MikeGarcia2020, is winning by a lot. CA25  Rigged Election!

So in California, the Democrats, who fought like crazy to get all mail in only ballots, and succeeded, have just opened a voting booth in the most Democrat area in the StateThey are trying to steal another election. It’s all rigged out there. These votes must not count. SCAM

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within… he appeals to the basenessthat lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.” — attributed to Cicero

end

 

Well that is all for today

I will leave you tonight with this interview of the legendary Jim Sinclair with Greg hunter

Simple Math says $50,000 to $87,500 Gold Price – Jim Sinclair

By Greg Hunter on May 10, 2020

Legendary gold and market expert Jim Sinclair says the virus that originated in China may have, oddly enough, done some good. Sinclair explains, “The effect of the coronavirus was literally to shut down business globally, therefore, shut off the demand for loans, which also shut off demand for short term money. So, what the public has not seen, is not considering and does not understand is we were stepping into the door of a major financial crisis magnitudes larger than what happened in 2008 and 2009. It’s a horrible thing that this virus occurred, but if it had not occurred, we would have been in a crisis much more serious than 2008 and 2009. . . . It was blowing sky high . . . . Shutting down demand is all we could do. It stopped the explosion of interest rates.”

Where do we go from here? Sinclair says, “We are going to make a recovery. It’s not going to be a ‘V’ by any means. The stock market could be a ‘V’ because the stock market has very little to do with reality. . . . As far as business is concerned, very serious damage has been done to the infrastructure to the business equation. Many employers are gone. Many corporations have significant readjustments to be able to build up again. The supply lines and logistics, where did everything come from? China. . . . This is a major worldwide adjustment, both economically and politically. . . . We had everything made in the cheapest place possible. . . . This is not a passing phenomenon. . . . The only thing that has been steady is gold. . . . The change that this brings about is a reconstruction of the basic business foundations. It’s a start over, it’s not just a slowdown. How many restaurants make money on 50% of the clients? You can’t. How many automobiles have built up on the lots? Enormous amounts. How many clothing stores shut down full of winter clothes and can’t make the shift to summer wear? You can go down the entire line. So, this recovery will be more like an ‘L’. We’ve come straight down, and we are going to go sideways now. . . . Many businesses are not going to open up again. . . .The idea of the coming inflation as a result of this is simple. Everything that you need will go up in price. Everything you don’t need is not going to hold value. You are better off with a freezer full of fine cuts of beef than you are with a brand new Tesla. The beef will go up in price, the Tesla will go down.”

On gold, Sinclair says the ultimate price is an easy-to- calculate math problem. How much gold does America have compared to how much debt it has? So, how high could gold ultimately go? Sinclair says, “It’s simple math. You take the amount of gold the U.S. says it has, and then you take the debt it has, and what price would you need for the debt to balance to zero? The price on the low end is $50,000 per ounce. The true price is $87,500 per ounce.”

Is a biblical debt jubilee coming to America? Sinclair says, “We already have jubilees. If you don’t pay your rent, you have a jubilee. If you don’t pay your student loan, you have a jubilee. If the payment of your auto insurance is postponed, you have a jubilee. We’ve got jubilee after jubilee after jubilee. Keep in mind, one man’s jubilee is another man’s disaster. It’s almost as if the Bible is correct in terms of economics. Also, keep in mind, the people who aren’t being paid are being hurt very badly.”

Sinclair thinks the recovery will take a decade or longer, and Sinclair says, “It will be just like the period between 1929 up to WWII (1941).”

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with renowned gold expert Jim Sinclair.

After the Interview:

-END-

A belated happy Mothers day to all of our Mothers out there

and of course to all of you gents  who made this all possible

I will see you TUESDAY night.

 

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