MARCH 23/GOLD AND SILVER HAD A GOOD DAY WITH GOLD UP $15.75/AND SILVER UP 24 CENTS//GOLD STANDING AT THE COMEX FOR MARCH ADVANCES BY 1600 OZ AND THUS NEW STANDING 36.298 TONNES//SILVER FOR MARCH DELIVERY ADVANCES BY 110,000 OZ/NEW STANDING 52.690 MILLION OZ//RUSSIA VS UKRAINE UPDATES//COVID //MANDATES//VACCINE INJURY AND IMPACT UPDATES//COMMODITY PRICES INCREASES UPDATES ON DIESEL, LITHIUM/GRAINS ETC//EVERGRANDE UPDATE//SWAMP STORIES FOR YOU TONIGHT//

march 23, 2022 · by harveyorgan · in Uncategorized · Leave a comment·Edit

MARCH23

GOLD;  $1937.15 UP $15.75

SILVER: $25.06 UP $0.24

ACCESS MARKET: GOLD $1945.00

SILVER: $25.13

Bitcoin morning price:  $42,053 DOWN 545 

Bitcoin: afternoon price: $42,301 DOWN 307

Platinum price: closing DOWN $5.45 to $1021.00

Palladium price; closing UP $73.95  at $2521.50

END

end

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comex notices/

March: JPMorgan stopped/total issued 5/10

EXCHANGE: COMEX

CONTRACT: MARCH 2022 COMEX 100 GOLD FUTURES
SETTLEMENT: 1,920.700000000 USD
INTENT DATE: 03/22/2022 DELIVERY DATE: 03/24/2022
FIRM ORG FIRM NAME ISSUED STOPPED


363 H WELLS FARGO SEC 1
435 H SCOTIA CAPITAL 3
661 C JP MORGAN 5
709 C BARCLAYS 1
880 C CITIGROUP 10


TOTAL: 10 10
MONTH TO DATE: 11,520



NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR  Mar. CONTRACT 10 NOTICE(S) FOR 1000 OZ  (0.0311  TONNES)

total notices so far:  11,520 contracts for 1,152,000 oz (35.832 tonnes)

SILVER NOTICES: 

19 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR  95,000   OZ/

total number of notices filed so far this month  10,487  :  for 52,435,000  oz

END

Russia is a major supplier of silver to London while Mexico supplies the COMEX

With the sanctions, London has no way to obtain silver other than compete with NY.

END

GLD

WITH GOLD UP $15.75

WITH RESPECT TO GLD WITHDRAWALS:  (OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS):

GOLD IS “RETURNED” TO THE BANK OF ENGLAND WHEN CALLING IN THEIR LEASES: THE GOLD NEVER LEAVES THE BANK OF ENGLAND IN THE FIRST PLACE. THE BANK IS PROTECTING ITSELF IN CASE OF COMMERCIAL FAILURE

ALSO INVESTORS SWITCHING TO SPROTT PHYSICAL  (phys) INSTEAD OF THE FRAUDULENT GLD//

NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//

INVENTORY RESTS AT 1083.60 TONNES

Silver//SLV

WITH NO SILVER AROUND AND SILVER UP 24 CENTS

AT THE SLV// NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE LV/

INVESTORS ARE SWITCHING SLV TO SPROTT’S PSLV

CLOSING INVENTORY: 550.288 MILLION OZ

Let us have a look at the data for today

SILVER//OUTLINE


SILVER COMEX OI FELL BY A STRONG SIZED  2516 CONTRACTS TO 155,456   AND FURTHER FROM THE NEW RECORD OF 244,710, SET FEB 25/2020 AND THE  STRONG LOSS IN OI WAS ACCOMPLISHED WITH OUR  $0.29 LOSS  IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX ON TUESDAY.  OUR BANKERS WERE SUCCESSFUL IN KNOCKING THE PRICE OF SILVER DOWN (IT FELL BY $0.29) BUT WERE  UNSUCCESSFUL IN KNOCKING OUT ANY SILVER LONGS  AS WE HAD A TINY LOSS OF 170 CONTRACTS ON OUR TWO EXCHANGES

WE  MUST HAVE HAD: 
I) HUGE BANKER SHORT COVERING AS THEY ARE VERY ANXIOUS TO GET OUT OF DODGE!!/. II)WE ALSO HAD  SOME  REDDIT RAPTOR BUYING//.   iii)  A VERY STRONG ISSUANCE OF EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS iiii) A HUGE INITIAL SILVER STANDING FOR COMEX SILVER MEASURING AT 42.860 MILLION OZ FOLLOWED BY TODAY’S QUEUE JUMP OF 105,000 OZ //NEW STANDING 52.690 MILLION OZ //         V)     STRONG SIZED COMEX OI LOSS/

 I AM NOW RECORDING THE DIFFERENTIAL IN OI FROM PRELIMINARY TO FINAL: 


THE DIFFERENTIAL FROM PRELIMINARY OI TO FINAL OI SILVER TODAY: CONTRACTS  : -240

HISTORICAL ACCUMULATION OF EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS  MAR. ACCUMULATION FOR EFP’S SILVER/JPMORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES/STARTING FROM FIRST DAY/MONTH OF MAR: 

TOTAL CONTACTS for 17 days, total  contracts: :  32,051 contracts or 160.225 million oz  OR 9.42 MILLION OZ PER DAY. (1885 CONTRACTS PER DAY)

TOTAL NO OF OZ UNDERGOING EFP TO LONDON 32,051 CONTRACTS X 5,000 PER CONTRACT:

EQUATES TO: 160.224 MILLION OZ

.

LAST 11 MONTHS TOTAL EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED  IN MILLIONS OF OZ:

MAY 137.83 MILLION

JUNE 149.91 MILLION OZ

JULY 129.445 MILLION OZ

AUGUST: MILLION OZ 140.120 

SEPT. 28.230 MILLION OZ//

OCT:  94.595 MILLION OZ

NOV: 131.925 MILLION OZ

DEC: 100.615 MILLION OZ 

JAN 2022//  90.460 MILLION OZ

FEB 2022:  72.39 MILLION OZ//

MARCH: 160. 224  MILLION OZ//A NEW RECORD FOR EFP ISSUANCE AND WE ARE STILL GOING STRONG THIS MONTH.

RESULT: WE HAD A STRONG  SIZED DECREASE IN COMEX OI SILVER COMEX CONTRACTS OF 2516 WITH OUR  $0.16 LOSS IN SILVER PRICING AT THE COMEX// TUESDAY  THE CME NOTIFIED US THAT WE HAD A VERY STRONG  SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 2106 CONTRACTS( 2106 CONTRACTS ISSUED FOR MAR AND 0 CONTRACTS ISSUED FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS) WHICH  EXITED OUT OF THE SILVER COMEX  TO LONDON  AS FORWARDS    THE DOMINANT FEATURE TODAY: /HUGE BANKER SHORT COVERING AS THEY GET OUT OF DODGE//// WE HAVE A HUGE INITIAL SILVER OZ STANDING FOR MAR. OF 42.860 MILLION OZ  FOLLOWED BY TODAY’S 105,000 OZ QUEUE JUMP//NEW STANDING 52.690 MILLION OZ//  ///  .. WE HAD A SMALL SIZED LOSS OF 410 OI CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES FOR 2.050 MILLION OZ WITH THE SMALL LOSS IN PRICE. 

 WE HAD 19 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR 95,000 OZ

THE SILVER COMEX IS NOW BEING ATTACKED FOR METAL BY LONDONERS ET AL.

GOLD//OUTLINE

IN GOLD, THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST FELL BY A GOOD SIZED 5698 CONTRACTS  TO 605,191 AND FURTHER CLOSER TO NEW RECORD (SET JAN 24/2020) AT 799,541 AND  PREVIOUS TO THAT: (SET JAN 6/2020) AT 797,110.

THE DIFFERENTIAL FROM PRELIMINARY OI TO FINAL OI IN GOLD TODAY: —759  CONTRACTS. 

THE BIS HAS ABANDONED THE GOLD COMEX TRADING!!!

.

THE GOOD SIZED DECREASE IN COMEX OI CAME WITH OUR LOSS IN PRICE OF $7.75//COMEX GOLD TRADING/TUESDAY/.AS IN SILVER WE MUST  HAD  HUGE BANKER/ALGO SHORT COVERING ACCOMPANYING OUR STRONG SIZED EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL ISSUANCE. WE HAD ZERO LONG LIQUIDATION   

WE ALSO HAD A HUGE INITIAL STANDING IN GOLD TONNAGE FOR MARCH AT 14.818 TONNES FOLLOWED BY TODAY’S QUEUE JUMP  OF 1600 OZ//NEW STANDING 36.298 TONNES 

YET ALL OF..THIS HAPPENED WITH OUR LOSS IN PRICE OF   $7.75 WITH RESPECT TO FRIDAY’S TRADING

WE HAD AN SMALL SIZED GAIN OF 1204  OI CONTRACTS (3.744 PAPER TONNES) ON OUR TWO EXCHANGES

E.F.P. ISSUANCE

THE CME RELEASED THE DATA FOR EFP ISSUANCE AND IT TOTALED A STRONG SIZED  6902 CONTRACTS:

The NEW COMEX OI FOR THE GOLD COMPLEX RESTS AT 605,191.

IN ESSENCE WE HAVE AN FAIR SIZED INCREASE IN TOTAL CONTRACTS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 1204, WITH 5698 CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND 6902 EFP OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. THUS  TOTAL OI GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES OF 1204 CONTRACTS OR 3.744 TONNES.

CALCULATIONS ON GAIN/LOSS ON OUR TWO EXCHANGES

WE HAD A STRONG SIZED ISSUANCE IN EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS (6902) ACCOMPANYING THE GOOD SIZED LOSS IN COMEX OI (5698,): TOTAL GAIN IN THE TWO EXCHANGES 1204 CONTRACTS. WE NO DOUBT HAD 1) HUGE BANKER SHORT COVERING ,2.) HUGE INITIAL STANDING AT THE GOLD COMEX FOR MARCH. AT 14.818 TONNES FOLLOWED BY TODAY’S  QUEUE JUMP  OF 1600 OZ//NEW STANDING 36.298 TONNES ///  3) ZERO LONG LIQUIDATION ///. ,4) STRONG SIZED COMEX  OI. LOSS 5) STRONG ISSUANCE OF EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL/

HISTORICAL ACCUMULATION OF EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS IN 2022 INCLUDING TODAY

MARCH

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S GOLD AT J.P. MORGAN’S HOUSE OF BRIBES: (EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF MAR :

107,673 CONTRACTS OR 10,767,300 OR 334.90  TONNES 17 TRADING DAY(S) AND THUS AVERAGING: 6333 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE  SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :  THIS MONTH IN 17 TRADING DAY(S) IN  TONNES: 334.90TONNES

TOTAL ANNUAL GOLD PRODUCTION, 2020, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD EX CHINA EX RUSSIA: 3555 TONNES

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS  334.90/3550 x 100% TONNES  9.43% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2021 TO 2022 

JANUARY/2021: 265.26 TONNES (RAPIDLY INCREASING AGAIN)

 FEB  :  171.24 TONNES  ( DEFINITELY SLOWING DOWN AGAIN).. 

MARCH:.   276.50 TONNES (STRONG AGAIN/

APRIL:      189..44 TONNES  ( DRAMATICALLY SLOWING DOWN AGAIN//GOLD IN BACKWARDATION)

MAY:        250.15 TONNES  (NOW DRAMATICALLY INCREASING AGAIN)

JUNE:      247.54 TONNES (FINAL)

JULY:        188.73 TONNES FINAL

AUGUST:   217.89 TONNES FINAL ISSUANCE.

SEPT          142.12 TONNES FINAL ISSUANCE ( LOW ISSUANCE)_

OCT:           141.13 TONNES FINAL ISSUANCE (LOW ISSUANCE)

NOV:           312.46 TONNES FINAL ISSUANCE//NEW RECORD!! (INCREASING DRAMATICALLY)//SIGN OF REAL STRESS//SURPASSING THE MARCH 2021 RECORD OF 276.50 TONNES OF EFP

DEC.           175.62 TONNES//FINAL ISSUANCE// 

JAN:2022   247.25 TONNES //FINAL

FEB:           196.04 TONNES//FINAL

MARCH:  334.90 TONNES INITIAL( THIS IS NOW A RECORD EFP ISSUANCE MONTH. 

SPREADING OPERATIONS

(/NOW SWITCHING TO GOLD) FOR NEWCOMERS, HERE ARE THE DETAILS

SPREADING LIQUIDATION HAS NOW COMMENCED   AS WE HEAD TOWARDS THE  NEW ACTIVE FRONT MONTH OF APRIL.WE ARE NOW INTO THE SPREADING OPERATION OF GOLD

HERE IS A BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF HOW THE CROOKS FLEECE UNSUSPECTING LONGS IN THE SPREADING ENDEAVOUR ;MODUS OPERANDI OF THE CORRUPT BANKERS AS TO HOW THEY HANDLE THEIR SPREAD OPEN INTERESTS:HERE IS HOW THE CROOKS USED SPREADING AS WE ARE NOW INTO THE  NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MARCH HEADING TOWARDS THE  ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF APRIL, FOR GOLD:

YOU WILL ALSO NOTICE THAT THE COMEX OPEN INTEREST  STARTS TO RISE BUT SO IS THE OPEN INTEREST OF SPREADERS. THE OPEN INTEREST IN WILL CONTINUE TO RISE UNTIL ONE WEEK BEFORE FIRST DAY NOTICE OF AN UPCOMING  ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH (MAR), 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.”

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, FELL BY A STRONG SIZED 2516 CONTRACTS TO 155,456  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  4 1/2 YEARS AGO.  

EFP ISSUANCE 2106 CONTRACTS

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

MAR 2106  ALL OTHER MONTHS: ZERO. TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE: 2106 CONTRACTS. EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON.  IF WE TAKE THE  COMEX OI LOSS OF 2516 CONTRACTS AND ADD TO THE 2106 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S,

WE OBTAIN A SMALL SIZED LOSS OF 410 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACT FROM OUR TWO EXCHANGES. 

THUS IN OUNCES, THE LOSS ON THE TWO EXCHANGES 2.050 MILLION  OZ, 

OCCURRED WITH OUR SMALLISH   $0.29 LOSS IN PRICE.

OUTLINE FOR TODAY’S COMMENTARY

1/COMEX GOLD AND SILVER REPORT

(report Harvey)

2 ) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe,

(Peter Schiff,

3. Egon von Greyerz///Matthew Piepenburg via GoldSwitzerland.com,

4. Chris Powell of GATA provides to us very important physical commentaries

5. Other gold commentaries

6. Commodity commentaries/cryptocurrencies

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)WEDNESDAY MORNING// TUESDAY  NIGHT

SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 11.17 PTS OR 0.34%       //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 264.80 PTS OR 1.21 %  /The Nikkei closed UP 816.05 PTS OR 2.00%        //Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.58%  /Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN 6.3727    /Oil UP TO 111.99 dollars per barrel for WTI and UP TO 118.95 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED  ALL RED        //  ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.3737. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.3879: /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING ABOVE LEVEL OF OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN  TRADING WEAKER AGAINST US DOLLAR/OFFSHORE WEAKER//

A)NORTH KOREA/

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

OUTLINE

3 C CHINA

OUTLINE

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

OUTLINE

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

OUTLINE

6.Global Issues

OUTLINE

7. OIL ISSUES

OUTLINE

8 EMERGING MARKET ISSUES

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

GOLD

LET US BEGIN:

THE TOTAL COMEX GOLD OPEN INTEREST FELL BY A STRONG SIZED 5698 CONTRACTS TO 605,191  AND FURTHER FROM THE 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  COMEX DECREASE OCCURRED DESPITE OUR LOSS OF $7.75 IN GOLD PRICING TUESDAY’S COMEX TRADING. WE ALSO HAD A  SMALL SIZED EFP (1364 CONTRACTS). . THEY WERE PAID HANDSOMELY  NOT TO TAKE DELIVERY AT THE COMEX AND SETTLE FOR CASH. 

WE NORMALLY HAVE WITNESSED  EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS ISSUED BEING SMALL AS IT JUST TOO COSTLY FOR THEM TO CONTINUE SERVICING THE COSTS OF SERIAL FORWARDS CIRCULATING IN LONDON. HOWEVER, MUCH TO THE ANNOYANCE OF OUR BANKERS, THE COMEX IS THE SCENE OF AN ASSAULT ON GOLD AS LONDONERS, NOT BEING ABLE TO FIND ANY PHYSICAL ON THAT SIDE OF THE POND, EXERCISE THESE CIRCULATING EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICALS IN LONDON AND FORCING DELIVERY OF REAL METAL OVER HERE AS THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH NEW YORK BANKERS. IT SEEMS THAT ARE BANKERS FRIENDS ARE EXERCISING EFP’S FROM LONDON AND NOW THEY ARE LOATHE TO ISSUE NEW ONES.

EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL ISSUANCE

WE ARE NOW MOVING TO THE   NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF MAR..  THE CME REPORTS THAT THE BANKERS ISSUED A VERY STRONG SIZED TRANSFER THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THESE LONGS RECEIVED A DELIVERABLE LONDON FORWARD TOGETHER WITH A FIAT BONUS.,

THAT IS 6902 EFP CONTRACTS WERE ISSUED:  ;: ,   & FEB. 0 APRIL:6902 & ZERO FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS:

TOTAL EFP ISSUANCE:  6902 CONTRACTS 

WHEN WE HAVE BACKWARDATION,  EFP ISSUANCE IS VERY COSTLY BUT THE REAL PROBLEM IS THE SCARCITY OF METAL AND IT IS FAR BETTER FOR OUR BANKERS TO PAY OFF INDIVIDUALS THAN RISK INVESTORS ESPECIALLY FROM LONDON STANDING FOR DELIVERY. THE LOWER PRICES IN THE FUTURES MARKET IS A MAGNET FOR OUR LONDONERS SEEKING PHYSICAL METAL. BACKWARDATION ALWAYS EQUAL SCARCITY OF METAL!

ON A NET BASIS IN OPEN INTEREST WE GAINED THE FOLLOWING TODAY ON OUR TWO EXCHANGES: A SMALL SIZED  TOTAL OF 1204- CONTRACTS IN THAT 6902 LONGS WERE TRANSFERRED AS FORWARDS TO LONDON AND WE HAD A GOOD SIZED  COMEX OI LOSS OF 5698  CONTRACTS..AND  THIS SMALL GAIN OCCURRED WITH THE LOSS IN PRICE OF $7.75. 

// WE HAVE A STRONG AMOUNT OF GOLD TONNAGE STANDING FOR MAR   (36.298),

 HERE ARE THE AMOUNTS THAT STOOD FOR DELIVERY IN THE PRECEDING 12 MONTHS OF 2021:

DEC 2021: 112.217 TONNES

NOV.  8.074 TONNES

OCT.    57.707 TONNES

SEPT: 11.9160 TONNES

AUGUST: 80.489 TONNES

JULY: 7.2814 TONNES

JUNE:  72.289 TONNES

MAY 5.77 TONNES

APRIL  95.331 TONNES

MARCH 30.205 TONNES

FEB ’21. 113.424 TONNES

JAN ’21: 6.500 TONNES.

TOTAL SO FAR THIS YEAR (JAN- DEC): 601.213 TONNES

YEAR 2022:

JANUARY 2022  17.79 TONNES

FEB 2022: 59.023 TONNES

MARCH: 36.298 TONNES

THE BANKERS WERE SUCCESSFUL IN LOWERING GOLD’S PRICE  //// (IT FELL $7.75) BUT  THEY WERE  UNSUCCESSFUL IN FLEECING ANY LONGS AS WE HAVE  REGISTERED A SMALL SIZED GAIN  OF 6.1057 TONNES ON TOTAL OI FROM OUR TWO EXCHANGES, ACCOMPANYING OUR HUGE GOLD TONNAGE STANDING FOR MAR (36.298 TONNES)…

WE HAD  -759  CONTRACTS SUBTRACTED FROM COMEX TRADES. THESE WERE REMOVED AFTER TRADING ENDED LAST NIGHT

NET GAIN ON THE TWO EXCHANGES 1204 CONTRACTS OR 120400 OZ OR 63.744 TONNES

Estimated gold volume today: 179,166 ///poor

Confirmed volume yesterday: 207,806 contracts  poor

INITIAL STANDINGS FOR MAR ’22 COMEX GOLD //MARCH 23

GoldOunces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oznil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz46,789.663 oz
Manfra
Brinks
Int Delaware
all kilobars
Brinks 48
int Delaware  39
Manfra: 1362, oz
Deposit to the Dealer Inventory in oznil OZ 
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oznil
No of oz served (contracts) today10  notice(s)1100 OZ
0.0311 TONNES
No of oz to be served (notices)150 contracts 15000 oz
0.4666 TONNES
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month11,520 notices1,152,000 OZ
35.832 TONNES
Total accumulative withdrawals of gold from the Dealers inventory this monthNIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this monthxxx oz

For today:

dealer deposits  0

total dealer deposit nil oz

No dealer withdrawal 0

0 customer deposits

total customer deposit: nil   oz 

total gold deposits in tonnage: nil tonnes

3 customer withdrawal

i) Out of Brinks 1543.25 oz (48 kilobars)

ii) out of Int. Delaware  964.53(30 kilobars)

iii) Out of Manfra: 43,789.663 oz (1362 kilobars

total withdrawals: 46,397.442     oz  

ADJUSTMENTS:  1

manfra..// customer to dealer//385,812 oz (12 kilobars)

CALCULATIONS FOR THE AMOUNT OF GOLD STANDING FOR MARCH.

For the front month of MARCH we have an oi of 160 contracts having LOST  5

We had 21 notices filed yesterday so we  gained 16 contracts or 1600 oz  will stand at the comex as these guys refused to be  EFP’d over to London.

Our banker friends have run out of gold metal everywhere.

April saw a loss of 25,921 contracts down to 172,707.

May saw a GAIN of 43 contracts to stand at 4392

June saw a GAIN of 19,636 contracts up to 356,933 contracts

We had 10 notice(s) filed today for 1000  oz FOR THE MAR 2022 CONTRACT MONTH. 


Today, 0 notice(s) were issued from J.P.Morgan dealer account and 19 notices were issued from their client or customer account. The total of all issuance by all participants equates to 10 contract(s) of which 0  notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 5 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by J.P.Morgan//customer account and 0  notice(s) received (stopped) by the squid  (Goldman Sachs)

To calculate the INITIAL total number of gold ounces standing for the MAR /2021. contract month, 

we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (11,520) x 100 oz , to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of  (MAR: 160 CONTRACTS ) minus the number of notices served upon today  10 x 100 oz per contract equals 1,165,400 OZ  OR 36.298 TONNES the number of TONNES standing in this  active month of mar. 

thus the INITIAL standings for gold for the MAR contract month:

No of notices filed so far (11,520) x 100 oz+   (160)  OI for the front month minus the number of notices served upon today (10} x 100 oz} which equals 1,165,400 oz standing OR 36.298 TONNES in this  NON active delivery month of MAR.

TOTAL COMEX GOLD STANDING:  36.298 TONNES  (A WHOPPER FOR A MAR (NON ACTIVE) DELIVERY MONTH)

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

COMEX GOLD INVENTORIES/CLASSIFICATION

NEW PLEDGED GOLD:

191,133,764.7, oz NOW PLEDGED /HSBC  5.94 TONNES

99,258.893 PLEDGED  MANFRA 3.08 TONNES

54,339.114oz PLEDGED JPMorgan no 1  1.690 tonnes

243,923.704, oz  JPM No 2  7.58 TONNES

898,821.330 oz pledged  Brinks/27,96 TONNES

12,249,333 oz International Delaware:  0..3810 tonnes

Loomis: 18,615.429 oz

total pledged gold:  1,506,092.234 oz                                     46.84 tonnes

TOTAL REGISTERED AND ELIG GOLD AT THE COMEX: 34,445,439.080  OZ (1071.39TONNES)

TOTAL ELIGIBLE GOLD: 16,752,298.506 OZ (521.06 tonnes)

TOTAL OF ALL REGISTERED GOLD: 17,693,140.574 OZ  (550.34 tonnes)

REGISTERED GOLD THAT CAN BE SERVED UPON: 16,187,048.0 OZ (REG GOLD- PLEDGED GOLD)  503.49 tonnes

END

MAR 2022 CONTRACT MONTH//SILVER//MARCH 23

SilverOunces
Withdrawals from Dealers InventoryNIL oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory802,000.690  oz
Delaware
CNT
Manfra
Deposits to the Dealer InventorynilOZ
Deposits to the Customer Inventory338,737.240 oz
Delaware
No of oz served today (contracts)19CONTRACT(S)
95,000  OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)51 contracts (255,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts)10487 contracts
 52,435,000 oz)
Total accumulative withdrawal of silver from the Dealers inventory this monthNIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of silver from the Customer inventory this month

And now for the wild silver comex results

we had 0 deposits into the dealer

total dealer deposits:  nil       oz

i) We had 0 dealer withdrawal

total dealer withdrawals: nil oz

We have 1 deposits into the customer account

i) Into Delaware:  338,737.240 oz

total deposit:  338,737.240 oz

JPMorgan has a total silver weight: 180.228 million oz/340.961 million =52.86% of comex 

ii) Comex withdrawals: 3

A) Out of CNT:  99,560.470 oz

ii) Out of Delaware:  2006.000 oz

iii) Out of HSBC: 600,341.700 o

total withdrawal 802,000.690   oz

one adjustment:

Manfra/dealer to customer 205,613.728 oz

the silver comex is in stress!

TOTAL REGISTERED SILVER: 92.243 MILLION OZ

TOTAL REG + ELIG. 340.961 MILLION OZ

CALCULATION OF SILVER OZ STANDING FOR MARCH

silver open interest data:

FRONT MONTH OF MARCH OI:  70, HAVING GAINED 16 CONTRACTS FROM TUESDAY.

WE HAD 5 NOTICES SERVED UPON YESTERDAY, SO WE GAINED 21 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 105,000 OZ WILL  STAND

 FOR DELIVERY OVER HERE AS THESE GUYS REFUSED TO BE EFP’D TO LONDON. 

APRIL HAD A  54 CONTRACT LOSS// CONTRACTS LOWERS TO 54

MAY HAD A LOSS OF 1951 CONTRACTS UP TO 117,117 contracts

 .

TOTAL NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED FOR TODAY: 19 for 95,000 oz

Comex volumes: 32,199// est. volume today//poor/

Comex volume: confirmed yesterday: 49,657 contracts ( fair )

To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in MAR. we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at  10,487 x 5,000 oz = 52,435,000 oz 

to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAR (70) and the number of notices served upon today 19 x (5000 oz) equals the number of ounces standing.

Thus the  standings for silver for the MAR./2021 contract month: 10,487 (notices served so far) x 5000 oz + OI for front month of MAR (70)  – number of notices served upon today (19) x 5000 oz of silver standing for the MAR contract month equates 52,690,000 oz. .

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

END

GLD AND SLV INVENTORY LEVELS:

MARCH 23/WITH GOLD UP $15.75//NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1083.60 TONNES

MARCH 22/WITH GOLD DOWN $7.75: A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 1.16 TONNES OF GOLD DEPOSITED INTO THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1083.60 TONES

MARCH 21//WITH GOLD UP $.25 : A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 9.00 TONNES INTO THE GLD////INVENTORY RESTS AT 1082.44 TONES

MARCH 18/WITH GOLD DOWN $13.55 NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1073.44 TONES

MARCH 17/WITH GOLD UP $33.50: A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 11.61 TONNES INTO THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1073.44 TONNES

MARCH 16/WITH GOLD DOWN $18.50//A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A WITHDRAWAL OF 2.33 TONNES FROM THE GLD///INVENTORY RESTS AT 1061.83 TONNES

MARCH 15/WITH GOLD DOWN $30.80 TODAY: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1064.16 TONNES


MARCH 14//WITH GOLD DOWN $22.75, HUGE CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//STRANGE: A DEPOSIT OF 2.62 TONNES INTO THE GLD.//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1064.16 TONNES

MARCH 11/WITH GOLD DOWN $14.60: A BIG CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD A WITHDRAWAL OF 1.74 TONNES FROM THE GLD////INVENTORY RESTS AT 1061.54 TONNES

MARCH 10//WITH GOLD UP $11.55: A HUGE CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A WITHDRAWAL OF 4.06 TONNES FORM THE GLD///INVENTORY RESTS AT 1063.28 TONNES

MARCH 9/WITH GOLD DOWN $53.85//A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 4.64 TONNES INTO THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1067.34 TONNES

MARCH 8/WITH GOLD UP $46.10: A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 8.42 TONNES INTO THE GLD///INVENTORY RESTS AT 1062.70 TONNES

MARCH 7/WITH GOLD UP $28.40 A HUGE CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 4.06 TONNES INTO THE GLD..//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1054.28 TONNES

MARCH 4/WITH GOLD UP $28.40//NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1050.22 TONNES

MARCH 3/WITH GOLD UP $13.95: A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 7.84 TONNES//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1050.22 TONNES

MARCH 2/WITH GOLD DOWN $20.80//A MONSTER CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 13.36 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD////INVENTORY RESTS AT 1042.38 TONNES

MARCH 1/WITH GOLD UP $42.60: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: //INVENTORY RESTS AT 1029.32 TONNES

FEB 28/WITH GOLD UP $12.95: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1029.32 TONNES

FEB 25/WITH GOLD DOWN $38.95: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1029.32 TONNES

FEB 24/WITH GOLD UP $17.35//A HUGE  CHANGE AT THE GLD: 5.23 TONNES INTO THE GLD// IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY REST AT 1029.32 TONNES

FEB 23/WITH GOLD UP $2.00 : NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1024.09 TONNES

FEB 22/WITH GOLD UP $6.20: A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD: A DEPOSIT OF 4.65 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD////INVENTORY RESTS AT 1024.09 TONNES

FEB 18/WITH GOLD DOWN $1.80: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1019.44 TONNES

FEB 17/WITH GOLD UP $29.50: NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1019.44 TONNES

FEB 16/WITH GOLD UP 414.60 NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1019.44 TONNES

FEB 15/WITH GOLD DOWN $12.70 NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1019.44 TONNES

FEB 14/WITH GOLD UP $27.20 NO CHANGES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1019.44 TONNES

FEB 11/WITH GOLD UP $4.50 A HUGE CHANGE IN GOLD IVNETORY AT THE GLD// A DEPOSIT OF 3.48 TONNES INTO THE GLD//INVENTORY RESTS AT 1019.44 TONES

CLOSING INVENTORY FOR THE GLD//1083.44 TONNES

Now the SLV Inventory/( vehicle is a fraud as there is no physical metal behind them

MARCH 23/WITH SILVER UP 24 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 550.288 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 22/WITH SILVER DOWN $0.29 TODAY : NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 550.288 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 21/WITH SILVER UP 16 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 550.288 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 18/WITH SILVER DOWN 37 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 2.217 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 550.288 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 17/ WITH SILVER UP 72 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 3.049 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLVV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 548.071 MILLION OZ

MARCH 16/WITH SILVER DOWN 56 CENTS TODAY: A SMALL CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 462,000 OZ FROM THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 544.560 MLLION O

MARCH 15/WITH SILVER DOWN 18 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 545.022 MILLION OZ

MARCH 14/WITH SILVER DOWN 64 CENTS TODAY; STRANGE A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 2.125 MILLION OZ/INVENTORY RESTS AT 545.022 MILLIONOZ

MARCH 11/WITH SILVER DOWN 13 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 542.897 MILLION OZ

MARCH 10/WITH SILVER UP 39 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 542.897 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 9/WITH SILVER DOWN 88 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 5.174 MILLION OZ OF FAKE SILVER.//INVENTORY RESTS AT 542.897 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 8/WITH SILVER UP 88 CENTS TODAY; HUGE CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 2.217 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV////INVENTORY RESTS A 548.071 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 7/WITH SILVER UP 40 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 545.854 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 4/WITH SILVER UP 50 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 545.854 MILLION OZ/

MARCH 3/WITH SILVER UP 2 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 545.854 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 2/WITH SILVER DOWN $.32 TODAY: A SMALL CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 198,000 OZ FROM THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 545.854 MILLION OZ//

MARCH 1/WITH SILVER UP $1.13 TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 546.052 MILLION OZ//

FEB 28/WITH SILVER UP 31 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY REST AT 546.052 MILLION OZ//

FEB 25/WITH SILVER DOWN 64 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A WITHDRAWAL OF 5.510 MILLION OZ FROM THE SLV///INVENTORY RESTS AT 546.052 MILLION OZ/

FEB 24/WITH SILVER UP 15 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 551.597 MILLION OZ

FEB 23/WITH SILVER UP 22 CENTS TODAY; NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 551.597 MILLION OZ//

FEB 22/WITH SILVER UP 30 CENTS TODAY: A SMALL CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 350,000 OZ INTO THE SLV///INVENTORY RESTS AT 551.597 MILLION OZ//

FEB 18/WITH SILVER UP 7 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 1.017 MILLION OZ INTO THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 551.227 MILLION OZ

FEB 17/WITH SILVER UP 31 CENTS TODAY: A HUGE CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 2.402 MILLION OZ//INVENTORY RESTS AT 550.210 MILLION OZ/

FEB 16/WITH SILVER UP 21 CENTS TODAY: NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 547.808 MILLIONOZ

FEB 15/WITH SILVER DOWN 46 CENTS TODAY : NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 547.808 MILLION OZ//

FEB 14/WITH SILVER UP 49 CENTS TODAY; A HUGE CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV: A DEPOSIT OF 3.235 MILLION OZ INTO THES LV////INVENTORY RESTS AT 547.808 MILLION OZ

FEB 11/WITH SILVER DOWN 18 CENTS TODAY:NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV//INVENTORY RESTS AT 544.573 MILLION OZ///

SLV FINAL INVENTORY FOR TODAY: 550.288 MILLION OZ//

PHYSICAL GOLD/SILVER STORIES

1.PETER SCHIFF

Peter Schiff: Beware Of Gold Scams

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 06:30 AM

Via SchiffGold.com,

Gold is an important part of your investment portfolio. But when you’re buying gold, you don’t want to overpay and you need to be on the lookout for scams.

In a recent podcast, Peter Schiff said he doesn’t view gold as an “investment.” He considers gold “savings.”

Instead of holding dollars, or holding euros, I’m holding real money. I’m holding gold.”

Of course, there is volatility in the price of gold, just like there’s volatility in the price of every currency.

If you decide to hold Swiss francs instead of US dollars, every day, those Swiss francs are going to change in price. There’s an exchange rate between the dollar and the Swiss franc. Well, there’s an exchange rate between the dollar and gold. There’s an exchange rate between every currency and gold. I think gold is the only real money and therefore, I would rather own it relative to its fiat alternatives that are inferior.

The key is to buy physical gold from a reputable dealer and don’t overpay.

When you buy physical gold, there are two main components to the price you’ll pay.

  • The first is the spot price. That represents the market price of the metal when you buy it. It’s the “price of gold” you see quoted in the financial media every day.
  • The second component is the premium, an amount over the spot price. This is how sellers cover their overhead and make a profit. (There are also applicable taxes, and depending on the amount of gold you buy, you will also likely pay shipping.)

SchiffGold has some of the lowest premiums in the industry.

In his podcast, Peter shared an experience related to him by a SchiffGold customer. He initially tried to buy gold from a competitor and was hit with the “bait and switch” scam. In fact, a lot of companies do this.

The customer was shopping for American Gold Eagles. He got a price from SchiffGold and then found a lower price from another company. The customer wanted SchiffGold to match the competitor’s price, but it was so low we couldn’t match it. So, the customer decided to take advantage of the lower price and buy from the other company.

The first red flag was the company wanted him to wire all of the money to them first.

They wouldn’t even lock in the price. They said, ‘If you want to buy these coins, you need to send us all the money, and then once we get the money in our bank account, well, then you can buy the coins.’”

SchiffGold doesn’t do business that way. We’ll let you lock in the price in advance and send the money later.

We trust you to make good on your commitment to buy gold. And we give you an honest price right off the bat.”

So, the customer sent his money to this other company to take advantage of this great deal. But once he sent the money, the company told him the price was no longer available. Not only was the deal unavailable, but the new price wasn’t even close to what SchiffGold quoted.

Then came the switch.

The salesman tried to talk the customer into buying overpriced fractional coins. The price was about $700 above the spot price of gold. Peter called it a “complete, total ripoff.”

Yet, this is what the salesman at this gold company is trying to get him to buy once the money came in. That’s why it’s a ‘bait-and-switch.’  You catch the customer with the bait. You dangle the bait of these cheap US Gold Eagles, and then when someone takes the bait and they send you the money, then you switch over and try to sell them something completely different than what they sent you the money to buy.”

It’s important to remember that a lot of these salespeople are not fiduciaries. They don’t care about you.

They just want to make the most money possible. So, they’re going to push you to buy the most overpriced coins that they’re selling. They’re like used car salesmen.”

One of the reasons a lot of these gold sellers have to charge so much is the high overhead. They pay millions on celebrity endorsers and commercials on the big networks.

These celebrities get a lot of money and the only way you can afford to pay them a lot of money is if you get it back from your customers by ripping them off.”

If these salespeople sell you a legitimate coin like an American Gold Eagle or a Canadian Maple Leaf at a price as low as Schiffgold, they won’t make any money. They’ll make a lot more money selling you overpriced products.

Thus the bait-and-switch.

They will give you all kinds of reasons the coins they’re hawking are better. Most of it is just hot air. They’ll claim the government can’t confiscate them or that they aren’t reportable to the IRS.

And if they already have your money in hand, it’s a lot easier to pressure you.

But the bottom line is they are not selling the gold that’s best for you. They’re selling the gold that’s best for the salesperson.

This customer didn’t fall for it. He made them send his money back and bought his American Eagles from SchiffGold.

You can count on SchiffGold to offer great prices on quality gold and silver bullion products. It may not always be the lowest price out there, but it will be close.

What you’ll always get from SchiffGold is honesty and integrity. Nobody is going to bait-and-switch. Nobody is going to push you into these overpriced coins. No one is going to try to turn you into a coin collector as opposed to a gold or silver investor. I know that because I make sure of that.”

For more information on gold scams, download our free report at the link below.

END

Peter Schiff: This “Everything Is Great” Attitude Can’t Last Forever

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 01:09 PM

Via SchiffGold.com,

Despite rising interest rates and more hawkish talk from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, the stock markets keep pushing upward. Everybody seems to think the Fed has things under control and everything will be just fine. In his podcast, Peter explained why this “everything is great” attitude will have to come to an end.

The markets don’t seem to comprehend how much has changed since the Federal Reserve embarked on its last tightening cycle.

We’re no longer in this world where the Fed can simply pretend that there’s no inflation. Because inflation is so much higher now than it was at any prior point for the beginning of a tightening cycle. And the economy is also in a much more precarious situation than it typically is when the Fed is hiking rates.”

Despite Jerome Powell and others claiming that the economy is strong, this is really an environment where you would typically expect the Fed to cut rates and launch a new QE program to stop the economy from sliding into a recession.

But the Fed has an inflation problem that it can no longer ignore. It can’t pretend inflation is transitory and that it will go away on its own.

They now have to actively engage in doing something about it. And so, that’s one of the reasons that this cycle is going to be very different from the ones that preceded it. And it’s going to end very differently.”

But the markets aren’t bracing for this.

Bonds have gotten clobbered over the last few days. Yields have risen significantly, though they remain low in historical terms. The markets seem sanguine about the carnage in the bond market. Peter said perhaps investors think we are close to the top of the rise in rates because they’ve become so accustomed to a low rate environment. But the only thing that will stop interest rates from rising is a pivot by the Fed. And as long as the markets ignore the situation and continue to rise, there is no reason for the Fed to pivot.

Remember, the only reason Powell is confident that the Fed can raise rates and shrink its balance sheet is because Powell is convinced we have this super-strong economy. And one of the reasons for the economic strength is the stock market. So, as long as the stock market is going up, Powell has no reason to question that narrative that the economy is strong.

Keep in mind, the Fed doesn’t even have to tighten. Interest rates will rise in anticipation when Powell talks about tightening. This is likely the reason he came out this week and floated the idea of 50 basis point hikes in the future. He wanted to see how the markets would react.

As long as Powell remains on this path, interest rates are going to keep going up — until the stock market rolls over.”

Rising interest rates will have a significant negative impact on the economy. After all, the US economy is built on borrowing and spending. When the cost of borrowing rises, the economy slows down. But it will take a while before the impact of rising rates on the economy becomes obvious. The stock market is really the canary in the coal mine.

If the market tanks, that’s obvious right away. … So, as long as the market ignores rising interest rates, interest rates will keep rising.”

But at some point, rates will rise high enough that the market can no longer ignore it. Peter said he doesn’t know what the level is, but we’re going to find out pretty soon.

The yield curve has inverted, signaling investors think the rate hikes will cause a recession. On Tuesday, the yield on the 5-year Treasury was 2 basis points higher than the yield on the 10-year. Peter said he agrees with the recession expectation. But the markets think the Fed will respond the way it always does. They expect the Fed to cut rates and yields to fall again. They expect more quantitative easing. And they expect everything will be fine. They think the recession will end inflation. But Peter said at some point, the easy money cycles have to come to an end.

There is no way it can go on forever. It’s just that the people who are buying these bonds, the people who are in the market, have no conception of this reality. They somehow believe that it can go on forever. And they expect that when the Fed goes back to QE and goes back to zero, it’s just going to be another cycle just like the ones we’ve had in the past.”

But again, there is a difference this time.

Inflation.

We already have a huge inflation problem that didn’t exist in the prior cycles.

And so, when the US economy tips over into recession, inflation is still going to be well north of the Fed’s 2% target. And so, there’s no justification for the Fed to go back to zero and back to QE when we still have an inflation problem that has not been solved.”

If Powell and Company are serious about price stability, if they really want to rein in inflation, they will have to ignore the coming recession and the bear market in stocks and bonds. And if they don’t rein in inflation, at some point they will kill the dollar.

The question is will they be willing to do it?

In this podcast, Peter also talks about stagflation, how the next round of QE will be different from the last four, the economy’s addiction to cheap money, and more on the inflation problem.

2.LAWRIE WILLIAM//,//Egon von Greyerz///Matthew Piepenburg via GoldSwitzerland.com, James  RICKARDS/

-END

WALL STREET ON PARADE

These 3 Charts Strongly Suggest the U.S. Stock Market Has an Invisible Hand Propping It UpBy Pam Martens: March 23, 2022As someone who has watched trading screens for the past 36 years, it’s pretty easy to spot a fake market. As the charts below indicate, there is an invisible hand (or hands) pushing this stock market up when it should be plunging. The likely suspects are U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s Plunge Protection Team, known as the Exchange Stabilization Fund; foreign central banks that are aligned with the U.S. position on Ukraine and want to help stabilize financial markets in the West; hedge funds and Wall Street’s Dark Pools owned by megabanks that are net long the market; or a combination of all of the above.One thing’s for sure, the stock market is not responding in a normal fashion to soaring inflation, a hawkish Fed, spiking interest rates, and military aggression by an out-of-control dictator with 6,000 nuclear warheads.Consider the chart below: since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note has skyrocketed by 20 percent, currently reaching 2.38 percent. That was a correct and normal reaction since inflation is already soaring in the U.S. and the military aggression is going to disrupt oil and gas supplies from Russia via sanctions, thus likely pushing commodity prices even higher. In a normally functioning stock market, an increase in yield of that magnitude on the 10-year Treasury note would have caused the stock market to plunge. Instead, per the chart below, the S&P 500 stock index has actually risen 5 percent since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.The stock market’s bizarre behavior is further evidenced by the chart below. It shows how the S&P 500 stock index has performed in relation to the S&P GSCI commodity index since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Notice particularly how the dramatic spike in commodity prices between February 24 and March 8 was not met with a dramatic plunge in stock prices during that same period. It should have been. Then there is the equally important fact of a big yawn from the stock market as a nuclear power invades a sovereign nation of 44 million people, bombs its cities and towns to rubble, and persists in making threats against the U.S. and allies that are supporting Ukraine.And, finally, there is the disparate reaction of the stock market versus the correct share price reaction of the global banks that will be impacted by the Russian invasion. The chart below shows the radically different response from the stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 index, versus global banks since February 1, 2022. We selected the date of February 1 because that was the point at which Russia had amassed 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, backed up with tanks and artillery. The global banks shown on the chart below are those with significant exposure to Russia. The worst performing of these, Austria’s Raiffeisenbank, has lost 50 percent of its value while the S&P 500 is down less than one percent from February 1 as of yesterday’s market close.The stock market is supposed to be an efficient pricing mechanism. When it stops efficiently pricing risk, it loses the public’s confidence. Those invisible hands should think long and hard about that reality.-END

-END-

LAWRIE WILLIAMS

3.  Chris Powell of GATA provides to us very important physical commentaries

Amazing: some central banks are beginning to ask questions as to whether they should store dollars as reserves in light of the sanctions imposed by trigger happy USA

(CNBC/GATA)

Sanctions by ‘trigger-happy’ U.S. may push countries away from the dollar, security expert says

Submitted by admin on Tue, 2022-03-22 10:43Section: Daily Dispatches

By Abigail Ng
CNBC, New York
Monday, March 21, 2022

The U.S. has been “extremely trigger-happy” with stinging economic measures, and central banks may decide to diversify their portfolio of foreign reserves instead of relying heavily on the U.S. dollar, according to the co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security.

“Central banks are beginning to ask questions,” said Gal Luft of the Washington-based think tank, adding that they are wondering if reliance on the dollar and “putting all their eggs in one basket” is a smart idea.

“The United States has extended itself, has been extremely trigger-happy when it comes to the use of sanctions and other economic punishments,” he said.

The White House did not respond to a CNBC request for comment.

Luft said the U.S. took “unacceptable and unheard-of steps” in recent weeks, such as effectively freezing Russia’s central bank reserves and disconnecting Russia from the interbank messaging system, SWIFT.

He said one in 10 countries in the world is under some form of U.S. sanctions.

“That has a cumulative effect and as a result, we see the dollar playing less and less of a role and portfolios of central banks,” Luft said. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/22/countries-may-want-to-diversify-away-from-the-us-dollar-think-tank.html

end

Half hearted sanctions against Russia have already failed

a good read…

(Ambrose Evans Pritchard…/(GATA)

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Half-hearted sanctions against Russia have already failed

Submitted by admin on Tue, 2022-03-22 11:35Section: Daily Dispatches

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Telegraph, London
Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Russia has not defaulted on its sovereign debt after all. Nor is it likely to do so under the current sanctions regime, and as long as Europe continues to finance Vladimir Putin’s military state with purchases of gas, oil, and coal.

The Kremlin is already sufficiently confident to reopen the Moscow stock exchange for bond transactions. The U..S Treasury’s sanctions office has made life easier by leaving a loophole for sovereign debt repayments, concerned that there might otherwise be a Lehmanesque shock to global finance.

The uninterrupted flow of fossil revenues – at windfall prices – is enough to cover interest service costs and redemptions. Goldman Sachs even thinks that the central bank will be able to relax capital controls gradually.

The rouble has not collapsed. It has stabilised after a 40pc devaluation, a manageable drop for a semi-autarkic closed economy. The fall is less than the currency slide in Turkey over recent months, which few even noticed outside specialist circles. 

We are facing the failure of western sanctions policy. …

… For the remainder of the analysis:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/03/22/half-hearted-sanctions-against-russia-have-already-failed/Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Half-hearted sanctions against Russia have already failed

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Telegraph, London
Tuesday, March 22, 2022

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/03/22/half-hearted-sanctions-against-russia-have-already-failed/

Russia has not defaulted on its sovereign debt after all. Nor is it likely to do so under the current sanctions regime, and as long as Europe continues to finance Vladimir Putin’s military state with purchases of gas, oil, and coal.

The Kremlin is already sufficiently confident to reopen the Moscow stock exchange for bond transactions. The U..S Treasury’s sanctions office has made life easier by leaving a loophole for sovereign debt repayments, concerned that there might otherwise be a Lehmanesque shock to global finance.

The uninterrupted flow of fossil revenues – at windfall prices – is enough to cover interest service costs and redemptions. Goldman Sachs even thinks that the central bank will be able to relax capital controls gradually.

The rouble has not collapsed. It has stabilised after a 40pc devaluation, a manageable drop for a semi-autarkic closed economy. The fall is less than the currency slide in Turkey over recent months, which few even noticed outside specialist circles.

We are facing the failure of western sanctions policy.

Calibrated half-measures are not sufficient to change the Kremlin calculus or to dissuade Putin from a policy of attrition against civilian targets.

Yes, Russia is having to sell some crude oil at a steep discount but the gap is already narrowing as shippers learn to navigate the political reefs.

India and others are competing for bargain supplies, cutting the discount to $20 this week from $28 a barrel after the invasion of Ukraine. If Europe is still buying Russian oil, how can distant states in Asia be persuaded to desist?

The Kremlin is still earning almost $100 a barrel at today’s global prices ($118), twice the average of the last eight years. The Russian current account is in rude good health. Clemens Grafe from Goldman Sachs expects the surplus to top $200bn this year as imports of western consumer goods are slashed.

Russia has enough usable foreign currency to stay afloat for a long time. Western sanctions against the central bank are not proving to be the killer blow supposed at first, and nor is the ejection of some Russian banks from the SWIFT nexus of global payments. There are too many deliberate exemptions.  

Goldman’s deep-dive into the effect of sanctions ought to end all wishful thinking. The US investment bank forecasts that the Russian economy will contract by 10pc this year, a bad recession but not an economic breakdown. Growth will then recover to 2.4pc next year and 3.4pc in 2024 as the country adjusts. Exports will be back to 98pc of prior levels by early next year. If so, Putin is not going to lose sleep over this.

Russia’s trade will mostly be diverted rather than destroyed. There may even be some short-term growth stimulus as Russia replaces western goods with home-made manufactures. Putin has been building a fortress economy ever since the annexation of Crimea. Net foreign funding is negligible. Total public debt is 18pc of GDP, one of the lowest ratios in the world.

Over four-fifths of GDP come from sectors that import just 15pc or less of their inputs, falling to 7pc in the mining industry. This is a radically different economic structure from western states such as Poland.

“If Russia were fully integrated into global supply chains, restrictions on imports and exports would be immediately destructive. However, Russia largely exports goods that are almost fully produced locally,” said Mr Grafe.

Iran endured tougher sanctions without buckling. Cornell professor Nick Mulder, author of The Economic Weapon, said the country settled into a new equilibrium within a couple of months. “If Iran’s experience is any guide, Russia will survive and return to lacklustre growth,” he said.

“Historically, sanctions have hardly ever been successful in stopping wars,” he said. A rare exception was the Balkan ‘war of the stray dog’ in 1925. Needless to say, Putin’s war on Ukraine is not a border skirmish. It is a long-planned attempt to overturn the post-Cold War settlement and alter the world’s balance of power.  

European ministers once again grappled with a hydrocarbon embargo – the fifth package of sanctions – at an EU meeting on Monday. Once again the proposals ran into resistance from Germany, with Italy and others happy to tuck in behind.

There is a pervasive fear of a gilets jaunes uprising across Europe, a suspicion that a fickle public will not tolerate a cost-of-living shock once the horrors of Ukraine lose their novelty on TV screens – but that is to abdicate leadership.  

The business-as-usual lobbies in Germany have dusted down a catastrophe scenario known as Lükex 18, a report by the German civil defence agency (BBK) painting a portrait fit for Hieronymous Bosch of what might happen if gas supplies were ever cut off.

It is to throw sand in our eyes. We are already in late March. The winter is over and Europe will have enough gas to last deep into the late autumn. It has sufficient spare import capacity for liquefied natural gas to rebuild some of its depleted storage with shipments of LNG from the US and Qatar over the summer months.

Professor Moritz Schularick from Bonn University said an immediate halt to all purchases of Russian gas, oil, and coal, would cut German GDP by 3pc this year and cost around €120bn but is perfectly feasible. “The world wouldn’t end,” he said.

The possible measures are by now well known. Every one degree cut in home heating saves 10 billion cubic metres (BCM) of gas. If Europe dialled down from an average of 22 to 19 degrees, which happened in some states in the 1973 crisis, it could already cover one fifth of total Russian supply. Targeted sections of heavy industry can be rationed with a small loss of GDP.

As for oil, the International Energy Agency has just cut its forecast for global demand this year by 1.3m barrels a day (b/d). It has issued a 10-point plan for rapid cuts that could shave a use by a further 2.7m b/d without causing an economic crisis, chiefly by a string of temporary measures such as lowering speed limits by 10 km/h, car-free Sundays, and less air travel. Together these savings add up to 4m b/d, equal to most of Russia’s oil exports to Europe.

The issue is no longer whether it can be done but whether Europe has the political courage to try. What is clear is that western sanctions policy is the worst of all worlds. We are suffering an energy shock that is further inflating Russia’s war-fighting revenues.

While it is hard to separate the effect of sanctions from war disruption and market psychology, the current situation is intolerable. We are allowing Putin to exploit Russia’s leverage as a full-spectrum commodity superpower.

The spot price for ammonia in Europe has risen sevenfold this year, deliberately pushed higher by a Kremlin ban on fertiliser exports that has no other purpose than causing maximum chaos and probably a global food shortage over the next year. Shortages of nickel, palladium, and other metals are becoming critical.

It is a strategic imperative to bring this crisis to a head immediately by raising the ante. A total energy embargo would buttress the military resistance of the Ukrainian armed forces and test whether it is even possible for Putin to continue prosecuting a bungled invasion.  

As matters now stand, the sanctions have failed to achieve anything. It is Ukrainian resistance, and military kit mostly provided by the Anglo-Saxon powers of Nato and frontline EU states, that have so far held the line. Core Europe has done little more than bleat on the margins.

The spontaneous willingness of European nations to welcome millions of refugees is marvellous – and the UK should drop its tone-deaf visa requirement immediately – but what is most needed is to confront the cause of this vast human convulsion. 

END

4.OTHER GOLD/SILVER COMMENTARIES

From Bill Murphy: from his brother

“Tim Murphy, Scottsdale Bullion & Coin tells us that all of a sudden the premiums on silver coins are taking off, confirming what some of our other sources have said for some time now. With the US government not minting silver coins for the rest of the year, supply has dried up. The premium to buy a one ounce Silver Eagle coin has taken off so much that a retail price of that coin is now at least $40. And yet, JP Morgan is so uptight, the spot internet price keeps going nowhere at around $25 an ounce. How long can JPM get away with this crap? How long before the silver price explodes?”

END

5.OTHER COMMODITIES/DIESEL FUEL

Diesel fuel is short supply as gas stations are running dry

(zerohedge)

“Gas Stations Will Run Dry”: Catastrophic Scenario For Diesel Emerging According To World’s Biggest Energy Traders

TUESDAY, MAR 22, 2022 – 06:05 PM

While the world has been obsessively focused on crude oil and gasoline in recent weeks, we instead alerted readers to a far more dire scenario playing out in diesel, a source of energy which is absolutely critical in keeping the “just in time” world running on time.

As a reminder, here are some of the articles we have published on the topic in recent weeks, many even before the Ukraine war:

Fast-forward to today, when our warning was echoed by the heads of one of the largest commodity trading houses and the biggest independent oil trader who were speaking at the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday.

The corporate leaders estimated that as much as 3 million barrels of oil and its products a day could be lost from Russia as a result of sanctions, in line with previous estimates, and warned that global markets face a squeeze on diesel with Europe most at risk of a “systemic” shortage that could lead to fuel rationing.

“The thing that everybody’s concerned about will be diesel supplies. Europe imports about half of its diesel from Russia and about half of its diesel from the Middle East,” said Russell Hardy, chief of Switzerland-based oil trader Vitol. “That systemic shortfall of diesel is there.”

Those imports mean that Russian supplies account for about 15% of Europe’s diesel consumption, according to the FT which carried their comments.

Hardy said the shift to more diesel consumption over gasoline in Europe had helped to create shortages of the fuel. He added that refineries could boost their diesel output in response to higher prices at the expense of other oil-derived products to shore up supply, but warned that rationing was a possibility.

Torbjorn Tornqvist, co-founder and chair of Geneva-headquartered Gunvor Group, added: “Diesel is not just a European problem; this is a global problem. It really is.”

Tornqvist also warned that European gas markets were no longer functioning properly as traders faced huge demands from banks for cash to cover hedging positions. “I think it’s broken. It really is,” he said. “I never thought that somebody could say ‘ah, gas has fallen below 100 per megawatt hours is really cheap’.”

Gas futures linked to TTF, Europe’s wholesale gas price have swung from about €70 a megawatt hour before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to about €230 two weeks ago and then slid below €100 this week. Before May 2021, European gas prices were below €20 a megawatt hour.

As noted last week, Europe’s largest energy traders called on governments and central banks to provide emergency liquidity support to keep gas and power markets functioning as sharp price moves triggered by the Ukraine crisis have strained commodity markets. Hardy said that to move a cargo equivalent to 1 megawatt hour of liquefied natural gas priced at €97, traders must provide €80 in cash, straining their capital requirements.

Worse, confirming that Europe faces an even colder winter, Tornqvist said European utilities would struggle to fill gas storage for next winter given the “paralysed” state of the spot market for gas unless policymakers stepped in to provide guarantees to protect buyers against price swings.

But going back to diesel, Bloomberg’s Javier Blas tweeted a handful of the scariest quotes from the energy CEOs at today’s FT commodities summit:

  • Trafigura CEO Jeremy Weir: “The diesel market is extremely tight. It’s going to get tighter and will probably lead into stock outs” referring to when fuel stations run dry.
  • Gunvor CEO: “Europe is so short of diesel” 
  • Vitol CEO: “The thing that everybody’s concerned about will be diesel supplies”

Needless to say, without diesel, not only will traffic in Europe grind to a halt, but much if not all US truck based logistical support and supply chains will soon be paralyzed. The consequences for the global economy will be dire.

END

Inflation is intensifying and a lot of it is coming from resource nationalism

(Bloomberg)

Next Inflation Shock Comes From Resource Nationalism

TUESDAY, MAR 22, 2022 – 08:05 PM

By Valerie Cerasuolo, Bloomberg Markets Live commentator and reporter

First there was supply-chain disruption brought on by the coronavirus, then war in Ukraine further rocked commodity markets. The next bout of inflation via raw material prices will be brought on by resource nationalism.

While the cost pressures brought on by the difficulty in moving goods in a world in lockdown are fading, other factors are more enduring.

For instance, the post-Cold War spread of e-commerce allowed companies to treat the world as both factory floor and marketplace. Comparative advantage, strategic partnerships and the success of globalization led to growth and prosperity. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine jarred that dynamic and has set in motion a series of quasi-isolationist responses.

What started as economic sanctions on Russia has tipped the balance: we are no longer in a uni-polar world. We have entered into a multi-polar one where traditional economic superpowers can no longer call the shots. Service-driven economies are price takers and have far less leverage over those producing raw materials.

The geopolitical landscape has changed and economic incentives along with it. The growing emergency that sanctions on Russia have caused over energy supply security will be inflationary for years to come. Nowhere is this more evident than in Europe, given its direct exposure to Russia energy, with individual countries prioritizing domestic energy security as a first port of call.

The European Union entered an era of energy inflation given its commitment to address climate change and fossil fuel dependence by “greening” the economy. Such aims create price pressure, and has led to discussion at the European Central Bank on whether its inflation target should be adjusted.

Russia and Ukraine are two of the globe’s top grain producers. Conflict has triggered panic and price squeezes on everything from fertilizer to cooking oil, and has also led nations to rethink their approach to national stockpiling.

Energy security pulls into focus security of other commodities. The list of countries restricting agriculture exports is growing. It includes Indonesia, Hungary, Argentina, and Turkey. China’s begun stockpiling corn and soybeans while sources mention state refiners are considering pausing exports of gasoline and diesel in April.

Effectively, every resource a nation produces has the potential to become a bargaining chip. There is a price to meet security of resources. As more economies step away from globalization that cost will get steeper as isolationist tendencies produce greater trade frictions.

The process is unlikely to extend to a fear-driven mania. Consider it more of a purposeful step-change in both governments’ and corporations’ mental accounting and future planning, increasing both cost and scarcity to ensure resource security.

Nations cannot adopt a complete isolationist approach — it’s impossible to fully unwind decades of economic integration. However, lack of supply reliability results in additional inflation premia, regardless of the war’s outcome or duration.

END

Lithium…

Lithium prices have nearly doubled in 2022

(OilPrice.com)

Lithium Prices Have Nearly Doubled In 2022 Amid Insane Commodity Rally

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 05:00 AM

By Alex Kimani of OilPrice.com,

Oil and commodity markets have been taking out fresh highs after the shuttering of Ukrainian ports, sanctions against Russia, and disruption in Libyan oil production sent energy, crop, and metal buyers scrambling for replacement supplies. Russia is one of the world’s biggest exporters of key raw materials, from crude oil and gas to wheat and aluminum, and the possible exclusion of supplies from the country due to sanctions has sent traders and importers into a frenzy.

Base metals prices have been coming off recent highs (and in the case of aluminum, copper, and tin, all-time highs) set earlier in the month that were spurred by fears over the potential for disruption to Russia’s metal exports following its invasion of Ukraine. Broad-based supply concerns remain, ranging from the potential for sanctions targeting exports, to actual output disruption and logistical dislocations (see ‘Implications of the Russia-Ukraine crisis for metals’ for details).

But the Ukraine crisis is only layering onto another more powerful trend: the global transition to low-carbon energy.

The energy transition is driving the next commodity supercycle, with immense prospects for technology manufacturers, energy traders, and investors. Clean energy technologies require more metals than their fossil fuel-based counterparts, with prices of green metals projected to reach historical peaks for an unprecedented, sustained period in a net-zero emissions scenario.

But few, if any, green metals have witnessed a price explosion as epic as that of lithium.

After more than quadrupling in value last year, lithium carbonate continues to soar in 2022, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. The mid-March assessment by the battery supply chain research outfit shows that battery-grade lithium carbonate (EXW China, ≥99.5% Li2CO3) is averaging $76,700 a tonne, up 10% over just two weeks and 95% since the beginning of the year. A year ago, the commodity was trading at $13,400 a tonne. 

The rally in lithium hydroxide, used in high-nickel content cathode manufacture, is accelerating, up 120% so far this year, narrowing the discount to lithium carbonate, which historically is priced below hydroxide.   

Benchmark says that Chinese inventory levels for hydroxide, carbonate, and spodumene feedstock remain very low, sustaining the high price environment:

Robust demand for material, and hence high prices, will be sustained in the near-term, with expectations that the seasonal recommencement of supply from domestic Qinghai brines in the coming months will provide little relief to the growing market deficit.

Many investors who got burned by the last lithium price bust of 2018 have probably been watching on the sidelines, not sure what to make of the current mega-rally.

To be fair, China’s spot market, where small tonnages can have big price impacts, may be accentuating the scale of this mega-rally, but make no mistake about it: this is no false flag, with everything from mined spodumene to high-purity hydroxide, and every component of the lithium processing chain experiencing a wild price surge.

The price explosion tells you that lithium supply is simply nowhere near enough to feed this demand surge.

Demand Explosion

The last lithium boom five years ago was attributed to a failure by producers to anticipate the demand wave emanating from China’s subsidy-driven roll-out of EVs.

The subsequent supply response, particularly from hard-rock spodumene producers in Australia, proved to be overkill leading to the price bust of 2018-2020.

Consequently, new mines were mothballed, expansion projects were deferred, and many explorers folded operations and left to try their luck elsewhere.

Then suddenly, in a classic boom-bust-boom commodity cycle, it happened: lithium producers have been caught flat-footed again, ill-prepared to meet the current even stronger demand surge fueled by the global energy transition and EV revolution.

But the ongoing lithium boom has plenty of steam.

EV and new energy vehicle (NEV) sales in the pivotal Chinese market jumped 157.5% to 3.52 million units in 2021, marking robust growth in an otherwise lackluster domestic automotive market.

Many electric buses in China have switched to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. Two years ago, Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) introduced LFP batteries in its standard range Model 3s in China and dropped the starting price from 309,900 yuan ($48,080) to 249,900 yuan ($38,773). Last year, the EV kingpin Tesla announced that it’s switching battery chemistry for all standard-range Models 3 and Y from nickel cobalt aluminum (NCA) chemistry to an alternative, older technology that uses an LFP chemistry. CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the improving energy density of LFP batteries now makes it possible to use the cheaper, cobalt-free batteries in its lower-end vehicles so as to free up more battery supply of lithium-ion chemistry cells for Tesla’s other models.

But Chinese battery-makers are now discovering that you can play around with the metallic cathode mix as much as you want, but lithium still rules.

In a recent report, Benchmark Intelligence says that record-high Chinese lithium carbonate prices have pushed the costs of lithium iron phosphate – or LFP cells – higher than high-nickel cells on a dollar per kilowatt-hour basis, compared to a deep discount historically. Indeed, the analysts have warned that the chaos in nickel metal markets may spill over onto the metal’s use in the battery supply chain, potentially reversing the LFP trend. 

END

Huge food inflation coming

Russell Clark  (formerly Horseman Capital)

Food Inflation: A Primer From Russell Clark

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 12:31 PM

By Russell Clark, published on the Capital Flows and Asset Markets substack

Food prices have recently touched all time highs. The speed of the increase has also been very noteworthy.

The move higher in food prices so far, has been driven by two shocks. The first shock was African Swine Flu, which decimated Chinese pig herds in 2019, but have been rebuilt since then.

The collapse in the pig herd caused Chinese pork prices to rise dramatically. At its peak it was 6 times higher than US prices.

Pork farmers tend to look at pork/corn ratio as a guide to profitability. This spiked to all time high in China in 2020.

If you think of a pig, as a store of grain (4 kg of grain is needed for 1kg of pork), Chinese needed to rebuild inventory. The upshot was that China has moved to becoming a very large corn importer.

While this has been very bullish for grain, as the pork to corn ratio highlights above, pig farming in China is now loss making. So Chinese demand for grain cannot be taken for granted. But just as demand destruction was becoming a concern for grain prices, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has created a supply shock. As pointed out earlier for Chinese demand for coarse grain (corn, sorghum and barley) is more than the combined exports of Russia and Ukraine.

Historically speaking, at this level of food price inflation, demand destruction has normally taken hold, and short agricultural commodities has been the better trade. But I think we are transitioning to a new political environment, which suggests food inflation and rising agricultural prices are here to stay. This will be the subject of my next post.

END

trading houses will collapse as the margin call doom loop outlines by Poszar becomes realityl

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/trading-houses-will-collapse-margin-call-doom-loop-goes-global-trafigura-cfo-warns

Trading Houses Will Collapse As “Margin Call Doom Loop” Goes Global, Trafigura CFO Warns

Sometimes repo guru Zoltan Pozsar is so far ahead of his time, it takes the “experts” weeks just to read up on all the required source docs to even grasp what he is talking about.

Last week we reported that the Bloomberg news that one of the world’s largest independent energy merchants – the secretive Trafigura which trades hundreds of billion in commodities every year – was facing “margin calls in the billions of dollars” meant that the commodity “margin call doom loop” idea floated more than three weeks ago by Pozsar who warned that commodity traders and clearinghouses could be facing a liquidity crisis of historic proportions, was coming true and despite Barclays’ earnest attempts to minimize its impact, could threaten broader financial stability and was manifesting itself in broad liquidity squeezes which could be observed in the surge in such unsecured funding markets as the FRA-OIS.

That was just the start, because the very next day Zoltan was proven correct again, after the FT reported that Europe’s largest energy traders have taken the place of Europe’s insolvent banks in calling on governments and central banks to provide “emergency” assistance to avert a cash crunch as sharp price moves triggered by the Ukraine crisis strain commodity markets.

Yes, that’s what happens when a “margin call doom loop” goes global.

The FT wrote that in a letter it had seen, the European Federation of Energy Traders, a trade body that counts BP, Shell and commodity traders Vitol and the margin-call stricken Trafigura as members, said the industry needed “time-limited emergency liquidity support to ensure that wholesale gas and power markets continued to function”.

“Since the end of February 2022, an already challenging situation has worsened and more [European] energy participants are in [a] position where their ability to source additional liquidity is severely reduced or, in some cases, exhausted,” EFET said in its letter, dated March 8 and sent to market participants and regulators.

It was “not infeasible to foresee . . . generally sound and healthy energy companies . . . unable to access cash”, the letter warned, clearly ignoring that “generally sound” companies would have anticipated such a fat tailed scenario. The fact that they didn’t suggests that they were either not “generally sound”, or “healthy” and certainly did not plan accordingly. And yet somehow their stupidity and/or greed makes them eligible for Fed bailouts?

Days came and went, with nothing but silence from the central banks who perhaps ignored the severity of the coming liquidity crisis, and why not – after all most of the world’s biggest commodity traders have more than one billionaire in their org chart, let them spend money to bail out their companies. But while this particular bailout request may have sounded too grotesque to both central banks and the general public, to the commodity firms the sudden margin-call induced liquidity shortage was all too real.

Fast forward to today, when in a follow up to its report from last week, the FT writes that according to Christophe Salmon, Trafigura’s chief financial officer, the crisis in global energy markets will force some smaller commodity traders out of business and unleash a wave of consolidation in the sector.

Salmon warned that the spike in capital needed to keep commodities flowing around the world since Russia invaded Ukraine would squeeze smaller trading houses out of the market.

“When we go through these crises — and let’s not forget we’re getting out of two-and-a-half years of Covid situation — there will be another set of consolidation of the commodity trading sector,” Salmon told the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne on Wednesday.

The global commodity trading sector is dominated by large groups such as Trafigura, Vitol and Gunvor but Salmon said many smaller traders were facing a multitude of problems from rising capital requirements to a lack of access to credit.

“The barriers to entry to our sector as supply chain managers are increasing,” he said.

Salmon’s dire comments come as every day we see confirmation of Pozsar’s worst case scenario, and amid the rising concerns about a liquidity crisis sweeping commodity financing, Europe’s largest traders continue to plea with banks and governments to offer “emergency” assistance to prevent a cash crunch as large swings in commodity prices push up the cost of trading. Of course, since these are independent trading houses which several years ago their paid-for lobbyists were trotted out to explain that they are not – in fact – systematically important, we fail to see how they could possibly make a case where taxpayer funds goes to bail out a handful of billionaires, when simple nationalization would do.

It is this worst case scenario that has prompted nothing short of panic among traders at the FT conference, who have voiced concerns that difficult conditions such as banks demanding hefty initial margins — cash for hedging future contracts — had contributed to a breakdown in the proper functioning of commodity markets, particularly gas and nickel.

Fears over hydrocarbon supplies from Russia, the world’s second-largest gas producer and third-biggest in oil, have rattled markets. Europe has yet to impose sanctions on Russian energy exports but banks, shipping companies, insurers and refiners are “self-sanctioning” and avoiding touching oil from the nation.

In a delightful irony, this is not the first time that commodity trading houses have been this close to collapse: back in 2013/2014 during their last near-death experience when Chinese commodity financing imploded and pushed trading giants such as Glencore close to collapse, the industry promptly trotted out its “paid for hire” mercenary consultant to draft white papers (even more ironically, the White Paper was commissioned by Trafigura) that the sector was not, in fact, too big to fail (the alternative would have been partial or complete nationalizations). Oh how they wish they could reverse on this optimistic take now.

So just to make sure that the message is heard loud and clear, Salmon said that if the commodity traders go down, they will drag the rest of the world with them, and that “ruptures to commodity financing would feed through to consumers.”

“We are already in a vicious cycle on the futures market. I want to stress the impact that it will have on the physical market,” he said.

“We are more and more engaged with governments in order to inform the governments of the likelihood of market disruptions, meaning stock-outs of certain products in certain regions.”

Translation: watch for 1970s style lines at your local gas station, something that is probably taking place in Europe as we type: European gas prices jumped to more than €300 per megawatt hour this month before easing below €100, while Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, has risen 20 per cent since the invasion of Ukraine to $118 per barrel.

Furthermore, as discussed yesterday when we observed the coming diesel crisis, these same traders expect to have higher levels of working capital tied up with more barrels on the sea since Russian oil must travel further to Asian customers and replacement supplies for Europe must also spend more time in transit.

Salmon’s observation over the viability of smaller traders comes amid uncertainty over the future of Gazprom’s UK trading arm, which Boris Johnson’s government is on standby to put into “special administration”, a de facto nationalization. The unit is vital to the cheap supply of energy for many British industrial businesses.

And while Salon waits for some response from central banks, he isn’t taking any chances and on Wednesday, Trafigura said it had closed a $2.3 billion revolving credit facility, adding to a $1.2 billion package arranged earlier this month and after exploring funding from private equity groups. As reported previously, Trafigura has also been holding talks with private equity groups to secure additional financing, although for now it appears that those talks haven’t gone anywhere.

Trafigura aside, things among the trading giants are going from bad to worse: earlier today we reported that Mercuria Energy Group, a Swiss commodity trading giant, secured a $2 billion emergency credit facility from banks as commodities prices surge following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The credit facility, which was secured earlier this month, can be renewed or closed in six months time, Bloomberg reported, adding that trading houses have been seeking funds to maintain their physical and derivative positions as prices of everything from natural gas to metals soar. With markets upended and sanctions threatening to disrupt raw materials supplies, traders are facing a liquidity squeeze that could reshape the sector.

“We do have to size our activity and our risk appetite with our financing capability. It’s as brutal as that,” Frederic Barnaud, group chief strategy and commercial officer at Mercuria, said Wednesday in a panel discussion at the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne.

Hilariously, the Geneva based Mercuria was facing a mini liquidity crunch not long after it posted a record profit in 2020 as it cashed in on wild swings in gas, power and oil markets during the pandemic. “You cannot be too hungry on profit and risk taking and not have the infrastructure and relationship with banks or other ways of capital forming to endorse your businesses,” said Barnaud.

The report prompted us to point out that between Trafigura, Gunvor, Mercuria, “every commodity trader hit with massive margin calls”, explaining their desire to get some of that sweet, sweet central bank bailout money.

There was more turmoil elsewhere in the commodity world today. Qatar, the biggest shareholder of the world’s best known commodity trader Glencore sold a stake worth $1.1 billion (the Qatar SWF is selling 159 million shares out of its stake of 1.22 billion shares). After the sale, Qatar will drop to 2nd largest holder in Glencore, and former CEO Ivan Glasenberg will climb to 1st.

Another commodity trading giant, Gunvor Group, a leading oil and liquefied natural gas trader, also rushed to shore up its liquidity saying that it may boost its equity by selling a stake, the latest sign of how volatile commodity markets are pushing trading houses to scour for new sources of capital.

Torbjorn Tornqvist, Gunvor’s chief executive officer and controlling shareholder, said that the company had reduced its trading volumes as a response to higher and more volatile prices. An equity partner would allow the company to grow, he said.
“For us to go and really, shall I say, exploit the potential of the company, it would be desirable to explore additional equity,” Tornqvist said at the Financial Times Commodities Global Summit. “We are open to find an alliance which could increase the size of the company.”

As we reported at the time, Gunvor was one of a clutch of large natural-gas traders facing huge margin calls in October, when prices spiked in Europe. The company has adapted its trading to accommodate higher and more volatile prices, it said this week.

“We are doing less volume than we normally do,” Tornqvist said on Tuesday. “In the right time, we can size this up in no time. This is our business model.”

Tornqvist took a majority stake in Gunvor in 2014, after co-founder Gennady Timchenko was sanctioned by the U.S. over ties to Vladimir Putin following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. Timchenko subsequently exited the company. The trader, based in Cyprus with major trading operations in Geneva, has repeatedly denied any connections to Russia’s leadership. In a statement this week, it highlighted that only 6% to 11% of its trading book over the past five years has originated in Russia, and said it was doing no new business in the country.

Tornqvist, who owns 88.4% of Gunvor, has been looking to reduce his stake for a number of years. In 2019, the company held talks about selling a stake to Algeria’s state oil and gas producer, Sonatrach. But the talks ended amid political upheaval in Algeria. The rest of the company is owned by other employees. Any potential equity partner would need to complement Gunvor’s existing business, and Tornqvist said he doesn’t intend to step back.

“I’m not in the market to sell out,” he said, confirming he was in the market to sell out, and if commodity volatility persists at the current pace for a few more months, all of his colleagues at the helm of the handful of giant commodity traders, will be doing the same. The question is whether there will be any buyers.

NICKEL////

LME Nickel Trades Limit-Up As Bears Unwind In ‘Disrupted Session’

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 11:05 AM

After five straight limit-down days, following its reopening, LME Nickel futures are limit-up this morning, soaring 15% after catching down to SHFE’s equivalent price.

Bloomberg reports that trading started slowly on Wednesday but gained pace as prices spiked toward the limit, with more than 2,600 contracts changing hands by 10:25 a.m. While Tsingshan has struck a deal with its banks to avoid further margin calls, there are still a large number of bearish bets in the market that need to be unwound – and at a time when fears over supply are growing.

It is now down about 70% from the record high, but still up more than 30% from the start of the month.

Notably, the chaos and rule-changes continue at the LME as it says that the second ring session (which traded limit-up) will be deemed “a disrupted session” and all agreed trades during this session will be null-and-void.

Additionally, the most-active nickel futures contract traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose as much as 11% at the start of Wednesday’s night session after LME’s limit-up bounce.

Prices are now broadly in line with nickel contracts on the Shanghai Futures Exchange which suffered less of a technical squeeze than the higher open interest-burdened LME.

LME CEO Matthew Chamberlain says “the Shanghai price is a good guide” as he discusses a normalization of the nickel market.

Notably, metals trading on LME and SHFE has become increasingly illiquid as investors look to liquidate positions following early March’s unprecedented chaos.

end

again all trades removed

(Kingworldnews)

“The Same Thing Is Coming To The Physical Gold Market” Plus THE Game-Changer For The World – We are getting close to the gold/silver market breaking IMPOV. Yen and gold go hand in hand.Gijs

Inbox

Gijsbert Groenewegen6:59 AM (1 hour ago)
to Gijsbert

“The Same Thing Is Coming To The Physical Gold Market” Plus THE Game-Changer For The World

March 22, 2022

The Same Thing Is Coming To The Physical Gold Market
March 22 (King World News) – 
First Squawk:  LME SAYS SECOND RING SESSION ON MARCH 21 IN NICKEL WILL BE DEEMED A DISRUPTED SESSION AND ALL AGREED TRADES WILL BE NULL AND VOID — Simon Mikhailovich says:  The same is coming to the physical gold marketand other markets in scarce commodities.

Yen Fallout Will Be The Game-Changer
Albert Edwards, Former Global Strategist at Société Générale:
  Investors will soon discover the importance of the yen slicing below multi-decade support, jumping from the 116 breakout level, to 121 today as the BoJ reaffirm their super-loose policy. The fallout, as this move likely accelerates could be THE game changer.

Yen Break: THE Game-Changer For The World


“More Risk”
The Daily Shot:  
BofA’s Financial Market Stability Risks Index (based on the bank’s fund manager survey) points to downside risks for the equity market.

All Hell Is About To Break Loose!

6.CRYPTOCURRENCIES

7. GOLD/ TRADING TODAY

Your early  currency/gold and silver pricing/Asian and European bourse movements/ and interest rate settings WEDNESDAY morning 7:30 AM

ONSHORE YUAN: CLOSED DOWN 6.3737

OFFSHORE YUAN: 6.3879

HANG SANG CLOSED UP 264.80 PTS OR 1.21%

2. Nikkei closed UP 816.05PTS OR 3.00% 

3. Europe stocks  ALL RED

USA dollar INDEX  UP TO  98.76/Euro FALLS TO 1.0992

3b Japan 10 YR bond yield: RISES TO. +.226/ !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 120.79/ THIS IS TROUBLESOME AS BANK OF JAPAN IS RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY./JAPAN 10 YR YIELD IS NOW TARGETED AT .11%/JAPAN LOSING CONTROL OF THEIR BOND MARKET//

3c Nikkei now  ABOVE 17,000

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

3e WTI:: 111.99 and Brent: 118.95

3f Gold  UP /JAPANESE Yen DOWN CHINESE YUAN:   DOWN -SHORE CLOSED 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 UP for WTI and UP FOR Brent this morning

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund FALLS TO +.0.494%/Italian 10 Yr bond yield FALLS to 2.02% /SPAIN 10 YR BOND YIELD FALLS TO 1.40%…ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD/GERMAN BUND: 1.524: DANGEROUS FOR THE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS TO : 2.72

3k Gold at $1927.50 silver at: 24.95   7 am est) SILVER NEXT RESISTANCE LEVEL AT $30.00

3l USA vs Russian rouble;// Russian rouble UP 4.00/100 in roubles/dollar; ROUBLE AT 102.05

3m oil into the 111 dollar handle for WTI and 118 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 120.79 DESTROYING JAPANESE CITIZENS WITH HIGHER FOOD INFLATION

30 SNB (Swiss National Bank) still intervening again in the markets driving down the FRANC. It is not working: USA/SF this morning .9343– as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF 1.0270 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.

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.379 DOWN 1 BASIS PTS

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 2.607 UP 1 BASIS PTS

USA DOLLAR VS TURKISH LIRA: 14.84

Futures Slide As VIX Jumps And Oil Rally Accelerates; Bond Rout Fizzles

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 08:04 AM

A torrid rally that pushed US stocks higher on 5 of the past 6 days appeared set to end, as US index futures drifted lower on Wednesday while bond markets stabilized from a historic rout driven by an increasingly hawkish tilt from the Federal Reserve took a breather after record losses. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 were down 0.5% at 7:15 am in New York, while S&P 500 and Dow futures fell 0.4%; European bourses were also pressured sending the Euro Stoxx 50 -0.6%, with the exception of the FTSE 100 +0.4% amid crude action. Asia stocks closed higher, led by Nikkei 225’s 3% advance. The dollar rose to session highs amid hawkish Fed rhetoric and the USD/JPY continues to climb. Bonds bounce as risk wobbles and bulls pounce, but sellers remain prevalent; 10-year Treasury yield fell to about 2.37%, after hitting its highest since May 2019 on Tuesday and rising as high as 2.42% overnight.

After sliding to session lows, around 22.7 yesterday, the VIX has reversed the entire Tuesday move and was last seen just shy of 24.

Meanwhile, crude oil continued its grind higher as broader sentiment slips, with WTI up 2% to $111.72 and Brent rising as high as $119 and after dipping below $113 yesterday amid growing speculation Europe will not be united enough to impose broader sanctions on Russia.

US-listed Chinese stocks gained in premarket trading as recent share buyback announcements from Xiaomi and Alibaba Group boosted appetite for the sector  while Tencent’s results — showing that revenue grew at the slowest pace since its 2004 listing — were a drag. The group has been rebounding since last week following a pledge from China to stabilize financial markets. Online retailer Poshmark, meanwhile, tumbled more than 7% after giving a softer-than-expected forecast for the first quarter.  Bank stocks are lower in premarket trading as the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield falls to about 2.36%, after hitting its highest since May 2019 on Tuesday. Other notable movers include:

  • GameStop (GME US) jumped 12% in premarket trading after Chairman Ryan Cohen boosted his stake in the video-game retailer. Some other so-called meme stocks also rose.
  • Forge Global (FRGE US) shares rise 12%, extending yesterday’s 60% gain after its trading debut following the completion of its combination with a special purpose acquisition entity led by Blythe Masters.
  • HealthEquity (HQY US) analysts were generally upbeat on the healthcare savings account provider’s 4Q results and said that guidance for 2023 may be slightly disappointing, but also seems conservative in the current environment. Shares rose 2.5% in U.S. after-hours trading on Tuesday.
  • Adobe (ADBE US) analysts cut their price targets on the design software maker, flagging concerns over growth. The shares fell 2.7% in U.S. after-hours trading on Tuesday after Adobe’s second-quarter forecast came in shy of estimates.

U.S. equities rose 1.1% on Tuesday despite indications from Fed Chair Jerome Powell that the central bank could raise interest rates more aggressively this year. According to some, technology stocks, which generally underperform when rates are higher, have also rallied as strategists suggest the hawkish pivot could be priced in; others say the rally has just been another gamma and delta unclench, which coupled with CTAs turning bullish, has unleashed a mechanical buying spree which however is about to end and go into reverse.

“What the market is telling you is that the economy can accommodate the rise in interest rates and I think the market has digested the hawkish Fed already,” Janet Mui, head of market analysis at Brewin Dolphin, said on Bloomberg TV. “So unless we see a much sharper and faster selloff in bonds, we don’t think the market will be selling off because of the rise in bond yields.” (Spoiler alert: oh yes we will).

“We are positive for equities for this year,” Seema Shah, Principal Global Investors chief strategist, said on Bloomberg Television. While the market may be more challenged in 2023 and recession risks are rising, “we still think the U.S. economy is pretty good fundamentally,” she said.

Bonds are taking the brunt of central-bank calls for tougher action to curb inflation as investors hold up stocks as an inflation hedge, spurring the S&P 500 to rally in five of the last six sessions. Investors have fled from bonds as the Fed promises higher rates to tame rampant inflation and the war on Ukraine drives commodity prices up 26% this year.  

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index slipped after five straight days of gains, their longest winning streak since November. The Euro Stoxx 50 dropped as much as 0.7% before steadying. Stoxx 600 is down 0.2% with real estate, banks and utilities the weakest sectors while energy and healthcare stocks outperformed. Here are some of the biggest European movers today:

  • BP shares gain as much as 4.2% after Morgan Stanley maintains attractive view on Europe’s energy sector. Firm upgrades BP to one of its “two key overweight rated shares” alongside Shell, which rose as much as 3.8%.
  • Metrovacesa rises as much as 19% after FCC Inmobiliaria offered to buy up to 36.4m shares in the real-estate company for EU7.80 apiece in cash, representing a premium of 20.2% against the last close.
  • Aker Horizons and REC Silicon gain as much as 11% and 12%, respectively, after Aker Horizons agreed to sell its stake in REC Silicon to Hanwha. Pareto says “transaction adds to Aker Horizons track record of value creation and provides liquidity at a favorable time.”
  • Fila shares jump as much as 11%, the most since November 2020, after Banca Akros raised the price target on the art materials company, saying the full-year results released Tuesday were “good.”
  • Shares in tech investor Prosus slip as much as 5.1% in Amsterdam after Tencent reports that revenue grew at the slowest pace since the Chinese online giant’s 2004 listing in Hong Kong. Prosus holds Naspers’s 29% stake in Tencent.

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose for a second day as Chinese tech shares extended a rally on prospects of more buybacks and as continued yen weakness boosted stocks in Japan. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 1.4% to its highest since March 3, led by the consumer discretionary and tech sectors. Alibaba was among the top contributors to the benchmark’s gains. Investors are expecting Tencent to follow Alibaba and Xiaomi in announcing share-repurchase plans after it released earnings late Wednesday. The recent global equity rebound has come despite the Federal Reserve’s signal of higher rates to quell the hottest inflation in decades, taking many investors by surprise. While some are attributing the gains to expectations that companies will be able to pass on rising costs to consumers, others are warning that markets may be underestimating inflation risks.

“I wouldn’t have thought that the rebound is particularly sustainable,” said Kyle Rodda, an analyst at IG Markets Ltd. “For whatever reason, investors have put extra risk on their plate. It doesn’t really make too much sense to me on the basis that the rally that we’re seeing at the moment is in areas of market that really should be moving lower on the basis of real yield.”

Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix indexes led a broad advance in Asian equity gauges on Wednesday, followed by the Hang Seng Index. The Topix posted a seventh straight daily gain, its longest winning streak since September, as the yen continued to weaken against a dollar amid rising Treasury yields. “Fed officials keep saying that the U.S. economy will stay strong regardless of its monetary tightening, which is helping ease market unrest over the global economic cycle,” said Shogo Maekawa, a strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management Ltd. in Tokyo.

A gauge of Chinese tech stocks listed in Hong Kong jumped more than 2%, adding to its 5.4% surge in the previous session. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is now up close to 2% this week, following a 4.1% jump last week. “The market may be expecting potentially another sort of Fed policy error and reversal of policies,” Martin Hennecke, Asia investment director of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, told Bloomberg Television, noting how traders were already pricing over two interest-rate cuts for 2023 and 2024 following a series of hikes. “But one more really important point to me, which I think really most of the investing public still really hasn’t got this point is, an inflation risk, in my view, is still massively underestimated, particularly at the longer end.”

Australian markets rose with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 0.5% to close at 7,377.90 in a rally led by tech stocks and banks. All sectors gained, except for materials. Uniti was the top performer amid reports that Macquarie and PSP have made an offer to buy the company for about $2.5 billion. F&P Healthcare was the biggest laggard after its full-year operating revenue forecast missed analysts’ expectations. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 1.2% to 12,061.00

In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot rises back into the green. SEK and AUD are the strongest G-10 performers. CHF and JPY underperformed. the yen weakened as the Bank of Japan’s accommodative policy stood in contrast to the tighter stance adopted by the Federal Reserve. The yen slid to the lowest since February 2016 while 10-year Treasury yields climbed as much as three basis points after rising nine basis points on Tuesday. USD/JPY rose as much as 0.5% to 121.41, highest since Feb. 1, 2016.

San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said Tuesday that it was time to remove policy accommodation, while St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Cleveland’s Loretta Mester favored a speedier pace of rate increases. “The yen is imploding right before our eyes,” said Amir Anvarzadeh, a Japan equities strategist at Asymmetric Advisors. BOJ’s policies are totally misaligned now with other central banks, he said.

In rates, benchmark 10-year Treasury yields slipped to 2.37% after surging to highs unseen since mid-2019. Yields advanced across the front-end and belly of the curve, unwinding a portion of this week’s losses, with S&P 500 futures under pressure following European stocks. US yields are richer by 3bp-4bp across belly of the curve, steepening 5s30s spread by nearly 3bp on the day; 10-year richer by 1.6bp at 2.37% with gilts outperforming by additional basis point in the sector. Gilts outperformed, with the U.K. curve bull-steepening, as BOE rate-hike expectations ease. Focal points of U.S. session include Fed Chair Powell remarks and 20-year bond reopening.  Treasury coupon auctions resume with $16b 20-year reopening at 1pm ET; WI yield at around 2.720% is cheapest since 20Y sales resumed in May 2020 and ~32bp higher than February’s, which stopped on the screws

In commodities, oil pushed higher Wednesday on the risk of fresh curbs on Russia. West Texas Intermediate topped $111 a barrel while Brent futures rose toward $119 a barrel. The benchmark traded near $130 a barrel in early March after sanctions were imposed on Russia.  Base metals trade well; LME nickel rises as much as 5.5%, up for the first time since trading reopened on March 16. Spot gold rises roughly $9 to trade near $1,930/oz.

Bitcoin is modestly pressured this morning, but lies within yesterday’s parameters and hasn’t strayed too far from the weeks peak just yet.

To the day ahead now, and central bank speakers will include Fed Chair Powell, BoE Governor Bailey, the Fed’s Daly and Bullard and the ECB’s Nagel and Visco. Data releases include UK CPI for February, along with the advance Euro Area consumer confidence reading for March, as well as US new home sales for February. Finally, UK Chancellor Sunak will be delivering the Spring Statement.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.2% to 4,496.00
  • STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 459.10
  • MXAP up 1.2% to 181.44
  • MXAPJ up 0.7% to 591.15
  • Nikkei up 3.0% to 28,040.16
  • Topix up 2.3% to 1,978.70
  • Hang Seng Index up 1.2% to 22,154.08
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.3% to 3,271.03
  • Sensex down 0.5% to 57,714.07
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 7,377.87
  • Kospi up 0.9% to 2,735.05
  • Brent Futures up 1.1% to $116.80/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,921.76
  • U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 98.56
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 0.50%
  • Euro little changed at $1.1019

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Global equity markets climbed Wednesday, with investors expanding their search for hedges as the Federal Reserve’s strengthened resolve to clamp down on inflation drove bonds toward record losses.
  • Bonds extended steep losses on the Federal Reserve’s strengthened resolve to clamp down on inflation.
  • Federal Reserve hawks and doves are joining Jerome Powell’s call to get going on raising interest rates to curb high inflation. Even erstwhile doves like San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly now backs robust action
  • The global economy likely won’t be able to avoid a recession without a resumption of Russian energy exports this year, according to a study by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas economists
  • Losses in global bond markets have marked a milestone as central banks including the Federal Reserve look to tighten policy to combat surging inflation. The Bloomberg Global Aggregate Index, a benchmark for government and corporate debt, has fallen 11% from a high in early 2021. That’s the biggest decline from a peak in data stretching back to 1990, surpassing a 10.8% drawdown during the financial crisis in 2008
  • Oil ticked higher ahead of a flurry of high-level diplomatic activity over the month-old war in Ukraine that may see fresh curbs on Russia
  • Argentina’s central bank raised its benchmark rate Tuesday for the third time this year as inflation continues to speed up
  • U.S. President Joe Biden, who’s traveling to Europe for the NATO meeting, said further sanctions on Russia will be announced during his trip. European Union members Germany and Hungary sought to put the brakes on a potential embargo on Russian oil
  • The U.S. and U.K. reached a deal to ease tariffs on British steel and aluminum, resolving a longstanding irritant as the nations work to strengthen trade and integration

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asia-Pac stocks were positive as the regional bourses took impetus from Europe and the US where stocks gained despite the continued upside in yields and lack of fresh developments on the Ukrainian front. ASX 200 was led higher by tech and financials but with upside capped by weakness in miners. Nikkei 225 surged on ongoing currency weakness and reclaimed the 28,000 level. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were underpinned as tech stocks gained including Xiaomi post-earnings and buyback announcement, while ZTE surged as much as 60% on a favourable court ruling

Top Asian News

  • Tencent Posts Slowest Growth as China’s Crackdown Bites
  • ZTE Shares Soar After U.S. Court Agrees to End Probation
  • Japan Market Watchdog Files Criminal Charges Against SMBC Nikko
  • Malaysia, Singapore Pledge to Work Toward Full Travel Resumption

European bourses are pressured, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.6%, with the exception of the FTSE 100 +0.3% amid crude action. US futures remain softer, ES -0.3%, but haven’t slipped much further amid the above pressure in Europe as Russia-Ukraine tensions remain elevated. Spanish PM Sanchez says they are to reach an agreement with truckers this week. Following strike action against rising fuel prices. China has found one black box of the Boeing (BA) 737 China Eastern jet crashed earlier in the week, according to a CAAC official, black box is “severely damaged”, unsure if it is the flight data or cockpit voice recorder. Weather conditions along the flight path of the China Eastern plane that crashed did not pose a danger to the craft and air controllers maintained normal communication with jet and before rapid descent.

Top European News

  • U.K. Inflation Rises More Than Expected to New 30-Year High
  • Germany Sticks With Debt-Sale Plan Despite Massive Spending Push
  • Sunak Plans Cost-of-Living Help, Pledges to ‘Stand By’ Britons
  • U.K. Government Said Closer to Approving Cobham’s Ultra Deal

Fixed Income:

  • Bonds bounce as risk wobbles and bulls pounce, but sellers remain prevalent.
  • US Treasuries also wary of looming 20 year supply that could need concession to draw decent demand.
  • Gilts take strong UK inflation data largely in stride, but Spring Statement may highlight strained fiscal situation.
  • Italian Treasury has commenced marketing a new 2030 CCTeu bond, via Reuters citing lead managers

FX:

  • USD bounces as Fed officials line up behind bigger 50 bp hikes and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov lambasts EU and NATO; DXY tops 98.700 vs a sub-98.500 low.
  • Sterling deflated despite stronger than expected UK inflation data as risk sentiment sours ahead of Spring Statement, Cable closer to 1.3200 compared to almost 1.3300 at one stage and EUR/GBP holding above 0.8300.
  • Yen regains some composure after latest collapse as global bond yields relapse, USD/JPY probing 121.00 having topped out near 121.41.
  • Euro slips as crude rebounds and Russia-Ukraine rift rages on, EUR/USD circa 1.1000 after another fade into 1.1050.
  • Hawkish rhetoric underpins Swedish Crown and Czech Koruna.
  • Riksbank’s Breman says that given high inflation, rates might need to be raised earlier and bond purchases can be unwound at a faster pace, important not to wait too long to take action.
  • Czech Central Bank Deputy Governor says rates may peak “well above 5%” (vs current 4.5%).

Commodities:

  • Crude benchmarks continue to grind higher, perhaps drawing some geopolitical premia. as broader sentiment slips.
  • Currently, WTI resides north of USD 111/bbl (vs low 108.38/bbl whilst Brent breached USD 118/bbl in recent trade.
  • US Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude -4.3mln (exp. +0.1mln), Cushing +0.6mln, Gasoline -0.6mln (exp. -2.0 mln), Distillate -0.8mln (exp. -1.4mln)
  • Black Sea crude exports face a prolonged outage as repairs may take as long as two months with the outage at 1mln bpd, according to Energy Intel’s Bakr.
  • Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry says they are working on alternative supply route for oil exports, following CPC damage.
  • Belgium PM Croo says the EU needs to make a combined effort to secure large quantities of gas, to avoid competition for bilateral deals, suggesting a solidarity mechanism and a ceiling on gas prices, according to the FT.
  • Trafigura CFO says if the futures market situation does not normalise, there will be an impact on physical trade.
  • Nigeria increases its Bonny crude OSP for April to +USD 2.02bbl vs. dated Brent, increases Qua Iboe OSP to +USD 2.37bbl vs. dated Brent.
  • Spot gold/silver are underpinned from haven-flows and in-spite of the USDs bid.
  • LME Nickel hits 15% limit up.

US Event Calendar

  • 7am: March MBA Mortgage Applications, prior -1.2%
  • 10am: Feb. New Home Sales MoM, est. 1.1%, prior -4.5%
  • 10am: Feb. New Home Sales, est. 810,000, prior 801,000

Central Bank Speakers

  • 8am: Powell Takes Part in BIS Panel on Innovation
  • 11:45am: Fed’s Daly Takes Part in Bloomberg Event
  • 3pm: Fed’s Bullard Discusses the Economic Outlook
  • 9:05pm: Fed’s Bullard Discusses the Economic Outlook

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

It’s been more of the same for markets over the last 24 hours, with the bond selloff continuing as investors price in an increasingly aggressive monetary policy response to deal with inflation. Perhaps the most impressive landmark of the day though was that the S&P 500 (+1.13%) closed above levels seen on February 10th, the closing level the day before the US warned that Russia would likely soon invade Ukraine which immediately precipitated a sharp sell-off. More on that in today’s CoTD later as the move has now pretty much followed the historical geo-political playbook almost to the letter.

Back to yesterday and staring with bonds, we saw the 2yr Treasury yield rise another +4.9bps to 2.16%, which along with a +1.5bps move this morning brings its gains since the start of the month to a massive +75bps. For a sense of how unusual that is, the moves currently put the 2yr yield on track for its largest monthly increase since April 2004. To be fair, the start of the month did mark peak pessimism on the Fed’s ability to move aggressively given the geopolitical turmoil, so it might be an unflattering starting point, but since then we’ve seen a complete about turn and then some, with the policy rate being priced in by the December meeting moving up almost 100bps over the last 3 weeks alone.

Those moves have come amidst a steady drumbeat of hawkish commentary from a number of Fed officials, which themselves followed Fed Chair Powell’s speech the previous day that turbocharged these moves. For instance, St Louis Fed President Bullard (who voted for a 50bps hike at the last meeting) said that he wanted to get policy into restrictive territory this year, and cited the 1994 soft landing after a tightening cycle as a good analogy for the present. But it was more than just the Committee’s resident hawk that was arguing for aggressively tighter Fed policy this year, ardent dove President Daly wants policy at or perhaps above neutral this year as well, as inflation was far too high and calls for potentially restrictive policy. President Mester later joined the chorus, preferring hikes to be front loaded to leave optionality for a faster or slower pace later in the year. She explicitly did not rule out +50bp hikes, and wants policy in restrictive territory by 2023.

With all that said and done, Fed funds futures were pricing the most aggressive pace of tightening so far, with a further 190bps worth of hikes priced by the December meeting (on top of the 25bps from last week). Given there’s only 6 meetings left until the end of the year, that pricing is consistent with at least 1 move of more than 25bps, and futures were also pricing a 70% chance of a 50bp move at the next meeting in early May. In turn, that was enough to send Treasury yields up to their highest levels of this cycle so far, with the 10yr yield up +9.3bps to 2.38% and at 2.40% as I type in the Asian session. However, the curve’s slope reversed a bit, with the 2s10s seeing a steepening of +4.2bps to 21.2bps, coming off its lows for this cycle we saw earlier in the session (13.5bps).

The big question now is whether all this prospective Fed tightening will push the economy into recession or whether policymakers can achieve the much sought-after “soft landing” that avoids one. Readers will know that my favourite cycle indicator is the 2s10s, with an inversion of this curve having preceded every US recession in the last 70 years, and that’s already flattened to its lowest levels of this cycle as mentioned. However, as I examined in my chart of the day yesterday (link here), the Fed have long preferred measures like the spread between the 18m forward 3m yield and the 3m yield, which is the steepest on record in data going back to 1996. So depending which metric you look at we’re either the closest or the furthest away from a recession we’ve been all cycle! Please let me know if you’re not on Chart of the Day and want to be on it.

That trend of yields hitting multi-year highs was seen in Europe as well yesterday, with the 10yr bund yield (+3.7bps) surpassing 0.5% for the first time since 2018, as those on 10yr gilts (+7.0bps), OATs (+3.5bps) and BTPs (+1.4bps) reached fresh highs of their own. In fact, the amount of negative-yielding debt continues to dry up, with one of the few remaining being the 2yr bund yield (+5.1bps) at -0.25%, and even there it’s closer to positive territory than at any time since 2015.

For more idea of the ECB’s future plans, look no further than DB’s latest podcast, where our Chief European economist Mark Wall discusses how their new guidance has taken them closer to exiting asset purchases. Whether they step through the exit and raise policy rates before year-end (as we expect) will depend on the data, both on inflation and financial conditions. Click here to listen.

On Ukraine, there weren’t many headlines that seemed to suggest material progress on the battlefield or at the negotiation table. The US and European allies will impose additional sanctions on Russia following this week’s EU summit, while Germany is resisting an embargo on Russian oil. Oil put in a subdued performance, with Brent futures falling -0.12% to $115.48/bbl. However, oil prices have erased losses in Asia with Brent futures rising +1.55% to trade at $117.27/bbl as I type. Meanwhile European natural gas prices bounced back from their steep declines on Monday to gain +2.54% yesterday.

Overnight in Asia, equity markets are fairly bouyant. The broad rally across the region is being led by the Nikkei (+2.75%), as Japan has fully lifted the COVID quasi-emergency measures in 18 prefectures amid a declining trend in fresh Covid cases. Meanwhile, the Hang Seng (+1.73%) is advancing, as tech stocks climb. Shares of Xiaomi jumped +6.3% after Q4 sales and earnings beat analysts’ projections, and with the firm announcing a HK$10 billion ($1.28 billion) stock buyback programme yesterday. Mainland Chinese stocks are slightly lagging this morning with the Shanghai Composite trading down -0.14% and CSI (-0.08%) also fractionally lower. Meanwhile, the Kospi (+0.44%) is trading up. Moving on, futures on the S&P 500 (+0.13%), Nasdaq (+0.06%) and DAX (+0.67%) are in positive territory.

In spite of the prospect of more aggressive monetary tightening, equities took this in their stride and posted solid gains yesterday, with the S&P 500 (+1.13%) and the STOXX 600 (+0.85%) both advancing. For the S&P, that actually takes the index to its highest closing level since February 9, two days before the US warned about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine that led to the first severe ructions in global markets as a result. Furthermore, its YTD losses are now “only” at -5.34%, having been more than -12% after the close on the Monday of last week. Tech stocks led the outperformance, with the NASDAQ seeing a +1.95% gain, whilst the FANG+ index’s advance of +3.65% now brings its gains since the Monday of last week to more than 20%.

Looking ahead, one of the highlights in the UK today will be Chancellor Sunak’s Spring Statement before the House of Commons. Our UK economist put out a preview of the event (link here), and expects it to be light on new spending with very few major policy announcements expected. One thing to keep an eye on will be any potential cut in fuel duty, which has been floated in the press given the major rise in oil prices over recent weeks. This comes as Sunak should have the advantage of stronger fiscal forecasts, and yesterday the public finance data for January confirmed that borrowing so far this financial year was running beneath the OBR’s forecasts back in October, potentially offering the government some wiggle room.

To the day ahead now, and central bank speakers will include Fed Chair Powell, BoE Governor Bailey, the Fed’s Daly and Bullard and the ECB’s Nagel and Visco. Data releases include UK CPI for February, along with the advance Euro Area consumer confidence reading for March, as well as US new home sales for February. Finally, UK Chancellor Sunak will be delivering the Spring Statement.

END

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)WEDNESDAY MORNING// TUESDAY  NIGHT

SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 11.17 PTS OR 0.34%       //Hang Sang CLOSED UP 264.80 PTS OR 1.21 %  /The Nikkei closed UP 816.05 PTS OR 2.00%        //Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.58%  /Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN 6.3727    /Oil UP TO 111.99 dollars per barrel for WTI and UP TO 118.95 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED  ALL RED        //  ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.3737. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN ON THE DOLLAR AT 6.3879: /ONSHORE YUAN TRADING ABOVE LEVEL OF OFFSHORE YUAN/ONSHORE YUAN  TRADING WEAKER AGAINST US DOLLAR/OFFSHORE WEAKER//

3 a./NORTH KOREA/ SOUTH KOREA

///NORTH KOREA

END

3B JAPAN

After their latest earthquake near Fukushima, Japan is scrambling to avoid a Toyko blackout.

(zerohedge)

Japan Scrambles To Avoid Tokyo Blackout After First Ever Power Crunch Alert

TUESDAY, MAR 22, 2022 – 10:02 PM

One day after the Japanese government issued its first-ever electricity supply alert on Monday for the Tokyo area under a system implemented after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Japan scrambled to keep the lights on in Tokyo on Tuesday as frigid weather and power plant outages from last week’s earthquake put the nation’s capital at risk of blackouts. Government officials warned power supply is expected to fall short of demand Tuesday evening, and officials at the infamous TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co.) said there could be partial outages if the supply squeeze continues.

According to Tepco, unplanned disruptions across the Tokyo and Tohoku regions could begin from 8 pm local time and plunge between 2 to 3 million buildings into darkness until around 11 pm. The utility best known for covering up the full severity of the Fukushima disaster, said its pumped hydro facilities will stop operating in the evening when reservoirs are drained, curbing power output.

As a result, Trade Minister Koichi Hagiuda said that households and businesses should reduce power consumption as much as possible, as conservations measures may need to continue through this week.

The Japanese government is not at the moment considering the use of rolling blackouts as the country faces an electricity shortage, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara told a news conference on Tuesady. Kihara also said that Japan unlikely to seek power conservation from Wednesday onward due to a decrease in demand.

Tepco echoed Kihara, saying that it currently isn’t planning to implement a series of managed, rolling blackouts that could ease strain on the grid, arguing there’s not enough time to warn customers. Meanwhile, temperatures in central Tokyo were below average on Tuesday, while cloudy weather significantly reduced output from solar panels.

While the stated culprit for the energy shortage and the reason why Japan’s power supplies have been stretched thin, is last week’s strong earthquake which struck in the northeast and took several power plants offline, the reality is that Japan has had very limited power reserves for far longer, as utilities retire older oil-powered plants and most nuclear reactors remain shut after Fukushima. And in light of the Russia escalating sanctions, Japan’s energy shortages will only going to get worse.

Though unplanned outages would be mostly random, key infrastructure like hospitals have installed backup generators since 2011, meaning they will be able to continue operations for hours after the grid goes dark.

Meanwhile, Japan’s transport ministry and industry ministry have asked JR and other train operators to save energy, TV Asahi reports, with Railway operators said to be cooperating and have halted some ticket machines as well as electronic billboards.

Japan has ordered most of the nation’s regional utilities to send spare power supplies to the Tokyo area, according to a statement  from the grid coordinator. Tepco was scheduled to receive nearly a gigawatt of capacity through midnight. The grid coordinator also ordered power sharing for Tohoku Electric Power, which services the area next to Tokyo and is facing a similar power crunch. Tohoku Electric expects to see power reserves drop to as low as 1%, and has also asked its users to conserve power. 

In total, Japan’s electricity network coordinator ordered 7 utilities including Chubu Elec. and Kansai Electric to supply Tepco with energy amid a crunch today; as a result the utility will receive up to 1.42m kw to help avoid a shortage, with the following utilities set to provide power:

  • Tohoku from 7am to 4pm, up to 817,800kw
  • Chubu 7am to 4pm, 300,000kw
  • Hokuriku 7am to 4pm up to 300,000kw
  • Kansai 7am to 4pm up to 221,000kw
  • Chugoku 8am to 12:00pm up to 100,000kw
  • Shikoku 8:30am to 10am up to 100,000 kw

A spokesman for JFE Holdings’s steel-making unit said that the company has been asked by Tepco to conserve electricity and increase output from its own power generation facilities in Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures. The company has not been asked to reduce production and will maintain operations and delivery, the spokesperson said. Tepco has also asked Nippon Steel Corp. to boost output at its own power generation facilities, some of which are now operating at full capacity, a spokesperson for the steel producer said.

Japan’s tech giants such as Softbank and Rakuten Group, are reducing power consumption but don’t see an immediate impact on their business. A spokesperson for the Tokyo Stock Exchange said that the bourse isn’t experiencing any issues at the moment from the power crunch, and is well-prepared for any incidents.

While Japan is hopeful that the power shortage will be resolved soon, thermal power plants in Japan that have been halted following last week’s strong earthquake could take as long as a few weeks to a few months to restore, Kyodo reported, citing industry minister Koichi Hagiuda speaking in parliament.

3c CHINA

CHINA

China locks down Tangshan, a steel city. Citizens are lashing out in Shanghai

(zerohedge)

CCP Locks Down China’s “Steel City” As Frustrated Citizens Lash Out In Shanghai

TUESDAY, MAR 22, 2022 – 05:45 PM

Just as economists were breathing a sigh of relief as the policymakers in Beijing ordered Shenzhen to swiftly reopen following a punishing omicron-inspired lockdown, the CCP on Tuesday announced plans to temporarily lock down in Tangshan, in China’s northeastern Hebei Province. The city of roughly 7.7 million is known as China’s “steel city” and is responsible for roughly 10% of the country’s steel production.

Local officials announced emergency traffic controls and mass coronavirus testing for the city’s entire population after finding seven new local COVID cases.

According to the SCMP, Tangshan’s pandemic control office said all city roads, except the expressways, would be subject to “indefinite” traffic restrictions starting Sunday, with only emergency vehicles like ambulances, fire engines and those transporting emergency supplies allowed to run. Residents needing to travel due to “special circumstances” must apply for permission with their local authorities. Local Chinese news outlets said that companies in the area have already halted production because of the outbreak. To put things in perspective, the city reported just 7 locally transmitted cases on Tuesday.

While some blast-furnace workers have been ordered to continue working, nearly all non-essential workers in the city have been ordered home to isolate.

COVID-related restrictions have also recently been intensified in Shanghai, China’s financial capital, where locals have grown increasingly restive, with some even pushing back against the authorities’ orders.

Footage circulating on American social media shows people in Shanghai pushing through lockdown restrictions.

While the CCP leadership has insisted that it will continue with its zero-tolerance policy for COVID, the leadership’s frustration with the ongoing outbreak has led to a number of lower-level officials being fired. At least six high-level provincial officials have so far been sacked for their failure to control the outbreak, with another eight dismissed in Shenzhen alone.

While COVID cases nationwide have started to decline (at least, according to the official numbers), these recent developments have led some to wonder if the Chinese people are finally nearing their breaking point, as some of the most restrictive lockdown measures in the world have persisted more than two years after the virus first emerged in Wuhan.

end

CHINA//USA/RUSSIA//UKRAINE/NATO

NATO to draft a statement warning China against aiding Moscow

(zerohedge)

NATO To Draft Statement Warning China Against Aiding Moscow

TUESDAY, MAR 22, 2022 – 06:25 PM

President Joe Biden is set to travel to Brussels for the March 25 emergency NATO summit over the war in Ukraine. The prior White House statement announcing the trip indicated the summit will “discuss ongoing deterrence and defense efforts in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine, as well as to reaffirm our ironclad commitment to our NATO allies.”

But now it’s not just Russia expected to be focal point of conversation among NATO heads, but China too – given last week’s repeat allegations from the White House that Beijing and Moscow are poised to quietly cooperate on military supplies for Russia’s Ukraine operations, as well as evasion of Western imposed sanctions. 

A fresh report in Nikkei on Tuesday says summit leaders are already working on a draft statement aimed at China, which is likely only to escalate China-West tensions further, potentially ensuring Beijing retreats to a firmer pro-Russia position, as opposed to the “fence-sitting” it’s already accused of.Image montage: AP

“NATO members are debating how best to express concern over possible Chinese cooperation with Russia in a joint statement after an extraordinary summit Thursday, amid fears that military and financial support from Beijing could reinvigorate Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine,” Nikkei writes.

It’s expected that a finalized communique will send a “clear message” aimed at deterring China from any level of cooperation with Russian actions in Ukraine. 

A European diplomat involved in drafting the working statement was cited as affirming “the joint communique will mention concerns about China’s potential military support to Russia.” Further, he said in a reflection of what’s expected to be in the document

If Beijing intends to cooperate with Moscow, “we need to send a very clear, polite message to China that it’s a mistake” and that it would “harm our relationship,” Deividas Matulionis, Lithuania’s permanent representative to NATO, told Nikkei on Monday.

“There is no disagreement” within the bloc on this issue, “because an aggressor is an aggressor, and who supports an aggressor then becomes an accomplice of the aggressor,” Matulionis said.

This is coming off Washington escalating ongoing diplomatic tensions with China related to the Russia issue. On Monday Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced more visa restrictions on Chinese officials related to prior charges that state authorities are overseeing the ethnic cleansing of Uighurs. It seems that clearly the timing is actually related to Ukraine, however, despite no mention of the war being made regarding the fresh visa restriction measures. 

In Friday’s Biden phone call with Xi Jinping, the US president warned his Chinese counterpart over cooperation with Russia. Beijing has for its part vehemently rejected the recent US accusations, calling them unfounded “smears”.

Starting over a week ago, an array of US media reports based on official ‘leaks’ from senior admin officials stated that Russia has even requested drones from China, to replenish military supplies lost after weeks of the Ukraine invasion. China is said to have responded “positively”. The widespread perception in the West is that Russia is suffering greater losses than it expected, hence the need to rely on powerful “friends” like China.

Last week the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued its own warning saying that China would retaliate

“We call on the US not to harm China’s legitimate rights and interests when handling its relations with Russia,” ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian stressed.

Zhao in a daily briefing was asked if China fears US sanctions amid charges that it’s quietly supporting Russia’s war effort in Ukraine: “The Chinese side has repeatedly expressed its position regarding sanctions. Beijing discourages the use of sanctions to settle problems and even more opposes unilateral sanctions that lack international legal grounds,” Zhao said.

end

CHINA/EVERGRANDE

Desperate Evergrande Bondholders Threaten Lawsuit After Lenders Seize $2 Billion

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 11:41 AM

Following yesterday’s revelation that an unspecified lender had seized more than $2 billion in cash deposits belonging to one of China Evergrand Group’s subsidiaries, investors who own the firm’s badly battered foreign-currency denominated bonds are reportedly examining legal avenues to recouping their capital, according to the FT.

A group of distressed debt investors in the US and UK (including Saba Capital, Redwood Capital Management and Ashmore) met on Tuesday and asked their lawyers to start work on a legal analysis of the situation in order to decide on a strategy. Evergrande and its subsidiaries trade in Hong Kong.

One of the FT’s sources said the funds had been conspiring to try and find a legal avenue to force Evergrande to make good on its bonds in default before the company disclosed the seizure of $2 billion by unspecified lenders: the bonds represent $20 billion of foreign-currency debt, and are presently trading at a fraction of their face value. Evergrande has said it’s hoping to offer up a debt-restructuring plane by July.

News of the $2 billion seizure infuriated bond holders, who will ultimately be saddled with losses if Evergrande ultimately fails to repay. Bondholders believe that the debt covenants entitles them to priority repayment over whatever lender seized the money.

One person directly involved in the situation said investors feel they have “no choice” but to commence legal action and that plans were already prepared. “I think it has massively changed the game, “the person said about the $2bn claim. “The atmosphere in the room is one of boiling blood.”

All told, the Chinese developer owes more than $300 billion, and the firms push toward restructuring represents the biggest debt-restructuring in Chinese history.

Bondholders are also reportedly embracing the argument that the money seized by the firm’s lenders would have been put to better use to pay off the bond obligations.

But while bondholders could be let holding the bag for billions, the incident represents a windfall for law firm Kirkland & Ellis and investment bank Moelis & Company.

The process has already been fraught with difficulty: Evergrande’s default, which began with missed payments in September but wasn’t officially confirmed by one of the major US ratings agencies until December, has been characterized by a lack of disclosure and international investors have often been left in the dark

Another reason for the company’s troubles: the CCP has prioritized the completion of Evergrande’s apartment complexes over improving the company’s financial position.

Evergrande held a call with investors last night, but few details about its plans were reportedly disclosed. One person who participated described it as “if a politician were addressing 15,000 people.”

Investors and economists are closely watching the situation since China’s heavily indebted property sector has led to speculation by some that the firm’s default and eventual collapse could trigger China’s “Lehman moment”.

.

END

.

4/EUROPEAN AFFAIRS//UK AFFFAIRS

//AUSTRIA/COVID

end

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

/RUSSIA//THE WEST

THIS IS BIG!

What will happen now is very simply that Russian commodities sold to non friendly countries will be denominated in roubles and then Russia will covert the purchases to gold. To friendly nations like China and India Russia will buy Indian goods in rupees and Chinese goods in yuan. This will reduce the demand for Euros and Dollars and will hasten their demise!

The expansion of the war updated

Inbox

Robert Hryniak3:49 PM (0 minutes ago)
to



Earlier today Wednesday (March 23) in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the freezing of Russia’s assets by the West was blatant “theft.” And the Kremlin said these actions by the West constitutes to “economic war”.What he really said this is an escalation as we know to simply another battlefield called currencies. And not to be out done, Putin followed right through with what was expected to be the Russian response.

He explained that Russia plans to abandon all “compromised” currencies ( meaning Euro’s and USD) in payment settlements. He added that illegitimate decisions by a number of Western countries to freeze Russia’s assets destroyed all confidence in their currencies. Earlier today, the IMF echoed the same thing by stating that many countries would be reconsidering their Reserve Currency holding in USD. Often such holding are in the form of shorter term treasuries. Clearly, for them to make this statement suggests more than smoke. 

“I have decided to implement in the shortest possible time a set of measures to change the payments for – yes let’s start with this – for our natural gas supplied to the so-called unfriendly countries in Russian rubles, that is to stop using all compromised currencies for transactions,” Putin said. No doubt this will be expanded to all Russian exports.

“It doesn’t make sense to deliver our goods to the EU and the US and get paid in dollars and euros,” he added.

Putin gave the Russian Central Bank and the government one week to determine the procedure for operations for buying rubles on the domestic market for importers of Russian gas. This effectively means Russia will stop selling in Euro’s to Europe which in turn will impact the Euro’s Value as a settlement currency. This will not be lost on China. Nor will it be lost on countries like India who is already doing bilateral currency deals with Rupee and Rubles bypassing the USD and Euro.

What is interesting is that Putin is creating a 2 tier monetary system much like what South Africa had with a Financial Rand and a domestic Rand. Already within Russia you can exchange Rubles for gold to restore public confidence and now the Ruble will float for international transactions. This will restore and reestablish supply lines for goods now in short supply. 

 The announcement caused a spike in the cost of contracts for gas supply at the TTF European hub, Forbes Russia quoted data from the Intercontinental Exchange as indicating during today’s  trading, the gas price rose from €97 per megawatt hour (MWh) to approximately €108.5 per 1MWh, but after the speech, it jumped by another €10 to €118.75 per 1MWh, before retreating to €114 per 1MWh as of 1pm GMT. No wonder the EU is looking at cash payments to industry to ease the fallout. 

The trouble with war is that it moves in uncertain ways but this should have been seen long ago as a reality. And more twists are no doubt coming soon. 

END

end

SAUDIA/USA

Finally the USA ramps up patriot missile transfers to the Saudis as they try and protect their country from drone attacks from Yemen

(Dave DeCamp/Antiwar.com)

US Ramps Up Patriot Missile Transfers To Saudis As Biden Seeks To Ease Oil Prices

TUESDAY, MAR 22, 2022 – 11:25 PM

Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,

The Biden administration has sent a significant number of Patriot missile systems to Saudi Arabia in recent weeks to help the kingdom intercept Houthi attacks, a US official told The Associated Press.

In 2021, the US removed some Patriot and THAAD missile systems from Saudi Arabia as part of its effort to focus its military posture on countering Russia and China. Over the past few months, Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia have increased as the US-backed Saudi-led coalition has escalated its air war in Yemen.Patriot missile launcher, via Breaking Defense

Amid the spike in violence, Saudi Arabia asked the US to provide more Patriot missiles, and the deployment of US Patriot systems comes as the Biden administration is looking to Riyadh to help ease oil prices.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been pushing for the US to support them more in the war in Yemen. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the de facto leaders of the two Gulf states declined calls with President Biden amid the Ukraine crisis as he was looking to contain oil prices.

Sources told the Journal that Saudi Arabia and the UAE shared concerns about the US’s “restrained” response to Houthi attacks. After the Houthis hit targets in Abu Dhabi back in January, the US started helping the UAE intercept missiles and sent a squadron of F-22s to the Gulf nation.

But the support wasn’t enough, as the UAE is also pushing for the US to redesignate the Houthis as a “foreign terrorist organization.”

The UN and aid groups have warned that the designation would only increase the suffering of Yemen’s starving civilian population by making it more difficult to deliver aid and import food.

END

Russian mercenary Wagner group is “active” inside Ukraine according to the Pentagon

(zerohedge)

Russian Mercenary Wagner Group “Active” Inside Ukraine, Pentagon Officials Say

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 04:15 AM

A senior Pentagon official told reporters on Tuesday that Russia’s Wagner Group, which is the most well known private military firm with links to Putin, is “active” inside Ukraine – following allegations out of Kiev officials that they are tasked with assassinating President Zelensky. 

There’s long been speculation that Russian mercenaries were already very active in separatist regions of the Donbas. Starting last year the Wagner Group was among a number of Russian entities hit with US sanctions. The firm is said to be controlled by “Putin’s Chef” Yevgeniy Prigozhin, who was also added to the FBI’s wanted list, and reportedly runs the mercenary firm that’s been deployed to various conflicts in Africa, Syria and eastern Ukraine.Pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk region, AFP/Getty Images

According to the official cited in CNN, there’s as yet no evidence that the Russian contractors have been transferred into Ukraine from other conflicts, such as in Syria.

The report details the following

There are no foreign fighters “that have flown into the country” from Syria or elsewhere that the US has seen, the official added.

Right now, the US is not seeing “tangible indications” that Russians are making an effort to re-supply, but “we do continue to see indications that they are having these discussions and that they are making these kinds of plans both in terms of re-supply and also reinforcement,” the official noted.

The statement echoes the belief that with rising Russian troop deaths, particularly among paratroopers and special forces, elite Wagner operatives could eventually be utilized to fill the gap. Like with American private defense firms, these troops were often previously part of special forces of the regular military ranks.

Ukrainian officials have meanwhile expressed alarm that mercenaries could be used to infiltrate Ukraine government areas to conduct high level assassinations. 

“Russian Wagner group mercenaries have travelled to Ukraine on a mission to assassinate Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky, intelligence reports claim,” The Daily Mail wrote this week, citing Ukrainian sources. 

“Intelligence authorities attached to the Ministry of Defence said Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘personally ordered another attack by one of his proxies’, referring to the Wagner group.”

‘All previous attempts ended in the failure and elimination’ of Wagner mercenaries at the hands of Ukrainian forces, the report added.

One hawkish US Congressman is calling for the US to fight the Russian mercs wherever they are found…

However, such allegations of direct ties between Wagner Group and Putin-ordered high level operations are impossible to prove or confirm. Typically, mercenaries are deployed to foreign battlefields by state actors precisely so there can be ‘plausible deniability’ shielding heads of state from shady ops on the battlefield.

end

UKRAINE/RUSSIA

Nine corridors have been agreed to allow citizens to exit Ukraine but not Mariupol

(zerohedge)

Ukraine Confirms 9 Humanitarian Corridors Agreed To As Zelensky Says Mariupol “Like Armageddon”

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 09:36 AM

In what’s looking to be among the most substantial positive agreements to come out of Russia-Ukraine ceasefire talks of the last days, the Ukrainian side announced Wednesday that an agreement has been reached to establish nine “humanitarian corridors” across various towns and cities.

“Agreement has been reached to try to evacuate civilians trapped in Ukrainian towns and cities through nine ‘humanitarian corridors’ on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said,” Reuterswrites of the safe passage deal.

However, it might not reach into the center of beseiged Mariupol, critics say as an estimated up to 100,000 are still said to be trapped. “Signalling no agreement had been reached with Russia to establish a safe corridor from the heart of Mariupol, she said people wishing to leave the besieged port city would find transport in nearby Berdyansk,” the report cites Vereshchuk further.Mariupol, via CNA

While it appears many of these will be established in the south where Russian forces have made the most significant gains of late, and where they are poised to take the major southeastern city of Mariupol, prior attempts at maintaining safe passage exits for civilians have failed, with each side typically blaming the other for renewal of shelling.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Labrov in a Wednesday speech accused the Ukrainian delegation of “being held by the hand” of Washington.

“It’s difficult not to have the impression that they are being held by the hand by their American colleagues, whom, if one reads political scientists both in our country and the West, simply don’t want this [negotiations] process to be completed quickly,” he said according to state media. “They expect to keep pumping weapons into Ukraine. Apparently, they want to keep us in a state of hostilities as long as possible,” the foreign minister said.

Meanwhile Mariupol continues to be scene of stepped up efforts of Russia’s military to subdue it, which its city council says has been turned into “ashes of a dead land”.

And President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in an address to Italian parliament that it was “just ruins like Armageddon”

In the speech he urged expansive sanctions on Russia, including travel restrictions for officials, saying, “You know who brought war to Ukraine you know them very well. You know who is ordering war and who is promoting it. Almost all of them use Italy as a holiday resort. So do not be a resort for them. Block their properties, seize their accounts, their yachts from Scheherazade to the smallest one.”

UN secretary general António Guterres also recently weighed in on besieged Mariupol:

“For more than two weeks, Mariupol has been encircled by the Russian army and relentlessly bombed, shelled and attacked. For what? Even if Mariupol falls, Ukraine cannot be conquered city by city, street by street, house by house,” he said.

And Human Rights Watch depicted Mariupol as a “freezing hellscape riddled with dead bodies and destroyed buildings” while urging an immediate halt in the attack and the protection of civilians.

There have been reports that Russia has increasingly turned to its Black Sea fleet, including in the Sea of Azov, to fire longer range missiles at Ukrainian positions, with the longer range tactics likely to be more devastating on the civilian population.

end

RUSSIA

Russian Stock Trading To Resume On Thursday After Record Market Shutdown

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 09:52 AM

After a record-long stock trading halt that was instituted on the last day of February following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and was meant to shield domestic investors from the impact of tough sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the central bank said that trading in Russian stocks will resume on Thursday, March 24 after nearly a month.

According to the BOR statement, the Moscow Exchange will resume trading in the 33 most liquid Russian equities, including some of the biggest companies such as Gazprom PJSC and Sberbank PJSC, on March 24 between 9:50 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time. A ban on short selling will apply, it said. Local stock trading has been halted from Feb. 28, marking the longest closure in the country’s modern history.

Even with the ban on short selling, local traders and strategists are bracing for a selloff, as international sanctions hit everything from Russia’s ability to access foreign reserves to the SWIFT bank-messaging system. The MOEX Russia Index slumped as much as 45%, the most on record, on the day the invasion started.The Moscow Exchange’s building in downtown Moscow.

As the WSJ notes, the challenge for Moscow is that the resumption of trading could simply send Russian stocks back into free fall. On Feb. 24, the day when President Vladimir Putin began the assault on Ukraine, the main Russian stock index tumbled 33%. While the index regained a fraction of those losses on Feb. 25, its last day of trading, that was before Western sanctions hammered the ruble and sent the country into an economic crisis.

In a sign of what might happen when local stocks trading reopens, European companies with business exposure to the country have lost more than $100 billion in market value since the war risks surged, Russian companies’ global depositary receipts slumped more than 95% before being halted and global index providers removed Russian shares from their indexes.

To limit the fallout, Moscow has turned to some heavy-handed policies. It blocked foreign investors from dumping local stocks—a move that some market participants saw as retaliation for a Western freeze on Russian central bank assets since a big chunk of the Russian market is owned by foreigners.  That has raised concerns that the market will be skewed by the absence of foreign investors, who accounted for nearly half of equities trading volume at the Moscow Exchange in the first half of last year.

Then, on Tuesday, the bourse banned short selling in some of Russia’s biggest companies. Russia plans to deploy up to $10 billion from its sovereign wealth fund to buy up battered local stocks.

Of course, it is certainly probable that none other than the government (or China) will step in aggressively to prop up local stocks. Cristian Maggio, head of portfolio strategy at TD Securities in London, said trading had been suspended for this long to avoid panic selling and a crash in valuations. “When trading resumes, we may see extremely shallow volumes, but it may happen that stocks rebound, possibly even lifted by government-sponsored purchases,” he said.

“There will be an illusion of a working, recovering Russian stock market, even though a huge class of players in the market—foreigners—won’t have the opportunity to sell,” Vladimir Kreyndel, CEO of ETF Consulting, a Moscow firm that advises issuers of exchange-traded funds.

Among the Western investors that held Russian stocks before the freeze were asset-management giants Vanguard Group and Fidelity International. Both firms have said they are reducing exposure to Russia. Due to the freeze, foreign investors won’t have much to do when the stock market reopens.

Eventually, the Russian stock market could ultimately look very different than it did before, with a plan under discussion to split it into separate markets for foreign and local investors, according to a WSJ source. 

The plan under consideration by Russian officials—which is still in the discussion stages—would effectively split the country’s securities market in two, with one market for foreigners and another for local investors, the person familiar with the matter said. In this arrangement, foreign investors could sell their shares or bonds, but would face restrictions on moving the proceeds out of Russia because of capital controls that Moscow has imposed since February, the person said.

Such a bifurcated market could result in oddities, such as the same stock having two different prices. That isn’t unprecedented: in China, there have long been discrepancies between shares on mainland exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen and those listed in Hong Kong. It could also prevent further erosion of the ruble’s value. Russia’s currency has stabilized in recent sessions to trade near 104 rubles to the dollar, though it remains 22% weaker than before Russia’s invasion.

“The biggest fear is that the central bank is under sanctions and they don’t want foreign investors to sell their shares and take the ruble and buy hard currency,” said Jacob Grapengiesser, head of Eastern Europe at emerging markets fund manager East Capital.

The Moscow Exchange said Monday that it would allow for the settlement of trades that foreign investors had placed before Feb. 28 that were still being processed. Mr. Grapengiesser said his firm had trades still awaiting settlement from the start of the war that he expects to go through soon.

“It’s a natural step before opening the market. You need to take care of those unsettled trades,” he said. “Things are slowly moving forward.

END

RUSSIA/Sugar

The Guardian

special thanks to Robert H for providing this for us

We’re going back to a USSR’: long queues return for Russian shoppers as sanctions bite

After an hour and a half queuing for sugar, or worse still fighting for it in a market, Russians are feeling the effect of shortages caused by an unprecedented cutoff from the world

Muscovites queueing for bread in 1992.

Muscovites queueing for bread in 1992. Russians are once again having to queue for essentials such as sugar and buckwheat. Photograph: Anatoly Sapronenkov/AFP/Getty Images

Andrew Roth

Andrew Roth

Wed 23 Mar 2022 06.00 GMT

The lines for sugar in Saratov were hard not to compare to the Soviet era, part of a recent run on Russian staples that have revived fears that the Kremlin’s invasion in Ukraine will lead to a virtual slide back to the shortages or endless queues of the Soviet Union.

Bags of sugar and buckwheat began disappearing from local markets in early March, just a week after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. And when the local mayor’s office announced that it would hold special markets for people to buy the staples last week, hundreds showed up.

“People are sharing tips about where to get sugar. This is crazy,” said Viktor Nazarov, who said that his grandmother had tasked him with visiting the special market last weekend to stock up. “It’s sad and it’s funny. It feels like a month ago was fine and now we’re talking about the 1990s again, buying products because … we’re afraid they’ll disappear.”

After an hour and a half waiting at the city’s main square, he was limited to buying one bag of five kilograms, he said.

Other videos shared on social media have shown fights for sugar in markets in other cities in Russia, all while officials have maintained that the shortage is part of an artificial crisis.

“What is happening with sugar today is aimed at creating a panic mood in society,” said the governor of Russia’s Omsk region, which is facing similar shortages, on Tuesday.

The sudden shortages are a first taste of what is going to be a hard year for Russia, marked by a massive economic contraction, high inflation and an unprecedented cutoff from the world for a globalised economy.

“I think we are steadily going back to a USSR,” said Elina Ribakova, deputy chief economist for the Institute of International Finance, indicating that the Russian government would likely continue to close off from the world economy. “I’m not seeing it as a temporary shock and then we’re going to go back to the liberal democracy and reintegration into the world, unless there is a change in government.”

As Russian troops pressed forward in Ukraine, stores in some big cities have reported shortages of essential products such as tampons. Prices on imported goods, such as Tide detergent, clothing, or toothpastes, have also skyrocketed as the rouble tumbled in value.

For the rise in price on basic goods, the government has blamed panic buying and speculators, saying it has more than enough supply to satisfy demand.

“As in 2020, I want to reassure our citizens now: we fully provide ourselves with sugar and buckwheat. There is no need to panic and buy up these goods – there are enough of them for everyone,” said Viktoria Abramchenko, a Russian deputy prime minister, in a public address.

More worryingly, medicines such as insulin have begun disappearing from pharmacy shelves. Some polls have indicated that Russian doctors are facing shortages of more than 80 medicines at pharmacies, including insulin and a popular children’s anti-inflammation medicine. Once again Russian officials blamed panic buyers, noting that most western pharmaceutical companies have said that they will not limit shipments of essential medicines to Russia.

But as Russia’s economy contracts, inflation is expected to skyrocket as high as 20% this year, said Ribakova. For ordinary Russians, she said, that would mean “poverty. Poverty and desperation.”

“People were so busy with just surviving,” she said. “Getting basic drugs, basic foods, surviving on minimal pensions … people are coming very skinny to this crisis. They don’t have savings, they were barely surviving before, and now they’ll be spending days in queues and lacking access to basic healthcare and drugs.”

Natalia Zubarevich, an expert on the economy of Russia’s regions, noted that the main reason for the recent shortages was not just the damage from sanctions but also the failure of supply chains and hesitancy to make big purchases while the value of the rouble remains so volatile.

“I understand that the instincts of the Soviet-Russian people don’t change,” she said during a recent radio show, noting how sugar was a traditional item to purchase during unsure economic times. “But I’d think like this: If you have a beloved pet, think about where the pet food is made and from what … I was berating myself because I bought too little [medical pet food]. This isn’t sugar. I should have bought more.”

Thousands of employees have been affected as large foreign companies including Ikea and McDonald’s have temporarily exited the market. Meanwhile, local factories and other employers have also begun halting production. Earlier this month, AvtoVAZ, one of the country’s largest automakers, had been forced to halt production of certain lines of vehicles.

And Moscow’s Sheremetyevo, the country’s largest airport, said on Monday that it would have to furlough a fifth of its staff and halt further hiring as passenger traffic slows due to sanctions.

In the longer term, entire sectors of the Russian economy could be at risk, as the lack of access to western component parts could affect everything from air travel to production of consumer goods.

“Economic growth is sacrificed for the sake of this wartime economy,” said Maria Shagina of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs and the Geneva International Sanctions Network.

The additional risks and volatility of operating in Russia now mean that many companies will decide not to reenter the market, she said.

And the recent exodus of the youngest and the brightest of the country makes it unclear who will step in to prepare alternatives.

“It is possible that a couple of years down the road that there will be Russian alternatives for products from Microsoft to tampons but it will take time to produce,” said Ribakova. “And the question is who will produce that.”

END

STUPID!!

Secret Plan to Send 10,000 NATO “Peacekeeping Troops” Into Ukraine – Summit News

Inbox

Robert Hryniak4:57 PM (1 minute ago)
to

Foolishness idea.

END

ALSO STUPID

US Navy Deploys Carrier Strike Group in Med to Implement Ukraine No-Fly Zone If Biden Gives Order – 22.03.2022, Sputnik International

Inbox

Robert Hryniak4:59 PM (1 minute ago)
to

Naive thinking
https://sputniknews.com/20220322/us-navy-deploys-carrier-strike-group-in-med-to-implement-ukraine-no-fly-zone-if-biden-gives-order-1094082091.html

END

RUSSIA/THE WEST

Russia is demanding hostile states to pay in roubles for natural gas and that supports the rouble

(zerohedge)

Russia To Demand “Hostile States” Pay In Rubles For Gas

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 08:46 AM

With the ruble mostly stuck in sanctions limbo and trading around 100 to the dollar in recent days (an improvement from the USDRUB 140 hit on March 8), the Kremlin appears to have found a new way to prop up the Russian currency besides merely central bank interventions: make foreign customers of Russian gas demand it.

During an address to the nation moments ago, Vladimir Putin said that Russia will demand that countries it has labeled “unfriendly” (which includes U.S., U.K., and European Union countries) must pay in rubles for Russian gas, Interfax reported.  As a result, Putin ordered the central bank and government in a week’s time to determine the scheme of ruble payments for Russian gas, and also ordered Gazprom to make corresponding changes to gas contracts.

Putin also said that Russia will continue supplying contracted volumes, will only change payment currency.

The Russian leader said it makes no sense to export goods to the U.S. or EU in dollars or euros, according to the news service.

Following Putin’s comments, the Russian ruble strengthened rising 3% at MICEX after indicative prices briefly jumped more than 8% twice; on Bloomberg terminals, the RUB was up 4.9%, though most of its prices are indicative and not tradable. 1M Rub forwards, which do trade on Bloomberg, gained over 4 rubles to ~103.

UPDATE ON THE UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR LAST NIGHT

Update

Inbox

Robert Hryniak6:50 PM (1 hour ago)
to



A few bullet points

  • Very heavy combats near Avdeevka and Mariupol. Chechen forces have pretty much cleared all civilian areas in Mariupol and are now in the factory areas. 
  • Combat pretty much everywhere the line of contact, which result in slow positional warfare with artillery exchanges and  very careful mopping up building buy building and even room by room.
  • On average Russian forces advance between 5 and 20 kilometers per day, which is rather fast against a defense in depth prepared for years.
  • The cities of Kiev and Odessa are almost completely blocked, but not fully surrounded yet.
  • The Black Sea fleet basically controls the entire coast and all of the Black Sea itself.
  • The Black Sea fleet also prevents any resupply of Odessa from Romania.
  • Russia has full air superiority over the entire  airspace
  • The Ukrainians are STILL firing both Tochka-U and Grad/Smrech missiles in the general direction of liberated cities just to create as many civilian casualties as possible, but the Russians have become very skilled at not only shooting down these missiles but also  destroying the key Ukrainian ammo dumps where  they hide those missiles (this is what happened with the big building in downtown Kiev which the Russians totally vaporized with one Iskander missile…. 
  • you can watch it here:

Ukrainian forces cannot resupply or rotate themselves.  Why?

  • Because moving around when the air is full of Mi-24/35s, Mi-28Ns and Ka-52s in “free hunting” mode requires a type of courage very few people have. And the hunt occurs day and night. 
  • Because most road as carefully monitored by multi-sensor Russian reconnaissance/intelligence capabilities
  • Because more big roads (you cannot use small dirt roads to resupply or rotate effectively) are either already physically controlled by the Russians or are “shot through ”, which in Russian indicate that while Russian soldiers have to reached each other and hugged they can shoot at any location from these road from any side.

So it does not matter how motivated the Ukrainians are.  Even with we assume 100% of the Ukrainians are well trained, well armed and would rather die than to retreat or surrender, they need everything from MRE’s to lubricants to gasoline to bullets to toilet paper. 

The Russians are slowing squeezing each city and area as with each passing day options for the  Ukrainian forces dim with surrender being the best option. And the longer this continues the longer it will take to restart the Ukraine on a road to recovery. And we should clearly understand that with Black Sea freighter traffic exporting anything from the Ukraine which means various grains are completely stalled and will continue to put pressure on price and supply. And it does not help that Ukrainian contact mines are loose from their moorings and floating freely. It is a danger for all shipping for some time. 

Thursday the Poles will try to get NATO on side for a sized peacekeeping force to go into the Ukraine with the Brits right behind them. Whether the Pentagon goes for this is doubtful but one goal is to prolong this as long as possible and create a insurgency leave behind force. Russia will not allow this so if they get a green light, it will be a escalation and Russia will not hesitate to strike massed forces in Poland. Whether anyone react to what will be a Article 5 call to respond is doubtful. As it will certainly go out of control with each side going nuclear creating a total disaster. Even if not nuclear a vote to favor such a move will likely see a complete severing of oil and gas supply to Europe within days or hours wit exclusion of countries like Hungary who have long term agreements and are not spot buyers. 

end


Early morning briefing by Russian Defence Ministry

▫️Units of the Russian Armed Forces continue to destroy units of the 54th Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Currently, they are fighting for the capture of Novomikhailovka.

▫️The grouping of troops of the Donetsk People’s Republic, having completed clearing of Verkhnetoretskoe from nationalists, continued to pursue the retreating units of 25th Airborne Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and took control of Novobakhmutovka railway station. During the night, 3 tanks, 2 infantry fighting vehicles and 6 all-terrain vehicles were destroyed in this area.

▫️On the evening of March 22, high-precision long-range sea-based weapons struck an arms depot in Orzhev, 14 kilometers northwest of Rovno city. As a result of the strike, a large depot of weapons and military equipment of the Ukrainian troops, including those received from Western countries, was destroyed.

✈️💥Operational-tactical, army aviation and missile troops hit 97 military assets of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Among them: 2 launchers and 1 transport-loading vehicle of the Tochka-U tactical missile system in an industrial zone on the northern outskirts of Kiev, 8 anti-aircraft missile systems, including: 6 Buk-M1, 1 S-300 and 1 Osa combat vehicle, 10 command posts, 8 field artillery guns, as well as 3 artillery reconnaissance stations of NATO manufacture.

💥The Russian air defence means shot down 1 Su-24 near Izyum city, 16 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles in the air, including 3 Bayraktar TB-2 near Rozhin, Karashev and Maxim Gorky.

🚁💥The group of “night hunters” consisting of Ka-52 and Mi-28n helicopters destroyed 8 tanks, 5 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 9 vehicles and towing trucks, 3 permanent fire position and 7 field artillery and mortars during night strikes.

💥In total, 184 aircraft and helicopters of the Ukrainian Air Force, 246 unmanned aerial vehicles, 189 anti-aircraft missile systems, 1,558 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 156 multiple launch rocket systems, 624 field artillery and mortars, as well as 1,354 units of special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.


Perspectives to keep in mind …………….

>Ukraine spent years preparing a initial 300,000 force army to take Donbass in a 1-2 day blitz, and Ukrainian army groups were deployed across Kharkiv and Kyiv areas in preparation for “active defense” knowing Russia would respond aggressively to a massive assault on the Donbass region. Out the troops deployed there were sizable Azov battalion types which are NEONazi’s. They are also imbedded in regular army units as enforcers to make sure that regulars fight. Within the Ukraine there is anywhere from a 1.5 million to 1.9 million such troops in total. These are ones who have positioned themselves in cities holding civilians as shields. And why cleaning them out is a painstaking job street by street, block by block. Otherwise the civilian death toll would be in 10’s of thousands instead of thousands. And these are same characters that are preventing civilians from using safety corridors that were established. 

>The operation was planned, taught, and supplied by the west, specifically by NATO 

>And the countless trips of western politicians to Moscow prior to the war were intended to slow down Moscow’s preparations for a counter-offensive. None of those political visits contained any clear talking points, they were just there to win time.. just think about the number of times Macron visited 

>Russia knew about the Donbass preparations years in advance, and constructed a pre-emptive war plan, to wage war with the benefit of having the initiative, instead of waging a reactionary war… and  received a copy of the schedule ( previously sent to you ) and reacted on a 6 hour notice. 

>Knowing that breaking through NATO-designed defenses the conventional way wouldn’t work, Russia instead used the tactic of “mobile groups” whose primary goal was to “rush B” bypassing fortified Ukrainian defensive lines, and abandoning any military vehicles that malfunctioned or ran out of fuel along the way, since speed was more important than size. This is no different than what Patton practiced  in WWII

>The “rush B” units had to quickly take control of vital Ukrainian supply and command “nodes” behind enemy lines to make Ukraine’s tactics for “active defense” unfeasible, forcing Ukrainian units to redirect their attention inwards into their own territory instead of facing a Russian advance. While at the same time breaking central command structure  and eliminating all air  and naval  power  to resist or slow down the Blitzkrieg. This was done within hours on day one. Losses  were expected to exceed over 50% of troop deployment and have actually been less at less than a third. And that includes the LDNR forces from the Donbas. Previous maps sent indicate various flanking moves to encircle different pockets of Ukrainians in cauldrons to be addressed at a later date. There was no heavy artillery sent in initially as that would defeat the purpose. So all artillery support actually came from Russian soil by long range artillery and then later brought in in the corridors the initial “Rush B” troops established. 

>These Russian  “mobile groups” were essentially Kamikaze units with a distinct likelihood of being destroyed within days, given that they dispersed themselves deep into enemy territory in very small numbers. And could be countered by organized  determined military units prepared to engage. It is also why the least seasoned troops were used since they were they most expendable. While saving the more hardened experienced troops as a potential secondary force if needed ( not at this time) but held in reserve to tackle what is anticipated to be a NATO response ( 160,000-200,000 troops within hours of engagement potential and another 55,000 troops ready in Belarus to counter a Polish excursion. These troops and tanks are covered by Russian and Belarusian air Forces and multiple S400 and S300 defense systems with additional missile batteries on the Russian border giving a virtual no fly zone over Belarus for NATO planes.

>This is why Russia’s largest causalities happened during the first days of war, and why the MSM was talking about Russia running out of fuel and supplies on the 3rd day of war. They mistook the “rush B” units for Russia’s primary advancing forces. Losses so far number about 10,000 dead Russians and a   sizable number injured. It is also why it took measured time for Chechen troops to arrive ( 12-15,000) to clean . . out the cities like Mariupol and now Odessa. Russian forces provide artillery and air/ missile support . 

>this is a rumor for now. … Russia has no intention of taking Kyiv. But it has every intention to harass Kyiv to divert attention. This could be complete disinformation

END.

(zerohedge)

Here Are All The Latest News And Developments From The Ukraine War: March 23

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 10:18 AM

With news flow out of Ukraine nothing less than a firehose (of often fake news), with market moving headlines firing every minute, traders can be forgiven if they have just given up following the narrative. To help out, here is a snapshot of all the latest market-moving news out of Ukraine from the last few hours courtesy of Bloomberg and Newsquawk.

Highlights

  • Biden sees a “real risk” that Putin will deploy chemical weapons in Ukraine, in comments made while he was leaving the White House for Europe. Biden will join back-to-back summits Thursday with NATO, the Group of Seven and the European Union in Brussels, in an attempt to rally allies and partners behind his administration’s tough approach to Russia and to signal a united front to China.
  • Russian climate envoy Anatoly Chubais resigned and left the country, citing his opposition to President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the situation. Chubais, known as the architect of Russia’s 1990s privatizations, is the highest-level official to break with the Kremlin over the invasion. Chubais also gave Putin his first Kremlin job in the mid-1990s and initially welcomed his rise to power at the end of that decade.
  • Poland joined the wave of eastern European Union countries expelling Russian diplomats, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Russia is only beginning to feel the harshest effects from sanctions. He added that more measures are on the way, even as his government dug in against a proposal to ban Russian energy imports.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will take part via video link in this week’s special NATO summit to discuss the war. Biden, who’s traveling to Europe for meetings on Thursday, said further penalties will be announced during his trip.  

Discussions/Negotiations

  • Ukrainian President Zelensky said talks with Russia are difficult and sometimes confrontational, while he also commented that 100k people are living in Mariupol under inhumane conditions without food, water or medicine.
  • Governor of Luhansk, Ukraine says a local ceasefire has been agreed to evacuate civilians from some towns; Ukrainian Deputy PM says nine humanitarian corridors have been agreed for Wednesday.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov says that NATO’s eastward expansion continues irrespective of whether a particular nation is a member, via Sky News Arabia; adding that Russia has warned that its interest will be at stake if Ukraine joins the EU but Russia has not been listened to.
  • Russian ambassador has been summoned to the Polish Foreign Ministry with circa 40 Russian diplomats set to be expelled from Poland, according to PAP sources; in response, the Russian Foreign Ministry says it will retaliate to Poland if it expels Russian diplomats.
  • Russian Kremlin says the military operation within Ukraine is going according to plan, any possible contact of Russian forces with NATO’s could cause consequences that would be hard to correct.

Energy/Economic Updates

  • US President Biden is to announce sanctions on more than 300 members of Russia’s lower chamber of parliament as soon as Thursday, according to WSJ citing administration officials.
  • US Senators are to discuss freezing Russian gold assets with US Treasury Secretary Yellen, according to Axios.
  • EU Ambassadors latest draft text, for discussion on Wednesday, calls for the Commission to unveil proposals by end-May on reducing Europe’s “dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal imports”, via Politico. Click here for more detail.
  • Russian Deputy PM Novak says they are in talks with Asian partners regarding increasing oil exports if required.
  • Russian National Settlement Depositary says Russian holders of domestic corporate Eurobonds could experience delays in receiving payments, may be caused by the requirement to seek clarification from European regulators.

Defense/Military

  • UK Ministry of Defence said the Ukrainian civilian population in Russian-occupied cities continue to protest against Russian control, while Russia’s efforts to subdue population have failed and it will probably employ increasingly violent and coercive measures.
  • Ukraine President Zelenskiy says that Russian forces are utilising the exclusion zone in Chernobyl to prepare fresh attacks.

6// GLOBAL COVID ISSUES/VACCINE MANDATE

Early Screening Data Show New COVID Subvariant Gaining Ground In US

TUESDAY, MAR 22, 2022 – 08:25 PM

In keeping with a longstanding pattern of US COVID cases trailing the numbers out of Europe with a delay of a few weeks, infections stemming from the BA.2 omicron subvariant have continued to rise in recent days, Bloomberg reports.

While data released by the CDC and Johns Hopkins don’t go into much detail about the variant type, a San Diego-based genomics firm called Helix has been watching the BA.2 variant since it first popped up in the US in early January. Although it was initially slow to take hold, Helix now estimates that 50% to 70% of all newly confirmed COVID cases across the US have been caused by BA.2.

Helix’s variant surveillance research is funded by the CDC and its data is one of many inputs that the agency takes into account when creating its weekly “Nowcast” estimates.

As we reported earlier this month, Western Europe has already seen an uptick in new cases caused by the variant. In the UK, BA.2 surpassed the 50% mark of overall cases. Although so far, the variant appears to be no more severe than the initial omicron strain. Still, there’s concern about its ability to reinfect people, as well as potential links to “long COVID”.

Overall, the number of newly confirmed cases has continued to decline in the US, but experts (including Dr. Fauci) have warned that the decline could easily reverse, leading to a “bump” in new cases as COVID restrictions are largely abandoned.

Also, cases have been rising in population centers like NYC, a trend that sewage data predicted weeks ago.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NrZWxldG9uX2xvYWRpbmdfMTMzOTgiOnsiYnVja2V0IjoiY3RhIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH0sInRmd19zcGFjZV9jYXJkIjp7ImJ1Y2tldCI6Im9mZiIsInZlcnNpb24iOm51bGx9fQ%3D%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1505292761439875079&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fcovid-19%2Fearly-screening-data-show-new-covid-subvariant-gaining-ground-us&sessionId=bd7974066956d4f53eff6af9c74c6d6fc9878250&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=2582c61%3A1645036219416&width=550px

The CDC has yet to update its variant surveillance data for this past week, but the agency has reported BA.2 nearly doubling in prevalence each week since early February.

Still, cases in the US remain well below the numbers in Hong Kong, which has seen its death rate from the virus soar since the start of the year as the city struggles with its worst outbreak since the virus first emerged.

Newly Released Pfizer Documents Reveal COVID Jab Dangers

Inbox

Robert Hryniak7:27 AM (39 minutes ago)
to

When you expand the page of side effects, why would anyone get a booster?

https://www.theepochtimes.com/newly-released-pfizer-documents-reveal-covid-jab-dangers_4355020.html


ISSUES/GLOBAL ISSUES

COVID// VACCINE//GLOBAL//CANADA

GLOBAL ISSUES

end

VACCINE MANDATES/

END

VACCINE INJURIES

END

/

VACCINE IMPACT

41,834 DEAD 3.9 Million Injured Following COVID Vaccines in European Database as U.S. Military Deaths Soar 1100%

March 22, 2022 4:23 pm

The European (EEA and non-EEA countries) database of suspected drug reaction reports is EudraVigilance, verified by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and they are now reporting 41,834 fatalities, and 3,900,241 injuries following injections of four experimental COVID-19 shots. A U.S. Attorney reports that there has been a 1100% increase in military deaths following COVID vaccines, stating, “This is Genocide.” Daniel Horowitz reports at The Blaze: “Both political parties are salivating to draw our military into the Russia-Ukraine war, but neither of them seems to care about what our own leaders have done to these soldiers. It is now abundantly clear from numerous data points that the shots have caused unimaginable injury among the general population. Military doctors have come forward to show the enormity of this damage in the military, yet the military has chosen to cover it up and tamper with their own health surveillance data in order to conceal the magnitude of the injury. Meanwhile, new data presented in a Florida federal court on behalf of a Navy SEAL demonstrates that, at a minimum, more people died from the shot than from COVID.”

Read More


Michael Every

Michael Every on the day’s major topics

Rabo: Any Optimism At This Stage Involves Fighting The Hot War, The Cold War, And The Fed

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 11:20 AM

By Michael Every of Rabobank

In the last Cold War there was a prevailing US geopolitical/military assumption known as Domino Theory. As Wikipedia summarises it for my tired eyes this morning thus: “posited that if one country in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect. The domino theory was used by successive US administrations during the Cold War to justify the need for American intervention around the world.” Remember the Vietnam War and the US destabilization of Chile? Domino Theory. But why mention this today? Three reasons.

1) Because we are back in a Cold War, even if saying that gives people in markets and the great offices of state kittens – “because markets.”

I won’t make the argument myself again today, but I recommend reading another excellent article from Niall Ferguson (who is on a roll at the moment) on Bloomberg titled ‘Putin and US Misunderstand History in Ukraine’. He talks about the new Cold War vibe in the White House, and argues the US is in no rush to end the war in Ukraine because it is seen as bleeding Russia out. Notably, however, the point is made that this may prove wildly optimistic – as was yesterday’s latest ‘trading desk geostrategy expert’ quoted by other trading desks as a reason to expect the war to be over imminently: Kyiv is today quoted as underlining it will not make any territorial concessions. Ferguson says this may mean devastating consequences – and not only for Ukraine, which Russia may (or may not) have the physical heft to flatten.

Consider this shocking clip from Russian TV: Vladimir Soloviev, a Kremlin propagandist, hyperventilates that Moscow could next consider a nuclear strike against EU, the invasion of Poland and the Baltics, or the creation of a permanent land-bridge from Belarus to Kaliningrad, i.e., an attack on the Suwałki Gap. Is this hyperbole? One hopes so – because all of the above scenarios are WW3. Yet they are openly being discussed on Russian TV, not the peace deal our ‘trading desk geostrategy experts’ are all over.

NATO will meet tomorrow, and we will see what they say – suggestions are they will have strong words about these kinds of threats, and a further warning to China about helping Russia. There, on one hand, the US admits Beijing has not sent any weapons to Moscow since it was warned not to: on the other, yesterday saw Bloomberg report ‘Beijing Tells Chinese Firms in Russia to Help Fill Economic Void’:

China’s top Russia envoy urged Chinese businesspeople in Moscow to seize economic opportunities created by the crisis, a strategy that could help soften the blow from international sanctions. Ambassador Zhang Hanhui on Sunday told about a dozen business heads to waste no time and “fill the void” in the local market… While [making] no mention of sanctions or sanctions compliance, Zhang described the situation as an opportunity. “The current international situation is complex. Big companies face major challenges or even disruptions in payment and supply chains,” Zhang said, according to the post, which included photos of the meeting. “This is a moment where private, small- and medium-sized enterprises could play a role.””  

Does that cross a US Cold War red line for secondary sanctions against China? I don’t know – but it is solely the US that gets to decide.

Relatedly, this week will see the 27 EU leaders rethink their China ties in a special Council meeting that will have US President Biden and Japanese PM Kishida attending. This will reportedly discuss the “new global context” for EU-China relations, “in particular the Russian military aggression against Ukraine.” Furthermore, this week already saw the launch of the EU’s ‘Strategic Compass for Security and Defence’, where the executive summary begins:

“The return of war in Europe, with Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine, as well as major geopolitical shifts, are challenging our ability to promote our vision and defend our interests. We live in an era of strategic competition and complex security threats. We see conflicts, military build-ups and aggressions, and sources of instability increasing in our neighbourhood and beyond, leading to severe humanitarian suffering and displacement. Hybrid threats grow both in frequency and impact. Interdependence is increasingly conflictual and soft power weaponised: vaccines, data and technology standards are all instruments of political competition. Access to the high seas, outer space and the digital sphere is increasingly contested. We are facing increasing attempts of economic and energy coercion. Moreover, conflicts and instability are often compounded by the threat-multiplier effect of climate change.”

It goes on to say that by 2030 the EU will:

  • Be able to act rapidly and robustly whenever a crisis erupts, with partners if possible and alone when necessary, and develop an EU Rapid Deployment Capacity that can swiftly deploy up to 5,000 troops into non-permissive crisis environments (which is far too small a force to matter except in very weak countries).
  • Enhance the ability to anticipate threats, guarantee secure access to strategic domains, boost intelligence capacities; create an EU Hybrid Toolbox against foreign information manipulation and interference; and further develop EU Cyber Defence Policy.
  • Spend more and better in defence, including next-gen high-end naval platforms (aircraft carriers), future combat air systems (fighter jets), space-based capabilities, and tanks via the European Defence Fund, while also creating a new Defence Innovation Hub.
  • Reinforce strategic partnerships with NATO and the UN; boost cooperation with partners sharing the same values and interests (such as the US, Norway, Canada, UK, and Japan), while developing tailored partnerships in the Western Balkans, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

2) On that latter note, a key element of Domino Theory I raised yesterday is the importance of building global alliances.

In the last Cold War, the US roped in everyone from liberal democracies to crypto-fascist banana-republic strongmen and absolute monarchies against the USSR – and even China. This time round, the White House is embracing liberal democracies and tsk-tsking everyone else. Yes, they are still enormously powerful in economic and military terms –if only the US, France, and UK for the latter– but they are not the world. To focus only on them is a losing Cold War strategy unless the West is going to pull up the drawbridge.

As Russia, Belarus, and China cut off fertilizer exports, pushing prices of these vital farm inputs higher and higher, China just signed a $7bn agreement with Algeria –right next to Europe, and with its historic links to France– to produce 5.4m tons of fertiliser for it; Russian mercenary group Wagner has influence in many key African states; and China’s economic heft sways many states who still prefer ‘The American Way’ in their hearts and defence ministries. In WW2, the Brits said “Loose lips sink ships”; in 2022, we are talking about blocking Russian ships, and our loose political lips send none laden with fertilizer, oil, LNG, or industrial metals to EU or US supply chains, or those bearing staple food to the parts of the world who now cannot access or afford Ukrainian and Russian commodities. That will have huge ramifications.

So, yes, the EU’s Strategic Compass is a good start, and Western unity is to be celebrated. But Domino Theory says the diplomatic part cannot wait until 2030. Tectonic plates are shifting now.

3) Bringing this back to markets, I would posit that we are also seeing a Domino Theory play out there.

The geopolitical die has been cast with the war in Ukraine, whether one is a ‘trading desk geostrategy expert’ in de-escalation or not.

We have already seen wild swings in the first domino to be toppled, commodity markets. Yes, there is now some tentative calm returning – for example, LME nickel finally managed to get down to around $28,000 yesterday without having to close trading and give people their money back. Yet the key metal is still almost three times above its long-run trend price. Moreover, our energy strategist, Ryan Fitzmaurice, continues to underline that oil prices are likely to test above their record high of $147 a barrel ahead; and our agri commodity specialists, Carlos Mera and Michael Magdovitz, underline the continuing price pressures across their complex… as the WEF unhelpfully talk about people having to change to ‘more sustainable diets’. (And I hum the Motörhead song “Eat the Rich”.)

The next domino to fall was the bond market, as central banks realize the supply shock we face is not going to fade, but is growing: do you want to bet against a peak of double-digit US inflation if oil and food continue to rise? As such, we just got another round of hawkish Fed speakers stressing they could move faster and/or in 50bp steps, on top of Powell’s warnings that no soft landing is guaranteed. The result has been a staggering shift higher in yields: US 2s are up from 0.73% at the start of the year to 2.18%, and nearly 88bp of that is since the start of February; US 10s are up from 1.50% to 2.41%, with 72bp of that since early February. And there is still no end in sight to the war, and hence to broader sanctions risks, and hence to commodity prices, and hence to the supply shock, and hence to the rates shock – at least in the US, even if the ECB and RBA lag.

The next domino to fall will arguably be the FX market, e.g., when markets realize the Fed is going to keep going and the ECB aren’t, and then, if there is any logic in markets at all, finally the solipsists specializing in irrational exuberance and presuming bad news is good news because The Establishment will never let them fail – equities.

Yes, Putin doesn’t care one jot about markets, or is willing to use them to destabilize the West; yes, the base-level physical economy is reeling, and we see a headline today that ‘Dallas Fed Warns Cut-off of Russian Energy Could Cause Global Recession’; and, yes, any optimism at this stage involves fighting both the war, the Cold War, and the Fed. But ‘trading desk geostrategy experts’, who no doubt find dominoes a mentally-taxing game of strategy, will continue to look on the bright side “because markets”.

7. OIL ISSUES

Brent Soars Above $120 Amid Short Squeeze As Trafigura Says Oil “Will Hit $150 This Summer”

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 09:57 AM

Oil pushed higher ahead of high-level meetings that may result in fresh sanctions on Russia, and as a vital Black Sea terminal may be disrupted for weeks following storm damag.

Overnight, Reuters reported that Russian and Kazakhstan oil exports via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) from the Black Sea may (read: will, now that all commodities are weaponized) fall by up to 1 million barrels per day (bpd), or 1% of global oil production, due to storm-damaged berths, a Russian official said on Tuesday.

Pavel Sorokin, a deputy energy minister, said the second berth could also turn out to be damaged after initial information about one of the three being damaged by a storm.

Sorokin said the maintenance could take up to two months, which could lead to exports falling by up to 1 million bpd.

There’s a number of reasons why U.S. demand is robust, even with prices above $100/bbl; Brent will likely hit $150/bbl this year, according to veteran trader Doug King.

Meanwhile, speaking at the FT Commodities global summit, Trafigura’s co-head of oil trading Ben Luckock said that increasingly tight balance of supply and demand will mean oil prices are going to keep going up, adding that oil prices are not only justified at this price, but they’re going to continue higher.

“I think you’ll see a huge backwardation and I do think you’ll see $150 this summer”

And in a stinging blow to the Fed’s hopes that by crushing demand with an induced recession oil prices will tumble, Luckock said that all that counts at the moment is the supply side.

After WTI tumbled as low as $95 last week, and Brent trading below $100, as hedge funds puked, selling and shorting more than 1 billion barrels in the past month…

… today we are seeing the reversal, as funds squeeze and oil soars, with Brent last trading around $121, and WTI last seen just shy of $115.

Expect much more upside as the world realizes what Putin has known all along: the world can live without Russian oil…it just has to brace for energy hyperinflation.

Biden’s oil policies are nuts

(QTR Fringe Finance)

Biden’s Oil Polices Are “Bat-Shi*t Crazy”, Creating “Turmoil” In Markets: USF Geology Professor

TUESDAY, MAR 22, 2022 – 08:45 PM

Submitted by QTR’s Fringe Finance

America’s energy policies, specifically those centered around oil and gas, are “bat shit crazy” and the Biden administration is doing nothing but creating “turmoil” in the oil markets, according to geologist and fossil fuel expert Dr. Marc J. Defant.

I’m excited to be welcoming my friend Marc back to the podcast in early April. But for now, his expertise in the world of oil and gas is so deep, I thought my readers would benefit from a preview of his takes on the current state of energy globally, the oil crisis that Europe and the U.S. are heading toward, the effects of Ukraine/Russia and the dollar on oil prices and the effects of Biden Administration policies on the price of oil.

Dr. Marc J. Defant is a professor of geology/geochemistry at the University of South Florida. He worked for Schlumberger Well Services and Shell Oil for three years, with two years at Shell working as an exploration geologist.

He has been funded by the National Science FoundationNational Geographic, the American Chemical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences, and has published in many internationally renowned scientific journals including Nature. He has written a book entitled Voyage of Discovery: From the Big Bang to the Ice Age and published several articles for general readership magazines such as Skeptic and Popular Science and appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. You can reach him via this contact form.

I had a chance to pick Dr. Defant’s brain this week about the rising cost of energy and his thoughts on what is exacerbating the situation. What follows is Dr. Defant’s take on our country’s oil crisis.

This blog post is being published without a paywall because I believe its content to be far too important not to share. If you have the means, and would like to support my work, you can subscribe here: Subscribe Here

Q: Hi, Marc. Can you start by giving a primer on how oil at the pump is priced and address the claims of “price gouging” by oil companies?

A: Oil is traded in US dollars and the price of oil is highly sensitive to the value of the dollar. Gasoline sold at the pump is made in refineries from crude oil. Therefore, the price of gasoline is directly impacted by the price of oil. Oil prices are set on the futures market, so speculation becomes very important in what we pay at the pump. It is a highly volatile market, as we have recently seen.

Oil prices increase when supply is negatively impacted. That is, demand by traders, not the oil companies, forces price fluctuations. Traders are highly influenced by what they perceive the future availability of oil will be. No sense selling oil today for low prices if they can wait and get higher prices. In other words, sellers ask higher prices when they perceive the supply will be low and the demand high.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) consists of 13 countries and produces about 40 percent of the world’s oil. They are considered by many to be a cartel because of their important influence on the price of oil and gas. In other words, they can impact supply which moves the price of oil. A few notable members are Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Venezuela. Russia has worked on and off with OPEC to control supply particularly when oil prices were low.   

There are two types of futures buyers – those that wish to hedge their bets and those that speculate in pricing. Hedgers are usually oil companies that buy futures to make sure they will not be negatively impacted by the volatile fluctuations in oil prices. On the other hand, oil speculators are traders that hope to make money on the change in oil price fluctuations.

Let’s take a look at an example.

US fracking (which I will discuss in detail) increased the amount of oil available between 2011 and 2014 from about 1 million to 4.8 million barrels per day (B/D). The market became gutted with oil and the price fell to $27 per barrel (/B). I might add that no one claimed the oil companies were gouging the public during these low prices. If the oil companies had control on the price of oil, why would the price fluctuate so extensively? Only when prices rise does anyone point fingers at the oil industry. But obviously, the oil companies have very little control over the price of oil, which is set by the futures market.

By 2019, due primarily to fracking, the US became the number one producer of oil and gas in the world. In fact, we became a net exporter of oil and gas.

Prior to Biden entering office, oil production of oil shales reached over 12 million B/D. but fell more than 1 million B/D during 2021. During this time, Russia became the world’s largest exporter of oil which helped fund their war effort in the Ukraine.

How did Biden’s policies impact the lower production of oil and gas?

Under Obama, the government came up with a dollar value called the social cost of carbon. It is supposedly an estimate by the government as to the environmental damage from everything from rising sea level to wildfires and floods from the release of one ton of carbon dioxide via fossil fuel burning. But scientists are still completely uncertain about the direct impact the burning of fossils fuels may have on the environment. I hope this causes you to suspect the number may be related to magic.

But that never stopped the Obama administration from coming up with a solid amount of $57. Trump reduced the number to $7, but Biden revised the number to $51. The number is important because it gave the Biden administration the leverage to restrict oil and gas production based on supposed environmental and economic threats from greenhouse gasses (i.e., reduce permitting on federal lands).Photo: NY Times / A petroleum drilling site near Port Fourchon, La

As might be expected, gas-producing states fought back by challenging the social cost of carbon in court, and a judge issued an injunction preventing the administration from using the metric. But rather than submit to the judge’s ruling, the Biden administration simply decided to stop new permits on federal lands blaming the judge for the action – sigh. But Biden has been slow-walking permitting since he became President. He is the only President in 20 years not to have an onshore lease sale in a given year (2021).

We should not be surprised by Biden’s actions. During his campaign he promised to end drilling on federal lands to fight climate change. As much as 25% of oil and gas production comes from federal lands.

Finally in November of last year, the Department of the Interior, which is required by law to have quarterly lease sales, opened its first Gulf of Mexico oil lease auction which generated $190 million from oil companies. But alas, a green Obama-appointed judge vacated the auction after [environmentalists] Earthjustice out of San Francisco sued.

The ruling effectively ended new drilling in the Gulf, where some of the world’s environmentally friendly oil resides. There are some state representatives that claim the Biden administration went ahead with the auction knowing full well it would be vacated. As you might imagine, the Department of the Interior will need a great deal of time to review the environmental impact of drilling in the Gulf (wink wink).

Bloomberg reported that an oil executive mused:

“Biden is signaling that his environmental goals trump energy security and consumer prices… that’s not lost on public companies or banks they rely on.”

Ultimately, investment in the oil industry increases when roadblocks to making a return on investment are removed. Biden’s actions have scared off many potential investors further reducing oil production. Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s oft repeated statement that 9.000 leases have been permitted is at the very least disingenuous considering the impediments to drilling the Biden administration has created.Photo: NY Post

Psaki frequently claims that the Keystone XL Pipeline has no impact on oil prices because it will take two years to complete (only one year now if they had not shut it down). But Psaki is undermining (purposely in my opinion) the importance of the supply chain.

For example, the oil that would come through the pipeline has to be shipped by train. Recent train crashes demonstrate the danger of transporting oil via this method. And it obviously costs a lot more to ship via rail. But in a real head scratcher, Biden waved sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany. Why is this acceptable, but the XL is not? Russian oil is notoriously dirty (high sulfur content).

One would think Biden would be doing everything he could to send American oil and gas to Europe rather than making them more dependent on Russian oil. Ultimately, the Biden administration has intentionally raised significant barriers in permitting supply of oil to the US. Infrastructure is extremely important to the supply of cheap and clean oil to the American economy.

The production of oil and gas in America is highly regulated – it’s the cleanest in the world both in lack of contaminants like sulfur which pollute and the way the industry protects against leaks.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia created fears about the future of oil supplies which, in turn, pushed oil prices to record highs. And although the US buys less than 10 percent of its oil from Russia, Biden’s decision to stop buying oil from Russia, created more turmoil in the markets.

But perhaps the most irrational decision ever made by a President is Biden’s pursuit of [the] Iranian (and Venezuelan) nuclear deal to get access to Iran’s oil. They are the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world and yet we are willing to sign a very one-sided treaty with them to gain oil which is extremely dirty (high sulfur).

We will pay them just as Obama did, with the helicopter carrying billions of dollars. And those payments will make it easier to develop delivery systems once they finally develop a nuclear bomb. On top of this, we are helping them build an nuclear power plant that will give them clean energy but not us.

Finally, I ask you to remember, gasoline prices were rising quickly way before the war in Ukraine broke out not only due to Biden’s interference in our oil production but the inflation caused by his huge spending bills. Now we are going to buy oil from Iran instead of enabling our own industry to supply America’s needs. It is the very definition of “bat-shit crazy.”


This blog post is being published without a paywall because I believe its content to be far too important not to share. If you have the means, and would like to support my work, you can subscribe here: Subscribe Here

For a preview of my upcoming podcast, here’s Marc explaining why the U.S. was the largest oil and gas producer in the world in a 30 minute presentation:


Dr. Marc J. Defant has also been Editor of Geology and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research. He was also invited by the Chinese Government to be a keynote speaker at a symposium on the continental crust and has given invited talks at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Universitè de Bretagne (Brest, France), University of California at Los Angeles, University of Georgia and Tennessee, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, as well as many others. Defant was one of the first American scientists allowed to work on volcanoes in the isolated and militarily sensitive area of Kamchatka, Russia, when it was still part of the old Soviet system through a cooperative joint grant between the Soviet Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. He has presented a TedX talk on Why We are Alone in the Galaxy. He has also done research on volcanoes in Costa Rica, Greece, Indonesia, the Lesser Antilles, Panama, and the Philippines. Defant has been a consulting geologist on diamonds and gold for de Beers, Placer Dome, Falconbridge, Anglo American, Aurcana Gold, Diamond Fields, along with several others in West Africa and the Soviet Union/Russia.

He can be reached via this contact form.

end

8 EMERGING MARKET& AUSTRALIA ISSUES

Australia////  NEW ZEALAND/ SOUTH AFRICA/BRAZIL/ARGENTINA/COVID/VACCINES/LOCKDOWNS

AUSTRALIA/

Your early  currency/gold and silver pricing/Asian and European bourse movements/ and interest rate settings WEDNESDAY morning 7:30 AM

Euro/USA 1.0992 DOWN .0037 /EUROPE BOURSES //ALL RED 

USA/ YEN 120.79  DOWN  0.537 /NOW TARGETS INTEREST RATE AT .11% AS IT WILL BUY UNLIMITED BONDS TO GETS TO THAT LEVEL…

GBP/USA 1.3199 DOWN   0.0067

 Last night Shanghai COMPOSITE CLOSED UP 11.17 PTS OR 0.34%

 Hang Sang CLOSED UP 264.80PTS OR 1.21%

AUSTRALIA CLOSED UP  0.58%   // EUROPEAN BOURSES OPENED ALL RED

Trading from Europe and ASIA

I) EUROPEAN BOURSES ALL RED 

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / :Hang SANG CLOSED UP 264.80 PTS OR 1.21%

/SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 11.17 PTS OR 0.34%

Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 0.58%

(Nikkei (Japan) CLOSED UP 816.08 PTS OR 3.00%

INDIA’S SENSEX  IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1929.50

silver:$25.01-

USA dollar index early WEDNESDAY morning: 98.76  UP 27  CENT(S) from TUESDAY’s close.

THIS ENDS WEDNESDAY MORNING NUMBERS

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And now your closing WEDNESDAY NUMBERS 1: 00 PM

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 1.28%  DOWN 1  in basis point(s) yield from YESTERDAY/

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +0.226%  UP 0 AND 7/10   BASIS POINTS from YESTERDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve/

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.40%// DOWN 2   in basis points yield from yesterday.

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD 2.01 DOWN 3    points in basis points yield from yesterday./

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 61 points higher than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: FALLS TO +0.493% IN BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY//

THE IMPORTANT SPREAD BETWEEN ITALIAN 10 YR BOND AND GERMAN 10 YEAR BOND IS 1.52% AND NOW ABOVE   THE 3.00% LEVEL WHICH WILL IMPLODE THE ENTIRE ITALIAN BANKING SYSTEM. AT 4% SPREAD THERE WILL BE A HUGE BANK RUN…

END

IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR WEDNESDAY  

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

Euro/USA 1.0991  DOWN .0037    or 37 basis points

USA/Japan: 121.06 DOWN 0.274 OR YEN UP 27  basis points/

Great Britain/USA 1.3202 DOWN 64  BASIS POINTS

Canadian dollar UP 33 BASIS pts to 1.2549

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The USA/Yuan,  CNY: closed    ON SHORE  (CLOSED ..DOWN 6.3624  

THE USA/YUAN OFFSHORE:    (YUAN CLOSED (DOWN)..6.3880

TURKISH LIRA:  14.85  EXTREMELY DANGEROUS LEVEL/DEATH WISH/HYPERINFLATION TO BEGIN.

the 10 yr Japanese bond yield  at +0.219

Your closing 10 yr US bond yield DOWN 1  IN basis points from TUESDAY at  2.373% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic

 USA 30 yr bond yield: 2.590  DOWN 1 in basis points 

Your closing USA dollar index, 98.69 UP 20   CENT(S) ON THE DAY/1.00 PM/

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

London: CLOSED UP 5.01PTS OR 0.07%

German Dax :  CLOSED DOWN 191.96 POINTS OR 1.33%

Paris CAC CLOSED DOWN 83.77PTS OR 1.26% 

Spain IBEX CLOSED DOWN 144.20PTS OR 1.70%

Italian MIB: CLOSED DOWN DOWN 224.48 PTS OR 0.92%

WTI Oil price 115.20    12: EST

Brent Oil:  122.22 12:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ///   RUBLE RISES TO:  97.50 UP  7.75 RUBLES/DOLLAR

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD; +.493

CLOSING NUMBERS: 4 PM

Euro vs USA: 1.1005 DOWN  .0025   OR UP 25 BASIS POINTS

British Pound: 1.3208 DOWN  .0056 or DOWN 56 basis pts

USA dollar vs Japanese Yen: 121.13 DOWN 0,212

USA dollar vs Canadian dollar: 1.2565 DOWN .0017 (CDN dollar UP 17 basis pts)

West Texas intermediate oil: 114.73

Brent OIL:  121.58

USA 10 yr bond yield: 2.313 DOWN 7 points

USA 30 yr bond yield: 2.512  UP 9  pts

USA DOLLAR VS TURKISH LIRA: 14.84

USA DOLLAR VS RUSSIA///USA/ ROUBLE:  95.25  DOWN  10ROUBLES (ROUBLE UP 10 ROUBLES/USA )//

DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE: DOWN 360.19 PTS OR 1.29%

NASDAQ 100 UP 206.79 PTS OR 1.41%

VOLATILITY INDEX: 23.57 UP 0.63 PTS OR 2.75%

GLD: 181.75 UP 0.75 PTS OR 1.37%

SLV/ 23.24 UP .36 PTS OR 1.57%

end)

USA trading day in Graph Form

Bonds, Bullion, Black Gold, & ‘Babki’ Jump As Stocks Dump

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 04:01 PM

Perhaps the most notable move in markets today was from the Ruble (the term old woman, babki – бабки, overshadowed other slang names for the Russian currency), which saw its biggest daily gain since Dec 2014 today on the back of Putin’s call for all gas payments to be made in Rubles…

Source: Bloomberg

The desperate attempt to ignite momentum after the US cash market open succeeded but could not survive the European close, after which US stocks went south fast…

Equities gave back all of yesterday’s desperation bid and then some with The Dow and Small Caps now lower on the week and S&P unch (post-OpEx)…

Energy stocks best on the week so far as banks were battered into the red…

Source: Bloomberg

At least GME was up 14% today!!

And bond yields plunged (but remain up on the week) with the long-end (30Y -10bps today) significantly outperforming today…

Source: Bloomberg

With the yield curve flattening once again as 3s10s dropped back into inversion…

Source: Bloomberg

The forward Treasury curve is now inverted in 2s10s – screaming recession within two years – just as it has been proved correct the last three times…

Source: Bloomberg

5Y and 10Y Breakevens hit new record highs…

Source: Bloomberg

As Goldman’s Chris Hussey notes, “The vacillation we are seeing in markets this week may simply be a reflection of the search for the right price amidst a new and changing regime, one characterized by higher inflation and higher rates amidst reopening impulses coupled with accelerating deglobalization trends.”

The S&P’s drop stalled at its 200DMA (where it bounced) and The Dow fell to its 50DMA…

Stocks attempted to ignite momentum again with a short-squeeze… but it appears they have run out of ammo…

Source: Bloomberg

Bank stocks were ugly today…

But have more pain to go is they are to catch down to the yield curve’s reality…

Source: Bloomberg

As the fears of stagflation grow, traders have to decide which will win – super-inflation or de-growth? – the 10Y Yield is right at the top-end of its 40-year downtrend-channel…

Source: Bloomberg

The Dollar ended marginally higher on the day with yet another pump and dump intraday…

Source: Bloomberg

Cryptos trended modestly lower on the day with ETH back below $3000 and BTC holding just above $42,000…

Source: Bloomberg

Gold rallied back up to $1940 as Biden headed to ‘fix’ things among his European allies…

A 6.7 million barrel plunge in U.S. crude stockpiles (including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) helped extend oil price gains today as traders positioned ahead of high-level meetings that may result in fresh sanctions on Russia, and as a vital Black Sea terminal may be disrupted for weeks following storm damage…

Finally, things could be about to go to ’11’ for Europe’s economy as diesel futures backwardation is screaming ‘shortage’ and with no diesel, truckers ain’t delivering anything…

Source: Bloomberg

As Bloomberg’s Javier Blas notes: “The backwardation in the European diesel market is monstrously large. And getting worse… All points to an extremely tight market.”

And all thanks to Biden’s sanctions…

Western countries may be forced to limit or introduce rationing of motor fuel consumption,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told Russian lawmakers Wednesday.

European politicians should already explain to their citizens today what their further short-sighted decisions may lead to.

Bear in mind that, including SPR, the US has averaged over 1mm b/d inventory draw… and that’s before the impact of Russian sanctions filter through to supply constraints.

This is far from over – even if US equities seemed to be telling a different tale in recent days.

END

I) /MORNING TRADING

END

AFTERNOON

END

II)USA data

Housing affordability is about to crash

(zerohedge)

Housing Affordability Is About To Crash The Most On Record

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 05:45 AM

As the latest existing home sales report cautioned, with NAR chief economist Larry Yun warning that “housing affordability continues to be a major challenge, as buyers are getting a double whammy: rising mortgage rates and sustained price increases,” BofA joins the chorus warning that last year’s housing euphoria is unlikely to repeat and this year will be a much more challenging year for the housing market given significant headwinds to affordability and ongoing supply-side  challenges.

Among the numerous headwinds facing US housing, BofA warns that the Russia/Ukraine conflict adds a new factor to the mix as higher oil and commodity prices will weigh on the consumer’s ability to spend elsewhere, increase uncertainty and recession concerns, and support higher input costs for builders. On the flip side, interest rates may not move much higher and energy-producing areas could see stronger housing demand.

Here are some more details: The pickup in mortgage rates this year has been fast and furious, with the 30yr fixed mortgage rate averaging 4.5% according to Bankrate. This is the highest since 2018 and up more than nearly 100bp from the December average of 3.26%.

The NAR affordability index provides a way to understand the rates impact to housing demand. Booming home price appreciation last year contributed to diminishing affordability, with the NAR index down 14.7% yoy in December—the latest data point.

The massive rates move this year suggests that the affordability index will see another significant move lower. Paradoxically, further strong home price gains will add to the affordability pullback — BofA currently expects 10% appreciation in Case-Shiller home prices this year, largely due to a continuation of the historical supply demand imbalance.

Supply could further decline as existing homeowners, who account for 40%+ of sales, feel the “lock-in” effect as there is greater disincentive to move and replace their current mortgage that likely has a lower fixed rate, lowering housing turnover.

Housing affordability therefore tends to lead the trajectory for existing home sales, by roughly half a year. According to BofA, the rates shock suggests affordability will be down more than 25% yoy by March – a record decline – with additional downside from higher home prices! If demand follows a similar trajectory, existing home sales could fall below 5mn saar by 2H 2022.

There are likely offsets: BofA lists strong income growth and household balance sheets, favorable demographics, shifting preferences due to remote work, or even a pull forward in demand given expectations of higher rates. However, all that merely justifies the plunge in affordability and the risks are that US consumers get hammered from the coming stagflation; in any case BofA expects overall existing home sales of 5.6mn, pulling back -10% to 2020 levels.

Curiously, despite the upcoming record plunge in housing affordability this year, on a historical basis housing will remain historically affordable (mortgage rates used to be much higher once upon a time, bouncing around 6% during the housing boom era of the early 2000s).

But a major problem is that the barriers to entry are the highest they’ve ever been from the perspective of affording the down payment, which is typically the biggest financial hurdle for first-time homebuyers. As NAR’s Larry Yun put it, “Some who had previously qualified at a 3% mortgage rate are no longer able to buy at the 4% rate.”

Last, and perhaps worst, based on seasonally adjusted NAR data, the median 1-family existing home price to median family income ratio reached a new record high of 4.1 at the end of 2021, surpassing the previous high at the peak of the housing bubble.

The costs and financial hurdles to buying a home are not the only thing that have been on a tear recently. Rents have been on fire over the past year, with the Zillow Observed Rent index soaring 14.9% yoy to $1,904 in January.

Given housing costs are rising broadly, the question many households face is which is less painful: to buy or to rent?  Using Zillow Home Value and Observed Rent Indexes, the home price/rent ratio has worsened dramatically since the pandemic, jumping to 171. And since the hurdle from home prices and affording the down payment is the worst on record, tilting the equation towards renting.

Calculating the implied mortgage based on Zillow home prices and current mortgage rates, BofA finds that the mortgage payment/rent ratio has also been on the rise and is nearly back towards the high of the prior business cycle. That said, the ratio is less than one, suggesting it is still better to buy than rent. This ratio does not account for property taxes or other expenses tied to homeownership, however. When those are included, it’s a toss up whether one should rent or buy…

Consumers appear to understand they are stuck in a lose-lose situation when it comes to buying or renting. If you can afford the historically high down payment, then you will save money on the mortgage compared to paying rent unless mortgage rates spike higher from here.

The Conference Board consumer confidence survey shows that the share of consumers planning to buy a home within 6 months has largely been steady through February. The 3-month average has actually crept up to 6.8% from 6.0% in November, despite much higher mortgage rates. At the same time, consumers have become a lot more humble about the process, highlighting the challenges in the market. The share of respondents who are uncertain about what type of home they plan to buy jumped in 2H 2021 to historically high levels, and the 3-mo average remains at an elevated 3.1% in February reflecting nearly half of total “yes”  respondents.

While demand is about to fall off a cliff, especially in a recession/stagflation, a quick look at the supply side also shows an ugly picture: one of the biggest challenges in the housing market has been dwindling supply, which has reached new record lows. Focusing on single-family to see a long history, months supply of new and existing homes dropped to 2.3 in January, down from the 2.6 average in 2021 and nearly half of the 4.1 average in 2019 before the pandemic (see chart below). Strong demand has been part of the equation for lower months supply, with new and existing single family home sales soaring. However, actual inventory levels have also reached historical lows: 1.27mn SA this past January, which is down from 1.33mn last year and 1.86mn in 2019.

At this point, the lack of supply is a well-known problem. Economists are aware, consumers are aware, and builders are aware. However, builders are also facing challenges: lots, labor, lumber has been the catchphrase in recent years, highlighting the three main issues in ramping up new construction, even before the pandemic.

Homebuilders have been impacted by the pandemic-related supply chain chaos, extending build timelines. The number of homes under construction exceeded the number of annualized housing completions for the first time in history in June 2021, and the gap has increased further since then.

Greater multifamily build relative to single family has been a major driver of this development. Single family homes under construction remains below annualized completions, but the gap is closing fast at 142k, not far from the record low of 115k.

The slower building timelines means an increasing backlog, given robust demand for housing supply. Consistent with this, the number of units authorized but not started reached a record high of 280k. This compares to the peak of 231k during the housing bubble. This backlog underpins the starts and new sales trajectory even if the rates shock causes housing demand to pull back via existing home sales.

Once again, a greater share of multifamily build is the main explanation with single family units authorized but not built of 151k in January below the bubble high of 170k. Still, 151k is considerably above the 2019 average of 89k.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict threatens to add further hiccups, with materials prices being pushed higher. Lumber prices have soared over 47% over the past year and are now only 14% below the all-time peak. Russia is one of the largest lumber exporters in the world, which could pressure prices even higher, as well as a major producer of metals such as aluminum and copper

Given these extraordinary supply challenges, BofA expects home prices to stay hot at a 10% Y/Yclip in 2022 despite the record plunge in housing affordability and despite existing home sales pulling back. In other words, 2022 will likely be the last hurrah of the US housing market.

Much more in the full report available to pro subs.

end

New Home Sales Unexpectedly Tumble In February As Mortgage Apps Crash

WEDNESDAY, MAR 23, 2022 – 10:09 AM

Despite the unexpected plunge in existing home sales, analysts expected new home sales in February to rebound modestly from January’s drop but they were wrong (again) as new home sales fell 2.0% (+1.1% exp) and worse still January’s 4.5% drop was revised drastically worse to a 8.4% plunge.

Source: Bloomberg

New Home Sales are still down 6.2% YoY (down YoY for the ninth straight month)

And the average new home sales price topped $500k for the first time ever.

A recent report showed a measure of homebuilders’ sales expectations for the next six months slumped in March to the lowest since June 2020 amid growing concerns over the combination of rising construction costs and higher interest rates.

And we suspect this is far from over as mortgage applications in the last week tumbled once again, now at its lowest since pre-COVID seasonal lows…

Source: Bloomberg

All of which has occurred before The Fed actually hiked rates even once and as housing affordability is about to crash by the most on record

The costs and financial hurdles to buying a home are not the only thing that have been on a tear recently. Rents have been on fire over the past year, with the Zillow Observed Rent index soaring 14.9% yoy to $1,904 in January.

IIB) USA COVID/VACCINE MANDATES


iiia) USA inflation//SHIPPING commentaries//LOG JAMS//

JBS Expects ‘Meatflation’ To Remain Stubbornly High Ahead Of Midterms

TUESDAY, MAR 22, 2022 – 09:45 PM

The world’s largest meat producer said beef prices would remain stubbornly high throughout 2022 despite President Biden’s attempt to arrest price increases ahead of the midterms elections this fall. 

On Tuesday, Andre Nogueira, chief executive of Brazilian meat company JBS SA’s U.S. division, told investors that high U.S. beef prices would be sticking around amid robust domestic demand, high overseas shipments, and lower cattle supplies. 

Nogueira ruined hopes that beef prices would decrease in the coming months as consumer inflation is at a four-decade high, and food prices are at record levels. He said beef prices for U.S. consumers are high because retailer margins are above historical levels.

Despite high beef prices, Nogueira pointed out consumer behavior has yet to change, suggesting prices must go even higher to reach the threshold of demand destruction. 

Strong demand for beef has allowed JBS to pass on higher grain costs to consumers. A labor shortage is still a lingering problem for the company even two years after the virus pandemic. 

On Monday, JBS SA’s CEO GilbertoTomazoni said the main drivers of cost surges include everything from fuel to animal feed to packaging to transportation and labor shortages. 

Gilberto Tomazoni said the invasion of Ukraine has disrupted global supply chains and triggered added cost pressures. 

“We are focusing on things that we are able to control,” he said. “Costs have risen significantly.”

Tomazoni is right about soaring costs as a commodity shock was felt just weeks ago. 

Even though JBS reported record revenue in the fourth quarter, beating the Bloomberg consensus estimate, the cost of doing business skyrocketed. 

According to consolidated earnings released Monday, production costs increased 21% in the quarter from a year earlier, while sales expenses soared 40%. The U.S. division for beef saw costs in the quarter jump 40% per head. 

Meanwhile, the Biden administration takes no blame for higher inflation. They blame soaring meat prices on meat processors and soaring gas prices on Putin. The press has been quiet when it comes to the incompetence of the Biden administration as they fail to cap inflation as it crushes the working poor households the hardest. 

end

Used car prices finally fall

(zerohedge)

Used Car Prices Fall As Goldman Points Out Supply Chain Alleviation 

TUESDAY, MAR 22, 2022 – 10:25 PM

U.S. companies has struggled with supply chain congestion, bottlenecks, and the inability to adequately re-stock certain items that roiled the automotive industry. As a result, new car production has been hindered as consumers panic bought used cars, sending prices sky-high. 

On Feb. 9, we outlined a major inflection point for the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, a wholesale tracker of used car prices, possibly topping as peak supply chain constraints had passed and more parts would be readily available for automakers to restart and or increase output for new vehicles. At the time, we said this could reverse used car prices. However, we also noted that this inflection point might lead to false positives if supply chain congestion persisted.

More than a month has passed by since we noted the inflection point. And to possibly validate peak supply chain constraints is Goldman Sachs’ Jordan Alliger, who told clients Monday that high frequency weekly supply-chain data for the week ending Mar. 14 shows signs of bottleneck relief. 

As bottlenecks subside, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index declined 3.8% in the first 15 days of March compared to the full month of February. The used car index is still up 24.1% compared to March 2021 at around 222.4. Though momentum and rate of change indicators show soaring used car price trends are drastically slowing as supply chains crunches resolve. 

Goldman’s Alliger reveals high frequency weekly supply-chain data improved last week to a score of 5, versus 7 after holding 8 for the prior two weeks. The weekly index has declined 11.6% sequentially

“While a 6 still indicates a bottlenecked supply chain environment (marked by demand greater than transport capacity, and still hyper-elevated shipping rates), the recent trendline continues to point in the right direction,” Alliger said. 

The analyst did say there’s possibility congestion will “re-emerge as inbound traffic arrives in March into a still congested U.S. logistics system; and container shipping rates – which are part of the index – could see some impact from the Russia/Ukraine conflict,” though supply chain congestions are subsiding.  

Similar to JP Morgan’s belief in early February that supply chain constraints have passed their climax, Goldman’s analyst points out peak congestion might have passed as well. 

“While our base case for more extended supply-chain easing does not arise until sometime midyear-2022 (at the earliest), we do think some slight easing on the ocean side is possible as we move further into 2022, as we approach seasonal post-peak shipping for container ships due to the length of time it takes to move from Asia to the U.S.,” Alliger said. 

There’s already an improvement in the number of container ships waiting to dock, significantly down from the highs observed earlier this year. A sign port congestion is improving. 

Another sign the logistical nightmare over the last two years is abating are international shipping rates that have not just peaked but are coming off their highs. 

So if supply chain fluidity is improving, automotive manufacturers will begin to receive the much-needed parts they’ve been craving: semiconductor chips. In return, new car production may increase, which would flood the car market with news ones and could lead to more downside for used car prices. 

What remains of interest is how supply chains will be impacted after Russia invaded Ukraine. For now, used car prices are falling.

end 

iiib) USA economic stories

New York City hit with a high jobless rate as workers continually fail to return

(zerohedge)

What ‘Vibrancy’: NYC Hit By Surprisingly High Jobless Rate As Workers Fail To Return

TUESDAY, MAR 22, 2022 – 11:05 PM

The percentage of white-collar workers in New York City office buildings remains abysmal. Workers aren’t returning, and it’s crushing the local economy.

NYC’s 7.6% unemployment rate is shockingly high compared with the rest of the country (nationwide average of 3.8%) as an economic recovery is slow to materialize, according to Bloomberg. There could be a muted recovery without five-day-a-week commuters because their impact on the local economy is substantial. 

Keycard swipes tracked by security company Kastle Systems show NYC offices are about 36% occupied, far below pre-COVID levels. Even as companies announced return-to-office dates, many implemented a hybrid work model that allows white-collar workers to work remotely part of the time. Some companies have entirely reduced their corporate footprint and enforced remote working for some employees. 

According to the latest survey by The Partnership for New York City business group, only 16% of top NYC firms say daily attendance in their Manhattan office was above 50%. The poll showed that about 75% of employers delayed return-to-office plans due to a spike in COVID infections year, and 22% said they don’t have a timeline on when offices will be full again. 

On Oct. 29, 2020, we noted that NYC’s recovery will be a “long slog” from here as the downturn will last well into 2023 and lag the rest of the nation. It seems we’re right, and the source of a lackluster recovery is directly related to workers that aren’t returning to offices. 

Mark Vitner, a Wells Fargo senior economist, said the city is “enduring a slower recovery because it is so dependent on the office and entertainment sectors.” 

“Cities that were quicker to reopen following the initial lockdowns at the start of the pandemic have also tended to see stronger recoveries,” Vitner said. What may have damned the metro area were public officials and their inability to lift health mandates that crippled the local economy, forcing tens of thousands of people, if not more, out of the area and to suburbia or Florida. 

Newly elected Mayor Eric Adams has argued that remote and hybrid work situations are crushing service-oriented businesses in the city that solely rely on white-collar workers, such as the food and entertainment industry. 

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages data shows there are 275,000 fewer paychecks in just Manhattan compared to pre-COVID times. Manhattan jobs account for a whopping 57% of the city’s overall economy. 

“Manhattan is an enormous economic and social driver,” said Andrew Rigie, the New York City Hospitality Alliance executive director.

Manhattan’s unemployment rate is the lowest among the boroughs. The Bronx has had the slowest employment growth. 

As firms fled Manhattan during COVID to places like Florida and Texas, the borough’s financial industry has likely seen another peak in jobs. Also, factor in the increasing amount of automation in the financial sector, and the job situation in Manhattan looks even bleaker. 

NYC leads the way in lackluster employment gains.

Meanwhile, the Manhattan housing market has been on fire as the number of sales spike and median rents soar. 

An economic revival in NYC will lag the rest of the country as long as remote work persists. So what happens to all the empty commercial-office buildings? 

end

iv)swamp stories

KING REPORT/SWAMP STORIES

The King Report March 23, 2022 Issue 6724Independent View of the News
Goldman now sees the Fed hiking by a half point at the next two meetings
“We now forecast 50bp hikes at both the May and June meetings, followed by 25bp hikes at the four remaining meetings in the back half of 2022 and three quarterly hikes in 2023Q1-Q3.”… 
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/22/goldman-now-sees-the-fed-hiking-by-a-half-point-at-the-next-two-meetings.html
 
@WSJecon: The Fed’s James Bullard reiterated his belief that the central bank needs to move aggressively with rate rises to get inflation back under control https://t.co/6m7TZhDN49
 
King Report on Tuesday: Someone desperately wants to push ESMs and stocks higher. They will try to do so again today and affect a Turnaround Tuesday to the upside – despite the horrid geopolitical environment and the Fed’s increasingly hawkish rhetoric.
 
Bonds got slammed while equities rallied on Tuesday.  Tech and Fangs led the rally.  Energy commodities retreated.  Are investors dumping bonds and buying stocks as an inflation hedge?!?!
 
A big bank has been forecasting that there will be a massive rebalance from bonds and into stocks at the end of Q1 next week.  Perhaps, hedge funds and some institutional investors are playing for this.
 
Stocks as Inflation Hedge Is New Catch-All Narrative for a Rally
“In inflationary environments, stocks have a distinct advantage over bonds – they’re linked to companies that can adjust pricing – whereas bonds, not so much, said Lawrence Creatura, a fund manager at PSPCTV Capital LLC… (We’d bet that Mr. Creatura did NOT manage money in the late ‘70s.)
https://news.yahoo.com/stocks-inflation-hedge-catch-narrative-201915379.html
 
History shows that buying equites and forsaking bonds due to inflation has only a transitory benefit.  At some point, higher yields damage stocks.
 
Steph Pomboy @spomboy: I’ve seen a lot of stupid s#*t in the 30+years I’ve been at this.  But the glee with which equity investors are running into the 2″x4″ is other level.
 
The US 2-year note hit 2.19% on Tuesday.  Before the Fed hiked its funds rate 25bps, it was 1.85%.
The 30-year hit 2.612%; the 10-year hit 2.384%, the highest yield since May 21, 2019.
 
@Theimmigrant84: The 2Y sell off is the biggest drop since ‘84. Maturities on the yield curve keep narrowing, this is another sign that tightening may slow down the economy. Powell can’t win them all. Inflation has to be contained though before he completely loses it
https://twitter.com/Theimmigrant84/status/1506293515399180309
 
ESHs traded in negative territory during Asian trading.  They rallied sharply after Europe opened.  ESMs then went inert until they surged when the NYSE opened.  ESMs traded within a 19-handle range from 10:20 ET until a modest spike at 15:15 ET pushed ESMs 1 handle above the high.  ESMs quickly retreated into the range.  With 15 minutes remaining, a manipulation commenced.  After hitting a new high by 3 handles, ESMs quickly reversed and sank 16 handles in 5 minutes.  ESMs limped into the close.
 
The equity action on Tuesday was a surge when Europe opened and when the NYSE opened.  Trading was otherwise lackluster.
 
Agriculture Giants Stay in Russia Despite Calls to Exit Over Ukraine War
Companies including Cargill Inc., Bayer AG and Archer Daniels Midland Co. say humanitarian concerns over food availability for Russian citizens and other countries justify the companies’ continued operation in Russia, while Western oil companies, fast-food chains and other companies have pulled out or paused operations there… https://www.wsj.com/articles/agriculture-giants-stay-in-russia-despite-calls-to-exit-over-ukraine-war-11647860581
@sumlenny: According to unconfirmed but realistic looking reports, Russian troops have got surrounded in Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel area near Kyiv, cut from supplies. If true – the biggest defeat of a Russian army until now, and Ukraine needs to start worrying about too many POWs.
 
WaPo’s @DanLamothe: Senior U.S. defense officials compares current U.S.-Russia deconfliction line for Ukraine war with a similar line set up years ago for operations in Syria that still exists. It has narrow goals, he implies. “It’s a deconfliction line. It’s not a complaint line.”  Continued morale issues among Russian soldiers seen, senior defense official says. In addition to food and fuel shortages, the Pentagon now observes frostbite as an issue.
 
Why Can’t the West Admit That Ukraine Is Winning?
   Most professional scholars of the Russian military first predicted a quick and decisive Russian victory…
and now tend to mutter that everything can change…  there are few analysts of the Ukrainian military—a rather more esoteric specialty—and thus the West has tended to ignore the progress Ukraine has made since 2014, thanks to hard-won experience and extensive training by the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. The Ukrainian military has proved not only motivated and well led but also tactically skilled, integrating light infantry with anti-tank weapons, drones, and artillery fire to repeatedly defeat much larger Russian military formations…
    Sergeants make sure that vehicles are maintained and exercise leadership in squad tactics. The Russian NCO corps is today, as it has always been, both weak and corrupt. And without capable NCOs, even large numbers of technologically sophisticated vehicles deployed according to a compelling doctrine will end up broken or abandoned, and troops will succumb to ambushes or break under fire…
    The Russian army has committed well more than half its combat forces to the fight. Behind those forces stands very little. Russian reserves have no training to speak of (unlike the U.S. National Guard or Israeli or Finnish reservists), and Putin has vowed that the next wave of conscripts will not be sent over, although he is unlikely to abide by that promise…
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/03/ukraine-is-winning-war-russia/627121/?s=02
 
Putin Misunderstands History. So, Unfortunately, Does the U.S. – Niall Ferguson
Biden is making a colossal mistake in thinking he can bleed Russia dry, topple Putin and signal to China to keep its hands off Taiwan.
    “The language people speak in the corridors of power,” former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter once observed, “is not economics or politics. It is history.”…
     “The only end game now,” a senior administration official was heard to say at a private event earlier this month, “is the end of Putin regime…all the time Putin stays, [Russia] will be a pariah state that will never be welcomed back into the community of nations. China has made a huge error in thinking Putin will get away with it…”
    Prolonging the war runs the risk not just of leaving tens of thousands of Ukrainians dead and millions homeless, but also of handing Putin something that he can plausibly present at home as victory. Betting on a Russian revolution is betting on an exceedingly rare event, even if the war continues to go badly for Putin; if the war turns in his favor, there will be no palace coup…
    The Biden administration is deeply misguided in thinking that its threats of secondary sanctions against Chinese companies will deter President Xi Jinping from providing economic assistance to Russia… https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-03-22/niall-ferguson-putin-and-biden-misunderstand-history-in-ukraine-war
 
@ak_mack: Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that a new sanctions package on Russia is incoming on Thursday in conjunction with allies and partners, and will include new measures to crack down on sanctions evasion.
 
Carl Icahn says there ‘very well could be a recession or even worse’
I am negative as you can hear. Short term I don’t even predict.”…
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/22/carl-icahn-says-there-very-well-could-be-a-recession-or-even-worse.html
 
Biden tweet yesterday: “Our economic strategy has worked – and it’s still working…”
Sen. @marcorubio: The next time you hear that Saudi’s & UAE are refusing to cooperate with Biden remember this: While Biden is working to reward Iran with a “deal”, Iran is supplying the terrorist Houthi’s with the missiles they are being used to attack oil production deep inside Saudi Arabia
 
‘A lot of hiding’: Senators kept from seeing Sentencing Commission records on Supreme Court Nominee – Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin is “hiding” records from Ketanji Brown Jackson’s time as vice chair of the Sentencing Commission, where she championed leniency for child predators, says Michael Davis, former chief counsel for the committee.
https://justthenews.com/government/courts-law/ex-top-senate-judiciary-attorney-says-durbin-hiding-ketanji-brown-jacksons
 
@JackPosobiec: Jackson says she gave pedophiles lighter sentences bc its different when they use computers vs mail to get volumes of child porn.  This makes ‘total sense’ according to Jackson.
 
@Breaking911: SEN. JOHN CORNYN: “Why in the world would you call Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and George W. Bush war criminals in a legal filing? JUDGE JACKSON: “I don’t remember that particular reference […] I did not intend to disparage the President or the Secretary of Defense.”
https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/1506323234496696324
 
@RepAndyBiggsAZ: SCOTUS nominee KBJ has called a former U.S. president and secretary of defense “war criminals.” This mindset lacks the impartiality required for a SCOTUS pick.
 
Fox high solon Brit Hume (@brithume): This person is the vice president of the United States, chosen because she checked certain political boxes, and chosen by a man himself chosen because party leaders were afraid Bernie Sanders would run away with the party’s nominationhttps://t.co/wTiyQp5fLv
 
Why Kamala? Jill Biden Questioned Picking Harris as Joe’s Vice President (Obama’s choice)
https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/03/22/why-kamala-jill-biden-questioned-picking-harris-as-joes-vice-president/
 
GOP @RepMattGaetz: The Deep State wanted Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in charge because they’re useful idiots.
 
Manhattan DA Bragg didn’t request warrant for man who later used gun in slaying: union boss
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg‘s office failed to request a warrant to confiscate a gun used in an armed robbery by a serial offender — who then fatally shot a man with that same weapon exactly a month later, a union boss alleged…
https://nypost.com/2022/03/22/manhattan-da-bragg-didnt-issue-warrant-for-man-who-later-used-gun-in-slaying-union-boss/
 
St. Louis prosecutors will not charge man arrested for trying to carjack police officers https://t.co/3M0QraveRA
 

END




Let us close with this offering courtesy of Greg Hunter interviewing Dr Eads

https://usawatchdog.com/millions-get-aids-from-vax-by-fall-dr-elizabeth-eads/
A MUST VIEW: MILLIONS WILL GET AIDS FROM THE VAXX BY FALL….

 Millions get AIDS from Vax by Fall – Dr. Elizabeth EadsBy Greg Hunter On March 23, 2022 In Weekly News Wrap-UpsNo CommentsBy Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.comDr. Elizabeth Eads is on the frontline of medicine, treating patients who have been injected with the experimental CV19 so-called “vaccines.”  Dr. Eads is now seeing first-hand Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, commonly referred to as AIDS.  Let that sink in.  Dr. Eads explains, “Yes, we are seeing vaccine related acquired immunodeficiency in the hospital now from the triple vaxed. . . . It is a vax injury, and we are not really certain how to treat this.  We are kind of throwing the kitchen sink at it. . . . .We are trying to use everything we can think of to boost up the CD4 and CD8 counts and reverse this collapse or calamity of this immune collapse.  It’s very stunning.”Dr. Eads says it is particularly bad in the double CV19 vaxed and boosted.  She calls the third injection “The Kill Shot, the Money Ball or whatever you want to call it.  It is just devastating to the immune system, and I’ll tell you why.  If you look at the recent Stanford study, and I am just going to read a couple of sentences from the Stanford study:  ‘The spike protein in the CV19 vaccines that everyone is talking about is called the Lentivirus.  The Lenti contains a combination of HIV, types one through three, SRV/1, which is AIDS, MERS and SARS.  In the Stanford study, the best-known Lentivirus is the human immune deficiency pathogen, which causes AIDS.  This is why we are seeing autoimmune and neurodegenerative decline after the Covid 19 (Vax) especially the booster. . . . It permanently changes the genome of the cell.  That is why this is so terrifying to us in the medical community.  We just don’t know how to attack this.”There is a similar report out last week by the UK government that also points to the triple vaxed getting AIDS.  So, the CV19 vaccines are actually injecting people with AIDS?  Dr. Eads says, “That is exactly what I am telling you.  That is what the Spike Lentivirus is.  It is made up of HIV and AIDS along with SARS and MERS.  That’s why the vaccinated and boosted are so sick.  That’s why they dominate the hospitalizations regarding Covid illness as well.”Because the immune system is depleted, many kinds of disease such as cancer can spread like wildfire.  Dr. Ryan Cole says he’s seeing cancer up as much as 2,000% from the vaccines.  Eads says, “I have some stunning numbers from the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) . . . . I am just going to read a few cancers:  malignant neo-plasma of the esophagus up 794%.  malignant neo-plasma of the stomach, colon and pancreas up 524%.  Breast cancer up 387%. . . . Ovarian cancer up 537%, Testicular cancer up 269%.  These are numbers from 2021. . . . When they found out attorney Thomas Renz and the  whistleblower had the data, they scrubbed the data and altered it, which is totally against the law.”Dr. Eads is treating vaxed and unvaxed in her practice.  She will tell you what you can do to help yourself, especially if you have been vaxed.  Dr. Eads talks about the ongoing propaganda to get you to take the so-called boosters.  Dr. Eads explains why you should stop all CV19 shots now. Dr. Eads also contends there is a huge disinformation campaign going on to make you think the CV19 shots are safe and not causing blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and a host of other diseases–including AIDS.Join Greg Hunter as he talks to 25-year veteran Dr. Elizabeth Eads as she continues to highlight the real unreported effects of the CV19 bioweapons and the dangerous lies by Big Pharma, the FDA, CDC and mainstream media.(There is much more cutting edge, frontline medical information in the nearly 53-minute interview 3.22.22.)(To Donate to USAWatchdog.com Click Here)After the Interview:You can follow Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Eads on Twitter or you can follow her on Telegram.https://usawatchdog.com/millions-get-aids-from-vax-by-fall-dr-elizabeth-eads/

Well that is all for today. I will see you THURSDAY night

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