Sunday, June 13, 2021

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TRUMP’S MANUFACTURING ADVISORY PANEL DISBANDS AFTER MANY PARTICIPANTS LEFT EARLIER: SENDS GOLD AND SILVER SKYROCKETING

by Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

GOLD UP $3.55 TO 1277.55 AND SILVER UP TO $16.95 FOR A GAIN OF 25 CENTS/IN ACCESS TRADING: GOLD AT $1282.00 AND SILVER AT 17.08/FOMC MINUTES: LOW INFLATION WHICH GENERALLY MEANS NO WAGE INFLATION/ THEY WILL ANNOUNCE NEXT MONTH THE NORMALIZATION OF THEIR BALANCE SHEET/NO RATE HIKE FOR SEPTEMBER

GOLD: $1277.55  UP $3.85

Silver: $16.95  UP 25 cent(s)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1282.95

silver: $17.11

SHANGHAI GOLD FIX:  FIRST FIX  10 15 PM EST  (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SECOND FIX:  2:15 AM EST  (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1278.74 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  $1273.70

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $5.04

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1274.86

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1272.60

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$2.26

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1270.15

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1270.00 

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1272.25

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1273.25 

For comex gold:

AUGUST/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH: 32 NOTICE(S) FOR  3200  OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 4579 FOR 457900 OZ  (14.24 TONNES) 

For silver:

AUGUST

 

 15 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR

 

75,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 915 for 4,575,000 oz

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end

The star today was silver as this metal completely rebuffed all attempts by the crooked bankers who initiated a raid for the 5th consecutive day.  Gold got a spurt when Trump’s entire advisory board was disbanded.  It seems that the entire Trump team is in chaos.

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest SURPRISINGLY FELL AGAIN ONLY950 contracts from 189,478 DOWN TO 187,955 DESPITE THE  HUGE FALL IN THE PRICE THAT SILVER TOOK WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING (DOWN 44 CENT(S) . THE BANKERS PROVIDED THE SHORT PAPER TO INITIATE THE RAID. WITH THE LOWER PRICE NEWBIE SPECS ENTERED FULL BLAST DRIVING THE PRICE A LITTLE HIGHER FROM THEIR LOWS WITH THE COMMERCIALS NEEDING TO SUPPLY THAT PAPER. THE COMMERCIALS ARE HAVING A TOUGH TIME COVERING…AND  THUS NOT MUCH OF A CHANGE IN OPEN INTEREST.

 In ounces, the OI is still represented by just UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  0.940 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 135{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 15 NOTICE(S) FOR 75,000OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest FELL by A TINY 2222 WITH THE HUGE FALL in price of gold ($11.00 LOSS YESTERDAY.)  The new OI for the gold complex rests at 477,921. A raid was called upon yesterday by the bankers and it succeeded in driving the price of gold southbound. The bankers initiated the raid with short paper but newbie longs entered the arena with the lower price. The bankers were not as successful in covering their shorts as they would have liked. They again called for another raid today but that too has failed

we had: 32 notice(s) filed upon for 3200 oz of gold.

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

GLD:

Today, no changes in gold inventory:

Inventory rests tonight: 791.01 tonnes

IN THE LAST 23 TRADING DAYS: GLD SHEDS 45.96 TONNES YET GOLD IS HIGHER BY $40.00 . 

SLV

Today: : WE NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY TONIGHT:

INVENTORY RESTS AT 335.825 MILLION OZ

 

end

.

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver FALL BY 950 contracts from 188,905 down to 187,955 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787).  I wrote this yesterday: “THE FALL IN OPEN INTEREST WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A HUGE FALL IN PRICE AND IT STILL LOOKS LIKE WE ARE WITNESSING BANKER CAPITULATION.  BANKERS ARE LOATHE TO SUPPLY NEW SHORT PAPER AND THE LONGS CONTINUE TO ENTER THE ARENA PURCHASING WHATEVER SILVER THEY CAN AND WILLING TO TAKE ON OUR CROOKED BANKERS. THUS A SMALL DECLINE IN OPEN INTEREST”.  TODAY BANKER CAPITULATION CONTINUES AS SILVER RISES DESPITE THE RAID ATTEMPT.

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

 

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY:  Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late TUESDAY night/WEDNESDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 4.81 POINTS OR 0.15{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}   / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 234.11 POINTS OR 0.86{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} The Nikkei closed DOWN 24.03 POINTS OR 0.12{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.46{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN at 6.6950/Oil UP to 47.68 dollars per barrel for WTI and 51.03 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED DEEPLY IN THE GREEN , Offshore yuan trades  6.7020 yuan to the dollar vs 6.6950 for onshore yuan. NOW THE OFFSHORE IS WEAKER  TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN WEAKER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS MUCH WEAKER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE SLIGHTLY STRONGER DOLLAR. CHINA IS NOT HAPPY TODAY  

Read More @ HarveyOrganBlog.com

Americans are being manipulated into hating one another so that the Left can usher in an authoritarian government — don’t fall for it

by JD Heyes, Natural News:

During ESPN’s First Takeprogram on Tuesday, longtime network personality Steven A. Smith, who is black, threw down the race card as he lectured viewers about the ethnic nuances of the First Amendment.

As Breitbart News reported, Smith was complaining about a statement made by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who is white, when responding to a question about players sitting or engaging in some other act of protest during the playing of the National Anthem, which occurs before each and every game.

“The national anthem is a special moment for me. It’s a point of pride. That is a really important moment but we also have to understand the other side — that people do have rights, and we want to respect those,” he said when speaking to Arizona Cardinals season ticket holders.

Goodell went on to note that he had visited with New York Jets fans a week before, and a player whom he did not identify was asked the same thing. The player, the commissioner recalled, said there was “a time and a place” to engage in protest.

“That’s what we all have to, sort of, understand — the responsibility of doing it at the right time and in the right way,” Goodell said.

Well, that set Smith off.

“Roger Goodell is not the man to make that statement,” Smith claimed.

Really, Steven? How come?

“I’m going to say something that’s going to be controversial. I don’t give a damn,” he said. “No white person has the right to tell black folks when you should protest about something. Because usually protests that emanates from the black community is due in large part because of the transgressions exacted against that community by those who don’t happen to be black.”

Translated: If you’re not black, then shut up about this.

The thing is Roger Goodell never said: “Blacks can’t protest the National Anthem.” But because Steven A. Smith has so conditioned himself to see hatred and racism under every rock, he took the NFL commissioner’s very neutral statement as some sort of attackon black players (most of the players in the NFL are black. By far most of those who are protesting the anthem by not standing and placing their hands over their hearts are black).

You people don’t tell my people what to do, think or say. Only my people can tell my people what to do, think or say.

Well, here’s the problem with that kind of thinking: We can’t be Americans if only part of us want to be. (Related: Are we nearing civil war?)

The American Right is certainly not blameless, but the bulk of today’s violent political division has been inculcated, spread and fomented by the Marxist Left, Charlottesville notwithstanding.

Bankrolled by extremist billionaires like George Soros, Alt-Left groups like Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street and others have sprung up in recent years, attacking American history and traditions as illegitimate, corrupt and ideologically inferior. Their members show up at political rallies and events with the specific goal of shutting down speech they have deemed “racist” and “bigoted,” even though it’s not.

One Antifa organizer told CNN: “The idea in Antifa is that we go where they (right-wingers) go. That hate speech is not free speech. That if you are endangering people with what you say and the actions that are behind them, then you do not have the right to do that.

“And so we go to cause conflict, to shut them down where they are, because we don’t believe that Nazis or fascists of any stripe should have a mouthpiece.”

That is precisely Steven A. Smith’s mentality, as well as the mentality of those who agree with him. They really believe that certain Americans — be it due to their skin color, political beliefs, cultural leanings or social attitudes — don’t have a right to express themselves under the same First Amendment they use, and that they, by some divine authority, have been empowered to decide what speech and what viewpoints are valid.

Read More @ NaturalNews.com

Charlottesville 2

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by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:

What the liberal/progressive/left is trying to do with Charlottesville is to associate Trump supporters with White Supremacists and in this way demonize Trump supporters so that they will not have a voice when Trump is overthrown in a coup. Or it can be put in a different way: Charlottesville is being used by someone to discredit Trump and the people who elected him in order to pave the way for a coup, and the liberal/progressive/left is enabling the plot.

Upon reflection, I think that for most of the liberal/progressive/left the denunciations and one-sided interpretation of Charlottesville are just the ingrained knee-jerk reaction of people brought up in Identity Politics. In Identity Politics, everyone is a White Hat except racist, sexist, homophobic, gun-nut white males. The only tolerable white males are those who accept this characterization of themselves. All others are “white supremacists” or “nazis.”

From what I read on progressive websites, those imbued with Identity Politics are letting the emotionalism of the politics run away with them. My friend, Rob Kall, who is fair and open-minded and posts my columns on OpEdNews, including those to which he takes exception, writes: “Trump is Now the Leader of White Supremacists and Nazis.” Rob reaches this conclusion because Trump held both sides responsible for the violence in Charlottesville. By seeing equivalence between the two sides, Trump “made it clear that he was siding with the White Supremacists, giving them aid, support and encouragement.” https://www.opednews.com/articles/Trump-is-Now-the-Leader-of-by-Rob-Kall-Donald-Trump_Hate-Groups-Neo-Nazis_White-Supremacist-170816-650.html (You might remember Jean Kirkpatrick who denounced liberals for seeing moral equivalence between the Soviet Union and the US.) I doubt this is the way Trump saw his statement. From the news videos I saw, there seemed to be plenty of hate on both sides. Certainly, there is plenty of hate for Trump among progressives.

In the Washington Post, Alexandra Petri finds Trump’s words condemning the violence on both aides to be “despicable words.” Petri apparently thinks that, counter to what the news coverage shows, the counter protesters did not engage in any violence, or else she thinks that violence from this side was justified but not violence from the other side. She condemns Trump for his statement: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” In her opinion, the last three words, “on many sides” shows that Trump is partial to White Supremacists. http://www.denverpost.com/2017/08/15/donald-trumps-despicable-words/

Richard Eskow joins the chorus. He links together deaths in Charlottesville, New York, Portland, Charleston, under “white nationalist terror” and hands them to Trump.https://www.opednews.com/articles/Trump-Won-t-Say-It-But-We-by-Richard-Eskow-Hatred_Terrorism_Trump-Mental-State_White-Male-Effect-170814-424.html

The Daily Kos also equates Trump’s blaming both sides for the violence, which is what the media reports show to be the case, with a defense of “white supremacist/neo-Nazi violence.”https://www.opednews.com/articles/Trump-defends-white-suprem-by-Daily-Kos-Protest_Trump-Insults_Violence_White-Male-Privilege-170815-734.html

Joe Macare at Truthout tells us that “Truthout will continue to report on the threat of neo-Nazis in the street — as well as those in the White House who are in lockstep with their agenda. We’ll talk to the people organizing against fascism on all fronts. We won’t equivocate or condemn ‘both sides.’ We won’t blame the Nazis’ targets for the hate they receive. But we know that these are not the only faces of racism. Whether it manifests itself in education policy, in gentrification, in economic inequality, in racist policing or in the United States’ immigration and ‘defense’ policies, Truthout will continue exposing white supremacy in all its forms.”

Truthout’s Anna Sutton expresses her “Heartbreak, Anger.” She doesn’t know where to begin. But she sees a fundraising opportunity. Make a donation and Truthout will “tell it like it is” against the “corporate and right-wing media” that are “bending over backwards to normalize Trump and the violence and xenophobia displayed by his rabid followers.” One wonders what corporate right-wing media she is talking about, The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, all of which denounce Trump 24/7?

How do we avoid the question: who is over the top, the “alt-right” at Charlottesville or their progressive critics?

Over at CounterPunch, a remnant of America’s left-wing, John Eskow tells us that he has walked among white supremacists “since I first learned to walk. They surrounded me in blue-collar Utica, New York—an early capitol of Rust Belt America, back in the 1950s.”

Here is Identity Politics’ association of the working class with White Supremacy. The all-powerful, all-threatening White Supremacists could do nothing to prevent—who?—from offshoring their jobs to Asia. But these people, who are so powerless that they could not even save their own jobs, are a great threat to us good people, who sat sucking our thumbs in unconcern while their economic lives were snuffed out. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/16/among-the-racists/

CounterPuncher John Wight, prior to affirming the dogma that from the very beginning America has been “synonymous with white supremacy,” first unleashes both barrels on the liberal/progressives: “Strident declamations against fascism in Charlottesville from those who supported fascists in Kiev, calls for action to be taken against extremists in America by those who’ve been supporting them in Syria. What is this if not rank hypocrisy?”

Ah, so, why did the liberal/progressives align with the military/security complex and the neoconservatives against Donald Trump who declared, to his undoing, his intention to normalize relations with Russia, thus removing the enemy needed to justify the $1 trillion annual budget of the military/security complex? These vast monies could have gone into health care for the unprovided, into public assistance for the unprovided, but the liberal/progressive/left would not have it. If the liberal/progressives are so against violence and hate, why do they support the hate campaign against Trump and Russia?

Has Identity Politics made the liberal/progressive/left deaf, dumb, and blind such that their reality is limited to the emotions that Identity Politics produces?

This is a valid question. It is not meant to be derogatory. It is meant to lead to an understanding of our plight as a country. How does a country in which blacks are taught to hate whites, women are taught to hate men, and whose history is explained as white oppression successfully deal with the defining issues of our time?

Indeed, such a country is incapable of even recognizing the real issues. It seems clear enough that our doom is certain.

Identity Politics has such a firm hold on universities, media, all sorts of subject areas in public schools such as black studies, women studies, race studies, native American studies, and in Democratic Party politics that reality is absent from the picture. Most of what is deplored by Identity Politics are simply products of history, not of the evil intentions of white males. It once was the case that the function of liberal progressivism was to reform what was inherited from the past and had been morally outgrown. But this progressive agenda has been abandoned to hate that is just as wrong and deadly as the hate to which the liberal progressives object. So we are left with what: hate against hate. This is not promising.

Read More @ PaulCraigRoberts.com

Iran’s President Tacitly Admits Iran is Cheating on Nuclear Agreement

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by David Haggith, The Great Recession Blog:

Countering recent US sanctions and President Trump’s talk of ending the “bad” nuclear agreement with Iran, Iran’s president threatened to restart its nuclear program. If his threat is true as stated, he unwittingly admitted something highly supportive of Trump’s position:

Mr. Rouhani said that a reconstituted nuclear program would be “far more advanced,” a veiled threat that the country could start enriching uranium up to the level of 20 percent…. “Iran will definitely revert to a far more advanced situation than it had before the negotiations, not in a matter of weeks or months but in a matter of days or hours.” (New York Times)

If Iran is capable of ratcheting up its program in a matter of weeks to enrich uranium to 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, that means it has been purchasing and stockpiling all the equipment it needs to do that because such equipment cannot be built and installed that fast. So, the equipment is “stored” in a manner that is ready to go. That, in itself, probably violates the terms of the agreement (known as the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”).

HOWEVER, there is only one way Iran can have the capability to ratchet up production to “more advanced” levels than it had before the negotiations “in a matter of days or hours.” While I have no expertise in such equipment, it does not strike me as the kind of production process where you push a button, and you’re up and running with 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} enriched uranium coming out the other end in a matter of hours.

The New York Times seems to have missed that little tidbit. In fact, all the mainstream media stories today are missing this. Reuters, the BBC, CBS, the Wall Street Journal and CNN are all reported yesterday that Iran’s president said Iran could abandon the nuclear deal within hours. He did NOT say that. He stated quite plainly that Iran could be in “a more advanced situation” than it had before negotiations within hours — not that it could be out of the deal in that much time, but that it could show itself to be in a more advanced situation than existed before the deal.

CBS News almost got it right. They reported the words of the Iranian president as follows:

In an hour and a day, Iran could return to a more advanced (nuclear) level than at the beginning of the negotiations” that preceded the 2015 deal, Rouhani said. He did not elaborate.

But then they minimized those words in their own reportage to match the rest of the MSM by claiming Rouhani said he could exit the deal in that much time, missing completely the import of their record of his words, which said he could get to a more advanced nuclear level in just that much time. Unlike the rest of the MSM, they did, however, admit,

It was not immediately clear what Rouhani was referring to – and whether he meant Iran could restart centrifuges enriching uranium to higher and more dangerous levels.

There is a huge difference between what Iran’s president actually said and the way the mainstream media is trying to minimize his words. No doubt the MSM doesn’t want to admit Trump was right when he said during the campaign, “Never ever EVER in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated as our deal with Iran.”

The words of Rouhani’s nuclear chief below certainly clarify what Rouhani was threatening if some people are finding it difficult to understand (because they don’t want his statement to mean what he appears to have said).

What did Iran’s president actually threaten?

The head of Iran’s nuclear program made clear that Rouhani did mean 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} enrichment and that Iran would be able to demonstrate that ability in a surprising way:

Ali Akbar Salehi, president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said the country could go up to 20 percent enrichment to “surprise the Americans.” (from The New York Times article above)

The clarification, if it is really needed, is right there in the original story. The MSM just doesn’t want to see it.

It would be no surprise whatsoever to find out that Iran could exit the deal in a day and an hour. It would also be no surprise at all to find out that Iran could build up the resources needed to start enriching uranium to 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. They’ve already done that in the past. It would, however, certainly be a surprise to many to see 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} uranium being produced in a matter of hours, as that would indicate they were already carrying out such enrichment or that they never got rid of their 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} uranium as the JCPA required, either of which would verify that Trump was right about the agreement being a bad deal.

The only way Iran could now demonstrate production increases to 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} enrichment within hours (or “a day and an hour,” depending on which version of the story you read) is if its equipment is already producing highly enriched uranium so that all Iran would have to do to beat the high levels of enrichment that were known before the negotiations would be to start revealing what they are already producing!

Iran’s existing 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} enrichment fueled the JCPA in the first place. It is why the JCPA required Iran reduce its stock of 3.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to a level that would not allow it to make enough 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to become rapidly dangerous. So, how is it that Iran is now able to surprise the Americans with 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} enrichment in “days or hours?”

You can say this is just typical Iranian saber rattling, but since Iran’s president made this statement to the world as an argument against congress’s new sanctions and Trump’s statements that they are violating Obama’s nuclear agreement, I say we take him at his word. It is, after all, his argument as he chooses to make it. His word is that Iran can demonstrate 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} enrichment to the US within hours. (And it’s possible he even meant something more than 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} enrichment. I’m just limiting my understanding of his words to what his top energy dog claimed.)

Prior to the JCPA, Iran was known to already have enough 3.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in the right gaseous form for further enrichment to make seven bombs if enrichment continued, using the centrifuges Iran already had. So, showing the world some uranium enriched to 3.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} wouldn’t cause anyone to raise an eyebrow because 1) the JCPA already allows that, and 2) it would not be “a far more advanced situation than … before the negotiations.”

In fact, even having some 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} is not a situation that is advanced beyond what existed before the negotiations. Iran already had hundreds of kilograms of 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} enriched uranium prior to the agreement in both solid (fuel) form and gaseous form (ready to be enriched to bomb-grade). That fact alone causes one to lean beyond the nuclear boss’s statement of a surprise at 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. At 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, the only surprise could be in how quickly Iran is able to produce that level of enrichment, meaning that the agreement hasn’t curtailed Iran’s breakout time to a nuclear bomb.

How long does uranium enrichment take?

The Washington Institute stated just before the nuclear accord was signed that it would take 18,000 centrifuges (the maximum number Iran was known to own before the agreement) only five weeks to turn the 3.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} level of enrichment that Iran is openly allowed under the accord into enough highly enriched uranium (90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}) to make a single bomb (27kg enriched to 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}). That is why Iran was also required under the JCPA to reduce its number of available centrifuges to 6,500.

Read More @ TheGreatRecessionBlog.com

Grocery Store Turmoil in Chicago

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by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Bankruptcies don’t help. Even the big chains are closing stores.

The grocery store sector is never static. Some stores close, others open. But in Chicago, 25 stores closed over the past 24 months due to bankruptcies or operational reasons, and only 16 stores have opened, producing “an alarming loss” of 545,000 square feet of grocery store space.

This includes five independent grocery stores that closed, while only two new ones opened, bringing their total down to 43 stores. Their market share, based on square footage, declined to just 7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. This is “not a positive sign for improving the food deserts where these grocers penetrate more regularly,” according to Mid-America Real Estate’s biennial Urban Grocery Study.

And the average store size shrank, as the stores that were closed averaged 38,000 square feet, while the stores that opened or are planned average 25,000 square feet.

The study covers the period from September 2015 to August 1, 2017, in an urban area of 3.2 million residents with 262 operating or proposed grocery stores of more than 10,000 square feet in size.

In addition to the current difficulties, Amazon’s entry looms over the grocery market. Whole Foods, which is being acquired by Amazon, has 13 stores in the area, nine of them “in primarily higher income” locations. It has about 7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the market on a square-footage basis. And the report finds that “consumers continue to anticipate the opening of Amazon Go stores or perhaps ‘combo’ sites of Amazon/Whole Foods part grocery-part fulfillment center.”

Regional grocery store chain Dominick’s has become a Safeway fatality. In 1998, the chain’s 116 stores were acquired by Safeway Inc. Critics say that Safeway cheapened the product offerings, including replacing Dominick’s private label brands with Safeway brands. And the store-closings started. At the end of 2013, with only 83 Dominick’s stores remaining, Safeway closed all of them. Two month later, as if by coincidence, Safeway was acquired in a leveraged buyout by private equity firm Cerberus.

Many of the Dominick’s stores remained “dark” for years. But over the two-year period of the report, nearly one million square feet of those locations were absorbed by major chain stores, which dampened the impact of the bankruptcies and store closings to create “a stall and step backwards in urban Chicago,” as the report put it.

Jewel Osco moved into the number one spot, with 51 stores. Aldi, after closing three locations, dropped to number two, with 49 stores.

In the plus-column:

Target is doubling the number of its small-format stores (20,000-30,000 square feet) to eight locations. These stores are either already open or under construction. According to the report, they’re offering a “variety of grab-and-go grocery, pharmacy/health/beauty, limited apparel and electronics; and most have in-store cafes, thus nailing the merchandise mix worthy of inclusion as an urban grocery competitor.”

Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market opened two small gourmet grocery stores of under 30,000 square feet.

H Mart, a grocer catering to the Asian community, already has four stores in the suburbs and now plans to open a new 20,000-square-foot sore in the West Loop. The report:

This is the second Asian-based urban grocer since the arrival of Seafood City in the Mayfair neighborhood on the northwest side in 2016. Seafood City is rumored to now be doubling the size of their store by 2019 due to larger than anticipated volumes.

Plans are underway for two grocery co-ops to open small stores: The Dill Pickle with 13,000 square feet and Chicago Market with 10,000 square feet. They’re barely large enough to make it into the study (cutoff at 10,000 square feet).

In the minus-column:

The otherwise rapidly expanding German discounter Aldi closed three stores in Chicago, bringing its count down to 49 locations. But even as Safeway-Albertson’s gives its PE firm owners gray hairs, Aldi has announced an additional $3.4 billion investment, expecting to operate 2,500 stores across the US by 2022. Now there’s the fervent hope that some of them might happen in Chicago.

Read More @ WolfStreet.com

Why Was This ‘Crowd Hire’ Company Recruiting $25 An Hour ‘Political Activists’ In Charlotte Last Week?

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from ZeroHedge:

Trump ignited a political firestorm yesterday during an impromptu press conference in which he said there was “blame on both sides” for the tragic events that occurred in Charlottesville over the weekend.   

Now, the discovery of a craigslist ad posted last Monday, almost a full week before the Charlottesville protests, is raising new questions over whether paid protesters were sourced by a Los Angeles based “public relations firm specializing in innovative events” to serve as agitators in counterprotests.

The ad was posted by a company called “Crowds on Demand” and offered $25 per hour to “actors and photographers” to participate in events in the “Charlotte, NC area.”  While the ad didn’t explicitly define a role to be filled by its crowd of “actors and photographers” it did ask applicants to comment on whether they were “ok with participating in peaceful protests.”  Here is the text from the ad:

Actors and Photographers Wanted in Charlotte

 

Crowds on Demand, a Los Angeles-based Public Relations firm specializing in innovative events, is looking for enthusiastic actors and photographers in the Charlotte, NC area to participate in our events. Our events include everything from rallies to protests to corporate PR stunts to celebrity scenes. The biggest qualification is enthusiasm, a “can-do” spirit. Pay will vary by event but typically is $25+ per hour plus reimbursements for gas/parking/Uber/public transit.

 

For more information about us, please visit www.crowdsondemand.com

 

If you’re interested in working with us, please reply to this posting with the following info:

  • Full Name
  • Prior relevant experience (as an actor/performer, photographer, brand ambassador, political activist, etc)
  • When are you usually available for work?
  • Resume (optional)
  • If you’re a photographer, what equipment do you use?
  • Are you ok with participating in peaceful protests (optional)?

And a screenshot of the original post:

So what is “Crowds on Demand?”  According to their own website, they’re in the business of sourcing large crowds of people to “provide clients with protests, rallies, [and] flash-mobs” all over the country.  They even have an entire page on their website dedicated to “Protests and Rallies.”

Are you looking to create a buzz anywhere in the United States? At Crowds on Demand, we provide our clients with protests, rallies, flash-mobs, paparazzi events and other inventive PR stunts. These services are available across the country in every major U.S city, every major U.S metro area and even most smaller cities as well. We provide everything including the people, the materials and even the ideas. You can come to us with a specific plan of action and we can make it happen. OR, you can approach us with a generalidea and we can help you plan the strategy then execute it.

 

We’ve made campaigns involving hundreds of people come to action in just days. We have a proven record of delivering major wins on even the toughest campaigns and delivering phenomenal experiences with even the most logistically challenging events.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

The U.S. Military Will Be Conducting ‘A Major Military Exercise’ On The Korean Peninsula During The Solar Eclipse

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by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

On August 21st, approximately 25,000 U.S. troops will join “tens of thousands” from the South Korean military to conduct a “major military exercise” that is already triggering threats from North Korea.  Considering the fact that any sort of provocation could cause a nuclear war to erupt on the Korean peninsula, is this really a wise thing to do?  The more research that I do on this upcoming solar eclipse, the stranger things become.  When I first started hearing about this eclipse many months ago, I didn’t pay too much attention, but now after looking into it extensively I do believe that it is going to be quite significant.

And I didn’t even know about this major military exercise that will happen during the eclipse until today.  The following comes from MSN

The U.S. military is preparing to launch a major military exercise with South Korea in coming days, and faces a dangerous balancing act: How do you reassure allies in the region that you are ready for a war with North Korea without provoking an actual conflict in the process?

The annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise is scheduled for 10 days beginning Aug. 21, and will include about 25,000 U.S. troops along with tens of thousands of South Koreans. The exercise focuses on defending South Korea against an attack from the north, and each year triggers threats and rebukes from North Korea. But it comes at an especially sensitive time now, following the exchange of a series of threats between President Trump and North Korea.

Another thing that we just found out is that meteorologists are warning that a major hurricane could potentially start approaching the east coast of the United States during the time of the solar eclipse.  It has been almost 12 years since a major hurricane made landfall in this country, and so it is very odd that this would be happening all of a sudden.

As I have discussed previously, many believe that the upcoming solar eclipse and the 40 day period that follows may be some type of “warning” for America.  And traditionally, this 40 day period has been a time of repentance for the people of Israel

On August 21, a total solar eclipse will mark a trail from the Northwest US to the Southeast Atlantic Seaboard. The eclipse will occur on the last day of the Hebrew month Av, a day known as Yom Kippur Katan, the “small day of repentance.” The morning after the eclipse, Jews will  begin blowing the shofar every morning for a 40-day period of profound repentance leading up to Yom Kippur. This corresponds to the 40 days Moses was on Mount Sinai atoning for the Jewish people.

It is also very interesting to note that this eclipse comes exactly 33 days before the “Revelation 12 sign” that will appear in the heavens on September 23rd.  The first state that the solar eclipse of August 21st will cross will be Oregon, and many have notedthat Oregon is our 33rd state.  And the solar eclipse will finish crossing the nation on the 33rd parallel in the state of South Carolina.

So is that just a coincidence?

It might be.

Another extremely interesting fact is that the very first large city that the path of the eclipse will cross is Salem, Oregon.  Of course Salem is short for Jerusalem, and it turns out that the path of the eclipse will reach Salem at just about the same time that the sun is setting in Jerusalem.

Another coincidence?

Maybe.

Seven years after the eclipse on August 21st, another one will cross our nation in 2024.  Together, the paths of those two eclipses will mark a giant “X” directly over the middle part of the country.  And amazingly, the combined time of the totality of those two eclipses will be seven minutes.

And this eclipse is just the beginning.  Over the subsequent 40 days there are quite a few critical events that people are buzzing about.  The following list comes from one of my previous articles

August 23 – A FEMA exercise known as “EarthEX2017” will simulate “catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, cyber terrorism or high altitude electromagnetic pulse attacks”

An exercise sponsored by FEMA and the U.S. Department of Energy set to take place on August 23 called EarthEX2017 will wargame responses to catastrophes such as mega earthquakes, cyber terrorism or high altitude electromagnetic pulse attacks.

The exercise will simulate a “subcontinent-scale, long duration power outage, with cascading failures of all other infrastructures,” according to the official Earth Ex website.

“Black sky events” are defined as, “Catastrophic occurrences caused by man or nature that bring society to its knees.”

Read More @ TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com

Midweek: Gold Holding, Silver Hurting, Crude & Copper Hurling

from SilverDoctors:

Last night we were asking why just days ago, CME Group was showing a “stimulative, rate-cutting paradigm shift on interest rate policy”, only to have just yesterday magically turned into a “bullish, rate-hiking everything is awesome continuance of current interest rate trajectory”? We will soon find out as we get a slew of data today on the economy, including potentially market moving Housing Starts data and the release of the July FOMC Minutes.

Recall that if interest rates go up, housing prices must come down as a higher mortgage payment means a buyer must settler for a house with a lower price point. Said differently, if interest rates go down, a buyer is able to afford a more expensive house because the monthly mortgage payment will be lower as the house costs less to finance.

This is why these two independent data points could have effects on the markets today. Just yesterday, we also reported the NY Fed Tweet showing off their fancy, Doppleresque interactive national housing prices map, and we do know that after the stock market, the housing market is certainly one of the Fed’s Frankenbabies. Therefore, we can be assured that extreme care has gone into the minutes that will hit the tape at 2:00 P.M. EST.

And focus on the housing market the minutes will. As forecast, the VIX is moving back towards a state of peace and tranquility in the markets that will afford the Fed a chance to do just that:

After the better than 44{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} surge in “fear” last Thursday, we are now back to unchanged. Amazing how the threat of nuclear Armageddon can come and go in the evening news like it was a report of a salmonella outbreak at McDonald’s. Recall that there as a multi-decade Cold War that centered around this very threat and culminated with one of the ultimate prepper pipe dream movies Red Dawn. Now, mutually assured destruction is right up there with the threat of getting some bacterial infection from the petting zoo.

We also stated the Dow’s next move was higher, not lower, and sure enough, we are right back in spitting distance of all-time-highs:

When are we not just a data release away from all-time-highs? The stock market will rise until it doesn’t, and time will tell. The hyperinflationists, however, will see the Dow go up to 25,000, then 50,000 and perhaps 100,000. Looks like CNBC is going to need more hats.

Whether we have a runaway stock market also depends on what is going on with the US dollar. If the dollar is strengthening relative to other fiat, debt based currencies, our stock market may just keep up the momentum.

However, we have called into question the strength of the dollar for some time. The run in the dollar since min-2014 looks more and more like it is coming to an end. On there daily, the dollar looks like it could rise for another couple of days, but that it is a nasty looking downward channel and it is right up on the upper end of it. Look out below:

Through the spike and turmoil of nuclear destruction, to the everything is awesome recovery in just three days, the gold price is holding it’s own:

The yellow metal patiently riding a nice trend line and the pullback over the last couple days is very bullish looking. If we can keep on a few days up and a couple days down, we will be rewarded over time. And that is under conditions of no-fear in the markets and central banks around the world trying their hardest so as not to raise any red flags and trigger a flight to safety.

Volatility, dollar weakness, fear and uncertainty, extreme overvaluation of the stock market, and continued parabolic moves in cryptocurrencies all keep raising the floor on the metals. It may not feel like it, but the floor is raising for silver prices too:

Between $16.05 and $16.10, there is support. That support goes back into 2016. We have also put in that oh-so important higher-high on the daily chart. We can be certain silver prices will be pushed around to the extent the cartel can push it. They cannot, however, push it too hard, because at some point, there is a flood of buyers. Is that at $16? How about $15.90? The cartel doesn’t really want to play that game, because if there is upside silver price action, those buyers, realizing they missed their price targets, would end up chasing price.

And while we would have liked to see continued strength in the rally, just within the last few days, silver has been down by as much as $0.75, so anytime is a great time to buy this dip. In the crudest sense of the math, that’s a free ounce every 23 ounces. We must ask ourselves, is it worth waiting to see if silver prices gets smacked down to $16.50 to time a purchase? It seems a lot more likely that it will become $0.75 more expensive than $0.25 cheaper.

We have been following the price action of crude and copper lately to gain a sense of where commodity prices are headed. If CPI inflation data is a joke, and the guy on the streets has to pay for gasoline to be that guy on the streets, actual prices of things we purchase everyday matter. We have been wondering if crude would catch up to copper, but the chart price action looks to be shaping up that copper will fall down to crude. Black gold has been range bound all

year, and it looks like it is moving to the bottom of that range again. This is coming off tapping $50 last week:

However, it is worth noting that the last candle on copper’s price action is one big bullish-engulfing candle. Yes copper has been fading, but that sucker on the end looks like the next move is higher before catching down to crude. Is crude going to start hurling the gains over the last two months, and is copper’s fade a healthy pull-back in confirmation of the commodities bull market? We will keep you posted either way.

Bitcoin Buying And Bullion Swaps-The Wisdom Of Experience

by Andy Hoffman, Miles Franklin:

Alright, let’s start by getting the B.S. out of the way – of how stocks are rising, and bullion falling, due to the “diminished Korean threat.”  To start with, amidst supposed investor “terror” of nuclear Armageddon, the VIX, even at its most “terrifying” point, barely rose – whilst the stock market had exactly one bad day; during which, care of the PPT, the “Dow Jones Propaganda Average”  fell just 0.93{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.  Conversely, the “safe-haven surge” into PMs produced exactly one violation of the gold Cartel’s long-standing “1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} rule”; during which, gold rose by…drum roll please….1.2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.  After which, stocks surged back to their PPT-supported highs – whilst paper PMs, during one of the thinnest trading weeks of the year, were smashed back down.  To that end, today was the perfect time to publish a “soft data” surprise, via the “Empire State Manufacturing Index.”  Which, along with the “Chicago PMI” and “Philly Fed Index,” is one of the most blatantly fabricated “indicators” I follow.

During such periods of ultra-thin trading, the massive deflationary trends destroying the global economy are magically “forgotten” by Wall Street and the MSM – like plunging consumer demand and surging industrial surpluses.  To that end, when you control data “adjustments,” you can even produce 0.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} retail sales increase when hard, empirical data states otherwise.  But wait…as I edit, I kid you not, said 0.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} “surge” has been attributed to…drum roll please…automobile sales, due to record incentives; i.e. “peak subprime lending.”

As are Central banks’ recent uber-dovish statements and actions; like the Fed, which following last week’s “disappointing” inflation data, saw December rate hike odds plunge to a new low, below 50{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} – whilst rate cut odds simultaneously arose.  Not to mention, political chaos, both here and abroad; the upcoming debt ceiling debacle; or the fact that, as far as North Korea goes, nothing “positive” occurred other than Trump going to his golf club for a week, and “taking it easy” on the tweets.  As for “markets” – at 2.25{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, the 10-year Treasury yield is smack in the middle of the narrow trading range it’s been in for months; whilst the dollar index, worthless as it is as an indicator of anything other than the exchange rate between the world’s largest fiat toilet papers, it’s barely above its 52-week low – likely, solely due to said nuclear war fears, now that LOL, Europe is “fixed.”

That said, I don’t feel like spending more time today on market and economic data manipulation.  As at this point, if you don’t yet understand the illusion history’s most egregious and malevolent “fintech” has produced – i.e., “dotcom valuations in a Great Depression Era,” and the lowest ever inflation-adjusted Precious Metal prices – you probably never will.  Which is fine if your strategy is to simply to hold physical Precious Metals – but NOT if you invest in historically overvalued markets, or trade historically rigged ones.  As in the big picture, “Economic Mother Nature” always wins – as she already has in countless non-reserve-currency-issuing” nations already; and inevitably, will do so everywhere, to the detriment of the holders of overpriced securities, and benefit of those holding underpriced assets.

The reason being, that I want to focus on pragmatic, logistical issues regarding the two most exciting investment opportunities I see today; of which, I have spilled more digital ink than my “competitors” combined; and likely, will continue to focus on, for the foreseeable future.  The first being, the transformative, and liberating, impact of crypto-currency on both the legacy monetary system and Precious Metals – but more specifically, the risk versus reward profile of actual Bitcoin investing.  And the second, the historic opportunity to “high-grade” one’s Precious Metals portfolio to both capitalize on “historic valuation anomalies” and address personal goals and needs.

Regarding Bitcoin, I am by no means “recommending” anything.  Long-time readers are well-aware of my personalcommitment; however, my commentary is written solely to explain its generational, transformational impact on the dying legacy monetary system – and from the perspective of my role as Miles Franklin’s Marketing Director, its (positive) impact on Precious Metals.  As for investing in Bitcoin, I’m going to start today’s “wisdom of experience” theme by explaining just how much is involved, logistically and risk-wise.  That way, if you are considering “jumping on the bandwagon” after the price has risen 10x in a year’s time, you realize what you’re getting into – particularly, relative to the risks and potential rewards of physical Precious Metals.

To start, unless you intend to meet a stranger in a dark alley and pay for “private keys” with cash, via rendezvous set up anonymously at localbitcoins.com; or find the rare “Bitcoin ATM” – where you can only buy, again in cash, in very small amounts; the principal way to buy Bitcoin is via listed exchanges.  And no, I’m not even going to address “altcoins” here – i.e., all other crypto-currencies; of which, all but a handful cannot be bought with cash – but instead, with Bitcoin or other altcoins on unregulated, extremely dangerous exchanges such as Poloniex.

As for Bitcoin, it is the primary asset traded on nearly all crypto-currency exchanges – either for cash, or other crypto assets.  The problem is, that exchanges are unregulated, with a dreadful history of ineptitude and failure – from hacks, to transaction and wiring delays, to the worst customer service imaginable.  As in, no phone number to call, and email responses that often take a day or more, no matter how critical the issue.  Additionally, if you believe Bitcoin transactions are “anonymous,” think again – as not only is the Bitcoin blockchain traceable, but so are the records of exchanges like Coinbase – America’s largest; as learned earlier this year, when the IRS requested all information about Coinbase users between 2013 and 2015.  Not only that, but most exchanges have ultra-strict AML/KYC protocols, to the point that getting approved for trading can be a long and arduous process, in which a LOT of personal information is given up.  And did I mention the daily and weekly purchase and sales limits – as at Coinbase, where you likely will be allowed to buy or sell no more than $15,000 worth per week?  Or the fact that, when governments inevitably feel threatened by Bitcoin, they could easily shut it down or restrict its operations – as the Chinese government did early this year, when for five months clients were prohibited from withdrawing Bitcoin from their accounts.

Security-wise, consider that one must learn to control their own Bitcoin – as in, keep it entirely out of harm’s way.  Otherwise, it could be hacked like Mt. Gox in 2013, or Bitfinex or the Ethereum DAO last year; or stolen – as occurred last month, when one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges, BTC-e, was shut down – by who else, but U.S. regulators, for running an elaborate money-laundering scheme.  This is why offline hardware wallets like the Trezor and Ledger Nano are so popular – and why, if you decide to own cryptocurrency, you must realize that the only way to do so, is to fully accept the risk of holding it outside the system, with no entity “protecting your back.”

After all that, you are left with one of the most volatile asset classes of all time.  Which, while being the market’s best performer for the past six years, will light your hair on fire watching it surge and crash each day.  To wit, Bitcoin first crossed $4,000 on Saturday night, and just eight hours ago hit an all-time high of $4,430.  And yet, as I write, it’s back to $3,900; i.e., a prototypical 12{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} “overnight correction” that even Cartel-suppressed silver rarely sees.  In other words, as I’ve learned over the past two years, it takes an extreme commitment to not just buy, but hold Bitcoin.

Read More @ MilesFranklin.com