Friday, February 15, 2019

Russia To BAN WEBSITES Offering Cryptocurrency After China Forces Exchanges To Shut Down

from SilverDoctors:

It looks more and more like putting two and two together equals the beginning of the global fiat currency crisis…

Here’s a question. If websites are blocked, how does one buy/sell or trade their cryptos?

Sure, we get it. A person can VPN into the UK or the Ukraine to bypass the IP address ban, but, if one of the benefits of crypto is the mobility, are they all really going to root their Androids and iPhones to install IP obfuscation, IP spoofing and all the other whiz-bang features not easily offered out-of-the-box? When it becomes a pain to use, where is the utility?

From Reuters:

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will block access to websites of exchanges that offer crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, Russian Central Bank First Deputy Governor Sergei Shvetsov said on Tuesday.

“We cannot stand apart. We cannot give direct and easy access to such dubious instruments for retail (investors),” Shvetsov said, referring to households.

Speaking at a conference on financial market derivatives, Shvetsov said the central bank sees rising interest in crypto-currencies because of high returns from buying into such instruments.

“We think that for our citizens, for businesses the usage of such crypto-currencies as an investment object carries unreasonably high risks,” he said.

It is a bloodbath across the crypto sphere:

Read More @ SilverDoctors.com

THE UNKNOWN FUNDAMENTAL: This Will Push The Silver Price Up Much Higher

by Steve St. Angelo, SRSrocco.com

Precious metals investors need to understand the coming silver price surge will not occur due to the typical supply and demand forces.  While Mainstream analysts continue to generate silver price forecasts based on supply and demand factors, they fail to include one of the most important key factors.  Unfortunately, the top paid Wall Street analysts haven’t figured it out that supply and demand forces don’t impact the silver price all that much.

For example, I continue to read articles by analysts who suggest that industrial demand will impact the silver price in the future.  They believe that rising industrial silver demand should push prices higher while lower demand does the opposite.  However, according to my research, I don’t see any real correlation.  So, why should industrial demand impact the silver price in the future when it hasn’t in the past?

If we look at the following chart, there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between global industrial silver demand and the silver price:

Here we can see that industrial silver demand only increased 17 million oz (Moz) in 2011 compared to 2008. However, the price more than doubled from $14.99 to $35.12.  On the other hand, as the silver price fell in half in 2015 versus 2012, industrial silver demand only declined by 30 Moz (600 Moz down to 570 Moz).  Thus, rising or falling industrial silver demand isn’t a factor that determines the silver market price.

Also, many analysts have suggested that a falling silver price would generate more industrial consumption.  Unfortunately, as the silver price peaked and declined in 2011, so has industrial demand.  Now, some readers may believe that the decline in industrial silver consumption is due to less silver being used in photographic applications.  While this is partially true, if we remove photographic silver usage from industrial demand, we can plainly see that industrial consumption of 529 Moz in 2007 was higher than the 517 Moz in 2016:

Regardless, forecasts for industrial silver consumption have been consistently wrong.  In an article I wrote back in 2014, I stated the following on industrial silver demand:

I have always stated that industrial silver demand, especially solar power demand, will not be much of determining factor in setting the price in the future.  Wall Street analysts continue to regurgitate that industrial silver demand will grow for the next 5-10 years.  Hogwash.

When the peak of global oil production takes place within the next several years, this will impact Global GDP growth.  Matter-a-fact, world economic activity will contract along with the decline in global oil production.  Which means, demand for silver in industrial applications will decline as well.

Here is a chart showing the forecasted growth of industrial silver consumption from a report by GFMS done in March 2011, for the Silver Institute:

GFMS Analysts projected that industrial silver demand would rise to 650 Moz by 2015.  However, If we look at the first chart above, global industrial silver fabrication declined over the past five years falling to a low of 562 Moz in 2016.  Even though silver consumption in Solar PV manufacturing may increase for a few years, I believe overall industrial silver consumption will continue to decrease, especially when the markets crack and U.S. and global oil production decline.

Read More @ SRSrocco.com

GOLD AND SILVER ADVANCE: GOLD UP $8.90 AND SILVER IS UP 23 CENTS

by Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

CATALONIA DELAYS DECLARING INDEPENDENCE BUT MADRID STATES THAT THEY DID DECLARE AND THUS WILL INSTITUTE ARTICLE 155/SOUTH KOREA ANNOUNCES THAT IT HAS BEEN HACKED BY NORTH KOREA AND ITS BATTLE PLANS HAVE BEEN COMPROMISED

GOLD: $1291.40 UP   $8.90

Silver: $17.16UP 23 CENT(S)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1288.10

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: $1294.21 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  $1285.95

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $8.26 (premiums getting larger)

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1304.05

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1287.05

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$17.00 (PREMIUMS GETTING LARGER)  

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1289.60

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1288.75

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1291.40

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 1292.25 ???

For comex gold:

OCTOBER/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR OCT CONTRACT MONTH: 0 NOTICE(S) FORnilOZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 2329 FOR 232,900 OZ  (7.241TONNES)

For silver:

OCTOBER

 

 1 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR

 

5,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 391 for 1,955,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

end

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interestROSE BY A STRONG  1688 contracts from  186,144UP TO 187,832   WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING (UP23 CENTS).  THE CROOKS ARE HAVING AN AWFUL TIME TRYING TO COVER THEIR MASSIVE SILVER SHORTS.  IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE HUGE RISE IN PRICE YESTERDAY NEGATED ANY ATTEMPT TO COVER THAT SHORTFALL

RESULT: A GOOD SIZED RISE IN OI COMEXWITH THE23 CENT PRICE RISE.  OUR BANKERS FAILED AGAIN IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO COVER ANY OF THEIR MASSIVE SILVER SHORTFALL. 

 In ounces, the OI is still represented by just UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  0.939 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 134{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT OCT MONTH/ THEY FILED: 1 NOTICE(S) FOR 5,000OZ OF SILVER.

In gold, the open interest SURPRISINGLY  FELL BY 336 CONTRACTS DESPITE THE GOOD SIZEDRISE in price of gold ($8.00 ) .  The new OI for the gold complex rests at 513,815. IT SURE LOOKS LIKE OUR BANKER FRIENDS SEEM A LITTLE EDGY AS THEY WERE INTENT ON COVERING SOME OF THEIR HUGE GOLD SHORTFALL WHICH WILL EXPLAIN THE DROP IN OI DESPITE THE GAIN IN GOLDPRICE.

 

Result: A SMALL SIZED DECREASE IN OI WITH THE RISE IN PRICE IN GOLD ($8.00). WE PROBABLY HAD SOME GOLD SHORT COVERING BY THE BANKERS. 

we had: 0 notice(s) filed upon for NIL oz of gold.

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

GLD:   

Tonight , NO CHANGESin gold inventory at the GLD/

Inventory rests tonight: 858.45 tonnes.

SLV

Today:  NO changes in inventory:

INVENTORY RESTS AT 326.898 MILLION OZ

 

end

.

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver ROSE BY A STRONG1688 contracts from 186,144UP TO 187,832(AND now A LITTLE CLOSER TO THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) . IT  SEEMS THAT  OUR BANKERS WERE AGAIN UNSUCCESSFUL IN COVERING THEIR SILVER SHORTS. THE DATA SEEMS TO SUGGEST SOME GOLD SHORT COVERING BUT IN SILVER IT IS BECOMING IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE CROOKS TO COVER. AS SUCH THEY RETREATED TO HIGHER GROUND AND THEN THEY WILL TRY AGAIN.

RESULT:  A GOOD SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI  AT THE COMEX WITH THERISE IN PRICE OF 23 CENTS WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING. OUR BANKER FRIENDS WERE UNSUCCESSFUL IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO COVER ANY OF OUR SILVER SHORTS 

(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 MONDAY night/TUESDAY morning: Shanghai closed up 8.61 points or .26{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 164.24 pts or .58{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} / The Nikkei closed UP 132.80 POINTS OR .64/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.03{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed WELL upat 6.5792/Oil UP to 50.23 dollars per barrel for WTI and 56.30 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED EXCEPT FTSE .  ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.5792. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED STRONGER TO THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.5704 AND BOTH YUANS ARE STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR. CHINA IS EXTREMELY HAPPY TODAY.

Read More @ HarveyOrganblog.com

Democrats Collapsing with Socialism?

by Martin Armstrong, ArmstrongEconomics.com

QUESTION: Marty; I just read Time Magazine that said the Democrats are in the worse shape since 1929. I understand you take no personal credit for all of these amazing forecast you provide on so many topics. You have clearly shown that the world is connected and the global trend is identifiable. Can your computer also forecast that you will make a difference when it comes to push v shove?

ND

ANSWER: Political change is driven by economics. That is fundamental. Time Magazine correctly wrote: “On the surface, the Democratic Party has been united … [b]ut dig an inch deeper and it’s clear the party is divided…” I have warned that the seeds of discontentwere rising inside the Democratic Party back in February. In September 2016, I warned that: “By 2018, we just may see a completely different party forged out of the collapse of both the Democrats and Republicans we have come to know.” Trump has recast the Republican Party even though the elites are still in denial and fighting back. Trump beat all their candidates. So even the Republican think this is a fluke.

The people now handling Trump, are doing their best to steer him clear of the Deep State to protect the inner-workings. Trump is finding it very difficult to Drain the Swampbecause the Press is defending the Swamp to their last gasp of air like CNN, New York Times, and the Washington Post. CNN fell below all the other news programs because of their extreme bias.

The numbers are the numbers. The computer has no personal bias. If we simply step back and look at this chart objectively, it is not hard to see why the computer has been forecasting the demise of the Democratic Party which has maintained the mantra that business is evil as are the rich.

That view dominated the union movements of the 20th century and they succeeded in driving quality down and their jobs to leave by boat, train, and plane. New York use to be the biggest port in the United States. Today only a few Cruise lines sail from NYC at Pier 88/90/92 by 55th street. Here is a postcard from 1909 showing all the activity. The unions drove the shipping industry out of New York with this anti-business attitude inspired by the Democrats and Karl Marx.

Socialism is dying and taking the Democratic Party with it. Time Magazine quotes Democrat Tim Ryan is an 8 term Congressman who was even considered as a potential VP with Hillary. He is frustrated with his own party and finds the message with “its fixation on divisive issues and its ‘demonization’ of business owners” is not a message people want to hear any more.

The Democrats are living in the past and their message is not embracing anyone except those Democrats who cannot think for themselves and simply vote because they are Democrat.

This is BY NO MEANS my personal opinion. This is simply based upon the trend in motion. The left is losing around the globe for it has been a hateful agenda that always blames the rich, yet constantly reduces the standard of living for everyone the same a s Communism did while making politicians rich and the elite. This is how empires, nations, and city states collapse into the dust of history.

Read More @ ArmstrongEconomics.com

How to Beat Cybercriminals at Their Own Game, Part I

by Justin Splitter, Casey Research:

Justin’s note: Over the next two days, I’m sharing a special interview that features Doug Casey and his colleagues on the latest crime wave that’s sweeping the globe.

Below, you’ll hear from John Hunt, an MD and coauthor with Doug of Speculator and Drug Lord, and Durk Pearson, bestselling author and former rocket scientist and aerospace physicist. They recently sat down with Doug to share their best tips on how to protect yourself against the growing cyber-threat.

I think you’ll find their ideas interesting and timely…

John: Equifax hacks, Russian hacks, and political hacks are all competing with the Kardashians for primetime news reports. Let’s focus on something that might actually matter to each of us and that we can do something about: our own personal cybersecurity.

Durk: Computer security is a lot more important than most people realize. Absent precautions, it’s like if you had a stack of $100 bills and left it on the sidewalk in front of your house. If someone happens to stroll through your neighborhood, he can just pick them up.

Likewise, most people have no computer defenses at all. You have more than $100 bills in that computer. You have your future money too, and your credit.

But you can become resistant to this. It’s not an impossible task. Remember the old story? You don’t have to run faster than the bear. You just have to run faster than the other guy. And that is surprisingly simple.

John: So what do you advise that everyone should do now?

Durk: First know that if you live in a gated residential community, you have a very low chance of being robbed. But the internet is as if everyone lives in Watts in the 1960s, or South Chicago now.

John: You have to build your gates and walls.

Durk: Right. Now, you don’t have to be a perfectly hard target. There is no such thing as a perfectly hard target. The CIA got hacked for a lot of their extremely dangerous hacking tools which are now out in the public domain. If the CIA can get hacked, believe me you can get hacked too.

On the other hand, all you have to do is make yourself a much harder target than the value of what people can get out of you and you’re going to be left alone. They’re going to move on to somebody else who isn’t as tough. Which is most everybody.

John: Why are some of the phishing scams so blatantly stupid? Like a Craigslist price of $2,307 for a 2013 BMW. It’s obvious to anyone.

Durk: “Oh gee, I’m a Nigerian prince and I want to move $50 million to America and I’ll give you half of it if you help me.” Why are people trying a scam that’s so stupidly obvious?

The answer is very simple: These are competent and professional fraudsters. If somebody falls for the Nigerian prince thing, then they’ll be stupid enough to give the fraudsters their Social Security number, their bank account number, and their password.

With the Nigerian prince scam, the fraudsters get rid of the 99{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the people that aren’t that stupid right away.

John: Ah. The more inane the fraud pitch is, the better the fraudsters target their market to the stupid. Doug, what’s your definition of stupidity again?

Doug: Stupidity, like intelligence, comes in a number of flavors. The most common definition of stupidity is “of low intelligence” – but that’s rather circular, like saying “slow” means “not very fast.”

I like to define “stupid” as the ability to see the immediate and direct consequences of actions, but the inability to see the delayed and indirect consequences.

Like most criminals, black-hat hackers never see the long-term consequences – like being hunted, being held in contempt by most of society, and probably landing in jail. Or indirect consequences – like destroying their self-respect. Among other things.

An even better definition of stupidity, applicable both to those who respond to the Nigerian prince scam as well as the Nigerian Prince himself, is “an unwitting tendency towards self-destruction.”

Even when criminals score high on IQ tests, they still fit this definition. So while computer criminals are undoubtedly smarter than street criminals, they’re still rather stupid in very important ways.

Durk: It’s relatively easy to protect yourself from being financially harmed in a hack.

The first rule here is, don’t let a million different companies have your credit card number. Almost every company is perfectly willing to deal with a debit card rather than a credit card. If you keep a small amount of spending money in a debit card account, then that’s the most you can lose. And if it’s not your fault, you’re probably going to be made good.

Second, you use encrypted wire transfers with your bank to make deposits. You see that little padlock up on the address line on your browser that says https rather than http? That’s an encrypted link.

Just make sure that you or your browser entered your bank’s internet URL. Don’t click on an email link that appears to have come from your bank, because it may be a fraudulent phishing email that takes you to a URL with an https connection and a padlock that is NOT really your bank but sure looks exactly like your bank’s internet page and likely will have a confusingly similar URL!

Read More @ CaseyResearch.com

GOLD AND SILVER ADVANCE: GOLD UP $8.00 AND SILVER IS UP 23 CENTS

by Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

COMEX GOLD OPEN INTEREST FALLS BY OVER 2,000 CONTRACTS BUT SILVER DOES THE REVERSE AS SILVER LONGS REFUSE TO BUDGE/TRUMP IN A SHOUTING MATCH WITH BOB CORKER WHICH WILL SEAL THE DEATH OF TAX REFORM/TRUMP HINTS AT WAR WITH NORTH KOREA/TOMORROW IS A BIG DAY FOR CATALONIA SPAIN/RELATIONS BETWEEN THE USA AND TURKEY AT AN ALL TIME LOW WITH ARRESTS WITH RESPECT TO EMBASSY OFFICIALS FROM BOTH COUNTRIES

GOLD: $1282.50 UP   $8.00

Silver: $16.93UP 23 CENT(S)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1284.80

silver: $16.98

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: $1300.79 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  $1281.60

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $19.19 (premiums getting larger)

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1300.79

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1282.30

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$19.49 (PREMIUMS GETTING LARGER)  

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1282.15

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1281.90

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1278.75

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 1279.90

For comex gold:

OCTOBER/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR OCT CONTRACT MONTH: 0 NOTICE(S) FORnilOZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 2329 FOR 232,900 OZ  (7.241TONNES)

For silver:

OCTOBER

 

 5 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR

 

25,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 390 for 1,950,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

end

Let us have a look at the data for today

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In silver, the total open interest SURPRISINGLY ROSE BY A STRONG  1979 contracts from  184,165UP TO 186,144   WITH RESPECT TO FRIDAY’S TRADING (UP10 CENTS).  THE CROOKS TRIED TO COVER AS MUCH OF THEIR SILVER SHORTS AS POSSIBLE YESTERDAY BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THEY HAD NO SUCCESS..SO THEY TRIED ANOTHER RAID ON FRIDAY BUT THEIR PLAN WAS FOILED WITH THE NEWS THAT NORTH KOREA WAS PLANNING ANOTHER LONG RANGE MISSILE CAPABLE OF HITTING THE WEST COAST OF THE USA.

RESULT: A GOOD SIZED RISE IN OI COMEXWITH THE  10 CENT PRICE RISE AND CONSTANT TORMENT. IT SURE LOOKS LIKE OUR BANKERS FAILED AGAIN IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO COVER MUCH OF THEIR MASSIVE SILVER SHORTFALL SO ANOTHER RAID WAS ORCHESTRATED FRIDAY MORNING BUT THAT FAILED AS WELL ON THE NORTH KOREAN NEWS.

 In ounces, the OI is still represented by just UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  0.931 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 133{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT OCT MONTH/ THEY FILED: 5 NOTICE(S) FOR 25,000OZ OF SILVER.

In gold, the open interest FELL BY A  MUCH LARGER THAN EXPECTED 2,591 CONTRACTS DESPITE THERISE in price of gold ($1.60 ) .  The new OI for the gold complex rests at 514,151. OUR BANKER FRIENDS WERE MILDLY SUCCESSFUL IN COVERING SOME OF THEIR GOLD SHORTS. THE BANKERS WERE REACHING FOR CAPITULATION ON FRIDAY BY CAUSING ANOTHER HUGE RAID ON GOLD AND SILVER BUT THAT WAS FOILED ON NEWS THAT NORTH KOREA WAS PLANNING ANOTHER LONG RANGE MISSILE LAUNCH.

 

Result: A GOOD SIZED DECREASE IN OI WITH THE RISE IN PRICE IN GOLD ($1.40) 

we had: 0 notice(s) filed upon for NIL oz of gold.

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

GLD:   

Tonight , ANOTHER BIG CHANGE  in gold inventory at the GLD/ this time A DEPOSIT OF 4.43 TONNES

Inventory rests tonight: 858.45 tonnes.

SLV

Today:  ANOTHER BIG change in inventory: ANOTHER DEPOSIT OF 1.227 MILLION OZ

INVENTORY RESTS AT 326.898 MILLION OZ

 

end

.

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver ROSE BY2102 contracts from 184,165UP TO 186,144(AND now A LITTLE CLOSER TO THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) . IT  SEEMS THAT  OUR BANKERS WERE AGAIN UNSUCCESSFUL IN COVERING THEIR SILVER SHORTS. OUR BANKER’S ATTEMPTED RAID ON FRIDAY WAS ABORTED ONNEWS THAT NORTH KOREA WAS PLANNING A MISSILE LAUNCH CAPABLE OF HITTING THE WEST COAST OF THE USA AND THAT PUT AN END TO THE WHACKING.

RESULT:  A GOOD SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI  AT THE COMEX WITH THE TINY RISE IN PRICE OF 10 CENTS WITH RESPECT TO FRIDAY’S TRADING. OUR BANKER FRIENDS WERE UNSUCCESSFUL IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO COVER ANY OF OUR SILVER SHORTS AS THEIRRAID WAS ABORTED ON THE KOREAN NEWS.

(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 SUNDAY night/MONDAY morning: Shanghai closed up 25.43 points or .76{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} /Hang Sang CLOSED down 131.45 pts or .46{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} / The Nikkei closed /Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.48{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed upat 6.6240/Oil DOWN to 49,46 dollars per barrel for WTI and 55.54 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED GREEN EXCEPT FTSE .  ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.6240. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED STRONGER TO THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.6197 AND BOTH YUANS ARE STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR. CHINA IS VERY HAPPY TODAY

Read More @ HarveyOrganBlog.com

The Consent of the Conned

by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:

Every single line item in our entire Bernie Madoff scam of a system is cooked.

My theme this week is The Great Unraveling, by which I mean the unraveling of our social-political-economic system of hierarchical, centralized power. Let’s start by looking at how the basis of governance has transmogrified from consent of the governed to consent of the conned.

In effect, our leadership leads by lying. As we know, when it gets serious, you have to lie to preserve the perquisites and power of those atop the wealth-power pyramid, and well, it’s serious all the time now, so lies are the default setting of the entire status quo.

But all too many of us are willing to accept the lies because they’re what we want to hear.

As any competent con-man knows, you can only con those who want to be conned. You can only scam the marks who want to believe that what’s obviously too good to be true is in fact true.

The story of scams such as Bernie Madoff’s isn’t that canny Bernie victimized helpless wealthy people; the untold story is that all those “victims” wanted to believe that something that was obviously too good to be true–incredibly high returns, logged month after month and year after year like clockwork–was in fact true because their greed made them more than just vulnerable to being scammed–they wanted to be bamboozled by Bernie.

Victims of scams naturally deny their own culpability. It’s extremely uncomfortable to admit that greed didn’t just blind us to a patently impossible yield; we wanted to be conned because it felt so wonderful to believe we richly deserved unearned wealth.

All wealth is “earned” to those doing the skimming. The greatest con machine of all time, Wall Street, judiciously refers to every skim and scam as “earnings.”

And so the “victims” blame our lying leaders for telling them what they want to hear. You see how the webs of self-interest reinforce each other: those atop the wealth-power pyramid secure their position by lying persuasively enough to gain The Consent of the Conned–those who give their consent to a visibly corrupt and unsustainable status quo because that status quo is promising to provide too good to be true goodies.

In other words, the lies are constantly compounding: the leadership lies to themselves– we have to lie to keep everything glued together for the good of the people–when their real motivation is to keep the system glued together because the system gives them wealth and power.

If we can be honest for a moment, we might admit that representational democracy encourages leaders to issue too good to be true promises because those promises win votes.

Those on the bottom of the wealth-power pyramid accept the too good to be true assurances because that’s exactly want we want to hear: that we all deserve a piece of the unearned wealth that, like Bernie Madoff’s painfully impossible scam, flows in permanent abundance via some sort of financial magic.

The books are cooked, people; we embrace a gigantic too good to be trueBernie Madoff scam of a system because it’s what we want to believe and what we want to hear. Then, when the whole phantom-wealth con collapses in a heap, we quickly pull on the tattered cloak of victimhood: we were promised, we were lied to, we trusted our leaders to lead us wisely, and so on, as if the con wasn’t obvious to anyone who was skeptical of too good to be true claims.

Now that the whole Bernie Madoff scam of a system is unraveling, two self-reinforcing dynamics are in play: our leadership, elected and unelected alike, are doubling down on the lies because there is no alternative–TINA. What does a liar gain by confessing the whole prosperity thing is illusory, and darn it, we can only spend what we produce in real-world surplus? Short answer: nothing, because that’s not going to win elections or gain the consent of the governed.

So lies are piled on lies to the point of absurdity. But just as Bernie Madoff’s wealthy marks ignored the warnings of the skeptical and mounting evidence that they were being conned, the electorate wants to believe the magical thinking is real, and so they accept the latest statistical flim-flammery as “proof” that the con is not a con.

Once again, we worship the Goddess TINA–there is no alternative. Just as our leaders are now trapped in their web of lies and false assurances, the governed are also trapped in the con because it’s too painful and unnerving to admit we’ve willingly bought into a complete con: we’re too smart to be conned, we protest; look, it’s not a con, the GDP is growing and unemployment is low–and so on.

Bernie Madoff’s marks made the same defensive protests: it can’t be a con, look at my statement: the monthly “earnings” keep pouring in.

The books are cooked, folks, at every level of our Bernie Madoff scam of a system: the federal books are cooked; state, county and city books are cooked; corporate books are cooked; the statistical metrics are all cooked; the projections are cooked, and the estimates are cooked.

Every single line item in our entire Bernie Madoff scam of a system is cooked.Wanting to believe a con is true doesn’t make it true. The power of a con rests in our great desire to believe that what’s too good to be true is magically true. It isn’t, but it feel so reassuring and, well, deserved for it to be true.

Read More @ OfTwoMinds.com

The Hated Dollar Resurges. But Why?

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by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Betting against the dollar remains a favorite sport.

The dollar has done – as it so often does – the opposite of what was expected. Last December, the Fed raised its target for the federal funds rate and indicated that this time it was serious about tightening and that it wouldn’t flip-flop anymore. Two weeks later, the dollar, after surging much of 2016, turned around and headed south in defiance of the Fed.

On September 8 intraday, the dollar index (DXY), which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies, hit the lowest point since December 2014. In a little over eight months, it had dropped 12{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from its intraday peak on January 3. But that was it. Since September 8, it has bounced nearly 3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. The chart shows the weekly movements:

Since early September, the dollar has bounced against the euro, the yen, the Canadian dollar, the Mexican peso, and the Chinese yuan between 2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} and 6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. Based on the dollar index, the dollar has now risen four weeks in a row, though this morning, it is taking a breather. September 8 also coincides with the recent peak in the gold price expressed in US dollars — seen another way, the dollar has since risen against gold.

So why the dollar’s bounce?

One theory, among many, is that currency exchange markets – after blowing off the newly hawkish Fed for months and expecting it to flip-flop any moment, as it had done relentlessly starting in 2014 – are considering the possibility that the Fed might not flip-flop this time.

One more rate hike in December is likely. The Fed indicated after its last meeting that three more rate hikes next year seem likely, which would bring the Fed’s target range for the federal funds rate to 2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 2.25{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, up from around 0{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} not long ago – “low” inflation, no problem.

But more importantly, in September the Fed announced the start-date of the QE unwind, after having announced the mechanics and amounts in June. The QE unwind has now commenced. And the members of the FOMC voted for it unanimously.

With the QE unwind, the Fed will gradually destroy the money it had created during the phases of QE. It had watered down the dollar during QE with this money creation, now it’s going to reverse the process.

Rate hikes impact short-term yields. The QE unwind is designed to raise yields of longer-dated securities. Rising yields would make dollar-denominated bonds more attractive for international buyers stuck with ultra-low yields in other currencies, and when the plow into dollar-denominated securities, they also create demand for the dollar – or so goes one of the theories.

At the same time, additional political risks are creeping into the euro scenario, with Spain trying to repress Catalonia’s drive for independence, and with a right-wing party in Germany surging out of nowhere a few years ago to become the third largest player in parliament, thus weakening Chancellor Merkel’s grip.

So the dollar index bounced, but it remains down over 9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from its intraday peak on January 3.

Betting against the dollar remains a favorite sport for hedge funds, at least as of October 3 when there were $17.4 billion in short positions against the dollar, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, though that had edged down from the prior week, and positions might have changed more by now.

The weakening dollar over the first three quarters this year has helped corporate earnings of those companies with overseas exposure, which includes most of the S&P 500 companies. When the dollar weakens, their sales and profits in other currencies are translated into more dollars, which makes the results look better on paper. A strengthening dollar will do the opposite.

What everyone wants to know now is this: Was this bounce just a blip, or was it the beginning of a reversal with stamina to move “higher for longer,” as they might say in the new jargon. The one-way trade against the dollar for the first eight months of the year seems over, and now it gets complicated.

Other central banks have also started to walk back their monetary policies. The Bank of Canada has raised rates twice this year and will likely raise one more time. The Bank of England has indicated that it might raise its rate, likely to happen in November. The ECB, which has already reduced its QE by €20 billion earlier this year, may announce more backpedaling after its meeting on October 26. The Fed leads, other central banks follow.

Read More @ WolfStreet.com