Monday, January 27, 2020

“We choose debt. . .”

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by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:

I’ve long held a working theory that US voters are completely predictable in Presidential elections.

The idea is that Americans almost invariably tend to swing wildly every few election cycles, voting for the candidate who is as close to the opposite of the current guy as possible.

Let’s go back a few decades to, say, Jimmy Carter.

In 1976, the country was sick and tired of the corruption, scandal, and disgrace of Richard Nixon’s administration (which at that point had been inherited by Gerald Ford).

Jimmy Carter was pretty much the opposite of Richard Nixon– a youthful outsider versus an aging crony.

After four years of economic disaster, Americans swung in the opposite direction from Carter, choosing an older, polished conservative in Ronald Reagan who represented strength and stability.

That trend lasted for twelve years– two terms with Reagan, and one term with his successor George HW Bush, after which the country swung in the other direction again– to Bill Clinton.

Clinton was another young, energetic liberal, pretty much the opposite of the elderly, curmudgeonly Bush.

After eight year of Clinton and his personal scandals, the country swung again to George W. Bush, a God-fearing, fundamental conservative who wouldn’t cheat on his wife. He represented Clinton’s opposite.

And after eight years of war and economic turmoil, the country swung once again to Bush’s opposite– a youthful, charismatic, black outsider.

Eight years later, the 2016 election was won by a man who is as far from Barack Obama as it gets.

Now, however you feel about the current guy, it’s safe to say that the country is probably going to wildly swing in the opposite direction in either 2020 or 2024.

Last night the world got a sneak peak at what that might look like– Congressman Joe Kennedy III, the 37-year old grandnephew of John F. Kennedy.

The young Congressman clearly represents Trump’s opposite and seems to embody so many of the gargantuan social movements that are coming to a head– the Dreamers, #metoo, BlackLivesMatter, etc.

Now, I typically hate talking about something as trite as politics and elections; elections merely change the players. It’s the game that’s rotten.

But in the Congressman’s rebuttal last night after the State of the Union address, he said something that I found quite alarming, almost inconceivable.

He lamented that the government has turned America into a “zero-sum game” where benefits received by one group must come at the expense of another– fund health insurance by cutting funding for education; build new highways by slashing teachers’ pensions.

He cited a number of examples, and then told his audience, “We choose both!”

Given the thunderous applause at that remark, everyone seemed to agree that the wealthiest, most prosperous nation in the world should never have to make a single tough financial decision.

Americans should have everything they want. And somehow, the money to pay for it all will just magically appear.

I found this astonishingly naive. He should have said, “We choose debt!” Because that’s the only way they’ll be able to pay for any of it.

Bear in mind the US government is already nearly $21 trillion in the hole and spending hundreds of billions of dollars each year just to pay interest on the debt.

In Fiscal Year 2017, in fact, the Treasury Department reports that interest payments on the debt hit a new high of $458,542,287,311.80.

Read More @ SovereignMan.com

The Crypto Crash Is Temporary—Here’s the One Reason Why

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by Jeff Brown, International Man:

3.5 million…

That’s the estimate for how many “ghost accounts” were created by banking giant Wells Fargo.

That’s about 1% of the total U.S. population. It’s also roughly the population of the state of Connecticut.

You’ve likely heard the story already, so I won’t go into all the details. But here’s the gist…

Wells Fargo created millions of fake accounts for its customers… to charge them fees for services that they never requested.

It was later discovered that Wells Fargo was signing customers up for unwanted insurance policies as well – again, to charge customers for services that they never requested. This was outright fraud.

It’s for reasons like this that a new type of technology has burst onto the scene. It enables secure, reliable, and transparent transactions… without the potential for manipulation by big financial institutions.

As an investor, this technology needs to be on your radar.

Here’s why…

You Can’t Trust the “Trusted” Intermediaries

Recently, I wrote to you to give you an “inside look” at the world of cryptocurrencies. I told you that the crypto market would experience some pullbacks and high volatility. We’re seeing that today. Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, dropped about 30% earlier this month.

But despite these pullbacks, I’ve also told you that these new crypto assets still have a long way to run in the years ahead. And the reason why can be summed up in one word: blockchain.

You’ve likely heard the term “blockchain” associated with the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin. You may even know it as the decentralized ledger technology underpinning cryptocurrencies.

But that’s only part of the story…

Blockchain technology is also known as distributed ledger technology. We can think of a distributed ledger in its simplest form as a distributed database – distributed in the sense that there are complete copies of this database (or ledger) scattered around the world.

Historically, companies, governments, and individuals all keep their records in one centralized database. Imagine a room with racks of computers that store information.

But centralized databases can be manipulated… Records can be changed, hard drives can fail, data can be lost, and the records represent only one party’s view of any given transaction.

In the world of blockchains and distributed ledger technology, the exact opposite is true. The transactions recorded on the ledger represent a transaction that takes place between the parties involved and is confirmed by the blockchain network via a consensus.

Once a transaction is written to the ledger, it is immutable. It cannot be changed.

The image below gives you an idea of the difference between these two network types.

The value and utility that a well-designed blockchain provides is remarkable. Immutability, secure transactions, privacy, transparency, the reduction or elimination of fraud…

That last part is key.

That’s because in a centralized system, we depend on “trusted” intermediaries (banks and other financial institutions) to conduct transactions.

But as we’ve learned time and time again, these “trusted” intermediaries are not at all trustworthy.

It wasn’t long ago when the LIBOR scandal uncovered that many of the most “trusted” financial institutions in the world were manipulating interest rates for their own benefit, and of course at the expense of others.

Banks like Barclays, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Citigroup, Bank of America, and the Royal Bank of Scotland were found to be right in the middle of these manipulations. And we’ve already discussed Wells Fargo…

The corruption is seemingly endless.

Read More @ InternationalMan.com

Now Comes Boondoggle Don—Why Infrastructure Won’t MAGA

by David Stockman, David Stockman’s Contra Corner:

America’s economy is faltering not from too little infrastructure spending, but from too much debt—-$67 trillion of total public and private debt, to be exact. So it appears that the bond vigilantes are returning from 24 years of hibernation just in the nick of time to put the kibosh on the Trumpite/GOP’s latest hare-brained scheme to balloon the public debt.

As if the impending FY 2019 collision between $1.2 trillion of new Treasury borrowing and the Fed’s $600 billion bond-dumping campaign (QT) incepting this coming October were not enough, word now comes that Tuesday’s night’s State of the Union (SOTU) adress will feature a $1.7 trillioninfrastructure plan.

We’d say rechristen the Donald as “Boondoggle Don” and be done with it. On top of the $1 trillion + deficits already rumbling down the pike, the very idea of a massive debt-financed, pork-barrel driven borrow and spend spree 104 months into a business cycle expansion is sheer lunacy.

And don’t take our word for it—even if we have been smoked by the bond vigilantes up close and personal, and more than once. With this morning’s breakout to a 2.72% yield on the 10-year treasury note, it is more likely than not that the bond-selling stampede has commenced.

To wit, the greatest no-brainer trade ever invented has been front-running on repo (i.e. 95% borrowed money) the massive bond-buying campaigns of the central banks: The carry was free, the bond price was guaranteed to rise, the spread was fulsome, the central banks’ policy signals were well-telegraphed and transparent, and through it all bond traders slept like babies without risk of Ambien addiction.

That is to say, on top of the $20 trillion of bond supply that the central banks have taken out of the market with credits conjured from thin air since 1995, trillions more was absorbed by leveraged speculators who were buying today exactly what the central banks had pledged to be buying tomorrow—-right down to the cusip number.

Needless to say, that double whammy of bond price levitation is over and done. With central banks rapidly winding down their QE bond purchases, the smart money is about to make its own pivot.That is, toward selling what the Keynesian central banks will be selling as the latter desperately scramble to shrink their elephantine balance sheets, and reload the dry powder they believe will be needed to combat the next recession.

To that end, it is worth noting that the 10-year yield has now doubled from it’s all-time closing low of 1.36% recorded on July 5, 2016. Having gone eyeball-to-eyeball with a yield of 15.86% back in September 1981, we can say this: A 92% yield drop over 37 years defined an aberrational era that virtually destroyed all intellectual muscle memory in the bond pits.

Neither the trading algorithms nor the remaining carbon-based bond jockeys have ever known a sustained period of rising yields.

Likewise, they have operated for a lifetime in hot-house markets where massive, sustained central bank bond buying over-rode and deformed any ordinary dynamic of supply and demand fundamentals. Accordingly, the denizens of today’s electronic bond pits don’t know from “price discovery” and can’t imagine a scenario in which the central banks don’t have their backs.

But that’s precisely why a “yield shock” is imminent. In fact, now comes the black swan with an orange-colored hue; Trump’s SOTU boondoggle may well be the risk-off pin that the current manic financial bubble has been searching for since November 8, 2016.

Stated differently, Boondoggle Don may be commencing god’s work after all. In the current fraught environment, it will not take much to trigger a self-fueling bond market sell-off that will finally bring down the entire debt-enabled house of cards.

In this context, we’d also bet heavily on the proposition that the chart below has never been seen inside the White House. Unlike the warmed over supply-side fantasies being ponied-up by geriatric supply-siders like Steve Forbes and Stephen Moore, this chart is about the real economics of our time; it dwarfs into insignificance Art Laffer’s four-decades ago napkin scriblings.

To wit, as recently as January 2017, the major central banks were draining securities from the bond pits at a $2.1 trillion annual rate, thereby injecting a tsunami of newly minted cash into the casino where it found its way into corporates, junk bonds, ETFs, short vol trades and even more exotic “risk-on” speculations.

Read More @ DavidStockmansContraCorner.com

Golden Rays and Silver Linings

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by Rory Hall, Sprott Money:

We firmly believe, and have stated a number of times, that gold and silver are the only assets that have the fortitude to stand up to corrupt governments and zombie banks. These two assets, throughout history, have over and over and over again helped the people to gain wealth, to prosper and to truly innovate new technologies. What has happened over the past 100+ years is our wealth, innovation and sovereignty have been slowly stripped away.

Central banks are secretly trading all futures markets to control prices, this simply can not be reported. We would have to give up the pretense of free markets people would have to acknowledge – “No, we don’t have free markets!” we basically have a totalitarian system that is very carefully disguised. ~Chris Powell, The Daily Coin

The good news is it seems to be changing.

Liberty and truth made an appearance over this past week in two different ways. First, we had people arrested for rigging the precious metals markets and then we had the President stand up to a bunch of bullies in Congress attempting to keep the truth hidden from the American people. Truth that some members of Congress insisted did not exist in the first place. Some of what has been hidden is beginning to be revealed.

We have a very long way to go to overturn and correct the damage of more than 100 years of Federal Reserve manipulation, but this past week, those of us fighting the good fight received a much needed ray of sunshine that illuminated a silver lining surrounding the dark cloud that has been hanging over our nation for far too long.

I sat down with Chris Powell, Secretary Treasurer, GATA, to follow up on the arrest of 6 bank employees convicted of rigging the precious metals markets, how GATA see gold and silver returning to the monetary system and what all these new gold backed cryptocurrencies mean for the monetary system. The market rigging criminals were employed by three of the worlds biggest banks, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and UBS. In order for government to get out of market rigging we need not return to a traditional gold standard, but allow gold and silver to return to the monetary system of their own free will. Chris, along with Bill Still, believe this would naturally happen if governments were to get out of the way. The development of new fintech like gold backed cryptocurrencies may help to foster such an environment. Time will tell and we shall see if governments are willing to hand over their true source of power – control of the currency.

Read More @ Sprott Money.com

OPTIONS EXPIRY ON GOLD AND SILVER END TOMORROW

by Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

GOLD DOWN $4.85 TO $1336.90/SILVER DOWN 6 CENTS TO $17.10/GOLD EFP ISSUANCE: A LARGE 11,909 CONTRACTS/SILVER EFP ISSUANCE: 1461CONTRACTS/HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE VOTES TO MAKE PUBLIC THE 4 PAGE FISA WARRANT

GOLD: $1336.90 DOWN $4.85

Silver: $17.10 DOWN 6 cents

Closing access prices:

Gold $1338.50

silver: $17.13

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: $1345.27 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1335.75

PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $7.79

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1362.55

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1335.55

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$27.00

SHANGHAI REJECTS FULLY NY /LONDON PRICING OF GOLD

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1345.70

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1343.45

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1344.90

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1346.00???

For comex gold:

JANUARY/

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR JANUARY CONTRACT: 2 NOTICE(S) FOR 100 OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 698 FOR 69800 OZ (2.1710 TONNES),

For silver:

jANUARY

1 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

5,000 OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 730 for 3,650,000 oz

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Bitcoin: BID $10,959/OFFER $11,059  DOWN $183(morning)

Bitcoin: BID/   $10,101/   $10,200 offer down1035  (CLOSING/5 PM)

 

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EXPECT SOME TORMENT IN BOTH GOLD AND SILVER TO END TOMORROW AS WE HAVE LONDON BASED OPTIONS EXPIRING AT AROUND 11 AM WEDNESDAY.

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest ROSE BY A TINY SIZED 361 contracts from 200,827 RISING TO 201,188 DESPITE YESTERDAY’S BIG 26 CENT FALL IN SILVER PRICING.  WE HAD ZERO COMEX LIQUIDATION. HOWEVER, WE WERE AGAIN NOTIFIED THAT WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE:  1460 EFP’S FOR MARCH AND AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THUS TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 1460 CONTRACTS. HOWEVER THE MOVEMENT ACROSS TO LONDON IS NOT AS SEVERE AS IN GOLD AS THERE SEEMS TO BE  MAJOR PLAYERS WILLING TO TAKE ON THE BANKS AT THE COMEX. STILL, WITH THE TRANSFER OF 1460 CONTRACTS, WHAT THE CME IS STATING IS THAT THERE IS NO SILVER (OR GOLD) TO BE DELIVERED UPON AT THE COMEX AS THEY MUST EXPORT THEIR OBLIGATION TO LONDON. ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE CAN BE A DELAY OF 24 HRS IN THE ISSUING OF EFP’S.

ACCUMULATION FOR EFP’S/SILVER/ STARTING FROM FIRST DAY NOTICE/FOR MONTH OF JANUARY:

47,174 CONTRACTS (FOR 21 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 47,174 CONTRACTS OR 235.870 MILLION OZ: AVERAGE PER DAY: 2246 CONTRACTS OR 11.231 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH:  235.8 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 33.6% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION

RESULT: A TINY SIZED LOSS IN OI COMEX DESPITE THE BIG 26 CENT FALL IN SILVER PRICE.  WE HOWEVER HAD A GOOD SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 1460 CONTRACTS WHICH EXITED OUT OF THE SILVER COMEX AND TRANSFERRED THEIR OI TO LONDON AS FORWARDS. SPECULATORS CONTINUED THEIR INTEREST IN ATTACKING THE SILVER COMEX FOR PHYSICAL SILVER . FROM THE CME DATA 1460 EFP’S WERE ISSUED FOR TODAY  FOR A DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS. WE REALLY GAINED 1333 OI CONTRACTS i.e. 1460 open interest contracts headed for London (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A INCREASE OF 361  OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH THE FALL IN PRICE OF SILVER OF 26 CENTS AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $17.16 WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING. YET WE STILL HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX.

In ounces AT THE COMEX, the OI is still represented by just OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.0060 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 144% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

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

In gold, the open interest FELL  BY A LARGE 8799 CONTRACTS DOWN TO 566,441 WITH THE GOOD SIZED FALL IN PRICE OF GOLD WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING ($11.25). IN ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT, WE RECEIVED THE TOTAL NUMBER OF GOLD EFP’S ISSUED FOR TODAY AND IT TOTALED A GOOD SIZED  11,909 CONTRACTS OF WHICH FEBRUARY SAW 3284 CONTRACTS ISSUED AND  APRIL SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 8625 CONTRACTS.    The new OI for the gold complex rests at 558,239. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THERE WILL BE A DELAY IN THE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S.  THE BANKERS REMOVE LONG POSITIONS OF COMEX GOLD IMMEDIATELY.  THEN THEY ORCHESTRATE THEIR PRIVATE EFP DEAL WITH THE LONGS AND THAT COULD TAKE AN ADDITIONAL 48 HRS SO WE GENERALLY DO NOT GET A MATCH WITH RESPECT TO DEPARTING COMEX LONGS AND NEW EFP LONG TRANSFERS. DUE TO THE DELAY IN THE RELEASE OF YESTERDAY’S DATA YOU CAN BET THE FARM THAT THEY HAVE DELAYED THE RELEASE OF MANY EFPS. DEMAND FOR GOLD INTENSIFIES GREATLY AS WE CONTINUE TO WITNESS A HUGE NUMBER OF EFP TRANSFERS TOGETHER WITH THE MASSIVE INCREASE IN GOLD COMEX OI  TOGETHER WITH  THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF GOLD OUNCES STANDING FOR JANUARY COMEX. EVEN THOUGH THE BANKERS ISSUED THESE MONSTROUS EFPS, THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS TO SUPPLY METAL BUT IT TRANSFERS THE RISK TO A LONDON BANKER OBLIGATION AND NOT A NEW YORK COMEX OBLIGATION. LONGS RECEIVE A FIAT BONUS TOGETHER WITH A LONG LONDON FORWARD. THUS, BY THESE ACTIONS, THE BANKERS AT THE COMEX HAVE JUST STATED THAT THEY HAVE NO APPRECIABLE METAL!! THIS IS A MASSIVE FRAUD: THEY CANNOT SUPPLY ANY METAL TO OUR COMEX LONGS BUT THEY ARE QUITE WILLING TO SUPPLY MASSIVE NON BACKED GOLD (AND SILVER) PAPER KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE NO METAL TO SATISFY OUR LONGS. LONDON IS NOW SEVERELY BACKWARD IN BOTH GOLD AND SILVER (BIG RISE IN BOTH GOFO AND SIFO) AND WE ARE WITNESSING DELAYS IN ACTUAL DELIVERIES. IN ESSENCE TODAY WE HAVE A GAIN OF 3110  CONTRACTS: 8799 OI CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX AND A STRONG SIZED  11,909 OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON. EXPECT HUGE NUMBERS OF EFP’S TO BE ISSUED AS WE APPROACH FIRST DAY NOTICE IN THE GOLD FEB COMEX CONTRACT, WEDNESDAY JAN 31.2018

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 4123 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S/ GOLD(EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY STARTING WITH FIRST DAY NOTICE: 209,695 CONTRACTS OR 20.9695 MILLION OZ OR 652.22 TONNES(21 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 9,985 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 998,500 OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :   SO FAR THIS MONTH IN 21 TRADING DAYS: IN  TONNES: 652 TONNES

TOTAL ANNUAL GOLD PRODUCTION, 2017, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD EX CHINA EX RUSSIA: 2200 TONNES

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 652/2200 TONNES =  29.63% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN JANUARY ALONE.

Result: A  GOOD SIZED DECREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE LARGE SIZED FALL IN PRICE IN GOLD TRADING YESTERDAY ($11.25). IT IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THAT MANY OF THE DEPARTED COMEX LONGS ARE WAITING TO RECEIVE A PRIVATE EFP CONTRACT FOR EITHER FEBRUARY OR APRIL AND THESE GUYS ARE STILL NEGOTIATING THEIR DEAL. WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 11,909 AS THESE HAVE ALREADY BEEN NEGOTIATED.   THERE OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT SEEM TO BE MUCH PHYSICAL GOLD AT THE COMEX AND YET WE ALSO OBSERVED A HUGE DELIVERY MONTH FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER. I GUESS IT EXPLAINS THE HUGE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S…THERE IS HARDLY ANY GOLD PRESENT AT THE GOLD COMEX FOR DELIVERY PURPOSES. IF YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE 11,909 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A NET GAIN IN OPEN INTEREST OF 3110 contracts ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

11909 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND  8799 CONTRACTS DECREASED AT THE COMEX. (in tonnes, the GAIN in total oi equates to 9.67 TONNES).

we had: 2 notice(s) filed upon for 200 oz of gold.

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

GLD

With gold down another $4.85, we had a big changes in gold inventory at the GLD/a withdrawal of 1.47 tonnes of gold/

Inventory rests tonight: 846.67 tonnes.

SLV/ 

A NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/ INVENTORY RESTS AT 313.896 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 TINY 361 contracts from 200,827 DOWN TO 201,188 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM  THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) WITH  THE FAIR SIZED LOSS  IN PRICE OF SILVER  (26 CENTS WITH RESPECT TO  YESTERDAY’S TRADING).   OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE ANOTHER GOOD 1460 PRIVATE EFP’S FOR MARCH  (WE DO NOT GET A LOOK AT THESE CONTRACTS AS IT IS PRIVATE BUT THE CFTC DOES AUDIT THEM) AND 0 EFP’S FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS .  EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON. WE HAD MINIMAL COMEX SILVER COMEX LIQUIDATION. IF WE TAKE THE  OI GAIN AT THE COMEX OF  361 CONTRACTS TO THE 1460 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S WE OBTAIN A GAIN OF 1821 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS.  WE STILL HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES THAT ARE STANDING FOR METAL IN JANUARY (SEE BELOW). THE NET GAIN TODAY IN OZ ON THE TWO EXCHANGES: 9.105 MILLION OZ!!!

RESULT: A TINY SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE FAIR SIZED LOSS  OF 26 CENTS IN PRICE (WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING). BUT WE ALSO HAD ANOTHER GOOD 1460 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE GOOD  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR JANUARY, DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL SILVER INTENSIFIES AS WE WITNESS MAJOR BANK SHORT COVERING ACCOMPANIED BY INCREASES IN GOFO AND SIFO RATES INDICATING SCARCITY.

(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 DOWN 34.99 points or 0.99% /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 359.60 pts or 1.09% / The Nikkei closed DOWN 337.37 POINTS OR 1.43%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.895%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.3235/Oil DOWN to 64.92 dollars per barrel for WTI and 69.06 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED IN THE RED .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.3235. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AGAINST  THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.3279//ONSHORE YUAN MUCH STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR/OFF SHORE MUCH STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR/. THE DOLLAR (INDEX) IS  MUCH WEAKER AGAINST ALL MAJOR CURRENCIES. CHINA IS NOT HAPPY TODAY.(STRONGER CURRENCY BUT WEAK MARKETS )

Read More @ HarveyOrganBlog.com

The US Dollar Is Getting Crushed by the Yuan — and China Isn’t Even Trying Yet

by Darius Shahtahmasebi, The Anti Media:

China is struggling to rein in the yuan in its global currency chess game against the United States, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Independent media is under attack — and we need your help to save it! Click here to become an Anti-Media patron.

According to the WSJ, after spending most of last year defending the yuan, China’s central bank is looking to “rein” in its recent ascent, which has been a notable climb compared to the dollar. From the WSJ:

“Driven by an unexpectedly prolonged softening of the dollar, the Chinese currency has surged to around its strongest level against the greenback since its surprise devaluation in August 2015. The yuan is now on track for its best monthly performance since April 1980, rising 3% against the dollar so far in January.” [emphasis added]

However, according to the WSJ, the yuan’s move coincides with a number of other currencies that are fast covering ground against the dollar. The euro has reportedly made a 3.5 percent gain while the Japanese yen has made a 3.8 percent gain against the dollar so far this month.

Just last Friday, the yuan made a further 0.2 percent gain against the dollar.

The WSJ describes this success as somewhat of a “policy headache” for the Chinese government, which regularly devalues its own currency to maintain an edge in exports. If the yuan keeps increasing, government advisers and analysts predict it “could encourage speculative fund flows from overseas and hurt exports amid already rising trade tensions between China and the Western world, particularly the U.S,” the WSJ reports.

“This is not what the central bank would like to see,” said Xiao Lisheng, a senior economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank.

“The central bank wants the renminbi (yuan) to move up and down according to market supply and demand,” he added. “Now it’s basically being held hostage by the dollar index.” 

However, despite this, one thing the WSJ fails to mention is the fact that the U.S. is fast losing its control over the global financial market as country after country begins adopting the yuan for global trade.

According to the WSJ, the People’s Bank of China, which fixes the yuan’s daily official rate, allows the yuan to strengthen if the dollar weakens, and vice versa, allowing the yuan to weaken if the dollar strengthens. This predictability allows for safe “one-way bets,” though it seems to indicate that should the dollar start to strengthen again this year, China may put a dent in the yuan’s rise.

The issue for China, of course, is that in return, a weak yuan brings in a ludicrous amount of money into the country from its trade with the U.S. As the WSJ explains:

Read More @ TheAntiMedia.com

ATMs Hit By Malware “Jackpotting” Attacks That Dispense All Cash In Minutes

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by Mark O’Byrne, Goldcore:

– ATMs in US hit by “jackpotting” attacks that empty ATMs in minutes
– FBI warns of attacks in US after similar crimes in Taiwan, Thailand and Europe

– Hackers have stolen c.$1 million from ATMs across the US warns U.S. Secret Service
– Target Diebold Nixdorf machines – #1 global ATM provider, 35% of ATMs worldwide
– Digital deposits increasingly vulnerable – Time to save in physical gold

$1 million has been stolen from ATMs across the United States by hackers in a new hacking approach known as ‘jackpotting’. Using malware and an endoscope hackers are able to force cash machines to spew out their entire holding of cash.

Once the machine has been emptied the malware, known as Plotus. D, has handed over complete control to the hackers and displays an ‘Out of Service’ message.

This week a memo was leaked from the US Secret Service regarding this discovery. It stated that it was only a matter of time that the US became a target for this type of hacking, given it has already been seen in both Europe and Asia.

According to Russian cybersecurity firm Group IB, dozens of remote attacks were reported in 2016 within Europe.

Plotus.D is not a new discovery for security services, background reading suggests that they have been aware of it for a while now. An alert issued by the US Secret Service, states:

“In previous Ploutus.D attacks, the ATM continuously dispensed at a rate of 40 bills every 23 seconds…Once the dispense cycle starts, the only way to stop it is to press cancel on the keypad. Otherwise, the machine is completely emptied of cash.”

In fact, it was first seen in Mexico in 2013, as described by security firm FireEye in 2017. They concluded that it was “one of the most advanced ATM malware families we’ve seen in the last few years

“Once deployed to an ATM, Ploutus-D makes it possible for a money mule to obtain thousands of dollars in minutes,” They believe the malware can be modified to use against 40 different ATM vendors in 80 countries.

No longer need to ‘blow the bl**dy doors off’ 

As Wired magazine pointed out last year, it used to be that robbers needed to either blow up or physically steal an entire ATM in order to steal its contents. Now there are two, far more subtle routes. A simple physical hack or one which goes through the bank’s own software system.

Due to the nature of cybersecurity threats these days, it is getting harder for hackers to access a bank’s back-end network as it requires a far more sophisticated network intrusion skills. Conversely, hacking physically through the front of a machine does not trigger any alarms and can be done relatively cheaply and easily.

Even more convenient for the hackers, physical attacks on machines means the banks or ATM issuers cannot do a remote fix across all machines, each one has to be repaired individually. Giving the hackers more time to access as many ATMs as they can.

How can this be managed? Wired magazine believe this may be an unsolvable problem:

Physical attacks on ATMs are, in some sense, an unsolvable problem. Computer security experts have long warned that no computer should be considered secure if an attacker takes physical control of it. But weak encryption and a lack of authentication between components leaves ATMs particularly vulnerable to physical attacks—access to any part of the insecure machine Kaspersky describes means access to its most sensitive core. And for computers that are left standing unprotected on a dark street in the middle of the night, stuffed full of money, a little more thought to digital security might be a worthwhile investment.

ATMs are not alone

As we discussed last week, anything is hackable today. Very little with an internet connection is safe from the malicious intent of hackers.

Sadly we’re exposed on all sides to hacking. From the security of our cash machines to the heating in our homes right down to our iphones and the many sensitive apps and data on them.

Hackers are no longer just individuals who have progressed from gaming in their mothers’ basements to hacking for jokes. Nowadays many of the hacks that we see are backed by international crime syndicates who themselves are supported by foreign governments.

Whilst companies are distracted with laying down the best security money can buy, individuals are left somewhat in the dark wondering how best to protect themselves. The idea of ATM attacks is particularly concerning when one realises the ultimate impact on consumer and citizens.

ATM attacks are another excuse to go cashless

Ultimately we will end up paying, either for the privilege of withdrawing our own money or (worse) being forced to go to a bank (of which there are fewer physical branches).

The attack on ATMs will likely be used as an excuse to further outlaw cash in the ongoing war on cash, by both governments and banks.

We have written previously of both governments’ and banks’ missions to prevent us from using cash. Very often reasons for banning large bills or preventing the carrying of certain amounts across borders has been justified under money laundering prevention, terrorism and even for the efficiencies and profitability for banks.

In truth, we know that cash is disliked by less liberal governments. They can’t track it and it’s certainly of no use to them when bail-ins and negative interest rates are on the table. What is the incentive, therefore, for ATM hacking to be resolved?

As we wrote in a previous piece on the cashless society:

Going cashless will not rid us of people and organisations who wish to commit horrific and illegal acts. Instead it will encourage them to find additional ways to run their gangs and terrorist cells. For the rest of us it will remind us of the importance of liberty, safe-havens, security and the need to protect our wealth from negative interest rates, bail-ins and currency devaluations.

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