Sunday, August 18, 2019

Is War Between the US and China Inevitable?

by Valery Kulikov, New Eastern Outlook:

In recent decades, the United States has actively promoted in the world the notion that it is the most powerful country on the planet, and that the rest of the world must, by rights, slowly but surely become like the United States.However, in recent years, China’s growth has cast a direct challenge to the United States. Differences between American and Chinese values, traditions and philosophies have aggravated the fundamental tension between these nations against the background of China’s clear ability to push the US out of its top roles.

As far back as the end of the Second World War, Washington has sought to prevent the emergence of an “equal competitor,” capable of challenging the US politically, economically, and especially militarily. For several decades, Washington pursued a foreign policy of installing democracy “American style,” more than once imposing it by force on those who were resolutely resisting it. Washington exhorts other powers to accept the world order that it has established, and which it oversees. But in the eyes of the entire world, including China’s, this is further evidence of Washington’s imperial aspirations, its quest to impose rules by force, and financial and economic levers, compelling other countries to carry out its orders and instructions.

However, it’s no secret that the United States is not alone in possessing a superiority complex. China also displays one in an extreme form. Yes, each of these two countries considers itself exceptional, without equal, and that only it alone can be number one in the world.

The above factors, and competition that has intensified between the US and China in recent years, have given outlines to the current, noticeably deteriorating adversarial relationship between these countries in various fields.

After Donald Trump’s rise to power, relations between the US and China took a sharp turn for the worse. Many American politicians speak of a genuine trade war between the two countries. China’s request for recognition of its market economy in accordance with international trade rules was officially rejected in mid-November by President Donald Trump’s administration. At the same time, it is significant that all this is taking place against the background of “rapprochement between the two countries,” widely and actively proclaimed by Washington and Beijing as the result of the November visit to China by President Trump, during which agreements were signed for $253 billion.

However, besides disagreements arising from trade investigations initiated against Beijing by Washington, serious differences remain between the countries over the disputed islands in the South China Sea. Therefore, more often now, one can encounter forecasts of certain experts, who speak of the possibility of a “shooting” war, one of the main causes for which may become Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea, an area of Washington’s economic, military and political interests. The US and its allies call China’s actions in the South China Sea “aggressive,” because of its deployment of military facilities on the artificial islands. Officials in Washington decided that the South China Sea is part of the area of US national security interests. The White House announced a “pivot to Asia,” where about 60% of the US armed forces were to be stationed. This decision alarmed Beijing, and for this reason construction of the artificial islands was driven harder. In response, the United States announced the launch of “freedom of navigation operations.” Up to this point, this issue was never raised. No one had impeded the freedom of navigation. One can even say that the PRC supports freedom of navigation like no other country in the world, because the greater part of Chinese production is exported by sea.

In 2007, Japan proposed the creation of a four-way security agreement (“Quadrilateral”), which was to be signed by the United States, Australia, and India. This agreement was promoted as a “diamond of democracy,” necessary for opposition to the PRC. In 2017, this agreement once again reasserted itself, when the US, instead of the Asia-Pacific region used the term Indo-Pacific region, and India without even a hypothetical outlet to the Pacific Ocean, was counted among the Pacific powers for clearly specific reasons that had nothing to do with geography.

To strengthen opposition China, the United States uses a varied arsenal of tools. One of them recently has been fanning the North Korean nuclear threat, which, according to the opinion of the well-known British political analyst, Michael Keith Billington, is used primarily by Washington as a pretext for maintaining its considerable military presence around China.

Using the “divide and conquer” principle, the US uses various methods and means in its adversity toward China, one of which is spuriously pitting some states against each other, thereby spoiling relations between them. One such manifestation by Washington is pushing China and India toward the trap of a major war with each other.

One of the latest outbreaks of military activity along the line of standoff between India and China was the incident at the end of June 2017, when military and political tension rose on the border between India and China in Tibet in the Doka-La Pass area. It made American experts begin dreaming about an impending great war between these two Asian superpowers. After all, the prospect of war in South Asia, with the participation of the two leading nuclear powers, with a combined population of 2.6 billion people, clearly excites them. A war between India and China, as forecast by American experts, could become brutal and short-lived, yet with far-reaching consequences for the world’s economy and politics. Afterward, one of the two candidates for the role of the world’s main production workshop would have to retreat into the background. Of course, from all the hints and wishes, uttered by American experts, China must become the loser.

However, Sino-Indian military competition, or a naval arms race, is something new in Asian history, which makes this development difficult to predict. At this date, neither modern India, nor modern China has the experience to engage in land and sea wars, with huge military formations. Therefore, no sober-minded analyst or politician could say confidently today, which of these Asian superpowers would “win out” in such a conflict. One thing is clear, though, unmistakable losers would not be just the millions of these countries’ residents.

Read More @ Journal-NEO.org
 

Without Joining In Asia’s New Silk Road, Trump Is Facing A Financial Crash

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by Harley Schlanger, LaRouche PAC:

President Donald Trump’s administration cannot miss any more opportunities if it is going to carry out the intention for which, above all else, Americans elected him: To get the United States out of endless foreign wars, and rebuild and reindustrialize the nation.

If the big corporate tax cut is all there is to the Trump Administration’s economic policy, then the President and the nation are facing an oncoming financial crash, and another so-called “Great Recession” much worse than the last. The huge corporate debt and stock bubble already created with central bank free money for a decade, now surrounded by what analysts are calling the “everything bubble” of other exploding debt categories, cannot stand the smallest coming interest rate increases. Corporate tax cuts will not save it, but only blow it up faster until it explodes. The Wall Street and London megabanks are scrambling out of this debt by securitizing it — packaging and selling it on — knowing it is not payable. U.S. banks’ securitization of debt — corporate junk, auto and credit card debt, student debt, etc. — has grown by $1.1 trillion or 25% just during 2017.

Plainly the White House and Congress have to defy Wall Street’s old wives’ tales about the Glass-Steagall Act, and reinstate that act immediately, to isolate commercial banking from this casino speculation before it explodes. And put productive Federal credit into new infrastructure and scientific drivers for the economy, rebuilding productivity and productive, well-paid employment.

But there is the rub. This weekend’s Camp David Presidential meeting with Republican leadership, supposed to be centered on a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, appears to show little discussion and no progress. Desperate follies are being surfaced — diverting perhaps $2 billion in cancelled U.S. aid to Pakistan into building roads and bridges! — suggesting the White House has absolutely no idea as to how an infrastructure capital budget could be created, or funded. Even the disaster reconstruction aid for the hurricane-ravaged states and territories — which involves some critical power and storm-control infrastructure — has been held up with no action for nearly three months.

Yet West Virginia’s governor, when he gives his State of the State on Wednesday, will build on a long-term commitment of $80 billion in industrial investment he has, from one Chinese company backed by a state-owned bank in China. Maryland’s governor, carrying out feasibility for a maglev line from Baltimore to Washington, has a $5 billion commitment from Japan. Is there a mystery secret?

No, rather there is China’s truly win-win invitation to the United States to join the Belt and Road Initiative of great infrastructure projects; and an increasing “competition” by Japan to use its great infrastructure engineering capacities in and for other countries, in some cases with China. For building advanced nuclear reactors, Russia and South Korea are doing the same thing.

Read More @ LaRouchePAC.com

Russia-China combined gold reserves could shake US dominance in global economy – expert tells RT

from RT:

The gold accumulated by China and Russia could be seen as part of a strategy to move away from international trade denominated in US dollars, according to Singapore’s BullionStar precious metals expert Ronan Manly.

Manly exclusively told RT that there is a shift occurring regarding the two countries building up their gold reserves, to perhaps returning to gold-backed currencies in the future and a move away from the global dominance of the US dollar, which is no longer supported by gold.

“China and Russia have both been aggressively accumulating their official gold reserves over the last 10 – 15 years,” he said, adding that only a decade ago each of them held around or less than 400 tons. “But now both these nations hold a combined 3670 tons of gold.”

“Interestingly, both Russia and China publicize and promote their accumulations of gold and publicly refer to gold as a strategic monetary asset. They make no secret of this. But on the flipside, the US does the opposite, and constantly downplays the strategic role of gold.”

According to Manly, for Russia and China gold is the only strategic monetary asset that could provide independence from the US dollar.

Manly said the sides could conceivably be holding a lot more gold than they declare in their official reserves due to many channels through which they could buy the precious metal.

Read More @ RT.com

Russiagate Turns On Its Originators

by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:

Russiagate originated in a conspiracy between the military/security complex, the Clinton-controlled Democratic National Committee, and the liberal/progressive/left. The goal of the military/security complex is to protect its out-sized budget and power by preventing President Trump from normalizing relations with Russia. Hillary and the DNC want to explain away their election loss by blaming a Trump/Putin conspiracy to steal the election. The liberal/progressive/left want Trump driven from office.

As the presstitutes are aligned with the military/security complex, Hillary and the DNC, and the liberal/progressive/left, the Russiagate orchestration is a powerful conspiracy against the president of the United States and the “deplorables” who elected him. Nevertheless, the Russiagate Conspiracy has fallen apart and has now been turned against its originators.

Despite the determination of the CIA and FBI to get Trump, these powerful and unaccountable police state agencies have been unable to present any evidence of the Trump/Putin conspiracy against Hillary. As William Binney, the former high level National Security Agency official who devised the spy program has stated, if there was any evidence of a Trump/Putin conspiracy to steal the US presidential election, the NSA would most certainly have it.

So where is the evidence? Why after one year and a half and a special prosecutor whose assignment is to get Trump has no evidence whatsoever been found of the Trump/Putin conspiracy? The obvious answer is that no such conspiracy ever existed. The only conspiracy is the one against Trump.

This has now become completely apparent. Russiagate originated in a fake “Trump dossier” invented by Christopher Steele, a former British MI6 intelligence officer. It is not yet clear whether it was the DNC, the CIA, or the FBI who paid Steele for the fake dossier. Perhaps he sold it to all three.
What we do know is that the FBI used what it knew to be a fake dossier to go to the FISA court for a warrant to spy on Trump.

As a consequence both Comey and the FBI, special prosecutor Mueller, and Christopher Steele are in hot water. The Chairman of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Grassley, has instructed the US Attorney General to launch a criminal investigation of Steele for false statements to FBI counterintelligence officials. https://www.rt.com/usa/415105-senate-doj-steele-criminal/

You can see where this leads as former FBI director Comey is a participant in the Russiagate attack on President Trump. To protect himself Steele will have to rat on who put him up to it. If President Trump had any sense, he would put Steele under protective custody, as his life is clearly in danger. If the CIA and the FBI don’t get him, the Clintons surely will.

Trump’s easy election shook the Republican Establishment as well as it upset the Democrats and the military/security complex. The Republican Establishment hates losing control. Initially the Republican Establishment aligned with Trump’s enemies, but now understands that Trump’s demise means their demise.

Consequently, all of a sudden in Washington facts count. Not all facts, just those relating to the Steele dossier. Be sure you listen closely and carefully to these two videos of US Representative Jim Jordan’s destruction of US Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein for sitting on his ass while a totally corrupt FBI attempted to destroy the elected president of the United States. Keep in mind that Rosenstein is a member of the Trump administration. Why does the President of the United States employ people out to destroy him?

Here are the videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=lgtkJkgdwNM&app=desktop

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/12/boom-rep-jim-jordan-goes-nuclear-rod-rosenstein-trump-hating-fbi-agent-peter-strzok-video/

Here are 18 questions asked by US Rep. Jim Jordan:

1) Did the FBI pay Christopher Steele, author of the dossier?
2) Was the dossier the basis for securing FISA warrants to spy on Americans? And why won’t the FBI show Congress the FISA application?
3) When did the FBI get the complete dossier and who gave it to them? Dossier author Christopher Steele? Fusion GPS? Clinton campaign/DNC? Sen. McCain’s staffer?
4) Did the FBI validate and corroborate the dossier?
5) Did Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, or Bruce Orr work on the FISA application?
6) Why and how often did DOJ lawyer Bruce Orr meet with dossier author Christopher Steele during the 2016 campaign?
7) Why did DOJ lawyer Bruce Orr meet with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson after the election? To get their story straight after their candidate Clinton lost? Or to double down and plan how they were going to go after President-elect Trump?
8) When and how did the FBI learn that DOJ lawyer Bruce Orr’s wife, Nellie Orr, worked for Fusion GPS? And what exactly was Nellie Orr’s role in putting together the dossier?
9) Why did the FBI release text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page? Normally, ongoing investigation is reason not to make such information public.
10) And why did FBI release only 375/10,000+ texts? Were they the best? Worst? Or part of a broader strategy to focus attention away from something else? And when can Americans see the other 96% of texts
11) Why did Lisa Page leave Mueller probe two weeks before Peter Strzok? This was two weeks before FBI and Special Counsel even knew about the texts.
12) Why did the intelligence community wait two months after the election to brief President-elect Trump on the dossier (January 6, 2017)? Why was James Comey selected to do the briefing?
13) Was the briefing done to “legitimize” the dossier? And who leaked the fact that the briefing was about the dossier?
14) The New York Times reported last week that George Papadopoulos’ loose lips were a catalyst for launching the Russia investigation. Was President-elect Trump briefed on this?
15) Why did Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson meet with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya before and after her meeting with Donald Trump Jr.?
16) Why was FBI General Counsel Jim Baker reassigned two weeks ago? Was he the source for the first story on the dossier by David Corn on October 31, 2016? Or was it someone else at the FBI?
17) Why won’t the FBI give Congress the documents it’s requesting?
18) And why would Senator Schumer, leader of the Democrat party, publicly warn President-elect Trump on Jan. 3, 2017 that when you mess with the “intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you?”

Insouciant trusting gullible Americans who “believe in our government” have no comprehension how totally corrupt “their” government is. It is the most corrupt in the world. The corruption in Washington is really unbelievable. You have to experience it to know it, and those who experience it are part of it and will not tell.

The orchestration “Russiagate” proves that the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI are so corrupt and unaccountable that they comprise the greatest threat to the American people in the entire history of America. The only solution is to break these agencies into a thousand splinters, as President John F. Kennedy intended, and rebuild them from scratch with total transparency. No more protecting their vast crimes under the cloak of “national security.” No classification of any so-called intelligence unless it can pass a unanimous vot
e of Congress and the ACLU.

The orchestration of Russiagate is proof that the alleged “national security agencies” are an anti-American force detrimental to our survival as a free people. The criminals in the FBI, CIA, and DNC must be investigated, indicted, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned or freedom in America is forever dead.

If President Trump fails in this task, he will have failed America. Everyone of us will be the victims.

Read More @ PaulCraigRoberts.org

GOLD CONTINUES TO REBOUND DESPITE CONSTANT CARTEL WHACKING: GOLD DOWN $1.40

by Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

SILVER IS DOWN 11 CENTS. GOLD WITNESSES ANOTHER BIG 6,000 PLUS GOLD EFP/SILVER HAS 1723 EFP NOTICES/GOOD NUMBER OF SWAMP STORIES TONIGHT

Glad to be back as I was in Israel over the holidays.

I will resume my normal detailed commentary

 

GOLD: $1319.50 DOWN $1.40

Silver: $17.12 DOWN 11 cents

Closing access prices:

Gold $1320.50

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: $1323.92 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1320.00

PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $3.92

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1323.92

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1318.25

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$5.67

SHANGHAI REJECTS NY /LONDON PRICING OF GOLD

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1380.80

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1318.75

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1268.85

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 1268.50??

For comex gold:

JANUARY/

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR JANUARY CONTRACT: 0 NOTICE(S) FOR nil OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 242 FOR 24200 OZ (0.7527 TONNES),

For silver:

jANUARY

0 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

nil OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 507 for 2,535,000 oz

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Bitcoin: BID $15,392/OFFER $15,512 DOWN $1155 (morning)

 Bitcoin: BID   14,763/OFFER  $14,871 DOWN  $1800(CLOSING)

 

end

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest  ROSE BY TINY  165 contracts from 194,264 RISING TO 194,429 WITH FRIDAY’S TINY 4 CENT RISE IN SILVER PRICING.  WE HAD ZERO COMEX LIQUIDATION BUT WITHOUT A DOUBT WE WITNESSED ANOTHER MAJOR BANK SHORT- COVERING OPERATION. NOT ONLY THAT , WE WERE AGAIN NOTIFIED THAT WE HAD ANOTHER HUGE SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: A CONSIDERABLE 1721 EFP’S FOR MARCH (AND ZERO FOR OTHER MONTHS) AND THUS TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 1721 CONTRACTS. HOWEVER THE MOVEMENT ACROSS TO LONDON IS NOT AS SEVERE AS IN GOLD AS THERE SEEMS TO BE A MAJOR PLAYER TAKING ON THE BANKS AT THE COMEX. STILL, WITH THE TRANSFER OF 1721 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. YESTERDAY WITNESSED  EFP’S FOR SILVER ISSUED. ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE CAN BE A DELAY OF 24 HRS IN THE ISSUING OF EFP’S. I BELIEVE THAT WE MUST HAVE HAD SOME MAJOR BANKER SHORT COVERING AGAIN TODAY.

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

17,931 CONTRACTS (FOR 6 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 17,931 CONTRACTS OR 89.66 MILLION OZ: AVERAGE PER DAY: 2988 CONTRACTS OR 14.94 MILLION OZ/DAY)

RESULT: A SMALL SIZED GAIN IN OI COMEX DESPITE THE TINY 4 CENT RISE IN SILVER PRICE WHICH USUALLY INDICATES HUGE BANKER SHORT-COVERING. WE ALSO HAD A FAIR SIZED  EFP ISSUANCE OF 1721 CONTRACTS WHICH EXITED OUT OF THE SILVER COMEX AND TRANSFERRED THEIR OI TO LONDON AS FORWARDS.  FROM THE CME DATA 1721 EFP’S WERE ISSUED FOR TODAY (FOR MARCH EFP’S AND NONE FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS) FOR A DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS. WE REALLY GAINED 1886 OI CONTRACTS i.e. 1721 open interest contracts headed for London (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A INCREASE OF 165 OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH THE TINY RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER BY 4 CENTS AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $17.23 WITH RESPECT TO FRIDAY’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 UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 0.9720 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 139% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT JANUARY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 0 NOTICE(S) FOR NIL OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest ROSE BY AN HUGE SIZED 9,128 CONTRACTS UP TO 551,441 WITH THE SMALL RISE IN PRICE OF GOLD WITH FRIDAY’S TRADING ($1.40). IN ANOTHER HUGE DEVELOPMENT, WE RECEIVED THE TOTAL NUMBER OF GOLD EFP’S ISSUED YESTERDAY FOR TODAY AND IT TOTALED A GOOD SIZED  6115 CONTRACTS OF WHICH THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY SAW 6115 CONTRACTS AND APRIL SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 0 CONTRACTS.  The new OI for the gold complex rests at 551,441.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. 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 WE HAVE ANOTHER HUMONGOUS GAIN OF 15,243 OI CONTRACTS: 9.128 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX AND A GOOD SIZED 6115 OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON.

FRIDAY, WE HAD 17,213 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S/ GOLD(EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY STARTING WITH FIRST DAY NOTICE: 57,605 CONTRACTS OR 5.760 MILLION OZ OR 179.16 TONNES (6 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 9,600.8 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 960,000 OZ/DAY)

Result: A STRONG SIZED INCREASE IN OI WITH THE SMALL SIZED RISE IN PRICE IN GOLD TRADING ON YESTERDAY ($1.40). WE HAD ANOTHER FAIR SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 6115. 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 6115 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A NET GAIN IN OPEN INTEREST OF 15,243 contracts:

6115 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND  9128 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (in tonnes, the gain in total oi equates to 47.40 TONNES)

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: with gold up for 11 consecutive days, we still have no changes in gold inventory

Today, with gold down a tiny $1.40 after rising for 12 straight days, gold inventory declines by a huge 1.44 tonnes today/

Inventory rests tonight: 834.86 tonnes.

SLV/ 

NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/

INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.423 MILLION OZ/

end

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver ROSE BY A SMALL 165 contracts from 194,264 UP TO 194,429 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) DESPITE THE TINY RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER TO THE TUNE OF 4 CENTS  ON FRIDAY.  WE HAD WITHOUT A DOUBT ANOTHER MAJOR SHORT COVERING FROM OUR BANKERS AS THEY HAVE CAPITULATED. NOT ONLY THAT BUT OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE ANOTHER 1721 PRIVATE EFP’S FOR MARCH (WE DO NOT GET A LOOK AT THESE CONTRACTS AS IT IS PRIVATE BUT THE CFTC DOES AUDIT THEM).  EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON. WE HAD NO COMEX SILVER COMEX LIQUIDATION. BUT, IF WE TAKE THE SMALL OI GAIN AT THE COMEX OF 165 CONTRACTS TO THE 1721 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S WE OBTAIN A GAIN OF 1886 OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS DESPITE THE MAJOR BANKER SHORT COVERING. WE STILL HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES THAT ARE STANDING FOR METAL IN JANUARY (SEE BELOW). THE NET GAIN TODAY IN OZ: 9.43 MILLION OZ!!!

RESULT: A SMALL SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE TINY SIZED RISE OF 4 CENTS IN PRICE (WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING). BUT WE ALSO HAD ANOTHER 1721 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 SUNDAY night/MONDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 17.73 points or 0.53% /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 84.89 pts or 0.28% / The Nikkei closed UP 208.20 POINTS OR 0.89%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 0.11%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.4974/Oil UP to 61.90 dollars per barrel for WTI and 67.85 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED MOSTLY GREEN.   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.4974. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST  THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.4943 //ONSHORE YUAN  STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR/OFF SHORE STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR/. THE DOLLAR (INDEX) IS  STRONGER AGAINST ALL MAJOR CURRENCIES. CHINA IS  HAPPY TODAY.(GOOD MARKETS)

Read More @ HarveyOrganBlog.com

Citizens Mob Caracas Shops Following Government-Mandated Price Cuts

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from ZeroHedge:

With Inflation in Venezuela having surpassed 2,000%, the embattled government of President Nicolas Maduro has ordered shops to slash prices of goods to alleviate some of the burden on consumers, who’ve struggled to carry out basic transactions to purchase staples like food as hyperinflation causes prices to rise every few hours.

Maduro ordered more than 200 supermarkets in Latin America’s socialist paradise to cut prices back to last month’s levels.

News of the discounts spread like wildfire, leading hundreds to gather in front of stores before daybreak. When one major supermarket in the wealthier neighborhood of eastern Caracas remained closed past its normal hours, people began pounding on the storefront.

Many of the crowd’s denizens voiced their disapproval of Maduro’s government.

“We’re hungry! We want food!” screamed the crowd, which included babies, pensioners and children with disabilities.

“This scares me, but what can I do?” said Francisco Guaita, a carpenter hoping to find food for his three children, over the shouts and pushes. “This is the worst government. We want Maduro out.”

Critics said Maduro risked worsening the crisis by dissuading supermarkets from stocking their shelves, while also encouraging looting, according to Reuters.

The socialist, who was narrowly elected to replace the late Hugo Chavez in 2013, counters that he is a victim of a US-led “economic war” in which businesses hoard food and stoke prices to destabilize his government. He has also blamed websites like dolartoday.com, which publishes black-market exchange rates for the bolivar.

The state agency in charge of ensuring “fair prices” ordered some 214 supermarkets owned by 26 chains to drop their prices, pro-government newspaper Ultimas Noticias reported on Saturday, claiming that the chains were raising prices unfairly.

“This Tuesday we received an accusation and we deployed immediately. We confirmed that the big chains were increasing prices without any justification, because they were doing it for products that were in stock, not new ones,” William Contreras, the head of the agency known as Sundde, told the paper.

Several Venezuelans interviewed in line outside the supermarket in eastern Caracas said they thought Maduro’s policies were a disaster. But they still planned to take advantage of lower prices because they were not able to properly feed their families otherwise.

“It’s bad policy. But we have to eat,” said Edgar Romero, a 45-year-old drummer who supported Chavez but said he has soured on Maduro, as he stood in line under the sizzling sun.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

Trump’s Failed Coup in Iran

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by Eric Margolis, Ron Paul Institute:

Listen to the state-“guided” US media this past week and you’d believe a series of spontaneous anti-government protests broke out across Iran. The protests, according to President Donald Trump and his Israeli allies, were caused by “anger over Iran’s spending billions on wars in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and helping the Palestinian movement Hamas.” Trump tweeted that Iranians were finally rising up against what he called their hated, brutal regime.

Talk about manufactured news. Most Iranians were elated and proud of their nation’s role in thwarting US plans to occupy much of Syria and overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad.  By contrast, the other side in this long proxy war – the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Britain – was smarting with defeat and seeking ways to exact revenge on the hateful trio, Syria, Iran and Russia.

Interestingly, the so-called news of protests over Iran’s military spending did not apparently originate in Iran but rather in Washington which spread it far and wide to our state-guided media. This was clumsy, but the US and Israel were so eager to get this piece of made-up good news out that they forget the basics of propaganda management: wait for the event before you proclaim it.

What in fact was going on in Iran where more than 21 demonstrators have died violent deaths? As a very long-time Iran watcher allow me to explain. 

Restive minority groups in Iran’s Kurdish, Azeri and Sunni Arab regions, most far from the big cities, have been demonstrating and protesting severe economic problems.  Iran is a big, resource-rich nation of 80 million people that should be booming.  But it has been under economic siege warfare by the US and its allies ever since a popular uprising in 1979 overthrew the US-British backed monarchy that was raping the nation and keeping it a vassal of the western powers.

Iran’s new Islamic Republic was deemed a dire threat to Western and Israeli strategic and military interests (think Saudi Arabia). The very idea that the Islamic Republic would follow the tenets of Islam and share oil wealth with the needy was anathema to London and Washington. Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, ran Iran’s dreaded, brutal secret police, Savak. The crooked royal family looted the nation and stored their swag in California.

The West’s first act was to induce Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to invade Iran, in Sept 1980.  The West (including the Gulf Arabs) armed, financed and supplied Iraq. As I discovered in Baghdad, Britain and the US supplied Iraq with poison gas and germ warfare toxins. After eight years, 250,000 Iraqis were killed and nearly one million Iranians died.

Ever since the Islamic Revolution, the US, Britain, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arabs have been trying to overthrow the Tehran government and mount a counter-revolution. CIA and Britain’s MI6 has ample practice: in 1953, the CIA and MI6 mounted an elaborate operation to overthrow Iran’s democratically-elected leader, Mohammed Mossadegh who sought to nationalize Iran’s British-owned oil company.  Mobs of specially trained anti-Mossadegh plotters poured into Tehran’s streets. Bombs went off. Army commanders were suborned, lavish bribes handed out.

The 1953 coup went perfectly. Mossadegh was ousted with backing from the Army and Savak. Iran’s oil remained safe in western hands. The successful Iran uprising became the template for future “color revolutions” in Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Russia, Poland, and Romania.

But in 2009 a US-engineered “color revolution” in Iran went badly wrong even though it used all the latest arts of social media to whip up protestors and deploy them in the streets.  Something similar happened in Iran this past weekend where mobs of 20-somethings, agitated by US and British covert social media, poured into the streets of dingy provincial towns.

Read More @ RonPaulInstitute.org

A Tangle of Alliances Started WW1 – They’re Baaaaaack!

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by Eric Zuesse, Russia Insider:

“The US is the only ‘indispensable’ country — all other nations are either vassals or else enemies of the US, but are, in either case, ‘dispensable.'”

The great scholar of Turkish history, Taner Akçam, has described today’s geopolitics — the alliances and hostilities toward possibly another World War — as being not ideologically based like WW II, but instead greed-based (empire-grabbing) like WWI:

These are wars of power, influence, and control over the use of Middle Eastern energy resources and the “security issues” related to it. It is quite obvious that the sides in this war are not “those who want democracy and human rights” versus “those in favor of evil dictatorships.”

The axes that are now starting to take shape are proof of this: Saudi Arabia and Israel – openly supported by the United States (and likely Egypt over time) – are forming one alliance; Russia, Iran, and Turkey are establishing another.

A tableau reminiscent of 1918 power blocs.

Today’s alliances are modernized versions of WW I.

World War I was a mess of alliances on each of its two sides, the Central Powers, versus the Entente Powers. The aristocracies that were on the side of — 

The Central Powers included (among others) the following:

Jabal Shammar (Saudi Arabia allied with Turkey)

Germany

Austria (including Croatia & Bosnia)

Ukraine

Poland

Lithuania

Georgia

Turkey

Italy

VERSUS:

The aristocracies that were on the side of the Entente Powers included:

China

Japan

Czechoslovakia

Russia

Serbia

UK

Canada

US

Today, we instead have — 

The West:

US

UK

Saudi Arabia (UK-allied ‘Arab Revolt’ that ended in 1925 with Ibn Saud’s victory)

Israel

EU led by Germany

Ukraine

Japan

South Korea

VERSUS 

The East:

Russia

Iran

Turkey

China

An odd-man-out is North Korea, which will be supported by China if it stops developing its nuclear program beyond what’s needed for its self-protection (protection against repeating what had happened to Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi), but which will be opposed by China if it develops an aggressive, conquest-oriented, imperialistic, nuclear capability (which would reduce security not only for Japan and South Korea, but also for China).

In WW I, there was a long list of neutral countries (including Switzerland, and all of Scandinavia, plus the Western Hemisphere south of the US); and, in a prospective WW III, there would also be many such countries on the sidelines. (All of them, however, would become subject to the intense nuclear radiation after the War, and would therefore likewise become unlivable — neutrality wouldn’t save any country from destruction.)

But, after the war was done, what did the world gain and lose from it?

And what would the world gain and lose from a prospective WW III?

So: how sane was WW I?

And how sane would be a WW III?

Why, then, was WW I even waged, at all? And what does that history teach us about what seems to be happening today? 

I think that it teaches us a lot. It teaches us that mistakes can happen. Signals and intentions can be misread. The priorities of leaders can be misunderstood (such as were the priorities of Kaiser Wilhelm II — that he placed the divine right of kings as being the supreme obligation of any king to protect and defend in order to keep his personal honor — misread, until too late and the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria became assassinated on 28 June 1914 by the well-intentioned naive anti-imperialist Gavrilo Princip, who couldn’t have cared less about whether the assassination, which he was planning, would violate what the German Emperor felt to constitute the ultimate moral principle).

History during the past century has definitely taught us (though humans seem not to have learned it) that humans have now (with nuclear weapons, and also with human-caused global warming) acquired, by means of the fruits of our technological ingenuity, far more power, on a far bigger scale, than humans possess the intelligence and character to be able to control, and that we are thus becoming increasingly dangerous and destructive to the entire planet, like we never have been before throughout all of human history.

We’re now, tragically, clearly out of our depth. Surely, this will end in WW III, unless something else ends us even sooner. Humans seem to be destroying the planet, by a final War, if not by a global burnout. A WW III would bring the end much sooner than global burnout would, and now seems likely to occur.

All sane bets are thus off. All that remains now is just bad gambles. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to tell everybody else why optimism isn’t stupid under the present (and past) circumstances — in other words, in the light of history.

Read More @ Russia-Insider

Falling Dollar Propping Up China’s Foreign Exchange Reserves?

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by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Stiffened capital controls help.

The weak dollar, China’s complex web of capital controls, and its efforts to crack down on its huge and over-leveraged conglomerates to invest overseas are having an impact:

China’s foreign exchange reserves – the largest such pile of foreign-currency-denominated securities in the world – rose by $21 billion in December to finish the year at $3.14 trillion, according to the People’s Bank of China today. It was the highest level since September 2016 and the 11th month in a row of gains since the panic-moment in January 2017, when reserves had fallen below $3 trillion. Clearly, at $3 trillion, authorities drew a line (chart via Trading Economics):

Over the 12-month period, foreign exchange reserves rose by 4.6%, or $129 billion, the first annual increase since 2014, which was the year when forex reserves peaked at nearly $4 trillion before starting into a downward spiral as Chinese individuals and companies were trying to get their money out of the country, as the yuan was sinking against the dollar, and as a little while later, Chinese stocks crashed from astonishing bubble highs with astonishing speed.

In 2017, as authorities were trying to stem capital outflows, the yuan, which is pegged against the dollar, also rose for 11 months in a row against the dollar.

Seen another way, the dollar fell against the yuan in 2017, but it also fell against other currencies. 2017, based on the broad trade-weighted dollar index, was the worst year for the dollar since 2003. It currently takes 6.49 yuan to buy a dollar. A year ago it took about 6.97 yuan.

The falling dollar has reduced the heat from under Chinese individuals and companies trying to get their money out – which might have helped slowing the outflows.

But how much, if any, of the 4.6% increase in the foreign exchange reserves last year is due to actual increases in foreign exchange instruments, and not just due to the decline in the dollar?

Authorities have already admitted that at least some of the rise of the reserves last year is due to the decline in the dollar against other currencies. The values of non-dollar currencies in the reserves are translated into US dollars. So a decline of the dollar against those currencies would increase the dollar level of those non-dollar holdings.

For example, the euro soared 14.5% against the dollar in 2017, the Canadian dollar rose 7%, and the Japanese yen nearly 4%. Even if the level in China’s reserves of those currencies has not changed in absolute terms, it would have risen sharply because the dollar, into which they’re translated for publication purposes, has tumbled.

So the rise of China’s foreign exchange reserves is a mixed bag: perhaps an indicator of the effectiveness of the capital controls and certainly an indicator of the tumbling dollar.

And for now, China does not appear to be relenting in its controls to stem capital outflows. On the contrary.

In December, for example, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange announced that individuals are allowed to withdraw a maximum of 100,000 yuan ($15,400) a year from their Chinese bank accounts while overseas, in total, spread over however many separate bank accounts or ATM cards they may have. Until then, they could withdraw 100,000 yuan per card. So if they had multiple cards and accounts with several banks, they could convert a lot of yuan into USD while overseas. This no longer works.

In the same vein, earlier in 2017, the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s economic planning agency, has increased its scrutiny of outbound acquisitions by private Chinese firms and has brought their overseas subsidiaries under its oversight.

Read More @ WolfStreet.com

Where China’s Top Leaders Will Hide To Survive A Nuclear War

from ZeroHedge:

A nuclear bunker for China’s top leadership, their subordinates, troops and staff is built within the world’s most deeply buried limestone karst caves that extend more than 2km underground, beneath an unusually thick, hard layer of rock, a geological survey has found.

In a fascinating report detailing how China’s top political echelon is preparing for doomsday, the South China Morning Post sheds light  on Beijing’s nuclear bunker located under a national park about 20km northwest of the central government’s headquarters in downtown Beijing, the fallout shelter is situated amid a network of caves that has space for a small city and a stable supply of drinking water for a million people, according to the government-funded study.

  China’s Joint Battle Command Centre is located in caves about 20km northwest of downtown Beijing. Photo: News.china.com
China’s Joint Battle Command Centre is located in caves about 20km northwest of downtown Beijing. Photo: News.china.com

The bunker is part of the Central Military Commission’s Joint Battle Command Centre, which was revealed to the world in 2016 when state media reported that President Xi Jinping, dressed in fatigues, had visited the facility. It is not known when either the command centre or the bunker was built but according to state media reports, work began on them decades ago and they have had major upgrades in recent years.

The command centre is referred to as the “brain” of the People’s Liberation Army because it is where all military decisions are made. Its daily operations include analysing military intelligence, monitoring activities across China’s five “battle zones” and issuing orders to military operations at home and abroad, according to state media reports.

The main entrance to the facility is located in the Western Hills National Forest Park – so in the event of a serious threat such as a nuclear strike, China’s top leaders would not have far to go from their Zhongnanhai headquarters near the Forbidden City, and the government could continue functioning from the bunker.

  President Xi Jinping visits the Central Military Commission’s Joint Battle Command Centre in 2016. Photo: News.china.com
President Xi Jinping visits the Central Military Commission’s Joint Battle Command Centre in 2016. Photo: News.china.com

China is not the only country with a nuclear bunker for its top leaders. Governments of major powers built similar bunkers during the cold war era, and while several have since been abandoned or opened to tourists, some are still used for defense purposes.

Several fallout shelters are believed to have been built across China since the 1950s, but their exact locations are classified. These doomsday shelters are usually built under hard-rock mountains that can withstand powerful blasts. They are designed to be used independently for long periods without external supplies, and have sophisticated ventilation systems to filter out radioactive pollutants produced by atomic bombs.

Some shelters can be as large and complex as a small city, with sophisticated communication systems, tunnels wide enough for planes and tanks, and capacity to house more than 1,000 people. Famous examples of large-scale bunkers include the Raven Rock Mountain Complex run by the US military in Pennsylvania and the North American Aerospace Defence Command, part of which is under the Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado.

  Part of the North American Aerospace Defence Command is under the Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. Photo: Norad.mil
Part of the North American Aerospace Defence Command is under the Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. Photo: Norad.mil

Compared with Raven Rock and Cheyenne, Beijing’s Western Hills – known as Xishan in Mandarin – has some unique advantages as a location for a nuclear bunker, according to a team of geologists who have studied the site. Qin Dajun, associate researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Geology and Geophysics, said they had found karst caves buried more than 2km underground in the Western Hills. This puts them on a par with the Krubera – the world’s deepest-known cave with a depth of about 2,200 metres – in Georgia.

While most karst caves, including the Krubera, are directly exposed to or located near the surface, those in the Western Hills are buried deep beneath an immensely thick and hard layer of rock, Qin said.

Karst caves are made from limestone that has been eroded by water over millions of years. In the Western Hills, these karst caves lie under a layer of rock that includes granite, one of nature’s hardest materials, with an average thickness of 1,000 metres.

“To our knowledge, these are the most deeply buried caves in the world,” the researcher said.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

CIA Chief Denies Role in Iran Protests, Predicts New Violence

from The Anti Media:

Trump faces mid-month deadlines on whether to renew temporary waivers or restore US sanctions on Iran.

(MEE) — The head of the CIA on Sunday denied his agency had any role in fomenting the recent anti-government protests in Iran but predicted the violent unrest “is not behind us.”

Mike Pompeo, appointed a year ago by US President Donald Trump to head the intelligence agency, told Fox News on Sunday that economic conditions in Iran “are not good.”

“That’s what caused the people to take to the streets,” he said. He blamed what he called Tehran’s “backward-looking” regime for turning a deaf ear to the voices of the people.

Asked about a claim by Iran’s prosecutor general, Mohammad Javad Montazeri, that a CIA official had coordinated with Israel and Saudi Arabia – Iran’s regional rivals – to work with exiled Iranian groups to stir dissent in Iran, Pompeo replied simply: “It’s false.”

“This was the Iranian people – started by them, created by them, continued by them, demanding a better set of living conditions and a break from the theocratic regime.”

Trump has repeatedly tweeted his support for Iranian protesters while castigating the Tehran regime, seizing on the recent unrest to again slam the multiparty nuclear deal with Iran as deeply flawed.

Trump faces deadlines around mid-month on whether to renew temporary waivers or restore US sanctions on Iran. In October, Trump refused to certify that Iran was respecting its commitments under the 2015 nuclear accord, but did not reimpose sanctions or abandon the deal itself.

The administration has not revealed its intentions, but the Iran unrest is seen as a possible pretext for blowing up the nuclear accord.

Last week, the US sanctioned five Iranian-based entities it said were owned or controlled by an industrial firm responsible for developing and producing Iran’s solid-propellant ballistic missiles.

Spending Priorities

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin linked the measure to the recent anti-government protests, arguing that Iran ought to spend more on public welfare rather than banned weapons.

The US Congress has been working on legislation aimed at tightening terms of the agreement in ways that might satisfy Trump’s demands, and Pompeo expressed careful optimism that it might succeed.

Read More @ TheAntiMedia.org