Monday, January 27, 2020

Two-Thirds Of The Top Primary Silver Miners Suffered Production Declines In 2017

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by Steve St. Angelo, SRSrocco.com:

It has been a rough year for many primary silver miners as two-thirds have suffered declines in production.  Also, many high ranking silver producing countries are also experiencing a pronounced reduction in their domestic silver mine supply.  According to the data put out by World Metal Statistics, Chile’s silver production is down 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in the first eight months of the year, while Australia is down 19{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, Mexico declined 2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} and Peru lower by 1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

The Silver Institute will be releasing their 2017 Silver Interim Report shortly which will provide an update on current silver production and forecasts for the remainder of the year.  However, I believe global silver production will take a big hit this year due to several factors including, falling ore grades, mine closures, and strikes at various projects.

For example, Tahoe Resources was forced to shut down its Guatemalan Escobal Mine in July due to a temporary suspension of its operating license by the country’s Supreme Court.  However, even after the Guatemalan Supreme Court reinstated Tahoe Resources Escobal Mine’s license in early September, an ongoing road blockade has hampered the ability of the project to continue mining.  Regardless, Tahoe’s silver production declined a stunning 6.7 million oz Q1-Q3 2017 versus the same period last year.

Now, on the other hand, silver production at Fresnillo’s operations in Mexico jumped by nearly six million oz during the first three-quarters of 2017 primarily due to the start-up of its San Julian Mine phase II expansion and a ramp-up of its phase I:

While the gain in silver production at Fresnillo’s operations helped to offset the significant decline at Tahoe’s Escobal Mine, two-thirds of the top primary silver companies in the group experienced a reduction in mine supply this year.  Hecla’s silver production fell by 3.7 million oz in the first three-quarters this year due to an ongoing strike at its Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho.  Moreover, output at Silver Standard’s Puna operations in Argentina fell by 3.2 million oz due to a 36{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} decline in ore grade at is open-pit Pirquitas Mine.  Silver Standard’s Pirquitas Mine is one of the few open-pit silver operations in the world.  The overwhelming majority of primary silver mines in the world are underground operations.

Overall, production at these top primary silver miners fell 9 million oz in 2017 compared to the same period last year:

Now, if Tahoe Resources Escobal Mine was not forced to shut down or if Hecla’s Lucky Friday Mine’s strike was resolved, overall production at these top primary silver miners would have likely increased by approximately one million oz this year.  Unfortunately for Tahoe’s Escobal Mine and its investors, it may be quite some time before full production resumes.  As I have mentioned in previous articles about the troubles plaguing the Escobal Mine by the local and indigenous peoples living by the operation, there are two very different opinions on the underlying problems.

While I have stated that the negative issues put forth by the local and indigenous peoples about the Escobal Mine are likely more valid than the pro-western stance taken by the Tahoe Managment or the Mainstream financial media, time will tell how this is resolved.  However, the notion put forth by Tahoe Management that the problems are stemming from “non-locals” who are supposedly radicalizing the locals around the plant, is unfounded when we understand that it is a huge ground-roots movement led by a large percentage of the inhabitants surrounding the mine.

According to the article, Tahoe Resources’ Social Licence in Guatemala Non-Existent, as Uncertainty Plagues Escobal Permits:

Tahoe CEO Ron Clayton is also wrong when he states in a recent press release that community opposition comes from “non-locals”. Lack of social license has dogged Tahoe Resources since the beginning of its project. Since 2011, tens of thousands of residents in eight municipalities around the Escobal mine have voted in municipal plebiscites demonstrating their opposition to the project, or any mining in the area, out of concern for their water supplies, health, and local agriculture. Five municipalities refuse to receive any royalty payments from Tahoe’s mine operations and are now parties to the legal proceedings over discrimination of the Xinka Indigenous population and the Ministry of Energy and Mines’ failure to consult with them.

Read More @ SRSrocco.com

The Real Colluder: Hillary Clinton In “Talks” To Purchase More Anti-Trump Disinformation From The Russians

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by Tim Brown, Freedom Outpost:

According to author Ed KleinHillary Clinton, the real Russian colluder, is in “secret negotiations” with ex-British spy Christopher Steele to buy another “dirty dossier” on alleged Trump entanglements with Russian women.

Klein, author of and Guilty as Sin: Uncovering New Evidence of Corruption and How Hillary Clinton and the Democrats Derailed the FBI Investigation, dropped a bombshell in his most recent work All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump.

In a piece he penned for the Daily Mail, Klein wrote:

Hillary Clinton is in secret negotiations with Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous Russian dossier, to purchase a second report that allegedly contains salacious new charges against President Trump, according to several sources with personal knowledge of the transaction.

The talks with Steele, a former British spy, are being carried out by Hillary’s former campaign aides, who do not hide their bitterness over the shocking loss of the White House to Donald Trump, these sources say.

‘Hillary’s people have been secretly in touch with Steele and are close to making a deal with him on opposition research that he claims has newly surfaced from his Russian sources,’ says a longtime Clinton adviser.

‘Steele didn’t release this information before now because it wasn’t available to him when he put together his first dossier,’ the adviser continued.

As I reported in my new book, All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump, the first 35-page Steele dossier ‘contained sensational charges that the Russian Federal Security Service had ‘kompromat,’ or compromising information, on Trump that could be used to blackmail him.

Considering that the first dossier has been thoroughly discredited, one wonders who would pay any attention to Mr. Steele or anything he would turn over.

Clinton and other Democrats, like Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah, are known pathological liars and so, yes, it would appear they might want to get their hands on more lies to disseminate to the American people.

But there are plenty more people who want to get their hands on this dossier, according to Klein.

All the publicity generated by the release of the first dossier and the dubious claims of a $12 million payment have reportedly brought shady characters in Russia out of the woodwork. They are said to be looking for a big pay day.

‘There are many wealthy people in the anti-Trump ‘resistance’ who are more than willing to put up whatever money is necessary to get this new information,’ said a member of Hillary’s inner circle.

Hillary has informed Bill Clinton that once she acquires the second dossier, she intends to release it to friendly members of the media.

‘She’s convinced that Trump made business deals with Russians with ties to the Kremlin in return for a promise to offer the Russians favorable trade conditions,’ according to a source who was privy to her conversation with her husband.

‘There are also claims in this second dossier that Trump had romantic involvements with Russian women over the years who are connected to the Kremlin’s spy apparatus,’ this source went on.

‘Hillary has said that she’ll do whatever it takes to make sure Trump’s ‘illegitimate presidency’, as she constantly refers to it among friends and campaign associates, ends in ashes.

‘She says that there are many additional pages of intelligence on Trump and his ties with the Russians. As soon as the negotiations with Steele are complete and she gets the [second] dossier, she’s going to double down and release all the new material.’

Read More @ FreedomOutpost.com

GOLD UP $4.85 AND SILVER RISES 16 CENTS

by Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

CHAOS IN ENGLAND AS THERESA MAY COULD BE OUSTED AS LEADER/TENSIONS AGAIN ESCALATE THROUGHOUT THE MIDDLE EAST/GE CRASHES TODAY

GOLD: $1278.85  UP $4.85

Silver: $17.05 UP 16  cents

Closing access prices:

Gold $1278.50

silver: $17.05

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: $1288.37 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  $1276.60

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $11.77

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1288.37

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1276.60

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$11.77 

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1278.40

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1278.10

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1277.95

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 1277.30

For comex gold:

NOVEMBER/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR OCT CONTRACT MONTH: 2 NOTICE(S) FOR  20000  OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 991  FOR 99,100 OZ  (3.082TONNES)

For silver:

NOVEMBER

 

 1 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

 

5,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 872 for 4,360,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: BID  $6729 OFFER /$6764    DOWN $308.00  (MORNING)

BITCOIN CLOSING;  BID $6498 OFFER: $6523 //  UP $78.00

end

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest FELL BY A SMALL  1393 contracts from 200,595 DOWN TO 199,358 WITH RESPECT TO  FRIDAY’S  TRADING IN WHICH SILVER FELL 11 CENTS. JUDGING FROM THE MASSIVE VOLUME, IT DOES NOT LOOK LIKE WE GOT SOME LONG LIQUIDATION BUT AGAIN IT LOOKS LIKE WE GOT A FEW MORE COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE.  IN SILVER THE TOTALS FOR DECEMBER EFP’S ARE 721 CONTRACTS. WE ALSO HAVE 69 MARCH EFP’S FOR A TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 790 CONTRACTS WHICH IS IN LINE WITH WHAT I HAVE THOUGHT HAS HAPPENED.

RESULT: A SMALL SIZED DROP IN OI COMEX  WITH THE 11 CENT PRICE FALL. COMEX LONGS EXITED OUT OF THE COMEX AND FROM THE CME DATA IT SEEMS THAT A HUGE NUMBER OF EFP’S WERE ISSUED  FOR A DELIVERABLE CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS WHICH DEFINITELY EXPLAINS THE FALL IN OI. 

 In ounces, the OI is still represented by just OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  0.997 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 142{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

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

In gold, the open interest FELL  BY A SMALLER THAN EXPECTED 3,786 CONTRACTS DESPITE THE GOOD SIZED FALL IN PRICE OF GOLD ($13.00) WITH FRIDAY’S TRADING . THE RAID ORCHESTRATED BY OUR BANKERS SHOULD HAVE HAD A GREATER LOSS AS THE OBJECT OF THE EXERCISE IS TO CAUSE AS MANY GOLD LEAVES FROM THE GOLD TREE AS POSSIBLE. SOME GOLD OI EXITED THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AND SOME EXITED ALTOGETHER FORM THE COMEX ARENA. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF GOLD EFP’S ISSUED SO FAR THIS MONTH TOTAL 10,591 CONTRACTS WHICH IS HUGE. The new OI for the gold complex rests at 530,404. 

 

Result: A SMALLER SIZED  DECREASE IN OI DESPITE THE GOOD SIZED WHACK IN PRICE IN GOLD ON FRIDAY ($13.00). WE PROBABLY HAD SOME COMEX LONG TRANSFERS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE AS THERE DOES NOT SEEM TO BE MUCH PHYSICAL AT THE COMEX AND WE ARE APPROACHING THE HUGE DELIVERY MONTH OF DECEMBER. WE ALSO HAVE SOME GOLD COMEX OI LEAVE THE ARENA WITHOUT AN EFP TRANSFER.  

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:

No changes in gold inventory at the GLD/

Inventory rests tonight: 843.09 tonnes.

SLV

TODAY WE HAD NO CHANGE IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV

INVENTORY RESTS AT 318.074 MILLION OZ

 

end

.

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver FELL  BY 1,290  contracts from 200,595  DOWN TO 199,358 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) WITH THE FALL IN SILVER PRICE (A LOSS OF 11 CENTS). OUR BANKERS PROBABLY USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE SOME PRIVATE EFP’S FOR DECEMBER(WE DO NOT GET A LOOK AT THESE CONTRACTS) WHICH GIVES OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON. THIS IS QUITE EARLY FOR THESE EFP ISSUANCE..USUALLY WE WITNESS THIS ONE WEEK PRIOR TO FIRST DAY NOTICE AND THIS CONTINUES RIGHT UP UNTIL FDN. I ALSO THINK THAT WE HAD SOME SILVER COMEX LIQUIDATION.  TOTAL EFP’S ISSUED BY THE CME IN SILVER TOTAL 790 CONTRACTS.

 

RESULT:  A SMALL SIZED DECREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 11 CENT FALL IN PRICE  (WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING). WE PROBABLY HAD MORE EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING OUR COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON TOGETHER WITH SOME  SMALL SILVER LIQUIDATION. 

(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 15.16 points or .44{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 61.26 pts or 0.21{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} / The Nikkei closed DOWN 300.43 POINTS OR 1.32{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.12{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP  at 6.6412/Oil DOWN to 56.83 dollars per barrel for WTI and 63.47 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED  RED  .  ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.6412. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED WEAKER TO THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.6533  //ONSHORE YUAN  STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR/OFF SHORE STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR/. THE DOLLAR (INDEX) IS STRONGER AGAINST ALL MAJOR CURRENCIES. CHINA IS NOT  VERY HAPPY TODAY.

Read More @ HarveyOrganBlog.com

“Orgies with underage girls, heavy drug and alcohol abuse” – Saudi princess unveils the Kingdom’s dark side

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by Samer Hussein, Fort Russ:

Amira Bint Aidan Bin Nayef, the ex-wife of the Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal (who was recently arrested in scope of the anti-corruption purges in the country), went on a rampage against the ruling Saudi regime in her exclusive statements to the French newspaper Le Monde, saying that those who accuse others of corruption and money laundering, are in fact highly corrupted themselves.

The princess said they’ve turned the city of Jeddah into a slave market where underage girls are being exploited for noisy sex parties involving drug and alcohol abuse. 

She said that one of the main reasons why this keeps going on is that the members of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Saudi Sharia police) tend to keep away from the matter, fearing they might lose their jobs, should they intervene.

The newspaper quoted the princess as saying that a Hallowen event was recently held in Jeddah, and which was attended by 150 people, including employees of the consulates. The scene was like a typical nightclub anywhere outside the Kingdom, with available wines, dancing couples in fancy costumes, and a DJ. 

Bint Aidan said the price of smuggled liquor in the country is very high. For instance, the price of the Smirnoff vodka is 1500 Riyals ($ 400), sometimes forcing party organizers to refill the original bottles with a local wine called Siddiqui. 

She said that slavery in Saudi Arabia has different forms, but it is done in secrecy and permitted only among the primary beneficiaries of the princes of the House of Saud.

But then she mentioned one of the most repulsive things: Buying and renting the children, especially the orphans, from countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Djibouti, Somalia, Nigeria, Romania and Bulgaria.

The children become the property of those who buy them and are not allowed to leave without permission.

Read More @ Fort-Russ.com

What President Trump and the West Can Learn from China

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from Antonius Aquinas:

Instead of a demonstration of its overwhelming military might intended to intimidate tiny North Korea and pressure China to lean on its defiant communist neighbor, President Trump and the West should try to learn a few things from China.

The President’s trip to the Far East came on the heels of the completion of China’s 19th National Congress where the current president, Xi Jinping, has cunningly positioned himself as China’s unchallenged leader.  In an address at the opening of the Congress, Xi cautioned that the country faced “challenges” that are “extremely grim” yet, despite these, the nation’s future is “extremely bright.”*

While Western politicos and pundits bemoan the lack of political pluralism that exists within China and President Trump complained about bad trade “deals,” they miss an important factor as to why China has transformed itself from a socialist basket case some three decades ago into an economic powerhouse which now boasts over a third of the world’s billionaires!

China’s economic ascendancy can be attributed not only to the implementation of market reforms in the 1990s, but also its lack of “political competition.”  As a one-party state, resources, time, energy, and capital are not allowed to be channeled into wasteful political processes, but instead are used and “invested” in wealth-creation activities – construction, factories, plants, equipment, research, technology – all of which leads to more and cheaper consumer goods.

The US and the West spend too much on elections, campaigns, polling, political consultation, etc., which diverts scarce resources away from the private wealth sectors of society.  For example, in her last failed presidential campaign run, the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua alone spent over a half of billion dollars.

Under Western democratic pluralism, public debt and state spending have increased to unsustainable levels.  In the US alone – history’s greatest debtor nation – the national debt is in excess of $20 trillion, while its total debt officially is $68 billion with a federal deficit (GAAP) running yearly at $5 ½ trillion.

Such staggering numbers are the result, in part, from political parties seeking public office and once elected exploiting their position to enrich themselves, their constituents, and create dependent classes among the ever shrinking productive segments of society.

China’s foreign policy – an extension of politics – has also been conducive for wealth creation.  Instead of wasteful spending on military hardware, the maintenance of a far-flung global empire, and involvement in incessant wars, Chinas has a rather meek military compared to its national income and has conducted a pretty much non-interventionist foreign policy – witness its diplomacy with North Korea.

The US is almost the polar opposite.  It spends more on “defense” than the next eight countries combined.** Instead of the production of useful consumer goods, billions are siphoned off into the military/security industrial complex.  Not only does this impoverish Americans at home, but it leads to never ending involvement in wars, conflicts, and disputes, most of which are created or exacerbated by US spy organizations.

Read More @ AntoniusAquinas.com

Soros, NED, USAID Ruining Myanmar’s Stability to Hinder China’s Rise – Author

from Sputnik News:

Billionaire George Soros continues to pull the strings in Myanmar, along with American non-government entities, geopolitical researcher and author Anthony Cartalucci has told Sputnik, suggesting that the Rohingya crisis is a pretext to beef up the US’ political and military presence in the region to contain China’s rise.

“Soros’ foundation along with the US State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), USAID and many others have for decades and will continue indefinitely undermining stability in Myanmar and across Southeast Asia to hinder China’s rise and delay America’s decline in the region for as long as possible,” Anthony Cartalucci, a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and author, says.

Soros’ Interest in Myanmar ‘Goes Back to 1987’

Hungarian-American investor and business magnate George Soros has a long record of meddling in Myanmar’s affairs and the Southeast Asian region in general.

Forbes reported in 2007 that Soros was spending $2 million a year, “trying to pave the way for democracy in Burma [Myanmar],” through the Burma Project, kicked off in 1994 and operated by the investor’s Open Society Foundations.

According to the media outlet, “Soros’ interest in Burma [Myanmar] goes back to the fall of 1987,” when protests against the government’s currency reform began. In 1988 Nationwide Popular Pro-Democracy Protests — a series of nationwide demonstrations and civil unrest — engulfed the country. It was then that Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and Myanmar’s incumbent State Counsellor, emerged nothing short of a “national icon.”

Soros and Asian Financial Crisis of 1997

Leaked Memo: Is Soros Planning ‘Series of Color Revolutions’ in Southeast Asia?

In 1997 the American billionaire came under heavy criticism from Southeast Asia nations for the speculative attack on the country’s currencies in mid-July, known as the Asian financial crisis.

Speaking to Fortune’s Neel Chowdhury, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated on September 29, 1997 that Kuala Lumpur had “definite information” and “every evidence” that Soros was involved in the financial crisis, adding that the US investor was “not the only one” who fanned its flames.

“In fact, he [Soros] more or less confessed later on that he was involved,” Mahathir highlighted. “He had this idea that by applying pressure on Thailand and Malaysia he could prevent Myanmar from joining ASEAN [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations].”

As the media outlet noted, “Soros was irked that in late July, Mahathir and the other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations formally ushered Myanmar into ASEAN.”

Why Did Soros Seek to Prevent Myanmar From Joining ASEAN?

“In 1997 when Myanmar joined ASEAN, the US — Soros included — had already been deeply involved in coercing, pressuring, and manipulating Southeast Asian states for decades as a continuation of Western colonialism,” Cartalucci responded.

The geopolitical researcher explained that “Myanmar’s acceptance into ASEAN gave it options, legitimacy, and leverage that the US was attempting to strip away from it just as it does today with nations like Syria, North Korea, or Iran through political isolation, economic sanctions, media campaigns, and covert subversion.”

“Efforts to hinder Myanmar’s membership in ASEAN were intended to deny it a much needed lifeline,” he remarked.

Read More @ SputnikNews.com

Draghi Knew About Hiding Losses by Italian Banks

by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics:

The Bank of Italy, when it was headed at the time by Mario Draghi, knew Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA hid the loss of almost half a billion dollars using derivatives two years before prosecutors were alerted to the complex transactions, according to documents revealed in a Milan court.

Mario Draghi, now president of the European Central Bank, was fully aware of how derivatives were being used to hide losses. Goldman Sachs did that for Greece, which blew up in 2010. It is now showing that Draghi was aware of the problems stemming from a 2008 trade entered into with Deutsche Bank AG which was the mirror image of an earlier deal Monte Paschi had with the same bank. The Italian bank was losing about €370 million euros on the earlier transaction, internally they called “Santorini” named after the island that blew up in a volcano. The new trade posted a gain of roughly the same amount and allowed losses to be spread out over a longer period. We use to call these tax straddles.

The report was dated September 17th, 2010, and marked “private” demonstrating that the Bank of Italy was aware that by choosing not to book the trade at fair value Monte Paschi avoided showing a loss at the time. If the bank had used a mark-to-market valuation in the fourth quarter of 2008, it would have been included in its year-end report as the credit crisis was cresting.

This is the real picture behind the curtain. Draghi has known all about using derivatives to mask-over losses and pretend they are not there. The entire Greece Crisis was caused by Goldman Sachs constructing derivatives to pretend Greece made the criteria for the Eurozone.

Greece joined the Euro in 2001 under Costas Simitis. At the time, Greece owed about €3.4 billion euros it had borrowed. Goldman engineered a currency swap whereby the Greek debt, issued in dollars and yen, was exchanged for euros that were priced at a “historical” or entirely fictitious currency rate. Of course, swapping dollar and yen debt at nearly the low of 2000 when the euro was only 82 cents to the dollar became a nightmare. Greece’s debt doubled in real terms as the euro then rose to $1.60 by 2008. Obviously, Goldman offered no advice but structured a deal that only benefited itself by directing Greece to sell the dollar at the low. Goldman also set up an off-market interest-rate swap to repay the loan off the books, which was a currency position and therefore not technically a “loan” outside any reporting requirement as debt. The trade kept this part of the Greek debt off the books and cleverly hidden from scrutiny. This falsely created the idea that the Greek debt was moving in the right direction to meet the Maastricht rules eventually. Goldman overpriced the deal to such an extent that 12{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of their $6.35 billion in trading and investment revenue for 2001 came from restructuring Greece. In total, they pocketed a premium fee of $300 million. Goldman also warned, as they typically do, Goldman would cancel the offer that if Greece shopped the deal around for a better price. Goldman further demanded that Greece pledge landing fees from Greek airports and revenue from the national lottery as part of the transaction to secure their own profits strip-mining Greece.

Within just three months of signing the deal, the bond markets took a major swing following the September 11 attack in New York during 2001. Furthermore, the dollar declined and the Euro soared. Greek officials began to realize that the deal was not going well in the least. The Greek national debt nearly doubled in size, and in real terms (currency adjusted), the debt would double by 2008 just in Euro terms nominally. Greece faced another financial crisis in 2005, which few understood. Goldman Sachs “restructured” the deal once again, but this time they were selling the interest rate swap to the National Bank of Greece under the new government that came to power in 2004 under Karamanlis. This increased the debt even further stretching-out the payments beyond 2032. Goldman managed to extract $500 million from the Greeks, according to numerous press stories (Independent Friday 10 July 2015; Greek debt crisis: Goldman Sachs could be sued for helping hide debts when it joined euro).

Read More @ ArmstrongEconomics.com

Central Bank’s Hard Money Policies Have Finally Tamed Russia’s Traditionally High Inflation

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by Anatoly Karlin, Russia Insider:

Elvira Nabiullina, the iron lady of Russia’s central bank has brought inflation down to the historic low of 2.7 percent

Inflation is now at 2.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} as of October 2017, down from double-digit rates three years ago and overshooting the Central Bank of Russia’s 4{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} target for this year.

This constitutes an all-time post-Soviet low.

This is in large part thanks to the hawkish monetary policy of CBR head Elvira Nabiullina, and indirectly of Putin, who gave her and the economic liberal bloc political cover in the face of populist opposition demanding lower interest rates and greater state invervention in the economy.

Once Soviet-era capacities, at least in those sectors where they were market-competitive, were restored by the mid-2000s, Russia’s high growth rate petered out (though irrational exuberance sustained it for a couple more years until the 2008 crash). The major problem, besides an atrocious business climate, was that high inflationary expectations had become embedded. High inflation discourages savings, which you need for investment. Consequently, banks were only prepared to lend to small and medium sized businesses at rapacious rates of interest.

But it now looks like Russia’s version of the Volcker shock since 2014 has finally succeeded in taming inflation for good.

This is especially significant since it comes on the back of three other major achievements that are of long-term relevance to growth.

1. A rise from ~120th (i.e. Nigeria) to 35th (i.e. Japan) position on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business since the start of Putin’s third term. Russia is still far from the best place to do business in, but it is vastly better than it was a decade ago.

2. A near halving in the numbers of Russian “pocket banks,” to the benefit of established and more transparent lenders (a consolidation that Nabiullina has spearheaded).

3. The beginning of semi-serious efforts to resurrect Russia’s moribund R&D capacities. (More on this later).

Read More @ Russia_Insider.com

‘Magic Wand’: Russia Buying Gold at Record Pace, Unlikely to Lose Momentum

from Sputnik News:

Russia has been expanding its gold reserves at a record pace, according to information from the World Gold Council (WGC). Russian business newspaper Kommersant suggests this gold rush will give Russia guarantees against sanctions and economic and geopolitical risks.

In the third quarter of 2017, the Central Bank of Russia bought 63 tons of the precious metal, bringing its gold stockpiles to 1,778.9 tons as of the end of September.

In September only, the regulator added 34.6 tons of bullion to its reserves, in the highest monthly increase since October 2016.

Currently, the Russian Central Bank has been ranked sixth in the world in terms of bullion reserves. The top five are the United States (8,133.5 tons), Germany (3,373.7), Italy (2,451.8 tons), France (2,435.9) and China (1,842.6).

At the same time, according to the WGC, the Russian Central Bank is leading in terms of the pace at which it is stockpiling gold.

According to the Russian business daily Kommersant, by stockpiling bullion, Russian wants to have guarantees amid the tightening of the US Federal Reserve’s policy and amid the growing tensions between Moscow and Washington. Russia also wants to protect its reserves against possible geopolitical risks.

If US sanctions are expanded to block Russia’s assets invested in US Treasuries, gold will be a “magic wand,” Andrei Vernikov, senior investment analyst with the asset management company Zerich Capital Management, told Kommersant.

Market analysts also suggest that the Russian Central Bank will continue to expand its gold reserves.

“The regulator will continue to amass gold in its reserves, decreasing the share of US Treasuries,” Alexander Losev, CEO of Sputnik Asset Management, told the newspaper.

If the Russian Central Bank continues to buy gold at the same pace Russia is likely to topple China as the world’s fifth-biggest holder of bullion in early 2018, according to Kommersant.

Read More @ SputnikNews.com

Putin Tells Trump No Russian US Election Meddling Occurred

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by Stephen Lendman, Stephen Lendman:

Despite repeated claims of Russian US election meddling by Washington’s intelligence community, undemocratic Dems, and deplorable media scoundrels, operating as press agents for US power, no evidence proves any – NONE!

Plenty of evidence reveals no Russian hacking or any other type meddling occurred – clearly show information was leaked by a DNC insider, divulged by WikiLeaks.

The CIA under John Brennan bears full responsible for inventing the Russiagate scam – fabricated accusations of Russian meddling and false claims of Trump team’s improper or illegal dealings with the Kremlin, a scheme to delegitimize him and bash Russia irresponsibly.

In Vietnam for the 2017 APEC summit, Putin and Trump had only several brief exchanges, no formal meeting.

Earlier, Putin debunked the phony accusations of Russian US election meddling – telling Trump the same thing at the APEC summit.

Aboard Air Force One on route to Hanoi, Trump said he asked him about alleged Russian meddling. “He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”

“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.”

“He says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”

Putin is refreshingly candid and straightforward in all his remarks – in addresses and answering questions. His behavior is polar opposite how duplicitous Western politicians operate, especially US ones, lying to constituents, saying one thing, doing another, betraying the public trust.

Trump believes Putin was honest in saying no Russian meddling occurred. The New York Times lied claiming otherwise, suppressing, reinterpreting or distorting facts its specialty.

“Having a good relationship with Russia is a great, great thing,” Trump added. “This artificial Democratic hit job gets in the way, and that’s a shame, because people will die.”

Trump doesn’t believe Russia tried helping him defeat Hillary. He called accusations of Russian US election meddling “fantasies,” intending to delegitimize him.

At the APEC summit in Vietnam, he said “(everything) about the so-called Russian dossier in the US is a manifestation of continuing domestic political struggle.”

Read More @ StephenLendman.org