Donald the Dictator?

Caesar in the Flesh
Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.
BALTIMORE – Nothing new. Same old, same old. China warned that its corporate debt levels were too high. Sotto voce, investors might have heard that Chinese debt is in danger of blowing sky high, as companies continue to borrow in order to finance overseas acquisitions. But it didn’t seem to phase them. Not on Monday. The Dow was up 41 points anyway.

This post was published at Acting-Man on March 23, 2016.

If your country’s broke, don’t hold all of your savings there

On Friday March 15, 2013 – just over three years ago – people across the entire nation of Cyprus went to bed believing that everything was OK.
The next morning they woke up to a different reality.
It turned out that their banking system was totally broke. After suffering enormous losses, banks no longer had sufficient liquidity or capital to maintain customer account balances.
People realized immediately that just because you can log in to a bank’s website and see an account balance printed on the screen that doesn’t actually mean that the money is there.
To make matters worse for depositors, the government was insolvent and unable to lift a finger to support the banks.
Plus the deposit guarantee from Cyprus’s central bank wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on.
So in order to save the banking system, Cypriot politicians resorted to the unthinkable – freezing every bank account in the country. It all happened overnight.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on March 23, 2016.

Why Oil Prices Are About To Plunge Again: 31 Million Barrels In Floating Storage Are Coming On Shore

One week ago, we wrote that as a result of the collapsing crude contango, oil tankers (such as the fully loaded Distya Akula which has been on anchor in the Suez Canal for one month unable to find a buyer for its cargo so it continues to wait) “will soon have to unload their cargo”, in the process flooding the already oversupplied market with millions of barrels of crude oil, thus pushing the price of oil far lower. But how many millions of barrels, and how much lower will the price of oil go?
For the answer we go to Deutsche Bank’s Michael Huseh, who has done the calculations to get the answer.
What he finds is that since the start of 2014, global floating storage inventory has ranged between 80 and 180 million barrels (Figure 1). According to estimates of the global VLCC fleet at the end of 2014, the potential storage capacity is implied to be 1169 million barrels. Adding Suezmax vessels would add 528 million barrels of capacity.
After touching 186 million barrels in early March, inventories have begun to decline once more. Since the start of 2015, one can identify both periods when builds in floating storage have been associated with rising Brent prices, and also periods when draws in floating storage have been associated with falling Brent prices (Figure 2). Since the Arabian Gulf has represented much of the variability in floating storage inventory, one can also measure the incentives to add or withdraw from storage using Arabian Gulf tanker rates.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/23/2016.

NIRP Is Absolutely Crushing Big Parts Of The Finance World

Savers are the obvious victims of the past few years’ plunge in interest rates. But there are other casualties, including money market funds, which have no reason for existing if their yield is negative, and insurance companies, which price their policies on the assumption that they’ll earn good returns on their bond portfolios.
As bond yields plunge, the returns insurance companies can expect are also plunging, forcing them into huge write-offs and, soon, steep premium increases that will scare away customers. One big insurer just illustrated the spot in which the industry finds itself:
Lloyd’s of London Takes `Massive Hit’ From Low Investment Return (Bloomberg) – Lloyd’s of London reported a 30 percent drop of full-year profit as the world’s largest insurance market was hurt by continued pressure on pricing and the lowest investment returns since at least 2001. Earnings declined to 2.1 billion pounds ($3 billion) for 2015 as income from investments, primarily fixed income, sank 60 percent to 400 million pounds, according to the company’s annual report Wednesday. Weaker pricing in 2015 is expected to continue this year, it said.
‘We’ve taken a double hit from reduced margins in underwriting and lower investment yield,’ Chief Executive Officer Inga Beale said in an interview with Bloomberg Television Wednesday. ‘On the investment side we saw a dramatic reduction in 2015 that was a massive hit’ to earnings.

This post was published at DollarCollapse on March 23, 2016.

China Sends Fed A Warning: Devalues Yuan By Most In 2 Months

With the USD Index stretching to its longest winning streak of the year, jawboned by numerous Fed speakers explaining how April is ‘live’ (and everyone misunderstood the dovishness of Yellen), it appears that The PBOC wanted to send a message to The Fed – Raise rates and we will unleash turmoil on your ‘wealth creation’ plan. Large unexpected Yuan drops have rippled through markets in recent months spoiling the party for many and tonight, by devaluing the Yuan fix by the most since January 7th, China made it clear that it really does not want The Fed to hike rates and cause a liquidity suck-out again.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/23/2016.

MARCH 23/AS EXPECTED A HUGE WHACKING OF GOLD AND SILVER TODAY/JAPAN’S YIELD CURVE INVERTS AT FRONT AND BACK OF CURVE/10 YR JAPANESE BOND YIELD -.114%/USA 10 YR AND USA 30 YR BOND YIELDS PLUMMET C…

Gold: $1,223.70 down $24.50 (comex closing time)
Silver 15.26 down 61 cents
In the access market 5:15 pm
Gold $1220.50
silver: 15.24
This morning, on CNBC there was talk of a mini revolt at the Fed with some members who want to raise rates immediately as opposed to Yellen who issues to wait. Why was only Esther George, the lone dissenter…what about the others? Besides, the raising of rates is a joke in that they do not withdraw any liquidity from the market. The last rate hike was done by decree only, they did not remove the punchbowl. To me this is nothing but a charade!
Let us have a look at the data for today.
At the gold comex today, we had a poor delivery day, registering 1 notice for 100 ounces and for silver we had 85 notices for 425,000 oz for the active March delivery month.
Several months ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today, the total inventory rests at 212.48 tonnes for a loss of 90 tonnes over that period.
In silver, the open interest FELL by 1241 contracts DOWN to 175,775 despite the fact that the silver price was up by 3 cents with respect to yesterday’s trading . In ounces, the OI is still represented by .878 billion oz or 125% of annual global silver production (ex Russia ex China).
In silver we had 85 notices served upon for 425,000 oz.
In gold, the total comex gold OI rose 6427 contracts to 510,579 contracts as the price of gold was up $4.40 with yesterday’s trading.(at comex closing). .
This is a surprise!!no changes tonight in the GLD despite gold’s drubbing/ thus the inventory rests tonight at 821.66 tonnes. The appetite for gold coming from China is depleting not only gold from the LBMA and GLD but also the comex is bleeding gold. Our 670 tonnes of rock bottom inventory in GLD gold has been broken. It looks to me that China has taken the last amounts of physical gold from the GLD. I guess the only place left for China to receive physical gold, after they deplete the GLD will be the FRBNY and the comex. In silver,/we had a huge withdrawal of 1.428 million oz in inventory, and thus the Inventory rests at 328.914 million oz.
First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on March 23, 2016.

Explosive Accusation: Belgium Had “Advance And Precise” Warning About Terrorist Attacks, Did Nothing

In what, if true, is the most incendiary allegation of the day, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reports that Belgian security services and other Western intelligence agencies had “advance and precise intelligence warnings” regarding Tuesday’s bombings. According to the paper, “the security services knew, with a high degree of certainty, that attacks were planned in the very near future for the airport and, apparently, for the underground railway as well.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/23/2016.

When “Mother’s Milk” Runs Dry

For the third time in six months, US equity markets have exuberantly decoupled from earnings expectations thanks, in large part, to jawboning and coordination from Central Banks. With stocks near record highs despite the earnings “mother’s milk” expectations tumbling, one can’t help but wonder, asCNBC’s Bob Pisani did this morning, given the comments from Evans, Lockhart, and Bullard, “It’s possible the Fed has seen the market reaction and become alarmed by the complacency.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/23/2016.

Record Breaking Silver Factors In 2015 Can Make 2016 Quite Interesting

There were two record-breaking silver factors in 2015 that could turn out to be quite an interesting development for 2016. The figures that make up these separate factors don’t seem so striking until we combine them and study at the trends.
This is what I enjoy doing the most. Why? Because I can see interesting developments that aren’t readily apparent when we look at the figures or data individually. By combing this data, we can spot noteworthy trends that could likely set up the market for stunning future price movements in silver.
For example, 2015 turned out to be a record year for total U. S. and Indian silver imports. Combined U. S. & Indian silver imports didn’t just surpass the previous record set in 2014… IT SMASHED IT by 20%:

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on March 23, 2016.

Why Crispin Odey’s $11 Billion Fund Has 5% Daily Swings: “It’s No Longer A Market But A Battlefield”

In February, Cripsin Odey’s quite bearish $11 billion Odey Asset Management had a tumultuous month: it was down -10.6% as the overall market levitated relentlessly on low volume hopes of central bank stimulus and intervention ever since the February 11 lows, leading to the biggest short squeeze in history and the most overbought market ever.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/23/2016.

Hold On To What You Have This Economic Collapse Is Going To Be A Rough One – Episode 926a

The following video was published by X22Report on Mar 23, 2016
Existing homes sales have plunged and now new home sales have declined as well. Mortgage and refinance applications have declined once again. The mining industry lost more money in one year than the prior 8 years. UBS is warning people to get out of the market before it crashes. The economic recovery illusion is just that an illusion and the crash of all crashes will be upon us very soon.

Why Belgium Is Ground Zero For European Jihadis

Growing numbers of Belgian Muslims live in isolated ghettos where poverty, unemployment and crime are rampant. In Molenbeek, the unemployment rate hovers at around 40%. Radical imams aggressively canvass in search of shiftless youths to wage jihad against the West. “When we have to contact these people [European officials] or send our guys over to talk to them, we’re essentially talking with people who are… children. These are not pro-active, they don’t know what’s going on. They’re in such denial. It’s such a frightening thing to admit their country is being taken over.” – American intelligence official. “Returned Syria fighters are a huge threat… It is absolutely unbelievable that our governments allow them to return… Every government in the West, which refuses to do so [lock them up], is a moral accessory if one of these monsters commits an atrocity. … Our citizens are in mortal danger if we do not restore control over our own national borders.” – Dutch MP Geert Wilders. The terrorist attacks on the airport and metro in Brussels are casting a spotlight, once again, on Belgium’s ignominious role as a European haven for jihadists.
Several distinct but interconnected factors help explain why Brussels, the political capital of Europe, has emerged as the jihadist capital of Europe.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/23/2016.

For Gold, “Tightening Isn’t Frightening” Says HSBC

Gold has historically rallied for at least 100 trading days after the first hike by the FOMC, but as HSBC’s Jim Steel explains, this time it could be longer. Steel sees three key reasons to remain bullish and forecasts USD1,300/oz this year (though warns that beyond that level, physical demand may weaken and help curb further rallies.)
Tightening and gold
Background: The end of the long-run bull market
A perceived change in Fed policy brought the most recent long-run gold bull market to an end. After 12 consecutive years of positive performance, gold posted its first year of losses in 2013. Gold entered a bear market in April 2013, when bullion prices collapsed more than USD100/oz over a two-day time span. Sensing a shift in Fed policy, investors began liquidating bullion in earnest in April. Gold lost almost 14% of its value within two days after unprecedented amounts of futures were sold short, triggering several stop loss limits that caused a further cascade of selling. Heavy gold ETF liquidation also occurred.
Fed policy perception played a key role in the selloff. In May and June 2013, expectations of a Fed tapering of its QE program led to rising real interest rates and falling inflation expectations that, in turn, set off more gold selling. By the time the market steadied – due almost entirely to unprecedented China-led emerging market physical buying as prices slumped – gold had declined by almost a 25% in the second quarter alone. Declines continued over subsequent months but at a more moderate pace. Nonetheless, the market remained on a downswing up to December 2015, when prices fell to a cycle low of USD1,045/oz.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/23/2016.

New Home Sales Plunge Most Since June 2014

For the first time since April 2014, New Home Sales have fallen YoY for 2 consecutive months. The 6.1% drop YoY in February is the biggest annual drop since June 2014 and confirms recent housing data weakness. Average new home prices fell to $348,900 – the lowest since August.
The housing “recovery”… Only The West saw an increase in sales (151k from 109k) as Northeast (-24%), Midwest (-17.9%) and South (-4.1%) all tumbled.
But annual growth is tumbling…
Historic revisions (to 502k from 494k) made the 512k SAAR look like a beat (over 510k) but the MoM gain of 2.0% missed expectations of 3.2%.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/23/2016.

In One Year The US Mining Industry Lost More Money Than It Made In The Prior Eight

For anyone still looking for context to the biggest ever collapse in commodity prices in history, one far sharper and now longer than that in the deflationary aftermath of the Lehman failure, look no further than the chart below: as the WSJ notes, the U. S. mining industry, a sector which includes oil drillers, lost more money last year than it made in the previous eight.
Mining corporations with assets of $50 million or more recorded a collective $227 billion after-tax loss last year, according to Commerce Department data released Monday. That one year loss wipes out all the profits the industry had made since 2007, or almost a full decade worth of profits, gone in 12 months.
It wasn’t just shale drillers: other types of mining operations were stung by falling commodity prices tied to weak demand from China and other parts of the globe. Mining revenues also fell sharply, down 38% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/23/2016.

Ep. 154: The Truth About BitGold

The following video was published by Peter Schiff on Mar 23, 2016
The Peter Schiff Show Podcast – Episode 154
In this podcast I address criticism of my recent article exposing the high cost of buying and taking physical deliver of gold coins from BitGold. My critics have ignored the disturbing facts that I revealed, and instead have erected straw men and resorted to ad hominem attacks.