Did the EU just Kill Trade Pacts CETA and TTIP with Canada & the US? Or is it a Perfect Trap?

The mother of all ironies.
Today’s generation of trade agreements seek to transfer key decision making powers and sovereignty from the traditional repositories of democracy, national parliaments, to the C-suites of the world’s biggest corporations.
In the mother of all ironies, to do that, they need national governments to sign along the dotted line, effectively voting themselves out of any meaningful existence. Although granting corporations full sovereignty rights – including the right to sue any government that threatens their ability to earn profits at literally any social, human or environmental cost – is explicitly endorsed by many national governments (including the U. S., the UK, Canada and Spain, to mention a few), not everyone is on board.
And as Britain’s vote to exit the EU just showed, democracy is a process that can be carefully managed; it can even be stage-managed, but it cannot be completely controlled.
That’s why the European Commission decided last week to renege on a promise it had repeatedly made to Europe’s citizens that it would consult the national parliaments of all Member States before ratifying game-changing trade agreements like the EU-US trade pact, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the EU-Canada trade pact, CETA. When it realized that it would be impossible to guarantee the desired outcome – i.e., a unanimously supported agreement – with such an approach, the Commission changed tack, designating CETA as a unilateral EU agreement, not as a ‘mixed agreement.’

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ July 7, 2016.

Chart of the Day – Forget Shorting the Stock Market

The very beginning of a new intermediate cycle is the single most dangerous time to short stocks. The average gain is 6-8% in the first 12-18 days. Yet this is the time most retail traders want to sell short as they expect the market to turn back down immediately. When it fails to do so they end up losing money.
Even in a bear market (which we are not in), a new intermediate cycle will almost always rally at least 6-8 weeks before topping. The current cycle is only on day 6 – a long cry from 6-8 weeks.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 7 July 2016.

James Comey Has Been Covering Up The Clintons’ Messes For Decades

The entire process to exonerate Hillary was highly orchestrated. The canary in the coal mine was the illegal meeting between Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton. The Lynch/Comey connection stretches back to 2013 via HSBC and the Justice Department’s decision to not prosecute HSBC for money laundering on behalf of drug dealers and terrorists (note: HSBC is one of the primary Comex bullion banks and the ‘custodian’ of the gold in the GLD trust). Comey was put on HSBC’s board of directors.
The ‘glass is half full’ crowd in this country breathed a sigh of relief when Eric Holder left the Justice Department to receive his graft payments at Covington Burling, thinking the most corrupt AG in history just left. Sorry, Loretta Lynch is at least Holder’s equal in the corruption department. I’ve got a 1 oz gold Philharmonic that says Lynchs slides into a highly paid partner position at Covington Burling when her duties as the Clintons’ fluffer is finished at ‘Justice.’

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on July 7, 2016.

A Photographic “Day In The Life” Of A New York Fed Intern

While he may not be the infamous Kevin Henry, so well-known to Zero Hedge regulars, here is another Kevin, who is not a “trader/analyst” at the NY Fed but merely a lowly intern, and who today took over the Twitter feed of the NY Fed to show what a “day in the life of a NY Fed intern” looks like.
Let’s follow.
Hi! I’m Kevin, a 2016 summer associate. Follow my day as I take over the @NewYorkFed feed #NYFedInterns pic.twitter.com/jVkQiAuD5i
— New York Fed (@NewYorkFed) July 7, 2016

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2016.

Is this What Hit Housing in San Francisco, Manhattan, and Miami? Suddenly, Foreign Investors Pull Back…

Chinese investors buy fewer homes in the US.
Oh no, we thought when we read the report from the National Association of Realtors. Not now! Not when there’s a huge unstoppable condo glut building up in the teetering housing markets of San Francisco, Manhattan, and Miami, when sales and prices are already dropping. Foreign investors are now needed more than ever to absorb this new high-end inventory and bail out these markets.
That’s what everyone has been praying for. The last thing we need is for Chinese investors to stay away from San Francisco and Manhattan; and Canadian, European, and Latin American investors to stay away from Miami.
But that’s what they’re starting to do – for the first time since the Financial Crisis.
The data for the just released NAR report is based on a survey of 5,960 realtors that covered ‘transactions with international clients during the 12-month period between April 2015 and March 2016.
In total, foreign buyers purchased $102.6 billion of residential properties, down 1.3% from the same period last year. They bought 214,885 housing units, and that was up 2.8%. But there are two categories of foreign buyers in the report: resident foreign buyers and non-resident foreign buyers:

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ July 7, 2016.

Massive One-Day Record Surge Of Mainstream Gold Investment Demand

The spike in the gold price during the holiday weekend triggered a record ONE-DAY surge in mainstream investor gold demand. Investors in the West watched over the fourth of July holiday weekend as the gold price continued higher on early morning trading on Monday. By the time gold opened on Tuesday, the price was already $15 higher.
Mainstream investors who thought the gold price may come under pressure at Tuesday’s market open, were caught by surprise as the yellow metal continued to rally even higher. This caused a massive one-day surge in mainstream investor Gold ETF’s and Fund demand. How much gold flooded into Gold ETF’s and Funds on July 5th? Take a look at the chart below:

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on July 7, 2016.

WalMart Tries Subtle Cost Cutting Measures In China And It Backfires Spectacularly

As we have covered ad nauseam, companies who rushed to perform the most altruistic of favors to workers by raising wages are now facing the realization that profitability simply can’t be maintained, and thus are taking measures to cut costs (ie: firing people or reducing hours).
Our current title holder for most actions taken as a result of trying to appease the living wage crowd is WalMart of course, who has already closed stores and fired massive amounts of people as a result of increasing wages. More efforts are also on the way, recall that WalMart is also testing the use of drones in distribution facilities in order to facilitate even more layoffs.
Now, just as the case was with Starbucks, WalMart is tinkering with employee work hours in order to try and figure out a way to reduce costs but make it appear as though that isn’t the case. This time, however, the company is testing it out in China, which unlike the US is unionized and will be much more disruptive to operations as the unions begin to protest the change in hours.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2016.

Asian Metals Market Update: July-7-2016

At the end of 2015, most the hedge funds were giving bearish investment views on gold and silver. Some said that gold prices would fall to $800 and would never recover anytime. These very firms who said that gold prices will fall to $800 this year are now saying that gold prices are on the verge of a great bull run. Please be prudent and invest carefully. Investment trends are changing quickly. News from the UK on the exit from the EU, economic progresses of the USA and new wars fought by NATO can all affect your investment. One thing is for sure American stock markets will not be in a long term bear market for at least one year. The plunge protection team (ppt) will prevent American stock markets from falling for a long period. In case the Federal Reserve runs out of measures then we might even see a ECB style quantitative easing.
Over the past week gold and silver have mostly remained firm in the Asian session and European session only to make big one way moves after the US stock markets open. This trend may not continue today. US June private ADP numbers at 8:15 AM EST will tell us whether gold and silver will continue their bull run or see a good correction. I expect the US June private ADP numbers to come in on the higher side of expectations. I am not buying gold and silver till the release of US June private ADP numbers. Momentum is still bullish for gold and silver.
Today’s close is very important. Gold needs to close over $1360 and silver needs to trade over $2034 to rise for the rest of the month. If we have a daily close below $1360 and $2034, then gold and silver will be very volatile for the rest of the month despite bullish momentum.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 7 July 2016.

“PADD 1 Is A Holy Mess” – Is This What Finally Drags Crude Oil Lower

Several months ago we reported that the next big threat to oil prices had nothing to do with oil fundamentals, either lack of demand or excess supply, or technicals, i.e., algo buying or selling, and everything to do with the upcoming glut of the most important crude byproduct: gasoline.
Sure enough, now that summer is here, this prediction is playing out just as expected and as Reuters reports, summer driving season is in full swing and American motorists are filling their tanks at a healthy clip, but that is not swelling the profit margins as much as usual at U. S. independent oil refiners such as PBF Energy and Valero Energy Corp.
How come? As it turns out, the optimism that refiners had in the spring that the gasoline excess would clear out has not materialized. During the first quarter earning season, refining executives shrugged off the industry’s lousy earning as an aberration that would be remedied this summer. ‘We still are bullish gasoline and bullish octane,” PBF CEO Tom Nimbley told investors in an earnings call back then. ‘The driving season really hasn’t hit that hard yet.’
It has now, and while Nimbley was right about the surging summer demand, refiner margins are still being squeezed as gasoline and diesel inventories stubbornly sit well above five-year averages. Historically, summer gasoline demand usually fattens margins for refiners with seasonally high levels for the crack spread, the premium of a barrel of gasoline over a barrel of crude oil. But not this year said analysts who expect the situation to remain bleak in the weeks ahead unless there are large drawdowns in inventories.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2016.

The Gold Standard: Friend of the Middle Class

A Morally and Economically Superior Monetary System
It has been theoretically demonstrated and seen in general practice that a monetary system of 100% metallic money devoid of central banking checks monetary inflation, prevents a general rise in the price level, and eliminates the dreaded business cycle while making all sorts of monetary mischief nearly impossible.
A gold standard is not only economically superior to any paper money scheme, but is morally just, which is why it is hated by the politically well-connected, academics, politicians, and the rest of the Establishment.
Often not discussed, however, even by its proponents is the beneficial effect that ‘hard money’ has for the middle class.
It is not a coincidence that since the U. S. left the last vestiges of the gold standard in 1971with President Nixon’s nefarious decision to no longer redeem international central bank payments in gold, real wages for Americans have stagnated.
Nixon’s decision to put the nation on an irredeemable paper money standard set it on a course of economic ruination, which is why he should have been hounded from office not for his role in the bungled, petty cover up at the Watergate.
Stagnating wage rates have been confirmed by a number of studies, take, for instance one from the Pew Research Center which states that:

This post was published at Acting-Man on July 7, 2016.

Bank Of England’s Carney Advises Mortgage ‘Prudency’ In Wake Of Brexit

Today’s Captain Obvious Award goes to the Bank Of England’s Mark Carney for urging mortgage prudency.
As Meryl Streep’s character said in the film Death Becomes Her, ‘Now a warning???!!!’ The elixir, of course, was massive credit expansion.
Where was Mr Carney’s warning back in 2007 before the UK banks lost between 43 and 98% of their stock price thanks to the financial (credit) crisis?

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B. Sanders ‘ July 7, 2016.

These six former Goldman Sachs bankers want to destroy your savings

Rule #1 in central banking: Never go full Draghi.
Mario Draghi, of course, is the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) who pledged to do ‘whatever it takes’ to save the euro. Or was it save the world? We forget.
Anyhow, Mark Carney, the head of the Bank of England, just went full Draghi, pledging to do, effectively, whatever it takes… even if that means destroy the British pound or economy.
Future historians will no doubt look back at this period in amazement, wondering, given the stunning and murderous failures of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, how central planning ever managed to find a last hold-out amongst the world’s central banks.
Yes, Britain may have finally escaped from the EU lunatic asylum.
But as investors we remain trapped in a surreal monetary nightmare in which clueless politicians and desperate central bankers have no choice but to print more money.
This decision, of course, continually erodes the purchasing power of individuals’ savings. It is a tax. An inflation tax.
And this is a tax that exclusively benefits those heavily indebted… namely governments and commercial banks.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on July 6, 2016.

Europe’s Bank Crisis Arrives In Germany: 29 Billion Bremen Landesbank On The Verge Of Failure

When most recently reporting on the latest European banking crisis, yesterday we observed a surprising development involving Deutsche Bank, namely the bank’s decision to quietly liquidate some of its shipping loans. As Reuters reported, “Deutsche Bank is looking to sell at least $1 billion of shipping loans to lighten its exposure to the sector whose lenders face closer scrutiny from the European Central Bank.
“They are looking to lighten their portfolio and this includes toxic debt. It makes commercial sense to try and sell off some of their book,” one finance source said. Deutsche Bank, which has around $5 billion to $6 billion worth of total exposure to the shipping sector, declined to comment.”
This confirms what had long been speculated, if not confirmed, namely that German banks have been some of the biggest lenders to the shipping sector, a sector which has since found itself in significant trouble as a result of the ongoing slowdown in global trade.
And now, it appears that some shipping loans gone very bad could be the catalyst for Europe’s banking crisis to finally breach the most impenetrable border of all, that of Germany.
Because it is in Germany where we find what may be the next domino to fall as part of Europe’s latest banking crisis incarnation: Bremen Landesbank.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2016.

Sovereign Credit Is Deteriorating At A Record Pace

Culminating with the tipping of the UK’s numerous real estate fund “dominoes” and the subsequent fallout in the wake Brexit, Fitch has been on a ratings-slashing spree, having cut the credit ratings on 14 nations so far in 2016, most recently that of the United Kingdom – a record downgrade pace for the rating agency. As the FT reports the majority of those 14 nations are concentrated in the Middle East and Africa: areas that have the most exposure to slumping commodity prices and declining nominal exports. Fitch also downgraded the UK citing falling oil prices, a stronger US dollar and Britain’s pending exit from the EU.
The decline in global sovereign ratings highlights the sensitivity to geopolitical shocks felt by the world economy as a result of sluggish growth and rising debts, Fitch notes.
Fitch’s competitor S&P has cut 16 sovereign ratings, a number only exceed once prior and that was during the EU turmoil in 2011. Moody’s registered 14 downgrades in 2016, up 4 from this same period last year.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2016.

Bernanke Meets With Kuroda And Abe To Unleash Helicopter Money – Episode 1016a

The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 7, 2016
ADP jobs data returns to normal after a revision and manipulation. US mall vacancies are on the rise. More UK funds are suspending property funds in the fear that property values are going to continue to drop. Italy will have a referendum come this October. The IMF says that there are no signs of a global recession. Bernanke meets with Kuroda and Abe to discuss the next phase of central banker planning, helicopter money.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Pause Ahead of the Non-Farm Payrolls

Let’s see if the Non-Farm Payrolls Report tomorrow gives the Fed enough of a recovery fig-leaf to start talking about rate increases, and sufficient nudge for the market takers to shove the price of the precious metals around to catch any of the over-leveraged specs leaning in the wrong direction.
Except for the occasional exogenous news that moves markets, we are in the Summer doldrums where the market fakers and takers like to shove prices around to generate enough action to fuel the vig.
It used to be ridiculously high commissions and the occasional frauds, but now it is pervasive insider trading and the soft corruption surrounding HFT and the exchanges that fuels the Jabba the Hutts of Wall Street and Washington.
So I wisely chose to spend a pleasant afternoon doing a thorough overhaul on our old Troybilt Pony rototiller on the driveway in the shade, and rewarded myself with an ice cold beer after it was done. It has done us good service over the past twenty five years on both lawn and garden. It really needed some careful attention, a few parts, and a bit of elbow grease.
Like most things in daily life really. You choose quality and take good care of it, and it serves you well in the long run, from kits to chickens to investments.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 07 JULY 2016.

Relentless: Shanghai 138.5 Tonnes of Gold Withdrawn In June

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
Buddha
There were 138.5 tonnes of gold taken from the Shanghai Gold Exchange in June.
This brings the first half of 2016 withdrawals to 973 tonnes.
Koos Jansen has written a very informative article with some interesting charts about these new Chinese gold demand numbers here.
He also examines an incorrect set of data about this from Nomura.
As a reminder, the US will be releasing its Non-Farm Payrolls Report For June tomorrow.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 07 JULY 2016.

The Next European Brexit Crisis Is in Energy

This week the market is likely to witness the next stage in the Brexit mess. It will center on energy finance and will signal a major shift in focus.
Ripple effects have a way of doing that. Fallout from the UK decision to leave the EU will next play out in how major energy projects are funded. Activity has heated up and will now move into high gear as US participants return from an extended holiday weekend.
We are in new territory here. Nonetheless, one result is already clear.
And that sets the stage for one of my cross-border advisory sessions later this week.
Here’s what we’ll be talking about and where the money in energy finance is headed next…

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Dr. Kent Moors ‘ July 7, 2016.

IRS Seeks Documents From Facebook Related To Irish Asset Transfers

Facebook Ireland Holdings Unlimited and Facebook are receiving the IRS stink-eye. The social network is under the microscope of agent Nina Wu Stone. Agent Stone has been trying to hunt down documentation related to the valuation and characterization of assets transferred to Ireland by Facebook. For months Agent Stone has attempted to retrieve the documents and has even hand delivered six summonses to Facebook’s CFO David Wehner as the DoJ Petition notes:
“In furtherance of the examination for 2010 and in accordance with 26 U. S. C. 7602, on June 1, 2016, Revenue Agent Stone issued six IRS summonses directing Facebook to appear at 55 South Market Street, 6th floor, San Jose, California, 95113 on June 17, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. and to produce for examination books, records, papers and other data as described in the summonses. Stone Decl. 6 & Exs. 1-6“

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2016.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – Holding Their Breath

Stocks were in a bit of a chop in edgy trading with eyes on the US non-farm payrolls report tomorrow.
Traders want to see if a good number will give the Fed cover to start making noise about raising rates at least another 25 bp this year.
As a reminder, the Fed wishes to raise rates to get off ZIRP far enough to have the latitude to cut rates later next year when their latest asset bubble starts to implodes in the continuing cycle of bubble-nomics.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 07 JULY 2016.