Eric Zuesse: America’s Secret Planned Conquest Of Russia

Submitted by investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of hey’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
America’s Secret Planned Conquest Of Russia
The U. S. government’s plan to conquer Russia is based upon a belief in, and the fundamental plan to establish, ‘Nuclear Primacy’ against Russia – an American ability to win a nuclear war against, and so conquer, Russia. This concept became respectable in U. S. academic and governmental policymaking circles when virtually simultaneously in 2006 a short-form and a long-form version of an article endorsing the concept, which the article’s two co-authors there named ‘nuclear primacy,’ were published respectively in the world’s two most influential journals of international affairs, Foreign Affairs from the Council on Foreign Relations, and International Security from Harvard. (CFR got the more popular short version, titled ‘The Rise of U. S. Nuclear Primacy’, and Harvard got the more scholarly long version, which was titled ‘The End of MAD?’.)
This article claimed that the central geostrategic concept during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Mutually Assured Destruction or ‘MAD’ – in which there is no such thing as the U. S. or the U. S. S. R. conquering the other, because the first of the two to attack will itself also be destroyed by the surviving nuclear forces of the one responding to that attack – will soon be merely past history (like the Soviet Union itself already is); and, so, as the short form of the article said, ‘nuclear primacy remains a goal of the United States’; and, as the long form said, ‘the United States now stands on the cusp of nuclear primacy.’ In other words: arms-control or no, the U. S. should, and soon will, be able to grab Russia (the largest land-mass of any country, and also the one richest in natural resources).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 30, 2016.

DEC 30/AVERY GOODMAN: HUGE ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EQUAL TO 31 TONNES BY JPMORGAN WHICH GOES ALONG WITH ITS 550 MILLION OZ OF SILVER: PREDICTS END GAME!/R. MEIJER ON CHINA’S PLIGHT/PUTIN SURPRISES E…

Gold at (1:30 am est) $1150.0 DOWN $6.40
silver at $15.94: DOWN 22 cents
Access market prices:
Gold: $1151.80
Silver: $15.96
THE DAILY GOLD FIX REPORT FROM SHANGHAI AND LONDON
.
The Shanghai fix is at 10:15 pm est last night and 2:15 am est early this morning
The fix for London is at 5:30 am est (first fix) and 10 am est (second fix)
Thus Shanghai’s second fix corresponds to 195 minutes before London’s first fix.
And now the fix recordings:
FRIDAY gold fix Shanghai
Shanghai morning fix Dec 30 (10:15 pm est last night): $ 1177.86
NY ACCESS PRICE: $1159.25 (AT THE EXACT SAME TIME)/premium $18.61

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on December 30, 2016.

Charts For the End of the Year – Bring Down the Curtain, The Farce Is Over

“Baissez le rideau, la farce est joue.”
Rabelais
Ended, for at least this year.
Gold and silver gave back a little of yesterday’s rally.
The Comex warehouse report showed another 1.7 million ounces of silver leaving the ‘registered’ category. The report is shown below.
I think this year was finally have seen the smoking gun in precious metals manipulation. It is the confirmation, in their own words as revealed in the Deutsche Bank court documents, of traders using the ‘Dr. Evil’ strategy of selling large numbers of contracts in quiet hours to take the price down artificially for their own cross trading purposes.
As if anyone who understands and watches the markets did not already know this. If they deny it now, then they are either a hypocrite or a willful simpleton. I will let them self-identify.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 30 DECEMBER 2016.

Who Exactly Benefits from Italy’s Ballooning Bank Bailout?

All these events conform to a well established script.
By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.
Italy’s third largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, is not insolvent, according to the ECB; it just has ‘serious liquidity issues.’ It’s a line that has already been heard a thousand times, in countless tongues, since some of the world’s largest banks became the world’s biggest public welfare recipients.
In order to address its ‘liquidity’ issues, Monte dei Paschi (MPS) is about to receive a bailout. The Italian Treasury has said it may have to put up around 6.6 billion of taxpayer funds (current or future) to salvage the lender, including 2 billion to compensate around 40,000 retail bond holders.
The rest will come from the forced conversion of the bank’s subordinated bonds into shares. According to the ECB, the total amount needed could reach 8.8 billion, 75% more than the balance sheet shortfall originally estimated by MPS and its thwarted (but nonetheless handsomely rewarded) private-sector rescuers, JP Morgan Chase and Mediobanca.
All these events conform to a well established script. The moment the ‘competent’ authorities (in this case, the ECB and the European Commission) agree that public funds will be needed to prop up an ostensibly private financial institution that is not too big to fail but nonetheless cannot be allowed to fail, the bailout costs inevitably soar.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Dec 30, 2016.

Bilderberg Website Taken Over By Anonymous Hackers

A group of anonymous hackers has a message for the 120 – 150 “Wealthy Political Elitist 1% Dominant Pricks” that gather each year at the annual conference known as the “Bilderberg Meetings” and they decided to takeover the organization’s website to share that message with the world.
Apparently the hackers, who refer to themselves as the “Hackback Movement,” are fed up with the “1% Richest Dominant Pricks” of the world perpetually exploiting the weak in favor of their own private interests and gave them exactly 1 year to remedy their bad behavior.
=== Message to the WealthY Elitico-Political 1% RIChEst dominant pricks === WoRDs are not enOugh To TeLl you how much we dispiTe you and your dominant behAvior
No HumAns stanD above otheRs and you WIll have to learn IT
Dear Bilderberg mEmBers, From NoW(), each OnE of you have 1 year (365 days) to truly work in faVor of HumaNs and not youR private interests
The message continues on with a threat, very much reminiscent of Project Mayhem, warning that failure to comply with their demands will result in relentless hacking of everything “your expensive connected cars” to “your favorite escort girl’s smartwatch.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 30, 2016.

Market Talk – December 30th, 2016

In true year end fashion the markets declared yet another one behind us and the game plays on. The Nikkei happily clears the 19k level, the JPY returns weaker after a brief bout of book-squaring, the Hang Seng remains heavy after the autumn highs, Shanghai struggled to hold the November close whilst the Yuan off-shore continues the weaker trend. China will double to amount of currencies it sets the Yuan against from January lessening the impact on the ever appreciating USD strength. As we move into 2017 this is going to produce some excitement particularly centred around FX, with many already questioning pegs! The major trends appear already set so that just leaves us looking for timing to add to positions or start to off-load soon.
The UK’s FTSE closes the year early and at record highs (7142.83) a 0.32% return on the day and a YTD performance of 16%. The DAX, CAC and IBEX also closed small higher on the day with YTD returns of 7%, 8.8% and 2.5% respectively. On the year Italy’s banking sector was major component for registering a 6.5% decline but it was Portugal declining 9% that supports the bulk.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 30, 2016.

Minimum Wage Hikes: Here’s A List Of States Where A Lot Of Fast Food Workers Will Be Fired In 2017

Minimum wages will increase in 20 states at the start of 2017, a move that, as we’ve argued many times in the past, will simply speed up the rate at which minimum wage workers are replaced through new capital investments in automation projects. Just another example of misinformed politicians passing legislation that will ultimately crushed the very people they’re trying to help.
According to a study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, roughly 4.4 million low-wage workers across the country are slated to receive a raise in 2017 given that they currently earn less than the new minimum in their respective states. That said, the real question is how many of those workers will subsequently lose their jobs to automation and/or business failures by company’s that simply can’t survive the incremental costs.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 30, 2016.

91 Year Old Woman Court Sides With Bank – Her Cash Saving Illegal

A 91 year old woman in Kristianstad tried to simply deposit her 108,000 SEK (approx. 12000 USD), which was her life savings. The bank refused to accept the notes, because the woman could not explain where they came from. The woman saved the first money in the drawer, because she did not trust banks. Then in a safety deposit box. Saving money and then trying to deposit it in a bank is rapidly becoming a crime as we move deeper into the age of authoritarian government because socialism is collapsing and government are desperate for money.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 30, 2016.

2016 Ends With A Whimper: Stocks Slide On Last Minute Pension Fund Selling

When we first warned 8 days ago that in the last week of trading a “Red Flag For Markets Has Emerged: Pension Funds To Sell “Near Record Amount Of Stocks In The Next Few Days”, and may have to “rebalance”, i.e. sell as much as $58 billion of equity to debt ahead of year end, many scoffed wondering who would be stupid enough to leave such a material capital reallocation for the last possible moment in a market that is already dangerously thin as is, and in which such a size order would be sure to move markets lower, and not just one day.
Today we got the answer, and yes – pension funds indeed left the reallocation until the last possible moment, because three days after the biggest drop in the S&P in over two months, the equity selling persisted as the reallocation trade continued, leading to the S&P closing off the year with a whimper, not a bang, as Treasurys rose, reaching session highs minutes before the 1pm ET futures close when month-end index rebalancing took effect.
10Y yields were lower by 2bp-3bp after the 2pm cash market close, with the 10Y below closing levels since Dec. 8. Confirming it was indeed a substantial rebalancing trade, volumes surged into the futures close, which included a 5Y block trade with ~$435k/DV01 according to Bloomberg while ~80k 10Y contracts traded over a 3- minute period.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 30, 2016.

30/12/16: Corporate Debt Grows Faster than Cash Reserves

Based on the data from FactSet, U. S. corporate performance metrics remain weak.
On the positive side, corporate cash balances were up 7.6% to USD1.54 trillion in 3Q 2016 y/y, for S&P500 (ex-financials) companies. This includes short term investments, as well as cash reserves. Cash balances are now at their highest since the data records started in 2007.
But, there’s been some bad news too:
Top 20 companies now account for 52.5% of the total S&P500 cash holdings, up on 50.8% in 3Q 2015. Heaviest cash reserves are held by companies that favour off-shore holdings over repatriation of funds into the U. S., like Microsoft (USD136.9 billion, 37.8% y/y), Alphabet (USD83.1 billion, 14.1% y/y), Cisco (USD71 billion, 20.1% y/y), Oracle (USD68.4 billion, 22.3%) and Apple (USD67.2 billion, 61.4%). Per FactSet, ‘the Information Technology sector maintained the largest cash balance ($672.7 billion) at the end of the third quarter. The sector’s cash total made up 43.6% of the aggregate amount for the index, which was a jump from the 39.3% in Q3 2015′

This post was published at True Economics on Friday, December 30, 2016.

From Power Currency to Power Money*

On a Tuesday evening in early November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had been elected 2 years earlier on the slogan “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance” stunned India’s 1.3 billion people by announcing that their 1000 ($15) and 500 rupee notes would be “demonetized” (removed from circulation) and replaced with new 500 rupee versions by the end of the year.
All they had to do was take their old notes to the banks – which were closed the next day – and deposit them – as long as there was a “legitimate” explanation for the cash – (600 million Indians do not have bank accounts).
The New “Modi” Operandi in the War against Cash
The dictionary defines the Latin phrase modus operandi as “a particular way or method of doing something, especially one that is characteristic or well-established… It is also used in criminal profiling where it can help in finding clues to the offender’s psychology.”
Billed by proponents as a way to cut down on the drug trade and bring “dark money” into the open, the reality of banning large denomination notes, if not all paper currency, is considerably different. It is detrimental to the vast majority of a country’s citizenry, who are, by and large, honest people simply trying to make a decent living. Thus the government’s methodology – and ultimate goals – come into view.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Friday, 30 December 2016.

Stocks Set To End Turbulent 2016 On Mixed Note Following Dollar Flash Crash

Aside from the previously noted FX fireworks early in the illiquid Asian session, which saw the US Dollar “flash crash” briefly against most pairs, including the Euro and the Swiss Franc…

… only to gradually recover most if not all losses, it has been a generally quiet session, as markets look to close out 2016 in orderly fashion. The MSCI World Index was flat on Friday, with investors having booked profits off the benchmark’s 13% run since end-June and European shares opening a touch weaker. It was poised to end the year 5.7% higher despite a rough start and the worst January for stocks in history. Global markets have fared surprisingly well in a year marked by major political shocks, including June’s Brexit vote and the unexpected election of Donald Trump as U. S. president in November. U. S. stocks have hit successive record highs and emerging equities have rebounded 8 percent after three years in the red. As a result, global stocks are set to close out the tumultuous 2013 with the biggest gain since 2013, ironically even as Japan’s benchmark Topix index and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index were set for the first yearly decline since 2011. Oil headed for its first annual climb in three years. A gauge of the dollar shifted lower after reaching the highest level in more than a decade earlier this week.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 30, 2016.

Markets In 2016: Winners & Losers

As 2016 comes to a close, Reuters has compiled a list of the biggest winners and losers of the year from across the globe. Of course, after global equities started out the year on a weak note, in the closing weeks of 2016 computer algos investing professionals have rarely seen a stock they didn’t want to buy more of. That said, currency traders with exposure to the Egyptian pound or Nigerian naira didn’t make out quite so well. And then there were the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde trades of 2016 that, after gyrating wildly throughout the year and giving a bunch of high-strung traders heart attacks, ended up the year, righly or wrongly, roughly where they started.
First, the WINNERS:
Glencore: After losing 70% of it value in 2015, the outlook for Glencore at the start of this year couldn’t have been bleaker. But those who had the intestinal fortitude to invest in the beginning of 2016 were handsomely rewarded for their efforts. After initially shedding another 20% of it’s value in January 2016, Glencore bottomed-out along with oil and, after a successful $8 billion debt refinancing, rallied more than 200% this year, with a trough-to-peak rise closer to 300%. Anglo American: After posting a 2015 similar to Glencore (down ~80%), Anglo American , the world’s fifth-largest diversified mining company, took drastic action in the new year as the commodity rout deepened. In February, the company announced it would retain only 16 of its 45 core assets (dumping its coal, nickel and iron ore businesses, among others) and shed around 60% of its 128,000-strong workforce. Those who lived through the restructuring efforts enjoyed a 290% rise in 2016, and a trough-to-peak rise closer to 500%.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 30, 2016.

Goldman to Trump: Situation Assessment, Government Bail-ins, Precious Metals Threat: Systemic Collapse

A guest post from Stewart Dougherty. Stewart included some thoughts in his email to me that I thought should be shared as a preface to his essay:
– – – – – – –
Hi Dave:
Some pretty heady stuff, particularly the part about the Fed’s balance sheet being a lie. (I am 100% convinced of this, but cannot prove it, at least not yet.) And remember, Bernanke was caught issuing $10 trillion in swaps to foreign banks, all of which was supposed to remain a complete secret. It is not as if they haven’t been caught doing what I am saying they are still doing, to an even larger degree.
I’ve stated that the ‘conversation’ is imagined, intuited and fictional, so the small living parts of the shredded Constitution might actually protect my freedom of speech; wouldn’t that be amazing.
I believe ‘government bail-ins’ is fresh terminology … people hear about bank bail-ins all the time … but they don’t hear about government bail-ins, which are going to affect far more people and are inevitable. (As I’ll explain in Part 2, government bail-ins are not going to be about taxes … tax increases are too slow, and oftentimes don’t even work.) Since it’s new, the term government bail-ins might gain a lot of attention.
– – – – – – –
Despite Goldman’s avid support for Hillary Clinton, fewer than three weeks after the election, Gary Cohn, the number two executive at Goldman Sachs met privately at Trump Tower with the President-elect. Ten days later, he was named to one of the most powerful financial positions in the world, Director of the National Economic Council of the United States of America.
As they say, knowledge is power, and power is knowledge; both open doors, ears and minds when they decide to. What could Cohn have said to Trump that resulted in his near-immediate hire? Using the Inferential Analytics methodology, we have synthesized a message a visitor of Cohn’s stature might have conveyed to Trump on November 29, 2016. And while it is inferred, intuited and fictional, the following transcript is deeply grounded in the nation’s current and prospective fiscal, financial, monetary and economic situation.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on December 30, 2016.

Major Stock Bear Still Looms

The US stock markets spectacularly defied the odds in 2016, soaring after both the UK’s Brexit vote and US presidential election. Both actual outcomes were universally feared as very bearish for stocks before the events. These contrary stock rallies have left traders feeling euphoric, convinced stock markets are impregnable. But with stock valuations hitting bubble levels in an exceedingly-old bull, a major bear still looms.
Though you wouldn’t know it in recent years, stock markets are forever cyclical. They rise and fall, flow and ebb, in great valuation-driven cycles. Bull markets always eventually give way to bears, and vice versa. Stocks can’t and don’t rise or fall forever, extreme popular greed or fear never last for long. The history of stock markets looks like a great sine wave, an endlessly-alternating series of bulls and bears.
Stock-price levels are ultimately dependent on underlying corporate profits, truly their sole fundamental foundation. Profits tend to rise gradually over time in fairly-linear fashion. But bulls and bears, fueled by widespread greed and fear respectively, temporarily drag stock prices away from their righteous fair values derived from earnings. These emotional distortions never last, as stocks always revert to mean valuations.
Today stock euphoria is rampant deep in the second-longest bull market in US history. And the driving catalyst couldn’t be stranger, Donald Trump’s surprise win of the US presidency. Leading up to early November’s election, stock markets sold off every time Trump’s odds of winning seemed to rise. Then on election night as Trump’s Florida lead mounted, stock-index futures plummeted limit-down to 5% losses!

This post was published at ZEAL LLC on December 30, 2016.

Republican Tax Reform – What About the Deficit?

The Associated Press ran a story reporting: ‘Congressional Republicans are planning a massive overhaul of the nation’s tax system, a heavy political lift that could ultimately affect families at every income level and businesses of every size.’ The interesting aspect is that the headline reads:
GOP: Cut taxes, change brackets; but what about deficits
There is zero discussion about constantly borrowing year after year. The presumption here is that governments can borrow all the time and someone will buy, even if negative, and the world will keep on going. They assume that this is OK and that deficits are all right as long as we fund them.
Absent from all of this basic assumption is the reality of history – whenever a government borrows, they ALWAYS default.
Most people are living in the past. Prior to 1971, the US government borrowed money but it did not create new money, as it could not be used for collateral to borrow against. In the 1960s, if you bought an E-bond, you could not go to the bank to borrow against it. You had to cash it out. Post-1971, you could buy T-Bills and use them as collateral to fund your trading. Debt has become money that pays interest.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 30, 2016.

Precious Metal Deliveries For 2017 Begin Quietly – Big Drawdown in ‘Registered For Delivery’ Silver

Although the silver did not ‘go anywhere,’ the registered (for delivery) category of silver dropped by almost 8 million ounces in one day.
There are now about 28.4 million ounces registered for delivery on the exchange, which is low compared to recent levels approaching the 50 million level.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 30 DECEMBER 2016.

‘A Warning for Property Investors in Australia’

And for the broader Australian economy (jobs!).
Investment in the Australian housing sector has become a frantic activity, and prices have soared. This has been accompanied by a construction boom, particularly of large multi-family developments. But that construction boom is now creating a ballooning oversupply ‘up and down the East Coast of Australia,’ warns Roger Montgomery, Chief Investment Officer of Montgomery Investment Management in Australia, in the short video below, ‘Property Implosion?’


This post was published at Wolf Street on Dec 30, 2016.