Activists Warned Officials About Oroville Dam 12 Years Ago (But Nobody Listened)

Officials were warned twelve years in advance about potential safety hazards at the Oroville Dam in Butte County, California, which now faces the risk of flooding nearby residential areas as a result of a broken spillway and increased rainfall.
Local outlet Mercury News reports:
‘Three environmental groups – the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League – filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside.’
That never happened.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.

Brother Of Kim Jong Un Assassinated In Malaysia; US “Strongly Believes” North Korea Behind Murder

Update: According to a U. S. government source speaking to Reuters, the U. S. strongly believes that North Korean agents murdered the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Malaysia. This, even though U. S. authorities have not yet determined exactly how Kim Jong Nam was killed, according to the source, who did not provide firm evidence to support the government’s conclusion.
* * *
Just two days after North Korea embarrassed both the US and Japan by test-firing a new, nuclear-capable ICBM with a 2000 mile range, with neither Trump nor Abe able to articulate a clear retaliation strategy, moments ago Yonhap news agency reported that the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been assassinated at Kuala Lumpur airport.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.

The TPP Has Been Rewritten, Shrouded In Secrecy & Is Worse Than Before – Episode 1204a

The following video was published by X22Report on Feb 14, 2017
Euro zone has been revised and the economy is not doing as well as it has been reported. American CEO’s have never been more optimistic. Credit Suisse laying off 6500 employees. The US consumer spends $1 in every $3 dollars in the world. The Euro may already be lost. Trump has made many remarks about the FED but will he do anything. TPP has been rewritten and it is worse than ever.

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – Yellen and the Jawbone – Valentine’s Day

“She is more precious than jewels – and nothing you could desire can even compare with her.”
Proverbs 3:15
Fed chair Yellen made some hawkish noises concerning the possibility of a rate hike in March around 10 am EST.
That took the dollar up, and the precious metals down.
The PPI (wholesale price inflation) came in a little hot this morning.
There is no real sustainable recovery. The credibility trap has caused a great number of our ruling elite to become ineffective hypocrites.
But this is nothing new. People of privilege will go to great lengths when that privilege, long held, is threatened.
I do think that things are ‘going to get real’ as they used to say, probably later this year. Look for the next shoes to drop in Europe. The EU is the paradigm of official folly.
Today is Valentine’s Day. I spent quite a bit of it with mine.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 14 FEBRUARY 2017.

Your Daily Dose Of Government Insanity

Since I’m always reading and writing about government policies, both in America and around the world, I’m frequently reminded of H. L. Mencken’s famous observation about the shortcomings of ‘tolerable’ government.
If you take a close look at the world’s freest economies, you quickly learn that they are highly ranked mostly because of the even-worse governments elsewhere.
Even places such as Switzerland have some misguided policies.
But there’s a silver lining to this dark cloud. The incompetence, mendacity, and cronyism that exists all over the world means that I’ll never run out of things to write about.
So let’s enjoy a new edition of Great Moments in Foreign Government.
We’ll start with the utterly predictable failure of an entitlement program in the United Kingdom.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.

RBC: “This Is The $1 Trillion Question On Our Clients’ Minds”

With Dennis Gartman seemingly correct this time, and the market not only melting up, but in full “blow off top” mode, traders can only sit back and watch in quiet amazement how nothing can lead to even the most nominal of downticks. So in hopes of bringing some daily clarity, here is RBC’s cross-asset head Charlie McElligott with his daily dose of market zen, focusing not only on the key events of the day, namely China’s record credit injection and Yellen’s more hawkish than expected Congressional testimony, but with an observation of what “continues to be the chief concern of clients on recent marketing swings”, namely “The TRILLION dollar question: when does all of this ‘inflation as a good thing’ tip over into ‘inflation with no growth’ – aka STAGFLATION?”
From McElligott’s “Big Picture”:
CHINA CREDIT-PUMPING=HIGHER GLOBAL INFLATION
Today’s newest pain-trade? Very popular Yuan shorts, who bet on the currency’s depreciation (long CNY, CNH, or SGD as ‘cheap’ proxy) and are being squeezed sharply today off the back of some big overnight Chinese inflation and financing data. In the larger-sense though, the real takeaway here is that a stronger Yuan could very much alter the current macro regime landscape, as it could represent further tailwind to the ‘global reflation’ story.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.

FEB 14 /BANKERS ATTEMPT TO WHACK GOLD AND SILVER TODAY BUT FAIL/SILVER APPROACHES 18.00 DOLLARS PER OZ/GLD ADDS ANOTHER 4.14 TONNES TO ITS INVENTORY/COMEX SILVER OPEN INTEREST CONTINUES TO RISE D…

Gold at (1:30 am est) $1223.90 DOWN $0.50
silver was : $17.87: UP 7 CENTS
Access market prices:
Gold: $1228.80
Silver: $17.95
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:
TUESDAY gold fix Shanghai
Shanghai FIRST morning fix Feb 14/17 (10:15 pm est last night): $ 1239.72
NY ACCESS PRICE: $1226.30 (AT THE EXACT SAME TIME)/premium $13.42
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Shanghai SECOND afternoon fix: 2: 15 am est (second fix/early morning):$ 1242.88
NY ACCESS PRICE: $1228.40 (AT THE EXACT SAME TIME/2:15 am)
SPREAD/ 2ND FIX TODAY!!: 14.48
China rejects NY pricing of gold as a fraud/arbitrage will now commence fully
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
London FIRST Fix: Feb 14/2017: 5:30 am est: $1229.65 (NY: same time: $1228.60 (5:30AM)
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
London Second fix Feb 14.2017: 10 am est: $1230.75 (NY same time: $1231.40 (10 am)
It seems that Shanghai pricing is higher than the other two , (NY and London). The spread has been occurring on a regular basis and thus I expect to see arbitrage happening as investors buy the lower priced NY gold and sell to China at the higher price. This should drain the comex.
Also why would mining companies hand in their gold to the comex and receive constantly lower prices. They would be open to lawsuits if they knowingly continue to supply the comex despite the fact that they could be receiving higher prices in Shanghai.

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on February 14, 2017.

World’s 2nd largest stockpile of gold leaves the United States

About 20 years ago when I was still a cadet at West Point, my economics professor organized a class trip to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The part of the trip that I remember most was touring the Fed’s high security vault, 80 feet below street level beneath the bank’s main office building downtown.
This vault houses the largest known depository of gold in the world.
None of that gold, of course, belongs to the Fed. The Federal Reserve doesn’t own a single ounce of gold.
Almost all of that gold is owned by foreign governments and central banks.
It’s been that way since the end of World War II – European governments wanted to store their wealth overseas, out of the reach of the Soviet Union.
As a kind of professional courtesy among governments and central banks, their gold has been stored for free by the Fed for the last 70 years.
Even after the Soviet Union fell, most governments still chose to keep their gold in New York.
It was safe. America was a rich, trusted ally. Why bother moving it?
Fast forward a few decades and the world has clearly changed.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on February 14, 2017.

African Gold Scam Takes $70,000 from Michigan Credit Union

Last week 63-year-old Kenneth J. Plonski was charged in a Michigan court for defrauding the Copoco Community Credit Union of more than $70,000. Plonski claims he was also duped by a ‘friend’ into wiring cash to Africa to buy gold. However, Plonski claims he never received any African gold.
The alleged scam is a classic case of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’. Plonski allegedly took out a mortgage with the CCCU in 2014 and began making his monthly payments. Court records show Plonski also used the mortgage to secure a Visa gift card with a $20,000 line of credit, according to a local Michigan network.

This is basically how the scam worked: beginning in the spring of 2016, Plonski allegedly began making large payments with the Visa card’s line of credit and sending them through an online bill pay service like PayPal. After a day or so went by, Plonski would then fund that line of credit with a cash advance taken from the CCCU. After the advance funds made it into the credit card’s balance, Plonski would then reverse the charges on the payments and the bank was left holding the bag.

This post was published at Schiffgold on FEBRUARY 14, 2017.

Biggest EU Banks Embark on the Mother of All Debt Binges

A hot new bail-in-able debt cooked up by financial engineers in France
Spain’s three biggest banks, Banco Santander, BBVA and Caixa Bank, have got off to a flying start this year having issued 8.6 billion in new debt, seven times the amount they sold during the same period of last year. The last time they rolled out so much debt so quickly was in 2007, the year that Spain’s spectacular real estate bubble reached its climactic peak.
Santander accounts for well over half of the new debt issued, with 5.12 billion of senior bonds, subordinate bonds, and a newfangled class of bail-in-able debt with the name of ‘senior non-preferred bonds’ (A. K. A. senior junior, senior subordinated or Tier 3) that we covered in some detail just before Christmas.
Investors beware…
This newfangled class of bail-in-able debt was cooked up last year by French-based financial engineers in order to help France’s four global systemically important banks (BNP Paribas, Crdit Agricole, Groupe BPCE and Socit Gnrale) out of a serious quandary: how to satisfy pending European and global regulations demanding much larger capital and debt buffers without having to pay investors costly returns on the billions of euros of funds they lend them to do so.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Feb 14, 2017.

The Great American Jobs Apocalypse, and What to Do About It

The Great American Jobs Apocalypse is still threatening to cause tears in America’s social fabric, and no one really knows what to do about it.
If you’re not unemployed or underemployed now, then you know someone who is… and you could always be next.
I keep coming back to this theme in Connecting the Dots, because a) it’s a monumental, paradigm-changing problem, and b) it affects all of us.
While I don’t have definitive answers, I managed to put together more of the puzzle pieces.
Lost Value
We the People, aka Mainstream America, are angry and frustrated – and we are vehemently making our feelings known. The open public discontent has left many economists and politicians flabbergasted: With a historically low unemployment rate of 4.9%, what seems to be the problem?
For most people, work is not just about money, but also about self-worth. You can be ‘employed’ but still feel unappreciated due to low wages, missing job security, or inability to use your best skills.
The government’s unemployment numbers miss part of the story. They don’t, for example, show how many people aren’t getting enough hours to make ends meet and/or lack job satisfaction. But some recent surveys do.
According to a 2016 survey from PayScale, 46% of workers (roughly 22 million Americans) think they’re ‘underemployed’ – which is being defined as either working part time or having a job that doesn’t allow them to use their education or skills.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on FEBRUARY 14, 2017.

“Can’t Get Broke Taking Profits” – The Tech Stock Rally Is Getting Extended

The Nasdaq 100 rally is arguably extended now, based on the utilization of this charting analysis.
We have mentioned, on occasion, our view that the concept of rotation in the equity market is a bit overplayed. Sure, there are always some things going up on others going down, but that’s the nature of the markets. It doesn’t mean it is part of some coordinated rotation whereby various segments of the market take turns carrying the leadership mantle. In fact, it is estimated that some 70%-80% of the movement of a stock can be explained by the direction of the overall market. With that being said, in the last eight months or so, the stock market has probably exhibited more ‘rotational’ characteristics than any other period in recent memory.
Others have pointed to the multi-year lows in stock correlations. It is part of the same concept. The recent rotation among stocks segments has been interesting to say the least, not to mention an attractive environment for active managers. Some groups of stocks rally while others consolidate; some break out while others pull back; some are extended while others are poised to make a move. Presently, you might place technology stocks, or specifically the NASDAQ 100, in the ‘extended’ category.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.

WITCH’S BREW: Sentiment UP, Complacency UP – but Uncertainty Also UP (Not DOWN?)

When did the distortion start occurring in the markets when increasing UNCERTAINTY can come with an increase in COMPLACENCY and SENTIMENT?
The short answer is: When Wall Street and its media maven lap dogs began controlling the public narrative. I place our newly minted Twitter King, “the Donald” at the intersection of both!
For the sake of full disclosure I need to say I did not vote for the “Donald”! This was based solely on my personal experience as an investor in “DJT”. It was a sad story for those investors who bet on the “Donald” and were left holding the bag without remorse from this slick Wall Street magnate. We were all guilty of being delusional in our faith in what became clear to us as his illusional, self-promoting, relentless hype.
Having said that, I also need to state that I soundly belief in his presently outlined policies of pro-growth, tax cuts, regulatory reduction and cessation of an unfundable American hegemony. Similar to “DJT”, the story is both exciting and well sold. Of course many will likely soon learn there is a big difference between what the “Donald” asserts and the reality of what he actually delivers. There is a reason he habitually punctuates almost every questionable claim with “trust me!” Like the old carnival barker and snake oil salesman of yesteryear, firm promises and sales pitch are likely to steadily and stealthily shift with the continuous stream of “fall guys”, excuses, slick “slights of hand” or “deflections”.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 14 February 2017.

Why Global GDP Is Converging Towards 1%

After years of fighting against the forces of deflation, many areas of the world, including the US, are experiencing a rebound in inflation and growth prospects. The promise of rising prices and accelerating economic growth are causing asset prices to head higher, but how long will this phenomenon last?
There’s no question that things have gotten a lot rosier over the past few months. The chart below shows inflation levels rising in the US, the EU, and Japan.
Much of this increase has come on the back of rising commodity prices, and particularly oil. When oil plunged during 2014 and 2015, it took many segments of the global economy with it. Deflationary pressures increased and central banks were forced to up their antes with lower rates and additional bond purchases.
Then came the bottom in early 2016. Once oil found a bottom in the mid-20’s, it turned higher and has been taking the entire commodity complex with it (chart above). Our current semi-stable ~$50 oil prices have led to rising inflation and a modest uptick in expected growth.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 02/14/2017.

Ethics Office Recommends “Disciplinary Action” Against Kellyanne Conway

#BREAKING: U. S. Office of Government Ethics Calls on White House to Discipline #KellyanneConway pic.twitter.com/nixmDhMc6Q
— House OversightDems (@OversightDems) February 14, 2017

Just days after Sean Spicer said that Kellyanne Conway was “counseled” for pitching Ivanka Trump’s clothing on national TV, moments ago the director of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) said White House counselor Kellyanne Conway misused her official position by hawking the product line of Trump’s daughter in front of the nation, saying she may have committed a “clear violation” of ethics rules, and recommended that the White House punish her.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.

Gold and Silver Market Morning: Feb 14 2017 – Gold consolidating but U.S. gold ETF investors buying big!

Gold Today – New York closed at $1,225.90 on the 13th February after closing at $1,234.00 on the 10th February. London openedat $1,227.50 today.
Overall the dollar was slightly stronger against global currencies early today. Before London’s opening:
– The $: was slightly stronger at $1.0623: 1 from $1.0653: 1 onyesterday.
– The Dollar index was slightly stronger at 100.78 from 100.67 onyesterday.
– The Yen was slightly stronger at 113.48:$1 from yesterday’s 113.61 against the dollar.
– The Yuan was stronger at 6.8681: $1, from 6.8804: $1, yesterday.
– The Pound Sterling was slightly stronger at $1.2529: 1 fromyesterday’s $1.2520: 1.
Yuan Gold Fix
Shanghai was closed today.
LBMA price setting: The LBMA gold price was set today at$1,229.65 up from yesterday’s $1,229.40.
The gold price in the euro was set higher at 1,157.43 after yesterday’s1,155.55.
Ahead of the opening of New York the gold price was trading at $1,229.40 and in the euro at 1,156.48. At the same time, the silver price was trading at $17.94.
Silver Today – Silver closed at $17.82 at New York’s close yesterday against $17.94 on the 10th February. You will note its rise against gold is holding.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 14 February 2017.