Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – Dear Mr. Fantasy – Precious Metals Option Expiration

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – Dear Mr. Fantasy – Precious Metals Option Expiration
Another ‘risk on’ day after the French have seemingly chosen a populist neo-liberal businessman with little policy experience for their front runner.
And our own US version of this new breed, with considerably more panache, has signaled as intention to cut the US corporate tax rate to 15%.
If that 15% was like an Alternative Minimum Tax for corporations it might be a good idea, since so many of the big multinational corporations game the system and pay little to nothing in taxes almost every year.
Somehow, I don’t think it is going to work out that way.
Rumor has it that the wealthy will also be enjoying a personal tax cut.
Trickle down tax cuts for the wealthy and their corporations do not produce broader growth and consumption. Spending huge sums on projects designed to benefit a wealthy few, while shifting the burdens of bloated monopolies like healthcare and control frauds like TBTF banking to the middle and working class, in the face of record income inequality, is a policy recipe for disaster.
The ridiculous proposition is going to meet the unbelievable farce.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 25 APRIL 2017.

Playing The Game To Win – “I Made My Money By Selling Too Soon”

What Rick Barry and the Atlanta Falcons can teach us about risk management
‘Something about the crowd transforms the way you think’ – Malcolm Gladwell – Revisionist History
With 4:45 remaining in Super Bowl LI, Matt Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback, threw a pass to Julio Jones who made an amazing catch. The play did not stand out because of the way the ball was thrown or the agility that Jones employed to make the catch, but due to the fact that the catch easily put the Falcons in field goal range very late in the game. That reception should have been the play of the game, but it was not. Instead, Tom Brady walked off the field with the MVP trophy and the Patriots celebrated yet another Super Bowl victory.
NBA basketball hall of famer Rick Barry shot close to 90% from the free throw line. What made him memorable was not just his free throw percentage or his hard fought play, but the way he shot the ball underhanded, ‘granny-style’, when taking free throws. Every basketball player, coach and fan clearly understands that the goal of a basketball game is to score the most points and win. Rick Barry, however, was one of the very few that understood it does not matter how you win but most importantly if you win.
The Atlanta Falcons crucial mistake and Rick Barry’s ‘granny’ shooting style offer stark illustrations about how human beings guard their egos and at times do imprudent things in order to be viewed favorably by their peers and the public. It is this protective behavioral trait, rooted in the fear of being different, that frequently weighs on our ability to make decisions that are in our best interests. As equity markets climb to levels that have previously been associated with historic financial bubbles, and portend massive drawdowns, this article is another way of reminding investors that the ability to suppress the ego is needed if one is to mitigate the potential consequences of the current market bubble. As previously discussed in Limiting Losses, controlling drawdowns is paramount to compounding and long-term wealth accumulation.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 25, 2017.

The Democrats Get Trump And The Republicans To Fold, And That Means There NEVER Will Be A Border Wall

Well, that didn’t take long. Yesterday I reported that the Democrats were threatening to force a government shutdown if money for a border wall was included in the bill to fund the government, and one day later Donald Trump has unconditionally surrendered. Despite all of Trump’s promises, a border wall isn’t going to happen at this time, but of course he is pledging to ‘try again’ in September. But will anything change for the Democrats between now and September? Of course not. The Democrats will continue to use these same tactics whenever funding for a border wall comes up, and because Republicans always end up backing down on the most controversial issues that means that there never will be a border wall.
Do you know why the Democrats always get virtually everything that they want?
It is because they have a backbone.
They would have been willing to force a government shutdown that could have lasted for many months just to make sure not a single penny of taxpayer money was allocated for a border wall.
I certainly don’t agree with their principles, but at least the Democrats are willing to stand up for them.
On the other hand, Trump is showing that he is willing to flip flop on just about anything once he meets the least bit of resistance.

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on April 25th, 2017.

The Housing Bubble Is Back

Last week I ran into a friend whom I’d been worrying about. He’s a real estate appraiser and his work had been drying up as interest rates rose and homeowners stopped refinancing their mortgages.
But now he’s back to being happily swamped because instead of refinancing, everyone is buying – often, he says, for above the asking price.
A couple of days later my wife and I were at a slide show put on by friends just back from New Zealand. They’d heard that a neighbor was thinking about selling his house and on an impulse made him an offer. He accepted, and our friends became instant homeowners.
The very next day my wife’s father called to say that the company running a gas station next to his house wants to expand in his direction. They made him an unsolicited – and very generous – offer, which he accepted.
Then, I did an interview with Gordon T. Long’s Macro Analytics website in which Gordon told the following story:
My brother just sold one of his properties in Toronto [Ontario]. He had bidding war with 11 bidders so he demanded cash. Several of the Chinese buyers were on the phone overnight raising the money, which they got. My brother’s still partying after that sale.

This post was published at DollarCollapse on APRIL 25, 2017.

The Fed Will Blink

Honest Profession
GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – The Dow rose 174 points on Thursday. And Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said we’d have a new tax system by the end of the year.
Animal spirits were restless. But which animals? Dumb oxes? Or wily foxes? Probably both.
Since Thursday there have been two additional very spirited up days with large gaps – this is very rare in the DJIA, particularly from such a high level after a ~240% rally since the lows made 8 years ago… it continues to feel like a blow-off (and it happens against the backdrop of a sharp slowdown in money supply growth) – click to enlarge.
But what caught our attention were the central bankers strutting across the yard and crowing with such numbskull cackles that even barnyard animals would be embarrassed by them. There was a time when central banking was an honest profession.
Central bankers provided financing for the government. They backed the banking system, too, by holding savings as reserves, which they lent to solvent member banks in emergencies. They were tight-lipped, tight-laced, and tightwads. Their role was to say ‘no’ more often than ‘yes.’
When the king wanted money to fight in a war… or build a bridge… the banker would give the terse reply: ‘Sire, we don’t have any.’ Real money was backed by gold. And credit had to be backed by real money, which meant it had to be saved. Savings were limited, as was money.

This post was published at Acting-Man on April 25, 2017.

New Snowflake Study Proves Kanye Right: “That Major That She Majored In Don’t Make No Money”

A few days ago we noted that a record number of millennials are now graduating college and promptly moving back home with mom and dad. Adding insult to injury, at least for mom and dad anyway, roughly one-quarter of those millennials living in the proverbial basement are unemployed can’t be bothered with the hassle of looking for a job.
Now, thanks to a new study from iCIMS, we think we’ve been able to identify the problem…apparently the number of potential employers looking for anthropology majors is fairly minimal…even if the major did cost $250,000. Here are the stats courtesy of the Wall Street Journal:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 25, 2017.

Einhorn: “The Longs Say Stocks Can Only Go Up, Seemingly To Infinity And Beyond. We Have Seen This Before”

David Einhorn may write in his latest quarterly letter to investors that “from a portfolio perspective, this quarter was a quiet one” but based on his activity the famous poker playing hedge fund manager was quite busy.
Among his various moves, Greenlight added a new position in Perrigo in the first quarter, after several large guidance cuts, and now sees the company’s earnings forecast as achievable. He also took a new long position in Conduent, as he believes the company as burdened with ‘underearning’ contracts that it can renegotiate and exit. He also took a new long in unidentified European financial institution. On the other side, Greenlight closed shorts in Signet Jewelers, LyondelBasell, and RPC and also closed out shorts in three Canadian banks at a loss after oil and credit loss thesis didn’t ‘sufficiently’ materialize.
Einhorn said he still likes Apple, which is a ‘superior company that still trades for less than a market multiple’ while trimming his short position in Rite Aid after initially expecting deal with Walgreens to close at $9-share with FTC approval, and is watching the RAD situation ‘carefully’ as original thinking was incorrect.
Performance wise, the fund returned 1.3% in Q1, underperforming the S&P’s 6.1% rise. “Apple (AAPL), Chemours (CC) and gold were the biggest winners; the bubble basket, Rite Aid (RAD), and a short position in Tesla (TSLA) were the biggest losers.” And as he admits, “”It was a difficult quarter to be short the bubble basket, and TSLA in particular.”
One day, TSLA will fall, but not yet.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 25, 2017.

APRIL 25/TRADE WARS BEGIN BETWEEN CANADA AND THE USA/DEFAULTS ON STUDENT LOANS SOARING/BARRICK GOLD PRODUCES LESS GOLD AT HIGHER COSTS/GOLD OPEN INTEREST FALLS BY A TINY 999 CONTRACTS BUT THE SIL…

Gold: $1265.60 DOWN 10.20
Silver: $17.58 DOWN 27 cents
Closing access prices:
Gold $1264.50
silver: $17.60!!!
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
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: $1281.85 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: 1274.15
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $7.70
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1279.45
NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: 1270,30
Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$7.15
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1270.50
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1270.00
LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1267.80
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 1267.45
For comex gold:
APRIL/
NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH: 38 NOTICE(S) FOR 3800 OZ.
TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 766 FOR 76600 OZ (2.2835 TONNES)
For silver:
For silver: APRIL
0 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR nil OZ/
Total number of notices filed so far this month: 906 for 4,530,000 oz

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on April 25, 2017.

Can US-style Housing Crisis, ‘Jingle Mail’ Hit Canada’s Banks?

Dismantling the old saw that it can’t happen in Canada.
This comes up constantly in discussions on the current house price bubbles in some cities in the US and Canada, and whether a US-style crisis could happen in Canada: The housing bust in the US during the Financial Crisis was marked by banks receiving ‘jingle mail’ from homeowners who saw the value of their homes plunge and their equity turn negative. These folks didn’t feel like paying the mortgage anymore and just turned in the keys to the bank though they had jobs and could have made their mortgage payments.
These ‘strategic defaults,’ it is said, won’t happen in Canada. Therefore, there will not be a US-style housing crisis and financial crisis in Canada. In won’t happen in Canada, they say, because mortgages are ‘recourse,’ and in the US they’re ‘non-recourse.’ We hear this constantly. But it’s wrong.
I’m not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. For legal advice, pay a lawyer. I’m just trying to shed some light on a tough issue – while dismantling the old saw that a US-style housing bust and financial crisis cannot happen in Canada.
In the US of A:
States vary in how much recourse mortgage lenders have, and it’s not that clear-cut whether they’re ‘recourse’ or ‘non-recourse.’ A working paper by the Richmond Fed in 2010 on defaults in recourse and non-recourse states classified 11 states as ‘non-recourse.’ That’s good enough for our purposes.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Apr 25, 2017.

Could Lack Of Transparency Hurt Aramco’s Trillion Dollar Valuation?

With officials calling Saudi deputy crown prince bin Salman’s $2 trillion estimate of Saudi Aramco valuation as “unrealistic and mind blowing,” OilPrice.com’s Cyril Widdershoven notes the primary discussion taking place is the overall level of transparency offered by Aramco’s leadership, which is supported by the Saudi government.
Saudi Aramco’s IPO, slated to raise between $100 billion and $400 billion from a 5 percent stake in the company, will continue to make headlines until its launch. Lately, discussions on the valuation of Aramco have been intense, and the jury is still out regarding an exact price. Aramco’s IPO will be a game-changer, propelling the world’s largest National Oil Company (NOC) into a league of its own on the financial markets. The current market capitalization estimates of $1-2 trillion are based on valuations of Aramco’s hydrocarbon reserves carried out by independent consultants. These estimates put the giant oil company far ahead of any other publicly owned company. Two major questions remain to be answered however, one of which has been largely ignored by the mainstream media.
The primary discussion taking place is the overall level of transparency offered by Aramco’s leadership, which is supported by the Saudi government. After several days of attending the GCC Petroleum Media Forum (GCCPMF) in Abu Dhabi, attended by all GCC ministers of oil, including Saudi minister Khalid Al Falih, and a long list of government advisors, the issue of transparency has yet to be solved. Gulf oil ministers and CEOs still hold a very conservative idea about financial and operational transparency. There have been minor attempts by Aramco, ADNOC, and QP to open more data and insights to the financial world and media, but the world’s largest oil company remains far from transparent. When asked about the Aramco IPO and Saudi Vision 2030, the respective Saudi officials, including Khalid Al Falih, only produced basic media statements, already largely published in the Arab and global media outlets. Even the fact that the Forum was also meant to present a new OPEC-Abu Dhabi based data outlet, no real new information on reserves, production figures, or investment cycles were presented. Analysts still need to rely on figures presented by the existing outlets, OPEC-IEA-EIA-EIF.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 25, 2017.

American Middle Class Is Caught in a Vice

Today the American middle class is caught in a vice: squeezed by debt and facing a devalued currency. Add to that an increasing cost of living, stagnant wages, taxes, and government over-regulation and it’s easy to see why the ‘bedrock’ of the US economy is struggling to keep up. A Pew Research report published in December 2015 declared, ‘the middle class is losing ground.’
As Peter Schiff said during a recent interview with MarketWatch, the American middle class used to be the envy of the world and it thrived as a byproduct of economic freedom.
‘We had a very dynamic free market economy and limited government. People were out there pursuing their own self-interest and creating employment opportunities. We had a very upwardly mobile economy and that peaked around the 1950s when the typical middle class American family consisted of a father with a job and stay-at-home mom who took care of the kids.’
Today, many middle class families live paycheck to paycheck even with dual incomes and still find it hard to make ends meet. And forget saving for the future. A survey by Bankrate.com (and reported by MarketWatch last summer) revealed that a large number of Americans remain woefully unprepared for even minor emergencies that come up on a fairly routine basis. About 28% of Americans have’zero dollars’ saved for an emergency.

This post was published at Schiffgold on APRIL 25, 2017.

Central Bankers Tricks Are Now Being Used Against Them To Bring The Economy Down – Episode 1263a

The following video was published by X22Report on Apr 25, 2017
Consumer confidence stumbles and stock market soars. J Crew letting 150 employees go. Housing prices surge in the 20 bubble cities and new home sales surge according to the government. Trump pushing for a corporate tax like Obama. Trump budget for the wall won’t be a problem with the debt ceiling because he will wait until later this year to discuss. Trump is borrowing and creating more bubbles, using the central bankers trick to bring down the market.

Goldman Explains How Traders Made 4,364% Since 2009 With This ‘Simple’ Strategy

This is too easy. Forget NFLX Calls. As Goldman explains, the road to real riches over the past 8 years (off the ‘666’ lows in the S&P) is simple – Sell Vol!
The S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Daily Inverse Index which tracks the return of being short a one-month VIX future was up 4364% from March 9, 2009 through 1Q 2017.
Policy uncertainty is elevated around the globe and yet the VIX has posted one of its lowest starts to a calendar year on record. Many investors want to get long volatility via VIX ETPs. But buyer beware. Not a single VIX ETP actually tracks the VIX. They track VIX futures and the performance differential can be large. In our view it is important to understand how VIX ETPs are constructed, key return drivers and historical performance across bull, bear, and boring markets before trading.
VIX ETPs have almost $4 billion in assets under management.
And Open Interest has grown dramatically.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 25, 2017.

McClellan: “Gobs of Liquidity” to Fuel Markets Higher

Recently, markets have been taking a breather. Are they signaling a temporary stall or something more worrisome? And what comes next?
This time on Financial Sense, we spoke with Tom McClellan, editor of McClellan Financial Publications about his take on current conditions and his expectation for a move higher in the second half of 2017.
Market Fears Aren’t Warranted
Right now, we’re experiencing what McClellan referred to as a healthy pause, which he expected. We’ll see a big rally into May, a swoon right after that into June, and the mother of all uptrends into the end of 2017 and perhaps beyond, he noted.
We shouldn’t listen to the bearish voices and overvaluation scenarios we’ll hear before the second half of the year, McClellan added.
‘The last half of 2017 is going to be a really exciting time for the bulls,’ he said. ‘We’re still wading through choppy waters right now before we get to that big rush. Then it’s going to be time to invest and hold on for all it’s worth.’

This post was published at FinancialSense on 04/24/2017.

Trump Tax Plan Latest: Lobbyists Fear “Big Nothing Burger”

The buzz is beginning to build around Trump’s tax plan and what Americans can expect (and perhaps more notably, should not expect) to hear tomorrow.
After seemingly punting on the Border Wall funding, Citi notes that Politico has published an article detailing what is currently expected of the Trump tax plan:
What’s In…
“Marquee policy ideas are expected to include infrastructure spending and a childcare tax credit“
“Expected to tout a corporate rate of 15%“
What’s Out…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 25, 2017.

Gold and Silver Market Morning: April 25 2017 – Battling on support around $1,270!

Gold Today – New York closed at $1,276.10 yesterday after closing at$1,279.20 Friday. London opened at $1,270.40 today.
Overall the dollar was weaker against global currencies early today. Before London’s opening:
– The $: was weaker at $1.0895 after yesterday’s $1.0843: 1.
– The Dollar index was weaker at 98.98 after yesterday’s 99.18.
– The Yen was weaker at 110.48 after yesterday’s 110.108:$1.
– The Yuan was barely changed at 6.8862 after yesterday’s 6.8865:$1.
– The Pound Sterling was stronger at $1.2814 after Friday’s $1.2787: 1.
Yuan Gold Fix
The Shanghai Gold Exchange was trading at 283.90 towards the close today. This translates into $1,277.31. New York closed at a $0.69 premium to Shanghai’s close yesterday. London opened at a discount of $6.91 to Shanghai.
Despite New York trying to lift gold prices, Shanghai’s gold prices are slipping lower now. London is taking gold prices further down too.
Please note just how stable the Yuan exchange rate is against the dollar. This is in line with the policy of the People’s Bank of China’s as stated last week that they will not let the Yuan weaken significantly in the future.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 25 April 2017.

Wells Meeting Turns Into Screaming Match, Shareholder Kicked Out After “Physical Approach” Toward Board Member

What may be the most controversial annual shareholder meeting in Wells Fargo history, in which the board is seeking re-election after last year’s misselling scandal, devolved into a screaming match on Tuesday morning and was briefly halted following interruptions by angry shareholders as the bank’s chairman and chief executive tried to calm nerves ahead of a vote that could oust the majority of its board.
According to Reuters, at least one shareholder was ejected and the meeting went into recess after he made what Chairman Stephen Sanger called a “physical approach” toward a board member. Others were escorted out and the meeting was interrupted several times as investors demanded answers related to the bank having created as many as 2.1 million unauthorized accounts in customers’ names without their permission.
“You’re saying we’re out of order. Wells Fargo has been out of order for years!” the first angry shareholder said, before being ejected. Board Chairman Sanger and Chief Executive Tim Sloan repeatedly asked him to sit down because he was out of order, and then called a recess, only to have other shareholders stand and shout.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 25, 2017.