Sessions Humiliates Rahm: “No Amount Of Federal Funds Will Help A City That Refuses To Help Its Own Residents”

All the latest moves coming from Jeff Sessions would seem to imply that the beleaguered Attorney General has every intent of aggressively pushing forward with Trump’s agenda in order to mend broken fences with the White House and try to keep his job. The latest such move comes in the form of the following rather direct official statement from Sessions in response to Chicago’s lawsuit filed earlier this morning regarding federal funding, or lack thereof rather, for sanctuary cities.
Among other things, Sessions scolded Chicago’s Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, saying that “no amount of federal taxpayer dollars will help a city that refuses to help its own residents.” Meanwhile, Sessions also took direct aim at Chicago’s soaring violent crime rate pointing out, as we have on many occasions, that the city recorded more murders in 2016 than New York and L. A. combined.

‘No amount of federal taxpayer dollars will help a city that refuses to help its own residents.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

Gold Price: USD 65,000/oz in 5 years?

Introduction
Financial market prices are generally set by the trading venues which command the highest trading volumes and liquidity. This is also true of the gold market where the venues with the highest gold trading volumes – the London over-the-counter and COMEX gold futures markets – establish the international gold price.
However, these two gold markets merely trade paper gold claims in the form of unallocated gold positions (London Gold Market) and gold futures derivatives (COMEX). This trading creates paper gold supply out of thin air and is also highly leveraged and fractional in nature since the paper gold claims are only fractionally backed by real physical gold.
Although these highly leveraged synthetic gold trades have nothing to do with the transacting of physical gold, perversely they still establish the international gold price because physical gold markets merely inherit the gold prices derived in these ‘high liquidity’ paper gold markets.
BullionStar maintains that these paper gold markets cannot price physical gold accurately because they don’t trade physical gold, instead they trade infinitely scalable fractional claims on a smaller amount of physical gold. The international gold price is thus an artificial gold price totally removed from supply and demand in the physical gold markets.

This post was published at Bullion Star on 7 Aug 2017.

Whiff of Reality at Crazy Super High-End Housing Market?

BS asking prices meet the ax.
No, Cantor Fitzgerald CEO Howard Lutnick didn’t ‘save’ $81 million when he bought the most expensive listing in New York City, the 12,000-square-foot, 16-room triplex penthouse on the 41st, 42nd, and 43rd floors of The Pierre, a co-op tower on Fifth Avenue dating from 1930s. By the way, the owner also pays monthly maintenance charges for the apartment of $51,840).
Asking price was $125 million when it was first listed in March 2013. In December that year, the price was slashed to $95 million. In 2015, it was cut to $63 million. That’s half of the original asking price. But it still didn’t sell. So it was taken off the market. After it underwent a modern redesign, it was re-listed in April 2016 for $57 million. It still didn’t sell. But on August 2, Page Sixreported that Lutnick bought it for $44 million. At 65% below asking.
‘Cantor Fitzgerald CEO buys iconic triplex at $81M discount,’ said the Page Sixheadline.
‘Best Real Estate Headline Ever,’ said Jonathan Miller, real-estate appraiser and author of the Elliman Report series, in his Housing Notes.
Miller has a word for this phenomenon of enormous blue-sky asking prices that trigger subsequent massive and serial price reductions until finally someone bites: ‘Aspirational pricing.’

This post was published at Wolf Street on Aug 7, 2017.

Indonesia Will Barter Coffee, Tea And Palm Oil For Russian Fighter Jets

On Monday Russia warned that it would begin aggressively reducing its dependence on the US Dollar and US-based payment systems, and shortly after it confirmed just that when Indonesia announced that it will barter coffee, palm oil, tea and various other commodities in exchange for 11 Russian-made Su-35 fighter jets, calling U. S. and European sanctions against Russia “an opportunity to boost the Southeast Asian nation’s trade.”
The Indonesian Ministry of Trade said that a memorandum of understanding for the barter was signed Aug. 4 in Moscow between Russia’s Rostec and PT. Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia, both state-owned companies. ‘This barter under the supervision of both governments hopefully will soon be realized through the exchange of 11 Sukhoi Su-35s and a number of Indonesian exports, starting from coffee and tea to palm oil and strategic defense products,’ Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said on Monday, as quoted by Reuters.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

AUGUST 7/GOLD UP 30 CENTS/SILVER DOWN 3 CENTS/U.N. SANCTIONS NORTH KOREA WITH A 15-0 VOTE (VOTE IN THE AFFIRMATIVE BY CHINA AND RUSSIA)/NORTH KOREA OFFERS AN ANGRY RESPONSE TO THE ADDITIONAL SANC…

GOLD: $1259.00 UP $0.30
Silver: $16.27 DOWN 3 cent(s)
Closing access prices:
Gold $1258.00
silver: $16.29
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: $1263.73 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1258.81
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $4.92
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1264.29
NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1258.15
Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$6.14
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1258.10
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1258.00
LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1257.55
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1258.00
For comex gold:
AUGUST/
NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH: 73 NOTICE(S) FOR 730000 OZ.
TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 3319 FOR 331900 OZ (10.323 TONNES)
For silver:
AUGUST
1 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR
5,000 OZ/
Total number of notices filed so far this month: 544 for 2,720,000 oz

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on August 7, 2017.

“The World’s Most Feared Investor” Lashes Out At Safe Spaces

Several days after Paul Singer released his much anticipated letter to investors (key excerpts here), the founder of Elliott Management was profiled on Bloomberg as the “most feared activist investor in the world – by hedge fund rivals, companies and even countries”, and for good reason. Singer’s Elliott Management, which manages $34 billion of assets, has not only rarely been out of the headlines the past 18 months – in the process targeting the world’s biggest mining company, taking on Warren Buffett, ousting CEOs on both sides of the Atlantic and setting off a chain of events that led to the impeachment of South Korea’s president – but as shown in the table at the bottom, has generated unprecedented and consistent returns, putting the rest of the activist sector to shame.
Some more details:
… his impact is undeniable. He started with just $1.3 million from family and friends in 1977, and the fund’s investments in equity and debt have since led to at least $93 billion in corporate asset sales and share buybacks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While he’s been scorned for employing bullying tactics at times, Singer doesn’t worry about his tough reputation. He sees it as a selling point for his investors.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

Trump – Blumenthal Twitter War Goes Nuclear As Trump Fires Back

Rainy day at the Summer White House in Bedminster, New Jersey. #TeamTrump keeping very busy working with @POTUS @realDonaldTrump to #MAGA! pic.twitter.com/iDSkbTddu0
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) August 7, 2017

Trump drew first blood this morning in what appears to be a growing twitter feud with Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal when he called the Senator a “phony Vietnam con artist.” Within an hour, Blumenthal launched a counter strike calling Trump a “bully.” It had all the makings of a heated 1st grade-ish Battle Royale.
But, Trump has just taken things to a whole new level with the following tweet which seemingly confirms that the President is now locked in his first official Twitter War.
“I think Senator Blumenthal should take a nice long vacation in Vietnam,
where he lied about his service, so he can at least say he was there.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

Why Silver Prices Will Rebound After Last Week’s 2.5% Plunge

Although silver prices saw some mild profit taking from investors early last week, the metal took a 2.3% nosedive on Friday, Aug. 4. That loss was responsible for the price of silver’s 2.5% weekly decline since Friday, July 28.
Friday’s drop came after the release of the July jobs report that showed payrolls had risen by 209,000 jobs. That smashed economists’ expectations of 180,000. The June number was also revised up to 231,000 from 222,000.
But the even bigger piece of data was the unemployment rate, which fell to a 16-year low of 4.3%. That’s bolstered the Fed’s case for another interest rate hike in 2017, which pushed the U. S. Dollar Index (DXY) up from its two-and-a-half-year low of 92.84 on Thursday, Aug. 3, to 93.49 on Friday, Aug. 4.
Since silver is priced in U. S. dollars, any rise in the dollar’s value makes gold more expensive to users of other currencies. That usually reduces demand, which weighs on the silver price and explains Friday’s 2.3% decline.
However, all of this just means silver is trading at a great bargain. Silver’s losses have pushed the gold/silver ratio back above 77, meaning it trades at a value compared to gold. I think this could cause a wave of buying behavior and send silver prices much higher this year.
Before I get into my bullish silver price prediction for the rest of 2017, let’s look at the price’s day-to-day movements last week…

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on August 7, 2017.

US Credit Card Debt Surpasses Financial Crisis Record, As Student And Auto Loans Hit New All Time High

Who would have expected that today’s otherwise boring monthly consumer credit report would be the day’s most exciting event. Well, moments ago the monthly update from the Federal Reserve confirmed that as of the end of June, total revolving (i.e. credit card) credit rose to $1,021.7 billion, an increase of $4.1 billion on the month, and a new all time high, taking out the previous record high set during the summer of 2008.
Coupled with the monthly $8.3 billion increase in non-revolving credit, which also rose to an all time high of $2,834.1 billion…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

Why Blackrock Isn’t Worried At All About Record Low Volatility

Yesterday, in an extensive, eloquent essay, One River’s Eric Peters described why it’s only a matter of time before record low breaks the market’s current phase of “metastability” and explodes higher. Below is the punchline:
To sell implied volatility at current levels, investors must imagine tomorrow will be virtually identical to today. They must imagine that bond yields won’t rise despite every major central bank looking to hike interest rates and exit QE. They must imagine that economies at or near full employment will not create inflation; that GDP will neither accelerate nor decelerate; that governments will tolerate historic levels of income inequality despite citizens voting for the opposite; that strongly rising global debts will be supported by decelerating global growth. And volatility sellers must imagine that nine years into a bull market, amplified by a proliferation of complex volatility-selling strategies and passive ETFs with liquidity mismatches, that we will dodge a destabilizing shock to market infrastructure. I can imagine a few of those things happening, but neither sustainably nor simultaneously. It is much easier to imagine a tomorrow that looks different from today.
As volatility declined, investors have had to sell even more of it to sustain sufficient profits. This selling reinforces the trend lower, which produces an illusion that legacy volatility shorts are less risky today than yesterday. Lower volatility thus begets lower volatility. And this also ensures that quantitative models reduce overall portfolio risk estimates, which allows (and in many cases forces) investors to buy more assets at prevailing prices. This in turn reduces volatility, reflexively. Naturally, the reverse is also true. Rising volatility begets rising volatility. And given the unprecedented volatility-selling in this cycle, I can imagine a historic reversal.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

Fannie and Freddie Blowing Up Another Bubble

The usual suspects are in the process of inflating an eerily familiar bubble.
It’s another housing bubble, but this time centered on rental property.
This is just one of many bubbles floating out there across the economic landscape. We have reported extensively on the stock market bubble, the student loan bubble, the debt bubble, and the auto bubble. We even told you about a shoe bubble. The air in these balloons all blows in from the same place – government and central bank policy. Artificially low interest rates, stimulus spending, and government policy combine to inflate asset bubbles. At their core, they are nothing but unnatural economic distortions.
And of course, at some point, they pop.
The rental bubble is particularly disturbing because it bears so much similarity to the housing crisis that crashed the economy in 2008. It even features some of the same lead characters – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
According to data compiled by Wolf Street, the apartment building boom in the US will set a record in 2017. Analysts estimate 346,000 new rental apartments in buildings with 50+ will hit the market this year. This follows record-setting year in 2016. And a record-setting year in 2015.

This post was published at Schiffgold on AUGUST 7, 2017.

Gold Market Morning: August-7-2017: Gold and silver steadying at lower levels

Gold Today – New York closed Friday at $1,264.40. London opened at $1,258.40 today.
Overall the dollar was stronger against global currencies, early today. Before London’s opening:
– The $: was stronger at $1.1802 after the Friday’s $1.1881: 1.
– The Dollar index was stronger at 93.38 after Friday’s 92.74.
– The Yen was weaker at 110.81 after Friday’s 110.026:$1.
– The Yuan was stronger at 6.7190 after Friday’s 6.7200: $1.
– The Pound Sterling was weaker at $1.3050 after Friday’s $1.3149: 1
Yuan Gold Fix
New York closed $2 lower than Shanghai’s close Friday. But today, we are seeing a stronger dollar, and a lower dollar gold price in London. The jobs report was met with enthusiasm that turned the dollar higher for now. Even with a stronger dollar we are seeing a stronger Yuan. London opened $385 lower than Shanghai but Shanghai was trading at only $2 lower than New York’s Friday close.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 7 August 2017.

Richard Sylla: This Is An Inherently Dangerous Moment In History

The following video was published by ChrisMartensondotcom, on Aug 7, 2017
“The rates we’ve had in recent years, including right now, are the lowest in history. The book that I co-authored on the history of interest rates traces back to the code of Hammurabi, Babylonian civilization, Greek and Roman civilization, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and early modern history right up to the present. And I can assure our listeners that the rates that they’re experiencing right now are the lowest in human history.”
So says Richard Sylla, Professor Emeritus of Economics and the Former Henry Kaufman Professor of the History of Financial Institutions and Markets at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is also co-author of the book A History Of Interest Rates.

Bullard: “Hard To Find Explanation For Low Inflation; Low-Vol Doesn’t Signal Anything

When it comes to inflation in the US, there are generally two schools of thought:one is that inflation is woefully – and purposefully for political means – mismeasured, and that the real inflation is orders of magnitude higher than what the BLS, with its endless array of hedonic adjustments, reports. We discussed this view in May when we presented a presentation by Devonshire Research, which showed that “contrarian” CPI is closer to 8%, not the “post-modern” accepted rate of roughly 3%.
And then there is the Fed/BLS/academic school which ignore real-world prices (and shrinkflation), and instead fixes on the core CPI number reported monthly by the BLS, which as is widely known, has been well below the Fed’s “target” of 2-3%. Of course, even the Fed is not blind to the soaring cost of rent, healthcare and education, but it conveniently masks these up by assigning specific, and very low, weights to these “outlier” items in the BLS’ inflation basket so that overall inflation appears surprisingly tame to most Americans who see a vastly different reality every time they go shopping.

This post was published at Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden Aug 7, 2017.

The Ambergris Factor

In the American whaling industry, which got underway during the eighteenth century, whalers slaughtered the giant Sperm whale for sperm oil, which came from the head and blubber and was important as a fuel for lamps. Another type of oil, called spermaceti from the head, became the chief ingredient in candles. While boiling up the blubber and parts of the Sperm whale, whalers occasionally noticed a very pleasing fragrance. It turns out this was a third oil-like substance, located in the intestines of the whale. Called ambergris, it became the basis for very expensive perfume. The problem was that the whalers found ambergris in very few of the whales they killed; nevertheless, the substance brought them a good income because the perfume manufacturers paid extremely high prices for it. So the whalers killed a lot of Sperm whales looking for those chosen few who had the right stuff.’ – The Fall of 1st Executive, by Gary Schulte
Must Read Puplava: We’re in the Final Phase of Another Market Bubble
Ladies and gentlemen, investing is a lot like whaling. Investors are constantly searching for that whale of a stock with the ‘right stuff’ . . . aka the ‘ambergris factor.’ Indeed, there have been many such ‘whales’ on the Street of Dreams since the Royal Bank of Scotland’s ‘sell everything’ advice at the January/February of 2016 stock market lows. The problem with some of these ‘whales’ is that they have become so large they are going to have a tough time continuing to grow at their previous rate; and, that’s the key, G-R-O-W-T-H. On Wall Street ‘growth’ is the pleasing fragrance that brings in buyers and makes stocks go up and way up! Moreover, growth and growth rates are what legendary investor Peter Lynch looked for in selecting stocks. As he explained in his book One Up On Wall Street, it’s all based on the arithmetic of compound earnings. To wit:

This post was published at FinancialSense on 08/07/2017.

New Report Finds The Economy Never Recovered, It Is One Big Illusion – Episode 1351a

The following video was published by X22Report on Aug 7, 2017
Labor market breadth is near record lows. Looking at all of the different economic indicators it shows the economy has not been improving. The Fed is doing away with another indicator, which has indicated a recession each time. A new study is out showing that the economy has never truly recovered and we are still in the great recession. China is now dumping foreign reserves.

No Matter What It Does the Fed Remains on a Course to Trouble

We recently reported that bankers around the world have started to express concern about the rapidly inflating stock market bubble, and its future impact on the world economy. While many in the mainstream banking world agree the problem exists, they see different causes and call for different solutions. Some worry the Fed might raise rates and end expansionary policies too quickly. Some fear the central bankers may not do it fast enough. These contrasting concerns reveal the tight spot the Fed finds itself in. Yellen has put herself between a rock and a hard place. If she tightens, she risks bursting the bubbles. If she doesn’t, she risks inflating bubbles further, leading to an even bigger crash when they finally burst.
The following article by Thorsten Polleit was originally published by the Mises Institute Fed Watch. It offers some in-depth analysis on the options the Fed faces along with a gloomy conclusion. No matter what, it will remain on a course to trouble.
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to continue to tighten its monetary policy this year. According to a latest Reuters Poll, the Fed is likely to start shrinking its US$4 trillion balance sheet in September and, moreover, raise further its key interest rate, which is currently standing in a range of 1.0 to 1.25%, in the fourth quarter this year.
According to mainstream economic wisdom, the time has come for the US economy to return to a more normal level of interest rates. Industrial output is expanding at a decent clip, official unemployment has declined markedly, and prices in the stock and housing market show a sustained upward drift. Considering these circumstances, the US economy can now shoulder a tighter monetary policy, it is said.

This post was published at Schiffgold on AUGUST 7, 2017.