Hong Kong Ship Seized After Transferring Oil To North Korea

Just days after we showed satellite images which indicated that Chinese ships were trading oil with North Korean ships in a blatant violation of UN Security Council sanctions, South Korea said Friday that it was holding a Hong Kong flagged ship suspected of doing just that.
The Lighthouse Winmore is believed to have “secretly transferred” about 600 tons of refined petroleum products to the North Korean ship, the Sam Jong 2, in international waters in the East China Sea on Oct. 19, according to Bloomberg and the Associated Press.

The Hong Kong vessel had previously visited Yeosu port on Oct. 11 to load up on Japanese oil products and departed the port while claiming its destination was Taiwan. Instead, it transferred the oil to the Sam Jong 2 and three other non-North Korean vessels in international waters

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Fri, 12/29/2017 –.

Despite Being “Caught Red Handed”, China Denies Secretly Selling Oil To North Korea

An official statement from Chinese officials tonight smacks of Obi Wan Kenobi – ‘these are not the secret oil trades you are looking for’.

After being ‘caught RED HANDED’…according to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, U. S. recon satellites have photographed around 30 illegal transactions involving Chinese vessels selling oil to North Korea on the West Sea in October. The images allegedly showed large Chinese and North Korean ships transacting in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea. The satellite pictures even showed the names of the ships.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Thu, 12/28/2017 –.

Trump Warns China – “No Friendly Solution” If They Keep Cheating On Korean Oil Exports

Caught RED HANDED – very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2017

President Trump took aim at President Xi this morning in a very clear tweeted warning that follows US spy satellite evidence that showed China allowing oil exports to North Korea.
Trump exclaimed “caught red-handed” and said he was “very disappointed” by China’s actions. Perhaps more notable is that he explained “there’s no friendly solution” if this continues…
As a reminder, this is what President Trump is upset about, according to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, U. S. recon satellites have photographed around 30 illegal transactions involving Chinese vessels selling oil to North Korea on the West Sea in October. The images allegedly showed large Chinese and North Korean ships transacting in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea. The satellite pictures even showed the names of the ships.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Thu, 12/28/2017 –.

North Korean Defectors Show Signs Of Radiation Exposure

South Korean scientists and doctors who have been examining North Korean defectors have stumbled upon yet another horrifying discovery: At least four of the defectors have shown signs of radiation exposure, the South Korean government said on Wednesday – although researchers could not confirm if the radiation was related to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
Earlier today, we noted that one of the defectors had also tested positive for Anthrax antibodies, suggesting that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has continued his chemical weapons program despite signing an international chemical weapons treaty. Of course, the North Korean government has denied that chemical weapons are being used.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 27, 2017.

The Chinese: Liars In Trade AND Sanctions

Tell me again why we don’t toss our so-called “free trade” with China right here and now…..
According to South Korean government sources, the satellites have pictured large Chinese and North Korean ships illegally trading in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea.
The satellite pictures even show the names of the ships. A government source said, “We need to focus on the fact that the illicit trade started after a UN Security Council resolution in September drastically capped North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products.”

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-12-27.

US Spy Satellites Catch Chinese Ships Illegally Selling Oil To North Korea

According to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, U. S. recon satellites have photographed around 30 illegal transactions involving Chinese vessels selling oil to North Korea on the West Sea in October. The images allegedly showed large Chinese and North Korean ships transacting in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea. The satellite pictures even showed the names of the ships.
REA MORE

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 26, 2017.

Intelligence Insider Warns Of Imminent War: ‘Likely In The Next 12 Weeks… The Director Of The CIA Told Me’

Having worked closely with U. S. intelligence agencies over the last two decades, James Rickards was once asked to simulate asymmetric economic attacks on the U. S. financial system. He is an expert at escalation scenarios and end games, and in a recent article at The Daily Reckoning he warns that the geopolitical situation on the Korean Peninsula will soon come to a head.
According to Rickards, author of The Road To Ruin: The Global Elites Secret Plan For The Next Financial Crisis, while the world concerns itself with stock bubbles, bitcoin and debt, the most imminent threat we face is military confrontation with North Korea.
And while the rogue state has been an ongoing threat for many years, the first half of 2018 will likely see the trigger that sets the whole powder keg off:
The most important financial or geopolitical issue in the world today is a coming war between the U. S. and North Korea, probably in the next twelve weeks.

This post was published at shtfplan on December 26th, 2017.

Satellite Images Show North Korea Building New Tunnel At Nuclear-Test Site

Despite earlier hope amid Tillerson’s comments on diplomacy with North Korea, a new batch of satellite images suggests that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is ignoring warnings from Chinese (as well as American and South Korean) scientists and instead pressing ahead with the country’s nuclear testing regimen at Punggye-ri, a facility situated in the country’s mountainous northeast.
As scientist from several countries have tried to explain, satellite images suggest Punggye-ri is suffering from ‘Tired Mountain Syndrome’ – a phenomenon first documented by spy satellites examining Soviet nuclear test sites. After being warned by Chinese scientists about the dangers, two tunnels collapsed near the testing chamber back in October, killing 200 North Korean workers.
According to 38North, a blog that closely tracks North Korea related news, work on what appears to be a new tunnel near the site’s West Portal is progressing, leaving the North Portal – where the last five tests were conducted – mostly dormant and likely abandoned, at least for the time being.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 12, 2017.

These Are The 30 Biggest Risks Facing Markets In 2018

Once upon a time, Wall Street analysts had just two things to worry about: interest rate risk and corporate profits – virtually everything else was derived from these. Unfortuantely, we now live in the new normal, where central banks step in every time there is even a whiff of an imminent market correction (as BofA explained last week), and the result is that nobody know what is and what isn’t priced into the market any more, simply because the market in the conventional sense of a future discounting mechanism no longer exists (as Citi explained earlier this summer).
Which is why, paradoxically, even as the VIX slides to record lows, the number of things to worry about on Wall Street grows longer and longer. In fact, according to Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Slok, there are no less than 30 material risks investors should beware in the coming year, ranging from a U. S. equity correction to a reversal of Brexit to Irish presidential elections, to a “Bitcoin crash,” rising inflation, danger from North Korea and results from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 10, 2017.

Beware Of Fake Expectations

When you read the title of this article, I am sure you assumed this article would be all about the latest event of fake news which supposedly rocked the market this past Friday. Well, I am sorry to disappoint you.
You see, many investors have been following fake news for much longer than you realize. Well, more accurately, the news has been real, but the expectations held by analysts and investors has been fake.
As I have been presenting for quite some time now, we have seen many expectations of negative reactions to news being presented by analysts over the last two years. They have pointed to news events like Brexit, Frexit, terrorist attacks, rise in interest rates, cessation of QE, the Trump election, and many other reasons as to why the stock market will start heading south in a big way. So, while they have all pointed to real news events, their expectations have been fake.
So, maybe its time to consider that fake news and fake expectations have potentially been hurting investors these last few years!?
And, rather than maintaining fake expectations about how the next news event is going to ’cause’ a move in the market, at some point, investors may have to accept that the substance of these news events do not cause anything. Rather, it is the investor reaction to the news events which cause movements in the market. And, investor reactions are driven by investor sentiment.
When investor sentiment is positive, seemingly negative news events are discounted (terrorist attacks, North Korea, rising interest rates, cessation of QE, etc.) as the market continues on its northern trajectory. However, as the market completes its natural path of progression, we reach a point at which it is time we can begin to expect that investor sentiment has reached a pinnacle, and will likely turn south for a time.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Wednesday, 6 December 2017.

The U.S. Government Creates and Exacerbates the Nuclear Threat

The whole situation is a ‘Catch 22’ scenario: damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. The problem: we’re American citizens and this is our country. The concurrent problem? It is our country that caused this predicament to occur with North Korea…in a pattern of American imperialism that has been going on actively for about a hundred years. The problem is twofold:
1. North Korea can strike the U. S. with an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack and/or nuclear missiles, yet:
2. The United States government, through the current and prior two administrations has set the stage for this…as either:
A purposefully-created ‘threat’ to give America a ‘bogeyman’/Emmanuel Goldstein to focus on in a ‘Two-Minutes Hate’ drill…keep the ‘threat level’ alive, or A threat of insignificance grown and nurtured for the express purpose of taking down the country…while reaping profits and power for the oligarchy all along. There is an American oligarchy. The oligarchy is not only made up of business and industrial magnates, but of politicos and religious leaders. The business magnates need the lawmakers and politicos to give them ‘carte blanche’ with tax breaks and incentives such as government contracts. The system needs the general populace (or the ‘proletariat’) to pay taxes and ‘grunt’ out spending on consumer goods and services that keeps the whole thing intact. As in the movie ‘THX-1138,’ there must be periods to pay the utilities, pay for the food, pay taxes on gasoline, taxes on property, taxes on consumer goods, yearly tax increases, and insurances…health, automobile, homeowner…required insurances…

This post was published at shtfplan on December 4th, 2017.

US Futures, World Stocks, Bitcoin All Hit Record Highs

US equity futures continued their push higher into record territory overnight (ES +0.1%), and the VIX is 1.5% lower and back under 10, after yesterday’s blistering surge in US stocks which jumped 1%, the most since Sept. 11, following Powell’s deregulation promise, ahead of today’s 2nd estimate of U. S. Q3 GDP which is expected to be revised up. U. S. Senate Budget Committee sent the tax bull to the full chamber to vote, and on Wednesday Senators are expected to vote to begin debating the bill. It wasn’t just the S&P: MSCI’s all-country world index was at yet another record peak after all four major Wall Street indexes notched up new highs on Tuesday. Finally, completing the trifecta of records, and the biggest mover of the overnight session by far, was bitcoin which topped $10,000 in a buying frenzy which saw it go from $9,000 to $10,000 in one day, and which is on its way to rising above $11,000 just hours later.
In macro, the dollar steadies as interbank traders and hedge funds fade its rally this week; today’s major event will be testimony by outgoing Fed chair Janet Yellen after Powell said there is no sign of an overheating economy; the euro has rallied on strong German regional inflation while pound surges on Brexit bill deal news; yields on 10-year gilts climb amid broad bond weakness; stocks rise while commodities trade mixed.
In Asia, equity markets were mixed for a bulk of the session as the early euphoria from the rally in US somewhat petered out as China woes persisted (recovered in the latter stages of trade). ASX 200 (+0.5%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) traded higher. Korea’s KOSPI was cautious following the missile launch from North Korea, while Shanghai Comp. (+0.1%) and Hang Seng (+-0.2%) initially remained dampened on continued deleveraging and regulatory concerns before paring losses into the latter stages of trade. Notably, China’s PPT emerged again with Chinese stock markets rallied in late trade, with the CSI 300 Index of mainly large-cap stocks paring a drop of as much as 1.3% to close 0.1% lower. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1%, swinging up from a 0.8% loss, with property and materials companies among the biggest gainers on the mainland. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Property Index surged 3.8%, the most since August 2016. The Shenzhen Composite Index was little changed, after a 1.2% decline, while the ChiNext gauge retreated 0.4%, paring a 1.5% loss. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was little changed as of 3 p.m. local time, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 0.3%Stocks in Europe gained, following equities from the U. S. to Asia higher as optimism over U. S. tax reform and euro-area economic growth overshadowed concerns about North Korea’s latest missile launch. The Stoxx 600 gained 0.8%, reaching a one-week high and testing its 50-DMA. Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC, Milan and Madrid were all up between 0.5 and 0.7% and MSCI’s all-country world index was at yet another record peak after all four major Wall Street indexes notched up new highs on Tuesday. ‘It seems to me markets are still trading on the theory that the glass is half full,’ said fund manager Hermes’ chief economist Neil Williams.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 29, 2017.

18/11/17: North Korean Uncertainty and Market Impacts

S&P new post about the risks poised by North Korea is a neat summary of key actions and players involved (see the full note: And it is very interesting to those of us, who study the links between geopolitical risks and financial markets.
Two pieces of evidence are presented in the S&P note worth pondering: first, the rising frequency of the North Korea threat signals:

The above shows that starting with 2016, acceleration in the North Korea threat signals has been posing a departure from the previous trend. Structurally, this suggests that we are entering a new regime in terms of potential market spillovers from North Korean risks to global financial markets.

This post was published at True Economics on Saturday, November 18, 2017.

Mueller Subpoena Spooks Dollar, Sends European Stocks, US Futures Lower

Yesterday’s torrid, broad-based rally looked set to continue overnight until early in the Japanese session, when the USD tumbled and dragged down with it the USDJPY, Nikkei, and US futures following a WSJ report that Robert Mueller had issued a subpoena to more than a dozen top Trump administration officials in mid October.
And as traders sit at their desks on Friday, U. S. index futures point to a lower open as European stocks fall, struggling to follow Asian equities higher as the euro strengthened at the end of a tumultuous week. Chinese stocks dropped while Indian shares and the rupee gain on Moody’s upgrade. The MSCI world equity index was up 0.1% on the day, but was heading for a 0.1% fall on the week. The dollar declined against most major peers, while Treasury yields dropped and oil rose.
Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index fluctuated before turning lower as much as 0.3% in brisk volumes, dropping towards the 200-DMA, although about 1% above Wednesday’s intraday low; weakness was observed in retail, mining, utilities sectors. In the past two weeks, the basic resources sector index is down 6%, oil & gas down 5.8%, autos down 4.9%, retail down 3.4%; while real estate is the only sector in green, up 0.1%. The Stoxx 600 is on track to record a weekly loss of 1.3%, adding to last week’s sell-off amid sharp rebound in euro, global equity pullback. The Euro climbed for the first time in three days after ECB President Mario Draghi said he was optimistic for wage growth in the region, although stressed the need for patience, speaking in Frankfurt. European bonds were mixed. The pound pared some of its earlier gains after comments from Brexit Secretary David Davis signaling a continued stand-off in negotiations with the European Union.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 took its time to catch up to the WSJ report that US Special Counsel Mueller has issued a Subpoena for Russia-related documents from Trump campaign officials, although reports pointing to North Korea conducting ‘aggressive’ work on the construction of a ballistic missile submarine helped the selloff. The Japanese blue-chip index rose as much as 1.8% in early dealing, but the broad-based dollar retreat led to the index unwinding the bulk of its gains; the index finished the session up 0.2% as the yen jumped to the strongest in four-weeks. Australia’s ASX 200 added 0.2% with IT, healthcare and telecoms leading the way, as utilities lagged. Mainland Chinese stocks fell, with the Shanghai Comp down circa 0.5% as the PBoC’s reversel in liquidity injections (overnight net drain of 10bn yuan) did little to boost risk appetite, as Kweichou Moutai (viewed as a bellwether among Chinese blue chips) fell sharply. This left the index facing its biggest weekly loss in 3 months, while the Hang Seng rallied with IT leading the way higher. Indian stocks and the currency advanced after Moody’s Investors Service raised the nation’s credit rating.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.

Thompson Reuters GFMS Outlook: Gold Above $1,400 in 2018

Analysts at Thomson Reuters expect the price of gold to push back over $1,300 and then continue to rise above $1,400 through next year, primarily driven by overvalued stock markets, according to the GFMS Gold Survey 2017 Q3 Update and Outlook.
Gold briefly broke through the key $1,300 level in late August. Safe-haven buying served as a key driver, as heated rhetoric between the US and North Korea was at a peak late last summer. But gold fell back below $1,300 and has traded within a tight range over the last few weeks as investors mull future Federal Reserve moves and the impact of GOP tax reform – if Congress can get it done. Lackluster investment demand in the West, particularly North America, has also led to a supply surplus.
Thompson Reuters analysts say the initial push above $1,300 was an overextension of the price at the time, and they call the drop back below that level ‘a healthy correction for the price that has formed a base for a more sustainable move above $1,300 later this year.’

This post was published at Schiffgold on NOVEMBER 16, 2017.

Watch Live: Trump Makes “Major Statement”

Two days ago, President Trump tweeted that he would make a “major statement” upon his return from Asia. That time has come. Today at 3:30pmET, President Trump will let us all know… Is it war with North Korea? Rejoining TPP? Denouncing Roy Moore? Declaring victory over tax reform and healthcare repeal? Celebrating his relationship with China? Banning NYT and CNN? Admitting he really did collude with Putin?
Of course, there’s a lot happening in Washington right now, and Trump’s hinted-at announcement could be in reference to one of any number of issues. Will he deliver an update on the administration’s position regarding tax reform as two bills that differ in dramatic fashion wend through Congress? Perhaps some type of security announcement? Or the revelation that the US has finally entered into talks with North Korea after Trump adopted a notably softer tone toward his favorite Asian antagonist over the weekend?


This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2017.

Russia’s Alleged Meddling In Catalan Vote: Playing The Blame Game

Marine Corps veteran Tommy Waller, director of special projects at the Center for Security Policy, has warned President Trump about the EMP threat facing the United States.
“Winston Churchill once said, ‘History will be kind to me for I intend to write it’…
The surest way for history to be kind to President Trump is for him to write it, by being the first leader to truly address the existential threat of EMP.
The first and foremost thing he must write is an Executive Order establishing his own EMP Commission in the White House – a task force that draws from the experience of the previous EMP Commission.”
The grim warning is directed at North Korea and their ambitions to unleash a devastating atmospheric nuclear explosion above the United States that would collapse the nation’s power grid.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2017.