Canadian Official On NAFTA Renegotiation: “Mexico Is In A Terrible, Terrible Position. We Are Not”

As reported yesterday, Mexico is not at all looking forward to starting the process of renegotiating NAFTA with Donald Trump, explicitly warning the US that “there are very clear red lines that must be drawn from the start.” What these lines are will be explained by Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and Foreign Affairs Secretary Luis Videgaray who are both meeting with US officials in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday, setting the stage with next week’s visit from Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Only, Enrique Pena Nieto may not even come, because according to an AP report late on Wednesday, the Mexican President is rethinking his scheduled meeting with President Trump next week. Pea Nieto may scrap the planned Jan. 31 huddle because of Trump’s executive order authorizing the construction of a wall along the U. S.-Mexico border, AP added. The AP confirmed with a Mexican official in Mexico City that Pea Nieto is ‘considering’ cancelling the rendezvous.
And while subsequently Bloomberg reported that Nieto will visit the US as planned after all, the fury in Mexico is palpable and the Mexico News Daily reported that Trump’s border wall order sparked fierce backlash among Mexican lawmakers. The National Action Party’s Margareta Zavala called Trump’s order ‘an offense to Mexico’ ahead of Pea Nieto’s trip. Jorge Castaneda, who served as secretary under former Mexican President Vicente Fox, also blasted the measure Wednesday. ‘This is an insult to those Mexican officials, to the president of Mexico and to all Mexicans,’ he said, referencing two Mexican officials who met Trump administration staff on Wednesday.

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

ECB’s Insider Connections Under Scrutiny Again

Just months after chastising former European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso for accepting an ‘advisory’ role with Goldman Sachs, EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has a new job on her hands: investigating the close ties ECB President Mario Draghi and aides have with private banks. The inquiry, launched after a complaint lodged by the NGO Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), will delve into Draghi’s membership of the Group of Thirty, a secretive forum of influential finance executives, academics, and policy makers.
‘CEO research has exposed a severe lack of critical distance between the ECB’s decision-making bodies and corporate bankers in the G30,’ the NGO said. ‘Our study shows that high-level employees of the ECB are far too close to the representatives of the banks they supervise and that the information they transmit at the G30 meetings is out of control,’ asserted Kenneth Haar, a member of CEO.
The Washington-based Group of Thirty (often shortened to G-30) was founded in the late seventies at the initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation, which also provided start-up funding for the organization. Its current chairman is Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the deputy prime minister of Singapore. The chairman of its Board of Trustees is Jacob Frenkel, a former governor of the Bank of Israel and current chairman of JP Morgan Chase International.

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

258 Google Permanently Bans 200 “Fake News” Sites

The crackdown has begun.
In a blog post by Scott Spencer, director of product management for sustainable ads, posted on Wednesday, Google said it has banned 200 publishers from accessing its Adsense advertising service for posting fake news stories. Google said it had cracked down on sites which contained 1) Ads for illegal products; 2) Misleading ads; 3) Bad ads on mobile; 4) Ads trying to game the system and, 5) Promoting and profiting from bad sites. But the emphasis was on the so-called “fake news” category which has dominated media buzz for the past two months.
This is how Spencer explained his action:

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

The Second Largest Bubble in 100 Years

How big is the current stock bubble?
How about the second-biggest stock bubble of the past 100 years! That’s the conclusion of veteran market technician Erik McCurdy, senior market technician for Prometheus Market Insight.
Based on current price-earnings (P/E) ratios, ‘Only the peak in 2000 during the dot-com bubble created a more overvalued market than the current one,’ warns McCurdy.
The S&P 500 is up a blistering 240% from its March 2009 lows. Yet the overall economy creeps along at half-steam. The recovery – such as it is – is the weakest since the Great Depression.
What accounts for the discrepancy? Is it the Fed?
If you think it is, you’ve probably been reading lots of Jim Rickards and David Stockman.
And you’d also be right…
McCurdy: ‘Those gains have been fueled primarily by the Federal Reserve and its reckless stimulus policies… By holding short-term interest rates near zero for seven years, the Federal Reserve has encouraged malinvestment and speculation… creating massive market distortions and imbalances.’

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on January 24, 2017.

Jeffrey Christian on the Short and Long Term Future of Gold

Jeffrey Christian, managing partner of commodities market firm CPM group, predicts gold prices will remain mostly flat for the first half of 2017 but rise sharply in the second half based on increasing global uncertainties and other factors recently discussed on FS Insider.
Christian, a recognized expert on the precious metals markets and commodities in general, has advised many of the world’s largest corporations and institutional investors. In addition, he’s lent his insights to the World Bank, United Nations, International Monetary Fund and numerous governments.
When FS Insider spoke with Christian on December 17, 2015 – the very day gold made a major bottom – he accurately predicted a revival in 2016 and drew special attention to a possible ‘boomerang effect’ as record short positions flip long, which is exactly what took place in the weeks and months following his interview. This time, he gave us some insight into how the election of Donald Trump and looming geopolitical events will impact gold prices in 2017, which you can hear below in the following clip:

This post was published at FinancialSense on 01/25/2017.

Trump Says Construction Of Wall With Mexico To Begin “In Months”

In a preview of his first one-on-one interview since being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, President Trump told ABC that Mexico would be paying for the proposed border wall and that negotiations between the two nations would begin “relatively soon.”
Confirming what he has stated all along – and is likely included in his forthcoming executive orders, Trump remarks…
“Ultimately, it will come out of what’s happening with Mexico … and we will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico, which I’ve always said,” Trump said.

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

Everything Is About To Change & People Are Going To Feel The Economic Shock – Episode 1187a

The following video was published by X22Report on Jan 25, 2017
Mall owners are in a rush to get out. Caterpillar posts 49 consecutive months of declining sales. China, Mexico and other countries do not like the new trade proposal. Mexico warns it might leave NAFTA if red line is crossed. Real interest rates cannot go back to normal, if so the people will immediately feel the pain. White House is looking to push an Audit on the Federal Reserve and make it more transparent. Take away from Davos, welfare and war.

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble

As suspected, the Dow Industrials hit their high note today, sticking a close over the 20,000 handle.
It has taken quite a few years for the Dow to double from its first foray over 10,000 in March of 1999. Remember that? I remember vividly the Dow crossing 1,000 for the first time in late 1972. And then we had the grinding bear market of the early 1970’s, with no return to 1,000 until the arrival of Reagan.
I suspect we will soon be seeing the lipstick being applied, and a flurry of new IPOs hitting the market while the market is hot, full of speculative money. That will be a sign of a topping process. But until something happens to shake things up, greed springs eternal.
The Donald released his orders for The Wall today. His cabinet appointments are disturbing because they seem to place his feet in the oligarchy of the Republican establishment, moreso than fresh minds and new ideas for growth.
I had to laugh today, when some infomercial pundit suggested that Trump will bring us changes that will allow companies to permit capital formation, which will be good for employment and productivity. Are you kidding me?
These jokers have been piling the rather healthy profits which they received after the bailouts of 2008 into stock buybacks and dividends, and were using legal gimmicks to park huge amounts of cash in tax havens offshore.

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

RBC: “The Top Question We Are Getting Is What Is Driving This Move”

Curious what other traders are most confused about? Courtesy of RBC’s Charlie McElligott, we now know the answer: “what is driving this move?” Below is the attempt by the RBC cross-asset strategist to explain it.
The “Right Kind” Of Trump Driving Equities Melt Up, TSY Sell Off
#1 inquiry yesterday far-and-away was ‘what is driving this move?!’ with S&P ripping to all-time highs and fixed-income getting hammered – plenty of talk making the rounds that there was another large asset allocation trade (no clear-cut / tell-tale ‘blocks’ to speak of though); or that macro funds were ‘putting reflation back on’ (somewhat doubtful, as FX was dead-as-a-doornail)…both of which seemed like folks ‘backing into’ an explanation.
My simple take: the market was finally seeing the Trump which they’d been hoping for over the past few months. The administration made Tuesday a day of ‘pro-growth’ policy and ‘deregulatory’ action, with the scissors out for bureaucratic ‘red tape’–
A ‘presidential memorandum’ to accelerate the building of the Keystone XL pipeline (28,000 construction jobs) A ‘presidential memorandum’ to accelerate the Dakota Access pipeline

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

Head Of Investigations At Russia’s Biggest Cybersecurity Firm Arrested For Treason

In what may be the latest fallout from the cold cyberwar taking place between the US and Russia, the head of the investigation unit, and one of the most important cybercrime experts at Kaspersky Lab, Russia’s biggest cybersecurity firm, was been arrested on charges of treason. Stoyanov was involved in every big anti-cybercrime operation in Russia in past years, including the one against the components of the Lurk cybercrime gang.
Kaspersky Lab confirmed to AP reports in Russia’s Kommersant newspaper that Ruslan Stoyanov, head of its computer incidents investigations unit, was arrested in December.
According to the ‘Kommersant’ the arrest may be linked to the investigation on into Sergei Mikhailov, deputy head of the information security department of the FSB, Russia national security service. Stoyanov and Mikhailov were both arrested in December, according to the Kommersant the investigation was exploring the receipt of money from foreign companies by Stoyanov and his links to Mikhailov. Mikhailov is also facing treason charges alongside Stoyanov.

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

How Much Of A Pullback Can We Expect?

First published Sat Jan 21 for members: Bulls and bears in this complex probably need a Xanax by now. This market has swung so dramatically over the last several years that many are probably so whipsawed that they don’t know which way is up. But, for now, the market is setting up in a manner to take us up even further in 2017, and potentially even further than many believe.
As I noted last weekend, silver has finally joined the party, and has completed quite a full 5 waves up off the lows, and potentially even more. And, as stated last weekend, since everyone was looking for a pullback coming into this past week, the market did just the opposite and continued higher early in the week. So, can we see more of a pullback in the coming week?
Well, I will say that a further pullback in silver would provide us with a really nice inverted heads and shoulders in the silver chart. But, again, that just may be too easy. You see, when the greater market sees the potential for any type of heads and shoulders patterns, especially bearish ones, they rarely play out as most expect. Most of the time, they simply set up the bears on what seems to be an initial trigger of the pattern by a break of the neckline, only to see a strong reversal catching all the shorts by surprise as the heads and shoulders invalidates and turns the market up strongly. This is what I warned about months ago in the GDX, and exactly what happened in the complex over the last month.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 25 January 2017.

Trump “Hope” Gap Nears 400 S&P Points

The trend in ‘actual’ earnings has been dismal.. but the trend in ‘hope’ has been exceptional. Will hope prove right?

The gap between ‘history’ and ‘hope’ is now almost 400 S&P points (and almost 5,000 Dow points) – With VIX heading towards single-digits, the market seems very sure that earnings will realize the ‘hope’ in a straight line.

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

In “Radical Overhaul” Harvard Endowment To Fire Half, Close Internal Hedge Funds, Outsource Asset Management

In what may be the most stunning move in the asset management space in years, the WSJ reports that Harvard University’s endowment, which manages just shy of $36 billion, will undergo a “radical overhaul” in the way the world’s wealthiest school invests its money by outsourcing management of most of its assets and lay off roughly half the staff in the process.
According to the WSJ, about half of the 230 employees at Harvard Management Company will leave as part of a sweeping change by the university’s new endowment chief, N. P. ‘Narv’ Narvekar. This means that the endowment will shut down its internal hedge funds and let go traders by the middle of the year. Additionally, the internal team in charge of direct real-estate investments is expected to spin out into an independent entity that Harvard is expected to invest with. Only management of Harvard’s natural resources portfolio and passively managed exchange-traded funds will remain in house.
Harvard’s hybrid approach took off in the 1990s when the endowment’s then-chief, Jack Meyer, built a large in-house hedge-fund to invest directly. He also oversaw the endowment’s early embrace of alternative investments like timber, hedge-funds and private-equity funds.

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

Dow Hits 20k On Best Day In 7 Weeks As Investors Dump Dollars, Bonds, & Protection

In case you missed it, The Dow hit 20,000 today…
As we noted yesterday, the last month has seen the lowest trading range in US history…
And VIX dropped intraday to its 2nd lowest level in 10 years…
As Salil Mehta details, this level of VIX was last seen in 2014, 937 calendar days ago; and before that in 2007, 3624 days ago! This is the bottom 0.74% of all of VIX history.
Notably VIX died for 45 minutes this morning as The Dow surged to record highs… VIX 10.51 was the lows of the day…

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

Dow Finally Hits 20,000; Trump Says “Great!”

The President is pleased…
Great! #Dow20K — President Trump (@POTUS) January 25, 2017

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen over 2,000 points since the pre-Trump lows and finally smashed its way through 20,000 for the first time after treading water for 28 days. Infrastructure plans and executive orders appear top have scare buyers back into the stock market (even though other Trumpflation indicators remain unimpressed). Of course the big driver was Goldman Sachs, which accounts for over 20% of all the gains by itself…

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

Triple Witching Week: Major Gold & Silver Smash Imminent?

The following video was published by SilverDoctors on Jan 25, 2017
Gold and silver sold off hard this morning, with silver down .50 to a low of $16.75, and gold down $25 to a low of $1193.
With options expiration for February gold on Thursday, it appears the bullion banks are intent on capping gold under $1200.
Chinese markets are closed for the next week for Chinese New Year, and the Fed’s FOMC Meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday, so caution is urged over this short term Triple Witching Week – particularly as the metals have just completed 6 weeks of nearly uninterrupted gains.
Platinum also sold off hard this morning, down 2.5% after a big rally to start the week, with the tiny market bursting over $l,000/oz, likely triggered by investment demand due to the US Mint’s launch of the 2017 Platinum Eagle coins.
The Mint released 20,000 coins Monday and Tuesday – matching 2016’s small production – which triggered a mad scramble among wholesalers and retail dealers to source inventory, and saw wholesale premiums soar for the coins.
The Mint advised Authorized Purchasers that it will make a decision at a later point regarding a second small production of the famous platinum bullion coins during the second half of 2017.
also I’d mention DOW passing 20,000 today markets wise

Too Many Bond Bears!

When it’s obvious, it’s obviously wrong! Is there any forecaster, economist, or investment house that doesn’t think interest rates are going higher? Trump’s victory and hyper business cheerleading have accelerated a rush to sell bonds due to the certainty over rising economic growth and inflation. The Federal Reserve finally hiked rates on December 14th, 2016 and promised several more bumps in 2017. As it turns out, the day after the Fed funds rate was raised to 0.75% in December, that marked the high in interest rates to date. Yields on the 10-year have fallen from 2.62% to 2.3% (2.47% last) and may fall further before the next leg of rising rates manifest.
While timing is never precise, the extreme 7-year net short positions by Large Spec Funds (inverse of Commercials) investing for lower bond prices indicate an oversold condition supporting prices (lower yields) over the next couple of months

This post was published at FinancialSense on 01/25/2017.

Gold and Silver Market Morning: Jan 25 2017 – Gold and Silver consolidating!

Gold Today – New York closed at $1,209.90 on the 24th January after closing at $1,215.30 on the 23rd January. London opened at $1,203.25today.
Overall the dollar was stronger against global currencies early today. Before London’s opening:
– The $: was stronger at $1.0724: 1 from $1.0752: 1 yesterday.
– The Dollar index was stronger at 100.31 from 100.20 yesterday.
– The Yen was weaker at 113.69:$1 from yesterday’s 113.24 against the dollar.
– The Yuan was weaker at 6.8766: $1, from 6.8534: $1, yesterday.
– The Pound Sterling was stronger at $1.2509: 1 from yesterday’s $1.2482: 1.
Yuan Gold Fix
Shanghai was trading today around 268.75 Yuan or in dollars, at today’s exchange rate, $1,215.58. The dollar was stronger across the board, as well as against the Yuan. With only two more trading days before the celebration of the ‘Year of the Rooster’ begins we may well see last minute buying or a tapering off of demand. It is impossible to forecast which.
New York, Tuesday, closed well below Shanghai’s close seen earlier in the day, before New York opened. In New York there was another over 2 tonne of gold sale from the SPDR gold ETF.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 25 January 2017.