West Coast Seismic Alert: 2 Alaskan Volcanoes Erupt As Earthquake Swarms At Mount St. Helens Raise Concerns

Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Hood are all major volcanoes that lie along the infamous ‘Ring of Fire’ that runs down the west coast of the United States, and all of the seismic activity that has been taking place in the region has many concerned about what may happen next. Earlier this month, I wrote about how 45 earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater hit Alaska in just one 24 hour period. This week, it is volcanic activity that is raising concerns. The earthquake swarms at Mount St. Helens are making headlines all over the globe, and on Tuesday two major volcanoes in Alaska suddenly erupted on the exact same day…
An eruption at Bogoslof volcano – one of two to erupt in the Aleutian Islands Tuesday – is its first after more than two months of inactivity, causing ash to fall in a nearby community before drifting south over the Pacific Ocean.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory said Tuesday night’s eruption at the volcano about 60 miles west of Unalaska, which began just after 10:30 p.m. and lasted for 73 minutes, sent a plume to an altitude of 34,000 feet.
Overall, 39 volcanoes around the world are either erupting right now or have recently erupted according to Volcano Discovery.
Most of those active volcanoes are along the Ring of Fire.
Fortunately, the U. S. portion of the Ring of Fire has been less active than other areas in recent years. But experts assure us that will eventually change because seismic tension continues to build. One example of this is what is happening at Mount St. Helens right now. According to scientists, the famous volcano is currently going through what is known as a ‘magma recharge’…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on May 18th, 2017.

Evercore: If Markets Drop More, Don’t Expect To Be Bailed Out By The Fed This Time

When we were discussing the self-reinforcing dynamics of vol-neutral funds yesterday, which may or may not continue selling today depending on what the VIX does, we concluded that aside from the decision-making mechanics of systematic funds, the biggest question would be if the Fed, or other central banks, do not do step in to prop up the market as they have on every other similar occasion in the past 8 years.
Would that imply that traders – be they CTAs, risk-parity, or simply carbon-based – are finally on their own? According to a follow up note sent overnight by Evercore ISI’s Krishn Guha, the answer is yes… at least for the first 10% of any upcoming market drop. As Guha writes, “with the US equity market sell-off intensifying Wednesday afternoon, a number of clients have asked at what point the Fed would ride to the rescue. Our answer is that this time the cavalry is not coming – at least not unless we see something much larger – at least a 5 – 10 per cent type correction and maybe not immediately even then.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 18, 2017.

Deputy AG Rosenstein To Be Grilled By Senate Today In Closed Door Session

After dropping a bombshell last night in the form of an announcement that Former FBI Director Mueller had been appointed as Special Counsel to look into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia (see details here), Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein goes before the entire Senate today to take questions in a closed-door session.
Of course, the meeting was scheduled well before last night’s revelations and was originally intended to discuss the controversial letter (which can be read here) that Rosenstein wrote to President Trump in recommendation of Comey’s dismissal as FBI Director. The White House originally cited Rosenstein’s letter as the primary reason for Comey’s dismissal though Trump later walked back those assertions amid unverified rumors that Rosenstein had threatened to resign over a mischaracterization of the events leading up to the firing.
Of course, in light of the volatile developments of the past couple of days, a number of topics are likely to be discussed, including the following:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 18, 2017.

Deutsche Bank Sued For Running An “International Criminal Organization” In Italian Court

Having been accused, and found guilty, of rigging and manipulating virtually every possible asset class, perhaps it was inevitable that Deutsche Bank, currently on trial in Milan for helping Banca Monte dei Paschi conceal losses (as first reported last October in “Deutsche Bank Charged By Italy For Market Manipulation, Creating False Accounts“) is now facing accusations that it was actually running an international criminal organization at the time.
In the closely watched lawsuit, prosecutors used internal Deutsche Bank documents and emails to persuade a three-judge panel to rule that there were additional, aggravating circumstances to the charges the German lender already faces related to various derivatives transactions. As Bloomberg reported overnight, the material included a London trader’s “well done!” message to a banker who is now on trial.
The reason why prosecutors are seeking expanded charges against the German banking giants is that by allowing prosecutors to argue that the bank’s market manipulation crimes were committed by an organization operating in several countries would lead to higher penalties if they win a conviction.
Predictably, Deutsche Bank’s lawyer, Giuseppe Iannaccone, sought to block the move at Tuesday’s hearing, saying there wasn’t a clear connection between the original charge of market manipulation and the alleged aggravating circumstances. ‘The trial for Deutsche Bank managers becomes more problematic after the judge’s decision,’ said Giampiero Biancolella, an attorney specializing in financial crime who isn’t involved in the case. ‘If proven, the aggravating circumstance may increase the eventual jail sentence for the market manipulation to a maximum of nine years.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 18, 2017.

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – Burning Down the House

“Most of us are still too sane to piss in our own cistern, but we allow others to do so and we reward them for it. We reward them so well, in fact, that those who piss in our cistern are wealthier than the rest of us. How do we submit? By not being radical enough. Or by not being thorough enough, which is the same thing.”
Wendell Berry
“Our future could be one in which continued tumult feeds the looting of the financial system, and we talk more and more about exactly how our oligarchs became bandits and how the economy just can’t seem to get into gear.
Recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.”
Simon Johnson, The Quiet Coup, May 2009
“But there is a sort of ‘Ok guys, you’re mad, but how are you going to stop me’ mentality at the top.”
Robert Johnson, Audacious Oligarchy
“Isn’t it a riddle and awe-inspiring that things can be so beautiful, despite the horror? I’ve seen something wondrous peering through my joy in the beautiful, a sense of its creator…Only people can be truly ugly, because they have free will to separate themselves from this song of praise. It often seems they will drown out this hymn with cannon thunder, curses, and blasphemy. But I have realized they will not succeed. And so I want to throw myself on the side of the victor.’
Sophie Scholl, Munich 1942
Stock options expiration tomorrow, and a precious metals option expiration on the Comex next week.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 18 MAY 2017.

MAY 18/ANOTHER PRECIOUS METALS RAID TODAY: GOLD DOWN $4.85 AND SILVER DOWN 26 CENTS/AMT STANDING FOR SILVER AT THE COMEX RISES AGAIN TO 22.94 MILLION OZ/BIG CHINESE INSURER WARNS OF HUGE DEFAULTS…

GOLD: $1252.65 down $4.85
Silver: $16.66 down 26 cent(s)
Closing access prices:
Gold $1247.00
silver: $16.60
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: $1269.02 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: 1259.75
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $9.27
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1262.28
NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: 1257.95
Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$4.33
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1261.35
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1262.15
LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1255.90
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1256.75
For comex gold:
MAY/
NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH: 17 NOTICE(S) FOR 1700 0 OZ.
TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 508 FOR 50800 OZ (1.5800 TONNES)
For silver:
For silver: MAY
47 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR 235,000 OZ/
Total number of notices filed so far this month: 4514 for 22,570,000 oz

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on May 18, 2017.

US Volatility Spikes To 21-Month Highs (Relative To Europe)

Today’s sudden ‘Minsky Moment’ in markets has pushed US equity risk perceptions to their highest relative to Europe since August 2015, back to old ‘norms’.
As Bloomberg notes, U. S. politics are taking center stage as risks recede in Europe following the French presidential election. With Donald Trump facing the deepest crisis of his presidency, the CBOE Volatility Index surged on Wednesday, while Europe’s VStoxx Index rose less than 5 percent.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 18, 2017.

Republican Tax Reform May Accelerate Exodus Out of California

Federal Tax Reform May Be Bad News for Your Deductions
Both Republican tax plans may have serious impacts on residents in high-income states with places like California, Massachusetts, and New York impacted the most.
‘It’s not just that they’re going after itemized deductions in both the Trump plan and the Republican plan,’ said Jim Puplava on Financial Sense Newshour. ‘In both plans, they’re also looking at reducing contributions to pension plans, even though Congress critters get the most lavish pension plans and medical plans in the country.’
Ostensibly, when lawmakers seek to eliminate itemized deductions, they propose lower tax rates to compensate. But we’ve been through this before, Puplava noted, for example during the Regan tax reform era.
At that time, many deductions were eliminated, and tax rates were supposed to go from 50 to 28 percent. Though deductions and tax shelters went away in the first year, it took 3 years to phase in the new tax rates. The following year, with 1 year at 28 percent rates, George H. Bush raised the rate to 31 percent. Bill Clinton further raised tax rates to 39.6 and phased out part of itemized deductions.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 05/18/2017.

“Bears Need More”: Why One Trader Thinks The Selling Is Now Over

Yesterday’s market dump, the biggest one-day selloff in eight months as concerns about the stability of the Trump administration and concerns about a potential Trump impeachment finally slammed risk assets hard, is also a one-off event. At least that’s the opinion of Bloomberg commentator and former trader, Mark Cudmore, who overnight wrote that “without some major new developments, it’s unlikely to be the start of a severe correction. In fact, the worst is probably over already for U. S. equities, for Treasury yields and for the dollar.”
Then again, his note hit less than an hour before the latest Reuters report according to which the Trump campaign had at least 18 previously undisclosed contacts with Russians, which dragged S&P futures and global risk assets to new lows, at the same time as Brazil was suffering a brand new and far more serious political crisis which has crushed Brazilian stocks, which a Chinese insurer has warned it is now the target of a shadow bank run, which makes us just a little skeptical that the “fundamentals” are not there to justify a selloff, especially with US stocks having a long way to go to catch down with virtually every other asset class…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 18, 2017.

Several States Looking to Repeal Taxes on Gold and Silver

Bills are moving forward in several states that would support gold and silver and ultimately help undermine the Federal Reserves monopoly on money.
Legislation that would eliminate state capital gains taxes on gold and silver specie is sitting on Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk waiting for his action.
Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Tucson) introduced HB2014 earlier this year. The legislation would eliminate state capital gains taxes on income ‘derived from the exchange of one kind of legal tender for another kind of legal tender.’ The bill defines legal tender as ‘a medium of exchange, including specie, that is authorized by the United States Constitution or Congress for the payment of debts, public charges, taxes and dues.’ ‘Specie’ means coins having precious metal content.
In effect, passage into law would ‘legalize the Constitution’ by treating gold and silver specie as money.
HB2014 has passed both houses of the Arizona legislature. Gov. Ducey has until May 22 to sign or veto the bill. Last year, he vetoed similar legislation. If you live in Arizona, click here for some specific actions you can take to support this bill.
Former US congressman Ron Paul traveled to Arizona and testified during a committee hearing in support of the legislation in March.

This post was published at Schiffgold on MAY 18, 2017.

Central Bank/Deep State Have Setup The Economy To Crash Under Trump – Episode 1283a

The following video was published by X22Report on May 18, 2017
Earnings are in and the major companies are reporting declining earnings and don’t expect growth this year. Auto manufactures are backing out of their promises to bring jobs back to America. Housing recovery is non-existent as mortgage apps decline and sales decline. Philly Fed smashed expectations at the same time new orders are down. Trump gives congress the signal that he wants to NAFTA renegotiated. Congress is coming for everyone’s 401K. DB sued for running a drug running criminal enterprise. The corporate media is now using the stock market decline to blame the economic collapse on Trump.

Comey Admits Under Oath That Obstructions To Investigations “Never Happened”

Update: Citi’s Aerin Williams notes that the USD is higher on the Comey video below:
DXY is rallying as traders pass around a CSPAN video of Comey testimony from May 3. This is not a new testimony. Under oath, he suggests that there have been no obstructions by saying that a President did not seem to be telling Comey to stop investigations for political reason.
One could imagine that the deputy Attorney General saw this testimony before appointing a special prosecutor, but it adds to the puzzle investors are trying to put together.
Bloomberg Dollar Index:


This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 18, 2017.

World Money: Five Hidden Signals From The IMF

Less than a month ago a handful of the world’s policy makers gathered in Washington at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), no surprising headlines were run – but an obscure meeting and a discreet report launched exclusive signals for the next global economic crisis.
The panel, which included five of the most elite global bankers, was held during the IMF’s spring meetings to discuss the special drawing rights (SDR) 50th anniversary. On the surface the panel was a snoozefest, but reading beyond the jargon offers critical takeaways.
The discussion revealed what global central banks are planning for a future crisis and how the IMF is orchestrating policy for financial bubbles, currency shocks and institutional failures.
Why the urgency from the financial elites?
In theApril 2017 ‘Global Financial Stability Report,’ IMF researchers targeted the U. S corporate debt market and how extreme changes in its equity market has left the global economy at risk. While the report may have been missed by major financial news outlets, it was enough to give major concern to those paying attention. The IMF research report noted:
‘The [U. S.] corporate sector has tended to favor debt financing, with $7.8 trillion in debt and other liabilities added since 2010…’
In another segment the IMF report said:
‘Corporate credit fundamentals have started to weaken, creating conditions that have historically preceded a credit cycle downturn. Asset quality – measured, for example, by the share of deals with weaker covenants – has deteriorated.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 18, 2017.

Minneapolis Fed Pres Says Keep Those Bubbles Inflated

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said the central bank should keep the bubbles inflated.
OK, he didn’t say that exactly. But that was the message reading between the lines of a speech Kaskari delivered this week. Specifically, the Minneapolis Fed president said the Federal Reserve should not raise interest rates in an effort to prevent bubbles.
Given the challenges of identifying bubbles with any confidence and the costs of making a policy mistake, I believe the odds of circumstances ever making sense to use monetary policy to try to slow asset prices down are very low. I won’t say never – but a whole lot of evidence would have to line up just right for it to be the prudent course of action.’
The former Goldman Sachs Group executive was the lone dissenter when the Fed raised interest rates in March.
Artificially low interest rates inflate bubbles. (For an in-depth explanation of bubbles, click HERE.) They incentivize borrowing that wouldn’t otherwise occur. From the central bankers’ perspective, that’s the point. They want to ‘stimulate’ spending and ‘jump-start’ the economy. All of that easy money has to go someplace, so it flows into various assets. Where the bubbles inflate depends on the overall economic and government policy environment at the time. In the 1990s, easy money flowed into the dot-coms. In the years leading up to 2008, it rushed into the housing market.

This post was published at Schiffgold on MAY 18, 2017.

Sweden Inches Closer To Cashless Society As Churches And Homeless Now Accept Plastic

The citizens of Sweden are perhaps closer to completely giving up a component of their individual sovereignty than any other country on earth. In a world where government’s abuse of power and intrusion into the personal lives of its blissfully ignorant enablers grows more disturbing by the day, at least for now, cash offers the one opportunity to transact in a truly anonymous way.
That said, Swedes are ditching their physical currency at a breakneck pace with notes and coins in circulation dropping consistently for the past 6 years and down over 15% in 2016 alone.
According to the following chart from Bloomberg, notes and coins in public circulation dropped to an average of 56.8 billion kronor, just $6.4 billion, in the first quarter of this year, the lowest level since 1990 and more than 40% below its 2007 peak with the pace of the decline accelerating to its fastest ever in 2016.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 18, 2017.

GOLD SHORTS – ALWAYS NAKED LIKE THE EMPEROR

The most expensive investment anyone can buy today is paper gold. For $1,260, an investor will get a piece of paper saying he owns 1 ounce of gold. But he is unlikely to ever see that gold. Firstly, most investors who buy paper gold have no understanding of the real reason for holding gold and will therefore never contemplate taking delivery. And even if he did understand the importance of holding real gold, he is quite happy to hold the surrogate alternative which is paper rather than physical. This is of course what the issuer of the paper gold wants. He knows that paper gold buyers have no intention of taking delivery. This is perfect for the seller because he has no intention of making delivery either. And this is how paper markets function. Buyers and sellers are willing to trade pieces of paper that are said to represent an underlying instrument whether it is a stock, bond, currency or commodity.
Paper gold at $1,260 is worth ZERO
But paper markets are illusory. They give the impression that the buyers acquire a real share in the underlying instrument. That would be the case if for each unit of for example a currency or gold was backed by real money or real gold. But in today’s false markets that is far from the case. We live in a world of the Emperor’s New Clothes. The people is made to believe that the emperor is dressed in a suit made of gold whilst in fact he is naked. And that is exactly how the gold market functions today. Shorts are always naked which means that there is never an underlying asset backing the gold short sale. What the buyer is getting is a piece of paper with zero intrinsic value.
This is a perfect situation for central banks, banks and major trading houses such as hedge funds. With sufficient capital, they can manipulate any market without ever worrying about delivery. The result is markets which are totally fictitious and bears no resemblance to the instrument that is traded.

This post was published at GoldSwitzerland on May 18, 2017.