Posted at 10:33 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

My Dear Extended Family,

The Japanese central bank has stepped in to replace the US Federal Reserve’s QE.

The US Federal Reserve will step into MA (Monetary Accommodation) to maintain low interest rates after the end of QE.

The dollar is up in a mirror image to low yen as a result of their QE. Gold is down because the dollar is up and because an important Swiss vote is pending that could go quite pro gold.

Nothing has changed. This will make the gold internet Trolls wild.

Sincerely,
Jim

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Bankers then and Bankers today have not changed that much. They just have computers and algorithms.

The South Sea Bubble
By Jesse Colombo (This article was written on May 18th, 2012)

The South Sea Bubble was a speculative bubble in the early 18th century involving the shares of the South Sea Company, a British international trading company that was granted a monopoly in trade with Spain’s colonies in South America and the West Indies as part of a treaty made after the War of the Spanish Succession. In return for these exclusive trading rights, the company assumed England’s war debt. When investors recognized the potential profits to be made from trade with the gold and silver-rich South American colonies, they bid the South Sea Company’s shares and the shares of similar trading companies to incredible heights in a typical speculative bubble fashion. Not long after virtually all classes of British society were thoroughly engaged in wild stock speculation, the South Sea Bubble popped and stock prices violently collapsed, financially ruining their investors.

Events Leading Up to the South Sea Bubble

The South Sea Company was founded in 1711 by the Lord Treasurer Robert Harley and John Blunt, the former director of the Sword Blade Company. During this time, most of the Americas were being colonized and Europeans used the term "South Seas" to refer to South America and other lands located in the surrounding waters. Robert Harley was responsible for creating a mechanism used to fund the British government’s debt that was being incurred during the ongoing War of Spanish Succession of 1701-1713. Due to the fact that the Bank of England’s charter established itself as the only joint stock bank, Harley was unable to establish a bank. Undeterred, Harley established what appeared to be a trading company, but the company’s primary business activity was funding government debt (Melville, 1968).

The British government believed that offering exclusive trading rights with Spain’s colonies would be an effective incentive to convince the private sector to assume the government’s war debts. The South Sea Company’s founders and the government were able to convince shareholders to assume a total of £10 million in short-term government debt in exchange for South Sea Company shares. In return, the government gave shareholders a continual annuity, paying a total of £576,534 each year, or a perpetual loan of £10 million at a 6% yield. This deal resulted in a steady stream of earnings for new shareholders. The government intended to fund interest payments by placing tariffs on goods that were imported from South America (Carruthers, 2005).

When the peace Treaty of Utrecht was signed at the end of the War of Spanish Succession in 1713, the South Sea Company’s trading rights were finally put into writing: the right to supply the Spanish colonies with slaves and to send one trading ship per year. These formalized trading rights were a disappointment to Robert Harley as they were nowhere near as extensive as he had originally expected when he founded the company in 1711 (Harrison, 2001).

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Not the time for Russian sanctions.

Germany’s SA Retail Sales Plunge 3.2% M/M In September

FRANKFURT (MNI) – Germany real seasonally adjusted retail sales plunged 3.2% m/m in September marking the sharpest decline since May 2007, data released by the German statistics office showed Friday.

The stats office revised down real retail sales figures for August to 1.5% m/m from 2.5% m/m initially reported.

On a nominal basis retail sales eased 2.9% m/m.

On the year, sales rose 2.3% in real and 2.9% in nominal terms. Compared to the second quarter, retail sales stagnated in the third after easing 0.4% q/q in the second quarter and rising 1.6% q/q in the first.

The latest Gfk consumer sentiment index for Germany last week showed that confidence is expected to rebound in November sentiment had taken a hit over the summer month amid rising geopolitical tensions.

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Consumer Spending Tumbles At Fastest Rate Since October 2009
Tyler Durden on 10/31/2014 08:36 -0400

Goodbye GDP hopes… Consumer Spending tumbled 0.2% against expectations of growing 0.1%, dropping at the fastest pace since October 2009. This is the biggest miss since Jan 2014 – in the middle of the PolarVortex… did it snow in October?

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Charting Banzainomics: What The BOJ’s Shocking Announcement Really Means
Tyler Durden on 10/31/2014 09:13 -0400

Still confused what the BOJ’s shocking move was about, aside from pushing the US stock market to a new record high of course? This should explains it all: as the chart below show, as a result of the BOJ’s stated intention to buy 8 trillion to 12 trillion yen ($108 billion) of Japanese government bonds per month it means the BOJ will now soak up all of the 10 trillion yen in new bonds that the Ministry of Finance sells in the market each month.

In other words. The Bank of Japan’s expansion of record stimulus today may see it buy every new bond the government issues.

This is what full monetization looks like.

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More from Bloomberg:

The central bank is already the largest single holder of Japan’s bonds, and the scale of its buying could fuel concerns it is underwriting deficits of a nation with the heaviest debt burden. The BOJ could end up owning half of the JGB market by as early as in 2018, according to Takuji Okubo, chief economist at Japan Macro Advisors in Tokyo.

“Kuroda knows when to go ALL in,” Okubo wrote in a note. “The BOJ is basically declaring that Japan will need to fix its long-term problems by 2018, or risk becoming a failed nation.”

The unprecedented efforts to stoke inflation could scare bond investors, said Chotaro Morita, the chief rates strategist in Tokyo at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

Kuroda said earlier this month that while the BOJ holds only about 20 percent of Japan’s outstanding government bonds, the Bank of England holds approximately 40 percent of U.K. government debt.

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Posted at 6:43 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

John Williams shares the following with us.

- GDP up by 3.5% (+/- 3.5% Range of Reporting-Confidence), Boosted by Guessed-At Trade Numbers and Resurgent Defense Spending 
- Significant Downside Revisions Loom for Third-Quarter Growth 
- End of Declining Velocity of Money Disappointing October Jobs Growth?

"No. 670: Third-Quarter 2014 GDP, Money Velocity "
Web-page: http://www.shadowstats.com

 

Powers That Be Have Frozen Money For Swiss Gold Initiative

Today a 42-year market veteran told King World News that the powers that be have frozen the money intended for the Swiss Gold Initiative. This is a stunning event. Below is what Egon von Greyerz, who is founder of Matterhorn Asset Management out of Switzerland, had to say in this extraordinary interview.

Greyerz:  “Eric, there was a time when central bankers were independent and free thinking individuals.  But now they are all part of the system.  They are more investment bankers than central bankers.  Alan Greenspan wrote in 1966, ‘In the absence of a gold standard there is no way to prevent savings from confiscation through inflation.’.

“Before joining the Fed, Alan Greenspan was totally in favor of owning gold.  But by 1987 he was busy at the Fed.  Later he was manipulating markets and printing money as U.S. debt levels skyrocketed.  But today Greenspan is free from constraints, so he is once again saying that gold is a good place to be because it’s not possible for the Fed to end its easy money policies.

And if we look at Switzerland, before 1999 Switzerland kept 40 percent gold in the Swiss National Bank’s balance sheet.  This was a requirement.  But the central planners snuck something into the Constitution that changed that requirement and the amount of gold plunged from 40 percent in 1999, down to 19 percent in 2009.  But then Switzerland really started printing money and so now there is only 7 percent gold in the Swiss National Bank’s balance sheet, which is one of the lowest of all the European countries.

As you know, Eric, I have been involved in the Swiss Gold Initiative.  The Swiss National Bank is opposing this initiative.  They have admitted that it stops their ability to manipulate markets.  The campaign is going well.  The public has generously donated because of KWN and other sites.  But that came to a stop two days ago when Paypal closed the account for donations and they froze the funds that were in that account without any warning.

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Thank You US Taxpayers: Russia-Ukraine Agree Terms On Gas-Supply Through March
Tyler Durden on 10/30/2014 18:04 -0400

Good news for the cold-showering, snow-covered Ukrainians… Russia has reached an interim agreement to supply natural gas to Ukraine through March according to Bloomberg. Of course, this will be paid for by more IMF loans (thank you US Taxpayer), pushing Ukraine further into debt and more dependent upon the West.

*RUSSIA CONFIRMS GAS SUPPLY RESUMPTION TERMS AGREED WITH UKRAINE

*GAZPROM, NAFTOGAZ CEOS SIGN AMENDMENT TO CONTRACT

*RUSSIA, UKRAINE, EU AGREEMENT TO COVER DELIVERY THROUGH MARCH

Terms…

*OETTINGER: RUSSIA TO CHARGE UKRAINE $385/KCM THROUGH MARCH

*UKRAINE READY TO IMMEDIATELY PAY $1.45B OF GAS DEBT: OETTINGER

*NAFTOGAZ TO PAY $1.6B AS 2ND GAS DEBT INSTALLMENT BY YEAR-END

Paid for by US taxpayers…

*UKRAINE TO USE EU, IMF AID TO PAY FOR RUSSIAN GAS: OETTINGER

As Bloomberg reports,

Ukraine and Russia reached an interim natural-gas supply deal in talks brokered by the European Union to secure flows before the heating season, a Russian Energy Ministry spokeswoman said.

The accord agreed by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, his Ukrainian counterpart, Yuri Prodan, and EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger will enable resumption of deliveries of gas from Russia to Ukraine after they were halted in June in a pricing and debt conflict.

Russian Energy Ministry spokeswoman Olga Golant, speaking by phone, confirmed the agreement.

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Greenspan: Price of Gold Will Rise
Axel Merk, Merk Investments 
October 29, 2014

Any doubts about why I own gold as an investment were dispelled last Saturday when I met the maestro himself: former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan. It’s not because Greenspan said he thinks the price of gold will rise – I don’t need his investment advice; it’s that he shed light on how the Fed works in ways no other former Fed Chair has ever dared to articulate. All investors should pay attention to this. Let me explain. The setting: Greenspan participated on a panel at the New Orleans Investment Conference last Saturday. Below I provide a couple of his quotes and expand on what are the potential implications for investors.

Greenspan: “The Gold standard is not possible in a welfare state”

The U.S. provides more welfare benefits nowadays than a decade ago, or back when a gold standard was in place. Greenspan did not explicitly say that the U.S. is a welfare state. However, it’s my interpretation that the sort of government he described was building up liabilities – “entitlements” – that can be very expensive. Similar challenges can arise when a lot of money is spent on other programs, such as military expenditures. It boils down to the problem that a government in debt has an incentive to debase the value of its debt through currency devaluation or otherwise. As such, it should not be shocking to learn that a gold standard is not compatible with such a world. But during the course of Greenspan’s comments, it became obvious that there was a much more profound implication.

Who finances social programs?

Marc Faber, who was also on the panel, expressed his view, and displeasure, that the Fed has been financing social programs. The comment earned Faber applause from the audience, but Greenspan shrugged off the criticism, saying: “you have it backwards.” Greenspan argued that it’s the fiscal side that’s to blame. The Fed merely reacts. Doubling down on the notion, when asked how a 25-fold increase in the Consumer Price Index or a 60-fold increase in the price of gold since the inception of the Fed can be considered a success, he said the Fed does what Congress requires of it. He lamented that Fed policies are dictated by culture rather than economics. So doesn’t this jeopardize the Fed’s independence? Independence of a central bank is important, for example, so that there isn’t reckless financing of government deficits. Greenspan: “I never said the central bank is independent!” I could not believe my ears. I have had off the record conversations with Fed officials that have made me realize that they don’t touch upon certain subjects in public debate – not because they are wrong – but because they would push the debate in a direction that would make it more difficult to conduct future policy. But I have never, ever, heard a Fed Chair be so blunt. The maestro says the Fed merely does what it is mandated to do, merely playing along. If something doesn’t go right, it’s not the Fed’s fault. That credit bubble? Well, that was due to Fannie and Freddie (the government sponsored entities) disobeying some basic principles, not the Fed.

And what about QE? He made the following comments on the subject:

Greenspan: “The Fed’s balance sheet is a pile of tinder, but it hasn’t been lit … inflation will eventually have to rise.”

But fear not because he assured us:

Greenspan: “They (FOMC members) are very smart”

Trouble is, if no one has noticed, central bankers are always the smart ones. But being smart has not stopped them from making bad decisions in the past. Central bankers in the Weimar Republic were the smartest of their time. The Reichsbank members thought printing money to finance a war was ‘exogenous’ to the economy and wouldn’t be inflationary. Luckily we have learned from our mistakes and are so much smarter these days. Except, of course, as Greenspan points out it’s the politics that ultimately dictate what’s going to happen, not the intelligence of central bankers. And even if some concede central bankers may have above average IQs, not everyone is quite so sanguine about politicians.

Now if they are so smart, the following question were warranted and asked:

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Increase of Russia’s gold reserves in September biggest since 1998 — Bloomberg
October 29, 20:41 UTC+3

LONDON, October 29. /TASS/. Russia’s gold reserves have reached the biggest mark since 1998 when the country defaulted on local debt, Bloomberg said Wednesday. The country’s bullion holdings are now the biggest in almost two decades, the agency said.

The report indicated that “Russian reserves, which overtook China and Switzerland this year, almost tripled since the end of 2005 and are the highest since at least 1993.”

The agency said Russia mined 248.8 tons of gold last year, thus occupying the third position among global producers, with China and Australia being number one and number two. The London-based World Gold Council says gold accounts for 10% of Russia’s total reserves.

Bloomberg says the latter parameter compares with the US and Germany where bullion holdings make up almost 70% of all reserves.

It quoted Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Germany’s Commerzbank in Frankfurt as saying the ratio of gold holdings compared to foreign-exchange reserves is still relatively low in most countries, “so there’s still room to buy more goal.”

“Buying gold might be a protection against devaluing currencies,” he said.

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U.S. Mint Gold Coin Sales Near 60,000 Ounces In October – Swiss Gold Initiative Leading To Increase In Demand?
29 October 2014
By Mark O’Byrne

The U.S. Mint has sold nearly 60,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins so far in October due to increased global demand from store of wealth buyers as economic and geopolitical uncertainty increased.

With only three business days left until the end of October, the U.S. Mint has sold 59,500 American Eagle bullion one ounce gold coins. On a year-on-year basis, U.S. gold coin sales in October are up 21% from 48,500 ounces in October 2013. 

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U.S. Mint Silver Eagle, 2014 (1 Ounce)

Store of wealth silver bullion buyers continue to stack silver at a steady clip. They bought 4.12 million ounces of American Silver Eagle coins so far this month, versus 4.14 million ounces in September.

This means that nearly 68 times more silver in ounce terms was bought than gold. Silver buyers continue to see silver as severely depressed with silver below $20/oz and the gold silver ratio at 71 or $1,228/oz divided by $17.24/oz.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentayr

Not good news is the economic driver, home building and sales.

Mortgage Purchase Applications Plunge To 19-Year Lows
Tyler Durden on 10/29/2014 11:03 -0400

Presented with little comment.. because realistically what is there to say about a so-called ‘housing recovery’ when the volume of applications for home purchases is the lowest since August 1995. Keep believing that lower rates will support home prices… keep believing the Fed’s QE worked… or face facts, this is not your mother’s housing market any more…

The Recovery…

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The long-term…

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The transmission channel is officially broken…

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Alan Greenspan: QE Failed To Help The Economy, The Unwind Will Be Painful, "Buy Gold"
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/29/2014 – 13:22

It appears it is time for some Hillary-Clinton-esque backtracking and Liesman-esque translation of just what the former Federal Reserve Chief really meant. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the Fed chief from 1987 to 2006 says the Fed’s bond-buying program fell short of its goals, and had a lot more to add.

Mr. Greenspan’s comments to the Council on Foreign Relations came as Fed officials were meeting in Washington, D.C., and expected to announce within hours an end to the bond purchases.

He said the bond-buying program was ultimately a mixed bag. He said that the purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities did help lift asset prices and lower borrowing costs. But it didn’t do much for the real economy.

“Effective demand is dead in the water” and the effort to boost it via bond buying “has not worked,” said Mr. Greenspan. Boosting asset prices, however, has been “a terrific success.”

He observed that history shows central banks can only prick bubbles at great economic cost. “It’s only by bringing the economy down can you burst the bubble,” and that was a step he wasn’t willing to take while helming the Fed, he said.

The question of when officials should begin raising interest rates is “one of those questions I cannot answer,” Mr. Greenspan said.

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White House tries to ease flare-up over Netanyahu insults
Published October 29, 2014

The White House on Wednesday sought to tamp down the controversy over a magazine piece that detailed deep tensions between the U.S. and Israel – and quoted an unnamed senior Obama administration official calling the Israeli leader a “chickenshit.”

Administration officials, including White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, did not deny the quote. They also did not signal there would be any robust effort to find out who said it.

But Alistair Baskey, spokesman for the National Security Council, said the criticism does not reflect how the rest of the administration views Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

“Certainly that’s not the administration’s view, and we think such comments are inappropriate and counter-productive,” Baskey said in a statement. “Prime Minister Netanyahu and the president have forged an effective partnership, and consult closely and frequently, including earlier this month when the president hosted the prime minister in the Oval Office.”

At the same time, Baskey acknowledged they “do not agree on every issue,” including on settlement activity that the U.S. considers “illegitimate.”

Officials quoted in The Atlantic magazine article, written by Jeffrey Goldberg, were far more blunt in their characterization of those differences. Goldberg quoted one anonymous senior administration official saying: “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit.”

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Alan Greenspan “GATA’s Missed Opportunity” Part 2
Author : Bill Holter
Published: October 30th, 2014

In part one, I recounted Alan Greenspan’s one on one interview with Gary Alexander.  Later in the day Saturday, Alan Greenspan was part of a round table with Porter Stansberry and Dr. Marc Faber, moderated by Mr. Alexander.  While both Stansberry and Faber had a couple of good "zingers" for Mr. Greenspan early on and they both had good points and additions to the discussion, I want to concentrate on what Alan Greenspan had to say.  Before getting to part 2, I do want to make one correction to yesterday’s piece.  I heard Mr. Greenspan’s reply to the question "where will interest rates and gold be five years from now?" as "higher…considerably".  I have been corrected several times, his exact word was "measurably", I apologize for the misquote.

  If you remember, in part one Alan Greenspan told several white lies.  One regarding the leasing of gold by central banks, the Fed never speaks with the Treasury regarding debt/deficit levels, while another was diverting the blame for the housing crisis to Fannie and Freddie amongst other factors…but not the Fed.  The key from GATA and the gold community’s point of view was Greenspan’s denial of gold leasing and the question "do you recall testifying before Congress where you stated central banks stand ready to lease gold in increasing quantities should the price of gold rise?".  This question by Gary Alexander was flubbed miserably and we may never get this opportunity again, I will finish with what and "how" I think it happened but first I’d like to lay out what the former chairman had to say.

  While Mr. Greenspan spoke of many topics, there were too many and some even irrelevant in my opinion to recount them all, the following is what I found important.  The talk began with the topic being "the savings rate".  Alan Greenspan went back to his old spiel of "productivity" and said that the system of entitlements was crowding out savings.  He used an equation of "more benefits=less growth" and there is no way out or around this, we have been eating our seed corn.  I agree as it is the common sense which is so "un"common in Washington but I guess one must leave the beltway before it hits them in the forehead?

  Next, the conversation shifted to government spending.  Greenspan continued his attempt at cleansing his legacy by saying "it’s Congress’s fault for spending, the Fed HAS to buy Treasury debt or else interest rates will explode".  Gary Alexander then asked him "so you are saying the Fed is not independent?" and the reply much to my surprise was "I never said it was independent".  Before going any further, I think this point is important for several reasons.  First, why should interest rates explode if the economy is self sustaining and government is spending within its means?  Was the economy (and Treasury) being bottle fed even all those years ago through the late 80′s and 90′s?  What would have happened if the Fed was not so accommodative?  Higher savings, less debt, a lower standard of living then but a higher one in the future?  Would any of the bubbles have been blown and subsequently popped or would we have had lower yet more sustainable growth?  I think we all know the answers to this.

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Posted at 10:14 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

Strap on your seat belts: The Federal Reserve ended its controversial quantitative-easing (QE) program at its meeting today.

It also plans to keep interest rates at record lows for a “considerable time,” and that environment will continue to support gold prices.

However, today’s biggest news came not from Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen but one of her predecessors, none other than Alan Greenspan. In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, “The Maestro” said he fears potential “turmoil” in the economy as the Fed halts QE. “I don’t think it’s possible” for a smooth exit, he said, implying that rampant inflation and bursting asset bubbles could result. QE has failed to jump-start the real economy, he said.

“QE has been most effective in inflating asset prices, and both the markets and economy are addicted to the stimulus,” said Peter Boockvar of the Lindsey Group. History indeed shows that since 2009, the stock market has lost its gains each time the Fed has previously ended QE. With the global economy rapidly slowing, and with no correction of 10% or more in the S&P 500 in three years, stocks are overdue for a fall.

And the real danger here is that once the stock market corrects — or any number of risks from Ebola to a eurozone debt implosion cause a wider crisis — the Fed will succumb to pressure and launch a new round of QE. That’s when things could start to spiral out of control.

Where should investors turn? “Greenspan said gold is a good place to put money these days given its value as a currency outside of the policies conducted by governments,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

CIGA Art M.

 

Jim,

I read today that the stimulus program was halted. I believe in QE to infinity, so do you see this as a temporary reprieve and/or propaganda to try to calm down Americans?

Thanks,
CIGA Jason

Jason,

It will be reinstated under a different name in 3 months.

Jim

Posted at 11:19 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

John Williams shares his latest with us.

- Broad Weakness in September Durable Goods Orders
- New-Home Sales Remained Stagnant, Despite Nonsensical Reporting Volatility
- Expanding Scope of Data-Falsification Issues at the Census Bureau?

"No. 669: September Durable Goods Orders, New-Home Sales "
Web-page: http://www.shadowstats.com

 

This Has Never Happened Before Without A Massive Bubble Bursting
Tyler Durden on 10/28/2014 14:05 -0400

Back in June we first observed that "America’s Most Important Housing Market Signals A Red Alert For Housing Bubble Watchers" and showed the following chart:

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As expected, since then things have only gotten worse, and as today’s Case-Shiller report confirmed, the annual price increase in San Francisco has now put double-digit percent appreciation territory in the rear view mirror, and has slid back into the single digits, or 9% Y/Y to be precise (and only the second .

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At this rate, all else equal, San Francisco home prices will slide into negative territory in another 5-6 months: only the fourth time they have done so in the past two decades.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

A reason behind why the Dow has to be held up-trending or things start going very wrong.

U.S. Banks See Worst Outflow of Money in ETF Since 2009
By Madeline McMahon Oct 28, 2014 12:00 AM ET

The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF), an exchange-traded fund targeting banks and investment firms, had the biggest withdrawal last week since 2009 amid concern that low interest rates and market swings will hurt profits.

Investors pulled $913.4 million from the $17.5 billion ETF, whose top holdings include Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/B), Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), a shift that turned its flow of funds negative for the year. About 143 million shares of the ETF have been borrowed and sold to speculate on declines, the most since June 2012, according to exchange data compiled by Bloomberg.

Banks have waited for years for higher rates and more robust trading to boost revenue from lending and market-making. Weaker-than-expected global growth could prompt the U.S. central bank to slow the pace of eventual interest-rate increases, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Oct. 11. The severity of market swings this month also boosts the risk that banks will incur losses while facilitating client bets, and it may slow mergers and acquisitions.

“Investors should have less exposure to financials than the broader market because we don’t think the prospects are that strong,” said Todd Rosenbluth, director of mutual-fund and ETF research at S&P Capital IQ in New York, referring to interest rates.

If the Fed keeps rates low, “the upside in these financials is taken away,” said Charles Peabody, an analyst at Portales Partners LLC in New York.

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Durable Goods Orders in U.S. Decrease for Second Month
By Lorraine Woellert October 28, 2014

Orders for durable goods dropped unexpectedly in September, falling for a second month, on waning demand for machinery and computers that signals companies are reluctant to invest in updating equipment.

Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years decreased 1.3 percent after declining 18.3 percent in August, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.5 percent gain.

Companies are looking for more signs of sustained consumer demand before making high-dollar investments, even as households benefit from strong job gains and pared-down debt. As markets in Europe and emerging nations slow, fewer exports will probably also damp orders in coming months, indicating American manufacturing will cool.

“Clearly businesses seem a little worried, not so much about U.S. growth but global growth, so they’re being very cautious,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts, who forecast a 0.8 percent drop in orders. “The worry is they retreat back into their shells.”

Stock-index futures trimmed prior gains after the report. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in December rose 0.3 percent to 1,963.2 at 8:44 a.m. in New York. It had been up as much as 0.6 percent earlier today.

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Lloyds Banking Group to axe 9,000 jobs and 200 branches
Union anger at plan to shed staff and shut down 6% of branches to save £1bn amid chief executive’s bid to start ‘digitisation’ of business
Jill Treanor
Tuesday 28 October 2014 06.15 EDT

Unions reacted with anger on Tuesday after Lloyds Banking Group revealed plans to axe 9,000 jobs and close 200 branches as it “digitises” its business.

The 24%-taxpayer owned bank announced its latest round of job cuts – which come on top of 45,000 posts already lost since the rescue of HBOS in 2008 – as it stunned the City by taking a further £900m provision for misselling payment protection insurance. This takes its total bill so far to more than £11bn.

Outlining a new three-year strategy for the bank, chief executive António Horta-Osório said: “This is a highly competitive market and customers behaviour are changing. Increasingly our customers want to access ours services in many different ways, via branches, via digital or via mobile”

“Regrettably”, he said, this would require 9,000 job cuts from the 85,000-strong workforce as the business was “digitised”. The move is intended to save £1bn by 2017, the period over which the job cuts are expected to take place.

The bank intends to use video technology to provide remote advice to customers through a centralised system that, according to Alison Brittain, the head of high street banking, should reduce the risk of mis-selling as all interactions with customers will be recorded.

Lord Blackwell, the bank’s chairman, said its digital transformation comes against a backdrop of “a pace of change across the UK financial services sector that is unprecedented, with more fundamental change happening over the next 10 years than has happened over the last 200 years”.

But officials at Unite responded angrily. “The wallets of top executives at Lloyds should not be getting fat by forcing low-paid workers onto the dole. If there are compulsory redundancies or customer service suffers then executive pay should be cut,” said Unite national officer Rob MacGregor, who said the union would be pressing for no compulsory redundancies.

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Posted at 11:14 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

Richard suggests that the better part of being right when you invest requires holdings in gold and silver at this juncture of the economy. That does not mean that the Fed can’t squeeze the stock market higher. It certainly can and probably will. But for a good sense of peace of mind safety with gold and silver is the best.

CIGA Larry

Richard Russell – Here Is What I’ve Learned After 90 Years

Today the Godfather of newsletter writers, 90-year old Richard Russell, shares what he has learned after 90 years on this earth.  The 60-year market veteran also covered gold, silver, deflation, Europe, Germany, the Fed, QE, the U.S. dollar and much more.

Russell:  “The world situation is as complicated as I’ve ever seen it. So let’s try to make it simple. The world is in a state of deleveraging and deflation. Europe is close to recession. Germany, the engine of the European economy, is stalling. China, now arguably the world’s largest economy, is running out of gas. Brazil is slumping, as is Japan. The only economy in the world that appears to have a strong heartbeat is the US. The great fear today is that the world may sink into a downward spiral of deflation. The Central Bank of Europe would like to join the Fed in Quantitative Easing. But Germany, which is terrified of inflation, will not stand for QE.

Thus it falls on the Federal Reserve to save the world from the terror of deflation. Will the Fed shut down QE as it claims? Or will it reverse its schedule of ending QE by the end of this month? The Fed has already bought nearly $4 trillion of bonds in its QE operations, and it hesitates to buy more.

The Fed meets tomorrow and Wednesday, after which we will discover what it intends to do. As matters stand now, the stock market is almost motionless as it awaits the Fed’s decision. Gold bullion has backed off slightly, but the gold mining stocks have been hit hard. The gold miners are cheap, hated and showing signs of stabilizing. Many speculators feel that the gold mining stocks are selling like perpetual warrants and can be bought as long-term holdings. I think the stock market’s constructive action will encourage the Fed to shut down QE as promised. But it is only after QE is actually shut down that we will know the rest of the story.

More…

Jim,

It’s finally here… the government taking your retirement funds.

They say in the article that you can’t lose anything. Your investment is guaranteed by you buying only US Treasuries. What they don’t say is that in reality, you’re not making a damn thing. The piddly few basis points you earn get immediately eaten up by inflation.

What I find REALLY amusing is the picture in the article. They use GOLDEN eggs to symbolize 401k and IRA nest eggs.

CIGA Wolfgang

IRA and 401(k) Changes Coming in 2015
Investors will be able to contribute $500 more to a 401(k) or save in a myRAin 2015.
Oct 28th 2014 6:00AM
By Emily Brandon

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Retirement savers will have a new retirement account option in 2015. Investors will also be eligible to contribute $500 more to a 401(k) next year. Here’s a look at how retirement accounts will change in 2015.

Introducing the myRA. The Treasury will offer a new type of retirement account, the myRA, beginning in late 2014 that is guaranteed by the government to never lose value. Deposits will be made via payroll deduction, and accounts can be opened with an initial deposit of as little as $25 and then direct deposits of $5 or more each payday. But these accounts are not tied to your job and are portable if you change jobs. Savers with an annual income of less than $129,000 for individuals and $191,000 for couples will be eligible to participate. These new accounts "target low- and middle-income Americans who don’t currently have access to an employer-sponsored plan," says Mikio Thomas, a senior tax analyst for the Internal Revenue Service.

More…

Jim,

This says it all. There will be NO recovery like we had in past years.

Bill Maher reminded us a few months back that 50 years ago, the largest employer was General Motors, where workers earned an equivalent of $50 per hour (in today’s money). Today, the largest employer — Walmart — pays around $8 per hour.

Click here to read the full article…

CIGA Wolfgang

 

Jim,

Another CB joins the ZIRP brigade because inflation is too low.

CIGA Craig

Sweden Cuts Interest Rate to Zero
Krona Falls After Riksbank Moves to Boost Inflation
By Charles Duxbury and Tommy Stubbington

STOCKHOLM—Sweden’s central bank cut its main interest rate to zero on Tuesday, in an attempt to boost inflation, which has once again fallen below expectations.

The Riksbank lowered its main repurchase, or repo, rate from the previous level of 0.25%. The cut was larger than expected, with analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal forecasting a reduction to 0.05%.

In response to the cut the Swedish krona sank to a four-year low against the dollar, with the dollar climbing 0.7% to 7.3549 kronor, and a three-month low against the euro.

The Riksbank last cut borrowing costs in July seeking to boost inflation, which has been stuck around zero for most of this year, well below the 2% inflation target set for the central bank by lawmakers.

“Inflation is too low,” the central bank, the world’s oldest, said in a statement. “The repo rate needs to remain at this level until inflation clearly picks up,” it said.

The bank said it didn’t expect to begin raising interest rates until the middle of 2016 when it sees an economic upswing in both Sweden and abroad lifting inflationary pressure. It had previously said it would begin increasing rates toward the end of 2015.

The measure of underlying inflation most closely watched by the central bank, known as CPIF, came in at 0.3% in September, a full 0.4 percentage point below the Riksbank’s most recent forecast.

More…

Posted at 9:30 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

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Ebola: nurse placed in ‘inappropriate’ quarantine released from hospital
Kaci Hickox had threatened to sue over detention
New Jersey and New York scale back quarantine plans
Jon Swaine in New York and Dan Roberts in Washington
theguardian.com, Monday 27 October 2014 11.07 EDT

A nurse detained after returning to the US from treating Ebola patients in west Africa is to be released, as the governors of New York and New Jersey scaled back plans to forcibly quarantine medics who came into contact with the virus.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Monday that Kaci Hickox, a nurse who threatened to sue after being held in a tent at a Newark hospital since her arrival from Sierra Leone on Friday, despite testing negative for Ebola, was being discharged.

Christie’s office said in a statement that Hickox would be transported to her home state. “Health officials in Maine have been notified of her arrangements and will make a determination under their own laws on her treatment when she arrives,” it said.

The release of Hickox, a nurse for Doctors Without Borders, known internationally as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), followed pressure from the White House, sharp criticism of her treatment from mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, and the nurse’s decision to recruit Norman Siegel, a renowned civil rights lawyer.

The retreat by Christie, a Republican widely viewed as a potential presidential candidate in 2016, came after he initially insisted that the quarantine was necessary to protect the people of New Jersey. He continued to claim that Hickox was “obviously ill” after she had tested negative for Ebola.

More…

 

Russia’s new gas exchange could lead to energy pricing outside the dollar
October 24, 2014 8:33 AM MST

On Oct. 24, Russia launched a new and independent natural gas exchange that will reside in St. Petersburg, and will make the facility the largest market for natural gas trading in all of Europe. Known as the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX), this trade facility will allow for international and domestic gas operations to sell their products in Russia and in a centralized location, and will become part of the growing Eurasian Economic Zone that is emerging in the East as global trade moves away from the dollar and away from U.S. hegemony.

The importance of this independent market exchange is that natural gas can work towards a complete separation from oil, which under the current system tends to price both commodities on similar scales and in dollar denominations. It will also open up the market for new buyers who are solely interested in natural gas, and help facilitate a new pricing structure that will allow Russia and other gas producers to eventually remove the energy source from the petro-dollar and from U.S. control over the monetary component in gas trading.

Russia, the world’s second-largest producer of natural gas, has launched its first auction of natural gas on Friday at the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX). It will be Europe’s largest natural gas trading post.

The project is intended to create a more competitive market for natural gas prices, which at present are more-or-less tied to oil. Now, independent producers will have access to a broader range of buyers.

The exchange will facilitate up to 35 billion cubic meters of gas annually, with Gazprom, Russia’s largest producer, maintaining the right to sell a half of that, and independent producers the remaining 17.5 billion cubic meters. – RT

More…

China launches direct trade between yuan, Singapore dollar, bypassing U.S. dollar

Submitted by cpowell on 06:27AM ET Monday, October 27, 2014. Section: Daily Dispatches

From Xinhua News Agency
via China Central Television, Beijing
Monday, October 27, 2014

http://english.cntv.cn/2014/10/27/ARTI1414401659567921.shtml

BEIJING — China on Monday announced direct trading between the renminbi and Singapore dollar beginning Tuesday, marking another step toward internationalizing the Chinese currency.

The announcement by China Foreign Exchange Trading System extended the yuan’s list of direct onshore trade to more major currencies, including the U.S. dollar, the euro, British sterling, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar, Malaysian ringgit, and Russian ruble.

The move aims to boost bilateral trade and investment, facilitate the use of the two currencies in trade and investment settlement, and reduce exchange costs for market players, the foreign exchange trading system said in a statement.

The move is also expected to help Singapore in its bid to become a renminbi offshore center.

According to the arrangement, China’s interbank foreign exchange market will kick off direct trading between the yuan and the Singapore dollar via spot, forward, and swap contracts.

With direct trading of their currencies, China and Singapore will be less dependent on the U.S. dollar to settle bilateral trade and investment deals.

Previously the exchange rate between the two currencies was calculated based on the yuan-U.S. dollar central parity rate and the Singapore dollar-U.S. dollar rate.

Now that the two currencies can be directly traded, the yuan-Singapore dollar rate will be set based on the average prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank foreign exchange market.

The foreign exchange trading system will publish its yuan/Singapore dollar central parity rate at 9:15 a.m. each trading day. The exchange rate on the spot market will be allowed to trade 3 percent higher or lower from parity.

The People’s Bank of China, the central bank, authorized and welcomed the announcement, saying it is an important measure between the Chinese and Singaporean governments to jointly push forward bilateral and economic relations.

"The direct yuan-Singapore dollar trade is good for forming a direct exchange rate between the two currencies and reducing exchange costs," the PBOC said in a statement.

Vowing to "actively support" yuan-Singapore dollar direct trade, the PBOC said the move will also help boost financial cooperation between the two countries.

To boost the use of the yuan internationally, China has also signed multiple currency swap agreements totaling 2.9 trillion yuan (US$472 billion) with 26 overseas monetary authorities.

The PBOC has also authorized offshore renminbi clearing and settlement arrangements in Singapore, London, Frankfurt, Seoul, Paris, and Luxembourg, as well as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao.

The Chinese government is gradually relaxing its hold over the yuan and making it a global reserve currency.

China is also under pressure to diversify its foreign exchange reserves, which stood at US$3.89 trillion at the end of June.

Russia’s new gas exchange could lead to energy pricing outside the dollar
October 24, 2014 8:33 AM MST

On Oct. 24, Russia launched a new and independent natural gas exchange that will reside in St. Petersburg, and will make the facility the largest market for natural gas trading in all of Europe. Known as the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX), this trade facility will allow for international and domestic gas operations to sell their products in Russia and in a centralized location, and will become part of the growing Eurasian Economic Zone that is emerging in the East as global trade moves away from the dollar and away from U.S. hegemony.

The importance of this independent market exchange is that natural gas can work towards a complete separation from oil, which under the current system tends to price both commodities on similar scales and in dollar denominations. It will also open up the market for new buyers who are solely interested in natural gas, and help facilitate a new pricing structure that will allow Russia and other gas producers to eventually remove the energy source from the petro-dollar and from U.S. control over the monetary component in gas trading.

Russia, the world’s second-largest producer of natural gas, has launched its first auction of natural gas on Friday at the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX). It will be Europe’s largest natural gas trading post.

The project is intended to create a more competitive market for natural gas prices, which at present are more-or-less tied to oil. Now, independent producers will have access to a broader range of buyers.

The exchange will facilitate up to 35 billion cubic meters of gas annually, with Gazprom, Russia’s largest producer, maintaining the right to sell a half of that, and independent producers the remaining 17.5 billion cubic meters. – RT

More…

China launches direct trade between yuan, Singapore dollar, bypassing U.S. dollar

Submitted by cpowell on 06:27AM ET Monday, October 27, 2014. Section: Daily Dispatches

From Xinhua News Agency
via China Central Television, Beijing
Monday, October 27, 2014

http://english.cntv.cn/2014/10/27/ARTI1414401659567921.shtml

BEIJING — China on Monday announced direct trading between the renminbi and Singapore dollar beginning Tuesday, marking another step toward internationalizing the Chinese currency.

The announcement by China Foreign Exchange Trading System extended the yuan’s list of direct onshore trade to more major currencies, including the U.S. dollar, the euro, British sterling, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar, Malaysian ringgit, and Russian ruble.

The move aims to boost bilateral trade and investment, facilitate the use of the two currencies in trade and investment settlement, and reduce exchange costs for market players, the foreign exchange trading system said in a statement.

The move is also expected to help Singapore in its bid to become a renminbi offshore center.

According to the arrangement, China’s interbank foreign exchange market will kick off direct trading between the yuan and the Singapore dollar via spot, forward, and swap contracts.

With direct trading of their currencies, China and Singapore will be less dependent on the U.S. dollar to settle bilateral trade and investment deals.

Previously the exchange rate between the two currencies was calculated based on the yuan-U.S. dollar central parity rate and the Singapore dollar-U.S. dollar rate.

Now that the two currencies can be directly traded, the yuan-Singapore dollar rate will be set based on the average prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank foreign exchange market.

The foreign exchange trading system will publish its yuan/Singapore dollar central parity rate at 9:15 a.m. each trading day. The exchange rate on the spot market will be allowed to trade 3 percent higher or lower from parity.

The People’s Bank of China, the central bank, authorized and welcomed the announcement, saying it is an important measure between the Chinese and Singaporean governments to jointly push forward bilateral and economic relations.

"The direct yuan-Singapore dollar trade is good for forming a direct exchange rate between the two currencies and reducing exchange costs," the PBOC said in a statement.

Vowing to "actively support" yuan-Singapore dollar direct trade, the PBOC said the move will also help boost financial cooperation between the two countries.

To boost the use of the yuan internationally, China has also signed multiple currency swap agreements totaling 2.9 trillion yuan (US$472 billion) with 26 overseas monetary authorities.

The PBOC has also authorized offshore renminbi clearing and settlement arrangements in Singapore, London, Frankfurt, Seoul, Paris, and Luxembourg, as well as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao.

The Chinese government is gradually relaxing its hold over the yuan and making it a global reserve currency.

China is also under pressure to diversify its foreign exchange reserves, which stood at US$3.89 trillion at the end of June.

25 EU banks fail ‘stress test’, exposing $31bn shortfall
Published time: October 27, 2014 09:23

Nearly one in five leading European banks have failed the stress test conducted by the European Central Bank, which revealed a $31.2 billion (€24.6 billion) capital gap in 25 banks showing they’re not ready to withstand a three-year recession.

The results of the EU-wide stress test were reported on Sunday by the European Banking Authority (EAB) and the European Central Bank (ECB).

With nine banks failing the test, Italy represented more than €10 billion of the capital shortfall. Other balance sheets that weren’t up to snuff were three banks in Greece, three in Cyprus, two in Slovenia, two in Belgium, and one each in Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.

Of the total 25 banks that failed the test, 12 have since come up with the necessary additional capital to pass. The other 13 have two weeks to submit a blueprint of how they plan to boost their capital, to be presented to the ECB for approval in early November. Approved banks will then have nine months to fix their capital holes.

The main goal of the stress test was to identify which banks need to boost core equity capital out of the 123 top lenders. The assessment weight a lender’s key risks, including liquidity, leverage and funding, as well as asset quality and the ability of banks’ balance sheet to resist stress scenarios.

“The Comprehensive Assessment allowed us to compare banks across borders and business models,” ECB Supervisory Board Chair Daniele Nouy said in a statement.“The findings will enable us to draw insights and conclusions for supervision going forward."

Ten banks have taken measures to brush up their finances from their balance sheets at the end of 2013. The worst affected was the Italian bank Monte dei Paschi, which had a capital shortfall of €2.1billion.

More…

Posted at 12:49 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Remember when Tuna was the size of Ditti?

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NYC Ebola Patient’s Condition Worsens As Fiancee Returns Home
Tyler Durden on 10/25/2014 18:40 -0400

New York City health officials have released Morgan Dixon, the 30-year-old fiancée of recently diagnosed Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer, to her West 147th Street Manhattan apartment where, as WSJ reports, she will remain under mandatory quarantine. This ‘good’ news comes as New York’s Department of Health issues a statement on the deteriorating condition of Dr. Spencer who "is entering the next phase of the illness, which is anticipated gastrointestinal symptoms." This was expected apparently, as NYC’s health commissioner Mary Basset noted, "we’ve seen with this disease that it continues to get worse before it gets better." A large CDC team is actively involved.

Wearing a scarf and coat, Morgan Dixon the fiancée of NYC doc with Ebola just returned to their apt for quarantine. pic.twitter.com/5L7QGFU0eI

— Don Champion (@DonChampionTV) October 25, 2014

The good news… (via WSJ)

New York City health officials were preparing Saturday to release the fiancée of a recently diagnosed Ebola patient to her Manhattan apartment where she will remain under quarantine.

Morgan Dixon, 30 years old, was in close contact with Dr. Craig Spencer since he returned to his New York City home on Oct. 17 from treating Ebola patients in Guinea, officials said, and had been with her fiancé at Bellevue Hospital Center since he was diagnosed with the virus on Thursday.

Ms. Dixon was free to leave the hospital Saturday, according to Dr. Bassett. She had no symptoms and had been admitted out of caution, the health commissioner said.

More…

No mandatory Ebola quarantine for health workers coming to Washington area
Oct. 25, 2014
By Spencer S. Hsu and Nia-Malika Henderson October 25 at 7:03 PM

One day after governors in New York, New Jersey and Illinois imposed a mandatory 21-day quarantine on medical workers returning from Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa, public health officials in the District, Maryland and Virginia did not follow suit Saturday, intensifying a national debate over how to prevent the spread of the disease.

Health officials are working to develop a consistent approach for the area around the nation’s capital. Joxel Garcia, director of the D.C. Department of Health, said that a mandatory quarantine was not scientifically justified and could have a chilling effect on the medical personnel, many of them volunteers, needed to treat Ebola patients at home and overseas.

The differing views highlight challenges confronting federal and state politicians as well as health officials as they race to keep up with fast-changing circumstances and competing political, scientific and legal demands, experts said.

That debate sharpened Saturday as the first person affected by the quarantine requirement in New York and New Jersey — a nurse who tested negative for the Ebola virus but remained under quarantine after landing Friday at Newark Liberty International Airport — authored an angry first-person account in the Dallas Morning News about how she was forcibly transported by an eight-police car caravan to the hospital.

More…

Gold at $7,000 article goes viral in Chinese media
October 25, 2014 / D.Collins

“Gold going to $7,000″, an article today in the Chinese media is going viral and one of the most viewed articles in the financial press. The article references American Jim Rickards and his concept of comparing inflation-adjusted gold prices. Most Chinese economists think that the price of gold should be approximately $ 2,400 / ounce, instead of the current $ 1,235.

The article references estimates by Jim Rickard’s that if Central banks had to to use gold to support its currency, then the price of gold will go to $ 7,000/ oz. That only includes the printing that has been done already, not the continuous printing of fiat currency that continues unabated by Central banks all over the world.

Todays volatile financial markets are a warning that todays assets have no actual real underpinning. There is no insurance. Gold stands as the bulwark.

Although the U.S. Dollar is the reserve currency of the world today, gold is the key to the new millennium of global trade balances.

The Dollar is losing its reserve status, holdings by Central Banks have been going down for decades. Meanwhile, Chinese RMB holdings are skyrocketing across the globe. The U.S. has been running trade deficits for 30 years, when the Dollars start to go back onshore their will be a global puke of the financial system and inflation levels the U.S. has not seen in its entire history.

More…

Under Pressure, Cuomo Says Ebola Quarantines Can Be Spent at Home
By MATT FLEGENHEIMER, MICHAEL D. SHEAR and MICHAEL BARBAROOCT. 26, 2014

Facing fierce resistance from the White House and medical experts to a strict new mandatory quarantine policy, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Sunday night that medical workers who had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa but did not show symptoms of the disease would be allowed to remain at home and would receive compensation for lost income.

Mr. Cuomo’s decision capped a frenzied weekend of behind-the-scenes pleas from administration officials, who urged him and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to reconsider the mandatory quarantine they had announced on Friday. Aides to President Obama also asked other governors and mayors to follow a policy based on science, seeking to stem a steady movement toward more stringent measures in recent days at the state level.

The announcement by Mr. Cuomo seemed intended to draw a sharp contrast — both in tone and in fact — to the policy’s implementation in New Jersey, where a nurse from Maine who arrived on Friday from Sierra Leone was swiftly quarantined in a tent set up inside a Newark hospital, with a portable toilet but with no shower.

It was the second striking shift in Mr. Cuomo’s public posture on the Ebola crisis in 72 hours; after urging calm on Thursday night, then joining Mr. Christie to highlight the risks of lax policy on Friday, Mr. Cuomo on Sunday night appeared to try to dial back his rhetoric and stake out a middle ground.

He said his decision balanced public safety with the need to avoid deterring medical professionals from volunteering in West Africa. “My No. 1 job is to protect the people of New York, and this does that,” he said. Those quarantined at home will be visited twice a day by local authorities, he said. Family members will be allowed to stay, and friends may visit with the approval of health officials.

More…

Posted at 11:54 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

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New York, New Jersey Set Up Mandatory Quarantine Requirement Amid Ebola Threat
Christie: New Policy Has Already Been Used At Newark Liberty International Airport
October 24, 2014 5:00 PM

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — In the wake of the first confirmed Ebola virus case in New York City, the states of New York and New Jersey have set up a new screening system that goes above and beyond the guidelines already set up by federal officials.

As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, no other states have yet set up increased screening procedures for Ebola.

“We believe it’s appropriate to increase the current screening procedures from people coming from affected countries from the current (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention screening procedures),” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday afternoon. “We believe it within the State of New York and the State of New Jersey’s legal rights.”

Under the new rules, state officials will establish a risk level by considering the countries that people have visited and their level of possible exposure to Ebola.

The patients with the highest level of possible exposure will be automatically quarantined for 21 days at a government-regulated facility. Those with a lower risk will be monitored for temperature and symptoms, Cuomo explained.

More…

50 Percent Of American Workers Make Less Than 28,031 Dollars A Year
By Michael Snyder, on October 23rd, 2014

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The Social Security Administration has just released wage statistics for 2013, and the numbers are startling.  Last year, 50 percent of all American workers made less than $28,031, and 39 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000.  If you worked a full-time job at $10 an hour all year long with two weeks off, you would make $20,000.  So the fact that 39 percent of all workers made less than that amount is rather telling.  This is more evidence of the declining quality of the jobs in this country.  In many homes in America today, both parents are working multiple jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet. Our paychecks are stagnant while the cost of living just continues to soar.  And the jobs that are being added to the economy pay a lot less than the jobs lost in the last recession. In fact, it has been estimated that the jobs that have been created since the last recession pay an average of 23 percent less than the jobs that were lost.  We are witnessing the slow-motion destruction of the middle class, and very few of our leaders seem to care.

More…

New York and New Jersey Tighten Ebola Screenings at Airports
By MARC SANTORAOCT. 24, 2014

The governors of New York and New Jersey announced Friday afternoon that they were ordering all people entering the country through two area airports who had direct contact with Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to be quarantined.

The announcement comes one day after an American doctor, who had worked in Guinea and returned to New York City earlier in October, tested positive for Ebola and became the first New York patient of the deadly virus.

“A voluntary Ebola quarantine is not enough,” said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York. “This is too serious a public health situation.”

Outlined in a late afternoon news conference, the new protocols raised a host of questions about how, exactly, the screening process would work and who, exactly, it would target. The two airports in question are Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

The rapid escalation of screening measures came as a surprise after a day in which public officials had gone to great lengths to ease public anxiety.

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First Majestic CEO wants silver miners to form counter-cartel against futures shorters
Submitted by cpowell on 10:14PM ET Thursday, October 23, 2014. Section: Daily Dispatches
12:10a CT Friday, October 24, 2014

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

First Majestic Silver CEO Keith Neumeyer, interviewed by Future Money Trends, argues that silver miners should form a counter-cartel to combat the investment houses selling silver short on futures markets. The interview is 16 minutes long and can be heard at Future Money Trends here:

http://www.futuremoneytrends.com/trend-videos/interviews/mining-ceo-seek…

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

China thinks ahead and acts. The West does not think and reacts.

China Scores Cheap Oil 14,000 Miles Away as Glut Deepens
By Bloomberg News Oct 24, 2014 6:43 AM ET

China is finding oil supplies 14,000 miles away, aided by the global rout in prices that’s left producers vying for new markets.

PetroChina Co. said it bought Colombian crude for a northern refinery for the first time because it was good value. The transaction underscores how the world’s second-biggest oil consumer is benefiting as producers from the Middle East to Latin America vie for customers in Asia.

Brent oil futures tumbled to the lowest level since 2010 as the highest U.S. output in almost 30 years cuts its consumption of foreign crude. OPEC’s biggest producers are reducing prices to defend their market share. China consumed the second-biggest amount of crude on record in September and imported the largest volume ever for that time of year, customs data show.

“China will just look to get the cheapest crude possible from whatever source it can,” Virendra Chauhan, a London-based analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd., said by phone Oct. 21. “I expect a lot more volumes flowing to China in particular.”

The country’s crude imports rose 7.8 percent to 27.6 million tons, or 6.74 million barrels a day, in September from last year, the data show. The number of supertankers sailing toward China’s ports surged to a nine-month high last week, according to IHS Fairplay vessel-tracking signals compiled by Bloomberg as of Oct. 17.

More…

New York doctor becomes fourth to be diagnosed with Ebola in US
Doctor who returned to US from West Africa with a fever tests positive for Ebola at a New York City hospital
By Josie Ensor, US Correspondent
1:51AM BST 24 Oct 2014

A doctor who recently returned to the US from treating Ebola patients in West Africa has become the fourth person in the country to be diagnosed with the disease.

Craig Spencer, 33, who returned from Guinea nine days ago, was admitted to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan with a temperature of 39.4-degrees Celsius, presenting a fever and diarrhea.

Initial tests for the disease returned positive, according to city officials.

Dr Spencer had been working for a month with Doctors without Borders in Guinea – one of three West African nations hardest hit by Ebola.

He arrived back in the US on Oct. 14 on a flight that stopped in Brussels.

He began to feel ill on Tuesday but did not develop a fever until Thursday morning, when he informed the authorities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises those returning from Ebola-hit countries to monitor their health for a 21-day incubation period, remoting any symptoms to authorities.

Bill de Blasio, the city’s mayor, confirmed Dr Spencer’s positive test at a late-night press conference, but urged residents not to panic, insisting the city was fully prepared to stop the disease in its tracks.

More…

NYPD Stunner: Cops Exit Ebola Victim Apartment, Dump Gloves, Masks In Sidewalk Trash Can
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/24/2014 – 09:11

If there was one theme from last night’s Cuomo/De Blasio Ebola press conference it was ‘how everyone has been preparing for months’ for Ebola. We can all be reassured, right? Wrong! As The Daily Mail reports(and these stunning photos show), the police officers involved in securing Dr. Spencer tossed their gloves, masks and the caution tape used to block off access to his apartment in a public trash can.

More…

Ottawa nears deal to become trading hub for yuan
Nathan VanderKlippe and Adrian Morrow
Published Thursday, Oct. 23 2014, 6:44 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Oct. 23 2014, 7:39 PM EDT

The Canadian business establishment expects Ottawa to soon consummate a deal with Beijing that would foster far easier trade between the loonie and China’s currency.

“There’s a high likelihood” an agreement toward building a settlement hub for the yuan, also called the renminbi, will be struck in early November, said Neil Tait, a former long-time banking executive in China who is now vice-chair of the Canada-China Business Council.

“If it doesn’t happen, there will be many of us disappointed,” said Mr. Tait, who has been among those most committed to the idea.

Official talks toward creation of a Canadian settlement hub for the yuan have been ongoing for months, and have involved multiple meetings between the department of finance and the People’s Bank of China, Mr. Tait said. The basic structure of a deal, which would likely include initial establishment of a $30-billion swap line, appears to have been worked out, he said.

It’s not clear whether a deal has been formally concluded, and political issues may yet block its completion. But a Bay Street source said Sino-Canadian talks on the matter are going well and there has been no word of anything that would stop a deal being reached.

More…

Ebola patient doctor tracked to New York trains, taxis and the High Line
Epidemiologists use Craig Spencer’s Metrocard and credit card to trace his movements around the city
Nicky Woolf in New York
theguardian.com, Friday 24 October 2014 02.55 EDT

Craig Spencer was halfway through the recommended 21-day self-monitoring period for those at risk from the Ebola virus when he went bowling in Brooklyn.

The 33-year-old physician had been working with Doctors Without Borders on the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, one of the three west African countries worst affected by the virus. He finished his work there on 12 October and left the country on 14 October, flying home to John F Kennedy airport in New York via Europe. He arrived in New York on 17 October.

In the days since returning to his apartment in Harlem, he was careful to check his temperature twice a day as part of his monitoring process.

But at some point between returning home from Guinea and experiencing symptoms, officials said, Spencer took a three-mile jog, despite being on a self-imposed limited-contact regime.

Certainly, it seems likely that he thought he was in the clear by Wednesday evening, when he decided to go with friends to Gutter, a bowling alley in Williamsburg.

He did, authorities confirmed at a press conference on Thursday, bowl.

During the day on Wednesday, he may have walked on the High Line – a popular tourist attraction on the west side of Manhattan built on a former elevated railway – and may have also eaten at a restaurant near there, according to officials.

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Foreign central banks cut U.S. bond stakes to lowest since May

NEW YORK, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Foreign central banks slashed their holdings of U.S. Treasuries at the Federal Reserve to their lowest level since May, Fed data released on Thursday showed.

Analysts said the decline in U.S. government bond holdings likely stemmed from a combination of factors including booking profits on the recent rally in Treasuries, and the dollar which hit a four-plus year peak earlier this month.

"Some central banks might be selling dollar to arrest its rise against their currencies. While export-oriented countries typically like a stronger dollar, they don’t want it go up too fast because they could make some imports very expensive," said Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.

Foreign central banks’ holdings of Treasuries at the Fed fell $20.269 billion, which was the biggest weekly decline in seven months, to $2.961 trillion in the week ended Oct. 22.

Overseas official holdings of Treasuries declined for a fifth straight week, totaling $69 billion.

Their stakes in U.S. agency debt declined $1.442 billion in the latest week to $288.081 billion.

Their combined holdings of U.S. debt at the central bank contracted by $21.908 billion to $3.291 trillion.

The decline in Treasuries holdings in recent weeks suggested a reversal of what happened in August when there was a $11.4 billion in net foreign official inflows in U.S. assets.

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