Posted at 8:02 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.



Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Another nail in the European coffin. Sooner rather than later the citizens will start to get the point. “Stay out of the system!” This negative interest rates will help to bring the system down when fear finally rears its ugly head.

Swiss alternative bank breaks negative rates taboo
By Nathalie Olof-Ors

Zurich (AFP) – A tiny Swiss bank specialised in financing social and environmental projects will on January 1 go where no retail lender has gone before, applying negative interest rates on individual clients.

The Alternative Bank Schweiz (ABS) caused shockwaves with a letter sent to all clients in mid-October informing them that it would begin imposing interest charges on deposits in 2016.

For current accounts, the bank said it would impose a -0.125-percent rate, while slapping a -0.75-percent rate on client deposits higher than 100,000 Swiss francs ($98,650, 92,420 euros).

So far individual depositors have been shielded from the burn of decisions by several central banks, including Switzerland’s, to introduce negative interest rates to light a flame under growth or ward off unwanted currency investors.

ABS, which grew out of the ideals the 1960′s protest movement, justified the unprecedented development by saying it would provide manoeuvering room for financing “meaningful projects”.

The move did not go unnoticed in Swiss financial circles as banks in the wealthy Alpine nation search for ways to deal with the negative rates imposed on them by the central bank in January.

“This decision on negative rates is costing us a lot of money — pretty much the equivalent of our entire annual profit last year,” ABS chief Martin Rohner told AFP.

The Swiss central bank introduced a negative deposit rate in January after it abruptly abandoned its three-year effort to hold down the franc’s exchange rate to protect exports.





Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Petro dollar demand less?

Russia Launches Crude Benchmark to End Dependence on Dollar, Brent
17:26 12.11.2015

In November, Russia is set to launch test trading of its new domestic-produced benchmark oil. It is expected to drive up the price for Russian oil and end its dependence on Brent pricing. That may result in trading Russian oil in rubles.

The plan to create a Russian oil benchmark has been in the making for several years. Currently, Russian-produced Urals and ESPO (crude transported through the ESPO pipeline) is traded cheaper against Brent due to the lack of a transparent pricing mechanism and guarantees of delivery.

According to Russian officials, Russian benchmark crude would make domestic-produced oil grades more liquid and expensive.

To be recognized as benchmark in the international market, Russian crude has to meet the following three requirements.  It has to be traded at clear and transparent prices; its deliveries have to be guaranteed; the trading volume has to reach not less than 10-15 million tons per year, or three million barrels a day.

The Russian Energy Minister expects that the first trading would take place before the end of 2015 or in the first half of 2016. Russian Urals or ESPO – the Ministry has not decided yet.

As for now, general rules have been elaborated to trade Russian oil on the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX), RBK reported.


Posted at 7:55 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Transparency At The Fed – Why Is Janet Panicked About The House’s FORM Act?
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/20/2015 13:38 -0500

Via The New York Sun,

Janet Yellen’s astonishing letter to the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, is a sign that the central bank is panicking over the fact that Congress is unhappy with the job the central bank has been doing. Mrs. Yellen’s letter, sent also to the minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, is a protest against a bill known as the Fed Oversight Modernization and Reform Act, which passed a vote in the House and would require the Fed to choose a rules for the formation of monetary policy and let the Congress and the public know what they are.

That has got to be one of the most gentle, democratic, transparent reforms in the history of democracy. It doesn’t require the Fed to stick to its monetary rules, just develop a set of guidelines and let the Congress know what they are. Yet Mrs. Yellen suggests that this mild measure would breach the Fed’s independence from the Congress that created it. Her letter is whiny, inaccurate, and threatening all at once, evincing an “it’s my ball and you can’t play with it” attitude.

One would think the FORM Act would be a lead pipe cinch in a democracy. Mrs. Yellen’s letter is particularly shocking given that it is precisely to the Congress that the Constitution grants the monetary powers. These include the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States, to coin money and regulate the value thereof, to provide for punishment of counterfeiting, to regulate commerce, and to fix the standard of weights and measures.

Congress could, if it wanted, dismantle the Federal Reserve entirely. It could refuse to confirm its governors. It could require that dollars be redeemed in gold. If the Fed doesn’t want to establish a voluntary, non-binding monetary guideline, the Congress could turn around and legislate a binding one. The Congress hasn’t — at least not yet — done any of those things. It is merely considering a bill requiring the Fed to establish its own rules and let the rest of us know what it is doing.

This, incidentally, has already passed the House Financial Services Committee, albeit on a party line vote, the way, say, Obamacare passed the Congress. Support for more oversight of the Fed, though, is far more bipartisan than Obamacare and the reforms are relatively mild. Audit the Fed, which would give Congress an on-going look at what the Fed is doing on monetary policy and is now a part of this bill, passed the House in September 2014 by a vote of 333 to 92, with something like 109 Democrats voting for the measure.

Why is Congress itching for more oversight of the Fed? The reason is that the Fed was culpable in the crisis of 2008. And there is a growing sense that errors by the Fed itself — with quantitative easing and zero interest rates — have retarded the recovery, turning the crisis into the Great Recession. The recession became a cruel jobs drought; the unemployment rate is still above the average through the whole generation of Bretton Woods; the employment participation rate is at a decades long low.


Posted at 11:10 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Mr. Williams further shares his conclusions with us.

- Downwardly-Revised Housing Starts at Seven-Month Low, Declined Monthly, Quarterly and Annually
- Contraction Indicated for Fourth-Quarter Housing Starts
- Third-Quarter 2015 GDP Growth Generally Should Revise Lower, Fourth-Quarter 2015 GDP Increasingly Faces a Quarterly Downturn
- Total Housing Starts Down 53% (-53%), Single-Unit Starts Down 60% (-60%) From Pre-Recession Highs
- Intensifying U.S.Economic Weakness Should Become Dominant Concern of U.S. Financial Markets

“No. 768: October Housing Starts, Economic Review ”

Posted at 5:09 PM (CST) by & filed under Bill Holter.

Dear CIGAs,

No matter how you look at it, the global economic pie is shrinking. One might be able to argue this is not so based on individual statistical reports issued by various nations. The problem though is this, many reports do not line up with real world reports. For instance, how can “retail sales” in the U.S. grow when retailer after retailer reports worse than expected and contracting sales? The answer is what your own eyes, common sense and of course “individual companies” added together tell you.

On a broader scale, we are told the world is in recovery. Never mind contraction in Europe or bogus reporting in the U.S., China and elsewhere, “we are in recovery dammit!”. The best way to look at this fallacy for yourself to divine the truth is to look at trade. Or better, “trade rates”. I have mentioned this before, the Baltic dry index has been crashing and now is very close to where it was back in the late 1980′s.


If you look at nearly any freight index, you will see weakness and contraction. Whether it be total trade, shipping rates or even the amount of “empty containers” moving around the world, you will see weakness. The picture of trade is that of contraction, not concentrated in any one particular region but globally!

Why is this important you ask? In one word “DEBT”! We have lived in a world for most all of our lives where “debt” has done nothing but grow. It used to be that (bad) debt would be liquidated in recessions, a natural cleansing if you will. We have not been allowed to have any real recession to cleanse malinvestment since 1982. Each and every recession in the U.S. has been either avoided or aborted early by fiscal or monetary policy means.

The last such instance was 2008 until present. The Great Financial Crisis was aborted and the cleansing process postponed. The problem is this, we (the world) reached what I call “debt saturation” levels where more debt could either not be taken on or was “chosen” to not be taken. This was the true cause of the crisis. Sovereign treasuries around the world and their central banks then stepped in to pick up the debt growth void …and have now reached their own debt saturation levels. You see, all Ponzi schemes need new and more investment to survive …which has for all these years been provided by new and growing debt levels!

As for the chart above and the “shrinking pie”, this is a very big problem. In the old days it would not pose the current problem but current debt levels and ratios are collectively higher than they ever have been …while the underlying economies to create cash flow have stopped growing and are beginning to shrink! Part of “the game” was to lower interest rates to make the debt serviceable. Now, even with zero percent rates the debt service is beginning to pinch. Can interest rates actually go negative to accommodate more debt? Maybe, but not in any credible world I know of. The next question of course would be “how credible is it to believe we will have higher interest rates”? Or better said, higher rates “by choice”?

My point is this, we live in a world where by definition we must grow debt levels just to survive financially. However, the real economy which is already being choked off by too much debt …does not generate enough cash flow collectively to support current debt levels let alone higher ones. Everything today is supported by (or is) debt. All assets values are supported by debt. All currencies are actually themselves debt. In fact, there are very few unencumbered assets left to borrow against. It is THIS very reason that stock markets cannot be allowed to falter. Neither can real estate markets be allowed to fall. As for the global credit markets, these are the foundational lynchpin to everything and why interest rates cannot be allowed to rise in any meaningful manner …the underlying collateral cannot be allowed to shrink in any size nor for any length of time or it is over!

I know this writing is very basic and some of you are saying “well duh”, but we have gotten so far from the basics that many can no longer even see the trees, save the forest. I say this because a real economy with real markets should work for the betterment of the standard of living and Main St.. We now live in a world where nothing matters other than financial assets and Main St. be damned. We are now very close to the point where Main St. will matter again because without it, Wall Street won’t be able to pay their monthly credit card bill! Those sitting on the most unencumbered and immediately liquid assets (money) will be greatly sought after (and hopefully not by a mob)!

Standing watch,

Bill Holter
Holter-Sinclair Collaboration
Comments welcome, [email protected]

Posted at 3:28 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Mr. Williams shares the following with us.

- Both October Industrial Production and Real Retail Sales Indicated Fourth-Quarter Contractions
- Headline Monthly Activity Fell by 0.2% (-0.2%) for Both Production and Real Retail Sales
- Annual Growth in Both Production and Retail Sales Fell Deeper into Recession Territory
- Monthly Real Average Weekly Earnings Rose in October, Despite Inflation Uptick
- October Annual Inflation: 0.2% (CPI-U), -0.4% (CPI-W), 7.8% (ShadowStats)  
- Intensifying Weakness in U.S. Economy Should Take Financial-Market Dominance, Pushing Aside Concerns for Global Political Turmoil and U.S. Fed Machinations

“No. 767: October CPI, Real Retail Sales and Earnings, Industrial Production ”


US pension insurer posts record deficit for FY 2015

The deficit racked up by the federal agency that insures pensions for about 40 million Americans has increased 23 percent to $76.4 billion. The agency’s program for so-called multi-employer pension plans continues to account for a large share of the deficit, $52.3 billion.

Multi-employer plans are pension agreements between labor unions and a group of companies, usually in the same industry. They cover about 10 million workers.

The deficit reported Tuesday for the year ended Sept. 30 was the widest in the 41-year history of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. It has now run shortfalls for 13 straight years.

But the rate of increase slowed from last year when the deficit nearly doubled to $62 billion from $36 billion in the previous fiscal year.



L.A. council declares shelter crisis in effort to help the homeless
November 17, 2015

With an estimated 26,000 people calling Los Angeles sidewalks, cars and storm drains home, city officials on Tuesday approved an expanded campaign to help the homeless this winter by opening public buildings as temporary shelters and allowing people to sleep inside vehicles in designated lots.

The move comes as Los Angeles’ homeless population has multiplied across the region and Southern California is expected to be hit by severe rainstorms and possible flooding from El Niño, which could put unsheltered residents at increased risk.

The City Council also approved what members said were changes to soften a controversial law allowing authorities to seize individuals’ property stored on sidewalks and in alleys, though opponents said the new language continues to criminalize homelessness.

It also moved to create a special fund to tackle the problem, examine ways to expand voluntary storage facilities and push for creation of a homelessness czar.

But the council did not declare a state of emergency, as members had pledged to in September, and it acknowledged that it could be weeks or months before people living in the streets see the benefits of Tuesday’s actions.



China’s Holdings of U.S. Treasuries Drop to Seven-Month Low
Brendan Murray
November 17, 2015 — 2:00 PM MST

China’s holdings of U.S. Treasury securities fell to the lowest level since February as the nation continued to pare its foreign-exchange reserves to support the yuan.

The biggest foreign holder of U.S. government debt had $1.258 trillion in bonds, notes and bills in September, down $12.5 billion from a month earlier, according to Treasury Department data released Tuesday in Washington. Japan, the largest holder after China, also reduced its Treasury portfolio, by $19.9 billion to $1.18 trillion, the lowest level since October 2013.

The report showed the top five foreign owners of Treasuries — China, Japan, Caribbean banking centers, oil-exporting nations and Brazil — all lowered their holdings. Countries including Switzerland and Belgium boosted theirs, helping lift total foreign ownership by $3 billion to $6.102 trillion in September, the data showed.


The Treasury’s report, which also contains data on international capital flows, showed net foreign buying of long-term securities totaling $33.6 billion in September. It showed a total cross-border outflow, including short-term securities such as Treasury bills and stock swaps, of $175.1 billion.



Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Truth Bomb?

Putin Outed ISIS’s G20 Financiers — But Not a Single Western Media Outlet Has Reported It
A revealing silence from the “free” western press

We’ve been very patient. For the last 12 hours we’ve been constantly refreshing Google News for just one — one — western article about Putin’s bombshell comments at the G20 summit in Antalya. You would think that the Russian President stating publicly that ISIS is receiving money from 40 different countries, including G20 members, would be “newsworthy”. Right?

But the western media has defied even our worst expectations: Not a single mainstream western outlet reported on Putin’s comments. Typically, at least the Daily Beast has the common courtesy to distort or misrepresent the most recent Putin press conference. But in this instance, there is literally no written western record of Putin saying anything about who finances ISIS during the G20 summit in Turkey. This is insane.



Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Executives at what level?

U.S. pursuing criminal cases against RBS, JPMorgan executives: WSJ
Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:24pm EST

Federal prosecutors are pursuing criminal cases against executives from the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS.L) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) for allegedly selling flawed mortgage securities, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

People familiar with the probes said officials were trying to determine whether the bankers ignored warnings from associates that they were packing too many weak mortgages into investment offerings and whether they can prove that constituted fraud, the newspaper said.

If filed, the charges would be among the first pursued against specific employees of the largest Wall Street firms over the housing collapse, the WSJ said.

Prosecutors are scrutinizing a $2.2 billion deal that repackaged home mortgages into bonds in 2007 at RBS and two people who worked on a different residential-mortgage deal at JPMorgan, the Journal said.

JPMorgan, RBS and Department of Justice declined to comment.

JPMorgan said in a filing in November that it was responding to an investigation by the DoJ’s criminal division.



Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Pay to play is good business if your fines are less than what you made. How do you navigate a world the rules are different depending on if you are in the 1% or not?

Barclays Said to Pay $100 Million to Settle Currency Probe
November 17, 2015 — 4:18 PM MST Updated on November 18, 2015 — 3:23 AM MST

Barclays Plc is expected to pay at least $100 million to settle an investigation by New York’s banking regulator into whether it abused the “last look” practice on its electronic currency-trading program, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Barclays pleaded guilty in May to charges from the U.S. Justice Department related to the rigging of foreign exchange rates and paid a total of $2.4 billion to a variety of regulators, including New York’s Department of Financial Services. The DFS received $485 million of that sum, but stipulated that its own investigation would continue. The $100 million settlement being discussed would resolve the “last look” issue.

Britain’s second largest bank is among global lenders hardest hit by a worldwide investigation from regulators into allegations of collusion in the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market. While the London-based lender has reached settlements with most of the major authorities such as in the U.S. and U.K., it could still face litigation from clients.

“It would seem they’re getting very close to the end of their major investigations,” said Joseph Dickerson, an analyst at Jefferies International Ltd. in London with a buy rating on shares. “That’s outside of civil claims, which can be hard to gauge but tend to be small.”



Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Blowback is a surprise even to the Neo-cons.

‘Everyone Wants to Jump on Moscow’s Bandwagon’ in Syria
10:38 18.11.2015(updated 10:43 18.11.2015)

Western political establishment seems to have changed its mind on Syria: instead of opposing Bashar al-Assad, politicians are increasingly trying to cozy up to “two new world players,” Russia and Iran, Il Giornale reported.

The Italian newspaper believes that the era of the self-styled Islamic State will soon come to an end.

“Terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut show that the caliphate is losing its power in both Syria and Iraq. … These assaults launched in the heart of the two capitals directly involved in anti-ISIL campaigns … are a backlash, an act of revenge before the final surrender,” Il Giornale noted, adding that ISIL’s support is also waning due to Russia’s military intervention.

Moscow’s success in pressing ISIL militants prompted many leaders and prominent politicians in the United States and Europe to call for improving ties with Russia.

“Italian politicians across the spectrum openly call for supporting Kremlin’s diplomacy,” the media outlet noted, citing former Prime Ministers Massimo D’Alema, Enrico Letta and Romano Prodi.

Earlier, center-right French politicians, including former President Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as ex-Prime Ministers Dominique de Villepin, Francois Fillon and Alain Juppe, noted that “it was absurd to antagonize” Moscow, the newspaper asserted, referring to sanctions European countries imposed on Russia.

Germany, according to Il Giornale, also favors a deeper dialogue with Russia and Iran. Even US President Barack Obama, known for his tough stance on Putin, spent 20 minutes talking to the Russian leader on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Turkey.


Posted at 2:23 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

Dear Extended Family, Old and New Friends,

It was a pleasure to meet with you in Los Angeles on Saturday. It was our privilege to meet with you in open discussion about world events, economic conditions, the markets and precious metals. These topics are close to all of us and it was great to have such an inspired exchange of comments, thoughts, questions and ideas. The questions and comments from you were very thoughtful and well considered and benefited everyone who attended. The topics of discussion were not only broad, but varied. Your participation was vital to the huge success of this Q&A. Thank you for your valuable contributions.

The meeting room was filled to overflowing with all of us who came together with mutual interests and common goals. Although we come from all backgrounds and walks of life we are united in our financial and security objectives. I commend you for holding onto your real money. In holding real money, you also held onto your ideas and ideals when so many others could not rise above their fears. You will be rewarded for your diligence in the face of overwhelming manipulation and obstacles placed in your path. You are the courageous ones, and I am honored to count myself among you and travel with you toward our future abundance.

The manipulation of the markets cannot continue indefinitely. The events which unfold in the future will not allow us time to act. Those of you who have wisely secured yourself now will reaps the benefits of your choices in the not too distant future. Those who have secured their assets in real money will live without regret when the merry-go-round music stops. In holding real money, you are to be applauded, for you have made yourself and your loved ones secure. What feels like a tight rope walk today will provide the safety net of tomorrow.

I remain here for you, and thank you, and appreciate you for your support on behalf of all of us who go forward toward freedom from the system and toward the real money and genuine security. I am thankful, happy and grateful for all of those who join me in moving forward. I am happy to help you move forward and appreciate your involvement in making a better future for all of us.

Respectfully yours,

Posted at 11:10 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The BLS needs to cook up some out of the park economic numbers fast.

The U.S. Economy Is Collapsing – Americans Are Out Of Money
November 16, 2015

Wall Street, fearful that consumers are running out of cash heading into the crucial Christmas retail season, are selling off retail stocks and everything else sensitive to consumer spending.  – New York Post

The retail sales report for October was much worse than expected.  Not only that, but the Government’s original estimates for retail sales in August and September were revised lower.  A colleague of mine said he was chatting with his brother, who is a tax advisor, this past weekend who said he doesn’t understand how the Government can say the economy is growing (Hillary Clinton recently gave the economy an “A”) because his clients are lowering their estimated tax payments.  Businesses lower their estimated tax payments when their business activity slows down.

In September the Fed released its Consumer Expectations survey which showed a collapse in consumer income and spending expectations.  This does not occur in an economic system which is experiencing growth.

The price of oil traded below $40 briefly this morning.  The propaganda machine would have you believe that OPEC is driving the price down to put the U.S. shale industry out of business.  This has to be one of the most idiotic rationalizations for a negative economic occurrence I’ve ever seen (that, and “the bad weather ate my homework”).   The price of oil is collapsing because demand for oil is collapsing.   Demand for oil is collapsing because economic activity globally, including and especially in the U.S., is collapsing.

Once again the Empire Fed Manufacturing survey for November continued to plunge deeper into negative territory.  It missed Wall Street analyst expectations once again by a wide margin.  The index fell to negative 10.74 vs the -6.34 forecast.  The average work week fell for the fourth straight week.   I have news for everyone, if the average work week falls, it means people are making less money.   Less money translates into a disaster for holiday sales.


Posted at 3:29 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.


I recently finished a biography about George Walton Williams of Charleston, SC. He lived from 1820 to 1903, and was a grocer and hardware store owner in Charleston. During the Civil War, he was paid by the Confederate Government to be a “blockade runner” with his ships in and out of Charleston Harbor to and from England. He demanded to be paid in Gold, not Confederate Dollars. At the end of the war, all of his wealthy Charleston friends were penniless, while he retained his wealth and ability to restock his hardware and grocery. His comment was:” It is not that I became richer, it is that everyone else around me became poor”.

The book is: George Walton Williams: The Life of a Southern Merchant.

CIGA Mary C.



Every day it appears more and more that the Russians and Chinese are trying to separate themselves from the dollar and its dominance of world trade!

CIGA Larry M

Russia to issue yuan bonds worth $1bn
Published time: 6 Nov, 2015 11:13Edited time: 6 Nov, 2015 18:32

Federal loan bonds denominated in Chinese yuan will be issued on the Moscow Exchange in 2016, the director of the debt department of the Russian Finance Ministry Konstantin Vyshkovsky said Friday.

The $1 billion is only the minimum amount, according to the ministry. Other details such as the repayment period and the interest rate will be determined immediately before the issue in accordance with the preferences of potential investors, said Vyshkovsky.




Who would have thought! Gold? A hedge against uncertainty?

My Oh My, what a novel idea!

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Russia Sees Gold
Reserves As “Additional Financial Cushion” In Face Of “External Uncertainties”

- Gold and FX reserves are “additional financial cushion” for state in face of “external uncertainties”
– Russia bought another 77 tonnes of gold in Q3
– Ruble volatility does not create risks for financial stability in Russia
– Russia intends building fx and gold reserves to $500 billion in coming years
– Gold is a “100% guarantee from legal and political risks”

Russian central bank governor, Elvira Nabiullina spoke about Russia’s gold and foreign currency reserves today saying Russia intended building them up to $500 billion in the coming years. More importantly, she confirmed that Russia continues to see gold reserves as an important monetary  asset – in her words as a “financial cushion.”


According to Russian news agency TASS, Nabiullina said: “Regarding gold and foreign currency reserves, we have the desired benchmark of $500 billion, and not in the three-year term, it could be 5-7 years and more.”

Reuters reported that Russia does not have a target for the volume of gold in its reserves: “Nabiullina also said the regulator did not have a set target for the volume of gold in its reserves.”