Posted at 1:43 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This is an interesting tweet from Cliff.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The latest from John Williams’ www.shadowstats.com

– FOMC Fiddles with Boosting Interest Rates, While Annual Real M3 Growth Just Plunged to a New Signal for a Major Economic Downturn
– Annual Contraction in First-Quarter Real Earnings Is a Virtual Certainty; Back-to-Back Quarterly Contractions Also Are in Play; Circumstances Not Seen Since the Stalled GDP of Second-Half 2012
– February Nominal Retail Sales Gain of 0.08% Was Less than Inflation;
Inflation-Adjusted Real Sales Declined by 0.04% (-0.04%) for the Month
– Headline Annual Inflation Surge Has Been Due to Energy-Price Distortions, Not to an Overheating Economy
– February 2017 Monthly CPI Inflation Rose by 0.12%, Pushing Annual CPI-U Inflation to a 60-Month High of 2.74%, with CPI-W at 2.82% and ShadowStats at 10.5%
– February Final-Demand PPI Annual Inflation Hit a 59-Month High of 2.19%

“No. 872: February PPI, CPI, Retail Sales and Earnings and the FOMC”
www.shadowstats.com

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The oldest place to pass time of the super wealthy my be called Secret Fun Islands.

Obama Jets Off To Paradise: Ex-President Travels To Marlon Brando’s Private Polynesian Island To Unwind (So Is This Where He And Michelle Will Write Their $60million Memoirs?)
March 16, 2017

Former President Barack Obama has arrived in French Polynesia where he will spend a month at a luxury resort frequented by Hollywood stars.

He landed on the tourist island of Tahiti this week without his family before going to Marlon Brando’s privately owned retreat Tetiaroa atoll, which the Oscar-winning actor bought in the 1960s.

Obama then checked into the eco-friendly Brando resort, whose villas boast their own plunge pools and cost between 2,000 euros ($2,150) and 12,300 euros per night.

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Posted at 1:05 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Wolfgang, Zerohedge assumes this is a hack. What if it is not? Can you imagine if they said this about our past president? They would have been immediately audited, the FDA would shut them down for o-coli violations and branded as racists …not to mention forced to participate in the mandatory national health care fraud which they received a special exemption for!

For chuckles, the following is from their comment section: “I heard they’re dropping ‘Donald’ off their corporate logo and opted for “McDodo”…on their way to extinction …”

Bill/ Jim,

Regardless of one’s political leanings, a modicum of respect should be afforded to the highest office in the U.S.

This is simply “McShameful.” Shame on McDonalds.

If this is how McDonalds treats the President of the U.S. just imagine how they treat would treat you!

Makes me wonder if the food they serve me isn’t being mishandled due to my race, color, creed, or political views.

I’ve lost trust in McDonalds.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

McDonalds Tweets Trump: “You Are A Disgusting Excuse Of A President, Also You Have Tiny Hands”
March 16, 2017

Update: It appears McDonalds needed Twitter to tell Robert Gibbs and the company’s Corporate relations team that their account had been “compromised.”

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And so, as MCD has washed its hands of the rogue tweet and blamed “compromising” actors, the company has generated substantial media buzz… the only question is whether the buzz will lead to more or less sales.

* * *

One day after Twitter stock tumbled after a pervasive hack showed just how vulnerable the underperforming social network (where 15% of total users appear to be bots) remains, moments ago McDonalds tweeted to president Trump, in what appears to be the latest hack of a prominent account, that “You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands.”

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Posted at 3:10 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

…and the Fed will raise rates how many more times?

“Something Snapped”: US Department Store Sales Crash Most On Record
March 14, 2017

As we first documented last week in “Mega-Bears Smell Blood As Mall REITs Tumble” and as Bloomberg followed up yesterday, looking at CMBS on the Mall REIT space, many have set their sights on mall REITs as the “next big short.” However, an obvious question that has emerged is whether it is too late to go all in on this particular short, or whether as some have suggested, the bottom is in. “The short feels crowded to us,” said Matthew Weinstein, principal at Axonic Capital, a hedge fund that specializes in structured products. “If these defaults start happening soon, the short will work, but if the defaults do not occur quickly, the first guy out could drive the market meaningfully higher.”

On the other hand, one particular chart revealed in the latest monthly Bank of America debit and credit card spending report shows that things may be about to get a whole lot worse for America’s department stores, as well as malls where they are for the most part the anchor tenants. Of note: while official US retail sales data will be released tomorrow (BofA data always comes several days ahead of the official release), what is especially ominous is that the collapse in department store spending was the biggest on record.

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The collapse in department store spending in February took place in the context of broad weakness across the entire retail universe, with BofA reported that retail sales ex auto declined 0.2% seasonally adjusted. Since that was not accepetable, BofA decided to smooth out large swings over the prior two months, leaving it with retail sales ex-autos running at an average 3 month pace of 0.1% mom SA. As the chart below shows, even that suggests a far weaker than expected retail sales report tomorrow, just hours before the Fed’s rate hike announcement: “Given that the BAC data trends closely with the Census Bureau, we think our data points to a soft report when it is released on Wednesday the 15th.”

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Posted at 6:37 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

Due to a family emergency, Bill will not have another article out until next week. The weekly discussion will not be done and posted until Monday or Tuesday. Thank you for your understanding.

Posted at 12:26 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Wolfgang, I think the true question… is “real world money” even real?

Bill

Jim/Bill,

I’m hearing that “Farmville” money will be the next hot currency to hide your wealth in, once Bitcoin has been played out.

Formerly, just an online game where you send in real cash to buy virtual cash to be spent in a game that offers nothing more than amusement. Send in a few hundred dollars and you too can buy a virtual cow, goat, fertilizer or your virtual farm. (PT Barnum was certainly correct).

(Also known as FarmVille Cash, FarmVille Dollars, FarmVille Bucks, Farm Cash) is currency used to purchase in game items and skip tasks. It can be purchased with real-world money, and will also be slowly given to a player over time when reaching higher levels.

FarmVille Cash can be earned by spending real-world money, either by using a PayPal account or a credit card.

FarmVille

FarmVille is a farming simulation social network game developed by Zynga in 2009. It is similar to Happy Farm, Farm Town, and video games such as the Story of Seasons series. Its gameplay involves various aspects of farm management such as plowing land, planting, growing, and harvesting crops, harvesting trees and raising livestock.

Gotta hand it to those Millennials…they’ve got a solid grasp of reality!

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Bitcoin Soars Above $1300 For First Time Ahead Of SEC Decision

March 10, 2017

With the SEC decision to approve a Bitcoin ETF looming, the payrolls data-inspired weakness in the USD appears to have sparked a sudden panic bid in Bitcoin, spiking the virtual currency to $1305 – new record highs.

Hard to say if someone ‘knows’ something about the SEC decision or this is a kneejerk to the dollar drop…

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Additionally, as Bloomberg points ut, BitMEX, a bitcoin platform, is offering members the ability to place bets using the digital currency on whether the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust (COIN) will be approved by the SEC. Based on the betting, the ETF has a 45% chance of approval. Odds started at about 33% a month ago and jumped to 70% last week before fading. The lawyer who worked on the initial application said it’s unlikely to get approved, while some analysts call it a “coin toss.”

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Posted at 12:09 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

From our very astute friend Robert. I asked permission to post the first paragraph and he was gracious enough to elaborate for us with an additional reply. Please read this carefully as he is plugged in and spot on, this is a giant liquidity/credit problem. China will not save the financial system, in fact, they may be at the very core.

Bill

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Did you see the Chinese Trade data and that Imports outpaced Exports giving them a deficit of around $9.1bn for the first time in over three years?

Perhaps they will be back in a surplus in the next period, however it could be a sign of declining demand globally as their export markets continue to weaken.

Which if so, tells us the western economies are still contracting regardless of what is being said, and China will face it’s own troubles.

Some parties will say perhaps it is a New Year issue but that is not the real story.

China does have a liquidity problem it’s hiding, that has not yet come into public view. Although, with cities for millions sitting empty and deteriorating causing a real drag on capital velocity (imagine a city of 3 million sitting empty and the lack of capital movement/ velocity by non productive real estate) ( they have a number) and soft declining exports while inventories build, all quietly financed with leveraged capital, it should not come as a surprise.

The big shock will come when rates in the US go up on the 15th and debt ceiling is breached, along with the continued decline in retail store volumes and increasing store closings. Where do people think the replacement sales are coming from? People forget loans are libor sensitive even to Chinese borrowers and their financiers, especially the commodity houses.

Consequently it will be their liquidity problem that will shock.

Cheers

Robert

China Posts First Trade Deficit in Three Years
March 8, 2017

(Beijing) — China recorded its first trade deficit in three years last month as imports surged on soaring commodity prices while exports declined, likely adding uncertainty to the country’s growth prospects.

The surprisingly robust rebound in imports may prove short-lived, while the disappointing performance of exports suggested that foreign demand remained slack, with rising anti-globalization led by U.S. President Donald Trump casting a pall on the outlook of Chinese overseas shipments, analysts said.

Imports soared 38.1% from a year ago to $129.2 billion in February, according to figures from the General Administration of Customs, beating the median projection of a gain of 18.8% in a poll of economists by Caixin.

More…

Jim,

You have to read this! How much more proof is needed? And as Binney said FISA is just for cosmetic reasons, it is a dictatorship.

CIGA Gijsbert

Former NSA Whistleblower: “Trump Is Absolutely Right, Everything Was Being Monitored”
March 8, 2017

Legendary NSA whistleblower William Binney (and creator of NSA’s global surveillance system) confirmed to Fox News, that President Trump is “absolutely right” to claim he was wiretapped and monitored… he was.

As we noted previously, Binney is the NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, who managed six thousand NSA employees, the 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency and the NSA’s best-ever analyst and code-breaker, who mapped out the Soviet command-and-control structure before anyone else knew how, and so predicted Soviet invasions before they happened (“in the 1970s, he decrypted the Soviet Union’s command system, which provided the US and its allies with real-time surveillance of all Soviet troop movements and Russian atomic weapons”). Binney is the real McCoy.

Binney resigned from NSA shortly after the U.S. approach to intelligence changed following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He “became a whistleblower after discovering that elements of a data-monitoring program he had helped develop — nicknamed ThinThread — were being used to spy on Americans,” PBS reported.

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Posted at 10:41 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

All of the World’s Money and Markets in One Visualization

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Time to create “mall futures” and crank up the presses…FAST!

The Next Domino To Fall: Commercial Real Estate
March 7, 2017

Just as generals prepare to fight the last war, central banks prepare to battle the last financial crisis–which in the present context means a big-bank liquidity meltdown like the one that nearly toppled the global financial system in 2008-09.

Planning to win the next war by assuming it will be a copy of the last confict is an excellent strategy for losing the next war. The same holds true for the next financial crisis: reckoning that it will be a repeat of 2008 is an excellent way to be caught completely off-guard.

Crises may rhyme, but they don’t repeat. The next Global Financial Meltdown won’t start in subprime mortgages–that sector has been wiped out, written down, or passed on to the poor tax-donkey taxpayers.

The next crisis also won’t arise on money-center banks, either. Central banks have figured out how to bail out the banks, and have rebuilt the bank balance sheets by stripping hundreds of billions of dollars in interest from savers.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The latest from John William’s www.shadowstats.com

– Beware the Ides of March!
– FOMC Targeting Growth-Killing Rate Hikes in an Economy that Is Foundering, Not Overheating?
– January Real Median Household Income Continued to Falter, Down Year-to-Year for the Second Straight Month
– First-Quarter 2017 Real Merchandise-Trade Deficit Is on Track for Worst Showing Since First-Quarter 2007, An Early Negative for the GDP
– If the Current Trend in Trade Is Not Altered, Third-Quarter 2017 Real Deficit Would Be Worst Ever
– Real Construction Spending Remained in Stagnant Non-Recovery, Down for the Month and Year, Amidst Upside Revisions and Rising Inflation, Still Shy of Its Pre-Recession High by 22% (-22%)

“No. 870: January Trade Deficit, Construction Spending, Household Income, Pending FOMC “
www.shadowstats.com

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Clif High-Chaos Starts Middle of March
March 7, 2017