Posted at 6:30 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

If you want to see what economic trickle down looks like, watch this.

Rent walkouts point to strains in U.S. farm economy
By Jo Winterbottom and P.J. Huffstutter
CHICAGO Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:45am EST

(Reuters) – Across the U.S. Midwest, the plunge in grain prices to near four-year lows is pitting landowners determined to sustain rental incomes against farmer tenants worried about making rent payments because their revenues are squeezed.

Some grain farmers already see the burden as too big. They are taking an extreme step, one not widely seen since the 1980s: breaching lease contracts, reducing how much land they will sow this spring and risking years-long legal battles with landlords.

The tensions add to other signs the agricultural boom that the U.S. grain farming sector has enjoyed for a decade is over. On Friday, tractor maker John Deere cut its profit forecast citing falling sales caused by lower farm income and grain prices.

Many rent payments – which vary from a few thousand dollars for a tiny farm to millions for a major operation – are due on March 1, just weeks after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated net farm income, which peaked at $129 billion in 2013, could slide by almost a third this year to $74 billion.

The costs of inputs, such as fertilizer and seeds, are remaining stubbornly high, the strong dollar is souring exports and grain prices are expected to stay low.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commetnary

Recovery goes so south that jiggling the data does not even change it.

U.S. existing home sales at nine-month low, supply limited
By Lucia Mutikani
WASHINGTON Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:49pm EST

(Reuters) – U.S. home resales fell sharply to their lowest level in nine months in January amid a shortage of properties on the market, a setback that could temper expectations for an acceleration in housing activity this year.

The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales declined 4.9 percent to an annual rate of 4.82 million units, the lowest level since last April.

"Existing home sales are taking a bumpy road towards recovery," said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts.

The decline in sales, which was across all four regions, came despite the 30-year mortgage rate falling to a 20-month low. It was worse than economists’ expectations for a 4.97 million unit-pace.

Tight inventories are hurting sales by limiting the selection of houses available to potential buyers. The lack of supply is also keeping house prices elevated, helping to sideline first-time buyers from the market.

There is hope a tightening labor market would spur sturdy wage growth and pull first-time buyers into the market. But unless there is a significant pickup in the number of homes available for sale, the housing recovery could remain sluggish.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Nobody can ever say that Paul Craig Roberts lacks either courage or smarts.

Paul Craig Roberts – Governments And Media Lying To People As Elites Enslave Humanity
February 23, 2015

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As the West stares into the great abyss and the world prepares for even greater economic turmoil, today Dr. Paul Craig Roberts warned King World News that governments and the media are lying to people as the elites enslave humanity.  This is an ominous warning from the former U.S. Treasury official as the world prepares to descend into economic chaos.

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts Former U.S. Treasury Official

February 23 (King World News) – According to the official economic fairy tale, the US economy has been in recovery since June 2009.

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U.S. Economic Fairy Tale

This fairy tale supports America’s image as the safe haven, an image that keeps the dollar up, the stock market up, and interest rates down. It is an image that causes the massive numbers of unemployed Americans to blame themselves and not the mishandled economy.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

And so it starts. You worry about confiscation of Gold when there is a much larger target out there – your retirement account. Better to GOTS (get out of the system).

President Obama Explains The "Changes" He’d Like To Make To Retirement Accounts – Live Feed
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/23/2015 13:58 -0500

Speaking at AARP headqusrters in Washington, President Obama will announce orders to the Labor Department to write new rules for financial managers who handle retirement accounts for working Americans. As USA Today reports, The White House says the goal is to end "hidden fees that hurt consumers and back-door payments that help Wall Street brokers," deals that costs retirees billions of dollars in savings. White House officials said they want new fiduciary standards that would require financial advisers to put clients’ interests ahead of their own… and "buy our bonds."

We wonder how long before there will be an official asset allocation by dictat…

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Absolutely yes, but not in a convertible on demand way. A little dated but important at this time.

Is Russia Preparing to Move to the Gold Standard?
21:21 08.02.2015(updated 13:43 15.02.2015)

An article by Mises Institute contributor Marcia Christoff-Kurapovna believes that now is the ideal time for Russia to introduce a gold-backed ruble.

Mises Institute contributor Marcia Christoff-Kurapovna believes that Russia may be in the process of planning for the introduction of a gold-based currency, and would be better off for it.

"Though a far-fetched idea at first glance, many factors suggest that remonetization in gold may be a logical next step for Moscow," Christoff-Kurapovna notes in an analytical article published Friday on the libertarian think tank’s website.

The columnist notes that several factors may play into the decision, including Russia’s recent partial detachment from Western economic and financial structures, sanctions, the ruble’s devaluation and economic decline.

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BEHIND THE SCENES?
Author : Bill Holter
Published: February 23rd, 2015

So much is happening behind the scenes it’s mindboggling.  This past week we of course ended with “deal or no deal” over Greece.  The “deal” the markets were hoping for really was no deal at all, the markets were only hoping for more time and ONLY more time.  You see, Greece is broke.  They only have enough money for about another week, they don’t even have enough to make their early March debt payment.  The only possible “deal” from here on is to postpone reality.  Greece cannot be allowed to make any deal other than one that puts THE deal out into the future.  They cannot accept more “aid” because the markets will see through this.  They also cannot be allowed to exit because this would then be the thread which unravels the Eurozone.  The only deal acceptable to the markets will be one where THE deal is not “dealt with”.

Friday afternoon this very scenario was announced and of course the equity markets short squeezed higher in response.  A bit prematurely in my estimation because the newly elected Greek parliament will need to ratify any agreement.  A ratification will be in direct conflict with the election results of last month, what do you suppose the populace might do?  In my opinion, the Greek people are about to explode onto the streets no matter what deal is arranged and agreed to.  Broke is broke and no deal and no amount of newly borrowed money will fix this.  As my title suggested, I believe only something from “behind the scenes” will fix their problem.

The “fix” itself may end up being a geopolitical event that turns today’s perverted world on its head.  In my opinion, the very best fix for Greece is obvious and I believe is probably already in the works.  Before getting to this, it is important to understand how “gangs” are broken up.  “Gangs” can be broken in two ways.  You can either confront the leader and emerge victorious or, you can pick away at the weak sisters one by one.  Greece is obviously a weak sister but one very strategically located geographically and politically.  Greece is also a natural “bridge” from the Russia and the Middle East to Europe.  It is also part of the “old silk road” to China and will be part of trade in the new silk road.

It is my belief that negotiations have been going on behind the scenes between Greece and the SinoRuso alliance.  Would it not make sense for Russia and China to try to woo Greece?  Greece could be offered a pipeline deal.  This would put people to work and Greece would actually receive an income royalty flow.  From a financial standpoint, this is the very best avenue for Greece because of the income aspect, they will actually get something rather than owe more.  For Russia and China not to be offering Greece a deal would be plain dumb in my estimation.  Think about it, if Russia does build a pipeline through Turkey, “someone” has to build a pipeline through Greece.  Why wouldn’t Russia want to be “the good guy” and to their own benefit?

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Alan Greenspan is reliving his Ayn Rand days.

Alan Greenspan Warns: There Will Be a “Significant Market Event… Something Big Is Going To Happen”
Tyler Durden on 02/23/2015 05:15 -0500

With the Federal Reserve printing trillions upon trillions of dollars to keep the economic system afloat, many investors and financial pundits have surmised that the fundamental economic problems facing the United States during the crash of 2008 have been resolved. Stocks are, after all, at historic highs.

But the insiders know different. And if there’s any single person out there who understands U.S. monetary policy and its long-term effects on domestic and global affairs it’s former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan. As the head of the world’s most powerful central bank for nearly two decades he’s privy to the insider conversations and government machinations that have brought us to where we are today.

Greenspan recently joined veteran resource analyst Brien Lundin at the New Orleans Investment Conference to share some of his thoughts. According to Lundin, the former Fed chairman made it clear that the central bank is facing a serious problem and one that will have significant ramifications in the future.

We asked him where he thought the gold price will be in five years and he said “measurably higher.”

In private conversation I asked him about the outstanding debts… and that the debt load in the U.S. had gotten so great that there has to be some monetary depreciation. Specially he said that the era of quantitative easing and zero-interest rate policies by the Fed… we really cannot exit this without some significant market event… By that I interpret it being either a stock market crash or a prolonged recession, which would then engender another round of monetary reflation by the Fed.

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Secrecy around police surveillance equipment proves a case’s undoing
By Ellen Nakashima February 22

TALLAHASSEE — The case against Tadrae McKenzie looked like an easy win for prosecutors. He and two buddies robbed a small-time pot dealer of $130 worth of weed using BB guns. Under Florida law, that was robbery with a deadly weapon, with a sentence of at least four years in prison.

But before trial, his defense team detected investigators’ use of a secret surveillance tool, one that raises significant privacy concerns. In an unprecedented move, a state judge ordered the police to show the device — a cell-tower simulator sometimes called a StingRay — to the attorneys.

Rather than show the equipment, the state offered McKenzie a plea bargain.

Today, 20-year-old McKenzie is serving six months’ probation ­after pleading guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor. He got, as one civil liberties advocate said, the deal of the century. (The other two defendants also pleaded guilty and were sentenced to two years’ probation.)

McKenzie’s case is emblematic of the growing, but hidden, use by local law enforcement of a sophisticated surveillance technology borrowed from the national security world. It shows how a gag order imposed by the FBI — on grounds that discussing the device’s operation would compromise its effectiveness — has left judges, the public and criminal defendants in the dark on how the tool works.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Speaking about double talk, be sure to read the last sentence.

20 Central Banks Have Cut Rates In 2015 After "Surprise" Rate Cut By Israel To Record Low 0.1%
Tyler Durden on 02/23/2015 09:21 -0500

Last week it was 19 central banks (including the ECB which accounts for 19 nations) which had cut rates in 2015, mostly in "surprise", unexpected easing decisions. Moments ago the number became 20 when the Israel central bank just cut its interest rate by 0.15% to 0.1%, the lowest on record, a move which once again caught the market by surprise as only 3 of 23 analysts had predicted it.

Here is the decision from the Israel Central Bank, which may or may not be buying more shares of AAPL at the ATH:

The decision to reduce the interest rate for March 2015 by 0.15 percentage points, to 0.10 percent is consistent with the Bank of Israel’s monetary policy, which is intended to return the inflation rate to within the price stability target of 1–3 percent a year over the next twelve months, and to support growth while maintaining financial stability. The path of the interest rate in the future depends on developments in the inflation environment, growth in Israel and in the global economy, the monetary policies of major central banks, and developments in the exchange rate of the shekel.

The following are the main considerations underlying the decision:

The CPI declined by 0.9 percent in January, against the background of a decline in energy prices, a scheduled reduction in water prices, and a relatively sharp decline in the housing component. The rate of inflation as measured over the past 12 months was negative 0.5 percent, as the decline in energy prices had a direct effect of reducing the CPI by 0.7 percent. The one-off reduction in electricity prices is expected to contribute -0.3 percent to the CPI for February. After the January CPI was published, short term inflation expectations from all sources remained below the target range, and there was a slight decline in longer term expectations toward the midpoint of the target range.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Are you guys acting up again?

DHS report warns of domestic right-wing terror threat
By Kellan Howell – The Washington Times – Saturday, February 21, 2015

A new Department of Homeland Security intelligence assessment circulated this month focuses on the threat of right-wing sovereign citizen extremist groups in the U.S. Some law enforcement groups say the threat is equal to, and occasionally greater than, the threat from Islamic extremist groups.

The Homeland Security report, produced in coordination with the FBI, counts 24 violent sovereign citizen-related attacks across the U.S. since 2010, CNN reported Friday.

These types of extremists believe that they can ignore laws because those laws attack their individual rights, even in routine daily instances like a traffic stop or being required to obey a court order, CNN reported Friday

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Posted at 5:19 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

It’s official. It will cost you $108 to buy a ticket to get into Disney World. Sure is nice to know there is no official inflation and we can all rest easy because their isn’t. I sure breathe easy now.

CIGA LarryM

Larry,

As a bonus, you get a contagious disease.

Jim

 

Jim,

Shame on us for not giving the Kurds modern war equipment directly.

CIGA Dr. K

ISIS parades 21 Kurdish and Iraqi fighters in cages 
DEBKAfile February 22, 2015, 10:29 PM (IDT)

The new horror video released Sunday shows 16 Peshmerga fighters, two Iraqi army officers and three policemen from Kirkuk paraded in cages through Iraqi streets. They wear the orange clothes of men condemned to death by the Islamic State. A Peshmerga commander in the big oil city of Kirkuk, Gen. Hiyowa Rash, told AFP that the Peshmerga hostages had been captured on Jan. 31 “when Kurdish fighters repelled a terrorist attack by ISIS targeting Kirkuk.”

DEBKAfile: The Islamist onslaught on Kirkuk went into its second week Sunday, defended only by ill-armed Kurdish militiamen fighting on their own. The Islamists have invaded the Sunni suburb of Daquq and are threatening the city center.

 

Jim,

And once again, only after another country does the investigations.

CIGA JB Slear

CFTC subpoenaed HSBC Bank USA for documents on metals trading
By Jan Harvey
LONDON Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:09pm EST

(Reuters) – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a subpoena to HSBC Bank USA in January seeking documents related to the bank’s precious metals trading operations, HSBC said in its annual report and accounts statement on Monday.

The U.S. Department of Justice also issued a request to HSBC Holdings in November seeking documents related to a criminal antitrust investigation that the DoJ is conducting in relation to precious metals, it added.

"HSBC is cooperating with the U.S. authorities in their respective investigations," the bank said. "These matters are at an early stage."

HSBC was one of a number of banks named in lawsuits filed in U.S. courts last year alleging a conspiracy to manipulate gold, silver, platinum and palladium prices, plus precious metals derivatives, during the daily precious metals fixes.

HSBC said in Monday’s statement that it filed a response this month to an amended consolidated class-action complaint concerning gold that was filed in December 2014, and that it will respond next month to allegations of silver price fixing.

It did not disclose any details about the response.

More…

Posted at 4:29 PM (CST) by & filed under USAWatchdog.com.

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

Dear CIGAs,

Financial and geo-political expert John Browne was an advisor on Russia to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.  So, does he think the war in Ukraine is a dire threat?  Browne says, “Oh yes, I think it is dire particularly because President Obama has had the wrong end of the stick, and he follows a strategic mistake.  When President Reagan and Secretary of State Gorbachev, with the assistance of Margret Thatcher, achieved an end to the cold war, in other words, the colder part of Second World War in the mid 1980’s, it was agreed, if not in writing but tacitly, that neither side would try to poach on the old buffer states of NATO and the Warsaw Pact.  From the Russian point of view, they see a number of countries have voted quite democratically, like Poland, to go into the European Union and be associated with NATO and things like that.  They have also seen activity by the secret services of the West, most notably the CIA in the Ukraine, to persuade them to go.  This has angered the Russians, and when you come to the Ukraine and Crimea, you are treading on vital interests of Russia.  It is very similar to the situation in October of 1962, when Khrushchev of the Soviet Union decided to put intercontinental ballistic missiles in Cuba, right in the soft underbelly of the United States, threatening the vital interests of the United States.  In that confrontation, President Kennedy had to win even if it meant nuclear war.  He had to win that battle.  In this case, we have the West interfering in the soft underbelly of Russia, notably the Ukraine and in Crimea.  This threatens the vital interest of Russia like a warm water port with access to the Eastern Mediterranean, which they have sought for 200 years.  Putin, who enjoys 80 percent domestic support, has to win even if it means going to war.”

On this turning into a nuclear war in Ukraine, Browne goes on to say, “This would have a very high risk of slipping into nuclear war.  Russia has enormous ground forces, and Putin has updated the Russian armed forces tremendously.  They have very sophisticated rocket weapons, and if we saw massive numbers of our troops being slaughtered, maybe we would be the first to press the nuclear button. . . . So, this is a desperate situation.”

On the Greece bailout crisis, Browne says, “Germany has exerted its force.  Basically, they have a four month reprieve, but even the funds that will come in on Tuesday of this week, they are going to have monitoring which the Greeks have accepted.  They said they would never accept monitoring, and they have accepted monitoring and have accepted conditions.  These are steps for Germany gradually turning the knot on Greece and getting them to heal. . . . This is the reality of real politics of major nations. . . . I think Germany has won. . . . How is the new Prime Minister of Greece going to sell this to the electorate who just voted him to do absolutely no corroboration with the West at all?”

On the U.S. economy, Browne says, “I think things are slipping because we have leadership of an appalling bad quality. . . . At the moment, we have massive injections of money . . . The total is $50 trillion of money that has been created out of nowhere.  It is so-called ‘click money’ where it is no longer printed, but clicked on a computer.  So, there is lots of money swirling around, but value is being eroded.  It’s giving us the pretense, the wonderful feeling that this is a great party.  The band is fantastic, but if reality dawns and someone switches the lights on and the musical instruments go dark, what could go wrong?  Reality sets in.”

More…

Posted at 12:38 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Mr. Ditti has a simple but critical job. He raises the alarm for the security patrol if required, and sometimes even when it is not.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

If you are looking for a reasonable paying job without luck read this.

Whatever Became Of Economists And The American Economy
TND Guest Contributor:  Dr. Paul Craig Roberts |

According to the official economic fairy tale, the US economy has been in recovery since June 2009.

This fairy tale supports America’s image as the safe haven, an image that keeps the dollar up, the stock market up, and interest rates down. It is an image that causes the massive numbers of unemployed Americans to blame themselves and not the mishandled economy.

This fairy tale survives despite the fact that there is no economic information whatsoever that supports it.

Real median household income has not grown for years and is below the levels of the early 1970s.

There has been no growth in real retail sales for six years.

How does an economy dependent on consumer demand grow when real consumer incomes and real retail sales do not grow?

Not from business investment. Why invest when there is no sales growth? Industrial production, properly deflated, remains well below the pre-recession level.

Not from construction. The real value of total construction put in place declined sharply from 2006 through 2011 and has bounced around the 2011 bottom for the past three years.

How does an economy grow when the labor force is shrinking? The labor force participation rate has declined since 2007 as has the civilian employment to population ratio.

How can there be a recovery when nothing has recovered?

Do economists believe that the entire corpus of macroeconomics taught since the 1940s is simply incorrect? If not, how can economists possibly support the recovery fairy tale?

We see the same absence of economics in the policy response to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. First of all, the only reason that there is a crisis is because instead of writing off that part of the debt that cannot be paid, as in the past, so that the rest of the debt could be paid, creditors have demanded the impossible–that all the debt be paid.

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Russia Dumps Most US Paper Ever As China Reduces Treasurys Holdings To January 2013 Levels
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/18/2015 21:02 -0500

Back in December, Socgen spread a rumor that Russia has begun selling its gold. Subsequent IMF data showed that not only was this not correct, Russia in fact added to its gold holdings. But there was one thing it was selling: some $22 billion in US Treasurys, a record 20% of its total holdings, bringing its US paper inventory to just $86 billion in December – the lowest since June 2008.

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It wasn’t just Russia: the country that has ever more frequently been said to be in the same camp as Russia – and against the US – namely China, also sold another $6 billion in Treasurys in the last month of 2014, which would have made its US treasury holdings equal with those of Japan, if only Tokyo hadn’t also sold over $10 billion in the same month.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The lookout.

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Posted at 3:23 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Mr. Williams shares the following with us.

- Slower Real Economic Activity Signaled by CPI Seasonal-Adjustment Revisions
- Using Intervention Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics Shifted Some Gasoline Deflation from Fourth- to Second-Quarter 2014
- Headline Drop in December CPI-U Narrowed in Revision to Minus 0.3% (-0.3%) from Minus 0.4% (-0.4%)

“No. 698: Annual Revisions to Seasonally-Adjusted CPI”
Web-page: http://www.shadowstats.com

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

More from Mr. Williams.

- Both Production and Housing-Starts Activity Revised Lower in the Fourth-Quarter, and Flattened Out in Initial First-Quarter Estimations
- January 2015 Annual PPI Inflation Fell to Zero, Driven Lower by Falling Oil and Gasoline Prices, Which Have Turned Higher in February

“No. 697: January Industrial Production, Housing Starts, Producer Price Index”
Web-page: http://www.shadowstats.com

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Another name for QE is debt monetization.

Stunning Chart Of The Day: For The First Time Ever, Central Banks Will Monetize More Than 100% Of Global Sovereign Debt
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/09/2015 10:38 -0500

Over the past two years we explained how in a time of ubiquitous central bank debt monetization, the amount of global sovereign bonds available for purchase – when taking into account CB purchases – has been declining at an ever faster pace, leading to a collapse in liquidity (something the TBAC warned about in the summer of 2013, leading to the Fed’s taper and subsequent temporary halt of QE3), and – naturally – to soaring bond prices (and plunging yields). The latter has reached epic proportions recently, and resulted in $3.6 trillion in global government debt, 16% of total, that is now trading at negative yields.

But not even we had any idea just how bad it really would get.

* * *

Recall that many had touted 2015 as the year when the global “recovery”, originally scheduled for the first half of 2013, would finally kick in. In fact it was said that this would be the year of central bank “renormalization.”

They lied.

And one look at the Morgan Stanley chart below showing the net issuance of government debt in 2015, which will not only be the lowest in history, but – for the first time ever – be negative, explains all one needs to know.

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* * *

Said otherwise, for the first time ever, “developed” central banks are now monetizing more than 100% of global sovereign debt issuance!

* * *

Some “renormalization.”

We show this chart just in case there is still any confusion who is buying all the government debt and forcing bond yields ever lower, why $3.6 trillion in global debt is trading at negative yields, and why much more sovereign debt will very soon also reside in the terminal twilight zone of interest-bearing securities.

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Posted at 5:11 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Isn’t it good that last year’s cold was just a one off event?

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Greece: Tsipras visits Chinese Navy delegation – Syriza’s plan B?
Published on Feb 19, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was welcomed aboard a Chinese warship at Piraeus port on Thursday, an indication bilateral ties could be strengthening between the two countries following Syriza’s recent election.

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Evidence of a tinder box.

Worried depositors rush to pull cash out of Greek banks
By Dody Tsiantar, Special to CNBC.com

In the midst of the dramatic showdown in Brussels between the new Greek government and its European creditors, many Greek depositors—spooked by the prospect of a Greek default or, worse, an exit from the euro zone and a possible return to the drachma—have been pulling euros out of the nation’s banks in record amounts over the last few days.

The Bank of Greece and the European Central Bank won’t report official cash outflows for January until the end of the month. But sources in the Greek banking sector have told Greek newspapers that as much as 25 billion euros (US $28.4 billion) have left Greek banks since the end of December. According to the same sources, an estimated 900 million euros flowed out of Greek banks on Tuesday alone, the day after the talks broke up in Brussels, sparking fears that measures will be taken to stem the outflow. On Thursday, by mid-afternoon, deposits had shrunk by about 680 million euros (US $773 million).

“If outflows reach 1 billion euros, capital controls might need to be imposed,” said Thanasis Koukakis, a financial editor for Estia a conservative daily, and To Vima, an influential Sunday newspaper.

On Thursday, Germany rejected Greece’s application to extend its loan agreement for four months and renegotiate the terms of its bailout, raising the threat of Athens’ running out of money in the coming weeks. Under the current program, the country has received 240 billion euros, or $272 billion, in exchange for pursuing various overhauls.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This is a great advertisement for GOTS.

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February 20, 2015
Los Angeles, California

File this under ‘you can’t make this stuff up.’

Lenovo Group, the largest computer manufacturer in the world, has made a rather stunning admission that they have been pre-installing tracking software on their PCs.

The tracking software is made by a company called Superfish, which apparently paid some “very minor compensation” to Lenovo for putting the software on people’s computers.

The Superfish program is a total disaster.

It has image recognition algorithms which essentially monitor what a user is looking at… then suggests relevant ads based on what it thinks you might like.

This is not only REALLY high up on the creepy scale, it also completely destroys Internet security.

Whether you’re buying something online or accessing Internet banking, the Superfish program essentially cuts the secure link between you and sensitive websites that you’re trying to access.

According to the first user who found the vulnerability a few weeks ago, “[Superfish] will hijack ALL your secure web connections (SSL/TLS) by using self-signed root certificate authority, making it look legitimate to the browser.”

This means that the tracking software basically fools a web browser into believing that a connection is secure when it’s not… all for the purpose of pushing more ads in your face.

This scheme is so powerful that even if users uninstall the Superfish software, the security breach still remains.

This is so flagrant I have to imagine that even the NSA is shocked.

After its initial approach of being completely unapologetic and dismissal, Lenovo is now groveling for forgiveness.

The company’s Chief Technology Officer now says, “We messed up badly here,” and “We made a mistake.”

Duh. But untold amounts of consumers out there have been totally violated.

There are a few interesting points to make here–

1) Privacy isn’t dead. But it’s extremely difficult to maintain. There are so many forces out there trying to pry whatever little privacy remains from us, one has to fight tooth and nail to preserve it.

2) There’s no transparency in the system; we never really know what’s going on behind the scenes with big institutions.

Governments and politicians will lie to our faces. They’ll tell us to be excited and that everything is fine; then behind the scenes they’ll plan for capital controls and huge tax increases.

No one has any idea what kind of toxic crap banks have on their balance sheets. They’ll post record profits and tell us how successful they are. But internally they know that it’s only a matter of time before they collapse (as we saw in 2008).

Even major tech brands are betraying the public in the dark of night with crazy spyware or selling us all out to government agencies.

There are very few, if any, big institutions out there that we can trust anymore.

And maybe that’s how it should be.

It’s a shark-filled world with bad people who do bad things. Perhaps it’s all the better that a trusted brand becomes the poster child for betrayal.

Because if Lenovo is doing this, are we supposed to be so naïve to presume that Google, Apple, AT&T, etc. are not?

Question everything.

Have a great weekend,
Simon Black
Founder, SovereignMan.com

 

Why The “1%” Hates The Gold Standard
02/20/2015 12:16 -0500

By now everybody knows that the primary consequence, one which we originally predicted back in 2009 – and many have since agreed – was completely intended, of the past 6 years of unprecedented monetary policy has been to push wealth inequality to record levels, not just in the US but across the world. What may not be so clear is precisely when this period of unprecedented wealth disparity started. The answer, as the following handy chart from NPR shows, is that long before QE, the wealth gap for the 1% really started in the early 1980s, courtesy of none other than Greenspan’s “great moderation.”

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More importantly, and what is certainly not known, is that between 1930 and 1970, it was only the “bottom 90%” that saw their incomes rise, as can be seen on the next chart.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Look at that can get another short term kick.

Greece Reaches Accord With European Officials to Extend Bailout
By LIZ ALDERMAN and JAMES KANTER
FEB. 20, 2015

BRUSSELS — European leaders agreed Friday to extend Greece’s bailout for four months after weeks of tense negotiations.

The deal, reached at an emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers here, paves the way for Greece to unlock further financial aid from a 240 billion euro, or $273 billion, bailout deal — provided the country meets certain commitments laid out by its creditors.

“I’m glad to report to you that the work has paid off,” Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, said at a news conference. “We have established common ground again.”

The new agreement will require the two sides to continue to work through their differences.

For one thing, Greece will not receive any of a €7 billion installment from the bailout until it has carried out all remaining reforms required by creditors, some of which Mr. Tsipras had pledged to roll back. Greece must also show that it is not abandoning austerity measures unilaterally.

That means that if Athens moves slowly, it might not get the money for months.

The deal is likely to give Greece breathing room. For one, it could help stem flights of deposits from the country’s banks, which have been bleeding money amid the standoff between Greece and its creditors.

But it will hardly move the country past the worst of its economic and financial troubles. The economy has shrunk by a quarter in the last five years, and unemployment stands at more than 25 percent.

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Posted at 2:17 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

Sounds like a lot of “making excuses” to me.

Productivity, the hardest thing for economists to get their hands around, is ideal for use as an excuse to procrastinate in raising rates, yet at the same time, giving the impression the economy is recuperating.

A beautifully contrived move of deception by Yellen!

CIGA Wolfgang

Yellen Confronts Economists’ Ignorance

(Bloomberg) — Productivity is probably the most important measure of economic health that policy makers know the least about.

Its pace will help determine how soon Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues increase interest rates and how far rates ultimately will rise.

A quicker advance would argue for a later lift-off because the economy would have more room to run before bumping up against capacity constraints. It also eventually would require a higher ending point to prevent the more-vibrant expansion from overheating. Slower productivity would call for the opposite strategy.

The trouble, according to former Fed Vice Chairman Alan Blinder, is that economists — including those at the Fed — don’t have a good idea of how fast productivity will grow in the next few years.

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Jim,

The article below is an excellent read.

Essentially, almost no gold is used by the LBMA to price fix it daily!

Furthermore, Gresham’s Law guaranties gold will soar to new heights.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Wolfgang,

Economic law cannot and has not been cancelled by computer driven Algos making markets. It has only been delayed.

Jim

David Jensen Explains How Gresham’s Law Guarantees a Gold Market Moon Shot!
Thursday February 19, 2015 13:46

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My friend David Jensen is an engineer. He also has holds an MBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. The point in relating that background to you is to help explain that David is not only very much interested in cause and effect but he also has a burning desire to get to the truth so he is prepared for the inevitable. That is why I do frequent (almost weekly) podcasts with David at http://jaytaylormedia.com/audio/ to focus on the fundamentals of the gold market.  Not only has David provided very clear answers as to WHY a small ruling elite have been able to cap the price of gold even as trillions of new dollars and all manner of other fiat currencies have been created. Like a curious kid interested in knowing how a magician seemingly defies the laws of nature, David has assigned himself the task of understanding exactly HOW a small cabal of major global bankers are able to pull the wool over the eyes of markets so as to keep the masses trusting in the deceitful theft orchestrated through endless amounts of new money creation out of thin air.

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Posted at 9:28 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Positive for gold.

RBI lifts ban on import of gold coins, medallions by banks
By PTI | 18 Feb, 2015, 09.22PM IST

MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today lifted the ban on imports of gold coins and medallions by banks and trading houses.

The RBI in a notification also said banks are permitted to import gold on consignment basis. Domestic sales will be, however, permitted against upfront payment only.

“While the import of gold coins and medallions will no longer be prohibited, pending further review, the restrictions on banks in selling gold coins and medallions are not being removed,” it said.

The RBI and the government have been receiving requests for clarification on some of operational aspects of guidelines on import of gold after withdrawal of restrictions on import of the metal on November 28 last year, the notification said.

Aiming to tame the then widening current account deficit (CAD), the central bank in August 2013 had prohibited imports of gold coins and medallions besides restricting inbound shipments of the metal.

Under the 80:20 scheme, which was withdrawn on November 28 last year, gold imports were linked with its exports.

The notification further said the obligation to export under the scheme will continue to apply in respect of unutilised gold imported before November 28, 2014.

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