Posted at 12:47 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

U.S. Conducts First Airstrikes in Syria on Islamic State
By Tony Capaccio  Sep 22, 2014 10:36 PM ET 

Sept. 23 (Bloomberg) — Ian Bremmer, president at Eurasia Group, discusses how the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State is coming together, what it means for U.S. policy in the Mideast and why it complicates a nuclear deal with Iran. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

The U.S. conducted its first airstrikes in Syria, a barrage of attacks joined by partner nations in a major expansion of President Barack Obama’s effort to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State.

“U.S. military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said tonight in an e-mailed statement.

The U.S. is seeking to reverse the advances of Islamic State, a Sunni extremist group that has seized a swath of territory across Iraq and Syria. The U.S. has conducted more than 190 airstrikes against Islamic State targets, all of them in Iraq until now. ISIL is an acronym for the group’s former name.

While Kirby said he couldn’t provide any details because “these operations are ongoing,” the partner nations joining in the attacks were Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the Washington Post said, citing two U.S. defense officials it didn’t identify.

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Putin, Ban Ki-moon Commend Minsk Agreements on Truce in Southeastern Ukraine: Kremlin
Updated 01:13 a.m. Moscow time.

MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon discussed in a phone conversation situation in Ukraine and commended the Minsk agreements on truce in southeastern Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

"The crisis situation in Ukraine has been discussed. Both sides gave a positive evaluation to the agreements upon a general ceasefire in southeast of the country, reached on a meeting of a contact group in Minsk," the Kremlin press service said in a statement.

In mid-April, Kiev authorities launched a special military operation to suppress independence supporters in the southeast of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government forces and southeastern Ukraine’s independence supporters agreed on a ceasefire and an "all-for-all" prisoner exchange on September 5 at a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine held in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

More…

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within Four Months, C.D.C. Estimates
By DENISE GRADYSEPT. 23, 2014

Yet another set of ominous projections about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was released Tuesday, in a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that gave worst- and best-case estimates for Liberia and Sierra Leone based on computer modeling.

In the worst-case scenario, the two countries could have a total of 21,000 cases of Ebola by Sept. 30 and 1.4 million cases by Jan. 20 if the disease keeps spreading without effective methods to contain it. These figures take into account the fact that many cases go undetected, and estimate that there are actually 2.5 times as many as reported.

In the best-case model, the epidemic in both countries would be “almost ended” by Jan. 20, the report said. Success would require conducting safe funerals at which no one touches the bodies, and treating 70 percent of patients in settings that reduce the risk of transmission. The report said the proportion of patients now in such settings was about 18 percent in Liberia and 40 percent in Sierra Leone.

The caseload projections are based on data from August, but Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the C.D.C. director, said the situation appeared to have improved since then because more aid had begun to reach the region.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

It is a dream if you are referring to a nightmare.

Derivatives industry calls global reporting plan a dream
BY HUW JONES
LONDON Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:20am EDT

(Reuters) – Plans for a global snapshot of risks in the financial derivatives market are a "dream" that must not detract regulators from tackling discrepancies in trade reporting, a top industry official said on Tuesday.

Following market mayhem after the collapse of Lehman Brothers bank in 2008, the Group of 20 economies (G20) agreed that data should be collected on who holds derivatives contracts like interest rate or credit default swaps.

The aim is to have a snapshot of who is exposed to any failing lender and where risks are building up in the market.

But so far 25 trade repositories in 11 countries have been set up to collect data, making it impossible for regulators to obtain the timely, clear picture they are looking for.

Last week, the G20′s regulatory task force, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), published proposals for a mechanism to collate and share data from repositories.

Scott O’Malia, appointed chief executive of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) in July, said such a global plan was for the future.

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China Moves To Dominate Gold Market With Physical Exchange
Published in Market Update  Precious Metals  on 22 September 2014
By Mark O’Byrne

Shanghai Gold Exchange International Board
China is slowly moving to dominate the global gold market and it is important to join the dots regarding a few key recent developments in China relating to gold.

When the International Board of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) was launched last Thursday September 18 during an evening trading session, it was notable that the first transactions were put through by a diverse group comprising HSBC, MKS (Switzerland), and the Chinese banks,  ICBC, Bank of China and Bank of Communications.

MKS is the Geneva headquartered precious metals trading group that also owns the large PAMP refinery company in Switzerland.

There are reportedly 40 international participants signed up to trade on the SGE International Board (SGEI), but the SGE hasn’t specifically confirmed the identities of all participants.

Like the domestic SGE which counts precious metals refineries as members, the SGEI will have a diverse group of trading participants including a number of international refineries as well as bullion banks and trading houses.

Precious metals refineries Metalor Technologies and Heraeus have confirmed that they will be participants and along with MKS, this represents three of the largest gold refineries in the world.

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Homelessness increases among US school children: Federal data

The number of homeless children is rising in the United States and a record number of American students enrolled in public schools were homeless last year, according to data by the US government.

Approximately1.3 million homeless children were enrolled in US schools in the 2012-2013 school year, an increase of 8 percent from the previous school year, statistics released by the US Education Department on Monday showed.

A main factor that has increased homelessness is a lack of affordable housing, forcing many families to live in the streets, shelters, motels or to double up with other families, said Jeremy Rosen, director of advocacy at the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

"This problem continues to get worse because in terms of government programs and support for homelessness, budgets have been cut in recent years, and there’s less affordable housing available," said Rosen.

“The new data means that a record number of kids in our schools and communities are spending restless nights in bed-bug infested motels and falling more behind in school by the day because they’re too tired and hungry to concentrate,” said Bruce Lesley, President of the First Focus Campaign for Children.

More…

Posted at 12:23 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

China Moves To Dominate Gold Market With Physical Exchange
Posted Monday, 22 September 2014

Shanghai Gold Exchange International Board
China is slowly moving to dominate the global gold market and it is important to join the dots regarding a few key recent developments in China relating to gold.

When the International Board of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) was launched last Thursday September 18 during an evening trading session, it was notable that the first transactions were put through by a diverse group comprising HSBC, MKS (Switzerland), and the Chinese banks,  ICBC, Bank of China and Bank of Communications.

MKS is the Geneva headquartered precious metals trading group that also owns the large PAMP refinery company in Switzerland.

There are reportedly 40 international participants signed up to trade on the SGE International Board (SGEI), but the SGE hasn’t specifically confirmed the identities of all participants.

Like the domestic SGE which counts precious metals refineries as members, the SGEI will have a diverse group of trading participants including a number of international refineries as well as bullion banks and trading houses.

More…

Rigged Gold Price Distorts Perception of Economic Reality
Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler

The Federal Reserve and its bullion bank agents (JP Morgan, Scotia, and HSBC) have been using naked short-selling to drive down the price of gold since September 2011. The latest containment effort began in mid-July of this year, after gold had moved higher in price from the beginning of June and was threatening to take out key technical levels, which would have triggered a flood of buying from hedge funds.

The Fed and its agents rig the gold price in the New York Comex futures (paper gold) market. The bullion banks have the ability to print an unlimited supply of gold contracts which are sold in large volumes at times when Comex activity is light.

Generally, on the other side of the trade the buyers of contracts are large hedge funds and other speculators, who use the contracts to speculate on the direction of the gold price. The hedge funds and speculators have no interest in acquiring physical gold and settle their bets in cash, which makes it possible for the bullion banks to sell claims to gold that they cannot back with physical metal. Contracts sold without underlying gold to back them are called “uncovered contracts” or “naked shorts.” It is illegal to engage in naked shorting in the stock and bond markets, but it is permitted in the gold futures market.

The fact that the price of gold is determined in a futures market in which paper claims to gold are traded merely to speculate on price means that the Fed and its bank agents can suppress the price of gold even though demand for physical gold is rising. If there were strict requirements that gold shorts could not be naked and had to be backed by the seller’s possession of physical gold represented by the futures contract, the Federal Reserve and its agents would be unable to control the price of gold, and the gold price would be much higher than it is now.

Gold price manipulation is used when demand for delivery of gold bullion begins to put upward pressure on the price of gold and hedge funds speculate on the rising price of gold by purchasing large quantities of Comex futures contracts (paper gold). This speculation accelerates the upward move in the price of gold. The TF Metals Report provides a good description of this illegal manipulation of the gold market:

“Over a period of 10 weeks to begin the year, the Comex bullion banks were able to limit the rally to only 15% by supplying the “market” with 95,000 brand new naked short contracts. That’s 9.5MM ounces of make-believe paper gold or about 295 metric tonnes.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Blowback can be tough.

Russia FinMin Calls For Shift Away From US Treasurys Into BRIC Bonds, Settlement In Non-Dollar Currencies
Tyler Durden on 09/20/2014 21:43 -0400

It is no secret that Russia has had enough of the Petrodollar, and in light of ongoing western sanctions – which many view not so much as a reaction to events in Ukraine bur merely as an attempt to halt the Russian revolution against the Petrodollar status quo, crushing its economy before the momentum grows and more countries join Moscow – is constantly thinking of ways it can ditch the dollar as a medium of exchange as fast as possible. The problem is that when it comes to retaliating against the West, Russia – short of declaring an embargo on USD payments for its commodities – has little control over what currency its western trading partners will pay in. So instead it is focusing on its net exporting peers, aka the BRICS, with whom as previously reported, Russia had launched a "bank" alternative to the IMF when it comes to backstop and bailout funding, one that avoids reliance on the SDR, the USD, and on Western empathy.

It is the same BRICs that, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, told Rossiya TV in an interview earlier today, should conduct transactions in national currencies, bypassing cross-rates with the US Dollar, adding that "we can easily make mutual settlements directly," and the mechanism should be beneficial to both sides of transactions.

And if it wasn’t clear by now, Russia pivot away from the west and toward China is pretty much complete.Medvedev also said that "our collaboration with China is of strategic importance. We have great, brilliant political contacts, we have excellent economic relations. [China] is our strategic partner, and we are interested in expanding the volume of cooperation. We are not afraid of collaborating because we are confident that this is equal, friendly and mutually beneficial collaboration in all areas."

Meanwhile, regarding escalating Western tensions, the PM said that sanctions have created a bad situation for Russian banks on financial markets, all sources of liquidity are frozen. "We regard this as a senseless and ugly decision toward Russia, but we’ll manage without it." So does that mean that China will step in to provide the required FX reserves as Russia minimizes its USD exposure? Perhaps, but not entirely: Medvedev did add that "Asia, other markets “unlikely fully” to compensate for frozen European financing."

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Posted at 10:20 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Why are we worried when our Mexican border is completely open to everyone? Come on government officials, pick up your knuckles when you walk

US F-22 Jets Intercept 6 Russian Warplanes 55 Miles Off The Alaskan Coast
Tyler Durden on 09/20/2014 10:31 -0400

Yesterday it was the UK which scrambled a squadron of Typhoon jets when two Russian Tu-95 "Bear" Bombers had gotten too close to its shores, even if still located in international space. Then overnight, none other than the US did the same when two F-22 fighter jets intercepted six Russian military airplanes just over 50 miles away from the western coast of Alaska, military officials said Friday, among which identified as two IL-78 refueling tankers, two Mig-31 fighter jets and the same two "Bear" long-range bombers, which are known to carry tactical ICBMs with nuclear warheads among their arsenal.

According to the AP, they looped south and returned to their base in Russia after the U.S. jets were scrambled.

Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said the U.S. jets intercepted the planes about 55 nautical miles from the Alaskan coast at about 7 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday.

Additionally, at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets intercepted two of the long-range bombers about 40 nautical miles off the Canadian coastline in the Beaufort Sea.

In both cases, the Russian planes entered the Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends about 200 miles from the coastline. They did not enter sovereign airspace of the United States or Canada.

Jazdyk said the fighter jets were scrambled “basically to let those aircraft know that we see them, and in case of a threat, to let them know we are there to protect our sovereign airspace.”

More…

Emergency lockdown in Sierra Leone: 6mn confined to homes in bid to contain Ebola
Published time: September 20, 2014 11:55
Edited time: September 20, 2014 14:24

All Sierra Leone’s six-million population have been confined to their homes. The three-day shutdown is a desperate bid to fight the outbreak, as US health officials warn the disease could spread to over half a million people.

"Today the life of every one is at stake, but we will get over this difficulty if all do what we have been asked to do," President Ernest Bai Koroma said in a national address on Thursday, a day before the shutdown was due to come into force.

People were in a hurry ahead of the edict to buy food. Shopkeepers were distraught at the prospect of losing three days’ worth of income, given that much of the country’s population, including the capital Freetown, live on as little as $2 a day or less. Each day is a struggle.

"If we do not sell here we cannot eat," one vegetable vendor told the AP. "We do not know how we will survive during the three-day shutdown."

The shutdown has left only essential security and medical personnel, as well as volunteers, patrolling the streets, making door-to-door visits to search for disease-stricken civilians who may be hiding.

Thousands have been reported to be evading the lockdown, bypassing the border health controls, reported Euronews. Health officials told the channel that people were breaking through the bush in waves, fearing they could be taken away if discovered to be carrying the virus.

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War over? Both sides in Ukraine conflict sign treaty banning military action
Published time: September 19, 2014 23:59
Edited time: September 20, 2014 10:35

Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk. It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.

The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.

“The first [point] is to stop the use of weapons by both sides; the second is to stop all military and militia units in their positions as of September 19. The third is to ban the use of all types of weapons and offensive action,” former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who represents Ukraine at the talks, told journalists.

The agreement outlines a buffer zone of 30km free from heavy weapons and bans all military aircraft from flying over the rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukrainian territory. An exception is being made for the surveillance drones used by the OSCE to monitor the situation, Kuchma said.

Kiev said it would start the pull-back of heavy weapons under the agreement starting on Saturday.

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Is World Gold Council’s CEO angling for a tin-foil hat?
Submitted by cpowell on 06:40AM ET Saturday, September 20, 2014.
Section: Daily Dispatches
9:41a ET Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

MineWeb’s Lawrence Williams reports today an interesting comment by the World Gold Council’s chief executive, Aram Shishmanian, about the opening of the international subsidiary of the Shanghai Gold Exchange

"The growth of the Shanghai Gold Exchange to become the world’s largest physical gold exchange provides compelling evidence that the future for gold is physical," Shishmanian said. "As the market shifts from west to east, the expansion of strong gold trading hubs in Asia will improve price discovery, liquidity, transparency, and efficiency, all of which will transform the landscape of the global gold market."

So, then, does the World Gold Council believe after all that the present gold market is not really physical and transparent at all but rather shadowy and highly manipulated by derivatives and that, as a result, price discovery needs to be improved?

That kind of talk could sound like an application for a tin-foil hat. Williams should ask Shishmanian whether he wants one. We here at GATA’s tin-foil hat factory would be delighted to oblige.

Williams’ commentary is headlined "The Future for Gold Is Physical" and it’s posted at MineWeb here:

http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/content/en/mineweb-gold-news?oid=253679&s…

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

Ukraine: rebels and government troops to retreat following peace deal
Agreement calls for creation of a 30km (19 mile) buffer zone between opposing sides with each moving its troops back by 15km
By Tom Parfitt, Moscow
12:00PM BST 20 Sep 2014

Pro-Russian rebels and government forces in Ukraine are expected to retreat from frontline positions on Saturday after a new peace plan was signed following overnight talks.

The nine-point agreement envisages the creation of a 30km (19 mile) buffer zone between the opposing sides, with each moving its troops back by 15km.

Representatives of Russia, Ukraine, the separatists and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reached the deal.

A ceasefire between the two warring sides signed on September 5 in Minsk, Belarus, has held despite frequent and serious violations, including shelling that caused numerous civilian deaths.

The new agreement, also reached in Minsk, demands that artillery units should pull back out of range and places a ban on flights by combat aircraft over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. It also prohibits the laying of new minefields. OSCE teams will monitor the demilitarised zone, which must be set up within 24 hours of the agreement being signed.

While the plan provides an avenue to calm the hostilities, it does not address the status of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions where pro-Russian separatists have set up two "people’s republics" free from Kiev’s rule.

More…

Algos Gone Wild: BABA "Glitch" Halted 7 Seconds, "100s Of Flash Crashes" Into Close
Tyler Durden on 09/19/2014 16:43 -0400

As business media pats itself on the back for the BABA IPO, proclaiming how it’s the most important, and biggest IPO of all-time and on "the most efficient and transparent" exchange, perhaps it was just oversight that they forgot to mention BABA’s 7-second halt "glitch" this afternoon as BABA trading exceeded 25% of all volume at some points. But that was minor compared to the utter clusterfuck that occurred as AAPL shares started to tumble and, as Nanex points out, 100s of individual stocks instantly flash-crashed and dashed by over 1% at 1550ET as the Russell rebalanced. These are your unrigged, transparent, efficient markets…

Via Nanex, BABA Algo trading was massive…

During the first 20 minutes, $BABA often exceeded 25% of all trading volume in NMS stocks pic.twitter.com/gnKVhI9psZ

— Eric Scott Hunsader (@nanexllc) September 19, 2014

BABA’s Glitch…

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The BABA 7-second glitch is what happens all the time at much smaller intervals (< 1ms): the source of #HFT profits

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G20 nations want Vladimir Putin at summit despite Ukraine tensions
Russian president set to attend the G20 leaders’ summit in Australia despite anger about MH17 and conflict in Ukraine
Friday 19 September 2014 23.40 EDT

Vladimir Putin is set to attend the G20 leaders’ summit in November despite alarm over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Australia, which is hosting the gathering, said on Saturday it was the “emphatic” wish of member nations that the Russian president attend.

There had been question marks over whether Moscow should be invited to the high-powered forum in Brisbane with the brutal five-month conflict that has killed around 3,000 people unresolved.

Opposition to Putin’s attendance intensified after a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July, killing all 298 onboard including 38 Australian citizens or residents.

Kiev and the West have accused separatists of downing it with a surface-to-air missile supplied by Russia – a charge Moscow denies.

As the G20’s rotating president, Australia has been canvassing the views of other member nations about what to do. Despite Western concern about Moscow’s territorial ambitions, the Australian treasurer, Joe Hockey, said the consensus was that Russia should attend the leaders’ summit to help address the geo-political tensions.

“If one party is to be excluded for various reasons then it requires the agreement of all parties to the G20,” he said at a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in the northern Australian city of Cairns.

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Posted at 12:45 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

My Dear Extended Family,

Today is a day that should be memorized. Alibaba is the star with a huge market debut making this company worth more than some of the banks that brought it to market.

Long term equity cycles have turned down as the equity market races to new highs almost daily. The US dollar is trading into decades old overhead resistance with long term dollar cycles due to turn down in the fourth quarter of this year.

Gold, whose long term cycles have turned up, is plumbing previous lows and trading into major support. This is a classic example of "Popular Delusions, and the Madness of the Crowd."

This is a period of time when major market changes have a high probability of happening. This is a time to control yourself, returning to fundamentals and gaining what guidance can be given by history. This is a time not to listen to your emotions. This is a time when geopolitical developments have the ability to impact markets significantly, certainly in the dollar/euro cross rate.

Cycles are probabilities, but not absolutes. Only when price direction confirms the direction of cycles can long term trends be considered to have turned.

That point in time is the next major event more important than Alibaba. There is another $10 billion dollars in new deals coming next week. That is a bubble if there ever was one.

I am fully committed to gold, and remain so.

Sincerely,
Jim

Posted at 11:52 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

Wonder where the global banks are getting their physical to trade?  With Gold at 1221 price discovery on SGE is not having an impact.

CIGA Craig

Shanghai gold trading platform given surprise launch date
By Mark O’Byrne
September 16, 2014

Tuesday the Chinese government backed Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) brought forward the launch date of its international gold trading platform which is hosted in the city’s free trade zone (FTZ). The gold trading platform will be known as the ‘international board.’

In a surprise announcement, the SGE said today that the international board will go-live this Thursday September 18, eleven days ahead of its original launch date of Monday Sept. 29.

Forty members of the Exchange including global banks UBS, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Standard Chartered, will participate in gold trading on the SGE’s international board, trading 11 yuan denominated physical gold contracts including the large 12.5 kg (400 oz) bar, the ever popular 1 kg bar and a 100 gram contract.

More…

Posted at 3:56 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

A lot of hoopla surrounding Janet Yellin’s “Extended Period of Time”.  Whether she would keep the phrase in her statements or remove it. It’s all meaningless.

She did keep the phrase in her remarks, much to the delight of the stock market, yet people are not paying attention to her definition:

“Extended period of Time” (for keeping rates low) is NOT based on a calendar, but on incoming economic data.

That means the Fed could raise rates next week if it wanted to.

That makes the phrase… MEANINGLESS.

CIGA Wolfgang

Posted at 3:54 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

John Williams shares the following with us.

- With Some Double-Counting, Sharp Declines in Headline Inflation Boosted Monthly Real Retail Sales and Earnings 
- An Issue with Consistent Measurement of Gasoline Prices? 
- August Annual Inflation: 1.7% (CPI-U), 1.6% (CPI-W), 9.4% (ShadowStats) 
- Outlook Weakened for 2015 Social Security COLA

"No. 659: August CPI, Real Retail Sales and Earnings" 
Web-page: http://www.shadowstats.com

Just Three Days?
Author : Bill Holter
Published: September 18th, 2014

So many topics to choose from today, Russia is pushing back on sanctions and has already begun to cut gas supplies to Europe.  The Scottish independence vote which if "yes" means the end to a 1,000 year empire and brings into question the Anglo American banking and financial systems themselves.  The ISIS situation and whether (in reality "how") we go back there with boots on the ground or not.  We also have the FOMC meeting and statement coming today where we will find out whether QE will be publicly discontinued or not …I say "publicly" because the reality is such that QE will remain forever whether admittedly or in the shadows and hidden from view.  We also have news of India tripling their gold demand as new physical gold exchanges open in China tomorrow.  The "live" date has been pushed forward by a week or more, I can only wonder what this means because the Chinese NEVER do anything by chance or without reason.

  I could have chosen any of these topics but I had a conversation with a very long time friend and client this morning and he brought up the question that seems to be burning in everyone’s mind, "when?".  When does everything come apart at the seams?  Please don’t get this wrong, he was not asking me "when?" I thought, rather, he was commenting on how many people are expecting some sort of "slow burn".  He said "so many people think this will be 3 years, 5 years or even 12 years" to unravel.

  Here is the point, the "fuse", or I should say "fuses" are lit from so many different directions I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count them all.  Only one fuse (cause) needs to reach the powder keg but the way it looks to me is we will more than likely see many reach the powder at the same time.  When I say same time I believe all within the same week as many are interconnected and many will be advanced by the ignition of others.

  When my buddy said "3 years" I immediately said to him "you mean 3 days right?".  He said to me "that’s exactly what I’m talking about, once this thing goes how can it last more than 3 days?".  Let me explain this, once we "ignite" I don’t see how the markets can function for any more than 3 days (two weeks at the absolute maximum) before being closed.  Today, everything relies on everything else for "value" or "foundation".  It’s like a building block tower where pulling even one block will take the whole thing down…and this happens quickly, NOT in some slow motion, slow burn or controlled collapse.  This would be nice but unfortunately not the case.

More…

China opens gold market to foreigners, seeks more pricing power
2014-09-18 17:14

SHANGHAI, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) — Foreigners now have access to China’s gold market after the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) launched its international board on Thursday.

The yuan-denominated board was opened in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), a move to encourage foreign participation in China’s tightly controlled gold market.

The launch will mark the first time China has allowed foreign investors to participate in the country’s gold trade.

Despite being the world’s largest producer and consumer of the precious metal, China has little say over the pricing of gold in the global market. Authorities hope to gain greater influence over pricing by granting global investors access to the country’s 3.2 trillion yuan (522.8 billion U.S. dollars) gold trading market.

The new international board hopes to challenge current gold market leaders London and New York. So far, it has attracted dozens of foreign members, including renowned international commercial and investment banks but it did not release their names.

Gold contracts listed on the SGEI will include a 99.5 percent 12.5 kg contract widely traded among central banks and bullion investors on the global market, a 99.99 percent 1 kg contract traded in China’s domestic gold market and 100 gram contract of the same purity. Daily price volatility will be capped at 30 percent on either side of the closing price from the previous day.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This assures a Bric based SWIFT system totally competitive with Brussels.

European Parliament Calls For Excluding Russia From SWIFT System
Updated 03:50 p.m. Moscow time

MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – In a resolution adopted Thursday, the European Parliament called on the EU member states to consider excluding Russia from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) financial transaction system.

The European Parliament “calls for the EU to consider excluding Russia from… the Swift system,” the resolution reads.

The European Parliament does not develop projects and is not responsible for making decisions concerning sanctions. All the bills on restrictive measures are elaborated by the European Commission, the final decision rests with the individual EU countries.

The calls by the European Parliament come just a week after the United States and the European Union implemented new sanctions against Russia targeting the country’s banking, energy and defense sectors. Moscow has repeatedly stated that Russia is not a party to Ukraine’s internal conflict, and said that Western sanctions run counter to the principles of international law.

This spring, Russian authorities started searching for ways to decrease Russian financial markets" dependence on SWIFT, when a number of banks were hit by Western sanctions.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Now this is really nuts.

US schools received M16 rifles and grenade launchers under Pentagon programme
At least 26 school districts participated in surplus gear, which has come under increased scrutiny following Ferguson riots
10:34AM BST 18 Sep 2014

School police departments across the country have taken advantage of free military surplus gear, stocking up on mine resistant armored vehicles, grenade launchers and scores of M16 rifles.

At least 26 school districts have participated in the Pentagon’s surplus programme, which is not new but has come under increased scrutiny after police responded to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, last month with tear gas, armored military trucks and riot gear.

Now several school districts say they’ll give some of the equipment back, while others plan to keep the rifles they received. Nearly two dozen education and civil liberties groups sent a letter earlier this week to the Pentagon and the Justice and Education departments urging a stop to transfers of military weapons to school police.

The Los Angeles Unified School District – the nation’s second largest school district covering 710 square miles and with more than 900,000 students – said it would remove three grenade launchers it had acquired because they "are not essential life-saving items within the scope, duties and mission" of the district’s police force.

But the district plans to keep the 60 M16s and a military vehicle – known as an MRAP – used in Iraq and Afghanistan that was built to withstand mine blasts.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The interesting part of the headline is "Among Price Ambition."

China Opens Gold Market to Foreigners Amid Price Ambition
By Bloomberg News  Sep 18, 2014 10:05 AM ET 

China will give foreign investors direct access to its gold market for the first time today as the biggest-consuming nation seeks to exert more influence over prices while boosting the yuan’s global use.

The Shanghai Gold Exchange will start trading contracts in the city’s free-trade zone that will be linked to its domestic spot market and available to about 40 international members including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS AG. Access was previously limited to some Chinese units. Gold in China this year cost as much as $31 an ounce more and $42 less than the London spot price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

China, which overtook India as the biggest bullion buyer in 2013, wants to establish a benchmark price in Asia by opening up trading to a larger pool of investors. It’s also pushing to reduce controls over the movement of capital across its borders after policy makers pledged last year to carry out the widest expansion of economic freedoms since the 1990s.

“It’s indicative of the ambition to move the gold market more to where the consumption is,” Victor Thianpiriya, commodity strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said by phone from Singapore. “It makes sense that price discovery occurs in the center of consumption.”

Premier Li Keqiang toured the free-trade zone today, days before its one-year anniversary. The FTZ started as a testing ground for liberalizing interest rates and boosting the yuan’s role in global transactions.

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Australian PM says police raids follow IS linked beheading plot
BY MATT SIEGEL
SYDNEY Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:25am EDT

(Reuters) – Militants connected with radical group Islamic State were planning to behead a member of the public in Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Thursday, after hundreds of police raided homes in a sweeping counter-terrorism operation.

Abbott said there was a "serious risk from a terrorist attack" days after Australia raised its national terror threat level to "high" for the first time, citing the likelihood of attacks by Australians radicalized in Iraq or Syria.

Australia is concerned over the number of its citizens believed to be fighting overseas with militant groups, including a suicide bomber who killed three people in Baghdad in July and two men shown in images on social media holding the severed heads of Syrian soldiers.

More than 800 police were involved in the pre-dawn security operation in Sydney and Brisbane, which was described as the largest in Australian history and resulted in the detention of 15 people, police said.

Abbott told a news conference that members of the radical group had planned to conduct a public beheading.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

It is far from all roses out there.

Housing Starts in U.S. Dropped More Than Forecast in August
By Jeanna Smialek  Sep 18, 2014 8:47 AM ET 

Housing starts slumped in August after reaching the highest level in almost seven years, pointing to an uneven pickup in the U.S. residential real-estate market that will limit its contribution to economic growth.

Beginning home construction fell 14.4 percent, the most since April 2013, to a 956,000 annualized rate following July’s revised 1.12 million pace that was the strongest since November 2007, the Commerce Department said today inWashington. Last month’s reading was lower than the most pessimistic forecast of any economist surveyed by Bloomberg. Building permits also fell.

Slow wage growth and tight lending standards continue to challenge the homebuilding industry by placing homeownership out of reach for some Americans. Even so, job market progress and low interest rates could pump life into residential real-estate as the economic expansion gains momentum.

“This data seems a little bit weaker, but overall, the trend is still modestly higher,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, U.S. strategist at TD Securities USA LLC in New York, who had the lowest estimate for starts among economists surveyed. “The data remains choppy, but overall the trend remains higher.”

Fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the labor market continues to strengthen, another report showed today.

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Why is Obama sending military to attack the Ebola virus?
Updated by Julia Belluz on September 17, 2014, 3:50 p.m.

Tuesday’s announcement by President Barack Obama — that the US would be sending in an army of 3,000 to fight Ebola — came as a relief to the many wondering when the international community would wake up to the daily horror show playing out in West Africa.But the tactics also raised some questions: why was Obama sending soldiers to fight off a virus? And why has he been characterizing this disease spread as a "security threat" and "security priority"?

Why Obama is describing Ebola as a "security threat"

Obama has repeatedly referred to the threat of Ebola in security terms, arguing the virus could cripple the already fragile economies in the African region. He’s made the case that this will have consequences for not only the security of countries there, but also for nations around the world — even if the virus doesn’t spread beyond Africa.

For examples of this war-like mentality, look no further than the president’s address, delivered Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control headquarters in Atlanta:

"If the outbreak is not stopped now, we could be looking at hundreds of thousands of people infected, with profound political and economic and security implications for all of us. So this is an epidemic that is not just a threat to regional security — it’s a potential threat to global security if these countries break down, if their economies break down, if people panic. That has profound effects on all of us, even if we are not directly contracting the disease."

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US destroys ISIS training camp in first such strike
18:51

US aircraft have targeted a training camp for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) jihadists in northern Iraq, military officers said on Thursday. It was the first such air strike. American forces destroyed “an ISIL armed vehicle, two ISIL-occupied buildings and a large ISIL ground unit,” AFP cited a US military officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. A second air raid targeted an IS ammunition depot southeast of Baghdad, Central Command said. US warplanes have conducted a total 176 air strikes against the Islamic State, mostly in northern Iraq, since August 8.

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Putin ‘privately threatened to invade Poland, Romania and the Baltic states’
German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung reports that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told
European Commission that Putin made the threat in a recent conversation
By Justin Huggler, Berlin
6:48PM BST 18 Sep 2014

President Vladimir Putin privately threatened to invade Poland, Romania and the Baltic states, according to a record of a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart.

"If I wanted, in two days I could have Russian troops not only in Kiev, but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest," Mr Putin allegedly told President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, reported Süddeustche Zeitung, a German newspaper.

If true, this would be the first time that Mr Putin has threatened to invade Nato or EU members. Any threat to send Russian troops into the capitals of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Romania would cause grave alarm among Western leaders.

If Mr Putin were to act on this, Britain could find itself at war with Russia. All five countries mentioned in this alleged conversation are members of both the EU and Nato. They are covered by the security guarantee in Article V of Nato’s founding treaty, which states that "an attack on one is an attack on all". In a speech in Tallinn earlier this month, President Barack Obama confirmed Nato’s commitment to this doctrine.

Mr Putin’s alleged threat bears similarities to remarks he made to Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, in which he warned: "If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks".

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Posted at 12:45 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

One more challenge.

H.R. 24 ‘Audit the Fed’ Bill Passes in House
Published by The West Wire at September 17, 2014

From Congressman Paul Broun–U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (GA-10) today released the following statement after H.R. 24, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (Audit the Fed), passed in the U.S. House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support. H.R. 24 has over 220 cosponsors and passed overwhelmingly by a 333-92 margin.

Said Rep. Paul Broun:

“Today’s passage of the Audit the Fed bill brings us one step closer towards bringing much-needed transparency to our nation’s monetary policy. For the past 100 years, the Federal Reserve, a quasi-government agency, has acted under a veil of secrecy – controlling our monetary policy and thus, our economy. While in recent years, the Fed has been granted a greater role in overseeing the regulation of our financial system, current law specifically prohibits audits of the Federal Reserve’s deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy. This lack of accountability and transparency has led to grievous consequences – and it must end.

“I applaud my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats alike, for their support of this vital bill, and I commend my good friend and former colleague Dr. Ron Paul for his leadership on this important issue. I strongly encourage Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to recall his past support for this legislation – which he stated as recently as 2010 – and to bring this bill before the Senate for a vote, so we may deliver the transparency and government accountability the American people need and deserve.”

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Barack Obama silences generals on US ground troops in Iraq
White House publicly overrules military and promises US will not fight "another ground war in Iraq"
By Raf Sanchez, Washington
7:13PM BST 17 Sep 2014

President Barack Obama today decisively silenced speculation by America’s generals that US ground troops could return to Iraq in a rare example of the White House publicly overruling the military.

A day after US generals suggested that American troops may be needed to liberate jihadist-occupied cities in Iraq, Mr Obama promised soldiers: "I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq."

His emphatic statement at a Florida military base highlights the tensions between a president determined to avoid American casualties and commanders sceptical that Isil can be defeated with air power alone.

Mr Obama was forced to repeat his pledge of "no boots on the ground" after General Martin Dempsey told a Senate hearing there may be situations where Iraqi forces need American advisers during combat.

The suggestion angered and alarmed Mr Obama’s liberal supporters and prompted the White House to hastily rule out the possibility of Americans on the front line.

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China advances launch of international gold exchange
Author: A. Ananthalakshmi (Reuters)
Posted: Tuesday , 16 Sep 2014

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – China will launch its international gold exchange 11 days ahead of schedule, sources said on Tuesday, racing ahead in the scramble to set up an Asian bullion benchmark as rival Singapore is forced to delay its gold contract due to technical issues.

Asia, home to the world’s top two gold buyers – China and India, has been clamouring to gain pricing power over the metal and challenge the dominance of London and New York in trading.

The state-run Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) will launch the global gold bourse in the Shanghai free-trade zone on Thursday, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The SGE had initially planned the launch for Sept. 29.

The change was made based on the availability of some government officials to participate in the launch event, one of the sources said, adding that all 11 physical gold contracts will begin trading on Thursday.

The ability to bring forward the launch, which will mark the first time foreign players will be allowed to participate directly in China’s physical gold market – the biggest in the world, shows the country’s preparedness with the exchange that it is hoping will become the centre of Asian gold trading.

The response has been strong, with the bourse exceeding expectations in signing up trading members, Reuters reported earlier.

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Isis video threatens to target White House and US troops
Video purports to be trailer for film entitled Flames of War with strapline ‘fighting has just begun’
Matthew Weaver
theguardian.com, Wednesday 17 September 2014 07.54 EDT

Islamic State militants have threatened to target the White House and kill US troops in a new slickly made video response to Barack Obama’s campaign to "degrade and destroy" the organisation.

The video, in the style of a blockbuster movie trailer for what is "coming soon", depicts a masked man apparently about to shoot kneeling prisoners in the head. Towards the end of the clip there is shaky footage of the White House filmed from a moving vehicle, suggesting the building is being scoped out for attack.

It was released on Tuesday after US defence chiefs suggested that American troops could join Iraqi forces fighting Isis, despite Obama’s assurance that US soldiers would not be engaged in fighting on the ground.

The only words on the 52-second clip are those of Obama making that pledge. "American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq," it quotes him saying. This comes directly after footage of US troops being shot at, injured and taken away in an armoured vehicle, threatening what will happen if troops are redeployed to Iraq.

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Russia to boost Crimea troop numbers, worries over military build-up at borders
Published time: September 16, 2014 12:39
Edited time: September 16, 2014 18:34

Russia is going to increase its military presence on the Crimean Peninsula as “the situation in Ukraine has escalated sharply,” Russian Defense Minister announced.

The plan released by Sergey Shoigu is due to the increased “presence of foreign military” in “the immediate vicinity” of Russia’s borders.

"The deployment of proper and self-sufficient forces in the direction of Crimea is one of [our] top priorities," he said.

“The military-political situation in the southwestern strategic direction has changed significantly since the beginning of the current year. This is largely due to the expansion of the territory of [Russia’s] Southern Military District after Crimea joined Russia,” Shoigu said.

The Russian Defense Ministry will also consider setting up technical missile bases in “each military district.”

"We will discuss proposals to create missile technical bases in each military district. The creation of more autonomous units of storage and transportation [of missiles] will allow us to fully use missile military units when they are used in different operating directions and at a considerable distance from each other,"Shoigu said.

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U.S. General Open to Ground Forces in Fight Against ISIS in Iraq
By MARK LANDLER and JEREMY W. PETERS
SEPT. 16, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s top military adviser said Tuesday that he would recommend deploying United States forces in ground operations against Islamic extremists in Iraq if airstrikes proved insufficient, opening the door to a riskier, more expansive American combat role than the president has publicly outlined.

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that while he was confident that an American-led coalition would defeat the Islamic State, he would not foreclose the possibility of asking Mr. Obama to send American troops to fight the militants on the ground — something Mr. Obama has ruled out.

“My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward. I believe that will prove true,” General Dempsey said. “But if it fails to be true, and if there are threats to the United States, then I, of course, would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of U.S. military ground forces.”

General Dempsey acknowledged that this would run counter to the president’s policy, but he said, “He has told me as well to come back to him on a case-by-case basis.”

The general’s statement lays bare the challenge the president will face in selling an expanded military campaign to a war-weary American public. Mr. Obama, seeking to allay fears of another Iraq war, has promised that American ground troops will not be involved in fighting the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. In a sign of the administration’s mixed message, the president pointedly did not call it a war, while his advisers later did.

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Islamic State steps up anti-US propaganda with calls to attack Times Square
Online propaganda videos and messages posted by Isil supporters encourage "lone wolf" attacks against numerous US tourist destinations and details how to make homemade pipe bombs
By Oliver Duggan
11:57AM BST 17 Sep 2014

The Islamic State (Isil) has encouraged “lone wolf” attacks by extremists equipped with homemade pipe bombs on Times Square and other high-profile US tourist destinations, according to reports.

A message posted on an Isil forum entitled “To the Lone Wolves in America: How to Make a Bomb in Your Kitchen, to Create Scenes of Horror in Tourist Spots and Other Targets” surfaced in the last 24 hours.

In it, supporters of the extremist organisation are told to plant explosives in busy public locations in New York, Las Vegas and Texas, and at metro stations across the US.

It comes as Isil released a slickly-produced propaganda video in response to President Barack Obama’s pledge to "degrade and destroy" the organisation.

The video includes shaky-footage of the White House that appears to have been filmed from a moving car, and include extracts of President Obama’s statement on the US response to Isil this week.

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China cenbank injects $81 billion into major banks to support economy – reports
By Lu Jianxin and Kazunori Takada
SHANGHAI Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:05pm BST

(Reuters) – China’s central bank is injecting a combined 500 billion yuan (49.98 billion British pound / $81.35 billion) of liquidity into the country’s top banks, according to media reports, a sign that authorities are stepping up efforts to shore up a faltering economy.

Global shares and commodity prices rose on the reported move, although local money market rates climbed on the day, reflecting continued tightness in liquidity. [MKTS/GLOB]

The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed Chinese bank executive, said the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is pumping in 100 billion yuan each into China’s top five banks via standard lending facility in the form of 3-month loans.

When contacted by Reuters, a PBOC spokesman said: “We will make an announcement if we have any news.”

The central bank may be worried that an expected tightening in liquidity ahead of the quarter-end as well as a series of upcoming initial public offerings could trigger a sharp rise in short-term rates, as was seen in June last year, when they surged to around 30 percent and roiled global markets, traders said.

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