Posted at 4:18 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

Dear CIGAs,

I will be on my way to Tanzania next week. Except for the time in the air, I will not be out of contact.

My trip is to Dar es Salaam after which I will be going to Mwanza and into the field.

There is internet access at the camps I plan to stay at. That should keep us in close touch.

Regards,
Jim

Posted at 4:16 PM (CST) by & filed under Greg Hunter.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Greg Hunter has written an article critical in its content for the CIGA senior citizens and those to enter this category in the next 10 years.

Tomorrow Is Here Today
17 MARCH 2010
By Greg Hunter

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In December of 1997, the National Center for Policy Analysis ran this headline on their website “Social Security Problems Accelerating.”  The article stated, “A recent General Accounting Office report warns that the long-term prospects for the Social Security system may be even worse than we think. It is already well-known that by 2014 current tax revenues will be insufficient to pay current benefits . . .” Looks like the GAO was right.  It was “worse than we think,” because this year, according to an Associated Press story, Social Security “ . . .  is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes — nearly $29 billion more.”  The problem everyone thought could be pawned off on another generation is now sucking up an extra $29 billion– this year alone.

The AP article completely down plays the seriousness of this new expenditure.  It reassures readers by pointing out that the SS fund is covered by $2.5 trillion in IOU’s from the federal government.  Is an IOU the same as cash saved in what former Vice President Al Gore called a “lockbox,” during the 2000 presidential campaign?  The article went on to say, “Gore lost the election and never got his lockbox. But to illustrate the government’s commitment to repaying Social Security, the Treasury Department has been issuing special bonds that earn interest for the retirement program. The bonds are unique because they are actually printed on paper, while other government bonds exist only in electronic form.” (Click here for the complete AP article)

I don’t care if these bonds are actually printed on paper.  The only way they would truly be worth something is if the IOU’s were printed on gold bars!  A government IOU is simply a claim on future taxes, borrowing or money printing.  I suspect all three will be applied to pay for the tsunami of retirees that started hitting the system in mass this year.  If additional Social Security spending was the only thing the U.S. government had to worry about, this could be managed.  But the U.S. has to pay for trillions in bailouts, stimulus, wars and additional social obligations, all at one time.  Because of this, there are now serious concerns regarding selling Treasury bills to finance the huge mountain of debt. Recently on CNBC, money manager Peter Schiff said, “If you are thinking about U.S. Treasury debt, think junk bonds, think subprime mortgages.  There is no way we can pay this money back.  There are two things we can do, we can default legitimately or we can do it through inflation.”  Inflation is where we print money to pay our bills, and that will ultimately devalue our currency.  There is no wonder why Schiff and other money managers are investing in things like natural resources, foreign stocks and precious metals.

The additional cost of Social Security taking in less money than it pays out is a real milestone on the road to a lower standard of living for most Americans.  The mainstream media looked at the $29 billion shortfall in SS with a yawn.  It should be screaming in horror because the problem of tomorrow is here today.

Link to original article…

Posted at 1:43 PM (CST) by & filed under Trader Dan Norcini.

Dear CIGAs,

The bulk of the weakness in the US Dollar today can be attributed to a short covering rally in the British Pound. That market is so heavily loaded with speculative short positions that any push higher through notable technical resistance levels will easily spark a bout of buying in this market which has been beaten to a bloody pulp since the beginning of the year. Early in the session it broke above the 20 day moving average which is a key level for many of the trend following funds.

With the Euro oscillating around the unchanged level and the Yen lower, it was strength in the Pound plus the commodity currencies that weighed on the Dollar. For the Dollar to drop sharply lower it will need the participation of the Euro however, as that currency has the largest weighting in the basket of currencies comprising the USDX.

Gold which had pushed higher and broken through the selling barrier erected by the bullion banks near $1,130, was unable to maintain its footing above that level without the Euro’s participation in the short covering Pound rally. As soon as Sterling faded, the Dollar inched back higher and gold moved lower further reinforcing the significance of the selling resistance in place above the market at $1,130. Once Sterling moved higher again, the Euro tagged along for a bit and gold moved back off its lows. For gold to break free of its stranglehold, bulls must dislodge the bullion banks from their perch at $1,130 and do it in convincing manner.

Beneath the market, gold is still seeing buying coming in near $1,100 and is maintaining its six week old uptrend of higher low and higher highs.

For now we remain mired in a trading range with neither side being able to gain a clear cut advantage.

I continue to watch copper for signs of an upside breakout. It has run into selling near the $3.50 level but is bouncing higher this morning after moving lower over the last week. With crude oil above the $80 mark and copper also higher, especially alongside of another surge higher in the US equity markets, it is safe to say that the “recovery” mindset is becoming more entrenched.

Yet, it is still odd that bonds will not move lower confirming this. Evidently that market is being influenced by the Fed’s announcement confirming the need for low interest rates for some time. All we need now is a resumption of the “Goldlilocks” word to describe the economy – not too hot, not too cold, but just right. For now, the equity gang sees the low interest rate environment as a reason to load the boat on equities.

Perhaps they were also reading the reports from Panasonic that their new 3-D TV’s sold out within their first week of release here in the US. If consumers are willing to plop down 3 G’s for a box out of which things come flying at them, then the thinking is that the consumer segment must be willing to spend more on lots of other toys and gadgets and that the economy is on the mend.

It is rather interesting to take a long term view of the S&P 500 chart on the monthly. It shows a double top near 1575 – 1585 with the former made in March 2000 at the height of the equity mania and the latter coming in October 2007. The same chart also shows a double bottom with the low near 767 made back in October 2002 followed by the spike low made early last year in March that pushed above the 750 level for the monthly close.

Basically we have the S&P in a decade long trading range between 750 and 1500. With the price action of the last two days, it has pushed just above the middle of this 750 point range and is on target technically speaking to make a run towards 1235 – 1240, or the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level. That region is also the confluence of the downtrending 40 and 50 month moving averages which will make it a tough nut to crack should prices be able to work to that level. The 10 month moving average is trending firmly higher and just made a bullish upside crossover of the 20 month last month. If bulls can push this index above 1240, then they have a legitimate shot at moving it back towards the top of the decade long range near 1500.

Only if the bears can push the monthly close below 1025 can they hope to regain the initiative.

For now, it certainly appears that the low interest rate environment has succeeded in reflating the stock markets. The moment that changes, the bears will be in the driver’s seat once again especially with these rather rich valuations and rosy projections. It is way too early to be concerned about mortgage resets but later this year those will begin to occur and when they do, equity bulls had better hope that the labor markets have shown a decided improvement for the better.

I said all that to say this – the mining shares are riding some of the wave of buying that is pushing the broader equity markets higher. We could even see the hedge funds moving to ratio trades involving the shares on the long side and bullion on the short side. That remains unclear but in an environment in which equities are moving higher, it would be a logical trade. We will know their strategy by keeping tabs on the HUI/gold ratio.

Today has the HUI knocking on the door of last week’s high near and just above the 430 level. The index will need to move through this level for the majority of shares to kick off some sort of trending move higher and break the choppy range trade of late. The stronger the S&P, the better the chance they have of so doing.

The Dollar looks sloppy here but it has thus far failed to attract sufficient selling interest on its move lower this week to force out the speculative longs in a large way. Volume has simply dried up on the move below 7990 indicating a reluctance on the part of the trade to follow it down, at least for today. We have two more trading sessions left in the week and perhaps that will make the chart a bit more decipherable. A fall through support in the Dollar accompanied by good volume would do wonders to help gold break out of its box. That means all eyes are on the Euro. If the bulls can squeeze the Euro bears as they have done the Sterling bears, the Dollar is going to get whacked. That has been a tall order thus far.

Click chart to enlarge today’s hourly action in Gold in PDF format with commentary from Trader Dan Norcini

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Posted at 1:35 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Another "Look" at the Depressionary Box
CIGA Eric

Hemorrhage – inject, hemorrhage – inject. New Liquidity Bull eventually leads to another around of hemorrhages and injections.

When the wheels were falling off in 2009, nobody but Mr. Buffett seemed willing to buy. In turn, when the consensus believes that the equity trees can grow to the sky, they are usually chopped down shortly afterwards.

NYSE Composite Index:
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Another Housing Problem Looming
CIGA Eric

Think about this in terms of the dollar.

The federal government has got a commitment to bail out housing. I mean housing is just so politically sensitive. It’s the American dream. Any politician has got to be for motherhood, apple pie, and everybody owning their own home. Of course, that’s one of the things that got us into this mess. We were making houses available, four bedroom houses for people that couldn’t afford chicken coops.

The government criticized the private sector for having these off-balance sheets for banks, where they, in effect, didn’t have to have as much capital, because these things technically weren’t on their balance sheets.

Well, the government’s doing the same thing, because they can, in effect, put this stuff in the bad debts and so on, leave them in Fanny and Freddie. And these guys are very good at creative accounting, so they can kick the can way down the road, in the current expression. And so, the federal government doesn’t have to recognize that on its deficit. But it’s got the liability there. There’s no question. It’s just going to be spread out over time.

Housing construction drops 5.9 pct in February

"Economists characterized the February dip as weather-related although they said any housing rebound this year is likely to be modest at best, given a variety of headwinds from record home foreclosures to high unemployment."

Don’t like the number – it’s weather related.

Simply follow the money. Money will position itself in sympathy with technical strength when housing is ready.

Lumber Futures Continuous Contract and the Commercial Traders COT Futures and Options Stochastic Weighted Average of Net Long As A % of Open Interest
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Source: forbes.com
Source: yahoo.com

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Japense Yen Midday
CIGA Eric

Short term down trend has been broken. As the overhead gap is filled, I would like to see a pick-up or spike in volume to confirm. Otherwise, more back and fill on support. Looks constructive.

Japanese Yen ETF (FXY):
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Posted at 7:39 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Thought For This Afternoon:

The US dollar/euro intervention by the Forex Stabilization Fund to prevent the Chairman from looking bad so far is anaemic.

Click chart to enlarge in PDF format

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.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Remember December’s BS? Keep this in mind as you hear more of the same.

The US dollar is no safe haven. Gold will reach $1650 and more.

Fed to Keep Rates Low for ‘Extended Period’
By SEWELL CHAN
Published: March 16, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate near zero on Tuesday, affirming its view that job growth and other economic indicators remained weak as the United States slowly pulls itself out of recession.

The Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed’s chief policy-setting arm, left the fed funds rate at zero to 0.25 percent, where it has been since December 2008. As it has said since March 2009, the committee said the rate would probably remain “exceptionally low” for “an extended period.” Most economists have taken that language to mean that the Fed will not begin tightening monetary policy until later this year at the soonest.

“Household spending is expanding at a moderate rate but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth and tight credit,” the committee said in a statement. “Business spending on equipment and software has risen significantly. However, investment in nonresidential structures is declining, housing starts have been flat at a depressed level, and employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls.”

With interest rates unable to go any lower, the Fed has had to turn to other instruments of monetary policy to help stimulate economic growth. Chief among those tools has been the purchase of enormous sums of assets, which has had the effect of placing downward pressure on long-term interest rates.

The Fed on Tuesday confirmed its intention to end its purchase of $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities by the end of this month. While some economists fear that the termination of the program could lead to an increase in mortgage rates and hamper the recovery of the housing market, the gradual winding down of the purchase program so far has not had a major effect, which the Fed has taken as an encouraging sign.

More…

Thoughts For This Morning:

Do you think the present revelations about Lehman are plausible denial for having flushed it?
Do you really believe that Lehman was the only entity to play outside the rules?
Do you think Lehman was attending to all the details and ethics of finance when securitizing mortgages it bought?
Did your mortgage pass through Lehman’s hands?
Do you want to buy the Brooklyn Bridge?

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Please watch the factual BBC documentary, the Last Days of Lehman Brothers. which is a free download at the link below.

Click here to watch the video…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Note that the US is first in line, not alphabetically.

Moody’s fears social unrest as AAA states implement austerity plans
The world’s five biggest AAA-rated states are all at risk of soaring debt costs and will have to implement austerity plans that threaten "social cohnesion", according to a report on sovereign debt by Moody’s.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Published: 6:48PM GMT 15 Mar 2010

The US rating agency said the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Spain are walking a tightrope as they try to bring public finances under control without nipping recovery in the bud. It warned of "substantial execution risk" in withdrawal of stimulus.

"Growth alone will not resolve an increasingly complicated debt equation. Preserving debt affordability at levels consistent with AAA ratings will invariably require fiscal adjustments of a magnitude that, in some cases, will test social cohesion," said Pierre Cailleteau, the chief author.

"We are not talking about revolution, but the severity of the crisis will force governments to make painful choices that expose weaknesses in society," he said.

If countries tighten too soon, they risk stifling recovery and making maters worse by eroding tax revenues: yet waiting too is "no less risky" as it would test market patience. "At the current elevated debt levels, a rise in the government’s cost of funding can very quickly render debt much less affordable."

Moody’s said Britain has been slower than Spain to "rise to the challenge" and may be at greater risk of smashing through buffers of AAA creditiblity if rates suddenly rise. Spain made errors at the outset of the crisis but has since become a model pupil, pledging to cut the budget deficit from 11.4pc of GDP to 3pc by 2013.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The criminals stay on the payroll, the victims get thrown out.

OTC derivatives are not a victimless crime.

Pink slips sent to thousands of Calif. teachers
By ROBIN HINDERY, Associated Press Writer
Monday, March 15, 2010

California’s budget crisis could cost nearly 22,000 teachers their jobs this year.

State school districts had issued 21,905 pink slips to teachers and other school employees by Monday, the legal deadline for districts to send preliminary layoff notices.

Not all the threatened layoffs will be carried out. The final tally depends on the state budget to be adopted for the coming fiscal year.

Last year, 60 percent of the 26,000 teachers who received pink slips ended up losing their jobs.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell expected this year’s actual job losses to be high, given the state’s persistent budget problems and the smaller pool of education stimulus money available from the federal government.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

A Jobless Recovery? This is the jobless side of the statistical recovery.

State tax collections drop; Gov. Bobby Jindal plans for more budget cuts
By Jan Moller, The Times-Picayune
March 15, 2010, 7:56PM

An unexpected drop in state tax collections has created a mid-year budget deficit that could be as high as $400 million, adding dark new clouds to the state’s bleak financial forecast as lawmakers prepare for the start of their annual session in two weeks.

The news, delivered to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration late last week by state economists, comes less than three months after the governor cut $248 million from the 2009-10 budget to adjust for shrinking state tax collections.

Those cuts have led to hundreds of layoffs in state government and fell particularly hard on health care and higher education programs.

Timmy Teepell, Jindal’s chief of staff, said it’s too soon to know how big the latest shortfall will turn out to be, but that the governor already has asked Commissioner of Administration Angele Davis to plan for a fresh round of budget cuts.

"It’s safe to say that we will see a further reduction in revenues this year, and most likely it will be significant," Teepell said.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The epidemic of the Formula spreads. The first victims here are children’s health clinics and nursing homes.

The first victims should be those that got us into the problem.

OTC are not victim-less crimes.

Montgomery, Prince George’s slash budgets
By Michael Laris and Jonathan Mummolo
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Maryland’s two largest counties outlined spending cuts Monday that would reach from children’s health clinics to nursing homes, slice tens of millions of dollars in education spending and furlough thousands of public employees.

Drop-offs in revenue and in expected state aid are forcing officials in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, home to nearly a third of the state’s population, to confront some of the same unforgiving math that has caused governments across the Washington region to propose cuts to popular programs and safety-net services.

Counties across Northern Virginia, from Arlington west to Loudoun, face a patchwork of deep cuts and tax increases. Officials in Fairfax County are pushing layoffs, school cuts and a property tax increase. The District is facing an estimated $500 million budget gap in fiscal 2011 while continuing to grapple with $200 million in spending pressures for the current fiscal year.

On the state level, Virginia leaders agreed on a budget late Sunday that cuts millions out of core services, including education, health care and public safety. In Maryland, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has proposed near equal parts budget cuts and one-time transfers and other financial maneuvers to close an estimated $2 billion budget gap.

In Montgomery, one of the nation’s richest counties, officials who had become accustomed to managing rising budgets are overseeing a painful and unfamiliar reversal. County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) proposed a $4.3 billion spending plan that cuts the total government budget for the first time in more than 40 years. It calls for cuts across government operations, furloughs of many employees and a budget for schools that is $137 million less than they requested, which comes in below state requirements.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

History calls this an unusual amalgamation of interest.

Little is a coincidence. Japan looks to Asia and away from being a state of the USA.

China, Japan Reduced Holdings of U.S. Treasury Debt in January
By Vincent Del Giudice

March 16 (Bloomberg) — China and Japan, the two biggest foreign holders of Treasuries, reduced their positions of U.S. government debt in January as a measure of demand for American financial assets fell to a six-month low.

China remained the biggest owner abroad of Treasuries, even as its holdings dropped by a net $5.8 billion to $889 billion, according to Treasury Department data released yesterday in Washington. Japan cut its holdings in January by $300 million to $765.4 billion, the report showed.

China has been a net seller of Treasuries for three straight months, the longest such stretch since the end of 2007. Chinese officials have questioned the dollar’s role as a reserve currency and recently sought assurances about the safety of U.S. government debt as the budget deficit widens to a projected record $1.6 trillion this year.

“Foreign central banks stopped buying Treasuries in January,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York. “If this were to continue, if China were to stop recycling its dollars into U.S. Treasuries, it could have dire implications for Main Street America in that mortgage rates could move higher.”

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The "Jobless" portion is real.

The "Recovery" portion is illusionary.

Obama Aides See Jobless Rate Elevated for ‘Extended Period’
By Rebecca Christie and Mike Dorning

March 16 (Bloomberg) — U.S. employers won’t hire enough workers this year to lower the jobless rate much below the level of 9.7 percent reached in February, three Obama administration economic officials said today.

The proportion of Americans who can’t find work is likely to “remain elevated for an extended period,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, White House budget director Peter Orszag and Christina Romer, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a joint statement. The officials said unemployment may even rise “slightly” over the next few months as discouraged workers start job-hunting again.

“We do not expect further declines in unemployment this year,” the officials said in testimony prepared for the House Appropriations Committee. They predicted the economy would add about 100,000 jobs a month on average — not enough to bring the jobless rate down substantially.

Today’s projections are in line with the 10 percent average unemployment forecast for this year in last month’s budget plan. Christopher Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, said the administration’s language risks damping expectations for a recovery.

“They need to work on the message, and right now the message is that there is not a lot to be hopeful about,” Rupkey said. “Warning about a slow jobless recovery can help make it a reality.”

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Goodbye America.

I apologize to all those who gave their life for the Constitution, Freedom and due process.

House may try to pass Senate health-care bill without voting on it
By Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate’s health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.

Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers "deem" the health-care bill to be passed.

The tactic — known as a "self-executing rule" or a "deem and pass" — has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.

"It’s more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know," the speaker said in a roundtable discussion with bloggers Monday. "But I like it," she said, "because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill."

Republicans quickly condemned the strategy, framing it as an effort to avoid responsibility for passing the legislation, and some suggested that Pelosi’s plan would be unconstitutional.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This is a hair to the left of a bailout!

This is very European to discuss everything to death. Now how about California and the many states to follow?

Eurozone ready to help Greece.
Eurozone leaders said yesterday that they’re prepared to help Greece, should that be necessary, by creating an emergency financial support facility for the first time in the euro’s history. However, they didn’t promise any specific sums to Greece and provided few details on their plan aside from the fact that it would likely be based on bilateral loans.

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

1. Pakistan goes Taliban.
2. Israel makes a major miscalculation.
3. Turkey is a victim.

Thanks But No Thanks: Biden came offering a deal; Bibi balked.
By Aluf Benn | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Mar 15, 2010

Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel last week was rightly hailed as a catastrophe—but not because of settlements. After a tense year in which Washington had failed to stop Prime Minister Benyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu from settling more occupied land, Biden had come to shore up the relationship. Instead, officials in Netanyahu’s government caught both men off guard by announcing plans to build more in contested East Jerusalem. True, that was a snafu. But the real disaster was what it may cost Israel. Biden had come to offer not just friendship, but support (and protection) against Iran—Israel’s greatest bogeyman—in exchange for a few concessions from Netanyahu. Instead, he got a finger in the eye.

When President Barack Obama and Netanyahu took office last year, consensus opinion expected a confrontation between the United States and Israel. It was almost a no-brainer—America was moving left as Israel was moving right. Obama’s grand design for a new, peaceful, and pro-American Middle East (featuring a new Palestinian state) stood in stark contrast to Netanyahu’s long-held support for Israel’s control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But Netanyahu thought that if he tacked between his rightwing coalition—committed to expanding settlements in the West Bank and moving more Jews into East Jerusalem—and Obama’s desire for peace talks, he could keep U.S. support against Iran and even start from scratch with the Palestinians. And until last week, Netanyahu seemed to pulling it off: he got indirect talks with the Palestinians in return for a limited and temporary settlement freeze that excludes East Jerusalem. His coalition survived intact. And his public popularity skyrocketed to 50 percent in February—which Israelis knew only in the Ariel Sharon period (while Obama’s approval ratings plummeted).

Then Biden came to town. On the face of it, this was just about assuring Israelis, directly and in their own country, about America’s love and support. It seemed like good politics in a tough election season back home, and Biden was a natural choice as messenger: alone in the high echelon of the Obama administration, the veep—an old-line Zionist—has come to consider "Bibi" as a close personal friend over a three-decade acquaintance. If anybody could reach out to Netanyahu, it was the former senator from Delaware.

More…

Posted at 5:13 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Dear CIGAs,

Over the past seven years I have told you many things that have not been too wrong. Here is the top of the heap of strange goings on in finance.

How many of your mortgages have been securitized multiple times? What if your servicer folded? The real owner of the mortgage might just knock on your door demanding payment.

It has been held now by many recent court cases that only the party which made the loan has the right to foreclose.

How would you like to find out that even though you have paid your mortgage, the real party of interest says screw you, pay again or it’s foreclosure time!

Please, those of you with mortgages on your homes track down the real owner of your paper, and fast.

Regards,
Jim

Hi Jim,

I just read CIGA 503′s comments on Fannie Mae mortgage recording.  Here is a new related question to ponder :

I recently initiated Identity Theft coverage and in the course of that work, I was asked to review my credit report. I discovered that my refinanced mortgage, paid in full in July 2005, has been retained as current and OPEN with a last payment of July 2005. The account is listed on the credit report as current, not paid and closed as were other previously listed mortgages. That mortgage was paid in full and closed (at least I thought it was closed) when I rolled into a new mortgage (refinance) in July 2005. All was done with the same financial institution (which closed and became Chase). The punch line is that the paid and supposedly closed mortgage is owned by TA DA: Fannie Mae. How many billions are being carried on the books that DO NOT EVEN EXIST? The plot thickens, the whole episode sickens.

CIGA Harley

 

Hi Jim,

With respect to the failure of Lehman Brothers, the release last week of the Bankruptcy Examiner’s 2,200 page report exposes the financial fraud perpetrated by Lehman and its colluders, most notably with respect to its repurchase agreements dubbed “Repo 105s” named as such because the value of the assets it transferred were worth at least 105% of the cash Lehman received in exchange.

However, this is only the tip of the iceberg… not just for Lehman, but for the vast majority of Wall Street Investment Banks that securitized mortgage loans over the last decade.

I believe that Lehman-like balance sheet accounting fraud is inherent within the nature of the securitization process; that “true sales” never took place and the transfer of assets to and from the participants in the securitization paradigm were book-entry financing deals; that consideration was never paid by the participants; that the funding came from outside sources; that the complexity of the structure was designed to cloak money laundering; that the trusts never achieved their tax free REMIC status; and that loans were purposely designed to fail so that the participants in the securitization could control both the cash flow and the real estate assets arising from these mortgage transactions when the bubble inevitably burst.

If I am correct, this would have serious implications for consumers whose loans were securitized because the participants in the securitization would be unable to prove that they legally conveyed the loans into the trust fund. Essentially, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo had this opportunity in the Massachusetts Land Court cases last year and they could not produce the evidence of ownership. They produced the Notes, but not the proof of how they purchased the loans from the originators. The evidence also showed conclusively that the mortgages were never assigned from party to party according to the Pooling and Servicing Agreement and into the trusts.  This, in large part, is why Judge Long overturned two out of three foreclosures.

Much of the fraud is buried in the opaque OTC derivatives trading. I know I am preaching to the choir on this topic!

Respectfully,
CIGA Marie

Marie McDonnell, CFE
Truth In Lending Audit & Recovery Services, LLC
Mortgage Fraud and Forensic Analysts
Marie.McDonnell@truthinlending.net
P.O. Box 2760, Orleans, MA 02653
Tel. (508) 255-8829  Fax (508) 255-9626

Author Michael Lewis On Wall St’s Delusion
Author Tells "60 Minutes" What Led to Wall Street Collapse and Who Predicted It


Watch CBS News Videos Online

 

RE: Lehman Said to Return to U.S. Mortgages Through Unit (Update1)
BY: Jody Shenn, Bloomberg, October 21, 2009

Dear Ms. Shenn,

In doing some research on Lehman Brothers Bank I just came across your article referenced above and I am wondering if you would be kind enough to use your sources to research some questions I have about what became of a number of super-jumbo residential mortgage loans that Lehman made prior to its failure.

Specifically, I want to know how Lehman securitized its super-jumbo loans, especially in or about December 2004. I subscribe to Bloomberg Professional and have attempted to identify issuing entities that Lehman might have used for this purpose. None of them contain super-jumbo loans in the amount of $2,000,000 plus. I suspect Lehman dealt with a number of hedge funds who acquired these loans and would like to know who they might be.

The problem for consumers is that Aurora Loan, who services the Lehman-originated loans, will not disclose the identity of the legal owner and holder of the mortgage obligation where a “private investor” is concerned. Somehow, Aurora feels that it is exempt from Section 131(f)(2) of the Truth In Lending Act and the recent amendment enacted into law on May 20, 2009 under Section 404(a) of the Helping Families save Their Homes Act of 2009 codified as Section 131(g) of the Truth In Lending Act.

This effectively deprives consumers of knowing whom to serve a Notice of Rescission pursuant to the Truth In Lending Act, or otherwise, communicate about a loan modification.

Lehman/Aurora are not the only entities attempting to “hide the ball” with respect to revealing the identity of the owner of securitized mortgage loans; and I find that failed institutions such as Washington Mutual, IndyMac Bank, Bank United, AmTrust Bank, etc. are the worst offenders.

I very much appreciate your response and I am happy to answer any questions you may have about my inquiry.

Sincerely,
Marie

Marie McDonnell, CFE
Truth In Lending Audit & Recovery Services, LLC
Mortgage Fraud and Forensic Analyst
Certified Fraud Examiner
Marie.McDonnell@truthinlending.net
P.O. Box 2760, Orleans, MA 02653
Tel. (508) 255-8829  Fax (508) 255-9626

 

Fed holds rates at record lows to foster recovery
CIGA Eric

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday repeated its pledge to hold interest rates at record lows to foster the U.S. economic recovery and ease high unemployment.

Pledge to keep interest rates low? That certain has been implied as stocks, gold, silver, commodities and anything not nailed to the floor have rallied into the announcement. Can you believe that the miracle of liquidity will foster the U.S. economic recovery and ease high unemployment? Two words – jobless recovery. The best liquidity will do is encourage a little more leveraged-based consumption from people unaware that the economic landscape has changed.

U.S. Dollar Index (ETF):
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The U.S. dollar index is toying will critical up trend support. The setup in the COT diffusion index suggested a transition. Turns usually take time. Usually, 1-2-3, or three drive to a top.

Source: finance.yahoo.com

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

A sort of Gresham’s Law.

Change needed as Argentina coin shortage grows
CIGA Eric

The Argentina coin shortage is growing as inflation makes a coin’s metal worth more than its face value.

Despite Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s promise more than a year ago to introduce electronic bus tickets in Buenos Aires, the vast majority of the capital’s bus lines still only accepts coins. This would not be such a big deal if not for the fact that Argentina has had a coin shortage for more than three years. The crisis has turned normally mundane tasks – like buying a newspaper or a snack – into a big hassle.

We talked about this for some time. When the intrinsic value of a coin’s composition exceeds its face value, they tend to disappear from circulation. A problem for not only Argentina but also Canada, the United States or any other nation that devalues it currency.

Source: csmonitor.com

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Dear CIGAS,

Track down who owns your mortgage. It could be very helpful to you in the future.

Regards,
Jim

Hello,

I wish comments were turned "on" on your website.  I would have made the following comments on the posting today on the ‘quiz’…

I don’t have to call – I already know who owns my mortgage.  I received a letter a while back from Fannie Mae. It was informing me that although my mortgage had been sold to Fannie, the same old servicer would continue to service my loan. Further, the most puzzling part was that the letter went on to tell me that there would be no documents recorded at my county recorder’s office showing the change in ownership. I couldn’t believe that the quasi-governmental entity that owned my mortgage wasn’t interested in recording their interest in my property for all to see.

My other questions, which I’ve never asked Fannie, included how much did Fannie (aka the US taxpayers) pay the ‘old’ mortgage holder to ‘own’ my mortgage?; how much additional did/does Fannie pay the ‘old’ mortgage holder to now be the servicer?; if I default, who would ultimately receive the proceeds from a sale of the property – Fannie (who has an unrecorded interest) – or the ‘old’ mortgage owner? If the answer to the last question is the old mortgage owner, then how many trillions or quadrillions are the banks ripping off the US taxpayers in this scheme?

CIGA 503

 

Breakdown of commercial bank credit

In case this one got buried.  The trends in commercial bank credit are brutal.

Breakdown of commercial bank credit

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

If this is not Orwellian then tell me what is.

Cross a lobster with a tomato and you have a red hand grenade

Rising food prices may start with seeds
CIGA Eric

Farmers say consolidation in the industry means they’re forced to buy more costly seeds. But Monsanto, the world’s largest seed firm, says competition ‘is alive and flourishing.’

Competition to one is monopoly to another. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Today the Leakes have little choice: There are four seed companies in their area, and all sell seeds that include genetic traits patented and licensed by Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed firm.

"There’s basically nothing else available," said Leake, 48. "You have to use their seeds and pay their prices."

For those MBA types, this is five star industry using Porter’s model. It is also a byproduct of authoritative free enterprise and devaluation.

Source: articles.latimes.com

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Gold Prices Rise in N.Y. on Demand for Alternative to Currency
CIGA Eric

“Gold is a good spot to be parking your money for the time being,’ said Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago. “Gold has that flight-to-safety aspect to it. It’s going to hold its value.”

Demand for alternative to currency and flight-to-safety aspects to it. You don’t see that combined with gold to often in printed media. Keep this up and spin that labels gold holders as gold bugs (implied a little crazy and fanatic) get as many laughs as in the past. In the end, gold will go mainstream in terms of demand and general acceptance within the investment community.

Source: businessweek.com

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As bull market turns 1, is it time to party, or worry?
CIGA Eric

It is hard to kill a bull market in its first year of life. The last time a baby bull was buried on Wall Street before celebrating its first birthday was during the Great Depression.

Ah, the desperate need to be in a bull market. Depressionary boxes are characterized by bull and bear markets to nowhere. Gen-Xer’s can draw the analog from the Karate Kid, 1984. Leverage on – leverage off, Danielson!

1929-1944 & 2000-Present Comparison: S&P 500 (Nominal):
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Source: usatoday.com

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Hartford Financial selling $3B in securities
CIGA Eric

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. said Tuesday it will sell $3.05 billion in securities as part of its plan to repay the $3.4 billion it received under the federal financial bailout.

Here’s the model for all recipients of federal funds. Bailout, devalue/boost the stock market, issue equity to repay, devalue/boost the stock market more. Everyone wins, right?

It’s an illusion. Eventually the temporary boost fades, as the price of gold accelerates relative to stocks and other financial assets. While the government is certain to cite the terrific returns made on TARP as a great success, they are unlikely to hear much applause from a largely public without devaluation hedges.

U.S. Large Cap Stocks Capital Appreciation Index (LCSCAI); S&P 500 to Gold Ratio
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Source: finance.yahoo.com

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Posted at 2:13 PM (CST) by & filed under Trader Dan Norcini.

Dear Friends,

Today was another case of “Buy Europe” as traders reacted to further rumblings out of Brussels that the EU finance ministers were finagling a way around the original Euro treaty of 1991 which supposedly prevents bailouts of countries that screw up their own fiscal house. The idea, best that I can understand it, is that the member countries would pool some funds and provide direct loans to Greece. Germany apparently did not like the idea.

Traders did however and began buying up the European currencies as the Euro, Swiss Franc, and the British Pound were all higher today after getting whacked yesterday. Seems like the Yo-Yo model is still intact. Tomorrow- who knows?

Regardless, today was “what risk – there ain’t no risk” and with that, everything that moved and was not nailed down to the ground was purchased. Crude oil, copper, grains, cotton, you name it – the only exceptions that I could see were natural gas and sugar. Yes sirree bob – the algorithms are alive and well as the weakness in the Dollar triggered them to buy today after triggering them to sell yesterday.

I think I have found a solution to the world’s search for plentiful and cheap energy – I read somewhere that some clever inventors are trying to use the motion of the ocean’s waves to produce energy. Forget that – how about harnessing all the motion that is generated and then wasted from these damn algorithms and funnel that into some device that can crank out electricity and crude oil would become obsolete overnight.

As I said yesterday, there is no trading fundamentals anymore in these markets, it is all about money flows from hedge funds and those are all cranked out by machines. The machines are running the markets in what seems like a “Terminator” movie. Skynet is probably not far behind. By then it will decide to get short the grains and decide that to really make a lot of profits, it needs to eliminate demand sources so it will generate another order to kill off the carbon-based humanoids that eat the stuff. Once demand is then curtailed, prices will fall and Skynet can clean up on those shorts. Honestly, that is what it feels like at times sitting here watching the money being crammed into markets and ripped out the next day only to be stuffed back in the following day.

Skynet is obviously long the equity markets as the S&P 500 made a yearly high in today’s trading session negating a potential double top near the 1150 level. The day is yet young so it remains to be seen whether or not John Conner can take it down. It could be I actually have the wrong movie in mind as the entire rally might be part of “The Matrix” and its imaginary world of illusion. I certainly have no idea what they are trading in there as the stock market has priced in one helluva recovery. Even the Administration was forced to admit the obvious today that the unemployment rate is going to stay elevated for an extended period of time so I am a bit confused as to where all the “demand” from this consumer demand driven economy is supposed to be coming from. But that is just a case of the “market” being far wiser than any of us. I am sure they have that all figured out.

Back to gold – the bounce back up and away from $1,100 confirms that level of support and the bottom of the trading range. With the push through $1,120 short covering was triggered among the weaker shorts taking price up into the region where the stronger-handed shorts once again emerged near their former level of defense near $1,130. Bulls will need to jam price through their selling to get the market on track for a test of the high from 2 weeks ago. That level, centered near $1,145 is what stands between them and a push to $1,160.

The bullion banks will attempt to stymie the move higher here at $1,130 and then try to take price back down to the lower end of the trading range. Interestingly enough, gold has been making a series of higher lows over the past 6 weeks with the result that while it is still in a consolidation period or range trade, the range is tightening or constricting. The longer it can hold above the $1,100 level, the higher the odds are that the breakout move will be to the upside.

The HUI is following the pattern seen in the gold today. It is higher moving away from support near the 409 – 410 level but it too is meeting overhead selling as it works in its range trade. The top of the range is 429 – 431.

The Dollar continues to flirt with a technical breakdown as it inches ever lower towards the bottom part of its recent trading range. It came within a mere few points of taking out the bottom of the range and inducing some stop loss sell orders from being activated but the bulls were able to muscle price away from the danger level – for now. Volume just seems to dry up as it moves toward 80 on the downside but this could get quite interesting if the bears show more conviction and attempt to make a concerted effort to pick off those swelling stops. Just like gold, although in the inverse, the Dollar’s range is tightening but it has been making a series of lower highs that show up more on the hourly chart rather than the daily. The jury is still decidedly out on this thing but as close as it is to critical support, one would have to give the slight edge to the bears at this point. Once again, it all depends on how traders/investors react to the developments coming out of Europe in relation to Greece. That situation is so fluid and traders are so fickle that predicting anything in advance is a fool’s errand.

It is probably also not helping the Dollar any when we read that the President has nominated Janet Yellen, current head of the San Francisco Federal Reserve, to the position of Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve. She is as dovish as dovish could be. Traders would interpret such a choice for that position as a signal that the Dollar will be sacrificed and that inflation is in the cards. Yellen is another Academic with ZERO private sector experience whose entire resume can be summed up as “perpetual university student”. There is certainly nothing there to inspire the least bit of confidence when it comes to supporting the currency.

Bonds are strangely higher today when one considers a yearly high in the S&P 500 and a general reflation trade. I have given up attempting to figure that market out as it is undoubtedly so heavily intervened in by the monetary authorities that the signals it gives off are dubious. One would think that with gold moving higher today and the Dollar lower that the last thing that would be moving higher is the bond market. After all, if the economy is so damned good that the equities can put in a yearly high leading one to believe the chatter that the Fed is moving towards draining excess liquidity because things are so peachy-keen, then why would money be flowing INTO and not OUT OF bonds.

In the meantime, don’t worry about a single thing – bankrupted states, financially impoverished towns, townships, counties and cities, falling tax revenues, chronically high underemployment rates and federal government spending that can only be described as a treacherous betrayal of the next generation of citizens – none of this is important – the only thing that matter is that the stock market is higher so all is well. Let the good times roll baby!

Personally it looks to me like America has been bewitched.

Click chart to enlarge today’s hourly action in Gold in PDF format with commentary from Trader Dan Norcini

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Posted at 10:06 PM (CST) by & filed under Trader Dan Norcini.

Dear CIGAs,

Following is a chart depicting the reported holdings of US Treasury debt by some of the largest creditor nations.

Each month the Treasury reports this data and each month we plot it to attempt to gain some insight into who is financing the continued profligacy of the US. Last month the numbers reported out showed the Chinese selling $34.2 billion worth of Treasury debt in December 2009. That was enough to drop them into second place behind Japan as the largest holder of US Treasuries. That obviously caused quite a stir at the time.

This month, Treasury revised the holdings data and while they show China still selling that same $34.2 billion from November to December 2009, they made an upward adjustment to the overall holdings number, increasing it by a substantial $139.4 billion. That was more than enough to kick them back up into first place once again as the largest holder of US Treasury debt ($894.8 billion).

The Treasury reported that China did sell another $5.8 billion worth of US debt from December through January 2010, dropping them down to $889 billion as of the most current data.

It appears that a large chunk of those Treasuries that were moved over into the China column came off of the reported holdings of the UK. Their number was adjusted downwardly by $124.4 billion. Also, the Caribbean Banking Centers were downwardly revised $56.5 billion. It is not unusual to see a significant adjustment to the UK with most of that moving over to China. It just tells us that some Chinese are buying through London money centers.

The last chart shows the relation of the US Trade deficit in relation to both long term and short term money flows.

Click charts to enlarge in PDF format

TIC charts Jan 2010_Page_2

 TIC charts Jan 2010_Page_1