Posted at 8:07 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

You Think It’s All About Guns?
May 21, 2018

Is it possible that we Americans only pretend not to notice the conditions that produce an epidemic of school shootings, or is the public just too dumbed-down to connect the dots?

Look at the schools themselves. We called them “facilities” because they hardly qualify as buildings: sprawling, one-story, tilt-up, flat-roofed boxes isolated among the parking lagoons out on the six-lane highway strip, disconnected from anything civic, isolated archipelagoes where inchoate teenage emotion festers and rules while the few adults on the scene are regarded as impotent clowns representing a bewildering clown culture wrapped in a Potemkin economy that has nothing to offer young people except a lifetime of debt and “bullshit jobs” — to borrow a phrase from David Graeber.

The world of teens has been exquisitely engineered to steal every opportunity for colonizing the chemical reward centers of their brains to provoke endorphin hits, especially the cell-phone realm of social media, which is almost entirely about status competition, much of which revolves around the wild hormonal promptings of teen sexual development — at the same time they are bombarded with commercial messages designed to prey on their fantasies, longings, and perceived inadequacies. All of this produces immersive and incessant melodrama along with untold grievance, envy, frustration, confusion, and rage. And, of course, where the cell-phone universe leaves off, the world of video games begins, so that boys (especially) get to act-out in “play” the extermination of their competitors and foes.


Posted at 8:06 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.


Getting harder and harder to NOT be a believer in the Dollar’s demise.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Russia Finance Minister: We Are Ready To Ditch The Dollar In Favor Of The Euro
May 24, 2018

In a testament to the success of the latest Trump sanctions against Russia, overnight Russian aluminum giant Rusal announced that its chief executive, Aleksandra Buriko, and half of its managerial board resigned to make sure the firm avoids U.S. sanctions against its founder, billionaire oligarch, Oleg Deripaska. The mass resignations were part of “the efforts that have been made by the management of the group to protect the interests of the company and its shareholders” since the sanctions were imposed last month, Rusal said in a May 24 statement.

Buriko resigned after the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced new punitive measures against Russia in early April in response to Russia’s “malign” activities around the world. The latest round of sanctions primarily targeted Russian oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin, especially Oleg Deripaska – who had previously been interviewed by Robert Mueller – prompting Rusal shares to tumble while the price of aluminum soared.

That said, Rusal is not out of the woods yet, and earlier today Bloomberg reported that Deripaska had asked the Russian government to buy aluminum for state reserves, in other words engage in an indirect bailout of the state’s largest aluminum producer, although the Kremlin hasn’t made a decision yet. Furthermore, Rusal which is facing significant debt maturities in the coming months, has applied for state support to Promsvyazbank, and a decision is pending.

The common theme here is that Trump’s sanctions against Russia – with which he is supposedly colluding – not only work, but are very effective in achieving their goal. And they do so though the biggest weapon the US has: access to the world’s reserve currency, because with one phone call to SWIFT, Trump can lock out an entire nation.


Posted at 10:56 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

US And Israel Holding Global Economy Hostage in Showdown With Iran
May 22, 2018

For decades now the US and Israel have waged regime change across the Middle East and North Africa. In the chaos that ensued Iran underwent a transformation that naturally expanded its influence. Now, upset with the consequences of their actions, the US and Israel have a new plan: take the global economy hostage in order to force Iran to abandon that influence. As usual, Russia is doing its best to manage the West’s insanity while maintaining course for a more sane future.

On May 1, 2018, hours after Netanyahu issued his bizarre ‘Iran lied’ powerpoint presentation, and a week before Trump ditched the Iran deal, Netanyahu and Putin had a phone conversation. During this chat Putin stressed the deal’s importance for international stability, reiterating that it must be “strictly observed by all parties.” Not one who’s prone to taking ‘international stability’ into account, Netanyahu had other ideas.

A week later, Trump announced that the US was backing out of the Iran deal, which effectively meant increasing instead of decreasing its economic stranglehold on the country. Speaking to the Heritage Foundation, Secretary of State Pompeo stated that these will be the “strongest sanctions in history,” and that the US will “apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime”. It is now clear why Merkel and Macron were so desperate to talk Trump out of this decision.


U.S. Launches Criminal Probe into Bitcoin Price Manipulation

May 24, 2018

The Justice Department has opened a criminal probe into whether traders are manipulating the price of Bitcoin and other digital currencies, dramatically ratcheting up U.S. scrutiny of red-hot markets that critics say are rife with misconduct, according to four people familiar with the matter.

The investigation is focused on illegal practices that can influence prices — such as spoofing, or flooding the market with fake orders to trick other traders into buying or selling, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the review is private. Federal prosecutors are working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a financial regulator that oversees derivatives tied to Bitcoin, the people said.


Posted at 10:53 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.


You can only kick a dog so much before it finally bites back.






CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Japan, Russia, Turkey Bring Potential U.S. Tariff Retaliation To $3.5 Billion
May 22, 2018

By Tom Miles

GENEVA (Reuters) – Japan, Russia and Turkey have warned the United States about potential retaliation for its tariffs on steel and aluminum, the World Trade Organization said on Tuesday, bringing the total U.S. tariff bill to around $3.5 billion annually.

The three countries detailed their compensation claims in notifications to the world trade body, following similar moves by the European Union, India and China. Each showed how much the disputed U.S. tariffs would add to the cost of steel and aluminum exports to the United States, based on 2017 trade.

Russia said the U.S. tariffs, which President Donald Trump imposed in March, would add duties of $538 million to its annual steel and aluminum exports. Japan put the sum at $440 million. Turkey added a further $267 million.

China, the 28-nation EU and India have put their claims at $612 million, $1.6 billion and $165 million respectively.

They all reject the U.S. view that the import tariffs — 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum — are justified by U.S. national security concerns and are therefore exempt from the WTO rules.




Yes, a little inflation can help us.

More can help us more.

A lot of inflation can remedy all our debt indiscretions.

You can’t have just a little inflation.

It will eventually grow and swallow you whole.

Just as you can’t be just “a little dead”.

“Inflation, according to the Fed’s preferred indicator, reached 2 percent in March. Data released two days after the meeting showed unemployment dipped in April to 3.9 percent, the lowest since 2000, while year-over-year gains in average hourly earnings were steady at 2.6 percent.”

Of course, we all know that inflation is running 10x higher as John Williams’ Shadow Stats continually reminds us.







The look on Paul Volker’s face says it all.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Fed Sees Next Hike Soon, Signals Modest Inflation Overshoot OK
May 23, 2018

Federal Reserve officials said the economic outlook warranted another interest-rate hike “soon” and signaled they would welcome a modest overshoot of their 2 percent inflation target, indicating they’re in no rush to tighten more aggressively.

“Most participants judged that if incoming information broadly confirmed their current economic outlook, it would likely soon be appropriate for the committee to take another step in removing policy accommodation,” minutes released Wednesday of the Federal Open Market Committee’s May 1-2 meeting said.

More from Coffee Waste Is Now Fetching a 480% Premium Over Coffee Itself

A temporary period of inflation “modestly above 2 percent would be consistent with the committee’s symmetric inflation objective and could be helpful in anchoring longer-run inflation expectations,” according to the minutes.

While the report all but confirms the central bank is on track to raise interest rates at their next meeting in June, Fed officials were reluctant to declare victory on achieving their inflation goal on a sustainable basis. At the same time, they flagged potential changes to the statement at future meetings to indicate rates were no longer as stimulative, and discussed adjustments in the rate of interest on excess bank reserves to relieve some pressures in the money markets.



Courtesy of JB.


FOMC Minutes Show Fed Hiking “Soon” But Willing To Allow Dovish Inflation Overshoot
May 23, 2018

The big question after the May FOMC statement was “how symmetric is The Fed’s reaction function” to inflationary upside, i.e. how much will the Fed allow inflation to overshoot, and how much attention are they really paying to the collapsing yield curve? And as Bloomberg noted, a key focal point of the minutes will be to further distinguish the main thresholds separating the three- and four-hike camps in the 2018 dot plot.

Former fund manager Richard Breslow wrote in his Trader’s Notes column earlier:

    “I expect there is a decent chance that the FOMC minutes we’re going to see this afternoon read on the hawkish side. What a difference a few weeks make. Way back then Fed-speak was clearly trending to the upbeat side and they were getting even more hopeful on the inflation side of the dual-mandate.”

But it appears The Fed walked the tightrope on “symmetry” by showing a hawkish tilt:



Mixed with a whole lot of dovishness.


In other words, yet more of the schizophrenic Fed we know so well, which will “hike soon”, but is willing to let inflation overshoot “modestly.”


Correct Wolfgang, this is very significant!



All Aboard!











CIGA Wolfgang Rech

LME Plans To Launch Yuan-Denominated Metals Futures Markets
May 24, 2018

In a sign the currency’s status in international finance is on the rise, and just a few short weeks after China unveiled its Yuan-denominated oil futures contract, the CEO of the London Metal Exchange has confirmed that it is planning to introduce yuan-denominated metal products.

As we noted recently, interest in China’s yuan-denominated oil futures contract has soared since inception…the share of yuan contracts in global trading jumped to 12% compared to eight percent in March and 14% of WTI volume, up from 2% in April.



Which was real hard to prove till this last election, now everyone with a working brain sees them as what they truly are.











Keepin’ the dream alive.








Just clownin’ around.












What are cryptocurrencies trying to emulate?

Currencies or gold or, God forbid……Beanie Babies?

My guess would be Beanie Babies.

The article below states that cryptos are only good for speculation and money laundering.

Just like fiat currencies worldwide.  No backing except with promises, speculative, and readily transferable.

However, with fiat, you can at least get interest if you place them in a bank account.

Which brings us to gold.

Like gold, cryptos do not pay interest.

Yet gold, at least, has some inherent value as a component in today’s products (in electronics, dentistry, medicine, etc.).  And true to form, it has a 2,000 year history as a storehouse of value, beauty, and protection against inflation and malfeasance (they just don’t make the stuff anymore).

Cryptos have nothing.

No backing.  No inherent usefulness in production.  No historical precedence.  No way to value them. Can’t even hold them.

And for that matter, although they say the amounts are limited, we don’t know that for sure.

What we do know, is that an endless number of crypto currencies can, and are, being created.

Like Beanie Babies, they are only worth what one is willing to pay for them.

Once demand is gone, they are without value.






Even equities don’t fall into this category.  If they fall out of favor or below a certain price, then the inherent value of the company’s assets, beyond and above their liabilities, would trigger a buyout or liquidation.

Now they are establishing an ETF to draw in the institutional players for the purpose of pure gambling.

Not investing, mind you.  There is nothing to invest in!

There is no way, in my mind (small as it may be), that anybody can determine some semblance of relative value regarding cryptos.

Caveat Emptor!

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

‘Big Short’ Steve Eisman Says Cryptocurrencies Are Mainly Good For ‘Speculation’ And ‘Money Laundering’
May 17, 2018

Steve Eisman, the investor whose forecast of the financial crisis was depicted in “The Big Short,” told CNBC on Thursday he has doubts about “the social utility of cryptocurrency.”

The Neuberger Berman portfolio manager also confirmed his fund is short Deutsche Bank.

“Deutsche Bank has a very simple problem. It doesn’t make money. That’s a pretty shocking statement at this point 10 years after the crisis,” he said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “It’s a bit late in the game to try to solve the problem. … I think Deutsche has to shrink. I think Deutsche five years from now will be a significantly smaller company.”

Regarding cryptocurrencies, he said current government-backed currency markets already serve the public efficiently.




Unless you’re brain dead, you’ve got to wonder.

Deutsche Bank has been in the news the past few days with announcements of eliminating a tenth of its workforce…namely 10,000 employees and their inability to generate profits.

We are all familiar with the massive derivative exposure of Deutsche Bank.

Naysayers will state that much of the exposure is netted out.  However, that may just be the problem!

“Deutsche Bank is unlikely to face losses equal to its notional derivatives exposure, since its contracts are netted out with different counterparties. However, the last financial crisis showed that counterparty risks can snowball and create a chain effect. In 2008, failures at Lehman Brothers and American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) led to a run on banks and imperiled the financial system. Similarly, a failure at Deutsche Bank could have catastrophic consequences for the banking system in 2016.”

We must watch Deutsche VERY carefully, like a hawk; like Lehman; for any clues to the stability of the global financial system.

I expect, should they panic, we could see a domino effect, as we did in 2008.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Does Deutsche Bank Have Similarities to Lehman? (DB)
June 29, 2016

The collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 threatened the world’s financial system and created one of the greatest financial crises in modern history. The fallout from the bankruptcy threatened to bring down the world’s financial system and led to the Great Recession. Taxpayer-funded bailouts of banks and massive monetary stimulus combined to rescue the banking system and prop up the economy. On June 29, 2016, International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Deutsche Bank poses the greatest risk to the global financial system.

As of June 2016, no other major global financial institutions of Lehman Brothers’ stature have declared bankruptcy. Many observers credit regulatory reforms such as the Volcker Rule, higher capital requirements and stress tests for stabilizing financial institutions in the United States, while similar rules stabilized European banks. However, the balance sheet of Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB


Deutsche Bank AG



) shows excessive risk-taking by the bank.

Excessive Leverage

Perhaps the biggest problem Deutsche Bank faces is excessive leverage on its balance sheet. According to Berenberg Bank’s James Chappell, Deutsche Bank faces insurmountable challenges from poor-performing core businesses and a lack of capital. On May 16, 2016, Chappell cut his rating on the bank from hold to sell and lowered his price target on the shares, citing the vicious cycle the company faces to shore up its balance sheet and shed unprofitable businesses as rationale. He noted that the company has cut its dividend and pledged to cut employees and sell unprofitable businesses. However, he believes the company ultimately must raise more equity capital to solve its leverage problems. Deutsche Bank’s valuation highlights the market’s pessimism. As of June 15, 2016, the bank traded at 27% of tangible book value, which means the company is worth less than its liquidation value.



I love Judicial Watch!




Courtesy of JB,


7 Reasons Why European Banks Are in Trouble
May 17, 2018

While the euro crisis seems far away as all Eurozone countries ran government deficits below 3 percent of GDP, there is one problem for the euro that quietly keeps growing: the unresolved banking crisis. And this is not a small problem. The Eurosystems´and euro banks´ balance sheets totaled €30 trillion in January 2018, that is about 291 percent of GDP.

European banks are in trouble for several reasons.

First, banking regulation has become tighter after the financial crisis. As a consequence regulatory and compliance costs have rise substantially. Today banks have to fulfill demands by national authorities, the European Banking Authority, the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the European Securities and Markets Authority and the national central banks. Being at a staggering 4% of total revenue currently, compliance costs are expected to rise to 10% of total revenue until 2022.

Second, there are risks hidden in banks´ balance sheets. That there is something fishy in European banks´assets can quickly be detected when comparing banks market capitalization with their book value. Most European banks have price-to-book ratios below 1. German Commerzbank´s price-to-book ratio stands at 0.49, Deutsche Bank´s is at 0.36, Italian UniCredit´s at 0.23, Greek Piraeus Bank at 0.14, and Greek Alpha Bank at 0.34.



Courtesy of JB.










Courtesy of JB.


Bombshell Reveal: A Grand Jury Already Is Hearing Evidence On DOJ And FBI Scandals
March 23, 2018

We are on the verge of a huge political explosion.  While there have been calls for a special counsel to investigate the DOJ and FBI scandals, and many conservatives have been outraged at the seeming passivity of “Gentleman Jeff” Sessions (aka Sessionzzz in some quarters), it now is clear (as I have already figured) that a grand jury far outside the Beltway already is hearing evidence dug up by DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz, whose report is now believed to be coming in April.  Following release of that report, expect heads to explode all over the media, all over the Deep State, and among NeverTrumps. 

The first hint that the wheels of justice already are turning came on March 7, when A.G. Sessions revealed to Shannon Bream:

    I have appointed a person outside of Washington, many years in the Department of Justice to look at all the allegations that the House Judiciary Committee members sent to us; and we’re conducting that investigation.



Law enforcement means regulatory acceptance…


Bitcoin Slumps Below $7,500 as Drop From Recent Peak Tops 20%
May 23, 2018

Bitcoin fell to a six-week low, as selloff that began in early May dropped the cryptocurrency’s price below $7,500 for the first time since mid-April.

Bitcoin slumped 7.3 percent to $7,495 as of 1:57 p.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg composite pricing. It’s now down more than 20 percent since a May 4 peak.














Ignore at your peril:

The country faces a populist rising, a huge debt burden, a weak banking system, and a generally weak economy.

1929 crash started in a much smaller country!                     87 years ago…    must be the cycle of 90…

“There are several cycles with different periods and properties, while the 11-year cycle, the 90-year cycle are the best known of them.”


Posted at 10:22 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Get a load of this, CNN hires Valerie Jarret’s daughter to cover the DOJ in the fall of 2016…this will make your blood boil!

Secret FBI Team That Coordinated Set-Up of Trump Was Pressured by CNN – Guess Who Was CNN DOJ Reporter at the Time?
May 22, 2018

On Monday Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) sent a letter to the FBI Director regarding phony Steele Russia dossier.

Explosive new e-mails show FBI brass discussed dossier briefing details with CNN.

Senator Johnson accused the FBI of having a “sensitive matter team” as reference by FBI Chief of Staff Jim Rybicki in an January 6, 2017 email to unspecified recipients.

Senator Johnson outlined the time line of events and communications between FBI officials, President-elect Trump and CNN.

  1. January 6, 2017, 9:44 a.m. FBI Chief of Staff James Rybicki sent an email to unspecified recipients stating, “the director is coming into HQ briefly now for an update from the sensitive matter team.
  2. January 6, 2017, afternoon. Director Comey met with President-elect Trump.
  3. January 7, 2017. Director Comey memorialized his discussion with President-elect Trump via an email to senior FBI leadership. Director Comey wrote, “I said there was something that Clapper wanted me to speak to PE [President Elect] about alone or in a very small group.” Director Comey wrote, “I then executed the sessions exactly as I had planned,” and “I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook.”


Bill Holter’s Commentary

They are either serious about this or our country as we once knew it is gone forever…


Posted at 1:30 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Info to think about!


Solar Radiation Management, Geoengineering and Chemtrails
November 5, 2013

The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that, despite global side effects and long-term consequences, geoengineering techniques involving solar radiation management (SRM) should be maintained:

“If SRM were terminated for any reason, there is high confidence that global surface temperatures would rise very rapidly to values consistent with the greenhouse gas forcing.” [emphasis in original]

“Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis,” (referred to as “AR5”) supercedes the former report published in 2007. [1]  The IPCC’s first Assessment Report was published in 1990.

The discussion in the Summary for Policymakers and in the body of AR5 commends solar radiation management over carbon dioxide removal methods, which are limited in their efficacy on a global scale, yet admits that neither are ideal, and that both geoengineering techniques will have long-term consequences.

“While the entire community of academia still pretends not to know about the ongoing reality of global geoengineering,” comments Dane Wigington at Geoengineering Watch, “the simple fact that they are now discussing geoengineering in the latest IPCC report indicates that the veil is beginning to lift.” [2]



Courtesy of JB.


Sweden Distributes ‘Be Prepared For War’ Leaflet To All 4.8m Homes
May 21, 2018

Defence pamphlet shows how population can prepare in event of attack and contribute to country’s ‘total defence’

The Swedish government has begun sending all 4.8m of the country’s households a public information leaflet telling the population, for the first time in more than half a century, what to do in the event of a war.

Om krisen eller kriget kommer (If crisis or war comes) explains how people can secure basic needs such as food, water and heat, what warning signals mean, where to find bomb shelters and how to contribute to Sweden’s “total defence”.

The 20-page pamphlet, illustrated with pictures of sirens, warplanes and families fleeing their homes, also prepares the population for dangers such as cyber and terror attacks and climate change, and includes a page on identifying fake news.



If this is true, here comes Reset #1 of #2.  I assure you of this as I know. Courtesy of JB.


Bank of England Issues Working Paper on Central Bank Digital Currencies
May 21, 2018

In May 18, the Bank of England released a staff working paper, laying out various scenarios of possible risks and financial stability issues of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

The paper constructs three models of CBDC depending on the sectors that have access to CBDC, from a narrow CBDC where access is limited to banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), to direct and indirect access extended to households and non-financial firms.

The Financial Institutions Access model is limited to banks and NBFIs, where financial institutions can interact directly with the central bank to purchase and sell CBDC in exchange for eligible securities. Financial institutions are not supposed to provide an asset to households and firms, which are entirely backed by central bank money.

The Economy-wide Access model assumes that access to CBDCs is granted to banks and NBFIs, households and firms. In this way, a CBDC can serve as money for all agents in the economy. While only banks and NBFIs can interact directly with the central bank to buy and sell CBDCs, the report says that “households and firms must use a CBDC Exchange to buy and sell CBDC in exchange for deposits.”


Posted at 11:17 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

No telling “what” will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back …we do know it will be “something”…

Breaking: E-mails Show FBI Brass Discussed Dossier Briefing Details With CNN
May 21, 2018

Newly revealed e-mails show that former Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) deputy director Andrew McCabe was keenly aware of CNN’s internal understanding of a secret briefing about the infamous Steele dossier, days before CNN published any stories on the matter. The e-mails, which were obtained by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), also reveal that top officials used coded language to refer to the salacious and unverified allegations made by Steele.

Former FBI director James Comey briefed then-President-Elect Donald Trump on January 6, 2017, on at least one unproven allegation contained in Steele’s dossier, which was jointly funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. CNN broke the story about the dossier briefing on January 10, 2017, touching off a firestorm of hysteria that culminated in not just the firing of Comey by Trump, but the eventual appointment of Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Robert Mueller.

Comey claimed that he was compelled to brief Trump on the dossier because “CNN had [it]” and was “looking for a news hook.”



Bill Holter’s Commentary

How about not paying players for the game if kneel during the anthem?  If the NFL did this, I would consider watching next season…

NFL’s Proposed National Anthem Rules: Penalties for Kneeling Being Considered
May 22, 2018

ATLANTA — On Tuesday, NFL owners put three hours aside for a privileged session to speak—amongst themselves and family members—about the most sensitive of topics.

One was how the league will handle players kneeling during the national anthem going forward. An idea being floated in the room goes like this: It would be up to the home team on whether both teams come out of the locker room for the anthem, and, should teams come out, 15-yard penalties could be assessed for kneeling.

The league is currently being sued by Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, with the two unsigned free agents alleging that NFL teams colluded to keep them unemployed. Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem, to protest police brutality, starting a trend that swept across the league in 2016 and ’17.

The NFL addressed the anthem issue at its meetings in October and March, with plans to further discuss it at this meeting. The league also met with the Players Coalition in October, and agreed to a seven-year, $89 million social-justice partnership.


Bill Holter’s Commentary

They just figured his out?…Jim has spoken of this on our weekly call too many times to count!

An Unexpected Warning From Goldman Sachs: “Something Is Not Quite Right”
May 22, 2018

It was just over 9 years ago today when we wrote  “The Incredibly Shrinking Market Liquidity, Or The Upcoming Black Swan Of Black Swans” in which we explained how as a result of the growing influence of HFT, quants and central banks, the market itself was breaking. We also highlighted what the culmination of the market’s “breakage” could look like:

    liquidity disruptions could and will lead to unexpected market aberrations, such as exorbitant bid/ask margins, inability to unwind large block positions, and last but not least, explosive volatility: in essence a recreation of the market conditions approximating the days of August 2007, and the days post the Lehman collapse…

We even laid out some possible catalysts for a possible market crash: “continued deleveraging in quant funds, significant pre-market volatility swings as quants rebalance their end of day positions, increasing program trading on decreasing relative overall trading volumes.”

We saw all of the above elements briefly come together when on February 5 the market finally did break in one spam of exploding volatility, as its topology was torn apart by various, disparate elements, resulting in virtually all of the above materializing, if only for a short time, and blowing up the VIX, which soared by the most on record, rising from the lower teens to above 50 in the span of hours, while bankrupting countless vol sellers.

Since then, the same elements that coalesced in 2017 to pressure and keep the VIX at its lowest level in history  reemerged, and the “selling of volatility” once again reappeared as a dominant trading strategy, but not before Goldman Sachs wrote a report in March in which it echoed everything that we warned about over 9 years ago, and which increasingly many have said in the past decade, namely that the advent of algo trading and HFTs have collapsed market liquidity to the point where the market itself has become precariously brittle, prompting increasingly frequent flash crashes, and leading Goldman to conclude that, when it comes to market risk factors, “liquidity is the new  leverage” in a world in which HFTs are the marginal price setters:


Posted at 11:18 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Greyerz – 10s Of Millions Are Already Struggling To Survive In The US But This Is The Scary Part
May 20, 2018

As the world edges closer to the next crisis, today the man who has become legendary for his predictions on QE and historic moves in currencies, told King World News that tens of millions are already struggling to survive in the US, but this is the really scary part.

51 Million Households In Trouble

May 20 (King World News) – Egon von Greyerz:  “There are 51 million American households that cannot make ends meet. This means that 43% of American households can’t afford a basic middle class life. Of these, 35 million are dubbed ALICE which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed with a further 16 million households living in poverty…

Struggling To Survive

Egon von Greyerz continues:  “It is absolutely remarkable that in the world’s biggest and “richest” country, just under 50% of the households are struggling to afford a basic middle class life and that 50 million people live in poverty. And this is after decades of prosperity and economic growth. What this proves is that the average person in the US is seeing no prosperity at all. All the official figures of employment, production, growth, GDP, etc, are just humbug. They are fake data which is completely misleading and paints a totally false picture. The official unemployment figure is 4% but the real figure is 22%. There are 95 million Americans capable of working who are not in the labour force.


Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

And the definition of a paid Informant is in the intelligence industry = secret agent, certainly not NOC.

FBI Informant Stefan Halper Paid Over $1 Million By Obama Admin; Spied On Trump Aide After Election
May 21, 2018

Less than a week after Stefan Halper was outed as the FBI informant who infiltrated the Trump campaign, public records reveal that the 73-year-old Oxford University professor and former U.S. government official was paid handsomely by the Obama administration starting in 2012 for various research projects.

A longtime CIA and FBI asset who once reportedly ran a spy-operation on the Jimmy Carter administration, Halper was enlisted by the FBI to spy on several Trump campaign aides during the 2016 U.S. election. Meanwhile, a search of public records reveals that between 2012 and 2018, Halper received a total of $1,058,161 from the Department of Defense.

Halper’s contracts were funded through four annual awards paid directly out of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA). Established as the DoD’s “internal think tank” in 1973 by Richard Nixon (whose administration Halper worked for), the ONA was run by foreign policy strategist Andrew Marshall from its inception until his 2015 retirement at the age of 93, after which he was succeeded by current director James H. Baker.


Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Fibbers everywhere!

– Benchmark Revisions Knocked Off Roughly Two-Percent Real Growth from Manufacturers’ Shipments and Related Economic Activity Since 2015
– Monthly Gains of 0.7% in Both March and April 2018 Industrial Production Were a Decline of 0.1% (-0.1%) and a Gain of 0.1%, Net of Prior Months’ Revisions
– First-Quarter Industrial Production and Manufacturing Revised Sharply Lower: Production Now 0.43% (-0.43%) Below Fourth-Quarter 2014 Peak (Previously Recovered); First-Quarter Manufacturing Now 6.07% (-6.07%) Below Its Pre-Recession Peak
– April Manufacturing Hit a Record 124 Months of Economic Non-Expansion
– April Freight Index Rose to a Post-Recession High, With Strong Annual Growth, Albeit Off Peak, with Activity Still Shy by 6.65% (-6.65%) of a Full Recovery
– April Real Retail Sales Gained 0.08% in the Month, 2.20% Year-to-Year, With Likely Major Downside Benchmark Revisions Looming on May 25th
– Despite Upside Revisions to February and March Real Retail Sales, the Somewhat-Narrowed First-Quarter Contraction of 2.05% (-2.05%) Still Was Deepest Since the 2009 Depths of the Great Recession
– Given No Apparent Improvement in Reporting Quality, Annual Revisions to Nonsensically-Volatile Housing Starts Were Nil; Inconsistent Building Permits Revised Higher by 2.1% Only in 2017
– Starts and Permits Continued in Low Level, Non-Recovering Stagnation, Still Down by 43.4% (-43.4%) and 40.3% (-40.3%) from Pre-Recession Highs

“No. 950: April Retail Sales, Industrial Production, Housing Starts, Freight and Benchmark Revisions”

Bill Holter’s Commentary

As mentioned yesterday, make sure your supply of popcorn is sufficient!