My Dear Extended Family,
For your weekend consideration:
1. Where is the Plunge Protection Team? A lower opening on a Friday morning clearly indicated their absence in rigging the equity indices.
2. Where is the Exchange Stabilization Fund that has for years defended the .80 level on the USDX? Its failure to rise above this .80 level and hold over the last three days indicates their absence.
There is always a reason why.
What do they know is pending that makes them willing to pull back their support to lower levels? Clearly they know equities and the dollar are going meaningfully lower. Petro dollar developments seem the most likely.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Mr. Williams shares the following with us.
– March PPI Jumps Unexpectedly in Its Unstable Restructuring
– Updated PayrollEmployment Trend and Concurrent Seasonal Adjustments
"No. 618: March Producer Price Index"
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Extending extensions will be the rule.
White House offers extension on completing Obamacare enrollment
By Noam N. Levey
March 25, 2014, 7:55 p.m.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to allow consumers to complete enrollment for health insurance under Obamacare after next week’s deadline as long as they declare that they started the process before the end of the month.
Officials said they were making the move now in anticipation of a last-minute rush of consumers seeking health insurance ahead of the March 31 deadline. On Monday, more than 1.1 million people visited HealthCare.gov, the second-largest traffic day on the site, the White House said.
Consumer advocates have been urging the administration to provide additional time to prevent people being shut out of coverage because of last-minute problems. But officials repeatedly had said they would not waive the March 31 deadline. They continued to say Tuesday that the new extension for some consumers did not contradict that.
“Open enrollment ends March 31. We are experiencing a surge in demand and are making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment — either online or over the phone,” Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Charles Nenner talks about gold at 26 minutes. He will be buying in July for a run above $2,000.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Now they are getting as screwy as the other side.
No more iPads for Russian officials
26 March 2014 16:31 (Last updated 26 March 2014 16:49)
Russian government has forbidden the use of Apple’s ipad tablets within government agencies for security reasons.
Russian government has forbidden the use of Apple’s iPad tablets within government agencies for security reasons, Nikolai Nikiforov, the country´s Minister of Communications and Mass Media said on Wednesday.
Reports from Russian Itar-Tass news agency indicate that the Russian government has moved from using iPads to Samsung tablets.
“Samsung tablets are specially protected devices that can be used for processing confidential data. Some information at cabinet sessions is confidential, and Samsung devices completely satisfy these requirements as they have undergone the strictest certification,” the minister said.
The minister added that the move is not linked to any sanctions against US-based Apple and the change happened a short time ago.
The move came after the U.S. and EU announced sanctions against Russian officials.
Russia officially annexed Crimea from Ukraine after an independence referendum on March 16 in which 96.7 percent of the region’s voters chose to join the Russian Federation.
Supporters gather to defend Bundy ranch in Nevada from feds
Published time: April 11, 2014 16:27
An intense showdown in the state of Nevada between a family of ranchers and federal agents continues to escalate after a longstanding land dispute two decades in the making came to a head earlier this month.
As RT reported earlier this week, hundreds of armed agents with the United States Bureau of Land Management and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have descended on the Clark County, Nevada ranch of 67-year-old Cliven Bundy to execute the court-ordered confiscation of nearly 1,000 cattle, according to his family, which the US government says have trespassed on federal property.
The Washington Free Beacon newspaper reported on Monday this week that 234 of the 908 cattle had been wrangled up by government agents and their contractors, and news of the dispute has since further propelled the story into the national spotlight.
Now it’s been reported that local cowboys have retrieved some of the confiscated cattle, and supporters of the Bundy ranch from around the region have flocked to Nevada to stand by their side.
Since the Beacon first reported on the standoff earlier the week, tensions have only worsened in Clark County. Video emerged online on Wednesday of the rancher’s son, Ammon Bundy, bloodied after being shocked by an electric Taser used by authorities, and Desert Newsreported that, according to Cliven Bundy, his own sister was knocked to the ground by officials moments before cameras began to roll.
One witness, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, told reporters that “Serious bloodshed was narrowly avoided” as a pregnant woman was also roughed up during the ordeal.
EU taking Putin’s letter on gas transit ‘seriously’ – Merkel
Published time: April 11, 2014 18:13
Edited time: April 11, 2014 19:08
The EU is taking seriously President Vladimir Putin’s letter to 18 European countries, in which he warned that Ukraine’s debt crisis could affect gas transit from Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
"There are many reasons to seriously take into account this message […] and for Europe to deliver a joint European response,” Itar-Tass reported Merkel as saying.
She said the issue would be discussed in a meeting between European Union foreign ministers Monday.
Speaking in Athens on Friday, Merkel stressed that the price on natural gas should be negotiated. She also said that EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger and representatives of European states should talk to Russia’s biggest gas producer, Gazprom.
“When we take all these steps, we can be sure that we have reached a joined response for the countries that face this problem because they are getting gas from Gazprom,” Merkel said, adding European states" would like to be good clients but we would also like to be sure Russian gas supplies are not interrupted."
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
How about we go abroad and get snatched by the Russians? This tit for tat activity is going to end badly. Putin will go to war if this game of chicken escalates over, of all places, Crimea.
Russians warned if they go abroad, US might snatch them
US secret services are actively ‘hunting’ and jailing Russians in revenge for the annexation of Crimea – or so a warning by the Russian Foreign Ministry says.
By Fred Weir
It’s not your typical travel advisory.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry is warning that Russians should refrain from traveling abroad because they could be entrapped by US secret services who are actively "hunting" for Russians to persecute in punishment for Moscow’s recent annexation of Crimea, according to an official notice published on the Ministry’s website.
The message seems directed at the approximately 15 million Russians, most of them middle-class, who leave the country each year for tourism.
It says the US, which "unreasonably" refuses to accept the reunification of Russia and Crimea, is seeking revenge by "trying to make a routine practice of ‘hunting’ for Russian citizens in third countries with the goal of extraditing them to the US, where they will be convicted [and jailed] on what are usually doubtful charges."
And it adds that "justice in America" is biased against Russians, who can be "kidnapped" and taken to the US without even notifying Russian consular officials about what is happening. The two cases cited as examples are old bones of contention between Russia and the US: those of convicted arms trader Viktor Bout and convicted cocaine smuggler Konstantin Yaroshenko, both of whom were arrested in third countries and extradited to the US for trial.
Russia warns: Civil war could be coming
Ukrainian authorities sent security forces to Kharkiv to clear the country’s second-biggest city of separatists as Russia traded accusations with the U.S. and warned that its neighbor’s crackdown risks sparking civil war.
An "anti-terrorist operation" is under way in Kharkiv, 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Russian border, with the subway closed and the downtown area sealed off, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said today. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said 150 specialists from a U.S. private security company, Greystone, are involved in putting down protests. Ukraine countered that most of those behind the unrest are Russian and denied U.S. advisers are involved.
"We call for the immediate halt of all military preparations, which risk sparking a civil war," the ministry in Moscow said in a statement on its website.
Russia and the U.S. are on a collision course after tensions flared in Ukraine over the weekend and diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis faltered. The U.S. threw its weight yesterday behind the contention of Ukrainian officials that some pro-Russian separatists who seized administration buildings in the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk were paid provocateurs brought in from outside.
Treasury announces more sanctions against Crimea
April 11, 2014, 3:55 p.m. EDT
By Greg Robb
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The Treasury Department announced Friday that it is levying additional sanctions against seven high-level officials who aided Russia’s move to annex the Crimea region of Ukraine. "Crimea is occupied territory. We will continue to impose costs on those involved in ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," said David Cohen, Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. Russia’s decision to annex Crimea came after the region voted in a hastily arranged referendum to join the country. The new Treasury list the organizers of the referendum and other top officials. One energy company seized by the new Crimean government was also sanctioned. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Thursday told his Russian counterpart that the U.S. is ready to increase sanctions against Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.
CIA and White House under pressure after Senate torture report leaks
Senate committee found CIA interrogations and detentions to be ‘brutal’ and urges administration to release report as quickly as possible
Spencer Ackerman in New York
theguardian.com, Friday 11 April 2014 10.44 EDT
A leak of the major findings of a landmark Senate inquiry into the CIA’s post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees led, on Friday, to intensified pressure on the White House and the CIA to release the inquiry speedily and with a minimum of redactions.
The classified study, prepared by the Senate select committee on intelligence, concluded that the CIA’s interrogations, secret detentions and outsourced torture sessions were “brutal, and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers.”
More suspected terrorists underwent the agency’s post-9/11 treatment, which largely lasted from 2002 to 2006, than the CIA has publicly admitted, according to the report’s findings, which were first reported by McClatchy. Last week, committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein of California stated that the Senate investigated the cases of 100 detainees– dozens more than previously known to have gone through the CIA’s so-called “interrogation, detention and rendition” programs.
In addition to misleading policymakers, the Senate report charges the CIA with selectively and leaking classified and inaccurate information to journalists in order to portray the program in a positive light.
“The CIA manipulated the media by co-ordinating the leak of classified information, which inaccurately portrayed the effectiveness of the agency’s enhanced interrogation techniques,” the committee found.The agency also, according to the report, provided factually inaccurate information to Bush administration lawyers, who relied on it to concoct the legal theories that underpinned an apparatus of torturous interrogations and detentions that quickly spread to US military facilities at Guantánamo Bay, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study took four years and $40m to complete, and has brought the relationship between the CIA and the Senate panel overseeing it to perhaps its lowest ebb in history.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Misses And The Train Wreck Continues
April 11, 2014 by adam hewison
The market was a little caught off guard this morning when JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) announced their earnings, which not only disappointed investors, but missed expectations by 19%. That’s a lot like playing golf and missing a sure fire birdie putt.
Yesterday’s market action really set the tone and the perception for today. Make no mistake about it, yesterday was a big and important day to a lot of traders.
I have talked about this many times before on this blog and that is the power of perception. The perception now in many traders’ minds is that this is going to be more of a two-way street in the marketplace for stocks. Some stocks will do well, while others will fall as the perception of their growth fades in traders’ minds.
Yesterday, I posted a special report on natural gas. Why natural gas is going higher is anyone’s guess. It could be a reflection of what is going on in the Ukraine or any of a hundred different reasons. Check out this report right here.
In today’s video update, I’ll be looking at the major indices, gold, crude oil and the dollar.
At the start of the year, I stated that this is not going to be a year like 2013, which was like a no-brainer for people who just followed the technicals. This year is going to be decidedly different, there will still be lots of opportunities to make money, we just have to be more selective about it.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Who trusts the new Brown Shirts?
Ukraine fails to break stalemate with pro-Russian protesters in east
Arseniy Yatsenyuk promises devolution to local government in hope of staving off demands for their independence from Kiev
Alec Luhn in Donetsk, Oksana Grytsenko in Luhansk and agencies
The Guardian, Friday 11 April 2014 15.03 EDT
Ukraine’s interim prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, attempted and failed on Friday to break a tense deadlock in the country’s east, where armed pro-Russian protesters have barricaded themselves inside government buildings and demanded independence from Kiev.
Protesters in the eastern Ukrainian cities of Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk seized government buildings on Sunday. While police managed to clear the Luhansk protest site swiftly, protesters in Donetsk and Kharkiv remain entrenched.
Yatsenyuk met officials from the eastern regions in Donetsk and promised to expand the powers of local government bodies and preserve the status of Russian as a second official language. But he did not meet representatives of the protesters who have declared a "people’s republic" from a Donetsk administrative building and demanded that a referendum on independence be held by 11 May
A 48-hour deadline to clear the occupied buildings announced by Ukraine’s interior minister came and went without incident, despite persistent rumours of an impending assault by government forces. Protest leaders said negotiations to clear the building had come to a standstill.
In Luhansk, further east, dozens of men remained barricaded inside the state security service headquarters, armed with Kalashnikovs. They demand a referendum on federalising Ukraine.
‘It’s over’: Palestinian militants in Jenin believe peace process is at an end
Armed groups threaten a new uprising as talks between Israel and Palestinian Authority stutter
By Robert Tait, Jenin
7:23PM BST 10 Apr 2014
An ear-splitting explosion in the dead of night seemed to herald the moment when Palestinian residents of Jenin refugee camp decided that negotiations with Israel were not taking them on the path to peace.
The blast was caused by a massively-armed Israeli anti-terror unit blowing off the doors of the "safe house" where Hamza Abu Alheja, a wanted Hamas militant, had been tracked down after months of hiding in the densely-populated West Bank camp.
A fearful fire fight followed in which a torrent of heavy missiles wreaked destruction on the two-storey dwelling, where another 15 people, including women and children, had been asleep.
"The Israelis only allowed the other residents to leave after shooting at the house for 45 minutes," said Azmi Mohammed al-Hosnieh, 67, the owner, standing amid the wreckage of an upstairs flat, where a wall had collapsed in the onslaught. "My son Mohammed was shot through the shoulder and my daughter was hit in the face with shrapnel."
The mayhem ended with the death of Mr Abu Alheja, 22, who fired back at his pursuers and then tried to escape by jumping from an upstairs window before being shot through the head by a sniper.
Wholesale Prices in U.S. Rise on Services as Goods Stagnate
By Lorraine Woellert
April 11, 2014 10:07 AM EDT
Wholesale prices in the U.S. rose in March as the cost of services climbed by the most in four years while commodities stagnated.
The 0.5 percent advance in the producer-price index was the biggest since June and followed a 0.1 percent decrease the prior month, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The recent inclusion of services may contribute to the gauge’s volatility from month-to-month, which will make it more difficult to determine underlying trends.
Rising prices at clothing and jewelry retailers and food wholesalers accounted for much of the jump in services, even as energy costs retreated, signaling slowing growth in emerging markets such as China will keep price pressures muted. With inflation running well below the Federal Reserve’s goal, the central bank is likely to keep borrowing costs low in an effort to spur growth.
“Every six months or so service prices seem to pop, but over the year, service prices tend to dampen inflation more often than not,” Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial in New York, wrote in a note. “One month of price gains is not indicative of a trend.”
Also today, consumer confidence climbed this month to the highest level since July, a sign an improving job market is lifting Americans’ spirits. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary April sentiment index rose to 82.6 from 80 a month earlier.
Ukraine Miners Don Camouflage as East Revolt Mimics West
By Volodymyr Verbyany Apr 11, 2014 8:07 AM ET
If they can do it in Kiev, we can do it in Donetsk.
That’s what Roman Romanenko says as he organizes the occupation of this eastern Ukrainian city’s seat of government, which he and hundreds like him seized to protest Kiev’s new leadership. Clad in fatigues and a blue beret, the 35-year-old former paratrooper quit his coal-mining job to come here.
“My miner’s soul told me to be here,” said Romanenko. “Those people in Kiev spat on us. They think Ukraine is only western Ukraine and are ruling as they please.”
Romanenko and his fellow activists, entrenched in the building where ousted President Viktor Yanukovych once ruled as governor, are demanding a vote on greater autonomy, joining similar movements in other heavily Russian-speaking cities in the country’s east. Outside is a scene reminiscent of Kiev’s Independence Square, or Maidan, before rallies for closer ties with Europe turned deadly in February, leading to Yanukovych’s downfall and Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
While the eastern uprising looks and feels like Maidan, the roles have been reversed, with support coming from the east instead of the west as former Cold War rivals trade accusations of secret plots to spark unrest. Russia, with 40,000 troops across the border, said attempts by federal Ukrainian forces to quell the demonstrations threaten to lead to civil war.