Jim’s Mailbox

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Jim/Bill,

A listener, Kevin, has sent this in for us with hopes that we can talk about this next Saturday.

Dave

Wag The Dog – The New COMEX And SGE Gold Contracts
October 25, 2019

Last week, in a move which went largely unnoticed, the US and Chinese gold markets moved one step closer to lockstep, when the CME group, home of the gold derivatives market and the world’s largest physical gold exchange, simultaneously and jointly launched a series of gold futures products in what they pitched as cross-market cooperation.

On the US side, CME has launched two cash-settled ‘Shanghai Gold futures‘, based on the SGE’s daily Shanghai Gold Benchmark Price, one denominated in US dollars and the other denominated in offshore Chinese renminbi (CNH). Both of these contracts are listed on the COMEX. On the Chinese side, the SGE has launched a T + N (margin) 100 gram contract denominated in renmimbi (RMB) that’s based on the CME’s COMEX Gold Futures Asia Spot Price. The SGE calls this the NYAuTN contract.

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Jim/Bill,

Who could have seen this coming?

Dave

Meet WeWork’s Epic Cash Black Hole: 36% Of Shanghai Locations Are Vacant
October 26, 2019

The whole WeWork scheme is unraveling in realtime, and a new Financial Times (FT) report shows the epicenter of the implosion is in China.

The Chinese subsidiary of WeWork, valued at $5 billion in 2018, could be headed to zero in the quarters ahead. Why?

Well, sources have told FT that WeWork locations in China have been severely underperforming, to the extent that occupancy levels are absolutely disturbing.

    “WeWork locations in Shanghai, where it has installed 43,600 desks, had a vacancy rate of 35.7% in October. In Shenzhen, where the company has 8,000 desks, 65.3% were vacant, while 22.1% of the group’s 8,900 desks in Hong Kong sat unfilled. The company was also expanding in central China, with multiple offices in Xi’an. There, it suffered a vacancy rate of 78.5%.”

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Jim/Bill,

As Mr Griffin pointed out, the military is a gift that keeps on giving.

Before joining the Department of Defense, Esper was vice president of government relations at Raytheon, a major U.S. defense contractor

Dave

As Secret Pentagon Spending Rises, Defense Firms Cash In
October 23, 2019

. . .

The boost in secret contracts has also shown up in big defense contractors’ recent annual reports. For example, Raytheon’s 2018 annual report touted “record classified bookings of nearly $7 billion” — up 46 percent in just a year and representing 19 percent of the company’s total revenues.

“These increases were largely driven by the need of our domestic customers to address advanced peer threats as outlined in both the National Defense Strategy and the Missile Defense Review,” the company said at the time. Raytheon remains well-aligned to both of these documents, which emphasize capabilities such as high-energy lasers, high-power microwaves, space, hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, next-generation sensors and cybersecurity.”

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