Posts Categorized: In The News

Posted by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

With a feeding frenzy to point out how the biggest of the big can be major turkeys, no one has asked the inviting question, what did he do with the money? It is hard to spend billions on oneself.

Top banks admit huge losses in Wall Street ‘pyramid’ fraud
Dec 15 09:11 AM US/Eastern

Top world financial groups on Monday revealed massive potential losses from an alleged scam run by Wall Street trader Bernard Madoff, admitting they were fooled by a classic pyramid investment fraud.

British, French, Japanese and Spanish banks and funds said investments totalling billions of dollars (euros) could be wiped off their balance sheets by a scandal that is set to affect some of the richest people in the world.

Royal Bank of Scotland said it could lose about 400 million pounds (598 million dollars, 444 million euros), joining a growing list of banks and investors in Europe, Asia and the United States struck by the scandal.

Shares in Santander, the biggest bank in Spain and the second largest in Europe after HSBC , plunged after the lender said it had an exposure of more than three billion dollars to Madoff Investment Securities in New York.

France’s Natixis investment bank, already brought low by subprime losses, put its maxiumum exposure at 450 million euros (606 million dollars). Retail banking giant BNP-Paribas revealed potential losses of 350 million euros.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Where is the money?

Wall Street ‘fraud’ victims continue to rise
December 15, 2008

The list of institutions and individuals set to lose billions of pounds after investing in a fund run by Bernard Madoff, the Wall Street broker and former Nasdaq chairman, is growing by the hour.

The list of institutions and individuals set to lose billions of pounds after investing in a fund run by Bernard Madoff, the Wall Street broker and former Nasdaq chairman, is growing by the hour.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), the bank majority-owned by the Government, today admitted that it had an exposure of £400 million to the $50 billion alleged fraud.

It joins Man Group, the world’s largest listed hedge fund manager, HSBC and Santander, the Spanish group that owns Britain’s Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley, which are exposed to Mr Madoff’s business.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The moment these non US entities dumped Fanny and Freddie and jumped into practically no interest US Treasuries for safety, the US dollar rally crumbles and kicks those geniuses in the rear.

Foreign investors fled agencies, bought T-bills
Monthly inflows hit record as investors sought safety from U.S. troubles in U.S. assets
By Laura Mandaro, MarketWatch
Last update: 1:47 p.m. EST Dec. 15, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Foreign investors shed their holdings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt after the U.S. government’s takeover of the floundering mortgage institutions, and instead piled into short-term Treasury bills, October data released Monday show.

The rush to safety lifted monthly inflows of net foreign investments in U.S. securities to a record high of $286.3 billion, said the U.S. Treasury in its monthly Treasury International Capital, or TIC, report.

The upshot was that foreigners increased their holdings of U.S. dollar assets even after the U.S. financial system delivered a list of historic failures and near-misses, including the September bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, and then had its worst October for stock trading since 1987. See article on October trading records.

"For now, the U.S. dollar has reassumed its reserve-currency primacy," said Brian Bethune, chief U.S. financial economist at IHS Global Insight.

Foreign private investors, central banks and other overseas institutions sold a net $50.2 billion in Fannie Mae and other government agency bonds in October, a reversal from the $6.2 billion in net purchases made in September, the U.S. Treasury said.

The rush for the exits followed the U.S. government’s decision to seize formal control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after the government-sponsored enterprises – which had operated as independent, publicly traded mortgage financers with the implicit backing of the U.S. government – skirted near bankruptcy.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Oh what beautiful morning. Those that flamed the planet with their OTC derivatives and gold bearishness are becoming a bad chapter in world history.

Citadel joins rush to lock up funds
By Henny Sender in New York
Published: December 14 2008 19:00 | Last updated: December 14 2008 19:00

Citadel Investment Group has joined the rush of hedge funds suspending redemptions to investors, a development that is in effect locking up hundreds of billions of dollars in cash during a volatile period in global markets.

Ken Griffin, Citadel’s founder, sent a letter on Friday to investors in the group’s flagship Kensington and Wellington funds telling them that the group had decided to hold on to their money at least until March.

Citadel has about $15bn under management after suffering big recent losses.

Citadel trades in many of the markets hardest hit by recent volatility – including convertible bonds, corporate bonds, credit derivatives and so-called “pipes”, or private investments in public equities.

Citadel did not respond when called for comment.

Citadel joins a growing list of hedge fund groups – including Tudor, Farallon and DE Shaw – that have imposed restrictions on the ability of investors to withdraw money.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Kerry forgot to add to his statement the Pakistani Intelligence, the Pakistani Military Leaders, Pakistani Military Grunts and a significant amount of Pakistani civilians.

I imagine the Washington Post meant a great deal of the Pakistan population makes up the bad guys this article suggests be killed forthwith.

The more of this rhetoric, the closer we come to some entity with support from the US, Great Britain and others sending in troops. This will come after a major PR campaign to color the place all bad, making them all fair targets.

U.S.’s Kerry urges Pakistan to control spy agency

Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:05am EST

NEW DELHI, Dec 15 (Reuters) – The Pakistan military’s powerful spy agency must be tightly controlled and not allowed to act independently, U.S. Senator John Kerry said on Monday after meeting Indian leaders to discuss the deadly Mumbai attacks.

India has blamed last month’s attacks that killed 179 people on the banned Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which analysts say has long had ties with the Pakistan military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency.

New Delhi has also demanded Islamabad do more to stop such militant groups from using Pakistani soil to launch attacks on Indian cities.

The Mumbai attacks have renewed suspicion in India and elsewhere about ties between Lashkar and the ISI, ratcheting up tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

"In the United States, our intelligence agency is obviously held accountable, not just to the administration that runs it but also to the United States Congress and, through the Congress, to the people," Kerry told reporters in New Delhi after meeting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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Posted by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Pakistan, a rolling disaster becoming visible.

The Washington Post recently said that if Pakistan won’t or can’t uproot its home grown terrorists groups, said Robert Kagan, the world would have to step in. The international community should declare parts of Pakistan, "ungovernable" and send troops to help the Pakistan government round up and kill the bad guys.

The article goes on to ask itself "would this violate sovereignty? Of course it will answers the author. He went on to declare that nations should not be able to declare sovereign rights when they cannot control territory from which terrorist attacks are launched.

That seems to me like a slippery slope into financial and geopolitical Armageddon when the nation under discussion is nuclear capable with delivery systems. Keep in mind the military and intelligence is pro-Taliban. It seems to me the first to battle is not the government but rather the military with plans predicated on intel.

This is not Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan that truthfully lacks world class teeth. They do not vaporize their invaders, they just practice the age old strategy of bury your weapons, all fall down, now when the invading nation ensconce themselves, get up, get your weapons and bleed the enemy slowly using ancient technology until the war drains the invading nation to death.

This bunch can throw nukes if they deem themselves to be facing a force beyond their ability to repulse by traditional means, considering it not help but rather invasion. The government that the Washington Post has deemed a non nation’s present government has said, "do not do that." We will consider your offer of help if executed as an invasion of our sovereign territory.

There will be an invasion of Pakistan soon, by someone supported by the USA, GB and Israel. That you can be sure of.

Pakistan ‘linked to 75% of all UK terror plots’, warns Gordon Brown
December 14, 2008

Sam Coates, Chief Political Correspondent, and Jeremy Page, South Asia Correspondent, in Islamabad

Gordon Brown demanded "action, not words" from Pakistan today, blaming Pakistani militants for last month’s attack on Mumbai and revealing that three quarters of the gravest terror plots under investigation in the UK had links to Pakistan.

Winding up a two-day tour of Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, the Prime Minister urged Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s President, to "break the chain of terror" linking Islamist militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attempted terrorist attacks in Britain.

British military officials believe there are a "handful" of British militants fighting alongside the Taleban in Afghanistan, often entering the country through northern Pakistan, where al Qaeda and Taleban leaders are thought to be sheltering.

Officials also believe that there are currently around 30 major terrorist plots in the United Kingdom with 2,000 suspects being watched by police and the intelligence services.

"Three quarters of the most serious plots investigated by the British authorities have links to al-Qaeda in Pakistan," said Mr Brown in a press conference alongside Mr Zardari in the presidential palace in Islamabad. "The time has come for action, not words."

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The financial problems are behind us? Not a chance. What OTC derivatives did not do, imploding earning and litigation will.

Wall Street shock as Goldman Sachs is expected to post losses of £1.35billion
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 8:09 PM on 14th December 2008

As the shock waves of former Nasdaq chairman Bernard Madoff’s arrest over an alleged £33.5billion fraud continues to reverberate around Wall Street, dealers in New York are braced for yet more grief from the battered banking sector.

For the first time in a decade as a publicly listed company, Goldman Sachs is expected to report a loss for the fourth quarter tomorrow.

Analysts believe chief executive Lloyd Blankfein could post a loss of £1.35billion caused by further huge write-downs on the value of its investments and a fall in revenues as investment banking, sales and trading activity all take a further downturn.

The firm’s revenue for the first three quarters fell by almost 33 per cent from a year earlier, as investment banking fees dropped 26 per cent and trading and principle investment revenue slid 45 per cent.

Goldman, which converted into a bank-holding company in September to help it survive the global credit crisis, last month slashed about 3,200 jobs or one tenth of its staff.

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Jim Comments on President Elect Obama’s appointments:

There are two similarities pervading Obama’s appointees.

1. Harvard University
2. Intellectuals.

Therefore decisions made will be from the overeducated and lead to impractical programs and solutions following closely to a liberal manifesto.

There is a tendency when you are surrounded by what boils down to same university fraternity house to have formed a team of YES people.

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The good guys at GATA bring this to our attention

Trace Mayer: A problem with GLD and SLV ETFs
Submitted by cpowell on 08:25AM ET Sunday, December 14, 2008. Section: Daily Dispatches
11:20a ET Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

In an essay published yesterday, Trace Mayer, an accountant, lawyer, journalist, and proprietor of the Internet site RunToGold.com, has done a wonderful job exposing the weaknesses of gold and silver exchange-traded funds, as those weaknesses are acknowledged in their own prospectuses. Mayer observes, "There is no assurance that the ‘gold’ held in the ETFs is actually the same gold as defined under the periodic table."

Mayer’s essay is headlined "A Problem with GLD and SLV ETFs" and you can find it at Run To Gold here:

http://www.runtogold.com/2008/12/a-problem-with-gld-and-slv-etfs/

Posted by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This article puts focus on the shocking exposure of a NASDAQ trading house’s Boss running a massive Ponzi scheme.

I firmly believe the scams in gold, once disclosed, are going to set your hair on fire.

These will take the form of no gold gold certificates, paper gold rather than bullion confirmed as bullion to simply taking your money, sending you a confirmation without anything whatsoever behind it.

Dr. Fekete’s warning of gold scams don’t even scratch the surface of what I assure you will surface.

Just because someone says or writes what you want to believe, don’t for a second assume the author has ethics when there is a request for your money or an offering of a gold/silver deal.

Bernie Madoff’s alleged $50bn fraud may be just a foretaste of what’s to come
First come the losses and the stupidities committed by bankers working for their own self-interest.
By Rob Cox, breakingviews.com
Last Updated: 5:47PM GMT 12 Dec 2008

Then come the rogue traders, who are unable to ‘fess up on market bets gone wrong. The last to arrive is the "bezzle".

That was economist JK Galbraith’s word for the outright frauds built up when markets are good. These can be kept hidden for as long as the lies hold up. But the truth will out.

The first big outing in the current financial crisis is an alleged scam that may cost investors as much as $50bn. It was committed, according to a US criminal indictment, by a highly respected member of the financial community, a one-time Nasdaq executive and a legendary trader in New York.

Bernard Madoff is accused of orchestrating a multi-year fraud in which generous returns were manufactured for sophisticated investors. The technique was the usual Ponzi scheme. Old investors were paid off by the new funds lured into to Madoff’s art-laden New York headquarters.

Losses of $50bn would probably make Madoff the biggest single fraudster in history. But in fairness, such an accomplishment shouldn’t come as a great surprise. In Galbraith’s model of a speculative cycle, good times spawn the excess and corruption which eventually bring them to end. The last good times were especially profitable, fertilising the ground for especially large frauds.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Scotty beam me up please.

This world is coated with abhorrent stinking slime, and is terminally disintegrating.

Fed Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion in Lending
By Mark Pittman

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

Bloomberg filed suit Nov. 7 under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act requesting details about the terms of 11 Fed lending programs, most created during the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The Fed responded Dec. 8, saying it’s allowed to withhold internal memos as well as information about trade secrets and commercial information. The institution confirmed that a records search found 231 pages of documents pertaining to some of the requests.

“If they told us what they held, we would know the potential losses that the government may take and that’s what they don’t want us to know,” said Carlos Mendez, who oversees about $14 billion at New York-based ICP Capital LLC.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

I always suspected this guy was hiding something. Actually this is a serious article that nails the foundational problem now being thoroughly assaulted by instant karma.

Blame the Bailouts on Mister Rogers?
By Elizabeth MacDonald

mr_rogers1-150x150 - 20081212_175403 Mister Fred Rogers, the children’s TV star, who, beginning in 1968, started every show telling us that we were “special” just the way we were.

Blame all of those preening child-rearing experts who encouraged an excruciatingly costly culture of entitlement, a culture of narcissism, of excessive self-righteous self-indulgence, where generations grew up believing they were entitled to follow their own codes of conduct, a chronic “me first, I get what’s mine first” attitude–to the point where one survey shows one in three teenagers expect to be famous.

Better yet, blame the bailouts on everyone who forgot the most important part of the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood show, a willful ignorance that has led to a mass dereliction of civic duty, of civic vision–Rogers’ emphasis on “neighborhood.”

Blame it on a post World War II culture of “me-ism,” of individuality over community, of “I’m special, you owe me,” a culture of anything goes in this Age of Aquarius.

A mindset which has resulted in more than half of the country’s annual $14 tn in GDP, $7.8 tn, a quantum leap in fiscal debt, now being committed to bail out the economy.

Concrete proof that equal opportunity means everyone will have a fair chance at being incompetent, to quote Laurence J. Peter, author of the “Peter Principle.”

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

25 down, 2075+ to go.

Georgia, Texas Banks Seized as Foreclosures Push Failures to 25
By Margaret Chadbourn and Alison Vekshin

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — Georgia and Texas banks with $544 million in deposits were closed by state regulators today, pushing the toll of failures to 25 as mortgage delinquencies and home foreclosures surge to records during a deepening recession.

Haven Trust Bank of Duluth, Georgia, was seized and sold by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to BB&T Corp. of Winston- Salem, North Carolina, which will reopen four offices northeast of Atlanta on Dec. 15 as branches, the FDIC said. Sanderson State Bank was shut by Texas regulators and its assets were sold to Pecos County State Bank of Fort Stockton, which will open Sanderson’s southwest Texas office as a branch on Dec. 15.

Acquisitions by BB&T, the fifth-best performing stock in the KBW Bank Index this year, and Pecos County were “the ‘least costly’ resolution for the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund,” the Washington-based FDIC said in a statement.

Regulators have closed the most banks in 15 years, and the annual total now exceeds the combined toll for the previous six years, with the collapses of Washington Mutual Inc. and IndyMac Bancorp Inc. among the biggest in history. The U.S. entered a recession a year ago and President-elect Barack Obama on Dec. 7 said the slump will worsen before a recovery begins.

BB&T will buy about $55 million of Haven’s $572 million in assets and pay $112,000 for the failed bank’s $515 million in deposits, the FDIC said. The agency will retain the remaining assets “for later disposition.” The deposit insurance fund, supported by fees on insured banks, will pay an estimated $200 million, the agency said.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This might make India feel good but it is a terrible implications for the world and serious risks for Israel.

You can be sure if there is an Armageddon it lives in Pakistan.

Israeli experts help India prepare commando raids into Pakistan
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
December 6, 2008, 11:45 AM (GMT+02:00)

New Delhi has asked Jerusalem to assist in the operational and intelligence planning of Indian commando cross-border strikes against Islamist terrorist havens in Pakistan – including al Qaeda, Indian counter-terror sources report.

The Indian government’s decision to embark on these in-and-out incursions in reprisal for the Mumbai outrage of Nov. 26-29 was first revealed in DEBKA-Net-Weekly 375 published Dec. 4 (Indian Retaliatory Raids inside Pakistan Impending).

DEBKAfile adds: Israel is willing to help the Indians carry out punitive forays into Pakistan because it has its own scores to settle for the brutal murder of six Israelis in Mumbai’s Chabad Center by the Islamist terrorists and for the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency’s hand in the atrocity.

Security sources in New Delhi disclosed Saturday, Dec. 6, that ISI officers actively trained the terrorists on military lines and selected their targets, including two big hotels and the Jewish-Israeli center.

Indian sources told DEBKAfile that Israel was asked for assistance because its special undercover forces were long seasoned in plotting and executing reprisals for terrorist attacks; above all, they were expert in getting away after covert operations without leaving a trail. New Delhi wants its commando operations in Pakistan to be stealthy and focused, and does not propose to admit responsibility.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Most? I would say all. This is because of the interdependency of every regional bank and regional area on the spider web of financial products spun by the money center and investment banks, all without limit or any concern of the consequences to others.

Jim Rogers calls most big U.S. banks "bankrupt"
Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:53pm EST
By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Jim Rogers, one of the world’s most prominent international investors, on Thursday called most of the largest U.S. banks "totally bankrupt," and said government efforts to fix the sector are wrongheaded.

Speaking by teleconference at the Reuters Investment Outlook 2009 Summit, the co-founder with George Soros of the Quantum Fund, said the government’s $700 billion rescue package for the sector doesn’t address how banks manage their balance sheets, and instead rewards weaker lenders with new capital.

Dozens of banks have won infusions from the Troubled Asset Relief Program created in early October, just after the Sept 15 bankruptcy filing by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (LEHMQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). Some of the funds are being used for acquisitions.

"Without giving specific names, most of the significant American banks, the larger banks, are bankrupt, totally bankrupt," said Rogers, who is now a private investor.

"What is outrageous economically and is outrageous morally is that normally in times like this, people who are competent and who saw it coming and who kept their powder dry go and take over the assets from the incompetent," he said. "What’s happening this time is that the government is taking the assets from the competent people and giving them to the incompetent people and saying, now you can compete with the competent people. It is horrible economics."

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Posted by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Are you tired of those Gold banks that specialize in stealing your gold price lollypop on a daily basis, as they did once again today? I am.

There is only one way that we can permanently corral these costly nuisances.

If you can afford to buy 100 ounces of gold, buy it as the near trading month future on the Comex and then take delivery. Please move your gold bar or bars out of the Comex warehouse. You will have no problem reselling a bar like a Johnson Matthey or some other major refiner registered serial numbered bar.

The Comex requirement of re-assay before sale is simply a means to dissuade you from removing your gold from their warehouse. It only applies to sales on the Comex.

The entire process can be handled at every point with you by CIGA JB Slear. He has promised not to solicit you but only to serve you.

CIGA JB Slear can be reached at the following:

Fort Wealth Trading Co. LLC
www.FortWealth.com
866-443-0868 ext 104
Please for all of us, and certainly for your best interest, do the necessary.

There is no other means of defense against these grinches. It is the only way to stop our pockets being picked daily as the Comex sees itself being moved toward a cash exchange by the longs.

If you have the financial capacity to do this and do not then do not moan when these knuckle dragging apes knock a few hundred dollars off gold from time to time while the physical market is devoid of gold due to massive demand (like now).

Comex Gold Surges As Dollar Falls, Oil Soars
Thu, Dec 11 2008, 19:38 GMT
By Allen Sykora

Gold futures hit a seven-week high Thursday as the dollar tumbled, crude oil rallied sharply and investors turned to the metal as an alternative to low or non-existent yields in the Treasury markets, analysts said.

Nevertheless, gold stalled around chart resistance and some profit-taking set in after a sharp run-up in recent days.

February gold rose $17.80 to $826.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"We broke some major technical levels on the dollar index, which is going to be supportive for gold going forward," said Rob Kurzatkowski, futures analyst with optionsXpress.

The dollar index fell as far as 83.282, its weakest level since Oct. 30. And the euro hit a high of $1.3403 that was its strongest level against the greenback since Oct. 20. Traders often turn to gold as a hedge against dollar weakness.

"The dollar looks like it has broken out of its trading range and we may have seen a top in the dollar for a while," said Bill O’Neill, one of the principals with LOGIC Advisors.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The Comex gold bear manipulation must be stopped. Demand today in the physical market was immense yet the Comex knocked $20 off the gain.

Fear triggers gold shortage, drives US treasury yields below zero
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 9:26AM GMT 11 Dec 2008

The investor search for a safe places to store wealth as the financial crisis shakes faith in the system has caused extraordinary moves in global markets over recent days, driving the yield on 3-month US Treasuries below zero and causing a rush for physical holdings of gold.

"It is sheer unmitigated fear: even institutions are looking for mattresses to put their money until the end of the year," said Marc Ostwald, a bond expert at Insinger de Beaufort.

The rush for the safety of US Treasury debt is playing havoc with America’s $7 trillion "repo" market used to manage liquidity. Fund managers are hoovering up any safe asset they can find because they do not know what the world will look like in January when normal business picks up again. Three-month bills fell to minus 0.01pc on Tuesday, implying that funds are paying the US government for protection.

"You know the US Treasury will give you your money back, but your bank might not be there," said Paul Ashworth, US economist for Capital Economics.

The gold markets have also been in turmoil. Traders say it has become extremely hard to buy the physical metal in the form of bars or coins. The market has moved into "backwardation" for the first time, meaning that futures contracts are now priced more cheaply than actual bullion prices.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This is a global event caused by a singular scam. That scam is OTC derivatives. OTC derivatives have turned a normal economic correction into a global disaster.

Financial life has met its global killer and will not survive.

Until the focus of fixing looks at OTC derivatives as the only culprit, no solution can be anticipated ever.

The longer it takes for derivates to take the problem limelight, the less chance there is for anyone to do anything but sit back and watch the world implode.

Globally at the instant this started, all OTC derivative of all kinds should have been drafted into a Resurrection Trust, taking the profits from the profit makers and loses from the loss makers.

All the derivative makers should have been arrested and their assets seized. Those entire assets would be credited to the Resurrection Trust.

All tax havens and bank secrecy states would have to cooperate only where the OTC derivative culprits are concerned or their banks would get no part of the pie. Actually if you had done that the math would have worked.

The only problem with this plan is then there would not be jails big enough. The District of Columbia would be a wasteland and country clubs would have been decimated. The Columbus Club would be empty and there would be no more bridge games at Jimmy’s condominium mansion.

BOJ’s Nishimura Sees No End to Financial Turmoil (Update1)
By Mayumi Otsuma

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) — Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Kiyohiko Nishimura said there’s no end in sight to the global financial crisis that began with the collapse of the U.S. home mortgage industry last year.

“The turmoil in financial markets and the financial system, which was triggered by the U.S. subprime loan problems, continues to spread worldwide,” Nishimura said in a speech in Tokyo today. He said Japanese banks are becoming more wary of lending to small businesses as the economy stagnates.

The credit crunch in the U.S. and Europe has spread to Japan, as investors grow reluctant to lend cash on concern companies won’t be able to repay debt. Japan’s first recession since 2001 is deepening as companies including Sony Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. cut production, jobs and spending.

“With the global economic slowdown prolonging, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Japan is slipping into a severe recession,” said Hiroaki Muto, a senior economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “The Bank of Japan will be forced to take more policy action eventually.”

Nishimura said that while being more prudent about lending may seem reasonable to individual banks, if they all hoard cash at the same time that would worsen the economic slowdown.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This is a global event caused by a singular scam. That scam is OTC derivatives. OTC derivatives have turned a normal economic correction into an irreversible global disaster.

Heavy withdrawals hit Gaisano bank as more banks close

CEBU CITY — Alarmed by the bank holidays declared by rural banks under the Legacy Group, depositors have flocked to a Gaisano-owned bank since Wednesday in a bid to withdraw their money.

Three of the seven branches of the Rural Bank of Subangdaku (RBS) in Metro Cebu and one in Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental suffered from heavy withdrawals since Wednesday, said spokesperson and administrative manager Maritess Obenza.

Despite this, she assured that they had no plan to declare a bank holiday in any of the affected branches.

"The board (of directors) is still meeting on how to address the withdrawals although we have contained these because we were able to explain to our depositors and convince them that there’s no need to panic," Ms. Obenza said.

RBS depositors panicked after rural banks under the Legacy Group declared bank holidays. The affected RBS branches are located near the Legacy banks.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Here it comes on a global basis. That is Quantitative Easing plus Fiscal Stimulation at the same time. QE means saturation bombing the world with newly minted money.

U.K. May Expand Toolkit to Halt Recession Slide (Update3)
By Gonzalo Vina

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) — The U.K. government and central bank are considering plans to pump billions of pounds into the economy as the bank rescue package and the lowest interest rates since 1951 fail to halt a slide into recession.

The Bank of England and the Treasury are weighing a strategy known as “quantitative easing” where authorities increase money supply to boost bank reserves. The initiative was last used by Japan at the start of the decade.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government is frustrated that banks are rationing credit after tapping the Treasury for cash and guarantees to prop up their own balance sheets. Policy makers both in the U.K. and the U.S. Federal Reserve are looking beyond traditional interest-rate tools to revive the economy.

“The Bank of England has to step up to the plate,” said Neil Mackinnon, chief economist at ECU Group Plc in London. “They are thinking hard about quantitative easing. But they probably won’t announce anything until the next quarter, and they’ll follow the Fed.”

A U.K. Treasury spokesman said it is prudent for the government and the central bank to consider all options as the Bank of England’s benchmark lending rate approaches zero. He denied that a decision has been made and declined to be identified in line with government policy.

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The unthinkable has happened
Posted by Tracy Alloway on Nov 10 15:49.

Just two weeks after Deutsche Bank issued a note discussing the possibility of Japan-style quantitative easing in the US, it’s happening.

DB’s previous note was titled “The unthinkable.” This one is “Losing control of monetary policy.” From the note:

We are already close to a zero interest rate policy and quantitative easing, given the recent behavior of the effective fed funds rate and reserve balances.

Monetary policy has become more stimulative than indicated by the fed funds target, implying increasing loss of control of monetary policy.

FT Alphaville discussed most of the ins and outs of this last week. Deutsche Bank adds more meat to the argument today:

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

I am much too conservative at $1650. I believe Alf Fields has nailed it. Kudos to Alf.

RETURN TO $11-$13 SILVER?
Trend of gold as store of wealth ‘may start to snowball’–ScotiaMocatta
Deep-rooted global financial problems will escalate the demand for gold as a safe haven.
Author: Dorothy Kosich
Posted:  Wednesday , 10 Dec 2008

RENO, NV – In its December Metals Matters report, ScotiaMocatta suggests that global financial problems "seem so deep rooted that demand for gold as a safe haven is expected to escalate."

On silver ScotiaMocatta advised, "Investors remain key to silver’s fate, but its monetary attributes should keep investment demand strong."

Their analysis also noted that low PGM prices, especially for palladium, are "likely to rebalance the PGM markets before too long-thus providing long term investment opportunities.

Gold

Although ScotiaMocatta remains bullish for gold "we are concerned that gold prices are not considerably higher given the current bullish climate. "

"We see two possible reasons for this. Firstly, funds and investors have been in liquidation mode and industrial commodities have been hard hit. As gold is a component in commodity baskets, which were popular investment vehicles in the commodity boom, gold has been sold as investors have sold their commodities. "

"Secondly, gold has traditionally been bought for a ‘rainy day’ and many hedge funds and other institutional investors have indeed been having a ‘rainy day,’ according to ScotiaMocatta. However, as central banks’ measures to tackle the financial rout start to work, the level of redemptions is likely to slow and that should provide less selling pressure in gold."

ScotiaMocatta’s analysis revealed that gold lease rates have been soaring and "likely to put an end to the gold carry trade, at least for a while. With interest rates falling, the profit margin on gold carry trades has diminished significantly. This means that as former carry traders come to the end of their term, gold will be withdrawn from the system and returned to central banks."

"As carry trades are closed the pressure on the spot market will switch from selling pressure to buying pressure," they advised.

If people lose faith in the financial system and their currencies, ScotiaMocatta forecasts "the growing trend in wanting some gold as (a) store of wealth may start to snowball."

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Posted by & filed under In The News.

News Alert: House Passes Auto Rescue Bill
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: December 10, 2008

WASHINGTON — The House voted on Wednesday to approve a $14 billion government rescue of the American automobile industry, but the bailout plan, which would provide emergency loans to General Motors and Chrysler, was in jeopardy because of strong Republican opposition in the Senate.

The House approved the rescue plan by 237 to 170, mostly along party lines, with 32 Republicans mainly from states heavily dependent on the auto industry joining 205 Democrats in supporting the measure. Voting against were 150 Republicans and 20 Democrats.

The White House so far has failed to generate support among Senate Republicans, who have the power to kill the bill.

General Motors and Chrysler have said they cannot survive much longer without the federal aid, while Ford Motor Company, which is in better shape than its competitors, has said it will not seek the emergency loans.

As an amendment to the auto rescue plan, the House approved a measure that would require banks receiving assistance from the Treasury’s $700 billion economic stabilization program to detail new lending activity each quarter.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Warm, hot, hotter, boom

Pakistan: We’re ready for war with India
Pakistan warned it is ready for war with India if it is attacked following the strike by the Mumbai terrorists.
Last Updated: 12:13PM GMT 09 Dec 2008

The remarks by Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who also insisted he would not hand over any suspects in the Mumbai attacks, come amid mounting tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

India has said it is keeping all options open following last month’s carnage by the Mumbai terrorists, who killed more than 170 people.

"We do not want to impose war, but we are fully prepared in case war is imposed on us," said Mr Qureshi.

"We are not oblivious to our responsibilities to defend our homeland. But it is our desire that there should be no war."

Indian officials say the hardline Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, which is based in Pakistan despite being banned by the government, is behind the bloodshed, and Indian media have suggested there could be Indian strikes on militant camps.

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Posted by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Only the uptick rule levels the playing field with pool short sellers running wild. No uptick allows the seller to pound away at the bids on a stock until the longs are simply bowled over.

The pounders are the bastards that have been playing the gold juniors, pounding away.

God help these guys if they are brought out into the light.

Their lights may be put out. Their only protection is to hide behind the lack of regulation.

Those arguing NOT to reinstate the uptick rule are the perps.

Uptick Rule May Fail to Lift Stocks, Curb Volatility
By Edgar Ortega and Jesse Westbrook

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) — Resurrecting the “uptick rule,” the 70-year-old restriction on short sellers, would probably fail to curb bets against equities or damp price swings, according to brokers that trade about 25 percent of U.S. stocks.

Members of Congress, T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and the head of NYSE Euronext blame the Securities and Exchange Commission’s 2007 decision to eliminate the regulation for contributing to the worst year for stocks since 1937. New York-based Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. blamed short sellers, who profit from declining stock prices, for spreading rumors that drove their shares to their lowest this decade.

Executives at UBS AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Knight Capital Group Inc. say bringing back the rule, which prevented traders from making bets against stocks when they were falling, is unlikely to reduce volatility. Ever since computers started trading millions of shares in seconds and exchanges began quoting stocks in penny increments in 2000, the regulation has become obsolete, they said.

“It was a good rule back when trading was manual, but now that trading is much more automated, I don’t see it as a viable solution,” said C. Thomas Richardson, global head of transaction services for New York-based brokerage Nyfix Inc.

The guideline barred traders at the New York Stock Exchange from driving down prices by shorting a stock unless its price had increased, or remained unchanged in the preceding trade.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

With this rate of return the US Fed and Treasury better pray for the dollar’s health.

Treasury Bills Trade at Negative Rates as Haven Demand Surges
By Daniel Kruger and Cordell Eddings

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) — Treasuries rose, pushing rates on the three-month bill negative for the first time, as investors gravitate toward the safety of U.S. government debt amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The Treasury sold $27 billion of three-month bills yesterday at a discount rate of 0.005 percent, the lowest since it starting auctioning the securities in 1929. The U.S. also sold $30 billion of four-week bills today at zero percent for the first time since it began selling the debt in 2001.

“It’s the year-end factor,” said Chris Ahrens, an interest-rate strategist in Greenwich, Connecticut, at UBS Securities LLC, one of the 17 primary dealers that trade directly with the Federal Reserve. “Everyone wants to be in bills going into year-end. Buy now while the opportunity is still there.”

The benchmark 10-year note’s yield tumbled 11 basis points, or 0.11 percentage point, to 2.63 percent at 4:48 p.m. in New York, according to BGCantor Market Data. The 3.75 percent security due in November 2018 gained 31/32, or $9.69 per $1,000 face amount, to 109 23/32. The yield touched 2.505 percent on Dec. 5, the lowest level since at least 1962, when the Fed’s daily records began.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Citi is certainly an expert on "UNRAVEL."

Citigroup says gold could rise above $2,000 next year as world unravels
Gold is poised for a dramatic surge and could blast through $2,000 an ounce by the end of next year as central banks flood the world’s monetary system with liquidity, according to an internal client note from the US bank Citigroup.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 7:29AM GMT 27 Nov 2008

An employee of Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewelry K.K. displays a gold bar at the company’s store in Tokyo Photo: Reuters

The bank said the damage caused by the financial excesses of the last quarter century was forcing the world’s authorities to take steps that had never been tried before.

This gamble was likely to end in one of two extreme ways: with either a resurgence of inflation; or a downward spiral into depression, civil disorder, and possibly wars. Both outcomes will cause a rush for gold.

"They are throwing the kitchen sink at this," said Tom Fitzpatrick, the bank’s chief technical strategist.

"The world is not going back to normal after the magnitude of what they have done. When the dust settles this will either work, and the money they have pushed into the system will feed though into an inflation shock.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Pakistan is the greatest problem the planet faces. Raiding nuclear capable countries without a government is somewhat risky.

Israeli experts help India prepare commando raids into Pakistan
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
December 6, 2008, 4:23 PM (GMT+02:00)

New Delhi has asked Jerusalem to assist in the operational and intelligence planning of Indian commando cross-border strikes against Islamist terrorist havens in Pakistan – including al Qaeda, Indian counter-terror sources report.

The Indian government’s decision to embark on these in-and-out incursions in reprisal for the Mumbai outrage of Nov. 26-29 was first revealed in DEBKA-Net-Weekly 375 published Dec. 4 (Indian Retaliatory Raids inside Pakistan Impending).

DEBKAfile adds: Israel is willing to help the Indians carry out punitive forays into Pakistan because it has its own scores to settle for the brutal murder of six Israelis in Mumbai’s Chabad Center by the Islamist terrorists and for the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency’s hand in the atrocity.

Security sources in New Delhi disclosed Saturday, Dec. 6, that ISI officers actively trained the terrorists on military lines and selected their targets, including two big hotels and the Jewish-Israeli center.

Indian sources told DEBKAfile that Israel was asked for assistance because its special undercover forces were long seasoned in plotting and executing reprisals for terrorist attacks; above all, they were expert in getting away after covert operations without leaving a trail. New Delhi wants its commando operations in Pakistan to be stealthy and focused, and does not propose to admit responsibility.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This is to be expected in India and to grow. The article is clueless of why.

India Post is selling gold coins like hotcakes
2008-12-04 17:55:00

BANGALORE: The Indian government is extending a novel scheme to sell gold coins through post offices to several states in the wake of its stupendous success in the last two months.

India Post in association with World Gold Council and Reliance Money launched the innovative plan in October. The scheme offers 24-c gold coins in 0.5g, 1.5g and 8g varieties and people can buy gold coins through post offices.

In the first phase, gold coins in the denomination of half gram, one gram, 5 grams and 8 grams were be sold in over 100 post offices in Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The initiative was then introduced in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.

On Friday, India Post chief postmaster general M P Rajan said that the gold coins selling scheme has been extended to the southern state of Karnataka.

"Under the scheme launched on October 15th in Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, in the first phase, 8,500 gold coins were sold in the first 15 days," said Rajan.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

53% now, probably 70% soon. You expected doing the same thing over again would have different results? Ask Einstein.

Half of ‘rescued’ borrowers still default
Many modified mortgages in 2008 defaulted in 6 months, a top federal regulator says. A new study raises concerns over the quality of such loan adjustments.
By Tami Luhby, CNNMoney.com senior writer
Last Updated: December 9, 2008: 5:11 PM ET

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than half of delinquent homeowners whose mortgages were modified earlier this year ended up redefaulting within six months, a top bank regulator said Monday.

Some 53% of borrowers with loans modified in the first three months of 2008 and 51% of those with loans modified in the second quarter could not keep up with payments within six months, according to U.S. Comptroller John Dugan, who spoke at a housing conference.

The report, which will be released in full next week, covers nearly 35 million loans worth a total of $6 trillion – or 60% of all primary mortgages in the United States.

The high redefault rate raises concerns about the long-term effectiveness of loan modifications, which many are pushing as a key solution to the nation’s financial crisis

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

On this one Chuck is right.

Restore the Uptick Rule, Restore Confidence
Short sales of stocks are fine given one tried and tested regulation

By CHARLES R. SCHWAB
The last time the stock market suffered from extreme volatility and risk of market manipulation as severe as we are experiencing today, our grandparents’ generation stepped up to the plate and instituted the uptick rule. That was 1938. For nearly 70 years average investors benefited immensely from that one simple stabilizing act.

Unfortunately, in a shortsighted move, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) eliminated the rule in July 2007, just as we were about to need it most. Investors have now been whipsawed by what appears to be manipulative trading, what we used to call "bear raids," which drive stock prices down without warning and at breakneck speed. Average investors feel the deck is stacked against them and are losing confidence in the markets.

For the sake of our children and grandchildren, and to avoid a needless future repeat of a bad situation, it is time to restore the uptick rule.

The uptick rule may seem far from a kitchen-table issue, but it is critically important to ordinary investors. With more than half of all U.S. households invested in the stock market, either directly or through a retirement plan, it matters a great deal. The average 401(k) retirement account has lost 20%-30% of its value over the last 18 months — more than $2 trillion in retirement savings has been wiped out. Behind those numbers are real people who planned and saved, and who are suddenly facing an uncertain retirement and the prospect of working longer.

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Posted by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

I have already told you about this. I feel you should know the reasons behind the attack.

Pakistan attack destroys more than 160 vehicles destined for US-led troops in Afghanistan
Riaz Khan
Associated Press – 12/07/2008

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Militants blasted their way into two transport terminals in Pakistan on today and torched more than 160 vehicles destined for U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan, in the biggest assault yet on a vital military supply line, officials said.

The U.S. military said its losses in the raid near the northwestern city of Peshawar would have only a "minimal" impact on its operations against resurgent Taliban-led militants in Afghanistan.

However, the attack’s boldness will fuel concern that Taliban militants are tightening their hold around Peshawar and could choke the supply route through the famed Khyber Pass.

Up to 75 percent of supplies for Western forces in landlocked Afghanistan pass through Pakistan after being unloaded from ships at the Arabian sea port of Karachi. NATO is already seeking an alternative route through Central Asia.

The attack at the Portward Logistic Terminal reduced a section of the vast walled compound to a smoldering junkyard.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Arrested? Why? He deserves a medal for distinguished service to humanity.

Lawyer Dreier Charged by U.S. With $100 Million Fraud (Update3)
By David Glovin and Bob Van Voris

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) — Marc Dreier, managing partner and namesake of the 250-lawyer New York firm Dreier LLP, was charged by federal prosecutors with cheating hedge funds out of more than $100 million.

Dreier, who has represented publishing executive Judith Regan and real estate broker Kenneth Laub, is set to appear today in Manhattan federal court to face securities and wire fraud charges. He faces as much as 10 years in prison if convicted of the most serious counts. Dreier’s lawyer, Gerald Shargel, didn’t return a call seeking comment.

The charges against Dreier, 58, a graduate of both Harvard and Yale Universities, came on the same day he was sued by Wachovia Corp. for defaulting on $12.6 million in loans. The U.S. alleged he lied to three unnamed hedge funds when he claimed to represent a New York real estate developer purportedly seeking to sell notes to investors. Dreier told the funds they may buy the notes at a deep discount from both the developer and the original note purchasers, prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint.

One fund allegedly wired about $100 million to Dreier’s account in October after receiving phony financial documents written by the attorney, prosecutors said. Another fund allegedly wired about $13.5 million.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Pakistan has already accomplished two nuclear powers at DEFCON 1. This is nothing compared to what is to follow.

Not hoax call, claims Pak
KT NEWS SERVICE

NEW DELHI, Dec 7: Pakistan Friday night asserted that the threatening call to its President Zardari on November 28 was put out from "a verified official Phone Number of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs" and blamed the Indian High Commission in Islamabad for trying to paint it as a hoax call.

"The identity of this particular call, as evident from the CLI (caller identity) device, showed that the call was placed from a verified official Phone Number of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs", Pakistan Information and Broadcasting Minister Sherry Rehman claimed in a written statement issued in Islamabad and also circulated in Delhi.

She also blamed indirectly an Indian High Commission official for planting a report in the Pakistani media that it was a hoax call and condemned "efforts aimed at using media for negative diplomacy at a time when tensions are running high between Indian and Pakistan." According to her, the report in Pakistani English daily ‘Dawn’ that some imposter called up Zardari, posing himself to be External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, was "based on a briefing given to a few journalists by a responsible senior official of a neighbouring country based in Islamabad."

Pointing out that all calls received in the Presidency are processed in accordance with an intricately laid down procedure and as such "it is not possible for any call to come through to the President without multiple caller identity verifications," she said the call under reference too was "processed, verified and crosschecked under the same procedure."

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Posted by & filed under In The News.

Dear CIGAs,

Check out the following video of Fred Thompson commenting on the economy.

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Pakistan this weekend:

Dozens of NATO supply trucks torched in Pakistan
By RIAZ KHAN – 21 hours ago

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Suspected militants attacked a Pakistan transport terminal used to supply NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan, killing a guard and burning 106 vehicles on Sunday.

The assault was the boldest yet on trucks carrying critical supplies to foreign troops in Afghanistan, feeding concern that Taliban militants could cut or seriously disrupt the route through the famed Khyber Pass.

Up to 75 percent of the supplies for Western forces in the landlocked country pass through Pakistan after being unloaded from ships at the Arabian sea port of Karachi.

About 30 assailants armed with guns and rockets attacked the Portward Logistic Terminal near the city of Peshawar before dawn Sunday, police official Kashif Alam said.

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Report: ‘India Was Ready to Strike Pakistan’
Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Pakistani High Commissioner in London, Wajid Shamsul Hassan, says India was ready to launch a military strike on Pakistan in retaliation for the Mumbai terror attacks, Sky News reported.

Hassan said British and American officials had to intervene to prevent India from carrying out an attack.

"On the day of the Mumbai attacks, I got some information in London that India was going to act very drastically against Pakistan in retaliation to what happened," Hassan told Sky News.

The senior diplomat alerted the Pakistani government and President Asif Ali Zardari to the threat.

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Villagers in Pakistan say captured Mumbai gunman lived in their town
12:51 AM CST on Sunday, December 7, 2008

FARIDKOT, Pakistan – The lone gunman captured alive by Indian police during the terrorist attack on Mumbai a week and a half ago comes from a dirt-poor village in Pakistan’s southern Punjab region where a banned Islamist group has been actively recruiting young men for jihad, according to residents of the village and official records seen by McClatchy Newspapers.

Ajmal Ameer Kasab, the 21-year-old man arrested by Indian authorities in the first hours of the assault, left the village four years ago, several residents said. He would return once a year to his small family home, and one villager recalled him talking about freeing the Muslim-dominated region of Kashmir from India.

His origins are a key to the investigation of the attack and could have a profound impact on relations between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, already at the brink of confrontation. Until now, the Pakistani government has repeatedly said that there was no solid evidence to back Indian accusations that the gunmen came from Pakistan.

A reporter obtained official electoral records, which showed that Mr. Kasab’s parents, as named by the Indian authorities, indeed reside in the village.

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27 killed, dozens injured in Pakistan blast

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) — A car exploded in front of a Shiite mosque in northern Pakistan on Friday, killing 27 people, police said.

Authorities said the car exploded in front of the Alam Dar Karbala mosque in Peshawar, in North West Frontier Province. Eighty-five people were injured from the blast.

After the explosion, video from the scene showed people crowding the streets. The video also showed some people carrying others who appeared to be injured.

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