Posts Categorized: In The News

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J.P. Morgan Files Patent for Blockchain-Powered Payments
May 4, 2018

Here we go. J.P. Morgan Chase has applied for a patent to facilitate payments between banks using the blockchain.

The patent was originally submitted in October, but the application was made public by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday. It outlines a system that would essentially use distributed ledger technology, such as blockchain, to keep track of payments sent between financial institutions.

In the application, J.P. Morgan notes that cross-border payments require “a number of messages” that must be sent between the bank and clearing houses involved in the transaction. This often results in delays and a restricted availability to the funds. Rather, the transaction on the blockchain would eliminate high costs, provide a system for accurately logging the transactions, and process payments in real time with a verifiably true audit trail.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This is a step on gold road to the first of two resets.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Every step forward for China is one step backwards for the dollar…

Nigeria, China Sign $2.4 Billion Currency-Swap to Lift Trade
May 3, 2018

Nigeria and China agreed on a currency-swap worth $2.4 billion to boost commercial ties and reduce the need to use the dollar in bilateral trade.

Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, and Godwin Emefiele, his Nigerian counterpart, signed a three-year swap of 15 billion yuan or 720 billion naira in Beijing on April 27, the Chinese central bank said in a statement Thursday. The transaction can be renewed if both parties want, it said.

The deal, more than two years in the making, will “provide naira liquidity to Chinese businesses and provide renminbi liquidity to Nigerian businesses respectively, thereby improving the speed, convenience and volume of transactions between the two countries,” the Central Bank of Nigeria said in a separate statement. It will allow Nigerian companies to import spare parts and raw materials from China by sourcing renminbi from local banks and help them avoid “the difficulties of seeking other scarce foreign currencies,” it said.

China is Nigeria’s second-biggest trading partner after the U.S., with volumes between the two totaling $9.2 billion in 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Nigeria runs a deficit, importing $7.6 billion of goods including textiles and machinery from China and exporting just $1.6 billion, mainly oil and gas.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Who does this jackass think he is?  I am pretty sure there are laws against this, if not there should be.  Can you imagine the charges immediately filed if someone from Trump’s administration does this seven years from now?

Kerry Is Quietly Seeking To Salvage Iran Deal He Helped Craft
May 04, 2018

WASHINGTON — John Kerry’s bid to save one of his most significant accomplishments as secretary of state took him to New York on a Sunday afternoon two weeks ago, where, more than a year after he left office, he engaged in some unusual shadow diplomacy with a top-ranking Iranian official.

He sat down at the United Nations with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to discuss ways of preserving the pact limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It was the second time in about two months that the two had met to strategize over salvaging a deal they spent years negotiating during the Obama administration, according to a person briefed on the meetings.

With the Iran deal facing its gravest threat since it was signed in 2015, Kerry has been on an aggressive yet stealthy mission to preserve it, using his deep lists of contacts gleaned during his time as the top US diplomat to try to apply pressure on the Trump administration from the outside. President Trump, who has consistently criticized the pact and campaigned in 2016 on scuttling it, faces a May 12 deadline to decide whether to continue abiding by its terms.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

This is not something you just “lose, rather, it is something that gets stolen.  Probably just need to look at who had access and check their bank accounts?

Bill Holter’s Commentary

China will do what is best for China …or is this a little arm twisting in order to settle in yuan?

China’s Top Oil Company Sinopec Cuts Saudi Crude Imports
May 5, 2018

China’s Sinopec will cut its June imports of crude from Saudi Arabia by 40 percent for the second month in a row because of unjustified high prices, an official from the top Asian refiner, Unipec, told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia raised the price for its Arab Light to a four-year high, and according to the Unipec official, the grade is now considerably overvalued compared to other Middle Eastern crudes.

Last month, a Unipec official told Reuters, “Our refineries think these are unreasonable prices as they do not follow the pricing methodology.” Besides Sinopec, a source from another two refineries in northern Asia said they will be cutting their imports from Saudi Arabia by ten percent as oil buyers have a hard time grasping how the Kingdom is calculating the price for its most popular grade.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

2018, the year that TRUTH will matter!

Trump Sent The Deep State Running For The Hills With This Tweet
May 2, 2018

The Deep State thought their perfect plan was in place.

Key loyalists would obstruct and cover up evidence that would block any investigation into the real scandal – the scheme to frame Trump for collusion with Russia and remove him from office.

But that all ended when Trump sent the Deep State running for the hills with this tweet.

Congressman Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan – two of the leading members of the House Freedom Caucus and pro-Trump stalwarts – requested that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein provide them the unredacted version of the memo he wrote authorizing the Mueller probe.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

True or in Bert Seligman’s case be one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Luke Gromen on the Petro yuan.

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BANG: Why The Gold Miners Could Soon Make FANG Look Tame
May 3, 2018

I’ve written recently about the FANG stocks and another popular group I call MCBM. Both trade at valuations that look extreme relative to their history. There’s another group, though, that I have been watching that appears to be trading at a significant discount to its normal range over the past couple of decades.

This latter group I call BANG (Barrick Gold, Agnico Eagle, Nemont Mining and Goldcorp) and I like the acronym not just because of the allusion to and juxtaposition with FANG but also due to the fact that rising gold prices could make for explosive gains in these stocks if their valuations begin to normalize at all.

The chart below plots the median enterprise value-to-revenues for the four stocks over the past 20 years. The thing that really jumps out at me is that BANG is currently cheaper today than it was in the early 2000’s at the end of the last major gold bear market when the price of the precious metal was fully $1,000 per ounce cheaper than it is today.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

…the dumbing down of America is perilously close to the 50% threshold!

46% Favor Government Guaranteed Jobs for All
April 30, 2018

Senator Bernie Sanders is looking ahead to the 2020 presidential election with a proposed federal government program that guarantees all Americans a job with health insurance. Nearly half of voters like the idea.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

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Watters: Mueller Is Trying to ‘Criminalize the Exercise of Presidential Power’
May 1, 2018

Jesse Watters said President Donald Trump should be alarmed at what Special Counsel Robert Mueller apparently wants to ask him, citing leaked questions attributed to the former FBI director’s team.

“They don’t care if he fails, I think they’re more worried about him succeeding,” Watters said.

Watters said the Mueller probe is supposed to be about colluding with Russia, but judging by the leaked questions, Mueller appears to be playing the role of a wily “therapist” intent on “getting inside the president’s head” and thereby proving “obstruction.”

“I don’t think that Mueller has a [collusion] case against the president. He’s building a very deadly serious case,” he said.

Watters said that if Trump answered the largely “open-ended” questions under oath, “you’re going to be impeached.”

He said that many of the questions are about Trump’s tweets.

“If you can get indicted for tweeting something, that’s crazy,” Watters said.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

My former partner, Yra, remains the most knowledgeable person I know.

Yra Harris: “There Are Increasing Concerns Around The Globe That Central Bankers Do Not Have An Exit Strategy”
April 29, 2018

Back in November, we brought to the attention of our readers a stunning admission from one of Citi’s head credit strategists, Hans Lorezen, who said matter-of -factly that during his conversations with central bankers, there was a growing fear that they’ve lost control:

    In the context of a self-reinforcing, herding market, the pivot point where the marginal investor is indifferent between putting more money back into risk assets and holding cash instead is fluid. But when the herd suddenly changes direction, the result is a sharp non-linear shift in asset prices. That is a problem not only for us  trying to call the market, but also for central bankers trying to remove policy accommodation at the right pace without setting off a chain reaction – especially because the longer current market dynamics run, the more energy will eventually be released.

    That seems to be a growing fear among a number of central bankers that we have spoken to recently. In our experience, they too are somewhat baffled by the lack of volatility and concerned about the lack of response to negative headlines…. Our guess is that sooner or later in the process of retrenchment they will end up going too far – though that will only be obvious with hindsight.

Fast forward to today when as Yra Harris writes in his latest Notes from the Underground, the realization that central bankers are on the verge of panic is that much closer, because as the veteran trader and strategist notes, “the continued efforts by the ECB, BOJ and Swiss National Bank to keep their overnight rates at crisis-era levels is increasing concerns around the globe that central bankers in general do not have an exit strategy.”

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Do people even know this?

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

We have said for years “at least China has built and will be left with new infrastructure when the debt façade comes down”.  The US on the other hand has eaten its seed corn!  I remember vividly being chastised by Monty Guild for suggesting China was also playing the debt game, were/are they?  It looks like Wharton believes they have!

How Long Can the ‘Chinese Miracle’ Last?
April 24, 2018

Podcast via Knowledge@Warton

Bill Holter’s Commentary

I was a UT fan until this weekend…

University of Texas to Treat Masculinity as a ‘Mental Health’ Issue
April 27, 2018

The Counseling and Mental Health Center at the University of Texas at Austin recently launched a new program to help male students “take control over their gender identity and develop a healthy sense of masculinity.”

Treating masculinity as if it were a mental health crisis, “MasculinUT” is organized by the school’s counseling staff and most recently organized a poster series encouraging students to develop a “healthy model of masculinity.”

The program is predicated on a critique of so-called “restrictive masculinity.” Men, the program argues, suffer when they are told to “act like a man” or when they are encouraged to fulfill traditional gender roles, such as being “successful” or “the breadwinner.”

Though you might enjoy “taking care of people” or being “active,” MasculinUT warns that many of these attributes are actually dangerous, claiming that “traditional ideas of masculinity place men into rigid (or restrictive) boxes [which]… prevent them from developing their emotional maturity.”

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Just another suicide to add to the list?

US Surgeon, Who Exposed Clinton Foundation Corruption In Haiti, Found Dead
April 24, 2018

Dr. Dean lorich, an orthopedic surgeon who volunteered in haiti and exposed clinton foundation corruption and malpractice on the island, has been found dead in new york. He was 54.

Dr. Lorich was found by his 11-year-old daughter on the bathroom floor of his tony Upper East Side apartment with a knife in his chest at around 1 pm on Monday.

The knife missed the surgeon’s heart, leaving him to bleed out and be found by his daughter. Despite the fact police were called to the property regarding an “assault“, they instantly registered the death as “suicide” and closed the case.

One of the United States’ leading surgeons, Dr. Lorich was part of the relief effort sent by the U.S. to assist the relief effort led by the Clinton Foundation in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. However, Dr. Lorich was disgusted by the “shameful” Clinton Foundation operation and voiced his concerns to Hillary Clinton directly.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Not sure what they want to call this but the reality is it’s a disaster waiting to happen!

ECB Fears For Withdrawal Of €1.1TRILLION Deutsche Bank – And Impact On The Global Economy
April 19, 2018

THE EUROPEAN Central Bank has moved first to protect global financial markets from the potential chaos caused if Deutsche Bank decide to quit investment banking.

The ECB has made Deutsche the first bank under its supervision to report on the cost and consequences of its investment bank’s exit from the global markets.

Deutsche is currently reviewing the role of its investment bank – known internally as Project Colombo – to determine the way forward as revenues shrink and clients look for profit elsewhere.

Regulators are known to scrutinise large, struggling institutions like €1.1 trillion Deutsche Bank over their potential to plumge the global financial system into meltdown as see with the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Really? Here we go again!

Freddie Mac Launches “3% Down” Mortgage With No Income Restrictions
April 28, 2018

It’s been a while since the US made a wholesale push to get more cash and income-strapped households into the ever more unaffordable American dream of owning a house, three years to be exact, which is when nationalized housing agency Freddie Mac last rolled out a conventional mortgage that only required a 3% down payment for certain borrowers.

The problem is that what modest requirement the mortgage program had back in 2015, meant that most Americans who needed access would be excluded. The program, which as we described at the time was designed for qualified (that being the key word) low-and moderate-income borrowers – i.e., Millennials – saw limited progress over the last few years, with FHFA Director Mel Watt telling Congress last year that Freddie’s 3% down program (along with a similar one from Fannie Mae) was continuing to grow.

It just wasn’t growing fast enough, because while putting 3% down may not have been especially challenging for most Americans, having even the modest income required to go along with it, was.

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Tom Fitton: ‘These Are The Emails Hillary Didn’t Want You To See’
April 26, 2018

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Tin gods are everywhere.

NYPD Blues: De Blasio Takes Over
April 26, 2018

In 2011, then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg got himself in hot water when he declared “I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world.”

It was not—not the seventh biggest and not an army—but Bloomberg was not far off the mark. With a current uniformed strength of about 36,000 and powerful unions, the New York Police Department is a profound force in the city, from the streets to the suites and in the corridors of political power. It has shaped the national and even international imagination in countless books, movies and television shows. The mayor rightfully exercises civilian control over the department and to varying degrees, and with varying success, police commissioners rightfully have struggled to keep the NYPD from being bent too far to the political will of the city’s top elected official.

That drama is being played out again today. Mayor Bill de Blasio, his eyes on higher national office, is wrapping his political machine around New York law enforcement, locking down avenues of transparency and independence that could cause him trouble. The mayor cloaks his moves in the progressive politics of his base but no one is fooled. This is about Iowa and New Hampshire and the kind of raw political power that de Blasio needs to exercise to keep his long-shot presidential hopes alive.

The mayor visited Iowa in December, insisting he was not running for president. His wife, Chirlane McCray, was in New Hampshire earlier this month. The New York Times recently noted that Ms. McCray “suddenly seems to be everywhere… [she] has stepped up her out-of-town travel, meeting with political leaders, speaking about her signature mental health initiative, networking and building the family brand outside New York City.”

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The latest from John Williams’ www.shadowstats.com

– For All Employees, First-Quarter 2018 Real Average Weekly Earnings Contracted 0.4% (-0.4%), along with Slowing Real Growth in Consumer Credit
– Quarterly Real Average Weekly Earnings Contracted 1.5% (-1.5%) for Production and Nonsupervisory Employees, the Third Consecutive Quarterly Decline, the Fifth in the Last Six Quarters
– Unadjusted Annual CPI-U Inflation Rose to a 12-Month High 2.36% in March 2018, Up from 2.21% in February 2018, Still Holding Well Shy of Common Experience
– Fed’s Targeted “Core” Inflation Broke Above 2.0%, to 2.1% in March 2018, Highest Level in 13 Months – Annual PPI Inflation Rose to a 74-Month High of 3.03% in March 2018, Reflecting Jumps in Food Prices and Outpatient Costs
– A Leading Indicator to Broad Economic Activity, March 2018 Real Annual Growth in Money Supply M3 Slowed to a Six-Month Low
– Next Week’s Headline Economic Reporting Could Lock in a First-Quarter 2018 Real GDP Contraction
– Nonetheless, While Not Close to an Economic Expansion, Some Positive Anecdotal Evidence on the Economy Is Surfacing

“No. 945: March Consumer and Producer Price Indices, Real Earnings”

www.shadowstats.com

Bill Holter’s Commentary

If you did not get a chance to read Bill’s subscription article today, this was mentioned and is a very good read on what higher rates will mean.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Zerohedge with an article on Canada, rising rates and a “bubbly” housing market. Pretty much in line what we just wrote about for subscribers…

“Canada Is In Serious Trouble” Again, And This Time It’s For Real
April 27, 2017

Some time ago, Deutsche Bank’s chief international economist, Torsten Slok, presented several charts which showed that  “Canada is in serious trouble” mostly as a result of its overreliance on its frothy, bubbly housing sector, but also due to the fact that unlike the US, the average Canadian household had failed to reduce its debt load.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, the German economist demonstrated that it was not just the mortgage-linked dangers from the housing market (and this was before Vancouver and Toronto got slammed with billions in “hot” Chinese capital inflows) as credit card loans and personal lines of credit had both surged, even as multifamily construction was at already record highs and surging, while the labor market had become particularly reliant on the assumption that the housing sector would keep growing indefinitely, suggesting that if and when the housing market took a turn for the worse, or even slowed down as expected, a major source of employment in recent years would shrink.

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