Posted at 4:09 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

Oil and gas seem to be a reoccurring theme in US adventures around the world.

Dave

Russia To Defend Its Venezuela Oil Assets In ‘Toughest Way Possible’
March 10, 2019

Nicolas Maduro’s staunchest international ally—Russia—reaffirmed last week its full support to the Socialist leader’s regime and his efforts to prevent what Moscow sees as interference in Venezuela’s domestic affairs.

At the same time, Russia, which vowed to defend its oil assets in Venezuela as early as the political crisis began in January, sees risks to its investments in the Latin American country and pledges to react “in the toughest way” possible within international law if those investments are threatened, Russia’s Ambassador to Venezuela, Vladimir Zaemsky, told Russian government-run newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta in an interview published this week.

Russia is the staunchest supporter and ally of Maduro’s regime in the political power struggle in the Latin American country sitting on top of the world’s largest oil reserves, while the US and many European nations have recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim president. Russia has stood by Maduro for years and has poured billions of US dollars in Venezuela in the form of loans and oil investments. Russia’s state-controlled oil giant Rosneft has extended US$6 billion of loans to Venezuela’s state oil firm PDVSA. As of December 31, 2018, Venezuela still owed Rosneft US$2.3 billion.

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Big Brother, 1984 style.

Dave

The Rise Of Totalitarian Technology
March 6, 2019

Is technological progress bad for human autonomy? That’s the question posed by Shoshana Zuboff in “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” a book that recounts the ways in which corporations and governments are using technology to influence our behavior. Zuboff is just the latest to chime in on “totalitarian technology” (or “total tech”), a term that describes devices and algorithms by which individuals forfeit their privacy and autonomy for the benefit of either themselves or some third party.

In the United States, total tech can be sorted into three different categories, or “spheres” of life: consumer services, the workplace, and government and politics.

Total tech is pervasive in the increasingly data-driven world of retail. Many shopping apps tap into your phone’s GPS to access your location, allowing retailers to send you advertisements the moment you’re walking past their storefront. Personalized pricing enables retailers to charge you the exact maximum that you would be willing to pay for a given product. Your personal data isn’t safe at home, either: Digital assistants like Amazon Alexa store your query history, meaning they know everything from your unique shopping history to your travel patterns to your music preferences.

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Jim,

This is why alternative media like, JSMineset is so important and the Government wants to shut it down. The NYT has a come to Jesus moment.

The story was fake/ fraud news.

Dave

Footage Contradicts U.S. Claim That Nicolás Maduro Burned Aid Convoy
March 10, 2019

CÚCUTA, Colombia — The narrative seemed to fit Venezuela’s authoritarian rule: Security forces, on the order of President Nicolás Maduro, had torched a convoy of humanitarian aid as millions in his country were suffering from illness and hunger.

Vice President Mike Pence wrote that “the tyrant in Caracas danced” as his henchmen “burned food & medicine.” The State Department released a video saying Mr. Maduro had ordered the trucks burned. And Venezuela’s opposition held up the images of the burning aid, reproduced on dozens of news sites and television screens throughout Latin America, as evidence of Mr. Maduro’s cruelty.

But there is a problem: The opposition itself, not Mr. Maduro’s men, appears to have set the cargo alight accidentally.

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

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Did the Tylers listen to this week’s call for subscribers? Denny point blank asked this very same question on Saturday…without a doubt, THE most important financial question facing our nation.

The $64 Trillion Question: With Foreigners Stepping Aside, Who Will Buy U.S Treasuries?
March 10, 2019

During its latest, quarterly meeting, the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee (aka the TBAC, which many years ago we dubbed the Supercommittee That Really Runs America, an assessment which 8 years later Bloomberg now generally agrees with), released minutes of its Jan. 29 meeting held at the Hay-Adams Hotel in conjunction with the U.S. government’s quarterly refunding announcement.

While there were many topics of discussion (discussed previously here), the TBAC highlighted two key areas of concern: i) the soaring US budget deficit, and specifically the possibility of significant financing gap over next 10 years amounting to over $12 trillion and the potential need for more domestic investor participation if foreign reserve growth slows; and tied to that ii) the worry that since “foreign investors already hold significant dollar debt”, and have been paring back substantially on their Treasury purchases in recent years, the US will have to increasingly rely on domestic savings to fund its future budget deficits.

Of particular note, the TBAC said, tongue in cheek, that while the “USD is still the dominant reserve currency”, reserve managers have been very gradually increasing allocation to other currencies, and that the USD share of FX reserves has steadily come down from 72% in 2000 to 62% now. It also pointed out that other countries with significant debt issuance needs (as a share of GDP) depend far more on domestic savings. As a result, “the Treasury should plan to meet financing needs more domestically than in the recent past.”

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Silvers US$ Value Should Already Be At The Bolivars Price
March 11, 2019

Good and Wonderful Monday Morning Folks,   

      Remember that Gold had a good day on Friday where it rallied just over 1%. Also remember that good days like these are almost never allowed to have a second or third day of rally with today being no different with Gold now at $1,294.60 down $4.70 and right at the London Low of $1,294.20 with the high at $1,299.20. Silver, the Tag-A-Long-Kid, is now trading at $15.305, down 4.4 cents and at the low of $15.285 with the high to beat at $15.365 after its 30 cent price rise on Friday. The US Dollar is up but barely with the value now pegged at 97.30, up 3.1 points and closer to the low of 97.23 then the high at 97.41. All this of course is done way before 5 am pst and the Comex Open. The Venezuelan nightmare continues with Gold now pegged at 12,929.82 Bolivar gaining 5 more Bolivar over the weekend with Silver at 152.859 it too gaining 1.698 Bolivar as we read that the people of the country have now been without power for four full days.

           March Silver’s Open Interest is the same as last Friday’s numbers which means we still don’t have good up to date data with the count at 535 requests for physical with 0 Volume up on the board so far this morning. We do a have a buy order for 33 more obligations at $15.215 (March) with no takers as of yet proving someone still needs product. Silver’s Overall Open Interest lost 143 contracts with the total count now at 191,993 Overnighters still in trade as we wait for better data later in the day.  

       Theresa May is expected to call a second meaningful vote on her Brexit plan (Today), the prime minister is facing another massive defeat .. But according to MPs and cabinet ministers who have shared their grievances with the Telegraph, BBC and other British media outlets, it’s possible that May could be forced to resign before she gets there. It seems everything is tied to Britain so we wait to see if anyone else out there sees the precious metals as a safe haven as things continue to get wonky in all currencies and as the British Pound may be the next to take a hit.  

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Posted at 2:21 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

Via Michael Oliver’s Momentum Structural Analysis michaeloliver@olivermsa.com

For MSA’s history and an introduction to its methodology visit: www.olivermsa.com

Central Banks, The Stock Market, And Gold
March 10, 2019

When the pillars of the asset category that “must” be defended—the stock market—begin to crumble, the central banks always come in with policy guns a blazin’. And again, continuing with policies never imagined before—QEs, ZIRPS, and NIRPS. Game’s on. If you, as an investor or manager, thought CBs had plateaued in their policies of the recent decade, think again. Despite their academic nose-in-the air press conferences, the reality is that their stock markets must always remain inflated. Although couched in such language as “data sensitive” or Draghi’s “the persistence of uncertainties related to geopolitical factors, the threat of protectionism and vulnerabilities in emerging markets,” the CBs’ message is clear. Rattle their stock markets and they’ll intervene in asset pricing as best they can. And given the success of that artificial pricing over the past decade, they’re no doubt confident they’ll continue to succeed. And so do many investors.

On the financial channels, investors and talking heads consider a likely renewal of easy central bank policy “good for the stock market.” No doubt President Trump is also pleased by Powell’s sharp reversal.

The CBs know they must push the pedal to the metal again. But the problem is that investors aren’t likely to direct the flow into the inflated bubble that the CBs so desperately want to keep inflated—namely, the developed market stock indices. The Fed, ECB, and BOJ know what will happen if those plaster and plywood skyscrapers crumble and give back their false pricing gains (especially from late 2011 to 2018). Such a downturn in that category will generate on-the-ground desperation and fracturing beyond anything seen in 2008. And they know that, though don’t mention it in their press conferences. That’s why the Fed raised its white flag so rapidly and with such little encouragement in December, thus rejoining the “print into infinity” policy.

Nice. We know where they stand now.

Article PDF

Posted at 10:19 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

Do readers remember Dow Theory?

Dave

Oldest US Stock Index Notches Longest Losing Streak In Nearly Half A Century
March 9, 2019

The Dow Jones Transportation Average, the oldest US stock index still in use and one of the most regarded economic indicators, has hit an eleventh consecutive decline, marking the longest session of losses since 1972.

The closely watched index slid 0.45 percent on Friday amid negative market reaction in the US February job report. Since its creation in 1884, the Dow Transports had only five 11-day long consecutive losing streaks, including the latest. It had five periods of a 12-day plunge through its 135-years history, according to the Market Watch citing Dow Jones Market Data and S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The Dow Transports index reflects the performance of 20 large transportation companies, from railroad operators to airlines. Their performance is considered one of the major signs of economic health as the firms ship goods around the world. Thus the transportation companies’ losses, reflected by the benchmark index, may be a troubling sign for the whole economy.

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Jim,

As Denny asked on Saturday’s call, who will buy Treasury’s Bonds of a country when they can not see the true balance sheet?

Dave

The Pentagon’s Missing Trillions. What You Need to Know
March 9, 2019

Dr. Mark Skidmore of Michigan State University joins us to discuss his research with Catherine Austin Fitts into the $21 trillion in unaccounted transactions on the books of the US Department of Defence and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

We discuss what we know and don’t know about the subject, the Pentagon’s nonsensical and inadequate excuses for the debacle, the new accounting guideline that legally allows every department of the federal government to create fake and altered books for public consumption, the recent failed Pentagon audit, the government’s refusal to provide any information about the problem, the failure of congress to pursue the issue, and the failure of the press to report on it.

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Posted at 10:11 AM (CST) by & filed under USAWatchdog.com.

March 10, 2019

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (Early Sunday Release)

Macroeconomic analyst Rob Kirby says $21 trillion in “missing money,” discovered in late 2017, is now a “national security” issue but is not a secret to the leaders of the rest of the world. Kirby explains, “The national governments around the world have become all too aware of the shenanigans that have gone on and the poor stewardship that has been illustrated by the keepers of the U.S. dollar, the world’s reserve currency. This is what is at the root of all of our international economic tension. This is what is really at the root of the difficulties and differences between the American regime, the Chinese regime and the Russian regime. These people are aware of what has transpired, and they are not going to tolerate what’s been done in the name of keeping the U.S. dollar propped up as the world’s reserve currency and the criminality that’s been involved in doing so.”

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Posted at 10:02 AM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

Think awhile about this great new technology.

Are you hearing those voices again?

What are they saying to you?

Are they telling you how to vote? Are they threatening bodily harm to your loved ones, if you do not perform as instructed?

This is better than Alexa screeching at you at 3 AM.

Just wait until this is weaponized, and then used domestically for purposes of controlling civilian populations.

Next, Nick Tesla’s “Death Ray” will be perfected, if it has not already taken place. Put them together and the voice from nowhere will say “Good bye” to you just before the “Ray” engulfs you.

Maybe I should take the “X Files” off of my Netflix preferred list.

Also, do you think 5G can be weaponized?

The biggest problem with laser weapon technology is that you cannot precisely aim, and a laser weapon firing continues far beyond your ill aimed at target.

They shoot LASER-like beams precisely where they need to go…

These boxes leverage high-gain, adaptive antenna technology and sophisticated best-path-selection algorithms.

They are powered by something called MU-MIMO 802.11ax – which stands for multiple user, multiple input, and multiple output antennas.

If you’re an MIT scientist or Harvard engineer – I’m sure you understand that perfectly.

Jim

New Technology Uses Lasers to Transmit Audible Messages to Specific People
January 23, 2019

WASHINGTON — Researchers have demonstrated that a laser can transmit an audible message to a person without any type of receiver equipment. The ability to send highly targeted audio signals over the air could be used to communicate across noisy rooms or warn individuals of a dangerous situation such as an active shooter.

In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Optics Letters, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory report using two different laser-based methods to transmit various tones, music and recorded speech at a conversational volume.

“Our system can be used from some distance away to beam information directly to someone’s ear,” said research team leader Charles M. Wynn. “It is the first system that uses lasers that are fully safe for the eyes and skin to localize an audible signal to a particular person in any setting.”

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Posted at 3:06 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

Looks like they better start up the printing presses.

Dave

“Abysmal, But Put It In Context”: Wall Street Reacts To Today’s Jobs Report
March 8, 2019

Today’s payrolls report was so bad, that it blew right through the “just bad enough” category, and failed to even register as good news for stocks and algos, which would otherwise have sent markets surging as the number defecated on the grave of any future rate hikes and brought the moment of QE4 that much closer.

Needless to say Wall Street was confused, if not shocked, by today’s unexpectedly ugly report (even if, as we reported ahead of the number, the whisper was for a far worse print). However, that does not mean Wall Street was speechless, and as the following hot takes reveal, research analysts and other sellsiders had quite a bit to say about the number, with some saying it was truly ugly, others saying to ignore it, and a third group saying it was, what else, Goldilocks and they are not surprised at all.

Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco:

“The February jobs report was abysmal in terms of non-farm payroll but we have to put it in the context of incredibly strong January nonfarm payrolls. However, that is not going to be solace to investors, who have been put on alert by dramatic changes in monetary policy stances by first the Fed and then the Bank of Canada and most recently the European Central Bank. This jobs report will only amplify market worries.”

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Jim,

You nailed it – QE to infinity! MOPE has failed as you said it would!

Dave

Global Economy Slows, Pushing Europe’s Central Bank to Make a Surprise Move
March 7, 2019

FRANKFURT — Just a few months ago, the European Central Bank put the brakes on a vast economic stimulus program devised during the financial crisis. On Thursday, it unexpectedly reversed course and revived some of the measures, signaling the rising threat of a recession.

The quick turnabout, from confidence to concern, reflects the broader weakness in the global economy. A slowdown in China, exacerbated by rising trade tensions with the United States, has reverberated around the world, dragging down growth in Europe and elsewhere.

The United States is Europe’s largest trading partner, while China is an increasingly important market for its cars, pharmaceuticals and manufactured goods. The industrial powerhouse Germany barely escaped recession in the latest quarter, as the country’s economy was battered by the American tariffs on its steel and waning Chinese appetite for its machine tools and Volkswagens.

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Posted at 3:00 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

California State Workers Hoarding Vacation Days, Creating $3.5-Billion Debt For Taxpayers
March 7, 2019

After 36 years as a California government transportation engineer, Bijan Sartipi retired with much more than a goodbye party: He was paid $405,000 for time off he never used — one of more than 450 state workers who took home six-figure checks when they left their jobs last year.

And Sartipi didn’t top the list — a prison surgeon in Riverside pocketed $456,002.

In a trend that stems from lax enforcement of the state’s cap on vacation accrual, more and more state workers are able to retire with massive payouts for unused vacation and other leave. That could become a budget breaker for California as an aging workforce heads into retirement. During the next recession, California will be obligated to continue the payouts, forcing lawmakers to cut programs to balance the state budget.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

This is a true story, I termed this “debt saturation”. There is no mathematical escape…

The Dollar – King Rat Of Failing Currencies
March 7, 2019

The explanation for the sudden halt in global economic growth is found in the coincidence of peak credit combining with trade protectionism. The history of economic downturns points to a rerun of the 1929-32 period, but with fiat currencies substituted for a gold standard. Government finances are in far worse shape today, and markets have yet to appreciate the consequences of just a moderate contraction in global trade. Between new issues and liquidation by foreigners, domestic buyers will need to absorb $2 trillion of US Treasuries in the coming year, so QE is bound to return with a vengeance, the last hurrah for fiat currencies. However, China and Russia have the means to escape this fate, assuming they have the gumption to do so.

Introduction

It may be too early to say the world is entering a significant economic downturn, but even ardent bulls must admit to it as an increasing possibility. Financial analysts, both bovine and ursine, face a complex matrix of factors when judging the future effect of any downturn on currencies, and of the prospects for the dollar in particular.

Some will take the view that a global downturn will continue to drive foreign currencies to be sold for dollars, because dollars are perceived to be less risky and required to repay debt. Some will point to the tension in the euro from the extra twist an economic downturn gives to the debt crisis forced on Italy and the other three PIGS, compared with the relative stability of the Hanseatic nations. Some analysts will expect China to get her come-uppance when her debt-fuelled economy implodes into crisis.

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Philadelphia Is First U.S. City to Ban Cashless Stores

March 7, 2019

Philadelphia is the first major U.S. city to ban cashless stores, placing it at the forefront of a debate that pits retail innovation against lawmakers trying to protect all citizens’ access to the marketplace.

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