Posted at 3:41 PM (CST) by & filed under Trader Dan Norcini.

Dear CIGAs,

With crude oil getting whacked and the Dollar having another one of those “let’s get out of risky trades” rallies, gold had as much chance as a snowball at one of Al Gore’s global warming symposiums (Note to Al – look out the window every now and then if you want to learn something – that white stuff that is everywhere is called ‘snow’). It collapsed through downside support near $840 and continued lower driven by sell stops until it breached the $830-$828 support level. If gold cannot recapture that $830 level and hold above it, technically-related selling pressure will increase. Support now emerges near the 40 day moving average at $814 with the 100 day moving average just beneath that at $810. Should gold move down into that region, it will be critical from a technical standpoint for the market to attract quality buying or face a much greater exodus of longs that could bring the market down to $800 or below. First resistance is back near $840 and then at today’s high. Above that is $880 which is the level capped by the bullion banks.  Last Friday’s release of the Commitment of Traders data proved that it was that same crowd which one again stymied gold’s forward advance, much to the chagrin of the newsletter writers and hedge fund ninnies who were again made fools of as they chased prices higher only to have their pockets summarily picked by these vultures.

Note to the fund managers – this is not the soybean market – if you wish to make money playing the paper gold game against the bullion banks then have the good sense to alter your losing strategy and begin accumulating gold on weakness instead of the brain-dead and discredited method of chasing momentum higher. That will not work for gold. It has not worked for 8 years – why should things be any different in 2009?

Judging from the open interest readings, there are a large number of new speculative short positions being placed in this market. The bullion banks use this selling to cover existing shorts as the markets moves lower in addition to that of exiting longs. Over the last eight years, spec selling into weakness has not proved to be a profitable strategy either. The only way to have consistently made money in the gold market has to buy into weakness and sell into strength – the EXACT OPPOSITE of what these tech driven funds practice.

As a further point of note – the index funds spent the entire portion of their day today running out of all the various commodity markets that they had just run into over the past week as they rebalanced their portfolios. The commodity circus continues…. Corn went limit down, soybeans were beaten back and wheat puked – deflation is back in vogue where last week it was inflation. Copper in particular was mauled which it should have been after the stupid index fund buying of last week. Don’t like the current psyche – stick around another week or so; next week it will probably be hyperinflation only to be followed by a return to the barter system the week after that, and then a round circle back to deflation once again. Don’t feel bad if you cannot understand what the markets are saying right now – the market itself has no idea what it is saying – maybe it is attempting to get in touch with its inner child or some other sort of nonsense. Thanks fund managers for clearing things up for us all….

The impetus for knocking the grains lower was the USDA report this morning which came in with a bearish slant to it. Even at limit down corn is still 75 cents above its low made late last year and it still appears to me that prices went as low as they are going to go in that particular pit. Let’s continue to monitor both the grains and the crude oil to get some clues as to gold’s performance. Crude could not hold above $40 so a test of the low near $35 is right around the corner. What it does with that level will tell us whether a bottom is in this market as well or we are going to try for $30 before bottoming. Stay tuned.

Yen carry trade unwinding was definitely taking place today as all of the major currencies, with the exception of the yen, were down against the dollar with the British Pound getting hit particularly hard. Also, the commodity currencies, the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars, were all sold down today – not a good sign for the commodity complex in general. Platinum and palladium both confirmed that move in the currencies by moving lower and further away from overhead resistance.

The charts of the HUI and the XAU are near clones of the paper gold chart at the Comex. Support near 262 – 263 in the HUI gave way while support near 107 in the XAU so far is holding, but barely. The XAU is oscillating around the 100day moving average as is the HUI. Their shorter term moving averages have now turned lower confirming a short term trend change. We will have to see where buyers surface in this sector before feeling confident that the selling is exhausting itself. It is unclear to me right now where that might be although 102 for the XAU looks to be a logical region as there is a gap on the chart with that level serving as the top of that gap and 99 the bottom. If 107 fails, prices will work into this gap. On the upside, the index will need to get back above 118 to turn the charts friendly.

Bonds resumed their uptrend this morning as the euphoria over an improving economy due to the incoming administration’s fiscal stimulus plan faded as swiftly as the morning dew. That, plus a downgrade of Spanish debt this morning from S&P sent European debt lower with a flow into US debt in its place. Talk that Spain’s ‘AAA’ rating was going to be downgraded sent the euro lower. The Swiss Franc was able to withstand the selling that hit some of the European currencies. Whether this was safe have buying or an unwind of the Swiss Franc carry trade is unclear to me at this point. The Swissie, along with the yen, have both been recipients of these carry trades although not to the same extent as the latter. Either way, it moved slightly higher today.

About the only good thing that might be said for gold is that Jack Bauer is back on the trail of the bad guys in 24 (you know it is a bad day when we have to resort to fiction to look for inspiration!). Then again, the way the show’s execs have neutered him the last two seasons, maybe he is going to end up singing along with them and playing all around nice guy. Maybe Rambo can come back out of retirement once again and beat them with a cane.

Click chart to enlarge today’s hourly action in Gold in PDF format with commentary from Trader Dan Norcini

January1209Gold1230pmCDT.jpg

Posted at 1:21 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Monty Guild’s Commentary

This is why China will dominate. They behave more intelligently than the politically driven west.

China makes strategic use of commodity collapse
Tue Jan 6, 2009 2:45am EST
By Eadie Chen – Analysis

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s government is using the collapse in commodity prices to further its domestic agenda, with support for stricken sectors tailored to speed up reform plans rather than rescue ailing companies or prop up prices.

To survive plummeting demand for exports — a sharp turnaround after several years of booming global demand — many industries are looking for state help and consolidation.

But China’s policymakers are sticking to their economic blueprints and not letting sympathy for troubled corporates overwhelm longer-term priorities. Instead, they are favoring the strongest in each industry in a drive toward consolidation, and at the same time using low prices as a chance to stock up.

On Monday, it emerged that China was poised to buy up thousands of tonnes of rubber and sugar to create a bigger state buffer of supplies for the future, adding to efforts to enlarge stocks of everything from oil to corn to industrial metals.

At the same time, however, it’s letting small coal mines go to the wall, seizing a chance to make good on years of rhetoric, as well as allowing smaller, less efficient metal producers go under.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Today in Pakistan:

Crowd tries to attack US consulate in Pakistan
Jan 11 11:56 AM US/Eastern
By ASHRAF KHAN

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) – Security forces used tear gas and batons to repel anti-Israel protesters who tried to attack a U.S. consulate in Pakistan on Sunday, as tens of thousands of people demonstrated worldwide against Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Israel launched its campaign in Gaza on Dec. 27 to stop rocket fire from the militant Palestinian group Hamas. Gaza health officials say nearly 870 Palestinians have been killed, roughly half of them civilians. Thirteen Israelis have also died.

Tens of thousands of angry demonstrators protested Sunday across the Arab world, in Europe and Asia.

Some 2,000 protesters in the Pakistani port city of Karachi burned U.S. flags and chanted anti-Israel slogans, and several hundred of them marched on the U.S. Consulate, senior police official Ameer Sheikh said.

"They were in a mood to attack," Sheikh said. "They were carrying bricks, stones and clubs."

A U.S. Embassy spokesman in Islamabad, Lou Fintor, said the protesters did not get close to the consulate, which was closed Sunday.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Turkey is a victim.

Turkey coup plot arrests now at more than 100
By SELCAN HACAOGLU

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish court formally arrested 14 more people Sunday for ties to an alleged secularist plot by ultranationalists to bring down the Islamic-rooted government, bringing the total of people involved in the case to more than 100.

The prime minister said the crackdown will shed light on a network of renegade agents within the state and make Turkey transparent. Critics say it is designed to silence the government’s opponents.

The case highlights a difficult question about who holds the levers of power in a nation where tensions between secularists and Islamists, and liberals and rightists, have created deep fault lines in the country.

The problem is aggravated by key demands from the European Union — which Turkey hopes to join — to reduce the military’s influence in politics, make security officials accountable for torture and grant more rights to the country’s Kurds.

Over the weekend, an Istanbul anti-terror court formally arrested and jailed 18 coup plot suspects, including a former police chief and four active duty military officers. Fourteen of the 18 were arrested Sunday.

Police detained another 33 suspects in the case Sunday and displayed confiscated weapons. Prosecutors say the plot aimed to destabilize Turkey through a series of attacks and trigger a coup in 2009.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Plausible Denial?

U.S. Rejected Aid for Israeli Raid on Iranian Nuclear Site
By DAVID E. SANGER
Published: January 10, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Bush deflected a secret request by Israel last year for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran’s main nuclear complex and told the Israelis that he had authorized new covert action intended to sabotage Iran’s suspected effort to develop nuclear weapons, according to senior American and foreign officials.

White House officials never conclusively determined whether Israel had decided to go ahead with the strike before the United States protested, or whether Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel was trying to goad the White House into more decisive action before Mr. Bush left office. But the Bush administration was particularly alarmed by an Israeli request to fly over Iraq to reach Iran’s major nuclear complex at Natanz, where the country’s only known uranium enrichment plant is located.

The White House denied that request outright, American officials said, and the Israelis backed off their plans, at least temporarily. But the tense exchanges also prompted the White House to step up intelligence-sharing with Israel and brief Israeli officials on new American efforts to subtly sabotage Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, a major covert program that Mr. Bush is about to hand off to President-elect Barack Obama.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This is the problem. It is as much internal politics, the emergence once again of the feared (by present political parties in power) BJP that demands strong secular actions as it is terrorism sponsors, not the Pakistan government at the top but at almost every level below that.

Either "UPA" acts or "BHP" governs is the political challenge being laid down now.

Time for action against Pakistan: BJP
11 Jan 2009, 0448 hrs IST, TNN

BHOPAL: Time has come for India to move away from waging a war of words with Islamabad to taking action, BJP president Rajnath Singh said in Bhopal on Saturday supporting military action against terrorist outfits based in Pakistan.

"India has no other option but to take military action against Pakistan,” he said.

"The Prime Minister and his council of ministers have only been giving statements, which is not enough. The Union government should stop this ineffective verbal war with Pakistan. There is no need to just create a war hype in the country without real action. Since Pakistan is not taking any initiative to stop terrorist organisations within its territory, the time has come for us to take the world community into confidence and go for military action against the country which will not stop terror organisations from killing our innocent citizens,” Rajnath said.

The BJP president said, "Our country needs to show some diplomatic skill and urge the international community to support India against Pakistan. There is more than enough evidence that Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI, is directly linked to terror organisations and has been helping terrorist groups to carry out attacks in India and other parts of the world. Indian diplomacy should concentrate on bringing ISI on the international radar as an intelligence agency with questionable credentials.”

The UPA-led government should have snapped its diplomatic ties with Pakistan immediately after the Mumbai serial train blasts which killed 200 people, he said. "India has blundered, our assessment of Pakistan has been wrong. We should have taken strong steps against Pakistan after the Mumbai train blasts. Instead, our Prime Minister justified that Pakistan too is a victim of terror attacks. It was a mistake on our behalf to sign an agreement for a joint terror mechanism with Pakistan.”

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Turkey comes on the heels of Pakistan, even if intelligence agencies are snoozing.

Turkey imprisons four army officers in Ergenekon case

ANKARA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) — A Turkish court early on Saturday sentenced to prison four army officers in the ongoing "Ergenekon" investigation, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

Five prosecutors, including Zekeriya Oz, the top prosecutor of the ongoing Ergenekon case, demanded a criminal court in the Turkish largest city of Istanbul to imprison four army officers on charges of being members of the "Ergenekon terrorist organization," according to the report.

The court decided to send the four officers to prison, and release two others, said the report.

An alleged criminal network known as "Ergenekon" was uncovered after police seized 27 grenades, TNT explosives and fuses in a shanty house in Istanbul on June 12, 2007.

Police waged operations in several provinces and detained a number of people, including retired senior army officers, journalists and businessmen, for their alleged involvement in the network.

More…

Police discover weapons, hand grenades in Turkey coup probe: report
Posted Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:49pm AEDT

Turkish police have unearthed weapons and hand grenades near the capital of Ankara in a probe into an alleged plot to topple the Islamist-rooted government that has fuelled political tensions, Anatolia news agency reports.

The dig at a forest in the suburb of Golbasi resulted in the discovery of two light anti-tank weapons, 10 hand grenades, bullets and explosives, Anatolia said.

Using metal detectors and sniffer dogs, anti-terror police dug the area on the basis of documents seized from former police chief Ibrahim Sahin, one of some 40 suspects detained Wednesday, it said.

Sahin was one of the most prominent figures involved in a major scandal in 1996 which unveiled collaboration between members of the security forces, politicians and gangsters in acts outside the law, including murders of Kurdish dissidents.

Some media reports suggested the dig could shed light on the fate of weapons procured from Israel, which went missing during Sahin’s term and are believed to have been used in illicit operations.

More…

Posted at 10:25 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Dear Jim,

Of all your teachings this may be the most important.

You’re the Best
CIGA Alex S

noise

Posted at 10:22 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

Dear Friends,

Having secured your finances by insuring them with gold and distancing your assets from your financial agents to the greatest degree possible, there comes one more task that you should put some thought into: securing yourself.

There is no question at all that as the jobless rate rises, civil disorder will begin to manifest itself in society.

No matter if you live in NYC or in Flat, Alaska it would behoove everyone to review and improve their home security. You have nothing to lose by being objective. Here are a few ways to achieve a high level of home security:

(1) Install an external intercom so you can talk with people coming to your home without unlocking or opening the door. Itinerant door knockers don’t need to see you or have personal contact with you nor do they need to see inside your home. Door-to-door solicitors, like telemarketers, need to be politely but abruptly, dismissed. Provide them with no information!

(2) Electronic security: Don’t buy a cheap system. It costs several thousand dollars for a competent, monitored system. Once installed, use it! It needs to be activated every night and every time you leave the house. Make it personal policy!

(3) Dogs serve many purposes, the first of which is companionship without conditions. Even a total wimp like Mr. Freddie (my wife’s legacy to me) can raise the alarm when required. Mia not only raised the alarm but also the roof and walls. She chased Victoria’s kids out of my office. She bit my African daughter which made me remind her, like it or not, that Mia is the family dog and her action might be a comment on how often Marlene is home.

Of course, I am kidding. Mia was very sternly reprimanded for that one. Mia was a tough situation as I loved her dearly, but she felt her duty was to protect me from everything and everybody. This is why Barbara changed her name from "Mia" to "My Damn Dog." In sum, Mia fulfilled her self appointed duty by being one mean b—h, (referred to as a female of her species).

(4) If you live like I do in a rustic and somewhat isolated area, then metal detectors at all entrances are a good option. They make excellent wireless systems that now transmit 1,250 feet to the receiver. You can obtain tunes for different entrances.

(5) Automatic perimeter lighting that is triggered either by laser interruption or infrared is also an option to consider. Also, very cheap devices are available now.

Spend no less than 2 1/2 percent of your liquid net assets on home protection, electronics, communication and power generation. Even a small Honda portable generator on the porch of a metropolitan apartment – legal or not -will come in handy when you need it.

Then pray all this is totally unnecessary.

Posted at 2:02 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Dear Friends,

For the past many years I have been telling you that if you don’t have private assets do not try and obtain them. Certainly do not use any internet means of finagling because you risk two problems – getting caught and having your money stolen simultaneously. The "deposit your money with an internet vehicle and have gold appear in another country" vehicle is inviting only to the terminally gullible.

"Citing pressure from U.S. federal authorities, Swiss mega-bank UBS said yesterday it will close 19,000 accounts that the IRS believes to be tax havens for American investors. The bank will write checks for the balances in house, or transfer them to other accounts… either way creating a paper trail for IRS hounds to follow.

“You can either take that check,” an anonymous UBS client told The N.Y. Times, “and throw it in the woods, or deposit it somewhere and get busted. There’s nowhere to hide.”"

According to the IRS, UBS is helping American investors evade around $300 million in taxes each year. You can bet your last dollar, if you’ve got any left, UBS won’t be the last target of IRS probes.

Regards,
Jim

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

It is good to get business finished before going home?

Bush Prepares to Ask for Second Tranche of Bailout Funds
If Congress Fails to Approve Request, Administration May Use Veto Power
By David Cho and Lori Montgomery
Friday, January 9, 2009; 6:17 PM

Senior Bush administration officials are preparing to ask lawmakers for the second half of the $700 billion financial rescue package despite intense opposition in Congress and then have President Bush use his veto if the request is voted down, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The initiative, which is being coordinated with the Obama transition team, may be taken within days, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made.

Democratic Senate aides were notified in a meeting this afternoon that the request could come as soon as this weekend and that a vote could be held as soon as next week, congressional sources said.

Under the emergency rescue legislation approved by Congress in October, the administration must inform lawmakers that it wants access to the second installment of $350 billion. Unless Congress passes a resolution rejecting the request within 15 days, the Treasury can begin to tap the funds. If Congress does turn down the request, the president could veto the resolution and then the Treasury could proceed.

The plan now being crafted by the Bush administration is not finalized. By unsheathing the veto threat, the Bush administration could make it more likely that the Obama administration would get the rest of the rescue funds. Only if Congress overrides the veto would the money be blocked. A congressional source said advocates of the plan are now exploring whether there are enough votes in the Senate to override a veto.

"There have been discussions between the administration and the transition about how to proceed should the president-elect determine that he wants to have those funds available on January 20th," said Robert Gibbs, spokesman for the Obama transition team. "No final decisions have been made, but we want to be ready to act if needed."

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

1. Israel makes a significant miscalculation.
2. Pakistan goes Nuclear.
3. Turkey is a victim.

The Worst Pakistan Nightmare for Obama
(Excerpts from article)

“I have two worries,” one of the most senior officials in the Bush administration, who had read all of the intelligence with care, told me one day last spring. One is what happens “when they move the weapons,” he said, explaining that the United States feared that some groups could try to provoke a confrontation between Pakistan and India in the hope that the Pakistani military would transport tactical nuclear weapons closer to the front lines, where they would be more vulnerable to seizure. Indeed, when the deadly terror attacks occurred in Mumbai in late November, officials told me they feared that one of the attackers’ motives might have been to trigger exactly that series of events.

“And the second,” the official said, choosing his words carefully, “is what I believe are steadfast efforts of different extremist groups to infiltrate the labs and put sleepers and so on in there.”

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Turkey today. What starts as a trickle can end up as a deluge.

Support for Turkey’s AKP falls sharply ahead of Istanbul bi-election clip_image002

Support to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) fell sharply in the Istanbul mayoral elections, a poll conducted ahead of the March local elections showed on Friday. The support to the AKP fell to 29.4 percent from 45.3 percent since the local elections in 2004, the poll said.

The support to the AKP fell to 29.4 percent from 45.3 percent since the local elections in 2004, the ANKA News Agency reported citing a poll conducted by the Political Researcher Strategy Development Center.

The poll showed that support to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) fell slightly to 25.9 percent from the 28.9 percent achieved in past elections in Istanbul.

The Islamist Felicity Party (SP) increased its votes to 8.9 percent from 5.38 percent, it said. SP has organized anti-Israel protests in Istanbul, attended by hundreds of thousands, since the Jewish state’s offensive on Gaza began.

Support to the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was 5.5 percent, according to the poll. The nationalist party gained 4.1 percent of votes in the 2004 elections.

More…

Posted at 7:50 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

In case you missed it, Merrill Lynch says the rich are turning to gold bars for safety

To the best year ever,
CIGA Bernie

Merrill Lynch says rich turning to gold bars for safety
Merrill Lynch has revealed that some of its richest clients are so alarmed by the state of the financial system and signs of political instability around the world that they are now insisting on the purchase of gold bars, shunning derivatives or "paper" proxies.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 10:32AM GMT 09 Jan 2009

Gary Dugan, the chief investment officer for the US bank, said there has been a remarkable change in sentiment. "People are genuinely worried about what the world is going to look like in 2009. It is amazing how many clients want physical gold, not ETFs," he said, referring to exchange trade funds listed in London, New York, and other bourses.

"They are so worried they want a portable asset in their house. I never thought I would be getting calls from clients saying they want a box of krugerrands," he said.

Merrill predicted that gold would soon blast through its all time-high of $1,030 an ounce, and would hit $1,150 by June.

The metal should do well whatever happens. If deflation sets in and rocks the economic system it will serve as a safe-haven, but if massive monetary stimulus gains traction and sets off inflation once again it will also come into its own as a store of value. "It’s win-win either way," said Mr Dugan.

He added that deflation may prove the greater risk in coming months. "It’s very difficult to get the deflation psychology out of the human brain once prices start falling. People stop buying things because they think it will be cheaper if they wait."

More…

Posted at 7:45 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Credit card companies are soon going to be putting organized crime out of the loan shark business.

British Airways credit card is UK’s most expensive – after hiking interest charge to 46%
By Sri Carmichael
Last updated at 10:33 AM on 09th January 2009

American Expess has increased the cost of borrowing on one of its credit cards to 46 per cent — more than 30 times the Bank of England base rate.

The company now charges 46 per cent APR on the British Airways Premium Plus card, making it Britain’s most expensive credit card.

Consumer groups said the cost of borrowing on some credit cards had now lost all touch with the base rate.

A series of other cards also have APR over 35 per cent — despite interest rates now being at the lowest level since the Bank of England was set up in 1694.

Other cards include Virgin Money American Express at 37 per cent and Citi MasterCard at 41 per cent.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Turkey today, victim tomorrow?

Turkey’s army boss meets PM, president amid tension
Thu Jan 8, 2009 4:49pm GMT
By Ibon Villelabeitia

ANKARA, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Turkey’s military chief met Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul on Thursday as tensions rose in the EU candidate in the wake of a probe into an alleged plot to topple the Islamic-rooted government.

News of the meeting, a day after Turkish police detained about 40 people including three retired generals and active military officers for their suspected links to a right-wing group, added to financial woes in Turkey, which has been hit by the global financial crisis.

In a terse statement, the General Staff said the separate talks between armed forces commander General Ilker Basbug, Erdogan and Gul had centred on Wednesday’s detentions.

The military, which has unseated four governments in the last 50 years and views itself as the guarantor of Turkey’s secular order, denies any link to the group, known as Ergenekon.

More…

Government in Turkey turns squeamish on defense ties with Israel

ANKARA — The increasingly Islamist leadership in Turkey has been placed on the defenseive by the parliament over extensive defense relations with Israel.

The government of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has denied signing weapons deals with Israel during its invasion of the Gaza Strip, following condemnations of the Jewish state.

"There are no contracts or agreements in the time being with the Israeli side," Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said.

Gonul and other senior officials have been questioned by parliament over reports of an Israeli-Turkish defense project, Middle East Newsline reported. Under the reported $160 million deal, Israel would supply airborne reconnaissance systems to Turkey’s military.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Oh my goodness, no.

Treasury’s Oversight of Bailout Is Faulted
By DAVID BARSTOW
Published: January 9, 2009

In a report scheduled to be released Friday, the Congressional panel overseeing the $700 billion federal bailout has expressed growing concern about the effectiveness and execution of the rescue plan.

A draft of the report obtained by The New York Times criticized the Treasury Department for its “shifting explanations” about the underlying purpose of the bailout, its failure to answer many of the panel’s questions and its failure to require financial institutions receiving bailout money to fully account for how they are using the public’s money.

“The recent refusal of certain private financial institutions to provide any accounting of how they are using taxpayer money undermines public confidence,” the draft of the report said. “For Treasury to advance funds to these institutions without requiring more transparency further erodes the very confidence Treasury seeks to restore,” it said.

The 45-page report also asserted that the Treasury, in defiance of what the panel claimed was Congress’s clear intent when it passed the bailout bill in October, had taken “no steps to use any of this money to alleviate the foreclosure crisis.”

The Treasury declined to comment on the panel’s latest findings, with the bailout, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. “We can’t comment on a report that’s not been shared with us,” said Brookly McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for the Treasury.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

1. Israel makes a miscalculation.
2. Pakistan goes nuclear.
3. Turkey is a victim.

Turkish police detain dozens in coup plot probe
By SELCAN HACAOGLU – 1 day ago

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Police detained three retired generals and dozens of others in raids across Turkey on Wednesday, as they broadened their investigation into an alleged plot by secularists to overthrow Turkey’s Islamic-rooted government.

In was the 10th time in more than a year that police have targeted prominent secularists, who are accused of trying to destabilize Turkey with a string of attacks ahead of a coup that was never carried out.

Eighty-six people — including former army officers, journalists, a former university dean and a lawyer — already are on trial in the case. They have pleaded innocent and accuse Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of attempting to silence secular critics.

The case is widely perceived as being part of a power struggle between Turkey’s secular establishment, including parts of the military, and the democratically elected and religiously conservative government. It also has raised concerns about political instability in Turkey, a country that has endured the ouster of four governments by the military since 1960.

Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency said nearly 40 people were detained during Wednesday’s police raids, and local media said the suspects were taken into custody at homes and offices in about a dozen cities or towns. Police confirmed the raids, but provided few details.

More…