Posted at 2:43 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Trump outlines Merkel’s multiple differences. Compliments of CIGA Gijsbert.

No Oval Office Handshake, No Warm Words About Her Country, A Lecture On Immigration And A Wiretapping Joke: Trump’s VERY Chilly Summit With Germany’s Merkel
March 17, 2017

President Donald Trump had his chilliest summit yet with a foreign leader as he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel today for the first time.

Talks began with a warm welcome outside the West Wing but turned cold as Trump blew off an attempted handshake in the Oval Office and disagreed publicly with Merkel on almost every major international issue.

Trump opened up a joint news conference that his daughter Ivanka attended with a slap at Merkel over her open-door refugee policy. Declaring that ‘immigration is a privilege, not a right,’ Trump said the safety of the countries’ citizens ‘must always come first without question.’

He also pushed for her country to live up to its NATO commitment, stressing the ‘need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense.’

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Posted at 2:42 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The latest from John Williams’ www.shadowstats.com

– Industrial Production May Be Bottoming, Yet, There Are New Signals of Intensifying Economic Risk

– Production Was Flat in February, Minimally Positive Year-to-Year, with Gains in Manufacturing and Mining Offset by Weather-Distorted Utilities
– No Economic Expansion: Activity Held Below Pre-2007 Recession Peaks, with Production Down by 0.94% (-0.94%), Manufacturing Down by 4.97% (-4.97%)
– Major Downside Revisions to Production Activity of Recent Years Likely Loom with the March 31st Annual Benchmarking Going Back to 1972
– General Outlook Remains in Place for Continuing Near-Term Economic Stagnation and Renewed Downturn

“No. 874: February Industrial Production, Updated Economic Review”
www.shadowstats.com

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Imagine if they call out fake news with solid proof and logic in their findings?

Russian Parliament Launches Investigation Of “CNN And Other American Media”
March 18, 2017

A few days ago Jeanne Shaheen, a Democratic Senator from New Hampshire, introduced a piece of legislation that would give the Department of Justice “new authority” to investigate potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act by the ‘Russian Times’. Among other things, Shaheen said the legislation was necessary to determine whether “RT News is coordinating with the Russian government to spread misinformation and undermine our democratic process.” We won’t even bother to touch on the inherent hypocrisy of such a statement, but here is the press release from Shaheen’s website:

Following intelligence reports that RT News operates as a propaganda outlet for the Russian government, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has introduced legislation that gives the Department of Justice new authority to investigate potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act by RT America.

“We have good reason to believe that RT News is coordinating with the Russian government to spread misinformation and undermine our democratic process,” said Shaheen. “The American public has a right to know if this is the case. RT News has made public statements boasting that it can dodge our laws with shell corporations, and it’s time for the Department of Justice to investigate. My bill provides the authority needed to request documentation of RT News and find out who they’re accountable to.”

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Posted at 10:49 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Now this is what I call dissention.

Fed’s Kashkari Wants Plan On Balance Sheet Before Any More Rate Hikes
March 17, 2017

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari, the lone dissenter against the U.S. central bank’s decision this week to raise interest rates, said on Friday the U.S. economy is still falling short on employment and inflation.

Even after the data support tightening, Kashkari said in a statement, the Fed should wait on raising interest rates until it publishes a detailed plan for how and when it will reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

“The announcement of our balance sheet plan could trigger somewhat tighter monetary conditions,” Kashkari said, resulting in the equivalent of a rate hike of unknown size. “After it has been published and the market response is understood, we can return to using the federal funds rate as our primary policy tool, with the balance sheet normalization under way in the background.”Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari, the lone dissenter against the U.S. central bank’s decision this week to raise interest rates, said on Friday the U.S. economy is still falling short on employment and inflation.

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Posted at 1:43 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This is an interesting tweet from Cliff.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The latest from John Williams’ www.shadowstats.com

– FOMC Fiddles with Boosting Interest Rates, While Annual Real M3 Growth Just Plunged to a New Signal for a Major Economic Downturn
– Annual Contraction in First-Quarter Real Earnings Is a Virtual Certainty; Back-to-Back Quarterly Contractions Also Are in Play; Circumstances Not Seen Since the Stalled GDP of Second-Half 2012
– February Nominal Retail Sales Gain of 0.08% Was Less than Inflation;
Inflation-Adjusted Real Sales Declined by 0.04% (-0.04%) for the Month
– Headline Annual Inflation Surge Has Been Due to Energy-Price Distortions, Not to an Overheating Economy
– February 2017 Monthly CPI Inflation Rose by 0.12%, Pushing Annual CPI-U Inflation to a 60-Month High of 2.74%, with CPI-W at 2.82% and ShadowStats at 10.5%
– February Final-Demand PPI Annual Inflation Hit a 59-Month High of 2.19%

“No. 872: February PPI, CPI, Retail Sales and Earnings and the FOMC”
www.shadowstats.com

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The oldest place to pass time of the super wealthy my be called Secret Fun Islands.

Obama Jets Off To Paradise: Ex-President Travels To Marlon Brando’s Private Polynesian Island To Unwind (So Is This Where He And Michelle Will Write Their $60million Memoirs?)
March 16, 2017

Former President Barack Obama has arrived in French Polynesia where he will spend a month at a luxury resort frequented by Hollywood stars.

He landed on the tourist island of Tahiti this week without his family before going to Marlon Brando’s privately owned retreat Tetiaroa atoll, which the Oscar-winning actor bought in the 1960s.

Obama then checked into the eco-friendly Brando resort, whose villas boast their own plunge pools and cost between 2,000 euros ($2,150) and 12,300 euros per night.

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Posted at 1:05 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Wolfgang, Zerohedge assumes this is a hack. What if it is not? Can you imagine if they said this about our past president? They would have been immediately audited, the FDA would shut them down for o-coli violations and branded as racists …not to mention forced to participate in the mandatory national health care fraud which they received a special exemption for!

For chuckles, the following is from their comment section: “I heard they’re dropping ‘Donald’ off their corporate logo and opted for “McDodo”…on their way to extinction …”

Bill/ Jim,

Regardless of one’s political leanings, a modicum of respect should be afforded to the highest office in the U.S.

This is simply “McShameful.” Shame on McDonalds.

If this is how McDonalds treats the President of the U.S. just imagine how they treat would treat you!

Makes me wonder if the food they serve me isn’t being mishandled due to my race, color, creed, or political views.

I’ve lost trust in McDonalds.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

McDonalds Tweets Trump: “You Are A Disgusting Excuse Of A President, Also You Have Tiny Hands”
March 16, 2017

Update: It appears McDonalds needed Twitter to tell Robert Gibbs and the company’s Corporate relations team that their account had been “compromised.”

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And so, as MCD has washed its hands of the rogue tweet and blamed “compromising” actors, the company has generated substantial media buzz… the only question is whether the buzz will lead to more or less sales.

* * *

One day after Twitter stock tumbled after a pervasive hack showed just how vulnerable the underperforming social network (where 15% of total users appear to be bots) remains, moments ago McDonalds tweeted to president Trump, in what appears to be the latest hack of a prominent account, that “You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands.”

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Posted at 3:10 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

…and the Fed will raise rates how many more times?

“Something Snapped”: US Department Store Sales Crash Most On Record
March 14, 2017

As we first documented last week in “Mega-Bears Smell Blood As Mall REITs Tumble” and as Bloomberg followed up yesterday, looking at CMBS on the Mall REIT space, many have set their sights on mall REITs as the “next big short.” However, an obvious question that has emerged is whether it is too late to go all in on this particular short, or whether as some have suggested, the bottom is in. “The short feels crowded to us,” said Matthew Weinstein, principal at Axonic Capital, a hedge fund that specializes in structured products. “If these defaults start happening soon, the short will work, but if the defaults do not occur quickly, the first guy out could drive the market meaningfully higher.”

On the other hand, one particular chart revealed in the latest monthly Bank of America debit and credit card spending report shows that things may be about to get a whole lot worse for America’s department stores, as well as malls where they are for the most part the anchor tenants. Of note: while official US retail sales data will be released tomorrow (BofA data always comes several days ahead of the official release), what is especially ominous is that the collapse in department store spending was the biggest on record.

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The collapse in department store spending in February took place in the context of broad weakness across the entire retail universe, with BofA reported that retail sales ex auto declined 0.2% seasonally adjusted. Since that was not accepetable, BofA decided to smooth out large swings over the prior two months, leaving it with retail sales ex-autos running at an average 3 month pace of 0.1% mom SA. As the chart below shows, even that suggests a far weaker than expected retail sales report tomorrow, just hours before the Fed’s rate hike announcement: “Given that the BAC data trends closely with the Census Bureau, we think our data points to a soft report when it is released on Wednesday the 15th.”

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Posted at 6:37 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

Due to a family emergency, Bill will not have another article out until next week. The weekly discussion will not be done and posted until Monday or Tuesday. Thank you for your understanding.