Posted at 11:28 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The latest from John Williams’ www.shadowstats.com

– Unable to Escape 2008, FOMC Boosted Rates a Quarter-Point, Nonetheless, Amidst Fed Projections of Lower Unemployment and a Stronger GDP
– Yet, Fundamentals Still Point to a Weaker Economy as Fed Chair Janet Yellen Described the Economic Outlook as “Highly Uncertain”
– Prospects for U.S. Economic and Financial-Market Activity Continued to Darken; Faltering Real Consumer Credit and Earnings Do Not Support the Purported Boom
– Amidst Downside Prior-Period Revisions, Fourth-Quarter 2017 Real Average Weekly Earnings Were on Track for Second Consecutive Quarterly Contraction
– Monthly and Annual Jumps in CPI and PPI Were Due to Gasoline Price Swings; Headline Inflation Gains Were Not Due to Strong or Over-Heating Economic Activity
– November 2017 CPI-U Monthly Inflation Jumped by 0.39% (Was 0.11%) Pulling Annual CPI-U Inflation Higher to 2.20% (Was 2.04%), with CPI-W at 2.32% (Was 2.06%) and ShadowStats at 9.9% (Was 9.8%)
– November 2017 Final-Demand PPI Inflation Monthly Gain of 0.44% Pulled Annual Gain to a 70-Month High of 3.07%, versus 2.79% in October 2017
– Continuing Monthly Jump of 0.44% in November PPI was Dominated by Gain of 0.98% in Goods Inflation (4.63% Energy Gain), Versus Gain of 0.17% in Services
– Inflation Will Soften November Real Retail Sales Growth versus Nominal Growth by 0.4% (-0.4%) Month-to-Month, 2.2% (-2.2%) Year-to-Year

“No. 925: November CPI and PPI Inflation, FOMC ”

http://www.shadowstats.com

Bill Holter’s Commentary

A two minute article by Zerohedge proclaiming stocks no longer “cheap” in relation to bonds.  My simple question is this, what does this really mean in the grand scheme of things if interest rates are basically at 5,000 year lows …which means “bonds” are at a 5,000 year high?  Ponder this very carefully because it is key to your understanding and thus financial survival!

TINA’s Dead – US Equities Are No Longer ‘Cheap’ To Bonds
December 14, 2017

For almost 7 years, asset-gatherers and commission-takers have exclaimed “There Is No Alternative” to stocks, given how low interest rates are. However, given the recent buying-panic in stocks, TINA is now dead BAB is back (Bonds Are Better)…

In a sign the U.S. equity rally may be looking stretched, Bloomberg notes that the forward dividend yield on the S&P 500 has dropped below the return on Treasuries for the first time since 2011.

Shares in Europe and Japan, by contrast, continue to yield well above their equivalent government bonds.

Here’s what happened the last time the spread between Forward dividend yields and treasury yields was this wide…

To make matters worse for income investors: the Bank for International Settlements warned in its recent quarterly review that U.S. stock valuations are looking “frothy” and dividend growth may slow.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Just another confidence builder…

Head of Congressional Ethics Office Sued for Abusing Position, Accused of Assaulting Women
December 14, 2017

A top congressional ethics official who oversees investigations into misconduct by lawmakers is accused in a federal lawsuit of verbally abusing and physically assaulting women and using his federal position to influence local law enforcement, according to a complaint filed in a federal court in Pennsylvania last month.

The ongoing lawsuit against Omar Ashmawy, staff director and chief counsel of the Office of Congressional Ethics, stems from his involvement in a late-night brawl in 2015 in Milford, Pennsylvania, and includes a range of allegations relating to his behavior that evening and in the following two-and-half years.

Ashmawy’s office conducts the preliminary investigations into allegations of misconduct in the House of Representatives, deciding which cases to pursue or refer to the Committee on Ethics. He is named in congressional documents as the official who presented one of the investigations into John Conyers, the Democratic lawmaker from Michigan accused of sexual harassment, to the ethics committee for further action.

Among other allegations, Ashmawy is accused in the lawsuit of “threatening to use his position as staff director and chief counsel of the Office of Congressional Ethics to induce a criminal proceeding to be brought against Plaintiff and/or others,” according to the federal lawsuit filed against him.

In court filings and in statements to Foreign Policy, Ashmawy denied the allegations laid out in the lawsuit.

“To be clear, I did not harass anyone that evening, physically or verbally,” he wrote in a statement to FP. “To the contrary, I was the victim of a wholly unprovoked assault for which those responsible were investigated, arrested and charged. Any allegation to the contrary is unequivocally false.”

The lawsuit, previously unreported, stems from Feb. 14, 2015 — Valentine’s Day. The evening appeared to start off well for Ashmawy: a nearly $400 dinner with his girlfriend at an upscale restaurant in Milford, followed by late-night drinks at a local bar.

It ended, however, with him bruised and bloody in the back of a police car.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Quite interesting and well worth watching. I have a few questions; 1996? And they needed a “platform” (such as the internet)? Does it really matter “who” created Bitcoin et al? And if it does, who is “Satoshi”? What if the creator really is an agency like the NSA? Would that matter to you? On a side note, do you remember the Winklevoss twins? What were they involved in, in the past? Can you imagine the elation of the German Stasi if they had a system where people would willingly and even anxiously divulge personal information as they do with Facebook today? Can you imagine the smiles on their faces if they could have “tracked” every single penny (mark) bought, sold, spent, or accepted? How, all the way back to 1988 did the Economist magazine forecast 2018 as the year of a global currency with the similar image to a bitcon on their cover? Do you smell what I smell? Please watch this with these questions in the back of your mind…

Posted at 11:47 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Mortgaging their houses because a “crypto kitty” at $122,000 is more than pocket change?

People Mortgaging Their Homes To Buy Bitcoin, Report Says
December 12, 2017

CBS Local — How much would you put at risk to invest in the hottest digital currency in the world? For some people, the skyrocketing value of Bitcoin is worth putting their own homes at stake.

According to reports, a number of investors looking to cash in on the soaring prices have resorted to putting their houses up as collateral to fund the venture.

“We’ve seen mortgages being taken out to buy bitcoin. People do credit cards, equity lines,” Joseph Borg of North American Securities Administrators Association said, via Business Insider.

The president of the securities firm added that he believes the risks outweigh the rewards tied to the popular cryptocurrency. “This is not something a guy who’s making $100,000 a year, who’s got a mortgage and two kids in college ought to be invested in.”

More…

Posted at 11:39 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Courtesy of GG.

Jim

ISIS Jihadis Have Left Syria And Are Heading Back To Europe To Mount Terror Attacks, Says Captured Militant
December 12, 2017

A former Islamic State militant captured after the fall of Raqqa says that jihadist fighters have left Syria intending to travel to Europe to launch attacks. 

Saddam al-Hamadi, 26, was arrested by Turkish security forces last month after exploiting an evacuation deal designed to free civilians. 

He was detained as he reached the Turkey-Syria border. 

But the ex-ISIS fighter has warned that extremists planned to use the chaos of the fall of Raqqa to travel to Europe.

A threat issued by Islamic State on its channels showing a bloodied knife with the Eiffel Tower and a Christmas market in the background and the caption, ‘Soon in your holidays’

 

More…

Posted at 11:20 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Doug Noland is correct. As we have been trying to tell you, what comes is all about credit because credit is about math…and confidence!

Doug Noland: There Will Be No Way Out When This Market Bubble Bursts
December 11, 2017

This week Doug Noland joins the podcast to discuss what he refers to as the “granddaddy of all bubbles”.

Noland, a 30-year market analyst and specialist in credit cycles, currently works at McAlvany Wealth Management and is well known for his prior 16-year stint helping manage the Prudent Bear Fund.

He certainly shares our views that prices in nearly every financial asset class have become remarkably distorted due to central bank intervention, first with Greenspan’s actions to backstop the markets in the late-1980’s, and more recently (and more egregiously) with the combined central banking cartel’s massive and sustained liquidity injections in the years following the Great Financial Crisis.

All of which has blown the biggest inter-connected set of asset price bubbles the world has ever seen.

Noland foresees tremendous losses as inevitable, as the central banks lose control of the monstrosity they have created:

This is the granddaddy of all bubbles. We are at the end a long cycle where the bubble has reached the heart of money and credit.

There will be no way out. We’re not going to get enough private credit growth to reflate things when this bubble bursts. It’s going to have to come from central bank credit; it’s going to have to come from sovereign debt.

When this bubble bursts, it will shock people how far the central banks will have to expand their balance sheet just to accommodate the deleveraging in the system. And they won’t really be able to add new liquidity to the market; they’re just going to allow the transfer of leveraged positions from the leveraged players onto the central bank balance sheets.

When you get to that point, when the market sees that transfer occurring, I predict there’s going to be fear of long-term financial instruments. We’ll see rising yields. That’s when things will become problematic.

More…

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Doug Noland is correct. As we have been trying to tell you, what comes is all about credit because credit is about math…and confidence!

Doug Noland: There Will Be No Way Out When This Market Bubble Bursts
December 11, 2017

This week Doug Noland joins the podcast to discuss what he refers to as the “granddaddy of all bubbles”.

Noland, a 30-year market analyst and specialist in credit cycles, currently works at McAlvany Wealth Management and is well known for his prior 16-year stint helping manage the Prudent Bear Fund.

He certainly shares our views that prices in nearly every financial asset class have become remarkably distorted due to central bank intervention, first with Greenspan’s actions to backstop the markets in the late-1980’s, and more recently (and more egregiously) with the combined central banking cartel’s massive and sustained liquidity injections in the years following the Great Financial Crisis.

All of which has blown the biggest inter-connected set of asset price bubbles the world has ever seen.

Noland foresees tremendous losses as inevitable, as the central banks lose control of the monstrosity they have created:

This is the granddaddy of all bubbles. We are at the end a long cycle where the bubble has reached the heart of money and credit.

There will be no way out. We’re not going to get enough private credit growth to reflate things when this bubble bursts. It’s going to have to come from central bank credit; it’s going to have to come from sovereign debt.

More…

Posted at 11:18 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

It is just so correct. Courtesy of JB.

Jim

A New Christmas Poem

Twas The Night Before Christmas,

He Lived All Alone,

In A One Bedroom House Made Of

Plaster And Stone.


I Had Come Down The Chimney

With Presents To Give,

And To See Just Who

In This Home Did Live.


I Looked All About,

A Strange Sight I Did See,

No Tinsel, No Presents,

Not Even A Tree.


No Stocking By Mantle,

Just Boots Filled With Sand,

On The Wall Hung Pictures

Of Far Distant Lands.


With Medals And Badges,

Awards Of All Kinds,

A Sober Thought

Came Through My Mind.


For This House Was Different,

It Was Dark And Dreary,

I Found The Home Of A Soldier,

Once I Could See Clearly.


The Soldier Lay Sleeping,

Silent, Alone,

Curled Up On The Floor

In This One Bedroom Home.


The Face Was So Gentle,

The Room In Such Disorder,

Not How I Pictured

A United States Soldier.


Was This The Hero

Of Whom I’d Just Read?

Curled Up On A Poncho,

The Floor For A Bed?


I Realized The Families

That I Saw This Night,

Owed Their Lives To These Soldiers

Who Were Willing To Fight.


Soon Round The World,

The Children Would Play,

And Grownups Would Celebrate

A Bright Christmas Day.


They All Enjoyed Freedom

Each Month Of The Year,

Because Of The Soldiers,

Like The One Lying Here.


I Couldn’t Help Wonder

How Many Lay Alone,

On A Cold Christmas Eve

In A Land Far From Home.


The Very Thought

Brought A Tear To My Eye,

I Dropped To My Knees

And Started To Cry.


The Soldier Awakened

And I Heard A Rough Voice,

“Santa Don’t Cry,

This Life Is My Choice;


I Fight For Freedom,

I Don’t Ask For More,

My Life Is My God,

My Country, My Corps.”


The Soldier Rolled Over

And Drifted To Sleep,

I Couldn’t Control It,

I Continued To Weep.


I Kept Watch For Hours,

So Silent And Still

And We Both Shivered

From The Cold Night’s Chill.


I Didn’t Want To Leave

On That Cold, Dark, Night,

This Guardian Of Honor

So Willing To Fight.


Then The Soldier Rolled Over,

With A Voice Soft And Pure,

Whispered, “Carry On Santa,

It’s Christmas Day, All Is Secure.”


One Look At My Watch,

And I Knew He Was Right.

“Merry Christmas My Friend,

And To All A Good Night.”

Posted at 3:03 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

This is just another pin in the dollar’s balloon! First yuan for oil, now oil backed crypto rubles …what is the straw that breaks the dollar’s back?

Russia May Turn To Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency To Challenge Sanctions & The Petrodollar
December 11, 2017

The gradual acceptance of digital currencies, with major exchanges about to launch bitcoin futures trading, may prompt some oil producing nations to ditch the US dollar in crude trade in favor of cryptocurrencies, an oil analyst says.

clip_image001

As RT reports, Russia, Iran and Venezuela have more than one thing in common.

All three are major oil producing nations dependent on the dollar since the global crude market is traditionally dominated by contracts denominated in US currency.

Moscow, Tehran and Caracas are also facing US sanctions; penalties which are proving effective since the sanctioned countries are dependent on the US dollar to sell their crude.

A decentralized currency – allowing anonymous transactions along with blockchain technology support to facilitate oil contracts – may be the ideal tool to allow the oil producing trio to turn their back on the greenback.

“The advent of cryptocurrencies, therefore, represents a fresh catalyst for commodity-producing countries wishing to abandon the dollar as a means of payment for oil,” said Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, in a research note seen by CNBC.

Several oil producers have already voiced plans to ditch the dollar in oil trading.

clip_image002

Last week, Venezuela announced it will launch its own cryptocurrency, the “Petro,” which will be backed by the country’s vast natural resource reserves.

Russia, China and Iran are currently pursuing currency swap agreements to eliminate the US dollar from trade.

More…

Bill Holter’s Commentary

I guess we should ask, how many times will the Clown News Network get knocked down before they don’t get back up again?

CNN Walks Back Jeff Sessions-Russia Bombshell
December 11, 2017

CNN has quietly walked back more of their “bombshell” reporting on the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, and this time it’s a story relating to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ security clearance forms.

In May, CNN reported that Sessions had failed to disclose meetings he had with the Russian ambassador when he was a senator. Justice Department officials told CNN that Sessions had not listed those meetings on a security clearance form, even though the form says to list “any contact” with the “foreign government” or its “representatives” in the past seven years.

CNN framed the non-disclosures as more evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump team, writing, “He has come under withering criticism from Democrats following revelations that he did not disclose the same contacts with Kislyak during his Senate confirmation hearings earlier this year.”

At the time, Sessions said he was told by the FBI not to list meetings “connected with his Senate activities,” but CNN’s legal expert denied those claims.

“A legal expert who regularly assists officials in filling out the form disagrees with the Justice Department’s explanation, suggesting that Sessions should have disclosed the meetings,” CNN asserted.

More…

Judge Jeanine: There Needs to Be a ‘Cleansing’ at the FBI, DOJ
December 10, 2017

In her Opening Statement Saturday night, Judge Jeanine Pirro said there needs to be a “cleansing” at the FBI and the Department of Justice.

Judge Jeanine ran down a list of individuals who she said have been dedicated to protecting Hillary Clinton or destroying President Donald Trump, singling out Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, FBI official Peter Strzok, former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, former FBI Director James Comey and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

“There have been times in our history where corruption and lawlessness were so pervasive, that examples had to be made. This is one of those times,” she said.

She said the FBI and Justice Department have too many “political hacks” embedded, individuals who have never accepted that the American people elected Donald Trump to be commander-in-chief.

“I for one am tired of investigations, politicians posturing. Something more has to be done,” Judge Jeanine said. “The stench coming out of the FBI and Justice Department is like that of a Third World country where money and boys and clubs decide elections.”

More…

Bill Holter’s Commentary

We keep harping about “truth” and why it is important.  What will the reaction be when it arrives full scale and engulfs everything?

US Engulfed In The Most Corrupt Scandal In History & All Roads Lead Back To Obama
December 7, 2017

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The latest from John Williams’ www.shadowstats.com

– Private Surveying of November Labor Conditions Showed Continuing Annual Contraction and Ongoing Non-Expansion
– Still-Heavily-Distorted, November Unemployment Rates Notched Minimally Higher: U.3 Rose to 4.12% versus 4.07%, U.6 Rose to 7.96% from 7.91%, and the ShadowStats-Alternate Rose to 21.7% from 21.6%
– Hurricane-Warped Unemployment and Employment Household-Survey Details Face Near-Term Corrections with the January 5th Benchmark Revisions
– Low-Level Annual Payroll Growth Continued to Signal New Recession – Seasonal-Adjustment Gimmicks Bloated Headline Payroll Gains, where Unadjusted Payrolls Revised Lower but Adjusted Levels Revised Higher; Payroll-Survey Benchmark Revisions Loom for February 2nd
– Fourth-Quarter 2017 Real Merchandise Trade Deficit on Early Track for Worst Showing Since First-Quarter 2007
– October 2017 Nominal Balance of Payments Trade Deficit Increased by 8.6% versus September 2017, by 13.1% versus October 2016
– Shy of Recovering Its Pre-Recession Peak by 22.0% (-22.0%), Real Construction Spending Continued in Annual Decline, as Last Seen During the 2006 Housing Collapse
– Amidst Expectations of a December 13th FOMC Rate Hike, November 2017 M3 Annual Growth Eased Back to 4.6% from 4.8% in October, as Monetary-Base Annual Growth Jumped to a Four-Year High of 8.1%

“No. 924: November Labor, Private Surveying and M3, October Trade Deficit and Construction Spending”

www.shadowstats.com

Posted at 12:54 PM (CST) by & filed under USAWatchdog.com.

U.S. Government Criminal Enterprise – Catherine Austin Fitts
December 10, 2017

Financial expert and investment advisor Catherine Austin Fitts says the U.S. Government runs on massive criminal activity. Fitts explains, “The U.S. economy is deeply dependent on criminal cash flows. We’re the global leader in money laundering. If we stopped doing that, the economy would be in for a major, major change. . . . The preference for most Americans is to keep that system going as long as it works for them. So, it you are a public official, you are between a rock and a hard place. If you press the red button and stop the illegal cash flows, then all hell breaks loose. . . . The U.S. Government has been run as a criminal enterprise, and I have documented and proved that on multiple occasions. The swamp that exists in Washington is from sea to shining sea. It’s not just in Washington. It’s in every county and every state house in the country. If we are going to change and clean ourselves of enormous financial dependencies on criminal activities, we are talking about a very big change, and it’s not just in Washington.”

So, in the big picture, where are we now? Why are so many top people in politics and Hollywood being taken down? Fitts says, “These people are expensive. This is a fundamental re-engineering. . . . We are watching purges, but these purges are knocking out the expensive people, people we no longer need from the financial coup d’état period, and you are bringing in a new wave of people or you are just downsizing. So, we see sex purges in Hollywood and in various forms of media and entertainment. . . . You have various purges going on because the reality is the world needs to move on. This money needs to be reinvested, and you can’t afford a bunch of egotistical maniacs who were good at stealing money. You can’t use them to build the future, and you can’t afford them. . . . There is a huge amount of money that is floating around in fixed income and derivative markets, and now you’ve got to bring it down into the hard economy and hard assets. How do you do that? You need to switch the caliber of the people for management and reinvestment of the money. You have to do it in a way that doesn’t kick off hyperinflation.”

More…

Posted at 12:18 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Here it comes yet barely reported on!

China Will Run Trade Tests for Yuan Oil Futures This Weekend, Hopes to Roll Out Contracts by Year-End
December 8, 2017

(Yicai Global) Dec. 8 — A unit under Shanghai Futures Exchange will hold market-wide training simulations tomorrow and on Dec. 10 in preparation for the formal inauguration of the crude oil futures contract, Sina reported yesterday.

The International Energy Exchange conducted four mock trading exercises for crude futures in June and July. It will look to roll out the contracts by the end of this year, an official at INE said after the last session.

Oil consumption in the Asia Pacific region as a percentage of the global total has continued to rise in recent years, and the region has become the main growth driver for international petroleum use. Crude futures will serve as a barometer for supply, demand and price fluctuations in China and the Asia Pacific oil markets, similar to the West Texas Intermediate and Brent indicators in the US and Europe, an energy futures manager at Shanghai Futures Exchange said.

More…

Bill Holter’s Commentary

…I guess we will find out about the liquidity issue?

The Bulgarian Government Is Sitting on $3 Billion in Bitcoin
December 7, 2017

A crackdown on organized crime by Bulgarian law enforcement in May resulted in the seizure of more than 200,000 bitcoins – an amount worth more than $3 billion at today’s prices.

According to a press release dated May 19 from the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC), a regional organization comprised of 12 member states including Bulgaria, a total of 213,519 bitcoins were seized that month. Twenty-three Bulgarian nationals were arrested during the operation, and officials said at the time that the arrests and subsequent asset seizures followed an investigation into an alleged customs fraud scam.

As of press time, the amount seized is worth approximately $3.3 billion, at a price of roughly $15,524, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

Authorities commented at the time:

“The offenders choose the bitcoin way of investing/saving the money, because it is rather difficult to be tracked and followed.”

They further alleged that those involved developed a virus which was used to hack into Bulgarian Customs computers, allowing the perpetrators to skip paying fees when transporting goods into the country. The virus was uploaded to government machines by bribed agents, according to the release.

More…

Bill Holter’s Commentary

This is hilarious! If you want to have some fun, scroll around the stadium to see how many tickets are still for sale for the Rams/Eagles game! Please don’t tell me the tickets are not sold because of the fires, it has been this way since the season started on its knees. This game is between the leaders of the NFC West and NFC East…yet Fox is “auditioning” actors to play as Ram fans for the pregame? What kind of business plan is this?

https://www.vividseats.com/nfl/los-angeles-rams-tickets/rams-vs-eagles-1-3-2291768.html?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=NFL+Football+Sitelinks&utm_term=buy%20la%20rams%20tickets&vkid=456327

Bill Holter’s Commentary

This is the YouTube by Architects and Engineers that David spoke of during our call for subscribers

Video: I Believe in 9/11 Miracles
December 7, 2017

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Goes right along with what we spoke of today on our call for subscribers…

Peak Fantasy Time
December 8, 2017

If you want to know why both Wall Street and Washington are so delusional about America’s baleful economic predicament, just consider this morsel from today’s Wall Street Journal on the purportedly awesome November jobs report.

Wages rose just 2.5% from a year earlier in November—near the same lackluster pace maintained since late 2015, despite a much lower unemployment rate. But in a positive sign for Americans’ incomes, the average work week increased by about 6 minutes to 34.5 hours in November…. November marked the 86th straight month employers added to payrolls.

Whoopee!

Six whole minutes added to a work week that has been shrinking for decades owing to the relentlessly deteriorating quality mix of the “jobs” counted by the BLS establishment survey. In fact, even by that dubious measure, the work week is still shorter than it was at the December 2007 pre-crisis peak (33.8) and well below its 2000 peak level.

The reason isn’t hard to figure: The US economy is generating fewer and fewer goods producing jobs where the work week averages 40.5 hours and weekly pay equates to $58,400 annually and far more bar, hotel and restaurant jobs, where the work week averages just 26.1 hours and weekly pay equates to only $21,000 annually.

In other words, the ballyh0oed headline averages are essentially meaningless noise because the BLS counts all jobs equal—-that is, a 10-hour per week gig at the minimum wage at McDonald’s weighs the same as a 45 hour per week (with overtime) job at the Caterpillar plant in Peoria that pays $80,000 annually in wages and benefits.

More…

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Maybe these “lost troops” know where our missing $21 trillion went to?

Report: 44,000 ‘Unknown’ Military Personnel Stationed Around The World
December 7, 2017

WASHINGTON — The U. S. military has more than 44,000 troops across the globe that the Pentagon claims it cannot track, according to a recent report.

“We are not at a point where we can give numbers other than those officially stated,” said Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman.

The report — compiled by the Defense Manpower Data Center under the Office of the Secretary of Defense — shows more than 44,000 personnel in a category labeled “Unknown.”

Active-duty military personnel number slightly more than 1.3 million in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, and hundreds of thousands more civilian personnel fall under Defense departments. That number does not include Reserve and National Guard formations that might be active at any particular time.

The United States has military personnel in nearly every country in the world, ranging from two liaison officers in Fiji to tens of thousands from all of the service branches in Japan and Germany, according to the report.

 

Manning said during a press briefing Wednesday that troop numbers in Syria are about four times higher than reported by the Pentagon, with 2,000 present in the country. He also clarified that there are 5,200 in Iraq, up from about 5,000 reported earlier.

“We seek to balance informing the American public with the imperative of operational security and denying the enemy any advantage,” Manning said at the briefing.

More…