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What Keeps Bank of America Up At Night / by Tyler Durden / May 25, 2017 11:03 AM

It has been a painful, bruising intellectual exercise for BofA’s HY credit strategist Michael Contopoulos, who after starting off 2016 uber-bearish, was – together with every other money manager and advisor – taken to the woodshed, and forced to flip bullish, kicking and screaming, and advising BofA clients to buy the same junk bonds he told them to sell just a few months prior. Now, thanks to Trump, he may be finally seeing a glimmer of the bearish light returning, and in a note published this morning, Contopoulos asks whether the US is looking at a replay of 2014 and 2015, when as a reminder, a false dawn turned out to be an ugly dusk, and forced first the BOJ, then the ECB to intervene aggressively with even more QEasing.

As BofA admits, “the last two weeks have further underpinned our belief that the market has had misplaced optimism in the new administration’s reform agenda, while we find more and more evidence that suggests the macro environment echoes that of 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, the market environment has closely tracked that of late 2013 and early 2014, when expectations for higher rates, low defaults and strong fundamentals caused a bid for risk that sent yields to sub-5% until geopolitical risks shocked investors (a plane being shot down over Ukraine). Once cracks were exposed in 2014, and illiquidity concerns replaced a FOMO (fear of missing out) attitude, the ensuing collapse in crude left investors woefully unprepared for the troubles of the next year and a half.”


Stocks and Precious Metals Charts — A House of Desolation / 25 MAY 2017

“God who gave us life gave us liberty.   Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?  Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Northeast Portico

“A true opium of the people is the belief in nothingness after death, the huge solace, the huge comfort of thinking that for our betrayals, our greed, our cowardice, our murders, we are not going to be judged.”

Czesław Miłosz

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to beware of those who cause arguments and put obstacles in your way with things that are contrary to the teachings you have learned. Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord, but their own vain appetites and inclinations.   By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”

Romans 16:17-18

Stocks set new highs, and gold and silver corrected a bit on a quiet Comex option expiration. The charts continue to exhibit interesting patterns and excesses.

The economic news of The Recovery™ meanders along its mediocre path, with a rise in long term unemployment and the sluggish growth in the broader economy driven by an exhausted middle class and staggering working poor.


It Is All Unraveling And This Is Why Everyone Should Be Nervous – Episode 1289b

X22Report, Published on May 25, 2017

Another insurer is leaving Obamacare. Comey is blaming the Clinton investigation on a Russian document . Trumps slams intel leaks and Jeff Sessions is going to begin an investigation. US warship enters the South China Sea and comes withing 12 nautical miles from China’s territory. Trump wants NATO members to pay their fair share. EU cannot come to a consensus with Trump on Russia. US troops kill civilians in Yemen but the corporate media says they killed al-Qaeda. Russia says the recent provocations is to derail the peace talks in Libya. Bill introduced to continue the fight against the paid mercenaries in Iraq, Syria and the rest of the middle east.

Trump Responds To UK Accusations Of Suicide Bombing Leaks / by Tyler Durden / May 25, 2017 10:46 AM

Overnight saw one of the closest intelligence-sharing partnerships tested as never before in the fight against global terrorism, as Prime Minister Theresa May confronted President Donald Trump over U.S. media leaks from the Manchester bombing probe.

As Bloomberg reports, police investigating the suicide bombing that killed 22 people at a pop concert in the city in northern England have suspended sharing information with the U.S., according to a report by the security correspondent of the BBC.

“I will make clear to President Trump that the information shared between our law-enforcement agencies must remain secure,” May told reporters.


Russian explorers find ‘swamp’ of Soviet money, all worthless / By Maria Kiseleva and Alistair Coleman via British Broadcasting Corp., London / May 25, 2017

A group of explorers in Russia have found around a billion roubles in old Soviet money at an abandoned mine, but it’s all completely worthless.

The group from St. Petersburg, who publish a blog on abandoned sites across Russia, came across the money after following rumors that large quantities of cash had been dumped in old missile silos near Moscow after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Komsomolskaya Pravda news website reports:

After travelling for several hours across rough terrain in Russia’s Vladimir region, they found the mine literally overflowing with cash.

The site contains an estimated one billion roubles ($18 million or L13.5 million at current exchange rates, or $33.3 million at the “official” Soviet rate in 1991) in Soviet Union banknotes of various denominations issued between 1961 and 1991, all no longer legal tender in the Russian Federation. The mine had been flooded in recent years, leaving what was essentially a swamp of banknotes bearing the face of Vladimir Lenin, the explorers’ YouTube channel shows. …

… For the remainder of the report:


Beat Your Meat With The “Street” / Dave Kranzler / 

Best Buy reported its earnings this morning for its Q1.  Revenues were up year over year for the quarter (qtr/qtr) by a scorching $85 million, or 1%.  But this came at the expense of price competition, as its gross profit declined 5.7%.  Operating income plunged 19.4%.  Net income dropped 18%.  Earnings per share declined 15% (share buybacks translated into a lower decline in e.p.s. than net income).  Cash provided by operating activities (from the Company’s “statement of cash flows,” not from the Jeff Bezos “free cash flow” comic book) took a 51% cliff dive, dropping $249 million qtr/qtr.


Montana House Candidate Charged With Assault After “Body Slamming” Guardian Reporter / by Tyler Durden / May 25, 2017 10:25 AM

Last night we wrote about Montana’s Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte who reportedly “body slammed” Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs during an interview after being pressed for his opinion on the CBO healthcare score. Gianforte is the Republican candidate in today’s special election for Montana’s open U.S. House seat…but we’re sure it’s just a coincidence that this happened one day before the election.

Not surprisingly, we learn this morning that Gianforte has been officially slapped with a “misdemeanor assault” charge by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s office which carries with it a maximum fine of up to $500 and/or 6 months in jail if convicted.


These Powder Kegs Are About To Blow: “Trump Needs To Halt The Downward Spiral That Obama Orchestrated” / Jeremiah Johnson / May 25th, 2017

President Trump just took a trip to Saudi Arabia in an effort to obsequiously “shore up” the ties.  Expected.  It is expected for any U.S. president to “recertify” the Petrodollar and the commitments to protect the House of Saud that were initiated by Kissinger and Nixon almost five decades ago.  Times change, and administrations change; however, the systems in place are very slow and resistant to modification.  The BRIC nations are shoring up their interests as the U.S. continues to send more naval “support” for South Korea in the form of another aircraft carrier.

In order to keep the MIC (Military Industrial Complex) happy, defense contracts have to be on the rise: A Republican administration is the foundation for this.  The creation of a threat is ongoing.  The creation of a threat (whether viable or not) is essential to justify the defense contracts and the ongoing deployments of U.S. troops that were initiated under Obama and are continuing under President Trump.  The MIC is too deeply lodged within the framework of the government to extricate in one fell swoop.  It is inexorably intertwined with the fragile (almost skeletal) domestic industrial base of the U.S. economy, as well as all of the foreign policy instituted at home and carried out abroad.


Gold’s Pricing Power Moving East – Part 1 / 25 May 2017

How is the gold price made?

When we hear commentary on why the gold price has moved, we usually hear of U.S. economic or political factors and a move in the U.S. Dollar. Most times these do not precipitate the buying of physical gold.

What they do do, is to spur the buying or selling of futures or Options on the COMEX gold market. Many commentators attribute moves in the physical gold price to moves on COMEX.

But this link is tenuous, as COMEX does not [except for a maximum of 5% and minimum of 1% of contracts that disclose they will deal in physical gold, upfront] deal in physical gold.

The dollar gold price is the one that most investors look at, even though they may deal in a different currency to the dollar. This is because the dollar is the key global currency against which all others are measured.

Price differential between Shanghai and London/New York

U.S. gold prices today are primarily driven by demand for physical gold in gold ETFs, such as the Gold Trust and the SPDR gold ETF [GLD].

But the bulk of physical gold traded in the world now happens on the Shanghai gold exchange. There are 10 million investors, including 10,000 institutions that are able to deal over their cell phones at any time on the Shanghai Gold Exchange. Such a market dwarfs both London and New York on the physical front, as all transactions have to be backed by physical gold.


RBC Explains What The Hell Is Going On: “Prudent” Fed & Chinese Intervention / by Tyler Durden / May 25, 2017 9:51 AM

A “prudent” Fed (and China’s “National Team”) have spurred a risk-on rally, as RBC’s head of cross-asset strategy Charlie McElligott notes the market’s ‘Pavolovian’ response to Fed’s ‘dovish hints’ contained within the Minutes – despite simultaneously staying ‘on message’ with hiking / tapering commentary – prompts a “QE of old” response: stocks and Treasuries bid, while the USD faded.

China further perpetuates the ‘risk rally’ via apparent market interventions:

1.       Intervention in FX markets to strengthen the Yuan overnight, with speculation of a number of Chinese banks selling Dollars in the onshore market overnight which drove the Yuan higher.

2.       Chinese “National Team” stock market inventions as well, with sharp-turns higher off of an initially weaker equities opening and again-weaker industrial metals.   Major reversals off lows saw nearly all domestic markets close at highs (Shanghai Prop +2.8%), while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed at highs since July 2015, with Chinese real estate developers leading.

Initial (and expected) ‘sell the news’ on the snoozer OPEC outcome, as they extend the output cut 9 months per expectations—which disappointed the ‘bullish surprise’ camp which anticipated more OPEC-‘gaming’ of the market, thinking it was possible for a deeper-cut in conjunction with the consensus extension.



The U.S. military investigation of the March 17 coalition air strike on Mosul’s al-Jadidah district, alleged to have killed as many as 278 people, concluded Thursday that just over 100 people were killed in the strike. Until Thursday, the coalition would only confirm that a strike took place on the site in question, but wouldn’t give details on casualty numbers.

Matthew Isler, the Air Force brigadier general who oversaw the probe, said 101 civilians were killed inside the building—a two-story house—four in a neighboring building and 36 are still unaccounted for.

While the military’s conclusion is much more realistic than the prior estimate that only 14 people died in the strike, it has stuck by the contention that its own bombs were not enough to cause all the casualties, claiming the Islamic State had stored explosives in the building where the scores of civilians were hiding.

“This investigation determined that ISIS deliberately staged explosives and snipers to harm civilians,” Isler said.


The Setup Is Almost Complete,Once The Fed Does This,The Collapse Is Imminent – Episode 1289a

X22Report, Published on May 25, 2017

If Canadian homeowners saw a 10% increase in mortgage payments 75% of those surveyed said it would be very difficult and many would not be able to pay. Sears says it had its first profit in 2 years, the only problem there was no profit. There are roughly 230 million getting handouts from the government . Two researchers have discovered that the VIX is rigged. Foreign central banks are silently acquiring Treasuries and having the FED hold them. The Fed needs only do 1 more interest rate hike which will start the collapse of the economy.

Jared Kushner “Under FBI Scrutiny” In Russia Probe: NBC / by Tyler Durden / May 25, 2017 6:49 PM

Update:  Just like last week’s bombshells, the Washington Post managed to publish an almost identical confirmation of NBC’s story within minutes…almost like they coordinated…

And, just like NBC, the Washington Post was careful to hedge their salacious title (though multiple paragraphs down in the body of the article) by pointing out that Kushner is not technically a “target” in the investigation and has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The Post has not been told that Kushner is a target — or the central focus — of the investigation, and he has not been accused of any wrongdoing. Target is a word that generally refers to someone who is the main suspect of investigators’ attention, though prosecutors can and do bring charges against people who are not marked with that distinction.


A New Financial System is Being Born / Michael Krieger /

If Bitcoin blew you away when you first discovered it, and continues to do so to this day, Spiral Dynamics can help explain why. Bitcoin was an expression in the physical world of the newly emergent leading-edge integral level consciousness. It drew lessons from history and attempted to take the best of orange and green worldviews and incorporate them into an entirely new form of money. We see the clear presence of free markets and individualism, as well as the intentional separation of the system from dominator hierarchies (bureaucratic government meddling), which had corrupted all money before it. Its greenness is evident in the fact that by design no individual or company controls the network. Global, decentralized, revolutionary technology. This is perhaps the perfect example of integral consciousness operating on our planet at this time from an economics standpoint, and why it has captured the imagination of so many, while at the same time being violently rejected by so many others.

From February’s post: Why Increased Consciousness is the Only Path Forward

Although I had heard about it much earlier, I didn’t truly start investigating Bitcoin until the summer of 2012. The more I learned the more my mind was blown away, and for a while I couldn’t think about anything else. What truly solidified its real world usefulness to me was when I discovered it had been used by Wikileaks to accept payments in the midst of a financial services blockade against the renegade publisher. This realization inspired my first Bitcoin related post in August 2012 titled, Bitcoin: A Way to Fight Back Against the Financial Terrorists? 

In that piece, I linked to a Forbes article that detailed the revolutionary events taking place. We learned:


Did British Officials Train Manchester Attacker as “Moderate Rebel” in Syria? / BY STUART HOOPER / MAY 24, 2017

21st Century Wire says…

This is a question firmly rooted in fact.

Just a few hours ago it was revealed that Salman Abedi, the attacker in Manchester, had recently returned from trips to both Libya and Syria and it is unclear exactly where he was from around 2012.

In 2013, right within this missing period of time for Abedi’s whereabouts, British officials were helping to train an army of “moderate” rebels in Jordan to be shipped back into Syria.


Nasdaq Finally Erases Trump-Dump – Spikes To Record High / by Tyler Durden / May 25, 2017 9:43 AM

Another day, another spike at the open…

Trannies and Small Caps remain red post-Comey-Gate.


Panning for Gold Is Fun, But Not Very Lucrative / BY SCHIFFGOLD / MAY 25, 2017

For the past decade, Mike Pung has scoured the Oklahoma hills and rivers in search of gold.

From what he told Tulsa’s Channel 8, it hasn’t exactly proven to be a fruitful venture.

You know, I’ve been in this for 10 years now, and I have never found a nugget, ever.”

But for Pung and other members of  of the Gold Prospectors of Oklahoma City, gold hunting is a labor of love. They spend hours panning in Oklahoma rivers and sifting piles of dirt in hope of finding even the tiniest flakes of gold. After all that work, you may need a magnifying glass to examine the haul. Nevertheless, Gary Whited said the thrill of the find is hard to even explain. He said even a speck can make you feel like you made your way into Fort Knox.

Once you see that first gold in a pan it’s worse than buck fever …The coolest part about this is when we seen that gold, we’re the first people in history to ever see that gold, nobody’s ever seen it before.”


REALIST NEWS – Anyone with $10k or more in Cryptos needs to open 2-3 Trading Accounts

jsnip4, Published on May 25, 2017

Gartman Turns Bullish On Tech: “Every Time We Think The Market Is Overbought, It Moves Higher” / by Tyler Durden / May 25, 2017 8:53 AM

First, it was Warren Buffett turning bullish on tech, and now none other than Dennis Gartman has thrown in the towel on “things that if dropped on your foot shall hurt” and will instead focus on “buying the things that are either replacing these simple things or are making these simple things better.

From his latest note:

We stand in awe of the sheer relentless nature of the global bull market. Unlike the parabolic rise by Bitcoin, for example, the trend from the lower left to the upper right in global equity prices is measured… is reasonable… is relentless and is, in the end, majestic in nature. It will stop when it stops and not a moment before. Every time we think that the market is overbought, it consolidates and moves higher.

It is interesting then to note that the CNN Fear & Greed Index has been “locked” in recent days a few points either side of 50, where 50 is evenly balanced between the bullish and bearish forces at work. When the Index is below 20 and has turned higher, the market is oversold and due for a rally. When it is above 75 or so and turns down, the market’s over-bought and due for weakness. But at 50 it is neutral… utterly and completely… allowing the trend at hand to obtain a while longer and the trend at hand is clearly a bullish trend.


Legendary Short Seller Discusses Wild, Wild West Trading Action In Bitcoin And What It Means For Gold / May 25, 2017

As the Dow remained above 21,000 and the price of crude oil tumbled nearly $3, today a legendary short seller discussed the wild, wild west trading action in Bitcoin and what that means for gold.

By Bill Fleckenstein President Of Fleckenstein Capital
May 25 (King World News) – 
My exhaustion watch has officially ended (at least this phase), as clearly the idea that the S&P’s inability to push through 2,400 has been rendered moot by the market action. Today that index wasted no time trying to put 2,400 in the rearview mirror, as it gained about 0.5% through midday. In the afternoon, the S&P gave back a little ground, while the Nasdaq added the most, gaining 0.75%…

Away from stocks, green paper was stronger, oil lost 5%, fixed income was a tad higher, and the metals were fractionally lower.

Bitcoin Riders Are Pulling a Lot of “Geez!”
In the parabola watch department, Bitcoin at one point was up nearly 15%, to 2,780, before it reversed to a decline of 10%, only to rally back and close roughly flat.


Day 214.13. Hillary’s Leakers and Hackers

George Webb, Published on May 25, 2017

Jason and I Ask For Chief Verderosa, Get PIO

China Accuses US Warship Of “Trespassing” In Disputed Waters, Warns It To “Leave Immediately”

The USS Dewey / by Tyler Durden / May 25, 2017 8:25 AM

In the first unofficial challenge to Beijing over China’s domination of disputed waters in the South China Sea since President Trump took office, a US navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea according to the WSJ.  The navy vessel, the USS Dewey, traveled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors.

The “freedom of navigation” operation which in the past has infuriated Beijing, comes as Trump is seeking Beijing’s cooperation to rein in ally North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Territorial waters are generally defined by U.N. convention as extending at most 12 nautical miles from a state’s coastline. China’s claims to the South China Sea, which sees about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade pass every year, are challenged by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, as well as Taiwan.


Bitcoin $10,000? / FS STAFF / 05/25/2017

Bitcoin has entered a parabolic phase, blowing past the price of gold and hitting new all-time highs on a daily basis.

Trace Mayer, host of the Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast and a leading expert on bitcoin, recently discussed cryptocurrencies as an asset class, why bitcoin is better than gold or fiat money, bitcoin’s “seven network effects,” and much, much more on our podcast last week.

Here’s Trace on the biggest and most explosive driver for bitcoin that no one is yet talking about. If this gets going, Trace believed bitcoin could reach as high as $10,000 in a few years:

7 Network Effects Driving Bitcoin

Mayer has been bullish on bitcoin since it was trading around $0.25 (today it hit a high of $2,791), and he sees more upside potential for the cryptocurrency over the long-term.

“Merchants accept it because speculators hold it,” Mayer said. “Consumers use it because merchants accept it. Miners secure it…(and) developers then want to work on the most secure, most valuable blockchain.”

As developers build out the usefulness of the protocol, more applications arise. Next, we get financialization, he added.


Day 214.12. Hillary’s Leakers and Hackers

George Webb, Published on May 25, 2017

Metadata is Better Than School Play

“Outraged” UK Stops Sharing Attack Information With US Due To Media Leaks / by Tyler Durden / May 25, 2017 7:24 AM

Leaks are not just plaguing the Trump administration and FBI these days, it appears.

As we reported yesterday, when we discussed why the UK is angry with the US, we observed that Britain’s Interior minister Amber Rudd was asked by the BBC about the fact that information about Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi, including his name, had first come out from the United States and whether she would look again at how information was shared with other countries, to which she responded: “Yes, quite frankly. I mean the British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise, so it is irritating if it gets released from other sources and I have been very clear with our friends that should not happen again.” Asked whether the U.S. leaks had compromised the investigation, she said: “I wouldn’t go that far but I can say that they are perfectly clear about the situation and that it shouldn’t happen again.”

24 hours later, there has been a material deterioration in intelligence relations between the UK and US, and as Reuters reports, British police have officially stopped sharing information on the suicide bombing in Manchester with the United States, a British counter-terrorism source told the news agency, after police said leaks to U.S. media risked hindering their investigation. The decision to stop sharing police information with U.S. agencies “was an extraordinary step as Britain sees the United States as its closest ally on security and intelligence.”