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Market Turning Points / Andre Gratian / July 28, 2014

Current position of the market

SPX: Very Long-term trend – The very-long-term cycles are in their down phases, and if they make their lows when expected, there will be another steep decline into late 2014.  However, the Fed policy of keeping interest rates low has severely curtailed the full downward pressure potential of the 40-yr and 120-yr cycles.

Intermediate trend – One final high needed to produce the start of an intermediate correction.

Analysis of the short-term trend is done on a daily basis with the help of hourly charts.  It is an important adjunct to the analysis of daily and weekly charts which discusses the course of longer market trends


Market Overview

In this issue, we are going to look ahead to see if we can pin-point the intermediate top that is bound to come sooner or later.  I have just completed an extensive analysis of my forecasting tools to see if they were finally beginning to show signs of an end to the trend which has, thus far, been characterized by an endless series of short-term moves with very limited retracements.  The good news for the bears is that the light is beginning to appear at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

At this point, we are most likely in the final stages of a minor correction and there are indications that one more high in the SPX will be needed to finish the move that started as far back as October 2011 at 1074.  Needless to say, if we are about to correct a 900-point move which has lasted almost three years, we should expect a fairly extensive correction both in time and in price.   We already know that the long-term cycles should make their lows around October and, although we do not yet have a top, we can approximate that a .382% retracement would pull the SPX back down to about 1650!  A .50% retracement would be about one hundred points lower.


9/11 Commission’s Forum Shows How DC ‘Works’ / by Andrew Kreig / 

Former members of 9/11 Commission last week leveraged the 10th anniversary of their report to announce a dozen recommendations that primarily fan fears of foreign terrorism.

The former commissioners urged at a July 22 forum strong spending on counter-terrorism intelligence and far fewer congressional oversight committees.

A photo via Creative Commons portrays the attack on New York’s World Trade Center.

News coverage of the forum avoided mysteries and ongoing disputes. Dissenters like former National Security Council counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke were long gone and out of sight.

“The fix is in,” the former Bush Administration advisor Clarke recalled telling a White House colleague in January 2003. Clarke told author Philip Shenon for a 2008 book that he had made his “fix” remark upon hearing news that the 9/11 Commission had hired as its executive director Philip Zelikow.

Zelikow, part of the Bush administration transition team, was a fierce opponent of Clarke, a staffer who had unsuccessfully warned about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden before the 9/11 attacks.

Remarkably, Zelikow also had been co-author before his appointment of a book by Bush’s National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, a friend who was vulnerable during the inquiry because of the intelligence shortcomings. After the commission’s work ended in 2004 Zelikow became counselor for Rice from 2005 to 2007 when she held the Secretary of State post.


Economist’s 1999 Warning Now Seems Quaint

Rick Ackerman / BY RICK ACKERMAN ON JULY 28, 2014 2:09 AM GMT

[My apocalyptic interview with economist Kurt Richebächer in 1999 seems almost quaint 15 years after it appeared in the Sunday San Francisco Examiner. He predicted economic disaster; what we got was a quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble whose benefits bypassed the working man but enriched the fat cats of the banking world. Regarding economic Armageddon, permabulls will shake their heads and say, “You guys have been wrong forever.” Permabears, for their part, should only have to acknowledge a failure of the imagination. For who would have believed that the brazen lies that sustained the economy back then would metastasize a hundredfold, even as untold trillions in credit stimulus failed to produce much growth?Richebächer, who died in 2007, might shake his head in disbelief. But he would not recant.  RA]

The dismal science will never be the same if Dr. Kurt Richebächer’s dire predictions for the global economy should come to pass. The former chief economist and managing partner at Germany’s Dresdner Bank says a deflationary collapse lies ahead that will ravage the world’s bourses and usher in a dark period of austerity and financial discipline.

Probably not one economist in 50 shares his views, at least not publicly. Richebächer, now living in France, says many of his American colleagues have been seduced into ignorance and complicity by Wall Street’s billions as well as by their love affair with mathematical models that shun fundamental laws of economics. Where they see a New Era of productivity growth and industrial efficiency, he sees duplicitous bookkeeping and manufacturing’s steep decline. They talk of a booming U.S. economy; he sees a profitless mirage. They worship capitalism’s bold risk-takers; he scorns them for recklessly piling leverage to the sky.

Someone’s going to be wrong, but judge for yourself who.

Economic Heresy

Like the theories of Copernicus 500 years before him, Dr. Richebächer’s logic is no less sound or compelling than the Polish scientist’s once-heretical notion that the earth revolves around the sun. Richebächer asserts that the U.S. investment boom in computers borders on statistical hoax. It began in 1995 with the government’s implementation of a “hedonic” price index designed to capture both the falling prices and the rapid rise of computational power of each new computer.


The Next False Flag “We’re Coming For You, Barack Obama” – Episode 425

X22ReportPublished on Jul 27, 2014

The Chinese vs Japanese Navy Head To Head: An Infographic / by Tyler Durden on 07/27/2014 20:52

Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. Perhaps just as importantly, this weekend is also the 120th anniversary of the first Sino-Japanese war: a war between China’s Qing dynasty and Meiji Japan. A war which China lost, and which has been a chip on China’s shoulder ever since.

As Hong Kong’s SCMP reports “China’s loss of the first Sino-Japanese war has been attributed to a disorganised navy. Although the northern fleet equalled, some say exceeded, the Meiji navy in terms of firepower, it was annihilated because it lacked coordination among its military units.”

In the context of constant recent flare ups over various contested East China Sea islands, one can see why the anniversary of the war coupled with a sudden spike in nationalistic ambitions of Japan’s PM Abe, would be a sensitive issue to China. However, as we can see below, China no longer has an inferiority complex when it comes to its navy compared to that of Japan.

While Japan’s navy may still have a qualitative advantage over China’s, the People’s Liberation Army is catching up, analysts say. In sheer manpower, China has the upper hand, with Beijing putting the PLA Navy’s strength at 235,000, or more than five times the number in the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force.

According to SCMP:

 “PLA units are still exploring new ways to operate jointly, which could lead to merging their different weapon systems together,” Wong said. Toshi Yoshihara, an associate professor at the US Naval War College, said that although the Japanese navy was still superior in technological sophistication and experience, China was catching up quickly.


85 Super Wealthy People Have More Money Than The Poorest 3.5 Billion Combined

New World Order / By Michael Snyder, on July 27th, 2014

The global economy is structured to systematically funnel wealth to the very top of the pyramid, and this centralization of global wealth is accelerating with each passing year.  According tothe United Nations, 85 super wealthy people have more money than the poorest 3.5 billion people on the planet combined.  And 1.2 billion of those poor people live on less than $1.25 a day.  There is something deeply, deeply broken about a system that produces these kinds of results.  Seven out of every ten people on the planet live in countries where the gap between the wealthy and the poor has increased in the last 30 years.  Despite our technological advances, somewhere around a billion people go to bed hungry every single night.  And when our fundamentally flawed financial system finally does collapse, it will be the poor that will suffer the worst.

Now, let me make one thing clear at the outset.

Big government and more socialism are not the answer to anything.  Big government and more socialism almost always result in increased oppression and increased poverty.  If you want to see where that road ultimately leads to, just look at North Korea.

What we need is a system that empowers individuals and families to work hard, be creative, build businesses and to take care of themselves.

But instead, we have a system where all power and all wealth are increasingly controlled by giant banks and giant corporations that are in turn controlled by the global elite.  The “financialization” of the global economy has turned almost everyone on the planet into “deft serfs”, and the compound interest on all of that debt enables the global elite to constantly increase their giant piles of money.


Investors Must Prepare Now For Chaos & Wealth Destruction / July 28, 2014

By Robert Fitzwilson of The Portola Group

July 28 (King World News) – Investors Must Prepare Now For Chaos & Wealth Destruction

When it came to investing short-term money in the 1970s, the available tools were bank certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances, Treasury bills, etc. Each placement of funds was into a specific instrument with an issuer and a maturity date. Often there was a coupon, but in many cases the return came from a discount offered from the value at maturity. It was a cumbersome process….


Second US Citizen Infected With Ebola In Liberia, Which Shuts Down Borders To Slow Epidemic / by Tyler Durden on 07/27/2014 17:31

Update, one which many will say has been long overdue: Liberia Shuts Border Crossings to Slow Ebola Spread. From Bloomberg:

  • Liberia Shuts Border Crossings to Slow Ebola Spread: Allafrica
  • Only major border crossings at Roberts International Airport, James Spriggs Payne Airport, Foya Crossing, Bo Waterside Crossing, Ganta Crossing to remain open, says, citing Liberian govt statement.
  • At those entry points, testing centers to be set up; “stringent” preventive measures to be announced
  • New travel policy by Liberia Airport Authority on inspection, testing of all passengers to be strictly observed
  • There will be restrictions on public gatherings incl. solidarity marches, demonstrations
  • Hotels, restaurants, entertainment centers, video clubs to play 5-min. film on Ebola awareness, prevention
  • Govt vehicles to be commandeered, as needed, to support health delivery system
  • All govt facilities, public places to install/provide public access for hand-washing

* * *

It was a few short hours ago when we reported that as part of the escalating Ebola epidemic in West Africa a US doctor, Kent Brantly had himself succumbed to the deadly virus. Moments ago we found out that a second US doctor from the same aid organization in Liberia, Nancy Writebol, has been infected with Ebola.


Why Inflation Is Not Yet Showing Up In The Data / Graham Summers / July 27, 2014

Since 2007, the world’s Central Banks have collectively put more than $10 trillion into the financial system since 2008. To put that number into perspective, it’s equal to roughly 15% of global GDP.

This kind of money printing is literally unheard of in modern history. And it has set the stage for a roaring wave of inflation to hit the financial system. Indeed, the first signs are already showing up… not in the “official” Government data (which is bogus) but in how those who run businesses around the globe are acting.

Most people believe that when inflation hits, prices have to go higher. This is true, but higher prices can be manifested in multiple ways. Firms usually do not simply raise prices in nominal terms because it would hurt sales.

Instead, companies resort to a number of strategies to maintain profit margins without hurting their sales. One of them is to simply leave part of a package EMPTY, thereby selling LESS product for the SAME price (a hidden price hike).

Food manufacturers, like the politicians currently debating health reform, may have a solution to the obesity crisis: Feed Americans a lot of hot air. But this heated air is not just a figure of speech for packaged goods companies including Ralcorp Holdings’ (RAH) Post Foods and PepsiCo (PEP) subsidiaries Frito-Lay and Quaker.


Ukraine’s Army Advances; Unguided Rockets Kill Civilians; Demise of Rebels? / Mike “Mish” Shedlock / Sunday, July 27, 2014 6:23 PM

There are lots of conflicting, even contradictory news reports regarding Ukraine in the past couple of days. Let;s stake a look at a few of them starting with the Bloomberg report Ukraine Army Advances as EU Plans Tougher Putin Sanctions.

 Ukraine’s army advanced on a last main separatist stronghold as the U.S. said Russian President Vladimir Putin is poised to give the rebels heavy weapons and European Union leaders considered their toughest sanctions yet on Russia.

Ukrainian troops are battling insurgents in the town of Horlivka, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of the regional capital Donetsk, a city of 1 million people where rebels retreated after abandoning other positions earlier this month. Taking Horlivka would open the way to attack one of their last redoubts, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Andriy Lysenko said yesterday in Kiev.

“Fighting to take over Horlivka is going on,” he told journalists. “Donetsk will be next.” CNN reported that long lines of cars jammed roads leading south from the city yesterday as residents tried to flee.



John Hussman: “Make No Mistake – This Is An Equity Bubble, And A Highly Advanced One” / by Tyler Durden on 07/27/2014 19:20

In case someone needs a beyond idiotic op-ed on the state of the market, we urge them to read the following stunner from USA Today (which is simply a syndicated piece from the Motley Fool, complete with Batman style graphics). Beyond idiotic because in addition to quoting the perpetually amusing Stony Brook assistant professor, Noah Smith, who has never held a job outside of academia and is thus a credible source on all things markety (to wit: “The value of a financial asset is the discounted present value of its future payoffs, and when the discount rate — of which the Fed interest rate is a component — goes down, the true fundamental value of risky assets goes up mechanically and automatically. That’s rational price appreciation, not a bubble.” And by that logic under NIRP the value of an asset is… what? +??) it says this: “Stock prices correct all the time. But what’s important to remember is that a correction isn’t a bubble.” Yes, a correction is not a bubble: it is the result of one, and usually transforms into something far worse once the bubble pops.

Entertaining propaganda aside, for some actually astute observations on the state of the market bubble we go to John Hussman, someone whose opinion on such issues does matter.

Selected excerpts from: Yes, This Is An Equity Bubble

Make no mistake – this is an equity bubble, and a highly advanced one. On the most historically reliable measures, it is easily beyond 1972 and 1987, beyond 1929 and 2007, and is now within about 15% of the 2000 extreme. The main difference between the current episode and that of 2000 is that the 2000 bubble was strikingly obvious in technology,whereas the present one is diffused across all sectors in a way that makes valuations for most stocks actually worse than in 2000. The median price/revenue ratio of S&P 500 components is already far above the 2000 level, and the average across S&P 500 components is nearly the same as in 2000. The extent of this bubble is also partially obscured by record high profit margins that make P/E ratios on single-year measures seem less extreme (though the forward operating P/E of the S&P 500 is already beyond its 2007 peak even without accounting for margins).


The New Great Game Round-Up: July 27, 2014 /  | July 27, 2014

Jihadi Mercenaries from Central Asia, Taliban Welcome China’s Involvement in Afghanistan & Turkey Considers Joining Russia’s Eurasian Project
 *The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

The recent Latin America tour of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which ended with the long anticipated creation of the BRICS Development Bank, was very successful and marked another important step on the way towards a multipolar world. During his meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, the Russian leader announced that the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan plans to sign a cooperation agreement with Mercosur in early 2015. Although the accession of Armenia and Kyrgyzstan is being delayed time and time again, the Kremlin is absolutely convinced of the EEU. According to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, the economic union will even have a common currency in the next five to ten years. For now the Russian government is focused on strengthening the ties between the arms industries of the three EEU countries:

Government plans closer ties with arms industries of Belarus, Kazakhstan

The Russian arms industry has developed a plan to replace its Ukrainian suppliers, lost during the latest crisis in this country, with companies in Belarus and Kazakhstan, an influential Russian daily reports.


Nearly 300,000 suicides in India so far from GMO crop failures

India / by: Ethan A. Huff / Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Western media is steeped in denial about the true damage being caused by genetically modified (GM) crops, especially in the developing Third World. But despite the lies you may have heard from mainstream news sources, nearly 300,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1995 as a direct result of mounting debt and crop failures associated with GMO crops, and mainly cotton crops that were forcibly converted to patented, transgenic varieties owned by Big Biotech.

A report by India’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) revealed that, between 1995 and 2011, 290,740 farmer suicides had taken place due to economic failure, poverty and bankruptcy caused by GMO adoption. And in the years since that time, for which there is no official data, there have more than likely been thousands of additional suicides, bringing this number to at least 300,000 and possibly higher.

As explained in a thorough report by philosopher, physicist and environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva, GMO crop technologies are a Trojan Horse that multinational corporations are using to seize control of the global food supply. With false promises of increased yields and lower costs, corporations like Monsanto have swooped in and locked Indian farmers into contractual agreements that make them dependent on a centralized agriculture system that, in many cases, ends up bankrupting them.


The Italian Government Owes Over $100 Billion To Private Suppliers

Tyler Durden's picture / by Tyler Durden on 07/27/2014 18:12

Much has been said in the popular press about Italy’s surprising economic recovery (which based on recent data is starting to lose steam), as well as its much improved fiscal picture (even if the country’s public debt hits record highs quarter after quarter and the bad debt within its banking system just rose by 24% from the prior year, to €169 billion the highest since 1998). Little has been said about just how Italy managed to pull this economic miracle off. The answer: robbing private suppliers to pay Paul, or rather, the public sector.

According to Reutersthe Italian state owes some 75 billion euros ($102 billion)to private suppliers, as reported by the Bank of Italy. The unpaid bills have starved companies of cash and triggered layoffs, factory closures and bankruptcies.

Italy will settle the debt arrears it owes to private sector suppliers by the end of this year, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in a newspaper interview on Sunday, pushing back previous commitments. “We will ensure that the arrears are paid off by the end of the year,” Padoan told Corriere della Sera daily.


Another State Department Hoax? — Paul Craig Roberts / Paul Craig Roberts / July 27, 2014

Another State Department Hoax?

Paul Craig Roberts

I have an email that purports to be from the State Department Press Office. It is dated today, Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 8:45 AM EDT

It reads:

State Department Press Corps:

Sharing with you the attached document with DNI images — evidence of Russia firing into Ukraine.


State Department Press Office

There is a 1.1MB file attached with pictures and a few words saying that the pictures indicate Russian firing into Ukraine territory.

As one with news and government experience, I am confident that information as important as this purports to be would not be released in this way. For several days reporters have been asking State Department press office spokeswoman Marie Harf for evidence to back her claims that Russian military is attacking Ukrainian forces. Harf has told the reporters that she cannot provide evidence. In other words, Harf’s evidence is like John Kerry’s evidence that he could never provide that Assad had used chemical weapons.


You lie!…. ahead / By Dave / July 27, 2014

Is the immigration of Bitcoin into the financial system experiencing its Joe Wilson moment?  At least this time you can’t erase the blockchain.  Jon Matonis explains Bitcoin Beyond Buzz Lightyear’s infinity or Ben Lawsky’s 45 days… whichever comes first.

 Looks like that Robert Frost thing-a-majig that Bitcoin has encountered and Dave has been harping on for a while has resulted in not only staring at the crossroads, but setting up a park bench to wait 45 days or until the leaves change to yellow whichever comes first.  This is a truly amazing (at least to Dave) look into the heart of Bitcoin philosophically and politically.

John Matonis is absolutely correct IMHO to focus on the issue as framed by Vinay Gupta. Jon highlight Vinay’s statement of:

“It (Bitcoin) cannot be divorced from pre-existing political theory.”  Vinay Gupta

“How do you do strong property rights within the system and no property rights to operate the system as a whole. So it had to be anarchist infrastructure producing a libertarian trading environment and I don’t think any anybody understood that problem clearly until very recently. Until you solve that problem you can’t decentralize the control of the currency but still have a single uniform agreement that everybody is playing on.”  V.G.

Vinay then goes onto connect it with climate change and this is Dave’s point all along.  The blockchain is the perfect tool to means test your carbon footprint in real time and to essentially act as an overlord in a resource based economic and justice system.


China Cements Eurasian Trade Routes With Great Silk Road Revival: The Infographic / by Tyler Durden on 07/27/2014 12:38

When it comes to the rise of Eurasia as the ascendent axis set to oppose US global hegemony, conventional wisdom focuses on the roles of China and Russia. However, the changing geopolitical landscape is certainly far more nuanced than merely the “west” versus the BRICS, and as the following infographic from SCMP shows, China has been quietly working to recreate one of the most legendary trade routes, “the Silk Road“, linking Africa to the Middle East (Iraq and Iran) to India, to Indonesia and all culminating in Beijing, while at the same time the reverse leg of the route goes to Kazakhstan, Moscow and ultimately, Germany. The purpose: “to enhance political and economic ties with southeast Asia and beyond.”

As SCMP reports, China has set up a 10 billion yuan fund to support infrastructure projects under the umbrella of the silk road plan. Initially floated in relation to Asean countries, the idea has grown to include ports such as Colombo and Gwadar. China is already working with Malaysia to upgrade the Malaysian port of Kuantan and Cambodian officials have made clear their enthusiasm in developing port infrastructure.

Container port data compiled by the United Nations shows China is already the world’s biggest merchant marine operator. Around a quarter of the world’s container tonnage passed through Chinese ports in 2012. The 155 million twenty foot equivalent Unites (TEUs) handled by Chinese ports dwarfs the 43 million handled by the second biggest operators, the United States. Customs administration figures show around 40,000 ships entered and left Chinese ports in the first half of 2014.


How Bad Can The Junk-Bond Sell-Off Get? So Bad It’ll Take Down Stocks / by  • 

Late Friday, when the strategy folks at Goldman Sachs downgraded global stocks to “neutral” for the next three months, they gave a reason that would have been peculiar in normal times: “a sell-off in bonds could lead to a temporary sell-off in equities.”

OK, let’s forgive Goldman for flip-flopping. At the peak of the bubble, trigger fingers are nervous, and flip-flopping is the norm. Last week, another Goldman strategist, in a very bullish mood at the time, had raised his year-end target for the S&P 500 to 2,050. But that’s like so last week.

Peculiar because in times less crazy than ours, Wall Street preaches that there is a “rotation” from stocks to bonds and vice versa. When one goes down, the other goes up. You’re supposed to churn your investments accordingly and pay a fortune in fees. Now both are expected to be crummy, after both have been riding jointly to record highs. And according to Goldman’s reasoning, bonds are going to get whacked, and in the process, they’re going to take down stocks.

So let’s see. The 30-year T-bond rose and the yield dropped to 3.24% on Friday, the lowest since before the taper tantrum that started in early May last year when the Fed began floating the unthinkable idea of tapering QE out of existence. This idea, so disturbing at the time, has now become fact. And ZIRP has become topic of the Fed’s cacophony. Fed Chair Janet Yellen herself explained that interest rates might rise sooner and at a faster pace than the market expects [Yellen Warns Investors].


Robert Higgs: The Many Costs of War / by adam dick / sunday july 27, 2014

The deaths, injuries, and property destruction of battles are obvious costs of war as is all the money spent on weapons, soldiers, and other expenses directly related to battles. Less well understood by many people are the many other war costs, including costs imposed on people who may never be near a battlefield but just live in a nation at war.

RPI Academic Board Member Robert Higgs explores in an informative Ludwig von Mises Institute lecture on Thursday many of these often overlooked or misunderstood costs. Higgs addresses a number of war costs the US government has historically imposed, including:

  • increased national debt,
  • increased and new taxes,
  • inflation,
  • rigged capital markets,
  • price controls,
  • government and government contractors having priority on the delivery of resources,
  • substitution of the production of war goods for the production of other goods,
  • condemnation of land for government-preferred use,
  • nationalization of industries,
  • deportations,
  • massive propaganda efforts,
  • prohibition on workers striking,


America’s Lost Decade: Typical Household Wealth Has Plunged 36% Since 2003 / by Tyler Durden on 07/27/2014 13:53

Does it feel like you’re poorer? There is a simple reason why – you are! According to a new study by the Russell Sage Foundationthe inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36% decline… Welcome to America’s Lost Decade.

Simply put, the NY Times notesit’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.

The reasons for these declines are complex and controversial, but one point seems clear: When only a few people are winning and more than half the population is losing, surely something is amiss.


It is Mostly about the US in the Week Ahead / by  / July 26, 2014

The main drivers in the week ahead will come from the United States.  Rarely does the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meet in the same week as the monthly jobs report.  In addition, the government will publish its first estimate of Q2 GDP and the Employment Cost Index. For extra measure, auto sales and the manufacturing ISM are also due.

The capital markets appear to be at potential turning points.  The US Dollar Index posted its best weekly advance since March as the euro fell to new lows for the year.  The S&P 500 posted record highs on July 24, but gapped lower the next day.  The Russell 3000 peaked on July 3, the retest last week faltered, and it too gapped lower before the weekend.

Major European markets have already turned lower.  The UK’s FTSE peaked in mid-May, the French CAC in early-June and the German Dax in late-June.   The Nikkei made is high at the start of the year.  In contrast, the MSCI Emerging equity market is at its best level since early last year. weiThe MSCI Asia-Pacific Index is at its best level in six years.

US Treasuries remain firm, and the 10-year yield spent most of last week below 2.50%. We see two main sources of demand that are worth underscoring.  The first is from US banks.  Their Treasury holdings have increased sharply in recent months.  The second is from foreign central banks.  The evidence is largely circumstantial, but is consistent with the recent TIC data (May).  It appears they are extending duration ostensibly as a strategy to cope with a change in monetary policy.


COMEX Swap Dealers Hedging a Massive Long Play on Silver? / Gene Arensberg / Sunday, July 27, 2014

HOUSTON – We have just two stops to make on today’s rabbit trail, but both of them “count” and both are pretty dang important.  Today we will be looking at what some are calling a “too-high, too fast” net long position in silver by Managed Money traders and then we will cover an aspect of the huge, record high short position in silver futures held by the mercenary Swap Dealers, and it’s a “keeper.”   So, with no further preamble, let’s take the lesser of the two first and move on from there.

I am Shocked!  Shocked that Managed Money Traders are So Net Long! 

Have you noticed some of the analysis out there that says that Managed Money (MM) traders (large Specs, hedge funds, CTAs, CPOs, and other large traders who trade futures for clients, not for their own book), have a “too-high” net long position – that they have, according to those analysts,  “put on too many longs in too short a time” which, they say, usually “precedes a sharp drop in the price of silver?”

Well, what that kind of thinking must stem from is a chart that looks like this when we look at the MM net long position as of July 25:

20140726 MM Net silver

Similar charts source:  CFTC for COT, Cash Market for silver or gold prices, GGR.

Yes, the MM net long position has jumped up really, really fast in a very short time.  But is that all there is to say about that?  I mean, how exactly did the MM net long position go there?   We can see that in the table below…

20140726 Silver data MM COT

Let’s make, uh, “short” work of the table to make, but not belabor,  a simple point.  Starting with the left column and moving right, we begin the data at June 3 because it was the point at which the trend-following Managed Money traders were at their most net short (-7638 contracts, which is rare! And the net position is actually the right, shaded column).   Next column is just the closing price for that COT week – from June 3 to July 22 the price of silver advanced a net $2.14 or 11.4%. Next column is MM long positions and for the period the MMs added a net 18,567 new longs for silver.  Next column is the MM shorts and for the period the MMs covered an enormous 34,121 shorts!  That leaves the spreading column (simultaneous long and short contracts that attempt to catch a spread but offset each other net) which we exclude anyway, so we can dispense with it here, but did you catch the huge difference between the amount of new longs versus shorts covered above?  Managed Money covered almost twice as many shorts as they bought new long contracts.  (Remember that for later in this message.)



Egypt’s army said Sunday it has destroyed 13 more tunnels connecting the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip, taking to 1,639 the overall number it has laid waste to.

Cairo has poured troops into the peninsula to counter a rising insurgency since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year, and its security operation involves the destruction of these tunnels.


Gary Shilling: “Q2 GDP Was Closer To 1% Than To 3%. It Could Even Be A Negative Number”

Tyler Durden's picture / by Tyler Durden on 07/27/2014 17:11 

This week, in the aftermath of the Q1 -2.9% GDP disaster, the biggest “non-recessionary” drop in 67 years which was blamed on harsh weather (because there have never been harsh winters in the past 67 years), we get the first glimpse of what Q2 GDP was in the US economy. It is expected to print just shy of 3%. However, one person disagrees: Gary Shilling believes that not only will Q2 GDP be closer to 1% than to 3%, there is a fairly good chance it could be negative, which of course would mean that the US economy has officially entered a recession.

Shilling’s take:

Special Report: No Spring Thaw

The consensus of economists looks for second quarter real GDP growth, which will be released July 30, of 3% vs. the first quarter at annual rates. It believes the 2.9% drop in the first quarter was cold weather-driven, and a rebound in the second quarter is the prelude to 3%-plus growth in the second half of the year. As in the last several years, the herd is likely to be disappointed.

Consumer spending is 69% of GDP and it barely grew in the quarter. According to monthly data, real consumer spending fell 0.2% in April and 0.1% in May. June’s numbers aren’t released yet, but based on the correlation with retail sales, which are available for June, real consumer outlays rose just 0.1%. The jump in March from weak January and February gave consumer spending a higher starting point for the second quarter so we believe it rose 1.3% from the first quarter.



'Coyote' Abandons Moving Vehicle Full of Illegals

Image Credits: Canadian Border – Wikimedia Commons / by ADAN SALAZAR / JULY 27, 2014

South Texas Border Patrol agents arrested a young smuggler on Wednesday after he attempted to bail on his human payload while his vehicle was still in motion.

Agents pulled over Miguel Torres in the long and vacant stretch of land north of the Rio Grande Valley near Norias, Texas, after noticing his van was “riding low.”

Torres then reportedly veered into traffic before jumping out of his van, which contained nine illegal immigrants.

The young man was eventually captured andcharged with “smuggling aliens,” and will be in the custody of US Marshals following a brief stint in the Cameron County jail.

The incident is yet another illustration of how smugglers have little regard for their human cargo, and have grown emboldened by the prospect of endless profits, paying little heed to Obama’s empty promises and Gov. Rick Perry’s show of force.

Last week we highlighted an instance in which aTexas Game Warden was attacked by a smuggler while surveying an area near the southern U.S. border.


Drastic EU sanctions on Russia could tip markets up this week / 27 July 2014

European Union officials were putting the final touches on a batch of harsh sanctions against Russia this weekend that will effectively push Russian companies out of global financial markets.

The downing of the Malaysian flight MH17 appears to have swung even Russia’s best friends in the EU behind sanctions that are far more radical than the previous limp wrist-slapping. The problem is that by doing this Europe will also be shooting itself at least in the foot and possibly in more vital areas.

Another Iran?

Crippling the Russian banking system as the US achieved with devastating results in Iran will not be without consequences, some of which may be unexpected. The $2 trillion Russian economy is not Iran.

Its leading oligarchs are big business for the City of London. Russia also has the capacity to switch of its gas supplies to Europe. Remember the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 and how that crashed global financial markets?


How to Use Market Volatility to See Extraordinary Gains / by The Phoenix / May 27, 2014

This is a trader’s market.

The markets are showing us sharp moves up and down. And while “buy and hold” investors might find this a unpleasant, short-term trades can use moves like this for large gains.

Consider the last four months. Overall, the market has barely budged higher… but if you’d used this volatility to trade the market… you could have made a killing.

This situation is not unique to the US. Emerging markets are currently even MORE attractive for traders.


Oops (DC) / by Karl Denninger / 2014-07-27 11:31

So much for the thugs in Washington DC (the government ones, not the gangs.  Oh wait; that’s just another faction of the gangs.  Nevermind.)

A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Saturday overturned the city’s total ban on residents being allowing to carry firearms outside their home in a landmark decision for gun-rights activists.

Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. wrote in his ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia that the right to bear arms extends outside the home, therefore gun-control laws in the nation’s capital are “unconstitutional.”

Aside: I’m an “activist” if I believe that all persons have the right to life, and that if someone desires to criminally take that from me I have a fundamental right to defend myself with the only device ever invented for personal protection that makes all persons equal irrespective of size, gender or physical prowess?  What planet are these writers from?

And so we see yet another of the places where unconstitutional “laws” (which in fact are no law at all, but the people seem to put up with it instead of doing something about it) is struck.  Incidentally, Washington DC is one of the places where you are most-likely to get shot by a goon, and the obvious reason why is that the goons know damn well that law-abiding citizens are supposed to all be targets, since they are (by dictatorial decree) unarmed.


GMO pushers horrified at idea of being held responsible for their role in farmer suicides, crop failures and environmental devastation

GMO / by Mike Adams / Sunday, July 27, 2014

The single greatest fear of GMO pushers has just been revealed. In the days after I wrote my now-famous article comparing GMO advocates to Nazi collaborators, the blogosphere erupted with a heated discussion of Monsanto, journalism, the scientific dictatorship of the Nazi empire and the parallels with modern-day GMO pushers.

This story thrust the topic of GMOs back into the minds of millions of people, which was of course the whole point. It also helped introduced terms into the minds of the public like “Monsanto collaborators” and “agricultural holocaust.” Critics of the article only helped this effort by pointing to it and bringing more traffic to Natural News, causing our email subscriber list to rapidly explode over the last few days.

Lists of GMO skeptics are acceptable, but lists of GMO collaborators cause panic

Naturally, I expected to be attacked and vilified for daring to make such a comparison, but what I didn’t expect was to discover just how freaked out GMO pushers would be when they found their names being added to a list. The list, hosted by a still-fishy website called (which appears to be offline at the moment), contained a list of names of a selection of pro-Monsanto bloggers, journalists and scientists. The list seemed somewhat random, and I didn’t even recognize half the names on it. But the mere existence of such a list freaked out the GMO pushers to an extreme. Essentially, they panicked.


Second US Citizen Infected With Ebola In Liberia / by Tyler Durden on 07/27/2014 16:49

It was a few short hours ago when we reported that as part of the escalating Ebola epidemic in West Africa a US doctor, Kent Brantly had himself succumbed to the deadly virus. Moments ago we found out that a second US doctor from the same aid organization in Liberia, Nancy Writebol, has been infected with Ebola.

From CBS:

 Two U.S. citizens are now reported to be infected with the deadly and incurable Ebola virus in West Africa.

The first American reported to have contracted the disease is an American doctor working with Ebola patients in Liberia, who tested positive for the deadly virus, North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse issued said in a news release on Saturday. 

The second person who reportedly tested positive for Ebola is a woman employed by an aid organization in Liberia who is a married mother of two.

In a statement on Sunday, Samaritan’s Purse said: “Nancy Writebol is employed by SIM in Liberia and was helping the joint Samaritan’s Purse/SIM team that is treating Ebola patients at the Case Management Center in Monrovia.”

Writebol’s age and hometown have not been released at this time.