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Dollar Softer in Consolidation Mode

marctomarket.com / by Marc Chandler / May 26, 2016

The US dollar is trading with a softer bias today after the momentum stalled yesterday.  The pullback is shallow but could be extended a bit more in the North American session.  The US reports weekly jobless claims, durable goods orders and pending home sales.   However, the market already appeared to take on board that the US economy is rebounding strongly in Q2 and that the prospects of a Fed hike have increased, but a June/July hike is still not a done deal.    The next important step regardingmarket psychology is not today’s data but tomorrow’s speech by Yellen.
Recall in that in March several regional Fed presidents talked up the prospects of a rate hike as early as April.  Yellen effectively closed the door on this line at her March speech in NY.  Dudley’s comments last week, after the FOMC minutes, likely reflected the views of the Fed’s leadership, and should be reiterated by the Chair.
The interest rate adjustment has stalled alongside the greenback.  The August Fed funds futures contract, which offers the clearest view of a June or July hike has stalled at an implied yield of 55 bp or about a 72% chance.  As recently as May 16 the implied odds were closer to 20%.  The US two-year premium over Germany widened from 125 bp after the US employment figures on May 6 to 143 bp yesterday.

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This Is How Much Your Health Insurance Payment Is About To Jump By

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 05/26/2016 09:47

It’s official: years of warnings that Obamacare will lead to dramatic increases in healthcare premiums are about to be validated.

As the WSJ writes, big health plans stung by losses in the first few years of the U.S. health law’s implementation are seeking hefty premium increases for individual plans sold through insurance exchanges in more than a dozen states.

To be sure, we have extensively covered the imminent danger of rising healthcare prices as a result of Obamacare’s intrusive intervention in the insurance sector; however now that this is about to become mainstream information, we expect consumers to hunker down and save even more in anticipation of what is about to be a shock price increase for millions of middle-class American families.

As the WSJ reports, the insurers’ proposed rates for individual coverage in states that have made their 2017 requests public largely bear out health plans’ grim predictions about their challenges under the health-care overhaul. According to the insurers’ filings with regulators, large plans in states including New York, Pennsylvania and Georgia are seeking to raise rates by 20% or more.

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“Did We Go To War?” Terrified Indiana Residents Woken By Unannounced Military Exercise

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 05/26/2016 03:00

After last summer’s Jade Helm military drills, and just weeks after FEMA’s mass arrest drills in Texas, it is little wonder that the residents of Beech Grove, Indiana were terrified upon being awoken last night by the sound of bombs and helicopters, and flooded the emergency 911 call network with requests for information and reports of explosions. As Sputnik News reports, police officials quickly confirmed to alarmed residents that it was a scheduled military training exercise.

While some residents reported being forewarned of the late night drill, many others were taken by surprise. Members of the community reported hearing what sounded like bombs and seeing low-flying helicopters.

***

As FOX59 reported, Beech Grove residents say they saw helicopters flying low over the area and heard what sounded like several loud explosions.

According to police officials, this activity was part of a scheduled military training exercise near the old St. Francis Hospital.

Police say this was training exercise was scheduled and there is no threat to anyone in the area.

Many viewers were upset about the drills, saying they didn’t have any advance warning and were alarmed by the loud noises. Some people said they received a knock on the door letting them know what was going on.

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Patriot Radio News Hour Podcast

WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2016

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Is the Economy a Machine?

acting-man.com / Pater Tenebrarum / May 26, 2016

A Science Goes Astray

Human beings have a strong tendency to look for patterns. The natural sciences have shown that the universe is governed by laws, the effects of which are observable and measurable in an objective manner. Mostly, anyway — there is, after all, the interesting fact that observers are influencing measurements at the quantum level by the act of observation. (For our lives in the “macro” world, however, this is not relevant. An engineer does not need to take relativity or quantum physics into account to construct a machine that works.)

***

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a never before seen string of very rapid advances in scientific knowledge and technological progress occurred. It is hard to overstate the impact of inventions such as the automobile, radio, airplanes, and so forth. This happened while per capita economic growth in what is today known as the “developed world” reached its fastest pace in all of history — a pace never to be seen again.

Although we cannot prove it, we believe there was a good reason why this combination of vast economic and scientific progress took place at the time: governments were but a footnote in the lives of most people. By 1910, spending by the US government was a mere 4% of GDP. There was no central planning and no central bank, although there was of course a certain amount of crony capitalist government intervention, and the forerunner of the Federal Reserve System (the system of “central reserve city, city and country banks”) was already established.

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Top 10 Countries with Largest Gold Reserves

news.goldseek.com / By Frank Holmes / 25 May 2016

Beginning in 2010, central banks around the world turned from being net sellers of gold to net buyers of gold. Last year they collectively added 483 tonnes—the second largest annual total since the end of the gold standard—with Russia and China accounting for most of the activity. The second half of 2015 saw the most robust purchasing on record, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).

Not every top bank is a net buyer. The Bank of Canada has liquidated close to all of its gold, mainly in coin sales, while Venezuela is in the process of doing the same to pay off its debts.

But most of the world’s central banks right now are accumulating, holding and/or repatriating the precious metal. As of this month, they reportedly owned 32,754 tonnes, or about 17.8 percent of the total amount of gold ever mined, according to the WGC.

It’s worth noting that this global gold-buying spree coincides perfectly with the rise of unconventional monetary policies following the financial crisis—massive bond-buying programs, rapid money-printing schemes and near-zero or, in some cases, negative interest rates. The jury’s still out on whether these measures have been a success or not, but for now, it appears as if banks are hedging against their own policies.

Investors would be wise to do the same. Confidence in central banks’ ability to stem further economic deterioration continues to deflate.

Below are the top 10 countries with the largest gold holdings, beginning with India.

10. India

Tonnes: 557.7

Percent of foreign reserves: 6.3 percent

It’s no surprise that the Bank of India has one of the largest stores of gold in the world. The South Asian country, home to 1.25 billion people, is the number one or number two largest consumer of the precious metal, depending on who you ask, and is one of the most reliable drivers of global demand. India’s festival and wedding season, which runs from October to December, has historically been ahuge boon to gold’s Love Trade.

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REALIST NEWS – Business Debt Defaults Are Now Higher Than Previous Recession

jsnip4Published on May 26, 2016

Trump Accidentally Reveals His Next Attack On Hillary

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 05/25/2016 23:50

Two days after Donald Trump released a clip in which he hinted at Bill Clinton’s sexual transgressions by featuring two women – Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick – who have made rape accusations against the former president, and then promptly escalated his attacks on the Clintons in an interview with WaPo in which Trump called the circumstances of Vincent Foster’s death “very fishy”, Trump accidentally revealed what his next attack on Hillary will be.

***

This is how it was accidentally revealed: Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo on Wednesday morning emailed a researcher at the Republican National Committee asking him to “work up information on HRC/Whitewater as soon as possible. This is for immediate use and for the afternoon talking points process.”

The email was obtained by Politico when Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who Caputo copied on his request to the RNC, accidentally responded instead to Marc Caputo, a Politico reporter who is not related to the Republican consultant.

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The Anger of the Unprivileged Is Rising Globally

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2016

Privilege serves the same purpose–benefiting the few at the expense of the many–regardless of the system’s ideological labels.
The righteous disgust with the status quo that spawned the broad-based campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump is not unique to the U.S.Globally, those disenfranchised by the status quo–the unprivileged, or in Peggy Noonan’s phrase, the unprotected— are starting to express their discontent in the streets, in social media and in elections.
Why are people around the world angry? It’s obvious to everyone in the unprivileged classes and a mystery to the “we’re doing just fine here, what’s your problem?” privileged classes: The system is rigged to benefit the protected few and marginalize the unprotected many.
The problems are not just political; they are structural. As I outline in my new book, Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform, there are two structural engines of disorder at the heart of the system:
1. Automation, software and the forces of globalization are disrupting jobs and wages everywhere.

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Scapegoat!

jsmineset.com / by Bill Holter / May 25th, 2016

Dear CIGAs,

Have you ever wondered “who” would be blamed this time around? To this point, we speak about the “Lehman moment” when we look back at 2008. Of course it was not Lehman’s fault as they were forced, sacrificed or purposely destroyed, however you’d like to describe it. The way I saw it, the banking system needed an injection of capital, cheap capital and lots of it. The only way to get public funds was to “create” an emergency BEFORE the emergency became all engulfing, this is exactly what they did.

Now, some eight years and multiple $trillions later we are facing another “liquidity crunch”. It does not make sense that liquidity is scarce after all of the various QE’s but it is. The credit markets are very thin and trading even small pieces of credit has become hard work. The liquidity is just not there to support fully functional and liquid markets. The question now becomes, which financial donkey will have the tail of failure pinned on them?

I believe we have been getting the answer over just the last few weeks. My odds on guess is none other than Deutsche Bank, the largest or second largest derivatives monster on the planet. They have settled several cases recently including Libor, stock manipulation and for manipulating the London gold and silver fixes. I find it humorous as we were assured for so many years that gold and silver were THE ONLY things not being manipulated …how foolish of us to have thought such a thing?

As you know, DB is now offering 5% rates on 90 day money from it Brussels division. This makes no sense at all since they should be able to raise money in credit markets or from the ECB directly for nearly 0% or even negative …but for some reason they cannot. I have speculated Deutsche Bank has been “kicked out of the club” and their access to capital is being blocked. This may or may not be true but would make sense since they have agreed to turn state’s evidence and rat on other firms misdoings.

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An Inside Look at the World’s Biggest Paper Gold Market

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 05/25/2016 22:30 

Every day, there are a whopping 5,500 tonnes ($212 billion) of gold traded in London, making it the largest wholesale and over-the-counter (OTC) market for gold in the world.

To put that in perspective, Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes that  more gold is traded in London each day than what is stored at Fort Knox (4,176 tonnes). On a higher volume day, amounts closer to total U.S. gold reserves (8,133.5 tonnes) can change hands.

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Economic Surprise Index Plunges To Second Lowest Level In History

kingworldnews.com / May 25, 2016

With continued uncertainty in global markets, take a look at this troubling chart.

Jason Goepfert from SentimenTrader:  “The last time that stocks held up while economic reports failed to beat expectations, stocks sold off hard (see chart below).”

***

Those reports have not been consistently positive, at least in terms of exceeding economists’ forecasts. The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index has been below 0 almost every day in 2016, its longest period (by far) below zero, or nearly so. Earlier this month, the Bloomberg Economic Surprise Index dropped to its 2nd-lowest reading dating back to its inception in 2000, exceeded only by January/February 2009. That has raised concerns that the stock rally is running on fumes.”

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REALIST NEWS – Silver Maples Sales Breaking Records

jsnip4Published on May 26, 2016

Hillary Accuses State Department Report Of Having An “Anti-Clinton Bias”

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 05/25/2016 21:40 

Today’s long awaited blockbuster report released by the State Department Inspector General, which found that Hillary Clinton broke government rules by using a private email server without approval, and that among many other things Clinton would not have been allowed to use the server in her home had she asked the department officials in charge of information security, made the day of all of Hillary’s critics as it confirmed most of their accusations, while at the same time justified Hillary’s worst fears: apparently epic sloppiness “did make a difference after all” especially since it confirmed she had lied, again.

The report explicitly contradicted Clinton’s repeated assertion that her server was allowed and that no permission was needed.

OIG found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server,” the report said, adding that Clinton should have discussed the arrangement with the department’s security and technology officials. Officials told investigators that they “did not – and would not – approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business.” The reason, those officials said, is because it breached department rules and presented “security risks.”

The palpable lack of coherent response to this sudden revelation confirmed just how jarred by today’s events the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate was.

As we first reported earlier today, the Clinton camp’s initial reaction was to use a kindergarten excuse: former secretaries of state were also doing it, or in the words of Hillary’s press secretary Brian Fallon, “the Inspector General documents just how consistent her email practices were with those of other Secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used personal email.”

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Gold Prices Should Rise Above $1,900/oz -“Get In Now!”

goldcore.com / By Mark O’Byrne / May 26, 2016

Gold prices are likely to rise above $1,900/oz in the next phase of the bull market and investors should “get in now,” Chief Market Analyst of the Lindsey Group, Peter Boockvar told CNBC’s “Futures Now” yesterday.

***

“This is just the beginning of a new bull market in the metals,” Boockvar believes.

Ultimately, Boockvar believes that the 2011 highs of around $1,900 for gold are not only reachable, but surpassable, as he reasoned that bull markets historically exceed the previous bull market peak at some point.

As Boockvar sees it, it’s just a matter of when.

“In order to be bearish on gold, you have to believe that the Fed is going to embark on 100 to 200 basis points of hikes over the next couple of years, which I think is completely unrealistic,” added Boockvar. “This is an ideal opportunity for those who have not gotten in.”

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Bill admits Hillary talks to Dead Spirits and More Reasons to Vote for Clinton

thecommonsenseshow.com / By Dave Hodges / May 25th, 2016

Perhaps the best reason to vote for Hillary is the fact that her husband has admitted that Hillary talks to dead spirits, not kidding, here is it is. It is time for a mental health check.

***

Hillary a woman of integrity and honesty….

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“Dovish” Fed Expectations Collapse To Lowest Since 2015

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 05/25/2016 20:00 

Back in the middle of February – during the height of the financial-market turmoil, the market was pricing in a shockingly policy-error-ish 36.5% chance of a rate cut in 2016. Since then The Fed has done everything it can to try and regain credibility – attempting to be hawkish in the face of dismal data, baffling everone with bullshit, and droning on about data-dependence. Now, thanks to the FOMC Minutes released last week with officials suggesting investors may be underestimating the pace of tightening, the odds of a 2016 rate cut have collapsed to just 4.8% – its lowest since New Year’s Eve.

As Bloomberg details in the chart below, the probability of the Federal Reserve cutting U.S. interest rates in 2016 has fallen below 5 percent for the first time since New Year’s Eve, according to options on eurodollar futures contracts.

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Fake-Rally is Over, What’s Next?

bullionbullscanada.com / by Jeff Nielson / 25 May 2016

As explained in another, just-released commentary, Hostage Markets are back for precious metals. This is the term originally coined in 2014, to refer to the absolute choke-hold which the Big Bank crime syndicate has exerted over precious metals, going all the way back to spring of 2011.

At the beginning of this year, this Crime Syndicate chose to stage a fake rally in precious metals markets. The reason for this fake-rally has also already been explained.

1)  The Next Crash is imminent.

2)  In order to ensure precious metals don’t stand out as a safe haven during the next manufactured crash, the bankers need to crash these markets too.

3)  It would be difficult (if not impossible) to create a “crash” in gold and silver, from the already rock-bottom prices which existed at the end of 2015.

Precious metals markets have thus been “set up for a Crash” (the title of another, previous commentary). Rhetoric from the mainstream talking-heads has now reverted to the same vacuous gold-bashing we saw for 5+ years.

The Federal Reserve is going to raise interest rates. So gold and silver prices must go lower.

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Venezuela fights crisis with biggest sovereign gold sale since 2007

gata.org / By Ranjeetha Pakiam and Eddie Van Der Walt / Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Venezuela held the biggest gold sale by a central bank in eight years as the country’s economic crisis deepened and the government faced concern that it may struggle to honor bond payments.

The country cut its gold reserves by 16 percent in the first quarter, following a 24-percent reduction in 2015, according to data from the International Monetary Fund. The quarterly sale was the largest by any central bank since Switzerland sold 3.2 million ounces in the third quarter of 2007. …

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This Is The Maximum Amount Of Cash You Can Take Out At A Venezuela ATM

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 05/25/2016 19:47

As Bloomberg’s Nathan Crooks demonstrates, this is the maximum amount of money one can take out from a Venezuela ATM each day.

***

For those wondering, the fistful of cash is worth about $25.

The good news: those locals lucky enough to still have money in a Venezuela bank don’t need a wheelbarrow to carry it.

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France Socialist Trade Unions Refusing to Reform – Civil Unrest Erupting

armstrongeconomics.com / by Martin Armstrong / May 26, 2016

Our sources in France are unanimously warning that a major socialist union uprising is building in France and could erupt rapidly. The unions in France are notorious for being the most socialist, highly Marxist, in the entire world. To get their demands, they will go anything. They even kidnapped the head of Goodyear until he yielded to their demands. They act more like Stalinist rebels who ignore laws and it is always just about them. Employers are evil capitalists in their book.
This time the uprising is building over proposed labor regulation reform supported by Hollande, who is a socialist himself. President Francois Hollande’s government realizes that France is doomed internationally and unemployment will only rise. His labor reforms are designed to make it easier for companies to hire and fire employees. As it stands, it is next to impossible to fire anyone. As a result, companies are not hiring.

Even the socialist MPs refused to vote for it. In France, if Parliament does not do what the President commands, he need not rely upon them. Prime minister Manuel Valls employed a constitutional tool that allows him to bypass the parliament altogether. This has now resulted in rising social unrest. A real confrontation is building. The question is can France become competitive globally at all?

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Dollar Marks time

marctomarket.com / by Marc Chandler / May 25, 2016

The US dollar is little changed against the major currencies as yesterday’s moves are consolidated and traders wait for fresh developments.  Global equities were higher after Wall Street’s advance yesterday.  Asia-Pacific bond yields were firm, following the US lead, but European 10-year benchmark yields are lower, led by the continued rally in Greek bonds after an agreement was struck that will free up a tranche of aid.
The relative stable capital markets are itself news.  Last summer and again earlier this year, weakness of Chinese yuan and equities were a major disruptive force.  Earlier today the PBOC “fixed” the yuan at its lowest level since March 2011.  The dollar has been trending higher against the yuan steadily even if slowly all month. Today it is at three-month highs.
Chinese equities were the only Asian market to weaken today.  The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index advanced 1.5% today off seven-week lows seen earlier in the week.  The HK China Enterprise Index was up 2.7%.  China’s markets were off 0.25%, and year-to-date are off 20%-22%
Yesterday the Wall Street Journal thought it was news that China is not letting market forces drive the yuan.   We have long discussed the gap between China’s declaratory policy and its operational policy.  Today Bloomberg report that the Chinese delegation to the upcoming Strategic and Economic Dialogue talks (June 6-7) is keenly interested in whether the Fed hikes in June or July.
The report claims China would prefer July.    Can it really make that much of a difference?  Is this a topic for a strategic discussion?  Even though the Federal Reserve may practice a type of democratic centralism that is familiar in China, can Yellen (Fed chair often attends the talks) commit one way or the other, and even if she could, would she (or the US) want to?

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The “System” Won’t Survive The Robots

zerohedge.com / by Paul Rosenberg / 05/25/2016

It’s really just a matter of time; the working man’s deal with his overseers is half dead already.But there’s still inertia in the system, and even the losers are keeping the faith. Hope dies slowly, after all.

Nonetheless, the deal is collapsing and a new wave of robots will kill it altogether. Unless the overseers can pull back on technology – very fast and very hard – the deal that held through all our lifetimes will unwind.

We All Know the Deal

We usually don’t discuss what the “working man’s deal” is, but we know it just the same. It goes like this:

If you obey authority and support the system, you’ll be able to get a decent job. And if you work hard at your job, you’ll be able to buy a house and raise a small family.

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The Biggest Fools on the Planet

acting-man.com / Bill Bonner / May 26, 2016

Gassy Hacks and Big Quacks

Today, we recall the “commencement” at the end of four years at the University of Vermont. The university itself is imposing and a little intimidating. The rest of the world works in warehouses or common office spaces. Academia labors in hallowed “halls” and prestigious “centers.”

***

People in the Main Street world work for profits… and are subject to market economics. The professoriate is above it all; no profit and loss statements… no profit motives or incentive bonuses… and (for those with “tenure”) no chance of getting fired, no matter how incompetent, irrelevant, or wrong they are. The private sector depends on output and results; academia harbors gassy hacks who may never produce much of anything at all.

The ceremony on Sunday opened with the procession of the university luminati, led by bagpipers of the St. Andrews Society. Ordinary people – even presidents of the United States of America – wear common coats and ties; the academic elite are gussied up with all manner of robes, funny hats, cowls, tassels, honors… and a line of capital letters following their names like baby ducks behind a waddling quack.

“All that brainpower… working on our Justin… it must have done him some good,” parents say to themselves. Then, they have their doubts. Justin seems to think that “diversity” is what really matters,  that Bernie Sanders has the right idea, and that eating gluten is a sin.

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Mike Gleason: Silver is Never Going to Zero

The Daily Coin.orgPublished on May 25, 2016