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Banks face metals lawsuit gold and silver next? / Dave in Denver / November 27, 2014 at 09:57

A US jewellery company has filed a class-action lawsuit against Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Standard Bank and BASF alleging manipulation of benchmarks used to set the price of platinum and palladium.

The lawsuit, filed in New York, seeks damages for what it alleges was an eight-year conspiracy to manipulate the global benchmarks for physical platinum and palladium prices as well as futures and options tied to those prices.

The action comes as benchmarks are being overhauled to move daily price fixings on to electronic exchanges after allegations of manipulation. Since the financial crisis global banks have been charged with rigging the Libor lending benchmark and foreign exchange rates.

“Defendants and their co-conspirators were privy to and shared confidential, non-public information about client purchase and sale orders that allowed them to glean information about the direction of platinum and palladium prices,” the lawsuit filed by Modern Settings alleged.

This gave them the ability to execute trades in those metals in advance of those movements, and enabled them to “reap substantial profits”, while non-insiders were hurt, it said.


The Great Thanksgiving Hoax / Richard J. Maybury / NOVEMBER 27, 2014

Each year at this time, schoolchildren all over America are taught the official Thanksgiving story, and newspapers, radio, TV, and magazines devote vast amounts of time and space to it. It is all very colorful and fascinating.

It is also very deceiving. This official story is nothing like what really happened. It is a fairy tale, a whitewashed and sanitized collection of half-truths which divert attention away from Thanksgiving’s real meaning.

The official story has the Pilgrims boarding the Mayflower, coming to America, and establishing the Plymouth colony in the winter of 1620–21. This first winter is hard, and half the colonists die. But the survivors are hard working and tenacious, and they learn new farming techniques from the Indians. The harvest of 1621 is bountiful. The pilgrims hold a celebration, and give thanks to God. They are grateful for the wonderful new abundant land He has given them.

The official story then has the Pilgrims living more or less happily ever after, each year repeating the first Thanksgiving. Other early colonies also have hard times at first, but they soon prosper and adopt the annual tradition of giving thanks for this prosperous new land called America.


Russell – What The Hell Is Going On With The US Gold Hoard? / November 27, 2014

With historic events taking place around the globe, today the Godfather of newsletter writers, 90-year old Richard Russell, asks what the hell is going on with the U.S. gold hoard?  The 60-year market veteran also asks the all-important question, “Why is our government hiding the real story on U.S. gold?”

King World News note:  Since it is Thanksgiving in the U.S. we are featuring Richard Russell once again because he is the the Godfather of newsletter writers and the oldest and most legendary financial writer in the world.

Russell:  “As you know, the central banks of the world are fighting deflationary forces through degrading their various currencies. Nobody, it seems, can escape the damaging forces of world deleveraging and deflating. According to reports put out by the labor department and the Fed, the US economy is the lone success in a world being fragmented by deflation. As all currencies decline, the world’s investors turn to the US and its dollar as safe havens. Just as there are questions about the strength of the US economy, there are questions about the gold status of the US. According to the World Gold Council, the US possesses the greatest hoard of gold of any of the hundred nations. Furthermore, 72% of the US monetary reserves are in gold.


Fake Money, A “Strong” Dollar, And Gold Investing / By Taki Tsaklanos / November 26, 2014

This article is based on John Hathaway’s latest quarterly market letter. Mr. Hathaways is Portfolio Manager and Senior Managing Director at Tocqueville.

What the recent strength in the dollar index means:

The DXY index is not the dollar; it is a measure of the dollar’s relative strength. The principal components of the DXY index are the Euro (57.6 percent) and the Japanese Yen (13.6 percent). The balance (28.8 percent) consists of the Canadian dollar, British pound, Swedish krona, and Swiss franc. Therefore, the DXY index says absolutely nothing about the inherent virtues of the US currency. Instead, it reflects capital flight from yen- and euro-denominated assets from regions where the respective central banks have hatched well documented schemes to devalue those currencies as the antidote to economic weakness. There are many reasons why the dollar may remain strong against the core components of the DXY. However, whatever virtues others may see in the DXY’s ascendant pattern, we see the potential for monetary chaos.

The DXY is mute on the matter of the rapidly waning usage of the US currency to settle international trade. Deals to bypass the greenback seem to proliferate daily. The dollar has become an impediment to trade for even our closest and most important trading partners. Canada has just announced a series of deals to trade directly in renminbi, following similar actions by several Latin American countries. The Wall Street Journal (11/14/14) reports that Russia will “receive renminbi as payment for a significant flow of oil” to China. Vladimir Putin commented, “we’re moving away from the diktat of the market that denominates all commercial oil flows in US dollars.” As mentioned in our third-quarter investor letter, first-half trade cleared in renminbi totaled $18.3 billion, double the previous year. The institutional plumbing to circumvent the dollar is being put into place. Examples include the launch of the Shanghai Gold Exchange in September of this year, as well as the formation of the BRICs bank (in the second quarter), on the model of the World Bank, to facilitate non-dollar transactions.

In addition, Russia has announced that it is developing its own version of SWIFT, a network that enables financial institutions to communicate electronically in a secure fashion, which it expects to launch in 2015. The clear intent is to bypass Western financial institutions and conventions.

In our opinion, a world in which the dollar becomes increasingly marginalized as a reserve currency will look substantially different. As noted by Andrew Smithers in the Financial Times (11/12/14), the US is a massive hedge fund, “long equities and short debt,” with an international net debtor position equivalent to 31 percent of GDP. As long as dollar reserves have utility, dollar-denominated assets can thrive. Utility is in large part a matter of perception and confidence, in our view, and the fundamentals underlying the notion of a strong dollar are sliding in the wrong direction. At the moment the long dollar trade seems extremely crowded, with CFTC speculative long exposure near record highs…


Video: Cops Didn’t Seem to Hesitate for One Second Before Gunning Down 12-Yr-Old Boy / Melissa Melton / November 26th, 2014

While everyone is busy emotionally investing themselves in the muddy waters of the Darren Wilson/Michael Brown police shooting case in Ferguson and the highly orchestrated aftermath, a 12-year-old boy named Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police at an Ohio playground over the weekend reportedly because he was carrying a BB gun that the officers somehow mistook for a real gun and a real threat.

As Daily Sheeple reporter Lily Dane wrote, the Cleveland Police Department wasn’t exactly forthcoming with the surveillance video of the incident. “If – WHEN – the Cleveland police release the surveillance video that shows what happened to Tamir, I wonder what we’ll see,” she wrote.

Well now that video has been released, and what we see is that the responding officers involved — six-year force veteran Frank Garmack, 46, and Timothy Lowman, a 26-year-old rookie who had only been with the department nine months — did not appear to even hesitate for a second after leaving their patrol car before one of them shot the boy.


Central Banks Made Lousy Jobs, Soaring Tax Collections, Bad For Most, Good For Bubble Markets / by Lee Adler / November 26, 2014

In this September 8, 2014 video for Radio Free Wall Street, I talked about why I thought the ECB programs would fail to boost its balance sheet or achieve its goals of boosting inflation or the European economy. I also about the central bank tag teams keep the markets afloat, about why jobs data doesn’t matter to the market trend, and finally what real time tax collections can tell us that lagged, manipulated economic data can’t.


The World is Flat – at the Transitional Divide / By Market Anthropology / 26 November 2014

One of the side effects of the financial crisis was that growth cycles across the world that had converged leading up to 2008, became untethered in the ensuing aftermath. We recall listening to an economist in the summer of 2006 wax poetic about how the 66 largest economies in the world were enjoying a historic and synchronized expansion. Naturally, his takeaway was broadly bullish – implying a sturdy and broad foundation was extended beneath the markets. While that was exceedingly true at that time, his observation of the cycle resonated for us in a very different way. If everyone was expanding on the same growth wave, the inevitable contraction would be greatly magnified. We found the statement so poignant, it remained written across the top of a whiteboard in our office for several years.

These same wave principals are taught in your high school physics class as a phenomenon known as constructive interference. When two waves of identical wavelength are in phase, they form a new wave with an amplitude equal to the sum of their individual amplitudes. Conversely, when two waves of identical wavelength are out of phase, they cancel each other out completely. Often, it’s a combination of varying degrees of both destructive and constructive interference that determines the composite structure of the new wave – or in this case, the aggregate cycle of the largest economies in the world that had become highly synchronized. Needless to say, our greatest fears in the market were realized just two years later as momentum was translated and magnified sharply lower during the financial crisis.

Back in the spring of 2011, we created a video around this concept (see Here) – that also played on the interventive policies that the financial system were increasingly reliant on. For us, Constructive Interference took on new meaning – which was summed up with three progressive assumptions at the end of the video.

  • The current financial system requires Constructive Interference by the worlds major central banks – the Federal Reserve acting as the principal director of policy and practice. 
  • Consolidation within the financial sector (i.e. Too Big to Fail) in the last 30 years has enabled central banks with the infrastructure to administer reflationary policies efficiently and with greater efficacy during illiquid periods of contraction.
  • The cumulative effects of Constructive Interference within the financial system has led to increased speculation, frequent financial bubbles and confidence within the monetary system to react (i.e. moral hazard


Our Giant Welfare State / By Robert J. Samuelson via / November 26, 2014

We Americans pride ourselves on not having a “welfare state.” We’re not like Europeans. We’re more individualistic and self-reliant, and although we may have a “social safety net” to protect people against unpredictable personal and societal tragedies, we explicitly repudiate a comprehensive welfare state as inherently un-American.

Dream on.

Call it a massive case of national self-deception. Indeed, judged by how much of their national income countries devote to social spending, we have the world’s second-largest welfare state — just behind France.

This is not just conjecture. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — a group of wealthy nations — has recently published new figures on government social spending. Covered is unemployment insurance, disability payments, old-age assistance, government-provided health care, family allowances and the like.

By this measure alone, the United States is hardly a leader…


Thanksgiving Travel Nightmare: Over 700 Flights Canceled, Major Storms; Black Friday Ice; Please Drive Safely / Mike “Mish” Shedlock / November 26, 2014

If you are traveling tonight or tomorrow, please take extra time.

If you are traveling by plane, please check your flight schedule. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled, thousands of other flights delayed.

Thanksgiving Travel Nightmare

Accuweather reports Snowstorm Creates Thanksgiving Travel Nightmare in East

A snowstorm pummeling the East has produced lengthy flight delays and treacherous travel on roadways Wednesday. As snow rapidly exits the Northeast into Thanksgiving Day, there will still be some travel trouble spots in the wake of the storm.

Aircraft displaced and delayed by the storm in the East may lead to additional flight delays and cancellations on Thanksgiving Day across the nation. Passengers may have to schedule a different flight on an alternate route to get to their destination.

In anticipation of delays or cancellations, several airlines, including US Airways, American and Delta, have announced they will waive change fees for passengers scheduled to fly into airports in the line of the storm.


All-Out War in Ukraine: NATO’s ‘Final Offensive’ / Prof James Petras, Global Research / November 26th, 2014

There are clear signs that a major war is about to break out in Ukraine:  A war actively promoted by the NATO regimes and supported by their allies and clients in Asia (Japan) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia).  The war over Ukraine will essentially run along the lines of a full-scale military offensive against the southeast Donbas region, targeting the breakaway ethnic Ukraine- Russian Peoples Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk, with the intention of deposing the democratically elected government, disarming the popular militias, killing the guerrilla resistance partisans and their mass base, dismantling the popular representative organizations and engaging in ethnic cleansing of millions of bilingual Ukraino-Russian citizens.  NATO’s forthcoming military seizure of the Donbas region is a continuation and extension of its original violent putsch in Kiev, which overthrew an elected Ukrainian government in February 2014.

The Kiev junta and its newly ‘elected’ client rulers, and its NATO sponsors are intent on a major purge to consolidate the puppet Poroshenko’s dictatorial rule.  The recent NATO-sponsored elections excluded several major political parties that had traditionally supported the country’s large ethnic minority populations, and was boycotted in the Donbas region.  This sham election in Kiev set the tone for NATO’s next move toward converting Ukraine into one gigantic US multi-purpose military base aimed at the Russian heartland and into a neo-colony for German capital, supplying Berlin with grain and raw materials while serving as a captive market for German manufactured goods.

An intensifying war fever is sweeping the West; the consequences of this madness appear graver by the hour.

War Signs:  The Propaganda and Sanctions Campaign, the G20 Summit and the Military Build Up

The official drum- beat for a widening conflict in Ukraine, spearheaded by the Kiev junta and its fascist militias, echoes in every Western mass media outlet, every day.  Major mass media propaganda mills and government ‘spokesmen and women’ publish or announce new trumped-up accounts of growing Russian military threats to its neighbors and cross-border invasions into Ukraine.  New Russian incursions are ‘reported’ from the Nordic borders and Baltic states to the Caucuses.  The Swedish regime creates a new level of hysteria over a mysterious “Russian” submarine off the coast of Stockholm, which it never identifies or locates – let alone confirms the ‘sighting’.  Estonia and Latvia claim Russian warplanes violated their air space without confirmation.  Poland expels Russian “spies” without proof or witnesses.  Provocative full-scale joint NATO-client state military exercises are taking place along Russia’s frontiers in the Baltic States, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.


Irrational Exuberance – Descriptive Superlatives Exhaustion Point Is Reached / Pater Tenebrarum / November 26, 2014 

Positioning Indicators at new Extremes

We are updating our suite of sentiment data again, mainly because it is so fascinating that a historically rarely seen bullish consensus has emerged – after a rally that has taken the SPX up by slightly over 210% from its low. Admittedly, a slew of such records has occurred in the course of the past year or so, and so far has not managed to derail the market in the slightest– in fact, since 2012, only a single correction has occurred that even deserves the designation “correction” (as opposed to “barely noticeable dip”).

While a number of positioning and survey data show a bullish consensus that easily dwarfs anything that has been seen before, this consensus is not reflected in expressions of exuberance by the broader public. “Anecdotal” sentiment seems more cautious and skeptical than the quantitatively measurable kind. Most likely this is because the vast bulk of the middle class has been so thoroughly fleeced in the last two boom-bust sequences that it finds itself in dire straits in spite of the reemergence of major asset bubbles across a wide swathe of assets. This includes by the way an astonishing revival of the bubble in real estate prices – see e.g. this 330 square foot shack in San Francisco, which recently sold for $765,000:

Yes, that tiny dark-brown thingy situated on a steep road sold for $765,000. The real estate bubble is back. (Photo credit: SFARMLS)

Moreover, with the broad US money supply (TMS-2) having nearly doubled since 2008 and other major central banks inflating their money supply as well at breakneck speed, there has been more than enough “tinder” provided the world over to drive asset prices higher. This by the way makes a complete mockery of the constant refrain of central bankers that we are allegedly threatened by “deflation”. The inflationary effects of their monetary pumping are simply showing up in asset prices rather than consumer goods prices – ceteris paribus, a rapid inflation of the money supply always leads to prices rising somewhere in the economy.


Tainted Federal Judge just screwed the people of the Big Island / by Jon Rappoport / November 26, 2014

And he’ll do it again to the people of Maui, who voted to block Dow and Monsanto from continuing GMO/pesticide experiments on their Island.

Read my previous articles (archive here) about Judge Barry Kurren and his wife’s connections to Dow and Monsanto, via The Nature Conservancy and First Hawaiian Bank.

Here’s the latest ruling, just now, from Judge Kurren. AP: “Federal judge rules against Big Island GMO law”:

“A federal judge has ruled that Hawaii County can’t enforce a law restricting genetically engineered crops because it’s pre-empted by state law.

“U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren’s order issued Wednesday is similar to his earlier decision invalidating Kauai County’s law on pesticides and genetically modified crops.”


Stimulate This! Thoughts On Intergenerational Fairness / by Erico Matia Tavares via Sinclair & Co. on 11/26/2014 20:29

Since this is the season for giving thanks in the US, we might give some consideration to the unsung heroes who have been underwriting a big chunk of our economic recovery of late. Actually, we literally owe our future to them – in more ways than one.

We recently asked a bright young economics student from a prominent European university about the right role of government in an economy. And the answer, somewhat predictable: “well, to stimulate it!” When we then asked how the government pays for that stimulus, and what impact it will have on the economy at that point, there was silence.

Just as we would have stayed silent when we were in his shoes decades ago. This has been the dogma of mainstream economic thinking for many years: in its omnipotence, the government should always step in to correct deficiencies in aggregate demand, so as to smooth out the business cycle. Stated differently, the government is much better at spending your money than you, especially when you don’t want to spend it. And voilà, less unemployed people – and more happy voters.

These expenditures need to be funded via taxes, which depresses current demand (in a way, representing your own stimulus foregone because the government decided to spend it for you); more debt, which will also depress demand but only when it needs to be repaid at some point in the future; or any combination of the two.


Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Now Thank We All Our God / 26 NOVEMBER 2014

“A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.”

Henry Ward Beecher

The joyfulness of simplicity is a folly to the world, but the charism of a loving God to His people.

Gold and silver were both flat in lackluster trade today, as the US markets were simply going through the motions in holiday trade and ahead of a few real world events.

OPEC will be meeting this weekend to consider the dropping price of oil. It is clear that the Saudis are producing at a higher than usual manner, and as you may recall I have speculated that this is part of a ploy with the US to hamper Russia, but to also send a price gut check to the shale oil producing crowd.

The Swiss will be having their gold referendum on Sunday, 30 November and it will be interesting to see how that turns out.

And finally we are now switching to the December contract, and what may prove to be a more active month in the paper markets.


Curbing central banks is the point of the Swiss Gold Initiative / By Debbie Carlson, The Guardian, London / November 26, 2014

Ron Paul and Other Gold Bugs Keep Fingers Crossed for Swiss Vote that Could Add $50 to Price of Gold

Swiss voters are likely to reject a November 30 referendum to force the Swiss National Bank to hold 20% of its reserves in gold, but you can’t crush a gold bug.

Die-hard gold fans — known as “gold bugs” — aren’t discouraged by the impending rejection of the Swiss people for their favorite metal. …

… The Swiss National Bank and the major Swiss political parties are against the measure. On Sunday SNB president Thomas Jordan said the referendum would restrict the flexibility of the bank to respond to crises.


“Now That’s What I Call A Bubble” / by Tyler Durden on 11/26/2014 20:52

“But the truth remains that few ever recognise the early stages of exuberance as attention is typically being diverted the other way.”

Some food for thought from history…

At its peak Japan’s equity market constituted 42 per cent of global market capitalisation and Toyota was making more money from trading derivatives than selling cars.

Shares in the elite Industrial Bank of Japan rose sixteen fold between 1984 and 1989 to a price/earnings ratio of 170 times. It did not matter that IBJ’s free-float was just four per cent – a $130bn market cap ($250bn today’s money) transformed its appetite for risk.


EXCHANGE WAREHOUSE SILVER STOCKS: Large Declines Across The Globe / November 26, 201

After experiencing a small build of inventory over the past few months, silver warehouse stocks at the Shanghai Futures Exchange are now back on the decline.  Matter-a-fact, Shanghai Future Exchange (SHFE) silver stocks fell 11 metric tons today, nearly 10% in just one day.

Silver warehouse stocks at the SHFE bottomed in September at 81 metric tons (mt), and then slowly increased to a peak in November….. this can be seen in the chart below:

By the end of October, silver warehouse inventories at the SHFE increased to 120 mt and then peaked on November 11th at 138 mt.  In just the past two weeks, 20 mt were removed from the exchange.  The chart below shows the weekly change of silver inventory at the SHFE over the past two months:


Ferguson Riots Are Planned, While A No Fly Zone Is Implemented – Episode 527

X22Report, Published on Nov 26, 2014

Italy retail sales post losses once again. New home sale data was revised to make housing sales look better than they are. EU pumping in billions of dollars to keep the economy afloat. US putting pressure on China and Arab nations not to do business with Russia. More National Guard soldiers entering Ferguson. No fly zone implemented in Ferguson. More troops will be headed to Afghanistan. NATO preparing for war with Russia. Leaked documents show US supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine. US behind the regin malware.

Presenting Bubbleology: The Science Of Bubble Money / From Ben Davies of Hinde Capital on 11/26/2014 19:00

On the 12th November 2014 – some 10 years after it was launched – lander module Philae which accompanied the Rosetta spacecraft touched down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) to begin extra-terrestrial scientific observations. The on-board telemetry communicated back to Earth some 28 light-minutes away revealed that the lander had bounced twice off the surface of 67P. The first bounce may have lasted two hours and over 1 kilometre and is considered the largest space bounce in history which we would put it on a par with the incredible bounces in the US and Japanese stock markets this past month!

Back here on Earth Japanese monetary policy has similarly taken a giant leap forward for mankind by conducting its own scientific experiment. On the 31st October 2014 Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda-san implemented an addition to his ‘Qualitative & Quantitative Easing’ (QQE) policy begun a year ago. The surprise event was less the timing and magnitude but the clear brazen coordination of monetary and fiscal policy using the conduit of the Japanese Government Pension Fund to implement it. The QQE drove stock markets into a frenzied rally.

Central banks have been conducting a seemingly coordinated financial program of unconventional monetary policy – assuringly scientific in its nomenclature of QE and QQE – media commentators marvel at the boldness (stupidity) of policymakers ‘to go forth where no man has gone before’ and eradicate the spectre of debt deflation.

Policymakers have been studying and implementing ‘Bubbleology’ – the science of bubble money. The impact of this earthly science on both economies and financial markets has been truly dismal. It is clear it is creating a divergence between economic and financial reality.

Far from eradicating the perils of debt deflation it is clear this program has merely initiated more fiscal and private sector balance sheet irresponsibility, as both continue to lever up. The capital (‘near money’) allocation of such leverage has resulted in rising asset classes, primarily housing stock, equity and bonds where the pursuit of yield has ignored all credit risk sensibilities. All this has occurred at the expense of daily living standards and the misdirection of capital.


SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – Miles Gloriosus / 26 NOVEMBER 2014

Stocks were drifting today in very light holiday trade, further dampened by foul weather in the NYC metro area.

The economic news this morning was quite poor, and lending some credence to the somewhat artificial nature of the GDP revision higher from earlier this week.

US markets will be effectively closed for the rest of the week, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.