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Biotech Bubble Buckles: Tumbles Almost 7% To 3-Week Lows / by Tyler Durden on 04/27/2015 12:17

Biotech stocks have been surging since their mid-March plunge (back below the 50DMA), but it appears that is at an end as XBI – the SPDR Biotech ETF – is now down almost 7% from Friday’s highs on heavy volume (and back below the 50DMA once again).


Happy 100th Anniversary, Poison Gas!

corbettreportPublished on Apr 27, 2015

As the world marks the passing of the 100th anniversary of the use of poison gas on the battlefield, James takes a moment to note some of the dark legacy of Bayer that the German chemical/pharmaceutical giant would prefer you didn’t know.

Gold really does matter in “polite company”! / by Bill Holter / April 27th, 2015

Every once in a while it is good to go back to basics.  We have looked at the topic of whether gold even matters several times in the past.  Charles Hugh Smith undertook the exercise of “re hypothecation” process last week and can be read here.   He ends this article with a common sense question that asks “if gold is such a useless relic then why don’t they just charge the public for tours to see the gold in Ft. Knox?  What’s the danger?”.

Actor after actor has been paraded forth to tell the public. “gold is a useless and barbaric relic”.  We are told daily “it doesn’t pay any interest, it costs money to store it, you can’t eat it and Walmart won’t take it.  It’s pretty for jewelry but that’s about it”.  I ask the questions, why then do central banks bother to hold gold?  Why the secrecy of our own gold holdings?  We are told that no audit can or will take place because it would cost too much?  Why not sell a few of the “useless bars” to pay for the audit?

The answers of course are all so obvious.  Gold is badmouthed because it is the direct competitor of the U.S. dollar.  We haven’t had an audit because the numbers would not match up and it would be discovered we do not have the gold we claim(ed) to have.  Put simply, the “danger” is the U.S. will be discovered as a fraud, a thief and a liar if an audit took place.  This is why we are bombarded daily with negative psyops regarding gold and why for the last couple of years the price suppression has been so openly blatant and fierce.  It is ALL about the dollar and the privilege of issuing the reserve currency, namely the U.S. ability to hang on to this privilege.


Goldman Warns Companies To Halt Buybacks At Record Valuations, Reminds What Happened In 2007 / by Tyler Durden / 04/27/2015 11:30

One month ago, Goldman warned that the biggest risk for the market was the stock buybacks hiatus due to earnings season, which in turn resulted in what was almost a modest market selloff, before someone stepped in to buy: we say someone”” because we know for a fact it wasn’t retail or institutional flow, which has been pulling out of the market at the fastest pace in years…

So, yes “someone” – call it BOJ taking advantage of the CME’s “Central Bank Incentive Program” to buy E-minis, or call it Citadel spoofing the ES higher with the explicit blessing of the NY Fed’s Chicago office, it doesn’t matter. Point is stocks are higher even as actual flows are reversing.

However, while preserving the farce of the S&P’s relentless rise no matter the earnings recession, the 1% GDP or the negative funds flow, has been entirely a central bank mandate in the past month (one which will soon inlude the PBOC), the good news for the BOJs and the NYFeds of the world is that the stock buyback hiatus is almost over, and starting this week the bulk of companies can come right back and proceed to repurchase their stocks at all time highs.


Paul Volcker Invests in Foreign Banks as He Lectures on U.S. Bank Reform / By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 27, 2015 

Paul Volcker (right) Hobnobbing at a Group of 30 Event

Last Monday, former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker held a press conference at the National Press Club to releasehis nonprofit’s plan for reforming U.S. bank regulation. Volcker’s plan includes elevating the Federal Reserve to even greater heights as a super regulator of a consolidated system. That’s exactly the opposite of what Congress has in mind as it holds hearings on fatal conflicts of interests between the Fed and Wall Street.

At the press conference, Volcker delivered a thoroughly discredited statement suggesting some deep-pocketed backers are putting words in his mouth. Volcker said: “The Federal Reserve is the best-equipped, the most independent and most respected financial agency of the United States government.”

Volcker’s views on financial reform must be seen against the backdrop of Volcker’s myriad conflicts and ties with the global ruling elite. His non-profit organization, The Volcker Alliance, has multiplied its income by a factor of 30 in one year. From 2012 to 2013, The Volcker Alliance went from $500,000 in contributions to over $15 million. It fails to list its donors on its public IRS 990 tax form. And then there is the matter of Volcker’s personal investments in unseemly foreign bank deals alongside global banks that are serially charged with breaking the law.

In December of last year, Simon Clark of the Wall Street Journal reported that Volcker had just completed his third investment stake in a foreign bank. Clark wrote that Volcker is well known for taming inflation in the 1980s (as Fed Chairman) but “Less well known is the 87-year-old former Fed chairman’s penchant for investing in banks around the world.”

According to Clark, since 1999, Volcker has invested in three separate foreign bank deals put together by private equity firm, Ripplewood. The most recent deal is for a stake in Latvia’s Citadele Bank. Earlier deals include the 1999 takeover of the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan (now known as Shinsei Bank) and the 2006 investment in Egypt’s Commercial International Bank.

The Latvia deal looks like an attempt by Ripplewood to replay the maneuver it perfected in the Shinsei Bank deal. Both Citadele Bank and Shinsei Bank were bailed out by taxpayers before Ripplewood came up with its offers.


Officials Warn Senkakus Fall Under US Protection; Japan To Take “More Assertive” Military Role / by Tyler Durden / 04/27/2015 11:13

Following meetings with Sec. of State John Kerry, Defense Sec. Ashton Carter, Japanese officials, it appears, have been shown the endgame now that the Keynesian farce is over… As AFP reports, Japan’s military to take on more assertive role, according to Japanese officials as Japan and US bolster their alliance for the first time in 18 years. Noting the alliance “serves as the cornerstone of peace in AsiaPac,” and that the Senkakus will fall under protection of this new treaty, we suspect the Chinese will have more than a few things to say about this.

As AP reports,

The United States and Japan are boosting their defence relationship to allow a greater Japanese role in global military operations with an eye on potential threats from China and North Korea.

Before Japan’s prime minister visits Washington this week, the two countries’ foreign and defence ministers on Monday signed off on revisions to the U.S.-Japan defence guidelines.They are the first changes to the treaty allies’ joint strategy in 18 years. Any changes are subject to security legislation pending in Japan’s parliament.

The revisions boost Japan’s role in missile defence, mine sweeping and ship inspections amid growing Chinese assertiveness. The new arrangements also allow Japan to dispatch its armed forces beyond the region for logistical backup of U.S. military’s global operations, in distant areas including the Middle East.


Varoufakis Demoted in Reshuffle of Greece’s Negotiating Team / by Marc Chandler / April 27, 2015

The Eurogroup meeting before the weekend was particularly acrimonious.  Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis was isolated and demonized.  After intensifying their criticism of Varoufakis in the closed meeting, according to reporters, several carried their battle to the media.

The Greek government responded.  Prime Minister Tsipras has announced a shuffling of his negotiating team, which includes a demotion of Varoufakis.  While the controversial finance minister retains his post, a new negotiating team.  The deputy Foreign Minister, Tsakalotos, a soft-spoken Oxford-educated economist will coordinate the group of negotiators going forward.  He is well-liked by the official creditors, according to press reports.

There have been two other personnel changes.  Varoufakis’s general secretary, Theocharakis, who has been leading the technical-level talks, has been reassigned.  He will now focus on devising a growth strategy upon which a new deal after the current one expires in June.   Separately, a close ally of deputy Prime Minister Dragasakis, will take over responsibility for talks with the official creditors.

Varoufakis has not been particularly cooperative the EU, ECB and IMF officials gathering technical data on Greek finances as the Greek government has been critical not of the name Troika but of its substance.  Recall that a preliminary ruling by the European Court of Justice also noted that the ECB ought not to be in the Troika as it represents a conflict of interest.  In any event, the new team is expected to be more cooperative.

Ironically, just as the Tsipras government has repeatedly tried to circumvent the Eurogroup of finance minister and reached out to the heads of state (and was criticized for doing do), the Eurogroup has been trying to bypass the Greek finance minister.  Varoufakis’ style and the substance of his arguments rankled fellow Eurogroup ministers.  His partial demotion, which formalizes a process that seemed to have been in the works in a gradual way in recent weeks, may give the talks a fresh start.  Varoufakis was not a member of Syriza before the election, and his demotion, may lead to his resignation, even if not immediately.

Greek Blame Game: At Whom Will History Point The Finger? / by Tyler Durden / 04/27/2015 11:04

Will they default or will they not? Are they out of cash or can they scrape together another half billion by tapping some heretofore untouched pocket of the public purse? Did they just institute capital controls? Because that’s what it looks like. What was Varoufakis thinking? Is an advance from Gazprom on the way?

These are just of few of the many questions which seem to get asked and re-asked on an almost daily basis as the crisis in Greece plays out like a slow motion car crash that no one can take their eyes off of even though everyone (the market, the creditors, Athens … everyone) is exhausted, exasperated (“Gratigue” maybe?), and ready for some manner of resolution. Unfortunately, as Citi noted last week, the most scenario will be a kind of euro purgatory characterized by capital controls, defaults, and prolonged pain and suffering for the populace. This state of affairs is known as “Grimbo,” and as Reuters notes, no one involved in the ordeal wants history to remember them as the villain. Here’s more:

The game of chicken between Greece and its international creditors is turning into a vicious blame game as Athens lurches closer to bankruptcy with no cash-for-reform agreement in sight.

Europe’s political leaders and central bankers and Greek politicians agree on only one thing: if Greece goes down, they don’t want their fingerprints on the murder weapon…

Greece’s leftist government has already identified its culprit of choice – Germany, Europe’s main paymaster, accused of having inflicted toxic austerity policies on Greeks, causing a “humanitarian crisis”.

Euro zone governments are preparing the ground to blame the novice government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for having blustered, obstructed, failed to meet commitments and evaded hard choices while Athens burned.

“We are doing everything we can to save Greece from itself, but in the end, it’s up to them,” is the message pouring out of Berlin, Brussels and IMF headquarters in Washington.


A Remote Ranch in Argentina, the Debtberg and Betting Against the Consensus

Ronald Reagan and James Baker (who became treasury secretary after Donald Regan switched to the chief of staff position in 1985) Photo credit: Discovery Channel / By Bill Bonner / April 27, 2015

Debt Disaster Coming!

In the 1970s, after President Nixon changed the world’s monetary system, your editor was deeply involved in a quixotic, but remarkable, effort to stop the US government from wrecking the country.

After Nixon cut the last link between the dollar and gold – the saving grace of every monetary system since Hammurabi – your editor saw the handwriting on the wall. It said: Debt Disaster Coming!

As director of the National Taxpayers Union, he worked on two major initiatives to stop this disaster from occurring. One was an amendment to the US Constitution. The “Balanced Budget Amendment” would have blocked the feds from running deficits except in times of war or national emergency.

Thirty-two states approved the amendment – two short of those needed to implement it. (Now we see how easily the feds could have gotten around this amendment anyway: We have a state of war all the time!)

The other effort was a lawsuit. On behalf of America’s children, we sued the US government in Bonner v. Baker. The “Baker” was James Baker, who at that time was the US secretary of the Treasury.

National debt was a tax on future generations, we argued. Laying on this sort of inter-generational obligation amounted to taxation without representation and should be banned. The court threw out our suit.

How the GOP Went to the Dark Side

It was while we were thus engaged in protecting the republic that Ronald Reagan won the 1980 presidential election. We went to his inauguration and celebrated; it appeared that the battle had been won, neither in the courts nor in the states, but in the national election.

Somehow, and against all odds, Reagan was a fiscal conservative. He would restore order to America’s finances. Or so we believed …


Dallas Fed Extends Miss Streak To Record 5 Months, Hovers Near 6-Year Low / by Tyler Durden / 04/27/2015 10:38

Despite all of Dick Fisher’s promises, The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Outlook had collapsed in the last 4 months (and is down for 6 months in a row – the longest losing streak in history) and April did not disappoint. Against expectations of -12, Dallas Fed printed -16 (the 5th large miss in a row). Silver-lining enthusiasts will note this is a slight rise from 2-year lows at -17.4 in March but remains close to 6-year lows. Of the 15 sub-cmponents only wages and employment were positive (sure why not) ascapacity utilization and new order growth rates slowing further. Prices Paid are at their most negative since Lehman.


There Will Be Earthquakes: The Crust Of The Earth Violently Roars To Life In Chile And Nepal / By Michael Snyder / April 26th, 2015

Just within the past few days, one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Chile erupted for the first time in 42 years and the nation of Nepal was hit by the worst earthquake that it has seen in 80 years.  Even though the crust of the Earth seems to be shaking more violently than ever, most of the experts continue to assure us that what we are witnessing is “normal” behavior.  But the cold, hard numbers tell a very different story.  As I pointed out in a previous article, the number of volcanic eruptions that are happening right now is greater than the 20th century’s average for an entire year.  Our planet appears to be getting more unstable, and that is not good news for any of us.  In fact, it was recently reported that 150 million Americans live in areas that are prone to earthquakes.  No matter how advanced our technology becomes, the truth is that we are still very much at the mercy of the forces of nature, and what just happened in Chile and in Nepal are clear reminders of this reality.

When Chile’s Calbuco volcano erupted a few days ago, it was the first time that it had happened in 42 years.  Scientists tell us that it was “a surprise” and that there weren’t really any significant warning signs of any sort.  It is now being projected that this volcano could erupt “for months“, and the ash that this giant volcano releases could have a substantial affect on climate patterns and agricultural production.

When Calbuco first erupted last week, it was quite a spectacular eruption.  If you can believe it, the eruption actually sent ash 11 miles into the air

Ash from the Chilean volcano Calbuco, which erupted without warning this week, reached as far as southern Brazil on Saturday and prompted some airlines to cancel flights to the capitals of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.

Calbuco, considered one of the most dangerous along Chile’s chain of around 2,000 volcanoes, erupted twice in 24 hours on Wednesday and Thursday, sending up a spectacular 17-km-high (11-mile) cloud and coating nearby towns in a thick layer of gray ash.


US Police Departments Using “Spy Rocks” to Spy on Citizens Now (Yes. That’s right. Spy rocks.) / Melissa Melton / April 27th, 2015

An article on an annual border security expo for the so-called US “border-industrial complex” over at the London Guardian starts off by featuring spy rocks.

Yes. Exactly as it sounds.

Spy rocks.

Fake rocks with tiny cameras inside.

If it sounds like a lame episode of Inspector Gadget, that’s because it is like that, only this is real life, modern day Surveillance State USA.

Via The Guardian:

There were a couple of rocks on Carmi Peleg’s table, next to a small drone, but he did not really want to talk about them. Of course, they weren’t really rocks, but spy cameras, because this was the Border Security Expo, a surreal annual trade fair where surveillance companies flirt with US government officials in hopes of cashing in on the border technology bonanza.

“They use [them] in police departments in the US,” Peleg said of his rock-cameras. “A lot of stuff. But that’s the only thing I can tell,” he said. His company – innoBots – also sells drones and robots that fit inside backpacks.


Gold, Silver, Copper, & Crude Are Soaring On Heavy Volume / by Tyler Durden / 04/27/2015 10:11

Dollar weakness continues (after weak US Services PMI) which has sent stocks to new record highs but it is the commodity complex that is in outright vertical panic mode….


Insanity Grips The Western World — Paul Craig Roberts / By Paul Craig Roberts / April 27, 2015

Just as Karl Marx claimed that History had chosen the proletariat, neoconservatives claim that History has chosen America. Just as the Nazis proclaimed “Deutschland uber alles,” neoconservatives proclaim “America uber alles.” In September 2013 President Obama actually stood before the United Nations and declared, “I believe America is exceptional.”

Germany’s political leaders and those in Great Britain, France, and throughout Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan also believe that America is exceptional, which means better than they are. That’s why these countries are Washington’s vassals. They accept their inferiority to the Exceptional Country — the USA — and follow its leadership.

It is unlikely that the Chinese think that a handful of White People are exceptional in anything except their diminutive numbers. The populations of Asia, Africa, and South America dwarf those that comprise Washington’s Empire.

Neither do the Russians believe that the US is exceptional. Putin’s response to Obama’s claim of American superiority was: “God created us equal.” Putin added: “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.”

If all countries are exceptional, the word loses its meaning. If America is exceptional, it means others are inferior for lacking this designation. Inferiors have less rights and can be bullied into submission or bombed into oblivion.


All Jade Helm Roads Lead to Midland, Texas

All Jade Helm Roads lead to Walmart / by Dave Hodges / April 27, 2015

The absurdity of the Midland Walmart story in which the store had to be closed because of plumbing issues is amazing. In Midland, the Walmart is closed and we see a plethora of military activity at the store. Since when did the military service Walmart plumbing? Yet, there are some Americans who still believe this cover story.

All roads related to Jade Helm lead to Midland, Texas. Midland is at the heart of Jade Helm. If Jade Helm could be turned back in Midland, the globalists would have to find another means to subjugate the American people.

“I Don’t Know Nuthin”

In the past several days, I have talked to six people from both Midland and Odessa, Texas. Some of these people who form the economic backbone of the area, and they have figured out what is coming. I know there have been multiple private conversations about what to do about the growing Obama administration cancer growing right in their backyard among local business leaders.

In Midland, the number one Walmart, with regard to per capita spending in America, is suddenly closed, without warning, fires its employees and the former store is now a hotbed of reconstruction and military activity at the site and is crawling with military and the DHS personnel and vehicles. Where is the outrage?

From local business leaders, I have been able to ascertain that the cover story regarding Walmart’s faulty plumbing being the reason for the closure is a complete fabrication. The Midland, TX. Walmart had its plumbing updated six months prior to the closure of the store and no new plumbing permits have been obtained.