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JP Morgan et al go M.I.A. on the Job Numbers

 -- Published: Sunday, 6 November 2016 | Print  | Disqus 

05 November 2016 — Saturday


By Ed Steer

The gold price dipped back below the $1,300 spot mark in late morning trading in the Far East on their Friday, with the low tick of the day coming at the London/Zurich open.  It was back above $1,300 spot in little over an hour — and the tiny rally on the release of the job numbers got capped at 9 a.m. in New York — and that was pretty much it.

Once again, the high and low ticks aren’t worth looking up.

Gold finished the Friday session at $1,304.00 spot, up $1.80 from Thursday’s close.  Net volume was pretty hefty at just under 181,000 contracts.


It was more or less the same price pattern in silver, with the low tick in that precious metal, such as it was, also coming at the London open.  From that point, it rallied rather unenthusiastically until around 10:30 a.m. in New York — and didn’t do a lot after that.

The low and high ticks aren’t worth looking up here, either.

Silver closed in New York yesterday at $18.405 spot, up 8 cents on the day.  Net volume was very decent as well, at a hair over 49,000 contracts.


The platinum price traded a few dollars either side of unchanged all through Far East and morning trading in Zurich.  Once trading began on the COMEX, it rallied [with obvious opposition as it rose above $1,000 spot] right up until the London p.m. gold fix — and then was quietly sold off for the rest of the New York session.  Platinum was closed at $996 spot, up 2 dollars from Thursday.


Palladium tried to rally on several occasions during Far East and early Zurich trading, but wasn’t allowed to get far on each attempt.  But once the London p.m. gold fix was in, it took off the to the upside, but got capped around 10:45 a.m. in New York — and from there it was quietly sold lower for the next couple of hours.  It chopped sideways from there, finishing the Friday session at $625 spot, up 9 dollars on the day.


The dollar index closed very late on Thursday afternoon in New York at 97.15 — and it made it as high as 97.35 just minutes before 2 p.m. China Standard Time on their Friday afternoon.  From that point it began to chop very quietly lower.  There was a brief spike back to its previous high tick at the 8:30 a.m. release of the job numbers — and then it was all down hill from there.  The usual ‘gentle hands’ appeared at noon EDT to rescue it as it dipped below the 97.00 mark.  The rally from that low lasted for a couple of hours, before it turned lower once again — and kept on going for the rest of the day, taking the 97.00 mark with is.  The index closed in New York yesterday at 96.93 — down 22 basis points from Thursday.


Here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index — and despite the fact that the dollar index continues to decline at a very decent clip every day, gold has not been allowed to trade above the $1,310 spot price mark for the last three days in a row.


The gold stocks opened unchanged — and headed mostly lower from there after a brief rally shortly after the London p.m. gold fix.  The low tick came minutes after 2 p.m. — and as gold rallied from below unchanged to where it closed, up a $1,80 spot, the shares followed.  But they couldn’t squeeze a positive close, as the HUI finished down 0.73 percent.


The chart pattern followed by the silver equities was almost the same — and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.97 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.


And here are the usual three charts from Nick that tell all.  The first one shows the changes in gold, silver, platinum and palladium for the past week, in both percent and dollar and cents terms, as of Friday’s closes in New York — along with the changes in the HUI and Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index.  The Click to Enlarge feature really helps on all three.


And the chart below shows the month-to-date changes as of Friday’s close.


And below are the year-to-date changes as of the close of trading yesterday.


The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 4 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday.  Canada’s Scotiabank stopped all four contracts — and I shan’t bother linking that activity.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Friday trading session showed that gold open interest in November fell by 67 contracts leaving just 21 left to deliver, minus the 4 contracts mentioned above.  Thursday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 70 gold contracts were posted for delivery on Monday, so that means that 70-67=3 gold contracts were added to the November delivery month.  Silver o.i. in November actually rose by 8 contracts, leaving 55 still open.  Thursday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 2 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery on Monday, so that means that 2+8=10 silver contracts were added to November deliveries.

There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday — and as of 6:17 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

There was a smallish sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They sold 3,000 troy ounces of gold eagles — 1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes — and no silver eagles.

Month-to-date, which is only four days old, the mint has sold 19,500 troy ounces of gold eagles — 4,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes — but only 220,000 silver eagles.  It would appear that Ted’s “big buyer” has been a ‘no-show’ so far this month, at least as far as silver eagle sales are concerned.

There was a decent amount of gold moved around at the COMEX-approved depositories on the east coast of the U.S. on Thursday, as 51,222 troy ounces were received — and another 45,672 troy ounces were shipped out.  Of the amount received, there was 49,401 troy ounces deposited at JPMorgan — and the rest went into Brink’s, Inc.  Three separate depositories were involved in the ‘out’ movement — and the link to all this activity is here.

It was a pretty big day in silver, as 1,224,922 troy ounces were reported received, two containers full — plus another container full — 596,575 troy ounces — was shipped out the door for parts unknown.  Of the amount received, one container went into Brink’s, Inc. — and the other into Canada’s Scotiabank.  And, with the exception of 10,000 troy ounces out of HSBC USA, the rest of the ‘out’ movement was at Delaware.   A link to that action is here.

It was a bit quieter for a change over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Thursday.  They reported receiving 2,095 of them — and shipped out 2,242.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. as per usual — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

In a word, the data in yesterday’s Commitment of Traders Report was awful.  There was a decent increase in the Commercial net short position in silver — and it was much worse in gold.  And as bad as the headline numbers were from the legacy COT Report, the Managed Money changes in the Disaggregated COT Report were even uglier, particularly in silver.

In silver, the Commercial net short position increased by 3,521 contracts, or 17.6 million troy ounces of paper silver.  They arrived at this number by adding 1,475 long contracts, but they also picked up 4,996 short contracts — and all of this courtesy of the Managed Money traders.  The difference between those two numbers is the change for the reporting week.

Ted said that the surprise was that the Big 4 traders and the ‘5 through 8’ big traders actually decreased their respective short positions during the reporting week — the Big 4 by about 1,400 contracts, and the ‘5 through 8’ traders by around 300 contracts.  All the heavy lifting was done by Ted’s raptors, the Commercial traders other than the Big 8, as they decreased their hefty long position by about 5,200 contracts.

Under the hood in the Disaggregated COT Report, it was all Managed Money traders, plus a lot more, as they added 777 long contracts, plus they covered 8,489 short contracts.  The sum of those two numbers, which is 9,266 contracts, was the change for the reporting week…which is far in excess of the 3,521 contract net change in the Commercial net short position.  The 8,489-3,521=4,968 contract difference was absorbed by the ‘Other Reportables’ and ‘Nonreportable’/small traders.

The Commercial net short position in silver is now back up to 384.6 million troy ounces of paper silver — and Ted pegs JPMorgan’s short position at around 22,500 contracts — as he attributed the 1,400 contract decrease in the short position of the Big 4 traders, all to JPMorgan.

Here’s the 9-year COT Report chart for silver — and we’re still miles away from anything that remotely resembles wildly bullish — and it’s even worse since the Tuesday cut-off.  The click to enlarge feature really helps here.


In gold, the Commercial net short position increased by a very chunky 21,652 contracts, or 2.16 million troy ounces of paper gold.

They arrived at this number by adding 698 long contracts, but they also picked up 22,350 short contracts, which were all courtesy of the Managed Money traders as well.  The difference between those two numbers is the change for the reporting week.

Ted said that the Big 4 traders added around 13,000 short contracts to their already huge short position, but the ‘5 through 8’ large traders actually decreased their net short position by around 600 contracts during the reporting week.  The rest of the 9,300 short contracts came courtesy of Ted’s raptors, the commercial traders other than the Big 8.

The Commercial net short position in gold is now back up to 23.93 million troy ounces.

Under the hood in the Disaggregated COT Report, the Managed Money traders purchased 4,576 long contracts, plus they covered 17,781 short contracts, for a total of 22,357 contracts, which was 705 contracts more than the change in the Commercial net short position.  As usual, this small amount was absorbed the “Other Reportables” and the ‘Nonreportable”/small trader categories.

Here’s 9 years worth of COT Reports for gold — and this week’s report was a step backwards for the second week in a row.  Bullish territory appears to be getting further away once again.  Click to enlarge.


As you can see, as long as the Commercial traders are there as short buyers and long sellers of last resort against the Managed Money traders et al, the free-market price of precious metals can only be imagined at.

Of course, things are materially worse since the Tuesday cut-off — and because there are still two more trading days [including the U.S. election day] to go before the books are closed on next week’s COT Report — it’s impossible to tell just how bad it might be.

I’ll revisit this issue in my Wednesday column once the smoke has cleared.

Here’s Nick Laird’s “Days to Cover” chart updated with yesterday’s COT data for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday.  It shows the days of world production that it would take to cover the short positions of the Big 4 — and Big ‘5 through 8’ traders in each physically traded commodity on the COMEX.  These are the same Big 4 and ‘5 through 8’ traders discussed in the COT Report.  Click to enlarge.


For the second week in a row, we’re getting closer to the ‘obscene’ and ‘grotesque’ situation that has existed in the COT Reports in silver back in late summer.  For the current reporting week, the Big 4 are short 133 days [4.5 months] of world silver production—and the ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 59 days of world silver production—for a total of 192 days, which is about 6 and a half months of world silver production, or about 466.6 million troy ounces of paper silver held short by the Big 8.

And it should be pointed out here that in the COT Report above, the Commercial net short position in silver is 384.6 million troy ounces.  So the Big 8 hold a short position larger than the Commercial net position to the tune of 466.6-384.6 = 82.0 million troy ounces…give or take.  And don’t forget that Ted Butler pegs JPMorgan’s short position at around 112.5 million ounces of the 466.6 million troy ounces held short by the Big 8 — which works out to around 46 days of world silver production.  How concentrated — and ridiculous is that?

And if that isn’t bad enough, the Big 8 are short 47.3 percent of the entire open interest in silver in the COMEX futures market.  And if you subtract out the market-neutral spread trades, it’s a reasonable assumption the Big 8 are short a bit over 50 percent of the total open interest in silver.  In gold it’s 41.9 percent of the total open interest that the Big 8 are short.

And as an aside, the two largest silver shorts on Planet Earth—JPMorgan and Canada’s Scotiabank—are short about 85 days of world silver production between the two of them—and that 85 days represents around 64 percent of the length of the red bar in silver in the above chart.  The other two traders in the Big 4 category are short, on average, about 26 days of world silver production apiece.

As I stated just above, based on Ted’s estimate of JPMorgan’s short position of 22,500 contracts, JPMorgan is short around 46 days of world silver production all by itself.  Because of that, the approximate short position in silver held by Scotiabank works out to around 35 days of world silver production.

In gold, the Big 4 are short 58 days of world gold production, up from 54 days last week — and the ‘5 through 8’ are short another 20 days of world production [up from 19 days last week], for a total of 78 days.  Based on these numbers, the Big 4 in gold hold about 74 percent of the total short position held by the Big 8 — and that’s off the record high, but only by a bit.  How’s that for a concentrated short position within a concentrated short position?

The “concentrated short positions within a concentrated short position” in silver, platinum and palladium held by the Big 4 are all identical this week at 69, 69 and 69 percent respectively of the short positions held by the Big 8.  And despite the changes in the Commercial net short positions in all four precious metals during the reporting week just past, these “concentrated short positions within a concentrated short position” have barely changed, if at all, for silver, gold and platinum.

The October Bank Participation Report [BPR] data is extracted directly from the above Commitment of Traders Report.  It shows the COMEX futures contracts, both long and short, that are held by all the U.S. and non-U.S. banks as of Tuesday’s cut-off.  For this one day a month we get to see what the world’s banks are up to in the COMEX futures market, especially in the precious metals—and they’re usually up to quite a bit.

In gold, 5 U.S. banks are net short 66,869 COMEX contracts in the November BPR.  In October’s Bank Participation Report [BPR], that number was 67,949 contracts, so they’ve decreased their collective short positions by a rather insignificant 1,080 contracts during the reporting period.  Three of the five banks would include JPMorgan, Citigroup—and HSBC USA.  As for who the fourth and fifth banks might be—I haven’t a clue, but I doubt very much if their positions, long or short, would be material.

Also in gold, 28 non-U.S. banks are net short 64,227 COMEX gold contracts.  In the October BPR, 26 non-U.S. banks were net short 57,932 COMEX contracts, so the month-over-month change is an increase of only about 6,300 contracts, which is not a material amount.  And it’s still a mystery as to which non-U.S. bank in the Big ‘5 through 8’ category got bailed out of their huge short position in gold in July.

As of this Bank Participation Report, the world’s banks were net short 25.1 percent of the entire open interest in gold in the COMEX futures market, which is an increase from the 23.1 percent they were short in the October BPR.  And considering the changes since the Tuesday cut-off, the above number has increased even more.

Here’s Nick’s chart of the Bank Participation Report for gold going back to 2000.  Charts #4 and #5 are the key ones here.  Note the blow-out in the short positions of the non-U.S. banks [the blue bars in chart #4] when Scotiabank’s COMEX gold positions [both long and short] were outed in October of 2012.  Click to Enlarge is a must here.


In silver, 5 U.S. banks are net short 23,186 COMEX silver contracts—and it was Ted’s back-of-the-envelope calculation from yesterday that JPMorgan holds around 22,500 silver contracts net short on its own — which is more or less the entire net short position shown in this month’s BPR.  This means that the collective short and long positions of the other 4 U.S. banks can be no more than a few hundred contracts each and/or in total.  JPMorgan IS the entire net short position in the U.S. banking industry.  In October’s BPR, the net short position of these five U.S. banks was 28,053 contracts, so there’s been a decent 4,867 contract decrease in the net short positions of the U.S. banks since then, all of it involving JPM.  Based on the November BPR numbers in silver, it’s a mathematical certainty [as I said just above] that the other 4 U.S. banks are about market neutral in the COMEX futures market in silver — and if they are net short, or net long…it’s only by a few hundred contracts at the very most.  As Ted says, JPMorgan is the ‘Big Kahuna’ in silver as far as the U.S. banking system is concerned — and these numbers prove it in spades, as they do every month.

Also in silver, 21 non-U.S. banks are net short 30,742 COMEX contracts—and that’s down a bit from the 31,946 contracts that 19 non-U.S. banks held short in the October BPR.  I’m still prepared to bet big money that Canada’s Scotiabank is the proud owner of a goodly chunk of this short position—well over half of the total.  That most likely means that a few of the remaining 20 non-U.S. banks might actually be net long the COMEX silver market.  But even if they aren’t, the remaining short positions divided up between the 18 remaining non-U.S. banks are immaterial.

As of this Bank Participation Report, the world’s banks are net short 27.4 percent of the entire open interest in the COMEX futures market in silver—which is down a decent amount from the 30.2 percent that they were net short in the October BPR — with the lion’s share of that held by only two banks…JPMorgan and Canada’s Scotiabank.

Here’s the BPR chart for silver.  Note in Chart #4 the blow-out in the non-U.S. bank short position [blue bars] in October of 2012 when Scotiabank was brought in from the cold.  Also note August 2008 when JPMorgan took over the silver short position of Bear Stearns—the red bars.  It’s very noticeable in Chart #4—and really stands out like the proverbial sore thumb it is in chart #5.  Click to enlarge.


In platinum, 5 U.S. banks are net short 9,127 COMEX contracts in the November Bank Participation Report.  In the October BPR, these same banks were short 12,906 COMEX platinum contracts, so there’s been a 3,779 contract improvement from the prior month.  It should be noted that these same 5 U.S. banks hold zero long contracts in platinum, along with the 9,127 they are short — and you read that right!

I suspect that, like in silver and palladium, JPMorgan holds virtually all of the platinum short position of the 5 U.S. banks in question.

Also in platinum, 17 non-U.S. banks are net short 5,807 COMEX contracts, which is a decline from the 6,620 contracts they were net short in the October BPR, so their short positions are most likely immaterial compared to the short positions held by the 5 U.S. banks.

If there is a large player in platinum among the non-U.S. banks, I wouldn’t know which one it is.  However I’m sure there’s at least one big one in this group.  The reason I say that is because before mid-2009 when the U.S. banks showed up, the non-U.S. banks were always net long the platinum market by a bit—see the chart below—and now they’re net short.  The remaining 16 non-U.S. banks divided into whatever contracts are left, isn’t a lot, unless they’re all operating in collusion—which I doubt.  But from the numbers it’s easy to see that the platinum price management scheme is an American show as well, with one big non-U.S. bank possibly involved.  Scotiabank perhaps?

And as of this Bank Participation Report, the world’s banks are net short 21.0 percent of the entire open interest in platinum in the COMEX futures market, which is down a lot from the 28.1 percent they were collectively net short in the October BPR.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature is a must here as well.


In palladium, 4 U.S. banks were net short 3,447 COMEX contracts in the November BPR, which is down big from the 4,259 contracts they held net short in the October BPR.  Even if JPMorgan held all these contracts themselves, and they just might, it’s a pretty small amount.

Also in palladium, 13 non-U.S. banks are net short 2,121 COMEX contracts—which is a huge decline from the 3,737 COMEX contracts that these same banks were short in the October BPR.  And if you divide up the short positions of the non-U.S. banks more or less equally, they’re immaterial, just like they are in platinum.

But, having said all that, as of this Bank Participation Report, the world’s banks are still net short 24.4 percent of the entire COMEX open interest in palladium.  In October’s BPR they were net short 28.6 percent.

Here’s the palladium BPR chart.  You should note that the U.S. banks were almost nowhere to be seen in the COMEX futures market in this metal until the middle of 2007—and they became the predominant and controlling factor by the end of Q1 of 2013.  But their footprint is pretty small now.  However, as I mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago, I would still be prepared to bet big money that, like platinum and silver, JPMorgan holds the vast majority of the U.S. banks’ short position in this precious metal as well.


As I say every month at this time, the three U.S. banks—JPMorgan, Citigroup, HSBC USA—along with Canada’s Scotiabank— are the tallest hogs at the precious metal price management trough. However, it’s a fact that one of the non-U.S. banks in the Big ‘5 through 8’ category got bailed out of its short position in gold in July.

But JPMorgan and Canada’s Scotiabank still remain the two largest silver short holders on Planet Earth in the COMEX futures market — and I would suspect that might apply to gold as well, although it may not in the case for Scotiabank in gold, if the non-U.S. bank that got bailed out in July turns out to be them.  The jury is still out on that one.

I have a fairly decent number of stories today — and there are quite a few longish audio/video interviews that will stretch things out quite a bit if you listen to all of them.  Several of them are ones that I posted earlier in the week, but I mentioned at the time that they would also appear in today’s missive — and they are.


October Payrolls Miss, Rise 161,000 After Upward Revisions, Wages Beat; Unemployment Rate Dips to 4.9%

With the whisper numbers suggesting a modest beat heading into today’s October NFP, expected by consensus to print at 173K, moments ago the BLS reported that in October jobs rose by 161K, missing expectations, however in line with historical precedent, the September print of 156K was revised upward to 191K, while the change in employment for August was revised up from +167,000 to +176,000, resulting in combined employment gains in August and September if 44,000 more than previously reported.

While the establishment survey was strong, the Household survey was not, and posted a drop of 43,000 employed workers to 151,925K, the first monthly decline since April.

The unemployment rate dipped modestly from 5.0% to 4.9%, in line with expectations. The Labor force participation rate declined from 62.9% to 62.8%.

This commentary on yesterday’s jobs report was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 8:46 a.m. EDT — and another link to it is here.

FANG Stocks Lose Over $100 Billion in a Week

In the last week the so-called FANG stocks (FB, AMZN, NFLX, GOOGL) have stumbled. As earnings and outlooks disappointed, shareholders have awoken to the new normal low growth world and wiped over $100 billion in market capitalization of the four horsemen of the Fed’s wealth creation bubble.

FANGs are now down 8 days in a row…losing a massive $108 billion in that time…

This is the biggest drop since the February growth scare — which was only saved by massive coordinated global central bank money-printing…which is simply not about to happen this time.

This brief 2-chart Zero Hedge piece put in an appearance on their Internet site at 3:15 p.m. on Friday afternoon EDT — and the charts are certainly worth a few seconds of your time.  Another link to this story is here.

Doug Noland: The Upshot of Inflationism

This election cycle has been a national disgrace. It finally comes to an end Tuesday, when a deeply divided nation heads to the polls. I recall having a tinge of hope eight years ago that there was a commitment to more inter-party cooperation and less partisan vitriol. There’s not even lip service this time around. As an optimist, I would like to believe that a period of healing commences Wednesday. The analyst inside knows things will continue to worsen before they get better.

Our nation and the world are paying a very heavy price for a failed experiment in Inflationism. At this point, economic stagnation, wealth redistribution and inequality, financial insecurity and corruption are rather obvious consequences. “Money” and Credit have inflated, right along with government, securities markets, financial institutions, corporate influence and greed.

Along the way, there have been many subtle effects. To this day the majority still cling to the view that central bankers are essential to the solution – rather than the problem. But they are at the very root of disturbing national and international, economic, financial, societal and geopolitical degeneration.

For close to 30 years now, central bank policies have nurtured serial inflationary booms and busts. It’s a backdrop that has repeatedly forced investors, homebuyers and others into serious harm’s way. Buy or you’ll be left behind. Get aboard before it’s too late. It’s a system that systematically targets the unsophisticated and less affluent to take on a tenuous debt position to buy homes, cars and things in the name of promoting economic growth. It’s a system that devalues the wealth of savers. Somehow it’s regressed to a system with a policy objective to coerce savers and the risk averse, to ensure their buying power instead inflates the value of risky securities market assets

Doug’s weekly Credit Bubble Bulletin put in an appearance on this website shortly after midnight Denver time this morning — and another link to it is here.

Julian Assange Says Trump Won’t Be Allowed to Win, “Clinton and ISIS are Funded by the Same Money

One day after Julian Assange officially revealed for the first time that the source of hacked Podesta and DNC emails in Wikileaks’ possession is not Russia, in the second excerpt from the John Pilger Special, to be broadcast by RT on Saturday Julian Assange accuses Hillary Clinton of misleading Americans about the true scope of Islamic State’s support from Washington’s Middle East allies.

As previously reported, in an August 17, 2014 e-mail made public WikiLeaks last month, Hillary Clinton, who had served as secretary of state until the year before, urges John Podesta, then an advisor to Barack Obama, to “bring pressure” on Qatar and Saudi Arabia, “which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIS and other radical Sunni groups.”

“I think this is the most significant email in the whole collection,” Assange, whose whistle-blowing site released three tranches of Clinton-related emails over the past year, told Pilger in the interview. “All serious analysts know, and even the US government has agreed, that some Saudi figures have been supporting ISIS and funding ISIS, but the dodge has always been that it is some “rogue” princes using their oil money to do whatever they like, but actually the government disapproves. But that email says that it is the government of Saudi Arabia, and the government of Qatar that have been funding ISIS.

As recounted by RT, Assange and Pilger, who sat down for their 25-minute interview at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where the whistleblower has been a refugee since 2012, also talked about the conflict of interest between Clinton’s official post, her husband’s nonprofit, and the Middle East officials, whose stated desire to fight terrorism may not have been sincere.

This news item was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 5:54 p.m. EDT on Friday afternoon — and another link to it is here.

Assange: WikiLeaks did not receive Clinton e-mails from Russian govt (JOHN PILGER EXCLUSIVE)

In a John Pilger Special, to be exclusively broadcast by RT on Saturday courtesy of Dartmouth Films, whistleblower Julian Assange categorically denied that the troves of U.S. Democratic Party and Clinton work and staff emails released this year have come from the Russian government.

“The Clinton camp has been able to project a neo-McCarthyist hysteria that Russia is responsible for everything. Hillary Clinton has stated multiple times, falsely, that 17 US intelligence agencies had assessed that Russia was the source of our publications. That’s false – we can say that the Russian government is not the source,” Assange told the veteran Australian broadcaster as part of a 25-minute John Pilger Special, courtesy of Dartmouth Films.

Assange, who spoke with Pilger at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been for four years, also accused the U.S. presidential candidate of being a pawn of behind-the-scenes interests, and voiced doubts about her physical fitness to take charge of the White House.

“Hillary Clinton is just one person. I actually feel quite sorry for Hillary Clinton as a person, because I see someone who is eaten alive by their ambitions, tormented literally to the point where they become sick – for example faint – as a result of going on, and going with their ambitions. But she represents a whole network of people, and a whole network of relationships with particular states.”

There’s a 32 second teaser/trailer RT video clip embedded — and I’m assuming that when you click on that link sometime this weekend, you should be able to view the whole 25-minute interview that’s going to be released on RT sometime day.  If not, you’ll have to go to their website and dig it up yourself, although I’m sure there will be lots of copies of it around the Internet by the time the sun sets on Saturday in North America.  I thank Vince Koloski for bringing this story to our attention — and another link to it is here.

A Jim Rickards Triple-Header

Well, if you’re a James Rickards junkie, I’ve got three things for you today, two of which appeared in my column earlier this week.  At the time I posted them, I said I’d stick them in Saturday’s column if you didn’t have time for them then, so here they are now…plus a review of Jim’s new book.

The first is a video with Jim that’s hosted by Greg Hunter.  It’s headlined “Huge Inflation Coming With Coming Economic Meltdown” — and the link to that is here.

The second one is an audio interview with Jim, along with my good friend and host, Jay Taylor.  This one is headlined “The Road to Your Financial Ruin“.

In it, Rickards to talk about the global elites’ secret plan for the next financial crisis as they seek to remove national sovereignty and install a one world government. And he explains why Donald Trump may be the last chance to avoid the total destruction of capitalism and impoverishment of the masses.

It runs for 37:30 minutes — and was posted on the Internet site on Thursday sometime.  The link to that is here.

Thirdly, I received a very interesting review on Jim’s new book — “The Road to Ruin“.  It’s a very clever animated book review that’s posted on Internet site.  It runs for 7:29 minutes — and it’s definitely worth watching if you have the interest.  Jim’s new book comes out on November 15 — and I will certainly be buying a copy.  A link to the video is here.

Watch Jamie Dimon’s incredible interview — Warren Buffett called it “off the charts

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon gave a memorable interview with Carlyle Group CEO David Rubenstein at the Economic Club of Washington D.C. last month.

It was off the charts – one of the best I’ve ever heard,” Warren Buffett said in an e-mail.

Dimon addressed a wide array of topics from the need for the Federal Reserve to raise rates, to the benefits of corporate tax reform.

It’s worth watching the full 45-minute exchange between the two titans of business, especially ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Jamie is a sociopathic personality type at his core.  We all share some of those ‘attributes’ to a certain degree, but the further up the business food chain you go, the more of them you’ll find — and he’s certainly endowed with more of those characteristics than most.

Silver analyst Ted Butler, who included the article/interview in his mid-week commentary on Wednesday, had this [in part] to say about him…

Mr. Dimon restates in the interview his feelings of being betrayed by the government for leveling fines related to what Bear Stearns did in mortgage dealings before JPM took it over, at the request of the government. Previously, I’ve agreed with Dimon on this issue. But we’re all guilty of selective reasoning at times and while JPM may have been misled in this one specific issue, Mr. Dimon is overlooking another aspect of the takeover, namely, the many billions of dollars of profits that accrued to JPM, as a result of acquiring Bear. Had JPM not taken over Bear Stearns, I can visualize no way that the bank would have come to acquire more than half a billion ounces of physical silver.”

This must watch video interview was embedded in an article that was posted on the Internet site back on October 19 — and and another link to it is here.

Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming — Nick Hanauer 

Nick Hanauer is a rich guy, an unrepentant capitalist — and he has something to say to his fellow plutocrats: Wake up! Growing inequality is about to push our societies into conditions resembling pre-revolutionary France. Hear his argument about why a dramatic increase in minimum wage could grow the middle class, deliver economic prosperity … and prevent a revolution.

Wow!  Without reservation I can categorically state that this is the most impressive TED talk I have every had the fortune to watch.  His audience was enraptured — and so was I!!!  You could have heard a pin drop in the place when he was talking.  Just watch the first 2 minutes of this presentation — and you’ll be hooked!  And the further along you go, the better it gets!  Stop right here and watch this — and then pass it around.  It was posted on the Internet site back on August 12 — and it’s an absolute must watch.  I thank reader Kim Lipscomb for bringing it to our attention.  Another link to it is here.

Doug Casey’s Top Five Reasons Not to Vote

Democracy is vastly overrated.

It’s not like the consensus of a bunch of friends agreeing to see the same movie. Most often, it boils down to a kinder and gentler variety of mob rule, dressed in a coat and tie. The essence of positive values like personal liberty, wealth, opportunity, fraternity, and equality lies not in democracy, but in free minds and free markets where government becomes trivial. Democracy focuses people’s thoughts on politics, not production; on the collective, not on their own lives.

Although democracy is just one way to structure a state, the concept has reached cult status; unassailable as political dogma. It is, as economist Joseph Schumpeter observed, “a surrogate faith for intellectuals deprived of religion.” Most of the founders of America were more concerned with liberty than democracy. Tocqueville saw democracy and liberty as almost polar opposites.

Democracy can work when everyone concerned knows one another, shares the same values and goals, and abhors any form of coercion. It is the natural way of accomplishing things among small groups.

But once belief in democracy becomes a political ideology, it’s necessarily transformed into majority rule. And, at that point, the majority (or even a plurality, a minority, or an individual) can enforce their will on everyone else by claiming to represent the will of the people.

This longish commentary by Doug appeared on the Internet site yesterday — and another link to it is here.

Tales of the New Cold War: The Demonization of Vladimir Putin — John Batchelor Interviews Stephen F. Cohen

The vilification and demonization of Vladimir Putin has risen to such an unprecedented frenzy in the American political scene that this week John Batchelor has delivered the whole podcast discussion to the topic. Cohen attacks the subject with great vigour in saying that this is highly destructive in three major ways: as a major loss for American national security, as driving the NCW [New Cold War] and has now polluted American politics to create a kind of neo-McCarthyism. This is a very welcomed discussion as Cohen has itemized the damage of the media – that were it not having such a dangerous impact it would be considered  ludicrous.  At the same time these efforts displace the discussion about the historical importance of Putin as master statesman to the world.

Both pundits are concerned that this process will continue long after the election has found a new president and it will continue to build on its own biliousness. For Cohen his views are that people need to learn where Putin came from and what he did in Russia to rebuild it from a near failed state reality to a significant world power – and why this alienation is a loss for the United States in solving problems in the M.E. and elsewhere. (This assumes that Washington wants peace in the M.E.) That Putin managed to bring a massively armed nuclear power from the brink of a failed state in the late 1990s is a significant security accomplishment benefiting the world (and yet Washington is making every effort to undo this).

Other accusations include that Putin killed democracy in Russia, and yet Yeltsin with the help of oligarchs in Russia and the United States attacked the democratic process to facilitate the looting of the country. It was Gorbachev that democratized Russia in the late 1980s. Numerous other slanderous efforts are also described that attempted to discredit Putin and Cohen states that all fall apart when examined more closely. And then Cohen examines the “aggressive” Putin accusations in the Baltic States and Ukraine as a motive for Western aggression against Russia. This is then contrasted with the Russian efforts to support the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and the many American lives he saved and how Washington repaid Russia with hostility, a NCW (New Cold War), and cancelled negotiations on controlling nuclear weapons.

On this particular theme I find myself coming to a point of departure with Cohen on Washington’s policy goals. While he acknowledges that Putin refers to the United States as the “Empire of Chaos” (as do I) I do not believe that Stephen actually sees the United States foreign policy in the same way. Putin sees Washington as dishonest, incapable of keeping an agreement – with a foreign policy that uses bribery, threats, regime change and war to achieve what it sees as its foreign policy goals. Peace is not a goal in the Wolfowitz Doctrine, hegemony is. And so one understands the  hidden Washington support for ISIS forces in Syria and its phony coalition against terrorism in the M.E. that flies directly in the face of the concept that Washington is seeking peaceful solutions in the region. The single most worrisome event to illustrate how much the chaos has spread is now it would appear to have  found a place in the governance of Washington when Sec. Defense, Ash Carter usurped his president’s orders to attack the Syrian Army position near Aleppo. Although we worry about Hillary Clinton’s bellicosity toward Russia, we should now know that the DOD is capable of being an equal threat to starting WW3. While the administration has yet to react to this huge constitutional crisis with the man responsible, Ash Carter, still present as assigned head of the military, one can be certain it is very much the focus in the Kremlin. We can also speculate that if Trump wins the White House he may not be have enough control over his own government to make a difference to the war risk.

This 40-minute audio interview was posted on the Internet site on Tuesday — and for obvious length and content reasons, had to wait for today’s column.  I thank Ken Hurt for providing the link, but the biggest THANK YOU is reserved for Larry Galearis who provided the above executive summary.  This is a must listen for any serious student of the New Great Game.  Another link to it is here.

We Risk Being Collateral Damage in the Neocon Lust For War — Chris Martenson

The winds of change are now swirling so rapidly that it’s hard to make sense of what’s happening. And adding to the confusion is an all-out effort by the establishment to convince the masses that, despite the multiplying signs of instability, “everything is fine”.

The deceptions surrounding us are now constant and impossible to avoid. How much longer will it take until a critical mass of the populace starts to see through the delusion?

The stock and bond markets are rigged by central banks and their allies to go ever higher, enriching an elite few at the expense of everyone else. The mainstream media over-reports the inconsequential, and under-reports the most important things.  It’s truly astonishing what is not being reported on, presumably in an effort to minimize attention on some really important matters (Yemen, Russia’s increasing concerns over western actions, Wikileaks on HRC, etc).

If it all weren’t so serious, it would be humorous because the chicanery is now so over-the-top obvious.

This is Part 1 of two parts of commentary by Chris that appeared on his website back on October 28.  I posted this in my Tuesday column, but said I would stick in Saturday’s as well, because it’s pretty long.  You have to “enroll” to read Part 2, but there is a free “executive summary”.  It’s definitely worth reading — and another link to it is here.  I thank reader U.D. for passing it around.

Egypt devalues its currency, at last

We are in the bottleneck and we are on our way out, but if we want to get out, we have to take tough decisions,” says Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the president of Egypt. In the face of a growing economic crisis, the government has indeed made some difficult calls, such as implementing a value-added tax (VAT) to shore up state finances. Cuts to generous subsidies are expected. And on November 3rd it made its toughest decision yet: to allow a big devaluation of the Egyptian pound.

For months the official exchange rate sat at 8.88 pounds to the dollar, while black-market traders sold the greenback at a premium that reached 100%.  An overly cautious devaluation in March provided only temporary relief. This time the government went further, letting the pound fall to about 13 against the dollar. The precise rate will be based according to demand after a central-bank auction of dollars “This is a more realistic level, putting the currency below the long-term average on the basis of real exchange rates,” says Simon Kitchen of EFG Hermes, a Cairo-based investment bank. The central bank also raised key interest rates by 300 basis points.

The devaluation was inevitable, not least because it was requested by the IMF, which is waiting to approve a $12bn loan over three years. With a budget deficit that is likely to exceed 11% this year, the government badly needs the cash. Foreign reserves have fallen by nearly half since the revolution of 2011, which scared away tourists and foreign investors, two big sources of hard currency. The recent suspension of deliveries of cheap oil from Saudi Arabia, and the government’s pledge to spend $1.8bn to ease food shortages, exacerbated the problem. But financing for the central bank from Gulf countries (including the Saudis) and a currency swap with China have convinced officials that they can now devalue in an orderly fashion.

This news item was posted on the Internet site on Thursday — and I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for sending it along.  Another link to this article is here.

As Zimbabwe tries new currency, sceptics reach for the old

Zimbabwe’s 100-trillion-dollar bill, a relic of economic ruin, has been an international joke and an online collector’s item for years. But this banknote (14 zeros, if anyone is counting) is getting a warmer embrace from Zimbabweans than a new local currency the government is introducing this month.

I hear people complain about poverty, cash problems and all those things. I am doing pretty well,” Willard Mandona, a street currency trader, told The Associated Press. He offers U.S. 10 cents for a $10 trillion note, US 20 cents for a $20 trillion note and $1 for an old $50 trillion note.

The $100 trillion note is the ultimate prize because I can sell it for $20,” Mandona said. The out-of-circulation notes are popular with tourists and are collector’s items on eBay, where a $100 trillion note was selling for up to $25 this week.

Few Zimbabweans trust that the new currency, called bond notes, will have a similar worth.

Zimbabwe jettisoned the trillion-dollar notes in 2009 when the government of President Robert Mugabe had printed so much of the currency that hyperinflation reached 500 billion%, according to the International Monetary Fund. This once prosperous southern African country then began operating on the U.S. dollar.

This AP story, filed from Harare, appeared on the Internet site at on Friday — and was subsequently updated early this morning.  I thank Robert Lee for pointing it out — and another link to it is here.

U.S. War in Afghanistan Silently Slips into the Abyss

Despite the United States being engaged in what it calls “reconstruction” in Afghanistan, quarterly reports on their progress doing so reveals expanding violence and deepening poverty.

The Washington Times in an article titled, “Afghanistan failures rising, progress eroding 15 years after U.S. intervention,” reports that:

“Opium production is up 43 percent in Afghanistan, the economy is struggling and the government has lost ground to insurgents over the last year, according to an inspector general’s report released Sunday that shows ongoing failures overshadowing the few signs of hope.”

Indeed, every quarter, the “Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction,” or SIGAR, submits a report to the US Congress regarding U.S. activities in Afghanistan regarding “reconstruction.”

In reality, it is not only an audit that provides insight into America’s ongoing, now 15 year long military occupation of Afghanistan, but reveals the very nature of this so-called “reconstruction” process. It is one that ensures inevitably whatever regime sits in Kabul remains entirely dependent on the United States, on immense funding from abroad and amid a conflict that seems only to expand as U.S. troops “draw-down.” It also depicts an immensely ineffective “reconstruction” process, riddled with corruption and unsustainable programs that is creating a nation according to US interests, with institutions built by and for America’s own endgame, not that of the Afghan population’s future.

It also reveals the role of organizations like USAID, depicted as rendering aid to foreign nations, while in reality overseeing an empire of corrupt contractors pursuing ineffective programs amid an unraveling nation.

This short essay appeared on the Internet site on Thursday — and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it along.  Another link to this story is here.

Russia eyes unified payment systems with China: P.M.

Russia wants a mutually-compatible payments system with China in order to reduce the risk from further financial sanctions by the West, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview published on Friday.

Russia has introduced a new national payment system to cut reliance on Western systems, such as Visa and MasterCard. Those operators stopped providing services to clients of one Russian bank after Washington imposed sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis.

Medvedev, who is to meet his Chinese counterpart in Russia next week, told China Central Television that Moscow was looking for ways to make Russia’s new system compatible with Chinese payments systems.

This interesting, but not surprising Reuters article, was posted on their Internet site at 10:01 a.m. EDT on Friday morning — and I thank George Hamilton for pointing it out.  Another link to this story is here.

Gold Could Rally to $1,400 If Trump Wins: Citigroup

In just a few days, U.S. voters will decide who gets to live in the White House – Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.

In doing so, they will also set the stage for gold prices to rise or fall over the next month or so, according to Citigroup commodities strategist Aakash Doshi and his team.

Gold prices were rising Friday, recovering from a retreat yesterday when investors looked to lock in profits ahead of today’s jobs report. Gold for December delivery gained $2.50 a troy ounce, or 0.19% to trade at $1,305.70 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In the weeks to come, however, prices could sell off 5% or more if Clinton wins the White House, or rally as much as 7% to $1,400 if the Donald is victorious.

Gold will rise or fall that amount only if JPMorgan et al allow it…end of story.  Without doubt they will be all over the precious metals for the next three or four business day — and it will perform precisely as they dictate.  Of course they could finally get over run in the COMEX futures market, but it would be — as Ted Butler has said on countless occasions over the years — the very first time it’s happened.  This is the only gold-related news item that I found on Sharps Pixley that I decided to post — and it’s not worth reading.  But another link to it is here if you insist.


Here are two more photos from Bob Anthony’s South Africa trip.  This is a female square-lipped [white] rhino with calf.  Here are Bob’s comments on these two shots…”The baby rhino is only a week or two old.  Fun to watch.  It was running and jumping and exploring…having a great time!”  Click to enlarge.






Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ is one I’ve posted before, but it’s been a while, so here it is again.  It was a Top 10 single in the U.S. back in 1978 when it was released, which was a rather depressing 38 years ago.  You should know it straight away — and the link is here.

Today’s classical ‘blast from the past’ is one that I know I’ve never posted before, so it’s long overdue.  Most smaller orchestras don’t attempt this work as it requires a huge ensemble to do it justice, as most late 19th and early 20th century works do — 90 players or more.  It’s Otto Respighi’s “Pines of Rome” which he composed in 1924.

It’s a short 4-movement work, just under 23 minutes — and it’s wonderful from start to finish.  But, like all audiences, it’s the last movement “The Pines of the Appian Way” that everybody can hardly wait to hear.

This was recorded in Ljubljana, Slovenia back in December of 2013 — and the audio and video quality is outstanding.  The link is here.  Full screen viewing is recommended.

I must admit that I was surprised that there was little if any price action on the release of the job numbers on Friday morning, as that’s usually a time that JPMorgan et al stick it to the Managed Money traders, but ‘da boyz’ were missing in action yesterday.

Although there wasn’t a lot of price movement, that certainly can’t be said of the volume numbers, as they were pretty heavy, especially in gold.  I would certainly love to know what the COT Report looked like if they’d filed one yesterday for the three business days since Tuesday’s cut-off…but, alas.  We still have two more trading days left, including election day, to add into next Friday’s report — and literally anything could happen between now and then.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals — and I decided to throw crude oil in here as well.  As you can see, JPMorgan et al have been working over the Managed Money traders in crude oil, too — and one has to wonder how many hundreds of millions they’ve made since their engineered price decline began towards the end of October.  If you wish to view the 6-month chart for natural gas, it’s linked here.







I don’t know where to begin with my closing comments, as countless words have been spoken and written about the Tuesday election in the U.S.

There’s no question that it’s the most important one that I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime.  Hillary scares me to death — and if Trump is allowed to win, I’m wondering what the Deep State will do with him, or to him.

Ever since I discovered the Internet back in 1999, I’ve come to the conclusion from what I’ve read — and as many millions of others have as well — that the U.S. has become a totally corrupted warfare nation.  It, along with its so-called allies in NATO, are now bent on taking over the whole world — and ever since the inside job that was the 9/11 tragedy, we’ve seen the U.S. spread its wars of national destruction into central Asia, Africa and the Middle East in the last fifteen years or so.

Now their sights are set on Russia, China — and Iran, presumably at some point.  Hillary will just continue on that path.  But if Trump wins, it will be interesting to see if he’s able to, or allowed to, put an end to it all.

This will be an election that will determine the fate of many nations — not just the U.S.

My grandfather fought in Belgium and France back in World War 1 — and I know that if he were alive today, he would be horrified at what the U.S. has mutated into since the Wolfowitz Doctrine was published.

As I just said, whatever the voters decide will ultimately determine the fate of all of us on Planet Earth, so I beg my U.S. subscribers to mark their ballots carefully.  Doug Casey is of the opinion that nobody should be voting, as it just encourages politicians of every stripe — and I have certainly opted for that course of action in the last 15 years here in Canada.  My vote has never mattered here.

But there are time when you have to put your marker down and stand for something — and this is certainly one of those times in history where you must.

God Bless America — and I’ll see you here on Tuesday.


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