Friday’s Silver Saga: Unprecedented, Egregious, Historic — and Criminal

08 July 2017 — Saturday

YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM


The gold price traded flat until 9 a.m. in Shanghai on their Friday morning — and then got sold lower in sympathy with the brutal engineered JP Morgan-initiated sell-off in silver that occurred at the same instant.  The price stopped falling and began to edge higher once the morning gold fix in Shanghai was put to bed — and crept quietly higher into the 8:30 a.m. EDT job numbers report.  It spike briefly at that juncture, but ‘da boyz’ were at the ready — and the low tick of the day was set at 11:15 a.m. in New York.  It was allowed to rally a few dollars from there — and didn’t do much for the rest of the day after that.

The high and low ticks in gold were reported as $1,228.10 and $1,206.60 in the August contract.

Gold finished the Friday session in New York at $1,212.20 spot, down $12.80 on the day.  Net volume, for what would normally be a quiet summer trading session, was beyond the orbit of Jupiter at 289,000 contracts.

Here’s the 5-minute tick chart from Brad Robertson.  The volume in Far East trading is worth noting for a change — and the stand-out feature were the three huge 15,000+ contract volume spikes associated with the jobs report.  Once COMEX trading was done at 11:30 a.m. Denver time on the chart below, volume dropped off substantially, but nothing approaching what I would normally call “background levels”.

The vertical gray line is 10:00 p.m. Denver time, midnight in New York — and noon China Standard Time [CST] the following day in Shanghai—and don’t forget to add two hours for EDT.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature is a must.

I’m not going to spend time dwelling on the silver shenanigans in the GLOBEX trading system that occurred at 9 a.m. China Standard Time yesterday morning, as I wrote about that in The Wrap in yesterday’s column.  By noon CST, the price was back to around the $15.90 spot mark — and it wandered around between that — and the $15.80 spot mark until the 8:30 jobs report was issued.  The tiny spike higher at that point was met full force by JP Morgan et al, with their spoofing and algo spinning — and the New York low was set at 11:45 a.m. EDT.  Then, like in gold, the silver price was allowed to rally a bit until 12:10 p.m.   Then, after selling off a bit more into the COMEX close, it rallied quietly from 3 p.m. EST onwards in the thinly-trader after-hours market.

The high and low ticks, were recorded by the criminal CME Group as $16.14 and $14.34 in the September contract…an intraday move of $1.80…or 11.1 percent.

Silver was closed on Friday at $15.57 spot, down 45.5 cents from Thursday.  Net volume was also beyond Jupiter at just over 145,000 contracts, which has to be a 1-day record high volume for silver.  I know for a fact that Ted will have plenty about this in his weekly review this afternoon.

Ted mentioned the fact that with a market event such as the one that occurred at 9 a.m. China Standard Time, the CME/COMEX/CFTC should have issued a statement of explanation, but nary a word.  Why should we be surprised.

And here’s the 5-minute tick chart for this precious metal.  Note the monster 8,000+ contract volume spike in Far East trading on their Friday morning, plus the volume on the further engineered price decline in New York.  Volume was sort of back to background by noon Denver time…which was 2 p.m. in New York.

The vertical gray line is 10:00 p.m. Denver time, midnight in New York — and noon China Standard Time [CST] the following day in Shanghai—and don’t forget to add two hours for EDT.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature is a must as well.

The platinum price was up a couple of bucks when ‘da boyz’ punched out silver’s lights at 9 a.m. CST.  Like gold, it was sold a bit lower until the morning gold fix in Shanghai — and then shed a few more dollars going into afternoon gold fix.  It didn’t do much from there until 1 p.m. CEST [Central Europe Summer Time] — and began to edge higher into the jobs report.  It spiked higher at that juncture, but ran into usual cadre of long sellers and short buyers of last resort, within seconds.  They set the low tick of the day shortly before noon in New York — and platinum rallied in fits and starts from there into the close.  Platinum finished the Friday session at $906 spot, down 3 dollars from Thursday.

Palladium chopped sideways before getting kicked downstairs by a bit starting the same time as the other three precious metals.  It recovered half of its loses by 11 a.m. CST — and then traded flat until shortly after 12 o’clock noon in Zurich.  The price pressure picked up a bit at that point, complete with the machinations surrounding the job numbers — and the low tick of the day was set at that point.  The price chopped quietly higher until 4 p.m. EDT — and then traded sideways for the rest of the day.   Palladium was closed in New York yesterday at $834 spot, up 2 bucks.

The dollar index closed very late on Thursday afternoon in New York at 95.82 — and then traded flat for two hours.  It began to chop quietly, but erratically higher at that point — ant then fell off the face of the earth on the job numbers.  But the usual ‘gentle hands’ were there — and stepped in at the 95.72 mark.  Within thirty minutes, they had it safely back above 96.00 — and its 96.15 high was printed about 10:30 a.m. in New York.  By 12:30 p.m. it was back at the 96.00 mark — and it chopped sideways from there for the remainder of the Friday session.  The dollar index finished the day at 95.999 — and up 18 basis points from Thursday’s close.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart — and if it wasn’t for the ever vigilant “gentle hands”…the dollar index would have crashed and burned years ago.  Yesterday was just another in a continuing series of ‘saves’…as the U.S. dollar is attempting to go to money heaven — and only the powers-that-be are preventing it.

The gold shares gapped down a bit a the open — and then continued lower, with their respective lows coming around 11:15 a.m. EDT.  They didn’t do much after that, but did finish well off those lows.  The HUI closed down 1.94 percent.

It was mostly the same for the silver equities, except they finished well off their lows, too.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed lower by 1.75 percent.  There was obviously more bottom fishing going on yesterday — and I was one of them, as were several subscribers that I know of.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

And here’s the 6-month Silver 7 Index — and it ain’t pretty.  Click to enlarge.

Here are the two charts from Nick that show what’s been happening for the week, month — and year-to-date.  The first one shows the changes in gold, silver, platinum and palladium for the past trading week, in both percent and dollar and cents terms, as of their Friday closes in New York — along with the changes in the HUI and the Silver 7 Index.

It’s been an ugly week — and month-to-date — both of which are the same this week,  so I’ve only included the weekly chart.  Click to enlarge.

…and the year-to-date.  It’s pretty brutal as well.  Click to enlarge.

When major bottoms are being placed, it’s always a bloodbath — and the above charts are certainly proof positive of that.  This is a “buy-when-blood-is-running-in-the-streets” moment.  I would also venture to say it will be looked back upon as a turning point for the precious metals…an historic moment, if you will.


The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 gold and 61 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday.  In silver, the two short/issuers were ABN Amro and International F.C. Stone with 51 and 10 contracts our of their respective client accounts.  There were six long/stoppers in total, with the largest being ABN Amro with 27 — and Citigroup and ADM in distant second and third spots with 12 and 11 contracts respectively.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Friday trading session showed that gold open interest in July rose by 28 contracts, leaving 84 still around, minus the 1 contract mentioned just above.  Thursday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 3 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery on Monday, so that means that 3+28=31 gold contracts were actually added to July.  Silver o.i. in July declined by 196 contracts, leaving 270 left, minus the 61 mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Thursday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 292 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery on Monday — and one wonders where the extra 292-270=22 silver contracts are going to come from.  Maybe it will be resolved in Monday’s reports.

There was a withdrawal from GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant took out another 171,173 troy ounces.  And as of 7:11 p.m. EDT on Friday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint once again.

Month-to-date…only four business days worth so far…the mint has sold 4,000 troy ounces of gold eagles — 1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes — and 320,000 silver eagles.

It was a very quiet day in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Thursday.  Nothing was reported received — and only 3,279.402 troy ounces/102 kilobars [SGE kilobar weight] were shipped out — and that activity was at HSBC USA — and I shan’t bother linking it.

As always, it was busier in silver.  There was one truck load…629,799 troy ounces…dropped off at JP Morgan’s vault.  In the ‘out’ department, there was 310,542 troy ounces shipped out of Canada’s Scotiabank.  The link to that activity is here.

JP Morgan’s COMEX silver stash sits at a hair under 112 million troy ounces.

For the third day in a row it was very busy at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Thursday.  They reported receiving 3,195 of them — and shipped out a very hefty 14,282.  As usual, all of this action was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.


The Commitment of Traders Report, for positions held at the close of trading on Monday, July 3 was just out of this world as far as changes in the internal structure of both silver and gold in the COMEX futures market goes.  But as off-the-charts bullish as it shows in the numbers below, it’s all very much “yesterday’s news” because the really, really big changes, particularly in silver, that came after the cut-off.

In silver, the Commercial net short position dropped by 10,980 contracts, or 54.9 million troy ounces of paper silver.  They arrived at that number by adding 1,841 long contracts, plus they covered 9,139 short contracts — and the sum of those two numbers is the change for the reporting week.  Virtually every one of those contracts came courtesy of the Managed Money traders.

Ted said that the Big 4 decreased their short position by around 4,600 contracts — and Ted assigns 4,000 of those contracts to JP Morgan, meaning that their short position is down to 15,000 contracts.  That’s being conservative because, as Ted pointed out, there’s probably a Managed Money trader firmly ensconced in the Big 4 category now — and that’s skewing the numbers.  Because Tuesday was a holiday, there was no Bank Participation Report yesterday, so Ted won’t be able to recalibrate JPM’s short position until Friday of next week.  Continuing on, the same can be said of the big ‘5 through 8’ traders because, for the second week in a row, there was no change in their short position…and that’s for the same reason as in the Big 4 category.  There’s at least one Managed Money trader in that category as well — and its/their increase in short position during the reporting week that’s negating the short covering that the regular ‘5 through 8’ big traders are doing.  Ted’s raptors, the commercial traders other than the Big 8, added 6,400 contracts to their already chunky long position.

Under the hood in the Disaggregated COT Report, the Managed Money traders were the feed stock for the Commercial traders, as they accounted for almost the entire change in the Commercial net short position.  They sold 4,639 long contracts, plus the went short another 6,028…for a total weekly swing of 10,667 contracts.  The change between this number and the Commercial net short position was only 313 contracts.  What happened in the other two categories…the ‘Other Reportable’ and ‘Nonreportable’/small trader category didn’t matter much.

The core non-technical fund long position in the Managed Money category is now down to 59,800 contracts — and the commercial net short position in silver is down to 196.1 million troy ounces.  Without doubt, both numbers are considerably lower since the Monday cut-off.

Here’s the 3-year COT chart for silver — and as much as it’s a sight to behold, it’s significantly improved since Monday’s cut-off as well.  Click to enlarge.

In gold — and to nobody’s surprise, there was another monster decline in the Commercial net short position in that precious metal as well, as it fell by a whopping 42,637 COMEX contracts, or 4.26 million troy ounces of paper gold.

They arrived at this number by purchasing 13,693 long contracts, plus they covered 28,944 short contracts — and the sum of those two numbers is the change for the reporting week.

Ted said that the Big 4 traders only covered around 5,600 short contracts during the reporting week, a number he was not happy with.  He was hoping and expecting more than that.  So was I.  But the ‘5 through 8’ large traders reduced their short position by a very decent 9,900 contracts — and Ted’s raptors, the Commercial traders other than the Big 8, added an eye-watering 27,100 contracts to their already hefty long position.

Under the hood in the Disaggregated COT Report, it was mostly…but not all…Managed Money traders on the other side of the Commercial’s dealings.  Their food supply was in the form of selling 14,735 long contracts, plus adding an eye-watering 24,231 short contracts as well, for a total weekly swing of 38,966 contracts,  The 3,600-odd contract difference came courtesy of the traders in the ‘Nonreportable’/small trader category.

The commercial net short position in gold is now down to 10.72 million troy ounces — and very much lower than that since Monday’s cut-off.

Here’s the 3-year COT Report for gold — and like for silver, already “yesterday’s news” in just about every respect.  Click to enlarge.

To say that the recent shifts in the internal structure of the COMEX futures market in both silver and gold…particularly silver…have no precedence in history, would be close to being understatement.  They are so large, so profound — and so obviously orchestrated by JP Morgan et al — that nobody reading this commentary now, will live to see anything like it again.

And with the Managed Money traders now loaded for bear on the short side — and the Commercial traders holding their smallest short positions in years, the next change in the internal structure of the COMEX futures market will be when these Managed Money traders, plus a few others, rush to cover when JP Morgan et al finally put their hands in their pockets at some point.  Let’s hope they do, or all of this will have been for naught.  But I’d still bet reasonable coin that this was the last hurrah for ‘da boyz’.  All we need now is the match that will set this market ablaze.

I look forward to what Ted has to say about these historic events in his commentary this afternoon.


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 above.  Click to enlarge.

For the current reporting week, the Big 4 are short 111 days of world silver production—and the ‘5 through 8’ large traders are short an additional 59 days of world silver production—for a total of 170 days, which is just under six months of world silver production, or about 413.1 million troy ounces of paper silver held short by the Big 8.  [In last week’s report the Big 8 were short 180 days of world silver production.

In the COT Report above, the Commercial net short position in silver was reported as 196.1 million troy ounces.  The short position of the Big 8 traders is 413.1 million troy ounces.  The short position of the Big 8 traders is larger than the total Commercial net short position by a chunky 413.1-196.1=217.0 million troy ounces.  The reason for the difference in those numbers is that Ted’s raptors, the commercial traders other than the Big 8…are long that amount!

As I also stated in the above COT Report, Ted pegs JP Morgan’s short position at around 15,000 contracts, or around 75 million ounces, which is down from the 19,000 contracts they were net short in the previous week’s report.  75 million ounces works out to around 31 days of world silver production that JP Morgan is short.  That’s compared to the 170 days that the Big 8 are short in total.  JPM is short about 18 percent of the entire short position held by the Big 8 traders.

The approximate short position in silver held by Scotiabank works out to approximately 53 days of world silver production.  So Scotiabank is the No. 1 silver short in the COMEX futures market — and by a very wide margin now.

The two largest silver shorts on Planet Earth—JP Morgan and Canada’s Scotiabank—are short about 84 days of world silver production between the two of them—and that 84 days represents about 75 percent of the length of the red bar in silver in the above chart…three quarters of it.  The other two traders in the Big 4 category are short, on average, about 13.5 days of world silver production apiece, down a bit from the prior week’s report.  The four traders in the ‘5 through 8’ category are short, on average, just under 15 days of world silver production each, unchanged from the last week’s report .

The short positions of Scotiabank and JP Morgan combined, represents about 49 percent of the short position held by all the Big 8 traders.  How’s that for a concentrated short position within a concentrated short position?

The Big 8 are short 40.7 percent of the entire open interest in silver in the COMEX futures market — and that number would be around 45 percent, once the market-neutral spread trades are subtracted out.  In gold, it’s 40.4 percent of the total COMEX open interest that the Big 8 are short.

For the first time in six week, the Big 8 were short a larger percentage of total open interest in silver than they were in gold.

In gold, the Big 4 are now short 49 days of world gold production, which is down from the 51 days that they were short last week — and the ‘5 through 8’ are short another 17 days of world production, which is down from the 20 days they were short from the prior week, for a total of 66 days of world gold production held short by the Big 8 — down from the 71 days the were short in last week’s report.  Based on these numbers, the Big 4 in gold hold about 74 percent of the total short position held by the Big 8, up two percentage point from the prior week’s COT Report.

The “concentrated short positions within a concentrated short position” in silver, platinum and palladium held by the Big 4 are about 65, 63 and 67 percent respectively of the short positions held by the Big 8.  Silver and platinum are both down 2 percentage points from the last reporting week — and palladium is basically unchanged for the third week in a row.

Because Tuesday fell on the U.S. Independence Day holiday, there was no Bank Participation Report this week — and the other thing that Ted pointed out on the phone, was because there was no BPR, it’s a given that none of the silver and gold price/volume action that occurred on Tuesday, was in yesterday’s COT Report.

I don’t have all that many stories for you today — and I’m very happy about that.


CRITICAL READS

In America’s Richest State, the Capital Flirts With Bankruptcy

The hedge-fund enclave of Greenwich, on the Connecticut Gold Coast, is about 100 miles and a world away from the state capital.

But the fiscal crisis in Hartford, the historic center of the American insurance industry, is fast becoming more representative than mansions or yachts of the wealthiest state in the U.S. The city is edging closer than ever to the breaking point, waiting for the financially troubled state government to step in.

It may seem crazy that a place as rich as the Nutmeg State, which counts among its residents hedge-funds masters like Ray Dalio and Steven A. Cohen and legions of Wall Street bankers, could be in such fiscal trouble. Last year, the per-capita income there was $71,033, the highest in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

For all that, state-worker pensions have been underfunded for decades. Tax increases aimed at closing deficits have put a strain on an economy struggling from the loss of high-paying finance jobs, leaving it among the few that still haven’t recovered from the recession. The hedge fund industry fell on hard times, with about 1,060 shuttering globally last year. UBS Group AG abandoned the world’s largest trading floor in Stamford after the financial crisis, and the Royal Bank of Scotland downsized its office there. Pension, debt and health-care costs just kept growing.

There’s a limit to how much you can tax and there’s a limit to how much you can cut before you damage the viability and attractiveness of the city,” Mayor Luke Bronin said in May. “Right now, from a fiscal standpoint, you have a capital city fighting with its hands behind its back.”

This Bloomberg article was posted on their Internet site at 3:00 a.m. Denver time on Friday morning — and it’s a Zero Hedge article that comes to us via Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.


Volcker Says Trump Changes to Volcker Rule Won’t Erode Principle

Paul Volcker said he isn’t worried that the Trump administration will undermine the financial rule that bears his name.

If they can do it in a more efficient way, God bless them,” the former Federal Reserve chairman said in a phone interview about proposed revisions to the regulation. “The basic principle remains valid. I hope that won’t go away, and I expect that it won’t.”

The Volcker Rule, part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, restricts trading by banks to ensure they don’t make risky bets that lead to big losses. It took five regulatory agencies more than three years to hammer out the details of how firms can continue to help clients trade without engaging in so-called proprietary bets with their own money. A report released by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last month recommended that regulators simplify some of those directions and exempt community banks.

Everybody wants to see it more simple,” said Volcker, 89, who served as Fed chairman under presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. “The basic premise is hard to fight against. Yet the banks have powerful lobbyists who have been fighting it from day one.”

If the banks get their way, they’ll gut the thing.  This story, wrapped around a 6:22 minute video interview with Volker, is another Bloomberg article courtesy of Brad Robertson.  It was posted on their website at the same day and time as the previous story…3:00 a.m. MDT on Friday morning — and another link to it is here.


Wonderful Monetary Policy and Beautiful Deleveragings — Doug Noland

While traditional analysis would look first to U.S. economic fundamentals (including household and corporate debt, earnings, employment and inflation) for indications of underlying market vulnerability, I would point instead to Global Market Bubble Dynamics – while reminding readers that the current backdrop is distinct to previous Bubble experiences. As such, market indicators this week at the periphery – EM as well as European – were flashing heightened susceptibility to de-risking/de-leveraging and the potential for liquidity challenges. Considering the enormity of recent flows, perhaps EM will provide an early test for the thesis of Market Structural Vulnerabilities.

Here at home, 10-year Treasury yields rose eight bps to 2.39%. In equities, there was more of this choppy topping action rotation away from tech/high-flyers and into financials/laggards. Corporate debt markets are beginning to feel the strain of rising global yields. High-yield bond funds saw another $1.1bn of outflows, though investment-grade corporates are still attracting large inflows. The high-yield ETF (HYG) traded near a two-month low. Commodities, as well, seemed to support the thesis of fledgling “Risk Off” and waning liquidity. With crude down almost 4%, the GSCI Commodities Index dropped 1.8%. Copper fell 2.4% and gold lost 2.3%. But it was wild trading in silver (down 7.2%) that might have provided a harbinger of more general market liquidity issues to come.

That Treasuries, equities, corporate Credit and commodities all seem to be indicating a (thus far subtle) shift in market liquidity, we can look to “risk parity” – and similar multi-asset class strategies that incorporate leverage – as a possible weak link in a Vulnerable Global Market Structure. And we’re supposed to savor this moment and pay a debt of gratitude to courageous central bankers? Strange world.

Doug’s Credit Bubble Bulletin appeared on his website just after midnight EDT last night — and another link to it is here.


Cyprus inches closer to reunification, as E.U. Parliament calls on Turkey to start withdrawing troops from the island

The marathon two week talks to reunify Cyprus have seen hourly ups and downs, with the latest news coming out of Crans-Montana in Switzerland amounting to what may be a very positive outcome, if confirmed.

Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported this afternoon that Turkish Cypriot sources claim that a United Nations announcement of a ‘framework agreement’ has already been prepared.

Meanwhile Reuters reports that U.S. V.P. Mike Pence has also thrown his weight behind finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Cyprus Mail reports that British Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft said that the UNSG Antonio Guterres “tis straining every muscle to get Cyprus talks over the lines”.

I wasn’t even aware these talks were going on.  This news story appeared on theduran.com Internet site on Thursday sometime — and it comes to us courtesy of Roy Stephens.  Another link to it is here.


29 Years Ago the U.S. Navy Blew up 290 Iranians Aboard a Civilian Flight From Iranian Waters

On the rare occasions the U.S. mainstream media refer to the U.S. shootdown of an Iranian airliner in 1988, they sustain the myth it was simply a “mistake“.

Today marks twenty-nine years since the shoot-down by the USS Vincennes of Iran Air flight 655, which killed all of the plane’s 290 civilian passengers. This shoot-down of a civilian airliner by a U.S. naval ship occurred on July 3, 1988, toward the end of the eight-year Iran-Iraq War.

This incident is, of course, something that the people of Iran well remember. Americans who rely on the U.S. mainstream media, on the other hand, would have to be forgiven for never having heard about it.

Furthermore, in the rare instances when the media do mention it, to this day they tend to maintain official U.S. government falsehoods about what occurred and otherwise omit relevant details that would inform Americans about what really happened.

This longish news item showed up on the russia-insider.com Internet site on Wednesday — and it had to wait for my Saturday column for the usual content/length reasons.  I thank reader M.A. for pointing it out — and another link to this interesting article is here.


The first Putin-Trump meeting yields…something very close to nothing — The Saker

First, we have the manner in which the Americans have been preparing the G20 summit.  As we all know, in diplomacy actions count as much, or even more, than words.  Here are just a few of the actions recently taken by the Americans in preparation for the G20 summit and Trump’s first meeting with Putin (in no particular order):

* The US rejected the joint Russian-Chinese plan to defuse the crisis over the Korean Peninsula even though that plan was simple, straightforward common sense and, frankly, the only game in town to avoid war.
* The US accused the Syrian government of preparing a chemical attack and warned of a “heavy price to pay”.
* The US sent its bomber of overfly the Chinese islands in the South China Sea.
* The US accused Russia of destabilizing Eastern Europe.
* The US threatened “severe consequences” against North Korea.
* The US declared that it would deploy Patriot missiles in Poland to protect the Poles from the Russian Iskander missiles (-: LOL!  Good luck with that, my Polish friends 🙂

This article was posted on thesaker.is Internet site yesterday sometime — and I thank Roy Stephens for bringing it to our attention.  Another link to it is here.


Positive chemistry’ between Trump and Putin at first meeting – Tillerson

U.S. President Donald Trump opened his much-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin by raising concerns about Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

“They had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject,” Tillerson said after the two leaders met for two hours on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

The meeting, which was initially planned to last 30 minutes, went on for over two hours.

The leaders discussed many topics, including Ukraine, Syria, cybersecurity and fighting terrorism, according to Putin, who spoke at a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe right after his meeting with Trump.

First Lady Melania Trump was sent into the meeting at one point to see her husband and “get him out,” Tillerson also said. “Clearly, she failed,” the top U.S. diplomat joked, adding that the meeting went on for another hour after that.

The very interesting and very worthwhile article appeared on the rt.com Internet site at 7:02 p.m. Moscow time on their Friday evening, which was 12:02 p.m. in Washington — EDT plus 7 hours.  It was updated about two and a half hours later.  It’s another contribution from Roy Stephens — and another link to it is here.


Putin’s Assessment of Trump at the G-20 Will Determine Our Future — Paul Craig Roberts

The only reason Muslim terrorism exists is that Washington created it. Washington first used jihadism against the Soviet army in Afghanistan. Then against Gaddafi in Libya. Then when Obama’s plan to invade Syria on the trumped-up chemical weapons charge was blocked by the U.K. Parliament and Russia, Obama sent ISIS to overthrow Assad. General Flynn, who was the director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency stated this matter-of-factly on Al Jazeera. Flynn said it was a “willful decision” of the Obama administration to send ISIS to overthrow Assad. This is why Russia’s hopes of a common front against ISIS never made any sense.

Jihadism is Washington’s best weapon with which to destabilize Russia. Why would Washington help Russia to defeat this weapon?

There is so much fake news and disinformation spread in the Western media that it even affects the Russians, perhaps even the Chinese.

Even Western analysts who reject the official Syria story still buy into the lie that Assad is a dictator.

When Putin meets with Trump, Putin will have to assess whether Trump is a real president or just another front man for the powerful interest groups that run Washington’s empire.

If Putin concludes that Trump is merely a front man, then Putin has no alternative but to prepare for war.

This longish, but absolute must read commentary was posted on Paul’s website on Friday sometime — and it’s the final offering of the day from Roy Stephens.  Another link to this article is here.


The Great Power Shift: A Russia-China Alliance — Ray McGovern

Top Russian and Chinese leaders are busy comparing notes, coordinating their approach to President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg this weekend. Both sides are heralding the degree to which ties between the two countries have improved in recent years, as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visits Moscow on his way to the G20. And, they are not just blowing smoke; there is ample substance behind the rhetoric.

Whether or not Official Washington fully appreciates the gradual – but profound – change in America’s triangular relationship with Russia and China over recent decades, what is clear is that the U.S. has made itself into the big loser.

Gone are the days when Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger skillfully took advantage of the Sino-Soviet rivalry and played the two countries off against each other, extracting concessions from each. Slowly but surely, the strategic equation has markedly changed – and the Sino-Russian rapprochement signals a tectonic shift to Washington’s distinct detriment, a change largely due to U.S. actions that have pushed the two countries closer together.

But there is little sign that today’s U.S. policymakers have enough experience and intelligence to recognize this new reality and understand the important implications for U.S. freedom of action. Still less are they likely to appreciate how this new nexus may play out on the ground, on the sea or in the air.

This commentary by Ray, which is certainly a must read in my opinion, put in an appearance on the unz.com Internet site on Wednesday — and it’s the second story in a row that had to wait for the weekend.  And it’s the second offering in a row from reader M.A. as well — and another link to it is here.


There were no precious metal stories on the Internet worth posting — and anything involving the engineered sell-off in silver that occurred at 9 a.m. CST, was very wide of the mark, including the Zero Hedge piece that’s making the rounds.  I carried that in yesterday’s column, but pointed out its shortcomings in my comments.


The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES

I haven’t been anywhere near the old watering hole this week, but the flower beds are right outside the back door.  Here’s a very interesting summer flower.  I have no idea what it is, but its structure and colouration against the brick retaining wall is certainly eye-catching.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature helps a lot with these two photos.


The WRAP

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.Ernest Hemingway


Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ was just as big a hit as was the movie from which it sprang back in 1963 — which is 54 years ago.  Consider the meeting between Putin and Trump just completed yesterday, I thought this piece was very apropos.  It was Matt Munro’s biggest hit — and the link is here.

Today’s classical ‘blast from the past’ is a 20th century piece.  I’m not much for ‘modern music’ per se…but there are notable exceptions — and this is one of them.  I consider George Gershwin to be the last of the great American classical composers.  Here’s his Piano Concerto in F…which he composed in 1925.  The phenomenal Wang Yuja is at the keyboard — and Michael Tilson Thomas conducts an unnamed orchestra, which I assume is the San Francisco Symphony, as he’s the music director there.  It’s in HD format, so full screen viewing is in order.  The link is here — and this is as good as it gets!


As Ted said on the phone yesterday, what’s been happening this past week has been the most egregious engineered price decline in the history of the COMEX futures market…with Friday’s trading action being the current poster boy for that.

Although the $1.80 decline in the silver price happened at 9 a.m. in Shanghai on their Friday morning…the actually trading wasn’t done there.  It was in the COMEX/GLOBEX futures market.  ‘Da boyz’ just happened to pull the trigger at that particular moment.  But it did make a good headline for my Friday column!

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals — and the stand-out out of the bunch is silver, as the spike down to $14.34 in the September contract can be easily missed if you’re not looking for it, as it’s a one-in-a-billion event.

After Friday’s rape of the silver market, we’re now sitting here waiting for the bodies to float to surface to see who they are.  Ted is speculating that some of the small commercial silver traders other than the Big 8…his raptors…who have been going long all the way down during this latest engineered price decline, may have been casualties of yesterday’s GLOBEX/COMEX price shenanigans.  That’s certainly within the realm of possibility, as this very situation occurred several years ago.

But I’m straying deep into Ted’s area of expertise — and I shall wait until he has said his piece on this before saying anything more.

I’m not going to attempt to handicap next week’s COT Report this far in advance, as there are still two trading days left in the reporting week — and anything can happen between now and then — and just might.  I’m of the opinion that the criminal activity in the COMEX futures market since the Tuesday cut-off, particularly on Friday, will never be allowed to see the light of day in any COT Report.  So I’ll be the most surprised [but happy] person if we get past that cut-off date without a rally of some size to erase the evidence…including Ted’s “really big one”.

Of course I may be making too much of this, but I don’t think so.  These unprecedented and historic volume and price moves appear to be the final death throes of the silver [and gold] price management scheme, as I can’t imagine why JP Morgan et al would go to such great and obviously illegal efforts, just to continue the scam by going short the next rally.

As to what time frame this may all unfold over, I have no clue.  But I get the impression that the fuse is definitely lit — and it ain’t a long one.

As for world events, I’m happy that Trump and Putin got along well at the G-20 — and it will be interesting to see what the U.S. main stream media will do with that event, as the Deep State doesn’t want any co-operation with Russia at all.  In fact, they want the U.S. to be at daggers drawn with Putin, but he’s way too smart for that — and the Europeans are getting very tired of this game.

But this is all a sideshow to the fact that the world economy is slowly but surely imploding, along with the gargantuan debt bubble that supports it — and there’s no hope whatsoever of relighting the “animal spirits” that drove the stock markets to their recent record highs.

And since the powers-that-be haven’t been able to rustle up inflation to any extent, it looks like we’re going to have a war instead…as Ernest Hemingway pointed out in his quote at the top of The Wrap.  However, in lieu of that, they just may play the long-awaited ‘gold card’– and try to get inflation that way, as it’s the only thing they haven’t tried yet.  Or maybe they’ll go for a bit of both.

I’m done for the day — and the week — and I’ll see you here on Tuesday.

Ed