Just A Coincidence

I don't usually devote entire threads to just one video snippet but this latest from CNBS is so priceless that I figured it could stand on its own.

Please allow me to set the stage. Earlier this afternoon, the minutes from the July FOMC meeting were released to the usual CNBS fanfare. Once LIESman finished up his usual schtick, he threw it back to Brian and Mandy in Fort Lee...and this is when the fun began.

Now I have to give a few props to this Brian Sullivan character. To his credit, I've seen him on more than a few occasions point out some of the lunacy and disconnects that permeate his network and other financial coverage. Of course he never gets to The Truth. Oh, heavens no. Never, ever will CNBS or any other financial media discredit themselves by admitting what to all of us is so obvious. Namely, that The Fed and their Primary Dealers are willfully and intentionally driving the US stock market higher in order to maintain Bernanke & Yellen's "wealth effect".

So, when Brian notices this "very odd coincidence" in stock markets returns, he simply laughs it off. As he chuckles, he brings in some goon named Dom Chu to confirm his view that it simply must be "random nonsense".

Nope. Nothing to see here at all. Just a strange coincidence, indeed. Certainly NOT evidence that the "markets" are centrally-planned and centrally-controlled. No way. Hmmm, I wonder what Brian and Dom would think of this chart then? Three, consecutive years of a straight up channel with no meaningful corrections:

Three years of sovereign debt crises, geo-political events and a staggering US economy. But none of that matters when The Fed prints money and feeds it directly to The PDs for distribution across the equity derivative spectrum.

Again, though, CNBS et al would never, ever admit to this gross manipulation. To do so would discredit and marginalize their very existence. Instead, all is well in TV land. "Coincidences" be damned.




SMM's picture

I Am First

I AM First

buzlightening's picture

Add this to ROTFL

Car Repos Soar 70% As Auto Subprime Bubble Pops; "It's Contained" Promises Fed

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/20/2014 - 13:19

The auto loan subprime bubble may be the latest to burst (after student loans) as the rate of car repossessions jumped 70.2 percent in the second quarter, with much of that increase coming from finance companies not run by automakers, banks or credit unions. "The number of delinquencies and repossessions rising is what we would expect as the auto industry sells more vehicles," "But this slight uptick is one to keep an eye on." The surge in delinquencies and repossessions is being driven primarily by borrowers with subprime and deep subprime credit scores. ......................................

From cnBS to the fed fuds you gotta know we're entering financial neutron fireworks about to ignite this FALL, which of course, no body saw coming. LOL

CPE's picture

What's in a name?

LIES man, what an asshole.

Safety Dan's picture

GMO: "There Is No Safe Place

GMO: "There Is No Safe Place To Hide"

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/20/2014 - 13:24

"Today’s environment, however, is quite distinct, as seen in the chart below, where we lay out the GMO seven-year forecasts in a volatility (an imperfect shorthand for risk) versus return format for the traditional asset classes, or betas. This beta desert is so challenging because not only are there no asset classes that we believe are priced to deliver 5% real return (the red line), there is also no safe place to hide and wait (the green circle)." - GMO

Today%27s%20Beta%20Desert.jpg  The Pension Riots of 2016-2028

Strongsidejedi's picture

@TF - Dominic Chu came to CNBC from Bloomberg

He is a charting fan because on both Bloomberg and CNBC, he's the guy they go to for the charting analysis.

Just FYI.
When he was on Bloomberg, I liked his presentations then.  His comments in the above clip are either really naive (possible because Chu is younger than most of us by about 10-15 years).  Or, he's aware of it and they don't really want to discuss (more likely).  Chu just moved from Bloomberg to CNBC and it may have been an internal attempt to test him for his loyalties.

Brian Sullivan is interesting to watch on CNBC.  He does tend towards reporting.

The guy who I have noticed is missing is David Faber.  Where is he?

ancientmoney's picture

Fish rots from the head down . . .

"Review of the data on accounting fraud confirms that fraud goes up as criminal prosecutions go down. Indeed, extensive evidence shows that failing to prosecute looting by Wall Street is killing our economy.

And yet the U.S. government admits that it refuses to prosecute fraud … pretty much as an official policy. Indeed, the government helped cover up the crimes of the big banks, used claims of national security to keep everything in the dark, and changed basic rules and definitions to allow the game to continue. See this, this, this and this.

Indeed, Wall Street – with the help of Washington – has robbed (and raped) America.

The Fish Is Rotting from the Head Down

Moreover, corruption at the top leads to lawlessness by the people.  As we noted in 2011, in the middle of the London riots:

Corruption and lawlessness by our "leaders" encourages lawlessness by everyone else. See this, for example."


Dr Jerome's picture

new S&P high today

Woo Hoo, new high on the S&P.

clearly a coincidence with the release of FED minutes--a statistical anomaly.

Dang--those things are flying everywhere.

I don't know about you, but I better sell my stack and put it into equities!


goldcom's picture

Sprott link

thanks Craig, I do like these Royalties with my Juniors. Franco Nevada(FNV), Royal Gold(RGLD), Silver Wheaton(SLW) are royalty company stalwarts and I also have Sandstrom Gold(SAND) a smaller newer royalty company I think has a good game plan and people. If you want a safer bet stock with PM's these guys don't have the overhead and many of the operational concerns that miners have. They just have a significant chunk of the oz's mined by their royalty stream of miners. It's a wonderful business model. Most of them have dividends, don't think SAND does yet. 

My .02 cents

Bluebellkid's picture

Nothing to note here

Except the nice young thing walking in the background at the 1:38 minute mark!!!

SE's picture

What was

the purpose of this post, again?  A non-starter, nothing to see here, no big deal, usual business, read a book, learn to play didgeridoo, do something besides not doing the one thing we ought to be doing - network with Chinese, Indians, and Russians to help shut the US Government down.

SE's picture

Contacted Indians

I contacted Hindu Indians I know of (because they are doing work to fight white Christian supremacy that is attempting to destroy their religion) to share with them what all we know here, and that they, along with Chinese and Russians, are in a historic position to bring the US Government to heel through the rejection of the US Dollar in favor of gold/silver in exchange for goods/services.  I noted to them the fact that in the last 20+ years, the US has already exported large amounts of gold to China and other countries, quite a bit above annual US mining output, with the balance possibly coming out of official gold holdings.  It appears to be about a 5500-ton difference over the 20 years.  I also informed them of the shift in wealth from west to east, and that it needs to be sped up before it's too late.

I would like to see many people here saying they made the attempt to contact such people to enlist such help to shut the US government down through these measures.

SaratogaPrepper's picture


That's Nicole from Fox Business.

Kerbouchard's picture


...thanks for the Sprott link.  I highly recommend it to those who may have passed it by -- especially if you're gun-shy with the miners and have seen your amazing profits sink 90%.

P.S.  Nicole is hot!  And Brian Sullivan was also on Bloomberg for years.  There's been a lot of switchin' around lately with anchors going to different networks.

philipat's picture


I didn't realise that you are a CNBS watcher. Even the other 3 are seriously contemplating moving to the real comedy channel... 

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Do You Believe In Magic

DayStar's picture

Harvey's Up! (TFMR)

Harvey's Up! http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/425656#comment-425656

  • Mark O'Byrne: Gold and silver have fallen below the $1,300/oz and $20/oz levels respectively. Gold traded marginally lower in trade in London after gold in Singapore also ticked marginally lower. Volumes fell again today and gold futures trading volumes were 43% below the average for the past 100 days in London according to Bloomberg data. Futures traders remain on holiday and volumes remains low and are set to remain so in the coming days. Therefore there remains the risk of further price falls into the end of August prior to gold’s seasonal sweet spot in September through to February. Russia continues to accumulate gold in an effort to protect the ruble and be prepared for a deepening of currency wars. The Russian central bank acquired another 300,000 ounces worth $3.9 billion in July. Russia's gold reserves rose to 35.5 million troy ounces in July from 35.2 million troy ounces in June, the central bank said on its website on today. The value of Russia’s holdings declined marginally to $46.11 billion as of August 1 from $46.29 billion a month ago due to gold’s recent small price fall. 
  • Harvey: We are witnessing huge number of tonnes arriving in Shanghai (and exiting = demand). This week 33 tonnes left the SGE vaults. The gold that enters China has its origins at the Bank of England and/or the GLD vaults. The custodians of the GLD must find the gold to replace any gold departing plus the new "paper " demand from new shareholders. In my opinion the physical gold at the GLD, belonging to shareholders is just not there. They probably have ownership of some paper obligations. Should be interesting when this thing blows up. The rise in silver inventories at the SLV in London, the high Comex OI at 165,000 contracts and the rapidly declining physical silver inventory in Shanghai probably spells big trouble for our bankers who have a massive short in silver. Gold trading: not much to talk about today, just your usual manipulation. The bankers are quite concerned on the high open interest in silver. Expect gold and silver to be under the weather until we enter the September month. 
  • GoldCore on Peak Gold: The geological evidence suggests that it may happen in the near term due to the increasing difficulty large and small gold mining companies are having increasing their production. It is also signalled in the fact that most of the larger gold producing countries -such as Australia, the U.S., South Africa, Canada, Peru, Indonesia - have all seen production drops in recent years. China and Russia are the two only large producers to have seen significant gold production increases. As sizeable ore deposits that were left untapped during the Communist eras are mined today. Peak gold has yet to be considered and analysed by the international financial community but there is a risk that it has happened or will happen soon. It should lead to much higher gold prices in time and gold’s inflation adjusted high of $2,500 per ounce remains a realistic long term price target. The fact that peak gold may take place at a time when the world is engaged in a peak fiat paper and electronic money creation experiment bodes very well for gold’s long term outlook.
  • Shivom Seth (MineWeb): Gokulasthami, one of the major festivals celebrated across Maharashtra and some parts of South India, has now got a touch of gold, underscoring what some expect will be stronger second half for gold demand in India as the festival season ramps up. The tradition of Dahi Handi festival on Gokulashtami, celebrated across India on August 18 and 19 this year, relates to a human pyramid breaking an earthen pot filled with buttermilk suspended high above the ground, sometimes well over 50 feet above the ground. Up for grabs this year were prizes in the form of gold pots, gold coins and gold plated ornaments, which were strung high up on the top. It was a good sign that people were going ahead and adding a touch of gold to their festivities this year, despite the high price of gold. "We are now moving into the second half of the moonson season. India gets into the festive season with major Hindu festivals like Dahi Handi, followed by Ganapati, and followed by Diwali. Given that we had a good demand for gold this time for Dahi Handi, we expect gold demand in India to rise in the second half of the calendar year,'' said Mehra. 
  • Chris Powell (GATA): Commercial traders classified as "swap dealers" have built extraordinary short positions in Comex gold and silver, the Got Gold Report's Gene Arensberg writes tonight, and despite what he considers the heckling by their friends, he continues to think they are very vulnerable to a short squeeze. 
  • Chris Powell (GATA): Fund manager Stephen Leeb today says that Russia actually seems stronger economically right now than the whole euro zone. 
  • Chris Powell (GATA): Singapore fund manager Grant Williams says gold's next rise will be stronger than its rise in the late 1970s because this time Asian central banks will be buying
  • Grant Williams (via Mauldin Economics): Ask yourself these four questions: The last time the world faced a meaningful threat of a large-scale conflict between East and West, the gold price soared. This time it hasn’t moved. Why? With gold consistently pouring into Eastern Central Bank vaults in exchange for dollars, what happens if there is another sudden panic of some sort and investors (including central banks) suddenly decide to stampede into gold en masse like they did in 2009? Why are the most rapacious buyers of physical gold a group of countries that last time we saw an exponential rise in the gold price had no meaningful currency reserves but that now amongst them own a staggering 46% of total global reserves? If you had the power to create money out of thin air as, for example, the PBoC can, can you think of a reason why you might want to convert as much of it into gold as you possibly could? Just like George Smiley, if you can come up with plausible answers to these questions, you might just be able to figure out the ending to a tale of intrigue that has captivated millions around the globe. 
  • Bill Holter: China is sitting on a detonation switch to the entire financial system of the West, a "kill switch". China has already shown "trust" in the U.S. as evidenced by their U.S. Treasury holdings. They "trusted" us by lending capital to us and in return expecting to receive payment in the future. "Payment" is not and will never be in question because we can simply create the dollars to pay. What is in question is what those dollars will be worth on the international markets when they are paid? You see, for very little money, expense or even effort, China can "force" the U.S. into a "bankruptcy" using this tiny silver position. It makes as much common sense as a bank, a pawn broker or even a private lender moving to "secure" their loan(s). I believe China is merely acting in their own best interests because after 2008 they have watched us willfully bankrupt ourselves and grossly devalue the dollar. They have imported massive tonnages of gold since then, why not hold an "insurance policy" in silver which can be "claimed" whenever you choose? What lender wouldn't act in this manner?
  • Zero Hedge: Any day, week, month, year now... Japan's adjusted trade balance missed expectations by the most since October 2013 (back over a JPY1 trillion deficit) as the QQE-ing, j-curve-any-minute-now nation awaits the arrival of the competitive pickup for the 40th month in a row. Exports beat expectations (which we are sure will be the headline crowed about by all) but imports surged by 2.3% (against expectations of a 1.5% drop). It appears you single-handedly devalue yourself to prosperity in an interconnected world after all - whocouldanode? As we said before, "Monetary debasement does NOT result in an economic recovery, because no nation can force another to pay for its recovery." Monetary debasement transfers wealth within an economy by subsidizing exports at the expense of the entire economy, but this effect is delayed as the new money works it way from first receivers of the new money to later receivers.
  • Tyler Durden: When, six months ago, we first brought the market's attention to Chaori Solar - China's first corporate bond default in history - there were 2 narrative sin play: 1) it's all good, government knows the contagion risk and will bail them out (that happened), or 2) if government bails them out, it will merely delay the inevitable and stoke further risk exposure (that happened too). However, as Bloomberg reports, the consequences are coming as bondholders met today to discuss the value of any assets left (Chaori’s liabilities were more than 700 million yuan greater than its assets). With China's TSF collapsing last month, perhaps demand is finally waneing for these high-risk assets, but expectations of implied government support remain, as one Chaori 'loser' laments, "never anticipated any risks with the securities."
  • Zero Hedge: Reports are coming in that, following Russian ministry urging this morning that the humanitarian mission start as soon as possible (following ongoing Ukrainian attacks on Donetsk and Eastern Ukraine), that the white humanitarian trucks of the Russian convoy are crossing the border into Ukraine customs. As RT reports, The first 16 trucks with Russian humanitarian aid to the residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions of Ukraine are going through customs inspections at the Donetsk checkpoint on the Russia-Ukraine border.The convoy is expected to move out to its destination in Ukraine during the night, at around 3:00-4:00 MSK, the Itar-Tass news agency reports.
  • Tyler Durden: Last night president Kirchner stunned its creditors when she announced what amounts to a cramdown plan for holdouts, in which all bonds would be stripped of their existing indentures and converted to local law bonds. In essence, what Argentina plans to do is the opposite of what Greece did in 2012 when it defaulted on existing bonds, and swapped over into English-law bonds as an incentive for existing creditors, in effect promising it would never do it again. What Argentina has just shown is how easy it would be to "cramdown" bondholders who thought their "strong" covenants were safe when in reality all it takes is a government order to strip any and all of their indenture protection. Needless to say this has a very negative implication for Argentina's future ability to raise capital in the international arena for the near, and longer-term (at least until the ZIRP yield junkies come crawling back hoping to collect 10% if only for one year; the year after that will be some other Portfolio Manager's problem).
  • Tyler Durden: The last 2 days have seen the USD index rise at its fastest pace in almost 4 months, closing in on 1-year highs. Led by JPY and EUR weakness, the USD is up over 1% this week (which is set for the best week in 9 months). While stocks shrugged off the hawkish minutes initial kneejerk lower and surged towards new record highs, credit markets were not as exuberant about the great suck out of liquidity (and how they'll manage to roll the wall of debt forthcoming). VIX was slammed back to one-month lows (even as the Fed admitted greater uncertainty) slamming stocks higher. Treasury yields rose notably(with the short-end underperforming) as 2Y-5Y up 5-6bps, 10-30Y up 1-3bps. Gold and silver drifted modestly lower and oil jerked higher. Copper was up from earlier on China restocking rumors. Into the close, stocks faded quickly - rather disappointingly ruining mainstream media's "new record high" headlines.
  • Zero Hedge: While the world awaits the test results from an Ebola suspect in Sacramento to learn if Ebola has now officially entered the US, the epidemic in Africa has now drifted away from the confines of its original hotspots of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and after spreading to Africa's most populous nation Nigeria, and the third most populated city in the world, Lagos, it appears to have just entered the second largest country in Africa by area, and fourth most populous African nation: the Democratic Republic of the Congo. An Equateur (Congo) resident who asked not to be named said that around ten people had died, including four health care workers, after suffering from fever, diarrhea and bleeding from the ears and nostrils - all symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus.

All this and more on...

The Harvey Report!  smiley    sad



SE's picture

Swap dealers

What the hell is with the swap dealer short position increasing like this when Goldman Sachs is one of them??  Why would one of the leaders of the financial mob do this?  The only reason is that they must know that investors will cash out their paper metals to cover losses and margin calls.  Get ready to buy all the physical you can.

agNau's picture

Accessorizing is much more enjoyable.....

when your dollars buy more....as I new they would. We Nadlers have a long family history of correct calls. Today that call payed big, as I stumbled across some gorgeous heels. Cant have enough shoes, right girls? Anyway, being the cautious consumer that I am, as always I look at the tag to see where they were manufactured. Strange....it said "Made in China, but soon to be manufactured much cheaper....in the USA." How wrong headed is that with the dollar rising and all! Those Chinese must be hanging out on the wrong blog......and they're buying lots of gold too.....at the wrong time!
Oh well, let's see how these heels walk!!!

Dingo's picture

Notice the hand sign of chu's two

Had a little baphomet sign to signal "2". There's a lot of secret squirrel hand signs, hand shakes etc on the media these days.  I'm sure that these guys on TV take the piss out of the uninitiated great unwashed by giving hand signals to their masters like a baseball catcher would do for a pitcher, leaving the common fellow bewildered.

buzlightening's picture

USDinker dollar stuffing during the

jack yellen holey week.  All the strong dollar policy has keynesians heads and other mutated body parts screaming in ecstasy.  The beauty held front and center fold; yellen posed on piles of cash is trash in simmons kiss tongue wagging.  Gene-Simmons-of-Kiss-006.jpgJust luv her madly.  yellen rids herself of the amour and she'd be a simmons knock off.  LOLOL

Markedtofuture's picture

ECB To Flood Southern Europe with Trillion Euros

Don't worry...be happy...ECB to flood southern Europe with a trillion tokens.

Posted on August 21, 2014 by Martin Armstrong


The ECB will lend to banks in the next two years up to a trillion euros to revive the real economy in the periphery of the Eurozone all to save the Euro and retain the power in Brussels that is crumbling at the edges. This, massive volume of long-term loans is even far greater than previously known. Europe is in very serious economic trouble. There is still no intent upon consolidating the debt and instead they continue to use band-aids when stitches are serious required.


erewenguy's picture

Copper seems to be holding

Copper seems to be holding nicely here. I'll go out on a limb and say the silver bottom is in.

Edit: called at $19.39 silver so the class can check my work.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Hong Kong Democracy Stalemate Sets Stage for Possible Financial

SHENZHEN China (Reuters) – Chinese officials and Hong Kong democrats failed on Thursday to resolve a standoff over political reforms in the freewheeling former British colony, a deadlock that could end up shutting down the city’s financial district next month.

Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997, has been roiled over the past year over how its next leader is chosen in 2017 – by universal suffrage, as the democrats would like, or from a list of pro-Beijing candidates.

A so-called Occupy Central campaign of civil disobedience has threatened to blockade Hong Kong’s Central business district if Beijing doesn’t allow open nominations, rather than pre-screening candidates and restricting the poll to pro-Beijing “patriots” and those who “love China”.

Thursday’s meeting just over the Hong Kong border in Shenzhen was seen as a last chance to narrow differences ahead of a parliamentary meeting in Beijing next week that will formally lay out Beijing’s position on the 2017 poll.

While both sides said the dialogue was sincere and encouraging, there was little sign of compromise.

Li Fei, the chairman of China’s Basic Law Committee who met the Hong Kong lawmakers, reiterated the Basic Law, or Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, made no allowance for open nominations.

“We will also not allow public nomination of chief executive candidates, occupying central and other related crimes. This remains one of the biggest arguments in Hong Kong today,” he told reporters in a luxury hotel where the talks were held.

Hong Kong returned to China’s rule under a principle of “one country, two systems” allowing it broad autonomy and far more freedom of speech, assembly and religion than exists on the mainland. But China has made it plain that Beijing’s sovereignty cannot be questioned.

Helena Wong, a democratic party lawmaker, said Beijing must allow “true full democracy, not fake democracy”. The democrats also handed out copies of a report reflecting public demands for a fair election including opposition candidates, after an unofficial referendum last month that drew more than 800,000 votes.

Some 26 pro-democracy lawmakers recently pledged in a declaration to veto any “unfair” reform plan that does not meet international standards. Any electoral reform proposal must garner the support of at least two-thirds of the city’s 70-member legislature in order to pass, as well as being ultimately approved by Beijing.

“Time is already running short and the opportunity for discussion is precious and hard to come by. This is the last chance for open communication,” Rita Fan, a Hong Kong delegate to China’s parliament, said after meeting the Chinese officials.

Chinese officials and Hong Kong businesses have warned any shutdown of the city’s financial district could damage Hong Kong’s economy and reputation.


DeaconBenjamin's picture

Samaritan’s Purse Doctor Recovered from Ebola

Dr. Kent Brantly, the Samaritan’s Purse doctor who contracted Ebola while caring for patients in Liberia, will be released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta today after completing his recovery from the deadly virus.

“Today I join all of our Samaritan’s Purse team around the world in giving thanks to God as we celebrate Dr. Kent Brantly’s recovery from Ebola and release from the hospital,” Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said in a statement. “Over the past few weeks I have marveled at Dr. Brantly’s courageous spirit as he has fought this horrible virus with the help of the highly competent and caring staff at Emory University Hospital. His faithfulness to God and compassion for the people of Africa have been an example to us all.”

Dr. Brantly survived the virus that typically causes massive internal bleeding and has a mortality rate of 60 to 90 percent in most situations. The current outbreak of Ebola has claimed more than 1,350 lives in the west African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

“I know that Dr. Brantly and his wonderful family would ask that you please remember and pray for those in Africa battling, treating and suffering from Ebola,” Graham said. “Those who have given up the comforts of home to serve the suffering and the less fortunate are in many ways just beginning this battle.”

Dr. Brantly was serving with Samaritan’s Purse when he contracted Ebola while treating patients in Liberia. Earlier this month, he was transported to Atlanta in a medical evacuation plane equipped with a special containment unit. He was taken to Emory University Hospital, where he was treated at a special unit set up in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to care for patients exposed to certain serious infectious diseases.

Nancy Writebol, the missionary who also contracted Ebola in Liberia, continues to recover in the isolation unit. She was serving with SIM, an organization that worked closely with Samaritan’s Purse to help combat the outbreak.

Both Dr. Brantly and Writebol received a dose of an experimental serum while still in Liberia. Dr. Brantly also received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who had survived Ebola under his care.

Dr. Brantly, a family practice physician, was serving in Liberia through the Samaritan’s Purse post-residency program before joining the medical team responding to the Ebola crisis. His wife and two children had been living with him in Liberia but flew home to the U.S. before he started showing any signs of illness.

As the Ebola outbreak spiraled out of control, Samaritan’s Purse evacuated all but the most essential personnel from Liberia to their home countries. None of the evacuating staff were ill, and the World Health Organization and CDC continue to reiterate that people are not contagious unless they begin showing symptoms.

National staff who remained in Liberia continue to carry out an Ebola prevention and awareness campaign.

“We have more than 350 staff in Liberia, and others will soon be joining them, so please pray for those who have served with Dr. Brantly—along with the other doctors, aid workers and organizations that are at this very moment desperately trying to stop Ebola from taking any more lives,” Graham said.

Writebol works with SIM, a missions organization that worked closely with Samaritan’s Purse to combat Ebola since the current outbreak began in Liberia in March. She had been working as a hygienist who decontaminated those entering and leaving the isolation ward of the Case Management Center at the hospital.


ancientmoney's picture

I am quite cynical when it comes to the western governments

but, maybe I am over-the-edge cynical on the following line of thought:


1. Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA, from the time when they helped the Muhajadeen fight the Soviets in the 1980's.

2. Al Qaeda was the designated "boogeyman" after 9-11.

3. The Libya fiasco wherein the U.S. ambassador was killed, was a result of Al Qaeda turning on the ambassador and the CIA, who were arming them with the intent that they become "rebels" and use those arms to overturn the government of Syria. This of course was so the west can continue to control ME energy supplies.

4. Those same "rebels" are now the new "boogieman" renamed ISIS or Islamic State.  They are fully armed with American weaponry, both given to them in the Libyan fiasco, and by the Iraqi army.

5.  Iran has been making overtures to control Iraq.

6.  Obama pulled all troops out of Iraq two years ago.

7.  The west is losing control and striking out seemingly everywhere so the bankers can keep their wealth and control.

8.  The entire ME is going up for grabs.

9.  The people of the west do not want another Iraq war,and Obama has said no boots on ground.

10.  Warmongers/bankers need war in Iraq/ME to keep control.

11.  Al Qaeda/ISIS/Islami State now beheads American journalist.

Here is where my cynicism starts:

The west needs a nasty "boogieman" so that the American people will demand, or at least suffer the need for a new war.

ISIS, as was Al Qaeda, is a CIA creation, likely led and fed by the CIA.

The actual killer/sword wielder of James Foley spoke British English.

So how many more beheadings and other atrocious  acts  will be played out for us until the warmongers have convinced us a new war is necessary?

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Black Box faked in Presidential Candidate Crash in Brazil

Posted on August 21, 2014 by Martin Armstrong

The presidential candidate Eduardo Campos in Brazil who died in a plane crash is beginning to look like an assassination. People have attempted to evaluate the black box but this has resulted in raises new questions. Apparently the records of the voice recorder being purported as the black box are not from the crash flight. The experts attempt to clarify the cause of the crash before the elections in October. It appears that the black box has no data. Hmmmmm!

Campos graduated in Economics from the Federal University of Pernambuco, and his maternal grandfather, the governor of the Brazilian state, Pernambuco, made him his Financial Secretary. He was a dynamic speaker and was a socialist. He died in a crash with 5 other people and 2 pilots.


ancientmoney's picture

BoA buys itself "justice" again . . .

"At this point it is probably worth recalling what we wrote last week, namely that The Price To Keep Bankers Out Of Jail, is now $110 Billion And Rising:

Six years after the greatest financial crisis in modern history, not a single prominent - and bailed out - banker (or frankly any for that matter) has gone to prison. Still, in the great squid pro non-jail quo, regulators and the DOJ have had to be appeased somehow. That "somehow", as has been revealed over the past several years, is with quarter after quarter of massive legal charges, settlements, penalties and so on. Of course, since the banks wouldn't exist in the first place if it wasn't for a multi-trillion taxpayer bailout, they don't mind because the math is quite simple: being converted into a government utility is better than being bankrupt anyday. Also, it is shareholder money, not an actual clawback (oh, the horror).

So what is the total amount of shareholder (and by implication, taxpayer) money that has been spent by the bankers to distract regulators and the "cops" from not jailing a single one of them? According to the following chart from the WSJ, just the six biggest offenders have spent over a whopping $110 billion to keep the government happy and the US prison population in check."


DeaconBenjamin's picture

Ukraine: A Perspective from Europe

The West's power & influence is on the wane
by Alasdair Macleod

The eminent historian Niall Ferguson in an op-ed for the Financial Times (Friday August 1st) made a comparison between the events leading up to the start of WW1 and the Ukraine situation today. While the comparison is apposite given the 100-year anniversary of the former, these are very different times. The assassination of the successor to the Austria-Hungarian Empire in Sarajevo by anarchists was initially dismissed as a local difficulty in an obscure province, which had been annexed from the Ottoman Empire in 1906. While regrettable and unexpected to observers outside the Balkans there was no reason to suspect the chain of events that followed would lead to the greatest war in history.

It is still a mystery to many historians as to how and why this event led to the slaughter of nine million people, and this uncertainty is admitted in Ferguson’s article. But his analysis of different parties to the original event pursuing their own vested interests without a grasp of the bigger picture certainly rings true of the Ukrainian situation today with regards to the West, embodied in a disparate committee called NATO. The similarity with the chaotic diplomacy that led to WW1 stops there: Russia under Vladimir Putin’s leadership appears to have a good grasp of its objective.

The History Is Important

The relevant history of Ukraine and the interests of the great powers go back to the Second World War, when it was fought over between Germany and Russia with tremendous loss of life. When Germany was finally defeated Ukraine ended deep in Soviet territory. Stalin subdued all nationalism by executing dissenters or transporting them to the gulags rarely to return. There was a high element of ethnic cleansing, and this affects political relationships to this day.

It was inevitable that following the collapse of the Soviet Union Ukrainian nationalism would reassert itself. But Ukraine’s borders had never been fixed and its claim to be a well-defined state is dubious: at best it was no more than a federation of provinces that retained their individual identities over the centuries. Crimea was never part of Ukraine: it had been “gifted” by Khrushchev in 1954 it is said in a drunken moment. The eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk are heavily populated with ethnic Russians. Luhansk held a referendum in early May and the organisers claimed that 96% of the population voted in favour of self-rule (allied to Russia) on a turn-out of 81%. A similar referendum in Donetsk claimed 88% in favour on a 75% turnout.

Putin distanced Russia from these referendums, asking the breakaway governments to delay them, there being at that time a degree of diplomatic cooperation between Russia and the other G8 nations. This has now evaporated, but Putin had at least tried even though he probably smiled on the result. And everyone has forgotten that imperfect though the polling process might have been (lack of international observers, alleged intimidation of minorities etc.) there can be no doubt the clear majority in these two provinces wish to secede to Russia.

Europe in the knowledge the referendum results were certain to back independence condemned this show of democracy when first proposed. European politicians have a fundamental problem with the idea that geographical parts of a country’s population might want political independence anyway. Think Basque separatists and think Scotland. So far as Brussels is concerned, the existence of individual member countries is a passing phase towards full political integration, so fragmentation is a retrograde step. What happened in Luhansk and Donetsk was counter to all the EU’s own statist ambitions which are behind the development and continuing integration of the EU. This sets the tone behind the automatic support Europe affords the Ukrainian government. Furthermore European politicians have an unquestioning belief in the benefits of EU membership and expect anyone who shares the EU’s socio-economic ideals to align themselves accordingly.

So on the political level there is a natural dialog between the Kiev government desperate to escape the embrace of the Russian Bear and the EU. On a military level relationships and geopolitical interests are managed through NATO, which is funded mostly by the US. And as the principal financial backer, America expects and usually gets the deference from Europe it wants. America’s military and strategic objectives are however very different from the EU’s economic interests, because the EU is dependent on Russian energy, other raw materials and trade.

There is however a military fly in the ointment so far as NATO is concerned. Ukraine is surrounded by Russia and Russian-supporting enclaves, including Belarus to the north and north-west of Ukraine, and the breakaway state of Transnistria, which lies along the border between Moldova and Ukraine. Only about 20% of Ukraine’s borders are with NATO allies. NATO simply cannot afford to have boots on Ukrainian soil, because its supply lines can be cut off by Russia. Perhaps for this reason the approach favoured by the west has been to undermine the Ukrainian relationship with Russia by encouraging Kiev towards both economic and military cooperation with the west, rather than upping the west’s presence.

The Russian Dimension

Russia’s reactions to NATO and the EU’s policy ambitions towards Ukraine have been perfectly logical and could easily have been foreseen by any competent analyst. In this context there are two elements to consider, Russia itself and the personality of President Putin.

The Russian people have enjoyed a significant uplift in their standard of living under Putin, and a new middle class has emerged, which is growing and becoming wealthier by the day. Unlike more advanced, welfare driven economies this improvement has been real and not degraded by ever-accumulating debt. There is much that is wrong in Russia as western critics continually tell us, but the fact is that Russia is economically more resilient than its western counterparts, and her people are thankful and loyal to a strong leader.

This strength is seriously underestimated by western economists who have been brought up in the ivory-tower world of Keynesian and monetarist economics. This is why they mistakenly think cutting Russia off from western capital markets is a severe punishment. It is not: the Russian leadership are not dependant on access to debt finance, not intimidated, and they feel no need to hurry their responses. Putin’s advisers are fully aware that implementing sanctions will harm NATO members far more than Russia, and nothing done so far is likely to affect their minimum objective of ensuring Ukraine does not become a vassal state of the west.

Now that Russia has recovered her identity following the fall of communism her people naturally wish to secure and enhance it. They see their own “flesh and blood” in Luhansk and Donetsk being subjugated by a corrupt Nazi-sympathising Ukrainian regime. They know that America and NATO have been actively undermining Russo-Ukrainian ties having supported first the Orange Revolution and more latterly the fall of Viktor Yanukovych earlier this year. They also know that the west supported the neo-fascists in Yanukovych’s overthrow, reviving for the Russians memories of the terrible losses inflicted by the Nazis in the Second World War.

At this stage to counter economic threats Russia is generally content with sending signals that she is not dependent on the west for trade. To this end she has concluded pan-Asian energy deals with China and India, deals that were in the pipeline, so to speak, anyway. Russia is activating her relationships within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (the SCO), which was set up with China twelve years ago for this purpose. Furthermore, the population of full SCO members is set to double to over 3.5 billion people in September, when India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia become full members.

Putin’s Personality

President Putin, like many of Russia’s political in-crowd and some of the supporting oligarchs, is an ex-KGB officer. By all accounts he is controlling, hard-working, focused and dedicated. He is 5’6” tall which compared with western male leaders is noticeably short (though his Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev is only 5’3”). Short men often feel a need to assert themselves in the company of taller men, and Putin appears to exhibit these traits, with his annual holiday pictures depicting him as an action-man. As judo black-belt he throws larger men with ease and has been deliberately filmed doing so.

Putin is a man who the west turned its back on when he would have personally wanted to be accepted at the top-table of world leaders. This is the second time: the first was the spat with the UK over the murder by polonium poisoning of an ex-KGB officer, Alexander Litvinenko, in London in 2006. The Russians refused extradition requests for the principal suspect, Andrey Lugovoy and four others. In July 2007 Britain expelled four Russian diplomats.

It took a long time for the dust to settle from the Litvinenko affair, and it was only in the last eighteen months that the UK went out of her way to repair foreign relations with Russia, putting the Litvinenko affair behind it. So when the Ukrainian crisis broke six months ago there were very few entrenched vested interests at the political level between the UK and Russia, and therefore little invested on the British side to maintain relations.

The western view of Vladimir Putin as portrayed by the media is often very wide of the mark. And it is with some irony that we observe left-wing European politicians denouncing this pragmatic ex-communist, but their instincts, that he is a modern mercantilist are correct. His wealth and position are built on the wealth of his people: socialism’s power by contrast is derived from wealth destruction, which explains much of the political divide. While European socialists have no coherent political and economic philosophy, Putin is a realist. He doesn’t care who he deals with, so long as the profit, or reason, stacks up. And it is Russia’s vast natural resources, making her the world’s largest exporter of energy and with monopoly or duopoly power in a range of strategically important elements that gives him the power to forge a favourable political settlement anywhere he chooses.

We should think of Putin as the ringmaster in control of the Mackinder Heartland, which Mackinder summed up as follows:

Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;

Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;

Who rules the World-Island controls the world.

The Heartland runs from the Volga to the Yangtze, and the World-Island is the inter-linked continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. Halford Mackinder’s paper was presented to the Royal Geographical Society in London in 1904. Since then the Russia he knew has been destroyed twice, once by the October Revolution of 1914 and once by communism. Yet still Russia survives, her power remains, and Putin is now master of it all.

The Consequences for Western Europe

The greatest concerns over Russia’s actions come from the countries that were previously suppressed by the Soviet Union and are proximate to Russia. These include Poland, the Baltic States, and ex-members of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in middle Europe. Twelve of the twenty-eight NATO members were former communist satellites and very sensitive to Russia’s real or imagined territorial ambitions. They are a large bloc in voting terms, a frightened group sometimes aggressively supportive of intervention.

The other main category of European states is the welfare economies of the original European Union, some of which have significant economic and financial ties with Russia. Best known in this group is Germany, dependent on Russia for 38% of her gas, 35% of her oil and 25% of her coal imports. There are no suitable alternatives in sight that could cover shortfalls of these magnitudes. Short-term, some extra gas could be piped from the Netherlands and Norway, two of her other import sources; but this is North Sea gas which is being rapidly depleted and demanded by other customers. Fracking from shale rocks is possible in North Rhine-Westphalia, but this takes time to establish and strong environmental opposition would have to be overcome. Then there are the commercial energy deals. Gazprom and Germany’s Wintershall, a subsidiary of BASF, have executed a large share swap. They jointly own Germany’s “Gascade” 2,000 km pipeline and Russia through Gazprom now controls all Germany’s gas storage facilities.

Naturally, an increasingly wealthy Russian middle class buys large quantities of Mercedes, BMWs and VWs. Furthermore, Russia imports from Germany chemical products, food and agricultural products. It is estimated that one in ten German exporters traded with Russia last year exporting €36bn worth of goods. German companies have invested €16bn in Russia.

France and Italy export about €10bn each to Russia, and import €11bn and €18bn respectively, mostly energy. France has also built one Mistral Class helicopter carrier which is undergoing sea trials and crew training, and a second carrier is in production. At President Holland’s insistence, this deal is excluded from the EU’s arms embargo: a good litmus test for the degree of EU solidarity.

Western Europe’s banking system also has significant exposure to Russia. French banks have an estimated $50bn, Italian $28.6bn, German $23.7bn, British $19.1, Dutch $17.6, Swedish $14bn, and Swiss $6.8bn out of an estimated $184bn, or 76% of total foreign bank lending to Russia. Individual banks with high exposure include France’s Society Generale with $30bn, representing half this highly geared bank’s equity. Unicredit of Italy has exposure of $25bn, representing 40% of its shareholder funds. These are two prominent examples of potential casualties in a financial war with Russia. Furthermore European corporates also have substantial investments in Russia, notably BP.

It is clearly not in the interests of the long-standing members of the EU to escalate a sanctions and financial conflict with Russia. The European Central Bank will have almost certainly discussed contingency plans with the major regional central banks in the Eurozone, because the banking system might have to make available special credit and financing facilities, i.e. a rescue from a financial crisis if NATO goes much further down the sanctions route. This is why politicians are walking on eggshells, paying lip-service to America and the scared Eastern fringe members of NATO while hoping this goes no further.

So long as this is the case it is clear that NATO members are powerless to stop Russia from wresting control of all or parts of Ukraine from the government in Kiev. Putin knows this; unfortunately it is not clear to us that the American government does. All in all it seems likely that after a period of slow-burn as Putin dictates the pace of developments, the political situation in Ukraine will deteriorate with some unhelpful nudges from Russia.


ratioarbitrage's picture


XAU has been in a perfect pre-Fed algo-driven waterfall the past couple of days. Use candlestick/bar view to see its true perfection. XAG was following suit... until around 11:10 today, when some kind of problem occurred. It may be coincidental that this was just 50 minutes prior to the moment of LBMA Silver Price "transparency" - or it may not.

Waterfalls are powerful configurations, but once messed up they cannot be restored. Interesting setup to me.

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