More Deception at The Comex

Thu, Oct 24, 2013 - 11:25am

This latest move is so brazen in its audacity, even I am stunned. But, since no one else is talking about it, maybe I'm just crazy. Let me lay it out for you and you can decide for yourself.

OK, before we get started, we'd better go back and cover the basics.

The Comex is a futures exchange that does, occasionally, make physical deliveries. To provide for these deliveries, five banks maintain depository vaults in New York. Updates on the daily changes to the amount of metal in these vaults is provided by The CME Group, which owns The Comex, and can be found here:

Within these vaults, metal is delegated to two categories, eligible and registered.

  • Eligible metal is metal being vaulted at the bank warehouse but NOT eligible to be used in the delivery process.
  • Registered metal is metal that is recognized by the CME as available for good delivery against futures contracts.
  • I went searching for a concise explanation of the eligible/registered process and, in the short time I had this morning, the best article I found comes from BullionVault. The article was meant to downplay the significance of declining Comex stocks. Many folks, myself included, would disagree with the author's conclusion. Regardless, that's a topic for another day. In this instance, what's helpful is the background info the author provides. The full link is here but please read through the C&P below:

    First question: How does gold get into warehouse stocks of the futures exchange? Although it's a lengthy process, the answer is actually quite simple. Gold is recovered either from mine output or scrap jewelry and other products, such as bars and coins, at a refinery. The refiner then produces gold bars to the standard and specification of the exchange, in this case the CME Group.
    These gold bars belong either to the refiners themselves, meaning they have bought and own the gold. Or they belong to the refiner's customers, who bought and owned the gold at the refinery, hiring it to make that metal into saleable bars.
    Now, for this particular refinery to deliver metal onto the commodities exchange, it must be a registered acceptable brand, such as Heraeus, Johnson Matthey or Metalor Technologies to name a few.
    Once these gold bars are produced, the metal must then be transported to the warehouse by exchange-approved carriers such as Brinks Inc., Via Mat International or IBI Armored Inc. There is no other way for the gold to get onto the exchange. Gold may move between Comex-approved warehouses, such as those operated by HSBC Bank, Brinks Inc., and Scotia Mocatta Depository. But any moves made between these warehouses must be made using the same approved carriers. No gold can enter the marketplace from outside of this refining loop.

    Once gold is removed from an exchange-approved warehouse and held somewhere outside of this circle of integrity, there is no way for the CME exchange to guarantee the bar's quality. This means that once a person or investor removes bars from the warehouse, then to return them to the exchange they would need to start at the beginning again. By going through the hands of the gold processor and refiners, this provides guarantee of the standard and quality of the material being delivered on the exchange.

    So with the gold inside the warehouse, second question: When is the gold considered eligible or registered on the commodities exchange?
    Answer: When acceptable bars are brought into an exchange-approved warehouse they become "eligible" for settlement of gold futures contracts traded on the exchange. So at this point, the owner of the bars may deliver them onto the exchange, and warehouse receipts are created. That is when the gold bars become "registered" stocks.

    Eligible gold stocks may or may not ever become registered stocks. Why? Because the warehouse is still a warehouse and the owner may simply want to vault their metal securely, before using it to meet demand elsewhere – for manufacturing, or from investors in another marketplace, such as Asia. This eligible gold may belong to an investor, a refiner, a hedge fund, a bank or producer. Many times these people are holding the metal for their end customers. And it may move at any time, and is much more flexible than the warehouse receipts that are registered stocks.
    The CME, the exchange, does not have any direct control over nor interest in the size of eligible stocks. Registered stocks however are officially recognized by the CME for good delivery on the exchange. That means that this inventory exists and is set aside to make delivery against gold futures contracts. Traders who stand for delivery, rather than cash payment, when their contract settles take delivery of the warehouse receipt. This does not change the quantity of registered stocks inside the warehouse. It remains registered, but the receipt changes ownership.
    If a gold futures buyer wants to take physical delivery of the gold and "break" the receipt then this is possible. But it is a process and takes time. Once broken, if the gold remains in the exchange circle of integrity – meaning the exchange-approved warehouse – then those bars become eligible stocks. But if the gold bars are removed from the exchange-approved warehouse then they no longer are eligible and are no longer tracked in any way.

    Third question then: How do the warehouse receipts work?
    A warehouse receipt is a bearer instrument much like a check. It can be endorsed from one party to another. The holder of the receipt pays the storage costs. Most times when people take delivery of a warehouse receipt they leave it with their brokers. In some cases people may want to take possession of the warehouse receipt themselves. This is rare, just like with equity or bond certificates; no one actually takes delivery of the documents any longer. But it is still possible for a fee.
    If a person owns a warehouse receipt, the gold that it represents is still in the registered stocks, even if they have taken physical delivery of the document. They can always redeliver these receipts onto the exchange by selling contracts.

    OK, hopefully this all makes sense because now I'm going to present to you the problem. In the article and on the CME website, the notion of paper gold is never addressed. Yes, there are warehouse receipts that some fools willingly accept at delivery, thinking they have a claim to actual gold. BUT...the metal that is "held for storage" in the depositories is assumed to be REAL METAL, held there on behalf of REAL CLIENTS. Registered gold backstops the delivery process of the exchange. Eligible gold may, one day, become registered and ready for delivery. More likely, it is simply being vaulted at the depository for safekeeping. Please take a moment to go back up and re-read the BullionVault piece, paying particular attention to the sentences I've underlined.

    As mentioned above, each afternoon the CME Group issues a "Gold Stocks" and "Silver Stocks" report. Some typical reports are posted below. Note how some days there is minimal activity and some days have significant activity. However, note the attention to detail. All bars are assayed and weighed to within thousandths of an ounce.

    First, let's study the report from October 8, 2013. Click on it to enlarge it and notice that vault movements are all measured in thousandths of a troy ounce. For example, on this day Brinks received into their registered vault 1,699.940 troy ounces and JPMorgan saw 708.704 ounces removed from their eligible vault.

    Below are two other reports, dated 9/30/13 and 10/17/13. Again, note the precision of the measurements as great caution is apparently taken to ensure that the metal is properly logged and accounted for.

    So, now, here's where the fun starts. Back on Friday, we noted an unusually large addition to the JPMorgan eligible vault. The sheer size of it caught my eye and you can see it on the report below. Note the other reported vault movements that day and then see if anything about the JPM data catches your eye.

    Hmmmm....While HSBC and Scotia posted the usual moves in thousandths of an ounce, the JPM eligible addition is a flat, round number. Not only that, the round number in question is 192,900.000 troy ounces. What is so significant about that number? Well, the generally-accepted number of ounces in a metric ton is 32,150. If you multiply that number by six, you get 192,900. So, last Friday, JPMorgan booked into their eligible account exactly and precisely six metric tonnes of gold. Now, maybe by some magical occurrence they weighed and assayed each bar and the total amazingly came to 192,900.000 but to me that seems statistically improbable. But with no access to the vaults we're left with simply taking their word for it.

    Imagine my disgust shock when I saw the next gold stocks report on Monday. Not only did JPMorgan magically book in another precise and round number, the actual increase in eligible gold was reported as 96,450.000 ounces. You're probably pretty good with math so I imagine you've already figured out that that is precisely three metric tonnes. Willing (forced) to give JPM the benefit of the doubt on Friday, we can no longer do so here. EXACTLY SIX METRIC TONNES ON FRIDAY. EXACTLY THREE METRIC TONNES ON MONDAY.

    And then we get to yesterday. After a non-event, empty report on Tuesday, what do you think we saw yesterday? Could JPMorgan have the audacity to report another round number multiple of one metric ton? Nope. They simply reported one metric ton! Again, nothing to the right of the decimal point. Just 32,150.000 troy ounces, exact and on the nose.

    So what do we make to of this? We're supposed to believe that, over the last four days, JPMorgan has brought in EXACTLY 10 metric tonnes of gold into their eligible account. In precise and detailed fashion, this massive deposit of gold from a customer(s) measured out to be exactly 321,500.000 troy ounces. RRRrrrrright.....Only the most ardent Cartel apologist and disinfo agent would be willing to swallow that one.

    Here's what I think is going on:

    • The deposits are bullshit. Either completely fabricated and falsified OR simple paper claims. It's one or the other due to the simple statistical improbability of three consecutive round numbers totaling exactly 10 metric tonnes.
    • Recall that back in 2007, Morgan Stanley paid $4.4MM to customers to settle a lawsuit brought by customers who had been charged storage fees on paper metal.
    • Is JPMorgan pulling the same trick now? Given the laundry list of their other fines since 2011, I wouldn't put it past them.
    • If this isn't another JPM client-screwjy awaiting a lawsuit, then The Comex and, by extension The CME Group, is allowing JPMorgan to fraudulently goose their warehouse stocks ahead of the all-important December delivery period to give a false impression of solvency. The World Gold Council-owned BullionVault may not think that the lowest stocks since 2005 is a big deal but plenty of other folks due, most notably Jesse. He's been diligently tracking the daily changes for months. Click this latest update and be sure to review the charts:
    • Lastly, the brazenness of the operation must be noted. No effort is made to conceal it. The CME Group simply reports the statistically-outrageous numbers and no one notices or cares. We're just supposed to believe that JPMorgan's eligible vault can nearly double in size in just over two weeks and that's all fine, dandy and business as usual.

    Well, it's NOT business as usual. The extraordinary and counter-intuitive price raids, the massive depletion of the GLD, persistent backwardation in the GOFO rates and JPMorgan's cornering, 70,000-contract, NET LONG gold futures position all warn you that we are in uncharted territory and major changes are afoot. This eligible gold deception currently being employed by The Comex is just another indicator.

    By the looks of it, the end of the fractional reserve bullion banking system is rapidly approaching. Keep stacking and prepare accordingly.


    November 4 UPDATE:

    In the past week, much has been made that the opinions stated above could be somehow construed as fact. Though I clearly began this piece with the disclaimer of "decide for yourself", some still seem to think this post needs a counter-argument. Since all of the Comex data is deliberately opaque and, in the words of The CME itself "not reliable", I figured I might as well give some attention to an alternate theory first supposed by Bron Suckeki of the Perth Mint.

    Bron thinks that the entire 10 mts of eligible stock can be easily attributed to 1-kg bars. OK, who knows? Maybe he's right. His primary points are below:

    TF, which of these do you think are facts and which are opinions one could be right or wrong about:
    1. Comex rules allow for 1kg bars
    2. A 1kg bar weighs 32.15oz
    3. 32.15 x 6000 = 192900
    4. 192900 is therefore not statistically impossible

    I'm not looking for an apology, but I think given the above facts, your original post requires a note to inform future readers that while you think Comex stocks are "bullshit", the round 192900 figure is possible and can't be used to prove the stocks are "bullshit".

    So, anyway, there you have it. An alternate theory. Take it or leave it and, as originally stated, decide for yourself.


    About the Author

    tfmetalsreport [at] gmail [dot] com ()


    Oct 24, 2013 - 9:19pm
    Oct 24, 2013 - 9:18pm

    China buying up the world...or so it seems

    Chinese firms win stake in world's largest offshore oil-field
    • Staff Reporter
    • 2013-10-24
    • 08:46 (GMT+8)
      Image cannot be displayed

    The headquarters of CNOOC, left, and a gas station run by CNPC. (Photo/CNS)

    A five-party consortium that includes Chinese state-owned oil giants China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has won an auction for the exploration rights to the massive Libra oilfield off the coast of Brazil.

    The auction was held in Rio de Janeiro on Monday amid security concerns stemming from angry protesters who accuse the Brazilian government of selling off the country's wealth. Despite the opposition, Total and Shell each ended up winning a 20% stake, while the two Chinese firms both won a 10% share. Brazil's state-run petroleum company Petrobras holds a 40% stake in the consortium and will act as the oil-field's sole operator as stipulated by Brasilia.

    The contract is expected to be signed next month and will last for 35 years. The consortium companies will hand over 41.65% of their profits from the oil produced — after offsetting initial investment costs — to the Brazilian government under a new production-sharing contract. The consortium will also have to pay a bonus of 15 billion reals (US$6.8 billion) to the Brazilian government in advance.

    Discovered in May 2010, Libra lies 230 kilometers off the coast of Rio and has a surface area of 1,500 square kilometers, making it the largest offshore oil-field in the world. According to estimates, the field holds between 26-42 billion barrels of oil with a recovery potential of 30%, equating to about 8-12 billion barrels of recoverable oil. When fully operational, it is expected to produce 1 million barrels of oil per day.

    Oct 24, 2013 - 9:15pm

    Chinese economy growing at fast clip

    Beijing to meet roadblocks on path to economic reform
    • Staff Reporter
    • 2013-10-23
    • 08:46 (GMT+8)
      Image cannot be displayed

    Renminbi banknotes. (Photo/Xinhua)

    Recent figures show that China's economy will achieve its 7.5% growth target this year, with President Xi Jinping characterizing the country's economic growth as "falling within expectations," while also affirming Beijing's commitment to financial reform.

    There are also signs that China will be able to achieve its projected growth target as downside risks reduce. In September, the country's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industry advanced, with the manufacturing industry's PMI staying above the 50 expansion line for the 12th month in a row and hitting a 17-month high — figures which underline accelerating production activities.

    Beijing is now focusing its efforts on realizing stable growth and structural adjustments. At the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Xi said that GDP growth will not be the criteria in gauging performance, reiterating macro adjustment and control, and market reform. His comments show that the Chinese leadership will continue to shift its policy focus towards adjustment, as long as the growth rate is acceptable, in order to address the longstanding problem of unbalanced economic development. It will also shun the policy of financial deficit and loose credit, at least in the short term.

    One of the key issues facing the Chinese economy is the allocation of resources, a problem embodied by overcapacity. In the first quarter this year, China's industrial capacity utilization rate dropped to 78.2%, which is comparable to the corresponding rate of 77% of the US and Europe, both of which are seeing an economic slowdown. Some lines, including steel, cement, and emerging wind power and solar energy, have capacity utilization rates dropping below the safe line. The co-existence of rosy economic figures and overcapacity appear to underline the problem in the system for resources allocation.

    Institutional and environmental changes have also aggravated imbalance in regional industries. Beijing often resorts to fiscal policies in coping with economic slowdowns, such as active construction projects, subsidies and tax cuts, along with the expansion of banking credit, adopted by municipal governments during the 2008 global financial crisis. Such practices invariably induced massive corporate investments, giving birth to excessive investments and vicious competition, jeopardizing the promising industrial outlook. The outcome is huge debt, overcapacity, and numerous enterprises remaining afloat purely on government bailouts, a scenario which been played out in various Chinese cities, such as LDK Solar, one of the world's largest solar panel manufacturers, in Xinyu in east China's Jiangxi province.

    Overcapacity involves not only a misallocation of resources but also rising financial risk, as Chinese commercial banks witnessed their bad assets rising by 46.6 billion yuan (US$7.6 billion), or 63.5%, in the first half this year. The fast rising bad assets derive from defaults on loans guaranteed by municipal governments, in many cases for extension to state enterprises, a bitter fruit which will be eaten by banks and municipal governments.

    Estimates vary concerning the seriousness of the problem. The precise figures will only be available following a report by the National Audit Office before the third plenary meeting of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee next month. Some estimate that municipal debts now amount to 40%-60% of GDP, believing that the central government will eventually take over the burden before it evolves into a major issue.

    China's reform will soon wade into an area of deep water, where it will encounter a maelstrom of issues due to the institutional changes, the allocation of interests and the assignment of administrative power. A scenario of reform, backfire, compromise and adjustment will be also be played out regularly, with the government sticking to the principle of gradualism in reform. As a result, both the economy and its reform will proceed at a slow but steady pace.

    Spartacus Rex
    Oct 24, 2013 - 9:12pm

    Silver To Hit New Highs Despite Bearish Forecasts

    Steve St. Angelo, SRSrocco Report

    Thursday, October 24th

    The price of silver will hit new highs as an explosion of investment demand will overwhelm supply in the future. This once in a lifetime event will occur not because of bullish rhetoric, technical analysis or brokerage recommendations, but because the fundamentals will finally kick in a major way.

    Of course, this realization today may seem like selling ice water to an Eskimo by the silver investor as precious metal sentiment is at a decade low -- or even lower. Furthermore, I have heard through the grapevine that even some of the precious metal analysts have thrown in the towel and sold their gold and silver miners for the typical large cap stocks on the S&P and Dow Jones.

    This was the very plan by the Fed & member banks from the start. The big "V" correction in the precious metals back in 2008-2009 did not persuade investors from buying gold and silver at severe lows. Matter-a-fact, it actually motivated huge retail buying of physical bullion.

    This time around the monetary authorities got smarter. They engaged a new "SLASH & BURN" tactic by bleeding the gold and silver investors dry by slowly crushing the price of gold and silver over a two-year period. To complete their masterpiece, they initiated two huge take-downs in April & June to make sure even the most hardcore precious metal investors would question their holdings.

    Today, the precious metal investors are still holding onto the fundamentals knowing at some point in time things will turn around. To give comfort to the silver investors, Jeff Christian of CPM Group plans on speaking at the Silver Summit this week to make sure that investors realize silver is going to consolidate for the next few decades at $17-18 and move up to a new high before the end of the century.

    Yes, I am exaggerating here, but that is basically their stance even though they are talking about the end of a decade, not this century. According to CPM Group's new release:

    Silver May Hit New Highs in the Next Ten Years: CPM Group

    Silver prices may rise to record highs within the next 10 years, according to CPM Group’s Silver Long-Term Outlook report released Thursday.

    This year through September, silver prices have averaged 20% less than in the same period in 2012, CPM Group said, forecasting the declining trend to persist in the medium term.

    Longer term, however, prices could begin to rise again within the next 10 years, it said, “continuing a secular bull trend that began at the turn of the century.” Silver rose at a compounded annual average rate of 23.2% between 2002 and 2011.

    In the latter half of the next 10 years, investors are expected to approach the silver market “more positively as economic conditions improve relative to the first half of the projected period,” CPM Group said. “Investors are expected to step up their purchases, backed by expectations for strong capital appreciation amid rising industrial demand for the metal.”

    And “in this scenario, silver prices could rise rapidly, possibly touching fresh record highs within the next ten years,” it said.

    So, silver investors do not worry... according to Jeff Christian's CPM Group, new silver highs are coming. Unfortunately, you are just going to have to wait a decade before this takes place. CPM Group seems to be hinting at the well-known market timing strategy of "Sell in May and go away." However, they may be implying, "Sell today & come back towards the end of the decade."

    I have gone to the CPM Group's website and looked at the analysts there and I have to say, they are a smart group of people with a great deal of experience doing what they believe is right. I just happen to disagree with their opinion and long term forecast for silver.

    As for the "Manipulation theme" on gold and silver, I am not going to get into it. I realize Jeff Christian does not believe in manipulation even though central banks did conspire to rig the LIBOR, and GATA has proven that the U.S. is legally allowed to intervene in the precious metals, commodities or whatever markets they see fit according to a law passed in 1934.

    So, I am going to let GATA and Bill Murphy fight and debate Christian on that issue as they are more qualified. That being said, I believe there is another angle that will almost guarantee much higher valuations for silver in the future.

    We have to come to the conclusion that if manipulation is going on... then why would it stop? Or how do you stop the Elite from controlling the markets if they have been successful in doing so for hundreds of years? Proving that manipulation is taking place only makes those pulling the strings laugh and snicker because they realize nothing will become of it.

    That being said, the common sense approach is to look at the variables and things that the Elite cannot control. Those of you who have read my articles are aware, my take is that a peaking energy supply is the fundamental the Elite can't control. Peak oil will force the end of the fiat monetary system and bring a new life to the precious metals.

    Even though there are some who agree with my premise, many don't believe in peak oil and others eyes glaze over as they read about the details of energy and the EROI. This is quite a shame as I believe energy is the most important factor going forward for not only the precious metal investor but also for the public and world at large.

    Boss of Drilling-Services Giant Believes Peak Oil is Here

    Dave Demshur was a speaker at the August 2013 Enercom Oil & Gas Conference in Denver. Core Lab is headquartered in the Netherlands and has 70 offices in 50 countries. They specialize in analyzing drill results from the major and 100's of miner oil & gas companies in the world. They take this drilling data and assist these companies with increasing their efficiency in removing more oil and gas from their fields and reservoirs.

    If anyone has a good idea of where global oil production is headed in the future, Core Lab is most certainly one of the best qualified.

    According to Dave Kamm on

    Never very bashful in the breakout session, CEO Dave Demshur readily offered his thoughts about the big energy picture. When queried about predictions of increased oil production he took the under in most cases.

    Demshur is a “peak oil” proponent — translated it means that at some point the oil production of the planet will maximize, flatten, and then diminish. For the first time I can recall, he said we have reached the peak area.

    He estimates planetary oil production in 2014, 2015, and maybe 2016 to be at the peak level we shall ever be able to generate. When asked about future oil independence here in the US, he just smiled — and added “no chance”.

    Let me repeat what Demshur stated so it can really sink in. He estimates planetary oil production will peak in 2014, 2015 or possibly 2016 and the U.S. will have "no chance" in becoming energy independent.

    It is very hard to give an exact date for peak as there are many variables, but here we can see that a CEO from one of the major drilling-services companies believes peak is coming in the next few years. Folks, if this is true... that's not much time at all.

    Silver Supply & Demand Forecasts Will Become Meaningless After Peak Oil

    As I have mentioned in several articles in the past, peak oil-energy will destroy the ability to properly forecast supply and demand forces in the future. We are entering into uncharted waters. This is where I can offer a different opinion than the one suggested by Jeff Christian and the analysts at the CPM Group.

    I have not purchased CPM Group's 2013 Long Term Silver Outlook and actually do not plan to. I would imagine a great deal of research and effort was put into creating this report, but I have to say, if Peak Oil arrives in the next few years, the data from these high-priced reports will become increasingly worthless.

    You see, Christian may be able to debate and confuse investors on whether or not manipulation is taking place, but he cannot deny the ramifications of peak oil and its impact on the precious metals. Folks, peak oil changes everything.

    Who cares if a junior mining company has resources of say 3-5 million of ounces of gold in the ground if there isn't an inexpensive enough or readily available source of liquid energy to extract the metal in the future. Sure, the mine may go commercial, but what happens in say 3-5 years into its 20 year mine lifespan if energy supply becomes short??

    In a nutshell... don't count on a growing supply of gold and silver once the PEAK OIL PHAT LADY SINGS.

    Most analysts including Christian have no clue how to forecast in a peak energy environment....ZIP. Hell, even I don't know the details on how things are going to unfold. However, I will assume that those companies who are now commercial and have proven reserves will more than likely continue for a quite while whereas most of the juniors will never become mines.

    The irony of it all is... I actually had a speaking slot at the Silver Summit but had to cancel last month because of certain commitments. Now I wish I could have attended to present my views on how energy will greatly impact the values of the precious metals in a positive way.

    Furthermore, I would have provided data that would have suggested that manipulation does not have to be proven for the precious metals to regain their roles as monetary metals. Basically, Jeff Christians negative views on manipulation... in the end won't matter.

    The world is heading straight for an ENERGY WALL shortly and most (99%) of the analysis are forecasting business as usual for the next several decades. Peak Energy will destroy the valuations of most of the stocks on the Dow and S & P 500 going forward as growth will not be possible for the majority of companies.

    As the value of stocks, bonds, retirement accounts and etc continue to disintegrate under the gravity of a falling energy supply, there will be a radical change in silver investment demand. Gone will be the pathetic supply and demand calculations that will seem quite silly in the whole scheme of things.

    At this point in time, investing will switch from owning paper assets providing yield to physical assets like silver and gold that will protect wealth -- very much like squirrels hoarding acorns for the winter. The majority of investors are not prepared for this change.

    At the SRSrocco Report we will continue to provide updates on energy data and explore how peak oil will impact the precious metals, mining and overall economy.

    Mr. Fix
    Oct 24, 2013 - 9:05pm

    A small contribution to the TF Culinary Institute ;)

    Guest Post: The Growing Rift With Saudi Arabia Threatens To Severely Damage The Petrodollar

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/24/2013 - 20:25

      Image cannot be displayed

    The number one American export is U.S. dollars. It is paper currency that is backed up by absolutely nothing, but the rest of the world has been using it to trade with one another and so there is tremendous global demand for our dollars. The linchpin of this system is the petrodollar. For decades, if you have wanted to buy oil virtually anywhere in the world you have had to do so with U.S. dollars. But if one of the biggest oil exporters on the planet, such as Saudi Arabia, decided to start accepting other currencies as payment for oil, the petrodollar monopoly would disintegrate very rapidly. For years, everyone assumed that nothing like that would happen any time soon, but now Saudi officials are warning of a "major shift" in relations with the United States. In fact, the Saudis are so upset at the Obama administration that "all options" are reportedly "on the table".

    Oct 24, 2013 - 9:03pm

    NSA Leaks Throw Monkey Wrench Into Alliances Germany, France demand 'no-spy' agreement with U.S.


    Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:33pm EDT

    By John O'Donnell and Luke Baker

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded on Thursday that the United States strike a "no-spying" agreement with Berlin and Paris by the end of the year, saying alleged espionage against two of Washington's closest EU allies had to be stopped.

    Speaking after talks with EU leaders that were dominated by allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency had accessed tens of thousands of French phone records and monitored Merkel's private mobile phone, the chancellor said she wanted action from President Barack Obama, not just apologetic words.

    Germany and France would seek a "mutual understanding" with the United States on cooperation between their intelligence agencies, and other EU member states could eventually take part.

    "That means a framework for cooperation between the relevant (intelligence) services. Germany and France have taken the initiative and other member states will join," she said.

    In a statement issued after the first day of the summit, the EU's 28 leaders said they supported the Franco-German plan.

    Merkel first raised the possibility of a "no-spying" agreement with Obama during a visit to Berlin in June this year, but nothing came of it. The latest revelations, part of the vast leaks made by former U.S. data analyst Edward Snowden, would appear to have renewed her determination for a pact.

    The United States has a "no-spying" deal with Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, an alliance known as "Five Eyes" that was struck in the aftermath of World War Two.

    But there has traditionally been a reluctance to make similar arrangements with other allies, despite the close relations that the United States and Germany now enjoy.

    Merkel said an accord with Washington was long overdue, given the shared experiences the countries face.

    "We are in Afghanistan together. Our soldiers experience life threatening situations. They sometimes die in the same battles," she said.

    "The friendship and partnership between the European member states, including Germany, and the United States is not a one-way street. We depend on it. But there are good reasons that the United States also needs friends in the world."


    As EU leaders arrived for the two-day summit there was near-universal condemnation of the alleged activities by the NSA, particularly the monitoring of Merkel's mobile phone, a sensitive issue for a woman who grew up in East Germany, living under the Stasi police force and its feared eavesdropping.

    Some senior German officials, and the German president of the European Parliament, have called for talks between the EU and United States on a free-trade agreement, which began in July, to be suspended because of the spying allegations.

    Merkel, whose country is one of the world's leading exporters and stands to gain from any trade deal with Washington, said that was not the right path to take, saying the best way forward was to rebuild trust.

    The series of Snowden-based leaks over the past three months have left Washington at odds with a host of important allies, from Brazil to Saudi Arabia, and there are few signs that the revelations are going to dry up anytime soon....(more)

    Oct 24, 2013 - 9:02pm


    Ta .

    So, do you use spices in Indian cooking? Or if you're not into Indian cooking, what do you use from your spice garden, and for what? What are you growing there?

    I'm a total spice nutter. Would love to hear .

    ALERT - apparently this is a metals forum (who would have known?).

    I've paid-off the moderator - it cost some, but we're ok for a while...

    Oct 24, 2013 - 8:59pm

    "Attack Poodles"

    That's what Catherine Austin Fitts calls them.

    Jim Willie, Andrew Maguire, who else?

    They know that we know. They're getting in deeper, using tried-and-true tactics, and trying to get inside your head.

    Soon a childhood friend will reveal that Turd is an unemployed meth-head with a bent toward creative thinking, thus confirming his real value.

    Spartacus Rex
    Oct 24, 2013 - 8:55pm

    @ That's it!!

    I wonder if current USMC Commandant, General Amos is going to quietly sit by and allow Obama and the Pentagon to eat yet another apple & F*K the Corps.

    Spartacus Rex
    Oct 24, 2013 - 8:49pm

    That's it!!

    I was wondering where I'd seen that fucking hat before. You nailed it!

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    by 11IMIX, 2 hours 29 min ago
    by Sovereign, 3 hours 30 min ago
    by Green Lantern, 11 hours 33 min ago
    by Green Lantern, May 9, 2021 - 5:55pm