Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Ugly Ones Included.

Baltic Dry Index. 1922 +57

LIR Gold Target by 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.

"The tragic lesson of guilty men walking free in this country has not been lost on the criminal community."

Disgraced former President Richard M. Nixon.

Today more on our 21st century outlaw world. It’s the banksters again. They make the Viking’s look like Mother Teresa saints. Why do these too big to fail, serial criminal “banks” still have banking licences? What part of the US RICO statutes do the US authorities fail to understand? Why was “the Dim’un” recently allowed into Buckingham Palace as the guest of Queen at the behest of the BOE? Just imagine if they weren’t banks but oil companies! Just imagine if they stole some tiny social welfare benefits.

"You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone."

Al Capone.

JPMorgan Said to Snub Euribor Deal as EU Readies Bank Fines

By Gaspard Sebag - Dec 4, 2013 12:00 AM GMT
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and two other banks rejected a European Union deal to end an antitrust probe into the rigging of Euribor lending rates, risking higher fines and challenging the future of the EU’s settlement process.

The EU is seeking to announce two sets of settlements as soon as today with banks accused of colluding to rig the London interbank offered rate and Euribor, according to a person familiar with the EU’s probe who asked not to be identified because the process is private.

While global fines for rate-rigging have already topped $3.7 billion, the cost to banks may climb as they face lawsuits worldwide. An EU accord includes a finding of liability that can be used in civil cases.

JPMorgan joined HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Credit Agricole SA (ACA) in pulling out of the Euribor settlement talks, according to the person. ICAP Plc (IAP) won’t take part in the Libor settlement process, which relates to the yen, the Financial Times reported yesterday, without saying where it got the information.

Rejecting a settlement and facing a higher fine could be worth the risk, said Noelle Lenoir, a lawyer at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP in Paris.

Companies “know full well that admitting to what they are charged with would be a money pit,” she said.

----The three dissenting banks in the Euribor probe were part of talks that also included Barclays Plc (BARC), Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Societe Generale SA (GLE), a person said last month.

HSBC, Europe’s biggest lender by value, pulled out of the negotiations amid an impasse over the possible size of a fine and liability issues, a person familiar with the probe said last month.

“Our ideas are very clear -- we have a very good case,” Credit Agricole Chief Executive Officer Jean-Paul Chifflet said in Nov. 7. “I’ve refused the idea of a settlement because it would have put into question our responsibility.”

Joe Evangelisti, a JPMorgan spokesman, declined to comment.

Deutsche Securities Said to Face Penalty in Japan

By Takahiko Hyuga & Takako Taniguchi - Dec 4, 2013 3:11 AM GMT
Deutsche Bank AG (DBK)’s Japanese brokerage unit will probably be penalized by local regulators for breaching rules over excessive spending to entertain clients, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission, Japan’s securities watchdog, is poised to recommend as early as today that the nation’s Financial Services Agency take administrative action against Deutsche Securities Inc., one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The FSA may order the brokerage to improve compliance and internal controls, the people said

The potential punishment would add to the German bank’s regulatory woes after it set aside 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) to cover legal costs amid global probes into interbank rate rigging and lawsuits relating to the U.S. housing market.

----Employees of Deutsche Securities probably spent too much entertaining managers at Japanese pension funds in order to win investments in products the brokerage sold, the people said. The brokerage may have spent about 6 million yen ($59,000) to 9 million yen on executives tied to three pension funds from 2010 to 2012, the Nikkei newspaper reported earlier today.

Takayuki Inoue, a Tokyo-based spokesman at Deutsche Securities, declined to comment, as did Kotoku Watanabe, a spokesman for Japan’s FSA, which includes the SESC.

Deutsche Bank’s profit slid 94 percent to 41 million euros in the three months ended September after legal costs swelled, Europe’s largest investment bank by revenue said in October.

---- Europe’s biggest banks have racked up more than $77 billion in legal costs since the peak of the global financial crisis in September 2008, five times their combined profit last year, data compiled by Bloomberg showed last month.

"What do I care about the law ? Hain't I got the power."

Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Ex-BP Engineer Destroyed Evidence on Spill, Jury Told

By Margaret Cronin Fisk & Daniel Lawton - Dec 4, 2013 5:01 AM GMT
A former BP Plc (BP/) senior engineer who helped lead efforts to cap the Macondo well as oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 destroyed evidence sought by the U.S. in a probe of the spill, a federal prosecutor told jurors.

Kurt Mix, charged last year with two counts of obstruction of justice, is the first defendant in a criminal case over the spill to face a jury. He is accused of deleting from his mobile phone text messages and voice mails related to the disaster, including one in which he said the spill was bigger than the company said it was.

“This is a case about a BP engineer, Kurt Mix, who in the wake of the massive Macondo oil spill, was told over and over not to delete messages, and he made the choice to do it anyway,” prosecutor Jennifer Saulino told federal jurors in New Orleans yesterday.

The blowout of BP’s deep-water Macondo well off the coast of Louisiana in April 2010 killed 11 people and set off the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. BP agreed last year to pay $4 billion to resolve the federal criminal probe of its role in the spill.

In Asian news, don’t ask. The sky is about to fall in. No one under the sun believes China’s official statistics, especially anyone in the Chinese government. The only purpose of Chinese statistics is to make Uncle scam’s look good. In Hong Kong, just don’t breathe. In Beijing, Vice President Biden arrived to the sound of one hand clapping.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

George Orwell. 1984.

Goldman Recasts PBOC Forecasts Amid Bank Guesswork: China Credit

By Bloomberg News - Dec 4, 2013 3:22 AM GMT
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has dropped forecasts for the benchmark interest rate of China’s central bank from its annual outlook, while Societe Generale SA bemoans the “guesswork” behind tracking the nation’s shifting targets.

Goldman Sachs designated the seven-day repurchase rate as its key barometer, after the People’s Bank of China’s one-year lending rate became less relevant, according to a Nov. 21 report. The PBOC, which removed a floor on what lenders could charge below its 6 percent benchmark in July, hasn’t changed its “prudent” monetary policy stance. Yet the repo rate, fixed at 4.66 percent today, swung between a high of 10.77 percent in June and a low of 2.50 percent in March.

The switch by Goldman Sachs highlights the challenges Chinese authorities face in influencing monetary policy while they transition from a system of state-directed credit to one where markets play a “decisive” role in pricing capital. The 10-year government bond yield has surged almost 1 percentage point in the past year and reached the highest since at least 2007, even as the PBOC’s benchmark rates were unchanged.

“The seven-day repo rate is more important than it was,” said Song Yu, an economist at Goldman Sachs in Beijing who is ranked as the No. 1 forecaster of China’s economy by Bloomberg. It is becoming a more relevant “indicator of monetary-policy intentions than the other rates” as the central bank moves toward a system that is more market-based, Song added.

Hong Kong Roadside Pollution Spikes to Toxic Levels in Central

By Natasha Khan - Dec 4, 2013 5:23 AM GMT
Nitrogen dioxide readings surged in Hong Kong at two roadside pollution monitoring stations, reaching concentrations almost double the level at which it becomes a toxic gas.

The reading in the downtown district of Central was 361.7 micrograms per cubic meter at 10 a.m., up from 184.2 micrograms three hours earlier, according to the Environmental Protection Department. The gas can cause significant inflammation of the airways once concentration levels exceed 200 micrograms, according to the Geneva-based World Health Organization.

Hong Kong is seeking to replace old diesel vehicles as aging buses and trucks have led to a worsening in air quality since 2007. Sunny, drier weather with milder wind has contributed to the build-up of pollution in the past few days, said Simon Ng, head of transport and sustainability research at independent think-tank Civic Exchange.

“The exposure level is very dangerous,” said Lai Hak-kan, who does research on environmental health at The University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health. “At these levels, I would avoid strenuous exercise around those areas and try to go to another location.”

The reading in Central has been above toxic levels since 8 a.m. local time. The odorless gas is formed from emissions from vehicles and power plants.

Biden in Tokyo Conveys U.S. Concern Over China Air Zone

By Bloomberg News - Dec 4, 2013 7:41 AM GMT
Vice President Joseph Biden arrived in Beijing to deliver the message that China’s new air defense zone will only raise tensions amid concerns that the move could spark inadvertent conflict with Japan.

Wearing aviator sunglasses, Biden descended the steps from Air Force Two to an honor guard and was met by officials including Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui. He’s set to meet President Xi Jinping later today and has said he’ll seek clarity about Communist Party leaders’ intentions when they set up the zone Nov. 23

The defense zone, which overlaps with one administered by Japan and covers islands both sides claim, has ratcheted up tension in the region to their highest point since Japan bought some of the islands last year and spurred protests across China. Creating the zone so soon before Biden’s visit raised concerns that various parts of China’s government don’t coordinate with each other and cast doubt on China’s desire for what it calls a new relationship with the U.S.

China Threatens Japan Ahead of Biden Trip

China military threatens action against Japan, escalates rhetoric on air defense zone on eve of Biden visit
BY: Bill Gertz December 3, 2013 3:40 pm

China’s military ratcheted up tensions on Tuesday over its disputed East China Sea air defense zone by threatening military action against Japan and saying it would enforce new aircraft controls.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yangsheng accused Japan in a statement of “making trouble” and he warned Chinese military aircraft would enforce the newly imposed air defense identification zone, or ADIZ.

“Japan’s actions have seriously harmed China’s legitimate rights and security interests, and undermined the peace and stability in East Asia,” Geng said through the official Xinhua news agency. “China has to take necessary reactions.”

Geng listed a series of actions by Japan he said had increased tensions, including Tokyo’s frequent dispatch of ships and aircraft to areas near the disputed Senkaku islands, threats to shoot down Chinese drones, and overall escalation of regional tensions.

Without mentioning the United States, Geng also said other countries must “correct wrong remarks and wrongdoings,” he said.

“Other parties should not be incited, or send wrong signals to make a very few countries go further on the wrong track, which will follow the same old disastrous road and undermine regional and world peace,” Geng said, insisting that China adheres to peaceful development and defensive policies.

The comments were the most forceful by a Chinese government spokesman since Beijing unilaterally declared the ADIZ that overlaps Japan’s air defense zone and covers the Senkakus, which China calls Diaoyu.

Poof: Public says America's world leadership has tumbled to 40-year low

For the first time in nearly 40 years, a majority of Americans believe the United States is less important around the world and that it should mind its own business, a stunning rejection of President Obama’s foreign policy just four years after he received the Nobel Prize.

A new Pew Research Center poll found that 53 percent of people believe that the U.S. is playing a less important role as a world leader than a decade ago, the highest figure since 1984.

Worse: 70 percent said that the U.S. is respected less than in the past, almost matching the high reached under former President George W. Bush, whose foreign policy Obama pledged to reverse.

Other key highlights from Pew’s release:
— By a 56 percent to 34 percent margin, more disapprove than approve of Obama’s handling of foreign policy. The public also disapproves of his handling of Syria, Iran, China and Afghanistan by wide margins.

— For the first time, 52 percent believe the U.S. should “mind its own business internationally.”

And finally, tomorrow will not be like today, which was like yesterday. Tomorrow:

“War is peace. 
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”

George Orwell. 1984.

Guardian editor defends publication of Snowden files

By Anthony Faiola, Published: December 3

LONDON — Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger on Tuesday vigorously defended his decision to publish a series of articles based on the secret files leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, telling a parliamentary committee that the right to continue pursuing the story goes to the heart of press freedoms and democracy in Britain.
Rusbridger also told lawmakers that the Guardian had published only 1 percent of the 58,000 files it had received from Snowden.
---- Along with The Washington Post, the Guardian — a London-based news outlet with a print circulation under 200,000 but online readers numbering in the many millions — was the first to publish reports based on the Snowden leaks. In response, British authorities have acted far more aggressively than U.S. or other European officials, launching what Rusbridger and international free-speech advocates have decried as a campaign of “intimidation” against the paper. Actions taken include the coerced destruction of Snowden data being held at the Guardian’s London headquarters and public denunciations by Prime Minister David Cameron, as well as the decision to summon Rusbridger for questioning by lawmakers on Tuesday.

Stay long fully paid up physical precious metals. There’s no good ending to the Great Nixonian Error of fiat money.

"Increasingly, the wealth of the modern world has come to be represented by financial assets rather than real assets, and this to me is a very unhealthy situation, because financial assets are inherently unstable. Financial assets (currencies, bonds, mortgages, stocks, bank credit, etc.) can be quickly and violently reduced in value, or destroyed completely by either inflation or deflation."

Donald J. Hoppe

At the Comex silver depositories Tuesday final figures were: Registered 45.69 Moz, Eligible 123.65 Moz, Total 169.34 Moz.  

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner
The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.

Today, the worker’s paradise of Venezuela. Great Britain under the next Great Leader, Milliband, and his old socialist team of Ed Balls, Bob Crow and Labour’s paymaster the communist run union Unite. Stay long physical precious metals held outside of the reach of the larcenous John Bull.

"Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you."

Red Ed Milliband, with apologies to Nikita Khrushchev.


From Venezuela Without Lights… or Toilet Paper… or Sugar, Coffee, Refrigerators, Etc.

Venezuela goes dark: The lights won’t stay on... but who cares? Socialism still beats working...

----Last night, the lights went out all across Caracas. At the time, Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro was making a passionate televised speech, no doubt about building the South American nation with revolutionary efficiency. All of a sudden, boob tubes across the country flickered off. Streetlights, metro rails and traffic lights suddenly stopped working. Here are two pictures of the city:

Curious about why such a thing would happen, we decided to dig around for the root cause of the blackout. Here's what we learned:

This was Venezuela's second major power outage. The last one occurred in September. Smaller power outages outside of Caracas are even more frequent. To be clear, however, our research showed that the recurring problem had absolutely nothing to do… whatsoever… by any stretch of the facts or imagination... with the sudden nationalization of the power company Corpoelec in 2007. That's right.

In fact, our completely unbiased and primary source, President Maduro's own Twitter account, explains that the outages are the result of political sabotage by his political enemies.

If you're still doubtful, there's good reason that political opponents would've cut the power during el presidente's speech. Maduro was outlining his bold, newish plan to jump-start the Venezuelan economy -- price controls -- when the lights went out.

Such controls are sorely needed too. After all, until now, the only solutions the Venezuelan government have offered are price controls. Clearly, they weren't enough. They haven't alleviated the country's inflation problem. Currently prices are rising more than 54% per month.

What's more, Venezuela has prices controlled the prices of many things, like toilet paper and paper for writing… which are facing severe shortages. Washing machines and flour are among some of the other products that are hard to come by.

Oh, coffee is facing shortages too. And refrigerators. And televisions…

… sewing machines too… and, um, chicken… cooking oil… milk… rice… corn… and microwaves.
But those shortages are probably because some jerk is hoarding the items as a sick joke… or because he hates his fellow man. There's probably a bunch of those strange pack rats that buy up way more than they need too. That's nothing Maduro can do anything about.

What's 100% crystal clear and undeniable, however, is that the shortages were definitely not due to price controls. If anything, they're because price controls weren't tight enough. It could've also been that the price controls just didn't cover enough products. Either way, more, not fewer, price controls is unmistakably the correct way forward. And now Maduro has taken a courageous step in the right direction.

By decree, from yesterday on, el presidente will set the maximum price that can be charged for new and used cars. No longer will Venezuelans have to worry about being gouged for the price of an automobile. And if Maduro's really effective, Venezuelans won't have to worry about driving altogether, as there will be no cars.

Go ahead… poke fun, but next time you're stuck in traffic, don't write to us ( whining about how you wished you lived in Caracas.

Bueno, we hear you thinking to yourself. Tell me, then, how other nations, like the U.S., enjoy plentiful abundance without such price controls?"
Sheer luck, we answer. And it's not to be confused with the merits of government policies. Clearly, Venezuela demonstrates that you can have the best policies in the world yet still hit a patch of rough luck that can consistently set you back for decades upon decades.

You just count your blessings there aren't shortages here in the U.S. It's nothing but a God-given miracle that Americans aren't bitter from rotten food... nauseous from foul-smelling clothing… constantly groggy from lack of caffeine… and sorely rashed with discomfort from using leaves to clean themselves in the dark without having a pen and paper to write a complaint to their government on. You bourgeois pig…

“Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex, the ugly ones included.”

Red Ed Milliband, with apologies to Karl Marx.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished November:
DJIA: +190 Up. NASDAQ: +281 Up. SP500: +232 Up. The Fed’s final bubble continues to grow, until QE Forever isn’t forever. Up will remain up, until one fine day out of the blue the Fed finally loses control, or the next Lehman hits.

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