Thursday, September 10, 2015

BREAKING: Explosions Reported As Hazardous Material Fire Rages At Tar Plant In Phoenix

“Explosions have been reported in Phoenix, Arizona, where a massive fire involving hazardous material has engulfed a structure and triggered evacuations in the area, according to local media.
The cause of the fire is not known at the moment, but the flames are burning at a local tar plant, according to CBS News.
“Multiple explosions” were generated by the fire, AZ Family reported. Fire officials also stated that multiple storage tanks were destroyed.
Additionally, fire officials said barrels have flown through the air as projectiles, according to local ABC 15.”
Read More:

This Is EXACTLY What The Early Phases Of A Market Meltdown Look Like

By Michael Snyder
Stock Market Collapse Toilet Paper - Public DomainThere is so much confusion out there.  On the days when the Dow goes down by several hundred points, lots of people pat me on the back and tell me that I “nailed” my call for the second half of this year.  But on the days when the Dow goes up by several hundred points, I get lots of people contacting me and telling me that they are confused because they thought the stock market was supposed to go down.  Well, the truth is that if there is going to be a full-blown market meltdown, we would expect for there to be wildly dramatic swings in the market both up and down.  A perfect example of this is what we experienced during the financial crisis of 2008.  9 of the 20 largest single day declines in stock market history happened that year, but 9 of the 20 largest single day increases in stock market history also happened that year.  If we are moving into another great financial crisis, there should be massive ups and massive downs, and that is precisely what we are witnessing right now.
On Tuesday, the Dow surged several hundred points.  There was much celebrating in the mainstream media over this, but what they failed to realize was that this was another big red flag.  And we saw this volatility carry over into Wednesday.  The Dow was up 171 points early in the day before ending down 239 points.
By themselves, those two days don’t mean a whole lot.  The key is to look at them in context.  And in context, we have already witnessed the most dramatic stock market crash since the last financial crisis.
There will be more days when the stock market absolutely plummets and there will be more days when it absolutely soars.  No stock market crash in U.S. history has ever gone in just one direction continually.  There are always giant waves of momentum that cause panic selling and panic buying.
There is one thing that could change that.  A major “black swan event” such as a historic natural disaster, an unprecedented terror attack, or the outbreak of war could potentially be enough to chase all of the buyers out of the marketplace.  And considering the times that we are moving into, those things should not be ruled out.
But minus some type of event like that, we should expect lots of wild swings in both directions.
Over the past couple of years, I have repeatedly attempted to explain the general principle that markets tend to go up when they are calm and they tend to go down when they are volatile.
If you want the bull market to return, you should be rooting for lots of really, really boring days on Wall Street.
When things are boring, investors make money.
Days that are “exciting” are really bad for Wall Street.  Investors like a world that is predictable, and when conditions start changing rapidly they get very, very nervous.
In the months ahead, trillions of dollars are going to be lost in stock markets all over the planet.  Feel bad for the retirees and the hard working families that are going to get wiped out by this, but don’t feel bad for the banksters.  They have been laughing it up while most of the country has been suffering during our ongoing economic decline.  If you don’t believe me, just check out this YouTube clip.
A lot of people are going to be paralyzed during this time, because they won’t know what to do.  They didn’t heed the warnings up until now, and they thought that they would be able to safely get out of the market when things started getting crazy.  The big ups and big downs in the markets will confuse them, and the mainstream media will be telling them that everything is just fine.
If you have been waiting for the market to send you “warning signals”, then you can stop waiting because it is happening right in front of your eyes.
Now is not a time for fear.  Personally, I seek to live my live in a constant state of peace without any fear even though I write about some very hard realities almost every day.
This is part of the reason why I so adamantly encourage people to prepare for what is ahead.  Knowledge and preparation can help eliminate fear.
If you already know what is coming and you are already prepared for it, you won’t be freaking out like the rest of the general population will be when things start really going crazy.
I want to share something with you that Brandon Smith wrote recently
Panic betrays and fear kills. The preparedness culture is built upon the ideal that one must defeat fear in order to live. How a person goes about removing uncertainty from the mind is really up to the individual. For me, combat training and mixed martial arts is a great tool. If you get used to people trying to hurt you in a ring, it’s not quite as surprising or terrifying when it happens in the real world. If you can handle physical and mental trauma in a slightly more controlled environment, then fear is less likely to take hold of you during a surprise disaster.
Six months may be enough time to enter a state of mental preparedness, it may not be, but more than anything else, this is what you should be focusing on. All other survival actions depend on it. Your ability to function personally, your ability to work with others, your ability to act when necessary, all rely on your removal of fear. Take the precious time you have now and ensure you are ready to handle whatever the future throws at you.
Life in America in the years ahead is going to look dramatically different from what life in America looks like right now.
Do you have some specific tips on getting prepared for what is coming that you would like to share with the rest of us?  Please feel free to join the discussion by posting a comment below…

New Record Comex Paper Leverage Ratio!! Go Paper!

Nothing to see here.. move along.…

The Comex Is Facing A Gold Crisis

Sure, you can’t eat a bar of gold and it just sits in storage like a Pet Rock that’s been cast aside by its bored owner.  But try selling the Indians or Chinese a paper gold bar and see how far you get.  You might end up with a knife in your forehead.
The stench has been growing stronger by the day.  Many of us have been writing for years about the extreme imbalance between the paper futures open interest vs. the underlying amount of gold being reported as available for delivery.   The latest disclosure from the CME is that the ratio of paper gold vs. the amount of deliverable ounces has spiked to over 200:1.
As of last Friday, JP Morgan had 89.4k ounces withdrawn from the  “customer”/ eligible account in its vault and it moved 122k ounces of gold from its “deliverable”/ registered account into its customer account.  What the true nature of those transactions were – i.e. who the counterparties were and did in fact any real gold actually leave JP Morgan’s gold vault – is anyone’s guess due the intentional opacity of disclosure on the Comex.
But the bottom line is that, as of last Friday, the Comex vaults collectively now show 202k ounces of gold in the “registered” / deliverable accounts of the Comex vault custodians.  As of today’s trading, the “preliminary” gold futures open interest rose to 419k contracts representing 41.9 million ounces of paper gold.  This would, preliminarily, put the ratio of paper gold to deliverable physical gold at an astonishing 207:1 ratio.
The amount of “deliverable” gold on the Comex is the lowest that I’ve seen it in the time I’ve been following the Comex data avidly since 2002.  Please note that the preliminary open interest is almost always revised, most typically a bit lower, by the time the Final report is issued the next day.  But based on many years of tracking this data, it is likely that any revision will not move the “needle” on that 207:1 ratio by much in either direction.
Nothwithstanding all the other information contained in this disclosure, this number represents the confirmation that the Comex is nothing more than a pure paper gold market.  It’s nearly 100% derivatives.  It’s the imposition of derivatives by the Fed and the U.S. Treasury – via their agent bullion banks – on the gold market in order to control the pricing discovery mechanism.
In other words, the Comex gold market is now a 100% artificial gold market.
I find it it quite interesting that the elitists overseeing this operation on the Comex are willing to advertise the 200:1 paper:gold ratio when they have the means at their disposal to hide that number or to make it look a lot smaller.
There’s some kind of message they’re sending to anyone who cares about this sort of thing. It’s either “f*ck you” we’re in control” or “help, we’re in trouble on our paper gold short position.”  Or a combination of both.
The implications embedded in all three of those possibilities are quite horrifying to contemplate.
It’s quite obvious that there’s a problem with the supply of physical gold that is readily available for delivery.  The same is true of the retail silver market, in which available supply at the retail level shrinks by the day.  Premiums on a simple roll of 20 silver eagles are now over $5 at big coin dealers claiming to have inventory.  Most dealers have been wiped out of most if not all of their entire inventory of silver SKU’s.
In my opinion, that head-splitting 200:1 ratio of paper to deliverable gold on the Comex is the surest sign that the market for gold and silver is in crisis mode. The term “crisis” also describes the state of condition of the U.S. stock market and, ultimately, the entire current U.S. financial and economic system.

The government admits its own statistics are phony


(Simon Black)  In an article that first appeared in Fortune magazine on December 10, 2001, Warren Buffett penned a great letter about falling prices:
“When hamburgers go down in price, we sing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ in the Buffett household. When hamburgers go up in price, we weep. For most people, it’s the same with everything in life they will be buying– except stocks. When stocks go down and you can get more for your money, people don’t like them anymore.”
He’s right. Any rational human being actually LIKES falling prices.
We enjoy getting a great deal, and we like it when our money goes further.
To Buffett’s point, investors are a major exception and prefer investing when prices go up, i.e. their money buys less of a high quality asset.
But there’s one more giant exception that Buffett didn’t mention: economists.
Economists quiver in fear at the prospect of falling prices.
They call it ‘deflation’, and it’s a force so dreaded that central bankers have threatened to drop bricks of cash from helicopters in order to prevent it.
Instead, economists prefer INFLATION, i.e. that the things you buy become more expensive.
We can look at official statistics to get a sense of inflation, but these numbers are totally meaningless.
When I was a kid, my father earned enough money to support his family with a single salary.
We had a house, a car, an occasional vacation, and we never missed a meal. All on one income.
But those days are long gone. Now it’s almost obligatory to live in a dual-income household just to make ends meet.
The official statistics never paint this picture.
They focus on some palatable number, telling us the inflation rate is 2%, and then adjust their computational methods to derive that figure.
In fact, the US federal government has changed the way it calculates inflation at least twenty times since the mid 1980s.
And it’s obvious that they have a huge incentive to do so.
The #1 expense of the federal government today is the mandatory entitlement programs that are paid out to seniors in the US– primarily Social Security.
It’s nearing $1 trillion annually and eats up a third of all tax revenue.
The government is required by law to increase the amount of money paid to Social Security recipients each year through what’s called a COLA, or cost of living adjustment.
Essentially they’re adjusting your monthly Social Security payment to keep up with inflation. Or at least, the inflation that they’re willing to admit.
This is where they have a huge incentive to fudge the numbers.
If the real rate of inflation is 5%, but they only give a 2% COLA, the government saves 3%. That’s almost $30 billion.
(Ironically this is 3x the size of the annual budget for the Department of Labor, which is responsible for calculating the inflation statistics.)
But by doing this the government is effectively stealing from seniors.
There’s actually been a new law proposed in Congress to prevent this from happening anymore.
It’s known as HR 3074, and it was written “for the purpose of establishing an accurate Social Security COLA. . .”
So even the government admits that their inflation numbers are a bunch of baloney.
But sadly, according to the legislative watchdog, this bill has a 0% chance of being passed. So I wouldn’t expect a solution anytime soon.
In fact, this problem will likely get worse given how transfixed economists are on the deflation threat.
Their concern is that the Chinese economic slowdown and currency devaluation will cause a wave of falling prices around the world.
But there’s a very curious effect at work here that most people forget:
It’s entirely possible (and now very likely) to have BOTH inflation AND deflation. At the same time.
Assets and investments can fall, while at the same time the prices of retail goods and services rise.
In other words, the value of your investment portfolio goes down, but your grocery bill goes up.
It’s also important to point out that not all prices rise and fall equally.
Gas prices may be down from a year ago in the US. But as the recently-released Hotel Price Index shows, hotel prices are up sharply.
Salt Lake City: 8%. Raleigh: 5%. Portland: 9%. Washington DC: 5%. Los Angeles: 8%.
I’ve seen the effects of this dual inflation/deflation phenomenon as I’ve traveled around the world in places like Argentina, Greece, and Indonesia.
It is a very real threat. And it may now be coming to US shores.
But everyone is focused exclusively on the deflation side.
You’ll get laughed at in financial circles if you mention the word ‘inflation’ anymore. It’s being completely ignored… even denied.
They’re pretending like half the problem doesn’t even exist, which is seriously foolish.
Inflation is a long-term disease. Quarter by quarter the numbers may change. But over the long run it’s like a cancer, slowly eating away at your lifestyle.
It’s not a question of either/or. It’s not a debate over inflation VS. deflation. It’s only a matter of WHEN we’ll end up with BOTH. And how well you’re prepared for it.

Record shattering 94 Million Americans not in the labor force

(MB 360)  The employment numbers released a few days ago left much to be desired right before entering into the nationally celebrated Labor Day holiday.
Not many people can enjoy the “labor” part of the holiday since those not in the labor force has hit another stunning record.  The latest gloomy figures show that 94 million Americans are not in the labor force.
This category added a stunning261,000 people while overall jobs added came in at a lackluster 173k.  When we dig into the employment figures we find that many of the jobs being added are also coming in the form of low wage jobs.  The market is coming to the grim realization that something is fishy with how the employment figures are reported.
We supposedly have the lowest unemployment rate in seven years yet somehow we now have 94 million Americans not in the labor force with hundreds of thousands of people dropping out each month.  Those finding work are largely in McJobs with low pay, no benefits, and job security that resembles the lifespan of a fly.  The army of non-working Americans continues to grow.
Those not in the labor force
The unemployment rate is a tricky number since it is derived by the total pool of potentially available workers.  So if you continue shrinking the pool, the unemployment rate continues to look better despite the reality that many are dropping out because they are unable to find work or are going into massive debt with going to college.  We aren’t counting kids or those unable to work.  This is coming from larger structural changes.
Just look at the trend here:

part rate aug
These are insane figures.  Let us break it down for you:
Not in the labor force
Year-over-year increase:                              1.8 million
Increase since December 2007:                 14.9 million
Over this period only 4 million new jobs have been created:
jobs added
Is it any surprise the unemployment rate is at a seven year low even though we just expanded those not in the labor force by 14.9 million?  Then we have many older Americans becoming fully dependent on Social Security as their primary source of income and relying on a smaller employment base for support.  These are issues that will continue to put a strain on the system short of the market adding millions of new jobs.  That would be the rosy scenario.  So far, that has yet to materialize.
I think the big difference we have seen over the last decade or so is the proliferation of alternative sources of media.  If it were not for the internet, people would be echoing the shallow drivel that comes out of the mainstream press.  When in the past has the “not in the labor force” category ever been covered?  Never.  The media has become a shell of its former self and has lost a sizeable portion of its power.
We have a major crisis unfolding.  We have millions of Americans saddled with $1.36 trillion in student debt.  We have a large number of current workers employed by low wage jobs that seem to be the top employment fields.  On this Labor Day, it matters that we actually count those that are in the labor force and those that are not.  Numbers do matter and when you have 94 million Americans not in the labor force, we have to dig deeper.

Major US retailer will close 35 to 40 stores in early 2016


(New York)  Macy’s says it will close 35 to 40 stores in early 2016, as much as 5% of its namesake department stores.
Macy’s said Tuesday it hasn’t selected all of the stores that will be closed yet. It expects the locations will have about $300 million in combined revenue. The company says employees who work at the closing stores may be offered positions at nearby locations, and workers who are laid off will be offered severance benefits.
The Cincinnati-based company says it closes a few under performing stores every year. The company runs 770 Macy’s stores and has closed 52 locations over the last five years while opening 12.
Macy’s and other retailers are looking for new ways to boost their sales as middle-class customers try to keep their spending down, looking for deals and doing more of their shopping online. The company is preparing to open six lower-priced Macy’s Backstage stores later this year and intends to open more of them in 2016.
Over the last few quarters Macy’s has been hurt by the strong U.S. dollar, which has cut into spending by tourists, as well as a labor dispute that slowed down ports on the West Coast. The company reported $28.11 billion in revenue in 2014, up less than 1% from the year before.
Macy’s is also getting ready to test selling goods online in China through a joint venture with a retailer based in Hong Kong.
Macy’s Inc. also runs the Bloomingdale’s chain, and earlier this year it bought upscale beauty retailer Bluemercury. It has a total of 885 locations.
On Tuesday the company said it will experiment with selling consumer electronics, as it will open Best Buy shops inside 10 of its stores in November. Those departments will be staffed by Best Buy employees.

World Banks Warns Fed: Don’t Raise Interest Rates or Global Economy Will Collapse!

“Alibaba $141 Billion Slide Boosts Tencent to Asia’s Biggest – Bloomberg Business”…
“World Bank chief economist warns Fed to delay rate rise –…
“China Just Killed the World’s Biggest Stock-Index Futures Market – Bloomberg Business”…
“No End in Sight for Slide in Singapore Home Prices as Rates Rise – Bloomberg Business”…
“U.S. Moves to Block Russian Military Buildup in Syria – The New York Times”…

Dow Dumps 300 Points From Morning Highs - US Equities Tumble Into Red

If only Apple had released an iCar...
Blame Gartman!!

As goes AAPL so goes the US equity market economy...

We're gonna need another email!!

Something Just Snapped At The Comex (Updated)

Update: Earlier today, we said that we would "keep a close eye on today's Comex update to see if JPM reverses this "adjustment" and adds at least a few more tons of deliverable gold to its vault." Moments ago we got the daily update form the Comex and not only did JPM not reverse its registered to eligible adjustment, but more curiously, the second largest vault, that of Scotia Mocatta (behind only HSBC) saw a comparable adjustment, whereby 16,644 ounces of gold, or about half a ton, and 14% of its vault total, were adjusted away from "registered" and into the "eliglble" category.
This means that the already record low total registered holding across the Comex system, declined once again this time by 8.3% and hit a new all time low of 185,315, or less than 6 tons.

This means that what was already a record dilution factor, with over 200 ounces of paper gold claims for every ounce of deliverable gold, just soared even more, and following today's 8% drop, there is now a unprecedented 228 ounces of paper claims for every ounce of deliverable "registered" gold.

For those who missed the full story from earlier today, please read on.

* * *
Just over one month ago, when looking at the latest changes in registered gold held at the Comex ,we were stunned not only by the collapse in this series to a record low of just over 350k ounces or barely over 10 tons, but also by the surge in "gold coverage", or the amount of paper gold claims on physical gold, which exploded to a record high 124 per ounce.
This is what we said on August 3:
While on its own, gold open interest - which merely represents the total potential claims on gold if exercised - is hardly exciting, as we have shown previously it has to be observed in conjunction with the physical gold that "backs" such potential delivery requests, also known as the "coverage ratio" of deliverable gold.

It is here that things get a little out of hand, because as the chart below shows, all else equal, the 43.5 million ounces of gold open interest and the record low 351,519 ounces of registered gold imply that as of Friday's close there was a whopping 123.8 ounces in potential paper claims to every ounces of physical gold.

This is an all time record high, and surpasses the previous period record seen in January 2014 following the JPM gold vault liquidation. 

Another way of stating this unprecedented ratio is that the dilution ratio between physical gold and paper gold has hit a record low 0.8%. Indicatively, the average paper-to-physical coverage ratio since January 1, 2000 is a "modest" 19.1x. As of Friday it had soared to more than 6 times greater.
One month ago we showed this record surge in gold claims as follows:

But if last month was shocking, then what the COMEX revealed yesterday was absolutely jaw-dropping.
Here is the most recent update provided by the CME on eligible and registered gold.

What it reveals is that while JPM saw another 90,000 ounces of gold once again withdrawn from its vault, this time in the eligible category, for some reason a whopping 121,124 ounces of registered gold were reclassified as eligible. In doing so, JPM's registered gold (red line in chart below) tumbled to a record low of just 19,718 ounces - an 86% collapse in just one day -  and well under 1 ton of gold, some 600 kilos of physical gold available to meet delivery requests to be specific!

JPM's dramatic adjustment also meant that total Comex registered gold has likewise tumbled to the lowest in history of just 202,054 ounces - just over 6 tons - available for delivery.

Zooming in only on the registered gold since 2014:

Not surprisingly, the latest collapse in registered gold took place while the gold open interest remained flat, and in fact has been modestly rising in the past year as seen below:

Which brings us to the punchline chart: the Comex gold "coverage" ratio, or the amount of paper claims for every ounce of physical. As of Friday this number was literally off the chart (it would not have fit on the previous chart shown up top), soaring to a mindblowing 207 ounces of paper gold claims for every ounce of deliverable gold. This also means that the dilution ratio between physical gold and paper gold has hit a new all-time low of just 0.48%!

And while we know what caused this epic surge in potential claims on gold - namely the relentless outflow in registered gold - what we don't know is whether this is a systemic event, one which threatens the next Comex gold delivery request with an "insufficient product" response, and a potential default, or simply a one day abnormality.
What we do know is that, if only for one day, something at the Comex has snapped.
We will keep a close eye on today's Comex update to see if JPM reverses this "adjustment" and adds at least a few more tons of deliverable gold to its vault, and if not, perhaps a phone call or two may be in order.

Costco sold counterfeit Tiffany engagement rings: US judge


(NEW YORK)  Costco willfully infringed Tiffany & Co’s trademarks by selling counterfeit diamond engagement rings bearing the luxury retailer’s name and must face a jury trial to assess damages, a U.S. judge ruled on Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan rejected claims by Costco that Tiffany’s trademarks were invalid because they sought to prevent others from using the word “Tiffany” as a generic description of a type of ring setting.
Instead, Swain said evidence established that Costco, the largest U.S.warehouse club chain, had infringed Tiffany’s trademarks by selling engagement rings and confused consumers by using the word Tiffany in display case signs.
“Despite Costco’s arguments to the contrary, the court finds that,based on the record evidence, no rational finder of fact could conclude that Costco acted in good faith in adopting the Tiffany mark,” Swain wrote.
Under the ruling, Tiffany may now take Costco before a jury to seek damages, including a recovery of Costco’s profits from the sale of the diamond rings and punitive damages.

Swain set a hearing for Oct. 30 and directed Tiffany and Costco to”make good faith efforts to settle the outstanding issues.”
In a statement, Tiffany General Counsel Leigh Harlan welcomed the ruling, saying it “further validates the strength and value of the Tiffany mark and reinforces our continuing efforts to protect the brand.”
Representatives for Costco did not respond to requests for comment.
Tiffany filed the lawsuit on Valentine’s Day in February 2013, saying it believed hundreds, if not thousands, of Costco members bought engagement rings they wrongly believed were authentic Tiffany products.
Tiffany said that in 2012, a person shopping at a Costco in Huntington Beach, Calif., complained to Tiffany that she was disappointed to see Costco offering for sale what were promoted on in-store signs as Tiffany diamond engagement rings.
Tiffany said a subsequent investigation revealed rings in a displaycase at the Huntington Beach Costco labeled with the word “Tiffany” and that a salesperson there referred to them as such.
Prior to the lawsuit, Tiffany contacted Costco and secured a commitmentthat it would remove references to Tiffany from its display case signs,according to Tuesday’s ruling.
Costco also previously sent a letter to customers who bought the rings offering a full refund if they were unsatisfied, the ruling said.

‘National disgrace’: 3.5m Brits working over 48hrs per week, says TUC


A growing number of Britons are working more than 48 hours per week and as a result face a greater risk of developing life-changing illnesses, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has warned.

Some 3,417,000 employees in Britain are working more than 48 hours per week, a rise of 453,000 since 2010, TUC research reveals.
Those working more than 48 hours every week are at risk of developing mental illnesses, suffering strokes and developing heart disease as a result of stress.
The majority of people working these ‘unhealthy’ hours are men (2,544,000, compared to 873,000 women) the research found, but the number of women working over 48 hours a week has risen by 18 percent since 2010.
All regions in the UK have seen a rapid growth in the number long-hour workers, but Yorkshire and the Humber has experienced the biggest rise with 30 percent more employees working more than 48 hours a week than did in 2010.
Wales and London have seen the next biggest rise, followed by the East Midlands and the North West.
According to the TUC, many people working unpaid overtime have said they want their excessive hours cut.
The biggest industries affected have been mining and quarrying (64 percent), agriculture, fishing and forestry (43 percent), accommodation and food services (36 percent), health and social work (32 percent), and education (31 percent).
The Federation of Trade Unions has called on the government to reassess its “negative view” of the EU Working Times Directive, which was brought into UK law and “stipulates a 40 hour working week.”
We need stronger rules around excessive working – not an opt-out of the Working Time Directive,” TUC General-Secretary Frances O’Grady said in a statement.
“David Cameron will not convince people to vote yes in the EU referendum if all he’s offering is ‘Burnout Britain,’” he said.
Britain’s long-hours culture is a “national disgrace,” former TUC General-Secretary John Monks told the Mail Online.
It leads to stress, ill health and family strains. Half the country is caught in a vicious circle of low pay, low productivity and long hours,” he said, blaming the crisis on low pay.
Other countries produce more, earn more and work far shorter hours. We should, and can, do the same if employers, unions and government work together.
According to the Resolution Foundation, a record five million Britons are now in low-paid jobs.
By April 2016, the government will introduce a National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over.
Claiming this increase is not enough to ensure the policy will “work for all employers,” the Resolution Foundation said “a higher wage floor will need to go hand in hand with strong demand in the labor market and action to raise productivity.”
Via RT. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.

Comex Registered Gold to Open Interest at New All Time High 207:1

by Jesse’s Café Américain
The ratio of open interest to registered gold is at an all time high of 207:1 potential claims per ounce.
Since this is not an active month for gold it is not pressing.
However, the amount of registered (deliverable) gold at these prices has fallen to at least a twelve year low and perhaps more.
Of late the Comex has fallen away from physical delivery in gold, with most of the bullion in the warehouses being held in storage.
More concerning is the overall tightness of the gold market, particularly in the LBMA which serves as a major wholesale physical bullion distribution hub for the world.
Speaking of London, I came acress a brochure from JP Morgan’s new London based service for taking unallocated and ETF gold and applying it as collateral in tri-party arrangements around the world.  Leveraging up the assets you might say, adding a bit of income performance to the old portfolio.  Counterparty risk as well I would imagine.
It was a very slick brochure for the high end portfolio managers with excess bullion just laying around gathering dust that might be put to work as they say.
What was particularly interesting is the way in which they describe the gold market in 2011.  Does this sound like the familiar refrain from the financiers and their talking heads?
Here is a brief excerpt.
Gold has many characteristics that make it appealing as collateral. It is liquid, high quality, and traded and priced globally. As counterparties seek to diversify their collateral pools and stringently review their collateral options, gold takes its place amidst other high grade collateral such as government securities and cash.
Gold has the added attraction for collateral takers of being ‘right way collateral,’ which means that in times of crisis, its price is generally expected to rise, thus providing added protection and diversification to traditional forms of non-cash collateral such as fixed income or equities.
According to John Rivett, global business executive for collateral management, ‘It would be difficult to find a more stable and secure asset than gold. Gold shines when there’s a flight to quality: it runs counter to the market in valuation whenever there’s a credit crunch or fear of contagion.’
J. P. Morgan, Golden Opportunities, 2011

21,995,000 to 12,329,000: Government Employees Outnumber Manufacturing Employees 1.8 to 1

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 8, 2015 | 11:14 AM EDT
(AP Photo/Mike Groll)
( - Those employed by government in the United States in August of this year outnumbered those employed in the manufacturing sector by almost 1.8 to 1, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There were 21,995,000 employed by federal, state and local government in the United States in August, according to BLS. By contrast, there were only 12,329,000 employed in the manufacturing sector.
The BLS has published seasonally-adjusted month-by-month employment numbers for both government and manufacturing going back to 1939. In the first 50 years of the 76-year span since then, manufacturing out-employed government. But in August 1989, government overtook manufacturing as a U.S. employer.
That month, government employed 17,989,000 and manufacturing employed 17,964,000.
Since then, government employment has increased 4,006,000 and manufacturing employment has declined 5,635,000.
According to the BLS data, seasonally-adjusted manufacturing employment in the United States peaked in June 1979, when it hit 19,553,000. Seasonally-adjusted government employment peaked in May 2010, when it hit 22,996,000.
(However, government employment in May and June of 2010 was unusually high because of temporary workers hired to help conduct the decennial census. In April 2010, there were 22,569,000 government employees in the United States. That climbed to the peak of 22,996,000 in May 2010, then dropped to 22,740,000 in June, and returned to 22,659,000 in July 2010.)
There were more Americans employed in manufacturing in 1941 in the months leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor than are employed in manufacturing in the United States today, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This August, according to BLS’s seasonally adjusted data, there were 12,329,000 employed by the manufacturing sector in the United States. But back in August 1941, there were 12,532,000 employed by the manufacturing sector. By December 1941, the month of the Pearl Harbor attack, employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector had risen to 12,876,000.
The 12,532,000 employed in manufacturing in August 1941 equaled 1 manufacturing worker for each 10.6 people in the overall population (which the Census Bureau estimated at  133,402,471 in July 1941). The 12,329,000 employed in manufacturing in August 2015 equaled 1 manufacturing worker for each 26.1 people in the overall population (which the Census Bureau estimated at 321,191,461 in July 2015).
The 4,821,000 people employed by government in August 1941 equaled 1 for each 27.7 people in the overall population of 133,402,471. The 21,995,000 employed by government in August 2015 equaled 1 for each 14.6 people in the overall population of 321,191,461.
Of the 21,995,000 employed by government in August, 2,738,000 worked for the federal government (including 596,500 who worked for the Postal Service), 5,092,000 worked for state governments, and 14,165,000 worked for local governments.
State and local government employees include large numbers of people employed in education. Of the 5,092,000 who worked for state governments in August, 2,446,300 (or 48 percent) worked in education. Of the 14,165,000 who worked for local governments, 7,852,500 (or 55.4 percent) worked in education.

China is ready to ensure regional security jointly with Tajikistan — foreign ministry

China supports the measures taken by Tajikistan to protect the national security and stability
© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

BEIJING, September 9. /TASS/. China is closely following the developments in Tajikistan related to a recent attack on the government forces and supports the efforts of the country’s leadership to ensure national security and is ready to boost cooperation with Tajikistan in the security sphere, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at a regular briefing on Wednesday.
"China supports the measures taken by Tajikistan to protect the national security and stability. The Chinese side is willing to strengthen cooperation with Tajikistan in the field of security, jointly safeguard security and stability in both countries and the region," Hong Lei said.
The situation in Tajikistan escalated in connection with an attempted armed rebellion led by former Deputy Defense Minister Abdukhalim Nazarzoda. On September 4 in the morning the rebels attacked the central office of the Defense Ministry and one of the military units, and seizing a large quantity of weapons and ammunition fled to the Ramit Gorge in the mountains. On the same day, 9 policemen were killed in two attacks of the rebels.

Currently, elite units of the Tajikistani Interior Ministry, the State Committee of National Security and the Defense Ministry of the country are conducting an anti-terrorist operation. They have liquidates about 20 members of the gang and arrested more than 70 people. The operation continues.
On Saturday, the criminal group of Tajikistan’s former Deputy Defense Minister Abdulkhalim Nazarzoda dropped most arms and dispersed in the mountains some 50 kilometers from the country’s capital city Dushanbe. Law enforcers’ helicopters monitored the region to follow the bandits.
Over the years of the civil war in Tajikistan in 1992-1995, Nazarzoda, dubbed Khalim, was a field commander of the Tajik armed opposition. After a peace deal was signed in June 1997, Nazarzoda was commissioned to the Tajik army under the program of reintegration of former opposition gunmen. In 2014, he was promoted to the rank of Major General and appointed deputy defense minister.

Having Crippled The Real Economy With Incompetent And Corrupt Policy Decisions, The Status Quo Of Pampered Privilege Is Going Full Out To Try And Save The Day– For Themselves.

by Jesse’s Café Américain
On the surface this report shows solid economic growth for the US economy during the second quarter of 2015. Unfortunately, all of the usual caveats merit restatement:
— A significant portion of the “solid growth” in this headline number could be the result of understated BEA inflation data. Using deflators from the BLS results in a more modest 2.33% growth rate. And using deflators from the Billion Prices Project puts the growth rate even lower, at 1.28%.
— Per capita real GDP (the number we generally use to evaluate other economies) comes in at about 1.6% using BLS deflators and about 0.6% using the BPP deflators. Keep in mind that population growth alone (not brilliant central bank maneuvers) contributes a 0.72% positive bias to the headline number.
— Once again we wonder how much we should trust numbers that bounce all over the place from revision to revision. One might expect better from a huge (and expensive) bureaucracy operating in the 21st century.
Among major economies, only the Chinese numbers are more suspect.
All that said, we have — on the official record — solid economic growth and 5.3% unemployment.
What more could Ms. Yellen want?
Consumer Metrics Institute, BEA Revises 2nd Quarter 2015 GDP Growth Upward to 3.70%

Thanks to Wall Street On Parade for pointing the way to this commentary above.
The campaign to smother the true state of the US economy with paper, both in terms of paper money and manufactured statistics, is an outgrowth of the credibility trap.
Having crippled the real economy with incompetent and corrupt policy decisions, the status quo of pampered privilege is going full out to try and save the day– for themselves.
Meanwhile, underneath the public relations campaign to persuade people that all is calm, the pressures of a decade or so of malinvestment and crony capitalism continue to build.   The persuasion of the official numbers is becoming more and more ineffective, as people hear one thing but see another in their daily lives.
Yes, there are more jobs.  And they are of an inferior quality with low pay and often little or no benefits such as basic healthcare, which despite assurances otherwise is becoming increasingly expensive, and as in the clear case of Big Pharma, unnecessarily so but supported by government policies.
And the urge is to spread this malicious monopolistic drug policy globally through secret trade deals such as the TPP and TTIP.
The public is rejecting the ‘establishment’ in increasing numbers, such that such voices of the privileged are now recognizing them, but dismissing them as a sociological phenomenon,  expressive individualism.
The political and economic establishment has failed, again and again and consciously so, because it was to their short term benefit to do it.   It is the failure of an oath, of personal morality, and of office.
But now that the consequences of their actions are becoming apparent, they cannot possibly admit to them because, after all, it was they who are responsible.  And there is still plenty of money left on the table.
And so they must deny the problems, cover them and distract attention away from them, and continue to press on with what has been working all along, for them and their friends. The oligarchy has indeed become audacious. both in its lust for looting the system, and its bravura in the attempts to cover up the consequences of their decisions.
“Some appear to believe that ‘confidence in the banks’ can be rebuilt by a new round of good economic news, by rising stock prices, by the reassurances of high officials – and by not looking too closely at the underlying evidence of fraud, abuse, deception and deceit.”
James K. Galbraith, Testimony to Congress, May 2010
Related:   LBMA Apparently Restated Its 2013 Gold Refining Number 2,200 Tonnes Lower