• GoldCore
    08/01/2014 - 02:42
    The stealth phenomenon that is silver stackers or long term store of value buyers of silver coins and bars continues and is seen in the record levels of demand for silver eagles from the U.S. Mint....

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China's Billionaire Ex-National Security Chief Investigated For "Serious Disciplinary Violation"

With an estimated net worth of $14 Billion, Zhou Yongkang, the man formerly in charge of China's vast security apparatus, was one of the nine most senior politicians in China until 2012. But now, as The BBC reports, state media have announced he is being investigated for "serious disciplinary violation", a term usually used to refer to corruption. The news ended months of speculation about his fate as numerous people in his sphere of influence are either under investigation or have been sentenced to death. This move confirms Xi Jinping's determination to root out corruption but could also be seen, given Zhou's influence, as an effort to eliminate a center of power in China's factional political system.



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President Obama To Explain How These New-New Sanctions Will Really Make Putin Mad - Live Feed

We are sure President Obama must be happy that the European leaders finally stepped in line behind him and layered new goldilocks sanctions on Russia. With business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic urging him not to, for fear of the dreaded 'boomerang' from Putin (which has already been targeted at MSFT, IBM, MCD, INTC, AMD, and car manufacturers), President Obama is set to explain how his new-new sanctions (which include several Russian banks including VTB, Russia's second largest ) and will be the message that Putin needs to leave, fold to NATO, handover everything, and retire to the Gulag. Yet, oddly enough, Gazprom is once again missing from the sanctions list. The whole market is sliding heading into his speech (including the Russian ETF). We await the retaliation.



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The One Rate That Is Not Only Not Going Down, But Is At A 13-Year High

With 77 million Americans having debt past due and the average household owing more than $15,000 in credit card debt, it appears the Fed's supposed plan to 'help Main Street' is not working so well. As the following chart from NewEdge's Brad Wishak shows, despite Fed Funds at practically zero, US credit card variable interest rates continue to rise - now at their highest since July 2001.



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Bonds & Peso Slide As Fernandez Slams Holdouts For "True Aggression Against Argentina"

With hours to go until Argentina's grace period runs out and default occurs, investors are less than frantically selling Argentine bonds and pesos. They are lower but do not appear in full panic mode as we presume investors cling to hope that Argentina folds and pays off the holdouts (though there has been no sign of that so far). ARG 2033 bonds are down 3 points to 81 and the black-market peso is modestly weaker at 13.0 (near its record lows). Argentine CDS tightened modestly (as BofA warns the facts surrounding Argentina’s bond payments continue to be unique and deciding if CDS are triggered could take longer than expected) but 1Y CDS are holding at 4600bps (equivalent) - a 52% probability of default. Paul singer continues to defend himself (and the holdouts) from claims they are "dangerous fundamentalists" hell-bent on making it impossible for foreign sovereigns to restructure their debts.



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NY Regulator Demands Government Monitors "Inside" Barclays And Deutsche Bank

With the NY Fed already warning of "significant operational risk," and former Fed officials proclaiming Deutsche Bank is "horribly under-capitalized," along with Barclays 'dark pool' and gold manipulations, it is perhaps not a total surprise that, as WSJ reports, New York's banking regulator is pushing to install government monitors inside the U.S. offices of Deutsche Bank and Barclays as part of an intensifying investigation into possible manipulation in the foreign-exchange market. These two banks were selected because they had the 'greatest potential problems' based on a preliminary investigation.



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Deadbeat Nation: A Shocking 77 Million Americans Face Debt Collectors

We have been warning for years that as a result of the Fed's disastrous policies, America's middle class is being disintegrated and US adults are surviving only thanks to insurmountable debtloads. But not even we had an appreciation of how serious the problem truly was. We now know, and it is a shocker: according to new research by the Urban Institute, about 77 million Americans have a debt in collections.



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Strong 5 Year Bond Auction Has Record Low Dealer Takedown, Directs Surge

If yesterday's 2 Year bond auction was a snoozer, today's 5 Year was anything but. First, the pricing was solid, and while the high yeild of 1.72 was the highest since May 2011, it stopped 1.2 bps through the 1.732% When Issued. The Bid to Cover was also solid, rising from 2.74 to 2.81, the highest since March and now appears to have decisively broken the downtrend in BTCs seen through the end of 2013. The most notable features of today's auction however were the internals, where we saw the Direct takedown soar from 9.3% to 25.9%, the second highest on record and only lower than the 30.4% in December 2012. And while Indirects were again flat like in yesterday's auction at 48.2%, it was the Dealers who had to make space, and the resulting Dealer allotment of 25.9% was far lower than the 38.2% in June, and the lowest in auction history.



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Canadian Doctor Quarantines Himself Over Ebola Fears After Returning From Liberia

Earlier today we wondered, rhetorically, if the CDC was wrong when it stated, with confidence, that there is "little risk" for the Ebola virus to leave the African continent, and cross the Atlantic, landing in North America. We may have gotten the official refutation less than 6 hours later, when moments ago Canada's CTV reported that a Canadian doctor is in self-imposed quarantine after spending nearly a month in West Africa treating patients in the deadly Ebola outbreak that has claimed nearly 700 lives. "Dr. Azaria Marthyman of Victoria, B.C. was among a handful of Canadian health-care workers who traveled to Liberia, where the Ebola epidemic is currently raging. He was part of a North American team from the Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse." This is the same charity organization whose two US citizen members were previously reported to have caught the virus.



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Is Hong Kong-US Dollar Link About To End? HKMA Buys $715 Million To Support Peg

Yesterday saw something quite unusual in the New York trading session. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority bought $715 million (selling HKD) in the FX markets to manage its currency peg, injecting the money into the banking system (and expanding its balance sheet) to prevent HKD from rising above its permitted range. HKMA projects its balance sheet to grow to the end of July, but as Simon Black (of Sovereign Man blog) notes, this could well be the start of a bigger shift - an end to the US Dollar peg..."The US is no longer the undisputed superpower it once was. The US dollar is dragging them down. Hong Kong is easily strong enough to stand on its own."



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Why China Couldn't Care Less About Its Stock Market

To China housing is like the stock market to the US: both mission-critical bubbles designed to give a sense of comfort and boost the "wealth effect"



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Our Marginal Economy

Before you jump on the Bull market bandwagon of "don't fight the Fed," perhaps you should take a look at the quality of the debt the Fed has enabled and the diminishing returns on all that debt.



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EU Announces New Washington-Pleasing, Russia-Wristslap Sanctions

After unleashing a 10-page report of the death and destructive economic impact they could have on Russia via sanctions, the European leaders have agreed to issue travel bans, some asset-freezes, and trade curbs on various new individuals and business entities. The Goldilocks sanctions... just enough to please Washington, not enough to infuriate Putin into 'boomerangs'.



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Behold The New Normal Definition Of "Confidence"

While headlines are flashing red about how exuberant the consumer is, there appears to be some 'new normal' oddness under the covers. Projecting this positive news into the future (as every talking-head is) does not add up with the fact that "plans to buy a car" and "plans to buy a major appliance" both tumbled in July. But the biggest problem for the 'recovery', "plans to buy a home" collapsed to its lowest since Feb 2013...  perhaps not a total surprise when 77 million Americans have debt past due. Welcome to the new normal definition of confidence.



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Consumer Confidence Explodes Higher To October 2007 Highs

On the heels of UMich confidence tumbling to 4-month lows, the Conference Board's consumer confidence exploded higher to the highest since October 2007. This is the 3rd monthly rise in a row and the biggest beat in 13 months all led by a spike in future expectations to its highest since Feb 2011. The Conference Board proclaims this is due in part to a "brighter outlook for personal income," though reality of falling real hourly wages suggests that is simply false. The last time the conference board confidence diverged this much from UMich confidence was June 2007 and that did not end well...



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Banco Espirito Santo Plunges: Shareholder Meeting Cancelled Due To "Unexpected Facts"

With all other operating holdcos having already declared bankruptcy, the anxiety over Banco Espirito Santo is growing (despite DE Shaw and Goldman Sachs recommending investors buy the shares). Despite Bank of Portugal reassurance last night that "BES is able to raise capital), the stock is plunging on news of "unexpected facts" this morning...

*BANCO ESPIRITO SANTO SAYS SHAREHOLDER MEETING WAS CANCELLED DUE TO "UNEXPECTED FACTS''
*BANCO ESPIRITO SANTO FALLS MORE THAN 13% IN LISBON TRADING

Remember, this is systemic (as the Portugues President has warned), and the contagion is potentially global... not "contained."



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