COMING UP SHORT THIS MONTH.
Thought for the day
"I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians." -- Charles de Gaulle, French general & president
Two more legal challenges emerged last week against the Biden administration for its policy to cancel up to $10,000 in student debt for millions of borrowers.
Central banks globally added to their net gold holdings for the fifth consecutive month in August, according to the latest data released by the World Gold Council.
On net, central banks added 20 more tons of gold to their reserves. Three banks drove buying in August and there were no notable sellers.
So far this year, central banks have added over 300 tons of gold to their goldings.
Turkey was the biggest buyer in August and has added more gold than any other country in 2022 to date. With its 8.9-ton purchase in August, Turkey has increased its gold reserves by 84 tons year-to-date. Turkey now holds 478 tons of gold between its central bank and treasury holdings, the highest level since Q2 2020.
Uzbekistan added 8.7 tons to its reserves in August, roughly the same amount as the previous five months. This brings its y-t-d net purchases to over 19 tons despite having begun the year by selling almost 25 tons in the first quarter. Gold reserves account for just over 60% of Uzbek’s total reserves.
Three U.S. Postal Service employees have been arrested in connection with a $1.3 million fraud and identity theft scheme in which they allegedly used stolen credit cards to purchase luxury items.
According to a release from the Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Postal workers Nathanael Foucault, Johnathan Persaud, and Fabiola Mompoint were arrested Thursday in New York alongside a fourth individual, Devon Richards, who is not a postal worker.
Prosecutors said that the scheme began in or around December 2018 and continued up until recently and saw members of the scheme work with U.S. Postal Service mail carriers, including, among others, Mompoint, Foucault, and Persaud to steal credit cards from the mail before the cards were delivered to the actual card holder.
Once getting their hands on the stolen cards, members of the scheme were allegedly able to activate them using the stolen personal information of the actual card owner, according to prosecutors.
Kim Kardashian is in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission for promoting cryptocurrency and has agreed to pay a $1.26 million fine because of it.
Planned Parenthood officials announced Monday the clinic would soon hit the road in a 37-foot RV, bringing abortion services near bordering states that have since banned the procedure.
According to an economic theory called the Unholy Trinity, governments can only ever have two of the following three things: pegged exchange rates, independent monetary policy and free capital flows.
The reason why this is so is quite complicated. But the point is that they must choose two of the three, making the third a pressure valve for the problems created by their attempts to control the other two.
Of course, governments occasionally try to have all three. But it always ends in humiliation. It’s only a question of when.
In this context, humiliation may mean the breaking of the (managed) currency peg. Think of what happened to sterling on Black Wednesday, 16 September 1992, when the currency was forced out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) and subsequently plunged.
Alternatively, humiliation may mean the loss of control of monetary policy, and rampant inflation. There are plenty of contemporary examples.
Pennsylvania Republican Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz is receiving help from a surprising corner of the electorate as his race against Pennsylvania Lt. Governor and Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman enters its final stretch.
In a podcast episode released last week Thursday, David Cross and Kevin Moncla of the Election Oversight Group reveal that open records request from 64 of 66 Georgia counties show the same security error “QR code signature mismatch” and warning message “Ballot format or id is unrecognizable” that caused seven scanners to miscount hundreds of ballots in Williamson County, Tennessee.
The "Tennessee Error" is an “anomaly” discovered on Dominion’s Image Cast Precinct (ICP) Tabulators (also referred to as "scanners") that occurred during a Williamson County election held on October 26, 2021.
The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) defines an anomaly as "an irregular or inconsistent action or response from the voting system or the system component, which resulted in the system or component not functioning as intended or expected."
In Williamson County, an election worker tallying votes on a post-it note realized that hundreds of ballots removed from a tabulator did not get counted.
Even though that tabulator never signaled that a problem occurred.
As more cases of injuries following COVID-19 vaccination continue to be published in the medical journals, it becomes more and more evident that these COVID-19 vaccines have been the most damaging and lethal vaccines to ever be mass-injected into the population.
Case reports of Alopecia, hair loss which sometimes include the loss of all body hair, even the eyebrows, have now been reported and published in the journal Clinical Case Reports.
One month ago we said that there is a reason why despite fundamentals, yields and newsflow screaming for lower prices, US equities simply refused to sell off: it was because investors know that the moment the Fed pivots dovish and capitulates on its tightening cycle (a move which could take place at any moment since it is as much political as it is financial), risk will explode limit up. And so, even though the US is sliding into a recession - or rather because the US is sliding into a recession - stocks remain sticky to the upside, and the VIX barely rises to crisis levels, waiting for the inevitable pivot.
Also one month ago, we got an advance look of what said pivot would look like courtesy of Australia, where bond yields tumbled and stocks soared after the country's top central banker opened the door on Thursday to slowing the bank's policy tightening after five rate increases in as many months, sparking a rally in bonds as markets scaled back bets on further aggressive moves.
In a speech on the policy outlook, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said further rate increases would be needed to contain inflation but the RBA Board was not on a pre-set path and was aware rates had already risen sharply: "We are conscious that there are lags in the operation of monetary policy and that interest rates have increased very quickly," said Lowe adding that he recognizes that "all else equal, the case for a slower pace of increase in interest rates becomes stronger as the level of the cash rate rises."
New week. New month. New quarter. New brains. New trades. New hope. Or “New balls, please” as they say at Wimbledon.
I don’t have the physical energy to play tennis with markets on an every-other-day basis, sending a detailed volley back at those who think the Fed is about to pivot because of one bad datapoint. That doesn’t mean the UK government can’t though – they just did exactly that on tax cuts.
All I can say is re-read what I have been saying all year about this being about more than just data; and I am told every goldbug, cryptonite, bond-bubble boy, equity enthusiast, derivative devil, property shill, and commodity compere is sitting on the side-lines --bleeding out-- and is waiting for the Fed to pivot in order to go all in on the next inflationary everything asset bubble.
Oil prices are extending their recent gains following headlines from Vienna that OPEC+ is considering a reduction in its production limit of as much as 2 million barrels a day.
However, the impact on actual production could be smaller since several members are already pumping far below their officials quotas, meaning they could automatically be in compliance with their new limit without having to curb production.
Nevertheless, it could still result in the cartel's largest reduction since the deep cuts agreed at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and WTI surged up to $87 on the news...
Bangladesh's national power grid collapsed Tuesday afternoon, plunging 140 million people, or nearly everyone in the country, into darkness, AFP reported.
Reuters spoke with officials at the state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board, who said power transmission failed in the eastern part of the country and then tripped power plants nationwide, cutting off power to the capital, Dhaka, and other major metro areas.
Last week, the Bank of England intervened to prevent a gilt market crash by pledging to purchase long-dated bonds after the fallout from Prime Minister Liz Truss's proposed tax cuts. As collateral calls mounted, forcing pension funds to scramble for cash from investment managers to meet margin calls, Bloomberg revealed that the central bank's bond-buying program is much larger than previously announced.
Bloomberg reported Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng signed off on a £100 billion ($113 billion) bond-buying program for the BoE to soothe strains in the gilt market which has so far halted a sell-off that threatened to spiral out of control, sparking a liquidity crisis among pensions funds. Initially, the BoE pledged £65 billion ($69 billion) to buy long-dated gilts.
Spot charter rates for the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers are soaring due to a shortage of vessels.
LNG shipping rates have been dramatically impacted by energy supply chain disruption due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The LNG shipping sector is booming even more as rates near record highs following the bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline system last week.
Bloomberg said Europe is "to replace Russian pipeline flows with liquefied natural gas from suppliers including in the US and Nigeria." Rejiggering supply chains for the energy-stricken continent means increasing demand for LNG carriers to source gas further away.
Shell booked an LNG carrier for $400k per day, likely the most expensive ever for the Atlantic basin. The Indian firm GAIL also secured an LNG shipment for about $360k per day.
Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin grilled several Democrats and Biden officials on camera for a Fox News segment that aired Monday afternoon.
California state officials are anticipating dry conditions in the state to continue after three years of drought that has plagued the state and severely impacted agriculture.
A video clip resurfaced Monday showing Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman (D), who at the time of the clip was mayor of Braddock, vandalizing a sign belonging to a local business back in 2010.
A Fox News panel descended into chaos on Monday when “The Five” cohost Jessica Tarlov tried to defend abortion access — and accidentally made the case for securing the southern border in the process.
The administration of the United States President Joe Biden has bypassed Congress to arm Ukraine with the next tranche of advanced American weapons worth $625 million.
Reporting on Monday, Reuters cited sources briefed on the new package as saying that Biden has ordered provision of the military aid for Ukraine, using his "Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA)."
This is not the first time that the US administration chooses to send weapons to Ukraine, using the PDA, which allows the president to authorize transfer of excess weapons from US stocks without congressional approval.
Made by Lockheed Martin Corp the HIMARS launchers' accuracy and longer range have allowed Ukraine to reduce Russia's artillery advantage.
The US has thus far pledged 16 HIMARS launchers to Ukraine using PDA.
The weapons, which are expected to be shipped to Ukraine in the coming days, include four High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, munitions, mines, and mine-resistant vehicles, the sources noted.
Comedian and late-night host Bill Maher has some advice for Joe Biden: dump Kamala Harris.
During Maher’s most recent episode of Real Time, he makes a strong push to have Biden drop Harris from the 2024 Democratic ticket; he also doesn’t think Biden is going anywhere.
“Once you have that real estate, and you wake up in the White House, and your office is the Oval, I just don’t think you give it up,” Maher said. “It’s very hard to take away the nomination from the president, a sitting president.”
At the Democratic National Committee Women’s Leadership Forum last week, Vice President Kamala Harris raised a few eyebrows by claiming that Hurricane Ian aid would be given based on “equity.”
It is 99% accurate to say that Harris said Hurricane Ian aid would be based on “race.”
“So, we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity, understanding that not everybody starts out at the same place,” she said.
No, Harris did not use the word “race.” She used the word “equity” in a racial context, essentially saying the same thing.
But Politifact rated the claim that Harris said aid to victims of Hurricane Ian would be based on race as “false.”
According to a report by CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten, a loss in support from Black Americans could hand control of the Senate to the GOP.
“Look, they’re still getting 74 percent support in the pre-election polling right now but compare that to the final polling for 2020 President and 2018 Congress,” he stated. “In 2020 it was 84 percent, 85 percent in 2018.”
Alyssa Farah Griffin admitted on Monday that she had “worked together” with New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman — who just published a book about former President Donald Trump — while she was still working in the Trump White House.
Three major American medical institutions wrote a letter to the Biden administration this week urging it to go after major figures online who are promoting content that exposes some of the radical gender surgeries that are being offered at some places across the country.
The Japanese government is urging citizens to “take shelter immediately” after North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile.
Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom signed several bills last week with conflicting messages on freedom of speech and censorship.
UChicago United, a woke student organization at The University of Chicago, has announced their upcoming events for the academic year. One such event, “Race @ UChicago” has made it clear….no whites allowed. The event emphasizes that the event is “A BIPOC-ONLY space.”
Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs shocked Bloomberg News' hosts on Monday by speculating that the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines was a "US operation" or joint "US-Poland action."
The UK may enter a gas supply emergency due to shortages this winter, according to energy regulator Ofgem.
“Due to the war in Ukraine and gas shortages in Europe, there is a significant risk that gas shortages could occur during the winter 2022/23 in Great Britain. As a result, there is a possibility that GB could enter into a Gas Supply Emergency,” Ofgem said in a letter responding to a request by energy generator SSE that the regulator should address the risk of possible insolvencies. The letter was first made public by The Times.