Rising Resource Costs Escalate Odds of Global Unrest

Submitted by Chris Martenson via Peak Prosperity,

The critical 40% income-to-food threshold

As we observe the growing unrest in Ukraine, there is the usual rush to ascribe a cause. Was it meddling by the West? Russia? Was it corruption by prior leaders? Simmering resentments that stretch back centuries that finally erupted?

The answers to these questions apply to Ukraine as well as to many other countries. Which is why having an accurate framework, a clear 'lens' for seeing what is actually transpiring, will prove far more useful to you than 99% of what you will hear on the nightly news.

In response to my recent report on the devolution of events in Ukraine, a veteran reader asked:

  • Which snowflake causes the avalanche?
  • Why are the people in Ukraine are angry enough to start a civil war, while the people in Greece are upset but ultimately willing to go along with years of Troika diktat in order to save the German and French banks? In other words: why was the avalanche in Ukraine so ready to happen?
  • Martin Armstrong attributes the high degree of Ukraine unrest to the populace crossing its tolerance level for corruption, after years of rising discontent. Is it that straightforward?
  • How about the Arab Spring: Do we blame the policewoman who slapped that fruit seller in Tunisia? Or Facebook and Twitter for facilitating communication among the populace in a manner outside of the control of the State?

Was it any of these reasons? All of them? Perhaps some others, too?

Why people in country A are ready to revolt, while those in country B are not, is worth exploring; especially for those considering moving to another country. If you plan to re-locate to a "better" society, you really need to make sure you fully understand the community and culture you'll be placing yourself into — and whether its benefits are indeed extended to new-coming 'outsiders' such as yourself.

The 40% Rule

If you were going to try and understand why revolts happen, but wanted to limit yourself to a single variable, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something better than the price of food.

There's quite a bit of research to support the idea that people who spend above a certain percent of their income on food are more likely to protest, riot, or otherwise become restive. That number seems to have a minimum threshold of 40% of income to food costs, give or take:

Since the beginning of 2014, riots have occurred in countries including Thailand and Venezuela. Although they’re different cultures on different continents, these mass protests movements may all have one commonality; increasing food prices may have contributed to their occurrence. The cost of food has been steadily increasing in both Thailand and Venezuela; last month demonstrators in Caracas took to the streets marching with empty pots to protest food shortages. According to Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam and fellow researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), events such as these may be anticipated by a mathematical model that examines rising food costs.


The events of 2014 aren’t without precedent; the price of food has provoked (and placated) throughout history, beginning in Imperial Rome when Augustus introduced grain subsidies. In recent years, the Middle East has been particularly affected by the cost of grain. Centuries after Egypt developed bread as we recognize it, the nation experienced a bread intifada – the country rioted for two days in January 1977 following Anwar Sadat’s decision to drastically decrease food subsidies. More recently, under the rule of Hosni Mubarak, the price of grain rose 30 percent between 2010 and 2011. Then, on January 25, 2011 a new revolution began in Egypt.


While the study used data through 2011, so much has happened since that I strongly expect the results are even stronger now. To wit, if we were to update the above chart we'd have to add Thailand, Argentina, Ukraine, Greece and Venezuela to the list.

It’s delightfully intuitive that food prices and people’s sense of contentment are tightly linked. Where the various meddlers in the Ukrainian situation were able to obtain quite large reactions from relatively simple efforts, it might be nearly impossible to incite a similar reaction in Switzerland, even with 50x more provocation and propaganda.

This conforms to my views on terrorism which I see as a very rare occurrence that results when a group feels they have literally zero other options left. Usually what governments call terrorism is not even that; rather, it's the type highly asymmetrical warfare that one gets when a vastly weaker party believes it has to react to a stronger foe.  That is, it's a tactic not a genetic defect or cultural ideology.

The main connection between these points on social unrest and terrorism is that people are generally very slow to react, and will only resort to unrest and violence if they already have their backs against a wall. A very effective wall is the lack of access to affordable food.

But there are others. From the same article as linked above:

Of course, man cannot riot off bread alone; factors such as unemployment, oppression, economic instability and corruption also contribute. Still, there is something so fundamental about food, and the implications of not having it, that makes people react. As Bar-Yam explains, “The analysis suggests the doubling of food prices we have seen since 2005 pushed many in the greatest poverty across the line from bare subsistence into desperation and starvation. When people are not able to feed their families, they have little to lose and become willing to take strong actions.”

Certainly one popular story in the West is that the people of Ukraine rose up against a corrupt president, Yanukovych, and that’s certainly true to an extent. Instead of viewing the corruption as the only factor at work, though, those willing to do a modicum of digging will soon realize it was merely one of several final straws.

Under- and unemployment contributed, as did oppression and a generally poor economy. Heavy fuel costs were mixed in there, too. And all of these threaten to get worse under the terms of the IMF ‘loan’ to Ukraine.

Rising Oil, Rising Food

Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.

– Henry Kissinger

There are numerous research studies showing that rising food prices are highly correlated with oil. Analysis reveals that the price of oil influences the price of food but that, in reverse, the price of food does not influence the price of oil. That is, there’s more than correlation, there’s causation — with oil driving the price of food over the long haul. Specifically, the price of corn, soybeans and wheat, with rice not showing much of an effect possibly because so much of it is planted and harvested with muscle-power vs. oil.

Here’s a long run view showing this relationship:


What’s interesting is that the obvious effect of rising oil prices is on the supply side. All of the inputs costs more: fertilizer, diesel for the tractors, chemicals and transport. The less obvious part of the story is on the demand side, as higher fuel costs end up diverting cropland to energy production in the form of corn-based ethanol and palm oil. This removes land for food production and creates competing demand for the same edibles in the case of corn.

In 2005, the price of oil began its volatile rise to the current worldwide price of over $100 per barrel. Correspondingly, the world price for food has also risen over the same period and is now above the levels that ignited the so-called Arab Spring, which really could be renamed the Hungry Uprising:


Food prices are high by historical standards and this is one of the key flashpoints for so many of the recently afflicted countries. The reason energy prices and food prices are so tightly coupled is because there are anywhere from 10 to 20 energy calories embedded in each 1 food calorie.

It seems quite likely that food prices will only continue to rise from here for a number of reasons, high oil prices being just one. There’s also increasingly chaotic weather impinging on harvests, which seem to be a part of our new normal. Already driving the price of food is a fair degree of speculation on the possibility of the emergence of El Nino in the Pacific later this year (2014); previous similar weather patterns have proven to be especially damaging to global grain harvests.

Droughts, as well, have been particularly vexing to several regions of the world, including the US. One that began in 2008 is almost certainly a main contributor to the Syrian uprising:

Lebanon Prays for Rain to Avoid Syria’s Fate

May 9, 2014


Three years ago, on the cusp of the Arab Spring, a devastating drought sparked anti-government protests in Syria, which eventually devolved into a grinding civil war. Now a new drought has arrived—one that’s expected to be theregion’s worst in decades. Only this time, the parched country in peril is Lebanon.


Things are so bad in this nation of 4 million that snow was largely absent from the country’s famed ski resorts this year—a vital source of groundwater during the summer—and some villagers near the Israeli border have even reportedly turned to the ancient ritual ofshish balli, or praying for rain. And asthe dry monthsapproach, some worry thatLebanon, as well as Syria, is on the brink of a severe water crisis.


Perhaps droughts have always been a staple in the global climate tool kit but when you combine drought with high population densities, ruined soils, and generally dim economic prospects they can be quite destabilizing as has proven true across the Middle East – North African belt.

In the case of Syria, there’s no good news yet on the horizon.

UN warns of Syria food shortage due to looming drought

Apr 8, 2014


The UN has warned that a drought in Syria could lead to a record low wheat harvest and put millions of people at risk.


The World Food Programme (WFP) said rainfall since September has been less than half the long-term average.


At the same time, WFP food aid has been cut by a fifth due to a lack of funds from international donors.


"WFP is concerned about the impact of a looming drought hitting the northwest of the country, mainly Aleppo, Idlib, and Hama," WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told reporters in Geneva.

"A drought could put the lives of millions more people at risk," she said.


Up to 6.5 million Syrians could need emergency food aid as a result, up from the current figure of 4.2 million, Byrs said.


As a result of the drought, Syria could be forced to import more than the 5.1 million tonnes of wheat it needed last year, the WFP said in a report.


Syria was last hit by a drought in 2008, three years before the outbreak of the civil war.


On Monday, the WFP announced that it had to cut the size of its food parcels to Syrian families by 20 per cent.


It’s pretty obvious that part of the tension that led to uprisings in Syria was related to both this drought and generally high food prices, even before poor harvests added to the misery.

Importing Water

An additional factor in my prediction for rising food prices stems from the gross over-withdrawal of water from aquifers that has been ongoing for decades.

If you compare the map below with a list of trouble spots in the world you will note a high degree of overlap:


Some of those countries are not yet in revolt, but are on a very dangerous path that may well take them there. India is badly over-pumping its main aquifers and is hugely dependent on the food that comes from those efforts.

Saudi Arabia’s main aquifer is slated to run out as early as 2016. Because it has abundant energy resources Saudi Arabia will be able to turn to desalination plants, but for how long and at what costs to their ability to export oil as that same oil is being used to power those plants?

It takes up to 1,000 tons of water to grow one ton of wheat. Therefore, when China imports grains, like corn, soybeans and wheat, it is actually importing water, something it increasingly needs to do because of aquifer depletion and surface water pollution.  

Given the trends in world food production, energy prices, droughts, El Ninos, depleting aquifers, and the like — we actually have to work very hard to come up with any scenarios wherein food prices might fall instead of rise.

The only one that really makes sense is an economic accident of such grand proportions that it causes a deflationary impulse so strong that it drags pretty much everything down with it, including food prices. But then, we’d expect literally everything to be cheaper in price; from real estate to stocks to bonds to politicians to used cars.

It remains our view that such an outcome, while possible, will be fought tooth and nail by the world's central banks. They'll print and distribute additional rounds of ‘deflation fighting’ money to keep the system afloat.

And, just as none of the central bankers have given one thought to the savers they have tossed under the bus wheels to ‘save the system’, they will give about as much thought to the immense pain that exporting food inflation will meant to dozens of countries and billions of people.

Conclusion (Part 1)

In Part 2: What To Avoid When Relocating we apply the framework above to understand why Ukraine was actually a very likely candidate for the unrest that's broken out there, and why the math strongly indicates the situation is likely to get considerably worse. 

Dwindling resources produce the least admirable human behaviors, something science has tested and understands quite well. Ukraine is a bellwether; we will see other conflicts like it elsewhere in the world, and likely, in time, within our own nation. Which is why understanding the nature of social unrest is so important, particularly to those considering relocation (within or outside of their home country). You certainly don't want to leap from the frying pan into the fire as resource scarcity and conflicts are now part of the global equation.

Click here to access Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).


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Where’s The Cheapest (And Most Expensive) Gas In The World?

We recently noted that crude oil prices vary markedly around the world due to multiple factors but the derivative that so many of us use – gasoline (or petrol as some might say) – varies even more so. From Hong Kong and Edinburgh (almost 2.5x NYC prices) to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta (almost half the price of NYC), the spread is remarkable.



Crude prices around the world…


But Gas prices vary even more…



From Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta to Hong Kong and Edinburgh…


Source: Deutsche Bank

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The Ultimate “Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right” Interview: Cramer & Geithner – Live Feed

“They know nothing…” – grab your popcorn and settle in for the clash of the titans as the Cramer-Geithner lovefest explodes on to your screen…


here is Cramer in 2008 explaining that if Geithner is installed as the next Treasury Secretary then “we are done, kaput, finished… we are completely and royally hosed as a nation”


And here is Cramer in 2012 explaining that Geithner is one of the greatest Treasury Secretaries ever

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Live Feed:

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer meet Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET to talk about “Stress Test,” Geithner’s new memoir on life during the financial crisis.


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The Problem of Military Robot Ethics

I’m not entirely sure what it
would mean for a robot to have morals, but the U.S. military is
about to spend $7.5 million to try to find out. As J.D. Tuccille
noted earlier today, the Office of Naval Research has awarded
grants to artificial intelligence (A.I.) researchers at multiple
universities to “explore how to build a sense of right and wrong
and moral consequence into autonomous robotic systems,”

Defense One.

The science-fiction-friendly problems with creating moral robots
get ponderous pretty fast, especially when the military is
involved: What sorts of ethical judgments should a robot make? How
to prioritize between two competing moral claims when conflict
inevitably arises? Do we define moral and ethical judgments as
somehow outside the realm of logic—and if so, how does a machine
built on logical operations make those sorts of considerations? I
could go on.

You could perhaps head off a lot of potential problems by
installing behavioral restrictions along the lines of Isaac
Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics
, which state that robots can’t
harm people or even allow harm through inaction, must obey people
unless it could cause someone harm, and must protect themselves,
except when that conflicts with the other two laws. But in a
military context, where robots would at least be aiding with a war
effort, even if only in a secondary capacity, those sorts of
no-harm-to-humans rules would probably prove unworkable.

That’s especially true if the military ends up pursuing
autonomous fighting machines, what most people would probably refer
to as killer robots. As the Defense One story notes, the military
currently prohibits fully autonomous machines from using lethal
force, and even semi-autonomous drones or others are not allowed to
select and engage targets without prior authorization from a human.
But one U.N. human rights official warned last year that it’s
likely that governments will eventually begin creating fully
autonomous lethal machines. Killer robots! Coming soon to a
government near you.

Obviously Asimov’s Three Laws wouldn’t
work on a machine designed to kill. Would any moral or ethical
system? It seems plausible that you could build in rules that work
basically like the safety functions of many machines today, in
which the specific conditions result in safety behaviors or shut
down orders. But it’s hard to imagine, say, an attack drone with an
ethical system that allows it to make decisions about right and
wrong in a battlefield context.

What would that even look like? Programming problems aside, the
moral calculus involved in waing war is too murky and too widely
disputed to install in a machine. You can’t even get people to come
to any sort of agreement on the morality of using drones for
targeted killing today, when they are almost entirely human
controlled. An artificial intelligence designed to do the same
thing would just muddy the moral waters even further.

Indeed, it’s hard to imagine even a non-lethal military robot
with a meaningful moral mental system, especially if we’re pushing
into the realm of artificial intelligence. War always presents
ethical problems, and no software system is likely to resolve them.
If we end up building true A.I. robots, then, we’ll probably just
have to let them decide for themselves. 

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Big Trouble in the Pacific – Vietnamese Mob Burns Foreign Factories in Anti-China Riots

As the war/civil unrest cycle continues to march forward, there appear to be two main geopolitical tinderboxes percolating at the moment. While we all know about Ukraine/Russia, which will only get worse in the months ahead, the South China Sea looks like it may be about to burst out into overt conflict.

Yesterday, I noticed a post on Zerohedge about how China had moved an oil rig into Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which was an obvious provocation accompanied by 86 Chinese vessels. They note:

With the additional deployment of a submarine and a missile ship, there are now 86 Chinese vessels accompanying the oil rig’s installation in Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Local news reports that 3 Chinese military ships are surrounding a Vietnamese marine police vessel this morning and water cannon use continues against Vietnamese ships. We addressed the who, what, where, when and how of China’s HD-981 oil rig foray into Vietnamese waters here but, as we discuss below, the enduring question, as with many of China’s recently provocative actions in the Asia-Pacific, remains why?

So what really interests me at this point are the massive riots that broke out last night in southern Vietnam in response. The mob irrationally damaged mostly Taiwanese factories, but the focus of the ire was clear: China.

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 4.34.58 PM

Reuters reports that:

(Reuters) – Thousands of Vietnamese set fire to foreign factories and rampaged in industrial zones in the south of the country in an angry reaction to Chinese oil drilling in a part of the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam, officials said on Wednesday.

The brunt of Tuesday’s violence, one of the worst breakdowns in Sino-Vietnamese relations since the neighbors fought a brief border war in 1979, appears to have been borne by Taiwanese firms in the zones in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces that were mistaken for Chinese-owned companies.

continue reading

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Here’s Why The Baltic Dry Index Is Collapsing (In 1 Image)

If ever there was a better indication of the mal-investment boom created by an interfering Fed, this is it. As demand for shipping collapses on real slowing in the global economy – markets have “told” shipbuilders to “build it and they will come”here is a ship-shipping ship, shipping shipping ships…



h/t @NMMGreenwich

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Interview: Bailins May Cause Bank Runs and Capital Controls In Western World – Russia, China Opt Out

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,300.25, EUR 948.33 and GBP 775.20 per ounce.                

Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,292.75, EUR 939.91 and GBP 766.67 per ounce.

Gold climbed $15.53 to $1308.83 at about 8:25AM EST before it edged back lower in late morning New York trade, but it still ended with a gain of 1%. Silver surged to as high as $19.987 before being capped at that level but ended with a gain of 1.23%. Euro gold rose to about €952, platinum jumped $30 to $1478.

The historic 120-year old daily silver fixing process will cease as of 14th August this year, the London Silver Market Fixing Limited company announced today. The company that administers the daily silver fix currently consists of three member banks, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Scotia Bank.

Silver in US Dollars – Weekly, 10 Years (Thomson Reuters)

An informational letter released this morning by the company and signed by Simon Weeks of Scotia Bank, current chairman of the silver fixing, attempts to address a number of concerns that users of the silver fixing data may now have.

In answer to the question of what happens after 14th August for those market participants who have contracts and terms and conditions referencing the Silver Fix, the Chairman states that “The Company is not in a position to comment on such matters, but market participants can speak to their contractual counterparties.”

The reason for the ending of the fix is due to increased regulatory scrutiny of the gold and silver market due to allegations of price rigging and manipulation. Many analysts believe that market manipulation has contributed to sharp sell offs and price weakness in recent months.

Platinum and palladium added to sharp gains made overnight on worries that increasing labour tensions in major producer South Africa and tensions with Russia could hurt supply. Gold edged up and broke above $1,300/oz on escalating violence in Ukraine and heightened geopolitical tensions.

Mark O’Byrne with Max Keiser on Russia Today

Ukrainian troops were attacked and seven were killed by pro-Russian separatists yesterday, in the heaviest loss of life for government forces in a single clash since Kiev sent soldiers to put down the revolution in the country’s east.

East-West relations are being poisoned by the day and this should support gold prices.

Russia retaliated against U.S. sanctions by hitting strategic aerospace projects, including refusing to extend the life of the International Space Station, a showcase of post-Cold War cooperation.

After four deaths over the weekend, South Africa upped security in the platinum belt to protect miners who have decided to ditch a 16-week strike that has halted 40% of normal global output.

Hundreds of stick-wielding miners barricaded roads and torched roadside vegetable stalls near Lonmin’s South African platinum mine on Tuesday, in an attempt to block fellow strikers from breaking rank and going back to work.

Platinum surged 2%  to $1,480.00 an ounce after jumping about 1% in the previous session to its highest in a month. Palladium also rose another 1.5% to $827.50/oz after rising 1.1% overnight to a one-week high.

Platinum stockpiles having been reduced and this should lead to higher platinum prices. South Africa is the top producer of platinum and second biggest producer of palladium after Russia.

Max Keiser Interviews Mark O’Byrne, GoldCore Director of Research on Bail-Ins

Keiser: Mark, you have a new report on bail-ins – From Bail-Outs to Bail-Ins: Risks and Ramifications  …  Ok so the era of bondholder bailouts is ending and that of depositor bail-ins is coming. Tell us about your report.

O’Byrne: The risk of bail-ins has been coming in a very stealthy manner and under-the-radar way. Most people aren’t actually aware of it. It is very much on the radar now and is coming from the very top and the Bank of International Settlements, through the various central banks, and the legislation is there.

Only last week, the European Union and Dutch Finance Minister, Dijsselbloem, the Chairman of the Eurogroup Finance Ministers, confirmed that in the EU, they are ready to go in 2015 … The concern is, the legislation is there but if something happens and you have a ‘Black Swan’ event, you have a Lehman Brothers type of event, the legislation could be expedited and you could see them happen sooner rather than later.

That’s just the EU, it is also coming in the UK through the Bank of England, they have legislation  in conjunction with the FDIC and so the bail-ins are coming in the UK, in the U.S. and indeed throughout most of the western world. Most G20 nations have signed up for bail-ins – not all of them but most of them.

So it is a real risk and it has happened in Cyprus. And in Cyprus when it happened, the authorities said it was a once-off, because of all of the hot Russian money that is in Cyprus, and this will not happen anywhere else…but meanwhile they are planning for that scenario in most of our countries and people need to be aware of that and they need to prepare.

Although they said that Cyprus was a one-off, most G20 countries are all legislating and preparing for a similar scenario in their home countries.

Keiser: Yes. Just this past weekend, David Cameron, UK Prime Minister, here in the UK was making some interesting comments, can you talk about that a little bit?

O’Byrne: Yes. It was just yesterday, actually. Cameron was talking on Sky News and in the recent UK Budget, again it was quietly put in there, almost  in the p.p.s, down the bottom in the small print, they basically brought in new powers whereby HM Revenue can actually go in and raid people’s bank accounts, on the basis that they may not have paid taxes but the authorities do not have to prove it. So it is simply the word of the Revenue versus the individual and they don’t have to have any proof whatsoever.

There are various people in the UK Parliament, opposition MPs, have begun asking questions about this and indeed people in the financial services industry in the UK, including the Chartered Accountants body, they are asking questions about this and saying ‘hang on a second’, this goes against basic principles of law.

It creates a new power that is quite a dangerous power for a government to have. We have seen throughout history that when governments have such powers they tend to use them.

It was interesting that Cameron justified it in the context of…he said that if we do not do this then we will have to increase taxes.  He is basically trying to scare people by saying let us have these powers…these extraordinary, extraordinary powers and if you do not give us these powers, we will increase your taxes so it was almost an implied threat and again it is another threat to people’s deposits and savings and it shows how risky and vulnerable the banking system is .

People need to be aware of that and not have all of their savings in these banks.

Protecting Your Savings In the Coming Bail-in Era is the guide we compiled to protect people from bail-ins.

Keiser:  Right, well, of course governments have a history of political prosecution using these techniques. We have seen this in the U.S. and around the world. When the government doesn’t like what people are saying, whether it is Julian Assange or others. And now they have the sanctions and blockage against Russia and Iran, they use the financial and the banking system for political ends.

Clearly, the UK now has the ability to do that. And the idea that a government can just come in and steal money and confiscate money is a recurring theme. We have seen it, as you point out, in Cyprus and elsewhere.  So your point is that laws around the world and for the G20 nations have now been changed over the last year or two so that bankrupt or kleptocrat governments can start stealing money out of people’s accounts directly.

It was seen in the USA with Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan and Jon Corzine in the MF Global case when the bankers took clients’ money. Many bankers are committing suicide because they are ashamed of their industry. So this is giving the bankers more power. Governments are still giving the bankers more power to be more psychotic in their behaviour. I would anticipate that the banker suicide rate would skyrocket so there is a silver lining to this.

Keiser: … Who actually had their deposits taken in Cyprus and what is a bail-in, Mark?

O’Byrne: Basically, in Cyprus it was people with deposits over €100,000 who were bailed in. People think, well, bail-ins only affect rich people and it was actually justified on that basis and the authorities said that this is just…initially, they said this would only hit the ‘hot’ Russian money and then there was the realisation that Russian money was only a tiny minority of the deposits that were confiscated.

People don’t understand and think it was just the rich who were affected. It is not. Your average-sized, small or medium-sized enterprise business (SMEs) could easily have €100,000 to €300,000 on deposit and that is what they use to pay the salaries of their employees.

This is the key thing that people are not understanding and the ramifications of this…It is justified as almost a socialist measure whereby we are redistributing wealth from the very wealthy 1% (or the 0.1%) to the middle classes who are suffering from austerity. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are actually penalising and going after the savings of the middle classes and again protecting the interests of the 1% (or the 0.1%) and they are basically protecting the interests of large banks at the expense of small banks and smaller institutions and of the SMEs.

The other ramifications of bail-ins are that there are capital controls. So even in Cyprus today they still have not relaxed capital controls. So with bail-ins come capital controls and again it speaks to the need to have your savings outside of the banking system, to own gold and silver, physical coins and bars  and own them in the safest way possible either in your possession or in vaults, outside the banking system, in allocated gold accounts, in safer jurisdictions around the world.

Keiser: Let’s give some historical context here. The banking system collapsed because of massive fraud. Recall 2004 the U.S. Fed gave their blessing to QE and near zero percent interest rates and a way to ‘stimulate’ the economy as a way to get things going again. Six years later and we’re in a huge asset bubble but the underlying economic numbers are still atrocious, but they cannot lower rates anymore, so they have two options. Option A –  negative interest rates where they store people’s money at bank or option B, they just steal it out of their accounts through the bail-in process that you are describing.

So is this a way to soften people up to the idea of accepting negative interest rates? In other words, the governments will say, “Either you let us charge you negative interest rates, that is to say, you have got to pay us to keep your money in the bank at 2 or 3% per year, or we are just going to take it outright and we have the legal basis to do that and if you do not let us do that – you are a terrorist.”

Isn’t that what they are setting everyone up for Mark?

O’Byrne: Well, it is an interesting angle. It is a way that they could justify that. In effect, we have negative real interest rates right now – when you take into account the real rate of inflation. The official measures of inflation appear very compromised to many of us who have looked at them.  

If you look at the actual deposit rate that you’re getting from the bank, it is below the real rate of inflation. And then on top of it you have taxes levied on that as well.

It is just absolutely incredible and it is bizarre as they claim that they are putting these measures in place as they are trying to protect the banks and avoid what they call the “doom loop” which is a connection between the sovereign and the banks but by doing what they are doing, they are actually making the banks more vulnerable. They are more likely to cause bank runs.

It would make a cynical person wonder what is the real agenda here? Is it to strengthen the Wall Street banks instead of the small banks?

And the negative interest rate scenario is just incredible, people will soon take their money out of their deposit accounts, like the runs on banks we’ve seen in recent years.

Keiser: Mark, what we’re saying is that if somebody calls their bank and says, “I need to move my money out because now you’re charging me a negative interest rate”, they’re gonna say, “to hell with you, we’re gonna penalise…you’re a terrorist for supporting Bitcoin”. They’ve already used the language to equate Bitcoin with terrorism. “So we’re just gonna take money out of your account.” So, first of all, any money in a bank, any of the big four banks in the UK or in the U.S. or in Europe — only keep money in those banks that you are willing to lose. Lesson number two, if you want to maintain your wealth going forward — by wealth I mean economic sovereignty against the pernicious plutocratic kleptocrat nightmare — it’s got to be held outside a bank, in a vault, in gold, in silver or in Bitcoin or another like-minded cryptocurrency.

Mark, we’ve got about a minute left. Different countries are of course approaching this bail-in scenario differently. Can you give us a little idea of which country is and how far along they are and which is the worst and which is becoming the worst. We have about a minute left. Go ahead.

O’Byrne: I wouldn’t say the worst, I mean, in terms of the scenario, it is the same everywhere. In terms of being more advanced with legislation and that, the European Union seems to be more advanced. But it is in, as I said, the Bank of England and the FDIC legislation. And they are, I suppose…the driving force is, as I said, from the Bank of International Settlements. So that’s coming down into the Bank of England and the ECB, and indeed the Federal Reserve. But it is very much…because it is the Bank of International Settlements, it’s obviously more the western central banks. The Chinese, the Russians have been slow to, … they are non-committal and there is no…

Keiser: Let me jump in there for a second. You just mentioned the Chinese, the Russians, the Iranians…oh, wait a minute, that’s the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, oh, wait a minute, that’s where the NATO, the USA, the EU are going to war with them in Ukraine! Gee, I wonder if there’s any connection? That those are the only independent central banks in the world and the US is bombing them and, you know, Victoria Nuland is claiming that they’re, you know, “terrorists”. Gee, I wonder if there’s a connection, Mark? I wonder. Anyway, that’s all the time we have. Mark, thanks again for being on the Keiser Report.

The video of the interview can be watched here


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/RS4edd GoldCore

“Stuff Traders Have Told Me”

Forget what you may think about stocks, for good or for bad.  This is a trader’s market. By that, Nick Colas notes, we are in a condition where very specific old-school rules govern price action. No, none of these aphorisms will ever win a Pulitzer, but in a world where near-term sentiment clearly rules the roost these rules clearly matter.  After all, "The bank doesn't ask how smart you are when they cash your bonus check."

Via ConvergEx's Nick Colas,

Consider the ancient aphorism, “Don’t short new highs or buy new lows”.  If you ignored that one in recent days, you missed the new highs in the Dow and S&P 500.  Or how about the old ritual of a “Do Not Trade List” for those names where you’ve been burned chasing the herd?  Yep – that explains why momentum names are in the penalty box for a while longer.  And then there is another tattered piece of wisdom: “Instead of yellin’, you should be selling; instead of cryin’, you should be buying.”  No, none of these will ever win a Pulitzer, but in a world where near term sentiment clearly rules the roost these rules clearly matter.  After all, “The bank doesn’t ask how smart you are when they cash your bonus check.”

If you want to know the substance of someone’s character, watch them trade a real-money portfolio for a week or two.  Tell them they have to make money every day and will have their results posted to their Facebook page (if under 40) or on the cover of the WSJ (if over 40).  At the end of that period you will know more about them than their best friends, their spouse, and probably their shrink.  You will know how they cope with loss, rejection, euphoria, regret, praise and every other emotional extreme.  Only golf and high stakes poker come close to revealing a person’s essential character, but you can get lucky on the greens or at the tables for a day.  Two weeks of trading is a much more complete emotional crucible.

Over a few decades in and around trading desks, I have had the opportunity to watch dozens of very successful traders go about their business.  Most of them have a very set process for getting through their day.  They follow it without thinking, even if their personal demeanors are different.  It is sort of like watching a prison movie; there’s the snitch, the boss, the scrounger, the weasel…  But they all know the basic rules of getting through the day without getting killed.

Looking at the state of global equities – and especially U.S. stocks – it is clear that we are in a “Trader’s market”.  I mean that in the old-school sense of the words, as it denotes a heavily rules-based environment.  You can talk Shiller P/Es, Fed policy, ECB policy, Chinese slowdown, and any other 30,000 foot topic until you are tired from stamping your foot, arching your eyebrow and wagging your finger. It doesn’t matter at the moment.

Take, as an example, the old trader’s rule: “You don’t short new highs, and you don’t buy new lows.”  As an analyst, this one always infuriated me.  At the same time it has the odor of ancient wisdom about it, like the basement of an old beach house.  The chance that you possess the marginal information to catch a stock at an inflection point is essentially zero.  Traders know that; analysts tend to forget it.  You wait for the price action to stabilize before you take a position, for this means the market has truly absorbed the marginal investor’s point of view.  Then, and only then, is it time to take the alternative stance.

U.S. stock markets, specifically large cap equities, are making new highs.  Does it matter that the Russell 2000 basket of smaller cap names hasn’t done as well?  Not today. And probably not this week, if the price action pulls more money into equities.  Bottom line: don’t make the game harder than it has to be.  Don’t short new highs.

Moving on to something that may sound like witchcraft, but is actually a “Thing”: Do Not Trade lists.  Its constituents are names that a trader has either lost money on consistently or a whole bunch at once.  Now, imagine what names might be on a lot of traders’ lists at the moment.  Yep – momentum names that took a hit over the last two months.  After all, don’t forget the trader’s mantra: go with what’s working.  And those names were market leadership until early March.  When, all of a sudden, they weren’t anymore.  Bottom line here: the momentum names of 2013 are in the penalty box with a lot of traders at the moment.  They won’t be off the Do Not Trade list for a while.  Best to look elsewhere for new leadership.

On a different note, consider the homespun appeal of “Instead of yellin’, you should be sellin’; instead of cryin’, you should be buyin’”.  If you hear this one, chances are good that something has gone wonderfully right or horribly wrong with your pad.  In either case, your first instinct towards emotion is actually wrong. Celebration is for cheerleaders and 100th birthdays.  If you feel that euphoria/depression, chances are other traders feel the same way.  Which means the trade is over.

If there is an actual positive about the new highs on the Dow and S&P 500, it is that no one is “Yellin”.  In reality, no one seems to care.   It doesn’t make the evening general interest news, get retweeted 10,000 times, or dominate cocktail parties.  The bearish case continues to get serious attention.  Yes, the VIX is 2 standard deviations away from its long run average on the downside.  But that’s not really yelling.  That’s more like a bear yawning.

The upshot of all this is clear, if unexpected: U.S. equity markets are going higher in the near term.  If they aren’t, they still are not going to have a “Road to Damascus” experience and change course.  That’s how a trader would see this market, based solely on the price action.  Yes, you can parse the data a 1,000 different ways, but in the end the only thing that matters is where things close.

Which brings us to our final bit of trader’s wisdom: “The bank doesn’t ask how smart you are when they cash your bonus check”.  There are plenty of ways to prove your intelligence.  But only one way to prove you know how to trade.

via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1lqhTQd Tyler Durden

From Rothschild To Koch Industries: Meet The People Who “Fix” The Price Of Gold

Earlier today many were stunned when the historic, 117-year old, London Silver Fix announced that in three months it would no longer exist. However, silver is only one half of the world’s two best known precious metals. Which is why we decided to take a long, hard look at that other fix: gold.

The reason for this particular inquiry is because in the aftermath of the rapid and dramatic departure of the world’s largest bank by outstanding notional derivatives, and Europe’s biggest bank by any metric, Deutsche Bank, from the precious metal fix, something felt out of place: almost as if the participants of the “fixing” process which for so many years took place in the office of none other than Rothschild on St. Swithin’s Lane in London, were suddenly scrambling to disappear without a trace.

In conducting our research we hope to not only memorialize just who are these particular individuals who “fix” gold using nothing but publicly available information of course – because after all it is not as if they have anything to hide or fear – but to connect some of the very peculiar dots behind the scenes of what to some, is the original, and most manipulated market in history – that of gold.

* * *

First, as has been reported previously, when Deutsche departs, this will leave only four gold fix members, namely, Barclays, HSBC, Société Générale (SocGen) and Scotiabank, and since only two silver fixing entities remained, HSBC and Scotiabank, the traditional silver price discovery mechanism was shuttered. The Fixings are conducted twice daily at 10am and 3.30pm London time and are used widely by all participants in the precious metals industry for benchmarking prices and valuations and also as trading price reference points.

The gold and silver fixings are organised through UK limited liability companies of which the member investment bank traders are directors. Before the resignation of Deutsche Bank, there were five directors and five alternate directors of “The London Gold Market Fixing Limited” and three directors and three alternate directors of “The London Silver Market Fixing Limited.”

Earlier this year on 16th January, German financial regulator BaFin stated that possible manipulation of currency and precious metals markets could be more serious than the manipulation that has already been proven in the Libor rigging scandal. On the very next day, January 17th, Deutsche Bank announced that it was withdrawing from both the gold and silver fixings in what it called “a scaling back of its commodities business.”

Needless to say, in aftermath of the termination of the silver fix, and now that there are significant regulatory and litigation spotlights on the Fixings, and one major member exiting, some are wondering: will the demise of the Silver Fixing undermine the rationale for retaining the Gold Fixing? And what will replace it.

* * *

We don’t have the answer. What we do know is that using public records such as the British Companies House database and other public databases, one can find not only all the available information on the London Gold Market Fixing Limited company before it too disappears into thin air, but to get a sense of the kind of people it employs.

Below is the full list of 10 most recent directors and backups of the Gold Fixing:


So let’s start with everyone favorite French bank: SocGen, where we meet young master Vincent Domien, born June 13, 1980, and director since January 25, 2010. His Goldfixing phone contact info is +44 207 762 5374, and he can be reached at: vincent.domien@sgcib.com. His LinkedIn profile has extensive details on what it takes to become a gold fixer.


Sadly, the other director from SocGen, Xavier Lannegrace, born 1964 and director since December 19, 2013, has no LinkedIn profile, so we had to go to other primary sources. As it turns out Mr. Lannegrace keeps a low profile but does have occasional media appearances, such as this one in Risk.net from 2011

Instead of increasing margin calls to protect against credit risk as many banks did at this time, SG CIB began providing some unmargined lines to mining firms, even taking over margined positions that miners had with other lenders and making them unmargined.


To avoid a cash constraint we can provide some unmargined lines – transforming risk on the price into risk of performance. But in that case what we really need to see is the miner performing, producing the material, and delivering the material,” explains Xavier Lannegrace, managing director of base metals, precious metals and agriculture at SG CIB in Paris.

And also from Risk, from the year before:

“The Meteor system has been able to handle a massive increase in both flow and new transactions, which leaves us in a very strong position on the operational side. We looked at all our operational risk reporting, counterparty risk exposures and risk limits, and Meteor told us we are solid. So we can keep on developing a stronger commodities desk, moving into agricultural commodities and developing new indexes because we know commodities are going to be the hot spot with investors in 2010,” says Xavier Lannegrace, global head of commodities marketing and sales in Paris.


* * *

“You can go to bed at night having left an order with Société Générale knowing that order is going to be watched and looked after, so there is no problem when you come into the office the next morning. The service is first class.”

And from yet another year prior:

As well as the sharp drop in metals prices last year, the collapse of Lehman on September 15 sent reverberations around the metals markets. The investment bank was not a big player in the metals markets, but the collapse of the broker-dealer caused counterparty credit risk to become the number one issue for market credit risk, we have seen investors and corporates diversify their hedges amongst several banks. Those who normally traded with one, two, or three banks are now trading with five or six different banking counterparties,” says Xavier Lannegrace, global head of commodities marketing at Société Générale  Corporate and Investment Banking (SG CIB) in Paris.

* * *

Moving to the bank that redefined the term “money laundering”, HSBC we meet David Rose, contact phone +44 207 992 8041 and contact email: david.b.rose@hsbcgroup.com, who has the following rather sparse LinkedIn profile: 


And his alternate director, Peter Drabwell, self-described on LinkedIn as “a precious metals sales and trader


* * *

We then proceed to the current Chairman of the Gold Fixing group, Simon Weeks, born 1962, who hails from Canada’s Scotiabank, aka ScotiaMocatta. He is one of the veteran directors, appointed in February 1995. Those who so wish can reach Simon at +44 207 826 5930 and his contact email is simon.weeks@scotiabank.com. Alas, there is not much in his LinkedIn profile:

* * *

And the alternate from ScotiaMocatta: Steven Lowe

Steve is the Managing Director of Scotiabank, London with overall responsibility for sales, trading and distribution of Scotiabank’s European precious metals business. Additionally he is the Global Head of ScotiaMocatta’s base metals business, CEO of Scotia Capital Europe Ltd and a board member of Scotiabank Europe Plc. Prior to his arrival in London in 1998, Steve worked in Toronto covering a portfolio of North American mining companies, particularly credit products including debt, project finance and metal derivative transactions. Steve has an MBA from the Ivey School of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University.

He has been a member of the LBMA Management Committee for numerous years and has acted as Vice Chair of the committee for two years. He also sits on the LBMA PAC committee.

* * *

Next we get to most British notorious bank, Barclays, we find director Mr. Martyn Whitehead, contact phone: +44 20 7773 8106, contact email: martyn.whitehead@barcap.com, whose LinkedIn profile describes him as “Global Head of Mining & Metal Sales at Barclays Capital”, and who previously worked for 6 years at Rothschild.

* * *

Also from Barclays, there is Jonathan Spall, who also has quite an extensive LinkedIn profile.

Alas, Mr. Spall won’t be at Barclays, or the fix, for long. As Bloomberg reported in January 2014

Barclays Plc cut commodities jobs in London and New York as part of reductions in fixed income, currencies and commodities, according to two people familiar with the matter. Bharath Manium, a managing director in commodities structuring, Paul Jackman, a managing director in the commodities index business, Jonathan Spall, product manager for metals in London, and Sudakshina Unnikrishnan, an analyst in London, are leaving, according to the people who asked not to be identified because the move hasn’t been made public.

In fact as was reported by London Gold Market Fixing Ltd, Mr. Spall is no longer with the company since April 9, 2014.

* * *

Which leaves us with the two most interesting and curious individuals: the “fixers” from Deutsche Bank, which as was reported previously, is no longer a member of the gold fix company courtesy of BaFin’s accelerated procedure to reign in the German bank.

What follows next is an intricate timeline journey into the gold fixing rabbit hole, where we find some very suspicious and unreported issues about Deutsche Bank’s departure from the Gold and Silver Fixings, namely Matthew Keen’s sudden resignation and departure in January after BaFin’s statements, followed by the resignation of Kevin Rodgers. Why did Keen resign? Secondly, Deutsche quietly stopped contributing to GOFO as early as February or March.

1. On Friday January 17th, Deutsche announces that its quitting the gold and silver fixings. On  Monday 20th January, Matthew Keen, Deutsche’s head of precious metals, resigns from the London gold and silver fixings companies and is replaced by Kevin Rodgers, Deutsche’s global head of FX. Matt Keen then departs fully from Deutsche Bank in January, and starts a new job for Jefferies in April.

Deutsche Bank then announces on 28th April that Kevin Rodgers is resigning from Deutsche Bank, the day before it announces that it can’t sell its two seats on the gold and silver panels and that it is resigning. The resignation of Matthew Keen has not been reported anywhere it seems.

2. Sometime in March at the latest, Deutsche Bank quits being an LBMA forward market maker, and stops contributing to GOFO rates and forward curve data. This also appears to not have been reported previously.

The following timeline illustrates some important information that has not been discussed:


November 27th 2013: German regulator BaFin announces that it is reviewing how banks participate in the gold and silver price setting

BLOOMBERG says “The regulator is looking at the procedures at “individual banks,” Ben Fischer, a spokesman for Bafin, said in an e-mailed statement today.”


December 12th 2013: The Financial Times states that BaFin has already been interviewing Deutsche Bank on this for several months and has demanded various documens from Deutsche.

FINANCIAL TIMES: “BaFin has grilled Deutsche Bank staff during several on-site inspections in the past few months”


Wednesday January 15th 2014: Reuters reveals that Deutsche has suspended New York based FX traders and that Fed and

OCC visited Citigroup offices in Canary Wharf, London

REUTERS: “Deutsche, Citi feel the heat of widening FX investigation”


Thursday January 16th 2014: BaFin’s president Elke König says in a speech in Frankfurt that currency and precious metals price manipulation is  “worse than Libor”.

BLOOMBERG: “Metals, Currency Rigging Is Worse Than Libor, Bafin Says”


Friday 17th January 2014: Deutsche Bank announces that it is withdrawing from the gold and silver price fixings

REUTERS: “Deutsche Bank is withdrawing its participation in the gold and silver benchmark setting process following the significant scaling back of our commodities business.


Monday 20th January 2014: Matthew Keen, Director (precious metals) at Deutsche Bank resigns as a director of the gold and silver fixing companies and Kevin Rodgers, Global Head of Foreign Exchange at Deutsche Bank is appointed as Deutsche Director in both of these companies (why an FX trader is appointed to trade commodities is not quite clear).

On the same day, Matthew Keen also resigns as the Deutsche director representative of London Precious Metals Clearing Limited (LPMCL) and is replaced by Raj Kumar, Deutsche’sEuropean COO, Commodities.

Curiously, Matt Keen did not operate out of either London or Frankfurt, but instead relocated from London to Dubai with Deutsche in 2012. Is that the farthest one could get away from US and European regulators one wonders?


Sometime in February or March – Deutsche stops contributing to GOFO

LBMA rolled out a new web site in ealr April. This was mentioned in the LBMA’s Alchemist, Issue 73, published March 31st. The wayback machine has an imprint from the new site on April 9th. In the GOFO contributor list, Deutsche is not listed

Deutsche disappeared from GOFO before 9th April – new web site

Deutsche was still listed as a GOFO contributor on the old LBMA web site, latest imprint is February

Old GOFO – February


Sometime in February or March – Deutsche ceases to be a market maker for forwards

Deutsche not a forward market maker now

Old market makers list – February 14th

April 25th 2014: Reuters reports that sources say Deutsche canot sell gold and silver seats due to US lawsuits

REUTERS: “U.S. lawsuits hobble Deutsche Bank’s bid to sell gold fix seat

Just what was Deutsche worried buyers would find during the due diligence?


April 28th 2014: Deutsche Bank announces that Kevin Rodgers, Global Head of FX is quitting the bank in June

WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Deutsche Bank Head of Forex to Retire – Kevin Rodgers to Leave Industry in June; Departure Not Linked to Global Investigation

Burying the evidence, and firing the bodies?


April 29th 2014: Deutsche resigns seats on gold and silver fixes, can’t sell them, gives 2 weeks notice, last day 13th May

REUTERS: “Deutsche Bank resigns gold, silver fix seat with no buyer

Saturday May 10th 2014: FT’s John Dizard comments that “Precious metals market people tell me that even in advance of Deutsche’s formal departure from both the gold and silver fix, the bank had reduced its participation in putting up bids or offers at the silver fix very substantially.”

FINANCIAL TIMES: “No silver lining for gold-fix regulation


May 13th 2014 – Deutsche’s last day on gold and silver panels

… However….

As Reuters reported earlier today:

A source familiar with the situation told Reuters that Deutsche Bank had postponed its resignation, responding to a specific request from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).


The other banks may have indicated to the regulator that they were looking to withdraw as well and so to make this an orderly affair Deutsche was asked to postpone the date of resignation,” the source said.

In other words, just as the Silver Fix is no more, so the Gold Fix will almost certainly be nothing but a memory in a few short months now that the spotlight is shining on its members. But why the sudden scramble to depart and not just by Deutsche but by all other members? (… that was rhetorical)

Other questions also remain unanswered.

Looking at Mr. Keen’s LinkedIn profile we find that before Deutsche, Keen worked as Head of Precious Metals at none other than the infamous Koch Industries. Here he “Built a global precious metal business around Precious Metal and PGM inventory management for the oil refining and speciality chemical processing industries.”

Wait, so the Deutsche trader who is most suspect of rigging the Fix, and who quit first (and hence, best), learned his craft at Koch Industries? It almost makes one wonder just what kind of gold and silver trading the Koch brothers engage in.

* * *

But perhaps the most curious and surprising finding here is what Bloomberg reported back in November, when it wrote one of the first articles exposing the “Fix” to the mainstream (if not so much the “tinfoil blog” vertical which was well aware of all of this years ago). To wit:

London Gold Market Fixing Ltd., a company controlled by the five banks that administers the benchmark, has no permanent employees. A call from Bloomberg News was referred to Douglas Beadle, 68, a former Rothschild banker, who acts as a consultant to the company from his home in Caterham, a small commuter town 45 minutes south of London by train. Beadle declined to comment on the benchmark-setting process.

“No permanent employees”: extremely convenient when one has to pick up and simply disappear without a trace…

via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1oQ3e4l Tyler Durden

The Max Pain Trade

But "they" can't all be wrong, right?



And this is not helping…


Not a single economist taking part in a separate survey believes an economic downturn is possible.

“Economists are unwavering in their assessment of where yields are headed in the next half year.


Jim Bianco, of Bianco Research, points out in a market comment Tuesday that a survey of 67 economists this month shows every single one of them expects the 10-year Treasury yield to rise in the next six months.


The survey, which is done each month by Bloomberg, has been notably bearish for some time now, with nearly everyone expecting rising rates. In March, 97% expected rising rates. In February, 95% expected yields to climb. And in January, 97% held that expectation. Since the beginning of 2009, there have only been a handful of instances where less than 50% expected rates to rise.


Still, the fact that every single survey participant is bearish is striking. The last time the survey had that result was in May 2012, when benchmark yields were well below 2%.


“Literally there is maybe one economist in the United States straddling the bullish/bearish divide on interest rates. The rest are bearish,” Bianco writes.


He adds that a J.P. Morgan client survey shows that the percentage of money manager respondents who said they are underweight Treasurys is the second highest in seven years.


This is all the more surprising when we consider that investors went into 2014 thinking yields would rise significantly. Instead, the benchmark yield is lower than when the year started, as the market waded throw subpar economic data, geopolitical tensions, and uncertainty over the Federal Reserve. The 10-year note last traded at a yield of 2.72% on Tuesday, down from just over 3% on Dec. 31.


Then again, a separate poll of economists recently showed that exactly zero expect the economy to contract.


But when the entire market thinks one thing is about to happen, the opposite outcome is often in store, notes James Camp, managing director of fixed income at Eagle Asset Management. So don’t count out that result with Treasurys, he advises.


“It’s the most hated asset class,” says Camp, but Treasurys are some of the best performers year-to-date.”


And remember who was telling its clients to sell (them) their bonds?


Chart: Bloomberg

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